Bwah hah hah! I hope you don;t go down the same road I did - my own domain name, an attractive web site, lots of lovely images, and so on. Not a single sale in over 2 years. The web does not work as we might wish, putting good stuff out there is not enough. Why? Because 1 billion other people have also put good stuff out there.
This has been true for my photography as well as for my medical consulting business. My web sites are a place to send people for more information, not a way to attract new customers.
I am taking a new tack, and that is to focus on local promotion Still in the early stages, but I have hopes. If I can meet a potential customer and shake him by the lapels ... er, convince him to buy ... I expect it will work out better than expecting some photo collector in San Francisco or Bangor to buy a print based on my web site.
Well said and it needs saying more often, a website is not an immediate sale maker, in fact I often doubt its usefulness to many businesses other than to reassure customers that they not totally behind the times by having one. The number I see that started off full of promise and have not been updated for two or three years lies as testament to this but there is such a vast industry trying to sell you the concept of the indispensability of one that we all to some extent become brainwashed by it.
Websites will work when you are a dedicated online trader and have the time and interest in maintaining it and focusing your efforts on web sales, and are dealing in products that sell on the web. They are also essential to many as online brochures but to others they are a just another shiny big spanner that they are expected to carry in the marketing toolbox, nice to look at but rarely useful.
If you are going to have a website then you are going to have to drive traffic to it. SEO is often mentioned but you are competing for attention with people who have teams dedicated to ensuring they appear at the top of lists rather than you, whatever it is you are trying to sell. I have a regular blog which I take time to bring to peoples attention, it's the most frequently visited page, which is the good news, the bad news is that 70 - 80% of visitors spend less than 30 seconds viewing any of the pages on the site and I defy anybody hear to improve much upon that number, say 50% spending more than half a minute on their site.
I'd say to the OP, get a site together by all means to ensure that you are taken seriously, but do not expect it to perform any sort of magic.
Peter, I wish you all the best with your alternative approach and I think you are quite right to try it.
As for Facebook..... Don't even start me!
Oh, and my blog is - www.inkplusimages.com/wp