Thursday, January 31, 2013

Challenge Complete!

Good Evening My Fellow Crocheting Comrades!!

This is the final post for the 31 Days Crochet Business Challenge with Sara Duggan.

I have learned so much over the past 31 Days, as well as I have met some really wonderful people, and received some great advice. I can honestly say that I am ready to continue on with my blogging journey. The past week or so I have been a little behind as far as blogging all 31 Days, so this post is another make up for the final 3 days.

Our prompt for Day 29 was:

Write a Post about a new pattern on project you're working on.

My newest project is learning to write crochet patterns, I recently purchased the Ultimate Crochet Bible. I've started from page one, and will continue until I have read every single page. I will then come back and teach each stitch that I've learned here on my blog for beginning crocheters. If you haven't already subscribed to my blog, please do so before you leave, I would love to have you travel with me on my crochet blogging and business journey, do come and share the experience with me I am sure you won't be disappointed!

The theme for our final weeks post has been monetizing your blog. And one way that Sara has mentioned to monetize your blog is through affiliate partnership. Our Challenge Day 30 prompt was to:

Write a post introducing your affiliate partner and why you chose to work with them.

One of my affiliate partners is .
I discovered inLinkz, on a hunt to find out what a Linky was. I traveled to four sites, before I found one, that made it clear to me. I found out that a linky is where readers share links from the host site back to their blog post & vice versa. It's a good way to meet other crochet bloggers and bring additional traffic to your own blog.

There are quite a few website where you can sign up for a linky service, but the one I chose to go with was

I chose inLinkz, because I am on a small budget and they actually will bill you $1.99 per month(or $19.99 a year) for the use of their service, and you can cancel at anytime! You get an unlimited thumbnails collection, tutorials, full moderation of links, its iPhone & Android compatible and you get a commission for referring friends!

Another way to monetize your blog is by offering ad space on your blog. As of now, I am not offering ad space on my blog, because I am only 31 Days old in the blogging world. At some point in my blogging career, I will offer ad space, but that for now I will just stick with affiliate partnerships.

As I draw this evenings post to a close, I'd like to Thank all of the people who have supported me, with comments and suggestions through out this challenge. Again, I have learned a tremendous amount of information, and met some really fantastic people!! Until tomorrow my fellow crafters...

Shalam!! Oops... and Dont forget tomorrow at sunset is...

Just drop by and show us what You've created this past week!
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Monday, January 28, 2013

It's been a Long Weekend... Whew

Good Evening my fellow Crafting Comrades!!

We have just three days left in the 31 Days of Crochet Blog Challenge, and I have to tell you, I have truly learned a lot and met some great people!

I've had an extremely busy weekend! My grandson was here for his weekend visit. And the long anticipated arrival of my future Grand-Daughter In-Law is now over, as she officially made her earthly debut last night! Miss Aubrey Karlene Guyton entered the world at 9:39 p.m, weighing in at 6lb.,6oz. and 20 inches long. We are so excited she's here and healthy!! I'm looking forward to my first grandma playdate! LOL

With all the excitement this past weekend, I find myself, again playing catch-up on the blog challenge, but I'm doing it with even more of a thrill today!
Our Day 26 Post was to:

Invite your reader to comment on your blog

So at the end of the post I will do just that. I didn't want to do it here, trying to make the blog "flow".

Our day Day 27 post was:

What are your thoughts on backing up your blog? Records for your business? Write a post on what you think you need to keep track of this year. (income, receipts, charity giving, blog backups, etc)

Unfortunately, last week the blog sponsors blog was taken down, because of alleged spamming. But fortunately, she had backed up her blog the night before.(Divine Intervention) Sara had been sharing with the challenge participants, the benefits of why we should obtain a self-hosted blog, and she gave the example of this:
"Can you imagine owning a house and having someone come by and say “Ma'am... you can't paint your bathroom that color. And, we can't allow you to have a Tupperware party, either. Oh, and by the way, we'll be moving your home in the next 24 hours and all of your addresses will need to be changed.”

Right now, I am not in the position to pay for a self-hosted blog, but I just added it to my goals! By the end of the year, I will have a self-hosted blog. But until then, I will back up my blog daily. I'm new and I know that I've put in some hard work the last 28 Days for the challenge and I would hate to lose any of this information.
Also, based on the recommendations of commenter Vikki Hooks on the post
My Next Step Is I actually went out and purchased a 4 Column Ledger, to keep track of income and expenses the old fashioned way. I also have a portable file box, that I keep right next to my desk to file my receipts once I've logged them in the ledger. I think this will suffice for now, as I am really just getting the basics organized, I can't see needing an accountant for my first year of operation.

And to get me all caught up on the challenge is our Day 28 prompt which is:

Why I Love Crochet enough to build a business around it? Set up analytics for this page to track traffic for the next 7 days. (promote this post actively) After seven days, return to the post and share your results.

I love crochet enough to build a business around it because I think I'm actually good at it! I'm not trying to get rich off selling crochet, but I think I do quality work and I may have a niche. ( Detail forthcoming)

I have set up my analytics for my own blog, and I'm sure with a little research I can set up analytics for another blog. So I'll be back in 7 days to share my results.

And as I draw the post for the evening to a close, I now go back to day Day 26 and invite you to please share your thoughts, comments, concerns, and possible improvements on the Designs by Hebrew Hands blog, all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Until tomorrow...

Its Maybe Monday...

It's Monday and You know what that means...

Over the weekend You've thumbed through crochet magazines and Pinned some things! Did you find anything, that you just "Maybe" want to crochet?

Well share with the readers of Hebrew Hands, and let us give you some inspiration!
And to help you move that project from a Maybe to a complete,try visiting my girl Michelle over at Motivational Mondays with Milahs Handcrafts.

When asked for a permalink in order to be allowed to add your link, you need to provide a link that goes directly to a specific blog post of yours and not your first page.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shh... It's Silent Saturday

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Challenge Day 24 & 25: Is it easy to Share my Post ?

Good Morning ...

I am up at feeling much better today. I'm still one day off with my posts for the Blogging Challenge, but I am here to play catch up again!

The writing prompt for today is simply:
Write a post asking your readers how easy it is to share your posts

So I'm asking... How easy is it to share my posts?
I've tried to make my blog as share-able as possible. One of the first gadgets I add was the Wibiya Toolbar. This toolbar is located at the very bottom of the screen and it comes up as soon as the blog opens. There are several toolbars and gadgets out there that will help to make your blog share-able. But, I chose Wibiya because everything I need is is located on the toolbar.
I'll even tell you what each share-able icon is on the toolbar. So when you visit, you can share the posts that you feel have valuable information or inspirational advice.
You can share via:( From left to right)

  1. Email - The envelope
  2. FaceBook
  3. Twitter
  4. Google Plus
  5. Linked
  6. Pinterest for interesting images
Those are the six share-able icons.

And over to the far right are the buttons that are an added feature I really like!

  1. You have the Latest Content button that looks like a written document, if you click that button it shows you right in the Wibiya toolbar the various posts that have been written recently, with a hyper-link to take you to the article.
  2. Next is the FaceBook stream button, this button expands in the Wibiya Toolbar and shows you the latest activity on the Designs by Hebrew Hands Facebook fan page.
  3. Next is another subscription button, you can subscribe with Google+, follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, or subscribe by email.
  4. And the last button, again... LIKE ME on Facebook! LOL This is the social media forum that I will be spending the majority of my time on for now. If you ever need to reach me, more than likely you can find me there!

Again I ask ... How easy is it to share my posts?

Before you go... Make sure you subscribe and will you click on the last button on the far right, and Like my Facebook fan page if you haven't already!!

Until this evening...
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Challenge Day 23: SEO

Good Evening Fellow Crafters...

I am still feeling under the weather, and right now I am in between naps, so I decided to come and post for Day 23 of the Challenge.

I have learned so much in the past 23 Days. And if I had to name the most important thing that I've learned during this challenge thus far, number one would be, Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO simply put, is where your website, blog, or business will rank in a search engines results.
There are companies out there that will provide the service of helping a person to be ranked on the first page of a search engine, or you can do it yourself.

The prompt for Day 23 is:

What ways will you use to increase the S.E.O. of your blog this year?

I have four ways in mind to increase SEO.

  1. Quality Page Content - Writing quality content is a must. This is the meat of becoming an "expert" in your area or niche, and getting your blog on the first page of a search engine.

  2. Guest Blogging - Guest blogging helps to build your search engine "authority", it builds credibility and drives quality traffic to your site.

  3. Quality Resource Links - When doing guest blogging, you typically provide a link from the host blog back to your own blog, thus more quality traffic to your site.
  4. Keywords & Phrases - Constant usage of keywords and phrases in my blog posts. This will help bring people to the blog who are looking for in my case, "crochet for beginners"

I chose these four methods because I am new to the crochet blogging world, I'm still a fairly new crocheter and I know that when I first began, I had to search all over to find information to get me where I needed to be. I want to have available here as many resources as possible on " crochet for beginners."

Until tomorrow...

It's Wednesday & You know what that means...

It's Work In Progress Wednesday
Tami Ami
Lydia CrochetAddictUK!

I recently had my first grandson, and I've already found him a wife! So my WIP this week, is working on his and hers baby blankets!

Whats on your hook today?

Challenge Day 22: How to Find Your Target Market

Good Morning Crocheters Worldwide...

Finding your target market takes some work. Using Google AdWords (which is free by the way) and choosing the correct word(s), will help you target your market for your blog or online store. In other words whatever keyword(s) you use, will help drive traffic to your blog just by knowing what your reader is looking for.

Writing Prompt for Day 22:
Choose one keyword and use it in your post for today. You'll be writing your post about the keyword you choose. (ex. crochet pattern, crochet hat, etc.)

So I chose the keyword phrase: crochet for beginners. Why this phrase you ask? First, the competition in this area is low, secondly the global search for this keyword phrase is 60,500, and on the local level it 33,100.

Considering I'm fairly new to the crochet business, let alone blogging about crochet, it is my goal to document in my blog everything that I learn about crochet. From new stitches and techniques, to business plan writing and to actually having items available to purchase. As I grow, so will the Designs by Hebrew Hands blog and ultimately the business.

So if you haven't subscribed make sure you do, so that you can travel with me as I journey into building a crochet blog and business! You can follow by email, or by RSS feed.

Until this evening...
One More thing...
I'd like to introduce you to Design by Hebrew Hands Latest Theme

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Challenge Day 21: Crochet Forums

Good Evening my fellow crafters!

I am a little off schedule, so I need to play catch up again. I have been feeling a little under the weather the past couple days, and right now I'm in a moment of I feel a little better so I'll do my Day 21 Challenge Post.

Although I am feeling a bit under the weather, and making up Day 21 of the Challenge let me tell you... over all I am STILL excited about what's going on with Designs by Hebrew Hands!

Yesterday I actually held my first Linky Party, and I was totally enthused about it! I didn't have as many participants as I would have liked, but I think 2 is good for my first time out! So, I'd like to thank Michelle over at Milahas Handcrafts, and the Spicy Knitter for both stopping by and showing beginning blogger support on my first Linky Party!

Day 21 Challenge Prompt was to:
Write a List post featuring 5 forums you frequent or would like to frequent this year for your crochet blog or business.

I haven't frequented any crochet forums as of yet,however upon the recommendation of the Blog Challenge Sponsor Sara I have chosen to only sign up for these three!

Sara has this to say about my top 3 choices:

  • Hookey.Org- This is owned by Laurie of Crochet Liberation Front. You'll find a great little community where you can chat with other crocheters, business owners, and designers. You can have a Hookey blog, post pictures of your projects, ask questions about crochet business or designing. There is also a chat feature so you can chat with users who are online when you are. An optional paid membership site on CLF includes eCourses, special printables, articles and webinars.
  • Ravelry - This is a mixed fiber arts forum with some crocheters. I find most people to be knitters as it started as a knitters community. (owner is a knitter) It is the number one source for all things patterns, yarn, knitting and crochet. A fun place to hang. You do need to sign up for a membership.( I actully have had a membership with them for a little while)
  • Crochetville -a long time crochet forum for crocheters. They now have a great website that features resources for those who want to design patterns and learn more about managing and owning a crochet business. They have a new pattern directory so do add your free patterns to that.
  • I chose each of these forums because I am at a point in my crocheting where I am interested in learning to design my own patterns.

    And while I'm speaking on Designing Patterns, be sure to subscribe, because on Friday February 1st, I will have host my first guest blogger Michelle of Milahs Handcrafts, and she will be talking about "How to Design Crochet Patterns."

    Until later ...

    One More thing...
    I'd like to introduce you to Design by Hebrew Hands Latest Theme
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    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Challenge Day 20: Silent Saturday

    We were actually given a choice for Challenge Day 20, take the day off or blog on a topic of your own choice.

    I'll take this opportunity to introduce a new theme for Hebrew Hands... It's..

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    Maybe Monday?

    It's Monday and You know what that means...

    Over the weekend You've thumbed through crochet magazines and Pinned some things! Did you find anything, that you just "Maybe" want to crochet?

    Well share with the readers of Hebrew Hands, and let us give you some inspiration!
    And to help you move that project from a Maybe to a complete,try visiting my girl Michelle over at Motivational Mondays with Milahs Handcrafts.

    When asked for a permalink in order to be allowed to add your link, you need to provide a link that goes directly to a specific blog post of yours and not your first page.

     Loading InLinkz ...

    Shalam & Happy Crocheting Family!

    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Challenge Day 19: Are you Pinable?

    Good evening fellow crafters!!

    It's Day 19 of the 31 Days of Crochet Blog Challenge and I'm excited about todays prompt. Todays prompt is:

    After you create a Pinterest Pin Board, write a post and invite your readers to join you.

    Yesterday I told you guys that I am turning into a real Pinterest junkie, and because you can connect your website or blog to your Pinterest account, I think with the proper pinned items, people will visit your site or blog and ask questions, see what you're writing about, and leave you comments!

    Well after taking the Pinterest eCourse recommended by Sara, I realized I have much to learn, yet I am on the right track. I have several boards up and running but they need some editing. And thanks to Michelle Shaeffers'eCourse I now know how to do it!

    I love that fact that in her 35 minute "free" eCourse, she talked about how you can use FaceBook, Twitter & Pinterest all together to drive traffic to your blog. Can you say... confirmation? Remember in my post on engaging, I said that I would use these same three methods as a means to drive more traffic to my blog! ( Happy Dance Moment!!)

    Am I pinable? Yes!

    Can I do more with Pinterest? Yes!

    Am I on Pinterest now? Yes!

    So come and join me as I transform my boards on Pinterest. Just click here, or click the follow me on Pinterest link on the right side of the screen. Dont Forget ...
    We are just 1 Day... from

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    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Challenge Day 18: Are you on You-Tube?

    Good Evening my Crochet Crafting Comrades!

    This evenings post will be a fairly simple one for me as I prepare to enter into the Sabbath Day. Our writing prompt for today is:

    I plan on using Youtube to market my Crochet Business in 2013 by _____.

    I am a You-Tube fan, you can learn to do anything on You-Tube! From crocheting to cooking, to building a green house! You can learn it on You-Tube! I have so much on my plate this year in getting Designs by Hebrew Hands off the ground, that I honestly don't think that I will have a You-Tube page this year. You-Tube for me, is in my 2 year goals. But I say this for now, who knows what will happen over the next 11 months!

    See... short and sweet :)
    Dont forget now...
    We are just 3 days away from ...
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    Until tomorrow...
    Shabath Shalam...

    Challenge Day17: Engaging

    Good Morning my fellow crafters!!

    I have had an awesome and busy week!!
    I am still eagerly anticipating the birth of my future Grand-Daughter In-law,(her mom had false labor earlier this week), I received my first crochet order, and my grandson came to visit a day early( and he is very fussy this week) and so I am a day off with my blog. But I am back today, to play catch up!

    Our challenge day 17 writing prompt is:
    My Top Three Steps of Engagement for 2013

    My Top 3 Steps of Engagement for 2013 are, to be even more active on Pinterest, continued interaction on my Facebook Fan page, and become a Twitter Social Butterfly!

    I love using Pinterest as means of engaging and promoting my blog, because It's visual! I am a visual learner in general and pretty colors attract me!! I have found that I am becoming a Pinterest junkie, and because you can connect your website or blog to your Pinterest account, I think with the proper pinned items, people will visit your site or blog and ask questions, see what you're writing about, and leave you comments!

    I'm already a Facebook addict, there isn't a day that I wake up that I do not interact with someone on FaceBook! What better place for me to engage an audience, than on FaceBook! Although I've never used it for business purposes until now, I am already familiar and comfortable with their platform. So, if you haven't already liked my FaceBook Page please do so, because here you will be able to contact me at some point during the day!

    I am completely new to the world of Twitter. I want to use Twitter as a means of engagement, because I can add the Twitter application to my phone, which will give me a connection even when I am away from my computer. Plus when I'm out and about sale yarn shopping, I can just Tweet to followers & friends!

    These are my 3 steps of engagement for 2013!
    Am I on the right track?
    Let me know fellow crafters, I would love to hear from you!
    Dont Forget ...
    We are just 3 Days... from
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    Until this evening...

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Challenge Day 16: Who are you Following on Twitter?

    Good Evening my Crafting Comrades!

    Its Challenge Day 16, and I am still just as excited as if it were day 1!

    As you all know by now, Sara gives us a prompt each day for the participants to blog on. And our prompt for today is :
    Write a post about the top five people you follow on Twitter and why you enjoy reading their tweets.

    I just created a Twitter account on January 7th. Like Sara over at Crochet Business Blogging, I have a number of people that I am following. I am following other Fiber Artist( my new title!), crochet magazines, and seasoned bloggers. I don't have any favorites right now, because I am new to Twitter, and I'm getting to know Twitter personalities.

    I have retweeted though. I've retweeted because either the person has inspired me on some level, they have shared information I think other up & coming Fiber Artist should know, or I am trying to show support to someone I've started to build a relationship with.

    This was short and to the point post, as I get to know Twitter and use it more frequently I'm sure I'll find that I read some tweets more than others.

    As always until tomorrow...
    And don't forget to subscribe & Mark your calendar for:
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    Its Wednesday... You know what that means!!

    It's Work In Progress Wednesday
    Tami Ami
    Lydia CrochetAddictUK!

    This week I'm working on my future grand-daughter in-laws blanket, I actually restarted yesterday! She's due in about 2 weeks and I would love to have this ready for her arrival, to say Welcome baby Aubrey!!

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Challenge Day 15: Facebook & Fans

    I'm working to get back on blog track! Today is Challenge Day 15 and our blog prompt is:

    Connecting with my Facebook fans is important to me. This week I will ___ to show them that I appreciate them. Write a thank you to your readers and invite them to like you on Facebook.

    Facebook use to be my hangout spot! I'd log on say my good-mornings, chat with old friends, get my daily dose of games. Now I see FaceBook in a whole new light!

    I created my Designs by Hebrew Hands page about 3 weeks ago, and I'm up to nine likes. I haven't promoted it much because I have so much on my plate at the moment. As I get things more organized and scheduled, I'll spend more time on the page. But as for my nine fans that are there now, this week I will give-away a copy of Sara Duggan's Hooking for Cash: 10 Ways to Earn Money with Your Crochet Business Blog.

    I think Sara's book is an excellent appreciation gift, as the fans should be somewhat interested in crocheting in some form or fashion, perhaps even elevating their hobby to a business. And Sara's book has excellent information for a newbie starting out!

    So, if you haven't already subscribed here. You can by clicking the follow by email button on top, or by getting a feed thru the RSS on the bottom. And please do, come by the Designs by Hebrew Hands Facebook Page and like me!
    Until tomorrow my fellow crocheting companions...

    And Dont forget to mark your calendars for:

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    Challenge Day 14: Lets Talk Numbers

    Umm I missed yesterdays post. Had a few errands to run, and by the time I got back home, I was completely worn out. But I'm back today to make up for it!

    Yesterday was challenge day 14 and our prompt was to:

    List your current blog stats. i.e. Rss subscribers, sales, newsletter subscribers, comments, etc...

    I just got my Google Analytics to work 3 days ago!! Right in time to work on this particular post.

  • RSS Subscribers - 3
  • Sales - $0.00
  • Newsletter Subscribers - 0
  • Comments - Lots... I just have to figure out my Google Analytics More!
  • So, my numbers are rather small right now, ( But they'll be better by the end of the year!!) and I'm just fine with that! Considering I'm new to the blogging scene (15 days new actually) and still in a learning phase, I'm excited to have 3 RSS subscribers. ( Perhaps a celebratory purchase of yarn?) To me that's a good thing, it means that 3 people out there are willing to read what I have to share, or be supportive and either way... I'm happy!

    I would like to have at least 500 RSS Subscribers, by the end of the year, 100 newsletter subscribers, $600.00+ in sells, and comments daily on posts.

    This is a year of learning for me. Learning all that I can about blogging, and especially blogging for my business. I can't expect to have newsletter subscribers, if I dont have a newsletter YET! And it's the same with sales, I haven't posted anything for sell yet as I have a ton of work to do, just to get my site up and running properly. Making the items to sell, that's the easiest part! Getting people to visit the page, and keeping them here long enough read information and to want to purchase an item, is my biggest goal for this year!

    Well until later this evening my fellow crafting comrades...
    Oh yea... And don't forget to subscribe!! It's upper right for an email, and bottom for the RSS Feed.
    Click here to like my Facebook Page
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    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Challenge Day 13: 50 Bucks!

    Good evening fellow crafts people.

    We are in day 13 of the Business Blog Challenge, and yes... I am still excited!

    I have learned so much over the last 13 days, I sometimes feel as if my head may pop off. ( Over exaggeration!!) But I have taken in a lot of very useful information on the world of crochet business blogging. I've had to re-edit my schedule twice, and this last time was so that I could include a set time for blog visits.

    Well as you already know, Sara gives the participants a blog prompt each day and todays prompt is:
    I want to make ___ per month from my blog this year. In order to accomplish this goal I will need to do ___, ___, and ___.

    I had to sit and think what a realistic goal for me as a beginning blogger, with 3 years of crochet experience is. I am not trying to get rich here, just bring in some additional income. So I came up with $50.00! That's right... I want to make $50.00 dollars per month from my blog this year. And if I make more that would be wonderful, and if I make less, that would be ok too, because I haven't set a really outlandish goal for myself. ( Think small & grow bigger!)

    In order for me to accomplish this goal I will definitely need to increase blog traffic, consider moving to a paid-hosted site, sell more crocheted items, sell PDF patterns, and/or PDF books.

    But before any of this can happen I have to generate more crochet content. Interesting crochet content = more traffic, more traffic = more viewers, more viewers = sells!

    So, for now I will continue writing out a list of topics that I am blogging on after I complete the challenge!

    Don't forget to subscribe, ( upper right corner for email, and the bottom of the screen for RSS Feed) so you can travel with me as I journey into the world of starting my crochet business!!
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    Until tomorrow...

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    Challenge Day 12: Guest Bloggers Needed

    Good evening again family!!

    I'm back with my second post of the evening.

    It's Day 12 of the 31 Days of Crochet Blogging with Sara Duggan of Crochet Business Blogging.
    And I have a question for you...

    Do you have:

  • Tips for beginning pattern designers
  • Crochet business start up tips
  • Tips for crocheting home-decor
  • Or information on crocheting for charities.
  • I am looking for guest crochet bloggers to feature every Friday.
    If you fit this bill, then Hebrew Hands wants you!

    Please send me an email at: with your topic of interest, and lets when we can get you scheduled.
    Don't forget to subscribe so you will be notified of upcoming guests!
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    Challenge Day 11: Part II A Call to Action

    Good evening fellow crafters!

    Yesterday I couldn’t blog like I wanted to. I had a small family emergency, (family first) but all is well today, I am back from my Sabbath days rest & in full blogging mode.

    Remember yesterdays blogging Prompt was: Develop a Call to Action Post

    A call to action is simply, telling your readers what you want them to do , and showing them how! I actually did a call to action, when I wrote “Well if you haven't already make sure you subscribe, so tomorrow when I reveal what a " Call to Action " is you will get the notification.”

    Then I had a “ Duh!! “ moment.

    There has always been a " call to action" toolbar here! There is an email subscription link now at the upper right hand side of the blog, ( It was originally at the bottom...Location location location!!) and there is a a "FREE" Wibiya tool-bar( waaaay down at the bottom) that immediately opens, when you visit the page. Via the toolbar, you can share my blog posts by email, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked or Pinterest!!

    So, if you found any information beneficial, please scroll to the bottom and share the post!!

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Challenge Day 11: A Call to Action Pt. 1

    Good evening fellow crafts persons!!

    Today is Day 11 of the 31 Days of Crochet Blogging, and I am worn out!! I had a small family emergency today, without an opportunity to view any fellow bloggers blog's( can I say that?) nor even read the complete assignment today.

    This means that I will have to do a double duty assignment tomorrow. However, I will share with you the topic of todays prompt.

    A Call to Action!

    What's that, you ask?

    Well if you haven't already make sure you subscribe, so tomorrow when I reveal what a " Call to Action " is you will get the notification.
    Until tomorrow ...

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Challenge Day 10: Who am I talking to?

    Good evening my fellow crafts people!!

    We are well under way with the 31 Days of Crochet Blog challenge with Sara Duggan. And if you haven't been to Sara's page then you are missing out on a wealth of crochet information!

    Todays prompt is:
    My readers like _____ posts the best. Knowing this I will write about _______ and _______ in 2013.

    Sara says that in order for us to know what our readers are enjoying about our posts, we need to look at our blog stats. Keeping in mind that I am a new blogger, I went and checked my numbers here on Blogger and what I found were these results:

  • So far today (4:50pm EST) I've had 32 page visits.
  • Yesterday I had 49 page visits.
  • My 10 day total of visits is 476.
  • My most viewed topic was Challenge Day 3 - My Business Goals & Objectives for 2013 (66 views), followed by Identifying a Target Audience(59 views) & 3rd was Challenge Day 7 - My next step is...
  • If I am reading the numbers correctly, so far the audience is interested in the goals & objectives of a start-up crochet business, how to identify a target audience, and what happens after a person receives their business license and EIN. I'd take this information and in 2013, continue writing and sharing blogs on the process of starting up a crochet business.

    Sara also says that another way to identify your readers is through surveys. By posting or emailing surveys to your readers, allows you to get to know your readers more intimately and cater your blog to their interests. She says " Knowing your reader’s financial status can help you price your work appropriately. Many artists, crocheters in particular, under sell their work."

    There are several companies out there that will help you to create FREE, professional surveys. Like Kwik Surveys, or Survey Monkey . Both are free start up accounts and can be upgraded at a later date.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Challenge Day 9: Themes & Things

    Good evening all!!

    Its challenge day 9, and our writing prompt for today is: I will post___ days a week. I'll participate in ___ linky's and ___ challenges.

    Oookay... so this morning I sat down to work on the challenge post, and had a moment.

    " What in the world is that?"

    I mentioned to you all in an earlier post that I've attempted to blog before and never followed through, so I'm a little blog writing challenged.(for now!)

    What is the world is a linky? I had no idea this morning! Needless to say I had to set off on a Google expedition! I traveled to four sites, before I found one, that made it clear to me.

    A linky is where readers share links from the host site back to their blog post & vice versa. It's a good way to meet other crochet bloggers and bring additional traffic to your blog.

    There are quite a few places you can sign up for a linky service. There is LinkyTools , and LinkyFollowers but the one I chose to go with is

    All three of these choices are free, but if you choose to upgrade of course there is a cost. I chose inLinkz, because I am on a small budget and they actually will bill you $1.99 per month(or $19.99 a year) for the use of their service, and you can cancel at anytime! You get an unlimited thumbnails collection, tutorials, full moderation of links, its iPhone & Android compatible and you get a commission for referring friends!

    It took me about an hour to find out about linky and its benefits, and I'm glad I did, I learned something new today!

    Now my next adventure was to find out what WIP, and FO meant. This one took a little less time. Sara actually told us what FO meant (Finished Object) but I had to know what WIP meant! So off I went!! I actually connected to one of Sara's linky links, ( can I say that?), with Tami Ami and her Finished Object Friday, and there (Yippie!!) I found out what WIP means! (Yay... go me!) WIP is Work In Progress!!

    So now that I know what a linky is, what WIP & FO means I can proceed with the blog post for the day!!

    I will post 3 days a week, I'll participate in 4 linkys per month(1 per week) , and 6 challenges per year( 1 every two months).

    Once I get familiar with the inLinkz dashboard, I'll be hosting my first give-away!!
    Stay-Tuned & Until tomorrow my sistern crocheters...

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    Day 8: My Blog Focus

    Good Evening All...
    This evenings post will be short and to the point.

    Todays Prompt is: The focus of my blog is ...

    The focus of my blog is sharing and networking. The topics I will write about will be any and everything that has to do with crochet!

    As of this moment I’m taking my readers with me as I journey into starting up a crochet business. I plan to share my ups and downs, the successes and failures. I plan to write about new stitches I’ve learned, to patterns I will someday create. I’ll blog about new yarns I’ve purchased, to the local craft shows in Detroit. I want to share conferences I’ve attend to fellow crafts ladies I may meet. There will be no limit on topics as long as it pertains to crochet.
    Deep down, I know I’m a newbie in the world of crochet, and as I grow, each step of my new journey will be here for the next noob that comes along.

    Until tomorrow fellow crafters…

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Day 7: My next step is ....

    Good evening all!!

    We are officially one week into the Business Blog Challenge with Sara Duggan. Today's blog prompt is: I've filed my business license and have my EIN, my next step is...

  • Banking - Designs by Hebrew Hands will be operating as a sole-proprietorship, and I want to keep my personal money separate from the businesses money. Because I now have my license & EIN, I'm off to the bank to set-up a bank account. This will allow for any and all purchases for the business to come strictly from this account, and an easier way to keep up with receipts (monthly statement).
  • Next...
  • Accounting Software - Let me start with this... math was not my best subject, I can count money, add taxes, and balance a check book, but I'm so sure that there is more to business accounting than this. Perhaps in the beginning this may be all I need, but as the business grows, so will the need for me to have accounting skills and software.
  • Lastly... ( for this post at least)
  • Business cards and flyers - I have to let people know that I am open for business!!
    I can put flyers in the neighborhood market, local libraries, at the local university campus. And I can officially give cards out when I'm shopping for supplies, or simply running errands.

    Am I on the right track?
    What would you suggest?

    Until tomorrow my fellow hookers...

    Shalam...that is to say Peace!
  • Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Day 6... And I'm Ascared!!

    Whew... Can you say CHALLENGE!!

    It's Challenge Day 6, and I have to say for the first time, I am Ascared!!
    (you know Afraid + Scared)

    So by now you know that Sara has given a prompt each day and the participants use this prompt as their blog "topic" for the day. And I have to admit, todays prompt: Write a post about your strengths and skills as a crocheter and business owner.

    This one scared me!

    I started questioning myself...
    Can I really do this and be good?
    Perhaps I've lost my mind because I don't have enough experience?

    I mean all kinds of doubtful thoughts started going through my head...

    I don't have any formal management training, I dont have a degree in business,nor do I have any published work! I probably should quit before I get in to far!

    So what specific qualities do I have that will help me succeed in business?

    I have a degree in Communications, with over 25 years in the customer service industry, and 21 years of experience working within the disability community. I began crocheting as a young girl, but it's been within the last 3 years that I've redeveloped a passion for crocheting all over again. And so, I recently became a member of the Crochet Guild of America, to help perfect my crocheting skills and network with other crochet enthusiasts. I'm a self-starter, and hard worker! I learn quickly, I have drive, motivation, family support, self-confidence, and patience. But the most important strength I have is faith!

    Faith is the strongest quality of all. Because when all else fails, It's my faith that will sustain me!
    So I've decided... I'm pushing forward!!
    Until tomorrow...

    Be Blessed!!

    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Day 5: Identifying a Target Audience

    Good Evening all!!

    It's Day 5 of the Business Blog Challenge with Sara Duggan. Todays blog prompt deals with marketing. Who will I market to? Online? Offline? Businesses?

    Marty Diamond in his article 4 Tips for Identifying Your Ideal Customer says that, "If your target market is “everyone,” then you not only have a business model that will likely limp along or fail entirely, but you’ve also misunderstood the goal of marketing."

    Diamond suggests that you:

    1. Become a specialist by finding a niche that hasn't been filled and become the best provider of that product or service.
    2. Do your homework by knowing what your ideal customer looks like, feels, thinks.
    3. Write a description of that ideal customer.
    4. Create different personas, as you will have different buyer types.

    At this moment I haven't quite figured out one area that I would specialize in, based on Mr. Diamonds suggestion, I have narrowed it down to 3 products.

    In using his model, I did create what I thought my ideal customer would "look" like. She would be the customer that I marketed to both on and off-line, as well as the same type of business owner I would search out.

    My ideal customer would be a God fearing woman, between the ages of 25-50. She reads and studies the Bible. Typically she is a wife and stay-at-home mom. She likes reading, spiritual music, and Sci-Fi movies. She enjoys her job as a wife and mom, because it allows for her to always be available for her husband and children. She dreams of someday owning her own business. She's a grounded and humble woman, but incomplete chores will keep her up at night. She's looking for my business because she appreciates one of a kind, quality hand crafted work, that has been covered with prayer through out the creation process.

    I'm working on the different personas, and different buyer types. But I'd love to hear what the readers are thinking at this point. So tell me, What kind of "twist" should I add to my "ideal customer"?

    Looking forward to all feedback, but until tomorrow... Have a great evening :)

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    What's Important as A Business Owner

    Good afternoon World!! We are entering into Day 4 of the Business Blog challenge and I find that I am totally excited this afternoon!!

    Todays blog prompt challenge is: What's Important to Me as A Business Owner? And 3 things every business owner should know.

    Well, before I became a business owner, I was a customer! And my role as a customer will always dictate my role as a business owner. This is my own golden rule for business. As a customer I expect certain treatment. I expect humility, fairness, honesty and politeness. And this is exactly what I am offering my customers whether they are on-line or off.

  • Humility - will show the customer that even though I may own the business, I am an average, everyday, person just as they are.
  • Fairness - when I spend my husbands' hard earned money on something, we want what he pays for, so my customers will receive the same!
  • Honesty - if I don't have an item or can't make the item, I'll tell the customer, that will give them an option of choosing something else or going else where. It's only right!
  • Politeness - I WILL treat each customer individually! This is of the utmost importance to me. I've spent more than 20 years in the customer service industry, and one of my pet peeves, is when a service representative allows the actions of a previous customer to dictate their interaction with the new customer. Each customer deserves to be greeted, with a smile and pleasantries!
  • These 4 things( I know the challenge said 3...LOL) every business owner should know. And if used, I honestly believe that you will have customers who are happy, satisfied, willing to shop with you again, willing to recommend your business to friends and family, and these are important to me as a business owner.

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Challenge Day 3

    Good Day Fellow Hookers!!

    It's Day 3 of the 31 Day's of Crochet Business Blog Challenge and I'm checking-in and feeling better!

    Todays assignment is to share my objectives for 2013 by writing a declaration post and how I will celebrate reaching them. Sara shared with us yesterday, that there is a difference between a goal and an objective. A goal is where you want you business to go and a objective is the progress or markers or proof that you've met your goals.

    Again, today's challenge too took some time. I had to ask myself, how am I REALLY going to accomplish my goals??

  • I declare that in order for I... ZaMarah to achieve my 9 goals by December 2013, that I will work on a rough draft of a business plan myself and then on the advice of the challenge sponsor contact my local SCORE Chapter, so that I will have a developed business plan.
  • I will visit my local library and bookstores to find as many books as I can on HTML. Resulting in a better visually appealing blog page.
  • I will set-up Google analytics, talk to my neighbors, friends and family to see what they think would be good information to highlight in a monthly newsletter. Resulting in a quality monthly newsletter.

  • I will learn how to up-load videos to my blog page, learn my video camera, learn lighting set-up and sound, resulting in at least one quality crochet tutorial video on my blog page.

  • I will increase my on-line portfolio as well as look into local craft shows and flea markets, resulting in 12 personal sells.

  • I will actually schedule blogging into my regular daily evening schedule, in order for me to have a post ready for the next morning (or at least 3x's a week). Resulting in regular blogging.

  • I will try to display an ability to write clearly and concisely on my own blog, so that others who may be looking for guest bloggers will be inclined to ask or, I will just ask other crafters if they are in need of a guest blogger. Resulting in atleast one guest blog opportunity.

  • I will network with other pattern designers, utilize and familiarize myself with the standardized Craft Yarn Councils knit and crochet symbols in order to design at least one pattern. Resulting in the designing of at least one of my own patterns.

  • I will sell at least 1 self-designed pattern because my husband is going to buy my very first pattern!! :0)

  • All accomplished goals & objectives will be celebrated with " MORE YARN " purchases!!

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Yay!! I Made it Back... Challenge Day 2

    Well Go ME!! I made it back for Day 2 of the 31 Days of Crochet Business Blogging Challenge with Sara Duggan, despite the fact that I'm feeling a tad bit under the weather today. I am determined to complete this challenge!!

    So the assignment for today is to share 5-10 goals for my crochet business that I'd like to accomplish by December, 2013.

    I actually had to think on this for a bit, I mean after all this will be my home-based business. I want to be successful, I want my family to be proud and it's my way of helping to bring additional income into our home. And let me tell you this WAS NOT an easy task!! But here goes...

    ZaMarahs' 9 Goals for 2013

  • Develop a Business Plan
  • Learn Basic HTML
  • Create a crochet newsletter
  • Have 12 personal sells of crochet work
  • Have 1 crochet video tutorial
  • Become a regular blogger after the challenge is
  • Be a guest blogger at-least once
  • Design one pattern
  • Sell 1 of my own pattern designs
  • So, what do you think?

    What can I add? What should I add?

    Again, I don't want to drag this blog on to long... I guess I should research on how long a blog should be huh?

    HA! Until tomorrow ...

    Peace & Happy Hooking!!

    P. S. ALL Feedback is definitely Welcomed!!

    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    My First Real Blog!!! O Happy Day....

    I'v attempted to write a blog on two other occasions, and never followed through. I wasn't sure what I should write about or better yet if people would even be interested in what I'd have to say. Well I'm back for the third attempt & this time I know exactly what I'll write about... CROCHET!!

    Yep, this blog will be on my re-newed interest in crocheting.. I want to share new projects, completed ones, new stitch techniques I've learned, friends I've made and designs I've created!!

    Perhaps an introduction is the best way to start. :) My name will soon be Labiya ZaMarah Yasharahla, ( I say soon because it's not legal yet...) I live in Detroit, MI. I am a wife, mother of four young adults (one is a twin with Cerebral Palsy), a grandmother to a beautiful little boy (Grands loves you CJ!!). I homeschool my youngest daughter (15). I have two dogs (Skrappie & Sparky), I love to cook, read and study the Bible, and yes CROCHET!!

    I first learned to crochet as a young girl, maybe 12 or so.( I taught myself then too) I made blankets and hats and then I stopped up until about three years ago. I went to visit a friend and her daughter was crocheting. And I remembered " HEY... I use to crochet..." Needless to say, I left her house and went and bought yarn and needles and started all over again.

    It's been within this last year though that I've really had this overwhelming desire to crochet even more!! Crocheting has definitely become an addiction for me. I have to do something pertaining to crocheting daily, whether it be, working on a project, searching for a new pattern, watching @Teresa Richardson on You_tube, I have to have a dose!!

    I'm so loving crocheting now, that I've decided to make it my business! And to help me get going in the right direction, I've signed up for the 31 Days of Blogging Challenge with @Sara Duggan.

    The challenge starts today and so I guess, I should go ahead and jump right into Day 1's challenge....

    My business is crocheting. I will make hats, lap-throws, clothing and accessories. I will sell my products online at Designs by Hebrew Hands, and offline by word of mouth for the moment. I'm not exactly sure what all of my job duties are at the moment, which is why I signed up for the challenge. To network and learn what exactly I need to do before I launch off into this newest project.

    Well, that's it! That was my assignment for Day 1. Pretty simple huh?

    At this moment, I feel like I might need to wrap this up!! Where as two weeks ago, I couldn't think of a thing to write, I now feel like I cant stop... LOL

    Until tomorrow fellow hookers... Shalam !!!