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Tips and Tricks: How to Sell More Cards, Part 4

July 5, 2013

Marketing & Promotion—The Basics

Blogs and Websites

The 80/20 rule we’ve talked about will also apply to postings on blogs and websites. No one should create a blog or website based solely on selling because unless you’re a famous artist, the audience for such places is pretty much zero. So what to do? The trick is to use your passions, your hobbies, your interests to engage your audience. Then you soft sell your product (in this case, your greeting cards) by tying your cards into the subject of your post.

The Basics of Blogs
If you’re not comfortable with maintaining a blog with regular posts, don’t start one. You’ll need to post at least once a week. And you don’t have to be a professional writer. If you can write a coherent sentence and put a few coherent sentences together to make a paragraph, you can build a blog.

The Golden Rule: Just like all other marketing strategies, you’ll get more positive results by informing, communicating with, and entertaining your readers than barraging them with spam-like posts about merchandise. You’ll also get big love from search engines because they love fresh, original content.

Find your voice and be yourself. Don’t get too hung up on the formality of writing. Use a conversational style and write about what moves you. Share your knowledge and your passion, offer helpful advice on topics you know a lot about or have experience with, create a how-to, etc. Let your passion be your guide. Use pictures and video if you can to add some life to your posts.

In case you forgot or haven’t seen the post, Cheryl of Golden Jackal Card Store is seeking artist interviews for her blog. Check the Forum thread for details.

Try to tie greeting card designs into relevant posts. If you’re blogging about your niece’s birthday party, add some “happy birthday to my niece” cards to the mix.

It will also help to do guest posts or reciprocal linking on other blogs that share your interests. Many bloggers out there will be willing to at at least hear your proposal. Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So ask. The worst that can happen is the blog owner tells you no.

Don’t forget about your fellow artists. Some of them have blogs too. Offer reciprocal linking or reciprocal guest posts so you can both benefit. A query in the Forum will probably produce some possibilities.

The longer the blog exists, the more active the blog is, the more informative the content, the better chances you have of attracting and keeping an audience of potential shoppers. You can find more tips here:

How to Create a Blog: A Beginner’s Guide
Top 10 Free On-line Blogging Platforms

The Basics of Websites
Pretty much everything we’ve been saying is true here too. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind.

It’s easy to create mini-websites that put your knowledge out there and lots of free services that allow you to do just that, like Squidoo, Weebly, Wix, etc. The idea is to build a website showcasing your knowledge. Give tips. Talk about how to do something like a hobby. Talk about your passion. And again, tie relevant cards into your posts.

One of the first Squidoo pages I created a couple of years ago contained tips for helping cancer patients. I included as many links to my greeting cards for cancer patients and talked about how positive encouragement and support on my page. Guess what? That page was a big success for me and opened the door for many other pages on different topics of interest to cancer patients, their families, friends, and supporters. Here’s an example of one of my pages:

Gifts for Women Undergoing Chemotherapy

I also share links to this page and those like it on my FB page and on Pinterest. Yes, you can pin websites to Pinterest, and you’d be surprised how many people will re-pin if you’ve got a page that’s interesting and informative.

Another great example is Doreen Erhardt who has built Salon of Art on Weebly, chock full of tips and information of interest to designers and photographers.

Whatever free web page service you choose—and there are a lot out there, just Google “free webpage”–be sure to check the TOS. Some frown on purely commercial websites, but since you’re following the 80/20 rule, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? 🙂 Some basic knowledge of HTML will probably serve you well, but even if you have no experience, most sites offer support or you can always do a quick Google search for instructions.

And this ends the series of How to Sell More Cards. The five biggest things I hope you take away from this series are that a) marketing doesn’t have to be a full-time job unless you want to work it that way; b) anybody can do it; c) be varied in your approach to maximize your chances of success; and d) it’s not as hard as you think; and e) it takes time.

Be patient.

Marketing isn’t a race, it’s a marathon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 11:14 am

    Thanks, Corrie. As always, you have excellent advice.

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