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221,407 in line to the throne

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

As this damp summer puddles it's way through to September I have taken advantage of limited time in the garden and prepped for the festive rush. Tasks have included re-writing Etsy listings, researching 'tag' words and linking my web site to my Etsy listings. I also managed to work out how to add Pinterest 'Pins' to my images on the web site. This last week has been spent using 'e-ranker', which is a platform to help discover the most appropriate words to use on Etsy. Using the right words is vital to attract the right audience. It is a brilliant tool where you can enter a word and e-ranker lists alternatives, with search statistics. As an example 'Rustic Christmas' has Etsy competition of over 50,000 other listings, but I chose to use ' Rustic Winter Home' which has 12,000. This means my listing is up against less competition and so will have more chance of being seen! I love fiddling with e-ranker and I have already noticed more likes on my listings, showing they are being seen by the right people.

Handmade Pagan Saturnalia Cards

Each listing on Etsy has 13 'tag' words which can be a combination of words. As an example, 'Rustic' and 'Home Decor' can be combined as one; Rustic Home Decor. As a modern crafter not relying on social media, these tag words are very reliant. I will be using the same words on my website, which has also been linked to g00gle. This increases my chances of being seen by people who might like my Stuff. It's complicated, time consuming and mind-numbingly tedious, but oh so important to get right. Whilst researching my tags I also checked how each listing was scored by Etsy. Another great thing about e-ranker is it shows which listings need adjusting to fit into the Etsy suggestions. All of my listing were already 'A' grades, as I had worked on them in March. However they all had 2 suggestions and I felt if I dealt with these suggestions, making all my listings exactly as Etsy wants them, would effectively make me A*! I had to shorten my titles and descriptions, whilst still using as many tag words as I could.

Kitchen Photography Studio

After 4 days of intensive computering I decided I had to take the final plunge and invest in decent lighting. There is no point attracting the right people if shoddy photography is going to cause them to pass you by. I have lost track of how many times I have had to re-take photos and although each time they get better, they are never exactly right. Having good photos is so important, they are the initial contact with a potential buyer and so it has been a week of arduous boredom. Having just checked 350 tag words, I also had 150 items to photograph, with a minimal of 5 and as many as 11 photos for each piece. I never use photo props though many crafters do. My feeling is you shouldn't need props to glam up a photo, as the item should be strong enough to attract attention by itself. Some crafters use so many props that at first it is hard to tell what they are actually selling. Having confidence in a piece must be evident in the photograph and if there is no confidence then maybe the piece isn't ready to be photographed.

Here are the Saturnalia tree card photographs over the last 3 years. The one on the right is this years, using the new lights. The one on the left is the first year back in 2017. I think it is safe to say the light investment was a great idea. Each year the card has changed slightly so as not to discourage repeat shoppers. In 2018 I added the Tibetan silver charm on the front and changed the words inside.

This year the colour choices are gold, cream and green and the new aspect is that they are scented with either Cedarwood, Cinnamon or Pine. I have also developed the words inside so they are a little more creative and individual. I think it is important to always offer something new and different whilst still keeping within the boundaries of expectation. By not using social media I will be reliant on repeat customers, which has been evident by the increased amounts I sell each year. It will be interesting to see how these cards perform this year with past statistics showing I should sell about 240.

Another way Etsy bumps you up the search listings is if you have a number of similar things and so to help my Saturnalia Trees I drew several more festive designs aimed at all aspects of the holiday season, eg Yule, Noel and several 'blank inside'. So this year I have used manipulative techniques to push my trees, with all of the designs standing on their own merits but equally they will have strength in numbers.

So there we have it. It's all been about words and photos, I can't remember the last time I actually made anything as I have been glued to the lap top. I also checked my rankings and out of 1.5 million Etsy shops I am ranked 221,407. There are 80,000 UK Etsy shops and I am 12,732 with the statistics on e-ranker showing I have sold more than 85% of Etsy shops. The next four months will be hectic, but hopefully these rankings will continue to improve. The lights for my photography will really help with my goals and I go into the holiday period confident that I have used the right words to attract buyers and the photos will help make my Stuff stand out from the rest.

EDIT: As of October, I am now 207,299 in line to the throne (Etsy world rankings), an increase of 14,000 places in just under 3 months

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