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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Virtual Craft Shows to Promote Your Business


Virtual craft shows combine the fun and excitement of live crafts shows with the convenience of being available 24/7 all year round. you don't have to lug your items from show to show and there's no fighting the elements either!

Typically, the way these online craft shows work is that they allow handmade artisans to rent a virtual booth for minimal money. When a buyer clicks on an item within that booth, often times they are directed right to the artisan's selling site to make the sale. Not only do they get the lowest price possible, but it gives added exposure to the artisan's online shop!

One of the key advantages of these virtual craft show sites is that they typically use many effective online marketing techniques to drive traffic to their site on behalf of the artisans. These include:
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Networking
  • Blogging
  • Article marketing
  • Link Building
  • Pay per Click Campaigns
  • Project Wonderful
  • Online Classifieds
These are all things many of us do for ourselves and it takes a great deal of time and effort. Renting a booth at a virtual crafts show enables us as artisans to concentrate our efforts in other areas...including creating new designs!

Here a couple of the virtual craft shows available to get you started!
  • Handmade Crafts--Rhonda Jai, founder of Handmade Crafts, is dedicated to the handmade artisan community. She developed this site to help artisans reach a broader audience as well as to create an awareness of the industry as a whole. Handmade Crafts Virtual Craft show utilizes all of the online marketing techniques described above AND they are also beginning to use Podcasts available on their Handmade Buzz blog as well! It's well worth checking out as a means to promote your online store.

  • Cafe Handmade--founded by a husband a wife team, Len and Kerri Testa, who love all things handmade and wanted to create a place to foster the handmade industry. They created their online craft show with a look and feel of traditional crafts shows. Hence the features on their website such as interviews with artists, the Cafe Homemade Lounge, Blockhead radio, and the aisles of the virtual craft show itself...all give the look and feel of attending a live show. They have about 10,000 visitors a month to their site and market your shop utilizing all internet marketing tools available to them. You owe it to yourself to check them out!
Often virtual craft show sites offer special discounts (for Twitter Followers for example) and run periodic specials on booth rentals. They are committed to the idea of handmade crafts, the sites foster a feeling of community for both buyers and sellers, and they are a wonderful way to enhance exposure to your work!

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.