I have been busy during the past couple weeks working on my digital presence. I have created an email mailing list signup form via MailChimp (which I first heard about in the Serial podcasts). I plan to send the occasional email with coupons for my Etsy shop, and maybe I will develop a periodic newsletter to keep in touch with people who like my work.
I’ve also added a few new widgets to my blog’s sidebar. There you can find my mailing list signup page, plus links to my BlueJayBay Facebook page, Pinterest boards, Twitter feed, and Instagram feed (where you might find my pets as well as my artwork). I am still quite a novice in the social marketing world, but my hope is that BlueJayBay will be easy to find on the interwebs. The more eyeballs that see your pages, the better your chances will be of having a memorable presence and getting some sales!
I have spent a bit of time reading through the Etsy seller forums to glean tips on search engine optimization, effective use of tags and descriptions in the listings you publish to your shop, and ways to market your products. It seems that the more items you have in your shop (as well as more recently posted items), the better your chances are of being found in Etsy search results. I have read that people seem to notice an uptick in shop activity and sales once you have amassed 100 listings. I am at 36 items listed, so I’m 36% towards that goal. (I love easy math!)
On the creative side of things, I have been playing around with masking fluid. I paint this sticky white-out like substance onto my watercolor paper to reserve certain shapes or words as white. Once it dries, I can paint over and around the masking fluid areas, such as in the “bonjour” painting above. Once the paint dries, I remove the masking fluid to reveal mostly pristine white paper underneath. I learned about this technique in one of my Art League watercolor classes and am having fun using it in different ways. In the “bonjour” painting, I outlined the white lettering with a pink gel pen to see how that would look. I have seen a lot of listings on Etsy for prints people make with a white area cut out of an abstract watercolor painting. I believe that their process was to paint the abstract watercolor, digitize it, then use a Photoshop type program to cut out the desired shape… Then they can sell print after print, and it seems a profitable easy business. I may explore that technique down the road, but for now I really enjoy painting each piece of artwork using the traditional method of creating words and shapes ON my paper rather than via digital tools that can act as a Tyrannosaurus rex shaped cookie-cutter.