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Forum topic by Obi posted 01-10-2007 07:17 PM 2384 views 0 times favorited 64 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Obi

2213 posts in 2922 days


01-10-2007 07:17 PM

Sorry, I didn’t ask, but I just took it upon myself to put LUMBERJOCKS.COM on my website in a BIG WAY !!!! I’ve had it there ever since I joined, but I just put their logo and the link RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE !!!
Please don’t hate me Martin.
Ya’ll can see it at:
http://www.ye-olde-cabinet-shoppe.com/


64 replies so far

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Obi

2213 posts in 2922 days


#1 posted 01-10-2007 07:24 PM

Martin,
What about advertising? Like a Local Lumberjocks in YOUR area. Like the Workshops map with Your Local Lumberjock with the little red star or something? I don’t know about anyone else, but I could use some more work.
And maybe a small amount of the money made can go to buy t-shirts. I really like this site and the potential that it has.

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Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2859 days


#2 posted 01-10-2007 09:05 PM

For the most part, though, the people who access the Lumberjocks website are the lumberjocks themselves, and not people looking for someone to perform a service. I think advertising would be an effort doomed to fail from the beginning.

As a woodworking forum, Lumberjocks.com is a great resource.

As a woodworking blog site, Lumberjocks.com is a great resource.

But I think this is the wrong environment/atmosphere for selling finished pieces and advertising services. It just doesn’t hit the targeted audience.

Again, I would encourage caution with trying to do too much too fast and with trying to spread the scope of the site out too far.

I think one of our biggest focuses right now should be in trying to get a larger percentage of the 300+ members to interact in the forums. Another focus should be to encourage more people to write in their blogs. I think sales and advertising is the wrong place to focus.

But that’s not really what I’m looking for, so maybe that’s why I feel that way. I was specifically looking for a place to blog and a woodworking forum that wasn’t bogged down with politics and acronyms and that rigid atmosphere I’d come to find on many forums.

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

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Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3158 days


#3 posted 01-10-2007 09:16 PM

Obi, thanks for placing really BIG logo on your site – much appreciated. This is great example of spreading the word in the online world. And I don’t hate you for that ;)

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Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3158 days


#4 posted 01-10-2007 09:22 PM

Ethan, you’re right.. I don’t want to spread the scope of the site too much from the current state. I’m pretty happy with the current core features – projects, blogs, forums. These features in itself ensure that our LumberJocks site is unique and worth visiting.

In the coming weeks I’m planning to focus more on tuning and improving these core features and on some monetization ideas as well because as we grow the maintenance itself will require more time and money (awards, faster server etc.). I’m going to write about these issues in my upcoming blog entry.

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2846 days


#5 posted 01-10-2007 09:30 PM

Stay focused is a great plan for success.
On the other hand, an idea to support “sales” might be as simple as a statement on the main page stating that some members may sell their work and for buyers to contact them directly.

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

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Don

2600 posts in 2862 days


#6 posted 01-11-2007 02:19 AM

Martin, I placed a logo on my site (link below). At first I had difficulty knowing how to keep the LumberJocks logo on the top of the page.

I then realized that I could do so by posting a future date as it is this that contols the position of each post. Perhaps others that are using blog sites could to the same.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

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Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3158 days


#7 posted 01-11-2007 09:04 AM

Great way to show you’re the proud LumberJock! Thanks for that.. each link to our site helps.

Obi, I think I got one solid idea after reading your suggestion about the advertising here. Not exactly like that but something similar. I will share it later ;)

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Obi

2213 posts in 2922 days


#8 posted 01-11-2007 09:14 AM

This site is gonna explode. With all the effort, time and money you’ve invested, for the furthering of the craft, you’re gonna reap a harvest. May I suggest Lumberjock hats for the people that want to keep their heads from getting sunburned? or those who want to keep the sawdust off their heads?

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Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3158 days


#9 posted 01-11-2007 09:36 AM

Obi, we already have 3 kinds of caps in our Merchandise Store – any of them would be great against sun or sawdust ;)

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Obi

2213 posts in 2922 days


#10 posted 01-11-2007 03:48 PM

Well, this must have been a Senior Moment. I remember seeing all these cool things before but the mind just went blank

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Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3091 days


#11 posted 01-11-2007 03:55 PM

hey folks:
From my own experience, lumberjocks is a much more fruitful endeavor to promote my work for sale than I imagined at the beginning. What I am finding is that the traffic that comes from the lumberjock links drives my own website much higher on the search engines.

Before lumberjocks, I might find my own website as a hit at the 10th or worse page on google. After a strong summer of traffic to the website, I have moved up significantly. This has been driven for the most part, by lumberjocks traffic.

For those of you that have your own website, you need to get some service that tells who, when, how long, and where they came from, to your website. Before I had those statistics I was just guessing at what was happening. I am using www.statcounter.com. I can tell by logging in how many page loads, what was viewed, how they found my site, what link they clicked where, to get to me, etc.

If I see some traffic from a certain computer coming back to my website several times, then I know someone is interested. I watch it for a few days, and then many times I get an email from someone living in that city I had been watching, asking for a price. I can’t tell from statcounter who the person is, or their address, or be able to contact them first, but I can tell what city they live in, their ISP address, and what they have been looking at on my website.

If I were to pay extra for the information, I can purchase more information about the visitor, but I don’t want to become a spammer, worse than a telemarketer, huh? I want people to buy my work based on their love of the work, not my attempts to pressure, or appeal to their wrong motivations, or catch them in a vulnerable mood, etc. I am looking for customers that will order again and again over many years, not one-time quick sales, and I don’t want people to be introduced to me by spamming them first.

It does make you think though doesn’t it?

If “little-ole-me” can tell exactly what computer visited my website, who is it that has your computer logged into their statistics? Maybe they aren’t so “ethics” driven in their business. Is it blackmail-able information? Watch where you visit, is my advice. If you are worried, you should be. I am worried about where my computer gets logged, and it helps with my own accountability about visiting “those” websites. Ok, that’s enough of the morality monitor.

Now, back to my subject:

Since June this summer, I have logged 14,570 (as of this morning) pageloads by visitors to my website. That is not many for a big company, but that is huge for my website, and a lot of traffic comes from the lumberjocks site, on average about 40-43% of those pageloads.

Now, lumberjocks aren’t buying anything from me at this point I agree, but it is their “traffic” that my website needs so that I can be “searched” and found by the search engines being used by people who are wanting to buy something. If they can’t find me quickly in the first few pages of the search engine, then they don’t visit the site, and I don’t exist as a business to them.

I am finding now, that no one from using a google search visits my site if I am lower on the search than the third page (30th). I had one case this weekend where someone found me at the 71st item on their google search and they still came to my site, but that situation is an exception to the rule. I scanned back over their search to see who the other 70 hits were, and for the most part, were not the type of thing they were looking for, so they apparently kept moving down the listing until they found me. I don’t know who else they looked at, but I can imagine that the information is available if I wanted to pay for it somewhere.

In almost every case, my site gets a visitor if their google search finds me in the first two pages. How do I know this? The statcounter specs show me the search engine page they used, with the key words they used, and if I click that link on the screen, it will show me what they saw, and I can see all of the competition for attention around my own website listing. How do people choose to go to my site, versus another? I don’t know, I am working on that theory now.

I theorize that it is a combination of the website name, and the how the key words were located in my site, you know, the extraction of a sentence that appears in the google listing just below my website name. This makes me consider carefully what I say in each sentence, and the name of my website.

I am finding that google searches are not hitting on my “keyword list”, but rather on direct, updated words in the sentences of my website. The whole method of setting up a metafile with keywords doesn’t seem to be the method that google is using any longer. There was probably too much abuse by website owners, and now google is adapting.

You day-jobbers that build websites would know more than I do, so please share your knowlege with the rest of us.

Before lumberjocks I had no one visiting me from a google search. After about 8 months of using lumberjocks for comraderie, google searches are around 20% of my traffic now. Those people are not lumberjocks, those are people searching for something with key words that google found in my updated, text sentences. I can log those key words also, to see what people are searching for, adding sentences, or modifying the website.

Sure, lumberjock members are woodworkers, but I am finding that the lumberjocks site is getting a lot of hits from non-members on their google searches, they find my posted project at lumberjocks, go to my profile page, then go find my website.

For instance, In one week in November, I had 5 people from around the country send me emails asking for a price and description of my Nakashima-Inspired coffee table. They found my website, eventhough I never had a photo of that project posted on my own website, only on lumberjocks (interesting huh?). From the project on lumberjocks, they went to my website, and then emailed me for more information about the table.

At some point, people like myself will want to pay Martin for the statistics on the lumberjocks site, so that we can help drive traffic to our own websites.

Here is the bottom line for me about one-man woodworking shop websites: nobody finds them!

If nobody finds them, they don’t exist to the buying public. To promote activity to my website, I have gone to shows and handed out cards with my website name, I have purchased magazine advertisment. Lumberjocks, which is free, has been the only confirmable method for raising the flow of traffic to my site.

The advantage that a site like lumberjocks has for folks trying to sell their woodworking, is the synergy created by having so much associated with the site, and the ease at which people can find the projects.

If you post a project on lumberjocks, you will have more people find you than if you do it on your own website, I could almost guarantee it, but I won’t.

If Martin had a special section where all of the projects that are “for sale” could be shown, or an extra button that non-members could see prices of the pieces for sale, I am betting that it would come nearer to selling on lumberjocks than on my own website. Why you ask?

It is because nobody can find my website! Can they find yours?

However, what I am seeing is that since the traffic is increasing to my website from lumberjocks pushing people there, my own site is increasing in traffic, and I am finally getting some activity to my website from people that want to buy things.

Other woodworkers have other experiences, so I will enjoy seeing what the others of you have learned. Mine is just another opinion to throw in the swirl, don’t hate me for it. (And if you are someone that competes with me for the same customers, I hope you feel that I am all wrong, ha ha).

Enjoy your day, I need to get out to the shop,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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

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scottb

3648 posts in 3012 days


#12 posted 01-11-2007 04:23 PM

Glad (and surprised) to hear that Mark.

Since my other job has me working with artists, I know that we can get along, and do well without direct competition, but encouragement, so there is nothing wrong with a little competition amongst those of us looking for more work. We’re spread out enough geographically, and stylistically we’re all different. The web, and hopefully this community here, will enable us to better meet and match with clients. Lord willing, we’ll be on the verge of a new wood-working rennaissance, and will be able to afford to make a descent living at it!

If we share what we know, we’ll all win!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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Obi

2213 posts in 2922 days


#13 posted 01-11-2007 04:27 PM

I got more hits yesterday then any day this month from double the highest day up to 5 times more than the average, ALL ( I believe ) due to Lumberjocks.

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scottb

3648 posts in 3012 days


#14 posted 01-11-2007 04:41 PM

Too bad cafepress doesn’t carry any “sawdust colored” hats… I’d be all over that one! I did notice they have added new shirt colors though, I may just have to pick up another one of my cookie shirts in grey!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

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Ethan Sincox

765 posts in 2859 days


#15 posted 01-11-2007 04:48 PM

Wow, Mark, that’s a lot of information to take in! But if I read it all correctly, the increased traffic to your site doesn’t have anything to do with you trying to sell or advertise on Lumberjocks. It does have everything to do with your posting projects, involving yourself in forum discussions, and making blog entries – pretty much just from you being an ACTIVE lumberjock, correct?

I like the idea of keeping track of how many people visit my site (maybe even especially now, when it is so young) and how they found it. I’ve already sent an e-mail off to my web developer to see what we can do about that.

Without getting into some sort of Capitalism/Socialism discussion, let me just say that I don’t fear competition. For one thing, most of us are so diverse in our focuses that we don’t really compete with one another – some excel at carving, some at woodburning, some at more of a carpentry-level. But regardless of that, Capitalism is great motivation to always work on increasing your skills and maintaining an idea of “quality” in the works you complete.

I figure if I start building my client base now, by the time I’m ready to retire (another 30 years?) I’ll have a large enough one to keep me busy with woodworking! (Talk about long-term goals!)

-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com

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