The Internet Is The Best Way For Artists Or Craftspeople To Sell Retail & How To

From years of experience, the best way to sell your artworks is retail, you selling them directly to customers. Selling wholesale, to retail stores and galleries, you are only going to get approximately 50% of the retail selling price. Artist agents {managers} usually receive 10%-25% in commission fees of each sale they make. If they get a gallery to sell your artworks, their commission comes out of your net profit. With the extra money you are receiving, you can do a lot of self advertising and promotional stunts. Besides, unless you have a lot places and they are vastly spread out or they are in tourist traps that are selling your artworks, you are only promoting your artworks and name to a minute percentage of people in a very small area.

The three best ways to sell retail are at art festivals, arts and crafts fairs or via through the Internet {WWW}.

Art festivals and arts and crafts fairs have their disadvantages. Each one you attend takes you out of the studio {shop} 3- 6 days depending on how far away it is. You have to setup and tear down your booth, you can do well at a particular one, one year and the next year have hardly any sales at all, because this year, the economy is bad, the promoter did not promote the event very well or just that they had it on the wrong weekend, and another event drew more people's interest. Sometimes you have to carry large sums of money around, the lighting and security at some events leaves a lot to be desired. Again, in all reality, you are only promoting your artworks and name to a minute percentage of people in a very small area.

Even if you do get accepted to exhibit and sell at one of the countries fine art festivals or arts and crafts fairs, it will cost you $1000-$1500 for the booth fee for 3 to 4 days and there will be 300-500 booths. Yes, 50,000-100,000 people may walk through in that short time, but the majority of artists either do not sell enough to even cover the booth fee or just enough to cover the booth fee along with their travel, lodging and dining. Only a small percentage will actually make money {profit}.

The Internet is the best way to sell retail. You are promoting to many people in a vast area.

There are numerous online websites that are inexpensive to sell your artworks on that get a fair amount of traffic {visitors}. They charge $0-$100 annual fee and 10%-15% commission on each sale. Excluding my personal business website, I have my artworks on 50 or so websites around the world. I do get a few sales, referrals that led to a sale or inquiries. The one that I have received the most sales {excluding my website} from or referrals that led to a sale, is Architecturals Net. They do not charge an annual fee and they only charge a 10%- 13% commission fee. 100% of my sales come from the Internet and approximately 95% from my own website. For those of you who are industrious here is how to produce sales and make your website prosperous

Here is a little bit about me and some statistics on my website. I am Johnny W Morlan, webmaster from the very start of J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts business website. I have had my business website on the web for over 10 years, J W Morlan's Unique Wood Gifts. I am a woodworking artist {designer}. Believe me, selling any type of art or kind of wood objects is extremely difficult because there are so much of them out there.

My website did not make money the first year. It has for the last 9 years, especially the last 6. It took me 4 years to learn the information in this article and implement all of it. If I had known all the information that this article features, my website would of made more money the first 4 years!

My websites traffic rank is about 600,000. Now there are at least 18 million websites which puts my website in the top 4% for traffic. 95% of my sales come from my business website. I receive an average of 200 visitors per day and that is excluding the visitors I get entering my Merchandise Gift Certificates Drawings. The average length of time spent on my homepage is approximately 1 minute 30 seconds.

Averaging my sales for the last 6 years, my sale to visitor ratio excluding custom made orders and excluding the visitors I receive entering my Merchandise Gift Certificates Drawings is approximately 1 per 67 visitors. My sales excluding the custom made orders are averaging approximately $53.00 each. I usually average 5 or 6 custom made orders per month. The custom made order sales are averaging approximately $325.00 each.

My sales stay pretty steady year around. In June, July and August they usually drop around 25% and in November and December they usually increase 30%. For the last several years, I have had to stop taking custom made orders about the second week of November to ensure getting them all done by December 20. It is not uncommon for me to work 12 - 16 hours a day, 7 days a week during the month of November and up to a couple days before Christmas.

The Internet is the best way to sell goods. You are promoting to many people in a vast area. In the last year alone, I have had visitors from approximately 215 different countries and 8,650 different cities. Below is a text link, going to a page that displays a World and United States map indicating the approximate location of my websites last 1000 trackable visitors. It takes 30 to 40 seconds to fully load the maps are large.
World & USA Map Morlan Wood Gifts, Last Trackable 1000 Visitors.

A few keyword or phrase search results for my website on the top 3 search engines. The majority of them I will also come up in the top 10 results on the top 15 search engines and have for at least 6 years.

wood gifts #2 out of 17.5 million. #6 out of 26 million. #2 out of 14.6 million.

unique wood gifts #1 out of 5.3 million. #2 out of 8 million. #1 out of 3 million.

wood art gifts #2 out of 7 million. #2 out of 1.9 million.

wood desk accessories #7 out of 6.1 million. #1 out of 688,000.

wood jewelry boxes #34 out of 2.3 million. #2 out of 4.4 million. #15 out of 2.3 million.

wood business card holders #8 out of 8.3 million. #6 out of 1.3 million. #1 out of 129,000.

wood desktop business card holders #4 out of 2.3 million. #1 out of 327,000. #1 out of 62,000.

wood cigar humidors #3 out of 247,000. #1 out of 308,000. #3 out of 169,000.

wood desk sets #16 out of 2.1 million. #4 out of 3.4 million. #1 out of 758,000.

wood gifts #1 out of 59.6 million.

You can add the word {handcrafted} or words {custom made} to a lot of the phrases above and my website most of the time will be in the top 10 results on the top 15 search engines.

There are at least 200 more, less used keyword phrases that my website comes up in the top 10 results of. I have had days that there were over 100 different phrases used to get to my website.

wood box construction #1 out of 8.4 million. #2 out of 9.6 million. #1 out of 1.1 million.

wood facts #1 out of 12.8 million. #9 out of 12.3 million. #2 out of 3.8 million.

artist woodworking biography #3 out of 1.3 million. #5 out of 27,000.

If you type the keywords, wood gifts on IXQuick, I will have at least 7 stars.

The formula for producing sales and making your website prosper consists of 3 parts. Of coarse the first one is getting people {visitors} to your website {traffic}. The second is getting your visitors to go deeper into your website from the page they entered it on by making a good first impression, arousing their curiously and hopefully good enough to make them want to revisit your website. The third and the hardest part is, to get your visitors to actually click on the buy or purchase button becoming a customer.

Getting People {Visitors} To Your Website {Traffic}

It does not necessarily take a multitude of visitors for a website to make money! You only need to know your {target market}, the type or kind of people that would be most interested in buying your product and in some cases are affluent enough to!

The average website receives less than 5 visitors per day. 90% of websites do not make a profit or if so very little. Of the 10 out of a 100 that do, most either have something to do with pornography or have well known names such as Wal-Mart, Target, Zales, Best Buy, J C Penny, Dillard's, Bloomingdale's, Old Navy, Circuit City, Macy's etceteras.

More traffic does not necessarily mean more sales! For instance, I have had 400 - 500 visitors in one day {24 hours} and not one sale. Then I have had days that I only had 50 or 60 visitors and had 3 or 4 sales. My record is 8 sales in one day, actually in 10 hours and I only had a total of 83 visitors that whole day.

The results we are trying to obtain, are to come up in the top 50 results of a keyword or phrase search that are typed in on the search engines and that are relevant to your website and to advertise, market and promote your website without spending a wheelbarrow full of money. In my experience from looking at my website statistics, the majority of web surfers don't look past the top 50 results.

1 Choose a domain name with your first two or three keys words in it, which should be what type of products you are selling. Try to keep less than 30 characters long.

2 One cold hard cruel fact is some keywords are just typed in by web surfers more than others and they look for certain products or services more. For instance, weight loss is typed in 1000's of times more per day than wood gifts. This will affect how many visitors your website receives.

Make sure each and everyone of the keywords you use are absolutely relevant to your website! The search engines will penalize your website by placing it further down in the rankings.

Choose 50 - 100 key words or phrases for the key word meta tag. The first 6 are the most crucial, the ones you what people to find your site the most with. Do not put commas between the key words or phrases. Do not use a keyword more than 3 times {spamming}. You can use different variations of a word, such as art, artist, artistry, just not in a row, spread them out with 10 - 12 words in between them otherwise it is spamming.

3 Use your first 6 - 10 keywords in the title meta tag of the homepage.

4 Use your first two keywords in the body of the text of your homepage, for 5% - 10% of the total wording {keyword density}. If your homepage has 500 words use them 25 - 50 times each. Here is a website that will count the most frequently used words in any body of text, Word Counter. Here is website that will count the total number of words in a body of text, Cut & Paste Word Count.

5 Make sure the name {title} of your company {business} is at the top of the homepage and all other pages. Then name each page with what is on it and put it right under your title or business name. Do not use a keyword meta tag or a description meta tag on any page except the homepage. Only use a title meta tag. The search engines will pick up the title meta tag and any relevant words in the body text and index them as such. Not all visitors are going to enter your website through the homepage. Only about 30% enter my site from the homepage.

6 Start your description with your first 6 keywords. The last sentence in your description should make people curious enough to what to click on the link and check your website out.

7 Make sure if you are using HTML that it is correct with no mistakes on all your pages, especially the homepage. I know someone that inadvertently made just one mistake and his website went from #6 to #572 on Here is a website that will check your HTML and tell you the mistakes, CSE HTML Validator.

8 Put a navigation area using text links at the bottom of the homepage and all other pages thus linking all the websites pages together so when search engines crawl your website they will index each and every page.

9 Create a separate page on your website as a website map and name it Website Map. Using text links, list all the pages to your website on it. This gives your visitors, yet another way to navigate your site, a general summary of your site and like the navigation area text links at the bottom of each of your website pages, connects all the pages of your website together.

10 Actually, you only need to submit to the top 15 English Language search engines. Always manually submit to them one at a time. They are listed in alphabetically order,
All The Web
Alta Vista
Ask Jeeves {Ask}
My Way
My Web Search
Wise Nut

99% of all searches are done on the top 5 search engines. They are listed in order of the number of searches done on them.
Ask Jeeves {Ask}
Make sure you submit to {ODP}, Open Directory Project, it is a search directory.

Here is a website that lists the top 150 search engines and directories, that allow you to submit to them for free,
Free Submissions To Search Engines And Directories.

Do not submit too much, it clutters up the search engines with your redundant website. They will penalize you by placing it further down in the rankings. I only submit once every 6 months. If your site is new, it will take a minimum of 3 months for most search engines to index and place your website in the results. is taking 8 months. You must have patience!

11 Keep your website fresh by changing the content frequently. It only has to be a small change, add a few words here and there, rephrase sentences or add a page or product. If the search engines go to a site a few times and nothing has changed they will start crawling your site with less and less frequency. It also gives visitors a reason to keep coming back to your website {repeat visitors}.

12 They are 3 types of links, reciprocal, one way {outbound} from your web site to another website that does not have a link coming back yours, one way {inbound} from another website that has a link going to your website but you do not have a link going back to there website. The best is the latter, but it is impossible to control. There are a lot of small websites that use the category contents on, {ODP}, Open Directory Project.

I have approximately 100 total outgoing links on all my link pages combined, the majority are reciprocal but Worldwide I have at least 12,000 websites that have a link going to my website and probably 50% of those are websites using the ODP, Shopping: Home and Garden Accessories Wooden category contents.

Google Page Rank {PR}, in a nutshell is one of the deciding factors that google determines how high up a websites particular webpage will appear in the results of a keyword or phrase search. Webpages are ranked from 0 - 10, the higher the number the more inbound links {webpages} the page has connected to it and thus the more important it is.

My website has approximately 165 pages, the homepage has a PR of 4, the other 164 pages have a PR of 2. That is not a bad rank for internal webpages of a website taking in consideration that a high number of websites link to the homepage of a website. That would mean that websites are also linking to my article pages or to my particular product pages. Here is a Google Page Rank Checker , that you can type the URL of any webpage and it will give you its PR.

Inbound links to your website webpages cannot hurt {penalize} their PR because they cannot be controlled. Outbound links from your website webpages can hurt {penalize} their PR because they can be controlled 100%. As a rule, the higher a websites traffic ranking {homepage} the higher their PR will be. You should not link to a websites homepage if its PR is 0.

Reciprocal links are good. Just be very careful and make sure the other website is not in direct competition with your website but compliments your website and is relevant in some way. Try to exchange links with websites that have a traffic ranking of 1 million or below and 6 or so with a traffic rank of 100,000 or below. One website ranked 100,000 or below is worth 100 ranked 100,000 - 1,000,000 and one ranked below 10,000 is worth 1000. The lower the number the more traffic they receive. Here is a website that will tell you a websites traffic ranking if it is below 900,000, Traffic Ranking.Do not join link farms! Most major search engines do not count the links a website has from known link farms.

Have different categories for your links and only put 1 category per page. Do not list anymore than 25 links per page. It is wise to not only use a text link with a description, but an image link also. Name the image the business, company individual it represents. Place the text link with the description above the image link. My statistics show that I get more referrals from the sites that have an image link going to my site than the ones having a text link to it. You know what they say; an image is worth a thousand words.

13 Another way to get visitors to your website and your business name out there, is to do contest drawings or give aways. From experience the best prize to give away are merchandise gift certificates. More people enter because they can pick from all the products on your website and get what they want.

Make a separate page for the drawing contest and entry form. Make it an advertising page by placing 10 or 12 products at the top of the page, telling a little something about you and your business and if you have testimonials display some of them on the page also.

Submit it to the top 3 sweepstakes and contest websites. They are,
CashNet Sweepstakes

Of coarse you will need to put each of their banner links on your drawing, contest, and entry form page.

My last annual {2005} Christmas merchandise gift certificates drawing I sponsored, a little over 63,000 different people entered it in 12 months. It is not uncommon for me to get 3000 or so different visitor entries on the first day of each month when I have a drawing going on from just EZSweeps alone. Most website traffic analysis services I have had including the one now, do not show them as visitors to my site. The reason being is ezsweeps has my drawing contest and entry form page copied on their website, so my webpage is really not loading.

If you do this type of advertising, you need to make the prize value at least $500.00 otherwise people are going to think you are a cheap tight waded skinflint and not enter. It will get you exposure by getting your business name out there, visitors to your website and that is the name of the game.

14 I will put my 2 cents worth in about pay per click search engine advertising. Be very careful! Keep a very close eye on your key word and phrases click to sales ratio! For instance a keyword phrase may cost $2.00 or more on Lets say you stop it at $20.00 per day {10 clicks per day to your site}, which is $600.00 per month. If you are marking your products up 100%, from the amount you paid for them, you are going to have to sell $1200.00 worth of products to cover the advertising expense.

One of the pay per click search engines that I have heard a lot of good and positive remarks about is Overture. The key is to bid on a bunch of your lesser used key words and phrases. This actually will cost you less because you have a lot more of the lesser used key words and phrases covered which cost a lot less per click through thus getting more traffic.

15 Educate your visitors. One way is to write articles and feature them on a separate page of your website. If you sell security equipment for residential homes, you could write an article on how to safeguard your home from burglary. If you sell cosmetics, you could write an article about the different types of facial cremes that are available and which works best on the different skin types.

So, you don't write so well, there are websites that have numerous articles on virtually any subject and some of them you can copy and use as long as the writers {authors} name is listed. Here are a couple of websites,
Article Alley
Ezine Articles

Getting Your Visitors To Go Deeper
Into Your Website & Getting Them To Revisit

The results we are trying to obtain, are to make a memorable enough first impression of any page a visitor enters your website on, thus making the visitor curious enough to check out the website further and when they do, having a positive and pleasant experience to make them want to revisit your website {repeat visitor}.

The latest statistics show that a visitor, visits a website on an average of 3 - 5 times before they actually make a purchase.

My statistics show that approximately 12% of my daily visitors are return visitors. The percentage is probably a little higher, because that statistic only works if the visitor has not cleared their cookies since their last visit to the website.

1 Make sure your website pages load completely under 8 seconds. Most people will not wait longer than that.

2 Make sure it is easy to navigate. Place your navigation on either the left hand side or at the top. Should have 10 links or so going to your major pages. As mentioned before also put a navigation area using text links at the bottom of all pages including the homepage. This gives your visitors another way to navigate the website.

3 Make sure it is easy reading and not hard on the eyes. Use web safe {browser safe} website colors for the website. The best combination for reading is to use black, bolded easy to read font {lettering} such as Arial, Verdana, Helvetica or Times New Roman and an earth tone color for the background. Use newspaper or magazine column format {justified page text} as this article is. As you can see, it looks real professional {classy} and is a lot easier to follow.

4 Keep your paragraphs shorter, 8 lines or less if at all possible. Shorter paragraphs tend to keep peoples attention better and are not so overwhelming.

5 Run your pages through a spelling, grammar and punctuation checker. Microsoft Word's is as good as any. Here is a Free Online Spelling Checker. If there are mistakes, the majority of your visitors will notice them and some will get the wrong impression!

6 Make sure the colors of your website go well together {atheistically pleasing} are soothing and do not really jump out at you. No purple with pink polkadots. Here is a website with 256 colors and their hexadecimal color code. Colors.

7 Keep the colors, font styles, font sizes, navigation and the layout of your webpages, constant throughout your whole website, so when your visitors surf your websites webpages they will all have the same look and design. There is nothing more perturbing to a visitor than changing webpages and thinking, is this the same website or did I just go to another website.

8 Have your business, company name at the top of all your website pages and right below that the title {name} of the page.

9 Display 3 - 6 thumbnail images of different products you sell right under the title {name} of the page and again on all the pages of the website. Try to select products that are eye catching. Right under the thumbnail images, list the name of each product.

10 Make your text links 2 completely different colors, one for not clicked and one for clicked on. This makes it very easy for the visitor to tell what they have looked at or haven't. The standard is light to medium blue, and then changes to medium to dark red after clicked.

11 Make sure each and everyone of your websites internal and external links work properly, go to where it says it is suppose to go.

12 Make your website as easy and less confusing as possible. A lot of web users are novices and they get confused and frustrated very easily. You don't want them leaving your site with a bad experience. Sometimes simple is just better.

Getting Your Visitors To Actually Click On The Buy Or Purchase Button

This is the hardest of the 3. Basically, it boils down to how much confidence and trust your visitor has in buying from you and your company.

The competition to sell any type of products on the WWW is fierce!

Again, you must have patience! It is probably going to take 1 - 2 years for your website to start making money and become prosperous.

The results we are trying to obtain, are to turn your website visitors into buyers of your products. Your website visitors want to know why they should buy from you and your company versus all the other companies out there that sell the same product or products. What do you and your company have, do or offer that makes you better to buy from or to do business with? The business, personal and product information that is listed {featured} on your website, should increase your visitors confidence and trust in you and your company enough to click on the buy or purchase button.

1 Put your contact information at the bottom of all pages. This includes name of business, street number, street name, {no post office boxes} city, state, zip code, e-mail address and fax and toll free number if you have them.

2 Get a merchant account so you can accept credit cards. You should be able to get one for less than $60.00 per month. A lot of people like using them to make purchases. 75% of my sales are paid with a credit card and 9 out of 10 of my credit card sales, people use either Visa or MasterCard. It is rare that anyone gets denied a Merchant account, the reason being you are not applying for any type of credit. Usually Online Merchant accounts get 2 1/4

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