Jewelry Business: Net Profits Advice for Creating Your Own Jewelry Website
Do you know about our Net Profits blog? Cathleen McCarthy writes the Net Profits column in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and an exclusive web-extra blog to accompany it for Jewelry Making Daily. Net Profits is all about jewelry business: selling your handmade jewelry (in person at fairs, in shops, or online); navigating the world of social media to help promote your jewelry-selling efforts; maintaining your own jewelry-business website and/or blog; and other topics of interest to anyone who wants to turn their jewelry-making hobby into a full- or part-time business. Here's a good one for those of you interested in creating your own jewelry-selling website. Enjoy! —Tammy
Jewelry Business: Setting Up Your Own Handmade Jewelry Website
by Cathleen McCarthy
How much will a website cost you? It really depends on how complicated you want to get, how much functionality you need, and how much time and patience you have for web-based puzzles. Your options include:
Setting up a DIY site. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that putting up a basic site on WordPress is not complicated. I set up my site by myself and it didn't cost a dime. If I can do it, anyone can. However, I wasn't really trying to establish a brand or appeal to a specific market (in your case, a customer base). If you already have a presence on Etsy or other marketplaces, it may be worth paying a bit to have someone develop a consistent look and logo.
If you go it alone, you'll need to have your site hosted. Many people opt for GoDaddy, the popular one-stop shop for buying and parking domains. But if you're in it for the long haul, you'll find a more user-friendly interface and better customer service with Blue Host or HostGator. I host The Jewelry Loupe through my husband, but I'm in the process of setting up my own hosting through HostGator. They're pretty easy to reach by phone and don't make me feel like an idiot when I ask dumb questions.
After you have your domain hosted, log into your control panel and ask it to recognize the platform you're using. After I registered with WordPress, for example, I logged in to my control panel, clicked on WordPress, and followed the steps. (If you use WordPress and plan to add E-commerce to your site, by the way, make sure the to establish your site on WordPress.org, not the original WordPress.com, which does not allow commercial use.)
|I also created my own jewelry website, Southern Baubelles, using a simple template from GoDaddy's Website Tonight options. -Tammy|
Adding a shopping cart. Adding a shopping cart function to your jewelry business site can be as simple as installing a plug-in and setting up PayPal, but you might want a little help with integration. If you know from the get-go that your main objective is to sell jewelry directly from your site and you can't afford to have an e-shop designed from scratch, consider starting with a ready-made template designed for that purpose. There are free templates (or themes as WordPress calls them) available, but some "premium themes" can be had for the cost of a dinner out. As an example, $39 buys you access to all the Elegant themes, including this lovely eStore.
Clearly, great photography is key to having a successful jewelry-selling website and presenting your handmade jewelry in the most eye-catching, appealing, accurate way. Learn great tips and instruction for taking eye-catching photographs of your jewelry in our popular DVD, How to Photograph Your Jewelry. It's on sale now in the Jewelry Making Daily Shop Fall Sales Event!
CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe.
NET PROFITS appears regularly in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about promoting your jewelry with your own website in "A Site of Your Own," March 2012.