This post was originally published on May 29, 2008. I was thinking about ways to market my Etsy shop. I still haven’t hit on the perfect formula, but I haven’t given up trying!
Etsy is a great place, not just for finding the perfect handmade present, but for selling your own creations. The problem is that, with over 120,000 sellers in 127 different countries, it can be hard to separate yourself from the pack and be seen, let alone sell your stuff.
Sometimes it can be easy. If you have something unique to sell in a popular category, or something that not a lot of people have to offer, you will stand out. But what to do when you are like me: selling something that many other people sell and hoping that design and that indescribable je ne sais quoi will set you apart.
The solution: prioritize, advertise, network-ize.
Prioritize. Etsy orders items chronologically, so the most recently listed items appear first. If you want to be in the top results of a search or a category then list or relist your goods every day. When I first started selling on Etsy I listed a whole bunch of things at the same time. I had a quite a few sales and then things died down. Now I’ve started renewing and relisting items one at a time, so that every day something new appears.
Advertise. One of the best places to advertise is on Etsy itself. They have showcases for the different categories of goods sold plus a main showcase, all of which link to items in your shop directly from the main page. It’s a good way to add visibility to your shop without paying too much money. Another good way to advertise is through your blog or social network homepage. If you already have a visible web presence than exploit it; goodness knows I mention Babycat Goods enough! It might also be a good idea to buy advertising on some of the blogs that showcase their favorite Etsy finds. One of my preferred blogs is Etsy Love. It runs ads through Project Wonderful, making it easy to advertise on the site. I also have business cards for Babycat Goods; anytime I send anyone anything through the mail, be it a book through Book Mooch, something I sold on Ebay or just a letter, I include a business card.
Network-ize. My business cards also serve me well for face to face networking. I’m a firm believer in networking and I’ve made sure that my ‘in real life’ contacts know about my Etsy shop (as well as my blog). But networking doesn’t just have to be face to face. There is a large Etsy community with forums, specialty groups and much more. Participating in these can raise your profile significantly. Last but not least, there are many other sites specifically devoted to Etsy shops. Two of my favorites are the Etsy Shops Directory at We Love Etsy and All Things Handmade.
My shop on Etsy is an outlet for my creativity as well as a chance to earn extra snowflaking money. As with anything, it’s not as easy as it looks to make it a success. Following these three guide rules however, can increase your chances as they have mine.
Do you buy things on Etsy? What are your favorite shops?