1. To glorify God.
2. To be a refreshing, joyful place on the internet.
3. To be a central location where anyone can go to find out what is going on with the CAST team.
4. To draw in new members and to be a way for old members to discover how to interact as a team.
5. To draw the Christian community on Etsy together as followers of Christ and NOT to diversify it.
6. To promote CAST shops, members and items.
7. To help each other in business.


1.  Never change anyone's post except your own. In fact, please don't even open up a draft/post to look at it unless it is your own so that you can't change something by accident. Unless the author of the post asks you to do something with it, just leave it alone. If you happen to see something wrong with it once it is posted, please convo the author or the blog team leader.If you have "author" access you should only be able to open your own posts. If you have "admin" access, you can open anyone's post, but please don't.

2. Be very aware of copyright infringement. We simply can't use any written material, song lyrics, devotional, video or photo that we do not have written permission to use unless it's a SHORT quote that you give full credit to the author for (credit should list author, source and publish date). Any quote longer than a few sentences or short paragraph would be copyright infringement without written permission from the author.

We are going on the assumption that we have implied permission to use item photos and Etsy minis from CAST members since we are promoting their businesses--free advertising for them. Anything outside the team is off limits without permission (even items from other Christian teams on Etsy or from past CAST Team members who are no longer on the team). I will have to hide any post with copyright infringements until it can be fixed. I don't want to be restrictive, but we need to obey the law.
Here is a U.S. Government link to basic info on copyrights. However, remember that our team is worldwide and International copyright law is even more complex.

For the CAST blog we are looking for original content.

NOTE: Even different versions of the Bible are copyrighted.  We are all to notate the version used in parenthesis after each Biblical quote. For example (NIV), (NKJV), (ESV) or whatever version you have used. 

3. If you are unable to post let the blog team leader know If you find you are habitually missing posts, it may be time to step aside for a while and let someone else take over. Please contact a leader if this happens. It is not a problem. We are happy for whatever time you have to give and know people need to move on to other things sometimes.

4. Stay away from anything politcal or (judgmentally) denominational in nature. Our team is very large and diverse. The purpose of this blog is to pull us all together.

5. Spell check and test your links. 

6. Stick to the posting schedule. We want to publish no more than one post a day so that each has a full day before it is "bumped." Please don't post the day before unless you do it late at night.  If you think you might forget or will be away, schedule your post to publish automatically (see How To below). Because of the time zone differences we are using U.S. Eastern Standard Time as a standard to go by. Our blog is set at EST so you do not need to convert time zones yourself. 

7. The CAST blog is not for self promotion or advertising your own business. You may, of course, link to your shop, talk about your experiences, establish your credibility as a business person and the like, but don't use your status as blog team member to advertise. Promote each other instead. There are, of course, benefits to your business when you are a blog team volunteer and as a volunteer you deserve those perks.


1.Give yourself credit and a link for each of your posts. You did the work so you deserve it. It will help with your Search Engine Optimization for your Etsy shop. 

2. Use a photo. Most of the people who will be viewing our blog are the visual / artsy type. We like pictures. You can use a photo that you have taken or have permission to use, a CAST member item, or a public domain image. Remember to give proper credit and/or link to the item.

3. Once your post is published, also go to the CAST Business Discussion thread and announce it. The person who publishes it is the logical one to announce it. This is also good publicity for your shop. As soon as you hit "Publish" your post should also be linked to from the CAST Facebook page.  If you would like to post it on Twitter or elsewhere to promote it, please do.

4. If you have featured a CAST shop or CAST member items, let them know. This may take a while, but will benefit you as well. They will often come browse/heart your shop. This gets more traffic to our blog as well which is good for everyone.

5. Keep a step or two ahead. Life happens. We get busy. Try to have a buffer of a post or two ready to go in case you need them.

6. If you are experiencing "burn out" let a leader know. Ideally I'd like to have at least a 6 month commitment from volunteers, but life happens and we are very grateful for whatever time you have to give. If you are reading this because you are thinking of committing some volunteer time to the blog team, please pray about your decision.

7. Involve team members who do not usually participate in the forum. Please be sure and pull from those who are not currently active on the thread as well as those that are to feature--reach out to them.

8. Label your posts with appropriate tags. Just like tagging your items on Etsy, this is how posts get found.

9. Use scripture

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16
10. Pray for the blog and the team.


1. Find the CAST blog dashboard to begin your first draft. You should have a Google account in order to access Blogger and find the dashboard. You also need to be added to the CAST blog author list by me. To do this, I need your e-mail address and you need to confirm.
Once you are set-up you can access the blog by signing into Google from the CAST blog and click "Design" at the top.

NOTE: Once you are set up as a CAST blog author you have access to directly publishing your own posts. Once you hit "publish" it will be live on the CAST blog for all to see and will also be posted to the CAST Facebook page.

2. Make links. Copy the url you want to link to. On your blog post type in whatever you want the text of the link to say and highlight it with the cursor (or highlight a photo for a photo link). Then on the edit bar for your blog post you will click the "Link" icon. That will bring up a pop up with a space for you to paste the url. Click "OK." Ta Da, you have a link.

3. Add photos from Etsy listings. You'll want to go to the item you want a photo of on Etsy and right click on it. Be sure and right click on the large version of the photo and not just a thumbnail. From the list choose "Save Image As" in order to save it as a file on your computer. You'll get a pop up on how to save the image on your computer (I created a new folder on my computer just for CAST to keep things separate and you don't need to save them there once your post is complete). Save the image as a jpg file on your computer where you can find it again.

To insert the photo into your post, place your cursor where you wish to insert the photo and then click on the little icon that looks like a landscape photo. Browse your computer and find the image that you saved there and open it. You then have the choice to load more photos from your computer if you want. You will then have thumbnails of those photos in the pop-up window. When you are ready, click the photo you wish to insert and then click "OK."  To choose how you want the photos to appear in your blog, click on the photo in the blog edit window and it will give you a bar at the bottom with options right, left or center AND large, medium, small or remove and now add caption.

4. Add an Etsy Mini. Note down the Shop ID# of the shop you wish an Etsy mini. Etsy has made this rather difficult lately. The only way to find the Shop ID# for a shop other than your own is by looking at the source code for the html for the shop's main page and it's not easy to search through it and find. Right click on a blank portion of the shop's main Etsy page and then click the "page source code" link on the menu that pops up. You will get a long page of html coding. The user_id number that you want is still findable in the section of coding that is associated with the shop's contact link/convo overlay. You will find it about 1/5 of the way down. Then go to "Your Etsy" and click "Etsy Mini" in the side column. Then configure and copy the code for the appropriate style of Etsy mini for your own shop.

In your blog draft, click the " Edit html" tab at the top which will show you the hidden html coding for the post. Scroll to where you want to insert the Etsy mini and paste the code for your Etsy mini. Replace the ID# of your shop which is embedded in the code with the ID# for the shop you wish to feature.

If you return to the "Compose" tab on your post you WILL NOT SEE the Etsy mini. It cannot be seen except in preview mode.

5. Schedule a post to publish automatically. This features is now found at the right side of the edit window when you are making post.

6. Trouble Shooting.  Well, what can I say--Blogger is glitchy.  It also tends to shift everything around each time you hit "Save" and add extra blank lines and delete spaces for no good reason. Also, our blog is not the same width as the edit box in the draft so once it is published things will shift a bit. You can minimize the frustration by keeping your format simple--don't try to wrap text around photos and that sort of thing.