by Linda Keesee.
(Hurst, Texas, USA)
Hello, I am a self-taught crafter. I have been crafting one thing or another since I was a little girl. Once I got in my early 20’s I got into woodworking, and loved it. And did pretty good at craft mall and craft fairs.
As I got older I started looking for another hobby. Something I could do in the comfort of my own home.
A few years back I discovered jewelry making. And I really enjoy making jewelry. I first started out stringing beads, and then I discovered the wonders of wire and now learning some cold connection. I love working with the wire and sheet metal, especially copper. I guess it reminds me of my woodworking. (I get to saw, drill, and beat on things).
I have always wanted to have my own craft business. So I started researching and reading everything I could on, internet businesses, promoting, marketing, social network marketing, search engine ranking, link exchange, etc.
Then I jumped in with both feet. I signed up with Yahoo sitebuilder and started building my own website, big step; I have never done anything like this before.
But determined to make it work, because I want a place to sell my crafts. I am trying to gear it more towards jewelry. And maybe quit my woodworking all together.
After about 4 months of hard and very stressful work I got my site up and published. I work on it every chance I get, because of what I have read. Content is king.
So I am trying to add things that will draw people to my site like articles, tips, resources to share, and hopefully soon some tutorials. I try to add things often.
I have a full time job so it is hard to even fine the time to work on my jewelry because I have to put all my spare time on marketing and working on my site. I have joined Facebook groups, Twitter, a forum, and even been trying to write article to submit to article directories, to help market myself (and I’m not a writer).
On the social networks I don’t put on the sale pitch, I share information and share and retweet other people’s things. I try to interact with others (that’s hard because I’m not good with words, and shy) but I’m trying because I really want this to work
I read the article about using a scanner to take better pictures, and I can’t believe how much better they look so I am in the process of changing out all my pictures.
I’m afraid I’m not ready for a newsletter. I just started trying to build a blog to help with my promoting, but I am having a really hard time with it. It is even more confusing than building my website. Nothing cooperates with me. I have been doing link exchanges.
I’ve read that you can do the social network thing for like 20-30 minutes a day and drive a ton of traffic to your site. Well I spend a lot more time than that and I still am not getting very much traffic.
I know it is going to take some time, but I could use any tips or advice that anyone has to offer. Any help is greatly appreciated. Please take a look at my site and give me all the constructive criticism you can give.
Help! What Am I Doing Wrong?
by: Nancy Abron
Patience, patience, and more patience. Enjoy the journey, having a F.B. page; a blog, with all of my designs in a jewelry store for over a year, and I am still in the branding phase.
Quiet reflection, and quiet persistence replaces overwhelming fear and uncertainty.
Patience, tolerance, and understanding begins to stand beside you; will take you farther that you can ever imagine.
Nancy “Less Than Perfect Angel”
Thank you Nancy, I will try practicing patience, but that is one thing I’m not very good at. (-;
I am not an expert. But just looking briefly at your website, maybe the pictures of your jewelry should be larger so that more detail is brought out. Also, perhaps you may not need to have as much information on each piece. Sometimes less is more. Again, I am not an expert, these are just suggestions.
Help! What Am I doing Wrong
You need to pare down your website – too many photos, too many words I don’t think I have ever seen a more confusing website Most importantly, you need to find someone to edit your English – construction, grammar, punctuation Spell check won’t do it
Help! What Am I doing Wrong
Re need for editing , I forgot to include an example
There is no such word as unconstruction, as in
“my site is unconstruction”
It is shame to see your hard work ruined by unreadable english
You are making some beautiful stuff! The website is a bit “jumbly” perhaps you can find a good web designer to help you out? I have no website, so I really can’t help too much here. While one can click on the particular photo to see it larger, I think each piece deserves individual attention, and there is just too much going on on one page, in my humble opinion. But keep at it, you are getting out there & going for it, kudos to you! Next, to refine things a bit.
by: Patricia Carberry
I think it would be more exciting to have large pictures where you have the block of text. Your links are too far down. They need to be right at the beginning, to give people ways to enter the site right away.
Patricia Tyser Carberry
How much work do you put in?
I’ve always been one to say what I think, so please just take this as my feedback and not as an expert telling you what to do. I don’t sell much, and do this more as a hobby, but I think you really need to rework your pricing for your designs. Think about how much time you put into each piece, I mean, you design it, make it, hammer it, cut it, tumble it, whatever. Now, how much money would a jewelry artist make per hour? I price mine based on $20 minimum. Look at you supply costs, your equipment costs, your marketing costs (you put A LOT of time into this, especially with a fulltime job) and then the time you spend making each piece. Then times that by 2.5 or 3 for a final cost. That $10 bracelet might need to be priced at $45 or more. I think your things are beautiful handmade creations, then I see a $10 price tag and think that it must be cheaper quality or less “original” than it looks. Seriously, people want to know they’re buying something from a craftsperson, not a reseller and at $10 I would think that this is a “made in china” bracelet that someone who just orders mass quantites is selling. From my quick look at the site, I think you could get these prices easily.
Lastly, you’re site isn’t designed as a retail site, it’s an info site that happens to have some jewelry added to it. Try etsy or an online selling site to just focus on jewelry. The social media work, blogging and all of that is great for marketing, but your jewelry sales website needs to be just that, jewelry for sale. Search online for handmade jewelry designers and look at their websites for ideas and inspiration on how to present and price your designs.
Good luck and really, your jewelry is beautiful and just keep with it!
As others have said, some proofreading and verbage correction would be a great start.
To me though, I can’t really tell what you’re trying to DO with your site. Are you selling your products, OR being a resource – it should be one or the other, not both.
As a jewelry artist, I don’t believe you should be offering your hand crafted items for sale, and then glancing at a sidebar on the same page, offer a book on how to make the same type of item! That just doesn’t make good business sense.
I know it’s tough, but focus your energies to one area and I believe you will see better results.
Best of luck to you!
Hope this helps
From the articles, the topic buttons … It looks like your audience is people who make jewelry? I don’t think that’s what you want when you’re trying to sell? People who make jewelry aren’t who you want to focus on as customers. They don’t usually buy because they make their own. Put yourself looking through the eyes of the customer you want to sell to.
You need 2 sites for all this information:
1 site for fellow jewelry makers (hints, tips and a link to your sales site (Move your jewelry making hints/tips/content to a different site.)
2. Main site is for SALES: Showcasing your products, how to purchase, shipping, a short bio, etc.
Keep your sales site clear, simple and focus on your wonderful pieces. That way when a buyer comes to your site they can clearly see all the wonderful items and can focus in on what they want to buy. e.g. People buying won’t want to see how to photgraph etc. I think that type of information could be confusing as to what is the purpose of the site and you may miss a sale.
Your pieces are beautiful. Your content is great – just separate your audience content and focus on one audience at a time.
Let them shine on their own. Very best of luck.
Wow! Thank you everyone. Have a lot to think about. Lately I have been thinking of signing up with a handmade marketplace for my items. Guess I need to go ahead and do it, among other changes
Help! What Am I Doing Wrong?
May I add my 2 cents? Stop using the word “crafts”. You are a jewellery artist. You make jewellery. This is your jewellery business. This isn’t your crafting hobby. You work too hard at it for it to be a hobby. Think like a business lady. Then everything will start to look and feel more professional. Concentrate on making your jewellery and promoting it. Leave the articles until you are established. Good Luck!
Have you considered “Payvement” on Facebook?
Payvement is a store you can set up for free and run right from your Facebook Fan Page.
by: Ann Nolen
First you have done the most important thing, you have come here and asked for help. Smart move! I have found that it does take time to find exactly where you need to be… and that is hard for me also. I call it my “learning curve” and that just takes time.
I agree with the other comment that your prices are too low. $10.00 with free shipping doesn’t make sense. When I first started I did a show and no one was buying, at all. At the end of the day, a woman asked me if the metal would turn her skin green! I realized she thought it was junk because my prices were too low. I returned the next day to the show with my priced doubled (crazy, I know!), and things started to sell. Taught me a lesson.
I agree that content is king, but easy navigation is even more important. I usually research by looking at other websites until I see something I like.
Best of luck and keep working till you are happy with the results!
I want to thank all of y’all for taking the time to look at my site and giving me your opinions. I really appreciate it. Yall really have given me a lot to think about. And I see I need to make a lot of changes. Y’all have given me a direction to go, when I was at a loss of what to do.
I Do the Same Thing!
First, your website is a wealth of information so I definitely will bookmark it.
Second, I now understand the feedback you’re getting. Too much info. I actually couldn’t find your pieces to view on your website. Maybe theI-Phone screen (3GS mind you) is too small.
At any rate no worries since I, too, like to cram a lot of info on a web page. I agree with the others – create a site just for selling the jewelry, making it really easy to see and buy your jewelry. Good luck!
Paula at IBeadForYou.com
Re- I do the same thing
Thank you for your comment. I have thought a lot about what everyone has said. Since then I have opened up a shop with HandMadeArtistShop.
I have removed my jewelry from by website. I still have a lot of work to be done though.
I appreciated everyones input so much.