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Lesley Sinclair
27-07-2006, 07:42 PM
Hi all

I have been crafting for around 12 months now and my hubby keeps telling me that my cards are good enough to sell - not quite convinced but nice to hear it! I thought as a first step I could do a website and see what happens.

Has anyone done this or am I just getting a little carried away! If you have any hints and tips about how to sell on line?

Would love any suggestions from the experts out there.

Lesley:D

Scrapfairies
07-08-2006, 07:11 PM
Hi if its just a small business you can set up a website quite cheaply but dont forget you'll need to keep accounts and everything for the tax man. :o

Soapwitch
07-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Hi Lesley,

I'm not an expert, just a soapmaker! I designed and set up a website a year ago. There's lots of ways to go about it, we started with a basic site and set up a paypal account to help us take card payments.

Why not try selling your cards at a local craft fair first to build up your confidence? I found that this helped me to test out my pricing and I always take my new products out to craft fairs first to test peoples reactions.

Hope that helps

GEM
07-08-2006, 10:11 PM
you can get a basic website for as little as £100 so it's hardly a huge investment. The sooner you get one.. the sooner you can get those leaflets and business cards made ;)

James.

SteveG
21-08-2006, 01:48 PM
Its an old topic, but just thought I would see how you got on with your web site Lesley?

I am setting up my own craft shop and am currently going through the bore of search engine submission etc :rolleyes:

Did you get the website up and running ? How long did it take for you to start getting regular orders ?

Its a concideration that we add the ability for members of our shop to upload images of their crafts and sell their own stuff - would this have been or is something you would consider doing too ?

Regards,
Steven

Funkyhand
23-08-2006, 11:30 AM
I know what you mean about the bore of SEO! I have two websites the first one went live last March selling my cards and the second went live about two months ago selling my craft backing paper CD's.
Luckily for me my partner is a web designer for a job so I get all my websiteS created and updated for free! but it is a long and on going fight to get listed on directories and search engines.
Anyone thinking of getting a website make sure that you are prepared for a full time job of search engine opt before you even sell one item!!!
But I have to say that I love my job.. and wouldn't have it any other way, now I have to go off and submit to another directory..!
Anice x

SteveG
23-08-2006, 11:40 AM
hehe - Google has been alluding me for quite some time now! They regularly eat up a large chunk of my bandwith each month indexing my site and yet do not represent us very well on their database! (I dont mean rank, I mean the number of pages they have of ours on their db.) Its very frustrating.

On top of that a new search engine has picked us up and is eating up even more than google and yet if I search for craftables as a keyword on their engine nothing is found! We can track who is looking at what page live in the shop and for some reason this new engine just lives on our product review page which is insane as the shop is too new to have any reviews!

0103media
23-08-2006, 11:52 AM
for some reason this new engine just lives on our product review page which is insane as the shop is too new to have any reviews!
ummm...

This is my business (search engines that is) oky.. Many "spiders" (thats when a search engine come a takes your pages) arn't real and are what are called spammers.. These people take the content of your site on make millions of pages...

Only a very few spider you should allow onto your site..

Oh a little word on google ranking.. Its take at least 18months from new for google to consider your ranking for competative terms..

Any hope that helps.. PM if you need more info ..

SteveG
23-08-2006, 12:16 PM
Oooh, your a search engine pro ?! lol.. You may just about live to regret that revelation! hehe.

I relaise ranking is a big issue and doesn’t appear overnight. The thing I have a problem with is that 200+mb google eat up every month of my bandwidth. Fair enough if a few weeks down the line 200mb worth of craftables data starts appearing in the google listings - but thats just not the case!

Maybe I am expecting too much ;)

This did an ip look up on this new crawler and its turned out to be some American Fast Search engine. They are chewing up more than google now each month and watching them from within the shop its always logging into product reviews - there are no reviews yet! These guys have only been appearing this month so its probable too soon to see us listed with them I guess.

I may look into adding the meta data thing to re-index the site after a period. If the search engines are expecting us to be updating every day they may be overly-checking our site. (Assuming they recognise this index delay thing at all). We are updating pretty frequently but there will come a point that bandwidth becomes an issue!

0103media
23-08-2006, 12:46 PM
200mb is pretty low.. (sorry)

One thing to help is you can block your image folder.. images are large than your docs.. I personally wouldn't i'd update your server account..

Here a help for google anyway.. https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=sitemaps&nui=1&continue=https://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/siteoverview%3Fhl%3Den_GB&hl=en_GB

Its called sitemaps and lets u submit to google..
I has a field offering how often you update a page e.g. your contact page is unlikely to be updated ..

Here the plugin for Osc www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,3226 (http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,3226)

Hope that helps ooo green txt lol :D

SteveG
23-08-2006, 03:26 PM
ahh, I see the misunderstanding...

200mb-ish is what google is eating each month looking at our site - currently the usage is 1gb for this month so far (I am no expert but I am pretty suprised its so high already) and I cap is 10gb per month

As an update I rechecked the pages we have listed on google and its jumped since a few days ago. We have gone from having 1.5 pages of google listing to over 6.

I created a google account to be able to access some of the google tools but are part of the oscommerce forums suggested that google site maps was a bad idea - but the tools were useful - I cant remember the details of why but is this something you would disagree with ?

0103media
23-08-2006, 04:04 PM
I created a google account to be able to access some of the google tools but are part of the oscommerce forums suggested that google site maps was a bad idea - but the tools were useful - I cant remember the details of why but is this something you would disagree with ?

I didn't read the article of the link i posted..
But..
People have opinions... This site uses sitemaps and ranks between 1-3 for craft forums along with many other terms..

This site also use google analytics.. The normal worries with all this is the amount of data your giving to google.. Infomation = power.. And nothing is for free..

The thing with sitemaps is it show what info google has on you already and give advice on any problems google is having ranking/spidering your site...

SteveG
23-08-2006, 04:09 PM
Nods
Its the analytical stuff that was the useful tools to use. I will add the mods to my huge list of shop mods to put in (One being a froogle feeder too).

Oh dear.. just how many times am I going to break the shop getting all this working together ;)

0103media
23-08-2006, 04:11 PM
Oh dear.. just how many times am I going to break the shop getting all this working together ;)

Welcome to my world...

SteveG
26-08-2006, 09:35 PM
Weeeeellllll, That google sitemaps was the easiest mod I ever installed. Now to reap the reward... in a years time mebbie ;)