11 Tips for Building Your Own Website

Building-Website

Building Your Own Website

Building your own website can be a daunting undertaking but today there are so many ways to get started creating your online presence, below are 11 tips and things to think about. Many years ago I opened an online business on EBay and eventually I needed a website, too. I am now on my 3rd website, and through the years have learned a little bit about creating and maintaining a website for selling merchandise online.

1. Should you hire a Web designer? While you need someone to help with all the technical mumbo jumbo and programming, many times you are better off doing it yourself. My experience with Web Designers has not been good and I ended up doing a lot myself. Today there are many companies that offer websites with templates built right in, including shopping cart software, and ways to accept payment. While these seem OK and a quick way to get started, be cautious about building your website on a platform where you might not have control or be able to move it should you need to change hosting companies. Make sure you can add “plugins” for different functions such as blogs, social media, etc.

2. Domain names and hosting: Match your domain name with your company brand name, if possible. Most hosting companies can help with your domain name registration, but be sure to have a hosting company that has real people available so you can call and talk to someone if you need help. When choosing a hosting company for your website, make sure they are knowledgeable about the software you are using. This is essential if something goes wrong or you mess something up on your website.

Logos

Bead Lovers Korner Logo Variations

3. Branding: Everyone has something to say about branding these days, but to keep it simple just use the same colors, logos, and design in all other areas like social media, marketing materials, correspondence, etc. This way customers are used to seeing the same designs and will know it’s YOU!

4. Website design: Decide what image you want to portray to the world, what kind of customers do you want, what do you want the customer to feel when they see your website? Do you want them to read or buy? Designs can be changed but it is a good idea to think of this ahead of time.

5. HTML & CSS: A lot of websites today come with built in templates and text editors but it’s useful to know and be familiar with a little basic information like how to make bold type, how to make something italic, etc. Many times those editors get all jumbled up with different things and it is helpful if you know enough about the code to clean it up.

Basic html examples:

  • <p> causes a line break and adds a trailing blank line for paragraphs, to end a paragraph use this at the end </p>
  • <br> causes a line break with no trailing blank line if you just want to bring something down one line
  • This is a <b>boldface</b> tag, this is how boldface appears
  • This is an <i>italic</i> tag, this is how italic appears

6. Photos: Invest in a good camera and photo editing program, it really makes a difference to have good quality photos to draw in your customers and keep them clicking. Read up on how to take good pictures, there are tons of good articles available online about photography. DO NOT right click and steal photos from Google images or other websites! If you sell products and use manufacturer photos, make sure you have permission to use their images.

Picture Library

Name Images so they can be found easily

7. Image names: If you are selling products and you have a LOT, be sure to start using a good image naming system so that you can find the pictures both on your computer and in your website back end. I use the product SKU and a short keyword or two since many people can find your items through image ALT tag attributes.

8. Organize products: Do an outline or spreadsheet to help you organize products and use that as a guide when setting up categories on a website. Well organized categories will make it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for.

9. Product descriptions:  This is kind of tricky because most online shoppers don’t want to read a lot of text, but Google and search engines are looking for good content, so descriptions should be short and concise but have enough information for search engines.

10. Security: Make sure your site is secure from hackers and that your customers information is secure, check with your hosting company to see what they suggest.

11. Marketing:  This is a huge subject, but briefly here are some ways to market your products and website.

  • Upload products to Google Shopping, and set up a budget
  • Have a presence in Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
  • Collect customer emails for newsletters and special sales
  • Blog
  • Network in online groups in your industry

Every topic I listed could be an entire blog post in itself, but hopefully this overview will help anyone who is considering starting to build their own website. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Excitement Builds for GBK’s 2014 Primetime Emmys Celebrity Gift Lounge

Excitement is building for our participation next weekend, in association with The Artisan Group®, in an invitation-only luxury celebrity gift lounge hosted by GBK Productions at an exclusive location in Beverly Hills, California, in honor of The 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominees and Presenters. 

Our Chakra Balancing Pendant, made especially for this event, will be included in the swag bags that are given to all attending Celebrities. It is such an honor to be among these Artisans and represented at this event being held August 22-23, 2014.

See the full Press Release here: Bead Lovers Korner Brings Chakra Energy to GBK’s 2014 Primetime Emmys Celebrity Gift Lounge

The Artisan Group Gift Bag

The Artisan Group Gift Bag

Take a look at the other artisan made gifts that will also be included in this Gift Bag by clicking on the interactive digital Gift Guide below.

Gift Idea for the Travel Oriented

Sterling Silver Landmark Beads are a great gift idea for the travel oriented person. Every year billions of people travel around the world on family vacation, business trips, or in travel groups, while others make their living as travel agents or tour guides. Landmark Beads offer a special way for the world traveler to represent travel destinations on charm bead or pandora travel bracelets.

Landmark Beads have a wide variety of popular locations and this year there are five new beads added to the collection: Mount Rushmore, the Milan Duomo, Manneken Pis, Cape Neddick Lighthouse and the Route 66 Sign.

Landmark Beads are compatible with all styles of European Charm Bead bracelets. Made of fine quality .925 Sterling Silver and the hole size is a large 5mm with no threading. Available for order on our website at Bead Lovers Korner.

How to Make Necklace Cards Free Tutorial

Necklace Card

Simple Necklace Card

Necklace and Earring Jewelry Display is an important necessity for anyone who sells jewelry. Many don’t even think about making their own display cards or think it would be difficult. I have purchased pre-made jewelry cards and was recently very disappointed, so decided to make them myself. Searching for DIY Necklace Cards and how to make them took some time so I have written this helpful Tutorial on how to make a necklace holder, which can easily be used for earrings also.

Materials Needed:

Materials for Necklace cards

Materials needed for simple necklace or earring cards

  • Avery 5371 Laser Perf Business Cards
  • Hole Punch 1/16th or 1/8th inch
  • Small Scissors

Steps

  1. Decide on what you want the cards to say or look like.
  2. Go to www.avery.com, select Templates>Design and Print online>Business Cards, then select the 5371 template and open up a blank design
  3. Turn design area vertical
  4. Upload logo image, adjust size of image and move towards the bottom, add type in a text box below logo, etc.
  5. Add type on back side if desired
  6. Save, Save, Save! Opening an account on Avery and saving your project is free. Then you can return later to adjust the design or print more cards as needed.
  7. Print sheet front and back side if needed. (Follow Avery directions for printing and separating cards. When printing on both sides, experiment with your printer so you know which way to insert the card stock).
  8. Follow directions on Avery 5371 package to pull apart cards
  9. Use hole punch to add holes in desired location, then cut slits angled from the top corners
  10. Slide necklace chain through slits and into holes on each side
  11. Make any adjustments needed and once necklace card is the way you want it, then use that as a template guide.
  12. Punch holes and make slits for as many cards as needed

Download Written Instructions Here How to Make Your Own Necklace or Earring Cards

Make Necklace Cards

Make Jewelry Cards for Necklaces or Earrings

A Simple Idea to Make a Beautiful Necklace

Coin Pendants and Charm Beads

Examples of how you can mix and match Biagi Coin Holders, Coins and Charm Beads

Everyone loves a cool necklace, and here is a simple idea to make a beautiful necklace while also using your European Charm Beads. Carlo Biagi Coin Pendant Holders and Coins are a fashionable new way to show your personality and match your wardrobe with interchangeable coins. This great idea also includes selecting a few of your favorite Charm Beads and stringing them on a chain or leather necklace to create a whole new look!

This idea will work with any type of Coin Pendant or Charm Bead such as PANDORA beads, Chamilia, Carlo Biagi, Nikki Lissoni, Mi Moneda, Lucet Mundi and more. A few examples are shown in this blog post to give ideas of how you can arrange beads to mix and match with pendants to make really colorful necklaces.

Select European Charm Beads and Coin Pendants to match by Color or Theme!

Select European Charm Beads and Coin Pendants to match by Color or Theme!

Check out all the beautiful Coins and beads at Bead Lovers Korner!

Eleven Reasons to Be Your Own Boss

Being-Boss

It is great to be your own boss!

I worked in the business world for someone else for over twenty years before taking the leap into being self-employed. Below are my eleven reasons to be your own boss, short and sweet!

  1. I don’t dread Monday anymore. For years it was TGIF and Monday Again, but over the years I began to dread Monday more and more. It started on Sunday, so enjoying the weekend ended up just being Saturday.
  2. Don’t have to punch a time clock or fill out a time sheet, so I no longer have to worry about being on time!
  3. No longer have the feeling of being trapped. I used to feel immensely trapped and stifled in the system of working for someone else, I felt like I was not living up to my full potential.
  4. I can exercise anytime I want, which leads into …
  5. Make my own schedule. I have a daily routine I follow, but it can be changed, unlike the difficulties of following someone else’s schedule.
  6. Drink the BEST coffee! Starbucks Dark blends are my favorite
  7. Take a power nap if I want. I don’t do this often, but if you didn’t sleep well the night before having this option is great!
  8. No more dry cleaning bill. I don’t know about you, but when I was shopping for work clothes, all the outfits I liked had “Dry Clean Only” on the label.
  9. No longer get stuck in traffic. There is no traffic between my bedroom and my office, thank goodness!
  10. Daily cash flow (most of the time)
  11. I get along great with the boss – cause that’s ME!

Comment below and tell me what your reasons are or what they would be :)

European Beads Bangle Bracelets

I recently had the opportunity to send this European Charm Bead Bangle Bracelet to a popular blogger for a product review. Not only did Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog review this bangle bracelet, but they also wrote their 3 Top Tips for Buying Jewelry! Three things to think about before making a jewelry purchase for either yourself or for a gift.

 

Below are a couple of other Stainless Steel bangle bracelets showing examples of how you can arrange different Pandora Style beads and charms.

This Stainless Steel Bangle is a smooth finish and the bangle is rigid. One of the round ball ends unscrews so that beads can be added or rearranged. This example comes with Blue and Gold Glass Beads as well as the Crystal European Bead in the center.

This Red and Pink Starter Bracelet has a wire etched texture and is somewhat flexible, one of the ends unscrews on this bangle bracelet also. The Red Floral design glass beads combined with a Pink Swarovski Crystal Bead make a very feminine combination, and are a great way to start a European Charm Bead collection!

Thank You Notes for Gifts

Thank You Note from Jennifer Love Hewitt

Thank You Note from Jennifer Love Hewitt

Just when I thought that the “Thank You” note was dead, two handwritten thank you notes from celebrities were sent to The Artisan Group® thanking everyone for the handmade gifts that were included in the Mother’s Day Gift Bag. Each note card expressed gratitude for our personal gifts to them and by writing thank you notes it showed their sincere appreciation.

Thank You Note from Kristin Cavallari

Thank You Note from Kristin Cavallari

To Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kristin Cavallari – You are very welcome for the gifts and I hope you enjoy wearing your Rose Quartz bracelet and other gifts that were included!

When I was growing up writing and sending a Thank You Note through the mail was very important, but over the past 40 years that tradition has seemed to dwindle now that you can easily pick up a phone and call, text or email your thanks. I was glad to see that this time-honored social etiquette is still alive and not entirely forgotten!!

Do you send Thank You Notes? Leave a comment about how you say Thank You for gifts.

 

Hollywood Moms to Receive Our Rose Quartz Bracelet

2014 Mother's Day Celebrity Gifting from The Artisan Group©

2014 Mother’s Day Celebrity Gifting from The Artisan Group©

We were thrilled to have our Rose Quartz bracelet included in a specialty gift bag created by The Artisan Group© for some of Hollywood’s most popular Celebrity Moms, in honor of Mother’s Day 2014.

 

Rose Quartz Bracelet for Moms in Celebrity Gift Bag

Rose Quartz Bracelet for Moms in Celebrity Gift Bag

This collection of fabulous artisan made products was gifted to: Jaime King, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Tammin Sursok, Halle Berry, Rachel Leigh Cook, Kendra Wilkinson, Gwen Stefani, Kerry Washington, Kristin Cavallari, Drew Barrymore, Mila Kunis, Alyssa Milano, Emily Blunt, Kelly Clarkson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Olivia Wilde, Christina Aguilera, Scarlett Johansson, Jenna Fischer, Ciara, Shelly Brown (Mrs. Zac Brown), Molly McNearney (Mrs. Jimmy Kimmel), Elsa Pataky (Mrs. Chris Hemsworth), and Danielle Jonas (Mrs. Kevin Jonas)

Why I Create

Cool-Beads

Why I Create – because there are just so many cool beads!

A recent Etsy contest about “Why I Create” lead me to make this cool graphic, and it is the simple answer to why I am involved in the bead and jewelry craft. Knowing full well that my chances of winning were slim, I didn’t want this image to go to waste so decided to add it here on the blog, with a few words about the act of creating, and how it evolves.

Dictionary Definition

cre·ate verb

  1. : to make or produce (something) : to cause (something new) to exist
  2. : to cause (a particular situation) to exist
  3. : to produce (something new, such as a work of art) by using your talents and imagination

My Definition

Imagine: There are so many ways that this evolves, sometimes it is by seeing something visually that is appealing or stimulating, and sometimes images just appear in my mind. Many times I create just to get those images out of my head. Other times I believe that ingenuity plays a big part:

“I can imagine anything but what can I make with what I have???”

Plan & Organize: Recently I had to make a large amount of the same item and it took some planning to make sure I had enough of everything so that I wasn’t scrambling at the last minute to find what I needed. I did the math and ordered more than I needed, then kept it all together until my start day so that I wasn’t running around the office muttering:

“Oh my God where did I put those beads?? I know they are around here somewhere!”

Produce: Actually do it. So many people get stuck here. I know a lot of people who imagine and dream of things, but they just never take that next step of actually doing it. It is kind of like a car that won’t quite start, and believe me I have days like that as well, but to keep that from happening too often I make a schedule and put it on the calendar.

The basic definition of “create” is to produce so when you think of it like that we ALL create something every single day, which leads me right back to the beginning question of “Why do I create?”:

“The answer is the same, because there are just so many cool beads!!

What and why do you create?