Here is another post for those wishing to sell their creations on-line. I have had my Etsy store for about two years now and I probably know 10% of what I need to know to run a successful ecommerce business. If you'd like to take a look, visit my Angelsneverlastings Etsy shop. There are a lot of skills you will need. You will need to be creative, have patience, be disciplined, have time, and be organized. Last week I listed a few of the sites available for selling on-line. Here are the steps once you have chosen a site.
1. Create your handmade items. Create something that is unique and different from what is already being done. Spend some time checking out what others are doing so you can set yourself apart.
Photograph your items. Your customers can't touch your product so your
photos need to touch them. Take the clearest, sharpest photo
possible. If you are like me, your first photos won't be great but with
some practice, they will improve. You don't need a fancy camera but you
do need to know how to get the best photos with the camera you have.
Familiarize yourself with how your camera settings work and how to get
the best results. If your photos aren't great, you can edit them after
with good results. There are some free photo editing programs
available. Gimp for Windows, Picasa, picnik,
are a few popular free photo editing programs. There is also a wealth
of photography how to information on the web. Here are just a few that I
3. Post your listing including uploading the photos, choosing the title, writing a description, and deciding on the price. Choose a title very carefully so your items will be seen. You want to choose words by how you think someone will search for your item. The first few words in the title and description are the most important. You might be tempted to come up with a cute name for something but if it's not something that someone will search for it's not a good idea. For instance, if you sell hair bows, if your title is frilly silly pretty ribbon bows, no one will be searching for frilly or silly - you might want to use bows as the first word in the title, then maybe children's, babies, after that you can use descriptive words like frilly or silly if you want. Here's one of my Etsy listings as an example: http://www.etsy.com/listing/78779781/wreath-grapevine-dried-flowers-pink
4. Do social networking to get your product seen. You need to work hard to be seen. Join some of the many social networking sites. Facebook, Stumbleupon, Twitter, are a few of the more popular social sites. Joining these sites is only the beginning - then you need to learn how to use them effectively. There is so much helpful information on the web. Here are a few sites to help: http://www.articlesbase.com/ecommerce-articles/how-to-use-facebook-for-business-and-marketing-4765088.html http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/pages/how-to-use-twitter-for-e-commerce.aspx http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/stumbleupon-guide/ Depending on which marketing site you choose, familiarize yourself with the social options available. For instance, Etsy has "teams" you can join. I believe Artfire has "Guilds".
5. Be patient! If your items sell immediately that's great but most times it will take quite a while to be noticed. Don't get discouraged. The more items you list in your shop, the more opportunity there is to be seen.