FAQ’s: Blogging and Wholesale

I have been in the process of building my SEO. And even before starting down that road, I constantly keep getting advice that requires me to use my blog. I don’t have a blog/ really can’t imagine why anything I say would be of any interest to anyone or why they would “follow” my blog. Can you explain the whole blog thing and how to start one and get followers? –Jerry

Blogging is beneficial to all online sellers, whether you notice your followers or not. Leaving links on your blog improves Search Engine Optimization for your online shop. Think of every site you maintain as a network, and the more you maintain, the bigger your reach.

For example, I often mention the Energy Shop on my marketing blog, my personal blog, and my Facebook fan page. I also make sure these sites link to each other. By doing so, I increase my network and widen my reach. If you Google “Energy Shop Etsy”, you will find that the page is filled with results that I have created: my online shop pops up first, then my Facebook fan page, and then my blogs.

If you feel you don’t have anything to say or you don’t want to invest your time in writing articles, a picture of your latest product and a few words to describe it will still result in increased traffic.

Jerry makes wooden rockers and rocking horses, among other things, at Weaver Wood on Etsy. If Jerry created a blog, I feel it would benefit his shop tremendously. This type of wooden furniture is something people are extremely specific about—they come looking for it, it’s not so much of a whimsical purchase. Every post Jerry made on his blog would include the key words that will help lead the people to his shop. Furthermore, he could include his city and region in his blog. That way, people looking to pick one up would easily find him.

Blogging doesn’t offer an immediate pay-out, but over time it does increase traffic and improve business. If Jerry took out a free blog at WordPress.com and posted every couple of weeks, he could eventually dominate local search results. Make sure to include your shop name, a detailed item description, and your town or city (if you want to be found locally) in every post. After a few posts you can Google yourself to see if you’re coming up in the search results. This will teach you what works.

For instance, I write Marketing Creativity, and I learned that my strongest internet search resulted from me using the title of my blog in the first line of one of my articles.  So, Jerry’s blog should have Weaver Wood in the title, and then he should mention Weaver Wood in every post.  This will help rocket him to the top. Best of luck to you!

I have been contacted by a small shop asking if I welcome wholesale sales. I honestly had not considered over pricing because I was worried about staying competitive. Do you have a stance on wholesale vs. retail? –Judy

Judy, I love this topic because I love sales, both wholesale and retail! I don’t believe in over-pricing—at all. I carry a Michael Kors bag … do I think it cost $400 to make? No. Was it worth $400 to me? Yes. I paid what they charged because they believe they’re worth it, and I believe in their value.

That’s how profit is born and great brands are made. At JOSparkles, I think that you have the pricing right at this time, because it’s new to Etsy.  However, as your collection and skill increases, it’s safe to go up. Considering that the jewelry store at your local mall increases their prices upwards of 500%, many of us in the handmade jewelry business have room to grow.

I once read that every business should be started with the intention of selling it. That’s a brilliant way to look at things, because it helps get you out of the “arts and crafts” category, and into retail mode. If you intended to sell JOSparkles in five years, would it be helpful if your line was carried in small shops across the country? You bet it would!

Wholesale pricing is usually better than 50% off. Maybe you can’t afford to do that at this time, but you can afford to negotiate. You would need to determine how low you can go on price and a minimum quantity they need to order that would make the sale worth your time. Don’t aim for killer profit, think of this as an expansion! If somebody wants to sell your stuff for you, I suggest you let them. All the best to you!

Until next time!

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