Tag «new media expo»

Episode 52: How to Increase Your Blog Traffic for Your Yarn-Related Business

Sharing is caring! Listen to the episode in the player, download the episode here, or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. In this episode, I talk about increasing blog traffic in response to feedback from the listener survey and and email exchange with Lindsay Lewchuk from Knit Eco Chic. I’m listening to episode 48 & …

Episode 31: Preparing for an Absence from Your Business, Collaboration, Blog Monetization, and More with Amy Ramnarine

Episode 31: Preparing for an Absence from Your Business, Collaboration, Blog Monetization, and More with Amy Ramnarine
In this episode, I shared an interview with Amy Ramnarine from The Stitchin’ Mommy. Amy is a crochet designer and DIY blogger, and a fellow New Yorker. We met up at Martha’s Country Bakery in Forest Hills, Queens back in March. (By the way, Amy recommends the Strawberry Shortcake which is made with real strawberries.) I wanted to talk with her about her plans for maternity leave. We also chatted about collaborations that expand your business, blog monetization, customer service, and more.

About Amy Ramnarine

Amy is a full-time crochet and DIY blogger. Her background is in finance, but she worked as a pre-school teacher before her first daughter was born. As a stay-at-home mom, she launched The Stitchin’ Mommy as a maker. She later became a designer and expanded her blog beyond crochet to include additional DIY topics and tutorials. Find more links in the show notes for today’s episode at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/31.

About the Interview
I invited Amy on the show to talk about how she’s planning for maternity leave. While you may not be planning a pregnancy in the near future, Amy shared a lot of information that can help any yarn-related business owner who anticipates a break from the business.

Plan ahead. Amy started planning her leave about 4 months before she was planned to take off time. During the planning period, she increased her workload to meet her goals for her absence.
Create a content calendar. Amy created a calendar for about 3 months of blog posts with her typical release frequency to include the types of content that she has seen success with in the past, such as free patterns, book reviews, pattern roundups, and more.
Connect with other small businesses. Amy reached out to her network of bloggers and designers and asked for guest posts and designer spotlights to supplement her own original content.
Find and train support. Although Amy hasn’t used a virtual assistant before, she started to train one who can maintain some of the social media accounts of her business while she is on maternity leave.
We also talked about collaboration. Amy’s inspiration has been Chef Carla Hall, who often says “There’s power in the yes.” This philosophy has helped Amy to expand her business by reaching out for opportunities and collaborations. One example is the Tuesday Pin-spiration Link Party she co-hosts with Rhondda from Oombawka Design. (We even teased Rhondda a bit about her fear of Skype.) Amy talked about how she grew her blog with collaborations, posting frequency, customer service, and by submitting content to free pattern directories like AllFreeCrochet and Crochet at Play. We discussed the different ways Amy monetizes her blog and the support she gets from RFE Hosting. Amy also talked about her approach to customer service.

Updates
I took a mini hiatus from the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show last week to wrap up my 31 Days to Pod Launch challenge. I will be sharing what I learned in a future episode, but until then, I’d appreciate it if you would visit my new channel on YouTube and subscribe. I’ll be sharing a bonus episode on Saturday to make up for my absence: an interview with lifestyle coach and mompreneur, Lane Kennedy. Next week, I’ll be sharing an interview with Sedie Maruska from Yarn Obsession.

I was a guest on Marly Bird’s Yarn Thing on March 19, 2015. Marly and I talked about how I got started and the business of crochet and knitting. We also chatted about the debate over offering free patterns and more!

I will be presenting at the BlogHer ’15 Conference in New York City along with my friend and fellow solopreneur, Carlota Zimmerman from the Creativity Yenta (who was a guest on Episode 16 and Episode 22). We will be part of a workshop on Friday, July 17, 2015 called Social Media Bootcamp: Lightning Lessons in the Latest: LinkedIn, Google+ Hangouts On Air, and Twitter. If your blog is a major part of your business income (or, you’d like it to be), I hope to see you there! If you haven’t already registered, you can take advantage of our friends and family discount for 30% off the Blogger Rate by registering through the link in the show notes.

If you are available next Monday, April 13, 2015, I’d love it if you could join my live Google+ Hangout with Carlota as No Frills Small Business. You can check out the teaser and RSVP to get a reminder before the show starts. I will be in Las Vegas for New Media Expo from April 13-16, 2015, we’ll be talking about getting the most value out of your next business conference or networking event.

I also thanked Beaderjojo (also known as Goddess Crochet) and “Someone Insignificant” for their wonderful 5 star reviews on iTunes in March. I always appreciate reviews, (even if they aren’t 5 star reviews – which are awesome, by the way) as well as suggestions for future show topics! I shared some suggestions that I’ve already received for future episodes.

Do you have other episode topic ideas to share?

Have you taken a planned leave of absence from your business? What worked best for you? Leave a comment at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/31, Tweet me at @cyeshow, add me to your G+ circle and send me a note, or leave a message at 646-713-8973.

If you enjoyed the show
You can now subscribe to the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. Please leave an honest review on iTunes (or Stitcher) and join the mailing list. I’ll let people on the list know in advance about special guests and topics so you can share your questions.

Episode 30: Going Beyond the Basics with Pinterest for Your Yarn-Related Business with Cynthia Sanchez

Back in February, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Cynthia Sanchez at the We All Grow Summit by Latina Bloggers Connect. Cynthia is a Pinterest marketing expert, so in this interview, we talked about taking your Pinterest use to the next level for your yarn-related business. (If you’re just getting started on Pinterest, you may find Episode 2: 10 Ways to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Business helpful.)

About Cynthia Sanchez
Cynthia Sanchez has a background in healthcare as a nurse navigator. In 2011, she was interested in using social media to get the word out to patients, but since she didn’t have an established online presence or a background in marketing, she decided to start up a personal blog first. Cynthia had recently begun using Pinterest and was finding that it was transforming her life, so it seemed like the perfect topic for her to explore through blogging. Cynthia soon became a recognized Pinterest marketing expert. In addition to hosting the Oh So Pinteresting podcast, she also speaks regularly at national conferences social media events.

You can find Cynthia online at the Oh So Pinteresting website, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest (of course), and Twitter. You can also subscribe to the Oh So Pinteresting podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. Cynthia’s Pinterest for Business course is now available on Lynda.com.

About the Interview
In this interview, Cynthia shared her advice for going beyond the basics in using Pinterest for reaching your target audience. Here are some of her suggestions.

Take the time to develop a Pinterest strategy. Consider who you want to reach (your target audience), and then create boards populated with the types of images they want to see. Once you have established your overall strategy, you can think about the posting frequency/schedule that works for you.
Consider different approaches to Pinterest boards based on your business’s size and brand. Solopreneurs/micro business owners might share more personal interest boards than larger businesses, since the owner’s personality may be considered part of the brand. Owners who have a business serving both B2B and B2C audiences might consider creating separate accounts to focus on different audiences. Businesses of all sizes may want to consider using more secret boards for interests that may divert attention from their core business activities.
If you have multiple accounts, establish group boards to share crossover interests with both audiences. I do this with my Crochet Business Tips board, which is shared through my Underground Crafter and my Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show business accounts.
Browse boards and pins in categories unrelated to your business. Yarn-related busienss owners may want to check out sports or history to see Pinterest with fresh eyes. Discover what appeals to you visually, and incorporate that into your own boards as well as into the images you share online.
Cynthia also shared several recommendations.

The Pinterest for Business blog is Cynthia’s favorite resource for staying on top of Pinterest changes.
Tailwind is the Pinterest scheduler and analytics tool Cynthia recommends for small businesses and bloggers. It is an approved Pinterest third party app and it has affordable pricing options.
Cynthia also invited listeners to participate in her upcoming one day, hands-on Pinterest training, My Pinterest Bootcamp with Jeff Sieh from Manly Pinterest Tips, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Updates
My 31 Days to Pod Launch challenge is still going strong! I’ve been releasing an audio file, blog post, and YouTube video daily since March 1. This is my trial by fire on YouTube, and I plan to share what I’ve learned about video production in a future episode. In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if you would check out my new channel on YouTube and subscribe.

I will be presenting at the BlogHer ’15 Conference in New York City along with my friend and fellow solopreneur, Carlota Zimmerman from the Creativity Yenta (who was a guest on Episode 16 and Episode 22). We will be part of a workshop on Friday, July 17, 2015 called Social Media Bootcamp: Lightning Lessons in the Latest: LinkedIn, Google+ Hangouts On Air, and Twitter. If your blog is a major part of your business income (or, you’d like it to be), I hope to see you there! If you haven’t already registered, you can take advantage of our friends and family discount for 30% off the Blogger Rate by registering through the link at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/30.

If you are available next Monday, March 30, 2015, I’d love it if you could join my live Google+ Hangout with Carlota as No Frills Small Business. You can check out the teaser and RSVP to get a reminder before the show starts at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/30. We’ll be talking about charting your own history with your small business as part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, and we’ll be answering the top questions we hear from other women small business owners.

I’ll also be attending New Media Expo in Las Vegas from April 13-16, 2015. If you’ll be attending, too, let me know because I’d love to meet you there!

I’d love to hear from you! How do you plan on adjusting your Pinterest strategy or tactics based on Cynthia’s suggestions? What has worked for you on Pinterest in the past? Leave a comment at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/30, Tweet me at @cyeshow, add me to your G+ circle and send me a note at https://plus.google.com/+MarieSegaresundergroundcrafter/, or leave a message at 646-713-8973.

If you enjoyed the show
You can now subscribe to the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. Please leave an honest review on iTunes (or Stitcher) and join the mailing list. I’ll let people on the list know in advance about special guests and topics so you can share your questions. You can find the sign up form at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/contact/.

Episode 29: Selling on Etsy, Passive Income, and Using Trending Keywords with Alexandra Tavel from Two of Wands

I interviewed Alexandra Tavel, a crochet and knitting maker and designer. Alexandra owns the Etsy shop, Two of Wands. We met up in person in New York City (where we both live) to talk about how she launched her shop, how it became her full time income, and what she enjoys about the platform, as well as other topics related to owning a yarn-based business. You can find complete show notes for today’s episode, including links to everything that was discussed at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/29.

About Alexandra Tavel
Alexandra Tavel earned dual degrees in fashion design and costume construction technology from Indian University. After graduation, she moved to New York City with plans of entering the fashion industry, but she ended up working in a nonprofit organization for 8 years. In late 2013, a series of life changes led to her launching an Etsy shop, Two of Wands, where she sells her finished knit and crocheted projects as well as instant pattern downloads.

About the Interview
Alexandra talked about how she studied Etsy’s blogs and newsletters before opening the Two of Wands Etsy shop to sell finished knit and crochet items in November, 2013.

Alexandra’s signature photographic style actually developed by happenstance. After Etsy launched digital downloads, Alexandra read an Etsy Quit Your Day Job post that inspired her to begin to sell her patterns in her shop as well. Alexandra’s designs started with simple design and construction so that she could easily create and finish finished items, but as she began to see her pattern sales allowing her business to scale, she is reconsidering this approach.

In this very conversational interview, we covered a variety of other business topics.

Now, this interview was recorded several weeks ago before I interviewed Grace Dobush for Episode 28, read Grace’s article in WIRED, “How Etsy Alienated Its Crafters and Lost Its Soul,” and learned about Etsy’s announcement that it filed papers for an Initial Public Offering. If I had a time machine, I would have asked for Alexandra’s feedback on these issues.

Some Updates
My 31 Days to Pod Launch challenge is still going strong! I’ve been releasing an audio file, blog post, and YouTube video daily since March 1. This is my trial by fire on YouTube, and I plan to share what I’ve learned about video production in a future episode. In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if you would check out my new channel on YouTube and subscribe.

I will be presenting at the BlogHer ’15 Conference in New York City along with my friend and fellow solopreneur, Carlota Zimmerman from the Creativity Yenta (who was a guest on Episode 16 and Episode 22). We will be part of a workshop on Friday, July 17, 2015 called Social Media Bootcamp: Lightning Lessons in the Latest: LinkedIn, Google+ Hangouts On Air, and Twitter. If your blog is a major part of your business income (or, you’d like it to be), I hope to see you there! If you haven’t already registered, you can take advantage of our friends and family discount for 30% off the Blogger Rate by registering through the link at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/29..

Ijeoma Eleazu, host of the Etsy Conversations Podcast and a guest on Episode 9 of the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, also highlighted the importance of reading the Etsy seller handbook before launching an Etsy shop. Ijeoma’s podcast was recently touted by Etsy as number one in their list of 10 Podcasts to Help Your Business Thrive. Congratulations, Ijeoma!

I’ll also be attending New Media Expo in Las Vegas from April 13-16, 2015. If you’ll be attending, too, let me know because I’d love to meet you there!

Where do you stand on using Etsy for your yarn-related business? Has your opinion changed since Etsy made its IPO announcement? Leave a comment on the show notes for today’s episode at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/29, Tweet me at @cyeshow, add me to your G+ circle and send me a note, or leave a message at 646-713-8973. (You can call me for free through the Contact page.)

If you enjoyed the show
You can now subscribe to the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. Please leave an honest review on iTunes (or Stitcher).