Dec 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm #1282955
William ZilaBPL Member
Hey all,as some of you know I am the owner of Alter ego backpacking gear, I figured I would let you guys know the site is almost done should be finished tonight. I am also taking orders now products that are available include a synthetic quilt, pullover, pants, mittens and hood. all of these items are made with various fabrics and climashield apex. the Storm rain gear series is also available and have a lot of fabric options so you can choose what you want. The packs should be posted with all the updates come next week along with cuben dry bags and bear bags the site is http://www.alteregobackpackinggear.com
" If this belongs in gear deals let me know I figured it belonged here since it is lots of gear not one specific deal"Dec 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm #1811349
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
I'll look forward to seeing your ideas. I like the idea of a light framed pack. Ideas for the website. Shrink the font size a bit or change the margins so it fits on a computer page, I think that will just make it look a bit better. And more pictures! People are visual these days put up some pictures of your products and pictures of them in wild places. Not being critical I just want you to succeed.Dec 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm #1811368
Yeah, you need pictures. make 'em pretty.
Also, lots of run on sentences, missed punctuation, 'too's instead of 'to's. etc. Put some hours into editing for grammar, it will help the site feel much more professional. maybe get a friend to look through it as well, easy to miss things when it's your own writing.
best of luck, its a big jump from myog to syog (selling your own gear!) but your prices are very competitive, get those edits done and pictures up and the orders will come in.
also, this is not helping your case
" I am still working out some minor things with packs and other products"
you don't need that, just let people know that orders are shipping in a couple of weeks.Dec 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm #1811374
I would fire your editor and your web designer.
–B.G.–Dec 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm #1811379
see subjectDec 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm #1811381
Ryan SmithBPL Member
Ah come on, Bob. Be nice.
RyanDec 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm #1811392
"Ah come on, Bob. Be nice."
I'm just being brutally honest.
–B.G.–Dec 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm #1811399
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Congrats on deciding upon Climashield for your insulation. It is very durable and warm for the weight.Dec 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm #1811400
Hamish McHamishBPL Member
Having text overlaid on an image makes the text difficult (and irritating) to read. You definitely need pics of the gear.Dec 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm #1811413
William ZilaBPL Member
Changes are noted and will be applied pictures are coming!! And Bob I can't fire my editor and web designer. That would mean firing me and there would be no buisness. I dropped out of highschool sompmore year to pursue my dream of building gear I apologize my literacy is not up to parDec 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm #1811418
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
But his packs are nice, right Bob?
He makes packs, not webpages.
give the man a break.Dec 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1811433
"But his packs are nice, right Bob?"
There is certainly no way to tell from the webpage.
–B.G.–Dec 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm #1811436
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Before you get too far into this, you may want to consider shortening your website URL.
http://www.alteregobackpackinggear.com is pretty darn long. AlterEgoGear.com is available.Dec 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm #1811518
"Changes are noted and will be applied pictures are coming!! And Bob I can't fire my editor and web designer. That would mean firing me and there would be no buisness. I dropped out of highschool sompmore year to pursue my dream of building gear I apologize my literacy is not up to par"
That's the writing of a high school sophomore? Wow, the bar must be incredibly low these days.
You don't have to write like a seasoned novelist, but you should at least put the effort into writing at your grade level. You're undermining your own credibility by not doing so. Re-write one page at a time, and look at it from the point of view of a potential customer. The prose you write for your web site is your first dialog with your potential customers; if you come across as a 4th grader, you're not going to have much credibility, and right now that's about what your site reads like.
In addition to being your primary dialog with your potential customers, your web site will in many cases be their first impression. If it looks like a 4-year-old designed it and wrote the prose, their first impression will be "aw, cute… this kid's playing businessman on the internet" and there goes your sale… instead, put in some effort to be coherent and conversational. This is your first sales pitch; fail this part, and you've lost the customer.
You might want to take some time out to migrate your site to WordPress or something and use a template. Don't both with a custom web site design until you have some income; it's expensive (I paid $1500 to get my site designed by a pro, quality designs are not cheap).
I'm willing to help you with your prose, and I'll have a bit of time to work on it during the holidays. If you'd like some help, PM me.Dec 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm #1811521
Kyle MeyerBPL Member
@kylemeyerLocale: Portland, OR
Yes, definitely use WordPress or Tumblr or something. I promise you that you will sell zero backpacks with a website like that. Christ, that is an awful website.
Alternatively, I take freelance work ;-)Dec 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm #1811524
drowning in spamMember
As far as websites go, I much prefer an incredible simple and crisp site (similar in concept to a good form), especially when coding and designing skills are lacking. An overambitious site without those skills is annoying.Dec 13, 2011 at 12:42 am #1811533
Like everything, you have to study it a little, but you don't have to be a computer genius to get something presentable. Get a trusted adult to help clean up the text. You can continue to be the idea man, but get some help with parts.
Make sure that you are at least at the legal age of majority in your state so that you can get a business license.
–B.G.–Dec 13, 2011 at 5:18 am #1811547
Ken T.BPL Member
Shouldn't have dropped out of school. Spelling and grammar are terrible. Good luck…Dec 13, 2011 at 6:19 am #1811563
so why not be constructive?
i second the idea of using one of the blogging sites, i don't know anything at programming, but within a couple of days had a pretty professional looking blog.
I was just looking at this post and it struck me as funny that I have been giving grammar advice, and haven't even bothered to capitalize my 'I's! But then this is a blog post, not a website from which I am trying to derive my income (note awkward composition of sentence to avoid preposition at end…grammar sucks).
I guess that is the downfall of those who grew up with autocorrect. I capitalize things when writing by hand, I swear!Dec 13, 2011 at 6:59 am #1811569
Also look at 1and1 website hosting (www.1and1.com). I don't know anything about them, really, but they have snazzy ads. I visited their site last night after I read this thread, they offer a suite of tools, including online ordering and easy website creation through templates. Might be worth checking out. But do your homework to ensure you find any reviews about their hosting service, as you should with any service you might be interested in.Dec 13, 2011 at 7:38 am #1811581
Erik BasilBPL Member
u gyz r loosing it! lulz
OMFG that hurts the ize, dont it? Ahhhh more!
Will, let me commend you to do what I tell many people whom I edit: HIT F7!! You see, this is the spellcheck button in your WORD or other word processing software and it has a grammar feature, too. It won't always help you with flowing prose, but it will catch "loose" "to/too" and standard spelling. F-Seven, brother. No excuses.
Poor Grammar on websites hurts the eyes and makes customer flee. That's proven.
Forums don't count so much…Dec 13, 2011 at 8:09 am #1811590
@winter5470Locale: South Florida
Without pictures of your products it is hard to tell the quality of your work. So all I have to go by is the effort you put into your spelling and grammar. Not finishing school is not an excuse. If you want to be taken seriously in the business world, please have someone check you spelling, grammar and punctuation. Good luck!Dec 13, 2011 at 8:24 am #1811595
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Man I gotta say I commend you for selling out to chase your dreams. You got a bigger pair than me!
Dropping out is no joke- so get your website in order and squelch all the haters.
Community, people: He's one of us. Keep it constructional and help somebody. I know its fun for lawyers, accountants, and water bureau chiefs to sit back and throw stones; but maybe it would make you a better person (gasp! is it possible?!?!) to poke fun and then give some constructive ideas.
Crushing dreams is evil. EVIL. I hate that crap.
sorry for the rant- and I know there is a lot of constructional criticism and tips; but the tone of a bunch of these posts got my panties in a wad.Dec 13, 2011 at 8:38 am #1811605
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Looks like you are using a site-builder through your web host. Nothing wrong with that. You could shrink the font size down by several sizes and it would look a lot better.
You really need pictures of the gear. Nobody is going to buy without pictures. I had some hesitation ordering something from venerable Jacks R Better because he doesn't offer pictures of everything.
I agree that the spelling, punctuation and capitalization needs some work. It is hard to trust you with my credit card number when your language skills are poor. At least you do not come off as being from China or somewhere. That would be the kiss of death.
Being a high-school drop-out is not an excuse. If you are going to drop out, you need to take responsibility for educating yourself up to and beyond high school level. Nobody cuts high-school dropouts any slack. You actually have to become smarter than the average high-school graduate if you're going to make it without that diploma. If you can't fix the text yourself, you need to pay someone else to do it. That's a tax you'll be paying the rest of your life for your decision to drop out of school.Dec 13, 2011 at 9:15 am #1811622
@keith_bassettLocale: Pacific NW
Good for you, for trying to achieve your dream. This is a really long post, but heartfelt.
Success will require more hard work than if you work for someone else, but the payoff is a business that you have built.
Here are 10 things that might help you invest your time and energy in things that will help you achieve your dream of a successful business. You don't have unlimited time, so carefully choose what you do with it.
1. Build out a business plan, even if it is rough. You need a written plan that you can turn to and that keeps you focused. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_plan
2. Talk with your local chamber of commerce. Usually they have programs to counsel and mentor new businesses.
3. Pay attention to cash flow. Many small businesses fail because they don't pay attention to the cash on hand. It is a tough subject when you start, so ask for help. (chamber of commerce, community college business class) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_flow
4. Get your GED. Clearly High School isn't your thing, for family reasons, or otherwise – but you need to get your GED. You cannot get the funding and assistance you need without some education. As unfair as it seems, you will be judged on how well you write and speak and on how much education you have been willing to undertake.
5. Don't count out college. University study is almost entirely different then High School. Business classes are immediately practical for what you are doing. They will put the pieces together and stuff will begin to make sense for you.
6. Use a professional web designer to set up a storefront, and to get you a solid look and feel for your site. For several hundred dollars, they can help you put up a very professional site. That is really only 5 or 6 tanks of gas, and a few hikes that you have to skip. You should consider that a small investment for the pay off. (Then you can avoid the reactions you see in this thread, which are honest if harsh.)
7. Use a graphic designer for your logo. Also money well spent. Not everyone needs to be an artist. Pay someone who is an expert to help. Consider how it will look on tags with your logo, that you can get made after you start selling lots of stuff.
8. Be excellent at what you do. In this case, you may be the most amazing seamster ever. But if you aren't and you intend to make money with your equipment, you must learn. Perhaps working for a pittance at a tailor shop, or an upholstery shop, or the like would be a good way to learn. Or taking classes at your local sewing store. You won't do well if your equipment isn't put together well.
9. Build a reputation. Look at Zimmer and the rest of the small shops. They work super hard to make innovative and useful stuff. It didn't happen overnight, so keep plugging until people know your name.
10. Don't be afraid of failure, and know when to walk away. If it isn't working, re-assess honestly. Most of the people who have done well as entrepreneurs have had to shut down multiple businesses. If you can't get the business to make money, step back and figure out what went wrong. Don't throw good money after bad.
Good luck sir.
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