Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Managing an Etsy Shop and a Blog While on Vacation

I spent last week on a cruise to the Bahamas, and boy oh boy am I finding it tough to get back to work.  The head cold I brought home with me isn't helping much.  I don't get sick very often so when I do I'm a pretty big baby about it.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you guys how I handled the shop and the blog while I was away.  I think it's a bad idea to broadcast across the internet that my house will be vacant for a week, so I didn't really mention it before we left.  I'm sure an industrious fabric thief could have figured out that I was gone and ransacked my stash, but why make it easier? 

I managed to completely avoid the internet (partially due to the fact that I haven't bought that smart phone yet), but I didn't completely abandon things either.  It did take some advance planning - I was SUPER busy the couple days before our trip.

I typically post twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.  We left for our trip on Sunday and came back Friday evening, so I wrote two blog posts ahead of time - a book review and a tutorial on embellishing a wooden tray.  Then, I set Blogger to publish the posts Tuesday and Thursday, like so:
  • After finishing your post, click "Post Options" at the bottom left of the editing window.
  • On the right side under "Post date and time", click the "Scheduled at" radio button.
  • Enter the date and time you want the post to publish
  • Click the orange "Publish Post" button.
There you go, easy as pie!  I will admit, when I wrote the first one I was afraid to click the "Publish Post" button.  I ended up going back and publishing it when I wrote the second one.  A good way to check and see if the posts are scheduled correctly is to go the "Edit Posts" section (where all of your posts and drafts are listed) - the ones you scheduled will have a scheduled to post date instead of saying "draft".

Once I took care of the blog, I moved on to getting my shop in order.  I added a line to the very beginning of my shop announcement (at the top of every Etsy shop) that stated I'd be away from the shop from October 3rd through the 8th.  I added a similar note to the message to buyers that is automatically sent by Etsy after every purchase.  You can edit both of these in Your Etsy under Shop Appearance.

I also didn't want to completely abandon renewing items.  I recently read about the Statsy Clockbot in this Etsy forums post, and it's AWESOME!  You schedule listings from your shop to renew on a date you specify, down to the time.  It even has a pop up list of all your listings (with thumbnails!), making it super simple.  Typically I list new items or renew twice a day, but while I was on vacation I just scheduled one renewal a day at my peak traffic time (9 am).  It was so easy and fast.

Now that I've tried out all these automating tools, I think I'll take advantage of them more often.  I typically have the most time to sit down at the computer after the kids go to bed, so I'm thinking I should plan on writing blog posts at that time and just scheduling them to post later.  I'm pretty sure I'm late to the scheduling blog posts party, but I'm totally on the bandwagon now.

This post got a little out of hand - thanks for sticking with me!  Here's the obligatory taking-a-picture-of-ourselves-on-vacation shot for you!
PS - If you're looking for a good book, I read The Lonely Polygamist while we were gone and it was really really good.  I must have read a review of it somewhere (probably People magazine) because evidently I requested it from the library, and as luck would have it it showed up right before we left.  Loved it.

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