Website Shame

As designers and makers we frequently have several different types of skills in our repertoire. Whether we’re fine jewelers, silversmiths, carvers, etchers, stampers, beaders, weavers, lapidaries, or any of a multitude of other specialties, we’re generally good at a pretty wide range of stuff. Sometimes that extends into the tech realm – photography, Photoshop, even CAD. Sometimes not…

Regardless of what we do and how we make our living, here and now in the 21st century there are some things that there’s no going back on. 

If you want to turn your talent and passion into an actual real live living, you simply can’t do it on the weekend warrior craft show circuit any more without it. You can’t even grow s sustainable wholesale without it. 

IT of course, is a website. A real, live, living, breathing, technologically sound and up-to-date website. E-commerce enabled, You simply cannot get away from the necessity any longer. 

There are usually five main reasons why designers procrastinate on a site:

1) Fear

It’s scary. The technology can be overwhelming. Too many choices, so many moving parts. So much to go wrong, So much to juggle. Pictures, descriptions, all those pages. Fear of getting hacked. Fear of piracy, copying. It can be overwhelming.

2) Time

You’re already over-scheduled. You have no time. You can’t project into next week, let alone next month. No. More. Brain. Cells. You know that saying, “We all have the same 24 hours in every day….”? Yeah, I hate that one too. Unfortunately it’s true. 

3) Money

You’re afraid of some of the stories you’ve heard about thousands of dollars to have a site built professionally.  You don’t have that kind of cash in the bank. Oh I feel this one. It can be very true, especially if you’re un-versed in what you’re looking for. Hard to manage something you have no clue about. 

4) Ambivalence

You’ve got an Etsy. or an IndieMade. Or a something-or-another. It’s not broken. Sales aren’t great anyway so what’s the big deal, right? Comfort zones. They’re soft and safe, aren’t they? Or are they?

5) You’ve been burned.

You’ve spent the money and you have nothing to show for it. Or you tried your hand only to get frustrated and left with a big pile of nothing. This one sucks. There’s a lot of “bad” out there in WebsiteLand. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand. You can fold, or you can choose to play a different game…

Fear is usually a lack of understanding. when you learn, the fear dissipates.

Learning on your own can be time-consuming – having a guide can cut a huge swath off that journey. It can also guide you through the forest and keep you from getting burned again.

Then consider this: A well designed website can actually save you time and make you money – and that “good enough” presence you have now? What if it could be better? Maybe…. way better?

Our signature course, WordPress for Designers & Makers is gearing up for the 2017 edition.

If you think you might be interested, drop us a line here and we’ll get you on the list. We don’t do any big goopy webinars, free trainings or come-ons. But we will teach you how to build a solid e-commerce site geared towards creative product people – taught by creative product people, not developers or web designers – we’re YOU. With a side of SEO and Photoshop thrown in for good measure, so you learn what you need to get your stuff up there and get it seen. It’s the best time and money you’ll ever spend for your business. Let us know if you might be interested, and we’ll keep you in the loop. Jump on the bus here and we’ll keep you informed. Doors are opening shortly…

Over the course of 4 years of business, I have spent the majority of my time on Etsy. As things started to go downhill with their changes I added a website on Shopify in 2014 (that I paid someone to create). Since I didn’t know SEO, nor did the person who built it, I received very little sales. In the fall of 2014 I paid a company on a monthly basis to work on my SEO, still nothing. Fast Forward to summer ’15 where I rebranded my business & rebuilt my site on Shopify on my own. Honestly it was a total disaster which lead me to continue staying on Etsy. I received a few orders here and there on Shopify, basically enough to justify the monthly charge.

In Dec ’15 I became aware of Stefanie’s WPDM course. While I am a big fan of Stefanie, I couldn’t help but have doubts about my own abilities with this course… did I have the capability to build a website from scratch? Did I really have the money to spend? How would I get such beautiful images if I didn’t understand Photoshop? Well, I decided right before the class closed that I was going to take a chance on me.

From the very first Prelude Module, everything felt different. Things were laid out in a way that explained the logic as to “why” things needed to be a certain way, especially SEO (something that I never really understood until then) With Stefanie’s background in jewelry she knew what we really needed and eliminated the minutiae, which for me had led to a lack of follow through in the past. Action items were clearly laid out step by step in a manner that was easy to follow. A tutorial on Photoshop, which spanned almost an entire Module, was worth the cost of the course alone. I had never used Photoshop before and while not an expert I can now produce quality photos. Again, Stefanie eliminates all the overwhelming amount of info that a general Photoshop course consists of and focuses on the most important items for product based businesses.

The class is conducted at your own pace so students don’t need to worry about other obligations putting them behind in the course. The private FB group and conference calls are wonderful for questions and gaining further information on certain modules. While I am 3/4 of the way finished with the class, I am confident that the tools provided to me during WPDM will lead to a successful and viewable website and to FINALLY leave Etsy.

Jessica Wheelis Martin

Laurens, South Carolina, Mystic Soul


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