Good product photos may help sell your product more than the website itself.

  • Good pictures are equally important for selling products online as is the website itself, dare I say even more important. Don’t let the product photos you have rob the product and make them look cheap.  By adding special effects to your images you can actually make your product look cheap and less appealing, especially photos with distracting borders and clip art around them. The best thing you could do is take clean and clear pictures of your products and do not add all kinds of “special effects around them”. When you take pictures try to use the same background colors and similar complimentary displays (eg. Flowers or leaves for an accent).  Flowers, leaves and other pretty yet simple things can really help as well.  Just be sure they are similar, that they do not distract but rather compliment the item you are trying to sell.  Such as an orange sitting next to a jar of orange facial cream – as seen in the featured image (photo credit: SMMCosmetics.com). Having a lot of different backgrounds and colors behind your product can make your store look cluttered/messy.  This will cause a person to not want to hang around much longer resulting in a dramatic loss of product sells and page hits. I strongly suggest using a pure white background (or very light gray) if you can get one.  Black backgrounds can look really classy as well but I think white is by far the easiest to work with and shows off your products very well. Some huge roll out paper or boards might work, even the ones they have at Wal-mart can be used above and below the product, especially if you can not afford to have your product pictures taken professionally.  However, never use wrinkled paper or wrinkled sheets as your background. Wrinkled sheets are very obvious, obnoxious and distracting. I’ve seen many sellers try to use wrinkled sheets, even I did this unknowingly when I first started to sell products online. But again it is very obvious, very distracting and kills a lot of the class a product has to offer the buyer. Let your beautiful products sell themselves. Also, showcase your product images one at a time, collages are great for the family wall and for a website homepage, but can be overwhelming or annoying when it comes to a product page.  Keep things simple and clean, and again, let your products sell themselves. Large clear photos of the products with a very minimal background will help you sell your products and make it more likely for you to get the price you are hoping for.

  • I’m always looking to give my customers the best quote possible so knowing what work is involved really makes a difference! Here are some quick questions I commonly ask new clients before I provide them a project quote: What service/s are you considering hiring me for? popular answers: eBay store design eBay auction template website design labeling, CD/DVD or packaging design Facebook cover design other (please be specific) How would you like your design to look? What kind of products do you sell or plan to sell / if any? How many pages are you interested in having me custom design for you? page examples could be homepage about us auction template faqs front or back cover for a flyer brochure pages (how many) other (please be specific) Are there any special features or functions you would like it to have? Is there a design or a website page that you admire, or some things about it you like a lot?  If so, please send me a link so I can get an idea of what kind of look of functionality you are interested in having.   For print marketing inquiries I also ask these important questions: Is there a specific size or file type (such as psd, pdf, eps, ai, other) you need the design to be in? Do you have a template outline for me to use that your printing company has provided you?     So now you know what I’ll probably ask you…  

  • Yes, I would be happy to, but I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what’s in my future and if God plans to take me home someday soon… Neither does any other web designing company, so if you want to be assured that you’ll have your designs tomorrow and the next day and the next, without fear of me falling off the face of this earth, then I strongly suggest you host your own images and pages. But again, I would be happy to if you would like me to, as it saves me a LOT of extra work. Be warned, this is most likely the reason why you see other web designers boasting that they’ll HOST for free (it’s so much easier that way).

  • The best encouragement I have to offer you is my 11+ years of unalterable eBay feedback. I have been a seller since 2000, so there’s a lot of feedback there that speaks for my service, my speed, my designing capabilities and most importantly, my integrity! Please note that while I still sell on ebay from time to time it has become rare, so while the feedback there does reach back as far as 2000, there may not be many current feedbacks added. This is only because I am no longer dependent on eBay for my income, I’ve been able to pull away from ebay and do well w/out it… So I only list on ebay when I realllly want to. A pleasant goal most business owners might consider seeking to achieve themselves. You are also welcome to visit my Testimonials page to read years worth of client testimonials. And feel free to even contact any of them for a personal a reference.

  • I have no problem waiting to begin your design if you need a little time to plan out any specific needs. Hiring me now might save you money in the long run as I might give myself a raise later on. My objective is like most everyone’s; work less and get paid more. I would love to spend more time with my children regardless of my love and addiction for design!

  • I do!  For those of you who are new to selling online you may consider the following business plan.  This plan should help you make money the quickest way possible (now) while building up an ecommerce website in which you can sell your own products from (ongoing) so you can make money now and the most profit possible as time progresses. Get your business name established (see recommendations below) Get your products ready to sell Open an eBay store and sell your products here first. When you send out your products always put a business card or thank you card in the packages, with an invitation to check out your website for more wonderful deals such as this one. Forward your domain name to the ebay store for now while you build up your products.  This way you can make money as quickly as possible while advertising your website domain.  For now your website visitors will just automatically be sent to your eBay store to buy. But later, when you’re ready you can turn off the forwarding and have them see your new website instead. While you’re making money on eBay and establishing a clientele, get your website going. Work on your website products and content. Advertise, advertise, advertise. The more you do this, the less dependent on eBay you will become.  Within time you may not need the help of eBay for income at all.  It took me several years but I’ve accomplished this myself.  With the help of social networking your timeframe could be a lot shorter!  Having been able to pull away from Ebay is the reason why my eBay feedback doesn’t have much current feedback posted to it. I just haven’t needed or wanted to sell on eBay for quite some time… but it did take me a lot of work to get to this point.  Ebay is great for getting established and known…. but the plan is to pull away as soon as you can, so you can keep most of the profits yourself, heh! Recommendations for establishing a good business name. Consider a name that is easy to use, starts with either A, B, or C… and don’t use numbers in the business name (yuck).  It would be good to have key words in the name, ie. beauty, fashion, makeup or cosmetics; as this will help you in the search engines ratings greatly. So for a Cosmetics business you may consider something like:  Cosmetics Wholesale or Beautiful You Cosmetics.  (just as an example) But again something easy to remember, easy to spell and early in the alphabet.  When your site is added to a list if you start with A, B or C, then you’ll be more at the top of that list!   You don’t have to take all the recommendations, but the more you get the easier it will be for people to remember, return and recommend!

  • Yes, absolutely! As a new business you have a MUCH higher chance of making money on ebay than you do on your own brand new website. Brand new websites are hardly recognized by the search engines. From my understanding it usually takes the search engines about a year to really recognize a good filled out website. I have been surprised in the past however, some clients who have poured extensively over their new websites and filled it with a lot of great content have told me they had more success on their website than their ebay store. I don’t think this is common but it was great to hear! I am guessing their website success was also linked to strong social network marketing more than search engine recognition. Ebay has a LOT of shoppers so this is easy advertising for you. You pay a price for it, which is why I suggest pulling away as your able to, but again, ebay makes it EASY for new businesses to make money and get recognized. There are other sites you can sell on as well (ie. Amazon, etsy and others), but I recommend ebay most of all. And the bonus of having an ebay store is that you can let a lot of products “sit” in your store while you put the most popular items on auction. If you have a custom auction template designed well that has good navigation links and category links to your ebay store, you can drive traffic from your online auction to your ebay store, thus increasing the chance of additional sells to that one potential customer! Ebay Stores and custom auction templates are GREAT for getting attention and keeping attention as they cross-promote other products you have available. They also help to drive your visitors to signing up for your newsletter. A newsletter is a potential powerhouse that can generate more $$ and fast! So with that in mind an ebay store and well built custom auction template could not be recommended enough. So my recommendation would be if you want to make money soon, focus first on ebay, and then as your clientele builds up, pull away as your website gets recognized and makes more and more money. If possible I recommend having both ebay store and website established as soon as possible. The website is great to have for long term planing and greater profits, the ebay store is widely used for quicker sales and less profits.

  • I do use Google ad words, but I have not really profited much from it. I don’t really have the type of site set up that works well with Google adwords. Now if you had a fashion blog and posted fashion tips and trends you could probably do real well with Google ad words. Google ad words are great for informational websites such as blogs with trendy posts and news & events going on. I do plan on using Google adwords in the future on other websites I have in the making (ie. Allmyfreestock.com & funwithmaps.com). I should be able to benefit from Google adwords better on those sites verses my own website designing services website. What I like about Google adwords is that is very hands-off advertising. From what I understand, Google will post advertisements according to what is on the page the person is viewing and also what the persons search history is like. So Google basically advertises to the visitor what they think the visitor is already interested in. What I don’t like is that if I put one of these adwords on my service website, Google’s ads will also include links to other COMPETITORS website services. I do not want to put an ad on my website that will advertise a competitors business… that’d just be crazy! Lol So again, it’s great to use, you just need to be careful WHERE you use the Google Adwords. For me I’ve made a nice commission using cj.com (Commission Junction) instead. Here I’m able to choose who I recommend and why I recommend them. For instance, I use HostGator for website hosting, I’m signed up with their affiliate program through cj.com so when I make a recommendation to my new clients, and use the affiliate link I will get a nice commission for that recommendation if the person signs up for a hosting account, and this a recommendation I would have made even w/out the commission. So it’s nice and I don’t feel threatened about advertising a competitor business, or even a business I wouldn’t really recommend in the first place. To me cj.com is a win-win for everyone.

  • Well they can be good and bad – it really depends on how you vlog.  For instance one of my makeup clients started a vlog and she started LOSING business – dramatically fast.  Scared her pretty bad.  What I believe happened was that she was vlogging from home, with a background that was too comfortable rather than professional and “sterile” – and that probably got ladies wondering what kind of conditions their makeup was being produced in…. eg. Someone’s kitchen counter top…  probably doesn’t sound very appealing to women putting this stuff on their faces. SOOOO…..  she took her videos down. Now what I think she should have done is created a very “sterile” looking background and then vlogged.  I think she could have done well with that.  Another point to consider is what kind of information should be shared, and how much or how often should one vlog.  If a business owner is very open and wants to share their  “real side” with people because they are naturally very personal and friendly, the business owner may in fact scare a lot of buyers away.  There are many people out there that don’t want to know the “real side” of who they are doing business with.  Most people have their opinions on this or that and if a business owner voices too much of their opinion well they can be assured someone out there will hold it against them and choose to do business with someone else. With that I would say that the success of vlogging is conditional.  Some niches such as artists, musicians, news and political debater types and such would probably do well with them, while other businesses would probably only do well with videos that are informational or advertisements of their products.  Now informational fyi’s – how-to’s and advertisements are really powerful for SEO so I would strongly recommend getting into this area and putting some videos out there – they do help!  Just don’t forget to put the website domain name in the video title and/or description.

  • Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE pictures…  Well, if they didn’t know that, they should, because I do!  I have a fetish for good stock photo images.   There are some nice freebie stock images you can find on the internet if you browse long enough, but I personally enjoy using professional stock photo images most of all. A good stock photo image can make any website designer or illustrator look good!  even an OK designer can look great if they have a great stock photo image to work with!  I learned this in the beginning of my web designing career, lol.  So yes, I LOVE professional stock photo images. This past weekend one of my clients shared a deal with me that one of his friends shared with him.  It was for 150 professional stock photo images from Depositphotos for only $49.  My mouth nearly hit the floor with disbelief when I saw the deal.  You see stock photo images can be VERY pricey… They cost a lot, especially the best of the best!  And when you want more than one, well, be prepared to spend $60, $80, $100 and more for a SMALL yet good collection of stock photo images!  150 stock photo images for the price of $49 and you can get the largest size available is just incredible! I passed on the link to some of my other clients who were also very excited about the offer.  I hope they jump on it before this deal expires (whenever that is).  Here’s a link to the page if I’ve caught your attention as well. Depositphotos has other great stockphoto deals, so be sure to check them out if this offer happens to be over.  They have wonderful stock photo models, stock backgrounds, stock vectors, stock illustrations and more! I’ll be putting together some custom banner advertisements for my friend and client at smmcosmetics.com using one of the professional stock photo images at Depositphotos showing a beautiful model woman wearing makeup.  I plan to altar the color of her eye shadow to different eye shadow shades that will match my clients eye shadow collection.  This photo-manipulation will help my client advertise her different eye shadow shades.  I look forward to working on this project soon! Shortly after that I plan to put together some more wonderful articles on one of my own hobby websites (survivingtheoregontrail.com) which features educational information and products for home school families looking to live more healthy and organic lifestyles.  I found the most wonderful stock photo collections at Depositphotos. I was nearly jumping out of my seat when I saw them and opened them up. You’ve got to check these babies out!  See I KNOW I would be spending a LOT of money on just 1 of these photos even if they were sold separately.  But these stock photo collections have MANY items that I’m already interested in getting – all in one lump image.  I am such a winner today, yay me!  lol…  and you can be too!  When you look through their stock images, use the keyword “Collection” and see what wonderful collections you come up with.  Because I’m interested in herbs, plants and foods, this is the amazing collection of collections I came up with!  Check out my lightbox here. When you are looking through stock photo images be sure to set up a lightbox like I have done.  Having a lightbox enables you to save a bunch of your favorite images to one place so that you can later on find your favorites, or compare them to each other so…

  • Question It appears that America have been on holiday since Thanksgiving.  I have a few questions you might be able to answer. Is Thanksgiving on the same date each year? What is Black Friday? It looks like I missed an opportunity for some sales. I’ve also seen the term Cyber Monday. What’s that?   Answer Yah our Thanksgiving Holidays are almost as treasured to Americans as Christmas and 4th of July.  It’s a big event.  Many people will get 2 paid vacation days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Same for Christmas (btw – we don’t celebrate Christmas ourselves, I’m just sharing matter of factly – but we do enjoy Thanksgiving!)  Black Friday is the main 1 day event where Americans forget who they are and put on a very animalistic nature for the sake of saving a few bucks.  The measures they do to observe this disturbing day is inhuman.  My husband read that this year 2 people were run over in a parking lot, people are knocking people over, bringing handguns to Wal-Marts, fist fighting, literally breaking doors down (LITERALLY) to get inside a store.  It is sickness.  And a great point was made that all the time people put into a LONG OVERNIGHT waiting line outside a store (ON THANKSGIVING EVENING till the next morning) that all that time they could have put in the same amount of extra work hours in at work and would have been able to get the same product they’re standing in line for. I was disgusted when I heard people were staying in line over night at a Toys-R-Us of all places…..  A Kids toy place!  I mean really… stay home with your kids on Thanksgiving, they’ll love you more for it than the toy you’d stand in line for hours just to save $20 or $50 bucks. It is sad and disgusting at the same time. As far as sells opportunity, sure its defiantly a time to throw out some sales pitches.  All holidays are advertising opportunities.  Black Friday is just another “reason” for the season – of shopping.  But it mostly pertains to retail chains.  There are many online businesses that will try to do a “pre-Black Friday” sale in order to get the peoples money BEFORE they spend it all on Black Friday at the retail chains.  This works to some degree.  But I think it’s a minor degree.  These people that rush in line at the stores and stay overnight there with their sleeping bags and what-not – also do it for the “experience” and thrill… and sheer stupidity.  (eh hem… as you can see I’m quite perturbed over this particular day, lol) It was pointed out just looking at the animalistic nature of these people rushing in and grabbing and fighting and hurting each other (OVER ELECTRONICS) how much worse would it be if our economy were to go through a meltdown / economic disaster.  The people are just uncontrolled… and how much worse would it be if it were not a Black Friday – but a depression or terrorist attack that made us have to fend for ourselves.  They’d be animals out there.. no humanity about them whatsoever. ARGh. Sorry… venting while answering your question. Heh. Ok, back to holiday sales. It’d be a good idea for you to get a list of American Holidays and popular events.  Any holiday or popular event is typically a advertising opportunity.  Companies will find whatever holiday or “reason” they can to throw a sales pitch… and it works.  Give a person a reason to shop, and…

  • Q: How do I take better photos of my products so they look more professional? A: Do you have a photobox of some sort, and some good lighting?  Honestly i think the photographers equipment make up about 70% of their occupation.  Sadly it can be quite expensive when added up together.  Home-made photo boxes cuts the cost and in some cases can do just as good a job as the professional products.  But a good photo box (small and illuminates the light all around your product) with good lighting will probably help make your pictures dramatically better! Something like this: If your familiar with image editing using Adobe Photoshop, or PaintShop Pro, you can do some further touch-ups to the brightness and color contrast, and/or give your products a custom background and pretty shadow effect to make your product presentation more appealing.  

  • Q: Do you suggest that a blog is the first place to start for getting traffic?  I want to learn, and start with the most important place first in getting traffic to my capture page.   A:  A blog is the most powerful tool for getting traffic – if you USE it.  I have many clients who order my services for an ecommerce and blog and then they never end up using the blog, it becomes such a wasted investment and opportunity for them.  So, if you use it, yes, it will be soooo helpful in regards to traffic. The best thing to do is post 1-3 articles on your website a week.  It should be stuff related to what you’re selling most of all… ie. Health, nutrition, oils and all that good healthy stuff.  Writing about your personal experience in using them would be AWESOME… writing about some testimonials you’ve received or heard that amazed you would be great.  Writing about FAQS about the oils… so many things.  They can be short blog posts (articles) or long ones, the more information you post the better for SEO… but it can also burn you out quickly so keep in mind short and sweet is also good, just keep them coming in! You may consider creating a facebook fan page as well, and every time you post to your blog you can copy the url and paste it into your facebook fanpage.  In time as your fans grow they’ll be able to appreciate the info you have on fb. You’re welcome to like & keep an eye on my pages and see how I use FB in conjunction with my blog. http://www.facebook.com/bymadetobeunique http://www.facebook.com/SurvivingTheOregonTrail I’ve been paying more attention to the Surviving the Oregon Trail one lately.  It’s a good idea to watch others and learn how they do things.  If you ever get into sending out newsletters then consider signing up for newsletters of other companies with similar products, and see how they advertise to their subscribers.  For now, yes, get a blog and use it regularly.  If possible have it on the same domain name as your website.   

  • Many people rely heavily on their newsletter campaigns and put a lot of time, attention and detail into their newsletters yet what they fail to do is to use that WONDERFUL content rich information for their websites!  Search engines LOVE information, information, information, and if you are posting a lot of information in your weekly and bi-weekly newsletters, why not copy that information and post it to a website blog??!  That information can be stored up and used for your benefit as the Search Engines will recommend people to your website more and more!!! Here’s a little guide (err… suggestion) so as to show you how to get old newsletters you’ve already written and post them to your WordPress website and/or blog. 2 suggestions to help you get the newsletters on your website. #1 – When you write your newsletter write it in a word document first… and then copy the information over to both your newsletter and then your website.  #2 – if you’ve already posted the information and want to copy it from a newsletter… Open the newsletter you want Highlight all the information you want to add to your website Copy Open your notepad found on your pc under accessories Paste or (Control X) the content on your clipboard from the newsletter. If nothing is pasted in try copying and pasting one more time. Now all the text is in the notepad and all the coding is deleted. Go through the content and erase any parts that you don’t want, e.g. links that say “click here” or anything that just wouldn’t really be applicable on the website that is applicable in the newsletter. Now highlight and copy all your notepad info. Go to your website, Create a new post And paste your information in. Add a featured image and stick a picture inside to make the news more interesting to the reader. You can also add bolds and paragraph breaks and other light text editing, but I don’t recommend much. Keep it readable and consistent with the website formatting.   I recommend option #1.   lol The older the newsletter the less editing I think is necessary, it’s good for the Search Engines, but probably inapplicable to the visitor at least in regards to the sales….  Having said that you want to be sure that it is clear that there’s a date deadline somewhere stated so that someone viewing the newsletter even accidentally can not later call you on it asking why the coupon code doesn’t work or what-not.  Expiration dates are important to have in other words! Lol… but having all that WONdERFUL rich newsletter content will be soooo good for you!  I’m sooooooo glad you’re going to give it a try!!!! OH and yes, do the OLDEST newsletters first….. That way by the time you are caught up and posting the most current it will be shown as the most current posting and will be in correct chronological order.  

  • Question: I’ve seen articles on the web that suggest I should wait before opening a store. ie. http://www.salehoo.com/education/ebay-selling/ebay-store-setup Answer: when to start an ebay store I read the article you provided and while there are some good points to it and things to consider it seems to miss a lot of important factors TO opening an ebay store, especially for those who are wanting to leave the work force and operate a business online from home. Starting now and establishing your ebay store should enable you to make money by the time you do leave your job.  It takes a while to get all the pages and products listed, so hopefully by the time you retire, you’ll have a good bit of this work done… gradually… but at least you won’t have to start at ground “zero” when you do retire. When I say ground zero I’m referring to the store design and auction listings and the benefits they provide the seller.   The main benefits I did not see the article address which are so very important and powerful are SEO – an ebay store is given much more attention in the search engines than even a newly established website is. Ebay pays the search engines to promote their stores….   Plus having a page allows you to put information and keywords on the page, thus helping the Search Engines find and recommend your store above others without this valuable information. And Cross-promotion.  Having an ebay store design is essential for cross-promotion, as is having an auction listing template. Also having an ebay store is puts out a very professional presentation to the buyer… that you’re not a fly-by-night business… it gives your business and your products a more established, and in it for the long haul appearance….  which will aid in the trust factor and in getting them to sign-up for your newsletter…. And a newsletter which increases your opportunity to advertise to them later on (say when you retire) so that you can spike more interest and more sells when you’re ready for an increase in business.  So you might not be ready for a lot of business now but later when you ARE ready you’ll already have a list of interested buyers established (newsletter subscribers) in which you can advertise to at that desired time.  How cool is that?! Also, if you wait to have a store design and custom auction template you’ll need to RELIST all your auction listings when you do have a store design implemented… so that the auction template has the appropriate cross-promoting links is so much needs….  So waiting will make you do double the work. The article above really missed the advantage of cross-promoting dramatically.  And with makeup and fashion a seller really needs to cross-promote (badly).  Whether cross-promote other foundation shades, or other makeup products, ie.  Eye shadows and blush, but really, you have an audience of ladies that like to shop and make themselves prettier…. you need to cross-promote your products so you sell more items to the same 1 customer as much as possible.. and this is done mostly through having an ebay store. They mentioned people liking to see an ebay list verses and ebay store… And I do agree with that notion..  However, if the store was designed correctly it would have a View All Items link in the design to address the desire to see all the products… plus it makes it a very pleasant shopping experience when it’s incorporated around a beautiful design verses an ebay blah page. I’ve had clients tell me that…

  • A “Top Seller” status does not exactly mean their business is doing better than others.  It simply means they are making ebay more money.  It is easy to become a top seller on ebay, whether through selling a large quantity of items or a few higher priced items.  When we used to sell vintage furniture and mattresses on ebay we became top sellers in less than a month!  This did not mean we were making more money or doing better in business than any other though.  We were struggling much more then than ever infact.  I think the Top Seller status is just a mind game ebay is playing on sellers to give them a false sense of pride and devotion…. to them of course. When my business did so well I was able to pull away from ebay slowly and steadily.  It wasn’t long before ebay noticed my drop in sales (as far as EBAY SALES were concerned) and demoted my Top Seller status.  I have to admit it did “demote” my pride to some extent but not much. I knew that people see a value in this status, so that part was demotivating…  I on the other hand understood that it was just an ebay gimmic to keep people in ebay.  Pulling away from ebay meant less money for them, and more for me…. but now… I was no longer deemed a “Top Seller”.  At least not in ebay’s eyes. 

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