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Lumberjocks website brings in sales for me, Finally!

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-29-2008 11:19 PM 1235 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The topic of making money with woodworking related things on the internet has been a long and thoroughly discussed topic here at LJ. For some, the road to riches has been easy, but for the rest of wood dust makers, it has been hard work, filled with pitfalls, and over-excitment, and lots of disappointment.

Sure, the internet “can” make any small business as publicly available as a mega corporation, and that fact alone sells books and tickets to seminars to those wanting to learn about that. BUT, here’s the part they don’t tell you in the seminar: “getting folks to your site, and then getting them to spend money can be two completely different problems than just getting a small website going.”

And, yes, we’ve also discussed that many times here at LJ.

I’ve been telling folks for about a year now who email me, to spend their time posting on LJ, and the rest of the time building something to sell. This means placing a lower priority on getting a home-made website up and running.

I have found it much easier to upload and manage the LJ site, than explaining to someone about how to update my website for me, and cheaper.

Also, and more importantly, I have found that the synergy of all the content at LJ makes the chances of finding one of my projects on the LJ site to be much greater than finding my own website, even with very detailed word searches that I know ought to be hitting my website. I don’t pay for advertising the website, just let the traffic come as it does, and spend the rest of the time in the shop, and using the money to live on, or buy materials with.

OK, that is enough pessimism for the small business website idea, so onto some exciting news from this week. In the past week I have SOLD two pieces of my work that were posted on LJ, but NOT on my website. I just never got around to getting the updates to my website done, so they were posted at LJ, and they found buyers on that marketing alone.

These projects are:
1) Double Birch Wooden Tollikers: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/6393
2) Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/85

Now, granted, this is not enough work to keep my business going. Almost all of my work has come by word of mouth from past clients telling their friends.

So far, not much else has worked, including local art shows, carvings shows, state fairs, national magazine ads, national juried shows, letter/brochure mailing campaings, contacting interior designers, and of course, neither has having a website for 6-7 years now.

So, I just continue to pray for customers, and I am very thankful for each one that comes along, as guided by the hand of the God I pray to. I appreciate how LJ has helped that happen this week, and hope that this will be the start of a growing trend.

Thanks Martin!

back to the trenches,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com



13 comments so far

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 3209 days


#1 posted 03-29-2008 11:28 PM

Congrats, Mark. That’s what it’s all about. LJ’s has generated quite a bit of traffic to my web site also. Links seem to be the best way to get your site boosted up in the search engines. It’s definitely the cheapest. I checked out the advertising rates in an Austin Home magazine and couldn’t believe the prices. I’ve done like you for the last eight years that my site has been up. I haven’t spent much on advertising, just let it take care of itself and it does alright. I believe the Lord knows how busy you need to be to make a living and you’ll get the work you need. I’ve very surprised that you sold something through LJs. Usually a woodworker will just copy what you make, no matter what the outcome. I guess someone wanted it done right. Keep the chips flying!

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 3453 days


#2 posted 03-29-2008 11:35 PM

Finally, huh? Well, good for you!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TreeBones's profile

TreeBones

1826 posts in 3488 days


#3 posted 03-30-2008 12:05 AM

Great post Mark. I to must thank LJ’s and Martin. Having a link in my signature has helped boost the ratings for my website. I also have made a few sales to members here also. Internet sales are a small portion of my income but having a website helps to educate my clients and frees up my time. Having a website is a great advertising tool when I use other methods of non paid advertising to draw visitors. Some of these visitorsl eventually become paying clients.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service http://westcoastlands.net/Sawmill.html http://westcoastlands.net/SawBucks2/phpBB3 http://www.portablesawmill.info

View dlcarver's profile

dlcarver

270 posts in 3194 days


#4 posted 03-30-2008 12:07 AM

Thanks for the post Mark. Well put. Some people don’t understand that this is a living to some people. You are lucky if you make one small sale out of 10,000 hits that may have visited your site. I have projects as cheap as $2.50. It’s like pulling teeth from someone that don’t want them pulled. I even advertise on my Etsy site that I will sell anywhere in the world. Have not broke that barrier yet….(not sure I want to though), find out when that happens. I only make an occassional sale there. There is 100,000 members at Etsy. I had to get a price recently for a potential L J client in Ireland to ship a decoy there… It would cost him between $36 to $40 dollars for shipping. He is not a potential client any more. Guess I let off enough steam by now. I also believe it is in the LORD’S HANDS.
Thanks for allowing me to say it. ..........Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,http://dlcarver.etsy.com

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 3533 days


#5 posted 03-30-2008 12:18 AM

Congrats Mark!!!!Hey what are you doing, selling furniture in my home state!!!!!Just kidding there’s plenty for us both but NO MORE !!!LOL

-- Scott NM,http://www.shangrilawoodworks.com

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3447 days


#6 posted 03-30-2008 12:58 AM

good luck with your sales MARK ! I’m still selling a few items on ebay, but prices generally are historically low. But for me it is just fun money.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3427 days


#7 posted 03-30-2008 01:10 AM

Congratulations, Mark. You’ve worked hard for it and deserve it.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3286 days


#8 posted 03-30-2008 01:16 AM

Congratulations Mark. Thanks for letting us know about your successes. You are surely deserving as your work combines both artistry and craftmanship. You are an inspiration. I wish you continued success. I can honestly say that I have a great deal of respect for those who are doing this as a profession. I can only imagine where I would be if I had chosen to follow a similar path (probably making a home under a bridge somewhere). :)

Good luck Mark and may God bless.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3625 days


#9 posted 03-30-2008 01:46 AM

Congrats :)
Nice to hear of successes

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3444 days


#10 posted 03-30-2008 03:41 AM

Hi Mark;

Congrats on your sales. Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come.

There really is a mystery in finding work. I kind of just expect it and it usually shows up!

I haven’t found any effective advertising format, that actually works well enough to pay for itself, let alone make a profit.

Good job.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3865 days


#11 posted 03-30-2008 07:26 AM

Congratulations Mark.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5510 posts in 3541 days


#12 posted 03-30-2008 08:08 AM

congrats mark…your work in phenominal…good things will keep happening!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 3711 days


#13 posted 04-03-2008 06:36 AM

Go gettem buddy, build it and they will come. I think I heard that somewhere. With your talent, I’m supprised you’re not known like Maloof, or Nakashima. Just think, I own a” DeCou.”Sounds good don’t it. Mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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