Thursday, June 18, 2009

Updates and More


Share/Bookmark

I'm really not doing a good job keeping this blog up-to-date. To be honest, I'm a bit of a slacker here lately, and then I had a migraine for five straight days, so I was barely able to get through a day. And taking care of Anna always comes first and foremost. And now that I'm back in the saddle, so to speak, I've been playing catch up myself.

I have listed many new items on Artfire and Etsy. I will continue to list items on Artfire, but Etsy may once again become deactivated. There has been a lot of bad things happening over there since April, and a lot of it came to a head over the weekend. I'll explain shortly. I have a new necklace, three new bracelets, and many new earrings to list. I will also have a few pendants coming soon (will be working on them today once Anna goes down for her nap), and I will be releasing a new line of copper chainmaille soon. Bare copper, oh the beauty! I have been cutting copper rings off and on for several weeks, and I still have several strips of wire to coil. I may hit those tonight after Munchkin crashes for the night. (I so love that she sleeps from like 9 to 4 EVERY night).

Okay, to explain what has been going on with Etsy. This is based off what I have been reading over the weekend from several different threads that were getting closed out left and right, so it may sound a bit jumbled, but I'll do my best here. Back in April (right after Anna was born, so I really wasn't paying much attention), Etsy changed how it handled its' SEO optimization (IE, how they submitted their information to Google and other search engines). It was supposed to be changed to bring more buyers into our shops and get the sellers' names out there more. SUPPOSED TO. Everyone's views plummeted, and when everyone started to complain, Etsy just told us to list more often, renew more often, and relist, relist, relist. At 20 cents a listing, that added up, FAST. So as the sellers shoved more money into Etsy's pockets, they found that they were receiving even less incoming traffic. One of the top sellers on Etsy finally decided that she had had enough. (I'm assuming "She". Paperstreet, if you are a guy, I'm sorry, but I really don't know you that well.) She went digging to find out why she wasn't getting views. If it was something she was doing, then she could change tactics, but if it was out of her control, she knew she'd have to make some decisions. What she found out was appalling.

Before April, all of our items, when submitted to Google, appeared in your results as this: "Black and Red Anodized Aluminum Bracelet by Jessica C Jewelry on Etsy." This brought the item up by keyword and descriptions immediately, and even made it easy to find a particular seller. But in April, Etsy changed it so that all the results read as: "Handmade __________ (category) on Etsy - Black and Red Anodized Aluminum Bracelet by Jessica C Jewelry." Now, since Google only checks the first 60 characters of a title to match keywords that you are searching for, almost everyone had become lost. If you searched by "Jessica C Jewelry," you would never find an Etsy listing for me because my name was chopped off because it would be past the 60 character limit. You would find my Etsy shop because I had submitted to Google on my own accord, but if you wanted a specific item, you would have a hard time ever finding it. Most Etsy shops weren't even appearing in the Google searches until the fourth or fifth page. Sometimes, they were buried even further back. What this also means is that Etsy is shoving certain keywords down Google's throat when it comes to meta tags, which is a big "NO NO." We aren't sure yet, but it's possible that Google has begun to block Etsy submissions because certain keywords appear too many times. (This was NOT said by Paperstreet. This is my own assumption because I have made many websites and I know how easy it is to be blocked by search engines.)

What does this mean for sellers on Etsy? Well, one, you aren't going to get any views or shop traffic unless you bring them in yourself or someone who already knows about Etsy is looking for a specific item on Etsy and you just happen to be on the first page or two of results on Google. Two, if Google has blocked Etsy from anymore search engine submissions, then well, every seller on Etsy is screwed. Now, we can still get our items in a Google search but it will require more work on our part by creating an XML or TXT document and submitting it to Google via Google Base, which would completely negate the need of Etsy as a storefront because part of the deal with them is that they would submit us to Google for us to be seen.

So, for the time being, my Etsy shop is going to sit. If they get the problem fixed--and their one to two week time window is outrageously ridiculous. It's a two hour fix or a rollback. Not a two week escapade, but I digress. If they get the problem fixed, I may return and continue listing items in their shop, but I pretty much have decided that I will be on Artfire permanently. I've already been treated better on Artfire than I have ever been treated on Etsy, so it's just a matter of principle.

But on to brighter things. I'm thinking about setting up an actual webpage just for me. Something where I can post specific links to this blog, put up a calender of events, show you my workroom and current projects without restriction on how it can be laid out. It's just an idea I am tossing around right now. I can also link it to my Artfire shop and any other places my work may be appearing, and even if I change up venues again, that web address will never change.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dreary Saturday


Share/Bookmark
Well, it rained last night here in Kinston. And as is the habit of summer storms in North Carolina, the following day is cooler but overcast and dreary. Yay for the cooler, since we don't have any air conditioning this summer, but the overcast part has just left me feeling bleh. I have a lot to do this weekend, but I seem to be moving in slow motion. The only thing I have managed to complete is my 8:00 am and 12:00 pm listings on Etsy as I try to catch up my listings on Etsy with my Artfire listings.

However, on my To Do list, I have to coil three sizes of bright aluminum rings because I am dangerously low, but I can't do that until my husband wakes up. Anna is sleeping now, but she doesn't need to be near me when I have wire flailing around the room as I coil, so I need Sam to watch her. The drill is also loud, so I know it'll wake her up if I take her in the room but put her off in a corner where she'll be safe.

I also need to work on my spreadsheet to submit my items to Google Base. Artfire is doing it for me, but they are submitting the items under their name along with all the items of every other artist on Artfire. This means that my items are buried not just one or two pages in, but fifty or more pages in. They will never get seen unless someone knows the specific name of the item. Searching by my name doesn't bring it up. But, if I submit my items to Google Base on my own, they'll appear under my shop name with the rest of my items only, which isn't a very large list. Better visibility.

I also want to get a few pieces made this weekend. Most of them can't be done until I get more rings cut. But I can make a few pairs of earrings and maybe a couple of bracelets with my 16 gauge aluminum and my anodized aluminum.

Ongoing projects include getting the rest of my parts keyed into my Jewelry Design Manager, getting an accurate inventory count of parts and pieces, setting up an accurate supply and inventory list, and boxing and labeling all my inventory.

As soon as I finish keying in the parts that I am keeping to use, I will be listing a lot of supplies on Etsy that I no longer need. I have some stringing materials that I have partially used but I still have a lot of that I need to figure out what to do with. I tried to give them to a young lady that I know locally who used to bead, but she has learned about guys since last summer and is no longer interested in such things. (LOL) I'll probably offer them up in my guild group.

Going to run and try to get a few of the smaller things done before my husband wakes up. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Early Morning Exhaustion


Share/Bookmark
It's a very good thing that I am a morning person, or I'd be seriously cranky every day. Wait...I'm not a morning person. Anna has taken to waking up at 5:00 AM for her first meal of the day, which is followed by an hour or more of her jabbering on my shoulder and not going back to sleep. I love her, and she's fun to jabber with, but she's depriving mommy of what little sleep she gets.

I've been staying up past her bedtime to get a few things done each night that need to be handled business-wise: boxing items, making items, separating unneeded beads for my upcoming Inventory Destash Sale, etc. And she sleeps all night. We can usually get her down at 8 or so, and she's out until like 5, which is really good for an infant. But I ceased to be a morning person a long time ago. That's what happens when your husband is a night owl.

Right now, she is asleep in her swing. It's not swinging anymore, but I know the moment I try to pick her up and put her back in her crib so I can sleep, she'll startle herself awake, scream bloody murder, and I'll be back to square one.

Maybe I can sleep standing up....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Show your Team Spirit!


Share/Bookmark




I just listed my new "Team Spirit" line on Artfire! Check out my shop at http://jessicacjewelry.artfire.com to see pieces of jewelry that match your teams' colors. There are many more pieces coming, so be sure to bookmark my shop and check back if you can't find your team colors anywhere.