Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sunday - Coffee And Cake!

New Water Series Mandala Prints - Click Images to Visit Listings

Sunday - Coffee and Cake

Late again! I was early! Seriously! What would have been around 5.30am for most of Etsy (about 10.30am for me) I was ready to begin this article, but though to myself, no I'll give it a few hours until most of the universe on a Sunday morning would be awake! So I went shopping. Little did I know my son would be Mr Wiggle and delay us a bit whilst we were there, nor did I expect to come across a NEW venue for me to print my canvases SO close to home. That would BLAST the huge wait people would have by a few weeks if there was a long wait so I hope to research that later. But then I had to respond to all the fab applicants for tomorrow's feature, AND try and list some stuff online, whilst inbetween all of this, play trains with my little boy when he wouldn't nap in his room. Fun times! So I'm on it now :) Looking forward to this one. Nothing particularly strenous today. Shouldn't be a long one, for I want to discuss YOUR Etsy store :)

Networking Part 3 : Your Etsy Store Now I wanted to talk this week about Blogging. But I think it can wait a week as I MUST talk about Etsy, as I have seen many MANY stores this week that I have come across through loads of means, and some are incredible! But there are some that are struggling to get noticed and unfortunately it is noticable as to why.

People I'm sure are desperate to know why they don't get enough views on Etsy and it does take a lot of TLC in your store to make it worth noticing. You'll come across millions of resources to help you optimise your store for viewing, but I do wonder whether people go out of their way to find them? I know it took me a few months before I became away of the helpful articles on Etsy itself, and that was because I made a point of browsing a section I wouldn't normally have done one day, and POOF there it was. In the months prior to that what was I doing? I'm sure a lot of new sellers on Etsy are in the same boat wondering why they didn't look before when it was always there! another fab resource for all things handmade and selling related check out Handmadeology. It rules and the amount of helpful things on there would surely surpass what I do on here every week. But the reason I do what I do is because I try to make a point of letting people know it is here, as I have been lucky enough lately to have the time to find these helpful things to share with everyone. And I'm a time scrooge! I can totally understand when people say they just DONT have the time to look for things, so that's why I find you and lay out the things that have helped me for you to see :)

Anyway... Here are the reasons I feel from my early none-view days that I went wrong with my Etsy store, besides not marketing outside of Etsy. I didn't market WITHIN Etsy, I took bad pictures, I mixed alsorts of things in my store, I didn't do any market research, I didn't make a good banner, I didn't optimise my store text with relevant keywords (nor my profile for that matter), and importantly I didnt research PRICES. Since changing the lot, I have started slowly but surely making sales, and my traffic is abundant like you wouldn't believe!
You wouldn't believe the hours I have put in changing, re-changing, and completely eradicating things from my store, but seriously, if you are serious about your business you need to shake off your pride and consider that you will have to put in more effort. You have FABULOUS work! You need to make people want to notice it!

I'll break down my past mistakes because I see all of them regularly, and I know for a fact that it's important to realise when people go shopping, as much as you hate to think the world isn't superficial, first impressions unfortunately are EVERYTHING. That's why the supermarkets treat food like cosmetics, that's why any baker you walk into will smell AMAZING, that is why the big guys go out of their way to make sure you cannot resist their products, period. It's awful, but even if you have the best thing in the world that everyone may want, if you take a dark picture, no one will look at it.

Photos - Don't just try to make them look pretty, LIGHT is imperative! Camera flashes will work against you. They don't look natural and they ruin your beautiful work. You need to take your photos in the day time in natural light where you can get a lot of it shining down on your items. Having a good camera will help, and making use of your macro settings! If you can't get a good camera then just make sure you take your photos in good light, and make sure they are not too fuzzy! There's a big difference between macro and blurry! If you can't do day time pictures then make yourself a lightbox! you can buy them but here's a fab video to show you how to make them.

Storefront - You need to use plenty of descriptive "related" words for what you're selling in order to optimise your store, within your beautiful store introduction. Google will pick up on the first few lines of your store, and you want to be sure it's noticed in the search engines. But lists of words will go against you. Don't write lists, that's the kind of thing that'll bump you down the chain. Be honest, be yourself and talk about what your store is about. Sell yourself! People looking for specific things will never find you if you don't have it in your storefront. Make a good banner, or invest a couple of dollars to someone who can do it for you (unless you know a nice person who'll do it for free!). That will be the first thing anyone sees! and it needs to look good! As for items. Don't mix them. Eg: If you sell jewelry and pottery, have 2 stores. Don't put them in the same place. Why? It puts people off as it confuses them. As multitalented as most of Etsy are, you're better separating your stores. I have recently done it myself, and my reason is exactly what I have said. Someone actually said to me 3 months back that they loved my work, but the mish mash of stuff in my store confused them. So I keep my photography and art together, and my crafts will appear in another store a little later.

The Community - Etsy people rule. So you need to talk to them! The forums are ace! you can meet new people, sellers help eachother all the time with advice, promoting eachother and alsorts. It's a great place to meet new faces and make your presence known within Etsy. The promotion section is particularly grand as some of you may know already. I'd recommend making the time to go in and have a chat with the community :) (Etsy chat will do you some good too!)

Listings - You need to ideally list every few days. I personally try to list everyday IF I can. Not always possible, but you can always relist or renew items. The power of relisting bumps you items back up to the top of the pile so they'll more than likely be noticed. But it will still cost .20 to do so. It's not everyones cuppa tea, but if you do make a lot of stuff, rather than bunch it all up on one day, try and spread the things out a little. Showcasing is something I have tried a few times, and it gets you a lot of views, but I have never received a sale from it. But people do, and I see people that regularly showcase so it must work for some!

I have made all of these mistakes and it is the most gutting thing in the world to realise that you need to change what you have done and put hours into. I guess anyone in the world with a business would do this regularly, as you always have to appease the market, not just yourself. But believe me, your work IS worth it and you are worth it too. If you are struggling then simple things like new photos, and listing regularly can really help within Etsy. Coupled with marketing outside of Etsy, people will come in droves! You always need to assess what you're doing. And go to the forums! People will help you if you ask them! Ask for opinions, and be open to constructive critisism. It could be the thing you need to turn everything in a positive direction!

moonangelnay x


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