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GCU Community Newsletter – April 20, 2011

April 15, 2011


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Issue #1

WELCOME

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the GCU Community newsletter (and to doubly celebrate, today’s also the founding of our shiny new blog – yay us!).

We created this newsletter and blog to be super useful tools for Greeting Card Universe artists like you who want to learn more about GCU, find out how to promote your designs so they earn you more money, how to self-market your store to get traffic, get the inside scoop on stuff like SEO… in short, we’re here to help you write your own GCU success story.

How is this going to work?

Twice a month, in this newsletter publication we’ll bring you informative how-to’s on everything from getting your blog started to using sites like Squidoo, getting the most out of your social networks and social bookmarks, and lots of other stuff. You’ll participate in cool activities like blog carnivals and lens parties with your fellow artists. And there will be contests where you can win really neat stuff – yep, we mean PRIZES!

No kidding. We’re serious about our community ‘cause we know it’s a powerful force for good. We want every artist at GCU to grow their business. The best way to do that is to arm you with the tools you need, and organize activities that are beneficial for all.

Whether you’re an experienced self-marketer or a complete novice, a serious business person or a hobbyist, the newsletter will have something for you, we promise. Cross our hearts.

HIDDEN GEMS: Admin Pro Day - April 27 - by Tom Rent

Apart from hosting the newsletter, this blog will also give you daily (you read that right, every single day, rain or shine, except major holidays) updates that will keep you in the know about what the community members are up to. We’ll also bring you tips and tricks, point you towards resources, make announcements, and generally motivate the heck out of you.

Who am I and why am I running this blog? I’m Corrie Kuipers, a painter and illustrator in the Netherlands, founding member of the GCU artist community and one of GCU’s top sellers. I’ve been designing cards with my partner, Nene Adams, since 2007. Like many of you, when I started I had no idea how to promote my work. My continuing success comes as the result of much trial and error. Now I want to share the things I learned with you.

So don’t be afraid. It’s easier than you think. Just check the GCU Community blog every day. Read the newsletter. Play in our sandbox. Have fun and build your business at the same time. Artists helping artists is a fantastic idea… and you’re going to be an important part of it.

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Why should you start a blog, and more importantly, why should you keep it updated? To answer that question, we’re going to need to explain a little about how search engines work. Don’t run away yet… we’ll keep it brief.

Search engines use complex algorithms to catalog and rank on-line content like blogs. Simply put, the higher your site ranks, the closer to #1 you get when anybody does a search relevant to your keywords (we’ll learn more about that later). One of the criteria used for ranking by some search engines is backlinks – that is, links at other sites that point back to your site. The more backlinks, the better your rank.

We’ll talk about backlinks in more depth another time. The important thing to remember is that writing a blog and updating it regularly (I’d suggest once a week or at least twice a month) will give you backlinks to whichever site you want to promote… like, say, your GCU storefront. Or your collection of niche greeting cards at GCU. Or whatever greeting cards you want to attract more attention from potential customers.

You know the more your card sells at GCU, the higher it will appear in on-site search results, right? So it makes sense to promote yourself and your designs everywhere you can. The more you sell = the more you sell.

HIDDEN GEMS: Nurses Day - May 6 - by Sheryl Kasper

Does it actually work? You bet! I’ll use myself as an example. My partner and I noticed there weren’t many greeting cards made specifically to send to cancer patients. We saw this need and acted on it, uploading a collection of cancer cards at GCU. We also wrote a lens about it on Squidoo, promoted it on a cancer-related blog we wrote, flogged in on Facebook, linked to it in other blogs’ comments, used social bookmark sites… and three years later, we’re sending plenty of traffic to this card collection at GCU, we’re making sales every day, and it’s been such a success, we’ve made spin-offs like cards for cancer supporters, and cards to send to someone whose loved one has been diagnosed with cancer. (P.S., we sell those, too).

If we can do it, you can do it. You don’t have to be an expert or a professional journalist. Anyone can start a blog. What do you write about? Anything you love. What’s your passion? What inspires you? Start there, then begin to build your blog.

Remember, if you build it… they will come. In the next Time to Blog, we’ll discuss how to write blog posts that get attention.

For step-by-step information on why you should start a blog and how you can do it, check out How to Start a Blog.

If you’ve never blogged before, we want you to start a new blog and create one post. Just one post about anything you like, but it must include at least three greeting cards linked to GCU (your own cards or another artist’s, you can use the Sell This Card tool from GCU, it’s easy!). In the spirit of fairness, we’ll also accept new Squidoo lenses  entered in the contest. Here’s some advice – don’t just make a post saying “buy my greeting cards.” Be creative. Think of a topic close to your heart, then tie it into greeting cards at GCU. If you’re already running a blog, make a post and include three links to greeting cards at GCU. Then show us your fabulous work by posting a link in the comments of this post on or before May 8, 2011. Good luck!

Each artist who accepts the challenge above will be entered in a random drawing for a fantastic book Art Escapes: Daily Exercises and Inspirations for Discovering Greater Creativity and Artistic Confidence (Dory Kanter). “This title for both beginning and experienced artists gives readers ideas for building an art habit. It contains daily projects for drawing, watercolour, mixed media, collage and more. It aims to help readers increase their skill and creativity and find time to make a little bit of art every day.” Sounds good to me! To be eligible, you must complete the challenge as stated above and leave a link in the comments section of this post on or before May 8, 2011.

If there’s something you’d like to see offered as a prize in our next contest, leave a comment and let us know! OR send your suggestions to gcucommunity (at) bigdates.com.

If you need help starting a free blog, here are a few of the more popular places to go:

WordPress | Blogger | Posterous

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Search engines give great weight, not only to actual links, but also to anchor text. What’s that?  When you make a link in a blog or a website, you don’t want your readers to see it like this (http://www.example.com). Instead, you want the visible, clickable link to be actual words, like this (Here’s an Example) linked to the URL. Many people use “click here” as anchor text, but that’s a mistake. Use something relevant instead. If you’re linking to a butterfly themed birthday card, for instance, try Blue Butterfly Birthday Card as anchor text. The more relevant and descriptive your anchor text, the better search engines will like you.

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High five moment: Sandra Rose Designs was recently interviewed in the Creative Artists Blog – Congratulations! And congratulations to Nancy who recently made her first sale!

Welcome: Say “hi” to GCU newcomer Gerda!

Squid-New: New Squidoo lens about Mother’s Day greeting cards from GCU artist Elizabeth! GCU artist Doreen has updated her Squidoo lens about Save the Date greeting cards! New Squidoo lens about Military Troop Support greeting cards by GCU artist William!  If you have a new lens or you’ve updated a vintage lens that features GCU cards, we want to know about it!

Stay Tuned: In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you news about some super secret projects we’ve been working on. Trust us, it’s worth waiting for!

2011 Reminder Time: Since search engines can take up to 6 months to index new content, you should be working on this year’s cards ahead of time for the following holidays:

  • August 1 – Ramadan
  • September 5 – Labor Day
  • September 11 – Grandparents Day
  • September 11 – Patriot Day
  • September 29 – Rosh Hashanah

HIDDEN GEMS: Mothers Day - May 8 - by Teri Francis

We Need You!: If you’ve got a blog, a website, a Squidoo lens, or a YouTube video promoting your cards at GCU, or a Facebook or a Twitter account that you use, we want to hear from you! To join the roll calls here, leave a comment or send an email to gcucommunity (at) bigdates.com. We update the roll calls daily, so you’ll never be absent for long. Do you have suggestions? Features you’d like to see added? Tips you want to share? Send them in!

Stars Wanted: If you’ve done something like a special achievement, an interview, started a new project, met a milestone, or other news you want to share with the community, toot your own horn and let us know! Leave a comment here or send an email to gcucommunity (at) bigdates.com and we’ll be sure to include it in our next newsletter.

Hidden Gems: In each newsletter we’ll choose two or three “hidden gems” to spotlight from GCU’s vast collection of greeting cards. These are cards that appear in on-site search results after page 5, so they’re a bit lost to the average shopper. Do you think a card is a hidden gem and want to nominate it for consideration? Send us the PID# or a link and we’ll take it from there.

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The next issue of the GCU Community Newsletter will be Monday, May 9, 2011

95 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 8:18 am

    This is fabulous! Just what the GCU community needs! Thank you.
    🙂 Laura (the art of Laura J Holman card store)

  2. April 21, 2011 8:48 am

    What a great idea, Corrie! How do you find the time? Am looking forward to popping in here regularly 🙂

    • April 21, 2011 9:05 am

      I have one of those Time Turners like they use in Harry Potter! 🙂

      • April 23, 2011 8:01 am

        May I have one too … pretty please? seriously! lol.

    • April 22, 2011 1:55 pm

      Mariana – for two days now, I haven’t been able to access your web site by clicking your name. I get “not available” … fyi …

      • April 23, 2011 8:01 am

        Hi Peggy and thank you! I’m aware of the problem and very frustrated … it’s due to a domain mapping change and might take a couple more days to resolve — at least I hope it won’t take any longer. You can still get to it at http://mrana.typepad.com/bitbybit though. Hopefully this will all get sorted out soon, I’m definitely no wiz at html and website stuff and have had a headache for days now because of it! 🙂

  3. April 21, 2011 8:57 am

    Fantastic! 🙂 enjoyed reading and it will be nice to have the handy tips, it sounds a lot of fun and good to bring the community together 🙂

    • April 21, 2011 9:03 am

      Yep, you’ll get a wealth of tips at your fingertips, and the best part is it’ll all be in the archive, easy to find.

  4. April 21, 2011 9:23 am

    Corrie, This is fantastic. As a newcomer I really am very excited about the chance to learn all I can by people who are so wonderful about sharing their expertise. Thanks so much.

    • April 21, 2011 10:34 am

      And the best part is… that knowledge will be store here in an archive, so you’ll have it at your fingertips.

  5. Priscilla of Periwinklecards permalink
    April 21, 2011 9:32 am

    Hi Corrie, what a fantastic creation! I have been on GCU for a couple of years, but really have no idea on how to promote my cards, other than post them to Facebook. I haven’t a clue how to create a blog or make links or backlinks. Maybe I will learn how with the wonderful inspirations offered here!

    • April 21, 2011 10:32 am

      Priscilla, starting a free blog is dead easy. Just choose a free blog service like Blogger or WordPress (you’ll find links in the newsletter). Most of these services have very intuitive interfaces. And linking to GCU cards is also simple. Just go find the card on GCU, click on the $ symbols below the card, and copy the HTML code to get an image link. You only have to cut and paste the HTML. BTW, if you start a blog before May 8, you’ll be eligible to enter our contest to win a free book – see this week’s newsletter for details.

  6. Eve Parry permalink
    April 21, 2011 9:41 am

    What an excellent newsletter Corrie. How kind of you to do this for us.

  7. April 21, 2011 10:50 am

    This is such a great idea Corrie I love it, and thank you for doing this for all of us. I´v not done a greeting-card for way to long, but do have my store both with GCU and Zazzle.

    I do have this blog – just one blog LOL, but have been thinking about making a blog just for my greeting-cards.

    Do you think that´s a good idea! to have a separate blog for cards?

    I do have a lot of free time on my hands and should use it to design more cards – and I do think about that every single day, but that does not make them LOL LOL or at least not so that I can post them 🙂

    I´m going to love following along here and read the tips and other stuff – again Thank You for doing this 🙂

    • April 21, 2011 10:54 am

      If you already have an established blog for your artwork (at Zazzle or other places), why not add GCU, too, and plug your greeting cards? That way, you don’t have to start from scratch. (and yes, you should design more cards! The more cards you have in your store, the better the chances on making a sale). If you do a post with greeting cards on GCU, or if you decide to go ahead and start an exclusive card blog, let us know! If you make your post before May 8, we’ll enter you into the current contest (see this week’s newsletter for details).

    • April 21, 2011 12:03 pm

      Hi Tora

      I do have two blogs, one for thoughts and musings (and sometimes advice!) about art and design and a separate one for posting my cards and Zazzle products and I think it works quite well.

      I was feeling that I might put off some of my faithful followers on the main blog if I appeared to be forever pushing for sales so now I just post the link to my second blog on my main one and they can go to it if they want to, without feeling pressured.

      I also found it helpful as it showed me which categories had huge gaps in and that has to some extent guided me in what I design.

      • April 21, 2011 12:24 pm

        Thanks Judy for your tips I´m still thinking about making another blog, but I use my only one for the time being LOL But I feel that´s in kind of a mess, since I post about my digital design, my sewing and knitting and then also post photos there of my walks or other things I like to photograph. Also I´m not happy with my blog look I know I can change it and sometimes do LOL but there something I´m missing on there. Good luck with your work Judy

      • April 21, 2011 12:53 pm

        Tora, did you know that you can integrate GCU greeting cards into your blog posts? For example, you mentioned blogging about knitting. If we do a search for the keyword “knitting” on GCU, we get 169 results. Granted, a few are not relevant, but plenty of them are.

        Even if you have no cards represented in this example, you still have the potential to make commission. Make your blog post about knitting; choose a card from the examples; link to it using the Sell This Card tool. If a new GCU customer clicks that link, for the next 30 days if they buy ANY card, you make 50-cents per card up to $25 per order (unless some other artist’s “cookie” knocks yours out of the running ’cause the customer clicked on their link after yours).

        So you can make money from affiliate linking to GCU!

        Check out the Wiki for more info:
        http://www.gcuwiki.com/sellthiscard.html

      • April 21, 2011 4:14 pm

        This is awesome Corri, I did link to two cards using ” Sell This Card” on my blog, on about quilting another about knitting. Just wanted to see how it works. I´m just IN LOVE with this blog and all the comments and tips I´m getting. 🙂

      • April 23, 2011 8:05 am

        Judy, that’s exactly what I did and for the very same reasons 🙂 I’d like to know how that helped you find the gaps in your categories? I’m trying to figure that out too at the moment.

  8. April 21, 2011 10:52 am

    Super idea, Corrie – thank you!

    Just a little point to add to the one about ‘anchor text’. It seems from what I’ve read that where you use ‘click here’ or not depends on what your aim is. If it’s to feed the search engines then what you’ve said is perfectly correct. However, if you seriously want people to ‘click here’, I’ve read that it’s best to be totally explicit and give readers clear instructions, such as ‘click here’.

    • April 21, 2011 10:57 am

      Yes, Judy, that’s true – the same as if you have a guestbook. If you want people to leave a comment, then saying “leave a comment” works better than anything else. However, search engines aren’t wild about “click here” anchor text. You could do something like: click here to see Blue Butterfly Cards Collection :and link the whole phrase, that way you get the best of both worlds.

  9. April 21, 2011 11:10 am

    Blogging has gotten more complicated over the past several years. Blogger’s spam bots, for example, have been shutting down blogs that refer to the same outside links too much, and good luck getting your blog back up. WordPress, Posterous, Facebook, Tumblr – they have individual issues or could end up doing you wrong like Blogger has to so many. Best to have more than one avenue of promotion so when one crashes, deletes you, or otherwise becomes a dead end for today or forever, you’re still covered somewhere else. Having more than one promotional trick up your sleeve is always a good idea anyway.

    • April 21, 2011 11:24 am

      Absolutely! These days, the more various strings you have to your bow, the better. However, for many people, just starting a blog is a big milestone. On this blog, we’ll be explaining different promotional methods. BTW, yes, Google’s Blogger service has been known to shut down legitimate blogs deemed as “spam.” I will say that getting your blog turned back on may not be as difficult for legit blogs as you think. If you haven’t read it, check out this story:
      http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/01/03/googles-evil-policy-on-shutting-down-blogs/

      Seems Google’s at least aware of the problem, and working towards streamlining their procedures.

  10. barbara schreiber permalink
    April 21, 2011 11:37 am

    Super idea! Am looking forward to the next issues!

  11. April 21, 2011 11:38 am

    Hi Corrie – the moment after I clicked on ‘Post Comment’ I thought of what you suggested too!

  12. April 21, 2011 11:57 am

    Hi Corrie, Thank you for all your hard work that you’ve done here to help other artists. We certainly appreciate it! It sounds like it will be packed full of great ideas, fun and a wonderful learning experience for everyone. Looking forward to future posts.

    And thank you by the way, for featuring my Happy Nurses Day Card here as a Hidden Gem. 🙂

    Sher

    • April 21, 2011 12:23 pm

      No problem, Sher. It really is a “hidden gem” and we’re very happy to be able to bring some of these fantastic cards out into the open for everyone to admire.

      Corrie

  13. April 21, 2011 12:01 pm

    What a great idea…I shall look forward to the up and coming info about this blog and GCU. I have to admit that I’ve been a bit on the stale side creatively just lately, and this idea has sparked something in me. Great! Thanks again 🙂

    • April 21, 2011 12:22 pm

      Great, Chris! Hope we can continue to inspire you!

      Corrie

  14. April 21, 2011 12:04 pm

    I´v posted on my blog and linked to four cards at GCU. So I hope I´m in for the contest 🙂 I did decided to keep my blog and post there, not start a new one 🙂 taking your advise Corrie 🙂 thank you for that

    • April 21, 2011 12:21 pm

      Gotcha! Congratulations, Tora! You’re entered into the contest; the drawing will take place on May 9, just before I post the next newsletter. Hey, folks, go check out Tora’s blog and leave a comment! And if you make a blog post about GCU, let us know and we’ll pay you a visit, too.

  15. April 21, 2011 1:20 pm

    Great job, Corrie! I hope to contribute lots of things, but right now I am working hard to create 5,000 cards. I have over 4500 now and want to make a lot of original works, so it
    might take me through the summer, but it is a major goal of mine and I will accomplish it.
    It has been so much fun for me to show my serious and fun art that I have done over the years, I might have to set my goal number even higher in the autumn.

    Shout out and lots of luck to all GCU artists, staff and customers!

    Bright

    • April 21, 2011 2:13 pm

      Thanks, Bright! Anytime you want to contribute, let us know. In the meantime, enjoy the blog, check every day to see what’s new, and when you’ve got time, we’d love to hear what you have to say. And good luck on meeting your goal!

      Corrie

  16. Delores Knowles permalink
    April 21, 2011 1:23 pm

    This is a wonderful addition to our GCU life! Thanks to all involved.

  17. Teri Francis permalink
    April 21, 2011 1:28 pm

    Corrie …. what a fabulous newsletter! Congratulations and kudos to you for creating a great resource for GCU artists. You are such a kind and helpful person, as well as a gifted artist and successful entrepeneur … your advice and tips here are invaluable to all of us. I’ll definitely use this newsletter as a source not only for information, but also as a resource for GCU cards for relevant promotions over the summer. When things slow down in June, I’ll try to submit a blog or article. Best wishes for continued success … and thank you for all that you do to help us! : )

    • April 21, 2011 2:12 pm

      Great, Teri! We’ll be very happy for you to contribute something to the blog, ’cause we know how successful you are, and you’ve probably got a lot of very cool tricks up your sleeve! 😉

      Corrie

  18. April 21, 2011 1:50 pm

    This is inspiring – I’m sure I’ll get back in the habit of submitting cards. I do have a blog and scheduled a post for this Friday with my latest GCU card. Not enough for the contest, but it’s a start.
    The blog is on WordPress (AlwaysBackroads.wordpress.com) and I’ve found them very easy to work with. It’s pretty much a hobby blog (not a ‘serious’ money making blog!) and I enjoy doing it.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Donna

    • April 21, 2011 2:11 pm

      Hi Donna! You only need 3 GCU card links in your blog post (before May 8) to be eligible to enter the contest. If you manage to do it, give us a shout so we can put your entry into the drawing. And even if card designing is a hobby, there’s no reason you can’t earn a little pin money from it, is there? 🙂 Keep up the great work!

      Corrie

  19. April 21, 2011 1:52 pm

    Hi Corrie,

    This is a great idea! Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming issues.

    Angie

  20. April 21, 2011 2:21 pm

    Hi Corrie – just wondering whether you have an RSS feed so that I can put it into my blog’s sidebar. I find it easier to keep track of what’s happening on my favourite blogs that way than getting lots of emails whenever anyone comments. (I’m a confirmed blogger-user, BTW, and maybe don’t totally understand how WordPress works!)

    • April 21, 2011 2:27 pm

      As I understand it on WordPress.com blogs, the main content feed is accessed by simply adding the word “feed” to the end of the blog’s URL, so that would be https://gcucommunity.com/feed/

      To be honest, I know next to knowing about RSS. If this works, please let us know, and I’ll see what I can do to advertise it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to the drawing board.

      Corrie

      • April 21, 2011 2:36 pm

        Thanks – I’ll try it later, when I’ve finished struggling with GCU page links for my blog post! It simply doesn’t seem to work if I copy and paste the URL of the page that I want to link to. It nearly always takes me to the GCU homepage. For instance, I wanted to mention that I make a lot of cards for men. So I did a search of all my cards for men to get them all on one page. But the link took me to GCU homepage when I tested it. I’ve mentioned this on the forum in the past but I don’t want to give Shaun even more things to attend to! So if you’ve found any way around this, I’d be very pleased to hear about it!

      • April 21, 2011 2:53 pm

        I use this technique a lot in my Squidoo lenses (about cancer, which is one of my niches). Here’s an example:

        http://www.squidoo.com/cancercards

        What you’ll see is that I’ve linked to several individual cards, but I also have a main link that goes to the collection of my cancer related cards at GCU. I did the same as you, doing a search on GCU to get my cards together in one place. The link SHOULD look like this:

        http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/shopping/cb.asp?keyword=corrie+kuipers+cancer&button.x=54&button.y=15

        You’ll notice my search terms – “corrie kuipers cancer” are in the URL. You need this to make it work. I know that a while ago, GCU had changed the site programming so that you didn’t get the search terms in a URL like that anymore, but I did mention it to Shaun, and it seemed to have been fixed. If you still have a problem getting this to work, there’s a brute force way around it.

        First, decide which keyword string you want to use – like the “corrie kuipers cancer” I mentioned earlier. Then you’ll want to set up your URL like this:

        http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/shopping/cb.asp?keyword=

        Then you need to add your keywords with %20 – no spaces – between each one. So the link would then look like this:

        http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/shopping/cb.asp?keyword=Corrie%20Kuipers%20cancer

        And that SHOULD work if all else fails.

        Corrie

      • April 21, 2011 3:38 pm

        Hi Corrie – your advice re the RSS feed appears to have worked! I’ll keep and eye on it for a day or two to make sure it updates properly.

        Also, many, many thanks for the information about getting the right links from GCU. I followed your first set of instructions and hey presto! – it worked! I had been doing the search from within my store, where I didn’t need to add my name so I expect that’s why I wasn’t coming up with what I needed.

        To be honest, when I couldn’t get the links to work, I’ve often decided the easiest thing to do would be to link to my Zazzle store instead, which is a shame. But now I know what to do, I’ll be linking to my GCU cards more often!

        My blog post for the contest is ready – Thursday afternoon happens to be my blogpost-writing day! But I post to my second blog on Mondays so I’ll post the link here on Monday, if that’s OK?

      • April 21, 2011 3:48 pm

        I’m so glad it worked for you! Now get out there and plug your GCU cards! 😀

        As long as I have the link to your blog post by May 8, you’re gold.

        Corrie

  21. April 21, 2011 3:02 pm

    Hi Corrie,
    This new Community Newsletter is a Godsend. One aspect of my “design time” is the lack of marketing myself and seeing what you have done with your sales by using backlinks and other tools will be quite useful. I will be devouring the newsletter to learn how to market myself better.

    Thanks for showcasing my Mother’s Day Squidoo lens. I’m rather new at Squidoo and am using it more and more. I have used Blogger, but haven’t kept it up lately. I’m not much of a writer.

    Thank you so much,
    elizabeth

    • April 21, 2011 3:18 pm

      Elizabeth, if you only do one blog post a week, or one blog post every other week, you’ll soon built a reputation and a following. You don’t have to be a writer. You just have to be passionate about something and want to share that passion with others.

      Congrats on your Squidoo adventures! May you have much success. And just an FYI – we’re going to do more than just a newsletter. Every day, rain or shine, there’ll be something new on the community blog, so you may want to check back often. You never know what you might find! 🙂

      Corrie

  22. April 21, 2011 3:35 pm

    Here is my squidoo lens on art. I try to answer the question, ‘ What good is it?’

    http://www.squidoo.com/art-appreciation-for-kids

    I think it applies to greeting card art as well as many other forms of art, including humorous images that make us smile or give us pause to think.

    Enjoy!

    • April 21, 2011 3:53 pm

      Great, Bright! Glad to see you’re getting into the spirit. And indeed, your lens does apply to greeting cards as well as other forms of art, so it’s appropriate. Have you thought about linking some kid-friendly or humorous cards at GCU to use as illustrations on your lens? You can use the Sell This Card tool to get the Image Link HTML, pop it into your text module, and you’re all set. If you’re not sure how to do this, come back tomorrow when I’ll be posting a step-by-step tutorial on how to link GCU cards on Squidoo.

      Oh, and one other suggestion… where’s you’ve got “New Guestbook” – change the title to “Leave a Comment” and you’re much likely to get people commenting on your lens.

      Corrie

      • April 22, 2011 2:47 pm

        Thanks, Corrie! Good ideas that I will have to get to soon.

  23. April 21, 2011 6:27 pm

    What a great idea Corrie. Well done!

  24. Norval Arbogast permalink
    April 21, 2011 7:59 pm

    Excellent Idea,{the Blog]. I will look forward to seeing it every two weeks. Thank You Corrie.

    • April 22, 2011 5:47 am

      Norval, the blog’s going to be updated every day! (the newsletter comes out every 2 weeks) You may want to check back more often, ’cause you don’t want to miss anything.

  25. SunAtNight permalink
    April 21, 2011 10:02 pm

    Another artist blog URL:
    http://sunatnight.xanga.com/

  26. ernestineartist permalink
    April 22, 2011 4:14 am

    Corrie

    Finding this blog and newsletter has been a great “kick in the pants” to help me get focused. I’ve been ‘all over the place’ lately, and haven’t been paying the right attention to my “online presence.” I’m looking forward to contributing as well as gaining new insights.

    ernestine

    • April 22, 2011 5:45 am

      Fabulous, Ernestine! Yes, we can get into the doldrums from time to time, and need a little inspiration to help get the juices flowing. We’d be happy to have you contribute some of your wisdom to the community, so anytime you’re in the mood, let us know! 🙂

    • April 22, 2011 2:05 pm

      Ernestine – help! When I click to go to your blog, it says it has been deleted by the author! I definitely want to follow yours …

      • ernestineartist permalink
        April 23, 2011 4:00 am

        I had to change my user-name on my blog (an email I no longer have type issue) and may have posted yesterday before the change “took.” See if “ernestineartist” links now. (Or try this URL: http://wp.me/pYmGN-j if it doesn’t and I’ll keep working on it.) Think I know now why I didn’t get going with it last June! ‘e’

  27. Kati permalink
    April 22, 2011 7:36 am

    What a wonderful idea Corrie. I am really looking forward to participating and learning. Thanks for all your time and efforts.

  28. April 22, 2011 1:54 pm

    Love this idea! And thank you for including blogs that are already up and running. Mine is at http://dogbreedz.blogspot.com/ – stop by, click “follow” and add me to your list of blogs on your own blogsite … share the link love, baby!

    Corrie, you are now officially on my list of women I admire!

  29. April 22, 2011 2:20 pm

    Well I had a little go 🙂 and being that I am on one horrible diet with 7 stone just lost and another 4 to go I figured I’d do a cake one haha.

    Gosh this is very difficult and shaming for me but here goes.

    http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/new_workshop/we-love-cake

  30. April 22, 2011 2:24 pm

    Cough cough wrong link
    http://www.squidoo.com/we-love-cake

    This is the lense

    • April 22, 2011 2:33 pm

      I like the way you think, Moonie! This is an excellent example of tying GCU cards into a Squidoo lens with a definite theme.

      You may want to polish up your HTML a bit, though. You’ve only got so much width available in a lens. In my experience, you can fit about 5 “portrait” – that’s vertical – cards in a row. To be honest, I don’t often feature “landscape” – that’s horizontal – cards in my lenses, but from the available space, I think you can fit 3 or may be 4 in a row.

      Corrie

      • April 22, 2011 2:37 pm

        Yes I had better work on that 😀 I was going to add it to gcu forum but for some reason it refuses to log me in, perhaps sticking to the portrait would be better, I don’t really like the zazzle ones but worried about placing peoples cards on the lense that they might not want me to do, perhaps there is a way of gathering a list of those GCU artists who don’t mind being featured on them… I know someone did say don’t use their cards a while back, and I really would not like to step on peoples toes with them.
        Personally I wold rather not do the zazzle ones at all, I already have a full product zazzle lense and I sell like mad anyway, i’d rather have a full GCU only one for the cakes.

  31. April 22, 2011 8:19 pm

    Getting slowly into this now, added gluten free (i am so alergic to stuff) figure this would be good for some and now added to my blogger (about time me thinks)

    http://moonlakedesigns.blogspot.com/

  32. April 23, 2011 3:36 am

    Hi Corrie!
    This is a wonderful idea and I love what your doing!
    Here’s a link to my blog http://ilovecuttables.blogspot.com/ (Yesterday I wrote a post with links to a few of my cards & GCU), and will also write a post soon with a link to this fine community. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading all the great info you (and others) are providing. I’m pretty new to GCU, but love it and all the talented folks who are involved with it.

    Thanks for creating this extension of GCU. What a super resource! 🙂
    Cindy

    • April 23, 2011 7:19 am

      Wonderful, Cindy! I love your blog, and I hope you’ll continue to create fabulous new cards at GCU, so we can see more blog posts about your greeting card designs! In the meantime, I’ve added you to the community blogroll. Good luck and keep on designing!

      Corrie

      • April 26, 2011 3:47 pm

        Thanks for adding my blog and for the kind words of encouragement. 🙂

  33. April 23, 2011 9:11 am

    Hi Mariana – there wasn’t a reply button under your query – as far as I could see, anyway! – so I hope you’ll find my answer down at the bottom of the comments!

    And example would be that when I decided to make a blog post about cards for men and boys, I’d discover how few cards I had for teenage boys.

    I combine mine with promoting my Zazzle store and that makes the gaps all the more obvious – eg if I were doing ‘Mother’s Day’, I might discover how few Mother’s Day gifts I’d created.

    It’s nothing complicated and I could probably have found these things out in other ways, but it just happened that the blog made it all very clear.

    • April 23, 2011 9:45 am

      Found your comment 🙂 Thank you Judy, I’m using my Floating Lemons Treats blog to promote my Zazzle store too at the moment (only just started it two weeks ago) as well as other artists, so it’s a perfect place for promoting the GCU cards and artists too. I’ll have to figure out my category gaps as I go along as well. Thank you again!

  34. April 23, 2011 8:04 pm

    Hi All,

    I’ll get this figured out yet! My posts here kept linking to an old closed blog (actually a never started blog). Anyway I did everything I was supposed to but the link kept pointing to the old blog. Finally I read in a forum that the change wouldn’t effect older posts! So here’s a new post. Would one of you lovely folks please click on my user-name: “ernestineartist” above and
    see if they get directed to “Easel Essays” my correct WordPress blog? then I can get on with the business of . . . you know . . . creating — and not just pulling my hair out! ‘e’

    • April 23, 2011 8:34 pm

      Hi Ernestine, Your link from your most recent post is working and taking me to your Easel Essays. 🙂 It is working.

      • April 23, 2011 8:42 pm

        🙂 Thanks for checking Sher. It is working. 🙂 Now I can come to the Party!

  35. April 25, 2011 8:03 am

    Corrie, This is all so wonderful, Thank You for doing this for us.
    I`m glad to be able to take part. I have a few blogs. I hope that link works.
    Ive had my grandchildren..so I hope I haven’t missed too much.

    • April 25, 2011 8:27 am

      Welcome, Janet! We just started the blog last week, so you should be able to catch up very quickly. I’ve added your Send From Site blog to the blog roll here. Your most recent blog post qualifies for our contest (see the Newsletter for details) so I’ll go ahead and enter you in our drawing as well. We post every day here, and encourage the GCU community to get involved, so have fun, learn something new, and check back often!

      Corrie

  36. April 25, 2011 8:31 am

    Hi Corrie – here’s the link to my blog post about the difficulties of finding greeting cards for boys, especially as they get older:

    http://mugsmousepadsandmore.blogspot.com/2011/04/trouble-with-boys.html

    BTW, is there some way of navigating to this page from the Guest Bloggers page – and vice versa?

    • April 25, 2011 9:18 am

      Great blog post, Judy! I’ve entered you into the contest drawing, and left a comment on your blog.

      Corrie

      • April 25, 2011 9:37 am

        Thank you very much, Corrie. It’s especially nice to have a comment on that blog. I link to it from my main blog and most people leave their comments there. It doesn’t really matter, of course, but it does liven things up a bit to have comments on both blogs!

  37. April 25, 2011 10:21 am

    Oh starting to get well into this now, had people mailing me from facebook thanking me for my Gluten Free Cupcakes and my Diet one 🙂 🙂 guess I’ll definately be adding to it now then

  38. April 25, 2011 2:32 pm

    Hi Corrie. I decided to write a Lens about photography since that is one of my passions. I just finished writing and posting it to Squidoo. It is called Photography Tips for the Beginner. I have included links to GCU cards as well.

    Here is the link: http://www.squidoo.com/photography-tips-for-the-beginner

    It focuses on what makes for a good photograph vs. a bad snapshot. It also covers some of the photography rules to keep in mind while photographing your subject. Hope it will be helpful to someone.

    Thank you for all the work you do for all of us. 🙂 ….. Sher

    • April 25, 2011 2:52 pm

      Wow, Sher… not only is this lens incredibly informative, it includes the very creative use of links to your GCU cards, so kudos to you! Folks, this is what I’ve been talking about – if you want an excellent example of how to promote your cards, this is it right here. And Sher, you’re in the contest drawing. Good luck!

      Corrie

  39. April 25, 2011 2:35 pm

    I have just done a Adult Literacy Volunteer blog at

    http://blog.beautywood.com with card widget.

    I would love to be added into the contest also.

    Thanks, everyone!

    • April 25, 2011 2:50 pm

      Well, the contest was to add 3 links to GCU cards in a blog post or lens…but I’ll bend them a little and put you into the drawing.

      Corrie

  40. April 25, 2011 6:16 pm

    I finally got this right, Corrie. Thanks for everything!

    There are a lot of nice looking blogs, so great job, everyone!

    Bright

    http://blog.beautywood.com/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=8151&action=edit&message=1

  41. April 25, 2011 6:41 pm

    http://www.squidoo.com/volunteer-teaching-reading, I also put this up on squidoo, fb and twitter! YAY!

  42. April 26, 2011 1:11 pm

    Feel free to check out my blog (recent entry: personal cards & gifts for Mother’s Day) http://aura2000.blogspot.com/

    • April 26, 2011 1:55 pm

      Nic blog, Monica! I’ve added you to the blog roll here, and I’ve entered you into the contest drawing (see last week’s Newsletter for details). Please keep up the great work!

      Corrie

  43. April 26, 2011 5:34 pm

    I would like to be added to the contest please. The address is:
    http://whatdreamsmaycome-manolan.blogspot.com/

    Thank you

    • April 26, 2011 6:40 pm

      Done! You’re entered into the drawing. Great blog, btw. I’ve also added you to our blog roll.

      Corrie

  44. April 30, 2011 10:58 pm

    Corrie –

    Thank you for putting this together. I think it will be incredibly helpful and it sounds like you have a lot of good info in the works.

    I have created a blog. It is not directly related to card making, but does make a connection with the theme of many of my cards.

    http://enjoygreatoutdoors.blogspot.com/

    Shelley

  45. May 1, 2011 2:10 am

    I would like to add my blog to the contest

    http://enjoygreatoutdoors.blogspot.com/

    • May 1, 2011 5:44 am

      Welcome, Shelley! I’ve added your new blog to the blog roll, and you’re entered into the contest drawing. Also, check your email for a special surprise! 🙂

      Corrie

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