I have been reading alot of people's blogs lately and visiting alot of online shops of hardworking, independent artists. I have found some really incredible talent, both in arts and crafts, and writing. My grid has grown to 78 squares and counting...just 12 away from my goal. Check it out, click around...you'll find big talent there, and nice folks.
These are people whose websites I like, who work hard and do a good job at it. However, there are many who are floundering elsewhere. Why? My Grid project isn't the key. I just happen to find good talent and put it on there. They've done all the work.
The key to success online is simply to pay attention. Proofreading is your best friend. My biggest pet peeves when I am shopping online (I love to buy handmade!), are: bad spelling, bad punctuation, bad grammar, bad pictures, and bad desriptions. So if you have a store online, and want to improve (hey, we all start somewhere, and we all make mistakes), read on.
Please, please, please, use spell check if you know you can't spell. I stop reading a blog, website, or shop if there are more than a few spelling errors. I realize we all occasionally miss one here and there. More than five is just irritating.
Please do not end sentences with question marks and do not end questions with periods. Enough said.
We all start sentences with prepositions. My high school english teachers would have a fit. However, when I say bad grammar, I mean blatently BAD grammar. Grammar from the wrong side of the tracks includes putting extra commas in there (or not enough), crazy long sentences, or super short ones that aren't a complete thought. Basically, read your writing aloud the way you wrote it. If you are not e.e. cummings, write the way you speak. Don't try too hard, just write the way you naturally talk, and you will be fine, I promise.
Now, if you are selling your handmade wares online, remember, we need to see and know about what it is!! Good pictures are so important. Take them outside, if you can, either mid morning or late afternoon for good lighting. Overcast days are especially good for pictures as well. Use a tripod. You don't need a fancy camera, just get a $15 tripod so you don't shake (we all do). Out of focus pictures are a deal breaker. Please, please take your pictures from several angles or take enough to show every feature of what you are selling.
Last, but certainly not least, describe what you are selling. I want to know what it is, how big it is, what it is made from, and any special features it has. If it is a body product, tell me what it is for and how to use it. If it is jewelry, tell me what stones and metals are in it. Basically, tell me what I am buying. Leave out the froo-froo stories that have nothing to with the item. The nitty gritty information with a little flair is enough.
Hope that helps someone out there!! Good luck, and happy writing!