Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If it were Me

If I was determined to find more buyers for my crafted products, using the internet, what would I do?

Personally, I'd build my own website and have it hosted at a cost of anywhere from $6 to $12 a month. Most of them have their own web page builders and if not, I'd use a free website builder I could find on tucows.com.

Then I'd join every possible community where crafter's gather. Those like the one I happen to have built at Crafter's Corner  and many others where crafter's can talk about themselves and show off their goods.

Then I'd put my products into a selling platform online, places like Etsy, as long as the fee was taken out of the sale. There's also bonanzle.com and of course, ebay.com.

I would add my website address to all my outgoing emails in the signature and everywhere I went online, that would let me put in my web address, I'd add it.

Then I'd join facebook.com and twitter.com and just start posting. You can just do updates on the latest product added, stuff like that.

Since the idea is to attract buyers, I'd also snoop around and find forums and blogs just for people looking for a good time or the best restaurant or better than that, places where shop owners are looking for products.

I'd comment on other people's blogs, leaving behind my website address. Not spamming but actually getting in there and adding quality content.

If I did craft shows, I'd be sure to have business cards that included my website address. If I felt I could afford it for awhile, I'd get a google account and start running google ads for awhile.

Considering that I'd be busy producing my own products, I'd have to find cheap ways of riding someone else's tail, someone who's already out there doing all these things. And by the way, that's exactly what I do with our Crafter's Corner. Why more people have not joined and participated, I'll never know. Is crafting business dead?

The more places you have your name and website address, the more you become 'known' and the easier it is for people to find you through searches. Anybody interested, I can help with things like keywords, to help in search results turning up your site.

Now, this is just what I would do if I really wanted to sell.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How I Spread The Word About Us

I realize there's no way for my readers to know how it is, I bring traffic to our sites. Here's a list of most of the places where I blog, network the sites or write articles with links back to the sites.

On this first one, you can see a list of pages I've built at Squidoo
http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/red46

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Judy_Sims

http://www.articlesbase.com/authors/judy-sims/31717.htm

A whole list of blogs with links back My Blogger Profile

The Home and Family Site
My Trucking Blogs
The Christian Fellowship site

There's my facebook profile where I talk about us all the time.

And my twitter account
My Stumbles
My bookmarks
My Diggs
MySpace
My technorati page

One of my networks on Ning
My profile on Merchant Circle

That, believe me is not all there is but I'm tired. :)

This is what it takes to get known in the search engines. Networking the internet. So either you do it or I do it. If your information is listed on the Crafter's Corner you can take advantage of the traffic I work on. What comes to me, also comes to you.

All you have to do is submit an article with your website address included in it, or click on the link in the first paragraph for the Crafter's Sites and pick out a box and click it. Submit your information and I'll get it in there.

Promote and Sell Your Crafts on the Internet

Don't let the heading fool you, I wrote this for WikiHow

How to Promote and Sell Crafts on the Internet

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Just like any other business online, you have to build your own market.

Steps

  1. Once you know what products you want to sell, you first have to make a decision. Your own web site or selling on one of the many sales sites designed for crafter's. Either way, you will need to work on your own traffic.
  2. Once you're products are up and listed, it's time to spread the word.
  3. Join social sites like twitter and facebook and talk about yourself. Upload pictures of your products along with links leading back to your sales pages.
  4. Be sure to include your links in your email signatures. Let your friends know.
  5. Write articles. Yes, I said write. You can always find something to talk about when it comes to your craft and products. Talk about them. Start your own blogs and submit instructional articles to all those 'free article' sites and include your links and information about yourself and products.
  6. If you're really feeling daring, open a google account and start using their adwords program. For a few cents a day, you can get your ads in front of buyers eyes. Check it out and learn all you can about the program.
  7. Join forums on the crafts sites and include your information in your profile. Don't spam the forums, really get in there and become a part of the crowd.
  8. All these things help to bring traffic to your web pages and the more traffic the better.


Tips

  • Remember that you care about your products, not the selling sites. They care about more members.


Warnings

  • What ever you do, open a separate email account just for your business and don't give it out,just anywhere.


Sources and Citations


Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Promote and Sell Crafts on the Internet. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keeping You Up To Date

Although it seems I'm not around much these days, the fact is I'm very busy online.  Most of my writing is at the Crafter'sCorner  the Home Site Blog  the Trucking blog and my Christian site blog

This in a addition to Squidoo pages and on Facebook

There's lots to read and join. Come by for a visit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Polymer Clay mold line

For all you folks who are working in polymer clay, there's a new line out on the market. This particular line, I helped to produce.

It's not mine, I just helped in the designing and make the molds. This young man has a head full of ideas and he's running to implement them.

What's different about these molds? Glad you asked. ha  Him being pretty much a novice, when we met, he ran into problems like getting the clay out of the mold,without disturbing or tearing the clay. So he had me design the molds into parts, so that instead of just pulling off half of the mold, one can pull off a quarter, keeping the clay intact.

An example is a mold for the leg that is in 3 parts. The front half is all one mold piece, while the back of the leg is in 2 separate pieces.

In addition to that, he had me design the molds so that the torso and head is in one mold and each limb has its own mold. Each mold has little guide lines for the armatures, so the body parts match up.

He started out with a male angel named Gabriel, then had me add molds for goat legs for changing the figure. Then on top of that, he had me design the torso and legs for the Taurus so that Gabriels body can be attached to turn him into a Taurus. Then he added molds for wings and the wings are gorgeous. Then he added the merman, which is all in one mold, using Gabriels head design.

He's in the process, now, of having another designer come up with the female counterpart of the right proportions for Gabriel along with another set of wings and taurus body. He's planning to have the entire family including a little boy and little girl, all with additional molds for altering the original.

Along with these, he has tutorials on his site at http://www.natureboyzart.com

Right now, he has ebay listings for a few of the molds:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Mold-Angel-fairy-fantasy-Sculpture-Christmas-Price_W0QQitemZ270492737403QQihZ017QQcategoryZ11692QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mold-Merman-fairy-fantasy-Sculpture-Christmas-Price_W0QQitemZ270492721188QQihZ017QQcategoryZ11692QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mold-Faun-legs-fairy-fantasy-Sculpture-Christmas-Price_W0QQitemZ270492741636QQihZ017QQcategoryZ11692QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I will try to keep you updated with the progress of this new line of molds.  You'll love them because.....a novice can create works of art with these mold.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In a time of recession, how do you survive?

I, personally survived working a ceramics production for almost 10 years. I always wondered about that because it didn't make sense.

How did it happen? I linked myself with a much larger manufacturer of jewelry and giftwares, that specialized in South Western design and sold to gift shops all over the world. I rode somebody else's skirts, so to speak.

Instead of insisting the world love my finished product, I went straight for the ground floor and began producing a product that somebody else finished.

My name was on nothing. I was nobody but I survived with my own hands. So there's an idea for you.

Snoop around and find out who might be running a large production, selling in mass and low prices. A sweat shop!

How could I work for such 'tiny' money? Simple...I cut my own costs and cut the time it took to produce, down to the bone. When I cranked up the kiln at night, it was so crammed full, it took twice the time to reach temp.

I broke down the cost of electricity, wear and tear on the kiln and my own labor cost, right to the penny. I knew exactly what I needed to be making a profit. Pride had nothing to do with business.

Could I turn out beautiful and useful things? Yes but it didn't pay. I did that in my spare time and took care of my wholesale customers.

I actually started out delivering green ware and my customer loaded it into the kilns along with their own products. I did this until I could afford my own kiln, then we made changes to the pricing for the bisque.

I continuously added new designs that I designed myself, to add to their variety. Some sold and some didn't. But I kept right on, designing and adding to the line.

I survived this way, paid my rent and supported myself for almost 10 years. Believe it or not, I got into trouble when I started expanding in size, which required more equipment and a bigger overhead. I was doing just fine, sticking to my little miniatures and selling to the bigger outfits.

Sometimes you have to get creative in your thinking. Reach out there and find others in your own category, who are profiting and expanding and latch onto them. Offer your services.

Possibly plaster figures to the craft shops for others to paint. Possibly supplying green ware or bisque to a manufacturer.  Have you visited an auction house lately? Did you know that if you turn out pitcher and bowl sets, they just might buy them at a low price or even take them on consignment for the next auction?

Find factories making things that you could possibly supply the basic components for.

When times get tough, forget the knitting and crochet. Discover something else and quick. Something like cut out wood pieces, bisque or plaster objects. Expand your horizons.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update on the new Connections site

In the week since building the new site, I've had one crafter send me her information. We certainly need more than that.

The site is set up to make connections between U.S. crafter's in business and U.S. wholesale buyers. The buyers are coming but the products aren't. We have wholesale buyers looking for you and you are not there.

Of course, the buyers are also not sending in their search list, just signing up for membership. Most likely because they don't see much and certainly not what they are looking for.

We need the crafter's to get over to the site and send me the information of the products they produce. U.S.Connections

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Connections Website

This site is strictly for connecting U.S.crafter's, small business manufacturers with U.S. wholesale buyers.
http://judysbookshop.com/biz2bizAmerica/
Drop by, fill out the contact form and give Judy your information. She will contact you to narrow down the details and search for a connection for you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What is a Crafter


The term ‘crafter’ is a more modern term but truly the same meaning as historical ‘craftsman’. Historically, it was said that what a man did for his livelihood, was his craft.
So what is a craft? Actually it’s anything that produces items of worth:buildings;vehicles;horse shoes or harnesses;clothing;shoes;hats;toys;plumbing, and so forth.
Today, we seem to have taken on the specialized term of crafter, to mean someone who creates with their own hands, as though only decorative items could possibly be a craft.
The truth is a flooring man is a crafter (or craftsman), as is a plumber. This is their craft.
There is the modern day argument about what is art and what is craft. Art has nothing to do with life necessities. It does not produce utilitarian products. Art is appealing to the eye and can be applied to just about anything, including a craft. Art is entertainment, while craft produces something of need.
To answer the modern day argument, if you make a quilt or ceramics or even wooden toys, you are both a crafter and an artist, simply because you apply eye appealing design. An artist can enhance your craft but cannot produce a self sustaining useful product.
I can produce a water pitcher but until I also apply art, there is nothing unique about it. If you were not both a craftsman and an artist, you would not be sitting at craft shows. If you did not also apply art to your woodwork, what would you be offering that didn’t look just like everyone else’s?
To view yourself as any sort of crafter, aside from other needful crafts, is to think yourself a hobbiest. This, you are not, because you craft with the intent to sell.
So to know whether you are a ‘crafter’ or an ‘artist’, simply ask yourself if you produce a necessity in life. Do you produce pretty shelf sitters? That’s an art. Do you produce quilts? That a craft.
Utilitarian is the dividing line. The shoes are utilitarian, the color is not. The bowl is utilitarian, the painted design is not. The wooden wall hanging is not.
Anything produced only for the decorative value, is art. Anything produced for utilitarian purposes is a craft.
Art:
pictures of any sort
wall hangings
garden decor
theater
sculpture
jewelry
applied decoration
crochet as in doilies
tatting unless to be worn
macrame’
Craft:
quilting
sewing
crochet (to be worn)
knit
woodwork
utilitarian ceramics
weaving (rugs and clothing)
and
homes
flooring
plumbing
shoe maker
clothing manufacturer
and so forth
I'd like to take this opportunity to invite my followers to follow me over to http://judysbookshop.com/blog
This is where I spend the majority of my time, these days and this blog is where you will stay up to date.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Updating my Readers

To keep up with the latest that Judy is blogging about, I suggest you visit http://judysbookshop.com/blog and subscribe there.


Although I do still blog here, I spend most of my time at the other site, since it's connected with our Crafter's Corner.

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About Me

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I'm a grandmother of 1, a ceramist, a ceramic mold maker, a truck driver and writer.

I'm also a webmaster of many and have several blogs.

I help others in designing product, make custom molds and I still do restorations.