bloggers

What Will You Make Of 2016?

Etsy

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions. I find that slowly easing into 2016 is my preferred way to tackle the new year but when the team at Etsy told me about their Etsy Resolution idea which asks makers and designers around Australia and the world to turn creative dreams into reality I couldn't resist getting behind such a great cause. 

Kicking off today, Etsy.com, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, is helping makers and designers around Australia - and the world - turn their creative dreams into a reality in 2016 with the launch of Etsy Resolution, a free four week online bootcamp kicking off on 25 January. 

Mentored and led by four Australian makers and small business owners who have succeeded in making their own creative business dreams come true on Etsy, Etsy Resolution aims to harness the momentum of the new year and help creatives make the most of 2016. 

The comprehensive - and free - four week online program will give participants access to tried and tested tips, tricks and lessons, direct from the people who know best, walking them through the process of starting an Etsy shop and growing it into a thriving online business. 

According to Etsy’s Managing Director for Australia and Asia, Helen Souness, confidence, time and fear of failure are often barriers that Australian creatives encounter when considering selling their goods online, all of which the Etsy Resolution program aims to tackle. 

“We know there are so many talented creatives out there who have long considered sharing their work with the world and starting an Etsy shop, but need a little extra information, inspiration or just some encouragement,” she said. “Etsy Resolution aims to deliver all that and more, making the whole process simpler with fun, practical and collaborative lessons for anyone from aspiring full time creatives to those looking for a creative outlet or just a little extra income.”

The program comprises a series of self-paced online lessons released over four weeks with participants also invited to join a dedicated Facebook group where they connect with mentors and others taking part in Etsy Resolution, share their progress, ask questions and get feedback.

Etsy Resolution 2016 builds on the success of the inaugural 2015 program which saw thousands of creatives around Australia connecting with mentors and each other to learn how to turn their creative ideas into successful Etsy businesses. This year Etsy Resolution goes international with online programs running in France, Germany, Japan, Canada and the UK alongside the Australian cohort. 

Etsy Resolution 2016 starts on Monday 25 January. Anyone interested in participating can find out more and join at etsy.me/etsyresolution - AND as a special New Year's gift from me to you, simply by using the code: blogsociety2016resolution when signing up you will get 20 free listings!

Etsy
Etsy

3 Tips for Scaling Your Blog with Collaboration

By Jessica Ruhfus

Collaboration is becoming more and more of a buzz word, but have you ever thought ‘how do I make this work for me?’ There are often concerns about compromising on your brand by introducing another voice, or imbalanced benefits where the two collaborators don’t really get what they want from the effort put in. 

The truth is, collaborations and strategic brand partnerships are necessary (that’s right, I said it!), in order to scale your blog or brand. Why? Because they’re the most effective, budget friendly, valuable tools for tapping into existing communities of relevant people within your target market. 

Before I launch into my tips, I have to mention that there are hundreds of definitions and understandings of the word ‘collaboration’ - particularly in the business space. The way I define them is;

Two brands working together to get awesome marketing exposure, engage their communities and grow their businesses. Collaboration is a marketing tool that should be mutually beneficial and secured with relevant brands to be successful.

Here are my tips for getting what you want and collaborating the right way:

1. Simplify Your Goals

If you go into a collaboration with the goal of world domination and celebrity status, you’re missing a key step - the customer ‘path’. Before you can reach the big end goal, consider how you’re going to get there. It could be building your email list, growing your Instagram presence, building content, selling tickets to an event etc. Your collaboration should work to achieve elements within the customer path.

2.  Follow Through

I’m a big believer in the idea that every point of contact with your brand is extremely important in maintaining your brand identity. From customer service experience through to brand collaborations, make sure you stand by your brand and be transparent. Follow through on promises and treat collaborations as business deals (i.e if it’s not working, don’t be afraid to ditch it!) In kind, make sure you communicate what your goals are to avoid disappointment and ensure your collaborator follows through as well.

3.  Offer Value

Collaboration for the sake of collaboration, or incessant / irrelevant cross promotion will eventually do your brand a disservice. Think about what your audience wants - it’s always something of value. Make sure your collaboration is offering something of value to both audiences; to build trust, familiarity AND engaging brand exposure.

So, what are you waiting for? Get creative with some brand collaborations and watch your community grow!

Collabosaurus is an online match-making platform for brands to source valuable partnerships with other brands. If you want to tap into communities around Australia, and even internationally, Collabosaurus is a go-to tool that makes sourcing and negotiating a strategic collaborations simple. It’s FREE to get started and view your matches. 

Alissa Circle of Diary of an Addict // Behind The Blog Scene

Happy to be back this week with another ‘Behind The Blog Scene’ post and I have to admit that when I first read Alissa’s blog, Diary Of An Addict, it was the title that piqued my interested. But it’s not what you think and soon I was quietly addicted to this blog and Alissa’s attitude toward blogging in general. “The blogosphere has power. We can impact social agendas, speak into corporate America, and evoke real change” – a girl after my own heart. So I thought since we love a bit of honesty around here, I’d invite Alissa to share with us a little bit about her life as a blogger and entrepreneur all the way from Southern California – enjoy!

Describe your blog in 3 words…
Coffee addict (can that be one word? Haha), foodie, passions. Ok those are kind of random, but how it’s hard for me to sum up all my addictions in 3 words. 
What is your blogging manifesto?
I’m a firm believer as a mom and business owner that mommy guilt can often over take us. We spend so much time agonizing over taking time for ourselves, even small moments that we find ourselves burnt out and exhausted. For me personally, I struggled with frustration over lack of personal time and feeling guilty for needing it. Please don’t mistake this for not loving my family. I love them more than life itself and would do anything for them, but I also realize the need for having things that I can enjoy alone.

And so, Diary of an Addict was birthed out of a need to find moments to do things that I love. Cook, bake, workout, read, coffee dates with friends, taking a bubble bath… all things that would fill my cup so that I could pour into my family and friends. Making time for these things in my week makes me a better wife and mother.
Top 3 blogging essentials?
DSLR Camera, Selfie Stick + my iPhone
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
Probably when I re-branded last April. Whew! It took so much guts, let me tell you, but when I started blogging I was in the maker/crafter space and was sewing and selling products online and when I closed the shop I felt like the name of my blog boxed me in and I wanted to talk about more than just sewing/crafting. It turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I love my new space so much!
Best piece of advice I've been given?
We all have a story to tell, don’t be afraid to tell it.
I'm dreaming about traveling to..
Bora Bora. My husband and I haven’t been on an exotic trip together since our honeymoon. Sun, sand + my hubby = amazing!
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Put yourself out there! Take the time to build new relationships and connect with others. The blogging sphere is an incredible place + yes, it can be scary to put yourself out there, but it’s worth it.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Oh man, I would probably be lost. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and it’s such an innate part of me. Maybe Room Mom so I could keep myself busy? haha
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
Beautiful chaos. There’s always something new an exciting I’m working on or planning to write about.
This year I'm most excited about...
All the traveling I’ll be going to conferences where I get to speak + meet so many amazing other bloggers! It’s truly a gift!

 

Link Love // The Friday Files

It was only fitting that after last week’s post about listening to the universe that I received a big old sign to slow down. For the past few days I’ve been under the covers, drinking ginger tea, far too much vitamin C and allowing my body some much needed rest and recovery. I guess there is such a thing as overdoing it with the ‘hustle’ and so I’m again reminded of our self-care regime and taking some time to listen to my body and hop into the slow lane for the next few days.

These still moments made me realise how often we take our health for granted so it was a big eye opener for me and I’m reminded of how truly lucky we are – not everyone is. This weekend take care of yourself and I’ll be doing the same – and having a bit of fun as we host another one of our Creative Headshot Workshops on Sunday so I’ll be hanging out in the studio listening to some cheesy dance tunes and getting to spend some time with two of my fav photographers, Lisa and Pete from And A Day.  Keep an eye on the fun over on Instagram and enjoy the link love below…

  • As if I couldn’t love Erin from Design By Mankind any more, this post seals the deal
  • This course opens in just 3 weeks – are you feeling brave?
  • Now THIS is my kind of manifesto
  • 20 bite size business lessons everyone needs to know
  • Feel like everyone is doing the same thing lately? You’re not alone
  • If building your list is a priority this free email series will help
  • Loved this post about how to sell without feeling sleazy

Over 8,000 Miles in the Wrong Direction // Travel

By Amy Lynne Hayes

I’d had my eyes on it for more than a year. It was this a grand finale, looming in the future for so long I thought it would never arrive. Time passed, and I worked my tail off to make it happen. I filed the paperwork, got the visa and booked the plane ticket for a journey of a lifetime.

Ever since I left Australia in March of 2013 I had been planning a return. I wasn’t eligible to receive another visa for Oz, but I could obtain one for New Zealand. And I certainly was never one to hesitate on the prospect of dropping myself off in some foreign country. I was a traveler, wasn’t I? I’d lived in four countries, and touched down in more than 20. This was my lifestyle. So as I boarded that plane in sunny South Florida, all packed and set to embark on my next great adventure, I was surprisingly relaxed. And ready to put that 12-hour flight from Los Angeles behind me. I’ll never forget the view from my window seat as we cruised into Auckland. The green hills, the gorgeous water, the sun poking over the clouds to bathe the landscape in a glorious light. I was so excited.

I followed my usual routine upon arrival. I had an AirBnB booked, and proceeded to open a bank account, file for a tax number, set up a local phone number… all the little life details. I joined a gym and registered with a recruitment agency and even found my first position as a temp worker. All in less than two weeks. Sounds like things were working out perfectly, right? Except they weren’t. My heart wasn’t in it. You see, I had worked hard in Florida. I set up a blog, started writing freelance, and had gotten to the point where I was being published regularly with a local magazine group. I had to give that up to move and follow this dream I’d concocted almost a year and a half ago. I wasn’t there anymore.

I had changed. My priorities had shifted, and I was no longer that person who was so desperate to stay overseas. I had built the beginnings of a solid life back at home – the one place I never thought I’d end up, not in a million years.

But life is funny like that. 

So I left New Zealand, after a mere three weeks. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, and there were plenty of tears involved along the way. But deep down I knew. I knew that I had gone more than 8,000 miles in the wrong direction. This was not where I was supposed to be. One doesn’t have to fling themselves halfway across the world to find out the path isn’t quite right. It could be a a job, or a relationship, or a new project. Sometimes they feel right, and sometimes they don’t. Those little intuitive feelings are our strongest and most reliable guides, if we have the courage to listen to the whispers. It was Marilyn Monroe who said, “A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.” And it takes guts to step outside the lines and justify your actions based on an intangible feeling. Many of us are out there trying to create our own careers. We’re carving out a little niche in an otherwise crowded world of noise and competing talent. And it can get disheartening. Others may tell us to give up and step back into the normal mould of a nine to five job. I may not have found success in New Zealand in the way I imagined, but I did learn. I learned loads, about myself and about what I really want out of life. And I want to keep pushing on. I plan to keep building my freelance career, even if that means I have to hang up my traveling shoes for a spell. 

The legendary Steve Jobs probably said it best when he uttered these words. “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” 

Thanks Steve Jobs, I think I will. And so should we all.

You can find Amy blogging over at Createrice Mondial or on Instagram @creaticemondial