Topic: Putting up a website
I finally got my first official live customer to/from my website last week - someone in search of Maine notecards. Someone not looking for my work by artist name. She had had to make an effort to find what she was looking for. She and her husband had been to Maine this fall with inlaws and fell in love with it. They are from Kansas City. She was looking for special notecards to give the inlaws. She told me she'd found me by googling 'midcoast maine notecards'. I tried the search and saw my site didn't show up til the fourth page of results. There was nothing really relevant before my listing though. I knew my site wouldn't have shown up anywhere close with the search 'Maine notecards'. When I finally confessed to her that she was my first who came via a search for content without knowing of my work, how thrilled I was, and that I was lucky she hadn't tried 'Maine notecards', she told me she had indeed tried that search as well. (See my Maine notecards here.) And here I am even more thrilled - she said there had been plenty of nice notecards that reminded her of the area but nothing was quite what she was looking for, until she finally found mine. What a special endorsement. She also told me yes, she'd be sure to visit my blog. I only hope she doesn't visit the blog right away because of what I just put up there.
In all my excitement about getting her order I felt prompted to investigate further what is involved with taking payments online via PayPal. I've seen where people have this set up to even take donations. So decided I'd start small and just set it up for donations. (Later note: updated Make a donation page.) I did that and then made a blog entry about it, basically an appeal. Now I've been worrying whether that is just too crass, and thinking I must put a little story on top of the donation entry to hide it a bit! I set up my website as a contact point for people, hardly expecting to get orders from it. It had to start somewhere. And now I've taken the PayPal step I will have to figure out how to integrate it with how my products are already set up here. I know this is a patchwork site, but then so is life. There is nothing really wrong with that as long as it works in whatever capacity. Well, several hours later and I've added a crude order/feedback form to my site. The best I can do right now with the PayPal is to have it as an option to pay with once an order comes through. We shall see. You can take a look at my Maine notecards order form and see what you think.