[WEBSITE | BUSINESS] Shop Progress & Other Potential Updates

I have been working on my online shop since the beginning of May. I thought it was since May 1st, but now that I think about it, it was probably May 5th. I spent the first 4 or 5 days of May working on one of my comics instead. Since starting the only shop, I probably had about 3 weeks of breaks total — which sounds like a lot, except that’s about one break per month.

And to be honest, they weren’t much of breaks. Especially the one in May.

The one in May was more of…putting my attention on something else temporarily while working on the online shop because I was kind of running out of steam. Not enough to stop working on it, but enough to need to take actual breaks.

It has been long and difficult. There are still some more things ahead, but I like to believe I am in the home stretch now.

Online Shop Updates

August 1st is the date I am launching the online shop, which means EVERYTHING majour that needs to be done MUST be done by then. I do believe I am in the home stretch (as I said before), but that doesn’t feel like much considering I still have a pretty big hill to climb.

Still to Do:

  • Upload corrected artwork to 3rd party site in charge of things like pillows and mugs (I made a pretty bad spelling mistake, so I have to upload the corrected artwork; unfortunately, the site is glitching out on me as of writing this, which is why I am typing this blog entry instead)
  • [Finish] Upload(ing) updated mock-ups of cellphone cases & beach towels featuring chibi artwork;
  • Complete FAQ and create a privacy policy page
  • Add tags & link to categories where appropriate (finishing touches)
  • Create launch day ads & discount code

The hardest part is definitely uploading the corrected artwork. It’s not difficult, but tedious. There’s over 300 items I need to upload fixed artwork for. However, once that is done, it should be easier…I think. I know I am cutting it close to the target date, but oh well!

Shipping had given me trouble, but as far as I am concerned, it is working right now.

I’m excited for the shop, although I expect nothing to happen. I kind of expect it to sit there, to be honest, until one of my family members decides to purchase something from it. I hope though I’m wrong and a moderate amount of sales and traffic come through.

Homepage Update

To coincide with the launch of the online shop, I will be giving the homepage a bit of an overhaul. To document this overhaul, here is the current homepage:

Here is a screenshot of the upcoming homepage (it’s a work in progress):

The layout I created for the Online Shop, as well as the posters/banners I have on my booths at conventions, really inspired me to change my homepage and work on getting my own style down. I really like the simplicity of the white backgrounds with the green/purple/pink gradient. (Hopefully, I will be able to make a style guide some day to keep everything consistent, not just for me, but for those who want to help with my graphics as well.)

At the top of the content area, underneath the navigation, will be a slider. The slider will display anything I want you guys to see — important comic updates, announcements of awesome projects, or whatever else I please.

As you scroll down a bit, you get to The Kelly Mulry Stories area. This is where the core content comes in. This is where you come to read. The larger banner is for the Kelly Mulry Stories website, which is where you should go for a complete overview of all my stories. Underneath that are stories I am featuring (i.e. the stories have entire sites dedicated to them) and the world links. Highlighted Stories are great for those looking to jump right into reading something of mine without really caring too much of what it is, while the World section allows you to explore my universe and learn more about the characters, the planets they live on, and what stories go on there.

From there, you go to the online shop.

Yes, I listed out every single category for you. That way, you don’t have to go through the actual online shop just to get to the category you want to. You can just click it on the homepage.

The Rambles (i.e. this blog) section is going to get a tweak (hopefully) because the feed I was using kept twitching too much for my liking, making my layout change how it looked every other second.

Updates will probably stay the same, but formatted better.

To be honest, everything else is probably going to stay the same, except it may have some minor visual tweaks (like a different image used or font or something).

I’ll continue making tweaks until I’m satisfied…or I run out of time…this has to be out August 1st, 2017.

Even Further

I plan on giving the website another overhaul as well, mainly to keep the layouts consistent and cleaner. I think websites will vary on what they use as a link colour and their banner among everything else.

The layouts shall be updated to:

If you need a reminder of what the current layouts’ basic structure is, it is:

The new layout is still a work-in-progress and doesn’t look impressive, but I do think it will allow me to present the content in a cleaner and more visually-appealing way. A lot of the navigation that is shown on the sides currently will be on a type of transition page because I think it will make it cleaner, as well as allow me to use pretty illustrations to spice up the pages.

I don’t like my website too much right now, to be completely honest. I know some people check it out already…but do you know what? I want to feel like checking it out too! Hopefully, this will let me do that. I guess we will see, right?

While I plan on rolling out the new layout with a new site dedicated to TKN as a company (to be honest, it’s so I can have a page where I can write my current policies for using my works, as well as state company goals), I plan on having it show up on the other websites some time in 2018. There is a reason for that, but the reasons are a bit vague right now, so I don’t want to talk too much about it.

I think that is it for now. Thanks for reading!