Hello! I’m new to the community, and not incredibly computer savvy, so I’m hoping some of you guys can give me some advice on how to build a website and start marketing on it. Thanks!
If you’re talking about selling your laser stuff I would say that starting on Etsy.com, where you automatically get traffic pulled to your site, makes a lot more sense then starting from scratch with a new company.
If you already have an established business with clientele that know to look for you any website designer would be able to help - but getting a new site with commercial capabilities usually costs been $500-$1000 depending on where you are.
If you want to teach yourself website design, go check out WordPress. It’s comparatively simple, and free - and unendingly modifiable
If you do go the WordPress route there’s an eCommerce solution called WooCommerce that you can use to set up your store. I used it for a while before I switched my site over to Shopify.
I always like to suggest Square, as it is free, processes credit cards, and has the option to do invoices, which are useful for custom jobs. I use it for my website ( 3catmax.com good for an example, but I’m into website design/code, so take it with a grain of salt). It has drag-and-drop elements so you don’t have to write any code unless you want to.
I also will let you know that I have a referral code from them that gets you free credit card processing for several months, and I think it kicks back about $20-ish for me? DM me for the code if you are interested in Square.com.
I agree with @deirdrebeth that Etsy.com is also fast and easy choice, so you might start on Etsy and then make your own site after Christmas. I actually sell on my website and Etsy! Etsy does take about 15% -ish? of your sales, but lots of people know them and go there to shop for cool stuff.
I appreciate all the feedback so far, being new to setting myself up you guys have been very helpful. Thanks!
I had no idea how to build a website. Three years ago, I built an awesome website with this company. I paid $149 a month for 3 months and I had my own personal group of individuals help me.
If you are truly serious read this book
Social Media Made Me Rich by Matthew Loop.
This is literally the Bible for marketing your website. Get the paperback version with a pack of highlighters and get the digital version.
The author who wrote this book is the real deal.
VERY IMPORTANT—- Read the book first.
Having a successful website will take over your life —— it will be your life and it is all about SEO. You will have nightmares about SEO. You will wake up in the middle of the night and scream out to yourself “OMG!! I need to change this, add this, delete this, etc.”
Google analytics on somedays will be a friend and on other days an enemy.
Also keep in mind that you can always change it up, and done and on the internet is far better than waiting until it is perfect to publish it! Customers are pretty forgiving of non-slick website design, as long as they can buy what they want and it gets to them in a reasonable amount of time.
I would go so far as to say that the slicker the website and marketing nowadays, the more suspicious I am Home-grown for makers and artists is completely acceptable!
Hi, adding a thought I didn’t see–if you’ve not had a shop before, the big advantage to starting on Etsy.com is that is is a marketplace, and shoppers can find you as they search within it for the items you are selling (provided you tag them properly–be sure to read all the info about setting up your shop).
When you have your own website, you have to drive the traffic to it yourself, since instead of just competing within a marketplace for position in search result, you now are competing with the world…
Not to say that folks just doing a search on the internet can’t find you–but it’s harder since many companies pay money to be listed higher on the search results. But if you have very unique products & descriptions, you’ll have less existing competition appearing ahead of you in search results.
But I do like having my own website in addition to being on Etsy & more recently joined Reverb (a musician’s marketplace–so pending what you want to sell, try looking for marketplaces for who you’re wanting to market your goods to). I started a website about 15 years ago, but glad I also started an Etsy shop (13 years ago) and most of my sales are thru Etsy. After many issues with my site host, I now have my main domain host with Etsy, and my website & Etsy shop have same order management & payment processing. (A few years ago Etsy started offering website hosting & building–not the cheapest for a site, but if you also want an Etsy shop, you’re not paying additional card processing or listed inventory management fees).
Oh, sorry getting longer here, but very important for on-line sales: you should settle on shipping–packaging materials & methods–as you list items on your site/shop. I make use of both USPS flat & regional rate boxes and buy boxes for first class. I use Etsy’s shipping, but lots of people like PirateShip, but other options out there that you can get rates that are cheaper than the retail rate if you just go to the post office.
And please do understand your costs, so you can account for them when you set your item price and/or shipping charge–especially if you’re going to sell international. It’s very easy to spend more money on the shipping than you have charged the customer!