Monday, July 24, 2006

So, Linda - What Are You Going To Cover?

You might be wondering exactly what I'm going to be covering in this blog. Well, not only will I be providing you with the lists of who I used, but I'll be providing you with a little indication of what my thought process was.

Whether or not that is helpful to you is entirely up to you and your situation. What worked for me might not work for you. I am not an expert on anything listed below and don't claim to be. All I know is what my experience has been during the past year.

Here are a few areas that I am thinking about for my articles, in no particular order of importance:

Getting Started

  • Defining Your Product and Niche!

  • Getting Started! Where Do I Begin?

  • What Do I Do First? I Mean REALLY FIRST?

  • What Shall I Name My Business? Does a Name Really Matter?

  • What About Logo's and ByLines?

  • How Long Does It Really Take To Get Established On The Web?

  • What's A URL?

  • All Those Online Accounts And Passwords!

    Product Issues

  • What Are You Going To Sell?

  • How Will You Package Your Product?

  • How Much Should You Charge For Your Product?

  • How Much Does Your Product Cost To Produce?

  • Pricing Your Product And Overhead Costs!

  • Should Shipping & Handling Be Included In the Price Of Your Product?

  • Should Postage Be Included In the Price Of Your Product?

  • How Many Products Do You Need?

  • New Products? How Soon Should You Have Some?

  • Timeframes For Product Delivery!

  • How Soon Should You Ship?

    Product Order Issues

  • Order Forms - How Will The Customer Order Your Product?

  • How Will You Handle Mail Orders?

  • How Will You Handle Email Orders?

  • Shopping Carts? Good Or Bad?

  • Do You Need an Online Fillable Order Form?

  • Should You Consider Email Billing?

  • Should You Consider E-Commerce And Shopping Carts?

  • Credit Card Issues?

  • International Orders - Should You Consider Them?

    Customer Has Ordered Issues

  • Websites Are Open 24/7 - How Do You Handle That?

  • Customer Ordering And Shipping Timeframes!

  • Confirmation Emails!

  • Product Has Shipped Emails!

  • Thank-You For Ordering Emails!

  • Follow-up Emails!

  • Lost, Stolen, Or Broken Merchandise - What Do You Do?

  • What About Returns?

  • Shipping Cost Concerns?

  • International Shipping Pitfalls!?

  • Shipping Insurance? Do You Need It?

  • Postage Concerns?

  • Credit Card Denied or Rejected!

  • Customer Refuses To Pay After Product Shipped And/Or Received!

  • Bounced Check Issues!

    Product Issues and Product Pictures

  • Product Pictures? How To Take Them?

  • Enhancing Product Pictures - What Software Should You Use?

  • How Many Product Pictures Do You Need and What Sizes Should They Be?

  • Resizing Product Pictures - How Do You Do That?


  • What's A .pdf file? How Do You Create One?

  • What's And E-Pattern And How Do You Create One?

  • What's An E-Catalog And Why You Should Create One?

  • Create Your Own >pdf Files or Pay Someone To Convert?

  • What Are Instant Download E-Products?

  • E-Zines? What Are Those?

  • How Do You Keep Your .PDF File Size To A Minimum?

    Practical Issues

  • Shipping Concerns?

  • International Shipping? Should You?

  • Shipping Insurance? Do You Need It?

  • Postage Concerns?

  • What About Sales Tax?

  • How Will My Customers Pay? Check, Credit Card, Cash, Or What?

  • What's an E-Merchant?

  • Should You Use A Shopping Cart?

  • PayPal Or Credit Cards? Or Both?

  • Keeping A Calendar?

  • Should You Offer FREE Products?

  • What About Gift Certificates?

  • Websites Are Open 24/7!

    Banking Issues

  • The Banking Aspects?

  • How Are You Going To Pay For Services?

  • Funding and Capital To Start?

  • How Many Checking Accounts Do You Need?

  • E-Commerce Banking and Credit Cards?

  • Customers Paying By Check And Return Check Fees!

    Beginning Webpage Issues

  • Where Do You Get A Webpage?

  • Should You Use One Of The DIY, E-Commerce Websites Or Create A Website Of Your Own?

  • What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages To Creating Your Own Website?

  • To Domain Name Or Not To Domain Name?

  • Broadband or Dial-up? Does It Matter?

  • Hosting Company? What's That?

  • Renewing Your Domain Name? How Soon Should You Do It?

  • How Will You Update Your Website?

  • How Soon Should You Update Your Website?

  • Browser? What's That?

  • Server? What's That?

    Selling Issues

  • Where Should You Sell Your Product?

  • Other Paid Websites To Compliment Your Website? Should You Use Them?

  • What About the Auction Websites? Should You Use Them?

  • To eBay Or Not to eBay?

  • What About Online Auctions and Silent Auctions?

  • What About Those Classified Ad Programs and Websites?

  • What About Wholesale?

  • Should You Consider Consignment?

  • What's Drop Ship And Should You Consider It?

  • Should You Have SALES Or Offer Incentives On Your Product?

  • The Practical Logistics of Online SALES And Incentives - What Are They?

    Designing Your Webpage

  • Should You design My Own Website? If So, What Software Should You Use?

  • What's A Template?

  • Testing Your Webpage?

  • Designing Your Index and Home Page? Is Response Time Important?

  • Splash Pages - Should You Have One?

  • Too Many Graphics?

  • How Many Pages Should You Have In Your Website?

  • What Should Your Website Contain?

  • What Size Should Your Website Be - How Many Megabytes?

  • Contact Information, Hours, And Telephone #'s? What To Disclosure And Where?

  • Should You Have An About Us Page?

  • The Search Engine Importance Of Your Home/Index Page Design?

  • Should You Design Your Own Webset Or Purchase One?

  • The 5 Second Rule And Why It's Important!

  • The Contact Us Page! Why It's Important And What It Should Contain!

    Programming Issues

  • HTML? What's That?

  • CSS? What's That?

  • HTML and CSS Tips!

  • Frontpage? What's That?

  • Dreamweaver? What's That?

  • What's A Script?

  • FREE Scripts - Where Can You Get Them?

  • How Do I Make My Name And Banner Clickable?

    Technical Issues

  • Browsers? Why Do I Need To Worry About These?

  • Using Notepad As A Link Between Your Computer and Websites?

  • Are Cookies Slowing Your Website Down?

  • Backing Up Your Website!

  • Practical Aspects Of Updating Your Website- What Are They?

  • URL's And The Naming Of Files And Folders? Why Is This Important?

  • Dedicated Servers or Shared Servers?

    Legal Issues

  • Copyrights? Do You Need To Worry About This?

  • Do You Need To Copyright Your Product?

  • Allow Right-Click Or No Right-Click? What Do You Mean?

  • Do You Need To Copyright Your Website?

  • Disclaimers?

  • The Order Information Page! Why You Need One?

  • Privacy Statements!

  • The Fine Print On Ordering From You! What Should Your Policies Be?

  • Payment Policies - What Should You Consider?

  • Links To Other Website Content Disclaimers!

  • Wholesale Policy - Do You Need One?

  • Shutting Down Your Business And Domain Names!

    E-mail Issues

  • Who Should You Use For Email? Why Is That Important?

  • Email Etiquette!

  • Don't Forget Your Email Signature - Another Aspect Of Advertising!

  • Watch Out For Those Scam Artists!

  • Email Spam - The Bane Of One's Existence!

  • Those Correspondence Issues!

  • Where Should You Store Your E-Mail's - Online Or On Your Hard Drive?

  • How Many Email Accounts Should You Have?

  • How To Create Email Links On Your Website!

    Practical Business Matters

  • Your Work Location - Where Is It?

  • Don't Forget Your Filing Situation?

  • Don't Forget The Business Card?

  • What About Return Address Labels, Envelopes, and Stationary?

  • How About Business Notecards And Thank-You Notes?

  • What About Business Invoices, Etc.?

  • Announcements! Do You Need Them?

  • Do You Need A Business Brochure or Tri-Fold Brochure?

  • Your Recordkeeping And Why It's Important?

  • WAHM? What's That?

    Graphics Issues

  • You Need Graphics? Why?

  • Where Can You Get Graphics For Your Website?

  • Should You Do The Graphics Yourself?

  • Banners - Do You Need Them? What Sizes Do You Need?

  • What's A Button Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • What's A Mini-Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • What's A Standard Banner? Where Do You Use Them?

  • How Do You Reduce Your Banner Images?

  • How Do You Make Your Banner Clickable?

  • What's Clipart?

  • What's A Blinkie?

  • Where Should You Store Your Banners?

  • Graphics Websites? Where Can I Find Them?

    Images And Photo Storage Website Issues

  • What's An Image?

  • Saving Images and File Extensions - What's The Difference?

  • How Do You Get Your Image To Blink?

  • How Do You Create An Image?

  • What Software Programs Should You Use For Images?

  • Where Should You Store Your Images?

  • Resizing Images - How Do You Do It?

  • Photo Storage Websites? Do You Need Them?

  • How Do You Take A Screenshot?

  • How Do You Move Images From Your Computer To Your Website?

    Mailing List And Newsletter Issues

  • Do You Need A Mailing List?

  • Where Should You have Your Mailing List?

  • The Double Opt-In And Opt-Out Requirements For Subscribers?

  • Do You Need A Newsletter? Where Do You Get One?

  • Subscribing To Your Mailing List? How Will Customers Do That?

  • Should You Subscribe To Other Newsletters?

  • What About E-Postcards?

    FREE Services and Other Website Customer Enticers

  • Free Services! It's Hard To Beat!

  • Do You Need A Guestbook?

  • Common Courtesy of Guestbooks!

  • Commenting On GuestBooks And The Impact On Search Engines!

  • Do You Need A FAQ Page?

  • What About Counters? Do You Need Them?

  • What About Tell-A-Friend?

  • Vote Casters and Other Customer Enticers?

  • Should You Have A Featured Crafter?

  • Should You Have Offer FREE Articles on Your Website?

  • What Other Customer Enticers Can You Do?

    Search Engine Issues

  • What Are Search Engines? Why Do You Care?

  • How Do You Get Listed By The Major Search Engines? Should You Pay Someone?

  • Keywords? What Are Those?

  • What Are Keywords and Meta-Tags? Why Are They Important?

  • What's Cache?

  • Google Page Rank? What's That? How Do You Check It?

  • How Long Does It Take To Get Listed In Search Engines?

  • How Often Should You Submit Your Website To Search Engines?

  • What About Google SiteMaps?

    WebRing and Topsite Issues

  • What's A Webring and Should You Join One?

  • What Are TopSites and Should You Join Them?

  • Should You Manager a Topsite?

  • Should You Manage a WebRing?

  • What's A Gateway Page? Do You Need It?

  • How Do You Get To The Top Of The Topsites List?

    Banner Exchanges and Linking

  • Banner Exchange? What's That?

  • What's A Link? How Should You Manage My Links?

  • What About FREE Link Exchanges?

  • Text Links or Banners? Which Is Better?

  • Banner Exchange URL's Or Downloading To Your Hard Drive - Which To Choose?

  • Should You Have A Banner Exchange Directory?

  • Should You Join A Traffic Exchange Website?

    Advertising Issues

  • Where Should You Advertise Online?

  • Directories? Paid or Not?

  • FREE Business Directories - Where Are They?

  • What Kind Of Directories - Mainstream Or Specialty?

  • FREE Banner Directories and FREE Places To Advertise!

  • How About Paying Someone To Promote Your Website? Should You?

  • Should You Hire Someone To Promote Your Website?

  • What's Froogle?

  • Should You List Your Website In The PayPal Store?

  • To Google Content Advertise or Not To Google Content Advertise?

  • What About Yahoo Advertising?

  • What's A Featured Crafter and Why Would You Want To Be One?

  • What's A Featured Product?

  • Prim Packs or Mom Packs? What Are Those?

  • FREE Advertising And Where To Get It?

  • Other Ways To Get FREE Advertising?

  • Advertising On Other Crafters Websites And Newsletters- Should You?

  • Writing FREE Articles? Should You Consider That?

    Print Ads and National Advertising

  • Magazine Advertising? Should You Consider It?

  • What About Print Ads? How Do You Create Them?

  • Submitting Print Ads - What Format?

  • National Magazine Advertising? Is It Worth It? Can You Afford It?

    Plugboard Issues

  • What's A Plugboard and Should You Have One?

  • Where Can You Get A Plugboard?

  • Plugboards - Are They Worth It?

  • Maintaining Plugboards - Why That's Important?

  • How Do You Enlarge Or Change The Size Of Your Plugboard?

  • Watchout For Plugboard Spam!

  • Plugboard Rules And Criteria For Plugging - Should You Have Them?

  • Plugboard Etiquette!

  • Where Should You Plug? Other Websites With Plugboards?

    On-line Craft Selling and Other Craft Selling

  • What About Online Craft Malls?

  • What About Online Craft Shows?

  • What About Regional or National Craft Shows? Should You Still Do Them?

    Publishing Your Website

  • What About A Grand Opening Sale and Incentive?

  • The Publishing My Website Gitters?

  • What's FTP? What's My Network Places? And, Why Do You Care?

  • How Are You Going To Update Your Website?

    Forum Issues and Networking

  • Forums? What Are They And Why Should You Join One?

  • What's A Thread?

  • What's A Forum Siggy Or Signature? Do You Need One?

  • Avatars? What's That?

  • Common Courtesy Of Forums!

  • Promoting On Forums And Elsewhere?

  • Associations? Should You Join One?

  • How Many Forums Should You Join?

  • What Kinds Of Forums Should You Join?

  • Forum Linking Requirements!

  • What About Chatrooms?

  • Commenting On Forums And The Impact On Search Engines!

    Blogs and Blogging

  • Blogs? What's A Blog and Do You Need One?

  • Where Should You Have Your Blog?

  • How Many Blogs Should You Have?

  • What Kinds Of Blogs Are There?

  • What Should You Include On Your Blog?

  • The Ins And Outs Of Designing Your Blog!

  • What's a Tagword?

  • Subscribers to Your Blog? What's That?

  • Syndication, RSS, Feeds, Atom.xml? What's That?

  • Trackbacks? What's That?

  • Blog Directories? Do You Need Them? Who Should You Avoid?

  • Blog Search Engines? Should You Submit To?

  • Blog Feed Services? Do You Need One?

  • Blog Linking And Banner Exchanging - Do You Need To?

  • Blog Traffic Exchanges And Should You Join One?

  • BlogRolling? What's That?

  • Why Isn't Anyone Visiting My Blog?

  • Ping? What's That And Do You Need A Ping Service?

  • Graphics For Your Blog? Do You Need Them?

  • Art Generators? What Are Those?

  • How Do You Move Images From Your Computer To Your Blog?

  • Banners For Your Blog? Do You Need Them?

  • Commenting On Blogs?

  • Watch Out For Blog Spam!

  • Blog Etiquette! What To Disclose Or Not Disclose!

  • Selling E-Products On Your Blog!

  • Selling Advertsiing On Your Blog - Should You?

  • Should You Have Google AdSense, Amazon, And Other Affiliate Advertising On Your Blog?

  • Blog Forums - Should You Join One?

  • Backing Up Your Blog Articles and Template - Should You?

  • What About Blog Statistics - Should You Care?

  • Shutting Down Your Blog And Popular Blog URL's!

    Other Revenue Opportunities

  • Affliates? What Are They? Do You Need Them?

  • What About Google Ad Search and Ad Sense? Should You Have It On Your Website or Blog?

  • Should You Teach An On-line Class?

  • Should You Offer Banner Exchange Advertising On Your Website?

  • Rotating Banner Exchange Code - Where Do You Get It?

  • Should You Offer Advertising On Your Newsletter?

  • Should You Offer Product Advertising On Your Website?

  • Should You Offer Button Advertising On Your Website?

  • What About Kits?


  • What About Statistics? Are They Important?

  • Counters? What Are Those? Where Should YOu Get One?

  • Traffic - What's That? Why Does It Matter?

  • First Time, Unique, Repeat Customers? Does It Matter?

  • Page Loads and Counting Yourself?

  • Referrals? What Are They?

    Now I Have A Website Issues

  • When Am I Going To Sell Something?

  • Am I Doing Well?

  • How Much Should I Have Sold By Now?

  • Why Isn't Anyone Visiting My Website?

  • Okay, I've Done Everything! Now What?

  • Lots Of Visitors, But No One Is Buying - Is This Normal?

  • How Do You Determine What Advertising Areas To Renew?

    Miscellaneous Issues

  • Doll Challenges? Should You Consider Them?

  • Craft Charities and Should You Participate?

    • That's what I have in mind for right now? I'm sure my list will change as I go along. Hopefully, that will give you a good idea of some of the things I had to worry about before I set-up my website and all during the year as I went along.

      If you're a small business crafter thinking about a website then I hope you'll find my articles and experiences useful.

      As mentioned, I'm certainly not an expert on anything and don't claim to be. All of this is based upon my experiences as a small business crafter or the web during the last year. If you find that by my relaying my experiences to you that it is helpful - that's great. If it saves you time that would also be great. I'd be happy that I could help.


      Neenee said...

      Wow - this is going to be quite some undertaking Linda - but I can't wait to read this one!! Congratulations on yet one more blog, lol - this one just might be my very favorite ;)

      Linda said...

      Thank you so much for saying that NeeNee. It means a lot to me coming from you. I just love reading your blog. You're so creative and have such wonderful ideas. It's always a fun read.


      vickie said...

      Oh my...wonderful...hope to get some tips...hugs vickie

      Solonge said...

      This blog seems to be a great resource for those starting out in the craft business. I am an accountant and have many new, home-based small businesses coming to me for advice -I will certainly recommend they take a look here!

      A piece of software I have come across that is specifically aimed at new craft businesses is the Crafting Software Business Management System. This basically helps keep your paperwork in order and covers the sales, purchases and tax side of things freeing you up to get on with your art. It also runs a real time inventory system so you know where you are with orders and stock.

      You can find more details here

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