Saturday, September 26, 2015

How to take great product photos

Light Box Product Photos
Great product pictures are key to making sales. Good results can come from using sunlight. For the first 3 months of my Etsy shop I took all my pictures in sunlight.
Last week I finished a product just before midnight and I was excited to list it. I don't live in Norway so there was no sunlight to take my pics. In the morning I set out to create a lightbox so I could take product pics at anytime.
It cost me less than $60 and took less than 30 minutes. Here is my shopping list:
  • 3 Clamp Lights
  • 3 60Watt 5,000K LED Light Bulbs
  • Wood Patterned Shelf 12"x24"
  • White Curtain 84"x59"
  • 2 Wooden Sticks 24"
  • String ~30'
I hung the wooden sticks from the ceiling about 16 inches apart. The curtain was cut in half. Half the curtain I draped front back. The other half I draped left to right.
I set the side lights on the table and propped them up a little with the boxes the light bulbs came in. The top light I clamped to a pipe on my wall.
I set the wood grain board inside the lightbox to be the background of my pictures.
I take pictures with my iPhone5s. I hold the phone near the top of the lightbox. If I need to crop or adjust anything I do it in iPhoto.
Finished Light Box

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Growing my audience and email list

Hi readers, I'm back. It has been a while since I last posted. I hurt my hand...really bad. So I'm typing one handed for a few months.

I read marketing books while I was sitting on the couch waiting for my hand to heal enough to go back to work. This marathon of reading gave me insights. The insights are obvious in hind sight. I need to grow my audience.

How am I growing my audience?

Hard work.

Yeah, that's really all there is. I've made a daily task list since hard work doesn't excite me. Everyday I do a small amount of investment work.

Here's my daily task list:

  • use Canva to make 2 pictures with quotes
  • share 1 Facebook post
  • share 1 twitter post
  • share 1 Instagram post
  • comment on 1 men's fashion blog
  • email 1 blogger 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fire Making - Entrepreneur Style - Day 11

Day 11 - What I thought might be cotton wood
I found a smaller tree with pointed leaves. I thought it was cotton wood so I cut a branch and removed some of the bark. I left it in the sun to dry. On further inspection I'm pretty sure it is not cotton wood. So we'll see tomorrow if it is good enough or not.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fire Making - Entrepreneur Style - Day 10

Day 10 - Looking for Cotton Wood
Today I looked for Cotton Wood trees. I found them, but they are so tall that I can't reach a good branch to make a fire set with. I searched the woods and I suspect that the young cotton wood trees look different than the older kind. I'll have to do some more research on what to look for to find a good cotton wood tree.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fire Making - Entrepreneur Style - Day 9

Day 9 - Cotton Wood Tree
Still no fire. More research suggests I need softer wood. Cotton wood is suppose to be one of the best. I found a cotton wood tree on my property. Unfortunately it is tall. I'll have to look around for one with branches I can reach.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fire Making - Entrepreneur Style - Reflections

8 Days ago I had this brilliant idea for a video. While mowing my lawn I had this bolt of inspiration. I would make a video showing how survival fire making is like starting an online business. Well, 8 days later I still haven't made a fire.

I thought this would be easy. My closest friends describe me as having laser focus. When I get inspired I focus all my energy on that one task. In high school I was inspired one cold winter day. I gave myself the challenge to stay outside until I had successfully made a fire.

I grabbed the nearest materials. A pine wood dowel and a cedar shingle. I notched the cedar shingle and set to spinning the dowel. Quickly, I made smoke, then an ember. I put the ember in a small pile of dry paper and made fire.

It was easy to make fire that first time. I thought it'd be easy to do it again. It turns out I made several lucky mistakes. I started with the most perfect materials. Dry cedar shingle is the best source for fire making. Also I used dry paper for tinder. By chance I had the perfect setup to create fire.

Like any successful online business I could have stopped there and sold you courses on how to make fire. After all, I made fire and now I'm a successful fire maker. Instead I tried it again, years later, in a new place, with new materials. It has been 8 days and I still haven't recreated that original success.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fire Making - Entrepreneur Style - Day 7

Day 7 - heat and smoke
Day 7 - I now have a good fire stick and fire board. I got to spinning and created a puff of smoke. The boards also smelled like smoke. Great! The only problem is that from 6 previous days of spinning my muscles could only go for a couple minutes. Resting tonight and giving it another go tomorrow.