Do You Need A Crafts Website?
Crafts selling is a great way to make a little extra money on the side.
At first, the goal is simple: Sell a few items! Then, once you achieve that, you start to think about the longer term, and your options for growth.
A good question is, do you need your own crafts website?
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
Your Own Crafts Website
If you’re a beginner crafts seller, you need to keep making crafts to sell. You need to continue to funnel customers to your page on Etsy/Ebay/Folksy/Facebook etc.
But, in the longer term, you should be thinking about creating your own customer base. All of this effort, getting traffic to a third party website, means that they get to forge a relationship with your customers. And they really do.
Think about if a potential customer stumbles across your work and love what they see.
They would click on the link in hopes of finding the product. What happens if you have sold out of that particular product?
The vendor marketplace will offer your customer another similar product, but they won’t care who the creator of the product is. You could lose your customer to another Crafter, because you couldn’t control where they ended up.
If you could control this, you could easily redirect them to more of your own products, which could result in a sale.
Online vendors, like Etsy, offer a great service, and I really do think highly of them. But, this is business. If you’re growing fast, and selling your product, you have to think about these things. You have to consider if there is an opportunity to secure an independent revenue stream.
Put simply, if you create a website, you start the process of becoming an independent service provider. This would present a number of additional revenue options, beyond just selling the craft item.
It means that you can drive traffic to a place that you control. A place where no third-party advertising occurs, unless it occurs to your benefit.
On a final note, a website is a place for your brand. You can begin to grow your brand, independent of the large vendors. This means, independently forging that relationship with your repeat customers.
Free Crafts Seller Websites
You don’t need to spend money to get your own website. A simple website provides you with an independent web presence, a portfolio, if nothing else.
It could also offer the perfect opportunity to learn about websites in slow-time. A great feature to many of these free websites, is that they look after the security side of things – You only need to worry about creating the content.
It would be an independent place which might secure independent traffic. You would also have a place to blog, which might mean more traffic.
Any traffic you secure, would be traffic you control. You could direct it to the online store of your choice. So, if something changes at the vendor site, you could direct traffic elsewhere.
And, as long as you continue to work on your online shop (at Etsy/Ebay/Folksy etc.) then your sells would be unaffected.
How We Started A Crafts Website
We created a very simple free website. It was basically an online portfolio.
For the first year or so, we didn’t get any real traffic to the website. But, we weren’t trying either.
All of our revenue was coming from third party sites.
One day, we realised the potential of converting the business into more of a blog.
Slowly, over another year, we grew a small following. Then, finally we converted to WordPress (org), and focused on making the website our primary shop front.
But, coming from a crafts background, I understand that most crafts sellers didn’t start out with the intention of making their own website.
It may just be about making some extra cash in their spare time. Or, making some extra space in their home by selling some of their growing collection of ‘Makes’.
I also understand that if you have a crafts business, you probably have your hands full already!
But, that’s why I point out the free options. Mainly because there is little to lose.
It isn’t about trying to get to No.1 on a search engine result, as that is unlikely. But, it’s about being there. Learning and growing.
If I couldn’t afford self hosting, or didn’t have the time to learn WordPress (org), I would still create a simple website.
One tip I would offer is, try to optimise the images you put on your website. 2MB is massive and will take ages to load – think 100KB to 200KB.
A Crafts Blog
If you’re coming from another career, you may not know these basic things. We didn’t. This information would’ve saved us a load of time, and made us a load of money.
We didn’t do much to the site, and it remained a 4 page website for a looong time. But it was there, waiting in the background. Waiting to become the focus of the business.
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