Recently I was talking to one of my friends about her newly opened etsy shop, sharing some stuff I've learned along the way - so I thought I'd share some advice with you other friends out there that are getting ready or have just opened your own shops. I am by no means an expert, etsy has a ton of advice and I highly recommend reading it...this is just my top 5!
1) Photos First!
Photos are obviously the first thing the shopper sees so your photos need to stand out. Play with different ways of showing your items... i.e. if it's a wearable item model it or have someone else model it, put it on a dress form...create a unique setting for it. Use natural light - shoot by a window or outside - for more in depth technical photography tips check out this article on everythingetsy.com. Look at other shops and make note of what you like, take those ideas and make them your own. Above all, be consistent! Once you figured out your look keep with it...at least for awhile!
2) Be creative with your descriptions & tags.
Create a story, write a haiku...whatever but also don't forget to put in the technical dimensions and stuff. (Sign up with google analytics to track how your site is doing - one great feature is that it tells you what keywords brought up your site.)
3) List often!
This is kind of a biggie. Try to list as often as you can. You don't have to necessarily list every day at first but try to work your way up to several times a week. In a nutshell, the more often you list, the more visible you are.
4) Promote yourself relentlessly. Facebook, myspace, tweet, flickr, a blog...are all great venues to promote your business. If your on Facebook, use the etsy app and or create a page for your shop. Flickr is great, there are many different etsy and artist groups - upload your items and share, be sure to put your url on your profile and become contacts with all the different artists/photographers you like.
Some other great places to promote yourself are:
5) Be patient! Most likely you will not become an overnight success. It takes awhile to build a business and to find your niche. We started our etsy shop two and a half years ago. For the first year we didn't work very hard at it, we put some listings up here or there and promoted very little so obviously there was little return. But as we have worked harder at it, brought in new items and promoted we've seen it grow. So hang in there baby!