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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Content Curation and Creation

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about curating and creation. Perhaps you’re well aware of the terms. They go together!  For those who don’t know and are interested I thought I’d share what this is all about. 

Curating content is basically collecting and finding high quality, valuable content online and sharing it as a reliable resource for your readers. Many of us do this daily when we share content on Twitter, FB and Google. Perhaps on a niche topic you’d share a variety of types of content from others that are respected in their field. It could be sharing newsletters, video clips, statistics, polls, articles, images or whatever material you’ve found and put together on the subject. It’s about adding value from information that you’ve gathered together.

Creating content is when you share your own thoughts, new ideas, experiences and expertise about a subject. Something that you put together or come up with as your own content. From what I understand curation is not a stand alone, it can help your blogs and articles look pretty decent and may help get you more traffic but fresh original content is still very important.  After all your readers and follower’s want to hear your thoughts and perspective!

Here are some great sites I found on this topic!

Content Curation Definitions and Marketing

What is Content Curation

What Comes First, Content Creation or Curation

Most people end up using a mix of content curation and content creation. Curating saves people lots of time as they have access to a list or several resources in one place.  A good curator knows what their audience wants to hear and what the best choices of media to share would be.

As an example if you are a user of Pinterest like I am, you are already curating content. As you create boards on a specific topic or theme you are curating content. You can collect images from different sources on the web and ‘pin’ them to your boards.

Perhaps you have a favourite author, news anchor, or blogger that you look forward to reading or hearing their material and content regularly. That’s basically what you should strive for in becoming a good curator of content, find articles and media to share on things of interest to your specific audience and remember to add your own fresh thoughts and relevant ideas.

Well I hope this enlightened you a little and gave you an explanation of curated content and created content.

My store has been keeping me busy lately as I’m always adding new designs and products. Stop by to see what’s new… Designs by Shell 

Purple Running Shoes with Saying Tshirts

Success One Step at a Time Magnets

Birthday Cupcakes Greeting Cards

Cupcake Taste Tester Refrigerator Magnet

Cartoon Dog with Big Eyes Post Cards

Aqua Blossoms Wedding Postage


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just Re-Do It

As I was thinking about what I would blog about this week an idea came to me as I was giving a small table a new look, a re-do you might say! I was in the mood this past week to do something creative but a little different from my drawing and designing. My mom and my sister are forever painting walls or tables, dressers etc. in their homes and my mom told me about this great paint that she recently used on a curio cabinet and so I thought I`ve got something I could paint. 

I had an older table or actually a plant stand that was not in use so I sanded it down as it was a cherry wood color and then I gave it a couple of coats of aluminum gloss paint. Almost silver but a more muted tone, I think it looks great. Here are some pictures!



Just a re-do and it has a fresh look, perfect to set a plant or a bowl of fruit on!  I also painted a vase holder and a candle holder too, you know when you get started it`s hard to stop! Lol! Here they are!


So how does this relate to business you say, well sometimes one can get stuck or maybe in a rut where you just keep seeing things and doing things the same way you always have. When you find something is not working in your business you need to take a close look at why it`s not working and how you could do something differently . The great thing in business is that you are never completely stuck, it may take some time and effort but you can make changes, refocus and start fresh if you have too! There is nothing wrong with re-doing something that`s not progressing or giving you the results you`re after. Stay passionate and dedicate the time and energy to your business and you`ll soon see success.

I`ve been having a great month in my store, Designs by Shell. Working on fresh new designs and tweeking some existing ones. Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment. Love to hear how others are doing!

Birch Trees with Health Message Refrigerator Magnet

Sweet Elephant Baby Shower Postage

Faith Hope Believe Shirts

Pink Stars with Saying Mugs

Chocolate Cupcake With Saying Aprons

Mauve Hydrangea Wedding Date Ceramic Tile


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Changes in Marketing Methods

Zazzle has recently announced some changes that will affect many areas of those that have a Zazzle store.  This will definitely mean that we as store owner’s will have to make changes in our marketing methods. These changes come in the light of the VB. (volume bonus)  Here is the Zazzle Volume Bonus Program Terms and when they take effect.

Basically Zazzle wants us as business owner’s to market our products through as many means as we can. Promoting our products through websites other than Zazzle. Creating our own webpages that link to our products. A blog like this one, is a great place to start. Here you can share about your work, your latest products and designs and promote your other pages too. Also use sites like Twitter, Squidoo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, IBO Toolbox and so forth. 

An easy way to get started with your own website is through This site makes creating your own webpage really simple.  A drag and drop site perfect for those less technical. One can buy a domain name like I did and create a page marketing your products. This is where you want to go niche’ and choose one type of design or theme from your business and promote them through their own webpage.   Promote the page and products with their own url rather than a mass store url.

Just like a brick and mortar business, an on-line business needs to be promoted and marketed and likely more so! Spend time in forums and leave comments and links where appropriate. These methods will all help you to gain a presence and get more eyes on your products. 

Thanks for checking out my recent products below, Designs by Shell

Purple Hearts and Zebra Print Bridal Shower Personalized Invite

Fuchsia Hearts and Zebra Print Wedding Stamp

Watermelon Picnic Basket Sticker

Pizza Slices Business Card Templates

Pink Cross Country Bike Tshirt

60th Birthday Humorous Saying T Shirts


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Listen Up!

Listening is probably the biggest and most important communication skill that we put to use daily and one that we could all improve on. It is actually a learned skill as it does not come as naturally as you would think. You probably think you’re a pretty good listener but the fact is most people are not!

So how do you know if you’re a good listener? Well here are some of the signs to watch for.

1) Give your undivided attention when someone is talking to you, make eye contact and nod. Most of us are so used to multi-tasking these days that our attention spans are pretty short. We’re planning our next meeting, what we’re having for dinner or what we have to do next and don’t give our complete attention when someone is sharing with us.

2) A big one is try not to interrupt the person talking, let them share what’s on their mind before you chime in. A person who is always interrupting and wants to tell their story and talk about themselves is not a very good listener.  Don’t dominate the conversation, if it’s all about you it gets pretty boring.

3) When the talker is finished then feel free to ask questions and show genuine interest in what’s going on. Even though you may not agree with what they’ve shared you can show empathy and try to understand from their perspective.

4) Body language is another sign that can show if you’re interested in what the person is saying or not. A nod or a smile is positive while sitting with crossed arms might suggest you’re not wanting to hear or be part of the conversation.

Listening skills!
Some benefits of being an effective listener:

- develops patience

- can help us solve issues

- builds trust and better relationships

- become better at communicating in general

- helps you digest information and makes you think before you speak

Well I hope you learned or at least gave some thought to how you can become a better listener to those who you communicate with. Listening skills can be applied to a marriage relationship, parent to child relationship, a boss, at work with colleagues and of course friendships. 

I’ve been busy working on fresh designs and sprucing up my store. Stop by for a visit at Designs by Shell.

Chocolate Cupcake With Saying Aprons

Angel Food Cake Invitation Postcard

Purple Blossoms with Heart Bag Tag

Cupcakes Birthday Party Postage

Colorful Birdies Baby Shower Invitation

Aqua Blossoms and Heart Labels