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rebuilding my etsy shop during the "new normal"

 
Ash Jackson
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r ranson wrote:Right now, these are the sections I have.  I can only put each item into one section.  Because I usually don't carry many items, I kept the sections pretty broad, but it might be good to divide them up once I get to 30 or more items?  



My understanding is the burden of choice kicks in with more than 5 distinct choices.

I suspect you can ignore various colours of the same product when counting that.

Certainly I'd encourage you to make a new category when etsy starts to "paginate" your products (i.e. fibre section page 2), but you're obviously not having that problem (yet).
 
Nicole Alderman
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r ranson wrote:Would you like to play with this one?



Totally! This one was a lot easier, since there wasn't that fun swoop to play with. I tried two wordings to try and fit the space better. I love that photoshop had the eyedropper tool that lets you select a color from a picture, because it allows me to match it pretty easily. I'm wondering if the turquoise should be a little darker?
card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-locks.jpg
[Thumbnail for card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-locks.jpg]
card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-wool-locks.jpg
[Thumbnail for card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-wool-locks.jpg]
card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-locks-smaller-font.jpg
Maybe the font is too big and overpowering? Here it is a little smaller
Maybe the font is too big and overpowering? Here it is a little smaller
card-fun-batts-wth-dyed-wool-locks-smaller-font.jpg
Trying it the other version with smaller font. The font is Colwell, which I randomly found in my list of fonts
Trying it the other version with smaller font. The font is Colwell, which I randomly found in my list of fonts
 
Chris Sturgeon
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Conversion rate is what retails use to measure how many people are coming through the door vs how many people are actually purchasing. Average numbers for brick and mortar store is about 10%.
 
r ranson
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etsy offsite ads for april - 20 views, 2 sales, both from google.  not bad view to buy ratio
 
r ranson
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I haven't got around to doing the photo for the cleaning book but I did manage to make the thumbnail more friendly and I set it on sale starting on the 1st of May for one month.  It should be 50% discount.  

I would love to get some sales of the booklet and reviews so that the etsy search sends it more love.  But I think most of all, I need to get a better photo to promote it.
 
Perdita Walters
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I LOVE the pretty yarn curls you make!
 
r ranson
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It's been 10 days since I started working on my Etsy shop.  I didn't expect to see any results yet, but with that tiny bit of effort so far, things are already improving.

  • I improved photos - especially thumbnails
  • I added more items
  • I put some effort into learning how to woo the Etsy search algorithm


  • Views have gone up but conversion rate plummeting to 1.9% over the last 7 days (whereas before I started this it was 4% over the last 30 days).  My brain kind of fizzled out trying to think this through but it decided that more sales are better than high conversion rate.

    Sales have increased from a couple a week to one every other day.  I would like to get it up to at least four a day if the business is going to make enough to help cover some of the income I'm not making due to not working.

    Some progress but there is a lot more to do!  The idea is to do as much as I can myself then start experimenting with Etsy ads.  But I won't get much value from the ads if I don't do all I can to improve the listings first.

    Huge thank you for all the thoughts and help so far.  I'm working through the suggestions.  I'll have more questions soon.  
     
    Tereza Okava
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    your rate might have plummeted over the past week or so while sales simultaneously increased because a lot of people were clicking through to check out the links you posted here (I know I did. Sorry, I didn't buy anything!!!).
     
    r ranson
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    Tereza Okava wrote:your rate might have plummeted over the past week or so while sales simultaneously increased because a lot of people were clicking through to check out the links you posted here (I know I did. Sorry, I didn't buy anything!!!).



    that is still helpful because it gives love from etsy search by clicking and browsing several listings
     
    r ranson
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    It looks like the e-book is officially on sale.  At least it looks like it from my end.  Can someone check it out?

    Now, somewhere in this thread were some great ideas for improving keywords on that listing.  
     
    Ash Jackson
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    Confirmed, it's on sale for $3 (50% off).
     
    Carla Burke
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    My beautiful wool arrived, yesterday!
     
    leila hamaya
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    i too have been working on my etsy shop and working on photos and listings lately.

    plus i have been doing a lot of research and thinking on the whole amping up my online sales...

    so some food for thought about something i have decided to focus more on - which is SUPPLIES. although etsy is a great place for marketing crafts, i think a lot of the people who are doing really really well on there are selling craft supplies, since there's so many craftspeople on there.

    for you it's great cause your craft is a supply =) but also my suggestion is to start selling tools for your craft. like anything you buy for your own craft use, buy dozens at bulk prices and resell the extras of your favorite tools.

    well anywho that is my thinking lately, and i have been doing so and making more money in sales of supplies than of finished craftwork. but it's all complimentary, like the supplies i am selling go along well with my finished craftwork.

    and the beauty is you bulk price stuff and can get better rates on whatever it is you buy for supplies, and if it doesnt sell you have a long term supply of the basics you need to keep creating. =)
     
    Anne Pratt
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    I love that curly little lamb!  And I'm a sucker for the natural colors of the wool.  It's just beautiful.  

    I visited and favorited some pretty wool; I don't have any use for it (arthritis has ended my knitting career, as well as other crafts) but it is so beautiful!  Do people use it for knitting?  What else?

    I love the stories about Cotswold sheep and your individual sheep, in particular!
     
    leila hamaya
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    yeah i think your stuff looks really good, i checked it out.

    i looked around a bunch in your corner of etsy, and the related stuff. i have been doing that a lot lately, spending a lot of time on etsy just checking out what people are offering, and stores that are doing well and researching some new stuff i am thinking about selling...the average prices and the like, and for craft supplies, rather than finished work..

    anywho found some places that are doing basically what i was saying above...selling dye kits, dyeing supplies, and kits with instructions and stuff like that.

    so yeah drops some links on you. obviously i dont mean exactly copy this, but selling related supplies is a good way, i think, and amps up sales while your craftwork sells a bit slower. if it's something you can just buy in bulk and repackage and put together a whole...dealio =) then that adds some $$ to your sales of the raw materials.

    so yeah similar to ---> natural dyeing kit

    drop spindle kit

    and especially something like this --->dye kit and there were other similar type kits and such.

    well anywho some ideas for you to take for a walk. bulk order basic materials and crafting supplies, or make bundled packages, then resell them along side your totally home made items.
     
    Catie George
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    I second Leilas suggestion about the drop spindles, I dont spin but have been tempted by the kits a lot.

    For the wool.... I wonder if it would help if you put a picture of the sheep it came from on the page.  There is a local lady who sells alpaca wool, and includes a cute tag with a picture of the alpaca and its name. I think it adds a really memorable touch, and shows it's not just someone reselling commercial wool.
     
    Simon Gooder
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    Saw your post about dropping money on Google Ads and the return. I dabble in e-commerce and do  a bit of marketing for various projects, and I’ve found (much cheaper) success with many of the lesser, yet more focused advertising networks.
    Some specific ideas for you:

    - Reddit: Targeting hobbyist, textiles, crafting, DIY, knitting subreddits
    - Quora: Targeting questions about spinning, yarn, wool, dyeing textiles, etc.

    These two are significantly cheaper than Google and I get great results of the ad is written just right. The targeting on these two networks is solid.
     
    r ranson
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    i don't actually pay for google ads unless i get a sale.  the idea of paying per click or per view doesn't appeal to me.  
     
    r ranson
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    spindles, tools, etc. are a good idea, but I do not make these myself and I need to make more money to get them.  something for much later as I already have wool so I am working on that first.
     
    leila hamaya
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    yeah i am in that boat too, where i have had good ideas for what i could sell on there if i had tons of money to invest, i know where to get supplies at rock bottom prices, and i buy in extreme bulk and wait for big sales to get the lowest prices.

    so when i started to think this out i just started with everything i had already, started turning that into money at quite a bit of mark up, and then get more of what i am close to running out of.

    the prices on etsy of some stuff is higher, just cause a lot of people are looking for small amounts and just dabbling. the smaller the amount the more money it is, just 1-2 dollar mark up per ounce gets to be a lot when talking about ten pounds. if you put things together like that you can add a few dollars at least just for packaging it up and bundling basic tools and materials.

    weirdly my rich uncle sam just dropped a little pile of cash on me =) its not that much but i have already turned a few hundred dollars into new products i am going to sell, so just getting that together and waiting for my bulk order.

    but yeah you start small and then slowly expand, start with a few things and as those sell keep adding more.

    i think its a big part of what people are doing to really get a lot of sales on etsy, adding in reselling of at least a few things, and alongside that they have their own craftwork.

    well anywho this has been my whole take on etsy right now, so this is my new direction.
     
    leila hamaya
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    well at the risk of hogging the microphone!

    here i found some things for you -->

    http://www.fiberartistsupply.com/fiber-artist-supply-company-top-whorl-drop-spindle/

    they have small wholesale orders for drop spindles. i am sure theres a lot more and if you work a deal closer to you, you could find some cheaper bulk products to resell.
    since you list these in quantity, and know where you can get more...those are listing where once it's set up you can just keep relisting the same thing. search engines like that too, once you have sold a few.

    stuff like this is pretty awesome too. i dont even have any use for such atm but even i was tempted to want it =) these colors are so yummy i want to eat the picture =)
    i think you could do similar uses different fiber blends --->
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/791485169/luxury-wool-roving-kit-including-this?ref=related-6

    this is cool too --> https://www.etsy.com/listing/760688828/lilac-dreams-bag-of-brilliance-4-ounces

    --> https://www.etsy.com/listing/793023277/bamboo-recycled-sari-silk-mint-eco

    even things like mailers...buying your mailers in massive bulk and reselling good mailing supplies, well everyone on etsy has to stock on that stuff, packaging, etc. storage containers, good materials storage, baskets, etc.
    a good kitting package complete with storage and basic supplies.

    another thing i have done is to get consignment or buy wholesale from other crafters. well i cant claim to be a genuis at marketing or anything, but i have been actually doing a lot more selling than many people i know who are very small scale producers, so micro producers of similar type crafts as mine.

    you can work deals where you buy for half price or whatever...or a deal where you list their stuff and handle all the marketing for 30% or more...depending on what it is and what seems right. if you could find someone who can make good tools, offer other dyed products, like dyed bolts of cloth, these could be products you could sell for them and with them only doing the shipping out, and get 30% or more of profit, or thereabouts.
    back when i was first starting out a did a lot of this. dropping 50-100$ on your starving artists friends can get you some massive bulk deals to resell their stuff alongside your own.

    i have gone back and forth with working on my online presence and sales....and not to be discouraging but it takes a while to get momentum. just saying keep expectations to a minimum, for the sake of managing expectations....i guess people like to think there's lots of people out there able to make a decent living wage or anything close to the income of a part time job, and i am not going to say it cant happen, just going to say it takes a long time and work.

    and even with that, a lot of people may be making only a few hundred here and there, and its a good side gig but they couldnt support themselves. i've recently read some good things that were getting at - let's be real about what doing this sort of stuff will really make you, can you live on 200/per month...and averaging what many artists and writers are ACTUALLY making.

    i have no secret other than i have mastered the art of living on nothing, and crazy extreme level minimalist.

    i personally have found i do a lot better at face to face, craft fairs and events and also i love doing consignment at different places. in this way at least when i do get paid it's 50-100$ and sometimes -800- 900$ or more for the right event at once...even if thats weeks of work paid out all at once.
     
    r ranson
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    It is a good idea.
    I have plans for the future for kits and more.  But these plans are a bit bigger and involve some pre-marketing and surprises.  And possibly more surprises, but that is a few months away.  The biggest and hardest part of this plan is improving the traffic to my Etsy shop.  Chicken and the egg problem, but, dinosaurs were around long before chooks, so I'll work on eggs first.  

    On a side note: anything I buy from the USA over $20 CAD ($14USD) (soon to be more), I have to pay customs and taxes to bring in.  If I'm bringing in supplies for a business, I need to hire a broker.  And then it starts to get complicated with the taxation issues... which isn't worth getting into at this small a scale.  A lot of people cheat at this, but I'm not willing to risk it.  It also means that if the quality (a big part of my branding is quality) isn't high enough when the product arrives, I'm out a shit tonne of money because returns across the border are even more complicated.  For the long term goals of the business and branding, it's important I find suppliers that are as local as possible, or failing that, high quality and that I can buy from a Canadian supplier.  That's one of the reasons why I've favoured Ashford products for my spindle kits - I have a lot of confidence in the quality and the ability of the supplier to get the goods to me in a timely fashion. But I would like it better if I could hook up with a local woodworker to make some spindles and tools but I haven't found someone who can do production work (not one of a kind) at wholesale prices yet.
     
    r ranson
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    r ranson
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    Here are some stats to see if my energy is paying off.

    I think it is.  I had a slow weekend but I wasn't feeling any good, so I didn't take the photos I need to list the new items.  This also shows that if I want to make enough on this to reach my goals, I need to treat it as an active income as the amount of effort I put into it directly correlates to the results.  

    April 27th is a glitch in the system and everyone's stats reset to zero for that day.  Which is a shame because it was looking to be a really good day.

    You can see that April 20th, the day I decided to pour time into the shop, is when the line started going up.  But also the conversion rate is plummeting which tells me I'm reaching more people, but no longer reaching a target audience.  Not a bad thing.

    The up and down from last year are interesting as they correspond with my shipping and announcements at the end of my Kickstarter.  

    I still have a very long way to go to meet my goals for this shop.  
    etsy.JPG
    etsy stats for last 30 days
    etsy stats for last 30 days
    etsy-sho.JPG
    where visits are coming from
    where visits are coming from
     
    r ranson
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    I don't know how to link to it directly, but I just got a beautiful review.  I feel warm and fuzzy inside from the kind words.
     
    Carla Burke
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    That really is a beautiful review!! Congratulations! You earned it!!!
     
    r ranson
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    Can I have a spellcheck on this?
    linen-wholesale.jpg
    maybe?
    maybe?
     
    Ash Jackson
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    Instead use:

    Wholesale prices available
     
    r ranson
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    r ranson
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    r ranson
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    Back to the cleaning book!

    I had no idea it would be this much bother to get a nice looking bottle for the new cleaning book photo!  Wowzers!  

    I have some bottles and if everything goes according to plan, I'll try for a few different photoshoots.  

    In the meantime, I would love some thoughts on how to improve keywords (etsy favours phrases of less than 50 characters) and the description.   https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/695135078/clean-with-cleaners-you-can-eat-pdf

    Here are some similar products.  When I looked up Natural Clean ebook, it's all I got.  (my book didn't show up in the search so I've just added that phrase)

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/580743105/clean-and-simple-homemade-11-diy?
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/600193922/the-master-cleanse-by-stanley-burroughs?
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/734004445/allergy-living-ebook-simply-natural?
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/486581106/good-clean-fun-the-idea-book-for?
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/778914298/diy-laundry-detergent-the-secret-behind?
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/285491697/cleaning-bomb-recipe-make-your-own?

    basically I need to make mine look better than these.  

    What else could I search to find more similar ebooks?




     
    r ranson
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    This is the closest to mine so far.
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/734004445/allergy-living-ebook-simply-natural

    I wonder how big it is and if it prints out on an A4 or an 8.5x11?

    I would probably buy a copy to see what theirs is like, except for this part of the description: "You'll also receive access to a page of extras, just for ebook readers and be the first to know about updates."

    on etsy we are not allowed to contact the customer for anything not directly related to that sale.  We are especially not allowed to add people to our mailing list.  

    "a page of extras"?  I don't know if this is something I should consider or not.  When I buy something, I'm lazy/focused.  I just want to buy that thing.  Extras don't add value but they do add hidden cost, so I get grumpy about all the 'free' extras that are advertised.

    But I haven't had my coffee yet this morning, so it might be a really good idea they have there and I'm just not seeing it in the right (post-coffee) light.

     
    Hannah Barnes
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    Carla Burke wrote:

    r ranson wrote:
    Most importantly: Since most of my sales are wholesale and not through Etsy, I also have to be conscious not to hurt the sales of my wholesale customers.  Undercutting their prices is only going to hurt me in the long term.  



    This is a VERY permie attitude! Keeping prices competitive is healthier for everyone, in the long run. I kinda feel a little guilty for getting my Cotswold wool now, instead if waiting till after the price change. Knowing it's a one-time thing (plus current events are hitting our wallets hard, too) is why I went ahead. Otherwise, I generally prefer to pay a price that makes both me *and* the seller happy.



    this is what even my aunt does (who does sewing/smocking designs and sells her own, but mostly does wholesale of the kits/patterns to others who themselves sell (including on etsy) undercutting yourself or others your basically in partnership with.
    I am trying to take this time to hit up some small shops and local sellers of things that i normally might not use as often as i am in a better situation than many and some of those purchases are to farther other projects around here so its a win win. (all done to best of distancing, or entirely online/delivered)
     
    r ranson
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    I was looking for the keywords that people search for the cleaning book (there aren't any) and etsy gave me a little note suggesting I increase the description length.  So I added a bit from the introduction.  Not sure if it's clear or not.  Any thoughts?
     
    r ranson
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    Natural living
    allergy cleaning
    green cleaning?
    how to clean
    diy do it yourself
    healthy
    home
    ...



    Trying to get a list, then I can narrow it down to 13 short phrases.

    this is hard. brain needs coffee


    In other news, there was a big article on one of the major news networks this week about how the amount of poisoning from household products has gone up by about 40% in Canada because people are cleaning more often and spending more time in the house and breathing in the toxins or absorbing through the skin.

    I need to get this good before the trend takes off.  
     
    Tereza Okava
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    google search here indicates

    eco-friendly
    safer
    homemade
    natural
    non-toxic
    chemical-free


    (i don't like several of these phrases but they are what are coming up when i google "safe cleaning")
     
    r ranson
    master steward & author
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    Kitchen & Dining
    Kitchen Storage
    Eco(420,620 Results)
    Organic
    Zero waste
    Sustainable
    Food wrap
    natural
    naturalliving
    handmade
    plastic free
     
    r ranson
    master steward & author
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    Ops, I was wrong about the keywords being 50 characters, they can only be 20 characters long and only 13 tags.

    From what I've read/heard, it's good to have the same words in the keywords as in the title.

    Clean With Cleaners You Can Eat PDF eBook by Raven Ranson

    organic cleaning
    cleaning home
    cleaners you can eat
    how to clean
    cleaning book
    green cleaning
    cleaning on a budget
    safe home care
    PDF e-book
    food grade cleaners
    DIY do it yourself
    natural clean ebook
    make your own

    That's the best list I could come up with so far.
     
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