As I weave my way into the whole online business world and dunk myself further into the world of Etsy, I’ve managed to find some great websites/blogs of other Etsy sellers, crafters and a few self-made business people that provide not just positive energy and thoughts, but advice on being an online-vendor, crafter, business person.  I have  say, I have found many of these articles helpful, but I’d say 75% of the time I agree. The other 25% of the time, I spend scratching my head. I know everyone is different.

Either way, I’m sharing my favorite articles of 2010. This isn’t complete and I know I’m missing a few, but here they are:

Etsy – Etsy has a newsletter that publishes GREAT articles about quitting your day job, being an entrepreneur, etc. I have been a subscriber for a while now and I’ve been very pleased by what they dish out. They scour the web looking for interesting blogs that will help inspire their sellers and community. I find the range very helpful. Here are a few that have stood out in the many…

http://www.etsy.com/storque/craftivism/random-acts-of-kindness-kind-over-matters-pursuit-of-positiv-11048/

http://www.imaginativebloom.com/2010/11/24/how-to-identify-your-ideal-customer-by-april/

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/11/where-do-ideas-come-from.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/1691558/5-takeaways-marketers-could-learn-from-mr-rogers

http://www.copyblogger.com/creativity-killers/

http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/the-moment-you-speak-to-the-world-you-speak-to-no-one/

http://www.longerdays.com/blog/2010/09/3-step-process-for-quickly-overcoming-burnout/

http://www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com/2010/09/07/the-4-ps/

http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/55-quotes-creativity-innovation-action/

Craft MBA – Megan Augman

http://www.craftmba.com/2010/12/06/etsy-community-commerce/

Women In Business – I think everyone should have this on their wall!

http://www.womeninbusiness.com.au/_blog/Style_and_Substance/post/manifesto/

Duct Tape Marketing -

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2010/12/10/accentuate-the-negative/

Whitehot Truth -

http://whitehottruth.com/business-wealth-articles/ode-to-the-entrepreneurial-spirit-an-apology-to-9-to-5rs-everywhere/

Heartmade Blog –  I recently stumbled on this site and it was because of this newsletter posting that I keep returning (although I still don’t know what to make of the blog or whether I will be a loyal reader); Don’t get me wrong, I do like Mayi a lot and respect her for being out there doing her thing. Whether I remain as a reader or don’t, here’s what inspired me…

http://www.heartmadeblog.com/

You Don’t Need Magic to Run a Successful Shop

Believe it or not, successful online shops don’t happen overnight. I know, I know, we would all like to think otherwise, that a Fairy God Mother can suddenly appear + fix all our problems + transform our shop’s into a hit. That would be pretty sweet, but since that probably ain’t happening anytime soon (or in our lifetime), let me share with you a pretty awesome plan B that will seriously impact your shop’s success fast!

Now, come closer. Just a little closer please. I’m about to reveal my top 5 tips to running a successful shop, right here on this newsletter. Call it my secret weapons if you will. These tactics have really worked for me + I’m confident they can work for you too. Plus, I just love success stories, especially from hard working + passionate creative folks like yourselves.

I don’t want to keep you waiting so let’s get right to it, shall we? Drum roll please!

My top business success secrets disclosed:

  1. Listen to the little voice inside your heart. Yeap, I typed that correctly. I didn’t mean head, but heart. Be aware about your feelings + ask yourselves the hard existential questions “Am I happy, really happy doing what I’m doing?”, “Am I doing what I was destined to do?. The rush of the everyday tends to dilute our emotions. Tip: Don’t be an android + don’t be afraid to feel + listen to your heart. I promise it will take you far when you embrace it.
  2. Be a real person. Doing business online can sometimes feel a little cold, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Allow your customers to “see you”. Put a picture of you in your profile + write a heartfelt about page + tell your story. Allow your customers to easily identify with you, the person, not the shop, but actually I real skin + bones + heart pumping human being. Tip: The more your customers can identify with you, the more likely they will buy from you.
  3. Brand + brand + brand. It must be the communications major in me or all that marketing jargon I learned in college, but the point is I’m a strong believer in the power of branding. Everything you do must support your brand + big idea + story: your logo + business cards + blog + boutique + craft booths + tags + note cards + packaging + bags + anything + everything that your potential customers see must be branded. Your clients should be able to see + feel + smell + hear your brand from a mile away. Tip: branding is very very powerful. Use it! It will be your biggest ally!
  4. Take yourself seriously. Get yourself an office space + buy the best supplies you can + hire a professional to help you do what you can’t + seek help + open an online shop. Don’t wait for your big break. Don’t wait for anyone to approve of your less than common career path. Don’t wait until Oprah invites you on her show to take yourself seriously. Give it all you’ve got! Turn off the “I’ll do that when I’m rich” mentality. Tip: take yourself seriously + have the gut to make the important decisions your business needs to grow.
  5. Surround yourself with love + support. I’m not good at asking people for help. Luckily, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a loving family + boyfriend + friends around me to take care of me even when I didn’t even know I needed to be taken care of. I really couldn’t have gone this far without having loving people around me. Tip: Surround yourself with loving + positive + inspiring people. They will be your fortress when you are weak + your cheerleaders when your triumph.

These are just simple things you can do for your business that can really REALLY make a difference + no bibbidi bobbidi booo magic is actually involved.

xo,
Mayi Carles

The Mogul Mom – I am NOT a mom, well there’s a child I adopted in Ecuador, but I’m not really a mom. However, that doesn’t mean that this blog doesn’t ring true for us non-moms. She’s smart and with a few businesses under her belt, I’ll take her word for it any day!

http://www.themogulmom.com/2010/10/strong-brand-image/

AND finally, drum roll please…..

The Art of Non-Conformity – anything on this site really, but I discovered Chris Guillebeau earlier this year and he’s been one of the greatest forces in my life…

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-get-paid-for-what-you-love/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/if-you-love-something-you-have-to-protect-it/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/transitions/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/get-excited-and-change-things/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-four-burners-theory/

There are  A LOT of writers that I’m leaving out and there are a lot of articles that I’ve read this year and marked or saved because they just rang true with my thoughts and my wants, but I don’t have them at hand. The articles above have all made a mark and I suggest you check them out.  I think moving forward I’m going to work on doing a monthly list of articles that I’ve enjoyed so that maybe you will enjoy them as well. What a plan!

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