How do I get my shop Noticed?

sterling-and-gunmetal-18-and-1-jap-patternThat’s what I hear and read about all the time, handmade artists want to get their work noticed and just don’t know how to do it. Well there are many ways to get your shop noticed and I’ll hook you up with a few that we at the Handmade Artists Forum (HAF) are trying to do plus a couple of others.

First, you need to get your shop name out there. Where’s there you ask? Well cyberspace, the Internet with it’s maze of complexities. Links are one way to get it done, as well as blogs. Along with social networking sites. I’ll touch on each of these and explain how the HAF Blog and Forum are helping.

First Links, why do links help? Well do a google search on your shop and document what you see, then do some link exchanges and then document what you see. Your shop will be more relevant and have a greater likelihood of being noticed. Now do a quick google search on Chainmaille By MBOI and you will see a whole bunch of pages where you can find me. It just increases your chances at being seen.

We have started a Handmade Link Directory on this Blog here hit the link to us tab and grab our code, if you would rather put a picture link on your site that’s fine too, you can grab our badge code from the right sidebar of this site. Put our link on your site then come back and add your link to our site. The exchange is then complete, which will help both of our sites get more traffic.

I’m also running the exact same link exchange program on Chainmaille By MBOI, you guys are more than welcome to join that one also.

An additional location where HAF is helping with links is on the forum itself. If you look on the top tool bar, you will see a tab for links. Just hit the links tab and add your link under the appropriate category. Your link will display once approved. This isn’t a reciprocal exchange like the other ones above, but it would be greatly appreciated if you grab our badge, if you haven’t already.

Another good place for links is in your signature that you use on the HAF. Believe it or not, google sees this and recognizes it as a link to you. It is sort of a backwards way for people to find you, but if they find you that is all that matters.

Blogs are another good way to get your shop name out there. There are many free blogging platforms that you can use such as blogger, wordpress, and vox just to name a few. The great thing about blogs is you have the ability to advertise and promote yourself, by posting about your work. The key to a successful blog is relative content. If you are not posting new content and regularly, your blog will sit out there in cyberspace and rot. You should also participate with link exchanges with your blog and with your sales site, because the more relevant your blog is the more chances you have for someone to find your sales site. Snoop around the Internet a little and you’ll find a slew of information on this topic, a whole bunch more than I can tell you.

Now I’ll just briefly touch on social networking to help promote your site and I’ll stick to twitter and not get into others such as Plurk, Myspace, or Facebook.

Twitter is a microblogging network where you can follow people and other people can follow you. The more people that follow you; the more people will see your tweets. Tweet etiquate is an entirely different subject. I’ll save for later, but in general with twitter you can create a network of people who read your tweets and occasionally will follow the links to your sales site or whereever you try to send them. For example on the HAF I regularly tweet about the products that our members list and help promote their products. I have many followers so when I tweet I have a greater chance do to the amount of followers I have that someone will follow my link. The type of followers you have is important also you should follow people with simular interests. For example someone who cuts grass for a living may not care about your cutsy pie piece of jewelry where someone who likes jewelry would likely follow your link.

I’m a firm believer that as a handmade artist I need to embrace my competition and others in the community of handmade, to get my shop out there.  That’s one reason why I started HAF was to bring the artists together and help strenghten the community. This mentality with posting links, blogging, and social networking will help you get noticed. Remember your not going to get all the sales, but if you’re involved with a community of artists, some of them even being your competition, you’ll have a better chance recieving referals from other artists than if you haven’t gotten involved in the first place. I’ve given orders away and suggested people many times when I was too busy or a customer wanted something that was not my thing. I’d rather send a customer to someone else than to do a half job.

Well there’s a little taste of some things you can do to get your shop noticed, I can’t give you all my secrets. These will definitely help, if you put the time into them.


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