I've noticed a lot of members posting their websites for review here -- and they are all very impressive. I'm wondering how much business is derived from these websites? Do you also register with bridal search engines or local search engines?
I guess I'm just wondering what would be the best way to make this marketing tool work in the most effective way?
Any suggestions or comments?
I have had my website for about two years and it has been VERY valuable. It is an easy way for people to look at your work and learn more about you. Also I advertise free on www.craigslist.com and that has brought in alot of website hits and some orders as well.
I think it is an excellent investment. I have a friend who has my domain and webhosting and I pay $40/year for mine and its well worth the money and would be worth more.
I hadn't thought of Craig's list! I'm considering putting one together, just wasn't sure if it would be worth it. Thanks for the info!
Right now, the ONLY advertising I have been doing is the web site (since I still have my inspection (the 24th of Feb! NERVOUS!) to complete, I can't really advertise anywhere else yet. and I have gotten lots and lots of brides writing to me, asking me about weddings coming late this summer and in the fall. I think a lot of brides are doing that these days, surfing the web for local bakeries and such and weeding down what they are interested in.
It is a very worthy investment!
My web site still needs work, but when I first put it up, i asked everyone here to look at it and give me honest feedback! My entire web site changed after input from people here and I think it is a lot better because of it! I received suggestions that I never thought of!! Very good ones!
I can't advertise at this time, since I'm just a gal at home without a license, but having my site allows friends, family, and friends of friends and family to browse through my work and consider me for their events. Most of my business (which is very limited at this time) is from people I already know. Occasionally from someone I don't. I like to give people my web addresses and let them see what my capabilities are and then let them come to me.
For those of you without the means to yet pay for a site, you might consider a blog (not as pretty, but free) or a website through http://members5.freewebs.com/. I have both and not sure which I like the best, but I have more fun playing with the blog than the website. I haven't registered a domain yet or submitted to search engines... not sure when I will do that. There's not a lot of money in the bank at this time, so seems silly for me to pay anyone until I am a licensed baker.
I've made a little money from my sites with Google Ads and Affiliate programs. Although they don't improve the look of my site, they will give me a little Christmas money for next year... so probably won't remove them. : )
Overall, I definitely think any serious cake decorator should have a place to refer their customers. You'll find that most will assume you have a site and will ask you for it. It's just a great tool and like I said can be absolutely free, only costing you a little time. : )
Mine is up since October and it is working really good. I haven´t done any advertising, but due to several fairs that I attend, other companies have a link to my side. So this "network" is really working good, without any extra expenses. All of them are in the bridal business as well, so it´s a nice way of working together.
I have only had my site up for a couple weeks and haven't really drummed up an buisness yet from it. However, it has been great to be able to give someone the web address to go look at my cakes, or just being able to log onto the nearest computer and pull up pics of my cakes. It's like carrying a portfolio with me wherever I go.