Saturday, 27 October 2012

Do you want to sell more from your online shop? Business Tip

Have you got an online shop?  Perhaps you're running your own website or have decided to upload your products to a site which will showcase your work on their site?  Because I am a handmade worker, my knowledge will be in relation to the craft websites such as Folksy or Etsy, but this blog offers information which does carry to other small businesses - even if they don't make their own products.

Have you heard the phrase SEO?  It stands for Search Engine Optimisation and aids your website / online shop to get placed higher in the search results when anyone searches for the products you offer.

I've written a series of articles which are currently being run on the Guild of Jewellery Designers website.
The initial article took the form of an overview of SEO and the topics to be covered.  Over the last 2 weeks they've been releasing them in bite sized chunks for you to digest.

When I first started with SEO nothing made sense to me - however, over the years I've finally been able to get to grips with the topic and I've written the articles in what I hope is a plain and understandable form.  I've used examples of jewellery - but the examples naturally carry forward to any product.

If you enjoy the articles and find them informative, I'd love to hear your comments on my Website Blog

Today sees the release of sections  8 & 9 - so there's plenty to keep you entertained already!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Week in the News

This last week has been an interesting one.  A bit like buses - nothing for ages and then they all come along at once!

It started off when I received an email from the Guild of Jewellery Designers to advise me that a bracelet of mine was featured for their Autumn/Winter Trends

Then, having written some articles for the GOJD regarding jewellers optimising their websites - this week they began their publication.  So, when I looked at the home page of the GOJD's website - I seemed to be taking over!
Then I received a lovely email from Naomi (part of the Next Blogger's network) to say that she'd reviewed a pendant of mine and it was featured on her blog.  What a lovely write up - she really couldn't have been nicer - thank you Naomi Take a look at One Heel Forward (17th October)

And as usual - this week's business tip for all small businesses out there!
Keep up to date in less time
It's important if you're in business to know what's happening in your industry.  Sign up to Google accounts and set up 'Alerts' with your name and specific words. You will then be sent emails advising you of all the latest mentions on the internet.  This allows you to track topics of interest and also if you're being mentioned in the press.

Search for your blogs and news sites which have a similar interest to your own and join them.  Sign up to the RSS feed which will mean you'll receive updates as they happen

Friday, 12 October 2012

Put your Heart into Handmade - and a Business Tip

Putting your heart into handmade - this is undoubtedly what our crafters do, but if people were to think this way with their purchases then many small businesses with their talent and flair would do exceedingly well!

So, bearing in mind my theme - I'm going to feature a wonderful selection of hearts this week.  All drawn from a handmade website and I hope that those who are not crafters will love them as much as I do.

1.  Screen Print - Yeahnoyeah
2.  Stonewear 'pebble decorations - jo lucksted ceramics
3.  Patterned silver pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery
4.  Keyring - Polka Dot Sky
5.  Driftwood, pebbles and shells - Free Range Designs
6.  Liberty Print Brooch - Buttercup Boutique
7.  Handmade Cushion - apple bloom crafts
8.  Bleeding Heart Flower - littlelensphotography
9.  Aluminium and Steel Sculpture - CK Automata
10.Notelet with Paper Buttons - Stuff N Nonsense

All the images have been reproduced on this blog, but remain the property of the artists concerned.  The Design Rights to the items pictured are also attributed to the individual artists. Any misuse of these rights could result in court action.

Business Tip for the Artisans

When you're listing your items you will notice that you are asked for keywords.  Do make sure that you make the most of this opprortunity.  They have recently changed policy to enable the http:// address of your listed item to remain the same even when your item is sold and you update with another one.  This means that you are far more likely to be found by a random search within Google or other search engines. By adding keywords to your listing, this gives the title of your item more 'pulling power' within the search by your potential customers. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Business Tip of the Week & Competition

This week's business tip is aimed at any small business, but naturally, me being a small business making handmade silver jewellery, it's also suitable for those people who handcraft their wares.

Pay per click advertising
Are you getting very few hits to your website?  Have you considered pay per click advertising?
Google Adwords or Bing Advertising offer these services.  As a small business, it can sometimes feel quite daunting paying out money daily for adverts with obviously very little guarantee of a return. 
So, start small!
You can set your budget on a daily basis and you can also set the budget for the cost of each click. Do bear in mind, that if you set the budgets too low, then a) you'll only get 1 or 2 hits to your website or b) your advert will be so far down the list that it won't be seen .

Make the most of the number of words for the script that you'd like the customers to see and choose your keywords carefully.  Broad keywords may well get lots of hits, but perhaps it's better to choose specific words in relation to your products - that way there's more of a chance tha a customer will purchase from you.

Win with Handmade Silver Jewellery

Take a look at my website and try and solve the riddles!  Competitions are added on a regular basis and are being run through my facebook page:  Handmade Contemporary Silver Jewellery.  A £5 gift voucher is up for grabs to the person who gets the answer correct.  Solve the puzzle and work out from the clues which product I am referring to and you too could be a lucky winner.