How To Use Etsy Promoted Listings

Etsy's Promoted Listings is just one more way to bring more people to your Etsy Shop. In addition to Etsy Ads, you want to bring people in through good keywords, social media marketing, and you own marketing efforts offline. But in order to create monthly stability, Promoted Listings helps you bring some extra sustainable income through your Etsy Shop. 

In the following video, I go over some of the basics on how to use Promoted Listings by looking at your best sellers, then promoting them with the right Max Cost Per Click, and ensuring that you maintain a good conversion rate for each Etsy Listing. 

Did Your Etsy Sales Stop All Of A Sudden in 2017?

Lots of Etsy Sellers are saying that their sales have dropped dramatically in 2017. Ours have dropped as well since the beginning of January 2017, almost cut in half from the previous year, which is a horrible feeling and has definitely given me moments of panic.

I have thought this through, and I think there are 2 big issues here. One is that since Etsy keeps making changes to how their platform works, it's going to make things better or worse constantly for different Etsy Sellers at different times. The other issue is that relying on Etsy as your only place to sell and make money is a risky way to do business.

I still believe Etsy is a great place to sell handmade stuff. There are tons of buyers out there, the platform is super easy to use and get started, and there is tons of potential.

So in light of these issues, here's what I recommend doing:

  1. Focus on growing your business as big as possible, in as many places as possible, with a variety of products. Don't rely just on Etsy, and don't rely on just one "Category" within Etsy. Build your own website, gather email addresses, build social media, sell locally, develop more products, and keep growing. 
  2. Think of Etsy as your primary tool for experimenting. There are millions of shoppers on Etsy, and you can sell all over the world. Once you experiment and figure out a business concept on Etsy, push further and look beyond your core products, as well as look beyond Etsy to see where else you can start selling your products.
  3. Don't give up on Etsy entirely. I hear that sentiment a lot from Etsy Sellers, but there is so much opportunity there. Stick with it, but grow to other places as well. 

One thing I am learning right now is to develop a range of products. If one market is oversaturated, or people no longer have an interest in it, if you expand your product line, you can prevent large drops in Views & Sales. For instance, if you make leather handbags, consider expanding your products to other similar items, like leather wallets, purses, fashion accessories, belts, or other leather products. This way, you'll reach more customers, be able to use a larger range of keywords, and you'll prevent huge swings in Sales as Etsy changes their platform, or as seasonal changes occur.

You might want to be a sole business owner and entrepreneur because you want the flexibility to do what you love. But if your income relies solely on one place, in one source - you are just as vulnerable as an employee losing their own job one day. If you get fired, you have to find a whole new job somewhere else. Selling your products on just one platform, with one kind of product, is just like being an employee. One day, it could all disappear. 

So focus on building a company by building a brand and selling more than just 1 kind of product. That way, as they economy changes, and as the online marketplace changes, you can easily adapt and find new opportunities. You just must find a way to continue to survive, grow and dominate as a business person. 

Have questions? Leave a comment below. Visit our Etsy Shop here.

Watching Your Etsy Sales Go Down in 2017

I just needed to let you know as quickly as possible to make sure you don't make the same mistakes I make on Etsy. 

The last 2 weeks have probably been the worst I've had in over 2 years. I had a hard time sleeping, wondering over and over what's wrong and what is going on. 

In the U.S., I keep hearing that businesses and the economy and jobs are all doing better than ever. Then it should be the same for me as well, right? 

Definitely not. In whatever industry you're part of, if you make mistake after mistake, then no matter what is going on in the rest of the world, you're simply not going to do well. 

Today, I feel like I am finally getting back on track. But I just wanted to remind you (and remind myself) of all of the things I have learned about selling on Etsy, so you do not make the same mistakes and watch your Etsy Sales go down in 2017:

1. Keywords are the most important way to get people to find your Etsy Shop. If you don't use a variety of keywords, you'll going to get crushed. 

2. Having lots of products with a variety of keywords will end up getting you more views, which is what you need in order to get sales. 

3. The more views you get, the more sales you'll likely end up getting. Even if you have a lower conversion rate like 1%, you need people to find your shop as often as possible and you constantly want people to flow towards your shop every single day.

4. Slowly build on your successes, and don't dramatically grow your Etsy Shop or demolish it. You can very easily destroy Views & Sales if you make several series of bad mistakes by dramatically changing direction too quickly.

Here's what your Etsy to-do list should look like:

- Design products that people would want to buy
- Get them up on Etsy as quickly as possible
- Add new keywords to the items so people can find it
- Fix up old designs & keywords and make them better
- Repeat the process over and over

Seriously, that's it!  There's not much too it. Go out there, make stuff and make sure people find it. Work super hard and don't freak out too much.

Episode 1: Q&A with Etsy Sellers

Welcome to the first ever Etsy Essentials podcast. Lots of Etsy Sellers submitted questions, so I went over the most popular questions that everyone hand. I hope you learn some new things from this podcast.

How much time should I spend designing new products for my Etsy Shop?
It's really important to get your products to market as quickly as possible so that you can test the design on Etsy and start assigning it brand new Keywords. I recommend you spend no more than 20% of your time in your business creating and developing products. You need to spend other time on your business doing marketing, keywords, advertising, and many other areas to improve your business. So time management and getting things done quickly is very important. 

What should I do when someone is obviously copying or stealing my work on Etsy?
If someone on Etsy is clearly copying your work, your text and things on Etsy, and it would be very clear to anyone else that they are blatantly copying you, I recommend you report this to Etsy with the following link:

What To Do With Slow Etsy Sales

Just about every Etsy Seller worries at some point that their Etsy Sales are slow or dropping off dramatically. 

We've had the same thing happen to us as well. All of a sudden our sales will drop 20% from the previous month. And that is extremely discouraging, especially if we've put in a lot of work to try and increase sales.

After selling on Etsy for almost 4 years now, we've learned that the main fault for slow sales lies on the Etsy Shop's owner, not the economy, or Etsy search algorithms, or anything else. As long as you work hard every month and think through all of your options and put a plan together, you can prevent a sudden drop in sales on Etsy. 

There are 2 main reasons I have seen why an Etsy Shop sales will slow down or drop. 

The first is because the Etsy shop has kept too many outdated designs on their Etsy Shop. Many Etsy Shops try to build up to hundreds or thousands of Etsy Items. At the time, if the designs are on point and trendy, then you can see a great increase in sales. But after a few months, when the trend has died, sales can slowly drop or even quickly plummet. What was popular 3 months ago is no longer popular. And Etsy Sellers often pour all their energy into their Shop for a month straight, get burnt out, and stop creating months later. Instead, Etsy Sellers should focus on constantly creating new and updated designs to maintain a strong design aesthetic. 

The second reason their sales drop is because they use too many outdated keywords. Instead, you should be updating your keywords at least once per month on items that are performing poorly. Words that people used to describe a certain style last year are certainly different this year. And if you keep using the same keywords over and over, many of your keywords are bound to be irrelevant, outdated, or overused. 

There are millions of people looking to buy on Etsy, but there are also millions of Etsy Shops. So if you do not stay up-to-date and relevant on both your Listing designs and keywords, then your Etsy shop will become irrelevant.

So don't get comfortable. Instead, strive to be both a talented artisan & business person, and work hard to strive for the highest standards you can possibly set on yourself. 

Here's Why You Shouldn't Look At Other Etsy Shops

Recently, I decided to scout out a few Etsy Shops to see what's been going on with other Etsy Sellers lately.

Unfortunately, I found some things that discouraged me: 

1. There are tons of new Etsy Shops that are copying our Listings on Etsy.

2. There are some really awesome Etsy Shops that I feel are way better than my own.

3. There are several Etsy Shops that have way more sales than we do. 

I find that when I start comparing my own Etsy Shop to other Etsy Shops, I can easily feel discouraged. If my sales are lower than theirs, or if I feel like their Listing designs are better, then I quickly lose motivation for my own work. And just for a moment, I feel like giving up. 

As a business person and artist, that feeling is the worst. But often times, there is no reason to feel that way. If you are a creative person or want to build your own business, the worst thing you can do is find negative thoughts to prevent you from moving forward. 

I used to feel that way especially when it came to playing piano. For almost 10 years, I wanted to record a piano album. But the fear of it not being perfect, and the fear of not being as talented as other piano players caused me to prolong my dreams of making a piano album

Once I finally got the courage and took the effort to create my first album, I forced myself to stop comparing, worrying, and holding myself back, and instead focus on my dreams and ideas. 

So instead of focusing on what other people are doing on Etsy, focus on your own shop and strive towards the goals and dreams you aspire to achieve.

Here are some ideas to help you focus on for your own Etsy Shop: 

1. Look at your best selling items or items getting the most views and see how you can create more similar items that might sell just as well. 

2. Look at your Etsy Stats and look for trends and patterns to help figure out how to better optimize and improve your Etsy Shop.

3. Look for inspiration from businesses outside of Etsy that do not sell the same kinds of things as your own Etsy Shop. Some of my personal favorites are CB2 and Restoration Hardware.

4. Focus on educating yourself to be a better artist and business person.

5. Design something beautiful on Etsy that you've always wanted to try, but have been too timid or shy to create it.

Keep creating & make something beautiful.