Thursday, February 18, 2010

Places to Sell Your Craft Stuff

Whilst EBay has established itself as the leader in online auctions, it does not lend itself particularly well to sell handcrafted objects that creative people have made themselves to sell. So in recent years a number of sites have sprung up specialising in selling just such handcrafted objects. This post compares some of these sites.


Etsy the best known of these sites, primarily because it has been operating the longest. To become a seller you simply sign up and create your own shop. They also provide you with buttons and banners for you to promote your shop. Each item costs $0.20 to list and if after four months it hasn't sold it will be unlisted. Whenever you make a sale you will you be charged a sales fee of 3.5% of the selling price. Etsy is US based, but has buyers and sellers all over the world.

Visit Etsy


For sellers Artfire offers two levels of membership. With the basic level you can sell your stuff for free - no listing or final sales fee whatsoever! For this you have your own shop (or studio as they prefer to call it) with promotion tools, including the ability to sell directly from your blog. The premium account costs you $12 per month and naturally includes a number of additional features including preferred placement in searches and the ability to use the community functions of the site.

Visit ArtFire

Da Wanda

Da Wanda is aimed at the European market - specifically the UK, Germany and France. It follows a similar format to Etsy in that you have your own shop, although I am not sure if they provide you with any promotional tools. Currently there are only listing fees on the German version of the site, although there are plans to introduce these on the UK and French versions soon. Selling fees are 5% of the final selling price.

Visit Da Wanda


FolksyFolksy is a UK based site, again following a similar principle to Etsy, so you have your own shop and they provide badges you can put on your blog. Currently it is only open to sellers in the UK, (although you can buy from anywhere in the world that accepts Paypal), but it is planned to expand to other parts of the world in the near future. Fees are £0.20 listing fee and 5% selling fee. Items are listed for 6 months.

Visit Folksy 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Stage in Website Promotion - Web Directories

I have recently put together a website for my wife's new business venture. The next step of course is try and make sure that it actually gets found. I have drawn myself up a fifteen point plan to work through, the main criteria at this stage is that they have to be free.

The first step has to be submission to web directories and some business directories. The purpose of this is to gain links back to the site to increase the chances of search engines finding it, and generally increasing exposure. The question is do I invest my time in mass directory submission, or do I limit my activities to the odd SEO friendly web directory? I have submitted to DMOZ as this is clearly the most established directory on the net, but I am looking around for some others that will help in my quest to get the site easily found. One of the best directories has to be Yahoo Directory, but unfortunately they charge for submission, so I have ruled that one out for now. Many of the free directories require a reciprocal link, so there is a trade off here between site exposure and having to find places on your site for to place links.

Another key factor for me is that the directory has relevant categories in which to place the website. In this case it is concerned with patchwork and quilting workshops, so I will only be considering directories that have categories that are relevant. Placing a listing in a non-relevant category severely reduces chances of it being found through the directory.

I have also been looking at some business directories, but the problem with some of these is that a) several of them charge a fee for submission, and b) many of them want you to provide an address for the business - but in this instance that is our home address, so I don't know how I feel about that.

This is only the first step along the way of promoting the site and I have my whole list to work through. At the point of writing it is a fifteen point plan, but I keep thinking of new things to do so it grows almost daily! Once I have worked my way through the list then hopefully the site should get a reasonable amount of traffic and that a far amount of this should be organic traffic from search engines.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Total Earnings for January

Well it's that time again to look at how I have done for the month that has past. My focus for this month was twofold; firstly, setting up a website for my wife's new business venture, and secondly, to start moving onto some Wordpress niche sites. The website was very much a learning process and although it will not contribute at all to my online earnings efforts (she wouldn't let me monetize the site) I have leaned much about building websites from scratch, not to mention all the stuff that goes with hosting, domain names, etc. In case you are interested, I used Kompozer which is a free website builder.

I have also built two Wordpress niche sites and made a start on a third. The two that I have completed are basically extensions of One Week Marketing campaigns so I have several assets I can call on to provide links in, so hopefully they will become established quicker than if I was starting a new campaign from scratch. The third is completely new and will be based around Amazon products.

I had intended to start a new One Week Marketing campaign as well, but unfortunately both time and inspiration eluded me.

Anyway, to the totals:

Surveys: £2/$3.19 (GfK)
Squidoo: £0.82/$1.31
Swagbucks: £3.13/$5
Affiliate earnings: £27.02/$43.11
Ebay: £10.18/$6.38

Total = £43.15 (or $68.86)

Distinctly average I would say. It is good that now I am getting a steady trickle of affiliate sales now (I am currently averaging around 3 or 4 Clickbank sales per month) but would like much more.

I had originally intended to build more niche sites in the month ahead, but I am a bit concerned that if I carry on buying up domain names I could land myself with a hefty renewal bill for this time next year. So I have decided to finish off the one that I have started and not start any more just yet. I am feeling a bit stuck with what niche to look at for next month for further One Week Marketing campaigns. My usual strategy is to look at the new Clickbank products, do some keyword research and then try and get it set up before everyone starts promoting it. However, recently although there have been loads and loads of new Clickbank products launched, none have particularly caught my interest. I have decided that what I shall do is rather than spend loads of time setting up a full blown campaign around a particular niche, I will choose several niches that I am interested in and then set up a series of test Squidoo lenses to see how they do. If any of these get a reasonable level of traffic, or maybe even a sale or two, then I will expand these further.

Aside from this I think I need to put more effort into consolidating my existing assets, so trying to attract traffic to my blogs, niche sites, Squidoo lenses, etc.

What are your plans for the month ahead?