Monday, April 27, 2009


This ninja needs ideas from you guys!

I'm running low on my "things you guys have asked" list... anyone have any suggestions for future topics?


:cute face:


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Using Facebook to Promote Your Studio - Part 2

Last week I discussed the basics of using Facebook to promote your studio. If you haven't checked that post out, you may want to make sure you've read it before you continue with this one. Today I'm going to show you how to make a Facebook page to promote your studio, but first, let's discuss exactly what this page is and what it's for.

A Facebook page is essentially a "fan page" that any registered user can set up. I'm sure you've seen updates on timelines that say "Mr. So-and-so became a fan of *insert doodad here*" All that means is that someone, somewhere created a fan page, and Mr. So-and-so found it and decided it was cool. The good part about these pages is that you can use them solely for promotion, because you've already found an interested audience (who voluntarily signed up to listen!). Additionally, unlike your personal page, your fan page can be viewed and "liked" by any member of Facebook. It's a great way to reach lots of people you wouldn't otherwise have contact with, because the "liking" often starts off a chain reaction! (If you've never seen a Facebook page, click here and you can see the one I created while writing this tutorial!)

So, if you're ready to create one of these awesome pages, log in to your Facebook account and follow along!

1. Click this link. (It will help to right click and open it in a new tab/window) You should see this:

2. Under category, choose "Brand, Product, or Organization" and then "Online Store"

3. Enter the name of your studio in this box:

4. Check the box that asks for authorization, and then type your full name in the signature box. ("Full name" means the exact name your Facebook account is under.)

5. Hit "Create Page". You should now see this:

6. Add information to your page like your avatar, product pictures, sales information, and website address. Once you start adding things, you will see this notice show up at the top of the page:

Be sure you click the "Publish this page" link so it's viewable to the world!

7. You've now created your Facebook page! Be sure (once you're done editing everything) that you invite all your friends to your page. To do this, hit the "Suggest to Friends" link under the main picture and follow along.(Remember to add yourself as a fan, too!)

*As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics here! And please leave a link to your new page in the comments so I can become a fan!*


Monday, April 20, 2009

Manic Monday Post

Hi everyone!

Please forgive my lack of quality posting today. Unfortunately there are things that need to be dealt with immediately in the "real world", and this has prevented me from being able to finish my regular Monday post. I promise I will be back soon with more awesome Ninja Knowledge.

Please send some good thoughts and well wishes my way.... as I will be doing for each of you!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Using Facebook to Promote Your Studio - Part 1

Many of us already use Facebook as a way to keep up with friends and family, but are you using your Facebook account to its fullest potential? There are quite a few ways to use Facebook to promote, and today I'm just going to show you a quick easy tip to get you started.

The way Facebook works, it keeps a "timeline" of all your recent activity and broadcasts it to everyone in your friend list/network. For instance, if you set your status to "Having a good day", everyone that logs on can see that little blurb about your life. Using this status is one way you can promote (by saying something like "Great sale going on today in my studio!"), but sometimes that just isn't enough. First of all, you've only given a bit of vague information, and second, there's not really much there to make your update stand out from all the other updates.

Instead, how about creating an update that has everything you need all rolled into one? By using the "Add a Link" feature, you are able to promote your studio/sale/blog, show a picture, and provide a clickable link to your studio! To do this, log into your Facebook account (or create one if you don't already have one!) and follow these steps:

1. On the top of the window that shows your facebook account, click on "Profile".

2. Find the box that looks like this:

and click inside the typing area.

3. You should notice that the box changes, and now looks like this:

Click "Link"

4. The box will expand like this:

Type (or copy/paste) your studio URL (or item/blog URL) in the second box and hit "Attach".

5. As long as the page you are linking to has any graphic on it, the box will expand again and you will now see a graphic showing. (If you're linking to your Artfire studio, chances are the first thing you will see will be your verified artisan icon).

Click the arrows beside the picture till you find one that suits you.

6. In the box above the picture, type in text pertaining to the link (if you wish).

7. Hit "Share". You should see it show up in your timeline like this:

Your "all in one" update is done! Now every person on your friends list will see it the next time they log in!

* I know this may seem like very basic information to a lot of you, but I just wanted to cover all the bases before I moved onto things like creating pages and paid advertising. Please forgive me if it is too simplistic. *

p.s. If you aren't already one of my Facebook friends, I'd love for you to add me so I don't miss any of your fancy new updates!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Creating and Adding a Favicon to Your Blog

Do you know what a favicon is? It's that little picture that shows up beside your blog address in the address bar of your browser. And, if you're using Blogger, chances are your favicon is a little orange "B". Now take a look at the address bar for this blog. See how there's no "B" there? Instead, you should be seeing a little ninja face/figure. Isn't that cool? (I think so anyway!)

So, besides the cool factor, why does it matter what your favicon is?

It matters because when your blog is added to an RSS feed reader, or when someone has a tab open to your blog (depending on the browser), that favicon will show beside the title of your blog! And we all know that standing out in this sea of artisans is super important, so why not use a favicon to set yourself apart?

Changing your favicon is easy to do, and if you want to change yours, here's what you need to do:

1. Choose a picture you want to use as your favicon. It helps to keep it simple here, because you will be shrinking the picture to minute proportions. Remember that things like text and fine details may get lost in the translation, so choose wisely! (It also helps to save it to the desktop so you can find it easily!)

2. Go here and sign up for an account. (You'll be sent a verification email, so go ahead and check for that and click the included link before you go to step 3.)

3. Sign in to your new account and find the part of the page that looks like this:

4. Click "Choose File", select the picture you're going to turn into your favicon, and hit "Upload Now".

5. You should see this now:

(Don't worry about how distorted that big picture looks, it's the tiny picture above it that matters!)

6. As long as the little picture is acceptable to you, type in a name and hit "Save It". (Be sure you have a check mark in the box that says "Set as my default favicon".)

7. On the left hand side of the page, click the link that says "My Favicon Code."

8. You're going to see a screen that looks like this:

Copy all the code in the top box and IGNORE THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE YELLOW BOX!!! (They won't work with blogger anymore, so we have to cheat a little!)

9. Open a new window and log into your Blogger dashboard.

10. Click "Layout" and "Edit HTML".

11. Back up your template by clicking "Download Full Template" here:
(Just save it somewhere and leave it alone. It's just in case something goes wonky!)

12. Scroll down the page till you see this:

and this:

(It's going to be about 2/3 of the way through all that code, and one will be right on top of the other.)

13. Paste the code you copied between those two bits of code you found. It should look similar to this:

14. Hit "preview" and wait for the page to load. As long as you see your new favicon showing in your address bar, go ahead and hit "save template". (If you don't see it, hit "clear edits", tell it "ok" and try again. If it still won't work, just clear your edits, back out, and let me know so I can try to help!)

Congrats! You now have a new favicon for your blog!

p.s. I haven't forgotten I promised you "target market answers"... I'm still working on them, so please be patient! :wink:


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Need Your Help Making a Decision...

I'm working hard on filling out the answers to my "finding your target market" questions, and I hope all of you are, too. Because of this, I'm taking a break today from bombarding you with new information. I will be back tomorrow to give you the promised "what do we do with these answers" post, so please get your answers ready and check back!

Before you run off to put the finishing touches on those questions, though, I'd like to get your input on something:

I'm wondering if you guys would be interested in tutorials that don't involve the computer. Meaning, would you like to see "how to make x" type posts in addition to the type of content already posted? Or would you prefer that we keep it strictly to the "how to's" we already have?

Please help me decide. I really value your input, and I want this blog to cater to what everyone wants. I also hate to waste your time giving you information you don't want/need in the first place.

Thanks so much, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Using Feedburner - Part 3 - Showing Your Feed Count

Remember when I talked about social proof? Well, a good way to increase your social proof is to show off how many blog readers you have. You most likely already do this by showing your followers somewhere on your blog, but did you know that you may actually have more readers than that widget shows?

By using Feedburner's "Feed Count Chicklet", you can show these "hidden readers" on your blog as well! These simple instructions will walk you through setting up and installing that chicklet on your blog:

1. Log into your Feedburner account and click on the feed you want to create a Feed Count Chicklet for. (If you don't already have a Feedburner account set up, please go here first: Feedburner Step 1)

2. Click the tab near the top of the window that says "Publicize"

3. On the left hand side of the page, click the link that says "FeedCount". Your page should now look like this:

4. Decide which of the two chicklet styles shown looks more appealing to you, and click on the button beside it.

5. Below the style choices, you will see a color grid. Choose a color for the body of your chicklet. Then, click on the button beside text and choose a color for your text from the grid.

6. At the bottom of the window, click the button that says "Activate". Your screen should now look like this:

(If you don't like the way your chicklet looks, you can change the colors by repeating Step 5. To see the changes, simply hit "Save" at the bottom of the window.)

7. Once you have your chicklet looking like you want it, copy the code below it and open a new window.

8. In the new window, log into your Blogger dashboard and click "Layout".

9. Click "Add a Gadget" and choose the "HTML/JavaScript" option.

10. Paste the code you copied into this widget and hit "Save".

Your new chicklet will show up on your blog now, and the number of readers will automatically update as your subscriber list grows!

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Twitter Spring Cleaning Time!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend, and I hope you're all ready to be back to the "creative grind" today!

I had a nice, lazy weekend and I spent a lot of "down time" messing about on the internet. Due to the fact that I had too much time on my hands, I wound up staring at my twitter account for way too long. This boredom induced "twitter coma" led me to a conclusion: I follow far too many people on twitter who have nothing to say. (Meaning, I realized I was following in excess of 500 people, yet only about 150 of those actually tweet on a regular basis!)

I decided that I needed to remedy this situation, and the only way I could think of was to individually go to each page and "unfollow" the unwanted. Well, in case you haven't figured it out by now, I hate doing things the hard way. I prefer to maximize my laziness by making efficient use of the tools found on the internet. So the search was on for a new twitter tool!

Thanks to the kindness of my useful tweeters, I found two tools that I want to share with you today. They are called UnTweeps and Twitoria. The first, UnTweeps, is a quick, simple tool that allows you to check to see which of your followed users haven't tweeted in a set amount of time. Twitoria does the same thing, but it gives you a little more control and detail. Below you will find screenshots and walkthroughs of each.


(The benefit of UnTweeps is that you don't have to go to each profile to unfollow. You can unfollow a group of people at once, but you get very little information about the user.)
To use Untweeps, simply go to their page, enter your username/password (from twitter) and choose a time frame from the drop down menu. Once you've filled in all the blanks, hit "List Stale Tweeps". You will then see a list of all the people you follow who haven't tweeted in the time frame you picked. To unfollow them, just leave the box beside their avatar checked and hit "Unfollow Selected Tweeps". Easy peasy and no more silent tweeple!


(I actually like Twitoria better, as it seems to give more comprehensive info than UnTweeps. It takes only slightly more thought/effort, and you get to see details like the exact date of last tweet and the tweet itself. You also get more time frames to choose from, and your password isn't required!)
To use Twitoria, go to their page and enter your username. Choose a time frame (in which to look for "nontweeters") from the drop down menu, and just wait till the page changes! You will see a list of all the tweeters that fit your criteria, and you can click on each username to unfollow them. (I would recommend right clicking and opening each profile in a new page, so you don't have to constantly be hitting the back button on your browser.)

So there you have it: two simple, quick tools to help you begin your Twitter spring cleaning! I would recommend checking out and bookmarking both. I've already found that each has it's place in my twitter arsenal, and I hope, given time, that you will find them useful as well!

If you know of any other great spring cleaning tools, please feel free to share them in a comment! I would love to hear about any option you'd care to show me!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Using Feedburner - Part 2 - Adding an Email Subscription Button

Remember how I told you yesterday that Feedburner has all these cool little tools? Well, today we're going to use one to add an email subscription button to our blog pages. (It will look like the one in the upper right corner of this page!) So, if you want one of these handy buttons, just log into your Feedburner account and follow along!

1. Once you're logged in, you should see a screen that has your username and your feed name(s), like this:

Just click the name of the feed you want to create a button for.

2. Along the top of the page, you will see five tabs. Click the one that says "Publicize". You should see this:

3. On the left of the page, click the link that says "Email Subscriptions". It will look like this:

4. Scroll down till you see the part of the page that says "Subscription Form Code". Below that is a box full of code, like this:

Copy all that code, and then go open a new window with your blogger dashboard showing.

5. On your dashboard, click "Layout" then click "Add a gadget" where you want your subscription box to go.

6. Choose the 2nd option ("HTML/JavaScript").

7. Paste all the code you copied earlier into that box, and hit "Save".

Now, if you hit "View Blog", you will see a cool little subscription box! (If you want to see how your feed looks, or how the box works, just enter your own email address in the box, and hit Subscribe". Later I'll show you how to make your feed more user friendly, so it's a good idea to do this now to get an idea of the "before and after" effects!)

Let me know if you have any questions/issues! And let me know when you get them installed, as I'd love to see your new subscription boxes in action!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Using Feedburner - Part 1 - Setting it Up

Feedburner is a nifty tool that google provides us to help optimize our RSS feeds. It not only allows us to feed our blog content, it provides tools for feed tracking, email subscriptions, and feed promotion. There are all sorts of awesome little goodies just waiting to be snatched up on Feedburner, but to get to them we need to set up our accounts. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Go to Feedburner and sign in using your existing Google account.

2. Once you've logged in, you should see a screen that looks like this:

Type (or copy/paste) the address of your blog into that box, and hit "Next".

3. Feedburner will now "autodiscover" your feed address. You will be taken to a screen similar to this:

As you can see, you may have more than one option for your feed address. To keep it simple, choose the first one and hit "Next"

4. Your screen should now look like this:

Change the address of the feed (the second box) to something you can remember easily. (For instance, I will change mine to "NinjaJenn") When you're done making changes, hit "Next".

5. Assuming everything went ok in the last step, you should see this:

As long as your screen looks like that, hit "Next".

6. Find the three empty check boxes that look like this:

Go ahead and put a check in each of those boxes and hit "Next". (These are free extras that Feedburner offers, and we will discuss what they mean later. Just accept them and move on for now. LOL)

7. You should now see a screen like this:

You're done registering your feed on Feedburner, but now you need to redirect your blog feed to Feedburner. Go to your blogger dashboard and follow these directions:

1. Click "settings" on your blog and then click the tab that says "Site Feed".

2. Find the area of the page that looks like this:

Copy and paste this into the box: and change the part in red to the address of your blog (that you created earlier over on Feedburner).

3. Click "Save Settings" at the bottom of the page.

Congrats! You've now set up your Feedburner account, and linked it to your Blogger! From here on, all your feeds will be redirected through Feedburner.

* Check back soon for Part 2 in the "Using Feedburner" series. (There are tons of cool things it can do for us, so be sure not to miss them!) *


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adding a Retweet Button to Your Posts

Sometimes when I'm browsing my favorite blogs, I see something I really want to share with others. What better way to do that than with a simple little "ReTweet" button? (The button we will be using is from TweetMeme, and it's awesome because it keeps track of how many times each post has been retweeted and displays it right there on the button!) If you want to add one of these to your posts, just follow along!

(These instructions are for Blogger, but if you use another platform and need help, please let me know!)

1. Log into your blogger account and go to your dashboard.

2. Click the "layout" tab and then the "edit HTML" tab.

3. Just to be safe, back up your template. You can find where this happens at the top of the page you are on. It looks like this:

Just click "download full template" and save it to your computer in case something goes wrong.

4. Once you've made your backup, go back to your layout editing window and make sure the box that says "expand widget templates" has a check mark in it.

5. Scroll through all that mumbo jumbo you see till you find this:

<div class='post-footer'>

(This should be near the bottom of your code. I know it's hard to find, but this is the worst part, and it's almost over!)

6. Copy and paste this code directly below the line you just found:

<script type="text/javascript">
tweetmeme_url = '<data:post.url/>';
<script type="text/javascript" src=""> </script>

7. Hit "preview" at the bottom of your window. You should now see a button like the one at the end of this post that says "X tweets" and "retweet". As long as you see this button, hit "save template" and you're done!

To get an idea of how this works when someone clicks the button, go ahead and click the one at the end of my post and hit send! You will be amazed how easy it is!

* Have a suggestion for a future post here on Ninja Knowledge? Be sure to leave a comment or contact me using the suggestion box in the middle column! *


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Twittertise and How to Use It

Due to the popularity of the "Crazy Marketing Train" that PicardCreative initiated on Artfire, I've decided to explain how to use Twittertise. This handy little tool will make your marketing train tweeting simple and efficient, as you can schedule all your upcoming tweets on the day you get your "artisan list". If you set them all up at once, that's just one more thing you can "fix and forget" for the week, giving you more time for yourself! (You can also use Twittertise to promote your own studio, just be sure you're sending quality tweets as well, not just advertising alone.)

Just be sure you have your Twitter login information ready, and click this link: Twittertise

1. Scroll down the page till you see this:

Enter your twitter username and password in the appropriate boxes and hit "log in".

2. You should be taken to a screen that looks like this:

Choose your time zone and hit "save".

3. Your screen should now look like this:

Click the link that says "create a new tweet".

4. You should now see the "New Tweet" box:

In the first box ("Tweet Text") type what you want your tweet to say. (Let's use our first tweet to get some more readers over here! To do that, just copy and paste this: Are you up to date on your Ninja Knowledge? ) In the second box ("Link") put a link to the shop/item/blog you are referencing (Copy and paste this: In the third box, type the date and time you want the tweet to show up on your twitter profile. (You may also click the calendar icon and choose a date that way) Once you have all the boxes filled in, it should look similar to this:

5. Hit "save". (To make another tweet, click "Back to Listing of Tweets")

You've now created your first "twittertise tweet"! Now, all you have to do is wait until the scheduled time and your tweet will show up on your profile! (If you'd like, you can create a "test tweet" for about 2 minutes in the future, and then check to see if it shows up. That way, you will know you've done it correctly before you go to all the effort of adding lots of schedule tweets.)

One more interesting thing you can do with Twittertise: Once a tweet has been published, you can track the number of clicks the link you sent gets. To do this, log in to your Twittertise account and go to your dashboard. Click the link that says "Sent Tweets". You should see a screen similar to this:

At the end of each tweet, you will see 3 "paper icons" (). Click the first of these (the "blank paper"). If the tweet is less than 24 hours old, you will see this:

If the tweet is older than 24 hours, you will also see this:

By using the start and end dates below the graph you can see how often the links were clicked and when, or you can use the graph as it is to see the clicks for the life of the tweet! (Just FYI, the second and third paper icons are for editing and deleting the tweet, respectively)

Now go forth and market the heck out of each other!


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