Etsy Basics

The basic info that you need to get your Etsy shop started.

5 Tips for Irresistible Etsy Product Descriptions

Etsy product descriptions are often one of the most overlooked parts of a listing.  The text that you include in your descriptions can be one of the biggest determining factors over whether your shoppers click Add to Cart. These 5 tips will give you all the tools you need in order to write irresistible Etsy product descriptions!

5 Tips for Irresistible Etsy Product Descriptions

 

Tip #1: Break Your Description Down into Sections

Sectioning off your Etsy product descriptions keeps them easy to scan through. Most Etsy customers are browsing Etsy and looking at tons of listings at once to make a decision on what to buy. If your product descriptions are in one huge paragraph, the buyer will feel overwhelmed and not want to read it so keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences max.

Tip #2: Add Titles to Your Sections

Adding titles to your sections of your descriptions makes it easy for customers to zero in on the information they need. Use titles such as: Size, Processing Time, Customization throughout your description.  You can add bullet points or put these titles in all caps so that they stand out and are easy to spot.

Tip #3: Answer as Many Potential Buyer Questions as Possible

One thing to remember is that a confused buyer will move on. If a buyer is left with lingering questions, most buyers aren’t going to bother reaching out to you to ask for more info.

Make sure you answer as many questions as possible that any potential buyer may have. If it’s a shirt, is it true to size? Is it unisex or woman’s fit? If its a sign, what are the dimensions? If it’s a headband, what size head will it fit? What materials were used in your products?  What’s your processing and shipping time-frame?  Answer these common questions in a clear and concise way.

Tip #4: Add a Call to Action

A call to action is important because it’s where you ask your buyer to do something else.  A great call to action to add to your Etsy shop is to encourage buyers to keep browsing the rest of your items in your shop.  Add your call to action at the bottom of your description.

In my own shop I put something like this at the end of each product description: “Be sure to check out the rest of my rustic wood signs:”.

Tip #5: Add a Link to Your Etsy Shop

This tip falls right in line with the call to action tip.  Right below your call to action add in the link to your Etsy shop.  Because it’s an Etsy link this will be clickable and will encourage buyers to check out the rest of your listings.

The longer you can keep someone in YOUR shop, the more likely they are to buy YOUR products! This is the most crucial tip! If you do nothing else, use this tip!

Bonus Tip: Add a Sales Pitch

If you had a brick and mortar store you’d be able to talk up your products to your customers. Unfortunately you can’t do that on Etsy but a sales pitch paragraph at the top of your products is the next best thing.

This helps people envision the products in their life or helps them determine who the product would be a good gift for.  It’s also a way to naturally sprinkle in some of your keyword phrases which Google loves.

To help you write your sales pitch I’m sharing an exclusive template where you just need to drop in the words to quickly create a sales pitch for each of your listings.  You’ll get a printable version too!  I’ve also shared a few examples to help you visualize how to use the template.

To grab the template and see the examples simply type your name and email below:

Click here to grab a printable PDF version of the sales pitch template or check it out below!


Sales Pitch Template:

This (product name) that (describe a feature of the product) is the perfect (another word for what the product is) to (what is it used for?). This also makes a great gift for (who would it make a good gift for?). It would look great (where can you put this particular item?).

Example 1:  This red keyhole scarf that includes woven glitter yarn is the perfect gift for the mom in your life. This also makes a great gift for a friend who needs to stay warm. It would look great accessorizing your fall outfits as well.

Example 2:  This rustic wood sign that says Uncork & Unwind is the perfect wall decor to show off your love of wine. This also makes a great gift for wine loving friends and family. It would look great hanging in your farmhouse style kitchen or above your wine bar.

Example 3:  This blue and yellow baby blanket that can be personalized with your child’s name is the perfect bedding to accessorize your baby’s crib. This blanket also makes a great gift for new moms looking to personalize their baby’s room. It would look great thrown over the side of a crib or even hanging on the wall.

The Skills You Need to Thrive as a Handmade Seller

When I started my first Etsy shop back in 2007 I had no clue how many different skills it would take to grow my handmade business.  I remember creating my first listing and hearing nothing but crickets.  It was then that I realized there must be more to thriving as a handmade seller than just creating a product and taking a few photos.

When most of us come to that realization we start researching and we quickly get overwhelmed after learning about all the hats we need to wear.  So I’m ready to break each skill down for you and give you some reassurances that you don’t need to master each one right away.

There are so many skills you need to learn to really thrive as a handmade seller. Read on to learn what those skills are that can help you succeed on Etsy and beyond.

Search Engine Optimization

I remember when I first heard SEO or search engine optimization mentioned.  I had absolutely no clue what it meant or why it mattered.  And because I had no clue my first Etsy shop completely tanked.

When I opened my second shop in 2016 I took the time to learn SEO and I realized it really did make all the difference.  When I really spent the time perfecting my SEO my views and my sales started to skyrocket.

Want to learn more about SEO?  This post will tell you what SEO is and why it is so important to achieving consistent sales.

Photography

Good photos are absolutely crucial to achieving sales on any handmade selling platform.  If your photos are dark, out of focus, or don’t showcase the product well buyers won’t click on them.  The buyer likely won’t know why they aren’t clicking but they’ll know the photo doesn’t appeal to them.

Product photography might seem overwhelming but taking the time to learn a little bit about getting the right light on your products (hint: natural light is best) and to learn a few quick editing tricks can make all the difference.

If you’d like to learn a few tips to get you started with product photography check out this post.

Social Media Marketing

Between Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter you’re likely wondering where you should even start when it comes to social media marketing.  Plus it probably feels impossible to get any interaction with your posts.  You may feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not really accomplishing anything.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are tips and tricks for each platform that can make all the difference.  It’s just a matter of focusing on one platform and really learning it well instead of trying to tackle every social media platform at once.  One of my favorite social media resources is the blog at Later.com which shares a ton of good info about Instagram.

Copy Writing

This skill isn’t discussed very often among handmade sellers but it’s a big one.  Learning how to properly write product descriptions and social media posts so that buyers will want to purchase or engage with your brand can give your business a huge boost.  Even learning to write a great tagline or about section for your Etsy shop can make a huge difference and determine if your customers want to connect with you.

But never fear.  There are some really great copy writing resources out there that can help and just like learning to write a good term paper, this is a skill that anyone can master with a little bit of practice.  I love checking out the articles at Copyblogger for copy writing tips and tricks.

Customer Service

Dealing with customers in a professional manner isn’t a skill most of us are born with.  Especially when working with difficult customers.  It can be so tough to know what to say and how to resolve issues that may arise.  But great customer service is key for handmade sellers.  When you offer amazing service your buyers will reward you with great reviews which will lead to more sales.

On the flip side, poor customer service will lead to bad reviews and buyers may even open cases against your shop which can lead to Etsy closing your shop.  So it’s definitely an area where you should ask for help if you have any questions or if you’re unsure how you should deal with a difficult customer.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading about all these skills you’re not alone.  But remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same is true of your handmade business.  You can learn these skills over time.  As long as you’re working consistently to grow your business you’ll be fine.  So try not to get overwhelmed or feel like you need to be a pro at everything right away.

I do recommend investing time into growing your business and your knowledge.  It really will make all the difference in whether your business grows and succeeds over time.  Just remember to go at your own speed, however slowly that may be.  Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.  You’re doing this for you and your own business is all that really matters.

A great place to get started learning is the free Handmade Journey Facebook group.  I also have some super exciting things coming for you in the near future that will help you grow your skill sets even more!

 

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

5 New Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Etsy Shop

There are a lot of traditional ways to drive traffic to your Etsy shop that get talked about over and over.  Working on your SEO and posting frequently on social media are the two areas where most Etsy sellers spend the majority of their time.  But if you’re ready to try something new there are other creative ways available to you.  Read on to learn 5 new ways that you can drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

Tired of using the same old methods to drive traffic to your Etsy shop? Check out 5 new tips to try to increase your views and your sales.

Collaborate with other sellers

Collaborating with other sellers is one of my favorite ways to increase traffic to your Etsy shop.  I recommend finding a seller who is marketing to a similar target audience.  For instance, if you sell soap you may want to connect with a seller who sells wash cloths.  If you sell earrings you may want to connect with a seller that sells bracelets.

There are many different ways that you can help each other.  You can share each other’s products on social media.  You can set up an Instagram pod and hype up each other’s social media posts.  You could also host a giveaway together.  Check out the next tip for info on giveaways.

Host a Giveaway

Giveaways are an amazing way to build buzz around your Etsy shop and get new followers on social media.  My favorite way to host a giveaway is to collaborate with another seller so that you can get the giveaway in front of your followers as well as their followers.  This is great exposure for your shop and a great way to gain new followers.

One way to do this is to set up a giveaway on Instagram.  One of the entry qualifications should be to follow the Instagram accounts for you and the seller you’re collaborating with.  Social media platforms often change the rules for what is allowed when hosting a giveaway so before you host one make sure to read up on Instagram or Facebook’s latest rules.

Set up an Email List

An email list is crucial for your handmade business, especially if you plan to set up a standalone website down the road.  I compare an email list to a savings account.  You’ll make deposits now as you get new signups that you can cash out later when you send marketing emails.  Most people aren’t as eager to give out their email address these days so make sure to offer them an incentive such as entry into a giveaway or a percentage off their next order once they sign up.

For an email marketing service, I love MailChimp because it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.  MailChimp will allow you to collect email addresses and will also allow you to send emails to your list.  They have recently added free automation so you can even set up automated emails to go out to new subscribers as they join your list.

Participate in a craft show or vendor event

Local events, especially those in the 4th quarter of the year can be a really great way to boost sales.  Look for a fall or holiday event.  Make sure to double check the booth fees and any commissions that the event holders may request before you sign up to make sure you feel confident you can still make a profit.  Also ask about past attendance to make sure it sounds worthwhile of your time.

To drive traffic to your Etsy shop after the event, make sure you have promo materials like brochures or cards to hand out to the event attendees with your web address and email listed.  Also, make sure you collect email addresses during the event so that you can market to the attendees later and direct them to your Etsy shop.

Host online parties

Take a cue from direct sales companies and offer to host an online party for a family member or friend.  It’s as easy as setting up a  Facebook event for the party and figuring out incentives and hostess rewards.  Link to your Etsy shop inside the event and add photos of your products to the event.

A lot of companies offer the hostess 10% of total sales in credits once the total party sales reach a certain amount.  I would recommend giving out a few incentives or prizes to attendees to build excitement.  An example could be a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase.

Another way to build excitement is to go live inside the event or add a video where you show off some of your products.  Also, make sure you’re regularly checking the event to answer any questions shoppers may have.

Try out something new for your Etsy shop

These are just a few ways you can drive additional traffic to your Etsy shop.  SEO is still the most important way to drive traffic but it’s a good idea to branch out and try a few different things.  Try one of these out or get creative and see if you can use one of these suggestions in your own way to help drive traffic.

 

Want some help with your Etsy shop?  Click below to grab your free Etsy Makeover checklist!

What Really Happens After You Create Your First Etsy Listing

You’ve taken the big leap and started an Etsy shop.  You’ve created an awesome product and you’ve gone through the confusing steps of creating your first Etsy listing.  Give yourself a huge pat on the back because many makers don’t make it that far.  But your first listing is just the beginning.  So what really happens next?

After you create your first Etsy listing it may feel like the hard work is over. But really it's just beginning. Learn what really happens for an Etsy seller after creating their first listing.

You Wait

Etsy listings build momentum over time. It can take time to build that initial momentum that will help you start to see consistent sales.  So you’re going to likely be waiting a bit before your first sale happens.  I know this part can be frustrating because you’ve put in a good amount of effort already and it’s hard to be patient.

So here are a few things you can do to help shorten that wait:

  • If you have family and friends who you think might want to help support your venture, reach out to them. You can create a special discount code to give them extra incentive to make a purchase.
  • Try Etsy Promoted Listings.  Promoted listings are ad spaces that help boost your products placement in the search results.
  • Create social media accounts for your business and share your new listings there.  A Facebook page is a great place to get started.
  • Try introductory pricing where you start your product off at a lower price.  Make sure that the regular price is listed so that buyers understand the value of the product. I list the introductory price in the image as seen below and at the top of the product description.  Mention that the introductory price is available limited time only to encourage buyers to act quickly.

You Realize You Need to Learn All About SEO

Many sellers have no clue what SEO is or why it’s so important.  If that’s you, no worries.  Search engine optimization is something that everyone struggles with but it can make a huge difference in your shop.

Take the time to read through my SEO articles here on the blog and you’ll be well on your way to learning what you can do to ensure your listings appear in the search for as many Etsy buyers as possible.

You Discover Good Photos Are a Must

Good photos can make all the difference in how many views your listing receives.  Buyers prefer bright and inviting photos where the product is showcased on a neutral background.  Use the same background for all of your photos for a cohesive look.

You’ll also need to find a great spot to take your photos.  Avoid direct sun because it’s just too harsh.  My favorite spots are right beside a big window or outside under a porch.

Photography training can go a long way toward improving your photos.  Taking time to learn a few basics like how to get the best light and how to edit your photos will make a huge difference.  Check out my photography tips blog article to get you started.

You Find Out You’ll Be Wearing a Lot of Hats

When you open an Etsy shop you’re starting a business.  Running a business requires a lot of skills in areas that you may not be familiar with like marketing, shipping, customer service, and so much more.

I know it can seem tempting to try to learn everything at once but just start with the essentials.  If you’ve created a listing go ahead and research what you’ll use to package your order.

Then figure out which shipping service you’d like to use.  If you’re in the US I recommend using the US postal service.  You can print labels right through Etsy at a discount.  If you’re using USPS Priority Mail shipping you can even get free boxes.

You Do It All Over Again

The more listings you have the better chance you will have of achieving consistent sales. After you’ve created your first Etsy listing make a short term goal of adding 5-10 listings.

It’s important to keep innovating and trying new things to see which products will do best for you on Etsy.  Make a long term goal of getting to 50 listings.  Many sellers report that they start to see consistent sales on Etsy when they get to 40-50 listings.

Hang in there and focus on moving forward little by little.  Don’t start out feeling like you need to tackle everything.  This is your own handmade journey so don’t compare yourself to other Etsy shops.  Just do what feels right for you and stick with it!

 

Want some help with your SEO?  Click below to grab your free SEO checklist!

Etsy Income Report: How I Made Over $53,000 My First Year On Etsy

I was able to make over $53,000 my first year as an Etsy seller. Check out my Etsy income report to learn how I turned my handmade hobby into a thriving business.

My First Year on Etsy:

April of 2017 was the one year anniversary of my Etsy shop, Liberty Island Farm.  I’ve had lots of ups and downs over the past year from selling shirts to selling wood signs, my husband’s motorcycle accident and a Christmas season that was amazing but so overwhelming. I wouldn’t trade any of it though.

The Etsy life isn’t an easy one. I put a crazy amount of my time into researching Etsy, SEO, photography, social media, and more to help ensure my shop continues to provide for my family. It really is worth it to me though because I have full control of the creativity, the business, and most importantly, my time.

My First Year Etsy Income Report:

My first-year Etsy Income Stats

The photo above is my stats from Etsy from April 6, 2016 to April 6, 2017.  I also included the promoted listings info which accounted for roughly 8% of my sales.  I average around 70% profit margins so after you take out all of the Etsy fees and supplies I made around $37,000 profit before taxes.

I grew or maintained my sales in every month of 2016 and had a really great Christmas season. I saved a big portion of our sales from our busy Christmas season because I knew that January and February were especially slow for retail and I was taking a week off in March to go on a cruise (which Etsy sales paid for).  Planning for a rainy day is essential for retail sellers because you will have rises and falls in your sales.

The Biggest Key to my Success:

Thinking back to when I started, I remember how seeing Etsy income reports like this added fuel to my fire. If others could do it, I knew I could too. I knew SEO was important so I focused my attention there.

And it turns out, SEO was THE key!!  Before you focus on social media or photos or anything else, learn about and work on your SEO!  I can’t stress it enough.  SEO, which stands for search engine optimization is what determines whether your listings appear in the Etsy search results for buyers.  If you don’t appear in the search results you won’t get any sales.

If you don’t know what SEO is, click here to learn all about the basics.  If you know the basics, click here to grab the free SEO checklist to help perfect your SEO.

The Other Keys to Success:

I made sacrifices to achieve this level of success. I learned everything I could. I was never too attached to my own idea of what would sell and instead, I focused on what my target market responded to. I completely switched up my product line based on what was selling well and had the best profit margins. I experimented and innovated every day to help move my business forward.

I also attribute a lot of my success to good product photos, Etsy promoted listings, a manual renewing strategy, and EtsyRank which I started using early on to help me find the right keyword phrases.  But SEO was definitely the most important area to focus my time.

Now, in the next year of my business, I’m adding new listings to grow my Etsy shop, helping other sellers in my free FB community and I’m starting an online learning community for motivated Etsy sellers called Handmade Journey Academy. If you have any questions for me about Etsy come chat with me in the Facebook group.

Ready to take your Etsy SEO to the next level?  Click below to grab my Etsy SEO Checklist which will show you my step by step proven process to optimize your listings.

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