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So you want to go pro #15: Ah, the World Wide Web

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Blog entry by odie posted 02-16-2008 03:04 AM 1343 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: The Customer ... Nuff Said Part 15 of So you want to go pro series Part 16: MORE WEB NEWS »

This topic was a request by daltxguy, and it will probably disappoint him. We left off with the customer the last time around. Well this is sort of related. It’s just a different way to go find that allusive person. Ah yes, the all powerful “web site”. With our web site it’s a work in progress.

We use a Mac and a program called “iweb”, designed to enable one to design and publish their own web site. So that’s exactly what we have done. Apple publishes it to the web for $100.00 a year. It has a strange address = http://web.mac.com/johnorsue . And along the way I got the domain name, http://www.dustnlint.com , from YAHOO! for only $10.00 a year. When “you” go to the domain address it just transfers you to that crazy mac address. When you go to dustnlint you will see the other address on your browser. Every word I typed, every picture I took, and every page I designed then published it on the web. The greatest thing about it, I can change it every few minutes if I want to. I don’t have to wait for some computer geek to do these things for me.

Now, your question I believe, how is it to sell on the inter net? Damned if I know. Do my customers find me on the World Wide Web ? We have only had our web site for about 9 months, and answer to that question is: “not yet”. If you were to pay Google or YAHOO! a fee to advertise your site, that answer could be different. We are contacted by previous customers and people who have picked up our business cards at arts and crafts shows with our web address on them. People usually call us with questions about our products and I have them look at our web site. They will see what they like and place an order over the phone. It’s also great to talk to them over the phone while we both look at the web site. Sorry, as far as someone finding the web site then placing an order, it hasn’t happened yet.

All this being said, this has been great for people seeing us at a show and showing their friends, via our site, what our booth and products looked like. I believe we have gotten a few orders this way. There is also a guy 3000 miles away in Washington D. C. that purchased a jewelry box from the North Tahoe Arts gallery. He keeps placing orders from our web site. There is also a couple in Los Angeles that keeps placing orders for Sue’s quilts they see on the site.

For the most part, our art needs to be seen, felt, and smelled in person to really appreciate it. The web site has been more of a tool for us then a selling blitz. That could change in the future … only time will tell. Thank you for your question, sorry I couldn’t be more help.

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-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". http://woodstermangotwood.blogspot.com/ (my funny blog)



11 comments so far

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2675 days


#1 posted 02-16-2008 03:48 AM

That box is sharp Odie…did you do that? I like the choice of materiels and your execution of the layered dovetails is excelent.

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2818 days


#2 posted 02-16-2008 06:33 AM

I use iWeb too and I love it!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View 's profile

593 posts in 2690 days


#3 posted 02-16-2008 07:26 AM

Odie, you don’t need to have a ”.Mac” account to use iWeb, you can publish to any address of your own. I do it with my website because although I love iWeb and most the stuff Apple does, I never found a valid reason to pay a hundred bucks a year for the kind of services I could get from a ”.Mac” account.

The trick is to avoid the ’Publish’ button and choose, in the ’File’ menu, the option ’Publish to a folder’. This will save all your site to a folder you specify and then you only have to upload it via FTP to your personal website. If you need any help drop me a message and I’ll be glad to oblige.

Interesting series you’ve been posting, by the way.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

494 posts in 2500 days


#4 posted 02-16-2008 05:00 PM

Odie, I completely agree on the customer needs to see & feel our art. Having a web site is a very important sales tool, but don’t expect too much from direct sales off the net. People have to actually touch most of the things we make. Every show I’ve ever done, 100’s of people ask if I have a website. At the prices we have to ask for quality woodworking most people cannot or will not make a quick decision to part with their hard earned $’s, at least here in the midwest. Having a web site allows the customer to show their family & friends what the item looks like but without someone who as actually seen your product and can oh & ahh over how wonderfull the piece is it’s very hard to close a sale over the net alone. as long as you can get your website address into the hands of prospective customers they can & will share their “find” with others. Exhibiting at shows or galleries is the #1 way for customers to appreciate your work. A website is a great way to spread that info to others.
My current experience is limited to the higher end of woodworking. I sometimes wish I could build & market a bunch of items at lower price points. I’ts just not for me. Years ago I did lower end things that I could sell at local church fairs and craft shows but as my skills improved I became bored with the work & the relatively small payback.
My Daughter & I put together my site using MS Frontpage & costs about $120 a year to host. Any updates can be uploaded in a matter of min’s. It’s not all that difficult.
Just my .02

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/tpursell?ref=si_shop

View odie's profile

odie

1680 posts in 2558 days


#5 posted 02-16-2008 05:20 PM

Thank you all. Tim, You use your site in much the same way I do. Jojo, I do know I don’t need the ”.mac” account, but it’s what I started with. Everywhere I look the prices are all about the same, and I LOVE Apple. Oh, Tim, I did make a conscious decision early on to make my product affordable to everyone. I do work a little harder to accomplish this.

Thanks again all

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". http://woodstermangotwood.blogspot.com/ (my funny blog)

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

494 posts in 2500 days


#6 posted 02-16-2008 05:38 PM

Odie, I really like your ring boxes. I made a bunch of simmilar boxes a few years back I’ll have to dig up a photo & post it. Maybe I should go back & make some more.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/tpursell?ref=si_shop

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3032 days


#7 posted 02-16-2008 07:57 PM

I’m sure glad I didn’t go out and spend a lot of money on a web site!
and I know it shows.

View odie's profile

odie

1680 posts in 2558 days


#8 posted 02-17-2008 03:55 AM

Dennis,

What is a lot of money for a web site ? I feel $120.00 is not a lot of money. Your site looks great … I’m confused.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". http://woodstermangotwood.blogspot.com/ (my funny blog)

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3032 days


#9 posted 02-17-2008 04:32 AM

When they first came out I know of some artist who spent thousands getting set up. A lot of them never got their money out of the deal. Mine is one of the freebies. I just don’t have the freedom to change its basic look. Every thing is stuck in a template. Which is OK. I’ve yet to make a single dollar from it. Smoke and mirrors.

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 2787 days


#10 posted 02-17-2008 04:12 PM

I just reciently started to recieve orders from my web site.I think one of the keys to my recient orders is proffesional pictures since the customer can’t “touch” the piece you have to be able to represent it well with pictures and descriptions.Yes this does cost a bit but the last order I received easily paid for a years worth of photography and I did not even have to leave my home.The other thing that helps is getting up high on the search engines wich we have gotten better at but still need more work to get to the top three or so pages. Odie I travel to shows to and I know how hard that becomes I would love to sell more over the web and stay home and create things.

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

View odie's profile

odie

1680 posts in 2558 days


#11 posted 02-17-2008 05:48 PM

Scott, I hear you … high on Google’s and Yahoo!’s lists is important. I have someone trying to talk me through the process of getting it high on those lists now, thanks to this blog. The problem is he’s a PC guy and I’m a mac guy. Things are quite different with publishing to ”.mac” vs. a PC based system. If nothing else I’m persistent. I will let you know what happens.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". http://woodstermangotwood.blogspot.com/ (my funny blog)

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