Handmade Artists' Forum

Main => Handmade Artists' Shop (HAFshop) => Topic started by: chainmaille on June 04, 2012, 03:52:00 PM

Title: Advertising
Post by: chainmaille on June 04, 2012, 03:52:00 PM
Well many of you know we do have an advertising budget on google with adwords and on project wonderful. I just started another advertising campaign on bing, which also goes to yahoo. I'm personally not a huge fan of bing or yahoo, but I noticed that we were not coming up well in the yahoo or bing  search results. This sort of really boggles my mind, as I have the site submitted to bing webmasters and the site has been and is being indexed. There stats show that they have thousands of indexed pages in their search but it doesn't come up well in the search results. I thought this was a little strange so I started an advertising campaign over there, figured if we threw some money at them it may help. Could be wrong, who knows. I do know that yahoo has teamed up with bing now and that all yahoo search is powered by bing. So I'm very confused as to why we are not being show in the search results, I do know that they have been making a number of changes over there so that may have something to do with it.
We'll see, I'm sure every little bit will help, but this will pretty much strap the budget for now until we grow more.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: iKnitQuiltSew on June 04, 2012, 04:52:22 PM
Thanks for sharing this, Andrew!  And thanks for spending what little money there is to promote all of us!
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Blue Highways on June 04, 2012, 05:19:02 PM
Ditto what knit said! This is the reason it is important to get sellers to HA too
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: chainmaille on June 04, 2012, 05:29:19 PM
Well  I do not want to give out numbers so I will not, but our budget isn't a mortgage payment but it would make a darn nice monthly car payment.
Anyway you guys got me thinking. I also pay for a service that auto submits recent products to social bookmarking sites. Honestly I'm really not sure how affective it is. It creates backlinks do the site, but I've been doing it sooo long that I'm assuming there are enough back links there. Not a lot of direct hits though from these sites. I'm speaking of sites like digg, delicious, reddit, and about 6-10 others depending on the day. This is service is very pricey. I really need to evaluate it, as that would increase our advertising budget a bit, If I dump that. Not sure what to do........need to think a bit :D
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Larissa on June 04, 2012, 08:14:24 PM
We trust you to do what's best.  Meanwhile, I second the thanks.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Sifistickate on June 04, 2012, 10:20:28 PM
Quote
I also pay for a service that auto submits recent products to social bookmarking sites. Honestly I'm really not sure how affective it is.


Personally, I think that's almost worthless.  Clicks and views are meaningless.  You have to bring in new members.  And the only way to do that is to constantly maintain a steady stream of posts and links from sites that are directly related.

Get new member Ann to come in, make ten posts, put a link on her blog, and tell Jill to come visit.

There's just no substitute.

It requires making sure the site is appealing to a large number of different personality types with different goals, so they tend to spread out over vast amounts of virtual real estate when they're not here.

You need people who love Etsy, people who love 4chan, people who spend weekends arguing philosophy and people who don't what any of those things are.

When I started my sewing forum, the first thing I did was install 4 moderators with very, very different personalities.  They got along well together, they were articulate, and they put the health of the community first.  Otherwise, they had very little in common (well, of course, they love sewing), and that made a huge difference because they spent their online time differently and in different places, with different people.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Larissa on June 04, 2012, 10:22:06 PM
I only argue philosophy at 3 a.m., does that count?  That was the most fun part of college, in fact.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Sifistickate on June 04, 2012, 10:34:10 PM
Quote
I only argue philosophy at 3 a.m., does that count?

Sure!  I haven't participated in years, but I used to love the Philosophy forum at the Darwin Awards:  http://forum.darwinawards.com/


Most folks here probably know all this, but for those who don't, here's a great page about driving traffic to a site:
http://www.howthiswebsitemakesmoney.com/information/how-to-get-more-website-traffic.php
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: ArtfulFolkStainedGlass on June 05, 2012, 06:32:12 AM
"Clicks and views are meaningless.  You have to bring in new members.  And the only way to do that is to constantly maintain a steady stream of posts and links from sites that are directly related."

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I've had this argument any number of times with the Etsy groups.  All getting tons of views or hearts does is skew my stats.  I don't care if another crafter "hearts" my item -- they aren't going to buy it.  I want buyers to look.

I tend to get wordy, and there's a lot of frustration here, so please excuse if this gets too long to read, but here goes:

I do street fairs/art shows.  Though I'm new here, I've had an Etsy shop for several years.  I do have my own website, but being pretty much technologically incompetent I refer potential buyers to my Etsy shop for photos and ease of purchase. 

I have been amazed at how few of my potential buyers have ever even heard of Etsy.  And to date I've not come across anyone who is familiar with HAF.  And remember that I am in contact with folks who are actively seeking out handmade arts and high quality crafts.

I've tried Twitter.  I've tried Pinterest.  I've tried Wanelo.  I've tried SpotlightOnHandmadeCrafts.  I got lost on Facebook and abandoned that project.

The only other method I can think of is the old-fashioned print ad in popular magazines.  I'd be happy to chip in or have a bake sale if that's what it takes, but IMHO buyers simply aren't going to stumble on handmade sites -- instead getting hung up on Amazon, E-bay, Overstock, etc.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Dee38753 on June 05, 2012, 08:13:59 AM
Andrew....I can't say it any better than the rest who have already posted before me....so I will just say humble .....Thank you...from the bottom of my heart!!!

Sifistickate - I just realized...I am also a member at your sewing site!!
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Larissa on June 05, 2012, 08:20:35 AM
Andrew....I can't say it any better than the rest who have already posted before me....so I will just say humble .....Thank you...from the bottom of my heart!!!

Sifistickate - I just realized...I am also a member at your sewing site!!

I joined it last night!
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Blue Highways on June 05, 2012, 11:33:48 AM

When I started my sewing forum, the first thing I did was install 4 moderators with very, very different personalities.  They got along well together, they were articulate, and they put the health of the community first.  Otherwise, they had very little in common (well, of course, they love sewing), and that made a huge difference because they spent their online time differently and in different places, with different people.


I think the difference is the mods here are pretty much put in place to catch spam and keep the boards tidy (ie move incorrectly placed threads in the correct category) Anyone is able to start threads, contests, events, blog/twitter/FB rings, offer help, encouragement, suggestions, etc. which makes it as diverse as the members who get involved are. I love that about this forum.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: chainmaille on June 05, 2012, 01:09:36 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions. I have cancelled the submission service to the social bookmarking sites and will use that money to increase the project wonderful and google adwords advertising budget.
I agree with all the comments here and that is one thing that we have always tried to encourage. One thing that hurt us link wise, is when we merged to a new domain a few months ago. We are getting the same traffic as all links are redirected. But the links on other peoples sites that link to handmadeartistsforum.com or handamdeartsitsshop.com we do not get credit for even if they are all redirected. We knew there was going to be a rebuilding process, so it was expected.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Sifistickate on June 05, 2012, 04:10:07 PM
Sifistickate - I just realized...I am also a member at your sewing site!!

I joined it last night!

Awesomeness!  I'm glad to have you both! :D

Quote
I think the difference is the mods here are pretty much put in place to catch spam and keep the boards tidy (ie move incorrectly placed threads in the correct category) Anyone is able to start threads, contests, events, blog/twitter/FB rings, offer help, encouragement, suggestions, etc. which makes it as diverse as the members who get involved are. I love that about this forum.

They are there, too.  I didn't mean to imply that promotion was one of my moderator's jobs; it's not.  But having so many different personalities at the beginning was very instrumental to getting us off the ground. 

It's made a difference here, too.  I found this place just about the same time I started selling on Etsy (before there was a shop here).  I lurked for a while, and sent a friend here.  It's always nice to find a great collection of people, even if I don't have time or energy to post much, and I'm a member of so many places that I just can't love 'em all.

Quote
Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I've had this argument any number of times with the Etsy groups.  All getting tons of views or hearts does is skew my stats.  I don't care if another crafter "hearts" my item -- they aren't going to buy it.  I want buyers to look.

The whole dot com trend is skewed that way.  The erroneous idea that "eyeballs" equal potential customers...who will bring more customers...who will bring even more.  It's just not true.  Fact is, most "eyeballs" are just cruising the 'net looking for free entertainment.

Funny pictures, free porn, recipes for next week's barbeque, tasteless jokes...but in-depth tutorials and such just don't get the huge amounts of real, paying traffic that it seems like the should.  People who work all day and then find themselves with two hours to surf just aren't looking for anything more than a few quick news bites and a laugh.

So we are all charged with finding those comparitive few who are looking for what we have.  And usually, that means others doing just what we are: trying to make a living on the 'net.  We'll be found by five other sellers for every single buyer. We'll be found by our direct competition before we're found by our customers.  And every single person who comes up with a brand new idea that makes a buck, will have to face deep pocketed sites offering direct knockoffs and ripoffs three months later.

The only thing any of us can do is plug on, and spend as much time as we can promoting in places where our customers are likely to be, and where the bulk of the competition isn't. 

We each have to determine who our customers are, what they like to do when they are not using our products, what they are needing and looking for, and then convince them we're the best source.

A very, very tall order, to be sure, and one that does not have any easy, pre-packaged solutions that will work fast and keep working forever.


Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: iKnitQuiltSew on June 05, 2012, 05:39:33 PM
Incredibly well put, Sifistickate.  Thank you!
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: MakinTheBest on June 06, 2012, 04:37:04 AM


Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I've had this argument any number of times with the Etsy groups.  All getting tons of views or hearts does is skew my stats.  I don't care if another crafter "hearts" my item -- they aren't going to buy it.  I want buyers to look.


I do street fairs/art shows.  Though I'm new here, I've had an Etsy shop for several years.  I do have my own website, but being pretty much technologically incompetent I refer potential buyers to my Etsy shop for photos and ease of purchase. 

I have been amazed at how few of my potential buyers have ever even heard of Etsy.  And to date I've not come across anyone who is familiar with HAF.  And remember that I am in contact with folks who are actively seeking out handmade arts and high quality crafts.

The only other method I can think of is the old-fashioned print ad in popular magazines.  I'd be happy to chip in or have a bake sale if that's what it takes, but IMHO buyers simply aren't going to stumble on handmade sites -- instead getting hung up on Amazon, E-bay, Overstock, etc.


Agreed...We do shows as well and there are many that don't even realize there are handmade sites out there.  Etsy is getting so big that it is getting much more well known but the rest are still a bit lost in the shuffle.


As far as print ads, I will look into some prices and see what I can find out and we can discuss them.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: MakinTheBest on June 06, 2012, 04:46:19 AM
Any suggestions to where you would put ads?  If we are gearing towards vendors it would be more supply skewed but what about customers?
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Sifistickate on June 06, 2012, 06:16:55 AM
Do you have Quantcast information to figure out where the members here (buyers and sellers) spend their time, and what kinds of magazines and such they read?
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: chainmaille on June 06, 2012, 10:02:05 AM
I have an account but I have not put the code up for Quancast yet. We do get server stats and there are some other demographic stats that we use.
As far as advertising goes, we have upped our google adwords and project wonderful advertising budget since we just got rid of the submission service. So hopefully that will help continue to build our audience.
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: ArtfulFolkStainedGlass on June 07, 2012, 09:57:44 AM
I know that opinions are like elbows -- everybody has them -- but IMHO it seems that attracting buyers (purchasers, customers, the folks that pay for our goods) would be the way to go.  If sales are good across the board it seems a no brainer that sellers would find out/hear about (it's like gossip -- it's like wildfire) FLOCK to the watering hole.

Which would enlarge the site.

Which (hopefully) would bring more customers.

If I tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, etc., etc.,
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: chainmaille on June 07, 2012, 10:05:21 AM
I agree, when we advertise, I personally do not target buyers or sellers, I target everyone. Because we need both, so I totally agree anything to get the word out helps!
Title: Re: Advertising
Post by: Larissa on June 07, 2012, 11:43:22 AM
Which is why I hung flyers in the area (potential for both buyers & sellers) and plan to bring business cards AND flyers to Sunday's market - to target the buyers there as well as the other vendors.