I`m New Here and Would LOVE some Help

fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
edited March 2009 in New Member Welcome
I am no stranger to the entrepreneurial front, however I am still a small potato in a crop of established ones.  Make sense?  I started a candle business.  It took me a good year to research the candle biz and learn the ins and outs and my hubby and I started a product line of candles.  We did everything from the manufacturing of the candles, photographing of the product, and designing of our site.  We had to learn a LOT because we don`t have the funds to pay someone else to do it.  So that said, I want to see if anyone could offer any tips/ criticisms.  We are a small mom and pop operation with big corporation dreams.  Since our dad lost his job we were hoping this would be a good income generator.  PLEASE let me know what you all think about our site.  Thanks so much !  www.purbliss.com
-Mary Bencefotogirl3/12/2009 12:36 AM

Comments

  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks, Mike.
    I really appreciate the feedback!  I know there are a lot of non-professional elements that we definitely need to work on.  I had been `fighting` with my hubby with the retail aspect of the site.  It still lacks some info and `retail-esq` feel and I`m sort of going through a creative block.  You`re right about the lack of text.  It needs some love...
    I never thought it would be this difficult.  Thanks again!
  • LSnyderLSnyder subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi fotogirl,
    A soy candle lover myself, I am always buying online. One thing I look for is the size of the jar.  Are your larger candles 10oz? 16oz? Also, I always look for the scent descriptions.
    Good luck
    Lisa
  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Glynns,
    Thank you for the much needed feedback!  I will take a look at the
    websitegrader...I`ve never heard of that one!  I told my hubby that
    that the graphics were too dominant with too little text he agreed. 
    Every single slice / image in the site has alt tags with text that
    should trigger the webcrawlers to find relevance to the site.  Do you
    think that would even help or work?  We definitely need to add a blog
    to it to make it more updated.  We should also add more tags to
    each product.
    I agree with the candles page...that was bugging me.  I
    need to streamline it.  We have decided that it will be deleted.  It`s too much.  We also just posted candles on shopping.com, amazon.com, and we`re going to do etsy.com.  Fun stuff!
    Since we are still a small start-up, what do you think PR will cost?  We are funding it ourselves and don`t have a ton of money to toss into it and I don`t know if we should ask for investor funds yet.  Maybe we will to get it going.  Is there a way to get it going myself?  I`m going to check out your site more thoroughly and I`m sure I`ll be able to get a good footing.  I noticed your site offers quite a bit of what we were looking for.  Thanks so much for taking the time to sending  me in the right direction.  
  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Craig,
    There is a reason why I had to ask you because you give it to the people straight!  I certainly appreciate it!  We are trying to figure out how to take out the choppy loading job.  It wasn`t designed in HTML format which I now understand why most would.  That is definitely something that I tried to overcome but since you mentioned it...it`s bothering me again.  I think it`s time to hire a web person to do that.  Also, I did all the copy myself and I`m not a writer so that needs to be addressed.  There are actually a lot of tags attached to the images but we will be adding a blog to keep up with the webcrawlers.
    I actually like the ambiguity of the purbliss name because it causes to people to think about it.  You obviously figured out it was `pure` rather than `purr` so I`m sure it will be fine.  Since there is a pronunctiation key over the `u` that should further aid the reader to get it.  I`ve already dumped money into the trademark, domain, and phone # so it`s not changing.  I agree with the adding of candles somewhere in there because we are a candle business...makes sense!  I`m wondering if I should implement my philosophy somewhere on the homepage rather than having a whole separate page for it.  Would that help with summing it up?  It`s more than 10 words so maybe I can shorten it.  Do you think that would work?
    I know we have a lot to reshoot.  I want it to have more going on as far as candle-ness is concerned.  I have some lifestyle shots I want to do with some lit and some in actual homes.  It`s a time issue.  PLUS I`m sick so that doesn`t help.  Time is flying and I need to get this going! 
    I will have to let my web guy (hubby) know about the alt tags.  I had no idea!  Time to hire the right people I think.  I just wonder if it`s too soon to get a PR firm to rep us.  We still seem a little green but we need to expose us quickly since Dad`s out of a job.  It`s amazing how unemployment drives people to be business oriented! 
    Thanks again, Craig.    I will be taking all your advice and apply it!
  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Lisa,
    I`m so glad you got the soy candle itch   Our descriptions are there along with a scent descipt and pic.  Thanks!
  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Dang it, Craig!  Why do you have to be right?  I get it now...  I`m learning a lot just through these threads.  Purbliss needs to connect with candles...I get it now.  Sorry, I`m slow today.  You`re right...I need to make it more to the point also.  I get bored when I look at certain sites because they don`t grab me or necessarily fulfill a need.  Point taken.  I`m starting over from scratch!
  • fotogirlfotogirl subscriber Posts: 1
    Glynns,
    You`re asking a college drop out to critique your site.    I love the color choices and the simple but eye catching graphics.  You give just enough information to grab people to want more BUT when you want more we have to e-mail you to purchase.  Shopping carts would definitely be helpful.  I see what you mean being more `retail`.  All in all it`s like the cliffnotes to marketing 101.  LOVE IT!  I wish I were closer to attend your class.  I do much better in the classroom than I do reading a book.  I hate reading.  Which is why I dropped out of school!  But hey, I make a nice living off my photography business and looking to get my little candle biz off the ground.  I am talking to the husband about purchasing your marketing tutorial...he`ll do all the reading of course!  I definitely love the how you haven`t `cluttered` your site with nonsense.  It`s to the point.  Definitely something I like because I won`t read a bunch of junk I don`t have to! 
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