All Posts By

Deein

Business

The Start Of A New Adventure – 2019

January 3, 2019

In 2018, we started our second online store. In roughly 7 months my second store had somewhere in the range of 25k total sales.  At the top of my new years resolution is to add another 5k to our yearly profits. While adding another 5k to our existing store is in fact difficult, its definitively not out of the realm of possibilities. Whats the fun in that? With that being said I am going to completely start a new store from the ground up and document as much as possible along the way. The goal is to somehow motivate and show you the processes I go through while I try to take a store from 0 to hopefully at least an extra 5k a year ( because who couldn’t use an extra 5k a year?).

I would like to add that I will be all over the place with this blog series. I will post things that I am doing also explanations on what I am doing / what you could do.

List of things I need to do:

  • Select the name of the store.  Try getting one where the domain and Instagram are available.
  • Buy Domain Name. Important! – .com if at all possible. Privacy Protection is a MUST.
  • Register Instagram.   Name as close to store and domain as possible.
  • Register Facebook.
  • Select a niche.
  • Start listing product.

Track my expenses of the new project by bookmarking this.

Selecting a niche:

Targeting a niche should be your primary focus. Try to make and or sell products that are specific to a particular person or group of people. You’re going to want to target very loyal and borderline obsessive people within their hobby or niche. The best way to select the niche is to find something you’re passionate about. When you’re apart of the select few, you understand the terminology and can understand what is good and not.

If you decide to start your own store and cant find a niche you’re passionate about the best thing to do is start doing research! A quick google search for popular hobbies shows:

Popular Search Results on Amazon

Going over the list there are some that stand out to me. Knitting, Exercise, Sewing, Hunting, Dance, and Soccer.  Because what I try to sell I try to personalize I always look for niches or markets that tend to buy personalized items. I also tend to look for niches that might not have a lot of personalized items made for.

Whats NEXT?

So you have selected your niche…. Now what the heck are you going to sell? If you plan on going the personalization route, there are some defacto items you can do to start getting your foot in the door. Hats, Bags, and T-shirts are good ways to start getting into selling for these markets. If you have the capital, you could buy the machinery make the products yourself.

  • Make it yourself: The advantages of making your own product is the absolute full control of the entire process. The downside is that you have to do the entire process. From creating the item to shipment. Its all on you.
  • Print on demand: You create the design, drive traffic to your store, once the customer purchases the design you have the company ( IE: Printful) create the final product and ship it to the customer. This normally tends to be less margins…. But after the design is made you just do customer service and collect a paycheck.

Disclaimer: This is my journey to make another 5k a  year. I might not make it and I might lose out on all the money I invest. Online stores do take a lot of time at the start and progressively go down a little. This will never be a 100% passive way to gain money. You will at some point or another have to handle customer service and in some cases all of the production details.

5k logo taken from – https://www.khcpl.org/resources/databases/250-pebblegoanimals

Business

5 Things I’m Doing To Increase Etsy Sales

September 17, 2018

My second store, ubermugs, has been open for a couple of months. While its doing substantially better in its first months than our first store, its nowhere near where it could be. I have taken my experiences from Drink Everyday and have added a few new things. With that being said, these are the 5 things that I’m Doing to Increase Etsy Sales.

Customer Service –

While this is a generic term and one of the pillars of good sales let me just explain myself here. I’ve come to notice that potential customers tend to make rash decisions. If a customer sends you a request, and you do not respond instantly, they might be completely off Etsy by the time you respond. I unfortunately do not have any metrics to prove what I’m about to say so take it with a grain of salt. If you’re able to respond to the customer while they are actively browsing  your store or Etsy, it will increase your chancing at closing the deal. Some of my biggest deals were closed by having a quick response to answer the customer. Almost always, I receive a “Thank you for your quick response”. If you have not already downloaded the etsy sellers app you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Being prepared – 

Once again one of those generic and obvious things one should do. Hear me out…  I primarily sell coffee mugs on UBERMUGS. With that being said I do have some niche designs that can target holidays. Its imperative to be sure you’re setting up your store WELL BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS. At the time of posting it is September 17,2018. Right now I have the retail mentality and I am already posting and giving Halloween focus. Etsy themselves say that Halloween is one of the most important holidays of the year. If you target specific days its imperative that you pay attention to the Key Shopping Dates tab in your account.  Marketing > Key Shopping Dates.

Halloween is a big deal on Etsy: in recent years, more people searched Etsy for “Halloween” than “Mother’s Day,” or “Father’s Day.”

Halloween shopping starts in late September, so stock your shop with Halloween items and consider starting discounts up before then.

Establishing a Social Presence – 

I absolutely hate the rigors of actively maintaining a social media account. Back in my day, we had to walk 15 miles in the snow to update our friends! With having a full time job, being a full time parent, being a part time enrapture, it leaves very little time to do anything else. It’s extremely difficult to remember to post daily to social media and much less the defacto requirement of at least 2 times. I have recently signed up with BUFFER to alleviate some of the headaches. Paying for the single user “license”  grants me the ability to manage up to 10 social media accounts and schedule up to 100 posts in advanced. Not only does this grant me the freedom of not having to “post every day”. It gives me the freedom of queuing all of my posts at my own leisure.

To further touch on this subject I’ve also started 2 niche Instagram accounts. I’ve been able to actively grow my user base from 0 to over 1000 followers targeted specifically at my niche. As of right now, I have not used any of the accounts to promote any items and will not do so until it’s closer to Christmas. I would like for my accounts to focus and grow rather than annoy and attack.

Cross-Selling –

If you have a car you need gas and tires. If you’re selling hamburgers you should also consider selling fries and a drink. Cross selling is something I’m exposed to every single time I’ve purchased online. With that being said its absurd I never thought about trying to do the same. There have been countless amounts of times where I’ve gone out to purchase an Item and I ended up following the suggestions of some stupid algorithm.

For a brief period of time we sold only wine glasses. While they sold great, I couldn’t help but think we were losing out to people who might want the design on a coffee mug. As our sales grew, money came in, I decided to start the mug side of our business. The exact same designs we were already selling on wine glasses started selling on Coffee Mugs. Just recently, I decided to add similar items that are in the general vicinity of whatever we’re selling. ie: stickers ( Just more opportunities )

Managing my Time – 

Good and bad days are all around! I’ve been able to use some tools to help do some of the boring and annoying things. These are the following tips I can give you to manage time:

  1. Set a schedule – If you only have 20 minutes a day make those the most productive. Take the first 20 minutes on Monday ( or whenever ) to plan out the rest of the week.
  2. Automate the tasks you hate the most – I hate social media. I use Buffer to schedule posts. Captivate to add people on social media. Unfollow to remove dead accounts I’m following
  3. Invest into paid apps – Currently paying for Buffer, Etsy Rank, Paid for Captivate ( cloud ), and Unfollow.

 

Business

Upgrading from Cricut to Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus

September 8, 2018

The decision to upgrade from our tried and true Cricut was one with much hesitancy. Our workhouse has been faithfully working for us for the past year flawlessly! Thousands of orders, thousands of sales, and always ready for action is how I would best describe our Cricut. However, with that being said there were some instances where our best friend was giving us some headaches.

The problem with the Cricut in general for us was the online software. Having to be forced to be on the Cricut Design Space 100% of the time really did annoy my wife and I. The limited cutting lengths also left a lot to be desired. Granted, this printer is not made for commercial use and more of a craft based hobby, it could have been made more with a longer out feed. The final nail in the coffin was the stepper motor. While reliable, it just took way too long if we had to cut many pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I love our Cricut, we just needed more.

Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus

Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus

Enter the Graphtec CE6000-60 Plus. This behemoth of a machine gives you up to a 24 inch cutting surface ( extra 12 inches over Cricut ). Has the ability for variable cutting speed, passes, cutting patterns, and more. While the critic is catered to more of a hobbyist this is as professional as they come.

Software: The unit itself comes with its own proprietary vector software called Graphtec Pro Studio. I haven’t had much time to use it and become familiar with it but it does seem faster than using the Design Studio. Another alternative to using their software would be to install the drivers for Illustrator. So far I’ve found that using their pro studio seems to be just fine.

Footprint: Our home business consists of us working where the dining room table should be. We have since moved the table out and made this our permanent business location. With that being said this monster is quite large compared to the Cricut. We had the space to fit it but unless you have an area dedicated to it you might want to reconsider.

Cost: Apparently Graphtec has some exporters which will get an export pricing. After speaking to a representative I  was told that international models do not have the same standard warranty as those sold by domestic sales. The the prices given to me by exporters ranged from 1500 – 1650 where their domestic counterpart was 1715 – 1795.

Why did we buy a Graphtec CE6000-60 plus? I’m writing this post at the start of September. Since we started our store pretty much during Christmas of 2017 we can see how terrible it is to have to wait on a machine. We were getting roughly 25+ orders or more a day and it was causing us a lot of stress and many sleepless nights. In hopes of picking up production ( and not having to be next to the machine ) we went ahead with the more professional unit. This 1795 dollar investment should hopefully help us make that and more this coming Christmas.

Family

Ulcerative Colitis – Colons gone wild!

August 17, 2018

My wife, unfortunately, has been diagnosed with this terrible disease known as Ulcerative Colitis. UC fort short is a described as “A chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract”. Just to keep it short and simple its basically ulcers in her large intestine. Symptoms for this disease include rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain.

Something is wrong here.

For about a year and a half my wife has been having slight issues going to the rest room. We always attributed her issues with what our local doctors thought it would be (by local doctors I mean our parents). “Dont worry! It’s just stress”, “Dont worry! It could be hemorrhoids”, “Dont Worry” , “Dont Worry”. At what point do we worry?

A few months after the soft stool, blood, pains, and general discomfort I recommended my wife go see a gastroenterologist. Basically a stomach doctor.  Now if you thought getting an appointment to a regular physician was tough this is tough times 100. Not only did it take months in order to see the specialist they tend to waste your first visit on garbage. After waiting 2 1/2 months to hopefully find a solution to the problem we were met with heart break. The machine, as the doctor put it, was damaged and there were no replacements available. How is it that in 2018 there is a medical machine can broken and broken for 2 months? Months passed and my wife learned to fight through the pain and discomfort and she put the follow up on the back burner.

2 Months prior to me posting this my wife was forced to schedule an appointment with her gastro by myself.  I was sleeping in our bed, and she woke up in the middle of the night as she normally does. This time around she had such a discharge that it actually woke me up. I dont know if I was mad that it woke me up, or that she never went back to the doctor. But I was mad! I called her mother without her noticing and I enlisted her in my evil plan to somehow sucker my wife into getting an appointment. A few phone calls later we were able to sucker my wife into getting further tests done.

1 Camera in the colon is worth 2 in the bush?

No Hello

Credit – http://royalthighness.com

Leading up to the colonoscopy my wife had to undergo a rectal purge and clear out her system. She was given a laxative like solution which made her already soft stool even worse. Oh and you cannot eat or drink anything with a red tint to it. Sorry red jello but you’re out!

The actual procedure day consisted of visiting the outpatient center, getting put under, having the doctor stick things into her colon, and her waking up as if she were beat up. Upon coming to from her deep slumber she informed me that she was Diagnosed with UC. Along with the diagnosis she would also have to start a regimen of 8 daily pills ( 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon) as well as a daily enema. Maybe, just maybe, if this was caught earlier she might have not even needed to take any pills.

Colonoscopies – 2 for 1 specials all month long!

If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, or any for that matter, please go get checked out. Being cheap and not spending the 50 – 70 dollars to see a specialist is just not worth a lifetime of sorrow. Granted, my wife does have to take 8 pills and do additional work but shes not dead. There are people in far worse positions than she is but nobody wants to take pills forever.

 

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Image credit – http://www.diabeticconnect.com/

Keto

Keto Recipe – Almond Flour Crust Pizza

August 8, 2018

This recipe all of a sudden manifested itself when my wife was mentioning something along the lines of wanting to eat pizza. Being on Keto limits what I’m allowed to eat and not.  I’ve made Keto crackers with almond flour quite a few times and they came out great. The Idea behind this is wanting to eat something different, be something easy to make, and be something new. Taste tests from my young children, mother, and wife all came back with great feedback ( it was tasty).

Only thing I would change to this would be to chiffonade the basil and add it a couple of minutes before the timer ends on the last oven placement ( just so it doesnt wilt as much).

 

Keto – Almond Crust Pizza

Low Carb alternative to eating Pizza!

  • 1 tbsp Almond Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt (Himalayan)
  • 1 pinch Oregano
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (Grated)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 cup Trader Joe's – Three Cheese Pasta Sauce

Prep Work / Making the Crust:

  1. Add Almond Flour, Salt, Oregano, in a bowl and whisk until mixed.

  2. Add 1 Large Egg into mixture, continue to turn until it becomes a doughy texture.

  3. Add 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese to doughy mixture and combine the two.

  4. Spread combined mixture onto parchment paper and roll into pizza like shape. Don’t spread the mixture too thing or else it will be susceptible to burn.

Baking the pizza

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350

  2. Place pre-mixed / rolled  mixture in the oven. Wait 10 MINUTES

  3. Spread sauce on top of pizza, Add 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese that was left over as well as the Parmesan on top. Spread evenly.

  4. Place pizza back in the oven for 10 minutes.

  5. At the 10 minute mark add basil and leave for 5 minutes

  6. Eat pizza!

Keto

Keto Recipe – Reece’s Fat Bomb

August 4, 2018
Keto Peanutbutter Cup

Desserts are something that are very difficult to have while on a diet. These fat bombs will give you a huge intake of fat while remaining true to the Ketogenic Diet. While this might not be the most optimally Keto desert it definitely is something that helps me remain on track. I would like to also add that I do in fact save my bank of carbs for snacks.

Keto – Peanutbutter cup

This creamy and delicious peanutbutter cup is the closest thing to having something close to the real thing.

Keto Peanut Butter Cups

    Layer 1 [ Bottom Layer ]

    • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Peanut Butter
    • 2 tbsp Whole Milk [ Can Subtitute]
    • 10 drops Stevia

    Layer 2 [ Middle Layer]

    • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Peanut Butter
    • 1 tbsp Land O Lakes Butter
    • 10 drops Stevia

    Layer 3 [ Top Chocolate Later ]

    • 1 oz Lilly's Dark Chocolate
    • 2 tbsp Land O Lakes Butter
    • 10 drops stevia

    Bottom Layer

    1. Place the items required for layer 1 into a cup/bowl and mix until creamy.

    2. Evenly space contents into 5 large cupcake molds or 8 small ones [ You want this to cover the entire bottom but not form a huge layer. The Layers have to be even.

    3. Place cupcake pan into freezer (you will place it in there while you make layer 2).

    Middle Layer

    1. Place the items required for layer 2 into same cup / bowl.

    2. Microwave for 10 – 15 seconds depending on your microwaves power. You do not want to burn the butter. Less is more! The butter will eventually dissolve into the peanut butter / steveia mix.

    3. Remove previous pan from freezer and evenly space contents among previous bottom layer.

    4. Place pan back into the freezer.

    Top Layer [ Chocolate ]

    1. Take contents and place in cup/bowl (no stevia yet).

    2. Place in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds. It is imperative you do not overcook this layer. If you put it for too long your chocolate will turn into a brownie. (less is more).

    3. Stir until everything is dissolved.

    4. Add 10 drops of stevia (after the microwave).

    5. Remove previous pan from freezer and evenly space contents among previous middle layer.

    Keto

    Top 5 Things A Ketogenic Diet Newbie Needs

    July 19, 2018

    I am what I would call a career fat person. For as long as I remember I’ve always been the overweight kid.  Living in a relatively poor family my mother taught me that having food was precious and not something that could be thrown away  because you didn’t “like eating it”. My mothers sole rule about food when I was growing up was if it was served you have to eat it. Leaving the plate 90% clean was never an option. It was either 100% clean or you were in the slammer.

    I started Keto about 3 months ago at the heaviest I’ve ever been. Although I am 5 feet 4 inches tall, I am by no means a small boy. I started my journey weighing in at the morbidly obese weight of 251 lbs. Since then, I’ve lost over 40lbs, and have motivated over 5 friends into starting the diet. With that being said these are the top 5 things I believe you need in order to make your keto journey a success.

    Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a quick and easy way to get some fat into your food. The coconut oil I’ve found has been best is Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil (16oz). Coming in at 14g of total fat per serving (1 table  spoon) this makes it a no-brainer. This tends to be one of the least “coconut tasting” oil’s I’ve encountered. There is also no noticeable coconut oil aroma associated with this either.

     

     

     

     


    Ketone Test Strips –  Once you’ve been on ketosis for a while you’re able to tell if you’re within the “zone” or not. If you’re reading this article then chances are you still haven’t started or are very new to the diet. These test strips test for Ketones which is a direct indicator if your body is in Ketosis.

    I’ve found that testing your sample is best done in the morning before you add anything to your system. You provide the sample (urine) , place the test strip, wait 30 seconds, compare to the color coded chart. The basic gist of it is the darker the better. You might not achieve complete darkness for the entirety of your stay on Keto but you will get great results on the second to last color as well. This is not the best way to test for ketones as there are digital ketone testers but this will work!

     

    Crystal Light – I have suffered from drinking an excessive amount of calories most of my life. Coke (pop for you southerners), Gatorade, Orange Juice, and Apple Juice have been my achilles heel!  I have found that having a substitute, although not optimal, can help promote staying on track.

    I have quite a few of these packets at work, home, and even some in the car ( in case of emergencies ). Not only have they helped me curb my desire for a sweet drink, they have also have been used as a frozen Popsicle  alternative. Tons of flavor for only a handful of calories ( per serving ) .

     

     

     

     

    Youtube – The hard part of doing keto is that  there aren’t very many Keto friendly places or prepared foods. The way I’ve prepared my friends is to tell them to assume you cannot buy anything made at a store. You cant just go to the “Keto” friendly isle and pick up things ready to eat.

    If you’re addicted to bread and rice, like me, this diet can be a little difficult. I’ve been programmed since very young that 90% of foods include rice and the remaining 10% include bread. Youtube is the perfect vessel to find foods, recipes, and ideas other people are coming up with. 2 Channels that I find ideas from and recommend are Keto Connect and Headbangers Kitchen.

     

     

     

    MyFitnessPal – Available for both iOS and Android platforms this app helps you keep yourself in line. As long as you upload and enter your data this app can track your macro’s and let you know how much you’re actually ingesting. Do not skimp on tracking your macro’s! Do not forget that an over abundance of carbs or sugar can kick you out of the highly coveted Ketosis.

    Business

    5 Must Have Items for Shipping Merchandise

    June 25, 2018

    Finding our what you need to handle shipments is an ongoing process that doesn’t need to be fully tackled right away. Some items are absolutely required and some just offer comfort / speed increases.

    1. Weight Scale – The size of the products you’re selling will determine the scale you’re going to use. For our Etsy stores,  ubermugs and Drink Everyday we use the Ozeri Pro II. Our home business consists of selling customized wine glasses and coffee mugs that tend to not weigh over 14 ounces ( with box and packing ). The small footprint and ability to measure minute changes makes this perfect for our use. Being able to accurately measure the weight of your items also lets you give your customers their exact shipping cost with no added surprises.

    2. Printer – Depending on the size of your store, and frequency of shipments, investing into a laser printer might be a good option. The printer we started using is a Ricoh C250 laser printer. The price point of the printer tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum and it gives us the versatility to print in color (if need be) and print our shipping labels.

    A great alternative to buying a standard printer would be a thermal printer. Thermal printers work by applying heat onto specialty label paper which then exposes the content you printed.  The printers themselves are also a tad bit expensive if you compare them to standard home printers. The thermal printer we use is the Dymo LabelWriter 4XL, which lets us print on 4 x 6 paper ( perfect for shipping labels). The downside to using these printers however is the paper itself. Original (OEM) paper can be quite expensive in the long run so we went with an aftermarket source (linked below). The speed at which we can produce and apply shipping labels to our orders makes this a no brainier. It’s literally print, peel, stick, ship.

    3. Bubble Wrap and Void Fill – A pivotal part of shipping process is making sure that it makes it in the same condition you sent it in. Leaving empty spaces in a box makes the boxes less dense and more susceptible to caving in. Make sure you bubble wrap your items whenever applicable and use void fill to help fill up the rest.

    TIP: You can use newspaper and easily shred it into strips to use it as void fill.

      • Bubble Cushioning Wrap 175′ – This comes perforated every 12 inches. If you’re sending small to medium items make sure you get something similar.

    4. Tape (and TapeGun) – From securely closing your boxes to sealing your shipping label ( if done on a standard printer) this is an item you must have. While the tape gun is an option and not a requirement its ease of use and increased speed make this essential for your small business. If you’re shipping items under 5 lbs then the quality of the tape inst really an issue. If your store / shop / business tends to send items a little heavier than that then consider investing into better quality tape.

    5. Boxes – By boxes I don’t mean just any ole box either. A dangerous thing to avoid when shipping merchandise is both the over-sized and undersized box. Finding the right box for the items you are shipping is imperative to the success of your business.  The first thing to get hit before your item is always the box!

    The right sized box for shipping

    We ship our wine glasses and ceramic coffee mugs in single corrugated boxes that measure 6(L) X 6(W) X 6(H). Single Corrugated means one inner wafer like cardboard sandwiched bettween 2 flat sides. Depending on the value of your items this may or may not be enough!

    TIP: If you’re sending items via USPS priority sign up for a USPS account. There is a supplies section where you can order  boxes in different sizes free of charge. However they must be used solely for shipping items using PRIORITY and with USPS.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking some of the links on this post will grant a commission sale which helps keep the site afloat.

    Business

    6 Tips and Tricks To Get Your First Sale On Etsy

    June 22, 2018
    6 Tips To Get Your First Sale On Etsy

    There is no better feeling than opening your store and getting your first sale. The sensation, excitement, rush, is definitely something hard to replicate. Your first sale is the culmination of hard, dedication, patience, and perseverance. The problem however is reaching that milestone. These tips are suggestions that will help you in your quest to obtain the ever elusive first sale.

    1. Have Patience.

    Do not expect to be an overnight success story. My wife and I opened our first Etsy store, Drink Everyday , in early July of 2017. We didn’t get to experience the joy of  euphoria until the very end of the month. There were times of doubt, uncertainty, squabbles, and quitting ( my wife ). My stubbornness however didn’t allow me to give up!  It is absolutely normal for a store to not get a sale in the first couple of months.  Just like in life there is a learning curve to selling online.

    2. Take better pictures.

    6 Tips and Tricks To Get Your First Sale On Etsy | Take Better pictures with a photo booth / Lightbox

    6 Tips and Tricks To Get Your First Sale On Etsy | Take Better pictures with a photo booth / Lightbox

    While having a DSLR , studio lighting, and a professional take your stock photos is great it’s definitely not practical. Make sure you take hi-quality, professional, and white background (whenever possible) pictures. Etsy currently allows you to add up to 10 photos to display to your potential customer. Take as many photos as necessary to show your  customer every nook and cranny possible. Make sure you give your customer an in store experience online.

    Additional TIP: Depending on the lighting conditions in your home you should consider investing into a product photo booth. I was able to purchase a small photo booth with LED Lights and camera port for less than 20 dollars shipped off WISH.

    3. Add content.

    Once you’ve managed to get someone to get  to your store you’re going to want to make sure that your have something for them to look at. Not having a logo for your shop or a picture of yourself  shows you’ve done the absolute minimum to start a shop. Visitors are more willing to buy when all of the options are used. You’re going to also want to add a few listings to your store. If you have variations for your products try to add them as separate listings vs one so it shows you have more than what you do.

    Ideally you will also want to have compelling descriptions that connect with your customer. Try to ask yourself what would I need to know in order for me to buy this item? Make sure to describe the process,  lead time, and shipping terms.

    Additional TIP:  There is no shame in looking at what someone more successful is doing. If you find someone with a similar shop, see which ideas work best for them.

    4. Learn how to understand some SEO.

    Advanced levels of SEO  ( Search Engine Optimization) take hours and hours of trial and error to perfect. Make sure you follow some generic SEO tips when it comes to having proper titles, keywords, and descriptions.

    Additional TIP: Common best practices for SEO.

    • Make sure your most targeted keyword are towards the front of your title – both etsy and google will limit the search possibilities as they restrict the amount of characters they list. Having your strongest keywords in the front will ensure exposure to them.
    • Your description should mention your top keyword or keywords
    • Use all 15 of your keywords – Use word variations that describe your product.

    5. Use promoted listings!

    Getting traffic to an unknown store is a bit difficult at the start. Etsy tends to not “trust” you so-to-say so it buries you the search until you get some follows / likes. While promoted listings is an additional cost it should be something you consider.

    Promoted listings are paid per click advertising. Your product will potentially be displayed on any of the 3 promotion panes etsy has per page. Deciding how much you want to pay per click boils down to you deciding if you want etsy to take the wheel or if you want to set a specified predetermined price. Your advertise will continue to run over and over until you reach your max daily limit (you set this when you start advertising). Advertisements are displayed in such a way where the highest bidder will receive more adverts until their daily limit is exhausted.

    Additional TIP: Drink Everyday – Promoted Listing Details:

    Our store has paid $505.22 promoted listings, has received 223 orders, and we’ve sold $3,615.66 worth of merchandise.

    Depending on your bottom line this may be good or bad for you. Since we make our products our margins tend to be a little higher than most. We averaged, after cost for promoted listings, $13.94 per sale.

    6. Use your tools!

    Etsy provides you with some basic tools that will tell you a couple of things based on your visitors habits. It will include some of their searched terms, how many have visited, what country, and times of visits.  While powerful in their own right they definitely leave a lot to be desired.

    There are 3rd party free / paid services that offer you a more in depth look into your business. One such company is called Etsy Rank. Etsy rank tends to give you some behind the scenes information that is not made readily available to the naked eye. Etsy Rank - 6 Tips to get your first sale on etsy

    The most appealing features to me have been Missing Tags, Missing Images, Missing Attributes, SEO Score, and Tracked Competitors. There is no better way to optimize your store to the best of its potential without a tool similar to this. Signing up is free for a basic package and they also have a paid version. I high suggest signing up for at least the free version so you can see what is offered. *This is not a paid advertisement and there is no affiliate link for Etsy Rank*

     

    Family

    MY CHILD HAS A SUBARACHNOID CYST

    June 14, 2018
    My Daughters Arachnoid Cyst Before

    updated: 09.21.2018

    It’s going to be ok!

    Chances are that if you landed on this page either you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an arachnoid cyst. While I am not a doctor, and I do not suffer from an arachnoid cyst, I can give you the perspective of a parent who’s child does have one. This should also give you an idea on whats in store for you ahead.

    My daughter Emma was born on June 27, 2013. My wife and I were extremely happy to hear the news that after months of trying she was finally pregnant! We did EVERYTHING possible to insure that this was going to be a smooth and flawless pregnancy. She got off birth control months before, took her daily prenatal’s, and for the most part we lived in a stress free environment.  The vessel for our soon to be daughter was prepped and primed for an easy delivery. Or so we thought.

    Arachnoid Cyst Diagnosis

    During one of our routine visits to the doctors office something came up on the sonogram. We noticed something was a bit off when the lab-tech called our doctor in to evaluate what was on the screen. Thinking nothing of it ( it was our first child ), when we were told to leave, we left. A week later we were called back into the office as they wanted to go over the sonogram pictures with us.

    Upon arriving to the doctors office we were fast tracked and greeted by the 4 on staff doctors. To get an appointment to see one is already a mission, to see all 4 in the same office was quite the anomaly! My wife was rushed into the room, propped up, and began the process of having yet another sonogram taken. At this point I began to get worried and asked the doctor if anything was wrong. Waiting for the doctors reply felt like an eternity; In reality it was 20 seconds. “We’re not sure” was the response given to us by the doctors. At the time I could not begin to fathom how these trained professionals could not give me an answer. Our choices to evaluate the situation were: to either leave it up to nature, or have an emergency C-Section. We choose the ladder. We were told to prepare for the worst, go home, pack some belongs, and return to the hospital because the show was about to start.

    Our premature daughter arrived to us via C-Section  at about 8 p.m. Immediately, due to her size, and pre-existing condition, she was hooked up to the majority of the machinery in the NICU. The following day I took my daughter to get her first MRI. Upon completion we were notified that it was indeed not blood but a cyst.

    Surgeries

    1 month after being born my daughter was allowed to go home. Due to her size, and recent birth,  the neurosurgeon opted to wait another month before performing any surgeries.

    • Surgery 1: Endoscopic Fenestration  – In a nutshell the doctor will pop and drain the cyst to alleviate pressure [performed on my daughter and did not work] .
    • Surgery 2: Endoscopic Fenestration + VP Shunt – Same as above with an added drainage that will drain in my daughters stomach ( body will absorb the fluid ).

    The first surgery of the 2 was performed in order for there to not be a permanent VP shunt placed. This however did not work for my daughter but it does in many other instances. We opted to do the first operation as it was an option to hopefully remove the cyst and also not impact her life with a shunt.

    Symptom and Side Effects

    Including but not limited to:

    • Head Aches
    • Vomiting
    • Mood Swings
    • Cognitive delay
    • Developmental delay
    • Seizures
    • Weight Gain ( Steroids )
    • Increased head size

    Therapy –

    Therapy has tremendously helped our daughter improve! Our daughter was granted the ability to get therapy for 2 – 3 days a week and every so often we have to get re-evaluated with the insurance.

      • Occupational Therapy –  My daughters therapist will reinforce and introduce things as she see’s fit. They started off trying to just make sure our daughter knew how to use her hands. Blocks, puzzles, scissors are all going  to be things your child is going to be shown how to use / master.
      • Speech Therapy – Learning the differences between sounds,  genders, and sentence structure. The speech therapist has helped tremendously with our daughters Echolalia (repeats whatever you’re trying to say. Me: “Emma come here” Her: “Emma come here”).

    Follow up appointments –

    Depending on the size of the cyst and its location you will be required to have follow up appointments. Be ready and accustomed to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly visits to the doctors office. MRI’s were performed initially every 2 weeks, to monthly, to every 6 months, and finally we’re at the yearly stage.

    Are they sick or is it the shunt?

    Kids naturally live in a cesspool of death and decay. Anything they tend to find on the floor, street, trash, or in their nose suddenly becomes nutrition. With that being said just because your child has a shunt you don’t always have to rush them to the hospital. Kids are always going to be kids and they will trade germs and sicknesses like baseball cards. This is normal. Your kid is fine.

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Consult with your child’s doctor for anything related to sickness.

    These are some tips to see if there is a problem with the shunt or if your child is just sick:

    • If the child has a vp shunt like ours then you should be able to feel the rivets of the shunt itself. If you can feel them then its not flooded and it should be working as intended.
      • Make sure you sporadically touch the area so you can become familiar to what it should feel like.
    • Is your child eating? – If food is still a priority then its most probably not the shunt.
    • Is your child acting normal? – Normal that they are still at their core themselves.
      • If your child is hyper and remains hyper then its probably not a shunt issue. What they told us to check for is huge swings in temperament and

    Advice to other parents –

    1. Be patient! – Your child might need more time to get things done. Your child might have mood swings. Your child might have constant head aches. Your child might just be slow.
    2. Find the right neurosurgeon! – If your area has multiple pediatric neurosurgeons get the best one available!
    3. Join a support group! – There are plenty of Facebook groups that can give you other peoples perspectives. You’re not alone!
    4. Take it day by day and I cant stress it enough that you’re not alone. You did nothing wrong. Its not your fault.

     

    My Daughters Arachnoid Cyst Before

    Before and after the placement of the ct shunt.

    Update –

    Emma is now 5 years old has been in a “regular” kindergarten school for over a month. We gave the teacher a 1 week grace period of letting her come to her own assumptions on our daughter. Almost immediately the teacher said she noticed she was a little behind. Unfortunately, they could not attribute that to the pace of the new school ( previously in day care ) or if it was a lack of exposure ( day care VPK ). With that being said, she has in fact made leaps and bounds in a short amount of time. She has been able to mimic her peers more often and is doing more  of the “right” things than not.

    I also did not mention that we had her go through the process of getting an IEP (Individualized Education Program) over the summer. The results of the test showed she was in fact delayed by 2 years and classified as developmentally delayed ( we knew she was slower and we were giving it time ). The light at the end of the tunnel is that they feel she can and will catch up with the proper help. Unfortunately the school where she’s at does not have the resources to give her the additional help and because of that we’re enrolling her into another school.

    Currently:

    • Better penmanship
    • Can read over 20 words
    • Speaking a little better ( more sentences )
    • Better at expressing herself ( still not quite there but its better )

    Needs improvement:

    • Following directions
    • Cognitive ability