Wednesday, July 22, 2009

KatiesBasement and CosmicCreatures Best Marketing Tip


A quick introduction! I'm Katie and I'm about to start my senior year at Sewanee: University of the South in TN. I've been selling jewelry for about 2 years now (using simple pay-by-month e-commerce sites). Just this summer I caved and got an Etsy account along with a few other online craft markets and I love it! I may be new to Etsy, but I have some great tips I've picked up from selling online the past few years!

1. GET GOOGLE ANALYTICS- JUST DO IT. I was intimidated at first, but once I got it I never turned back. You don't have to check it constantly, but it has been a really great tool for me to check about a week after I start a new form of promotion because I can see what works and what doesn't! Here are the things that have given me HUGE increases in both traffic and sales....

2. SET UP A BOOTH AT ART FAIRS/MARKETS. I read somewhere that a craft seller should view their booth at art fairs not only as a source of income, but mainly as a method of promoting their website. I have quickly become hooked. Try local fairs, find larger markets with 5,000+ people coming through, and move around! Not only will you be able to see which of your items people either pick up or buy (helping you focus your production), but you can make amazing connections and promote your site! Once I started passing out business cards at these events, I saw my site traffic triple and then quadruple in almost no time. Also, when you don't make a sale to someone obviously interested it is not uncommon for these people to later visit your site and purchase something!

3. BLOG, TWITTER, and FACEBOOK. I know everyone probably knows all about this, but I was very skeptical about the whole "spamming your facebook friends" for hits on your Business Fan Page... but I finally caved and invited them. The response was amazing! The nature of facebook and our age group's addiction to "Facebook Stalking" is such a great tool! You reach people so far outside of your friend circle that it would be ridiculous not to try to utilize Facebook for something productive for once! ;) Same with Twitter and blogging!I think this blog especially is going to boost everyone's view and sales and I can't wait!

So there you have it, my 3 nuggets of smartitude when it comes to online success. I can't wait to read everyone else's and I'm so glad to be with this amazing group of people!!

Cosmic Creatures

The best tip I've ever read is to do 10 things business wise each day. So you could add 3 people on myspace, do 2 forum posts, 1 newsletter, 2 new listings and 2 other things. No matter how big or small they are, do 10 things =) I try to do this! Sometimes I slip but other days I do more than 10 so it all evens out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

ETSY: NaturalAmber's One Year Best Tips

Last night I was writing the idea for best marketing tips for ETSY to help our team learn more and be more successful, but while browsing the shops I was surprised on how many of us are really fresh faces to ETSY. I wrote this artcle on my blog.

This is a collection of some of my best advice I have recieved within my first year on ETSY.

"July 18th is my one year anniversary on the handmade site ETSY, and there is so many helpful pieces of advice I learned about selling online. I never sold online, just in craft fairs and at home jewelry parties so having my own store front online was a new adventure. There are definitely things I learned quickly about selling online, things I never wanted to admit about selling online, and so many lessons learned from more seasoned sellers then I. We have all been newbies, and there are times when all you need is just a little advice. These are my best lessons learned on ETSY and selling online:

* PICTURES. PICTURES. PICTURES. I can not emphasize this one enough, pictures are what draws customers to your shop so they need to stand out, they need to look professional, and they need to be free of clutter. When I first started it took me more then 6 months to look at my shop constructively and realized I wasn’t selling because my pictures weren’t that great. I can always improve on them, but the step I have taken in re-doing, using a light box and freeing distractions has boosted my views tremendously.

* PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. Etsy gives you the shopping cart, gives you the storefront, and gives you the ability to sell online but that does not guarantee buyers. I think alot of sellers come to ETSY thinking that all these buyers are going to find you in search (I know that’s what I told myself for more then 6 months) and then become discouraged when the sales aren’t coming. In a saturated jewelry market there is no way I could rely on ETSY alone. Make sure you are promoting locally, use social network sites, get the word out that this is your shop, come visit it!

* MAKE WHAT YOU LOVE, DON’T COPY WHAT SELLS. It is more then okay to sell things that are popular, but I hate when I see a million sellers selling the same idea copying each other because it is what buyers are buying. I think it is more then okay to run with an idea, make it your own, but don’t copy those silver earrings because the other girls shop sells them quick. Customers like being able to see a picture, see a piece of jewelry with your trademark style.

* DON’T FORGET TO NETWORK ON ETSY.Hearting, participating in the forums, participating in teams, and participating in chat is a strong way to network and gain buyers on ETSY. I can not tell you enough how many times I have bought supplies from sellers who hearted my work, and have hearted people back with intention to buy (especially during the holiday season). Often times buyers are lurking in the forums as well and love clicking on awesome avatars hoping to find a handmade or vintage treasure to buy.

* START A BLOG. I have learned so much from other people’s blogs which in turn has made me want to visit their shop. Blogs are a great way to get in touch with community, let others know what you are doing, and a great way to start a customer base who loves seeing your newest items.

* BE POSITIVE.I am one of those people who gets turned off by negativity, calling out, downing another sellers items to make you look better, it makes me never want to buy from that individual. You have to remember that many sellers are buyers, and many buyers lurk the forums and may find being that way as a turn off as well. I always try to stay professional in the forums, and give people the impression that I am a helpful, courteous, and positive seller who embraces the handmade/ETSY community.

I am excited to start this new year, this second year in selling on the right foot. It took me awhile to listen to the advice that was given to me as a newbie and I am hoping that I can help another seller get things started right. I like to think of myself as a late bloomer. I am more then happy to help any newbie, just feel free to message me on my Etsy site NaturalAmber"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ETSY Marketing: Advice and Tips Future Article

Buy Handmade

Calling all ETSY Under 30 Team Members, I am getting ready to write an article featuring your best tip and/or advice for marketing your shop on ETSY. This is a great way to help each other with helpful ways to market our shops, and be better seen on ETSY. Is social networking working for you? Twitter? Do you Blog? Are you active in the forums or chat? Or do you rely on local marketing alone?

Please send your best advice and tips that help you drive views and sales on ETSY to

This will be our Monday feature next week.

Getting Your ETSY Shop in the Newspaper

Trace, of Itsalljustmenagerie, recently posted on her blog, a great article about how to get your work featured in your local newspaper. I know for alot of us, being young and being newer to the handmade community approaching local newspapers, news, and other medias can be a little intimidating. She makes it easier on us with this helpful blog, and wonderful tips! Thanks Trace.

"The article about my Etsy shop was in the newspaper today! I swear, I couldn't stop smiling for the first ten minutes I had the newspaper in my hands. From this experience, I thought I'd share some ideas and tips for anyone who might be interested in getting featured in their local newspaper.

The lady who was conducting my interview said that newspapers are always glad to hear from people with their 'stories' because they can't know about everyone. That being said, don't be afraid to contact them!

The first thing I did was sit down and write a letter. Yes, the thought of sending an e-mail crossed my mind, but that just didn't appeal to me. I thought something more personal would be more appreciated. Right at the start of the letter, I said that I had recently read an article about a woman making handmade jewelry, and it motivated me to send in a letter telling my story. From there, I basically just talked about my shop. I answered the basic questions like: What made me open my Etsy shop? How did I learn my craft? For the closing, I threw out a general thank you for the newspaper supporting handmade and local artisans.

Before sealing up that envelope, I threw in some business cards so that the newspaper could contact me or check out my goods. If you don't have business cards, don't forget to include your phone number, e-mail, and/or web address in the letter.

Within a week I received an e-mail from a writer of the newspaper and she wanted my parents to call her to set up an interview. While talking to my mom, she asked that I bring samples. If the representative of your newspaper doesn't ask for you to bring samples, I think it'd be a fantabulous idea to do it anyway. This opens up opportunities for pictures and really lets the writer see and feel your goods.

During the interview, I was just asked some basic questions, such as: Define your style? How do your friends react to your online shop? What got you started? Just little things like that--Nothing I had to take ten minutes to reply to (a little less nervous now?). After the interview, I gave the lady interviewing me a journal I had made just for her. A little thank you gift doesn't hurt, and is kind of like a trade-off for putting your shop in the faces off a lot of people. Then, a few pictures were taken and that was that.

There is seriously no reason why you shouldn't look up your local newspaper's address and send them a letter, that is, unless you don't have a local newspaper... Anyway, good luck, and don't be shy or nervous! Its only going to bring more traffic to your shop and more awareness for the handmade movement."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Current Treasuries for ETSY Sellers Under 30

So far this week our team has snagged two treasuries.

This one was made by favorablyfashioned, expires on July 9th at 6pm

The other was made by one of our team leaders mfmapparel, expires on July 9th at 7:29am

Welcome to Team Etsy Sellers Under 30

Welcome to the official ETSY Under 30 Team Page, where you will find a very talented group of young ETSY artists looking to help inspire and promote the handmade community. Located on the right side bar you will find links to each members ETSY shop, please take time to visit them. In the months ahead we are hoping to have added many blog articles ranging from featured treasuries, featured sellers, ETSY advice and tips, and the pros and cons of being a young ETSY seller.

If you would like to join the ETSY Under 30 Team please contact: mfmapparel
If you would like to submit an article to be published on the blog please send them to: NaturalAmber or email

Right now our team has both a twitter page and a forum thread to meet and chat, both links are on the right side bar. We are talking about having monthly chat meets in the ETSY Chat rooms to talk about team activities and to touch base.

We are both very excited about the new team and look forward to getting to know all the wonderful, talented, and inspiring young artists on ETSY, from the feedback it looks like everyone else is extremely excited as well. So, let's go have fun and have a blast promoting ETSY Sellers Under 30.