Go to the Internet, do a search on “llama” and watch thousands of entries hit your screen. It seems as though everyone has hit the World Wide Web now.

 The Internet is a great tool for marketing your llamas. You can have your very own “myfarm.com” address or you can use a number of other resources to get your llamas on the web.

 Here are some tips for “llama webbing”. First and foremost remember the “kiss” principal – keep it simple silly. While the flashing llama feet, humming llama orchestra, animated leaping llamas may seem like a good idea at first, these bells and whistles will cause your site to be very slow loading and cumbersome to maneuver. A successful web site is clean, quick loading, informative and easy to use. 

 You want to accomplish three major things with your web site or home page. One is to show your llamas and farm in the best way possible. Two to give vital information about your llamas, farm and what you offer. Three have them come back to your site again. To accomplish these goals your web site needs to be quick loading, informative and easy to use.  Fun and interesting are great too!

 Free is good, very good. Many Internet carriers will allow you to have a free home page. You can use this to post pictures of your llamas and vital information about our farm. Some carriers will not allow you to list items for sale. Be sure to check with them. If they will not allow you to directly sell items you maybe able to make suggestions that will allow interested parties to contact you. Some examples are “Quality llamas looking for good homes, for more information Contact…”; “Wouldn’t you love to have a llama in your life? Contact…”; and “Llama are great! Contact… to find out how great!”.

 If you cant afford or don’t want to pay for an “myfarm.com” there are ways around that too. There are sites such as ellamas.com and llamaweb.com (even ALSA) that offer spaces for farms to post a web link or a page.  This allows you get your farm name out there and your llamas visible without a lot of extra cost. Some sites offer a free page, while others have a small charge. Some sites also have classified sections if you have something other than llamas for sale. Some will even allow you to share stories and pictures about your llamas (another great way to get them seen.)

 Be careful about “borrowing” or “copying” from other sites. Many people copyright their work and if you are found to be using copyrighted material it can cost you fines and legal headaches.  If there is something you like ask if you can use it. Many people will loan or sell you the right to copyrighted material. Be sure to obtain permission in writing.

 If you have copyrighted material or original designs that you would like to showcase, remember there is no guarantee that someone will not be able to copy, steal and use it. Encryption will protect items but there are ways around it. If you don’t want the world to have free access to it, don’t post it on a free web site.

 Be sure to be very accurate in your information and claims. There have been lawsuits over misinformation and misunderstood information.  Be very clear and correct in the information you present on your web site. Do not make any claims or share any information you can’t back up with proof.

 Remember only good quality graphics and pictures should be used. Fuzzy pictures or graphics look bad and make your llamas look bad. Clear, easy to read fonts are the best. Fancy fonts or moving letters are not easy to read and some older systems will not display them. You want people to be able to clearly see and learn about your llamas.

 Be a responsible breeder. If you use the Internet to market your animals, please be sure to have information about llamas, their care, their needs, their problems and good llama ownership available on your website. Llamas are great animals! They are versatile and have many uses. But they do grow up, get large, have special care needs and have specific things needed to keep them healthy.

 Also keep in contact with the new owners be a source of information and trouble shooting for problems. Remember the llama you sell today on the Internet maybe the llama someone is rescuing next month.

 Llama webbing can be great fun and a great source of information. There are many sites out there dedicated to llama research, working llamas, llama fiber, llama breeding, llama ownership and llama rescue. You may wish to have some links of your page to some of these.

 Also there are llama email discussion groups on many servers. Most of these are free but there are a few who charge for their use. These can be a good source of reaching new or potential owners, sharing information, and learning what’s new in the llama world.

 If you need information of development of a web site, advice on how to have a successful site contact Judy Ross at ross@marshall.edu

 Mitzi Ross, Good News Llamas