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.
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.
back to the trenches,
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com