Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May Giveaway - $20.00 Gift Certificate

It's the end of the month and time for my monthly giveaway! This time the prize is a $20.00 gift certificate for my shop.

Theresa Rose Designs - May Giveaway
The contest begins today and will run through Friday, June 6th.

Please read the following before entering:

1.  This contest is open to U.S. entries only.

2.  Only one gift certificate will be awarded and is only valid at www.TheresaRose.etsy.com I do not take any responsibility for lost or misused codes. Once the certificate is redeemed, no other certificates will be re-issued.

3. Invalid entries will be deleted. I will check all entries before picking a random winner. Make sure you fill  in the correct information required for your points. Otherwise, your entries will be invalid for the drawing.

4. Winners will be notified via e-mail with certificate code.

Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why Every Etsy Seller Should Also Have Their Own Website

Theresa Rose Designs Website

Every Etsy Seller Needs To Have Their Own Website!

I've been selling on Etsy for over 5 years and have been very happy with the traffic and sales I receive on their site. However, I also have my own website and I'm so glad I do.

Launching my website only took me 1 week from start to finish. It's a simple site and at this time, just consists of the following pages:
  1. Home - I have a slideshow featuring my jewelry.
  2. The Shop - This page links directly to my Etsy store.
  3. Blog - Links to my blog.
  4. About - This tells my story .
  5. Contact - All my contact info (e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter) is located here.
  6. E-Mail Updates - Link to sign up for my e-mail newsletter.
Each page also has direct links to my Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts.

Reasons to have your own site, even if you are selling successfully on Etsy
  1. You own your brand name. TheresaRoseDesigns is my name, forever. As long as I pay my $10 every year, no one can take that name. Even if it takes you a while to build the site, grab the domain name asap!
  2. Your entire online presence can be accessed from one location. From my main site, you can link to:
    • Etsy Shop
    • Blog
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest  
    • Instagram
  3. Increase your web exposure.  The more places you have your name, the more you will be found.
  4. Complete control over content. While I love the way Etsy looks, I do not control the picture sizes, color, or logo. I want the first look a customer has of Theresa Rose Designs to be the image that I want to project.
  5. SEO, SEO, SEO! I can drive customers to my site via SEO (which I'm still learning). I can't do that on Etsy. 
  6. Credibility. Having my own site shows that I'm serious about my business. If I'm invested in my business, then that builds trust with potential customers. It shows professionalism and legitimacy.
  7. What is the future of Etsy? I'm pretty sure that Etsy will be around for a long time, but if anything happens, I'm positioned to link to a new store. If Etsy disappears and that's my only on-line presence, I disappear.
Your website doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. I have a few pages. I use it mostly to link to my other sites at this time. Once I realized that this was the way to start, the task didn't seem so daunting and I was able to get to work on it.

All my communication links to my website, not Etsy. I want to drive people to my site and they can select the Shop link to go to Etsy. This serves a couple of purposes:
  1. If anything happens to Etsy, whether temporarily or permanently, people still have a link to find me.
  2. I can find out (through analytics) how many people are coming to my Etsy shop from TheresaRoseDesigns.com. (good info!).
  3. Customers can directly link to my social media sites and blog. 

So, if you haven't started your own site, what are you waiting for? Go for it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Is Going Wheat Free All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Is Going Wheat Free All It's Cracked Up To Be? Well, I'm about to find out.

I'm going on a 30-day wheat-free diet. For many reasons, I've decided to give my body a rest from wheat and processed sugars for the month of May. I actually started this last Monday, so I'm already one week into it. I'm trying to limit my carbohydrate intake to 40 to 50 grams per day.

My reasons for doing this are:
  1. I want to try to lose a little weight. Getting rid of sugars (empty calories) is an obvious first choice, but I'm also reading that wheat is a big source of carbohydrates and converts those sugars into fat.
  2. I have suffered from insomnia (extreme insomnia, at times) for more years than I can count. Many people on wheat-free diets have stated that they sleep much more soundly and longer once they gave up wheat. It's definitely worth a try!
  3. Energy - need I say more? A couple of weeks ago, I decreased my intake of carbohydrates and sugars for about a week and I noticed a HUGE increase in my energy level throughout the day. It isn't the Energizer-bunny kind of energy, it's a consistent, steady flow of energy that starts the minute I wake and continues until bedtime. I don't have the usual highs and lows, so it's a calmer energy (and very productive).
  4. After reading Grain Brain and Wheat Belly, I feel compelled to limit my wheat intake. The authors of these two books give very compelling reasons that wheat is not the health food we've been told it is.
So, after one week, I can say this:
  1. It's been really easy to give us wheat! I'm not a big bread eater any way, so this may be part of the reason why I haven't felt deprived. I've been eating more cheese and avocado (which I absolutely love!), so I'm getting the opportunity to try some new recipes and enjoying it a lot.
  2. My stomach is flatter and I've lost about 1 1/2 pounds. It's hard to know if that loss is just typical weight variance that naturally happens from day to day (or water weight), but I do feel good.
  3. Sleep has been good this week. Normally, if I don't get a full 7 to 8 hours sleep, I'm in a brain fog all day. It's seems that I'm sleeping more soundly and I'm not waking up as often in the night. Instead of waking up about 3-4 hours after going to bed, I'm waking up 5-6 hours later. I usually fall back to sleep quickly, and I'm wide awake after 6 - 7 hours. I really do feel very well rested.
  4. I feel so much fuller than usual. It doesn't take much food to fill me up and I'm satisfied much longer. I also have found that I don't feel the need to snack.
  5. My energy level is definitely higher. Like I mentioned above, it's a steady, feel good energy that lasts throughout the day. No brain fog either!
I'm happy with the results so far. We'll see how it goes the rest of the month.