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Using Forums to Attract

It all seems so easy: Just make a pretty website and you will sell your products online. Well that was the easy bit. Truth is that getting people to look at your website is the hard bit. You see, no one knows that it is there.

It is your job now to let as many people as possible to know about it. Not only that but they need to be convinced that they should pay it a visit. This article is about just one way of telling people  the good news. Beware! Take note of what you are being told here. Do NOT rush around shouting about your website. You must be a lot more subtle than that. In fact, don’t tell anyone – just make sure that you are good to know. If you have set out a nice signature you can allow people to seek you out. You haven’t asked them to. It was their choice. People will come to you.

However, this will take time. Have patience.

Sell Crafts Online – A Funny Thing Happened at the Forum

By Bob Beacham

I suppose I should start with an apology to Stephen Sondheim whose mid sixties musical inspired this article title! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, never mind, let’s get on with some ideas about how to sell crafts online and how forums can help.

I’m big on craft blogs because I believe they have definite advantages over traditional websites. However, whether you go for a blog or a website for your craft business there’s one thing that’s absolutely vital to your success.

Eyeballs.

Without people looking at it, nothing will happen. Obvious really. You don’t need a craft marketing expert to tell you that! But just how are you going to draw those vital visitors to you.

Here’s your next obvious statement: you’ll either pay for them or you’ll get them for free!

If you’re just starting to sell crafts online, there’s a fair bet you’d rather take the second option. The first method can be done relatively cheaply, and things like Google’s AdWords program can be very cost-effective, but there’s still that word “cost” in there. When you’re just getting going, “free” is definitely better for your profit margin!

The number one free method, without doubt, is search engine traffic. The problem with that is that it takes a while for your site to get into the search engines, sometimes several months. You don’t want to be waiting that long for your craft business to take off so you need to be a bit pro-active.

Forum’s are very popular and, handled carefully, can be a great source of traffic to your craft business online. Beware though, if you don’t handle it properly you’ll find yourself swiftly booted out. Once out, you’ve blown it. Remember, it takes a long time to build your reputation online but only seconds to ruin it.

So do a search and find a craft forum or two. Sign up and spend a week just watching. Rather unattractively it’s called “lurking” in the trade! Once you get a general feel for things you can introduce yourself and start to join in. Most important, don’t try to sell anything! Never, ever! Not your product, not your service if that’s what you provide. All you want to do is help people if you can.

So how does this get you visitors? Well you’re allowed a “signature”. This might just be a couple of words or it might be a line or two right at the end of your comment (if you check out the craft forums you’ll soon see what I mean). This is where you put a link to your craft blog or website, and it’s where the funny thing happens.

Some of the people who you help will be curious and they’ll click that link. There you have it, visitors! Simple as that. More powerful than that though, if you provide valuable advice, is that you’ll start to become recognized as an authority. The more that happens, the more people visit. People start linking to your blog or signing up for your newsletter. There are all sorts of business building spin-offs. People are also more inclined to trust you precisely because you did not try to sell.

Now it’s sometimes argued that forums are populated by like-minded people and those people are unlikely to buy from you because they’re in the online craft business too. Really? Does that mean you’ve never thought about buying someone else’s crafts? That anyone who tries to sell crafts online never buys? Forum marketing works, if you don’t believe me try it and try to prove me wrong!

The invaluable eBook “The Crafts Success Crash Course” is available free here: Sell Crafts Online [http://craftsblog.sellingcraftsonline.com]. You’ll also find lots and lots of practical, professional advice to help you sell your own crafts online. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bob_Beacham

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