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fiddle with your etsy daily!

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

Etsy is a selling platform, an online shop for craftisans and artists, based on the same principles as Ebay. It is safe and easy to use, but there is a lot more to it. Having just spent a week watching tutorial videos from successful sellers, I thought I'd keep a record of my research on how to get the most from Etsy.

As with anything online, it is crucial to research what you have made and see what sort of wording and pricing people have used. Using the right words in the title are vital so people can find what they need. Use generic words to clearly and simply describe what you are listing, with specific details on materials and sizes. When adding tags, stretch the categories eg. Rather than Pagan interior, Pagan decor, Pagan design, stretch it to Norse interior, Pagan gift, Celtic design! Add extra tags during seasonal times.

I always offer a message card that I have made myself. A lot of buyers like a message and so from the beginning I designed a pretty, simple message card, which also high-lights my drawings on cards, posters and colouring sheets. You can print off from Etsy, I've never done this so can't comment, but as I always say, pay attention to detail, which a handmade card is.

Offering a gift wrap service is also a way to earn a little more. Pick a quality, universal paper and maybe ribbon that represents your genre of work, considering who your buyers are. I am also very particular about my postage wrappings. Having worked in the courier business for 25 years, I know how parcels are treated and how poorly people pack things, so pack conscientiously, including your logo and web site address on the parcel.

Posting abroad may seem really daunting, but in fact it is very simple. Ask your courier service for a list of measurements/weights for international posting or a booklet can be obtained from any post office. I send all my stuff with the Post Office as it provides a very good service for the price, especially as they do Proof of Posting receipts for your records. The booklet lists just 3 different price scales, (the world is divided up as Australia/New Zealand, Europe/Russia and rest of the world), so work out what size and weight your parcel would be, list the countries you would like to send to and fill in one of the 3 prices. It may take half a day to set up for several shipping profiles, but once it is done, the world is your customer. I also have a Handmade in England tag I include on international sales...folk like that!

One of the traumas with Etsy, is finding a lot of irrelevant products listed before your item. My pom pom listing was on page 12 of a pom pom search, with all manner of products listed before me ranging from prints to baby grows. Infuriating, ay? As I researched, the key is to understanding the Etsy algorithms is vital. I therefore listed my pom poms over 14 near-identical listings 7 different sizes in 2 different styles, with variation options on colour and quantity. It took me 2 weeks to make, photograph and list these pom poms, but I got bumped up to the first page with eight of my listings, making all my listings visible to the customer.

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is poor photography. Having done 3 years photography at college, I have the advantage of understanding lighting and composition, but a few simple things can produce a great picture. If you have faith in your work it will not need any distracting props in photographs. You don't want a prop which draws attention away from your product. Have a neutral, plain background fitting to your product and where possible use natural, mid-day sunlight, outside preferably. When photographing my painted stones, I used my lawn with daisies, as a size comparison, or alternatively make a pretty ruler to lay beside your product. I personally detest a metal tape measure in pictures but a hand drawn ruler is sweet and subtle. If you have filled out the description accurately, a size comparison will rarely be needed.

Visit your Etsy page every day, tweaking a photograph or change the odd word. The Etsy algorithms will recognise page activity...imagine each visit is a swimming stroke, the more you swim the further you go!

Ensure your About is really well written. Talk about yourself with confidence, discuss your processes, (without giving away any secrets), explain your inspirations and aspirations and a bit about your interests and hobbies. Let people get to know you, its informal and personal, which is a main reason people buy from independent crafters, they love supporting the small businesses, so let them know who you are.

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