Part 5 of 9 : Relentless Self Promotion

This method of advertising your site, I have found, is one of the cheapest and most effective, yet, extremely time consuming and you may not make friends with the sites you use to spread the word.

The world of the internet has many, many, many sites, blogs, message boards, social media sites and more.  Those sites have people viewing topics, posting and otherwise browsing.  If those people came across a comment, a blog, a posting or any mention of your web page, there is a chance that they may be compelled to visit.  If they like what they see, maybe they will turn into a customer.  So, if you continually contribute (by posting or commenting) to any of these sites that pertain (even remotely) to your business, it is likely that someone will eventually stop by and use your site.

As I mentioned, there are a couple of pitfalls to doing this.  The first one is that it takes a heroic effort (time wise) on your part to advertise this way.  I would estimate at least 4-5 hours per day just perusing blogs or message boards so that you can contribute something meaningful to the discussion and work in exposure to your web site.  The exposure part is the second pitfall.

Many site operators, bloggers, message forum moderators, etc., don’t like to see posts specifically designed to advertise a web site.  In fact, in most cases if you do something like that, the post will be deleted and your access to that place will be removed.  As mentioned, you will need to work your site name and URL into the conversation in a backhanded way that actually contributes to the conversation.  Including it in your signature (at the end of a post) or referencing it as part of the conversation (while on topic) are both great ways to insure that your web site appears to other people.  I would be very careful about including it in every post you make (if not in your signature file).

This method worked very well in the early days of the internet.  It has lost some of its effectiveness now because moderators have gotten wise to people hawking their site in the middle of their message forums.  People who come to the site to read postings don’t want to be accosted by ads every other message.  Please keep that in mind when trying to perfect this method of advertising your site.

The Joys of Etsy vs. Artfire (Part II: Traffic)

Today, we have the second installment of my two part article on the comparison between Etsy and Artfire.  Enjoy! …and thank you for reading!

There is another aspect to the Etsy vs. Artfire debate.  That is exposure.  Truth be told, everything on the internet (as in a store front) is about how many people see your goods.  How many people walk through the door to your virtual shop and take a look at what you have.  On the internet, you want to insure that your shop comes up when someone searches for a product you are offering.  This is one of the places that Etsy and Artfire differ.

Etsy requires buyers and sellers to have accounts on the site and controls purchases quite different than Artfire.  In my experience, the majority of people stopping by your shop on Etsy are other sellers.  In fact, I would hazard a guess that more than 50% of the users on Etsy are store owners on the site (I would even guess higher, like 70%).  There is an art to getting your items to appear high on the results list when someone searches for something you have in your shop.  Etsy is much more keyword based.  Meaning, the description of your product matters very little.  It is all about what keywords you use to describe your product.

If you add the right keywords, your products should start showing up where you intend.  I have found that Etsy isn’t incredibly great at ranking your shop high on web search engines, however.  Since your description doesn’t matter that much (or at all) to Etsy and their search, you are passed over when Google or other engines search your item listings.  Search engines like Google pay attention to the content of the page and don’t care about keywords.  So, while you can have success when Etsy searches your shop, you will not have success unless you optimize your item descriptions with major search engines.

Artfire on the other hand searches as a web search engine would.  It will focus on the page text of each item, not keywords.  While this is a much more universally accepted way to search a web page, it takes a lot of work to phrase your item description correctly.  The payoff, however, should be exposure.  Not only will you rank high in Artfire searches, but, you will also rank higher in web search engine searches.  That should drive additional people to your page.

Since Artfire also does not require buyers to have an account with the site, you may pick up additional sales from people that would be turned off to the idea of signing up for an account.

So, while Etsy has a large community of users (mostly shop owners), Artfire seemingly has a wider range of buyers.  Everyone on the web is one.  That same community on Etsy offers some avenues for exposure, but, at the same time really only exposes your shop to the Etsy community and doesn’t work particularly hard at sending it out to the world at large.

If you have the time to spend learning the ins and outs of internet marketing and you feel your shop will do a significant volume of business, Artfire is the host for you.  If on the other hand you want to open up a shop, want to get quickly on your feet and don’t really expect huge volume (at least to start) then Etsy is probably more to your liking.

Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,