General Resources and Tools for Etsy Sellers
As an Etsy seller, there is a lot more to the process than simply creating, photographing, and listing items. Some people are very lucky and do little or no promoting and still have steady sales. However, many of us need more information about our shop and some marketing techniques to increase our sales and the general interest level of our shops. These are the resources and tools that I use most frequently as well as some other popular ones. I hope that they are helpful for you, too!
Four of the sites on this list require Google accounts. if you don't already have a Google account, I highly recommend getting one. It's free, easy, and well worth it.
Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/)
There is a wide variety of information that you can learn about your Etsy shop through Google Analytics. I've linked another Etsy blog post at the bottom of this page, which has some advice about different aspects of the site you can use and how to use them. Once you're set up with Analytics, I highly urge you to browse all of the sections of the site. It can take some time getting used to the layout, but overall, it's pretty user-friendly.
Another advantage of using Google Analytics is that you can also use Craftpolis. Craftopolis breaks down Etsy information that is important for sellers in a way that Google does not. This is not to knock Google because the information on the Analytics site is also valuable. But this is important, too. Craftopolis gives you daily views and hearts for both your shop and items.
It also has a tag report with detailed information about the keywords that people are using on Etsy to find your items. The keyword tool is also a good way to determine what keywords aren't being used. Consider substituting keywords that are not used for other ones. If you are stuck for ideas or aren't sure if the new keywords you've come up with will be more effective, consult the Google Keyword Tool listed below.
Finally, Craftpolis offers an edit express tool, which allows you to edit multiple listings at once. For example, if you are changing the prices for an entire line in your shop, you can edit them all at the same time.
Google Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner)
The Keyword Planner is great for brainstorming or as I discussed above, for substituting keywords. Initially, I used it for my jewelry on Etsy, but now I use it all the time for HubPages. This is a very useful tool for niche topics. For example, I make a lot of beadwoven jewelry. People who also make beadwoven jewelry are very familiar with this term and will use related terminology to search for items. However, many people searching for jewelry do not know this term and will be searching for beaded jewelry. Switching "beadwoven" to "beaded" in listing titles and/or included a "beaded" tag for your items can make a world of difference for Google searches.
The Keyword Tool sometimes clues me in to keywords that I use myself but don't think to include when I'm writing a hub or listing an item because they don't pertain directly to that topic or item. For example, I frequently search for free teaching resources. Adding the keyword "free" to my teaching material hubs opens a huge door for new searches.
Etsy Fee Calculator (https://salecalc.com/etsy)
The Etsy Fee Calculator allows you to calculate the amount of money that you will receive for an item after Etsy fees, PayPal fees, the materials you used, and shipping and handling. It is really important to consider all of these factors when you price your items for Etsy. This tool will make the math a little easier for you.
Etsy On Sale (http://www.etsyonsale.com)
Etsy On Sale has tools for Etsy sellers to create Etsy sale events, make bulk tag changes, and auto re-new items. If you have multiple Etsy accounts, you can manage all of your accounts from one Etsy On Sale accounts. Each tool can be used for a different number of credits. Sellers must purchase these credits. You can see the pricing options here.
The sales tool lets users create sales for some or all of the items in their shops. You can schedule future sales and set the duration for your sales. All sales are advertised on the Etsy On Sale site. When the sales are over, your original prices will be automatically restored.
The tag tool is pretty self-explanatory. You can add or remove tags for single sections or your entire shop, eliminating the need to edit tags individually. There are a number of different options for the auto renewal tool, including random renewals, scheduling renewals on a regular basis (i.e. the same item will get renewed every two days), and renewing the most popular shop items.
I experimented a little bit with this site before they added the fees. Honestly I'm not sure that the convenience is worth the price for smaller shops, but you may decide that at least one or two of the tools are worth using on a regular or semi-regular basis.
Handmadeology features Etsy tips, Etsy news, top links, crafty ideas, gift ideas, and handmade polls. They publish lots of useful articles for Etsy sellers on a wide range of topics. They also feature Etsy items for numerous themes such as Special Father's Day Home Décor and Top 10 Handmade T-shirts. You can submit your own blog posts, tips (both Etsy tips and blog tips), Etsy items, and treasuries. Submission links are at the top of the page. Use the search tool on the site to find articles that pertain to your items or your specific questions.
They also have a handful of free Etsy tools and e-courses. I highly recommend the Social Media Blitz E-Course. If you're looking for new tips for promoting on social media and using social bookmarking effectively, you will gain a lot of valuable information from this simple 5 day course.
The feature that I have used the most on this site is the Clockbot, which allows you to schedule renewals for your Etsy items. It is not as sophisticated as the renewal feature on Etsy On Sale but is still effective for basic renewals. I have used it several times when I've had to be away from my computer for more than a day, and it's worked just fine. It's really important to continue to renew items, even when you aren't going to be around on Etsy. You can set a few renewals when you have a busy day or you can schedule renewals for any entire week.
Statsy has several other Etsy tools as well, including Vultrac (a view and heart tracker), Locator, Featurator, and Biggest Fan.
I signed up for Flickr when I opened my Etsy shop in the hope that it would result in some sales. Honestly, it hasn't. Even when I've been active in groups and have left lots of comments on other people's photos, I have not gotten any sales from it. It is still a good place for networking, sharing ideas, and gaining feedback on your work and your photos in general. I encourage you to join groups that fit your interests and products and to leave comments on any photos that interest you.
I also like having a public forum for uploading photos of my custom work. Before I ship custom pieces, I always share photos of them with my buyers in case they want me to rework something. You can use social networking sites, such as Facebook, for this, too, but I generally use Flickr.
I used Craftcult all the time before Craftopolis was created. I prefer the Etsy stats format on Craftopolis over the format on Craftcult.
However, Craftcult has a couple other valuable tools worth mentioning. Both of these tools are in their Widgets section. The Etsy Shop widget is wonderful for your blog, web site, or any other place online that you'd like to promote your shop. They offer several customization options for it. They provide good instructions for placing the widget on your blog or web site, but if you need any help with this, let me know.
The treasury widget allows you to create an HTML code for a treasury that you curated or are featured in so you can display it on a blog or web site. If you are not interested in saving treasuries to your hard drive using screen captures, the treasury widget is a great option for sharing treasuries.
You need a Google account to create a blogger account. There are other free blogging sites out there, but Blogger has been a popular option for many years. Among other topics, on my blog, I frequently share insight about my own creative process, which is a more effective blogging technique for sharing your work than simply posting new items. If you have a passion for writing, I highly encourage you to consider starting a blog. If you aren't interested in this, I still urge you to create a blogger account so you can leave comments on other people's blogs.
By now, I'm sure that you're getting a little tired of reading about Google, but bear with me for one for more Google resource. I have a separate article about product photography so I won't go into this topic in too much detail here. I use Picasa for my photo editing and have been pleased with it for my editing needs. I have never learned Photoshop so at this point, I don't use it. Eventually I would like to learn it, but I don't think that it is essential for having good listing photos. If you are not interested in learning high end photo software, I highly urge you to consider free or inexpensive editing software for your photos. I discuss specific editing techniques in my product photography hub.
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) and Twitter (http://twitter.com)
I don't think that I need to emphasize why it's important to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter in this day and age. What I do want to emphasize is that it's important to use these tools effectively. Above all, if you have personal accounts on either site, please do not spam your friends/followers lists with endless links for your shop items or blog posts. Even if you have a fan page or a strictly business Twitter account, it's still important to do more than sign on and post a couple links every day. Post pictures and engaging content for your followers and interact with other people in the communities.
Social Bookmarking Sites
This is something that I should have started using two years ago, but I didn't get serious about it until 1) I'd read through the Social Media course I mentioned above and 2) I started writing for HubPages. Social bookmarking sites are an essential component for creating backlinks for your products, which will greatly increase your traffic, particularly through search engine hits. Many people frequent social bookmarking sites and will click through there directly as well. I have included a couple links below if you'd like to learn more about social bookmarking. There are numerous other resources out there, too
The social bookmarking sites that I primarily use are Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Digg, and Delicious. It's also worth checking out socialmarker.com for more popular bookmarking sites. At this point, I've chosen to use the three sites mentioned above, but there are many additional possibilities for social bookmarking.
Have more resources? Want to see anything else here? Let me know!
Selling Tips (Starting a Craft Business)
8 Holiday Tips for Your Etsy Shop
More Etsy shop resources from the author.
- How to Sell on Etsy: Creating a Professional Etsy Store
This article is about how to create a professional Etsy store so you can sell on Etsy successfully. It includes information about setting up your shop, taking the next steps, and keeping your customers happy.
- How to Sell Handmade Jewelry on Etsy
This article is about how to sell handmade jewelry on Etsy. It includes tips for getting started and creating listings as well as other general considerations for Etsy.
- Etsy Listings: Tips for Photos
Do you sell handmade products on Etsy? Check out tips for listing photos including poses, angles, backgrounds, size comparison, macro, and more.
© 2011 Rose Clearfield