Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Affiliate Marketing


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to Sarah Crosby’s and Zoe Pedziwiatr’s seminar, How to Earn More and Establish Strong Relationships with Brands You Love Through Affiliate Marketing. Sarah and Zoe give expert tips and three strategies to increase your income through affiliate marketing.
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Most bloggers start blogging because they’re passionate about something and they want to share it with the world. Whether it’s photography, cooking, home renovation, fine art, or DIY and crafts, most new bloggers are surprised when they find out that people out there are actually reading what they have to say and even more surprised when they realize that they can make a living from saying it.

You might find yourself organically referencing and linking to products or services you use in your content (i.e. your camera and lenses, your favorite fabric scissors, the spiralizer you used to make that beautiful zucchini dish you made). Your readers are inspired by you—they want to make what you’ve made. They want the products that you recommend. You’re an influencer and you have an audience, which places you in the perfect position to partner with the brands you love through affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate, at its core, is about a relationship between three parties:
1. Advertiser (brand with an online store)
2. Publisher (blogger/you)
3. Consumers (your blog’s audience)

The brand partners up with a blogger to put tracking links (i.e. product links, banners, etc.) on its site in hopes that its audience will click through to the site and make a purchase or sign up for a service. If one of your readers clicks through a link on your site, the affiliate link provides the tracking technology to be able to track clicks and sales. If your reader makes a purchase, you will earn a commission on that sale. Although commissions tend to be small, if your blog gets a decent amount of traffic and the product or service resonates with your audience, they can add up fast!

One of the most glorious things about affiliate marketing is the potential to earn passive income from long-term traffic. If you have affiliate links in blog posts that consistently receive traffic from search and Pinterest, then there’s a big chance that you could be earning money from these posts for a long time without a ton of maintenance. All it takes is some work up front.

Three Strategies to Increase Your Affiliate Income
1. Update old content with affiliate links. Take a look at your Google Analytics to find your high and medium traffic blog posts. Replace the normal URLs in those posts with affiliate links or figure out how to weave some in.
2. Add links to organic posts. These are the fun posts you plan on writing anyway. Are you referencing products? Put links in there. You never know which posts will blow up.
3. Write awesome affiliate posts. An affiliate post is a strategic, informative, product-centric blog post that strives to push your readers to make a purchase.

Start by solving a problem. What products or services are big right now? What do people want to know more about? What do YOU want to know more about? Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and think about what information pushes you to actually pull the trigger on a purchase. Write the post that you would want to read.

Affiliate Post Examples:
• Product reviews and comparisons
• Resource lists: “Where to Find X”
• Expert Info: “Best Things to Do in X”

Expert Tips
Make it personal. Figure out how to relate all this product information to your life to tell a story and make it feel organic and relatable.
Do the research. Provide all relevant information to your readers. When linking out to products, include details in your content like brand names, alternate retailers, prices, sizes, colors, material, etc.
Time it right. Consider seasonality and publish your post before expected product demand.
Use strong SEO/pinnable images. Search and Pinterest are how new readers will find you and your content. New readers equals more clicks and sales!
Spread the word! Share your affiliate post on social, add it to your blog sidebar, reference and link out to it in future posts. Keep promoting this post. Make sure to update the post with new links when relevant.

Looking to get started with affiliate marketing? Sign up as a publisher with CJ Affiliate and apply to be a part of our blogger friendly Content Certified Program. We provide everything you need—leading brands, great publisher support, resources and more!
Zoe Pedziwiatr, Content Development Manager, CJ Affiliate by Conversant

AffiliateCJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) is a leading global affiliate marketing network, specializing in pay-for-performance programs to drive results. Our network helps to create connections amid millions of online consumers daily by facilitating equitable, lucrative relationships between advertisers and publishers. Many of the world’s most recognized and specialized brands run their affiliate programs on CJ’s platform.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Are you turning over your inventory every 90 days?

This week we’re doing a throwback to Lee Kellogg’s seminars: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix.

Watch this video for a recap of what Lee says are the top three ways you should be managing your store’s inventory.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Have you started using Evernote yet?
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This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids, taught by Charlene Anderson. Charlene told her seminar attendees everything there is to know about Evernote, including how to use it to make your work and personal lives more efficient.

Click here to download her seminar recap, or read her recap below.

Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids
By Charlene Anderson

In the age of information overload, there are thousands of software programs, books, tools, and courses that claim to help you organize your work and your life. Standing heads and shoulders above all of these solutions is Evernote, what I like to call “my brain on steroids.”

What is Evernote? It’s a cross-platform tool to help you manage your life. Evernote is a website; it’s an application for your desktop computer and an app for your smartphone and tablet. All of these pieces of Evernote work together seamlessly to keep all your information at your fingertips. Using Evernote means you don’t have to remember those thousands of details that are part of our lives. If it is in Evernote, you can access it from any of your devices.

What can Evernote do?
What can you do with Evernote? And more importantly, why should you do it?

Evernote captures information in a variety of ways. You can drop a PDF or other file (including movies) into Evernote. You can snap a picture of a sketch or project idea right in Evernote. You can take notes right in Evernote, or import documents, like Word files or Excel spreadsheets that others have sent you. Using the Web Clipper, two mouse clicks will bring any web page into Evernote, graphics and formatting intact.

Evernote can be your digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, project management system, craft pattern-keeper, daily journal and more.

What does it cost?
There are four pricing tiers for Evernote.

  • Free
  • Basic: $24.99 per year
  • Premium: $45 per year
  • Business: $120 per user per year

A free Evernote account is how most users start, but to truly unlock the power of Evernote you’ll need one of the paid levels. I recommend the serious Evernote user have a Premium account. At 12 cents a day, it is an incredible bargain.

How do I get started?
If I’ve convinced you to give Evernote a try, you are probably wondering how you get started. It’s easy! Go to www.evernote.com and sign up for your free account. Next, download the application for your computer and the Evernote app for all of your mobile devices. I also recommend that you install the Web Clipper into each of the web browsers on your computer. Remember, you can upgrade to a premium Evernote account at any time, but starting with the free version will allow you give Evernote a good test run.

What kinds of things do people keep in Evernote?
Evernote’s ability to manage a huge variety of information is what makes it a brain on steroids. You don’t have to remember things if they are stored in Evernote.

Since I use Evernote in my business and personal lives, I use it to store a wide variety of information, including:

• Wholesale catalogs and price lists
• Pending orders and receipts
• Product sourcing ideas, including photos
• Color palette ideas
• Instruction manuals and how-to guides
• Copies of business documents (tax licenses, etc.)
• Postage and shipping charts
• Photos of eyeglass and medication prescriptions
• Locker combinations
• Knitting patterns
• Craft project instructions
• Home decorating ideas and gardening plans
• Recipes and take out menus
• Car service history
• Meeting notes and agendas
• Client notes and progress reports
• Travel plans
• Gym class schedules
• Motivational quotes
• Bucket list

How can I share my content?

Evernote makes it easy to share notes with others. There are several ways to share:

You can copy and paste a public link (URL) to a note and share it via email or text. Every note in Evernote comes with a unique URL you can copy and paste to any application.

You can use Evernote’s Work Chat to send messages, notes, or notebooks to anyone, whether the recipients use Evernote or not. When you share in a chat with others you can easily exchange ideas and solicit feedback about what you’ve shared.

You can also email a note to someone, and you can even share an entire presentation right in Evernote. When you’re in a group setting or at a meeting, you can use presentation mode to share a full-screen version of your notes on your desktop or laptop computer, or secondary monitor.

How can I be more productive with Evernote?
As with many things in life, the more you use Evernote the more ways you will find to use it in your daily life. I have a few tips to help you quickly integrate Evernote into your work and personal life.

• Commit to using Evernote; then it will become a habit.
• Use Evernote on all of your devices.
• When in doubt, put it in Evernote.
• Set up notebooks that make sense to you.
• Use tags to aid in search.
• Periodically archive or trash items you don’t need.
• Regularly check the Evernote website for updates, blog posts, add-ons, tutorials and more.

Where can I learn more?
Not surprisingly, the Evernote website is a wealth of information about using Evernote. On the site, you’ll find videos, hints, suggestions and real world case studies. Also, be sure you check Amazon for free (and paid) Kindle books about Evernote. My favorite Evernote book is Master Evernote by S. J. Scott.

Also, there are numerous blogs and podcasts about Evernote. Just do a Google search on “Evernote” and you’ll find pages and pages of results.

I really hope you’ll give Evernote a try. It can help relieve you of information overload, and make your work and personal life more organized and efficient.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.
This week we’re doing a throwback to Kizer & Bender Speaking’s seminar: Feed Your Brain: Engage Customers and Take Your Sales to Insane New Levels. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender taught you all the things you have to do to be connected to your customers online – listen, interact, react and sell.

Watch this video for a quick recap of key online marketing techniques for your day-to-day business activities.

31 Days of Crafting: CHA Craft Day with Little B


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

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Last week, Dale Nicholson from Little B visited the CHA headquarters in Elmwood Park, NJ for a Craft Day with the CHA staff. Dale walked our employees through two projects that used some of Little B’s newest washi tapes.

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Little B is happy to share these projects with you too so you can get imaginative using its new washi tapes to create gift décor. Make these projects, then “craft them forward” to inspire your friends, family or colleagues.

Download the Project Instructions

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

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What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Challenge


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA Designer Member Carol Heppner is challenging you to create her Spring Dress Card from her column in Scrap and Stamp Arts magazine. Visit her site to grab your copy of the magazine, and then share your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #ScrapandStampArtsDress. Carol will retweet your creation to her 74,600+ followers!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Three Ways to Celebrate with Prime Publishing


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Each day in March, Prime Publishing will be sharing a new craft tutorial on its blog, CraftPaperScissors.com! Check out the 12 tutorials that it has already shared, and stay tuned for 19 more!

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Also, the company is holding six giveaways throughout the month – five sponsored giveaways and one grand prize! Here is the list of giveaways, so you can learn more about how to participate.

Lastly, the company will be using Periscope to tape live craft projects daily throughout the month! Join the team at 3:00pm CST on each day to see a new craft video.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Beads of Courage


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Katie Hacker, the host of Beads, Baubles & Jewels on PBS, is using creativity to help children with serious illnesses. Watch this video to learn more about Katie and her support for Beads of Courage.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Therm O Web


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Each week, Therm O Web will be sharing amazing design inspiration, exciting prizes, and special savings on popular Therm O Web products.

Therm O Web debuted hot new Deco Foil products at the 2016 CHA MEGA Show in January. If you missed them, watch this video to see the new Deco Foil Adhesive Pen and Designer Stencils in action!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

 

What you can expect at the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat


The CHA Canadian Chapter Designers, Educators, Creative Professionals (DECP) Retreat is an annual three-day business, networking and creativity focused hideaway featuring industry leaders in the creative business. The event takes place May 13-15,2016 at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre, Barrie in Innisfil, ON.

Roberta Profile Sept 2015Recently, we caught up with CHA Member Roberta Birnbaum to tell us about her experiences as a previous DECP Retreat attendee and what you can expect as an attendee this year.

How long have you been a CHA Member?
I joined CHA in October, 2013.

Why did you join CHA?
I thought about joining for a few years simply because I was enamored with the MEGA Show and was really envious of people who were able to attend, but I kept putting it off. I finally joined because I wanted to attend the first Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat in November of 2013. I really didn’t know much about the organization at that point.

How have you taken advantage of the benefits that CHA offers?
Once I became a member I poured over the CHA website looking to see how I could best take advantage of my membership. I have watched several webinars and requested industry reports — all free! I continue to check out the (growing) number of on-trend, relevant, and helpful webinars, series, and seminars made available. I just signed up for about seven of them! I also regularly use my Staples discount for printed materials. I was thrilled to attend the CHA PaperArts+ Show in Chicago this past summer and I attended the CHA MEGA Show in Anaheim in January – free admission for CHA members.

You attended the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative
Professional (DECP) Retreat. How was your experience?

DSCN0661Yes I did, and I haven’t looked back! Attending the retreat truly changed my life. I first heard of the retreat through a Facebook post by my friend Carmi Cimicata. It looked like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet other creatives and get a LOT of crafting done in one weekend. I was amazed at the quality of the workshops, the variety offered, and the generosity of sponsors. The food is excellent and plentiful. The diversity of participants and presenters creates a buzz of possibility and is also a great equalizer when it comes to our different skill levels. Over the years we have had the following workshops: painting, sewing, encaustic, Powertex, jewelry, resin, textiles, knitting, and mixed media, to name a few. Everyone has to operate outside their comfort zone at some point so it’s not like we’re all experts in every area, and this leads to a wonderful calming, nurturing, and liberating effect, completely removing one’s fear that they’re ‘ no good at this or that’. It allows you to have fun and not fear ‘failure’.

How do the workshops/seminars offered at the retreat help your business?
sat night workshopsThe seminars are full of important and useful information for everyone. Some topics have been boothmanship, understanding technology, and the importance of SEO for your blog or website. The workshops introduced me to many new products and skills, and most are incorporated into my productivity when I get home. I always leave inspired and full of so many new ideas. For me this is the most important aspect of the weekend; that, and the invaluable connections and networking. I have made some excellent contacts and forged working relationships because of it. The networking component has been very successful for me.

Why should people attend this event? Swag 2
I remember first looking at the title of the retreat and thinking, ” ..but is this me? Am I ‘good enough’ to go? Do I even belong at this?” I have come to learn that the term DECP can include every creative soul. So even if you are a craft store owner, or manufacturer, or a craft teacher who teaches in the community, this could be for you because you are a creative professional. Perhaps you are a distributor, or you have a craft line and are looking for qualified designers to work with your product and build a team; this is the perfect venue to introduce your line (either by presenting a workshop or providing product to try). If you want to experience a craft-filled weekend full of fun, education, great food, networking, lots of chocolate, great swag, and wonderful memories, then come to the DECP Retreat. You will arrive with anticipation and leave full of passion and possibility.

Click here to view the DECP schedule and register.