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So, I published my website..

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Hi Mandy, I see you're new here, welcome.

I will speak about candles because I don't make bath and body.

The votive and the tea lights don't look so well. I would not buy those. They needed a repour, and the wicks are too long and off center.

Also, pics in general, are not offering a pleasant view of your products.

Mi first advice would be to make good and nice products, then you have to take some good photo, and write something more about things you sell.

Competition is very high, always aks yourself "why people should find my products more interesting than others?".

It takes time and patience to make good stuff, but it also takes a lot of time thinking "how" to sell.

Good luck.

Edited by cybersix
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I'll just repost the things I said before on the B&B gallery..

The pics: try to take them on a white background, and in natural light... the flash distorts the color and makes the product look washed out. Some are very unfocused.. that doesnt project a really professional image. If people think "crappy photos" they might think "crappy product". Easiest free way I know of to do this is set your products up on a white sheet or tablecloth, facing the window in mid-day. Use white balance settings on your digicam to achieve the lighting you want, and steady the camera using a stationary object (if you dont have a tripod) that will solve the flash problem, the background problem, the unfocused problem, and give you way better results!

Check out this info from ETSY: http://www.etsy.com/storque/search/t...aphing/page/1/ its a big help, actually. Think of it this way... when you are selling online, you are selling a photo, not a product. They cant see it, hold it in their hands... so what it looks like in the picture is everything.

The products: Where are the descriptions? ingredients?

The website: I like the simplicity of the site, but the main photo really doesnt have anything to do with what you are selling. Its like a florists website... but no flowers? Does that make sense?

I think you are off to a great start- just a few things that you could change to make a HUGE impact!! Pics are everything. Mine still arent perfect, but I've worked really hard on getting proper lighting so its very "true" in the picture. I would hate for someone to get one of my soaps and go "hey that was supposed to be pink!" lol.

Do you promote yourself? Facebook, twitter... some people think its worthless, others swear by it.. never hurts to try :)

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Mandy, I'm not a web designer but I think you pictures may take away from your product. I would suggest you invest in a photo cube/light box for web pictures or build a simple one with the instructions on the web - google it. Use the search feature here and search – photos – and you’ll find lots of information. Everything I’m staying here is meant to be constructive criticism – please don’t take it any other way.

The top of the home page colors clash with the pinkish colored font you're using below. The home page starts out looking like an elegant website (however I don’t understand the flower picture for candles and bath products) and IMO deteriorates with the hot pink. Then when I go to the products page the font color is blue. I think consistency is crucial here.

And because we live in the “want it now” world I doubt many people will email you about another scent when they can go to numerous other web pages with drop down boxes and order immediately. Just my opinions – you’ve got the page up and running which is good start I just think it needs some tweaking.

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Thank you everyone! I appreciate each of you taking time to look at my site to give me your suggestions.

As far as the various scents for the candles, I do have drop down menus. I will, however, go back and edit anything without it to make it look more professional, I just hadn't had the time yet.

I noticed that just about every reply was criticizing the pictures! Thank you very much, guys! Your tips and suggestions are very helpful, and I will definitely be keeping each of them in mind this week as I try to solve those problems.

I will also work on being consistent in my font/size/color, etc. That was definitely something I noticed myself, actually.

I'll be working hard on my site with any free time I get this week, so that I can try to correct the problems you've all pointed out to me. I plan to repost my thread ASAP so that you guys will hopefully critique it again. Lol..

Thanks =)

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If I waited on random people to "find" my website I would never sell anything due to the huge number of sites. I don't sell candles but soap and lotion.

My online sales come from people that have bought or received my product as a gift. Slowly but surely I am developing a decent amount of online sales but I have had the website for 3 years. It is a slow process to build a business.

I am on facebook and picked up a couple of sales from there so it is another option.

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Yeah, I definitely know what you mean! I just have a free site as of now, but I can upgrade it to paid at any time, and get my own domain name so that it can be found through search engines and such. But, i'm not really trying to get so much traffic or sales at the moment.

I just published it, so my first step is to post it to my crafting forums to get fellow candle/b&b makers opinions on how to make it better. Then, I plan to upgrade to a paid site with my own domain, and show it off anywhere that I can.

I've actually got much more to do. I also make jewelry, baby products (bibs, soft blocks, burping cloths..), crayons, crayon rolls, potholders, oven mitts, coasters, tooth fairy pillows, etc. So, as soon as I find the time, I need to incorporate that into my site..

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Hi Mandy,

First let me say congratulations on getting a site up. I keep putting it off and one day I will bite the bullet and do mine. I am not a professional but I will tell you what caught my eye when I looked. Please don't take anything personal or with any malice as that is not the intention.

Main Page: While I think the flowers are gorgeous, I counld not relate them to anything on your site.

Fonts/Colors: Your fonts are varied and in my opinion, distracting. I personally do not like a lot of colors in text on a regular basis. If you are promoting a clearance item or a sale item, then I think a color is warranted. Otherwise, in my opinion, I think bright colors distract.

Pictures: There were quiet a few that were distorted, unfocused or had way too much glare. I think that if all you are showing is the product, then you should use a white background/backdrop and edit so that all that shows is the item. If you want to show the items in a scenery type style, then put the bathsalts in something, tarts in something, etc., as to create a scene or mood. Instead of just using a counter, place other relevant items as a suggestion type thing. Not sure if that makes sense so if not, let me know and I will try to explain better.

Scents: You stated in a post above that you have a drop down menu, but when I looked, it only had the scents that you had typed below the picture. So a fragrance selector such as a drop down menu would most likely benefit you greatly.

Descriptions: You don't have any. I think it was Luminous (sorry if I am wrong) that said when someone is looking on your site to buy, they are going to buy off what they read and see. Descriping your items, there scents, textures, etc will add a lot to the overall look of your site and give a much better "must have it" attitude in people looking. This link is from BCN and is entitled "Sparking the Olfactory Imagination" The owner wrote it and it has some wonderful suggestions when using descriptions. I hope that it is ok to post it, but if someone deletes it just go to their website and message board area to read it. http://boards.bittercreek.com/post?id=2103448

Overall, I think you are off to a great start. And it is the START that is the hardest step to take. Just sit back and think, "If I was shopping here and knew nothing about the company, would anything interest me based on what is there now."

Good Luck!!

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