Saturday, 30 July 2011

Etsy tip #1: An item a day.

Etsy tip 1

Keeping your visibility on Etsy is important. You want your items to appear regularly on the recent items lists and in your favourites' and circles' activity pages. Obviously you can't make enough of your craft to be able to be constantly listing new things but you should have an aim.

That aim is to list one item per day.

I know what you're going to say; there's no way you can make enough of your high-quality handmade items to be able to list one a day without burning yourself out! Yes, I agree - the only way I was able to do this right from the beginning was because I had a huge backlog of stock that I was moving from my own webshop across to Etsy. I moved one per day whilst I still continued to make beads and jewellery, creating a further queue of items.

I'm also lucky that my chosen art, lampworked glass beads, enables me to create at least one high-quality saleable focal or set per torch session. In fact there are usually more than that and when my health allows, I have one torching session, three days per week.

If you're creating bigger items that take a great deal more time to make, the one-per-day rule is tricky to stick to, if not impossible.

The best advice I can give is to at least *aim* for one-per-day. Sometimes you might find yourself with a few items to list, so don't be tempted to do so all at once, eke them out over the next few days, one a day.

Etsy recently introduced the "Draft listings" option, where you can type up your description, upload pictures, set your tags (try to use all the slots for pictures and all of your 14 allocated tags where you can!) and then save it as a draft to activate at a later date. This means you can set aside some time at the computer to get all the listing done and once and all you have to do for the next few days is to activate each one.

And of course, whilst you're working through this queue you will also be making new things to add to the end of it... and so on...

Remember also, renewed items count as a newly-listed item. Obviously we're hoping that you will sell your work before its listing expires but if it doesn't you can at least use it to your advantage :) Don't renew your items all at once; again, eke them out.

Once you have built up some momentum with this you'll find it easier over time to approach, if not reach, listing one item per day - good luck! :)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Etsy tips - an introduction

Although I've had a presence on Etsy since January 2008 and have had a few items listed every now and then, it wasn't until the beginning of the year that I started to really concentrate on it. Until then I'd had my work in exhibitions here and craft shows there but my health made it all a bit tricky, so the obvious solution was to sell online.

I also had a webshop but didn't sell much through it, so I decided to give Etsy a shot. Partly because the listing process was much more straightforward (Zencart was a headache!) but mostly because I knew that people already go to Etsy to window shop... many more than would stumble upon my own webshop!

So I scoured the web for information, found lots of advice, followed some, ignored others. It looks like I chose wisely because it started to work.

The upshot is, in the last 6 months, I've sold more via Etsy than at shows, exhibitions and old webshop *combined* for the past 2 years!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not making enough to pay the bills but I'm confident that as my name becomes more well-known and word spread, I'll get there. For now I'm covering my costs and making enough to invest in more tools, equipment, supplies and sundries for the business.

So anyway, here's the point. A couple of friends started asking me for "magic tips". Then a couple more asked. Then lots more asked... so to stop a lot of searching old emails, copying and pasting I decided to do something useful and Put It In My Blog.

There's lots to learn so I'm going to post every now and again in bitesized chunks. I'll post them as and when I've edited my various email-novels into a digestable and readable format :).

NB: These tips come with no guarantee - these are just what I did to get my Etsy pageviews from a monthly total of 82 (December 2010) up to 9332 (June 2011).

Etsy Tip #1: An item a day