Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Your Handmade Hustle
In addition to creating your products and shipping orders and taking care of your website, that is just the beginning of the handmade journey. You will need to sustain and grow your business every single day, also. Let’s change gears here. Before we talk about promotions such as blog posts, social media and what you were going to put in those mailing lists, we really need to demystify search engine optimization. Search engine optimization or SEO seems to give most people a lot of issues and it is really part of everything you do. For example here’s a short list of just a few of the ways SEO is used. This is not even close to all of them that you can and should apply to your business.
Struggling With Handmade Sales?
A few things have happened that have seemingly put many of us into a premature midlife crisis of sorts. People are not quite happy with their lives. They miss their kids and work too hard for other people. One of the things that got us here, and the first, is the creation of Etsy. Etsy made the small, handmade boutique community stand up and take notice. It also hit hard with stay at home moms giving them something they could do for themselves and a way to make a little money for extras. Throw a pandemic on top and you have people on lock down looking for things to do and ways to make extra money, not too mention needing cute masks. So, what is keeping you from getting your part of the handmade industry?
The Best Fantasy
You may have already read one of my stories and realized that my childhood in a small WI town was not the greatest. Reading is the one thing that probably saved my life and sanity. I was poor, never had a ride anywhere and everybody knew about my family. Not in a good way, though. They all knew Dad was a drunk and Mom was disabled and weak. The kids in town were mean and the adults wouldn't look me in the eye. My brothers and sister were years older than me, so I lived alone with my disabled mother. I am not sure who took care of who. By the time I was in kindergarten she had decided she had no reason left to live and she just sat in her chair all day watching television and smoking Winston's. I spent a huge part of my time at the public library in my town. It was quiet, safe and had all the books with all my friends there waiting for me in my imagination. I thought it was the most beautiful place on earth.
Small Town Drama
Looking out over the frozen pond, I knew this would be the last time I came back here. The memories, the guilt, the fear, the shame, all tucked away in a nice little box that never needs to be opened again. It is strange to feel those things over something that was done TO me. Strange how the mind works, twisting things to alternative realities that some people never get over. She was one of those people, my mother. Her gravestone just a short distance over the hill. Their gravestone. What is that even about?? He divorced her. Re-married, had more children for God's sake. Yet, when she died he was the one that purchased the headstone. He put them next to each other and sharing a stone, no less. It is still the biggest mystery of my life. Did he miss her? Regret leaving us? Did it ever occur to him what a piece of shit he really was? Is that why he put them together on one?
The Threads of My Life
One of my clearest memories from childhood is the treasure to be found in the tin filled with embroidery floss and learning the different types of stitches that can be made with them. The colors in that tin were my playmates as a child along with the huge box of crayons and coloring books. As the baby of the family with the next oldest being 10 years older, I spent most of my time alone. Embroidery and cross stitch have been a part of my life ever since then. It is my form of art therapy to combat loneliness and it has been with me through a lot. As I got older, it very often was a part of my home decor and many, many gifts to be given to family and friends. When my children were older and didn’t need me so much, I started designing my own patterns and have been published in a national cross stitch magazine.