Jump to content


Photo

Web Site Building And Marketing

web page web builders onlne marketing

  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 LeeU

LeeU

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 597 posts
  • LocationNew Hampshire

Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:49 PM

Well, it seems I have a new PT job: learning how to put together my own web site, plus the associated links, buttons, tools, text, etc. etc. that goes with "marketing" via certain selected social media portals. I am learning SEO terminology, copyright law, best practices for e-mail, privacy/security measures, table top product photography, color theory, eye tracking in an "F" pattern), recommended point sizes for text, the use of <H> to leverage which crumbs the spiders might pick up while trolling for Google ranking factors, time-intensive review of a comprehensive array of resources...I could go on...and on...and on. It's a lot of freakin' work!  

 

The good news is I find the process and the control of it exciting and satisfying. It suits my nature and I am good at making detailed trackers so I have truly useful running to do lists, spreadsheets for inventory and finances, and I am not buying any software assists. My store is on my site, so I am not using anything like Etsy or Shopify.

 

The bad news is I have limited real-life website development experience and rely solely on resources such as community forums, webinars, free small business  advisers, savvy friends, and support techs to progress. 

 

SO..............since y'all are part of such a large and expert group of artists, many with robust online presence, I have a few questions:

 

(1) what are a few UNCOMMON (not likely to be readily known from the standard instructions/tips that are out there) things you wish you had known before building your own web site ;

 

(2) what are a few things you did or learned that really HELPED you when building your site, and;

 

(3) what are some CRUCIAL tips from your experience with linking your web site to social media outlets? 

 

Also, if you spent any MONEY that you either really regret or are very happy you did, describe that. (I am happy I bought a camera and a simple table top photo set up and stopped trying to gerryrig the whole process of making decent images.)

 

 

THANKS in advance. Attached File  Logo B_201 jpg border-ash sm.jpg   32.9KB   1 downloads


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,349 posts
  • LocationRed Lodge, Montana

Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:58 PM

I did mine using Go daddy web builder.
I thought it was easy compared to other ones I have tried. I built a site way back using html commands.
Marcia
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings
[http://www.marciaselsorstudio.com

#3 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 1,433 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:56 AM

(3) what are some CRUCIAL tips from your experience with linking your web site to social media outlets? 
 
Also, if you spent any MONEY that you either really regret or are very happy you did, describe that. (I am happy I bought a camera and a simple table top photo set up and stopped trying to gerryrig the whole process of making decent images.)



I am still somewhat new to using Instagram, but I have been using a Facebook page for my business for years. I find that Facebook is incredibly effective for driving visits to my website, because I can include a link within my facebook post. I can post "I just finished a new blog post," and readers come running. Instagram is not good at that, because links are not allowed within a post. So far I haven't found any good integration between Instagram and my website (which is ok, Instagram is fun for other reasons). When I had my online sale in December, I did go through the (cumbersome) process of changing the link in my profile to my online store's url. No idea if that generated traffic or not. Seems like too many steps for me and a potential customer.

I pay for my domain names and email addresses, and I use Weebly's free services for everything else. Yes, there are some features of not-free Weebly that I think would be nice to have, but I can't bring myself to pay for it. I don't consider the website to be my actual business, it's just a support element of my actual business. So if my business was based on online sales, then I would consider paying for better features.
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#4 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,349 posts
  • LocationRed Lodge, Montana

Posted 01 March 2017 - 10:28 AM

I use my website as a teaching tool. It has about 20 pages. There are links. I am happy with the results and I get over 3000 hits/month.

Marcia
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings
[http://www.marciaselsorstudio.com

#5 Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

    clay stained since 1988

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,117 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC

Posted 01 March 2017 - 01:52 PM

The best money I spent was on Sandvox, a Mac website building tool. $80
If you can cut, paste and click you can build and publish an awesome site with all kinds of options in hours, not weeks.
Editing is as easy as using Word. Drag and drop images. Lots of template choices.
Not a freebie, but very friendly!
Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://ccpottery.com/

>TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT"

" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#6 Diesel Clay

Diesel Clay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,177 posts
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:27 PM

Because different age demographics tend to hang out on different social media platforms, Instagram only works as a sales funnel if your demographic is currently looking for pottery with feathers or arrows on it, is made of a speckly clay with a white glaze over it, or has a handle that looks really good in pictures but may or may not function well IRL. Bonus points for gold lustre use. Please note, I'm not disparaging anyone's work (I like white glazes and lustre too), it's just that style of work is what appeals to the current crop of 25-35 year olds, who are the age group of non-clay people that hangs out on Instagram. Professional marketers generally use this social media platform to flesh out a brand story, and maintain contact with their customer base in a fun, informal way.

In the instance that you don't make this kind of work, Instagram offered many, many excellent clay community benefits to be had from that platform of your work doesn't fit that very specific genre. Do participate, it's a lot of fun. The platform appeals to a lot of artists purely for recreational and community buIdling purposes for good reason.

I've heard from a number of other creative entrepreneurs of my acquaintance that they still find Facebook to be their best sales funnel, despite it being a pay-to-play game. Apparantly the ROI on a 1week campaign can be quite good if it's executed properly, and it's relatively inexpensive to test out. I have not yet forayed heavily into Facebook, and haven't put any money into it yet. I can say that the people who interact with me on Instagram are mostly other artists of one kind or another, and the tiny following I have on Facebook are the people who are actually more likely to purchase my work. They're slightly older, and tend to have more disposable income, and tend to get their info about where I'm going to be next from either my website or my list of events on FB.

Now, I love being on Instagram, and it has taught me a great deal about a certain style of photography, and I have met a lot of amazing people and had a lot of amazing opportunities through it. But if I knew then what I know now, I'd have focused more energy into figuring out FB sooner. I think it's something I have to remedy if I want to give my business an online boost.

#7 Diesel Clay

Diesel Clay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,177 posts
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:37 PM

Oh, and money well spent was on a workshop specifically about how to compose a good shot for Instagram, using your smartphone, and being able to edit those photos on some good, free photo editing apps. (I favour Snapseed, but others like VSCO, or A Colour Story) That was held here in my city, but I think I've seen a few similar ideas on CreativeLive. Or check with your local camera store, if you have one. They'll probably have a line on someone in your area.

#8 Chilly

Chilly

    those who know, teach

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • LocationLangdon Hills, Essex, UK

Posted 02 March 2017 - 01:33 PM

 

(1) what are a few UNCOMMON (not likely to be readily known from the standard instructions/tips that are out there) things you wish you had known before building your own web site ;

 

(2) what are a few things you did or learned that really HELPED you when building your site, and;

 

 

 

(1)  Ask everyone you know, what words they would use if searching for your product, then use those words on your website.  I'm a Cycling Instructor, and never use the word "kid", so it wasn't on my webpages.  

 

When I asked the question, lots replied with that word, so I added it to the pages, and every other similar word, slang or otherwise that I could think of.  

 

Now my site comes out quite high on Google.  If you ignore all the motorbike courses, that is.

 

 

(2)  I got a 30 day trial copy of Dreamweaver and used that to build my site. I maintain the site by opening the html files in Notepad and modifying words every month, to keep Google and the spiders (on Mars) on their toes.  

 

I pay for the website and e-mail addresses.  When I see other businesses using @hotmail I wonder how professional they are.

 

 

 

Keep your site clean and tidy, not too many pictures, make sure it opens quickly - click away time is 3 seconds - and is clear.  Proof-read it late at night when you are tired and have had a bad day/glass of wine.  If it winds you up, it will wind your prospective customers.


----------------------------------------------------------

Ann

http://www.readypeda...uk/pottery.html


#9 RonSa

RonSa

    Still learning

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 531 posts
  • LocationNE Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 02 March 2017 - 04:28 PM


  When I see other businesses using @hotmail I wonder how professional they are.

 

 

+1

 

That goes for @gmail.com too.


Ron


#10 docweathers

docweathers

    Gismo Guy

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 643 posts
  • LocationSpokane Wa

Posted 02 March 2017 - 11:47 PM

One cheap, effective and essential tool for SEO is scrapebox.

You can get it at www.scrapebox.com.

 

SEO is a huge amount of work, but essential if you're going to make this thing pay either on your own website, Facebook or elsewhere.

If you want to go with your own website either WordPress or Joomla! are the best choices. They are free, have an immense number of add-ins and work well.

WordPress is more SEO friendly


Larry

Lawrence Weathers

Gismo Guy

Spokane WA


#11 LeeU

LeeU

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 597 posts
  • LocationNew Hampshire

Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:27 PM

Gotta disagree about gmail...I use it because it is simple, familiar, recognizable, has decent settngs, is free, and is associated with google/chrome, which is a plus, in my view. I don't think that a paid e-address is somehow more "professional". At base, all any of them do is send/receive mail.

 

I also hold the value that the more free resources there are on the Internet the better off we all are; I support what bit of equity and fair access open source and free products provide for individuals, communities, and the general culture. 

 

I got my new cards today-love 'em. And appreciate Vista Print-very affordable. Yep, got my gmail address right on them LOL

 

Attached File  0303172209.jpg   85.82KB   1 downloadsAttached File  0303172210.jpg   137.02KB   1 downloads


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#12 RonSa

RonSa

    Still learning

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 531 posts
  • LocationNE Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:03 AM

But consider this [email protected].  Now doesn't that look nice?  With only that email address anyone can also find your website and know your name.

 

Since you have hosting from google you already have that capability at no additional cost. Its even powered by the same people as gmail!

 

Any way, good luck with your business. I wish you the best.


Ron


#13 GEP

GEP

    Moderator / full time potter ^6 stoneware

  • Moderators
  • 1,433 posts
  • LocationSilver Spring, MD

Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:45 AM

Of all the free email services, I've always thought that the names "yahoo" and "hotmail" were aimed at teens and college students. And that "gmail" was the first one that was meant for grownups. I don't have any problem with businesses using a gmail address, as long as the username sounds professional (such as leeuceramics). I feel a little jealous at the simplicity, and that it's free. I only look askance at those who are trying to run a serious business with a username like "[email protected]"

I am a long-time Apple product devotee, and used Apple Mail for most of my adult life. But I switched to using gmail as my email client two years ago, and now must admit that gmail is a far more functional product. I wish I had adopted gmail earlier, when I still could have claimed "mearhee" and "goodelephant" usernames. I missed out. Anyways, I think I made a tactical error by using my goodelephant.com email address so much. It has now become my main personal email address as well. Most of my friends are potters, or people I met through pottery, therefore this is the address they know. The problem is that someday I plan to retire this business, and would love to stop paying for the domain name and email addresses. The transition is going to be a little messy.

I guess when I was 30 I wasn't thinking about retirement, or even if my business would make it this far. Now I'm 46 and thinking about the future. If I had to do it again, I would have adopted gmail early enough to claim "mearhee" and "goodelephant" gmail addresses, and used those instead. Then there would be no need to transition anything when I retire.

These thoughts might not apply to business practices IN GENERAL. But in terms of a tiny business like a pottery studio, the phrase "what's in a name?" applies. Your business will seem professional because of you, not your domain-name email address. Everything we do is on a personal level. I've said this many times in other contexts. A tiny business has different needs from businesses in general. Free and simple is always a good choice.
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#14 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,349 posts
  • LocationRed Lodge, Montana

Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:33 PM

Just edited my website and added a lot of photos on my Bio page.

http://www.marciasel...blications.html

I felt the need after meeting several of the young people at the Red Lodge Clay Studio and being treated like a little old lady. Not that I mind when they carry a box or a couple of bags to my van. I have been testing clay bodies for this upcoming wood firing.

Marcia
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings
[http://www.marciaselsorstudio.com

#15 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

    Professor Emerita, MSU-Billings

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,349 posts
  • LocationRed Lodge, Montana

Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

The best money I spent was on Sandvox, a Mac website building tool. $80
If you can cut, paste and click you can build and publish an awesome site with all kinds of options in hours, not weeks.
Editing is as easy as using Word. Drag and drop images. Lots of template choices.
Not a freebie, but very friendly!

Chris,
on your advice I bought Sandbox. My brain must be very right brained. I could not get it.Did not get anywhere with it. I know some people like yourself love it. I guess its just the way our brains are wired.
Marcia
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings
[http://www.marciaselsorstudio.com

#16 LeeU

LeeU

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 597 posts
  • LocationNew Hampshire

Posted 10 March 2017 - 11:42 AM

Maybe I will revist the email address thing.

 

Next question...any important tips about setting up a manual (Excel--not a purchased program) inventory tracker?

 

What I have come up with is a sequence across the sheet that captures: Item Number; Type Code (i.e. CA for catchall; ICH for incense cone holder etc.); Size (specific measure ments or S-M-L for ranges, such as under 4" is Small); Body; Glaze dominant; Treatment (incised/stamped/embellished); Sold.

 

I have separate sheets for financials and firing notes. Is this sufficient?I don't have a lot of quantity nor many duplicated items. 


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#17 oldlady

oldlady

    single firing an electric kiln to cone 6

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,450 posts
  • Locationharpers ferry west va and pinellas park fl

Posted 10 March 2017 - 07:53 PM

why not just use photos?  put a price in front of the item and take a picture, gives you a visual and a place to show sold or not.


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#18 Joseph F

Joseph F

    Always Experimenting

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,830 posts
  • LocationGeorgia

Posted 10 March 2017 - 08:19 PM

Just to make sure this is known, you can use google mail as your provider and still have @yourdomainname.com. This used to be a free service from google, but now I believe it starts at 5 dollars a month. : https://gsuite.google.com/intl/en_us/

 

Just for those who are interested.

 

I personally use josephfireborn at gmail.com just because I have prefer to keep things as simple as possible. Like Mea said, as long as your email isn't some crazy name or something I don't think the part after @ matters as long as its professional. [email protected] probably isn't going to do you any favors on that business card.

 

As far as the inventory stuff goes, keep it as simple as possible until it doesn't work, then add to what ever you need. Over complicating things is the number one reason why businesses never get started or fail quickly. 



#19 Chilly

Chilly

    those who know, teach

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 939 posts
  • LocationLangdon Hills, Essex, UK

Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:22 AM

 

Next question...any important tips about setting up a manual (Excel--not a purchased program) inventory tracker?

 

What I have come up with is a sequence across the sheet that captures: Item Number; Type Code (i.e. CA for catchall; ICH for incense cone holder etc.); Size (specific measure ments or S-M-L for ranges, such as under 4" is Small); Body; Glaze dominant; Treatment (incised/stamped/embellished); Sold.

 

I have separate sheets for financials and firing notes. Is this sufficient?I don't have a lot of quantity nor many duplicated items. 

 

Make sure you make full use of features like freeze so your headings stay in place when scrolling, and filters if you want to only see certain items.  Double-check after any "sort" to ensure all rows stayed together.  Angle headings to keep column widths as narrow as the content, to see as many columns in one screen width.


----------------------------------------------------------

Ann

http://www.readypeda...uk/pottery.html


#20 RonSa

RonSa

    Still learning

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 531 posts
  • LocationNE Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 11 March 2017 - 08:32 AM

Maybe I will revist the email address thing.

 

Next question...any important tips about setting up a manual (Excel--not a purchased program) inventory tracker?

 

What I have come up with is a sequence across the sheet that captures: Item Number; Type Code (i.e. CA for catchall; ICH for incense cone holder etc.); Size (specific measure ments or S-M-L for ranges, such as under 4" is Small); Body; Glaze dominant; Treatment (incised/stamped/embellished); Sold.

 

I have separate sheets for financials and firing notes. Is this sufficient?I don't have a lot of quantity nor many duplicated items. 

 

Since you are working in Excel its easy to add or delete a column, so start with what you have and change as needed.

 

If I had to suggest an additions

A column showing which cone the item was fired (maybe link to a page or sheet that lists your standard firing sequences)

Note:  (a good catch all)

Price:

 

Just to make sure this is known, you can use google mail as your provider and still have @yourdomainname.com. This used to be a free service from google, but now I believe it starts at 5 dollars a month. : https://gsuite.google.com/intl/en_us/

 

I beveilve you can forward up to 100 email address to your gmail account at no cost

 


Email forwarding

Create up to 100 email aliases with your domain, such as [email protected]_company or [email protected]_company, and have them forwarded to existing email accounts, like [email protected] For help with this process, please see Email Forwarding.


Ron





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users