Friday, September 17, 2010

New Web Sets

We now offer websets at Booming Blooms.  The graphics are all mouse drawn by me and come in full websets available for purchase.  They are ideal for crafty WAHM business websites.  Come by Booming Blooms WAHM Shopping Mall and check them out.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Avoiding Spam in Your Email Newsletters

A very important part of your business marketing strategy is email marketing. Keeping in contact with your customers or potential customers is an essential way to keep them informed about new products or services, sales, coupons, etc., But due to the ever present problem of spam, most email clients now utilize built in spam-filters. Even though you are an honest business woman these spam filters can become problematic to you because they filter out emails that contain certain words that are commonly used by spammers. So even though your email is on the up-and-up, if it contains certain words it can get automatically disposed of in your recipient's spam folder.

And even if it does make it past your recipient's spam filters, it might still get disposed of because of over the years of getting bombarded with spam, we sometimes tend to ignore or dispose of emails that contain words that we ourselves associate with spam.

You worked hard on your email message, it is important to take certain steps to make sure that it does not end up in your recipient's trash without being opened. Always make sure that your 'From' field is recognizable to your recipients. As an example, let's say your name is Deborah Smith and your business name is“Debbie's Candle Delights”. A potential customer visits your website and signs up for your email newsletter. They subsequently receive your next newsletter issue and the 'From' field is set to Deborah Smith and the subject is something like 'My Newsletter'. They will not know who Deborah Smith is, the subject line is too general and they probably have at least a dozen other spam messages in their mailbox, so you have to hope that they decide to open it out of curiosity instead of just deleting it along with all the other “junk” messages in their mailbox. Don't surprise them with different names and make sure that your subject line is specific enough for them to know what it is about.

Do not use all caps, exclamation points, percentage signs, dollar signs, and question marks. And then there are the “dirty” words and phrases to consider when you are creating your newsletter message. These words and phrases scream “spam” so be careful about using them either in your subject line or your body text. Even though some of them can be used legitimately, if you must use them, do so sparingly and carefully.

Dear Friend
Information You Requested
100% Free
50% Off
Great Offer/Deal
Order Now
Call Now
Guarantee, or Guaranteed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More Free Graphics

I have 2 more graphics that you can use for your website, blog, etc.,   These are Fall graphics and were mouse drawn by me.  If you use them please link back to Booming Blooms blog.  Thank you. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Free Graphics

We have free graphics to offer for your blog or website.  These are mouse drawn by me.  Feel free to take them.  If you use them please link back to my blog.  Thank you.

Check back often as I will be adding more free graphics.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

30% Sign Up Discount!

Get 30% off when you join our mall with our discount coupon. Sign up and use coupon code FMS100906021521 during checkout. Be sure to get listed in our WAHM mall!


Booming Blooms WAHM Shopping Mall 

Quality Back Links

Building links to your website is a necessary and efficient way to get traffic. Not only does it give you more exposure but search engines rank your website higher if you have more backlinks. But it's not that simple. If you have a tons of backlinks to your website, it does not necessarily mean that it will rank well in the search engines because they have to be quality backlinks. Otherwise your website could actually be penalized because of the large amount of ineffectual backlinks. The point is not to just get as many links as possible, you must take care to get the proper types of links.

So what exactly are the proper types of backlinks? It depends on the topic of your website. For example, if you sell candles you should have backlinks that are related to candles. These should be websites with common keywords to your website. If you have a lot of backlinks that have keywords that do not have anything to do with your website, the search engines consider that spamming and will either rank it very low or remove it from their indexes. You should particularly stay away from link farms and similar websites.

So how do you go about finding related keywords? There are several ways. One way is to use keyword trackers such as Word Tracker and Google Adwords: Keyword Tool. You can enter your keywords and it will suggest related keywords for you as well as show you the number of searches that have been conducted using those particular keywords. It is recommended that you enter keywords that you think your visitors would use if they were looking for your website. When you have your related keywords, you can find websites to link to.

Another way to find related keywords is to go to Google and type in the main keyword of your website preceeded by the symbol ~. For example if your keyword is candles, you would type "~candles" into the search box, without the quotes. In the search results you will see the word "candles" highlighted. In addition, Google will also highlight keywords that it considers to be related to "candles". You can also use the * symbol as well, for example "*candles". Use the related keywords you find to your advantage by seeking out websites to link to.

It is also very important to submit your website to directories in appropriate categories. The search engine spiders will pick up the category keywords as well as your website's keywords and it will reflect positively. Do not just submit your website anywhere just to get a large number of backlinks, it is a bad idea to make the top search engines see you as a spammer. Seeking out keyword related directories directories and indexes is a vital part of promoting your website.

Clean HTML Code

First of all what is WC3 and why is it important to your website? Simply put, it is an HTML code validator. The HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the code with which websites are put together and styled. It is essentially the innards of your website, invisible to visitors but essential in the appearance and design of your website . It is like what is under the hood of your car, it is not visible to others when your car is driving down the street but so important that your car will not run properly if the innards are not working correctly

Search engine spiders index websites by reading the HTML. For example, at the very top of the document there must be as statement such as this:

!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"

What this does is let the spiders know what type of document it is and how it should be spidered and displayed. The spiders will follow the rest of the code in order to index the website properly. But if the website is not coded properly, it can cause major problems. Especially if you have a business website, because all visitors are prospective customers and you do not want them to have problems accessing and viewing your store regardless of what browser and operating system that they are using. Improperly coded websites will not be properly displayed because different browsers will not know how to handle and display the errors. It will also not display correctly and consistenly among different platforms. Your website may look fine to you on your screen size and resolution, with your browser and your platform but it does not mean that it looks that way to your visitors with different platorms, browsers, and screens. The only way to make sure that it works correctly is to make sure that your HTML is coded in accordance with web standards. Having a clean code also shows that you and your business are professional. That is why it is essential to check your code with an HTML validator tool such as WC3:

This is problematic with using templates and DIY website builders because the very thing that makes them easy to use is what adds additional code that causes HTML code errors and interferes with website page display. In order for the HTML to be coded cleanly it is recommended that it is done by hand by a person, that is why custom web design is more feasible than a ready-to-go DIY template.

When your HTML code checks clean with the validator, you can display the WC3 seal to show your visitors and customers that you have a clean and professionally constructed website.

Business Customer Follow Up

One of the best practices in business is to follow-up with your customers. Even though this is the age when almost everything is done electronically and impersonally over the internet, people will appreciate being treated like a human beings instead of an anonymous customers. It will also make you seem more personable and can help build strong relationships with your customers.

A follow-up does not have to happen only when you have a new product or service to advertise. It can be a simple email sending your customers good wishes for holidays. Or you can make it more personal by sending your customers birthday wishes. You can collect birthdates and emails by holding a fun contest on your website and people have to enter their name, email, and birthdate to enter.

Be sure that you have someone's permission before you email them because otherwise they may see it as spamming. Especially if you plan on sending them offers from your company. Do not flood them with offers constantly, make sure you build a good relationship with them first. Remember that people want to be treated like humans and not anonymous customers.

In addition to emails, you can also send physical follow-ups such as postcards or flyers. You can print them up using creative text and graphics and send them off to your customer list during holidays and birthdays. You can make your print outs interesting by including fun or fascinating facts about the particular holiday that you are sending it for. And you can even find a way to tie it into your business. For example if you are a wedding consultant, you can discuss various wedding traditions and what is done during any particular holiday. If you sell candles you can discuss the various holiday fragrances and what they signify and how they are traditionally used. The possibilities are endless. If you make it interesting and fun, people will actually look forward to receiving your postcards and flyers. You can send printed advertisements and brochures as well but make sure that you do not overdo it. Make it an even amount of simple follow-ups/greetings and advertisements.

Using Doorway Pages in Website Design

One of the most common mistakes in website promotion and search engine optimization is the inclusion of a doorway page (also known as a splash page). Simply put, a doorway page is a stand alone page that does not have any actual content on it, but contains a link to the real website. From this stand alone page, visitors click a link that takes them to the real website. These types of pages are just meant to be a "doorways" to the actual website.

The seeming advantage of doorway pages is that they can be used to give a website higher ranking in the search engines and more traffic. People can use unethical practices of trying to trick the search engines by creating a doorway page and stuffing it with keywords. This page gets spidered along with the real website, giving it higher rankings. In addition to the traffic that the real website itself gets, it now gains extra visitors - the one's that have been redirected from the doorway page.

Within the search engines, this is seen as spamming and can get websites banned from the indexes altogether. Google and other search engines do not take the issue of doorway pages lightly. According to Google:

"Reasons your site may not be included: You employ doorway pages. Google does not encourage the use of doorway pages. We want to point users to content pages, not to doorways or splash screens."

"Trying to deceive (spam) our web crawler by means of hidden text, deceptive cloaking or doorway pages compromises the quality of our results and degrades the search experience for everyone. We think that's a bad thing."

"If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or 'throwaway' domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to 'help' you."

Another illicit practice is to place "doorway' pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords."

According to Alta Vista:

"Here are some specific examples of manipulation that may cause us to block a site from our index: ... Machine-generated pages with minimal or no content, whose sole purpose is to get a user to click to another page, ... Pages whose primary intent is to redirect users to another page."

Clearly the use of doorway pages is not a good idea at all. In addition to the trouble from search engines, visitors do not like them either. One of the advantages of internet shopping is the the quickness that it affords to customers. Things are right in front of them on the screen and with a few clicks of the mouse they can complete a purchase. If they come across a store with a doorway page, why should they bother to click through if they can find other stores with the same items much quicker?  Doorway pages are annoying and are more of a hindrance than a help if you have a website.

Squidoo and Social Media Marketing

Using social media is an indispensable way to market your business website. There are many social media outlets that can be utilized, in this article we will discuss Squidoo.

First of all, what is Squidoo? It is a large online community made up of pages created by users. In Squidoo-speak these user pages are called Lenses. And what are these Lenses about? Anything you want to post and let the world see, whether it be a page simply showcasing your business or maybe even something specific about your business like a "how to". Squidoo gives you the opportunity to show yourself as an expert in your field, so for example if you have a knitting business you may want to create a "how to" Lens about knitting a scarf; if you have a bath and body business your Lens can consist of useful information about the benefits of natural herbs and butters that you use in your products. The possibilites are endless depending on the type of business you operate.

Squidoo can be an ideal addition to your social media marketing campaign. It can increase your website traffic for several reasons, not only will your Lens be included and indexed in a large and popular online community but it will also include targeted links back to your business website. These are the types of back links that search engines love because they are keyword specific and targeted.

Another good thing about Squidoo is that it includes a way to earn some money. This is done through modules that are provided from places like, Ebay, and CafePress. When you build your Lens you have the opportunity to include these built-in modules which will showcase targeted products from, Ebay, CafePress, etc., which allows you to earn some revenue off of them.  For more information visit the Squidoo website:

Using Frames in Website Design

As a working woman on the internet, your website is your presentation to the world. They say you can never judge a book by it's cover but unfortunately in the world of internet business that is true more often than not. There are countless other websites out there competing with you and many times potential customers will only take a few minutes or even seconds to decide whether they want to stay on your website or go elsewhere. Presentation is everything and you must make sure that your website looks both professional and is also search engine friendly.

With this in mind, should you use Frames in your website design? NO! While many websites continue to use Frames in their design, this causes quite a few problems both for website visitors and for search engines. First of all a website designed with Frames does not have separate urls for each page of the website, for example:,, and so on. With Frames all the pages have the same url. But if someone wants to bookmark a particular page of the website or link to a particular page they will be unable to. Having your pages linked by other websites is a strong part of website promotion. Frames can also annoy potential customers because “back” buttons don't work properly. Also, if they try to navigate to another website they can become stuck in your Frames which is enough to annoy them into never returning.

Frames are also a nightmare for search engines, which is one of the major sources of traffic to your website. Search engine spiders cannot read Frames and properly index them. Some search engines such as AltaVista and Inktomi refuse to index Framed websites altogether. There are pieces of code that can be inserted within a Framed website to help in the indexing process but even this causes problems because the content will not be displayed as is intended. The best idea for your website is to simply skip the Frames altogether.

~ Booming Blooms WAHM Mall 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Aging Terra Cotta Pots

Like many objects of value, terra-cotta pots take on character as they age. The clay darkens, assuming a whitish cast from fertilizers and the minerals in water. When kept in the shade and watered frequently, the pots gradually acquire a verdant sheen of algae or moss. But you dont have to wait for that look. These six easy techniques help pots undergo a transformation in weeks -- if not sooner. Start now and you'll enjoy their vintage charm this summer and for many more seasons to come.


Accelerate the appearance of white deposits by filling the pot with a highly concentrated fertilizer solution for a few weeks. Pots aged this way are safe for plants, because the salts won't wash from the pot to the soil.

Tools and Materials

Wine cork
Water-soluble fertilizer

1. Plug pot's drainage hole with a wine cork. (A standard cork will fit a 10-inch pot perfectly. For smaller pots, whittle the cork; for larger ones, slice additional corks to fit, and wedge in place.)

2. Light candle. Drip wax over cork on outside of pot to seal. Let cool.

3. Fill pot with water. (Hard water accelerates the aging process.)

4. Add 5 times more fertilizer than package directions recommend. Stir until dissolved. Set aside until deposits appear. Replenish water as needed. The longer the pots sit, the more dramatic the effect. Remove water, wax, and cork.


One of the most natural-looking patinas can be achieved by simply slathering plain yogurt on a new pot. Yogurt applied to dry pots yields more dramatic results. For a subtler look, above, first soak pots in water for 15 minutes.

Tools and Materials

Plain yogurt
2-inch foam brush

1. Stir yogurt.

2. Use brush to coat surface of pot with yogurt, covering it completely.

3. Set aside in a shaded place until pot achieves the desired look, at least 1 month.

Buttermilk and Moss

Combining buttermilk and moss to encourage moss growth is a common tactic. The moss serves to hold the runny buttermilk in place and vary the texture as well as to promote growth.

Tools and Materials Moss (or sheet moss)
2-inch foam brush

1. If you've gathered your own moss, remove as much soil as possible. Tear moss into small pieces, removing materials such as bark and pine needles.

2. Pour buttermilk into a bowl, add moss, and combine.

3. Use brush to paint the mixture over pot.

4. Set aside in a shaded place until you like the look.

5. If desired, use a metal-bristle brush to remove any heavy clumps of moss, as with the pot above.

Clay Soil

It's easy to make a pot appear as if it had been unearthed in an archaeological dig. Just apply soil found in your backyard. Moist soils with high clay content are ideal, as they adhere to terra-cotta best.

Tools and Materials

Clay soil

Flexible wire brush

1. Rub soil over surface of pot, moistening the soil with a little water if it doesn't stick.

2. Place pot in a shaded area for at least 1 month while soil bonds.

3. Brush pot to create a varied, textured surface.

Water and Sunlight

Sometimes, the simplest methods bring the most satisfying results. This handsome pot was soaked in a tub of water until algae grew on its surface. Algae grows best in the sun, so be sure that vessels sit in bright locations and that water is replenished as it evaporates.

Tips and Tricks

Each technique will yield unique results, although a few common truths apply to the various methods.


It's fine to use dairy products that aren't fresh or have expired. Low-fat products will work, but higher-fat versions tend to be thicker and therefore less likely to drip off.


To achieve an authentic appearance, vary the thickness of the materials and the direction of application. Look to true aged pots for inspiration.

Storage Sites

Shaded locations are ideal for most pots while they "age." Do not stack the pots. Spray them occasionally with water, or place them where rain can reach them. Pots coated with food products may smell strongly for a few days after the ingredients have been applied; keep them away from living areas.


The longer a pot sits, the more pronounced the effect will be. It's up to you to decide when you think it's ready. Most pots will continue to "age" even as they are being used.Be creative Try combining methods for different effects.

Article from:

Mediterranean Garden Pots

A great idea for a garden display is to use empty cans of Mediterranean olive oil as plant pots. It will make a lovely presentation especially for an herb garden. You can find Greek/Italina olive oil cans in your local or specialty grocery stores.

You can also use the cans of Mediterranean stuffed grape leaves. The different sizes will give you the opportunity to create a lovely varying display with your fragrant herbs. Hollow out the cans using a can opener, wash them out thoroughly and hammer in drainage holes on the bottoms. Be careful of sharp edges that will be left as you remove the tops of the cans.

Insect Theme Gardens

You can create fun and interesting theme gardens by planting certain plants together to attract beneficial insects such as bees. Bees perform the essential task of pollinating the plants in your garden. They are attracted to plants by scent and color (except for red - they cannot perceive the color red. They are mainly attracted to flowers that are yellow, blue, and purple.) You can plant a variety of fragrant herbs and flowers for a bee garden. They are very much attracted to the scent of Basil, Chamomile, Dill, Borage, Bergamot, Fennel, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Oregano, Sage, Mint, Thyme, Daisies, Sunflowers, Dahlias, Larkspur, and Snapdragons.

Bees are pretty little creatures as you watch them hovering around your garden, landing from plant to plant. Even though bees are beneficial to the garden, some people fear their presence becuse of the possibility of being stung, (some people even have allergic reactions to stings from bees & wasps). It is important to remember, however, that bees are not really aggessive insects, they will not sting unless they feel threatened. If you are around bees, please remember to use the proper precautions to avoid being stung.

Ladybug and butterfly theme gardens are also a wonderful idea. Pretty little spotted ladybugs are are not only attractive but they are also very beneficial to the garden because they control aphids and other plant pests. If you would like to attract ladybugs to your garden, plant flowers such as Dandelions, Marigolds, Tansy, and Yarrow. Ladybugs are also attracted to fragrant herbs such as Dill, Fennel, Coriander, Angelica, Cilantro, and Parsley.

You can also attract beautiful, colorful butterflies to your garden by planting flowers rich in nectar such as Aster, Lillies, Violets, Thistle, Cyprus Vine, and Liatris. Butterflies also like aromatic herbs such as Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Mint, and Creeping Thyme.