Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Widgets and Fun Things for Your Blog

For those of you that follow me, you may notice that in the past month I've added some fun things to my blog :) These widgets are great for generating fresh content for your blog, are fun to look at, and take your blog beyond one-dimensional. Once you find the code for these various apps, copy and paste it as a HTML code to add to your blog. It's really easy, I promise!

Here's a list of what I have (at the moment!), and you can expand upon by google-ing "widgets for your blogs.

1) Twitter
People can see my tweets right on my blog. Go to "goodies" on the Twitter page to grab your own code, and customize the box to match your website!

2) Wedding Wire
I am a wedding calligrapher that also has a website on Wedding Wire, where I have images, explain what I do exclusively for calligraphy, and invite past clients to write reviews on my services. Great resource for both brides and wedding vendors!

3) Etsy Shop
You can go on etsy and get a customized banner with items in your shop to add to your blog.

4) Facebook Fan Page
I got this right off of Facebook - I have a fan page for my business, and they provide you with code to add a "like" box to your blog or website.

5) Share and Enjoy
There are many different versions of this code, so Google "content share code" and find the one that's right for you. These buttons allow your followers to share your content on social media websites like Digg and StumbleUpon, which if you don't know about you should totally check out because they are awesome.

6) Website Hits
This is a helpful "Now" tool to understand how your website is doing in terms of traffic. I have Google Analytics installed and do monthly reports, but it's helpful to see over the course of a day or week how many hits your website or blog is actually getting.

7) Labels
Labels are actually really important for SEO - they are the keywords that define what your website is, so you should pick them carefully and be consistent in organization. More on this later!

Lastly, I've done some work on Dock This Way's website. It's still in the process of being optimized, a helpful process I've learned about through my job at Boston Logic, which specializes in realtors and real estate brokers - I'll make sure to talk about some helpful tips in a blog post to come :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Graduation from Tufts University and the Museum School of Fine Arts

Well, it finally happened. After four years of some of the best experiences and learning of my life, I officially became a college graduate yesterday, May 23rd 2010. I can't believe that it's actually over - that 16 years of education has come to an end (for now...maybe ;)

I've learned so much about myself and what I can do. I have started my own wedding calligraphy business, which has seriously taken off in the past few months. I currently hold a Marketing Associate position with Boston Logic, which was the location of my internship for my last Entrepreneurial Leadership Minor credit. I've applied the Search Engine Optimization practices that I've learned here to my own blog and website.

I've designed and sold countless pieces of handmade jewelry, and innovated recycled sail products that have been quite successful products of sale on my website. I also learned how to make handmade books and journals, and am excited about this new direction - as well as all the creative paths I have yet to discover.

So what does the future hold? I don't know. Does anyone, really? I am looking into constructing a gallery out of a family friend's barn, which could bring art and great culture to my hometown of Weymouth, MA. I want to expand my calligraphy, including raising prices a bit to compensate for my growth and the receipt of my newly received Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (p.s., there's still time to apply for my free wedding calligraphy giveaway, expiring June 31st!).

All I know now is that I feel accomplished. And yes, it is an ending. But it is also a beginning full of possibilities, and I'm excited to show this world what I can do.

Read Mom's reflections here.

Share and Enjoy!

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