Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Relevancy SEO And Planning Ahead

It is the last day of November and the Christmas buying season is in full swing. If you are not yet optimized for Christmas you are well behind. It isn't impossible to get caught up with Etsy and ArtFire, but as far as Google is concerned, better luck next year. If you want to be optimized for Google, you should have started months ago.

You may want to get a jump on Valentines Day now. Sounds crazy, right? Well, with a little planning, you can have everything in place by February 1st. Google, the all powerful, all knowing search engine runs a little behind. Sure it is okay to rely on just Etsy and ArtFire but if you really want to increase your views and sales you have to feed Google what it wants.

Using relevant coherent titles and keyword rich descriptions is the key to being found on Google and other search engines. It may be close to impossible to be optimized for a broad keyword like "jewelry" but you may be able to get to the top of the search with "pop can tab jewelry" or "natural pine cone jewelry." Your niche is your saving grace. The more specific your medium the better you'll do.

I will be talking more about SEO this week. I will provide real world examples on how to be found in Google. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions and make comments. Want to send me a note?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Etsy Shop Banners

Hello, everyone. Sorry I did not make it back to post yesterday. I ended up with a bit of a rush order over the weekend and I spent yesterday completing it. I am back now and today I would like to touch on the seasonal rotation of your shop banners.

Many people put a lot of time and energy into their banner. After all, it is one of the very first things that they see when they go to your shop. Your banner is the sign over the virtual door to your store. It says who you are, what you do and how professional you are. It says a lot.

Do I make my own banners? No. Certainly not. I am a jewelry designer and maker, and graphics are just not my thing. Don't get me wrong, I know my way around Photoshop and Illustrator, but I am not a graphic designer. I know that and I made sure to hire someone who was: Curious Crow Creative Shop Banners, Printable Tags and Collage Sheets are her specialty.

It still amazes me that people out there have terrible banners. I mean I have seen some really bad ones. Today I ask that you take stock of your own banner. Try to look at it through your customer's eyes. Is it catchy, is it inviting, does it have your shop name on it? Yes, it is true I have seen many a shop banner with no shop name on it!

Maybe you did it yourself, maybe you hired it out. Either way, today is a great day to make sure that it is doing the job you want it to do. If it isn't what you think it should be, get a new one made. Curious Crow Creative makes wonderful banners that are both affordable and beautiful. She does everything from seasonal to custom work. Her prices are VERY competitive and she is a pleasure to work with.

That is it for today. I will be back tomorrow to talk about more things that will help you improve your shop. If you have any questions please feel free to comment or email me at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is filled with wonderful food, happy family and many blessings!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

10 Tips For Holiday Promotions

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and Christmas is but a month away. These are the biggest shopping days of the year. If you are having a sale you need to get the word out. Today I have come up with a few ideas to help you out this year and to prepare for next year.

1. If you can afford it, send a post card to everyone who bought from you during the year. Wish them a happy holiday and offer them a special deal. Maybe free shipping or 20% off. Mail this out the week of Thanksgiving so it is in their mailbox when they get home.

2. Send a virtual happy holiday card to all your shoppers. Same as above but no postage cost.

3. Tweet a link to your shop/sale 3 or 4 times a day. Make sure the tweet is different each time. Remember not everyone is on Twitter at the same time. Be sure to make some tweets in between so as not to sound too spammy.

4. Look for forums talking about sales and specials and post yours in the appropriate threads. Again try not to be too spammy.

5. Change your email signature to include information about your sale.

6. Put ads in Craigslist. This can really work, especially if you offer custom made items. Just be sure not to post the same ad more than once.

7. Get together with a few of your fellow crafters and put a cooperative ad out there somewhere. Maybe in the local paper or even a national magazine. What seems too expensive for you alone may not seem so bad split 6 ways or more. Co-Op ads are the best way to get exposure for a fraction of the individual.

8. Write a press release and send it out. That's right, a sale is newsworthy. Send it to your favorite bloggers, newspapers, magazines both online and off.

9. Make sure your listings have links to your sections, especially if you have a sale section.

10. Don't put anything on sale that you can't afford to. If your sale price is going to cause you to lose money, exclude the item from the sale and make it very plain. Or raise the price of those items so that if someone does want it, you won't lose money in the sale.

That is it for today. I hope each and every one of you have a happy and safe Holiday weekend. I will be back Monday. In the meantime, leave your comments or send me an email:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Etsy Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday Sales started as a way for businesses to continue eliminating stock for the year end inventory. It is also a way for those businesses without a brick and mortar to be able to get those extra sales right before Christmas. It is especially good for people who sell on Etsy.

I personally am combining my Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale with a week long sales event that started yesterday. If you have the ability to add a section to your shop that is probably the easiest way to organize your items. I unfortunately have all 10 of my sections in use.

There is a great alternative to having a shop section just for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. What you do is make sure all of your items are tagged with Black Friday and or Cyber Monday. Go to your shop view and type Black Friday into the "This Shop" Search. This will bring up all of the items in your shop tagged with Black Friday. Then you just copy the long link in the address bar of your web browser and go to a URL shortening service. I like but there are many to choose from.

After your URL is shortened use it on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. to point people to your sale. This will work with any search term and is a great way to showcase only certain items from your shop. Be sure to keep a copy of the shortened URL handy in case you'd like to share it somewhere else, like say, a newsletter.

I hope this helps. Tomorrow I will be discussing a few more tips to help spread the word about your sales. Then I will be taking Thursday and Friday and spending it with family and friends. Then I will be back on Cyber Monday! Let me know if you have any questions

Monday, November 21, 2011

Etsy Black Friday

Black Friday is thought of as the largest shopping day of the year. Companies like Walmart and Office Depot and Target have made it one of the craziest shopping days you'll ever experience. People have been injured and worse from the crowds that amass to get that extra $25 off a flat screen TV.

One of the great things Black Friday does for these huge super stores is to get rid of older items that they do not plan to carry any longer. This can mean that they get rid of their over stocked slightly older flat screen TVs so that they do not have to pay taxes on the inventory at the end of the year.

For you as an Etsy or ArtFire shop owner it means that you also have an opportunity to sell some of your older items as well. It does not necessarily mean that you have to have a percentage off for your entire shop. I am going to be offering deals on just some of my items, especially the ones that have been in my shop for a long time. 

I plan to go through my shop on Wednesday and during the day on Thursday and get all my descriptions ready. My sale will go from Friday until Monday night so that I catch both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (I'll talk more about Cyber Monday tomorrow) 

The key is to get the word out about your sale. There will most likely be many people searching for deals on Friday so it is a good idea to have Black Friday in both your Titles and in your tags. Remember to remove them from your titles and tags after the sale is done. It would also be a great idea to have a little blurb in your description as well. Tell everyone what the original price is and how much of a discount they will be getting.

I am finally done with my huge order and back to blogging so stay tuned and tell your friends about the blog. If you have questions or comments leave them here or email me at

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Swamped With Orders

Hi everyone. I have been swamped with orders and just have not had the time to write. I have been working 16 to 18 a day for the last week and just had to step away from the blog for a few days. I will try to resume the blogging later this week with an article on Black Friday Sales.

In the meantime, why don't you email me your Black Friday ideas. If you have a great idea I may feature you on the blog.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What do you do in your spare time?

I talk about work a lot. How to do this, that or the other. I rarely talk about what i do in my spare time. That is probably because I have very little spare time to do anything other than work. So, I thought today maybe we could all talk about what we like to do when we are not working on art or photography or junking, etc.

I like to restore old cars. Currently I have a 1966 Ford Fairlane and a 1951 Nash Ambassador. Both are in need of my time. I am hoping g this winter and spring I can dedicate some time to them both. I also like to go fishing. I guess I do not have a lot of other hobbies. Those two could easily take up all of my time.

Tell me about what you like to do in your spare time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Etsy Christmas Tip: Gift Boxes

Assorted Jewelry Boxes on by displaydiva Etsy
I thought I would mention gift wrapping again. When you wrap a gift it does not have to be boxed and papered and taped. When I gift wrap items I put them in a nice small box and tie a hemp or jute string around it. That gives it the old time look from years gone by. Of course this can become very expensive depending on the boxes you use.

I came across the above pictured boxes on Etsy recently. There are 100 boxes for $25.50. That makes it affordable enough for putting every item in. Of course these are smaller jewelry size boxes. If you search around on Etsy and eBay for "paper gift boxes" you'll find plenty of boxes in every size and shape. You really don't have to spend a lot of money to go the extra mile.

That is it for today. I have to keep my tips short this week because I am swamped with orders. Hopefully I will be swamped for the rest of the year! I will do my best to keep the tips coming. Though I never seem to run out of ideas it would be great if you would send suggestions for future blog posts to me. Just email me at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas Tip: Free Gift Wrapping

One great way to encourage people to buy your items is to offer to wrap it for them. This will make it easier for your client. It does not cost much for you to wrap a present. I wrap all of mine in plain brown paper with a hemp string. This gives it an old time look. It takes me maybe an extra 2 or 3 minutes. I put a tag on it for them to fill out or offer to fill it out for them. If you plan to wrap a present with a bit more expensive look you can offer to wrap their purchase for an additional cost.

On Etsy it is against their Terms Of Service to charge for something contingent on the purchase of another item. So, in other words you are not allowed to sell Christmas wrapping as a separate listing. The same thing applies to shipping upgrades. You can however, in your listing, offer to upgrade shipping or charge for wrapping by saying that you will create a custom listing just for them.

I prefer to offer gift wrapping free of charge because people love to get something for free. It is probably a good idea to add a picture to your listing that shows how the gift will look. It isn't necessary unless you are offering multiple types of wrapping paper.

That is the tip of the day. Come back tomorrow for more.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Etsy Christmas Tips

The closer we get to Christmas the more items will be listed on Etsy for Christmas. So, the question arises, how do you make sure that your item is seen? The answer isn't a simple one. There is no guarantee that you can put your item in front of the right people. There are a few things that can help. One thing is to make sure that your items will get into a lot of treasuries.

Let's look at the above picture of a chainmail covered blue glass ornament. Notice how the title reads "Blue Christmas Ornament......" A lot of people have already started doing treasuries titled "Blue Christmas" and I have already been in four of them. Why? Because the item is optimized for "Blue Christmas."

Try to think ahead and optimize your items for popular Christmas themes. Be careful though. Do not use copyrighted or trademarked phrases or characters. For example it would probably be okay to optimize for "nightmare Christmas" but not for "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

In other words, try to optimize your items for popular themes but be vague enough that you won't have a lawsuit on your hands. Also, make sure whatever you use is to describe your item is accurate. Don't tag or title your item "Twelve Days Of Christmas Wrapping Paper Handmade" if your wrapping paper has nothing but evergreens on it.  Now if it depicts aspects of the twelve days of Christmas song by all means do it.

That is it for today. I will have more tomorrow. Feel free to leave some tips in the comments. BTW- today is my birthday. I don't really celebrate it. In fact I just realized it. That goes to show how busy I have been lately.