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Re: Web sites



My experience is slightly different, as I use my site both to promote the
custom paper and book work I do and as a catalog of selected artist's books.
The software I use is pretty idiot proof, but unfortunately doen't allow me
to have different backgrounds on different pages, so the artist's books are
not shown to great advantage.

After four years, I'm still refining and re-arranging things. As far as the
custom side of things - at first, I offered handmade paper samples at the
site and found I was supplying every third grader in all 50 states with free
stuff. So, ix-nay on the free samples happened pretty fast.

Then I was listed on some wedding sites (lots of my custom jobs are wedding
invitations) and was getting scads of emails from people who were price
shopping - lots of time wasted responding to emails and lots of guilt when
lack of time cause me to just blow off some inquiries. So, I dropped my
listings there.

Then, since many of the people coming from the wedding sites were simply
wanting paper to make their own invitations with - not a money maker for
me - I thought I would put instructions on making basic sheets at the site
as a public service. That brought me endless emails from people wanting me
to walk them throught the process step by step. So, the instructions were
pulled.

So, now I have the site positioned on search engines nicely, and am listed
mainly through book and paper arts lists. And I SELL the papermaking
information in the form of a self-published booklet. It has slowed my email
inquiries to a manageable amount and targeted clients who want to pay more
for work designed just for them by an ar-teeste. It's a juggling act,
adjusting the text and images so that it sounds exclusive yet accessible,
textured yet not too folksy.

One thing I've learned NOT to do is change the titles or file names on pages
once the site is organized. I planned it with some room to expand, so that
once a page is picked up by a search engine, the link is always good.

As far as the artist's book part, all the comments about selling on-line
make me realize that I need to spend some time on that part of my site.
Thanks for the nudge!

Best wishes,
Roberta
paper@oregontrail.net
http://www.missioncreekpress.com

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