Wednesday, September 30, 2009

free business workshops!

I just read about this great series of free business workshops over at Design Mom. The Hands On Small Business series will be taking place in 20 cities around the country in October and November. I think I will sign up right now! Let me know if any of you in the LA/OC area will be attending, I would love to meet up :)

Jewelry Designer Quits Her Day Job

We are recuperating from a bad cold over here, but I quickly wanted to share a link to a particularly inspiring Etsy "quit your day job" post - jewelry seller Garnet Girl Designs shares lots of great info on what helped take her business to the next level. Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheat Sheet: Running a Great Giveaway on your Blog

Some of you may remember the giveaway from a few weeks ago sponsored by Holly of the Accounting Spot. Well, I have a little secret. The giveaway format I used was graciously made available for public use by Holly herself right here on her blog! She has done all of the hard work and made it super simple for anyone who wants to host an Etsy giveaway. Please make sure to check it out. Thanks so much Holly!

{{Retro Summer 4x6 Fine Art Photo by Dream by Day. Thanks Octavia!}}

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

20 Ways to Promote your Etsy Shop with Discounts

The Everything Etsy Blog

Everything Etsy has a great post listing twenty ways to promote your shop using discounts. I have discussed many of them with you in the past, but there were some pretty creative ideas in this list that I wanted to share with you!

Project Wonderful Animated Graphic Tutorial

How many of you are using Project Wonderful for placing Etsy shop ads? If you haven't yet, be sure to check it out - there are so many sites out there that have an audience of Etsy/handmade fans. Many of the ads run for only pennies and there are even some for free! Here is a great tutorial on starting your own PW ad campaign.

For those of you who are already familiar with PW, I found a really awesome tutorial on creating an animated ad (versus just the plain ad most of us are running). I love the idea of updating my own ads to the animated kind - those always catch my attention when I am on a blog. Thanks to Vinyl Rocks My World for the tutorial!

my etsy journey

Kelly Rinehart of Purple Lemon Designs has a great series up on her blog entitled "my etsy journey". Kelly shares some really fantastic advice - especially regarding business cards and talking about your business. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop as well - it is clean, neat, well-branded - a perfect example of a thoughtfully planned and executed shop.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Top 20 Etsy Sellers

I just stumbled upon a pretty neat new site for Etsy and Artfire sellers called yaami handmade. In addition to hosting a handmade market, directory, and providing some useful tools, yammi also provides an up-to-date list of the twenty top Etsy sellers.

You may have seen this list before. Have you noticed that is comprised almost completely of Etsy suppliers? I would like to see a list of top handmade sellers, has anyone seen a list like this?

My question to you - have you ever thought about adding supplies to your shop or creating a sister shop for supplies? I know some of you have already done this, do you have any advice or tips to share?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Etsy 30 Minute Social Networking Kit

I am so very excited to announce the release of my newest Etsy marketing guide. I wrote this one for all of you who are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the amount of time marketing your Etsy shop takes. This guide lays out a practical and methodical system for organizing your social networking efforts. And, are you ready for the best part?? This guide is FREE! I wanted to share this with you as a special thank you to all of the wonderful customers and friends I have made over the past year. Your comments, emails, and posts are all so inspiring, and you all make such beautiful work. I am truly in awe of your talents!

You can download The Etsy 30 Minute Social Networking Kit right now! If you like my site, the guide or both, please help me spread the word about this free guide by sharing it on your Facebook page, blog, or email using the "share" button below or just by including a link. Thanks so much!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shhhh... SECRET Etsy Tips

This morning I wanted to point you over to a really great Etsy forum thread started by Etsy seller mikiep. It has been going on for over a year and is chock full of interesting tips, secrets, and ideas from tons of Etsy sellers. I like to check it out once in a while to see what new things people are posting. Enjoy!

{{surf and turf necklace by Etsy seller Jape!}}

we have a winner!

Congratulations to Ariela who will win one of The Accounting Spot's fantastic accounting spreadsheets! Thanks again to Holly for a great giveaway!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 Ideas for Attention Grabbing Headlines

If you want to tweak your headlines a bit to see if you get more views, I have some examples of time-tested strategies for you to try. Each of these has been used in advertising for years.

1. A testimonial in your headline. This is a simple and effective way to create an emotional response to an item. "my favorite fall outfit", "my child will play with this for hours". This would work especially well if you had a model in the picture your item.

2. A "how-to" message is also a great way to get people to click on your item. Examples: "update your fall look with this one easy piece", "get the baby gift that every mom wants". These headlines solve a customer's problem and speak directly to your target audience.

3. Ask a question to your audience. Examples: "are you looking for safe toys for your children?", "are you tired of soap that dries out your skin?". Again, you are addressing a customer's problem and letting them know that the solution lies inside your product description.

Once you have implemented these strategies, don't forget to carry the message throughout the rest of your description. If you decide to try this out, post a link in the comments section below so that we can all see!

{{Personalized Spoon Bracelet available at Ruby Vegas. Thanks Robbie!}}

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

GIVEAWAY - AccountingSPOT Software!

I am very excited to announce my first product giveaway for you! Please see the details below. Thanks Holly!


This giveaway is sponsored by Holly of The Accounting SPOT. In her shop, Holly offers some great user-friendly tools for organizing your business accounting. I asked Holly to give me a little background about how and why she started her fantastic Etsy business. She writes:
I am Holly, wife, mother and owner of Accouting SPOT. After working in the corporate accounting world, I became a stay at home mom of a little boy (and soon a second little boy). I was an ansty SAHM, so decided to start my own business. My goal was to create a business that would allow me to express my business side, while remaining the main caretaker of my little guys. So that is what I do! :)

Your choice of any one (1) of her excel accounting spreadsheets (No. 80, 74, 73, 20)

Visit The Accounting SPOT, and post the following in a comment to this post:

1) What is your favorite item from The Accounting SPOT store?

Please be sure to leave an email address (if not in your profile) so I can contact you if you are the winner.

EXTRA ENTRIES - For each of the following you will be given one extra entry in the contest:

*Blog about this giveaway and post a link in the comments of this post.
*Send out a Tweet about this giveaway and post a link in the comments of this post.
*Subscribe to the Handmade Success blog email or RSS feed. Leave a comment on this post indicating that you have done so.
*become a fan of my Facebook page (if you are already a fan, let me know) and leave a comment on this post indicating your Facebook user name.
*Subscribe to The Accounting SPOT's blog email or RSS feed. (Hint, Holly has tons of great business tips for you on her blog!) Leave a comment on this post indicating that you have done so.

END TIME - This giveaway ends on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2009, 9:00pm PST.
WHO CAN ENTER - Anyone with a valid email address (will be notified this way).
PICKING WINNER - Each entry will be assigned a number. After the contest is closed, a number will be randomly generated. The entry associated with that number will be the winner! If I do not hear back from the winner within 5 days of notification, a new winner will be drawn.
WINNER NOTIFICATION - The winner will be notified via email within 24 hours of contest end, as well as, a post here on the blog.

SO, Good luck!

Friday, September 4, 2009

customer service

We should all know by now that superior customer service is a fantastic way to secure repeat and referral business. I have also explained that fostering repeat and referral business is much more cost-effective (and satisfying I may add) than recruiting brand-new customers.

With the holidays around the corner, it is time to start ramping up for gift giving. Could you afford to include free wrapping and gift note with every order? What a huge luxury for the customer! Offering this service lets them know that you go the extra mile, and makes their buying decision a bit less complicated. Since they are ordering the gift online, they can have it shipped directly to the recipient and they know it will look nice and pretty. If you feel that it would be too expensive, you could add it as an option for a very nominal fee.

One more way to reinforce the idea in your customers minds that they should come back and visit you more often.

{{gumball mahcine magnet by Christine of Lilly Bug Boutique}}}

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a few announcements

I know that this is a very busy week for lots of us: school is starting, labor day weekend is upon us, etc. I have an exciting giveaway for my readers that I will be saving until after the holiday, so be sure to check back Tuesday for more details on that!

Also, as you can see many of my posts don't have pictures and they feel a bit plain for my taste. I would absolutely love to include your product pictures peppered throughout to spruce things up! Of course, you and your shop will be credited. Send me an email to set it up.

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend,


{{update: thanks, Kim of B.B. Bellezza for being the first to volunteer product photos! The Amore Mio necklace is available for sale in her Etsy shop.}}

launching a new product

I was reading a really interesting post on a blog that I follow called The Art of Nonconformity. In the post Chris talks about the process of launching one of his new products. Much of this won't really be relevant to Etsy sellers, but there was one very relevant point that I wanted to share with you. Chris writes:

"The single most important principle of product launches is to make them special. Over a period of weeks beforehand (sometimes longer), you want to tell people all about what’s coming, why they should care, and how they can help spread the word if they’re so inclined."

Do you make your product launches a special event? What do you do to get your customers excited about what is coming next? I would love to hear some of your ways in the comments below. This is something to think about for all of us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

5 easy ways to get more Etsy traffic for your blog

Do you have a blog? I know many of you do, and they can be a wonderful tool for connecting with others online. Here are some easy ways to start driving more etsy-related traffic to your blog.

1. Comment on other Etsy seller's blogs. Bloggers (and even blog followers) are usually curious about the people commenting on their page, and often click on profiles to see who they are. Hint hint!!)

2. Share a tutorial or how-to on your blog. Cross-post it with a link to your blog on various forums like the Etsy forums, Crafster, Indiepublic, etc.

3. Create a weekly column that people will come back for. For example, you could have a weekly roundup of your favorite 5 pieces of Etsy Jewelry. When you let the sellers know they have been featured on your blog, tell them they can post a link to the feature on their shop's front page. Now you have traffic coming from the visitors of 5 different Etsy shops per week on your blog!

4. Interview another Etsy seller that you respect and post it on your blog. The seller may post it on their site, and also your blog will come up in the search results when the seller is searched for.

5. Offer to guest blog on another Etsy seller's blog (ideally one with more traffic than yours). Contribute a piece (such as a tutorial, roundup, etc) to their blog and you will be exposed to a whole new audience.

Good luck and please let me know how it works out for you!