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bubbee21
04-09-2007, 05:19 PM
Hi Fellow BVrs,

I joined BV about a year ago with an idea for a website and knowing zilch about how to create one. With all your generous help and advise I created www.bubbeesbeads.org (http://www.bubbeesbeads.org). It was only after the site was created and online that I realized how large the jewelry competition was. I picked a very hard area to succeed in. In the year I have been online, aside from a friend's order, I have not sold ONE ITEM. I have done all the things that I have learned you are supposed to do. Links, links, links; classified ads for jewelry; classified ads at Jewish links sites; Offered sales, contests and other forms of bait....but only got nibbles.

What I need to know now, is "Is there anything else I can do to stimulate sales, should I even bother, am I wasting my time.

Once again, I need input from all of you. All suggestions and advice, you can be sure, will be evaluated and taken seriously.

Your forever grateful BVr,

Mindy

VodaHost
04-09-2007, 07:11 PM
What is your marketing plan? How are you promoting your site? Are you promoting your site?

bubbee21
04-10-2007, 01:49 AM
I have really tried show off my site but to no avail.........However, perhaps we mean different things when we say 'marketing'. What do you mean by marketing? are ads and link inclusions enough? What more can I do?
Thx Mindy

aconstas1
04-10-2007, 03:56 AM
If you are going to make your online sales your No. 1 source of selling your jewelry you are going to have to increase your links a whole lot. Right now when i google bubbeesbeads i get 200ish results.

Kay jewelers has half a million
Zales has over a million
Reeds has a few hundred thousand

You can consider first by putting your web site URL in your signature of this forum. That will give you close to 200 more links because this forum gets crawled by all the major Search Engines on a regular basis.

I suggest you join other jewelry forums and post away following forum rules and leaving links all over the internet. You could answer questions on Yahoo answers leaving more links, You could manually submit your site to more online directories. You could write some articles about making handmade jewelry and what it means to be Jewish or something. Send those articles to Online article submit sites. Who knows if someone finds your articles inspiring or informational, you could be getting some extra visitors.

You could also try selling your jewelry pieces on Ebay and invite people to visit your site with a link. You have to do more because as you said you are in a super competitive market. You've got to build more links and find your niche.

Good luck.

Vasili
04-10-2007, 06:12 AM
Personally, there is more than simple steps that are required if you really want to "fix" your site (I never mentioned it when you began way-back-when, as it will still probably come across rather negatively -- not intended!): since you do not have the financial means, nor are in a position to actively market your website (do shows, demonstrations, "branding" events, traditional marketing and promotions, etc.), the only way your site will even begin to attract the narrow market it might hope to serve is if you refine it completely......which will mean almost a re-make of the site entirely.

Your pricepoints and the type of merchandise itself falls within a very narrow, very select market: the young fashion and dollar-conscious girls, and the women who still want fun color without the price (not really the "loyal" clientele you were hoping for, right?).

Have you taken a good look on the net with regard to your competition? Do you know who your competition really is? It may not be other, more funded jewelry sites as Alex suggests above, but more likely other impulsive buys with the deiscretionary income your pricepoints target: makeup, fast food, etc. This is where your real hard target is, the fun dollars, the fashion seeking females who want more bang for the buck!

I know what I am talking about, as I am a nationally prominent jeweler scrambling desperately to finish my own sites in proper fashion. I understand you thought that presenting yourself online with the uniqueness of your hertitage and your grandmotherly posture would be an interesting "plus" or even a functional "hook" but in truth, it is a handicap.

>> My advice would be to leave "BubbeesBeads" as it is, and simply "clone" it to be a second site after you have stripped it of all the "personalizations" that limit it's wide appeal: make your second site geared for the pre-teen and teenage market.....use new and relevant colors and graphics to demonstrate your willingness to serve that market (almost "Barbie-ish"), and you will begin to see the visitors who will be more inclined to spend a few shekels on your goods. The key also will to have some very tightly composed Content, written specifically to the audience you seek, and on that level only. As adults, we tend to stuff total nonsense where it needn't be, and is a sure sign of a stagnant site for the youth with money burning a hole in their pockets. Get your grandkids to serve as advisors to help you determine how to design and compose your site.
**** There is nothing wrong in "carving a niche" in the marketplace by *****ening your knife to cut precisely where you ought ****
I have multiple sites to cover multiple market segments....that is simply smart marketing. And, when your sites are cross-linked, you may find contributary benefit as well.

For Instance, I have a cross-branding Portal to increase spurrious traffic, seen HERE (http://www.diamondgiveaway.com)
I have a traditional jewelry website, which is still being finalized, HERE (http://www.choicejeweler.com)
Additionally, I have a purely Diamond website, also awaiting finishing touches before loading HERE (http://www.choicediamond.com)
And, to demonstrate my larger point, I have a market-specific site HERE (http://www.theblingster.com)
YES, I know they are still unfinished...but that only goes to show you that constructing a jewelry site is in fact incredibly intense (not just due to the competition, as Alex mentioned), mostly due to the level of precision required and the sheer volume of products to load into each site (70,000+ each, and over 140,000 diamonds to be "refreshed" each week!).

I have other businesses as well, and (thankfully) they are not as demanding as the jewelry business. They too, require a serious approach, however, and that is why they are successful.
For example: Incentive Business (http://www.choiceincentive.com) ; Writing & Composition (http://www.wordpointe.com)

My suggestion is to clone a completely different website from your current one (less all the character and "personalizations") and target it to a specific, narrower market, as would the teen market would be identified.


In My Opinion, of course!

aconstas1
04-10-2007, 06:31 AM
There you have it from the man himself. In doing so I would still recommend an aggressive link building campaign if you would like to be an online contender for the jewelry you make. It is good stuff, just think your clients aren't getting to your site.
Also you could consider other ways of making your sales.. not just online. Perhaps having jewelry parties at your home or a mall kiosk, etc.
Most importantly don't give up and don't be discouraged.

Hey General check out Contact button HERE (http://www.choicediamond.com/) at the bottom of the page.

aconstas1
04-10-2007, 06:35 AM
it says Contac us... was missing a 't'

karel
04-10-2007, 09:16 AM
My suggestion is to clone a completely different website from your current one (less all the character and "personalizations") and target it to a specific, narrower market, as would the teen market would be identified.

I would agree totally with this statement. No disrespect but unless I knew you personally I would not purchase from the site, unfortunatly there is a lot of fraud on the internet and people really have to trust the site they are buying from, it needs for me a more professional look to it.

You are also as stated in a very competative market (On here alone, one site of this nature pops up every week) and trying to compete with others who have the big name and site trust, it can be tough. I am not saying you can't make a go of it, just make some changes and do as suggested, go on forums that are on subject, maybe write an article.

With the billions of websites out there and everyone wanting a piece, its a jungle at times, but with a different approach and some hard work it can be done.

VodaHost
04-10-2007, 11:47 PM
Great advice guys....

bubbee21
04-13-2007, 05:05 PM
I sincerely want to thank all of you for the wonderful advice. You have given me a new direction to strive to, and regenerated my enthusiasm. You were just what I needed.

Am thinking things thru before I make my site outline...

Again, THANK YOU

Mindy (www.bubbeesbeads.com (http://www.bubbeesbeads.com))

aconstas1
04-14-2007, 12:50 AM
Glad to see you're renewed motivation and zeal. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask for more help if you need. PS there are some cool new tools in BV 9.0 to help you achieve your goals.

karel
04-14-2007, 11:10 AM
Good luck Mindy......It is a tough world out there on the internet. Things were far easier a few years ago, yes it was pretty much build a site and there was little competion. Sites were being quoted as worth a fortune, then the bubble burst as everyone wanted a piece of the pie.

So now its everyone for themselves, the ones that survive are the ones who work hard and keep learning and improving.

I am by no means the most successful on here but my product does pretty well, far better than I thought it would, as I know how hard it is to make anything on-line.

The reasons...

1. I have a pretty niche product.

2. I write a lot of articles that gives me exposure and one way links.

3. I try and get each week, 5 good quality links.

4. I learnt so much from Beth and dramatically improved my ranking in google and is now the main source of traffic.

5. I also sell the book on ebay and have a direct link to my site from there.

6. I recived a lot of traffic from America, in fact 75%. So I found someone I really trusted to make the books out there and post them for me. This enables people to get the same delivery time and the same postage costs and has incresed sales to the U.S by 1000%.

7. I go on 2 large forums on the subject and post around 5 answers to peoples questions each day, this helps me not only get good traffic, but also very targeted traffic.

8. The little things help, I pop in a thank you note and a poster/leaflet in with every book. I am always polite and treat everyone who buys of me as an individual. I am hoping to finish my second book soon and keep all email addresses from people who have bought from me in the past, if they liked the first they will buy the second most likely.

9. I also strived to improve the look of the site to build people's confidence to deal with me and with Beths advice added a privacy policy page. I then realised that some people no matter what your site is like, don't want to buy on-line. So I offer all methods of payments, including letting them know that the book is available through ebay also.

Just a few things, hope there is something there for you.

Paul

bubbee21
04-16-2007, 03:54 PM
Hello BV Friends,

I have read each of your posts of advice and encouragement as if it was the bible of the internet. I became especially interested in the venue of teenage jewelry and you all restimulated my enthusiasm.

However, after having researched the niche, I find there are almost as many websites offering teenage jewelry and accessories, or bling bling, as there are just for jewelry.

I think I have to find a more individual and new niche. My mental computer is always on "search" now and if I give it enof time it will come up with something. I am very creative and can learn to do everything given enough time and patience.

Do you have any suggestions on how to search for rare niches on the internet.

Keep your advice coming.......you are all a godsend.

Thx

Mindy (www.bubbeesbeads.com (http://www.bubbeesbeads.com))

Muzicman
05-03-2007, 12:13 AM
Hi Bubbee21, I was looking for an contact lilnk on your page. Can you tell me where that link is? I see the "guest book" but I don't see the "contact" link.

Vasili
05-06-2007, 01:57 AM
Hello BV Friends,

I have read each of your posts of advice and encouragement as if it was the bible of the internet. I became especially interested in the venue of teenage jewelry and you all restimulated my enthusiasm.

However, after having researched the niche, I find there are almost as many websites offering teenage jewelry and accessories, or bling bling, as there are just for jewelry.

I think I have to find a more individual and new niche. My mental computer is always on "search" now and if I give it enof time it will come up with something. I am very creative and can learn to do everything given enough time and patience.

Do you have any suggestions on how to search for rare niches on the internet.

Keep your advice coming.......you are all a godsend.

Thx

Mindy (www.bubbeesbeads.com (http://www.bubbeesbeads.com))Try to keep your calm (and excitement) levels at a nice humming speed, so as not to be disappointed too early....

First, take a different tack to the "problem" itself, and then affect the "symptom" instead of the other way around!
Think "Key Words" that are not fully utilized anywhere else, and how to "take possession" of them by covering them completely, and them elevating them to your benefit. The, you can best "weave" a business around that foundation.

* For instance, try describing overal characterisitcs of your products and divising key word strings that are unique and worthy of developing: like, "hand crafted beaded art as fashion = wearable beaded fashion arts"; "unique multicolor glass bead jewelry = uniquely colored jewelry fashions --and-- affordable color fashion jewels"; and so on.
In this aspect of creating the Logical Internet Appeal metrics first, you have a bit more breadth in which to re-construct your "business" in, and can expect better results via the SE ranking and metrics assigned with your use of expanded and/or different optimization techniques.

It may also be the precursor to you cleaning up your site completely (as discussed above) and merely cloning it into 4 different sitres......the cost to invest in multiple domains and to have a completely different SEO applied to those sites is really minimal, but with each new "site" you will attract a different market segment.

This seems to be the backwards way of doing it, but believe you me, many of the "big boys" do it all the time,: take FTD florists.....they have no less than 6 different corporate sites (not franchisees) under 6 different branded names with different looks, but all the same product, layout, and functionality......different names appeal to different classes of consumers, that's all. And by having different names, they are only competing with themselves, not their franchises!
Do you get this idea?

So....bottom line.....nothing should stop you from having say 2 teenage sites, one for the mature market, maybe one for the "craft" market, and maybe another two for the "jewelry" markets.....they can all be the same exact site, cloned off, but with different Names and SEO prep work to support those specific markets!!
See???

Karen Mac
05-06-2007, 09:04 AM
What Vasili is telling you is a fact. You need to do some research on keyword STRINGS/PHRASES as opposed to individual keywords. Its a tough market to gain rank on ONE keyword. You can out do your competitors, even on google with a little practice. You need to look at what phrases are actually being used to search for your type of product. Keep in mind too, that the PHRASE doesnt have to remain in tact throught the page or the site, but can also be reinforced with some clever variations of it.

Karen

Momus
05-09-2007, 06:14 AM
Hi Mindy,

It's really hard to sell a local, handmade product like this on the internet, for many of the reasons others have already suggested.

Have you considered selling your knowledge about beaded jewelry and how to make it, instead of selling the jewelry itself?

There are mulitiple ways you could go about this. You could write (or hire someone to write) an ebook or ebooks on the subject. You could set up a site with free information, e-courses and workshops, forums, etc., and then promote related products as an affiliate. This is what I do, and the site in my sig is an example.

If you go with this option, you'll want to search Commission Junction (http://www.commissionjunction.com) for affiliate opportunities. I would also suggest setting up with eBay as an affiliate. You could then run actual auction listings of relevant products on your site.

Importantly, you wouldn't be promoting "beaded jewelry" on such a site. You'd be promoting whatever products are needed to make it, to go along with the free information you provide.

Hope this suggests some new directions!

ariyo
05-19-2007, 12:41 PM
I wnat to set up an investment website, can you pls give me all the necessary procedures and advice on how to go about it. Thanks

Vasili
06-11-2007, 10:44 PM
Hi Mindy,

It's really hard to sell a local, handmade product like this on the internet, for many of the reasons others have already suggested.

Have you considered selling your knowledge about beaded jewelry and how to make it, instead of selling the jewelry itself?

There are mulitiple ways you could go about this. You could write (or hire someone to write) an ebook or ebooks on the subject. You could set up a site with free information, e-courses and workshops, forums, etc., and then promote related products as an affiliate. This is what I do, and the site in my sig is an example.

If you go with this option, you'll want to search Commission Junction (http://www.commissionjunction.com) for affiliate opportunities. I would also suggest setting up with eBay as an affiliate. You could then run actual auction listings of relevant products on your site.

Importantly, you wouldn't be promoting "beaded jewelry" on such a site. You'd be promoting whatever products are needed to make it, to go along with the free information you provide.

Hope this suggests some new directions!Interesting approach, but don't you think that Mindy really needs to preserve her entire website as originally envisioned FIRST, as a viable and sustainable endeavor?
Your "alternative suggestion" is actually prompting a complete diversion, or an "evolution" into an enirely different website.

HOWEVER, (taking a bit of your suggestion into consideraton) were Mindy to develop and include richer Content in her website on such topics as the "how-to" and references that visitors might find useful, then that added Content would add distinctive metrics for SEO, and accomplish a natural means for overall positioning.
Additionally, were Mindy to add selective products offered through Commission Junction (selected carefully so as not to dilute her own marketing and conversion potential), this would add another set of helpful SE metrics development (reciprocol links) as well as greater conversion opportunities (if they don't buy her goods, then she can still earn a commission on related --not competing-- goods or services).

Whether you use a full-blown shopping cart (osCommerce, Soholaunch, Cube, etc.) or a PayPal enhanced BV foundation, most websites lack proper development across the board: either they are heavy in product selection, brand, or transactional structure, and always seem to lack the rich Content that is critical to the Perfect Page model the Search Engines are really looking for prior to assigning ranked Relevancy. Mindy's use of a BV/PayPal website can correct this by adding content easily, and also include the specific elements described above.......using a true cart is much harder to achieve the same balanced results.

It would be nice to see which way she has chosen to progress, with all of her peers offering so many wonderful suggestions!