As an artisan selling on Etsy (or Bonanza or Zibbet or the like), if you haven’t yet committed to having your own website, you are missing out: on more potential buyers, on better opportunities to talk with your customers and fans, and on carving out a place that is fully yours, your brand.
Step up and take your online presence seriously.
If you do already have a website, but it’s not a WordPress site, or if you have a WordPress site but haven’t really explored the platform to your advantage, stop procrastinating and implement WordPress in a meaningful way for your business.
At the root, having your personal brand’s website built upon WordPress opens a world of attractive possibilities: email list building, simplified social media connections, Google search pages, an additional way for people to buy your goods, and a place on the web where you have full control to make it look and feel uniquely “you”.
WordPress affords you this potential – without having to hire an “expert” to build it – it enables you to do it yourself (if you want), no coding involved!
Note: This article is not intended to cover the “how-to’s” of creating a WordPress website – there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and tutorials on the web that detail the “hows”. My intent is to remind you, to move you, to make the effort to create – or improve – your website with WordPress, armed with at least a few good reasons why it’s worth it.
3 Good Reasons Why Every Maker Should Have a WordPress Based Website:
1) Say goodbye to your web developer (if you want).
Probably the biggest change that comes with using WordPress for your website is that you can do most or all of what you want to on your own. You no longer have to rely on a “webmaster” to implement and code new features. In the course of a half dozen mouse clicks or so, you can change the look and style of your entire site – and change it back just as easily! No writing code, no delving into HTML. Think quick, clean, and adaptable.
Benefits for you: Being low cost (or free), empowers you to change your site how and when you wish, leading to the motivation to keep your site “fresh”. Customers like fresh!
2) You Own It.
Social media – such as your Facebook page – and the site(s) you use for selling – Etsy, for example – are invaluable because they have the tools and traffic to create a place for prospective buyers to find and buy from you. Once you learn how to use them, it’s fairly simple to build your selling platform.
The downside to relying completely on third party portals: They own the ground your “page” is built on, and they write the rules of how that world works. Facebook can shut down your page, Etsy can change their search engine (and they have!). Any number of things that are completely beyond your control can occur, without warning, tomorrow, rendering your “shop” or it’s audience, essentially invisible.
Having your own domain driven by a WordPress site means having the power to roll with whatever changes may occur elsewhere on the web. Google changes their search rules? You adjust your site’s contents. Etsy decides to no longer carry your category of product? Install an ecommerce plugin on your site and keep selling.
You get the point. The selling portals and social media giants can change the game at any time, but as long as you have a viable WordPress site for your brand, you will never be out of the game.
Benefits for you: Peace of mind, knowing that you have a “stake” that no one can take away from you, no matter how the game may evolve.
3) Build – and Own Your Tribe.
So you’re proud to say you have 500 or 1000 fans for your Facebook page. Congratulations! Good work, you obviously are doing some things right.
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
1) How many of those fans are actually seeing your posts?
2) Who are they?
Because of the sheer volume of posts created on Facebook every minute, your “fans” never see all of your Facebook page posts. If you are consistently reaching a third of your Fan count, you are actually doing very well. Yes, if you are reaching 30%-40% of your Facebook fan base consistently, consider yourself above average!
Conversely, that means 60% of your fans – and likely more – never see your posts. And there is really nothing you can do to ever approach reaching 100% of your fans. The Timeline of any Facebook user is just too glutted with competing content.
WordPress allows you to easily collect emails from your most dedicated fans (Try that on Facebook!). With an email capture plugin installed on your site (remember – no coding needed), you can build an email list (that you own) and with MailChimp or similar, you can stay in touch. Even better, the email services report who received your email, who opened it, how many times, and whether it was forwarded. This allows you to learn what most interests your readers, along with who they are, so that you can further refine your messages.
Benefits for you: You build a tribe you actually “own” – you share your message, nurturing them into becoming customers and then repeat customers.
The days of creating websites using HTML and CGI and PERL and custom design are past.
WordPress has given the power to create dynamic, feature rich sites into the hands of us – mere mortals.
If you are not harnessing the ease, power, and flexibility of WordPress for your website, you are doing your business a disservice, and are leaving your existing and potential customers under served. Consider the points herein as just the beginning of the benefits you will reap when you invest a little time and brain power to create a well thought out WordPress based website for your artisan business.