Have you heard about a shopping site for handmade? It is called Etsy. No, believe it or not you are not alone. Just if you do not know about my Esty shop it is called Between The Weeds. Sometimes I get so focused in my handmade businesses and my part of reality I haven’t a clue people are not aware of my shop on Etsy and for that matter Etsy in general. I have researched the best ways to list and to add keywords and I think I have it down in etsy world (pretty good at least) until I picked up my head and looked out onto the whole cyber thing. What I discovered is shocking.
Etsy is promoting etsy and not its entirety. It is a business out collecting more sellers and hopefully more buyers. In and of itself that is perfectly fine but the shop owners are the guts of the business. Look at it this way we are the ones who employ etsy and not the other way around. The more shops the higher the chance Etsy has in making money off your product selling. Though it is only 20 cents to list it, once you sell etsy gets a cut add in the charge from PayPal or etsy checkout, your profits dwindle. To gain more etsy sales you spend countless hours promoting your shop. You see your views go up and think fabulous people are finding me so now I will sell. Nothing happens. Deep sigh. You think I must change my keywords or my pictures so they match what etsy wants. Problem is it is what etsy wants and it is not what sells your product. I have discovered if you find the look for showcasing on etsy pages great. It does not equate to sales.Pictures that convey what your work is all about is all you should think about. Not white backgrounds or themed looks. Take shots in focus and telling your products story sells.
What started me questioning etsy practices was when the site changed everything around at the end of October. Just as everyone is gearing up to sell the rules are changed, again. I do not think this was the wisest choice etsy could have made but it is the company’s choice to do so. My gut said though said be careful and stay alert all is not what it seems. Google also has changed things and this is not good for companies like Etsy but it works for web sites.
I have also been changing things. I have put my attention directly at designing a website (laurierohner.com). I found weebly.com. It is easy to design your site and you can choose between a free site or a pro account. I have just signed up for a pro account after originally having a free site. This site also has a number of great templates to work with and you can set up your PayPal account with your site. I had thought Etsy as my primary source (my main selling shop) and I would back it up with a website. I have completely switched my thinking and I now am working fine tuning my website, promoting my website and happily now selling from my web site. My competition now is only me and not thousands of shops you can easily browse through. I offer a lower price on most of my work and expand it every day. I am now working for me and that is why I originally started an online shop.
Google searches are high, that is fabulous, and I am in the top two listing on the first page in searching for my product. I have watched etsy searches dwindle for myself and for each shop alike. I may not be listed in shopping on Google but lets face it soon neither will any other Etsy shop. As Google figures out how shopping will work I am confident people artists and handmade quality items will become seen.
I wish I was more efficient in computer language and design but I love to figure things out. I am a puzzle solver. I am a visual learner and computers are fabulous at letting me create. You have to think of them as wings and take the fear out of the learning, and as you stand on the cliff stretch out your mind and see what you can dream possible. The whole cyber world is forever changing and it is a wonderful way to stay focused and balanced because everything is growing. Change happens and isn’t that the beautiful lesson here. If Etsy had not changed I would not have investigated my web site. I hope you will find this helpful in spreading your own wings and create a fabulous web site of your amazing creative work. Do it for you.