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Reply To: I need help with increasing traffic through my online store on my website. sasharougemiel.comI would like to add to more products but if there is  no interest on what I’ve already put up, then I’m unsure if I should proceed further. I would be also interested to find out if I would qualify for any grants as I’d like to design more products. 

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Morning, Sasha

So you ask two questions
1 – Gaining traffic to the website
2 – Having products people want to buy

Let’s deal with number 2 first. Your three products are a book and some note cards.
I am going to be very direct here – I want you to be able to find out if there is a revenue stream possible from your products and website. So I write in kindness, and I ask hard questions.

1 – Who is your website for (age, sex, life issues faced)? This is not clear.
2 – Why would they buy a book? What will it teach them?
3 – Why would they also buy notecards? I see no connection between these products

If your #1 product is the book – you need to target it to your audience. The description says what the book is but not why I need to buy it… Nor who I should gift it to or what they’ll get out of it.
Are there testimonials from readers you can add? Why should I spend $9.99 with you versus another author?

And so to answer question one, You need your product set to have coherence – they sit together logically. A website that sells milk and lollies doesn’t work because few people just buy those two things together.
Your website is about YOU, Sacha – so everything needs to support your brand as an author, as a leader, as a life guide, as an artist.

Go and find websites for your favourite authors. Analyse them.
What are their websites like? What products do they sell?
Search for “Authors similar to….” on Goodreads. Find authors you don’t know and do the same analysis. You are trying to work out who their readers are and to answer the questions 1-3 above (Who is your website for etc). Write all this down in a spreadsheet so you can compare them. Then ask a friend to check your work and see if they agree.
Do the same for illustrator and artist websites – because you are also an artist.

NEW PRODUCT IDEAS
When you know your audience – re-write your website to write it answering those questions. Your publisher has a nicer description of your book on their website – copy that.

Can you build other products which are related to your book which allow the customer to step up a “ladder” of purchases? So they buy one thing and it’s obvious what the next thing they should buy is.

Is there a teachers guide which you can sell so a classroom could study the book?
Can I buy a book as a gift and get a card signed by you to go to the giftee?
Can a book club buy a personal appearance from you to discuss the book with them?
Are there Book Club cheat sheets for discussion which you can sell?
Can you bundle the book so folks can bulk purchase 5 copies at once?
Can I buy a one on one 30 minute question and answer time with you to get help for my problems?
Can I commission my own personal drawing?
Why don’t you sell the original pictures you put on Instagram? Start pricing them at $5 – 15 and see if you can sell them online.

QUESTION ONE
Getting more people to your website – you need to get more people to know your name. I don’t recommend paying to advertise. BUT I do have some marketing tactics you can use right now.
– Watermark your website URL onto all your Instagram posts and every illustration
– Why are your instagram hashtags all about illustration and art and not about life philosophy and authors? Why isn’t #ExperiementerMindset in your hashtag list? And you should also reply to ALL the comments you get…. engage with your fans.
– Approach book clubs to buy your book
– Approach journalists who write in magazines and websites which you admire and which address the reader you identify with who also wants to have an experiementer mindset
– Offer the book as a Christmas gift suggestion to magazines and websites
– Approach podcasters and YouTubers (Robett Hollis is a good one) and ask to guest on their show. Have a link to the book as part of their publicity – give a discount code – offer books as a prize draw for listeners.
– Ask Stuff or The Spinoff if you can do a weekly image on their website with a link to your Instagram feed. You will need to pitch this idea carefully
– Why isn’t every Instagram image on your blog as well and your Facebook?

There is a lot more that I can teach you – but this is more than enough for you to get started.

Good luck…. And come back to @Manaak and tell us how you do.