Tips to get Your Etsy Shop Holiday-Rush-Ready!

November 4, 2011 at 10:00 am (Tutorials)

It’s nearly October which means many people are starting to think about Holiday Shopping. I know I’ve got a few things already bought for Christmas gifts and a few more on my list! So, in order to get your shop ready for the holiday rush, I’ve put together this list!

1. Check your Banner and Avatar. Make sure they’re themed for the items you’ll be selling and for the season. I have 2 banners- one for warm weather, and one for cold weather. If you don’t have seasonal items, try making a fall/winter colored banner or avatar. I use Pantone to check on the hot colors for the season.

2. Make sure you have shipping supplies. I use Uline to buy mailers (they’re really great quality and I looove them!), I’ve also heard good things about PaperMart as well.

3. Make sure if you do custom orders that you have some extra supplies to make them!

4. Get your “shipping station” prepared and organized. Get paper and ink for printing, tape, envelopes/mailers sorted by size, and make it neat and tidy so when you need to pack up a bunch of orders, everything is where it should be. Nothing worse than needing the tape or a sharpie and not being able to find it!

5. Make a plan for your seasonal items. Are you going to put them on sale? Deactivate them? Mark it down on your calendar!

6. Make sure you note your cut-off date for Holiday shipping in your Shop Announcement, and offer expedited shipping at an additional cost.

7. Update your policies- Make sure you HAVE policies, and that they reflect how you want to run your business. Do you accept returns? Exchanges? How do you deal with errors? How do you ship and what is your turn around time? Let your buyers know what to expect from you and what you expect from them.

8. Thank your buyers! It doesn’t have to be special, but (most) buyers love little freebies for big orders, and it never hurts to throw in a thank-you!

This isn’t a huge list, but it’s one I follow. 😀 Good luck and have fun during the holiday season!

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StumbleUpon: Reviewing and Sharing.

July 18, 2011 at 2:25 am (Tutorials)

I hope a lot of you are following my blog about stumbleupon. I think it’s a great bookmarking site, and I’m learning a TON about it. I recently discovered sharing. I don’t know how I missed that because it’s a fun feature! I love to see what my friends are discovering and enjoying. This neat little feature just makes it easier.

First, you have to gather your friends and if you didn’t check the box to allow shares, you’ll have to go back and do it. Here’s a photo to show you where on your friends’ profile pages the checkbox is.

Now that you and your friends have allowed each other to share… Here comes the fun part! When you’re browsing through and see a cool site you want to share, simply hit the share button on your stumble bar- it’s between the twitter button and interests.

When you click it, it should look something like this:

You can click on your friends to share with them via StumbleUpon, email, Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. You also have the option of adding a little comment to the share.

Now, as far as reviewing goes, it’s a good thing to review all your likes. You want the pages you like to be shared with others- including non-friend stumblers. The more reviews a page has, the higher on the list your liked page gets.

So, have fun! 😀

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StumbleUpon: Tags

June 16, 2011 at 11:10 pm (Etsy, Etsy D-Listers, Tutorials)

I wrote about how to use StumbleUpon not long ago. It’s a great tool for marketing, and, well, it’s just a lot of fun if you’re bored and want to kill some time. Tags are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT; They are the bridge from you to your viewers. I’ve done some experimenting with different tags on StumbleUpon. Now, we have to remember that StumbleUpon only uses ONLY ONE tag (the first one) to put your web content into it’s system. So, when we’re stumbling things like blogs and their pages, or Etsy, Artfire (or another site as such) and their different listing pages, we have wiggle room to spread the pages around. If we keep tagging pages with the same exact category tags we’re only shooting pages down one viewer path. We need to spread it around to different categories to get it to a different audience. This is what I call Creative Tagging.

Creative Tagging Vs. Mistagging

We are NOT going to mistag. I find mistagging VERY annoying and it’s also against TOUs. Besides, let’s face it, mistaggers in most cases are just outright jerks. Creative tagging is thinking outside the boring box in tagging, yet staying within the TOU box. I have been experimenting with tags on StumbleUpon to see which ones can work best. The tags that do NOT work would be Ecommerce and Shopping. They are bloated categories and it doesn’t seem like many people use those as their interests. So forget those tags exist and use other ones!

Examples:
Items – Category tag
Home decor items – interior design
accessories – Fashion, clothing, they could also go in sewing, knit, crochet, jewelry, etc, depending on what it is.
Painted items – painting, arts, interior design
Flowers and garden stuff – gardening, outdoors, forestry, nature
Business items such as business cards – business, entrepreneurship, home business

The list goes on and on, but there are tons of categories and you can find a creative way to use StumbleUpon’s category tag to suit your items, shops, and blogs. If you need help finding what categories StumbleUpon has, login and check here.

Happy Stumbling!

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Pinterest: The Tutorial

June 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm (Tutorials)

My new obsession is none other than Pinterest. It’s like a virtual pinboard. You can create a board full of things you love. It works similarly to Twitter as you can follow your friends, be followed and share, favorite, and repin other peoples’ pins. You can use Pinterest to share all kinds of things for wedding or party inspiration, favorite products, anything! It’s really great for handmade items as well. What better to do than support your favorite online handmade store? Pinterest is invite only. You can request an invite from Pinterest or send me or a friend who has a Pinterest account a message with your email address. After you go through getting your Pinterest account, you can start pinning!

 

 

The easiest way to start pinning items is to add the Pin It bookmark. It’s a little button you can add to your bookmark bar using Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome. If you don’t use any of these web browsers, it’s ok! There is another way to pin! To add the Pin It button to your bookmark bar, go to your browser make sure your bookmark bar is visible by going to View > Always Show Bookmarks Bar, then drag the pin it link to your bookmark bar. You can find the Pin It bookmark link here. If you have Internet Explorer, an iPhone and/or iPad Go Here and follow the instructions.

If you don’t want the bookmarklet on your computer you can go to your Pinterest page, on your Pinterest tool bar you’ll have buttons with drop down boxes. Go to “Add” and click “Add Pin” This will take you to this page (see photo below). Put the URL of the thing you want to pin into the URL box. At this point you can add a little message about your pin, give it tags, and add a price to the item. Hit the “Pin It” button and your pin will show up to all your followers.

If you do not have followers yet, you can find friends under your Pinterest tool bar button “People” the drop box will have an option to “Find Friends” Click that and you can import Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! and Gmail friends who are already using Pinterest. Pinterest works a lot like Twitter does. You follow others and are followed, but your tweets are pictures instead of words or updates.It’s a really great way to share your personal style and products you love, but also to find some really awesome products!

So, get to Pinning!

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StumbleUpon!

April 26, 2011 at 1:30 am (Tutorials)

I stumble… do YOU?!

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine. It finds and recommends web content to StumbleUpon users. Users can rate web pages, blogs, photos, and videos. The toolbar works for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer; there are third party toolbars created for Safari and Opera, as well. StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering, which is a system that looks for users who share similar rating patterns with active users and using the rating from those people to calculate a prediction for the new user. Users rate a site by giving it either a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the toolbar. There is also an option to leave commentary on the site’s review page.

When I’m looking for an interesting web experience, I use StumbleUpon. I have my own list of interests that I can change at any time, and search through. The great thing about StumbleUpon is, you can follow your friends like you can on twitter and see each of their favorites.

We’ve gone over WHAT StumbleUpon IS, now to get started stumbling! First, we have to create an account to get started. So, go to the StumbleUpon homepage and click on the “Join StumbleUpon” button on the main navigation bar. You’ll have to fill out the registration form; which includes choosing a user name, entering an email address, picking a password, and specifying some details such as gender and birth date that can be hidden. After that, you can upload a profile picture if you want. After your registration is complete, you choose your topics of interest. This was one of my most favorite parts. You can choose from a little over 500 interests such as arts/history, computers, health, media, outdoors, sports, etc. These topics will help you find stumbled sites that are tagged to your topics. You can connect with your friends using the Find Friends button on your sidebar on your profile page. You can follow and be followed, similar to twitter.

Next, you have to download the web-bar for StumbleUpon. Go to THIS page and there will be options to download for your Operating System/Browser. There are stumble buttons for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome; PC or Mac users. For Safari and Opera, there is a bookmarklet that is dragged to your bookmarks toolbar, no installation required; just drag and drop into the bookmarks bar. There are also apps for the iPhone and iPad that can be downloaded from the iTunes Store, as well as an app for Android from the Android Market. Now that you have your toolbar in place, you’ll see a “Stumble!” button, “Like it!”, and a thumbs down button. Change the topic of interest from within the toolbar. When you find a page you really like, hit the “Like It!” Button. The toolbar will also allow you to share your finds on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

If you come across a page that hasn’t been stumbled before, you’ll have to review it. To review a page, you’ll get a page that looks like this:

You’ll get a tag cloud to pick from, but you can also type in your own tags. Add keywords that will help others find your page. You don’t want to add a “sports” tag for a great cupcake recipe, or vice versa. If you want to leave a few words for a review you can, although not mandatory. Click “Submit” and you’ve just stumbled your first unreviewed site!

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Tuesday Tutorial: Crochet Bath Puff

December 28, 2010 at 11:08 am (Crochet, Tutorials)

I’ve made these bath puffs before. They’re easy to make, and fun to use (so says the people I’ve given them to!). I suggest using cotton yarn of your choice (not bulky!!!). I use Bernat Handicrafter, or Sugar n’ Cream cotton yarn.  (I’ve used them both and they both work great!) The problem I’ve seen with Sugar n’ Cream is you have to buy 2 or more balls of the 2oz sizes. (I bought 2 of them and was about 10 stitches short) So, pick your yarn, get your hook ready and let’s get started!

Abbreviations:  st = Stitch  ch = Chain sl st = slip stitch  dc = double crochet rnd = round

I use a size G hook (4.25mm)

Ch 4, form a ring by joining the first ch with a sl st

Ch 40 (This will be the loop for hanging the puff- if you’d like it longer/shorter, you can adjust it now) sl st into the center of the ring

Rnd 1:  ch 2, dc 40 into center of the ring, join with a sl st (For me, it got REALLY tight trying to fit them all in, but if you don’t, your stitches towards round 4 will be loose and it won’t be a tight ball-like puff.)

Rnd 2: ch 2, 3 dc in each st around, join with sl st

Rnd 3: ch 2, 3 dc in each st around, join with sl st

Rnd 4: ch 2, 3 dc in each st around, join with sl st

Tie off, and weave in ends… then enjoy your new bath puff!

(Here are pictures of some of mine!)

made with Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn

made with Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn

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The Face Scrub

October 21, 2010 at 5:19 am (Crochet, Tutorials) (, , , )

I had attempted to teach my sister how to crochet… We failed miserably until a friend of ours came over and they both decided they wanted a face scrub. I talked them into crocheting it themselves thinking it would only take about 30 mins to teach 2 people who have never crocheted before minus a few chains. WRONG! It took us nearly an hour and a half to finish this little scrub! I promise, as long as you know how to chain, slip stitch, single crochet and double crochet, it probably won’t take you that long!

I use a G hook, but you can use a smaller one if you’re more comfortable with that.  You’ll need some cotton yarn. I use the Bernat Handicrafter Cotton yarn. You can use whatever brand you like, but make sure it’s cotton!

Row 1 : ch 3, 11 dc in third ch from hook, sl st to top of first dc

Row 2: ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch around, sl st to top of first dc

Row 3: ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch around sl st to top of first dc

To make the handle of the scrub, ch 16 (more or less if your hand doesn’t fit or it’s too loose), line the handle across the scrub and  sl st to the top of the stitch so the handle goes across the middle of the back of scrub. Sl st in next st, and sc across the handle, st into top of stitch, if you’d like a thicker handle, repeat the row of sc’s, when the handle is to your liking, tie off and weave in end.

And… There is your scrub! I don’t care if you sell the finished product, just remember to link back or mention it was by AddSomeStitches. Enjoy! :]

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Etsy Tips- Smart Ways to Post Your Listing

October 17, 2010 at 1:29 am (Etsy, Tutorials)

This is my very first Etsy Tips blog post. I have to say, to start off, I have not been selling on Etsy very long, but I’m learning a lot and want to help everyone else learn these things, so we’re not all a bunch of Etsy seller chickens with no heads. I’ve been an Etsy shopper for 2 years though.

The biggest problem I had- and didn’t know I had was this: Everyone has their own unique set time when views are the highest called your “peak time”. Now, your peak time is VERY important. So before we go any further… We HAVE to set up our Etsy shop- Get an icon, banner, avatar picture, take really good pictures of your product, set a price, figure shipping (DO NOT just guess- do your research!), make sure you’ve filled in your shop policies, and post your listings with lots of details- as if there were no pictures, and make sure to include measurements. You don’t want a buyer to pass you up because you have no shop policies, and no information about who you are or what you’re selling. Now, you don’t have to tell them your favorite color or food, or tell them your life story, but give them basic info such as how you started doing your craft or got into selling supplies or vintage things- if you are a supplier or vintage person.

After you’re all done setting up your shop, make a Google Analytics account. This is VERY important! So if you haven’t done it, go do it now. I’ll even give you the link: http://www.google.com/analytics

Alright, you’ve got your GA set up, put your info into Etsy by going to Your Etsy, Shop Settings, Options, Web Analytics and follow those instructions. Now if you just did all of this, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before moving on.

After your 24 hours (if you’re new at this), or already have this done… Go to your GA account, and click on your Etsy report. Here you will find a nearly overwhelming amount of information. You’ll have to check this fairly often as your peak time WILL change, and you’ll have to change your posting times according to your peak times. To find your peak time, go to Visitors under your dashboard, click Visitor Trending, Visits. Now click at the top of the line graph on an icon that looks like a clock.  Your graphs will change. It doesn’t matter which graph you look at, they’re the same. The highest peak on your graph is your peak time. If your peak time is the same as a second time (IE- 54 visitors at 6pm  and 54 visitors at 11pm) you should post at the time that has more visitors during the hour after the peak time. (IE- 54 at 6pm, 32 at 7pm, 54 at 11pm, 11 at 12am) choose to post at 6pm.

My advice would be to post one item at your peak time per day- if you can’t post only one thing or need to get your new items up NOW, pick your top 3 times and post 3 listings at your 3 peak times, or post everything all at once at your peak time. I look at my new listings as a mini-commercial for my shop, if I run all my commercials at 2pm and my potential buyers won’t be able to see it until 8pm, I’ve missed them. You don’t see popular cell phone companies showing all of their commercials at 10am (when most people are at work, or school), they’re on periodically all day long. You want to get your shop out there and for people to see you when they’re looking.

My advice: Post at your peak time. If it’s impossible for you to post at your peak time, try to aim for a time in your top 3 peak times.

Now that I’ve written a giant brick wall of advice and help, you can get to posting at your peak times. Your page views probably won’t double over night, but I’ve done all of this myself and seen first hand that it does work, it just takes a few days. So, don’t give up, and happy Etsying!

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