Years ago, I was really into crafting- at one time, I took up an interest in soap and candle making. As I was searching for information, I only managed to find one site: Multifilla.com. The company is located in Sri Kembangan, Selangor and the reason why Iwas able to find it was because it had an official website.
Multifilla.com have really evolved- years ago, the site looked a lot more basic as it was today. But it served a need then and this company had a foresight that few other craft supplier in Malaysia saw- using internet as a potential marketing tool.
When I went to the shop, it was run by a husband and wife team- who both obviously have passion in crafting. Even though the items were not cheap, I bought a few hundred ringgit worth of products because I do not know anywhere else to source for other suppliers since no information could be made available. And also because the boss was knowledgable, and he actually gave me lots of tips because according to him, he wanted his customers to know how make a successful product and come back for repeated sales.
That was years ago- there were many crafters then, probably more than there were now. But only a few crafters had thought about starting their own blogs/websites.
If you are a crafter, even doing a part-time weekend/after office hours business, it is very important to have a blog/website. It enables:
- your customers to go a search to look for you- that’s why you need to think of a easy to remember name that the potential customer can remember
- having a 24 hour literally free promo site that promotes you while you are asleep, on holiday, at the office doing your full time job, etc. In other words, your site promotes you when you are not out in the field
There is a whole new science on website and blog marketing- like having your customers subscribe to your posts, creating e-newsletter, adding plugins to make your site more user friendly, etc.
These are things you would have to take time to learn when you want to take your site to the next level. But as start, get your site/blog up and running- if you do not want to spend valuable time doing these technical stuff, then outsource it to someone who can- perhaps a college student looking to earn extra income.
Incidentally, I began as a hobby crafter- discovering the world wide web for the first time in 2001. Then, crafters and suppliers worldwide created websites to share their interest and sell their products. Some even provide tutorials. I was then totally hooked- and that got me to start my first site in 2002 via Geocities platform.
Now, my interest have evolved from crafting to blogging and setting up my own sites. But I’ve learned to recognise the value of website as a marketing tool for any business- you lose out a lot on potential awareness and promotion if you do not have a site running and working for you 24/7.