Category Archives: Inspiration

My Favorite Apps For Managing My Etsy Shop

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my favorite apps

When I first opened my Etsy Shop, DesignsByCnC, five years ago, I did not fully comprehend how many different aspects were involved in running an online store.  After all, how hard can it be?  You just create the product and list it right?

Many different aspects must come into play to have a successful Etsy Shop.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Great Pictures
  • Good Grammar
  • Social Media
  • Host A Sale Event

In my opinion, the most important thing that you can do for your shop is to learn all you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO is the process of getting traffic from search results. Before you can sell your products, customers must be able to find your store.  My favorite SEO app is Marmalead.  Not only is this app great for SEO but it is also a great Etsy research tool.  I am able to pull up search results, keywords and pricing.  Not only has it cut my research time in half but also helped to increase my sales.

Now that your prospective customer has found your store how do you get them to buy your product?  With great pictures!  In an online store, the customer is unable to hold the product in their hands.  Therefore, your photos must be clear, bright and appealing so that your customer will want to purchase  your item.  You have 5 spaces available to show off your product.  Start with your best photo first.  Include some close up shots, angles that show the texture of the item, how the product is used.   For my shop, I use the FotoFuze app.  This a free app that enhances photos and provides a professional background.

In the following example, I used one of my handcrafted birthday cards.  The photo on left shows the card before I edited it using Fotofuze.  Even though I used a white background, it appears to have a gray background and is rather dull.  The photo on the right is how it looks after being edited in Fotofuze.  The photo is now crisp and bright with a brilliant white background that makes the colors pop.

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Left: without FotoFuze                                                         Right:  with Fotofuze

One aspect of managing an Etsy Shop that is often overlooked is the importance of good grammar and spelling.  Often times, while I am shopping on Etsy I look at a product that has a poorly written description  with misspelled words and it makes me wonder about the quality of the product.  I came across a handy website Instant Etsy Shop Spell Checker.  All you do is enter the name of your shop and it searches through all your listings for misspelled words.

Promoting your shop on social media is a wonderful way to get the word out about your amazing products.  In my case, I branched out way too far on social media. At one time,  I was actually on ten different sites!  This took up so much of my time that I had no time left to work in my card studio.  I cut my social media sites down to three and begin using the Around.io app.  This app allows me to schedule my social media posts a week in advance.  I now spend about 2 hours a week setting up all of my social media posts and it has also increased my social media reach.

In my shop, I conduct a sale several times a year.  A great app that I just have begun using is Etsy On Sale.  This app allows you to manage automated sales events, schedule listing renewals, and edit tags with just a few simple clicks.  I found this to be very convenient and another great time saver.

In conclusion,  I would like to point out that there are many apps available that will help you manage your Etsy Shop.  You just need to find the ones that work the best for you and your product.  To find additional apps, check out the Etsy Seller Apps.

You can find me on social media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/designsbycnc/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/DesignsByCnC/

 

 

The Importance of SEO For Your Etsy Shop

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lifeblood-clipart-dblog_seoI have taken some time off from my blog to just focus on improving my Etsy shop, Designs By CnC.  This past spring, I was brainstorming ways to make improvements to the offerings in my shop.  I had already improved my photographs and gradually been increasing the number of listings.  However, I just felt that this was simply not enough.  My shop was just not being found amongst all of the other Etsy shops.

I began reading articles on how to improve SEO.  Just what is SEO?  Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.  While reading different posts from my teammates on the Helping Etsians Promote Team,  I kept seeing the name of  a shop that offers SEO writing services, The Write Assistant

I noticed many recommendations about the quality of services from this shop, so I contacted Kateland Kelly of The Write Assistant.  She reworked three of my listings, completely rewriting the titles, tags and descriptions, all of which greatly improved the SEO.  Based on what I learned from this experience, I completely reworked all of the listings in my shop.  All 300 of them, which only took all summer long!  My shop has certainly experienced an increase in views up from 5,633 for August – September 2014, to 8,195 for August – September 2015.

My suggestions for improving your SEO are:

  1.  Try it on your own first.  Do your research by reading up on SEO, there are a lot of great articles out there.  If you find it rather confusing like I did, then consider consulting or hiring someone to help.
  2. If you do decide to hire a writing service, get references.  Talk to former clients to see if they are pleased with the results they received.
  3. Look over the website or shop of the writing service.  How well is their website put together, is it well written and professional?
  4. Ask to see samples of their work.  Does their writing style match the image of your Etsy shop?

My Etsy Shop, A Year In Review 2014

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Purple Polka Dots Designs by CnC

 

One of my goals for 2014 was to really focus on my Etsy Shop – Designs by CnC, by improving my SEO and photographs.  So I began the past year by researching many different articles, some of which I shared with you on my blog.  Referring back to my blog article, Etsy Shop Improvements, which I posted back on May 7, I am now able to take some time to review my stats for 2014.

 

 

Titles, Tags and Descriptions

One of the first changes that I made was to change my titles.  I researched other Etsy Shops that sold the same products as my store to see what tags were being used.  As I entered different search terms on Etsy, I noticed suggestions in the drop down menu.  These showed the most popular search terms used by visitors on Etsy.  So I made a note of these and included them into my tags.  I discovered that I was not using “handmade” in either my titles or tags.  An example of one of my new titles is “Handmade Greeting Card, Birthday, Lilac Geisha, Embossed Scroll”.  I repeated the title in both the description and also the tags.  For my particular situation, using “handmade”, “homemade” and “handcrafted” in my tags has really made a huge difference.

Photographs

Yet another change I made was in the quality and quantity of my photographs.  I wanted to brighten up my photos and also show more detail.  After all, when selling online, the customer is not actually able to hold my item in their hands so my photographs need to be clear and bright to get them to purchase the items.  So I did research and read several different articles about photography.  One of the most important things that I actually read was my owners manual for my camera.  I just began to experiment with different settings until I achieved the look I was after.  When selling on Etsy, you are allowed 5 spaces for photos.  On some of my listings, especially my oldest ones, I was not using all of them.  I was missing out on additional opportunities to win over my customers.  So I added some shots with close ups and with different angles.

Adding More Shop Listings

A big change for me this year was doubling the amount of listings in my shop.  I expanded my supply listings, adding about 30 listings for rubber stamps.  When I reached about 125 listings, I began to notice a rise in sales.  Having more items gives my customers additional variety from which to choose.  Customers are also now purchasing multiple items at a time.

Shop Arrangement

For the Christmas Season, I completely reorganized the arrangement of my shop.  With my colorful Christmas banner at the top of the page, I moved all of my Christmas merchandise to the first few pages of my shop.  It set a whole festive mood and looked just like you were walking into a Christmas Open House.  I received many compliments about the appearance of my shop, but most importantly, I was selling merchandise!

Results

So the question is, Did all of my research and hard work pay off?  The answer is yes.  I was able to triple my sales.  For 2013 – views 11,502; favorites 1,611; orders 47.  For 2014 – views 27,763; favorites 3,207; orders 125.  I made so many changes at the same time, I was not able to tell which one had the most impact.  My advice would be to perhaps make changes more gradually so you can better gauge the effectiveness of each change.  The more time and effort you devote to your Etsy Shop, the more you will get out of it.  I am constantly on the lookout for ways to improve both my shop and my talents as a greeting card designer.

More Than 300 Tips To Market Your Etsy Store

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This article was shared with me by one of my fellow teammates from the Helping Etsians Promote Team.  I found some helpful suggestions and some great motivation.

 

 

http://www.launchgrowjoy.com/5-tips-to-market-your-etsy-store/

 

 

The Chalk Board Table Project

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With my daughter’s growing obsession for the new Lego sets, I have been wanting to make room in her play room to give her more space to build her Lego Heartlake City. We spent a couple of days reorganizing the room, clearing out all of the toys that she has outgrown. This kinda made me feel a little melancholy to realize how quickly my baby girl has grown up. She is now part of the robotics team at her school and absolutely loves to build and create things.

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We already had one 6 foot table set up in the playroom. It just so happened that we found an old wooden 6 foot table at a church sale. It was used as a craft table and had a lot of paint stains on it. It was actually made with particle board. I discovered that it had some rather deep scratches, and I did not want to sand it down for fear that I would take it down to far. So I cleaned the surface of the table and trimmed off the rough edges with a razor blade.

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At Menards, I purchased a quart of black chalkboard paint. I began this project by masking the edges of the table with tape. With a paint roller, the first coat was applied to the table going long ways. After this coat dried, I applied the next coat short ways. This helped to minimize the roller lines from showing. The table took a total of four coats of paint. I let the table sit for three days and then we moved it into the playroom.

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We began moving some of the Lego sets onto the table. My daughter has a lot of new ideas and plans to redesign and rebuild her city. I did hear some talk about drawing in a roadway system on her new table. As with any great project, this will take some time to complete. Can’t wait to see what she creates!

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Creating The Sock Monkey Birthday Card

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DSCN4406While spending a lovely afternoon playing with my little grandson, the thought occurred to me that I didn’t have any children’s animal cards in my Etsy shop. He happened to have a cute little monkey on his outfit and thus the design for the sock monkey card was born. Apparently my old childhood favorite, the sock monkey, is extremely popular once again. On my trip to the craft store, I discovered an adorable rubber stamp and coordinating designer paper in this motif.

I began by laying out my materials. For this project I used: Core’dinations ruby red and charcoal gray textured cardstock, Paper Studio sock monkey designer paper, Bazzill Basics candy corn cardstock, ash gray and vanilla cream cardstock, sock monkey stamp, and Stampin’ Up real red, black and gray inks. One element that I particularly wanted to include was some fringe created with my new Stampin’ Up fringe scissors.

This is my first project using these scissors and I absolutely love them! I like the look of the fringe and look forward to using them on many different projects.DSCN4409