Handmade Spotlight: The Cotton Haven

The Cotton Haven makes gorgeous towels and towel racks with color pairings and choices in fabric that are perfect to spruce up your home decor.This week I’m excited to introduce you to Tara Blank of The Cotton Haven.  She makes gorgeous towels and towel racks that are far beyond anything you could get at a big box store.  Her color pairings and choices in fabric just blow me away.  Whatever the season she’s got the perfect option to spruce up your decor.  Read on to learn more about Tara and her business.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I have had an obsession with fabric since I was in my teens. During a sewing class I took in high school, I remember being introduced to the “fabric store” for the first time, and I was hooked! When I was in my early 20’s, I had a small business selling quilts, baby clothing and hair bows on Myspace. Not long too long after, in 2011, my Mother introduced me to Etsy, which seemed to be a much better platform for selling handmade items. We opened our very first shop and after a lot of trial and error, we specialized in handmade wooden children’s bedroom and bathroom décor.

I loved the idea of designing the items, however, the painting was not where my heart was. That’s where I decided to incorporate fabric, designing items that had fabric sealed onto the wood. It quickly took off and became a success! Shortly after, I introduced towels into our Etsy shop and they too, were a success! Through it all and a few years later, I came to the realization that I really wanted to branch off on my own, opening my own Etsy shop and only do towels.

That is where The Cotton Haven started! I started The Cotton Haven in March 2017 with just towels and now have of course, come up with something else to incorporate into my shop-towel racks! That’s what we do, right? We continue to brainstorm ideas, create and grow! I’m excited to see where this journey leads!

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

Hands down, my favorite part of owning a handmade business is that I am always available for my children. I make my own hours, I can tweak my hours as I need to. It’s great!

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

The biggest thing that I have learned during my handmade journey is that you will only get better and better. Every aspect of my business has evolved and will continue to evolve. When I look back at the very beginning of my journey, I can’t help but laugh, but I also smile because I kept going, never giving up on the dream of owning my own business and the dream of doing what I love! Never give up.

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

The Handmade Journey Academy has helped me grow my business tremendously! I don’t even know where to start. I remember my Mom and I would try doing our own research, spending hours that we did not have, money that we did not have, only to make all of the changes that later we would find out were incorrect. We really struggled finding the time to become SEO experts! It was just not going to happen. Simply put, Jami puts YEARS of research into one amazingly easy to navigate website that you can get through fairly quickly, always learning something new. The best part is that it is always right there for reference. I have seen the quickest improvements ever, using the Handmade Journey Academy.

5) What are your future goals for your business?

I have so many future goals for my business! I want to add many more towels designs, create more towel racks with personalization being an option. I want to eventually open my own website domain. The biggest goal that I have is to match my husband’s income. It’s a long shot but I’m not going to give up!

Where to find and follow The Cotton Haven:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

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

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!

Handmade Spotlight: Kerley Crafts

Kerley CraftsTaking the time to celebrate other handmade sellers is one of my favorite things to do.  This is the first installment of a new weekly feature here on the Handmade Journey blog where I’ll be spotlighting handmade sellers.  First up we have Denise Kerley from Kerley Crafts. She’s going to tell you a little bit about her business and share some tips to help other handmade sellers.

1) Tell us a little bit about your business and how it got started.

I am a wife and mother of three girls from ages 17-23. I have always had a love for crafting in all different mediums from painting, refinishing furniture to stained glass. My inspiration for my hand painted ornaments came from my great grandmother (Mi Mi Lou) she always made a hand made personalized ornament as our place setting at the dinner table for Christmas. I cherished these gifts and still have some! When I was in high school I painted my first ornament and have not stopped since.

2) What is your favorite part of owning a handmade business?

I love having my own business because it has been my dream for so long! I get enormous satisfaction in the thought that people actually want to buy my items. I get excited every time my phone cha-chings and can’t wait to see what they bought and where they are from.

3) What is something you’ve learned during your handmade journey that you’d like to share to help or inspire others?

Research!!!!! I had tried to figure out Etsy about a year before I joined and gave up. It seemed way too confusing and I was overwhelmed! I then went to the library and did research on it because I wanted to do it so bad! That is how I stumbled upon Handmade Journey! The books at the library told me to join groups to learn more and I’m so glad I did!! I feel very lucky that I joined this group right at the start of opening my Etsy shop as I have learned so much.

4) How has the Handmade Journey Academy helped grow your business?

It has given me so much! Direction, goals, tips, lists, instructions. I would not have done as well without it! I have seen the change in my stats every time I add the tips and instructions I’m given from the group. Also I feel like I have virtual assistant in that I just need to post a question and Jami or someone from the group helps and I’m so thankful to everyone for that!

5) What are your future goals for your business?

Well ultimately I would love to leave my other job and pursue my dream full time!

Where to find and follow Kerley Crafts:

Etsy
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

 

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!

Get Paid to Shop on Etsy & Grab your Free $10

Online shopping is by far one of my fav things to do.  No long lines, I can multitask while I’m shopping, and the selection is endless.  So what I told you that you could get paid to shop on Etsy and bunch of your other favorite online sites?

Ever wish you could get paid to shop on Etsy? With Ebates, you can! It's completely legit. Shop on your fav sites like Etsy.

Sounds too good to be true right??

That’s what I thought too until I looked closer at Ebates.  I had heard about it years ago but never took the time to understand it and thought it was a scam.  But I’ve done a ton of research and it’s totally legit!

Ebates has affiliate relationships with thousands of online stores.  When you purchase through them they get a commission and as an incentive to shop through Ebates they’ll pass on a portion of that commission to you.  You’ll get a percentage of your purchase as cash back automatically.

And your favorite stores are available within Ebates including Etsy, Amazon, Kohls, Fabric.com, and so much more!  There are even travel sites in there like hotels.com, Travelocity, and Expedia.

So how does it work?

It’s super simple.

First, click here to create a free account at Ebates*.

Second, use the Ebates website, app or browser toolbar to find stores you’re already shopping at.

Third, go to the online store through Ebates and make a purchase.

Fourth, you get paid!  You’ll get a direct deposit or a big fat check every quarter!

And the best part?

When you make your first purchase through Ebates they’re going to give you $10, just for making a purchase.  It’s seriously the easiest $10 you’ll ever make.

You’ll even get paid every time you refer one of your friends to Ebates.

Ready to sign up?

If you’re ready to sign up for Ebates, simply click the link below.  It’ll take just a few minutes and you’ll be ready to start making purchases and getting cash back.  Most people earn several hundred bucks every few months just from making purchases they were already making.

Use Ebates to get paid to shop online at all your favorite stores like Etsy!

*The Ebates links in this article are referral links.  I only recommend products or services that I’ve used and love.

 

Etsy Fall Keyword List

Fall is my absolute favorite season.  Pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, and no more humidity!  It’s time to start putting fall keyword phrases into relevant listings.  To help get you started making over your listings for fall, I’ve created an Etsy fall keyword list for you.

Autumn is almost upon us. Check out this list of Etsy fall keyword phrases for use in your Etsy shop.

  1. Fall
  2. Autumn
  3. Thanksgiving
  4. Autumn Centerpiece
  5. Fall Mantel Decor
  6. Thanksgiving Table
  7. Harvest Decor
  8. Cold Weather Gear
  9. First Thanksgiving
  10. Thanksgiving Outfit
  11. Fall Planner Stickers
  12. Fall Themed Party
  13. Give Thanks
  14. Fall Banner
  15. Pumpkin Spice

If you’re still struggling to come up with keyword phrases, you’ll love the resources inside the Handmade Journey Academy.  Our members receive extensive SEO training, longer keyword phrase lists for every season and holiday, access to Etsy experts to get all of their questions answered, plus a whole lot more.  The doors are opening again soon!  Click here to be notified when the doors reopen.

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:

I recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of my Etsy shop! 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 Etsy promoted listings, a manual renewing strategy, and Marmalead 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 comment here or 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.

Why is Etsy SEO so Complicated?

Etsy SEO is hard. But why does it have to be? Read to learn the reasons that it's complicated as well the factors that impact Etsy SEO.

I get this question a lot from Etsy sellers.  Why does Etsy SEO which stands for search engine optimization have to be so complicated? (If you’re not sure what SEO is, click here to learn the basics.)  I also see a lot of veteran Etsy sellers talk about the good ol’ days when it didn’t take so much effort to generate sales.  I want to try to explain why it needs to be so complicated.  This is a lot of info but hang with me and at the bottom you’ll be able to grab a free Etsy SEO Checklist. First, some stats on Etsy as of the end of 2016:

Number of Active Etsy Sellers – 1,748,000

Number of active Etsy buyers – 28,566,000

Those numbers are super high.  Etsy is growing at lightning speed.  Almost 200,000 active sellers joined Etsy in 2016.  That’s over 500 new Etsy sellers signing up every day.  Buyers are becoming more aware every day of how corporations are taking over and they’re making a bigger effort to spend their money supporting small businesses.  Also, when people are buying gifts, it’s harder than ever to find something unique that the recipient doesn’t already have.  What better way to solve that problem than with a unique handmade gift?

What does this have to do with Etsy SEO?

All this means that Etsy needs to help buyers zero in on what they’re looking for.  The number of products currently appearing on Etsy is staggeringly large.  I couldn’t find an up to date statistic but in May of 2016, there were over 35 million active product listings.

Etsy is working to make a sale, otherwise, the buyer will leave unhappy and shop somewhere else.  This means they need to present Etsy shoppers with products that are most likely to result in a sale.  How do they do this?  With a complex set of rules called an algorithm.  These rules help determine where Etsy products will appear in the Etsy search results.

Which factors make up the Etsy SEO algorithm?

Tag and Title Relevancy

  • The words that a buyer uses to search on Etsy must be in the title and/or the tags or a listing won’t appear.  If you have the phrase ‘blue necklace’ in your title or tags and a buyer searches for the phrase ‘blue star necklace’ your listing won’t appear if you don’t have the word star within your title or tags.  This helps the buyer view only items that contain exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Exact phrase matches are stronger.  For example, if you have the words ‘blue necklace’ side by side in your title or tags your listing will be a stronger match than if you had the word ‘blue’ and the word ‘necklace’ separately in your title or tags.
  • If a search phrase appears in both the title and the tags Etsy considers this a stronger match than if the keyword phrase was only in the title or in the tags.  You should try as hard as possible to make sure the words in your title also appear in your tags.
  • Keyword phrases near the beginning of the title will be considered more important and will be a stronger match.  This is why you should put your best keyword phrases near the front of your title.
  • This post about SEO explains more about setting up amazing Etsy titles.

Item Attribute Relevancy

  • Keywords entered in the attribute section of a listing are considered in the Etsy search results in a similar way to the keyword phrases in the titles and tags.  These attributes are just another way to describe your items and will help buyers search in a different way in the future when Etsy adds search filters based on these attributes.  Try to fill in as many attributes that are relevant as possible per listing.

Listing Quality Score

  • Views, favorites, and sales that a listing receives help determine how well that listing is doing on Etsy.  All of these things will give a listing a boost in the search results.  This is a way to put products that are doing well closer to the top of the search results.
  • The listing’s conversion rate (views to sales ratio) also makes a difference.  If you get a lot of views but not a lot of sales Etsy will see that people aren’t interested in your product.  For this reason, I don’t recommend playing favorite games that are popular on Facebook or sharing your product with groups that likely aren’t your target market because they result in empty views.

Customer & Marketplace Experience

  • Reviews, a completed about section and a completed shop policies section have an impact on the search results.  Great reviews will give you a boost in the search.  Using the provided Etsy template for shop policies will also give you a slight boost.  This helps reward shops that are delighting their customers and are taking the time to properly set up their shop.
  • Recent cases opened against your shop or any past reported intellectual property infringement listings will have a negative impact on your search engine ranking.  This discourages poor customer service and the trademark or copyright infringement.  (Things like using words or phrases from a movie, tv show, sports team, song lyric or directly copying another seller’s work).

Recency

  • To help keep the search results fresh, recently listed or renewed products will be given a boost in the search results.  One way to boost your sales related to this factor is to create a renewing strategy.

Shop Location

  • Etsy has found that shoppers often like to purchase products from their own countries because it’s convenient and the shipping is less expensive.  Products from a buyer’s country will be given a boost in the search results unless they specifically search for products from a different country.

Shop Diversity

  • Etsy works to show a wide variety of shops in the search results.  If you have several listings with the same keyword phrase Etsy will usually space your listings out so that you won’t find more than one of your listings per page.  This helps avoid monopolies in the search results.

But why does ETSY SEO need to be so complicated?

Etsy truly is doing their best to help buyers find products they are looking for and to capture a sale.  I think all handmade sellers would agree that it’s important that buyers are presented with items that they are most likely to purchase.  This means that a fellow Etsy seller has a better chance of receiving a sale.

The alternative is that the buyer getting frustrated and leaving Etsy to shop on a site where a corporation will receive all the profits.  The Etsy SEO search algorithm helps ensure the future of all of our handmade businesses by giving the Etsy buyer a great experience that ends in a sale.

So how can I get my products to appear in the search results?

I know all the factors above can be extremely overwhelming and seem unnecessarily complicated. It would be so amazing if we could join Etsy, quickly add a few listings and make some sales.  But rarely in life is something worth doing so easy.  It requires research and effort to succeed in an ever expanding online retail space.

The competition is intense!  Hundreds of new Etsy sellers are signing up every day.  It’s possible to stand out among the competition but you have to put some work in.  Fortunately, this blog, as well as the Handmade Journey Academy will save you time and effort by giving you my tested Etsy SEO tips and tricks.

The first place I recommend that you start working on SEO is in your titles.  It’s the most efficient and effective way to start seeing results in your Etsy shop.  Check out this blog article that has all the tips you need to construct Etsy product titles that will help you get found in the Etsy results.

Once you’ve worked on your titles and your tags, the next area to focus on is your photos.  Having great photos is the key to getting views and sales.

A third thing you can do to give you a boost in the search results is to implement a renewing strategy.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

Disclaimer:  The above info is what has worked really well for me in my experience of running a successful Etsy shop.  While it has worked for me, you may experience a different result.  Make changes slowly and be sure to save any previous information you are replacing in case you find that your previous choices worked better for you.

5 Reasons to Start an Etsy Shop Today

If you love to craft or create handmade products I’m sure someone has suggested that you should start an Etsy shop.  I thought about opening one for years before I finally decided to go for it.  Less than 8 months after I started I was able to leave my corporate career behind and run my Etsy shop full time.  It’s one of the best decisions ever made so I want to share the top 5 reasons that I think you should open an Etsy shop today.

Starting an Etsy shop is a great way to sell your handmade products. I'm sharing my top reasons that you should start an Etsy shop today!

#1: When starting an Etsy shop you really have nothing to lose

To start an Etsy shop all you need are a few handmade products (or vintage), a camera to take photos (many sellers use the camera on their phone), and a little bit of time to learn the ins and outs of Etsy.  If you use the link at the bottom of this post to sign up you’ll get $8 worth of free listing credits so you’ll be able to list 40 products for free.

#2: Etsy allows you to sell your products worldwide

I’ve done the craft show circuit before with some success but my target market was harder to find in my local community.  Because of Etsy, I’m able to sell my products to customers around the world.  This allows me to create products for a specific target market without having to worry about whether my target market aligns with my local community.

#3: Etsy allows you to create your own schedule

One of the biggest benefits to running my Etsy shop full time is that I’m 100% in charge of my schedule.  I set up my shop so that orders go out within 7 days of the order date.  This gives me a ton of flexibility.

Some shops even set up a 2-3 week processing time with great success.  This means that if an emergency comes up or you just don’t feel like working you have the freedom to take time off.  This also lets me work during my toddler’s nap time or at night after the kids have gone to bed.

#4: Etsy is very user-friendly

If you’ve ever tried to create your own website you know how challenging it can be.   There are so many parts and pieces that you have to put together and it can often be really expensive especially if you encounter tech issues.

Etsy does all the heavy listing for you.  They’ll walk you through setting up your shop step by step and have a lot of resources available if you have trouble along the way.  Etsy also has an app for sellers that allows you to monitor your shop from your phone or tablet.

#5: Etsy makes it easy to earn extra income

Whether your goal is to cover the electric bill, have some extra spending money or replace your current income it’s all possible through Etsy.  You can choose your income goal and how much time you want to put into your shop.  Start out with a few listings and work to perfect those and grow your Etsy shop over time.

Ready to start an Etsy shop?

Click here for $8 worth of free listings to get you started.

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