Adventures in Card-Making

Should you have a blog or a website?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

This article from Carrie Cousin’s Blog for WordPress is very interesting. I have had 2 websites and write 2 blogs in my business. Both platforms require a great deal of work. Often, without any input from readers, the author sends their posts to the ” Great Unknown”  and never knows who will read or take action about their posts. Luckily, I have very responsive readers!

If, after reading this article, you wish to comment or contact me please do so. I welcome all your views.

 

Carrie Cousins / April 16, 2019

Blogging, Marketing, Website Traffic

When you’re deliberating between the benefits of a blog vs. website, consider the type of content that will most effectively support your goals.

Remember, a blog can be a website, and a website can contain a blog. One of the most compelling reasons to use both in tandem is to optimize your content marketing strategy. This is a marketing practice based on creating and sharing relevant materials like tutorials, social media posts, and other valuable resources.

According to The Content Marketing Institute, 91 percent of B2B marketers are using content to promote themselves. A blog is one of the best platforms to deliver valuable information to your target audience.

You too can create a content strategy that brings your blog and website together to promote everything that your brand has to offer.

Content should be consistent
From “Product” pages to your “Contact Us” section, every piece of content on your website should be relevant to your other sections, as well as your brand’s overall mission. The debate isn’t between a blog vs. website, but how to create the most effective blog that aligns with your website.

Too many websites include valuable information that ends up lost or forgotten. This might include “About Us” pages. These sections tell the stories of each business and how they came to be.

Your “About Us” section has the potential to be the most visited area of your site. By getting a little creative, you can feature a more cohesive website that ties this information into the rest of your content.

For example, you might elaborate on the history presented in your “About Us” page through a blog post that links back to it, establishing a consistent storyline throughout your site.

This increases the impact that content can have on your brand, and helps drive visitors to the pages that are the most important. It works because there are multiple avenues to access the same content, products, or services.

You can do this for several other areas of your site as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your portfolio, testimonials, or FAQ section.

Blog with purpose
Adding a blog to your WordPress.com website shouldn’t change your brand’s voice and feel. The two should be complementary. To create harmony between the various aspects of your website — be it your portfolio, blog posts, or product pages — keep these three factors in mind:

Use the same voice and language throughout.
Use similar imagery or photo filters for a more cohesive aesthetic.
Look for opportunities to use your blog to highlight or expand on content from other parts of your website.
Create a content strategy
Your content strategy should focus on a single goal: creating excellent user experiences. Approach your content strategy from your target audience’s perspective. What types of pages and information do they look for?

If you sell products, begin with product pages. Address what’s important, special, or different about your products or services. This might result in material for a blog post that links back to your product pages. Conversely, product pages can link to blog posts, FAQs, or help pages as well.

You can also work supplementary posts like news items, announcements, or press releases into your blog. If you’re comfortable, take this a step further by embedding videos that cover how-to processes, or novel ways to take advantage of your products or services.

Just remember, a good strategy provides the information that a visitor needs in regard to your business, and ties it together with content across your pages, social media platforms, and marketing channels.

Pulling it all together
When you create a cohesive content strategy for your website, you’ll see results in time. Pay attention to your website analytics and look for increased engagement, social sharing, and higher conversation rates.

Adventures in Card-Making

Essential Oils

Dear Fellow Crafters,

My new hobby uses essential oils – totally different from paper crafts, right??! Anyway, I thought in case any of you use them you might, like me, want to save money, so here’s a blog post that may help you:

—-Sallie

New post on Simply Inspired

Saving Money on Essential Oils by danahinders@gmail.com

Essential oils are becoming more popular by the day, but they can often seem like a huge investment if you’re just getting started. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils on a tight budget

1. Don’t Forget That a Little Goes a Long Way

Essential oils are highly concentrated, so you don’t need to use a lot of product to get the therapeutic benefits. In a diffuser, you typically only need three to five drops. For skin application, you’re only using two to five drops in a 10 ml roller bottle. Even with oils I use almost every day, a 10 ml bottle lasts two or three months.

2. Be Aware of the Cost Per Drop

Regardless of what brand you use, certain oils will always be more expensive because of the rarity of the plant and the cost involved in processing. Whenever possible, choose versatile and cost effective oils like lavender, lemon, and peppermint for your projects. If you’re going to use a higher priced oil, make sure you understand its purpose in what you’re making. If you simply must have the higher priced oil, think about splitting the cost with a friend.

3. Make Sure You Use Every Last Drop of Essential Oil

Obviously, it’s not a good idea to be wasting any product. However, you really don’t want to waste any of your favorite oils! Pull the droppers off the bottles, then soak them in Epsom salts to make scented bath salts from the last bit of oil. Alternatively, you can use the last few drops to make your own body spray or room spray.

4. Buy Carrier Oils At the Grocery Store

Instead of spending money on separate carrier oils, you can start your journey with essential oils by using the same oil you cook with in your aromatherapy projects. Both olive oil and coconut oil make great general purpose carrier oils. Start with them and invest in others as needed.

5. Use Recycled Containers for Homemade Products

If you’re going to start making vapor rub, salt scrubs, body butter, all purpose cleaner, room spray, and other homemade concoctions, you’ll end up needing lots of different containers. You can buy empty containers online, but a thriftier alternative is to simply start saving glass jars, metal tins, spray bottles, and other containers from the products you already use in your home.

6. Make Your Own Diffuser Jewelry

Diffuser jewelry is a popular way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils, but purchasing jewelry can get expensive. Save money by making your own. Diffuser jewelry also makes an excellent gift to introduce friends and family to essential oils.

7. Check Vipon for Diffuser Bargains

If you need a diffuser, but don’t want to pay full price, Vipon is my favorite bargain hunting source. This site offers coupon codes to get up to 90% off products on Amazon, although most discounts range from 30% to 50%. Thanks to Vipon, I have a diffuser in every room in my home and have been able to give several as gifts! (Sometimes, you can also find roller bottles, storage boxes, and other oil supplies as well.)

8. Earn Free Oils with Jade Bloom

Last but not least, Jade Bloom offers two ways to earn free essential oils.

First, you can earn credits towards the oils of your choice by completing the online Jade Bloom University courses. The classes talk about the benefits of specific oils, how to make blends, and essential oil safety. They are fun, informative, and easy to work through at your own pace.

Second, the site periodically runs offers where you can get a specific free oil with any purchase. Since shipping is free on orders of $15 or more, this is a low cost way to build your collection. I’ve received free rosemary, wintergreen, peppermint, lavender, basil, and more this way. You can find out about these offers by following them on Facebook or signing up for their email newsletters.

 

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://simplyinspired.danahinders.com/2019/04/01/saving-money-on-essential-oils/

Adventures in Card-Making · Sentiments

Father’s Day sentiments for cards

Dear Fellow Crafters,

What makes your Dad the best? Well, he’s your Dad after all.  Consequently any cards you send will be unique to your relationship.

Classic Dad

Here are sentiments from just you:

  • You’re the best! I love you!
  • You made growing up fun.
  • Thank you for being there every day with just the love and guidance I needed.

From you and your siblings/ spouse/ partner or family:

  • So glad we all share such fun times together.
  • As a Dad, Father-in- law, as a grandfather – you’re the best!

If your relationship with your father is complicated, focus on what is positive between between but both. Simply wish him a good day.

From you for your Grandfather:

  • You taught me so  much without saying a word.
  • Your influence shaped  me into the man (woman) I an today.

From your siblings:

  • You’re such an important part of my life.
  • No one can take your place.

For someone who is like a father to you:

  • Thinking of you with gratitude on this special day.
  • Don’t know where I’d be without your guidance and support.

~Sallie

 

 

Tutorial

The month of flowers

Hello Fellow Crafters,

June -the month of a myriad of celebrations:  weddings, graduation, Father’s Day you name it! It’s also the month of ROSES!

 

So, when I saw this card on Pinterest I had to make it. The directions are below.

Have a great June.

~Sallie

Dies R Us

Flowering Lattice Card

Posted: 17 Feb 2019 07:09 AM PST Hello Crafty Friends – Annie here with a lovely Lattice card.

This card has an open front panel – However, you can place a colored cardstock behind the lattice for a different look.

To create this card you will need an A2 card base and a piece of cardstock measure 4-1/4″ X 5-1/2″.

On the extra panel die cut the lattice.

Next, on the card base measure a 1/8″ from the score of the card. I did a light pencil line for you to see.

Now, trim off the card base front panel.

Next, adhere the lattice to card base.

Your card should look like this – with a see through front panel.

Next, die cut several flowers and leaves.

I like to do what I call a dry run for placement of the flowers and leave so I get a general idea if I like the look of where everything will be.

Once, I like the placement. I adhere the flowers and leaves in place. Next, I add a bit of Nuvo Drops to the centers of the flowers. **Note – you can add Liquid Pearls, Stickles or any other embellishment you would like to the centers.

Now, the card is complete. You can add a sentiment if you would like. I like having blank cards like this in my stash. This way I can use them for Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Easter or Just thinking of you cards.

I hope you give this card a try.

Supplies Used:

Dies: Sue Wilson Designs- Finishing Touches – Faux Quilled Blooms

Sue Wilson Designs – Finishing Touches – Spring Foliage

Sue Wilson Designs – Finishing Touches Collections – Nasturtium Cluster

Sue Wilson Designs – Shadow Boxes Stitched Lattice Frames

Embellishment: Nuvo Crystal Drops: Pale Gold

Adhesive: Zig 2-Way Glue Pen – Fine Tip

Cardstock: Recollections Brand: White, Pink, Purple, Blue, Yellow & Green.