Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What If We Used A Trending Social Media Topic For Marketing?

If you spend time on Twitter marketing you might like this idea.

I learned about using Trending Topics a while ago but had it reinforced recently in a Twitter chat. As often as I can, I join in on the #DigiBlogChat each Tuesday at 10 p.m. pacific time because it's pretty much a fact that I'll learn something new plus meet interesting entertaining, and wise people. The chat is run by Carol Stephen and Larry Mount.

Carol's blog post How To Use Trending Topics For Your Business: Twitter Success from a week prior to the Twitter chat reminded me of the Trending Topics option. Carol's blog post got me looking at how to wisely market using trending hashtags for Twitter topics.

The day I participated in the #DigiBlogChat about Trending Topics it just so happened to be #NationalFoodDay and it was trending on Twitter.

I decided to promote a couple of food-related products that day using the National Food Day hashtag. I didn't have a great response with these two product tweets but it's tough to get people to interact since so many people aren't interactive because they schedule tweets or "tweet and run".  The chat has given me ideas on how to wisely use trending topics, especially on Twitter, for marketing.

After looking at the tweet for the coffee bean cover notebook that day, I did the ole "eye roll". That one might have done better if I hadn't misspelled the trending topic as #NationalGoodDay. Oops!

Roasted Coffee Beans With Silver Scoop Photograph Notebook

I got several likes and retweets from folks I'd not seen in my twitter feed before with this raspberries and almonds watercolor design below. I made sure to thank them too. I've been marketing on a few interesting trending topics since that day.

If you are wondering about the two notebooks, let me give you some additional information. These 8.5" square notebooks offer a choice of six binding colors including the black and red you see on the ones here. You can also select from eight unique page designs including the recipe layout here. The other inside page designs include a variety of ruled lines including one for writing practice, graph, and blank for sketching.

The images you see on these two are featured on the laminated front and back. covers. The notebooks come with 60 sheets for 120 pages inside.

Would you consider participating in a Twitter chat to market your products? What chats do you currently participate in?

Leave a comment. I'd love to read your thoughts about the post.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Do You Develop Family Memories With Time On Puzzles?

Puzzles are a great way of getting families and friends together to make new memories. In this age of technology, working on jigsaw puzzles is a way of breaking away from electronics, working together in a shared venture and talking face to face.

Working on puzzles is fun on vacations, weekend get-aways, shut-ins during storms and on cold weather days when going outside isn't a great option. I enjoy using my photographs to make puzzles right on Zazzle. It's even better now that we can design for puzzles up to 30" x 20" with 1014 pieces. When you have a large (small piece) puzzle the fun can last for several get-togethers, nights or weekends.

Zazzle now has seven puzzle sizes available. I recently added this photograph of horses in a pasture behind a split rail fence to the 30" x 20", 1014 piece size. This particular photograph is also available in all seven sizes which include 14" x 11", with 30 oversized pieces and 20" x 16", with 56 oversized pieces for children.

The view of one 16" x 20" with 56 oversized pieces
There's a bit of sadness when the last piece pops in finishing the masterpiece and it's pulled apart to get stored in a box again. How about making it a part of your decor or a gift to someone who helped finish it to relive the memories by preserving it as wall art?

I searched for ways to preserve a puzzle and liked what I saw in this video. This individual has a system for gluing jigsaw puzzles in order to preserve them because he has glue sealed many. He shows his style for completing the gluing. I did giggle at seeing what he uses to spread the glue.

I'm adding this additional video which shows a similar way of gluing the pieces but also shows how to frame it using a sectional frame.

I viewed a number of videos on how to frame puzzles. After seeing such a variety, I would also suggest you check with a business that frames puzzles for advice even before gluing yours. The business might offer some other recommendations for the gluing and framing.

I have not tried sealing or framing any of my completed puzzles so I would love to read the experiences any of you have had doing this.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Popular Brand Name Products On Zazzle To Customize

Did you know that you can find popular brand stores on Zazzle? You read that correctly.

If you are a fan of popular brands or looking for products featuring Disney, Marvel or a number of other brands you should check Zazzle because you may be able to personalize a product for yourself or for a very special gift.

I'm a huge fan of Hallmark's Maxine cartoons. I even have the Maxine store listed in the Special Zazzle Store collection in the right column of this blog. Since she's a fav, I'll show you what you can do to personalize some of the products in these brand stores by using the blue  Customize  button on the product page.

I found a mug that will make a great personalized gift. The post is to show you how easy it is for you to make a custom gift with it.

Maxine Status Update Coffee Mug

When you click that Customize button a new window opens. This is where you will see what is part of the design and what might be additional text.  Here you see that this design is placed on both sides of the mug. 

You can add text by clicking the blue  Add Text  button along the top. I added "Maxine Rocks!" in black Yellowtail typeface under each image. You might consider adding a name or something appropriate to you or to the giftee. You can make the comment go along the top or bottom by simply moving the text block when it appears in the center of the design. Below the design element, you can change the typeface, size, and color.

I decided that I wanted to add additional color to the background on the white ceramic mug. You can see in the image below how you can click on the color slider to select a color you might not see on the block of colors. I did some sliding of the color picker to get a color as close to the design background as possible. 

When I finished all that and liked it, I clicked the blue  Done  button. Be sure to select your preference from the two sizes and the seven mug style options offered in the right column. Once you've done that you can add your personalized design to the Shopping Cart.

Before checking out be sure to check the top of the page to see if there are any coupon codes to add for a discount at checkout. 

I hope that was helpful. Leave me your feedback on the post. I love to read comments. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do Awesome Textures Focus Attention on Your Photos?

Are you an aural or visual person?

I know that I've always been a visual person. I'll gravitate to a photograph and caption before I will look at a block of copy. That might be why I enjoyed newspaper layout and design rather than writing the material for the medium. I wrote a bit about this in my recent post about using your observation skills.

Something I take in on my observations is texture. I look at the nooks and crannies, consistencies and I'm not too shy to touch something when it's appropriate. That reminds me of one visit to an art gallery. I moved in toward a piece of work to get a closer look at the texture when the alarm reminded me (and everyone else) that I was too close.

I was able to brush my fingers along the subject of the image below. This was a concrete block mixed with shells. It was the setting for a plaque on a corner in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was fascinated by the texture.

We were in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona one day and I am always observing. I happened to see this segment of red paver stone around an old railroad building that had weeds growing between the stones. I must admit that I'm OCD about pulling weeds but I thought this was a great background and texture photograph. The rough, firm stone texture contrasting the living flexible weed was my draw. 

Recently, Zazzle added doormats to the line of products and I thought it would make a great design. I guessed right because that was the first sale of my growing selection of doormats. You too can greet guests with humor at the door when you lay out this Paving Stones and Weeds In The Walkway Photograph Door Mat.

Paving Stones and Weeds In The Walkway Photograph Doormat
Paving Stones and Weeds In The Walkway Photograph Doormat

We live near so many interesting little towns and communities in northern Arizona. It's nothing to head to one on weekends to walk the streets, check out the sights and grab a meal. The photograph below is Williams, Arizona which is also known as "The Gateway to the Grand Canyon". The exterior was recently renovated when I took this photograph. I loved the contrasting texture of the brick and stucco design.

I remember seeing something interesting from a distance while walking in a park near Lake Charles, Louisiana. I started heading out toward it and saw the textures and colors from afar. Apparently, there was a building or portion of a pier at that location and blocks of this concrete and brick were along the water. 

Being able to actually touch objects I find that have interesting textures is always a plus. While on a trip to Zion National Park, Utah, I got that opportunity. This is one close-up of the rock texture. Afar or close, the natural formations at Zion are amazing. 

Are there particular textures you've used as a photography subject or background for text block?

Are you one to get on the ground or to climb up to get a better view from above for a different angle of a photo subject?

Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on the post and answer the questions. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Do Simple Subjects Trigger Your Greatest Creative Growth?

Variety is a wonderful thing. Of course, it's what makes life interesting. You've seen it written many ways but you know it because you are not like anyone else. You may have some similarities to others but that's probably minimal when you get into the depths of it. I love to look for what's different.

Just as some photographers favor humans over other subjects, I favor nature. I blame it on being an introvert but that's not a bad thing. And I do like to have a little fun with my subjects as you see Mr. Lego moving that large flat top white mushroom through the rugged pine straw and weed terrain.

Yes, mushrooms out in natural surroundings are one of my favorite photography subjects when I can find them in our high desert environment.

Several years after moving here I noticed the interesting variety of mushrooms while out walking during our rainy season, which we call monsoons here.

I've found quite a variety of mushrooms popping up out in the forest, meadows, and prairies where I walk the dogs. Some time back, I wrote a post titled "6 Captures Exposing The Low Down On Perspective" which shares photographs of a variety of mushrooms we saw that year during our walks.

I'm never one to shy away from crawling around on the ground to try for a better angle when getting a photograph. The dogs have a great time sniffing around and thankfully aren't interested in eating them which could become a problem.

I've walked the woods many years and never saw a true Amanita Muscaria mushroom. The photograph below was a chance finding. I happened to change direction after not seeing any mushrooms and caught a glimpse of the color from this one in the brown pine straw recently.

mushroom, amanita, amanita muscaria, orange, photography, fungus

The orange capped mushroom below was found on one of the first hikes many years ago when I started looking for mushrooms. I have this photograph framed and hanging as a print in our home. I also offer this photograph as a wrapped canvas seen below as one of the several products featuring this orange capped mushroom busting through rotted pine wood and pine straw in my online store. Click the image to check it out.
Colorful Mushroom Busting Through Canvas Print

Colorful Mushroom Busting Through Canvas Print

Several years ago we traveled through Alaska. There were so many mushrooms that I had to narrow down what I selected for this post. We live in a high desert so we don't see the lush green environment like we did there. This vibrant green moss covered tree stump with the mushrooms growing out of it was the top choice for this post.

moss, mushrooms, vegetation, green, nature, tree stump,

The last mushroom photograph I share because it turns out that I actually ate these. This is what I was told it was called and found in research as a Lobster mushroom. It's said to have that title since it looks like the color of a cooked lobster. We were at our neighbor's home once for dinner and she served these with a dipping sauce. They had the density of cauliflower without any crunch. I really worried about getting sick after trying them but there was no problem at all. Having been out mushroom hunting (for photographs only) I now know the areas where I'll find these popping out of the pine straw. 

What is your favorite photography subject?
Are you one to get on the ground or to climb up to get a better view from above for a different angle of a photo subject?

Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on the post and answer the questions.