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“Start Selling on Etsy” Workshop – Tickets on sale now!

March 29 Get Started on Etsy Workshop

This “Start Selling on Etsy” workshop will walk you through the basics of the platform. Led by expert Etsy seller, Lindy Turner, you will learn the top tips and tricks to becoming successful on Etsy, from properly tagging your items to taking great product photos.

To get the most of this presentation, start your shop prior to the workshop! Visit https://www.etsy.com/promotions?promotion_code=MakerCities and enter the code MakerCities and you will receive 20 free listings when your Etsy shop is opened. Your shop must be new to redeem this code. Don’t worry about making your shop perfect – you can keep your store in “Draft” mode until the workshop. All you need is your shop name picked out to redeem the promo code!

We encourage you to bring your laptop or tablet with you to follow along!

Get your tickets over on Eventbrite!

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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 5 – Promotion

It’s Part 5 and the final post in our Getting Started on Etsy series. You’ve got everything set up, your shop is filled with listings, it’s time to let people know that you’re ready! One can not rely on titles and tags alone so today we’re going to talk a bit about promotion!

There are many avenues to explore when it comes to promoting your shop. I am by no means an expert but I am going to touch base on a few places that have really helped me along the way.

Teams – there are many different kinds of teams on Etsy. Teams can be based on geographical location, products, promotion, Etsy help, support, etc. No matter which kind you join, Teams are a wonderful resource for support and promotion. I’ve made sales through my teams, business connections and collaborations and lasting friendships with people all over the world that I would have otherwise never met. Teams also provide opportunity to be involved with Etsy on a different level like test groups or even becoming market organizers! Be active on your teams. Post in team threads, respond to team convos, participate in team promotions or sales. The more active you are the more likely you will be to make connections and help build a shop following on and off Etsy. Explore the thousands of Etsy Teams to find some that interest you or become a Team Captain and start a team of your own!

Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are kind of like the big four but there are many others. Social media is a great place to communicate your brand. Post about your process, when you’ve added a new listing, what market you’ll be selling at next, etc. Be sure to include some posts about your personal life such as family, hobbies, travels, etc. so that buyers and followers can feel more connected to you and the items they purchase. Also within Etsy be sure to activate Facebook and Twitter so that buyers can follow you directly from your shop page! Go to Shop Settings and then Info & Appearance. Social media is great because it’s a convenient place for buyers to follow you and keep up to date on your shops happenings (new listings, sales, vacation dates, limited edition products, etc.).

Don’t forget to follow Etsy and Etsy Canada, Etsy Teams you belong to, potential markets in your area, other sellers, etc. on social media too. Like teams, social media is a great place to make connections and keep up to date on what’s happening. Be sure to like and comment on others posts. Think of it as virtual networking!

Blogs – Find blogs with similar themes to your shop and start commenting on the posts. Offer to write a guest post for the blog such as a diy or product roundup. Typically at the bottom of your guest post you would include a short bio about yourself and you can include a link to your Etsy shop. Doing guest posts on blogs can give you some weight as a professional and expert in your field which attracts buyers to want to know more about your products and possibly even buy from you.

Another great way to utilize blogs is to create one of your own. You can show behind the scenes photos of your workshop/office as well as info about the process that goes into make your products. Just like social media be sure to also post about your personal life too. Include recipes, photos from your travels, diy’s and tutorials, your hobbies. These posts allow buyers to get to know you better and feel more connected to the purchase they’ve made or are thinking about making.

About Page – On Etsy be sure to fill out your About page. Tell the story behind your shop and how you started. Share how you came up with your shop name. Explain why you use the materials you do or where they’re sourced from. Add a personal touch to your About page by including some family details or tell why you live where you do. The About page is the best place within Etsy to really tell your story to potential buyers and followers. Use all 5 photos spots to show pictures of your products as well as behind the scenes photos of your workshop and process. Include yourself in some of the photos too! It’s always fun to see the face behind the products. Finally, add your social media and blog links on your About page too so people can follow you off of Etsy as well.

 

Final Tips:
Sign up with the same shop name on every site (social media sites and blog for example) so that people can find you easily and there’s consistency within your brand.

Maintain a well stocked shop (at least one page of listings). Having a well stocked shop gives a professional and organized feel to your shop, it offers variety and provides more opportunity to get featured both on and off of Etsy. As someone who features a lot of shops nothing bothers me more than finding a great shop only to discover that they only have 3 or 4 listings. Buyers will feel the same way!

Photos, photos, photos!! Sometimes it’s the mood or emotion that the photo evokes that pushes a buyer over the edge when it comes to committing to the sale so spend some time and really perfect your photos. Use natural lighting and make sure to be consistent with your photos. Use the same setting or similar backgrounds and photo props to create a cohesive look throughout your shop. Good photographs give off a sense of professionalism so use them to your advantage.

 

We’ve covered a lot in this series. We wanted to give you a general overview of how to get started on Etsy but don’t be afraid to click around the site yourself. Explore what other tools Etsy has to offer such as Vacation Mode, Etsy Widgets and Badges, Coupon Codes, Stats, Gift Cards, the list goes on! Check out the Etsy Seller Handbook and Etsy Help to find out more about the topics we’ve covered and many other areas of Etsy. Hopefully after reading through this series you can feel confident about starting your shop and seeing where your business can go!

Don’t forget to use our code CALGARY on the promotions page to receive your first 20 listings free! If you have any questions about anything in this series please post a comment! We’d love to hear from you! Happy selling!

Lindy, Hilda and Jillian

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Forage Photo & Design

 

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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 4 – Titles and Tags

You’ve got your products, you’ve opened a shop and now you’ve got a boat load of awesome photos. It’s time to fill up your shop and make some sales! I’m not going to go into too much detail about all the different sections of adding a listing to your shop because Etsy has already done that in this great article, Listing a Physical Item. Listing an item is very straight forward but if you have any questions about what any of the sections mean be sure to check out that article.

What I do want to discuss are Titles, Tags and Descriptions. These sections of creating a listing are important for not only giving your buyer a clear idea of what your item is all about but they’re also really important for getting found by Etsy and search engines.

Title – The words you use in your titles are used by Etsy and search engines to find your item so make sure your titles are clear with the most important keywords at the beginning of your title. Try to think like a buyer when coming up with keywords for your titles. What keywords would a potential buyer use to find your item (what it is, what colour is it, what material is it made out of, who is it for, etc.). Like in the example below don’t just put “Bag” as your title as it’s not descriptive enough and therefore thousands of bags will show up in the search. Think about other keywords that shoppers will use to find your item and therefore narrow down the search. Highlight these keywords by putting them in your title.

Getting Started on Etsy - Part 4
Tip – if you’re having a hard time coming up with keywords try typing a few into the Search bar on Etsy. When you do this a list of other similar keywords will show up underneath. These keywords are actual search terms that potential buyers have used to find items similar to yours. Take a look at these and see if any of them would work for your particular item.

Here are two great articles that talk more about Titles and SEO,
Using Listing Titles to get Found in Search
Shop Improvement and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Tags – You are allowed to use up to 13 tags for each listing and each tag can be a word or short phrase up to 20 characters. Be sure to repeat the keywords you used in your title also in your tags. Check your shop stats to see what tags are working and which ones aren’t. Experiment with different tags in your own listings and then revisit your stats to see if there are any changes. Also consider the time of year. Tags that might not work in the summer might make total since in the Winter for Christmas shoppers. Think about the seasons and how potential buyers might search for items at different times of the year. This article is great for giving you ideas for tags, Brainstorming Keywords for Tags and Titles. And, I’m going to say it again, think like a buyer!!

Getting Started on Etsy - Part 4
Tip – not only are categories used for the category search on Etsy but they’re also included as part of your tags. If you’ll notice above there are 16 tags rather than the 13 that Etsy allows you. That’s because the first 3 are actually the terms you pick when choosing your Category sections. That means that you don’t have to repeat the same words in your tags because they’re already there.

Description – while there isn’t any major priority given to the description when it comes to being found by Etsy and search engines it is a very important area for telling your buyer what your product is all about. The description can answer questions such as, size, colour, material, quantity, how it’s made, how it’s shipped, etc. You don’t want your buyer to be left wondering or worse yet be surprised by something when your item arrives at their door. Again, think like a buyer and be sure to include any potential information they might be wondering about. With that said though, try to be as clear as possible by using short paragraphs and bullet points. Below is a great example of how to write a product description. You can also find some wonderful tips in this article, How to Write Enticing Item Descriptions.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 4
Tip – if you’re having a hard time coming up with 13 tags for your listing take a look at your description. You may have included some great keywords in your description that you hadn’t even thought of yet. Test a few in your titles and tags and see how they work.

Titles and tags can be tricky but they’re one of the most important parts of your shop so revisit them often. For even more great tips on titles and tags check out this article, How to Get Found In Search.

Lindy, Hilda and Jillian

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Trashtiques
Tag and Description example photos from the shop Splurge.

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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 3 – Photography

Photography is king! Shop photos are your number one tool for attracting and engaging buyers. With roughly 32 million items for sale on Etsy your photos have to stand out. They have to attract the attention of your buyers and then hold them. In todays post we’re going to go over some helpful tips for getting the most out of your photos.

Tip 1 – Good Lighting – Good lighting is so important because it’s pleasing to the eye and it’s the best light for showing off the details of your product. The best way to achieve good lighting is to use natural light when taking your photos. Indirect natural light is the best in order to avoid harsh shadows. Stay out of the sun and instead set up beside a window where there’s no direct sunlight. The indirect light will hit your item on an angle and really help get the most out of your products and photos.

When at all possible use natural lighting but it can be tricky so another option is to use a light box. Because the sunlight is constantly changing throughout the day the light is different all the time. Building a light box is incredibly simple and it allows you to take photos at any time of day because your light is always constant. You can look up light box tutorials online. It can take as little as 10 minutes to make one. Hint: Make sure you purchase bulbs that give off a white light (e.g.. OTT Lights) to achieve the best natural light look.

Below are some great examples of good lighting.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: WoolyGems, Bird Blue Design, Trashtiques, SIDONIEYANG.

Tip 2 – Photo Editing – No matter how great your lighting is sometimes your photos need a little help and that’s where photo editing comes in. You don’t want to alter how your product looks but sometimes your photos just need to be cropped or brightened or maybe you want to create an overall feel for your shop by adding a filter to your photos.

There are many programs to use, Photoshop being one of the most well known but you can also find free programs online like Picasa and my personal favourite, PicMonkey. Below is an example of what my product photos look like straight from my camera and what they look like after I’ve cropped, adjusted the temperature and brightened and highlighted my photos. A few simple steps can make a huge difference! Play around with your photos to figure out what you like best.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3

Tip 3 – Neutral Backgrounds – use simple, neutral backgrounds to really let your products stand out. Fabric, stone, wood, white poster paper and black chalkboards make great neutral backgrounds. They add visual interest to your photos without distracting from what’s important.Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: OHDEER Shop, A Second Time, A Pears Vintage Goodies, Kiwi Tini Creations.

Tip 4 – Photo Props – use props in your photos to enhance the look of your products or show how they can be used. Sometimes the buyer needs to see how a product can be used in order to really understand if it’s the right purchase for them. Below are great examples of how photo props can really enhance your photos and engage buyers.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Billie Boone Vintage, IM Paper, Kiwi Tini Creations, Stone and Tree.

Tip 5 – Use all 5 photos spots in each of your listings – shop photos are incredibly important because they tell your buyer visually what your product is all about. Colour, size, scale, texture, material, detail, use, branding, packaging, can all be portrayed through your photos. Use all 5 photo spots in each listing to really give the buyer a sense of what the product is really like. Here are some examples of photos you can take to fill up all 5 spots.

Macro shots – get up close and personal with your products. It makes for an interesting picture and can help show the products features like texture and material. Many cameras have a macro setting but you can also achieve the look by just getting up nice and close.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Splurge, Handmade Therapy, Elle Bee Tree, Marian and Hazel.

Packaging – fill one of your 5 photo spots with a shot of what your product will look like when it arrives to the customer. This is a great way to brand your shop and lets be honest, we all love pretty packaging.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Soph & Oh, Splurge, Medicine River Soap Co., Yarn Ink Studio.

Models – use real life models to show scale and use of your products. Plus it gives buyers an immediate sense for how the product can look on them. Using models can also add some personality to your products and shop.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 3
Top to bottom, left to right: Khokho Designs, Bubblegum Sass, Handmade Therapy Kids, Maple and Oak Designs.

Options – If you offer your buyers a choice in materials, size or colour for example use one of your photo spots to show the different options. This way buyers know exactly what the final look of their product will be.

Imperfections – if you offer a vintage piece that might have a chip or show some wear be sure to include a photo of the imperfection so your buyer is well aware of what they’re purchasing.

Different Angles – Don’t just show the pretty part of the necklace but include a photo of the clasp as well. Show the back of the headband not just the front. If you print your logo on the back of your cards show a photo of that too so your buyer knows what to expect. Top, bottom, front, back. Think about all the different angles you can take a picture from.

Really think outside the box when it comes to your photos. Think about what you as a buyer would like to see. Photos can be a lot of work but they’re so important so take your time and play around till you’re happy with the final result.

Lindy, Jillian and Hilda

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Billie Boone Vintage

 

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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 2 – Initial Set Up

Welcome to Part 2 of our Getting Started on Etsy series. Yesterday in Part 1 we went over what’s involved with having a shop on Etsy. Today we’re talking about the initial set up. You’ve got products to sell, you’ve signed up for a shop and you’re ready to start building. Now what?

It’s important to give a good first impression when a buyer first visits your shop. Your shop should look professional, well branded and stocked with product. In order to achieve this there are a few aspects of your shop that you should work on first.

Shop Banner
Your shop banner is a long, skinny image that appears at the top of your shop. Along with your shop listings your banner is another important area where you can really personalize and brand your shop to make it your own. Banners can typically include your company logo, pictures of your products, sale and promotion information or it can even tell buyers what social media outlets they can follow you on. Below are some examples of great shop banners.

Getting Started on Etsy - Part 2
Shop banners are 760 pixels wide x 100 pixels high. You may need photo editing software to create your banner but there are a lot of free ones online if you don’t already have one. PicMonkey is my personal favourite.

Go to Your Shop –> Shop Settings –> Info & Appearance to upload your banner.

Profile Picture
Your profile picture appears in the left column of your shop and will also appear in other areas of Etsy such as forums, teams, orders, etc. Profile pictures are typically either a picture of yourself, a photo showing one of your products or your business logo. Below are some examples of profile pictures from some of our team members.
Avatars
Profile pictures should be square and 75 pixels by 75 pixels.

Go to You –> Account Settings –> Public Profile to upload your profile picture.

Shop Title and Shop Announcement
Your shop title is a brief statement about your shop. It can be a slogan, tag line or what you sell. Your shop announcement is a description of your shop and what you sell. The first 160 characters are also used for your meta description. A meta description is the text that shows up under your shop title in search engine results. Because of this it’s important to describe your shop and what you sell at the beginning of your announcement. Be sure to use words that will entice buyers to visit your shop. You can also include other important information in your announcement such as if you’re having a sale or if you’re on vacation.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 2

Go to Your Shop –> Shop Settings –> Info & Appearance to add your title and announcement.

Shop Sections
Shop sections can be found in the top left corner of your shop. Sections are used to organize you items into categories. The most common way to categorize you items is by type like in the example below. You can also categoraize your items by size or any other way that works best for your shop.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 2
Go to Your Shop –> Quick Links –> Listings Manager. In the left hand column you’ll see Sections. Click on Manager and from there you can add, delete, re-arrange and change the name of your sections.

Shop Policies
Shop policies are a really important part of your shop. They can be accessed through the left column of your shop as well as from each of your listings. Policies can protect you and the buyer from any possible confusion. They should be clear and go over information like shipping times, refund policies and what types of payments your accept. By being really clear about what your policies are you will limit any misunderstanding that could occur during a transaction.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 2

To add Policies go to Your Shop –> Shop Settings –> Info & Appearance and then click on the Policies tab.

Listings
Once you have all of these different areas set up you’re ready to start adding your listings. In Part 3 of this series we’ll talk about Photography. Your shop photos are one of the most important aspects of your shop. We’ll go over some key tips to make your photos stand out and attract buyers. In Part 4 we’ll go over titles and tags and how to list an item on Etsy.

There are many other tools that Etsy has included for you as a seller such as linking to Facebook and Twitter, about pages, accepting gift cards, custom orders, featured listings, etc. We won’t be going over these in this series but may include them in future posts. In the meantime you can visit Etsy’s help page for further information.

Play around with your shop. Click on links and tabs. Explore all the different tools offered for setting up your shop and see what works best for you! Happy building!

Lindy, Jillian and Hilda

Getting Started on Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Glimpse Glass

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Getting Started on Etsy: Part 1 – What’s Involved

So you’ve been tinkering with the idea of opening an Etsy shop for awhile now but it seems a bit daunting. What exactly is involved? How much does it cost? How do I take great photos? How do I promote my items? The list of questions goes on an on. Welcome to our Getting Started on Etsy series! Jillian, Hilda and I have a combined 20 years of experience selling on Etsy! We’ve worked hard and seen our businesses grow but we remember what it was like to first start out. For me personally it was incredible exciting and I poured myself into my shop and getting everything just right before launching. I had a lot of questions though and relied heavily on help and advice from other sellers. So in this series we’re here to help you! We’ll answer your questions and hopefully make opening your Etsy shop a thing of reality!

What’s involved:
Selling on Etsy can give you the opportunity to test the market, expand your business, sell internationally, find wholesale opportunities and make lasting friends and business connections. Etsy is a platform to help you build your business at your own pace. Getting Started on Etsy - Part 1
Greeting Card by ImPaper


What can you sell:
Handmade, vintage and craft supplies can all be sold on Etsy. Check out the Etsy Guidelines for further detail.

Handmade:
Handmade items must be created by the seller (or a member of the collective) operating the Etsy shop. Sellers can also use outside manufacturers to help produce their items providing they submit an outside manufacturing application and its approved.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 1
Left to Right: Marian and Hazel, Owl and Olive Designs, Creationz Mini

Vintage:
Vintage items must be at least 20 years old.
Getting Started On Etsy - Part 1
Left to Right: Billie Boone Vintage, Trashtiques, A Pears Vintage Goodies

Craft Supplies:
Craft supplies can be both handmade and non-handmade (commercial) crafting supplies.
Getting Started on Etsy - Part 1
Left to Right: Yarn Ink Studio, Soph & Oh, Kiwi Tini Creations


How it works:

– It costs $.20 per listing for a 4 month period.
– Once an item has sold you will also pay a 3.5% transaction fee based on the total of that item
– Buyers can pay your through Paypal or Etsy’s direct checkout (additional fees do apply)
– You can pay your listing and transaction fees monthly either with PayPal, your direct checkout balance or a credit card.

Getting Started on Etsy - Part 1
Photograph by Logee Photography

Getting started on Etsy is really very simple with minimal risk. You can find out more info in the Etsy Seller Handbook or take the plunge and open your own shop by going here. Make sure to use our team code CALGARY to receive your first 20 listings free!

Part 2 of the Getting Started on Etsy series will go over the initial set up of your shop. If you have any comments or questions about Part 1 please leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

Lindy, Jillian and Hilda

Getting Started On Etsy
Part 1 – What’s Involved
Part 2 – Initial Set Up
Part 3 – Photography
Part 4 – Titles and Tags
Part 5 – Promotion

First image photo by Jewelry by Saveria

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Join the Etsy 30-Day Challenge!

Etsy Canada is offering a new online program on called Etsy: 30 Day Challenge – the goal is to help those new to the platform open a quality Etsy shop in 30 days – just in time to apply to sell at Etsy: Made in Canada.

It’s FREE and easy to sign up!

1. Open a draft shop to start the Challenge – Use Promo code ‘CALGARY’ at etsy.com/promotions and get your first 20 listings free (listings are normally 20 cents). If you already have an Etsy shop but are looking to improve or grow your online business, you are still welcome to join the program.

2. Join the Facebook group between May 19 and June 15 to receive daily inspiration and tips from successful Etsy sellers and stay on track with the 4-week lesson plan. You can post questions here too, and get them answered directly by mentors.

3. Tell your community that you’re taking the #EtsyChallenge and inspire others to join!

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