Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Etsy Shop Tips

Etsy is a great place to make extra income selling your art and crafts. If you really have a desire to own your business and earn a living doing what you love, Etsy (handmade marketplace) is the best place to get started with a minimum investment. In this blog post, I am sharing my Top Etsy Shop tips for increasing traffic to Etsy shop and exposing your shop to your target audience. If you are new to Etsy, are looking for ways to Increase traffic to Your Shop, need ideas on how to promote your existing store, or are just researching opportunities for selling handmade online, you may find this post helpful. 

Creative packaging, shop appearance, advertising

Tip #1: Create packaging that sells. Buyers like handmade, but if you add creative packaging, you add extra value to your product and make it more attractive to the buyers. Adding a little free gift may also be a good way to create a lasting impression and to encourage repeat business. Make your handmade product stand out using creative packaging

Tip #2: Invest time into improving the appearance of your shop. Professionally looking avatar and a unique greeting are important when it comes to creating a unique shopping experience for your customers.

Tip #3: Add more items to your store. Try to add an item or 2 several times a week or daily, if you can. Etsy customers like choices - choices in styles, colors, and materials. Also, adding new items will help with promoting your store if you advertising budget is small and you can't afford renewing your items several times a day.

Tip #4: Do renew at least 1 item per day to attract visitors to your store and bump up your items in Etsy searches. Best time to renew is around 7-10 pm Eastern time. Do not overspend on renewing items - it's easy to get carried away and go in the negative chasing profits. Set a daily limit on renewals and stick with it.

Tip #5: Take quality pictures! This is very important selling point. Make sure to use plenty of light, contrasting background, and closeup feature on your camera, if necessary. Click Etsy photo tips to read "Give Props: How to Style Your Photos" post on Etsy blog.

Tip #6: Do try Etsy Search Ads to promote your Etsy Shop. I suggest adding at least 20 items to your store before you try the feature. Search Ads is a major advertising tool for new Etsy sellers. It will allow you to advertise your store directly to your target audience. To start out, set a very Low budget. Be sure to adjust your tags for all items, so that Etsy allows you to advertise for the right keywords. Skip any generic tags like white, long, beautiful - your ad will get plenty of impressions but will not reach the target audience. Advertise your best items with only 5 key words. Don't measure success of your ad by sales alone. You are getting exposure, some people will add you to favorites and it may lead to sales or Etsy treasury features later. Here's some great advice on how to use Etsy search ads to promote your shop.

Tip #7: Check out CraftcultCraftopolisCraftcount for weekly and monthly advertising options and use Facebook to share your new creations with family and friends for free, or, better yet, open a Facebook page for your business and encourage customers and other Etsy shop owners to follow you on Facebook. You will be amazed how much attention your shop can get from Facebook followers.

Tip #8: Create Etsy Treasuries. Etsy Treasury is a great place for free self-promotion and networking. Include no more than one of your own items. You will expose your shop to a lot of Etsy sellers and buyers. Some sellers may add your items to their favorites and later include in their own treasuries. Hey, you may even land on the first page of Etsy, and that's a great exposure! Etsy likes unique items and coordinating items in unique color combinations (like sunflower yellow and cobalt blue, for example). If you would like, let featured Etsy sellers know about your treasury by sending a convo. The Treasury will also show up in the featured Sellers' shop feed.
Here's one of my most recent treasuries: 

Tip #9: Tagging your item is very important. Etsy gives you plenty of tag lines - so try your best to use them all. Think about your tags as an opportunity to advertise your items on Etsy and, if Google picks up some of your tags, to the Google users! Make sure to follow Etsy guidelines for tagging your item, but be as desciptive as you possibly can: . Tagging your Etsy Items. Note other sellers' tags - you may get some ideas for tagging your items. Remember, the more tags you use and the more descriptive they are, the more potential customers are going to visit your shop. Think traffic! Also, make sure you are familiar with Etsy DOs and DON'Ts. When tagging your Etsy items, try to come up with terms your customers may be using to find your item. When someone is looking for a zippered pouch, they can Google "handmade zippered pouch", "handmade pouch", "make-up bag", "pencil case", "cute pouch", and a dozen of other terms.

Tip #10: So you put a lot of effort into attracting visitors to your Etsy shop and you make some sales! Congratulations!!! You now have a customer base to work with. By providing exceptional customer service, you can get some repeat sales. Neat packaging, business card, and a matching address label will help you promote your brand. Also, do notify your customers by a convo or an Email, letting them know when their package has shipped and providing some tracking information.

Tip #11: If you are a new Etsy seller, consider offering Sales on your item and sharing your items on Facebook with friends to make the first few sales and build up your Feedback rating and reputation on Etsy. Positive feedback will attract more buyers who prefer well-established stores.

Tip #12: Join Etsy teams and participate in Etsy forums. Not only will you be able to get some great Etsy Shop tips from fellow Etsians, but you can also participate in special team events that will help you get more Etsy sales. Etsy Forums is a great place for networking and promoting your products. Etsy sellers love Handmade, so inviting them to your store may be a great idea.

Tip #13: Ship your items fast! Customers expect quick shipments, so if you can get their order out within 1-2 business days, they are more likely to shop at your store again and to recommend your shop to their friends. If they are really happy with your service, they may even write up a blog, Facebook, or Twitter post about you - think FREE PUBLICITY! If you are custom-making an item, 1 week turnaround time is good - just keep in touch with the buyer with updates on the order progress.

Tip #14: Include "boutique" tag in your listings. There're plenty boutique owners out there looking for unique items on Etsy. If you think you can manage wholesale orders (starting at about 5 items), give it a try and earn some serious cash :). Make sure to include "please contact me for wholesale orders information" in every listing. Just found out about a website that allows you to create a wholesale website and link it to your Etsy store. Check out Etsy Wholesale, formerly Trunkt.com, for more information. If you are really serious about taking your business to a new level, this looks like a great way to increase your sales.

Be Social, Blog, Support other Blogs, and more

Tip #15. Start a Blog to promote your Etsy Shop for free. The easiest way to get started is to create a blog at www.blogger.com - it's free, and takes minutes to put your blog up. Blogging will create more publicity and may even bring direct Google traffic to your store! What can you blog about? You can share tutorials, like this Zippered Pouch Tutorial, publish your family recipes, host contests and giveaways... Blogging is an excellent way to attract Etsy buyers and make more money with your Etsy Shop.

Tip #16. Be sure to take advantage of Etsy Coupon Codes. They are great for attracting new visitors to your shop! Advertise your coupon code in Etsy Forums, post it on your Facebook page, tweet about the coupon on Twitter, mention it on your blog, do a Google search and find blogs with Etsy coupon lists and ask them to add your coupon (and your Shop) to the lists. Etsy Coupon Codes are also a valuable feature for rewarding REPEAT buyers. If you offer 10% or 20% off the next purchase, your buyers are likely to give you some repeat business. Check out this blog post for more information on how to add a coupon code to your shop and how to redeem Etsy coupons. Etsy Coupon Codes

Tip #17. Have you worked with Project Wonderful? What is Project Wonderful? It's a site that connects advertisers and bloggers. Bloggers have an opportunity to make some extra cash, and Advertisers can advertise their products online on a budget. What I like about Project Wonderful is that there's no commitment - you can change your bid on an advertising space at any time. You can advertise directly to your target audience - just pick a blog that attracts readers who may be interested in your products. You can have your ad displayed for only a couple hours a day - during the high traffic hours. You are completely in control of your ad and advertising budget. Project Wonderful is soooo easy to use. And hey, if you have a blog, it can be a way to bring in some extra revenues.

Tip #18. If your advertising budget is not very tight, consider sponsoring a high traffic blog popular amongst your target audience. For Example, there are several Etsy sellers sponsoring A Beatiful Mess blog that can get as many as 1,000,000 views in 1 month! And although the ads on the blog are pretty pricey, the traffic you can get from the sponsorship may be very well worth it :)

Tip #19. Have a plan! Just like with any business, it's essential to have a plan for your Etsy business. What do you want to achieve - are you interested in a part-time income or do you want to quit your day job? How is your product different from those already available from other Etsy sellers and generally online - is it quality, unique packaging, outstanding customer service, free gift? How are you planning to get where you want to be - how much time are you willing to spend on your business? how much money can you invest in advertising, if any?... Do you know who is your target audience is and how you are going to introduce your product to the audience? Having a business plan will help you steer in the right direction and can help you with time management and budgeting.

Tip #20. Follow other Etsy sellers. By following others, you will not only discover amazing items, but will also create more exposure and an extra link back to your shop.

Finally, don't give up and keep trying. Join a team, read Etsy Sellers' blogs, and learn from others who have successful stores on Etsy. Figure out who your target audience is and advertise directly to them. Also, come up with a business plan - writing down your goals and brainstorming on ways to achieve them will help you get where you want to be. Know exactly who your competition is and find a way to make your product more unique and attractive to the potential cutsomers. Also, always look for ways to be more productive and accomplish tasks in less time - "time is money" if you are trying to make money on Etsy :) For example, check your Etsy convos twice a day instead of responding to customer convos as soon as they come in - you will accomplish a lot more in a day if you avoid interruptions.

Also, be sure to keep your operating costs low by buying mailers and craft supplies in bulk - even if you can save $0.50 per mailer, it's the savings you can pass on to your customers. Etsy craft supply shop owners will often give you a discount if you buy 10, 25, or more items at at time. For example, if you make pouches or handbags, you can buy zippers on Etsy at a substantial discount: Zippers wholesale.

You may also like this great Etsy shop tips from Noadi: Etsy Relevancy and how to get noticed.

Etsy Success Stories:

Artists turn discarded items into sought-after art
"Quit your day job" - artists featured on Etsy Blog

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