Thursday, 27 September 2012



Anyone heard of it?

I mentioned it on my a posting a few weeks back.  It has been hit with mixed results.  Personally, I love it. It tells me not to waste much time with pin boards such as Pinspire, Pinterest and perhaps even my own personal favourite, "Rebel Mouse".

Pinterest hit massive increase in people using it right up to about January of this year and then all of a sudden numbers suddenly nose-dived.  People began seeing use of pinterest as a massive time-consuming activity that allowed a person to over endulge in the visual things that they would never be able to buy.  It is beautiful - gorgeous in fact but my interest was solely from a business point of view.  Personally, despite some wonderful photography on the site, would rather spend my evenings or days with the kiddies.

For those of you who don't know what pinterest is - you can see below on the older post - basically it is a social pin board for your pictures.  My interest is that we can attach our domain name to it and hopefully people will click on the photo, go to the site and buy our soap.

So... Introducing Pinerly.

This little site gives people the statistics behind each and every photo you to pinterest through the pinerly site.  Their blog is full of information about how to make the best eye-catching photos relevant to a pinterest community.  I mentioned before - remove prices, add three word to the photo and post at certain times.

The info was good but finding out how to use it was a daunting task.  First of all you have to register.  By doing so you get a code.  You then must use the code to tell others about pinerly and when you have gained a number of followers then you are granted access.  Once access is given you drag a little tool to your toolbar similar to that of Pinterest.  It states "pinerly it".

Edit you photos, customise them to poitrait rather than landscape, add the relevant text and photo shop to your hearts content.  Add a link for where you want people who click on the photo to be taken to and you are done.

Click pinerly it and you will be transferred to pinterest.  Pinning on pinterest is easy - its all done for you.  You just click "pin".  Having done so you can then sit back and look at what kind of reach your pin has had. How many re-pins, likes and numbers of people who saw it.  A little like google analytics for pictures.

Here's the thing though.  Despite the hours (and I do mean hours) to find out how to use it, edit photos, pin photos etc.  I really can't say that it has been worth it.  I get an average reach of 50-180 veiwers to each picture.  None that I am aware of has ever produced a sale and that includes the high amount of promotion that went on over the CraftFEST period.

When you then add the time spent to pin to Wanelo (where I seem to do better right now) Pinspire and Rebelmouse - then you can be talking about a massive amount of time without making any money.  Throw Facebook, Twitter, Whosin, and some other thing I was shown the other night and you are literally talking a full time job promoting with no evidence at the minute of any return.

So - proceed with caution.  I loved Pinerly - if even it was only to give a reality check.  One thing I can't stand is time-wasting.  Social media is fantastic for business (apparently) - but there is a limit to this on-line community and what it can do to provide a turnaround.

Will I stop using them - no, but nor will I be overly concerned that I need to fill boards, and complete tasks to ensure all our products are up to be found.  I think I can quite happily sit back and edit the odd photo every now and again to pin when it suits.

That is, until CrafFEST.  Then I'll be beavering away as a means to help promote as best we can each others work on this convoluted interweb we weave.

Friday, 7 September 2012

We Sheepishly Accept our Cow Award

We won an award.  Not just any award.  Its the weird and wacky award!

The Cow Awards are given every week.  There are three winners and last night we were one of them.  Our little sheep will now be pinned along with some other fantastic winners.

Its all a bit of fun but it does have added benefits.  It gets pinned, FB'd and tweeted by the organisers and has a little bit of a cult status as lots of crafters try to think of new and creative inspirations for a Thursday Evening.

If you have something you would like to submit - why not tweet an item of yours (or someone elses) between 4pm and 7pm on a Thursday Evening with the #cow and @cowawards.  Winners are chosen on a Friday Morning.

And one little reminder of our winners this week:

Are you Mooooooooved by our wonderful herbivores?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Pinterest Fever - Anyone?

Follow Me on Pinterest

A few months ago I was introduced to Pinterest.  Yet another dreaded social networking site but this time with a focus on images.  

I like photos - so I thought, "sweet".

Thing is the site is more than a little addictive.  You go on and see some of the most amazing locations in the world that you want to visit.  There are oodles of things that you would like to purchase and even more images that convey a lifestyle that you just want to emulate.

With regards to marketing though - the jury was out.  Will it work for promotion or not?  In one sense it is free so, "nothing ventured - nothing gained" was very much the old adage attached to me pursuing it.  On the other hand it is very time-consuming and the potential of converting likes, pins or comments into sales was something I wasn't sure about.

I was not however aware of the sheer effort one would have to go to in order to get noticed.  People pin in their thousands within just a few minutes so it is just all to easy to get lost in the midst of the photo flood that meets your world as you click on "feed".

Bring on an invitation to join pinerly - an app that follows how viral your images are on pinterest (ie. how many people show interest in your items).  

Further.  They give advice on things such as times of the day to post, the types of descriptions you should be writing, portrait vs landscape, writing on top of photos to grab attention and many other helpful tips.

I saw the need to photoshop - some think I haven't ever really tried.  And this is what I cam up with... 

Now it is by no means perfect - but it is me making a start in my journey of understanding the power of the image.

On shop sites there is a need for high quality, high definition and great colour/lighting to enable a possible purchaser to make an educated choice about the product they see in the image.

There are blog photos which tend to be more of a behind the scenes type of photograph.  The products as they sit in the studio, us taking the photos, or indeed how we make the soaps.

Then there are the promo photo.  Photos that attract attention.  Photos that demonstrate our core values with very few words attached to them.  Photos that convey a message - but realistically can't be used to sell the item as it fails to convey shape, colour or texture.

Time will tell,  I'm going to schedule my posts for peak times in the hope of gaining some attention to twitter, blog and shop.  In the meantime though anyone can pin the images as found in photobucket and facebook.  If you'd like to promote our work just click on the links and pin away.  I'd appreciate that!

And that's it from me.


Careful now- next up might be a review on Twitter, and then there is Stumble Upon, Pinspire, IFTTT, Delicious, Craftjuice and countless others.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The CraftFEST 'I love your blog' blog thing

Pass on the Craftfest lurve
This idea was passed on to me by Lu at Handmade in Keswick

This is the Craftfest 'I LOVE Your Blog' Award

I am awarding this to Tania at Cola Creations

If you have read my last post in supporting local by campaigning at your computer then you will understand why I like this blog. Tania has been a faithful servant in promoting the works of others in the run-up to Craftfest. She is the first to reply on threads an support other Lilac Lovelies and as she moves on to lead the Blue Team I'm in no doubt that the blog will fill with advice, promotion and wonderful information for Crafters out there. Of late - she has got into picmonkey

If you are sent a Craftfest 'I Love Your Blog' Award and you would like to Share The Lurve, then have a look at this.

How To Share The Craftfest Lurve
1. Paste our 'I love Your Blog' Badge to your page
2. Put a on a link to the blogger who sent it you
3. Put a link to the blogger you are awarding the Lurve to
4. List some other blogs you like
5. Inform all the bloggers you have mentioned by commenting on their blogs.
6. List 'How To Share The Craftfest Lurve'
7. Tell us something you'd like to say, or show us something you'd like to sell.

So here are some other blogs I'm in to at the moment

And The Thing I'd Like To Show You

This Winter alternative to Soap on a Rope should be available for sale shortly

Weather In ClougheySunny and pleasantly warm!