STANDING OUT in the ETSY Crowd..

8:30 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

NOT ALL LISTINGS ARE CREATED EQUALLY

Addendum: I have come across some really cool ways to make the most of Google Adwords. I will share them in another post soon. 

When first starting on Etsy, it is very easy to believe that you can follow their listing template, enter your item and bam, suddenly your item will list and sell. WRONG. That magic absolutely does not happen. There is a very specific process to getting your listing to not only show up where you want it to in search on Etsy and to show up when people search for your type of item on Google, or another search engine. This process is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you don't really know what that means, don't feel bad, I didn't have a clue when I started either. If you haven't had an online store, or worked online before, their is really no reason for you to have known this. Now that you are going to, it is a very important part of getting your item out in front of people. Having your listing properly Optimized will give you the edge and allow your listing to rank higher in search. I am going to first of all provide you with the tools to learn EXACTLY what SEO is, and how you can use it to bring customers to you.



The very first thing that I recommend, and the absolute best tool that I have found is MOZ. Scroll down to the video section labeled SEO, start at video 1 and work your way through them. They break down the SEO process better than anyone else that I have found. This will give you the basic understanding that you need to work with in order to create your listings.

The second thing that I suggest, Debbie over at WorkYourArt.com has an amazing free guide called The Anatomy of an Etsy Listing. This guide breaks down each and every part of the listing process, from how to write your title, description and keywords to pricing. I found it to be incredibly helpful.

Now, the last thing, and an absolute must, I just recently found something that changed my life and my SEO forever. I think probably all shop owners struggle a bit with getting their keywords and titles just right. Every time I list a new type of item, I have the hardest time finding just the right words to make it appear where I would like it to. That is where the Etsy SEO Tips for Greater Etsy Success and Aaron Esteban came in. I ran into Aaron in a Facebook Group and he was offering to do free keyword searches for shops having issues, Before the night was over, he had a huge list back to me of keywords that I had never thought of before. Within a day, I was getting hits in my shop like I have not seen in almost 4 years of business. I have not paid Aaron anything and he has not paid me anything. I mentioned that I would be saying something about what he did for me on my blog and he asked that I tell people he was doing free keyword searches. So, if you are having issues getting your items to show up and struggling with keywords, find Aaron Esteban. The first link is for his Youtube and the second his Facebook page. I highly recommend using his program and his work.

I have to be honest, I wrote this and then found something amazing. I am so happy that I did not post it right away. I took the time to test out what I found. And boy oh boy does it work. I am going to share it all with you. This information was provided by Thecraftymarketer.com, because it is working so well for me, and I mean, it worked immediately after making these changes, I suggest you sign up for her emails and  follow her resources. See what other information she might have to offer.

Etsy Listing SEO Checklist:
1. Create a catchy title with your main keyword phrase at the
beginning, plus at the beginning of your description and about 3
or 4 times throughout. Write your main keyword at the very
bottom of your listing.
2. Use all 5 image spaces. Etsy uses your title as H1 and Image
Tags, so take every opportunity you can!
3. Category Names must be keywords!
4. Put links to all your categories in every single listing, as well as
on your Policies page and Shop Announcement profile.
5. Link to your Testimonials page in every listing.
6. Main keyword should be first in your tags, use ALL 13 tags! Plus,
under the Materials section are 13 more chances for more tags
(even double some up).
***

With these things completed, you should be ready to enter your items into your shop. Spread out your listings. Put them in at different times throughout the day and night so that you can get more views. If your Social Media accounts are linked, as we discussed in a prior post, you can automatically share them on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook right after publishing the listing. 

In my next post, we will discuss other platforms to promote your Etsy items. Places that will drive traffic to your shop with minimal effort on your part.

Web.Search.Social Podcast is a must hear for anyone doing business online. If you need help marketing online, figuring out your target audience, creating goals for your business or just getting your head in the game, this is the place to go. I never miss an episode. 

Please stop by Trampleedesigns and see what is new in the shop

Until then KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...

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How to make your ETSY products look Awesome...

10:39 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

SLOW DOWN

My goal here is to provide you with the resources you need to get the best shots possible for your particular products. To guide you to where you need to go to learn how to use your equipment properly to obtain the right effects in the least expensive way possible, and to keep you from having to retake your photos a dozen times.


One of the biggest mistakes that New Shop Owners make is their photos. You have a range of people, from those who put no effort whatsoever and snap a photo with their phone, upload it, post it and believe it should sell, to those that use an app to completely white out the background and make the product look all washed out. Your goal is to provide the most accurate portrayal of your item. You want the shopper to see the true color of your item. This is not difficult, but it does take practice. Depending on your particular equipment and product, you will first have to do a bit of research. I am providing you will clickable links throughout that will lead you to pages on Pinterest and Youtube that are filled with all the information that you could possibly need. 

I would suggest that you once again go to craftcount, find a couple of shops in your niche that are presenting their items in a way that you find pleasing. Is the white background your favorite? Would your items looks better with a colored background? Be careful with a colored background, it is easy to make your item disappear.  Do you live in an area where using Natural Light is possible? Some people get a lot of overcast and rain and it just makes more sense to have an indoor studio set up. Do you have someone on hand that is willing to model? Using a live model is wonderful, just make sure that this person is not going to be one that loves it at first and will hate it in a month. About a month in, you will figure out how to get great shots and they will be tired of you telling them which way to stand or move.

Whether you have chosen natural light or to use an indoor studio, you have to prepare a background, or a number of them. Something that you can have on hand. Small items do really well in a light box, which can be constructed for pennies. Now that you know where you are taking your photos, lets discuss your lighting. If you can afford it, you can find lighting gear that will completely meet your needs on Amazon. It comes in kits plenty large enough for any products you could be selling. This is the least expensive way that I could find. I personally have set up a photo "table" with hanging backdrops that move out of my way on a curtain rod. This makes it very easy to change them out when I need to. My lights stay set up in the corner around the table. 

I know that everyone is going to have a different camera. You don't have to go and buy some fancy new camera, or even some great editing software to have great photos that pop. Learning to use what you have is usually all you need. For pretty much every camera that is out there, there is someone online, usually on YouTube, teaching you for free how to use it manually. Instead of hitting the Auto button, like we are used to, you have to take the time to learn all of your functions. Find the tutorials for YOUR camera. Learn how to shoot in macro. Learn about your F stop and aperture. You can even do these things on the new phones that are out, and take amazing photos with them. 

There are a dozen great photo editing programs out there, everyone has a favorite. If you do, great, use it. I played around with all of them. For me, I determined that once my photos were taken in proper lighting, a little tweak with my Windows editor to crop the picture and maybe brighten it slightly or add a little contrast is all I need. Whenever I use a fancy photo editor, I lose the truness of my color. It is very important to me that I present the real color of my fabric in my photos.

Once you have taken your photos, make sure that you name the first photo before listing it. Google grabs the photos from your shop  and uses it for search images, if it is named td345, where do you think it will pop up? You can also add keywords to your photos. I know that this seems time consuming and tedious. But, do you want your photos to pop up when someone types what it is into Google? I always add my shop as the Author as well. 

The Etsy Sellers Handbook has some great articles on Picture taking from shop owners and retailers alike that might interest you. 

There is always room to grow, if you make a mistake, you can always redo it. Lord knows, I have changed mine and will probably learn something new tomorrow. In the next post I will be discussing ETSY SEO and Listings. I will provide you with free resources to learn everything you need to know to get your items to pop up in Etsy Search and in Google. I didn't say this would be easy..

 If you have some amazing advice that you would like to share, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

If you are in need of direction, help with your website, help with promotion, check out the WEB.SEARCH.SOCIAL PODCAST. They will definitely get you going in the right direction. The wealth of advice they share is ridiculous. Plus, they are hilarious...

Please stop by TrampLeeDesigns and see what is new in the shop this week

Until then, KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...


0 comments:

The ART of ETSY - Opening YOUR Etsy Shop

8:30 AM Tammie Rampley 1 Comments

"The difference between Successful People 
and Unsuccessful People, 
Successful People believe they are going to Succeed."

Start Your Business Right

There is not a guide, a book, an article or a manual out there on the proper way to set up your Etsy Shop, that I have not read, listened to or watched. This, is my attempt to help at least one person from having to redo their shop 5 or 6 times, Like I did.. Like a lot of us did. Trust me, it is a lot of work. If you start the right way, you aren't always stumbling over the mess you have made. 

The very first thing you should do, is Plan To Succeed. I probably should have mentioned this in the prior post. But, we all know about hindsight. 
The very first thing that you should do is determine the laws in your local State/City/County for obtaining a Business License. Owning a Home Business does NOT exclude you from having a Business License. You are required to pay Local, State and often Federal Taxes. Now, let me convince you of why you realllllly want to do this now.

Let's say you spend $100 a week towards your Home Business this year. Worst case scenario, it takes a year for you to start making money. You have spent $5200+ and have absolutely no way to recoup any of it. If you license your business, you can claim that as a loss on your taxes. Make sense? While you should always plan to succeed, it takes time to grow a following and a Business. Why not cover some of that cost and write it off? 



That being said, Let's Open YOUR Shop...

I strongly suggest that you take the time to look through the Etsy Seller's Handbook. They have some amazing articles from some very successful sellers. It has recently been reworked and is much easier to follow and navigate. 

Bookmark on your computer CraftCount. This will be a go to site for you in the setup process.

Open your shop, using the name you have chosen, the email address that you set up.

 Link the Social media accounts that you set up directly to your Etsy Shop.

 Set up your Billing
Etsy Billing, This is where Etsy takes any credit card for you and charges you a small percentage for doing so. I recommend using this, some people do not trust paypal and will only use their own credit cards.
Pay Pal, Most people are familiar with PayPal, if not, it is a secondary site where the individual has to set up an account and can then buy products from any place that accepts it online or off. I recommend using this because you still have people that do not trust using their own credit card online and only want to use a secondary biller. This way you are covered both ways. 

Checks and Money Orders, Using this option is completely up to you. It is somewhat hard to manage and if you do not choose it in the beginning and you have someone ask you to accept it, you can always go back and change it on an item.

Once your Billing is completely Set Up, I recommend going to your Policy Page. This is going to give you the Opportunity to Welcome people to your page and outline your Shop Policies. 
This is where CraftCount comes in. Many people get stuck here and have a hard time figuring out what to say, how to say it. Especially if it is your first time opening an online shop. No Worries, I have you covered. Open Craftcount in a new window. It will show you the top sellers on Etsy in any category that you could possibly imagine. Take a few minutes, browse around the shops. Look at their policies, for shipping, for refunds, their welcome messages. Give yourself an idea of how you would live to present yourself and your Business to shoppers. Once you are comfortable with what you want to say, write your policies.

One note about shipping, always under promise and over perform. If you know that you can get an item out in 2 days, say 3-4. You would much rather have a customer happy that an item arrived early than upset that it arrived a day or two late because the postal service was delayed.

Make sure that you are VERY clear about your Refund Policy. I personally have not had a huge issue here, but I have experienced those who have.


This is where the story that you wrote is going to come in. You will add a personal picture and your story here. You have the opportunity to explain to browsers why it is that you do what you do. Why you love your Art, your Craft, or your Passion. What makes you stand out from the rest. Remember, if ever you aren't comfortable with what it says, you can always change it. Once again, don't be hesitant to get ideas. Yes, your story is your story, but we aren't all writers and many people have a hard time telling their story. 

You will also want to take some pictures of your work space. Your CLEAN work space. If your area of work stay especially messy, organize it a bit for these photos. You have the option of multiple photos that will scroll through when someone visits, utilize this feature. If you are comfortable on camera and have someone to take the photos, take some shots of you working. Show your process. Let people feel like they are there with you when you make your item. 

I know that you are excited to get you items listed and selling. There are a few more things that need to be discussed in detail before we do that. The next post will be on Product Photography and Learning the Hard Way... I hope that this post has been helpful, if you have some amazing advice to add, please feel free to leave a comment. I always welcome your tips and tricks. 

If you aren't listening to the Web.Search.Social Podcast yet, you are really missing out. There is an endless amount of resources here to help you manage and grow your business. I never miss an episode and their advice is second to none..

Please stop by and see what is in the shop this week at TrampLeeDesigns

Until then KEEP CALM and LOVE ON....

1 comments:

8 Things You Need to Do Before Opening Your ETSY Business....

8:59 AM Tammie Rampley 1 Comments

8 Things You Need to Do
BEFORE
Opening Your ETSY Business

This series is an attempt to save you time, money and headaches in the process of opening and running your online handmade, art or vintage business. These posts contain what I have learned, experienced and continue to learn in the process of running mine. If you have come across some amazing ideas that I haven't included here, please feel free to contact me and let me know, I would love to hear your ideas.

I know that you are excited and ready to go, you just want to sell sell sell. Unfortunately, it does NOT work that way. No matter how many craft fairs, art shows or events you have attended, selling online take technique. There IS a formula. It isn't easy, but it can be a whole lot easier if you start out with a little bit of guidance. 


  1. Decide on a Shop Name - This will be the name that will not only represent your business, but your brand. If you want to be successful, don't rush into this. Think about it carefully, ask people that matter for their opinion and do research online. Make sure that no one else has the name and you won't be competing with others using the name. You will use this name EVERYWHERE. This name will represent you and your brand on every single thing that is put out there, not just your product, but your ads online, your listings online. It is VERY important. There is nothing worse than seeing someone changing their business name over and over again. It really does give you a bad reputation.
  2. Write Out Your Story - This might not seem crucial right at this moment, but it is the perfect time to do so. While you are thinking about your name and the concept behind your business is the exact time that you should sit down with pen and paper, or your computer and write out a good couple of paragraphs about you and your business. Who you are and why you are doing this. What makes you and your ideas different than someone else's. Why would someone choose you and your products. Your story is incredibly important in this process. Once you have done this, set it aside somewhere safe, you will need it later.
  3. Create an Email Address - Using the name that you have chosen, create an email address using that name. I suggest using gmail because with it you will be able to link to Google Docs and Blogger and many other tools that you will want access to as your business grows. You want this email prior to opening your shop so that all of your business correspondence goes directly to one address and you can easily organize it all in one place. If you later decide to create an email list of your customers, this will make it much easier.
  4. Sign up on Social Media - I know that you probably already have Social Media accounts for yourself on different platforms, you will want ones just for the business as well. Ways for people to recognize you and a way to promote your item throughout the day. Using the name that you have chosen, make accounts on Facebook (a business page), Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to start. There are about 20 others, but that will get you started. I made each of those linkable to my accounts in case you need some ideas about setting up yours.
  5. Canva Design School - This might seem like a strange one, but you are going to have to trust me. As you grow, you will need this more and more. The sooner you learn it, the better off you will be. It is 30 tutorials, all free and they will teach you all of the ins and outs of how to use their program. Spend an evening taking them all. You will absolutely need them.
  6. Canva Banners for Social Media and Etsy - The coolest part of Canva, besides the fact that it is free, is that it has templates. There is no guessing or figuring out how big a post needs to be. When you find a successful shop, you will ALWAYS notice how professional it looks. From the banner to the listings to the photography. We will get to all of that, for now, let's talk banners. Using the templates, create for yourself a nice eye catching banner. If you need to, go to the front page of Etsy, pick a couple of shops that are on the front page and go into them. Check out their logos, see what kind of banners they are using. The probably paid hundreds of dollars for theirs. If you have that kind of budget, you are probably not reading this. So, since you don't, get to work making your own. Be creative. Make one for each of your Social Media sites and your Etsy shop. 
  7. Make Enough Items - I cannot stress this enough. I have seen shop after shop with ten items in it and the owner whining over not having sales. You can absolutely NOT seem reputable or be taken seriously if you do not have enough items in your shop. There is a theme among Etsy Shop Owners, many will say that they really did not see a big sales influx until their listings was up to 100 items. I have heard this said dozens of times. So, that is something to shoot for. If that isn't doable, I would say to at least have two good pages worth to start with. If you don't have that many, get to work.
  8. Consider your Packaging and Shipping - You can never make your packaging and shipping an afterthought. The most successful shops have some of the most adorable packaging. This is something that you should really consider ahead of time. If there are things that you need to purchase and have on hand, you need to get them first. I myself am guilty of this, when I have really large bags to ship, they sometimes get some tissue paper and a USPS box. Sorry folks.. You want your items to look consistent, your packaging to look consistent. I also suggest always including a written note or thank you card. It is a nice touch and seems to help with reviews. 
After completing these items, you should be ready to open your shop. In my next post, I will discuss what you need to do when you first open it, the things that ABSOLUTELY need to be filled out. I look forward to your comments. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.



If you have a business online or are thinking of starting one, begin today listening to the Web.Search.Social Podcast, start at Episode One and work your way through them. I have learned more about how to run my business online from them than all the things I have read or listened to combined. Great Resource, Great People... 

Please stop by and see what is new in the shop this week at Trampleedesigns

Until then KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...

1 comments:

Why ETSY? The Pros and Cons - Choosing the Right E-Commerce Site for Your Business

6:58 AM Tammie Rampley 0 Comments

Why Etsy?
The Pros and Cons
Choosing the Right E-Commerce Site for Your Business


There has been an incredible about of buzz around Etsy in this past year. Celebrities angered over their images and lyrics being sold without their permission, people selling things that aren't necessarily "handmade". Etsy made some changes to their seller policies and began allowing shops to use "outside" manufacturers as long as they were honest about it and disclosed who it was that they were using and what was being manufactured. Yes, to those of us that actually make our items by hand, it was a rub. But, it is absolutely the right of Etsy to make their policies whatever they choose. They have to compete with other E-commerce sites, just as we have to compete with other artisans. I don't believe that mass produced items impact my sales any. When someone is looking for something handmade, they aren't going to buy those items, they are going to come looking for mine. From what I have seen so far, it is pretty obvious which ones are using manufacturers. Now, in saying that, on to the subject at hand. Some people see this as a Con on the part of Etsy. To me, your other options for selling handmade and vintage items, slim, dismal, can I think of words that will make this sound more bleak?

The Etsy difference. 



I still run into people in the street that don't really know what Etsy is. It still has room to grow and IS growing daily. The more people want to buy local, handmade and sustainable items, the more traffic Etsy is and will get. What makes them different then other sites, they aren't a typical E-Commerce Platform. Yes, you sign in, you create a shop, you put items in and you sell them. But, with other platforms, that is all you do. I have heard numerous people tell me that they did not have success on Etsy. When I dig into their process, they listed their items and left. That, you cannot do.

Etsy is a community, like no other. Once you get the ins and outs of setting up your shop figured out, or even before, if you need help, you start meeting other Etsy sellers. You search the blog, you read the Sellers Handbook (Which you should do before you even open your shop, but we will get to that in another posting), and you join groups. In these groups, you meet other people and take those relationships outside of Etsy, onto other parts of the internet. You develop friendships, maybe, and oftentimes in real life. You support and promote each other on Twitter and Facebook and all other forms of Social Media. This is where the sense of community really pays off. You write about each other in your blogs. You even buy from each other on holidays. This sense of community is one that you do not get anywhere else that you can sell. 

There are people who do not like the fact that with Etsy you cannot pick up a phone and call someone if you have a problem. They don't have that option available. However, in the almost 4 years that I have been selling on Etsy, I have not once had the need to do so. I have one time needed to contact them and I did so by email, they replied immediately. I have not had any money, shipping or listing issues. Being a part of a group gives you the ability to find a seasoned seller that is able to answer any questions you may have pertaining to any issues that come up. 

In my opinion, if you have a craft, art or vintage business and you want to take it online, Etsy is the way to go, for sure. However, don't be like the people I have spoken with that have given up on it. There are very specific things that you must do to make your shop and your business a success. In the weeks to come, I am going to be breaking down these things and providing you with as many real life, simple explanations of how to accomplish these things. I am going to try and do it in such a way that it won't be too overwhelming. I will provide you with all the free resources that I have used and do use. 

If you have a business online or are thinking of starting one, begin today listening to the Web.Search.Social Podcast, start at Episode One and work your way through them. I have learned more about how to run my business online from them than all the things I have read or listened to combined. Great Resource, Great People...

Please take the time to stop by Trampleedesigns and see what is new in the shop this week.

Until then, KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...

0 comments: