Thursday, March 29, 2012

From Etsy To Brick And Mortar

Have you ever considered opening a brick and mortar store from your Etsy shop? I certainly have and currently I have a couple of opportunities to do just that. One possibility is opening a shop with a friend of mine. We've been friends for about 15 years and I think is would be cool to share a shop with them but...

The other opportunity is to open a shop on my own. And by alone I mean me and my significant other. The price will be about the same as the shop with my friend I mentioned above. The shop is quite a bit smaller but is in a much better location. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Opening a brick and mortar is a huge decision. There is an awful lot to consider. There are city licenses, state tax, local tax, assumed name certificates, business banking accounts, and merchant accounts to accept credit cards. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you ever plan to open a brick and mortar you should start looking into what your state and local requirements are and start working toward having those things in place. There is no reason not to open a business account at the bank. Even if you do not make enough to file on your taxes you'll have that in place. You have to have an assumed name certificate in most places to open a business account at your bank.

If you start getting prepared now, when the opportunity presents itself to have a brick and mortar you'll be ready. I am sure I have not thought of everything. So, if you have some ideas please share.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tips For Reaching More Customers On Etsy

We would all like to increase our sales. It all comes down to putting your product in front of the right people. I have come up with a few tips for you that will help you do just that.

1. Make sure your photos depict your item. Do not use overly busy back grounds. Make sure your first photo is front page treasury material.

2. Make sure your title contains the keywords near the beginning of the title. Etsy puts weight on the first three words. Limit your titles to five or six words. Long titles can turn people off.

3. When describing your items make sure to use a lot of key words. Etsy does not weigh the descriptions but the search engines do.

4. Use keyword phrases in your tags. Single word tags do not generally do as well as descriptive phrases.

5. List and Renew items during peak hours. I find between 9am and 4pm Tuesday through Thursday are my peak hours. Check your stats to see when you are getting the most views.

6. If you have a lot of items to list or renew spread them out throughout the day. Renewed items and newly listed items are shown many places on Etsy. Take advantage of that.

7. Tag for holidays and special events.

8. Be sure to Tweet and or list new items on Facebook.

9. Tweet about your item at different times during the day. People look at Twitter at different times. Same goes for Facebook. Not everyone will see your posts at the same time. The more people looking at your Facebook or Twitter means more opportunities at different times. Try not to be too spammy.

10. Start over at number one and do it all over again tomorrow!

I hope this helps a little. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at The tips listed above are all topics I have covered in greater detail. Just search the blog or use the tag cloud to the right to find articles that explain things in greater detail.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing A Press Release For Your Etsy Shop

There are thousands of articles on how to write a press release strewn all over the Internet. So, I am not going to go into detail about the how of writing a press release. I am going to talk briefly on the why, when and where.

Why you would write a press release is pretty simple: Exposure, Exposure, Exposure! The idea is to draw the attention to you and your shop, whether it be crafts or vintage. You write a press release to get people to notice you and your products.

The "when" of writing a press release is a little more complicated. You should write a press release when you have something that is news worthy. Maybe you have been chosen to make something for a local celebrity or you were accepted into a prestigious art show. Maybe you are going to be featured on a morning talk show. Or maybe you just came out with a product that everyone will love.

Submit your press release to your local newspaper. That is, if they have a section that appropriate for your press release. The "Living" or "Fashion" sections usually work. Newspaper and magazine editors like well written time sensitive articles and press releases. Why? Because they do not have to write it!

It is good to check to see what the submission guidelines are for where you want to submit. Some publications have deadlines and rules to follow. Most publications will have the guidelines at the beginning or end of the publication (in print) or is a section on their website. If they do not, write or call them before submitting.

Make sure you have something to say. Make sure what you have to say is timely and interesting. Make sure you submit it correctly. This can get you a lot of exposure. If you have trouble writing, there are services out there that are free or low cost. You probably even have a friend that studied journalism.

I'll be back tomorrow with some tips and tricks to help you gain higher Search Engine Rankings! Until then, please send questions to or leave a comment.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thanks for putting up with me.

I am in the middle of a couple of projects that need to be finished today, so, I don't really have time to write what I was planning to write. Stop back tomorrow for an article on getting more exposure to your shop through press releases.

In the meantime I want to thank all of you for sticking with me. Your questions and comments are always thought provoking and inspiring. You questions are always good ones, too! Thanks for following the blog. I hope your week is AWESOME!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Etsy Teams Are Great

Most of my sales come from outside of Etsy. Most of my sales, but not all. Approximately 30% of my sales come from direct interaction inside of Etsy. Some of that is from being on the front page treasury and some of it is from being featured in Etsy Finds. Most of it is interaction with Etsy Teams.

Teams are a great place to find like minded people, people living close to you and people who know more about Etsy than you do. I am currently a member of 25 Etsy Teams. Keeping up with them all can be a daunting task. But taking 30 to 45 minutes each morning to skim through them with my coffee can be quite beneficial.

I look for people asking questions that I know the answer to to help them out and I look for answers to my questions. Etsy Success is one of my favorite teams. I have helped many a new Etsian there as well as learned valuable information for my self. Here are a few more teams that are very helpful: Beginner SEO, Helpful Relevancy Team, and Seemingly Undiscovered.

Go join a team or 25 today and interact! Most teams have a thread to show your latest work or your newest treasury. Be sure to read about the team to see what is allowed and what isn't. There are tons of teams for your art as well. Just do a search for your medium and see what pops up.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Etsy Checkout?

There hasn't been a huge fanfare or anything about Etsy Checkout. In fact someone told me about it and I had to look for it! The idea is simple, Etsy is going to provide their own credit card processing center for every shop on Etsy, much like PayPal does for, well, everyone on the planet.

It is unclear if it is in beta stage or no stage at all. I have yet to hear of anyone that has it yet. So, if you have it available to you please let me know. How do you find out? Go to Your Shop and click on Shipping and Payments on the left side of your screen. Go to the Payment Methods Tab and see if you can check the box next to the credit card logos. There is a message next to it if you don't have it yet. Clicking on that link will take you to a place to sign up for info about it.

I personally like the idea of having options for payments. I wish Etsy would add Amazon Payments. Unfortunately I am a single voice in a sea of chatter.

That is it for today. See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tags For Etsy Items

I know I have talked about it before but I think it is worth revisiting. You have 13 tags for your Etsy items and you need to use them all. Not only that, you should change them often. It isn't type them then forget them. There are many reasons to change your tags on a regular basis. here are a few:

Seasonal Changes - You might not have thought about this much but seasons are searched on Etsy a lot! If you have an item that is usable all year long you are in luck because you can tag them with each season! Certain colors can be associated with seasons as well. Take gold for example. Gold can be the color of a spring flower, summer sunshine or the color of an autumn leaf. Get creative!

Trend Changes - Pink is the new Black! Trends change with the drop of a hat. That does not mean you have to drop your listing. Perhaps it is time to describe your item in a new trendy way.

The News Changes Everything - Yes, watch the news and see what is happening in your world. Take advantage of news stories that might tie into one of your items.

Etsy Trends - Be sure to see what the upcoming trends are for Etsy. You can do this with their newsletters or by seeing what is trending in the Treasuries section.

Just do not be static. Being "so yesterday" can have consequences. Try not to be "too tomorrow" though. Try and stay current. Try to stay relevant. Anyone else have anything to add to the list? Post a comment.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Having More Than One Etsy Shop Part 2

Yesterday we started talking about whether or not it is a good idea to have more than one Etsy shop. I went through some of the reasons for having more than one shop. Today I would like to go through the process of making a smooth transition.

Your first instinct might be to just deactivate all your items from your current shop and list them in the new shop. While this is the quick and easy way to go about it, you lose a lot. By a lot I mean all of your previous marketing for that item.

If you have items that are not one of a kind go ahead and leave them up in your current shop and list them in your new shop. Put a link in your current shop to the item in your new shop. Fortunately Etsy does allow for links inside of Etsy to Etsy. Putting the link is simple, just copy the address from your address bar and paste it into the document.

Be sure to put a note on the products in the first store letting your customers know that it will no longer be available in that store and give them a link to the new store item listing. If you have one of a kind items you can do the same thing, but just be careful to keep track in case it sells from one store because you'll need to remove it by hand from the other store.

Here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Set a deadline for the switch and keep to it. First of the month is usually a pretty good date to make changes.
2. Be sure to send an email note to everyone that has bought from you that you are opening a second shop and that some items will only be available in a different shop.
3. Remember to put a link in your shop bio and shop announcement.
4. Try to tie your name into the second shop. If your shop is Beth's Best Beads set the name on the second shop to Beth's Best Beads Too.
5. Be sure you announce your changes in your blog, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Teams and signatures on your e-mail. Make it easy for your customers to find you.

If you have items to add to this list feel free to leave a comment. I will be back tomorrow with a new and fresh topic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Having More Than One Etsy Shop?

After closing my ArtFire Shop and posting about it here, a reader brought up the question of having more than one Etsy shop. The simple answer is, yes, it is just fine to have more than one Etsy shop. Of course, I think it may be a good idea to go into detail on the answer.

I have actually been contemplating this very idea for a while now. I have two very diverse areas of expertise. I make jewelry and I make chainmail. There is a lot of cross over in the two. Most of the chainmail I make today is in the form of jewelry. Of course I make more than one style of jewelry, so that is another whole aspect.

Etsy gives you the ability to set up 10 categories in your shop. Currently mine are broken into chainmail items and steampunk items. Steampunk is the style of jewelry most prevalent in my shop after chainmail. So, I have my categories broken into sections like "Chainmail Necklaces" "Chainmail Earrings" "Chainmail Geekery" "Steampunk Necklaces" "Steampunk Earrings" and so on. It is just about to the point that I do not have enough sections for all that I am making.

Now, when I start making jewelry that isn't considered steampunk I will have to either make my sections more broad or start another shop. If your shop seems cluttered that is an indication that you need more than one shop. If you sell vintage clothing and handmade soap and jewelry you may need three shops.

A word of caution on having multiple shops, you will have to market each shop individually even if they are tied together. To make it a bit easier I would try and make the names of the shops work together. If I were to split my shops I would probably have "Tangled Metal Steampunk" "Tangled Metal Chainmail" and maybe "Tangled Metal Fine Jewelry" though I do not have the energy at the moment to do so. Currently I have about 230 items in my shop and they are about equal in the amount of steampunk and chainmail. When that changes or I have over 500 items in my shop I do plan to open a second shop.

I will talk a little more about this tomorrow as I think it is a pretty good topic to cover. Until then, have a great day and be sure to send your questions to:

Friday, March 9, 2012

One Shop Versus Many

After much consideration and contemplation I have decided to close my ArtFire Studio shop. My Etsy Shop is doing very well. I am getting a lot of traffic and I am making sales. I find myself spending more time promoting the Etsy shop than I ever did on ArtFire.

Don't get me wrong, ArtFire has a great thing going for them. They are easy to use, easy to promote and have a lot of things I wish Etsy would adopt. The problem is that ArtFire does not get the traffic that Etsy does. A portion of my sales are from other Etsy shop owners. I never had that on ArtFire. If I spend a day in the studio working on jewelry I still get a couple hundred views on Etsy, whereas, during the same time on ArtFire I may get a dozen views.

I am in it for the money. I mean, if I don't make money then I have to go back to work for someone else. I enjoy setting my hours and doing what I want with my time. Being self employed means that you rely on every penny that you make. Not only do you have to pay the bills you have to be able to restock supplies. For me it came down to dollar amounts. Artfire just wasn't producing like Etsy does.

Dropping the ArtFire shop will give me more time to spend in my Etsy shop and here, blogging ways to help you make money too! What kind of experience have you had running multiple shops? For those that say build it and forget it, I am sorry to say, no matter what kind of shop you have, you have to work on it and promote it or nothing will ever come of it. Or if something does come of it, it won't be much. If you've had a different experience I would like to hear it.