While a couple of articles have been written on this already – I thought they left out a lot – So here’s my ‘stash’ of useful goodies and thoughts…
Whether you have a shop (or two) on-line, a blog, or just pictures of great jewelry you make – none of it means anything if people don’t see it.
Here lately in my own efforts to get my work “out there”, I’ve ran across a lot of ideas, tips, and tricks for trying to ‘get seen’ – Some work, others, not so well.
The first is a collection of what’s called “social bookmarking”. Bookmarking services (free), keep track of your bookmarks on-line (useful in itself in the event of a computer crash), but in my opinion, under-utilized in promoting yourself.
The light went on for me when I got an Artfire shop. It comes with wonderful ‘shop stats’. Besides showing how many hits you’ve gotten – it also shows the referring URL – where and what someone was looking at, when they came to your shop/blog/whatever. There are great widgets you can put on your blog, and Flickr that will provide similar stats. Flagcounter, and Feedit’s LiveTraffic are 2 of my favorites.
Addthis.com provides free code to add the “Share Button” to blogs, Facebook, MySpace, and stand alone web sites to make it really easy for others to share your work too.
Back to the bookmarking – This is the ‘short list’ of what’s out there – Some work, others’ don’t, and some may not pertain to what you’re trying to accomplish, but you can try them out for yourselves. – I have an account (free) in about 90% of these, and I’ll go through and highlight some of my favorites. You can ‘Google’ any of these to get the actual URL, and a short description…..
Some of these you’ll notice aren’t exactly ‘social bookmarking, but they perform a similar function…The idea being to get SEEN… When you set up an account, make sure you put links in your profile of everywhere your work can be found and/or purchased.
Ask – Furl – Reddit –
Backflip – Google Bookmarks – Segnalo –
BallHype – Kaboodle – Simpy –
Bebo – Link-a-Gogo – Slashdot –
Blinklist – LinkedIn – Spurl –
Blogmarks – Live – STUMBLEUPON –
Delicious – Magnolia – Tailrank –
Digg – Mister Wong – Technorati –
Diigo – Mixx – Twitter –
– Multiply – Yahoo Bookmarks –
Fark – myAOL – Yahoo Buzz –
Faves (Bluedot) – MySpace – Flickr –
Favorites – Netvouz – Yardbarker –
FeedMeLinks – Newsvine – Yahoo – MyWeb –
FriendFeed – Propeller – YouTube –
Flixya – BlogLog
Now you’re probably wondering how social bookmarking can help you – Here’s how most of them work – You bookmark a site, photo, item, whatever, and most offer the option for a short description and TAGS, so that your bookmarks are search-able by other users. Be as thorough on your tags as you possible can, and make sure when the option comes up, that you set your bookmarks “public”. (Don’t worry, most have an option to set each bookmark as public or private). One of your primary goals is then to bookmark YOURSELF. Now you don’t want to bookmark just yourself, you’ll turn some people off thinking that’s all you’re are doing is advertising.
Bookmark your friends sites and offerings, artists you admire, wonderful stuff you run across on the web – you surf, you know you do, use it. After a while (a very short time on some) other users will see your style, and tastes, and frequent your bookmarks more often.
My favorite, and according to my stats in Artfire, one of the most used – is STUMBLEUPON. It has free toolbars to add to your internet browsers, and a nicely laid out account format – You can even acquire fans :). Stumble yourself, your newest listing, latest post on your blog – they will get seen! Stumble is wonderful!
Delicious, Diigo, Mr Wong, Magnolia, BlogLog, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, rank close seconds. Delicious, Diigo, and Mr Wong, also have browser toolbars available.
Flickr is under-utilized too in my opinion. There are millions of photo fanatics on the web – use them. When you have an account, (and I posted more info on this at http://www.jewelrylessons.com/jewel/node/7967 ) don’t just include photos of your jewelry. Include pics of your animals, a great wedding you went to, beach photos, your kitchen remodeling project etc, and tag really, really well!! Someone searching for kitty cat pictures for example, finds your photos of your babies, and 9 times out of 10 will look at some of your other photos. They see your pics of your newest works, and while they weren’t intending to shop searching Flickr, your pieces peaked their interest, and they will look for links in your profile, to see where you sell. Before you think that’s all to Flickr, search out any and all groups, (there’s even one for JewelryLessons.com hint, hint) that you can contribute related pictures to..
Here’s an example of what I mean – I love and raise Parrots and Lories – I joined every group I could find related to them, from Pet Birds, to Lorie-ographers, and posted pics of some of my babies. I actually get people from jewelry un-related groups to come and look at my work. They came to look to see what other great bird pics I have, and end up seeing my jewelry. One woman from a Lorie group, made her way to my Etsy shop – Bingo!
Don’t be afraid to join jewelry groups either, even as a ‘newbie’, they can be a wonderful source of encouragement and ideas, and again, your work is making it’s way around the net. People mark their favorites, and someone else looks at their favorites, and marks some of their favorites, and so on, and so on.
One more before I go – (I know you’re thinking you’re reading a revised version of War and Peace) – Don’t forget TWITTER – Now again don’t just post sales or listings, people will tend to get annoyed, and stop following you. Make new friends, keep up with current ones, subtly keep them up to date on what you’re working on…
As I run across new outlets and ideas, I’ll come back and share them here – I couldn’t go through all of what I’ve tried in one article, you’all might fall asleep :))
Thank you for visiting………
“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. “~Mark Twain