Category Archives: Photography

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.

Untitled design

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/

 

 

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.

Indian Summer Treasury on Etsy

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Was featured in this beautiful treasury that reflects the beautiful colors of Indian summer.

Indian Summer

MADE TO ORDER goldenrod teardrop vase

$40.00
Handmade Photo Greeting Card, All Occasion, San Isidro Catholic Church, Goldenrod and Sky Blue

$7.00
Golden Conch Shell Nautical Vintage Style Art Print Beach House Decor Yellow Goldenrod

$11.00
Polymer Clay Pendant - Fabulous Faux Collection - Boulder Turquoise Pendant Goldenrod

$24.00
Fused Glass Dish: Amber Plate with Olives

$65.00
Beach House Decor, Yellow Coral Prints, Deep Yellow, Daffodil, Goldenrod, Nautical Wall Art, Coral Wall Art, Sea Coral Print, Sealife print

$28.00
Soaring amber necklace II - floating real amber in glass orb - big, long bronze necklace. FREE SHIPPING.

$28.90
Hand Blown Glass Amber Purple Shark Pendant

$25.00
Wooden Pendant Necklace - Yellow Flower On Ultra Blue, One Of A Kind, Hand Painted

$16.00
5 line accent pillow - goldenrod yellow linen - WITH INSERT - textured pillow

$66.00
EARRINGS JAPANESE SILK chirimen cords and  silk cocoon - textile jewelry,radiant orchid, goldenrod, freesia

€20.00
Canvas Tote... SPECIALIZED LABEL...Petite GOLDENROD tote bag

$59.00
Arachne Hand-Knit Scarf in Goldenrod

$45.00
Jellyfish photograph - metallic  yellow orange deep blue wall art - wall art - jellyfish aquarium art -  nature decor - metallic print

$32.00
Goldenrod and coral turban –

Sold
Oil Painting Goldenrod Flower Painting  on Wood panel fine art

$180.00

Powered By Toastie Studio – Etsy Tools

Etsy Shop Improvements

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Purple Polka Dots ShopBannerDuring the course of the last month, I have found and reblogged several different articles about how to improve your Etsy Shop. These articles have covered everything from SEO to tags and titles and even photography. After reading through all of them, it got me to thinking about my Etsy Shop. So, I took some time off from my design studio and my blog to focus on implementing some of the suggestions that the articles had to offer.

I began by reviewing every item in my shop. This was quite a task because I have over 180 items. My titles were adjusted first. An example of this would be my Blue Hydrangea Embossed Polka Dot Birthday Greeting Card. I discovered that I had this arranged in the incorrect indexing order. Now, the new title is Handmade Greeting Card, Birthday, Blue Hydrangea, Embossed Polka Dot. Next, I reworked all of my tags. Here’s where I discovered a really big mistake on my part. I just assumed that everyone would know that my cards are all handmade. I did not have handmade or even homemade listed in any of my tags or titles. So I added both to my tags and also included handmade in my titles as well. I also made sure to use my tags in my descriptions too.

Next, I reviewed all of my photographs. The photos on my newest items were alright, but on my earliest listings not so much. I was not using all of the 5 photo slots that are allowed. Essentially, I was missing out on several opportunities to have my items found. Also, my photographs did not show enough detail and texture and were rather boring. I just had photos of the front of the card and the card with the envelope. I only showed a photo of the inside if it had a message. If the card was blank, I did not show a photo of the interior. That got me to thinking, just because I state that the card is blank inside, shouldn’t I show a photo to prove it, thus providing more detail? So, I took new photographs showing more detail, different angles and also the insides of all cards. A great example of this is my Handmade Greeting Card, Happy Birthday, Deep Blue Sea Fishing, Cerulean Blue And White.

Angle shot with detail.

Angle shot with detail.

Interior shot of the card without an inside verse.

Interior shot of the card without an inside verse.


My shop makeover was a long and tedious project, especially retaking all the many photographs. After I reworked the titles and tags, I did notice a rise in the number of views within 24 hours. The total make over project took me nearly 3 weeks to complete. My number of views is still continuing to rise, along with favorites and most importantly I am getting more sales! This has been a great learning experience and I wish that I had discovered all this when I first opened my shop 3 years ago.

Photographer’s Choice Award

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100_4558One of my favorite hobbies is photography. I enjoy going on nature walks and taking pictures as I explore the trails our different parks. Recently I entered The Elkhart County Parks Photo Contest. My photograph titled “Swan River Daisy” won the Photographer’s Choice Award.