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Jason Pike shares the importance of a post title

Jason Pike shows points out the importance of a post title.

If you were lucky enough to attend our most recent Craft Racket, then you likely took furious notes while Jason Pike of Lad Named Felix regaled with his knowledge of how to make subtle tweaks to your online postings that will improve where your website, Etsy posts, blog posts, shop updates, and more appear in Google searches.

Not only did he present more knowledge than should have been able to fit in one short hour-long presentation, he created several handouts that have all of the necessary basics. People who were lucky to attend the event were able to take them home with them. But, because we love everyone, we’re not able to share both of his handouts and his slide presentation with you folks who were unable to join us. So feel free to download the files and use them to make your business bigger, better, and more Google-able than ever.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means that there are some small things you can do that will improve how important Google thinks your website is. Jason has shared some of his favorite SEO tips and tricks that you can easily implement.

SEO Class Handout CCM

MY SEO CHECKLIST

Basic SEO Tips and Tricks presentation

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No matter the size of our business, we all have hopes for that 1 contact, that 1 order that will be large enough for us to push our business to the next level, for us to justify quitting our full-time jobs and go solo-entrepreneur. So we are a group that is ripe for exploitation of that hope. So, consequently, we often get exploited. Today I received this email:

David Morgan <davestoresltd@gmail.com>
2:19 AM (7 hours ago)
to cinnamon

Hello, My name is DAVID MORGAN, I want to order some product items from your store to my below address in Scotland but before i proceed, i will like to confirm the type of credit card you accept as payment (VISA OR MASTER CARD) and if you can ship to the below address. Please let me know asap, so i can proceed with my request.

Best Regards

DAVID MORGAN

DAVE STORES LTD

18 Pulteney St, Ullapool,

Ross-Shire,

Highland IV26 2UP Scotland

Phone: +35722661000

Email: davestoresltd@gmail.com

My hear leapt with joy for a second before my cooler head, “research this guy and see what you find.” So I did, and discovered that this name has been used on shipping scams. Thankfully Smitten Kitten has a collection of scam emails to share that should show up fairly prominently in Google. The hardest part to realize in all of this, is that the scammer doesn’t care anything at all about your product. They only care about the shipping they con you into paying. Amy gives a great breakdown of the scam. But essentially the scam artist gets you the craft artist to pay for the shipping cost upfront and then you charge back the cost to the scammer. However, the scammer uses stolen credit cards so even if you do get a charge to go through, it will get reversed and you’ll be out the exorbitant shipping charges, and quite possibly out product if the order goes far enough before you realize you’ve been duped.

So, if you get an email from someone overseas, or even within your own country that just seems a little too good to be true. Use your Google skills to see what you can find out about the company, never pay upfront for shipping, and be suspicious of every order you didn’t solicit.

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Did you miss our Craft Racket on the subject of search engine optimization (SEO)?  No, worries!  Heidi Gustad of HandsOccupied.com and a speaker at the event has graciously shared her notes.  Add them to your growing file on crafting a business.

Download them here: craftmafia-seopost-072012

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The Illinois Artisans Program focuses national attention on the rich heritage of the fine crafting that exists in Illinois.  Our juried artists participate in art sprees, craft festivals, exhibitions and other events held at our locations in order to promote their work. The Illinois Artisans Program markets crafts through four locations:

Illinois Artisans, James R. Thompson Center, Chicago
The Museum Store, Illinois State Museum, Springfield
The Museum Shop, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown
Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center, Rend Lake

The Illinois Artisans Program is continually looking for talented new artists to join the Program. All areas of arts and crafts, including folk, traditional, contemporary, and ethnic, as well as fine art forms are eligible (Media). Over 1,800 artists have been jury selected into the IAP. Once selected, their work can be shown at one or more Illinois Artisans Shops without re-jurying (Application). Application deadlines are March 28th and October 12th. Juried artists participate in art sprees, craft festivals and other events held at the shops in order to promote their work. (Application Overview)

For more information:

http://www.museum.state.il.us/ismsites/chicago/store.html

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We got this email and thought you all might like to know about this as well.

Applications for Impact Engine
Available Now thru June 30th

Calling all Social Entrepreneurs,

The Impact Engine is looking for great entrepreneurs getting ready to start or already running early stage for-profit organizations that positively impact today’s societal and/or environmental challenges. They want to find and support entrepreneurs who use business principles to change the world, improving the human condition in creative and innovative ways. Please forward this email to anyone who you think might want to know more.

The Impact Engine (TheImpactEngine.com) is a 12-week venture accelerator designed to help socially and/or environmentally minded for-profit companies move to their next level. The first group of approximately 10 entrepreneurs, Impact 1, will be matched with experienced mentors, provided access to vetted legal and accounting professionals, given help in building their business models, assistance in landing early customers, ideas on growing their organizations and access to hundreds of investors on Investor Day.

Chuck Templeton (founder of OpenTable) and Arun Sivashankaran (seasoned entrepreneur and technical guru) will be working with the Impact 1 companies on a day-to-day basis, helping them think about how to best grow their business. Chuck and Arun are surrounded by an experienced team with an extensive network that will maximize the reach that each company has. The goal is to increase the chances of success for the entrepreneur/s and condense the timeline to market adoption for their organizations.

The Impact Engine is accepting applications for our first cohort (Impact 1) of companies until June 30th, for a class that runs from September to December. For more details, please go to www.TheImpactEngine.com or you can contact Chuck Templeton at chuck@theimpactengine.com. There is an early application bonus so get your application in now!

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As we’re sure you know, the web is flooded with advice and how-to’s for starting, maintaining and expanding your business.  Here are just a few of our favorites.

Smaller Box

An invaluable resource for everything you ever wanted to know about running your indie business. Topics covered include marketing, publicity, wholesaling, customer service, advertising, business development, web design and so much more.

Etsy’s Seller Handbook

Etsy’s own guide to selling handmade.  Obviously geared toward success on their site, but has valuable information for any seller.

Crafting an MBA

Business school for crafters!

Duct Tape Marketing

Duct Tape Marketing is all about simple, effective, and cheap marketing for your business.  While the book is very useful, the blog is also a fabulous resource!

Entrepreneur

Lots of great information on getting your business started from non-crafty types.

TED

Free and inspirational talks from professionals from all walks of life.  Some are business related and most really just get you inspired and ready to go!

Summit of Awesome

Annual conference aimed at handcrafted business folks with tons of lectures, and workshops that run the gambit of what running a crafty business entails.

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