Thursday, August 31, 2006

Working my "other" business

I’ve been working more on my writing lately: studying blog articles, blog sites, freelance sites and getting my newspaper articles in by their deadlines.

A lot of bloggers also write other places and have some type of online business or website. (Just like me.) The difference is they all seem so much farther along then me! Everything takes so much time!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Learning more about Photo Bucket

I was so happy to organize the pictures in my photobucket album. I sent a message to their customer service desk asking how I could put all my like images together as I’ve been adding pictures randomly. They sent me back two links to tutorials about how to create sub albums and then move existing images into them.

After I did all this and patted myself on the back about my organizational skills. I saw that it broke every link I had used photobucket for and I had to go back and reconstruct them all.

This was one time I didn’t mind the ads that expire in only seven days. I didn’t bother fixing them, but I had to re-do 4 of my blog posts and all of my Friendster ads and MySpace bulletins. I think I have it all cleaned up. But, again, it’s just another thing I wish I had learned on day one!

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Christian design

This design may be my favorite one yet! My husband designed it for a magnet give away at a contemporary worship service he is in with his praise band. I asked him if I could have it. I love it!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Wild Bon Bon interview

It’s been awhile since I’ve interviewed an online shop owner (something I love doing and think is always of interest to anyone starting, thinking about starting or running an online store.) I’m pleased to share this interview with Kathy who owns The Wild Bon Bon.

Her wholesale and retail gourmet candy products are distinct. You will find hand painted gourmet chocolate animals, novelty candy lollipops with edible images, and much more. In addition, all the products of The Wild Bon Bon® are accompanied by information in order to help educate her customers about endangered species around the world. She also donates a portion of her proceeds endangered species.

1.What drew you to opening an online store? Were you in a related field?

I owned an online gift basket company for about 7 years and was looking for a way to grow the business and target something I was truly passionate about. In working with a business coach we began to look at my passion for animals. With my background in gourmet foods and corporate gifting, as well as my love of chocolate, it seemed fitting to create a candy company that would benefit the animal kingdom in some way. My business, The Wild Bon Bon was born in order to help protect endangered species through the sale of chocolate and candy.

2.When did you open your store?

January 2004

3.What is harder about doing this then you thought it would be?

The hardest part is starting over from scratch. My other business was quite successful and selling it to start all over again and have to build a brand new customer base has been tough. In addition, when I began I focused on wholesale selling mainly. This has proven quite challenging and I am finding my customer base is more the retail buyer. Thus I am now in the process of refocusing my marketing efforts to reach that customer base. (Kind of like starting all over again).

4.What do you like best about being an online shopkeeper?

Being able to tailor my work to my family’s schedule.

5.During the very first month, what do you wish you had known then that you do now?

I wish I had done some formal market research to see if the wholesale buyer was my true market.

6.Could you share some of the marketing you’ve tried so far (on or off line) and what has worked and what hasn’t?

I spent the first year marketing via cold calls and mailings. This did not work very well. Since then I concentrate more on online marketing via email mailings, newsletter, website promotion. I do want to look into some of the programs like Google’s AdSense, etc.

7.What other sites, blogs, etc. do you have if any?

My blog is on my website

Nancy’s comments: This is a really great site! It looks good, it’s informative and easy to navigate. I think it’s wonderful that it also benefits endangered species. (Check out her section on the different species, she also has wonderful photographs of the animals.)

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Monday, August 21, 2006

I discover the Shotzie site

I found a site thanks to the CafePress forum that allows you to not only list your store’s website, but also free ads. I played around with the ads a little and wrote one on my Fruits of the Spirit mugs as a collection of all nine and also my BBQ aprons and the baby items in the fruits lines.

It gets boring sending the same old thing out all the time so I enjoy thinking of new promotions. Shotzie's is a neat site and finally one that is really easy to use!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Online businesses are time consuming!

I’ve been doing online ads for my new Fruits of the Spirit Line. Another tedious chore! Especially since I am trying to follow the charts I set up to track them! It seems that by the time I get all of them sent, the ones that are only up for 7 days need to be replaced again.

For something that is so “instant” as the internet – online businesses take a lot of time!


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Revamped my store!

Whew! I can’t believe I got my section layers done in my store today! It changed the look of the whole front page. I would love comments from anyone about what you think of the new look.

I still have a lot to do including adding lots more Fruits of the Spirit items (I know – who would have thought that would take so long?), “teasers” on the front page and then I want to add to several of my other sections!

One thing at a time!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Teacher gifts

My “baby” just drove away for her sophomore year in college! That was my favorite year in school. I hope hers is just as good.

Since she wants to be a teacher and all my friends who are teachers are already back in the classroom (at least setting it up) I thought I would share a site for Schoolteachers that is really fun.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Promotional idea

Hopefully this is a clever idea. Another CafePress shop owner and I emailed each other flyers from our stores and I will print 5 copies of hers to hang around my town and she will print 5 copies of mine to put up. She’s in New Jersey. How’s that for the power of the internet?


Monday, August 14, 2006

Nine Sales!

I just got a boost to keep adding my Fruits of the Spirit items!! 9 sales today and the section isn’t even done! Now that’s when this really gets fun!

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

givitup adds 2400 new items!

Since you are reading this I assume you are interested in what it’s like to have an online store. Especially the first year. So I am going to tell you I am still putting in nearly 2400 new items as part of my Fruits of the Spirit clothing and gift line. It takes forever!

I’m trying really hard not to go ahead and send out any advertisements because I know it would be better to wait until I am totally done. But, I am so anxious!

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fruits of the Spirit gifts great for Christmas!

It’s been taking me a lot longer to put the Fruits of the Spirit section in then I thought! I have 54 pages with around 40 items per page, which all have to have a price, name, description and design put on the front and in some cases the back.

It’s very tedious except for trying the words on the different products. That’s fun to see what they look like. I especially like the gold, red and green Joy, Peace and Love products. I think they’ll be great for Christmas.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Fruits of the Spirit Line

I finally started my Fruits of the Spirit Section! I have wanted to do that for months, but needed my husband’s help with the images. I am working on the nine gifts and doing six colors of each and lots of products, so it will take me awhile to get the section done. But, I decided not to hide it until it’s complete. I just put it at the bottom of the page and am working on live!

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"No Bad Hair Days" apparel and gifts

I’m going back to finding articles I can relate to some of my designs as an example of how to use articles to link back to your website.

Here’s one I’ll use for my “No Bad Hair Day” section.

Tips for Beautiful Hair

There are a few things you can do on a regular basis that will improve the overall health and appearance of your hair, as well as a few things you can avoid. In general, here are a few standards:

· Brush your hair: Yep, the good old fashioned hundred strokes. This stimulates blood supply to the scalp, removes dead skin cells from the scalp before they can get infected, and distributes sebum over the hair shaft for moisturizing and protection. Bend over from the waist and hang limply while doing some of the brushing. Use a natural bristle brush or other gentle brush. Be careful and don’t hurry. Better to go slow and only get 30 strokes in, than go fast and risk breaking or pulling out your hair. Get into the habit of brushing your hair thoroughly before washing it.

· Massage your scalp: Before you stop to groom and brush your hair during the day, make a point of doing a quick scalp massage first. Slip your fingers into your hair, and using just the pads of your fingers, massage in small circular motions over your scalp. Using your finger pads will keep you from breaking your hair, scratching your scalp and messing up your style too much. Then restyle, re-spray (if you use it) and go...

· Break Day: Get into the habit of giving your hair a break once a week. It is not necessary to wash your hair every day (unless you are a teenager, have a dirty job or work up a real sweat every day). If you are over the age of 20, and do not have any rashes or infections (like dandruff), give your hair a break for a whole day. Pick a day where you normally do not go out, or just do housework and run errands. Do not wash with shampoo and do not heat style. If you just feel too grubby and must do something, after brushing your hair thoroughly to distribute the sebum, simply wet your hair, apply a little daily conditioner to the ends, rinse well, and then pull back into a “wet look” ponytail or bun. Give your hair a break from shampooing once a week, and whenever possible, from blow-drying and heat styling.

· Conditioning Treatment: Unless you have very fine, limp hair, get into the habit of applying a deep conditioning treatment to your hair once a week. Deep conditioners are not the same as daily conditioners, and homemade preparations work really well. Coconut oil is especially good for hair conditioning. Brush your hair, wash it lightly, and then towel dry. Apply your deep conditioner and then wrap your head in a heated towel to open the hair cuticle and allow the conditioner to soak in. Leave for 10 minutes to half and hour. Then rinse thoroughly in warm water to remove the conditioner residue that remains, then cool water to close the hair cuticle. Rinsing your hair in cool water can be a little uncomfortable, but it can do amazing things for the appearance of your hair. It closes the hair cuticle close to the shaft, which increases shine and manageability, and helps to keep hair strong. A mixture of cool water and lemon juice is even better for shine and strength (a half of a teaspoon of lemon juice in two quarts of cool water is sufficient).

· Daily Conditioner: Get into the habit of applying a daily conditioner to hair ends every time you shampoo. This will reduce slit ends, discoloration when coloring, damage when heat styling and reduce the need for frequent trims. Use a product designed for thermal styling if you frequently blow-dry, use a curling iron or hot rollers.

· Haircuts: Get into the habit of getting your hair trimmed when it needs to be. Again, this reduces split ends and keeps excess weight off your hair (which can cause breakage). About once every 8 weeks is right for shoulder length or longer hair, once every 6 weeks for shorter styles.

Fawn Bales has studied and practiced alternative and herbal medicine for over 20 years. She has also studied aesthetic technology and cosmetology. She is the co-author of two natural beauty books and is a managing partner of Botanical Beauty Lab a women's source for natural health and beauty information at

Determined to never have another bad hair day? Visit to shop for fun and attractive apparel and gift items to show others your goal!

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

I need to take a break from showing you how to tie other people’s articles into promoting your store.

Something exciting just happened at CafePress:

We're excited to announce that New Line Cinema is partnering with to permit fans of Snakes on a Plane to become official licensees of Snakes on a Plane merchandise - creating a unique program in the true ‘citizen’ spirit of the movie. This interactive promotion allows our network of over 2.5 million members to unleash their creativity to transform Snakes artwork and ideas into unique gifts and share in the revenue stream. This completely unique approach to fan licensing, has never previously been embraced by any motion picture studio. You can see all the designs being offered at

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"No Smoking" products

It's a proven fact that when you tell others what you have given up or are trying to do you are more likely to stay with it. Let givitup items help you keep your resolve. Wear our "No Smoking" apparel or buttons whether you are giving up smoking or just don't want others smoking around you.

Defeat Nicotine And Quit Smoking With Resolution

Someone who had quit smoking several times, said with anguish, “No, I don't want to quit smoking. I have done it on several occasions in the past— what I wish to do now is to kick smoking!”Only when the resolution is that firm, can something tangible be achieved. All half-hearted measures are bound to fail! Ask any of the galaxies of smokers! Millions and millions! They want to give up smoking desperately. A smoker repeatedly thinks of giving up smoking!
There are several voluntary associations to help the smoker. Every small township generally has a health-care unit. But the unfortunate part of it is that, for every such unit, there are hundreds of small and big tobacco-products selling shops. The promotion campaign for these products goes on unabated, through newspapers, important periodicals, and TV channels (though it is banned to some extent) and the demand for tobacco products goes on increasing relentlessly.
Is it ever possible to quit smoking? Defeat nicotine?Before trying to defeat your physical and psychological enemy, try to know its strength and to what extent it has taken hold of you because its destructive capacity is no less than additives such as heroin or cocaine.Remember, in the blood of a hard smoker, each and every cell is surcharged with nicotine. It has become part of the blood. Therefore, pregnant mothers -beware! Your smoking is injurious not only to your health; it is dangerous for the tender baby within. Your smoking alone is responsible for this double tragedy.
With the failure of the first attempt to quit smoking, one should not get disheartened! Simply thinking routinely is not going to solve the problem. Resolute actions must follow. The courses run by the health care centers and hospitals may help you by way of information. But, ultimately remember that, it is you who have to quit smoking, for it is you who started smoking. You can build yourself or you can break yourself. That depends upon your will power.
Each withdrawal symptom is powerful and difficult to endure. At times you feel that the only way to get over them is to smoke- just one. If you succumb and slide, then it is doubly difficult to restart the pilgrimage to the smoke-free zone. So, with lots of determination, this dizziness, depression, irritability, anger headache, restlessness and trouble in concentrating will have to be tackled!
But confront nicotine with a challenging poster. Which is better - your company with wrinkled skin, bad breath, bad smelling of hair, black teeth with cavities, and black lips or a glowing skin and a confident sparkling countenance?
Mark Twain said, “Quitting smoking is easy. I have done it a thousand times.” But please remember, Mark Twain has not told you to follow him. Your will power could be stronger than his!

Linda Joyce writes about many topics. For more information on Stop Smoking visit and for additional Stop Smoking articles visit the articles page:
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Visit for more “No Smoking” items.

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