) Ideas to Sell Your Products Online - Crafts Report Series
Creative Solutions To Grow Your Small Business!

Crafts Report Part 3: Internet Marketing Strategy

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Silke Jager

I strive to publish useful and engaging articles that are beneficial to you and will help grow your business.♥ Silke
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Every internet marketing strategy starts with a website!

There are many options to promote your business and craft products online, unfortunately there is a lot of bad advice on the internet about online marketing. Here’s some good advice! Create a website and do social media and content marketing. Try to stay away from the majority of online marketers who say they can help you and don’t bother paying for personal coaching. This is the most expensive way to learn and it’s very commonly a waste of your time and money.. Yes, I’ve been there and done that myself! The person who can help you the most is yourself.

Always use common sense and ask yourself “Would I buy this product?”. Figure out what people want, how you can provide it, and then let your potential customers know about it any way you can think of. If you can get that far, you will be farther ahead than 90% of those who try to sell you their online marketing products.

The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, this has had a profound impact on marketing products, especially hand crafted items. Remember, your website is the foundation of your online presence. It is the one place on the internet that you have total ownership and total control of.

Ideas for marketing products online

Website Tips for Selling Crafts

Your website gives people a place to find out more about you. It can help educate and inform visitors as well as attract new customers. Your website can also be a central place of interaction between you and your visitors. Encourage comments and create a sense of community by starting conversations and sharing valuable information.

These days you can easily sell your products online with a store front type of website and shopping card functionality. To create an online store front with a secure shopping cart I would suggest using a website creating company such as Godaddy.com, Shopify.com or Bigcommerce.com. Many DIY website building companies now offer relatively easy to use tools that implement templates and drag & drop functionality.

I highly recommend having your own domain name such as www.mycraftprojects.com instead of mycraftprojects.blogger.com. Domain names can be purchased along with websites at most of these website creating companies and are very inexpensive (starting at only $2.99/month, sometimes they are even offered free for the first year).

Creating your own web presence, weather it is a blog, website or an online store front, can be time consuming and frustrating.

Contact me if you need help.

Here are some basic website design tips to keep in mind:

➢ Keep your design simple and user friendly
➢ Choose a responsive design that will work with all the different size screens, from a large desktop monitor down to a small smart phone screen
➢ Make your navigation consistent, quick and easy to find
➢ Don’t waste your visitors time with flash or intros
➢ Optimize your website for search engines
➢ Use a standard font for your text in 12 point or larger
➢ Don’t use more than two different fonts
➢ Choose a light background and dark text
➢ Use only graphics appropriate to the page/site
➢ Link your logo to the home page
➢ Pick sharp looking images for product display and re-size graphics if necessary
➢ Test your site in several browsers and operating systems
➢ Find more Web Design Tips

Getting Connected

Receiving links from various other sites, like fellow crafting sites, is a very important part of your sites search engine optimization. It shows the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo that your site is relevant and important. But, the link building must be done natural and from related, trusted sites!

One fairly easy way to get backlinks is to give away free sample items or to hold giveaways. It will bring traffic to your site, everyone likes a freebie, and you can invite other craft site owners. Send them a friendly email and ask to share your free sample or giveaway article/post on their own site. Many craft bloggers also hold group giveaways where they send visitors from one site to the next.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the biggest form of online marketing right now! Writing articles that include multi-media (unique images or video) for your website allows a business to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following.

Content marketing strategy is the practice of planning the creation, distribution, activation, and optimization of thoughtful and relevant content, in order to inspire positive engagement and profitable action. How do you create great content for your craft business? Find out what kind of content your visitors are looking for. Maybe its articles on how to use your product(s) for themed decorating, funny how to videos or interesting short stories about your craft fair visits. Create your articles including at least one eye-catching image and post it where your visitors can easily find and share it.

A successful content marketing strategies should take into account several different aspects. Which keywords to use to get traffic from the search engines, customer relevancy to your posting timelines, linking (within your own site and externally) and of course the use of various social networks. Like my husband always says “Sharing is Caring!” and it is done best when you make social media sharing your content as easy as possible for your followers. I will write about social media sharing tools in a future crafts report article.

Selling on Etsy

Etsy is still the biggest online marketplace for artists and connoisseurs of original, handmade, and vintage goods. This past year Etsy sales round the world were $1.35 billion with a total of 40 million sellers on the site that have listed more than 25 million items. These are staggering numbers, are they not? So how would you like a little slice of the Etsy pie? The first step is to visit Etsy.com and create an account as well as a seller account so you can sell your own products in your individual online store front. Etsy charges you a small fee for this service, which is based on the number of products you have in your store.

Etsy Store - Online Marketing

One issue many new Etsy store owners face is getting lost in ‘Etsyland’. There are so many awesome micro stores with a mind boggling amount of uber-creative items that it can be very hard to be found by your potential customers.

A few important aspects to consider when creating an Etsy store:

  • Selling on Etsy is fun and a lot of hard work
  • Only list your very best items to attract interest
  • Your banner, avatar, listing photos and packaging should all have the same look. Branding is important!
  • Add a small logo or watermark to your photos
  • Upload 5 awesome product images that show your item in its best light (front, back, side, in, under, very close up, etc.)
  • Keywords matter in the title, so do your research and describe your product in the best possible way
  • Don’t list all of your items at once, add a few items and then list one per day until all your products are in your store
  • Spend time in the community forums to connect with other sellers, ask questions or start a discussion
  • Be patient and stay positive!

Building your online presence and creating an internet marketing strategy takes time and lots of effort, but marketing your crafts online can’t be beat. You will be able to make invaluable connections, create friendships and sell your products.

Don’t forget to add your blog or website address to your business cards, receipts, product tags and any other printed promotional items. In my craft marketing book I will give you more ideas on how to promote your products online.  Turn your hobby into a money making business!

In the next part of the Crafts Report Series we will look at creating a business plan. Why you need one and all the different information that needs to be included.

Do you sell your crafts online? What has worked best for you? Share your suggestions below. 

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6 Responses to Crafts Report Part 3: Internet Marketing Strategy

  • I’m trying to put together a website to sell my bottle cap creations (that’s the name). Should I bother with a blog on this site or just leave it as a shopping cart experience?

    • Hi Greg, having a blog as part of your website certainly helps with SEO plus it gives your visitors more content to browse, read and interact with. A blog is only going to help you if you are committed to writing/posting fresh content on a regular basis. For the best success you want to update a blog at a minimum of once a month. I release new posts twice a week on my own site and some bloggers release content on a daily basis.

  • Wow! There is so much information here. I do have a question for you. If I have an Etsy store do I still need to create another website as well? Thank you!

    • Dear Bev! There are plenty of Etsy sellers that make a living from their stores without creating their own website. However, you will be at the mercy of their rules and regulations. So if or when Etsy changes their policies, algorithms or fees then you might loose visitors, buyers and potential income.

      Having your own website puts you in the control! You can refine your target audience, advertise on different platforms, decide how to process payments, etc. If you are just starting out you can’t burn the candle on both ends, so to speak. So I would suggest creating an Etsy store first, spend some time interacting with fellow crafters and build relationships. Once you figure out which of your products sell the best create a website and/or blog around those products to reach potential customers that are not on Etsy.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions.

  • Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Crystle, Of course you can quote me, as long as you give credit and link to http://www.JagerWebDesign.com. I appreciate it that you took the time to ask me first and I sincerely apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

      Please let me know if you would like to collaborate on a project since we’re in the same niche as you say.

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