Thursday, May 31, 2012

Etsy And The Art Of Networking

Who is in your circle? Adding people to your circle can help spread your product. When people add you to their circle they are updated when you add something new or renew an old item or re-list a sold item. When someone favorites one of your items, add the to your circle. About half the time, they will add you back.

Grow your network on Etsy by growing your circle. If you add me to your circle, I will add you to mine. This will help everyone grow! Here is my shop: Feel free to comment with your shop. Let's build a huge network!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Etsy: Less Views Can Mean More Sales!

I have discussed Bounce Rate before but I wanted to revisit it after talking about Etsy's search algorithm. Sometimes when you tighten up your relevancy you actually experience a drop in views, sometimes it is a significant drop in views. Don't panic!

A drop in views means very little unless you have a drop in sales accompanying it. If so, you might need to revisit relevancy in general. If your drop in views does not seem to change your sales rate then you have actually done well. You have dropped your bounce rate. Meaning, those who just click on a listing and leave within seconds because it isn't what they are looking for. Those people rarely buy anyhow. Sure, someone might buy because they randomly landed on one of your products, but the customer you actually want is one that sought out your product because that is what they were looking for.

The better your relevancy the better chance you have at connecting with a customer. So, before you start to panic after making a change, look at the big picture. Give it a little bit of time. If your sales are not dropping you are probably doing okay. You might want to revisit some of my articles on Bounce Rate by clicking on the tag cloud to the right.

Hope this helps a little. Let me know if you have any questions by leaving them in the comments or sending me an email to

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Etsy Search Optimization

Over the weekend I answered someone's question on one of the forums at Etsy. They wanted to know how Etsy's search algorithm worked. So I wrote this up for them. I thought it would be good to share it here with all of you.

Etsy Search algorithm (the formula used to determine relevancy) is said to function like this:
First Etsy looks at the title for EXACT word phrase matches and lists those items as most relevant.
Second it looks for EXACT word phrases in the tags section and lists those matches.
Now, you have probably noticed that most of the listings in a relevant search DO NOT have EXACT keyword phrase matches in their title and maybe not even their tags and here is why:

Etsy also uses USER INPUT to determine relevancy. So, if someone searches for "crochet baby bib" and looks at 3 pages and clicks on a listing from page 3, that listing just got a huge bump in relevancy because someone found it relevant. Though the other listings previous to it were also relevant the one that got clicked became more relevant and jumped up to maybe page 2. It might have been what the user was looking for.

Now, the relevancy of being clicked does not just get a bump in a relevancy search. It gains relevancy if it is clicked on from any spot. If it is clicked on for a treasury or in the Newly listed section of the front page or clicked on from anywhere inside Etsy it gains relevancy based on its title and tags.

Renewing gives your item a small chance of being clicked on from different areas on Etsy. Renewing does not guarantee you a bump in relevancy just by renewing.

There are other aspects of the Etsy Search algorithm that they have not released and probably never will. The best thing to do is to make sure you have a very relevant title (mainly the first 3 words) and relevant tags. The better you are at describing the item in the title and guessing how a customer will search for your item the better chance you have of being found, clicked on and sold.

Lastly, it is far better to work within a niche rather than in the general category. Example:
It is better to optimize for Crochet Baby Bib than Baby Bib. You'll find far less competition the more specific you get with your title and tags.

You may experience a DROP in views but also a DROP in bounce rate. Being more relevant actually keeps those who are not interested in your items off your page and gains the ones that are looking for your items.

I hope you all had a great long weekend. Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment or sending me an email to

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Change To Facebook You Should Be Aware Of

Facebook recently made a change to the way people see the pages they like. You now need to have pages listed in either "Show in News Feed" or under a list. To make sure your fans see you it might be a good idea to snag the above and post it to your Facebook Page.

Just right click over the image above and "Save As" then log into your Facebook page and upload it to your page. Social media pages like Facebook and Twitter make these changes and don't usually tell anyone about it. I guess they expect us to just notice it. Whatever the case, it is important to know about these changes and do what you can to share them with your fans or followers.

Short blog today. I am very busy these days with the new brick and mortar shop and life in general. If you have any questions put them in the comments or send me an email to I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Etsy Change To Multiple Quantity Listings

As of May 21st, Etsy changed the way you are charged when listing multiple quantities of a single item. Before the changes you were charged $.20 for each item. So, if you listed a quantity of 10 you were charged a listing fee of $1.00 when you listed or renewed.

The new changes allow you to list as many in the quantity as you like with a single $.20 fee. When you renew you are just charged $.20 as well. The way it works is when you sell one of your quantity you are charged $.20 for the next item in the listing. Or if you sell more than one at a time you are charged the fees on the items sold minus the first one which is already paid for plus a fee for the renewal of the next one if you still have it in stock.


List 10 of the exact same necklace. Pay $.20 for the entire listing
If 1 sales you are charged $.20 to "auto renew" your listing. You now have 9 necklaces.
Then if 5 sale you are charged $.1.0 ($.20 for the 4 not yet paid for plus $.20 for the next one)
You now have 4 necklaces, of which one already has the listing price paid.

It all reads like an elaborate math word problem but it boils down to this: Etsy has made it easy for people to sell multiple quantities of one item without having to renew it every time one is sold. What is unclear is whether the "auto renew" aspect actually works like an auto renew posting it as a new item to the "What's new in your favorite shop" feed. I will look into that and let you know. If you already have that answer please feel free to share.

I got really busy yesterday and didn't make time to post. Sorry about that. It would seem no matter how much time you budget, sometimes something happens to rearrange your schedule! I will be back tomorrow with more on my series of 'The Magic Numbers Of Etsy.'  Until then, let me know if you have any questions or comments either here on the blog or through email at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Etsy Labor Pricing Magic Numbers

Yesterday I talked about the number of items in your shop. Today I would like to talk about another magic number, price. One of the more difficult things to do is price your work. If you are selling vintage items it is a bit easier but for those of us who make our products it is a pain coming up with pricing.

First off, let me say your prices are probably too low. You are probably not paying yourself a fair wage. What is a fair wage? Let's look at it as if you were getting paid by someone else. When you first start a job with no experience you usually get paid a minimum wage. Let's say today minimum wage is $8/hr. So, everything you make when you start out, should have a labor price of $8/hr straight across the board. One item takes you an hour to make has an $8 labor price.

After working at a job for 6 months or a year you should be up for a raise. Your raise should be based on how far you have come. Let's say that item that used to take you an hour to create now only takes you 30 minutes. You have doubled your efficiency in a year. Does this mean that your labor for the original items is now $4? Of course not. You are not going to drop your price just because you are better at it now, that would be counter productive! Nope, your new labor cost for an item is $4 but you are still going to pay yourself the original $8 for it. You just got a $4 an hour raise, congrats!

You won't always be able to give yourself a 50% increase in your hourly wage. At some point you will eventually level out on the time you spend on an item. That is why it is important to give yourself a yearly raise and/or a cost of living wage. The cost of living is always going up, always.

What? You say you are not even making minimum wage? What is wrong with you? When you pay yourself less than minimum wage you are saying you are not as good as the kids working a summer job flipping burgers. Give yourself a raise right now! You are worth it! Period. End of discussion! Seriously, if you are not paying yourself a reasonable wage what is the point of doing what you are doing? You can offer a million excuses but the bottom line is you are worth it.

I look forward to the comments on this one so bring them on. Got a question? Email me

P.S. The Fibonacci Sequence is one of my favorite 'magic numbers' an that is why I put the picture up, it has nothing to do with Etsy and everything to do with me being a nerd.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Etsy Shop Magic Number Of Items

I am sure you have all heard that there is a magic number of items you need in your shop to start making sales on a regular basis. The exact number will vary from shop to shop. For me, the first magic number was 50 items. When I hit that number I started getting sales almost every week.

The second magic number was 100 items. When I hit that goal I started making sales every week without fail. Okay, maybe there was a week or two in there that I did not make a sale but the average was pretty good. Once I hit 200 items I was making a sale every four days on average.

Finally when I managed to get 300 items in my shop my sales average went to a sale every other day on average. I have maintained that average for about four months now. My new goal is to have 400 items in the shop by the end of June. Hopefully that will bring me close to my current goal for the year which is a sale a day on average.

The reasoning behind the magic number theory is simple. If you have a lot to choose from you will make more sales. I get a lot of requests to critique shops for people. I am pretty busy but I do try and at least glance at a shop and give what feedback I can. (I also offer paid consulting at a very reasonable rate which will guarantee my attention)The number one thing I notice the most is shops with only one page of products. You cannot expect to make 20 sales a day if your shop only has 20 items.

The more variety you can offer your customers the better chance you have of getting that sale from them. Now, of course, there are a lot more variables that come into play like photo quality, tags, titles, descriptions, etc. Those are all things that need to be in place as well. There is a wealth of knowledge on all those subjects in this blog. Have a look at the Tag Cloud to the right. Clicking on a word will bring up articles about that subject.

I will talk more on magic numbers tomorrow. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Leave them here or send me an email at

Friday, May 18, 2012

10 Tips For Branding Your Etsy Shop

One of the best ways to get more business on Etsy is to stand out int the crowd. Chances are, what you make is not exclusively made by you. There are thousands of crocheters, jewelry designers and people selling vintage goods. Each day that number grows. I have talked a little this week on branding your shop. Today I want to give some tips for you. Some you may think common sense but they might just be the key that puts you in front of the right customer.

1. Put your name somewhere in your description. Google will pick it up. That way if someone can remember your name but not your web address they can find you.

2. Put a signature on your email. Put your business name and a link to all your sites including Etsy, website, Facebook, Twitter and blog.

3. Sing your Etsy convos with "your name from your business." I sign all of my convos with "Eric from Market My Shop" because this builds name recognition and name association. It may seem redundant but that is the point!

4. Once you have a logo, don't change it. It is okay to modify it for the times but make sure it is always recognized as your logo. Over time this will build your customer recognition.

5. Use your shop name as your login id on all social networks. This means Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, pinterest, everything! You want people to see your business name at every turn!

6. If you are a member of a newsgroup or forum where you can have a signature USE IT! Put your shop name and a link to your shop.

7. Put your business name on your Etsy banner. You have no idea how many Etsy banners I see with no text on it at all.

8. Be active! That means be active on Etsy, Etsy forums, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest and anywhere that you can put your name.

9. Comment on blogs and Facebook posts. Make sure you are logged into your business name when you want to post on a blog. It is simple advertising and brand building.

10. Don't be afraid to try something new. If a new social media site opens up, join it. You never know what the next Facebook or Twitter will be. Getting your name in early on can be huge.

That is it for today. I hope you all have a great weekend! Let me know if you have any questions by emailing or leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Branding Your Business Name

Recently I was asked a question how to get your business name branded. A logo is one thing but name recognition is very powerful. if you were to type your name into Google what would you see? I tried this experiment today and here are my results for searching Tangled Metal: 6 out of 10 results on page 1 are me. My website, my blog, my twitter, my Facebook, my Etsy shop and a couple more that are related to my products. I also put Market My Shop into Google and 6 of the 10 results again are me. How many of the listings are you when you type your business name into Google?

I have been branding the Tangled Metal name for over 2 years and the Market My Shop for about a year. Part of the success is due to having the same username on all major social media outlets. That builds consistency and recognition. Will Tangled Metal or Market My Shop ever be a household name? Probably not. But when someone forgets my web address and Googles one of my names, they will be directed to one of my web pages.

Another way that I brand my business name is that I have it in every single description on all of my Etsy listings. Every listing I have has this as the first line of my description: "product type - product category by Tangled Metal"

Etsy all but ignores your description but Google loves it! So, I am able to brand my product in Google and in the eyes of anyone who looks at one of my listings. This is just one of many ways to start branding your business name. I'll be back tomorrow with more. In the meantime if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or send me an email via

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Slight Delay In Blogging

Yesterday I drove over 600 miles round trip to pick up my 17 year old daughter. Her mom is moving about 1200 miles away and my daughter decided to move in with me rather than make the move. So, that is why no post yesterday and today I am just taking it easy. I will be back tomorrow for sure with more helpful tips and tricks to make your Etsy shop better and more productive.

In the meantime, in case you missed it, I just released my first of many eBooks designed to make your life easier. This one is written to help you create and maintain a successful Facebook Ad campaign:

The next eBook is in the works and is about how to successfully use Twitter to gain more customers. It should be ready early next week. I am looking for suggestions on what you want written next. SEO? Relevancy? You tell me.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Facebook Ads eBook Now available

I just added the Facebook Advertising Guide to the Market My Shop Etsy Store. The concise and easy to understand guide is only $7.50 and will save you time and energy. I will be adding more guides very soon and as always I am open to suggestions. Thanks!

It is Follow Friday

I am super busy today and do not have time for a long blog. I just wanted to remind all of you that is Friday and you can still #followfriday #ff on Twitter. Many people still play. Help keep the tradition alive! You can follow me here: @MarketMyShop but I do not post much other than updates to the blog. My other Twitter account is @TangledMetal where I do tweet a lot!

I hope you all have a great weekend! See you on Monday. I will be continuing the series on branding.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Your Brand Logo

One thing that all the major brands have in common is some type of logo. Whether it be the Coke Wave, the Pepsi Ball, the Playboy Bunny or any range of car emblem logos, they all have something that sets them apart from everyone else. Now, I am not saying go out and get a logo for your business. Okay, I am saying that, but you do not have to spend a ton of money on a logo.

You can make your own logo. It could be as simple as the font you use for your business name. It could be the color scheme you use. Your logo can even be your catch phrase. Just like your name is your brand so to is your logo. Once you have a logo it is best to not change it. If you have a simple logo now it can evolve with the times. As long as your customers can still tell it is you.

Consistency and repetition is the key to branding and a logo can help you along with that. If you can attach an image to your email signature, put your logo in with it. Make stickers or stamps for your mailing labels. Make a bumper sticker for your car with your logo on it. You want your logo to be synonymous with your business name.

That is all for today. Join me again tomorrow for more on Branding your business. Until then, let me know if you have any questions by email at or leave them here as a comment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Branding Your Business

One of these things is not like the others. That is what branding does for you. It helps you to stick out in the crowd. Branding is much easier to do from day one, but that does not mean you can't start branding in the middle of the game. You want to be remembered when someone is looking for what you do.

Your shop/business name is your brand. If you have a name like "sallyanne43" as your shop name I would strongly consider changing it now. Stop reading and go do it! You want your shop/business name to be short, concise, easy to read, easy to spell and easy to remember. "Sally Anne Sews" is a good example of a shop/business name that is short, concise, easy to read, spell and remember. It does one other thing, it says what you do.

If you already have a good name, make sure you register it in every place you can. G-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, Photobucket, Flickr and any forum you are a member of. This is who you are. You are your business name. Please note that your new persona has no ties to religion, politics and is 100% neutral on any controversial topics. You have your personal accounts for that or you should.

That is all for today. I will be back tomorrow with more on branding. If you have any questions let me know via email at or leave a comment.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spruce Up Your Etsy Shop And More

I know I have talked about it before but I wanted to bring it back to your attention. Your shop banner on Etsy says a lot about your shop. Let's hope it says the right thing. Your banner is one of the first things people see when they come to your shop. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Curious Crow Creative has been making and selling Etsy banners for some time now. She has spent a great deal of time researching what people like and expect to see when they go to an Etsy shop. Not even being open a year yet, she has already made just under 700 sales and has 100% positive feedback. So, she is certainly doing something right.

Perhaps your shop banner needs a face lift or you just want to try something different. Maybe you just don't have the time any more to create your own banners and graphics. Whatever the case, maybe you should check out Curious Crow Creative and see what she has to offer for you.

The one thing she does offer that might be the most helpful to some of you is her package deals. She creates an Etsy Banner, Avatar, Sale Avatar, Facebook Timeline Pic and Avatar and a business card. She can do other graphics for other social networks as well. The great thing is all the graphics will have a similar theme which helps you with your branding.

This week I will be talking more about branding. So, come back tomorrow and see what I have to say. Send me your questions to or leave them as a comment here. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Etsy Registry

What a great idea for Etsy to do! I sell a few wedding items myself and I think that this may be a huge help to me. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of push to get the word out, or so it seems. I think it might be a good idea to help Etsy out on this one. It will help us out as well.

If you sell items that are used in weddings or as wedding favors or wedding gifts you might want to add a little link for the registry. By placing a link over to you can increase the chance that your item will sell.

Just add a line to your listing. You can choose your own verbiage but I would do something like this:

"Add this item to your registry! If you don't have a registry set up it is quick and easy, just follow this link:"

You may also want to tag a few of your wedding type items with "Etsy Registry" if you have not already. Of course just about any item can be put on a registry so you may want to tag a few of your items with "Wedding Gift" though I would not go overboard with this.

That is all for today. Questions and comments are welcome here or via email to

Friday, May 4, 2012

Post Your Etsy Shop Link!

Hi everyone! I am super busy today doing the last minute things for the grand opening of the brick and mortar shop tomorrow! So, I figured we could do a "List Your Shop" day. Just comment with the name of your shop and a link. A short description is good too. I would like anyone who has time to go to each shop and add their shop to your favorites or if you have already done that, add an item from their shop to your favorites. Better yet, add them all to your circle! This helps to promote everyone.

My shop is Tangled Metal and the link is I make chainmail and steampunk jewelry and accessories.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shows, Stores and Shops!

Many of you know that I have an Etsy shop (Tangled Metal Etsy Shop) and some of you know I do a show now and again. (see above image) What some of you may or may not know is that I am opening a retail store. Juggling it all around sometimes seems like a daunting task but I manage.

My Etsy shop does okay. It is growing. The more items I add to the shop the better I do. I am almost to the 300 mark as far as items. I have cheated a little bit and started listing some of my Christmas product. Funny thing is that people are viewing them too. Go figure.

Today I have a show in Fayetteville, AR. (Fayetteville First Thursday) It is a small show with an attendance of around 1500 people. It is a short show being from 5pm to 8pm. It also as a small price tag of only $20 to vend. I like the small shows because they do well for me. Well, most of the time they do. This show is once a month and I have started to build up a following. That makes it worth while.

Saturday I jump into the realm of owning a retail brick and mortar shop. (The Curious Crow - the website is a work in progress) The shop is pretty small, only 400 sqft or so. It is in a heavy traffic area in a great tourist based town called Eureka Springs, AR.

I also try and blog here every weekday to help others learn from my mistakes and successes. I am a pretty busy guy. I like working but I am not a workaholic. I believe in time off and vacations. I try to take a couple of hours each day to do noting productive. I cannot shut off my mind but at least I give my body a rest. I also try and sleep in once a week. I know that isn't something all of you can do but if you can try it! When I say sleep in, I mean an extra hour of sleep not stay in bed all day. :)

Today is one of those days when I really din't have much to say. Sorry about that. Tomorrow will probably be much the same. However, next week I will get right back to the tips and tricks and how to's! So, please, stand by! Let me know if you have any questions or comments and have a great day!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Etsy - What Is On Your To-Do List?

As many of you will probably agree, there is not enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to be done! Sometimes it may feel quite overwhelming. Believe me, I know your pain. I am in the process of opening a brick and mortar retail location this Saturday and I have a show on Thursday!

If it wasn't for my to-do lists I would be pulling out all my hair right about now. I have written a couple times about the necessity of list writing. I am going to write about it again today because it is definitely on my mind. A good list helps you through the hectic times.

The main goal in list writing is to not only write your tasks down but to write the time you are going to dedicate to it. I check my email over coffee. I have budgeted 30 minutes to email and coffee. (Okay, sometimes the coffee part spills over into my next task- pun intended - but that is okay) I then spend 15 minutes reading my personal Facebook feed and then it is on to my business Facebook feed. On both, I share cute, witty, and/or relevant stuff. (Note- i do not post political, religious or inflammatory rhetoric on my business Facebook page)

After all that I write this blog. I dedicate 30 minutes here. I know it isn't much but I am a busy man! I think you are seeing the trends. I break my day into small segments and put them on a list. When I first started doing this I had to have a timer. Yes, a real timer like the one used in kitchens everywhere. Why? Because without a little discipline I can easily spend two hours in any one part of my daily lists.

Do you create lists? How do you time yourself? I would love to know. Send me an email to or leave a comment.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facebook Ads For Etsy Shops Recap

I was asked what one of my Facebook ads looked like as an example. This ad has done pretty well for me:
Simple, to the point and a picture that shows one of my handmade products. The ad goes directly to my wall where it can be "liked." It seems that most of my ads have been pretty successful on Facebook. If you are concise and use a decent picture, someone will click.

If your page is engaging without being too spammy, people will stick around. A yearly advertising budget of $600 sounds like a lot, but the potential return is huge. Especially when we start getting closer to Christmas time. Build that audience now. Train that audience. Engage that audience. Then in October, sell to that audience!

Of course you will more than likely sell enough items as a direct result from having a Facebook page to make it all worth while. Here are a few tips to help keep your ever growing audience interested in your page:

1. Post pics OFTEN. I post a pic at least once a day during the week. Sometime it is one of my products. Sometimes it is a picture I share from my news feed. Sometimes it is just a random pic of nothing in particular. Pictures catch attention.

2. "Like" every comment someone makes to you. Acknowledge people when they take the time to leave a comment. Answer their questions. Engage them in conversation.

3. Post more than once a day. People are on Facebook at different times of the day. You want to try and catch them when they are on. This means posting more than one time during the day. I try to post 3 or 4 times a day. Be sure that if you duplicate information that you change it up for those who will see your more than one post or they will think you are getting spammy.

4. Post on other people's walls through your page. Don't post "Come Like Me" posts. Just leave comments, ask questions and engage them. You can even do this with your competition! This will get your name on their page and people tend to click names of shops etc. Especially if your profile pic happens to be one of your product.

That is all for today. See you all tomorrow.