One of the niggles I have found with my new shop is that all the items are added in title alphabetical order. I can look at them in different ways such as highest priced first, but I would really like the default order to look harmonious. This means renaming my products so they are displayed in the order I want them to be. Obviously I can’t change the painting title as that is already given to the painting.
The solution I came up with is to preface each title with a code. At first I thought of just numbering each one but a little thought made me realise I may want to insert other paintings between those already displayed. I don’t want to have to change all the numbers after a new addition so I need some ease, some unused numbers to allow extra products to be placed between the one’s I have already included. I have decided to start with 3 figure numbers. As I want my paintings to sit in rows of four I will number them 111, 112,113,114 then 151,152,153,154 then 211,212,213,214 etc. This gives me lots of room between number sets to add extra sets of 4 products. It also means if I want to make any changes I only have to work with 4 products at a time. This works for me as I won’t be adding a huge inventory. Or at least I hope it works 🙂
The proof of the pudding will be if the first page looks how I intended.
It is now 7 days since I started this blog. I’m not sure how many people have read it as I haven’t installed a counter yet. Typically, the first comment I got was spam so I hastily added a plugin to deal with that and deleted the comments already there. It only took a couple of minutes to set up and deletes obvious spam before I even see it. Spam was a problem on my gallery site guestbook too. In the end I took that down so hopefully this plugin will be a solution on here.
As for Artfinder, that is continuing along with a few likes and views each day. Having set it up in April, it has a head start on my own shop and a ready visitor list. To get the best out of the site I need to try and get on their featured artist page. For that, I need to improve one or two things – include views of my paintings in a setting, add a picture of myself etc. Extra views would be useful for on here too and will be a priority over the next couple of weeks.
The picture above is a recent work in Derwent Soft pencil. I really enjoyed the puffins at Farne Island with their comical antics and features. It always looks to me as if something is about to go really wrong.
I will be adding it to both Artfinder and my shop today.
Ok, so we have a blog and a nice new shop (nearly – need to add some T’s and C’s and contact details). How does this compare with the other methods of selling I will be using?
At the moment, I have items on Artfinder and Etsy.
Artfinder is easy to set up – just apply for an account then add whatever works you like at whatever price you like. Artfinder take a commission (I think it is 30% + VAT). It takes about 6 weeks from the time an item is sold to the time you get paid.
Etsy is a pay to list site. 20c gets you on the list for 3 months. It is not an auction site – you set the price yourself. They also take a commission which is quite a bit less than Artfinder.
The problem for me with both these sites is that you still have to do much of the marketing yourself to get seen. On Etsy for instance, you can spend many hours getting your work onto the front of the trending pages or spend a lot of money relisting items so they appear on the new page. Of course, you can spend some of your marketing budget on pay per click schemes (megabucks and hard to quantify results).
The good points – all the site structure is there and the money is sorted out without you having to worry too much about it. People can find both sites and they have active followers who look for original hand crafted items.
With my own shop, all the effort of marketing will (hopefully) bring people to see just my work. I can see who they are and create a dialogue. I can also direct people from exhibitions and fairs to my site and they will know who they are buying from.
Obviously, it is impossible for me to look at all the art and craft selling sites, so it would be great to hear from sellers on other sites about their experiences. Could you recommend a place? Have you had a great experience with Artfinder or Etsy? If so, where do you think your success has come from?
Not only do I have a nice new blog, (a little minimalist maybe, but it gets me started) but I have added e-commerce to it.
It is possible to do this for absolutely nothing, but I already had my own domain name and hosting, so I have added this page as an external link.
The cost of the hosting is £4 per month, the cost of the domain name for a year was £9.95.
You may notice this is a wordpress blog. The shop part is provided by woocommerce as a plugin. Everything has been really easy so far and you can see the first few items in my shop. The tedious bit is filling in all the product information but whatever selling solution you choose you have to do that. I recommend adding a few each day so you don’t end up going crazy 🙂
Timewise, I would say it took a couple of hours to set up the blog and get my first post done and then another hour to plug in the e-commerce and have my first product online. I’m a technophobe, so you will probably do better than me. Compare that to the 2 days it took me to work out that the e-shop in Parallels Plesk 4.5 was not going to work.
The whole process for setting up both the wordpress site and the woocommerce site is well laid out and easy to follow – no need to read through manuals of geek speak. (Nothing against Geeks, I am a science geek myself – story for another day)
Why not have a go yourself. Do comeback and share your efforts if you have a try.
In the meantime, I have another 70 products to add …..
My aim here is to post about the business of being an artist, about my journey from having a “real job” to supporting myself as an artist.
I will be blogging about setting up with e-commerce, advice I have found for artists on the web and experiences of other artists who want to share their stories. This will all be done on a shoestring, so here I am with a free blog platform and a free e-commerce platform. I will let you know how that goes each week so you can decide your best solution.
Please say hello and feel free to share in the comments,