Published October 15, 2013
As many of you may already know, Google recently updated their search engine algorithm to a new version known as “Hummingbird”. The goal was to make search results more meaningful and accurate for all of their customers, however the results may vary depending upon your point of view.
So how does it affect you? For starters, your rankings may not be as high as they were before, which can make it harder for you to be found by potential customers. It may also mean that you have to change h ...
Published September 25, 2013
It's been a while since our last update to Articents, and I apologize for that. Several months ago I began work on a few simple updates to the Dashboard. It started with a few tweaks, then a few more and then finally we decided to give it a complete overhaul and ended up redesigning it from the ground up. Needless to say, we took on a much bigger task than what we had first anticipated.
So what's new? For starters, we worked with a graphic designer to create a new theme and layout for us. ...
Published June 20, 2013
As you may have noticed, we have not released any updates to Articents during the past two months. That doesn't mean we're not busy though - we certainly are. As Articents grows, the code required to make it run has grown as well, and a decision was made to take a step back and re-examine how things are structured underneath the hood.
So what are we working on right now? The first task was to reorganize the code into separate modules so that new features and updates can be managed more ...
Published March 21, 2013
Chances are, most everything that you sell from Articents will need to be shipped to your customer after they make a purchase from you. With that in mind, we spent a great deal of time building tools that will enable you to set prices based upon a number of parameters. Here are some highlights along with some descriptions of how the various options can work or you.
The easiest option to create is a profile for Free Shipping. To do this, log in to your Dashboard and navigate to the Ship ...
Published March 16, 2013
February shaped up to be quite a busy month for Articents. The highlight was being featured in the Feb 6th edition of the Charlotte Observer, which was then picked up by no less than eight other newspapers (and counting!). Not only did that article give us lots of exposure, but it also resulted in many sales made by various vendors - including a few by brand new members who have just joined. In the future, we hope to do more of this along with other forms of publicity and advertising to help ...
Published March 10, 2013
To help give your sales effort a boost, consider spending a little time to do some good old fashioned market research. This idea is common practice among all of the major retailers, but it is sometimes overlooked as we get bogged down when running a store as a one or two person operation. Luckily it’s not that hard to do, and we even offer some valuable tools to help make it that much easier.
For starters, compare yourself against your peers. Look to see what they are selling and how mu ...
Published February 22, 2013
Current Events at Articents
As of late, we’ve been receiving a great deal of inquiries from guests so I thought it would be a good time to address some of the common questions and concerns that we’ve seen pop up over the past several weeks. Here they are in no particular order:
Do I need PayPal to use Articents?
Yes. All of the transactions on Articents are handled through PayPal, so you as a shop owner will need to have an account with them in order to receive payments ...
Published February 8, 2013
One of the most critical aspects when running a business is to gain the trust of your customers. Without trust, you’ll never close on a single sale. Without trust, your customer will not have confidence in your ability to deliver a high quality product or experience. Without trust, they will simply move on and do their shopping elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are numerous strategies that you can use in order satisfy most of their concerns. One such way is to be open and not be anonymous. ...
Published February 1, 2013
We were busy again this past month, however our changes weren’t quite as visible as they were from the previous update. That said, there are a number of new features and refinements that are now available on Articents. They are:
- We will now attempt to auto-fill your customer’s city and state once they provide their Zip Code. This not only saves the customer time, but it also helps prevent erroneous shipping information.
- Improved order notifications for all order activity. Yo ...
Published January 21, 2013
Etsy is by far the most popular site in the world when it comes to buying and selling handmade and vintage items. Hundreds of thousands of people sell their creations there, while millions more come to browse and shop. They have a vibrant online community and have even become part of pop culture along the way. So you ask, what’s not to love about Etsy?
There is much to love, actually. The shopping experience for users is both engaging and easy. Sellers can quickly set up their shops and ...
Published January 15, 2013
A sure fire way to win repeat customers is to create a memorable experience throughout their entire shopping session. This includes their initial first impression of you and your product, all the way through to the purchase and even the final delivery of their order. If you want an example of this on an extreme level, look no further than Apple.
Obviously, you won’t have the same resources that they have, but you can certainly borrow from some of their ideas. The first step that you’ll ...
Published January 14, 2013
Here at Articents, we’re constantly working hard to gain more exposure online which will in turn increase the amount of traffic into your shops. One of the ways we do this is through the use of various Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. In fact, when we first designed Articents, we tried very hard to make all of your shops and product pages SEO friendly right from the start. We soon learned, however, that there was still plenty of room for improvement. With this in mind, I’d like to ...
Published January 2, 2013
December was quite a busy month for us, as you may have already noticed. We had originally planned on just doing a simple website redesign to start off the New Year, however it quickly turned into a little bit more. Nevertheless, we are very happy with the outcome and I’m sure you will be pleased as well. Below is a brief summary of all that is new:
- New color scheme and layout for the website as a whole. We wanted something neutral so that it will not distract from your customers, while ...
Published January 1, 2013
Articents has come a long way over the past 12 months. In fact, we were still in beta mode at this point last year and wouldn’t even officially launch until March. Today, we are home to a growing community of artists and designers - a few have even earned over $1,000 in total sales. We’re incredibly proud of that fact, and we hope to do even better in 2013.
Our goal for the new year is simple: It’s to improve upon Articents even more. To do this, we will continue to listen to your feedb ...
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 31, 2012
The following post is the last in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
Where to blog?
Choose your blog host based on recommendations of fellow bloggers. Most blogs have generally the same features, but some are easier to manipulate, some charge a fee, some have ads, etc. Shop around and choose one with which you're comfortable. There are MANY free blogs out there.
Find a list of some available blogs an ...
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 24, 2012
The following post is the third in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
When creating a blog post, it is important to keep it interesting, informational and engaging to your readers. You can accomplish this by following the guidelines below:
- Length. Personal preference, but keep your posts generally a length most people can read (and keep attention) in one sitting. My range is about 500 to 1000 words. That's not a lot of w ...
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 17, 2012
The following post is the third in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
"Blog" is slang for "web log," or an online journal or diary. People read blogs for entertainment, information and 'social' interaction, following blogs and bloggers who write about their interests. Blogging sounds daunting for the uninitiated. But it really isn't a monster. It's just a way to share your thoughts and products with like-mind ...
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 10, 2012
The following post is the second in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
SEO is key to making sales. If you're only promoting on the website that hosts your store, you're only promoting to other sellers. You need to be found in a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. How? By peppering key words and phrases into your titles, tags and descriptions. Search engines scour the web for keywords. When potential customers go online to ...
Submitted by Hope & Grace Pens on December 3, 2012
The following post is the first in a series written by Bryce Piper of Hope and Grace Pens
Executing the techniques listed in the July 2012 blog "Post and Pray vs. Post and Promote" proves to be one the most important and most difficult aspects of operating an online business for a beginner. The idea of promotion sounds great, but how does one use social media or start a blog?
Facebook, Twitter ...
Published December 1, 2012
It’s been awhile since our last update and I do apologize for this. Having said that, there are some really nice new features that you will find useful and appreciate. They are as follows:
- We’ve introduced a cleaner homepage along with nicer product tiles
- Customers who are shopping within a Premium store can now search for items within that store as opposed to all of the products currently on Articents
- Premium users can also view a report that will allow them to see what ...
Published November 15, 2012
Consumers are being faced with more choices each and every day, which in turn makes it increasingly difficult for you when competing for their attention. Once a customer finally does find you, your job is to then somehow convince them that your product is just what they were looking for so that you can finally close on the sale.
In the past, it used to be enough to simply include a description along with a few images of your product in order to properly showcase it to your visitor. Toda ...
Published October 31, 2012
We've had a busy month, however not all for the sake of Articents. Sometimes life throws you some curve balls that you have to address before you can get back on base. Having said that, we were still able to make a few improvements.
Here's what we've added:
- You can now create a copy of an item (including images) for quicker editing.
- The Manage Photos section has a new view allowing you to switch between a thumbnail view and a more detailed view. We have even more planne ...
Published October 25, 2012
It sounds obvious when you say it, but how do you do it - and more importantly, are you doing it? First you will need to identify all of the costs that you are currently incurring. These range from acquiring supplies, buying equipment, purchasing advertising and even the act of selling. In fact, you could even argue that your time is costing you too much as well.
To help reduce your cost on supplies, consider buying in bulk or registering with a wholesale account. To do that, you may be ...
Published October 5, 2012
Everybody loves to get something for free, including your customers. With that in mind, why not give it to them with free shipping? While it might sound like a daunting suggestion at first, it doesn’t have to be.
One obvious idea is to simply include the price of shipping into a product itself. Another option would be to encourage customers to purchase more than one item, or possibly set a minimum order threshold where any amount above that would trigger free shipping. This tactic is us ...
Published September 14, 2012
Search engines can be a very effective way to reach new customers and drive them into your store. To do this, you will need to incorporate various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices when writing your product descriptions. Sadly, there are no magic bullets or even secret potions when doing this, rather they key lies in creating great content.
When writing your descriptions, be sure to use at least 200 words to describe your product. Doing so will give you ample time to sprinkle v ...
Published September 5, 2012
The world is a crowded place, which can be both good news and bad. The good news is that there are countless of potential customers who may be willing to purchase your work. As for the bad news? It’s simply getting harder and harder to get in front of those very same people. To overcome this obstacle, you’ll need to find a way to separate yourself from your peers so that you can be readily seen and easily remembered.
The first step to accomplish this is to create an identity for your b ...
Published September 2, 2012
Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words, however when selling online, they’ve become priceless. If your product photos are out of focus, poorly lit or otherwise unattractive, chances are you won’t close the sale no matter how amazing your item really is.
When taking photos, try to use a digital camera that allows you to not only control the shutter speed, but also comes with a remote control or a count down timer. These features are available in all DLSR type cameras, however the ...
Published September 1, 2012
As you can see, this past month has been quite busy. For starters, we have a new logo along with a new color scheme. The logo was created to reflect that we are more than just a place to sell your greatest creations - instead, we also intend to become resource to help you manage and run your business more effectively. Up until now, our focus has been to get you up and running online and in front of customers.
Here’s what we’ve added:
- You can also specify how much it cost to produce ...
Published August 8, 2012
No two craft shows are alike. Some may perform very well for you, however some may be total duds. So how do you select which of those to attend? There are no one sure fire answers that we know of, but there are things that you can do to better predict their outcome.
First off, ask around. You probably have a network of fellow artisans who have sold at various shows at some point or another. Learn from them and share your experiences with each other. This may sound obvious, but it is of ...
Published August 1, 2012
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been busy making all sorts of adjustments to Articents while also adding a few new features along the way. Here is a brief overview of what has changed along with what will be coming next:
- We introduced a flexible subscription option that allows you to name your own price for a Premium account. You can sign up for this plan at any time by visiting the Upgrade page.
- Premium users can now embed YouTube clips directly i ...
Published July 25, 2012
When writing a description of your product, or even selecting a name for that matter, try to paint a colorful picture for your customers. Be as detailed as possible and even create a story around the item to help draw some emotion for the reader.
For instance, would you rather purchase a “Pearl Necklace” or an “Elegant Necklace laced with Freshwater Pearls”. The same can be done with your description as well, however here you will have even more room to get creative. If you take the tim ...
Published July 17, 2012
Oftentimes, artisans believe that their job is done once they complete an item and place it online for sale. The thought is that someone will eventually encounter their treasured item and then place an order for it along with some other items that may also be for sale. While this does happen, it’s becoming far less common than in the past due to the rising popularity and ease of selling online.
Today, your products are getting lost among tens of thousands of other artisans and designer ...
Published July 15, 2012
Welcome to Articents.com! Our primary goal is to provide you with some of the best tools available online to list, promote, manage and even sell your many treasures.
With this blog, we hope to:
- Keep you informed about recent upgrades and upcoming features
- Solicit user feedback to help create a better overall experience for everyone
- Educate everyone involved on how to best utilize the various tools found on Articents.com
We also hope to publish and share tips and ide ...