[Market-farming] Recommendations for web / blog pages?
rstewart at zoomtown.com
Sat Jan 30 11:46:43 EST 2010
I use a Mac and have placed our entire farm site on my .mac account which allows domain names. The .mac also serves as an image server for photos and back-ups of all my contact. calendar, links, etc.
I use iWeb to update the website which is keyed into iPhoto and iTunes and works well with the iWork package as well (which is pretty much a Microsoft Office package for the Mac). A mac is not for everyone. If I had to change I would go the generic Blog route with a Google heavy system (spreadsheets, phone, and the like).
With Google Analytics I can track what people are more interested on my site and decrease the amount of time I spend on stuff that does not attract visitors. For example, our farm has four parts of its business. Commodity crops, horse boarding, beekeeping, and specialty crops. If we focus on one or two more than the others we see increased traffic as a result. If I spend 8 hours on something over a couple weeks and it brings in 4 hits its a waste of time and nothing more than vanity press. Of course I have no idea how much business is generated from those hits. Our business model is to create a value added "personality" for our farm that brings in customers to the folks we supply. We have cut out most farmer's markets (with the exception of honey and corn meal) and only sell direct to customers from the farm on occasional drive by traffic. We want the people who want to buy from us to do it as a meal or a bin of other products (delivery services).
I am about to do a big redesign to better focus on this aspect so that when people leave our website they are more likely to leave it via one of the companies we supply.
Sometimes, I think its really easy to get caught up in the whole website thing. The most important thing a market farmer can do in terms of self promotion is design an image for themselves that people recognize. The website is just a very small part of it and rather than just using a cookie cutter layout you need to use images and icons than translate well between booth, product/label, and website. Often times traffic will be so low on the website that the website is completely irrelevant. Other times traffic is so high that you need to keep doing things (this is where blogs come in) to maintain the traffic because people come to your site to get updates. If that is the case then there might be some way to cash in on that traffic...maybe.
Just some food for thought. Every farm is different.
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio
An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
rstewart at zoomtown.com
Providing quality, healthy food to the following:
Chalk Food + Wiine
Jean Ro Bistro
Savor Catering & Events
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