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      Moderators needed!   12/08/2017

      Ceramic Arts Network is looking for two new forum moderators for the Clay and Glaze Chemistry and Equipment Use and Repair sections of the Ceramic Arts Network Community Forum. We are looking for somebody who is an active participant (i.e. somebody who participates on a daily basis, or near daily) on the forum. Moderators must be willing to monitor the forum on a daily basis to remove spam, make sure members are adhering to the Forum Terms of Use, and make sure posts are in the appropriate categories. In addition to moderating their primary sections, Moderators must work as a team with other moderators to monitor the areas of the forum that do not have dedicated moderators (Educational Approaches and Resources, Aesthetic Approaches and Philosophy, etc.). Moderators must have a solid understanding of the area of the forum they are going to moderate (i.e. the Clay and Glaze Chemistry moderator must be somebody who mixes, tests, and has a decent understanding of materials). Moderators must be diplomatic communicators, be receptive to others’ ideas, and be able to see things from multiple perspectives. This is a volunteer position that comes with an honorary annual ICAN Gold membership. If you are interested, please send an email outlining your experience and qualifications to jharnetty@ceramics.org.
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Hi guys! I was wondering what websites are recommended to start with! Im going to make an etsy soon to sell but what kind of sites do you use and costs?? How do you feel about Facebook pages??

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I don't do online selling either, just once in a while, so I can't offer any personal experience.

 

However, I've been subscribing to this newsletter called "What's in Store" from MailChimp this year, which I highly recommend to anyone who is starting an online store. Basicially, MailChimp asked one of their employees, who had zero experience building/managing an online store, to launch MailChimp's store and write about the experience. There's a lot of honest and useful advice provided. I've been meaning to post this on the forum for a while, and this thread seems like the perfect opportunity.

 

http://mailchimp.com/whats-in-store/?mc_cid=f539c56d4f&mc_eid=be738624c4

 

There are over 20 newsletters by now, but they are very short and easy to digest. I would scroll down and start at the beginning.

 

(One tidbit for those who don't feel like reading everything: lifestyle photos outsell product-only photos.)

Joseph F and Roberta12 like this

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(One tidbit for those who don't feel like reading everything: lifestyle photos outsell product-only photos.)

 

This is interesting considering that huge thread we had a few months ago about lifestyle photos and such. Thanks for the link Mea. Some night time reading for me.

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One last note is you will have to make yourself known online as unique-that may be the hardest part.

I sell face to face (art shows) and thru galleries and some wholesale.I think this is the most profitable (art shows) for me. I like a mix of income.

For hobbyist online may just be the right fit as its less work physically and financially as art shows that fit your work take years to find and develop.

Joseph F likes this

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Throughout my fine-art selling years when I first started character illustrations and cartoon-type paintings and drawings DeviantArt was a good community to connect with, get feedback, and sell (but mostly through commissions). I rarely sold originals through DA. It has since deteriorated into a very niche-based venue that offers little in the way of selling unless your art is spectacular. 

 

I have had great luck selling on Etsy, it is very inexpensive to setup and there is a huge market for handmade ceramics. It is something like .20 cents per listing.

 

Facebook is also great as a redirect to a website or Etsy, or as is. You can setup a "shop" but it is much easier in my opinion to just post photos of work available in an album called "For Sale" and direct them to your website. You can also just put your contact info on each photo with the price. I have sold a lot that way as well.

 

Instagram is a social media site, however it really can drive your customers to your website if you post consistently and have appealing photos. Keep it all pottery, many follows dislike unrelated images and it can hurt your business initially. It can be finicky on what is liked more, lifestyle or product only shots. So far I have had an equal response to both.

 

And, of course, having a good website is so important. I am in the process of re-designing my website from Graphic-Design to Ceramics as I am moving away from design freelance since I do it full time now. If you are interested I can PM my website name (not sure if we can post personal websites on here).

 

Most of my sales are online, as I am too busy to participate in shows and fairs unfortunately. It takes time to do it right, build a responsive client base, and get noticed. But the key is an updated site no matter what you choose, or all of them!

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Most of my sales are online, as I am too busy to participate in shows and fairs unfortunately. It takes time to do it right, build a responsive client base, and get noticed. But the key is an updated site no matter what you choose, or all of them!

Hi Sydney,

 

Would you mind sharing how many orders you get in an average month?

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((not sure if we can post personal websites on here).)

Yes you can post it here

 

Mark is correct, but just to clarify ... you can post links to your website in a comment if it adds to the discussion. You may not post links to your website if it comes with a "buy this" message.

 

Links to your own online store are not allowed within a comment. We automatically consider that a "buy this" message.

 

However you may include a link to your online store in your signature. And you may post links to other people's online stores within a comment, but again, only if there is not a "buy this" message involved.

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Online sales can be difficult. There's something about putting your hands on a pot that makes you appreciate it more. But beyond that, it can be very difficult for your work to be found by customers. This is especially true on Etsy, where there are so many items for sale. Etsy also seems to allow just about anything nowadays, and half the work on there isn't hand made. Search 'mug' and you'll get over 170,000 items. Search 'blue mug' and you'll still get 12,000. Narrow it down further with 'striped blue mug' and that gets you down to 542 items. That's 8 pages of mugs to look at, which is doable. So you have to really know how to sell on Etsy, and it really helps if you have something very unique that will help people find your work. One of my friends puts little critters on the lips of her pots, so they sell well because people who collect things with mice on them, or birds, or hedgehogs, will find her work. Her work without critters never sells, because people can't find it. A lot of people I know who sell well on Etsy do so because they already have a strong following via art fairs and social media, and their main web sites simply direct people to Etsy to make purchases. Etsy is a very affordable way to have a shopping cart for your web site. There are other affordable web sites with shopping carts, you just have to shop around. Weebly had good prices last time I checked.

 

As for drawing people to your site, social media seems to be the way to go these days.

Aurora likes this

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((not sure if we can post personal websites on here).)

Yes you can post it here

 

Mark is correct, but just to clarify ... you can post links to your website in a comment if it adds to the discussion. You may not post links to your website if it comes with a "buy this" message.

 

Links to your own online store are not allowed within a comment. We automatically consider that a "buy this" message.

 

However you may include a link to your online store in your signature. And you may post links to other people's online stores within a comment, but again, only if there is not a "buy this" message involved.

 

 

Thank you! I don't have anything that has to do with purchasing on my site. It is only a design portfolio (:

 

 

Most of my sales are online, as I am too busy to participate in shows and fairs unfortunately. It takes time to do it right, build a responsive client base, and get noticed. But the key is an updated site no matter what you choose, or all of them!

Hi Sydney,

 

Would you mind sharing how many orders you get in an average month?

 

 

In the hayday 2011-2014 (I have since taken a hiatus) I had about 10-15 orders a month for individual commission work, which always brought in more than original pieces for fine/traditional art and paintings. That was my maximum I could handle since I was also attending class and working a part time job. I sold about 5 digital prints a month through Fine Art America and Red Bubble, and maybe one or two originals a month which required little effort other than shipping.

Sorry if this is hard to translate to ceramics. I only did one sale in December where I sold 15 pieces out of the 30 I made for a Christmas Ceramics Sale in 2013, along with a few others online through Etsy/Facebook afterwards. I have not sold/pursued sales since I just got back into mud in September this year.

 

Also one thing to remember is TAGS, online tagging and keywords are crucial. Research popular tags and make sure everything has proper keywords, as others have said having someone find your work can be a nightmare. Facebook's ads work well, play around with the demographic tools to target those who have related interests.

 

To be transparent, since this is a hobby/side job for me I would be very happy with 15-20 sales (not commissions) a month once I am comfortable with my work again, but many others would scoff at this number :rolleyes: You have to find what number you are happy with and suits your needs.

I am by no means an old hand at this, and I am still learning! I only have a few years selling under my belt, and this is just what I have learned, social media and online sales are a very unique platform, and it literally changes by the day. Updates, ads, targeting, all are tools that could take a lifetime to study and understand, its a lot of work! 

 

 

BTW my website is just for portfolio and layout use when I was doing graphic design and I needed something to showcase my work, its infuzed.design

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