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Are most of you directing customers to a blog page, a Facebook page, or a paid for website?  I did not renew my website because it was so expensive.   The blog site is free and I can post as many pictures as I want to.  Do you think the blog will be an effective customer tool if I add pricing and shipping information there?

 

Thank you.

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I use a blog and have gotten customers that way. Just because it is a blog forum doesn't mean you can't make it work to show pictures, pricing, and other things of interest. I pay a yearly fee so I can have a dot com address instead of a blogger address. If you need a shopping cart, then it may not work for your needs, but if you don't, I think it's a nice, free option.

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Teresa, at  weebly dot com you can set up a blog with the option of setting up store pages complete with checkout with PayPal (and there may be other payment options also). There is the free version of a weebly site that offers shopping pages or you can have more options and get the paid version.  Weebly offers your own website services, blogging and store.  Hope this helps.

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I love quilter's blogs!

My favorites are active, chatty, include photos of things of interest other than quilts, and maybe links to things found online. A good camera is a must. Try to post often to keep up interest. Ask your customer's permission before sharing their quilt on the blog. If they don't want it posted because it's a gift, you can share a photo of a small section or the quilting on the back to pique interest and keep your followers coming back for the eventual reveal. While custom quilting is gorgeous to share, an occasional pretty panto or graceful overall that's visible on a top will remind potential customers that you do all levels of quilting. Put a link in the text that goes to your pricing page and your gallery of photos. Let us know how it goes and when it'll be ready so we can follow you.  :)

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I would say the majority of my business is through my blog!  I have a basic price guide there and lots of photos.  I don't have a traditional website but I do pay for the dot com like Bonnie does.  I am a stay at home Mommy first so it works really well for me.  I prefer to work by email so it's at my own pace and leisure versus trying to run business hours in my home which just doesn't work for me because kids want me when THEY want me.  It doesn't matter to them if it's Mommy's work hours!  LOL  That way if I have to do my work at 3 in the morning...that's when I work!  :)  It also may be when I answer my emails!  LOL  :)

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I agree with Linda. Facebook irritates me and websites are formal.

 

Blogs are a great way to share so many things. For inspiration (like that pattern, maybe I'll buy it, I like those colours/fabric); for quilting ideas (that really worked! Wish I could do as well, maybe more practice and I'll remember to credit where the idea came from); for problem solving, process or sharing imperfection (tutorials, great ideas, or hmmm that didnt work); for a view of quilting life in another part of the world (travel log! weather check! cross cultural networking) and just for the social connection of sharing a piece of yourself with people who understand your passion (and don't ask how much fabric you have).

 

I love it when people share studio pictures (I'm ever searching for the most efficient setup to fit my space) and I'm ever grateful when my curiosity is satisfied by someone actually posting which threads were used or the name of that perfect panto (which also credits the original designer). I love the active links to other blogs and it's faster to explore these than to go through a website.

 

To all who blog- Thank you for sharing your wonderful individuality. You never know whose life you will impact!

 

 

 

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I'm another vote for using the blog rather than a traditional website. Most of the blogging platforms allow you to write "pages" nowadays. You can have one page for your pricing, one for a gallery, one for basic information, etc. Then the main page will be your blog which should change quite often with your blog posts. It makes your SEO come up higher because there's a lot of activity on the site. The domain isn't too high of a price and is well worth it since you can change your blogging platform at any time without losing any potential customers who know you by your website address. 

 

I'm not sure how useful Facebook is but I did put up a page for that as well. You never know.

 

Still a newbie so my clients have been from my online life ... swaps, round robins, etc that I've done through my regular hobby blog and flickr. But it's nice to have a business blog to direct new people to that site. Mine is pretty simple but take a look:  http://www.thequiltedlemon.com

 

Have fun!

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I actually started the blog last year, then lost track of it because I wasn't doign much quilting (because of WORK).  When it came time for the website to renew, I didn't do it because of the cost, but I have been trying to update the blog page once in a while and the facebook page, also. 

 

I will have to add a page on the blog that shows pricing, patterns, etc.  I would appreciate it if some of you could take a look and see what you think of what I have.  The link is under my signature below.

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Your blog looks great!  I love how your "customer quilts" section is set up.

 

In addition to generating business having a blog is a great way to connect with other quilters and get some inspiration too.  You never know what opportunities might arise just from be in connection with other quilters!  ;)

 

 

I actually started the blog last year, then lost track of it because I wasn't doign much quilting (because of WORK).  When it came time for the website to renew, I didn't do it because of the cost, but I have been trying to update the blog page once in a while and the facebook page, also. 

 

I will have to add a page on the blog that shows pricing, patterns, etc.  I would appreciate it if some of you could take a look and see what you think of what I have.  The link is under my signature below.

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I have a website that I don't maintain nearly as often as I should.  Initially when I was all gung-ho and life didn't get in the way, I'd send out a monthly newsletter (yeah, got two or three out before I gave up on that).  I started a blog on my website, but never really got the hang of it.  Also have a chat forum on my site -- free, but feel like I'm talking to myself cuz I can't get anyone interested in being the "first" to chat.  I started a FB page, but really don't know how to keep it up.  Ugh!  It's all very frustrating IMHO.  I know I really need to do something.  Guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade to a "smart" phone.  Maybe I can find one that is sooooo smart it will take care of all of this for me.  {wishful thinking!}

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A couple of tips for you bloggers that want to attract possible quilting business. One of these tips was passed on to me by Kathy of Tamarack Shack. Thanks, Kathy!

 

Put your city name along with your state in your profile. If someone is looking for a quilter in Memphis, Tennessee, it will pull you up closer to the top in the search engines if that is on your home page/profile.

 

This next tip is from me -- I figured it out by myself and can't believe I did. LOL (another quilter close to me has figured out the same trick)

 

I'm not familiar with other blog hosts, but if you are on blogger/BlogSpot, open up the layout portion of your site and at the bottom of the layout, add a text box gadget. In this text gadget, you are going to want some key words that help the search engine find you. Add things like surrounding city names, quilt shops in your area, the words quilting, quilt, longarm, custom, pantos, etc. Anything you can think of, add it!!!

 

The next thing you should do is make those words invisible. Meaning, whatever your background color is, make your text that color. The color I chose for my blog was entirely based on being able to "hide" those key words. If you chose background and foreground colors correctly, the words are going to disappear in your text box and on your website, but the search engine will find them when you type in say, "longarm quilting Tulare California." Give those words a shot in google and see if they pull up my blog. If you try this, it may take a few days for google (or whatever search engine you like) to pull up your blog.

 

Also, things you put in your title for each post, the search engine will pull those hits up closer to the top of the search. (is that sentence that was kinda confusing?)

 

Hope this helps!

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Valerie, Your blog is gorgeous. I love the opening page and then all the links to the individual pages. I wish I could figure out how to do all that.   I feel like my customer quilts page is kind of jumbled up.  Do you think I should sort it by year, types of quilts, etc.

 

Also, has anybody linked their blog to their Flikr account?  That's where most of my photos are.

 

Bonnie H. Thanks for the tips. I will go on this weekend and do that.

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Teresa you can link your blog through flikr by adding a widget (?) for flickr.  It can be put on the side bar with a slideshow or a little patchwork grid of some of your photos. 

 

I have a blog as well.  Another great way to get traffic is to post more frequently,  comment on other people's blogs.   It is time consuming!   I have had to back off posting for awhile because I just couldn't juggle it all, but a blog is a great way to keep a site for your clients to view your work!

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This was really a fun thread that I'm glad you started Teresa!  It's fun to see all the blogs out there by other forum members

 

 

Regarding your customer quilts page - I like how you have it set up, I actually don't think it's all that jumbled at all!  I tend to keep more recent work closes to the top as I think with each quilt we grow a bit.  I want my first impression to be the best I'm capable of at this very moment.  I also post a lot on Facebook.  Some people like blogs and some people like to see what you're doing in their FB feed so I kind of catch both that way.  Also Instagram is another place to get your work out there if you have a smart phone.  ;)

 

Valerie, Your blog is gorgeous. I love the opening page and then all the links to the individual pages. I wish I could figure out how to do all that.   I feel like my customer quilts page is kind of jumbled up.  Do you think I should sort it by year, types of quilts, etc.

 

Also, has anybody linked their blog to their Flikr account?  That's where most of my photos are.

 

Bonnie H. Thanks for the tips. I will go on this weekend and do that.

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:lol: Rita.   With my next tip, for sure you will sell millions.   :lol:

 

You can set up another blog and link it with a side bar link.     Or on blogger you can have separate tabs or pages.   you could put a bunch of information in there,  photos, etc for your beading work.  In addition if you are a big blogger and want to continuously post about the beading, you could put links on that page to your new beading blog.  Like cross referencing both.  

 

For instance, if you click on my blog link -  on my blog I have a tutorials tab - click on that, and there are photos that I keep adding with links to where my tutorials are.   

 

Clear as mud?  

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Teresa, I am in a battle between computer and camera.  Neither will recognize either, and

Windows Photo won't let me download and activate the program for the camera.  I'm really

getting frustrated a LOT with this whole darned thing.

 

As soon as I can get them to work together, I need to add quilts to the quilt blog and add in

the tab for the crafts which are beads and I hope to add machine embroidered quilt labels.

Rita

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