Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Congratulations on your new store, now where are the sales? by Angie Wenke

Congratulations on your new store, now where are the sales? by Angie Wenke

So you just spent a fortune opening your website and designing it, then countless hours adding your products and tweaking the site to make sure it is user friendly. Now the big question where are the sales? How many times have I been asked this question over the years?

This when I have to lay the unfortunate reality check on them. A good online business with a reputable reputation may take 2-5 years to develop a good customer base. This may be harsh reality for a lot of people, but it is better to be upfront and honest and realize even though your website may be awesome, and you may offer wonderful unique products. In a sea of Primitive and Country Craft websites yours may just be flopping out there hidden amongst them until your site is recognized.

Designing your website, picking out your domain name and adding your products are simply the beginning. You will need to look at your online business as a baby. A baby yes you heard me correctly. Over the next few months you will need to nurture and care for your website in order to see it grow. Meaning lots of hard work and advertising to obtain a good customer base. Let’s take the reality in that with a lot of love, hard work and determination your business will be huge success, just don’t expect it to take off overnight or you business will surely fail.

Let’s start with the basics to help you advertise your site effectively without breaking your start up budget.

1. Submitting your site to Search Engines:

Nothing is more important than having your site indexed by Search Engines. If you site is not properly indexed you will be lost out in cyberspace and no one will be able to find you.

Most people are familiar with search engines and use them on a daily basis. Search engines like Yahoo, Google, MSN and AOL are your target search engines to reach as these will bring you the most customers on the long run.

If you cannot afford to hire someone to do this for you you can find many FREE search engine submission sites out there. The key is to have your keywords set and ready and your Meta tags and then submit your site often to the major search engines. A site I recommend for FREE search engine submission is and

2. Finding your Keywords:

Keywords are simply in basic terms any and all words that describe your business and products you are offering. The best advice I can give you is sit down and take a notebook and paper and write down all the words that describe your products and business, and then organize them by what is important on your site. Make your keywords a true reflection of your site. For example if you are selling candles some of your keywords may be:

Grubby, votives, candles, candle supplies, candle making, candle care tips, jar candles, bakery candles and so on and so forth. Don’t forget when making your list of keywords that you put the city and state you are located in as keywords, and the name of your site. A great site to help you with your keywords is Goggle’s Ad Words tool at

3. Fine tuning your site for search engines:

Once you have done everything above there are few more tips to help boost or optimize your site. When adding the title of your site in your HTML coding also add a few keywords. For example: Title of my faux shop is “Angie’s Prim Candles” so my title of my site would be “Angie’s Prim Candles-Best Primitive Handmade Candles around” this just highlighted three major keywords to my site, Primitive, Handmade and Candles. You can adjust this saying to pertain to each page of your site.

For example on your jar candles page maybe put “Angie’s Prim Candles-Handmade Jar Candles” Also I cannot stress enough to make sure you have your keywords added to each and every page of your site, just because one of your page is just a contact you page does not mean it doesn’t need keywords added.

4. Forums and Directories:

These are a wonderful avenue for your advertising, visit forums that interest you like a Work at Home Mom’s forum or a Country craft forum and meet other people and advertise your site in each message by adding your site’s URL to your profile page. So every time you make posts you are leaving your URL also. Now I must stress that your post are important too! No one likes someone who only goes into a forum to advertise and then leaves; add content to each forum or directory so customers can get to know you.

5. Link Exchanges:

Google is one of the Major search engines around and how their system works is comparing your site to other sites and basing where to rank you by how many sites link to your site. Therefore exchanging links with other customers is both beneficial for parties exchanging and now a days crucial to getting your site seen. With that being said, it is also crucial you are exchanging links with reputable sites that are similar to yours. Meaning you will not want to exchange links with an auto parts store if you are selling candles, but rather another country or primitive site.

The bottom line is with a lot of work your business will be a huge success, just put in lots of love and hard work and watch your baby grow. And when things get discouraging just remember tomorrow is a new day and things can only get better.


Angie Wenke is the owner-designer of Heartland Graphics and Heartland Marketplace.

"I started in the craft community by offering crafts of my own I started selling gift baskets and some handmade unique crafts of my own. That is how I met such wonderful crafters, then I started my first site Heartland Marketplace which has been a huge success! Then I started created graphics which has been my true passion and I started Heartland Graphics!"

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Primitive World Magazine

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