How to Sell Hand-Crafted Jewelry Online




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A Simple Website may be all you Need

If you haven’t a lot to sell, just a few pages online is all you need.

The simpler the better – just two pages can work well. One page with your name, contact details, prices and pictures of your work: the other being the checkout with a link to PayPal. It’s already possible to put all this on a single page! Less is more. The easier it is to buy, the more likely you’ll make a sale.

Make the Site Personal

This is important, as buyers are more likely to trust someone they can relate to. They want to know there’s a real person selling. A thumbnail of yourself smiling with a name goes a long way. So do testimonials – ask customers for comments on your jewelry.

Make it easy for possible buyers to contact you. An e-mail address on your front page will bring mountains of spam if you have a busy site – so create a form for enquiries, or add an additional link to go to your e-mail address.

How to Build a Website with an Online Store to Sell Jewelry

If you really want to make money, what you need is an e-store with a nice front page, a Paypal checkout, and marketing to bring traffic.

This is much easier than you think, especially the first part.

How a site works

When you view a website, you’re accessing the hard excursion of another computer, sometimes in a different country. This great number machine stores the website for the creator. The site itself has hidden code called HTML (for short). When your browser views this code it translates it into the image you see on the screen.

HTML editor

instead of spending ages writing this code yourself, all you need is a program to generate it for you. Some information processing programs can do this, or better nevertheless you could invest in Front Page or Expressions. However, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to use website building software with an HTML editor built-in, these also make it simple to publish to your great number.

One such program I use is from Ewisoft, but there are many others like MrShop. I joined their 30-day free trial and then signed-up for a hosting contract with Go Daddy. These companies make things easy and inexpensive.

Custom store software

For high-quantity sellers, Miva offers great online store software. Get the shop for free by signing a contract with certain hosts, or buy the software outright and upload it to your own great number. Google for the best deals. If you have US$500 to $1,000 to splash on, then it’s much cheaper in the long run to buy the Miva store software. However, if your cash doesn’t flow that well or you doubt if your store will be a long-term success, then it’ll be cheaper to pay per month and rent the store from a great number.

Register a Domain with a great number

Before you begin working on a new website, you must register a domain. This needs to be as simple, as short, as noticable as possible, and obtainable. Start by writing a list of names that are related to you or your business.

For example, if you live along Bure Lane and sell designer jewellery, write Bure Jewelry (at the time of writing burejewelry.com was truly obtainable). Or you could use your own name or the kind of pieces you design.

Suffix

Go for a dot com if possible, especially if you’re in the US, as it’s easier for possible customers to remember. However, a.co.uk for Britain, or.eu for Europe may be more obtainable and appear “local”.

Lately, new suffixes have become obtainable, like.co. Although this stands for Colombia, the suffix is intended for general use and “co” is associated globally to the information “company”. These new suffixes give you the opportunity to own a domain with your chosen name.

Availability

When you’ve scribbled all possibilities, go to a popular web great number like GoDaddy to see whether it’s taken. If someone else has your preferred domain, consider a different suffix, or change some of the wording. It’s better to string words together, than use hyphens or dots, as it’s easier to remember.

Example: If annspearls.com is taken, then annspearlnecklaces.com is better than anns.pearls.com. This can then be expressed as AnnsPearlNecklaces.com

Web storage

At the same time choose a contract for storage space under the name from a web great number, like GoDaddy -the minimum priced will be sufficient. I think I paid (in December 2009) about US$75 for the registration of two domains and one year hosting. Or you can pay monthly, which works out a little more.

Be sure to print out and keep all letters and settings mailed from your great number, you will need these later. Likewise, make a observe of all the passwords – you may create more than you can remember! After you’ve done all that, you’re almost on the road!

Your Front Page

The next thing to do is design your front page. This is important as it’s the first thing a possible customer sees, and you only have a few seconds to convince them to stay before they click away to the next site. With your front page:

  • The user must be able to understand what the site is about in less than two seconds.
  • Design everything so it can be scanned by the eye quickly.
  • Keep it very simple -no fancy or small kind, music or flash. It must load fast.
  • Make it easy for the visitor to e-mail or contact you.
  • Use a simple navigation structure with limited choice -less is more.
  • Avoid long sentences, paragraphs or pages.
  • No spelling or grammatical mistakes and only good quality pictures.
  • Include a call for action. Like “To Buy Click Here” or “E-mail Now!”
  • Use similar colours and kind styles for harmony.
  • Design a nice logo -this can be an image.

How to physically construct your front page will depend on your web building confidence. If you have no idea, then you can either pay someone to design and make for you, or you can start with a pre-built template supplied by most web hosts.

Template

A template for your whole site will ensure each page is connected professionally, and that every page keeps the same design, logo, and other sections. It saves you a lot of time. Free templates are also obtainable within the program Front Page.

Keep in simple

Less is more, but it’s hard to design clear and simple.

Structure links

instead of clutter your front page, build links leading to other pages to expand a choice. for example on the front page above, I placed a picture and link for Stand Beads – click this and it goes to another page with a list of all the different types of strands. To include all on the front page would be obstructive.

Logo

Design your own logo – it looks specialized and gives trust. There are various programs that make logos; some are free, Google search. Or experiment with different fonts and colours with your information processing program.

My favourite is WebStyle from Xara. However, if you choose to use a non-image logo, bear in mind that it may look different to viewers depending on their browser and settings.

Sell words

For headings, item descriptions, or copy, use words that sell. These are positive, exciting and inspirings words – like Irresistible, Splendid, Magnificent, Dazzling, Wonderful, Dreamlike, Sexy, Passionate etc.

Accurate

Make descriptions and photographs as detailed, accurate, and interesting as possible. Photographs should all be sharp, cropped and contrast boosted. Edit everything you write, and use the spell check and thesaurus on your information processing program.

How to Structure Content within the Site

Uniformity

Be sure to add a clear link to “Add to Basket”, “Basket Content”, AND “Buy Now”, on all sales pages. Missing these will rule to lost sales.

Ensure kind confront, colour, and font sizes are consistent throughout your site, especially if you don’t use a template. Apply the same font, writing style and spelling everywhere, except for headings. Only use two or three different colours.

Typeface

The best font for web-reading is Arial (as this book), although headings also look good in Tahoma. Times New Roman looks dated. Don’t use fancy styles as they may look different to the viewer on another web browser. This book is in 12 point, but 14 point is also shared. Don’t go smaller, and never under 10 point.

Checkout

Use a PayPal checkout if you don’t have a merchant account to accept credit cards. These checkouts are simple to set up, free, and can be used by anyone with a credit card. If you haven’t already join PayPal closest.

Going live

When you’ve finished designing the site with your HTML editor, it’s time to upload to your great number, just click Publish on the program.

For the first time, you’ll have to go into the ftp address (this will beftp.yourdomain. Plus user name & password you choose for ftp to your great number, and maybe your website URL (address). If you can’t find any of this information, just ask your great number.

Your site should now be up and running, but don’t expect any sales without promotion and marketing.

Check & double check

After you’ve finished your site, go by every single page to check links go to the right places, it’s very easy to get these wrong. Check spelling with your spell checker and use English for the country you are marketing too (British English for the UK, or US spelling in the US).

Clear and simple

Edit copy and shorten paragraphs for easy online reading. Leave lots of space on the page. This looks uncommon and pleasant to the eye. Black kind on a white background works the best.

Try yourself

Buy something from your own website to see everything is working correctly and also to get the feel a customer experiences. There’s nothing like testing the system yourself all the way by.

Problems a visitor will suffer, like where to click next, will show right away. You can then make adjustments. Such as adding automatically-generated emails, or change other aspects of the time of action that might not be working as intended.

It’s very worthwhile to do these tests often, already after your site is up and running. Things can strangely change on their own, either from bugs in the software or adjustments from your great number, so never become complacent. Test, test, test.

It’s very worthwhile to do these tests often, already after your site is up and running. Things can strangely change on their own, either from bugs in the software or adjustments from your great number, so never become complacent. Test, test, test.

Marketing

Many think they can build a website and customers will come crawling to buy. Reality is far from that. There are millions of new websites every week, and as with any business, you have to do the hard work to bring in sales.

Fortunately you’re in a niche market promoting hand-crafted jewelry, so it’s not as difficult as say, selling clothes – but it will be pretty tough! This part is very important and I will soon be publishing an article to help. You may already consider buying a whole book on the subject.




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