Etsy has a lot of its own promotion capability right on their site.
1. Showcase – This is where you purchase a spot and it is shown at the top of the page under the appropriate category. It shows on the page as a “sponsored” item.
2. Treasury – This a member-curated list of 16 items that a member creates based on their interests. It does not contain their shop items. It also rotates and will show up at least once on the main Etsy page.
3. Etsy Picks – This is items that the Etsy staff chooses.
4. Featured Seller – An interview with a seller, chosen by the Etsy staff
I’ve never tried the showcase function. You have probably noticed that I have an aversion to spending money to promote my store. I have never seen a return on my money when paying for online advertising. I would like to hear from anyone who has done this to see the results. I’ve never been an Etsy Pick or Featured Seller because I probably don’t fit their mold. I’m not exactly sure what the real criteria is, but I have seen sellers complaining in forums about the same small group of sellers getting placed in Etsy Picks multiple times. I don’t look at it that much so I can’t say how much of this actually happens. Our own Woodmosaics was a Featured Seller with a video showing Robin running his foot-powered table saw. It was a great article and significant exposure for his store.
I have been included in a Treasury a few times. I always send the originator a thank you convo for including me. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing how much traffic or if any sales resulted from it. This is where Etsy falls down in its lack of good tools to see what is really going on inside your store. Even with these available promotion features, the best Etsy resource is the forums.
Etsy recently change the forums by eliminating some categories, to my dismay. But the business forum is still there and is where some good late night reading is warranted. Much of what I have been blogging about was learned in these forums. There are quite a few very successful sellers out there who share their tips. Some even have blogs dedicated to ways to promote. It’s best to use a search term to target specific subjects or you will be wading through a sea of fluffy garbage and whining sellers. However, the forums are where you will find doors to other opportunities.
Take it from someone who blogs a lot. It is sometimes tough to find fresh and interesting content to blog about. There are a lot of sellers on Etsy who operate blog sites, and some with a lot of readers and paid advertising. Many will make it known in the forums that they are looking for other sellers to feature on their blog. Here is your opportunity for another inbound link to your store. Just send them a convo (private message), introduce yourself see if you can get featured. Most will jump at the opportunity.
There are also a lot of “handmade” centered web sites that cater to either the handmade crowd or customers who are interested in buying handmade. Some of these sites are childish, poorly designed, and probably have very few visitors. Some are very well done and have a huge following. A lot of people look at these sites as an authoritative entity. These are the sites you want to get a mention from. Sometimes I get lucky and receive an email request for permission to reference my blog site. But most of the time I have to chase them down and ask for a feature or mention. The nicest one I have seen is Handmade News. Another one that I like to surf around is Tryhandmade. They interviewed me a while back for an article. The article is a little dated now, but it’s an example of what I am talking about. These are not woodworking sites. They lean heavily toward women crafters, but women make up 95% of my sales, so this is where I hang my hat. I think of these sites as Martha Stewart on steroids. Getting any mention, recommendation, or link from these type of sites is significant for generating more traffic and inbound links.
There are many more ways to work the system. I just covered what I do and what works for me. It still boils down to your product, price points, and the current economic environment. When gas prices go up and people grow weary of Obamanomics smoke and mirrors, they quit buying. When it goes the other way, people start buying. You just have to get in front of as many potential customers as possible and ride the wave.
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