My friend Jennifer has been selling on Etsy for a few years. She decided she wanted her own website in addition to her Etsy shop. First she set up a Blogger blog. She played around with it for a few months, spent hours searching for templates and reading online tutorials, but decided blogging wasn’t for her.
Then Jennifer heard about Weebly and set up a shop there. She played around with that for a few months, only to decide it was too much work having two shops. She just wanted a simple website with some basic information about her business and links to her Etsy shop.
Jennifer spent more than six months working on websites that she took down because they weren’t what she wanted. Yikes, that is a lot of wasted time! I asked Jennifer if I could share her story to help you avoid getting lost in the same time sink.
Before you start working on a website for your creative business, it’s a good idea to figure out what kind of website you need. Planning now will save you from having to start all over when you realize the website you’ve spent months on isn’t right for you.
Here’s a flowchart to help you decide what kind of website is best for you.
There are other types of websites, like e-commerce and membership sites. You can even have a website with all of the above. But you need a base to start from, and that base is usually going to be an informational website, a blog or a portfolio.
An informational website, sometimes called a brochure website, gives visitors basic information about who you are and what you do. It usually has a home page, an about page, a products/services page and a contact page. Informational websites are ideal if you don’t have time to update your site frequently, or if you want to get a website up as soon as possible. Your website has all the basic info visitors need, and people can easily contact you if they need more info.
A blog is a collection of articles, typically displayed in reverse chronological order. You’re reading a blog right now, so I’m going to assume you know the basics. Blogs are great for sharing stories about your work and writing interesting articles for your customers. A blog can also help bring more traffic to your site. Blogs work best when updated frequently and consistently. Before committing to a blog, make sure you’ll have the time to consistently write new posts.
A portfolio website is an online gallery of your work. It’s a great way for photographers, painters and other visual artists to show off their work without having to write a lot of text. If you don’t feel comfortable writing blog posts, but want to regularly update your website with photos of recent work, a portfolio is for you.
Once you know what type of website you need, the next step is to get a domain name. As soon as you have a domain name, you can put it your on business cards, email signatures and other marketing materials. Oh hey, look at you being all professional! You can forward the domain name to your Etsy shop until you’re ready to start working on a website. Once you are ready to get your website going, head on over to PixelFrau.com for tips and tutorials.