There is plenty about setting up an Etsy account that is self-explanatory: you read the terms and conditions, you check the box to accept them. There is plenty that is confusing that I haven’t figured out completely, like why is there a profile page and an about page and other similar redundancies. I have, however, learned a few really vital things that will help you get the right people looking at, and hopefully buying from, your shop.
Here are my top 5 tips:
You absolutely must have bright, clean photographs. Browse around Etsy quite a bit before you begin in order to get an idea of the necessary quality. If you are a whiz at photography editing software, that will help tremendously. I am not, so I rely on bright lighting and a white background. I set my camera to the artificial light setting and I set the exposure so that the shots are almost over exposed. After you’ve made a listing, try to find it through search and see how it looks amongst its competitors: Appealing? Shabby? Try, try again. It took me several major photo shoots before I approached acceptable at all, and I’m still working on it. I now have a little photo booth set up at all times, so that it isn’t a major production to make a new listing.
Two word tags are often recommended, and with good reason. “Red hat” is more likely to bring you a buyer who wants a red hat than just “red” will. Think about what you might type into a search bar if you were a customer trying to find your item. You can also start typing search terms in the search bar while you are creating your listing, and a drop down list of what people have recently entered will appear. These can give you some good ideas for tags. It can be hard to come up with 13 tags, but you need to. Think creatively. I started tagging my coffee cozies with things like, “party favors”, and people have found me that way. I even had one order of 40 cozies that were used as bridal shower favors.
In every listing, I link back to the category that the item is from, saying something like, “For more of our coffee cozies, click here.” I keep people in my shop so much longer this way.
When I first joined Etsy, I thought teams were only for diehards. Then I learned that unless you are a “diehard”, you probably won’t make any money. There are regional themes, like the New England and New Hampshire ones I belong to, and themed teams, like wholesale teams, teams for people who sell baby stuff or gadgets for guys, and more. There are teams based on skills; I have a sewing team that has taught me so much about technical aspects of sewing. Team members can teach you the ins and out of Etsy and the tricks of the trade; they also will often promote each other. I don’t do quite as much with teams as I used to, but I still think they are a great resource.
5. Off site promotion
Whenever I add a new listing, I add it to Stumbleupon, Wanelo, and Pinterest. You shouldn’t be adding only your own items to these services; make sure to Pin, Stumble, and Wanelo other sites as well. I have found that promoting like this does bring people into my shop.
Have fun creating your shop, and always be patient. It can take several years to establish a real following on Etsy, from what I have read and experienced. Good luck. 😀