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How to Get Your First Sale on Etsy, and Every One After That

Ben from Silver Seven Studios has put together a great guide for new Etsy sellers, something that I feel will resonate with so many new and experienced sellers.

So you've decided to take the leap and open an Etsy store. Exciting, isn't it? You've listed some items and have the basic necessary components of your shop completed. At this point you feel it can be considered live.

What now?

The number one goal of your shop now and forever is sales . Don't ever forget - that is why you opened your store. Not for views, favorites, treasuries features, or social media followers. You opened it to sell your awesome product.

But how do you get your first sale? You have no reviews or prior customers so this will be one of the most difficult obstacles you will face. But once you overcome it the value of that one sale can be massive. Stay the course, follow my guidance, and you will be well on your way to getting your first sale on Etsy.

The following major points will outline my advice based on my personal successes and mistakes running Silver Seven Studios on Etsy. This is not conclusive or in any specific order. Everyone's shop and personal business circumstances are unique. Think about how these points may apply to your own store.

Do:

1. Create a product that people want.

This means your product is in demand and high quality. Search what is already being sold on Etsy. What can you offer that is new to the market and how will you stand out over others creating similar items?

2. Make an attractive listing.

Your photography and thumbnail should be as professional looking as possible. Do your research on how to take high quality images. Look at what your successful competitors are doing and see how you can draw from (but not copy) their listings. Do not neglect your listing description. Make sure all of the information your potential customer would want is there. Cater it to them and focus on how the item will benefit them; avoid focusing too much on the item's features.

Pro-Tip: Use FotoFuze.com to create pure white backgrounds for physical item listings. For digital, create or buy a stock digital frame (try searching Etsy!) that fits your style and will make your design stand out.

3. Create customer trust.

Quality listings, organized and complete shop layout, FAQ's, policies, and your story all contribute to gaining customer trust. See the ‘Do Not’ section below further thoughts.

4. Make your product easy to find – SEO.

This is extremely important and possibly the most overlooked tip for new sellers. SEO (search engine optimization) is critical to your success on Etsy. Buyers are on Etsy searching for your item. If they cannot find your item via search, you will have few visitors and much fewer opportunities to get your first sale.

Let’s take a look at basic Etsy SEO regarding keywords and tags:

Your title is what Etsy SEO is founded on. It should be comprised of a string of keywords that are relevant to your product.

For example, if your product is a pink bohemian arrow art print. Your title might look like this: Pink Arrows, Bohemian Art Print, Digital Download Décor, Printable Nursery Art, Tribal Wall Art, Pink Boho Arrows, Baby Girl, Nursery.

Notice the commas in-between each keyword string. This is done so that you can quickly copy and paste your title directly into your tags section. Matching title and tags are critical to ranking high in search results. After you have pasted your title into the tags section, you will have a couple of spots remaining for more tags. Fill those in with any other keywords you find relevant.

There are always new keywords! Think about it: purple wall art, purple prints, purple art, purple design, purple décor, red wall art, red prints, red art, red design, red décor...the list is nearly infinite. Make sure you use colors and other relevant descriptors.

Continue to always use different keywords. Only one of your listings can appear on the first page of any search result. Think about that! If you tag 50 items with the same tag, only one of those can potentially be on the first page. Don’t waste your tag space with descriptors you have already used several times.

Copying your tags into your description is not necessary. You will likely see some shops with their title awkwardly pasted into their item description. Not only does it look strange, but it throws off and turns away buyers who are trying to get information on the product. Etsy SEO does not consider item description when ranking listings. Sellers are doing this to help with Google SEO. Google wants to see each one of your listing descriptions as unique and needs to read your keywords. I understand the strategy, however I do not think it is necessary for Etsy success. If anything, use your title to create a smooth-flowing, natural sounds sentence about your item. Remember: Etsy buyers are on Etsy. You will get a small amount of traffic from Google, but the bulk of your views should be coming internally from Etsy.

One final mistake that is commonly made is adding your tags to your materials section. This section does not impact Etsy SEO and should only be used to provide the customer with information about what your product is made of. For most digital sellers, this section is not necessary to use.

Where do you find good keywords? The most obvious is by using Etsy search. Start typing a keyword or phrase that describes your item and you will find a dropdown of the most searched terms that include what you’ve entered. Next I would recommend EtsyRank.com EtsyRank has an amazing keyword search tool that unlocks some pretty serious keyword collecting power! Use it. Third is Google AdWords Keyword planner. This is a more complex tool and there are entire books on the subject but you can learn a basic understanding of it quickly by watching tutorials on YouTube. Links to the last two resources mentioned are at the bottom of this guide. If you are a digital print seller you may be interested in my 1500+ keywords list for digital print sellers which can be found in my shop.


My Etsy shop views before and after search engine optimization.

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To read the rest of this section of the guide, purchase the full PDF document here: http://etsy.me/2pjATNQ

Or buy my 1500+ keyword list for digital print shops which includes the guide for free: http://etsy.me/2or4MYg

Do Not:

1. Rely on spamming techniques.

Mass following, liking, and favoriting on Etsy and social media should be avoided at all costs. It is extremely tempting - trust me, I have been there. But ultimately it is not beneficial for your sales, time, or brand reputation. Using these techniques completely takes away the genuine relationship aspect of social media. Social media can be a strong tool to promote your store but keep in mind that followers does not equal sales. I have seen many shops with over 40,000 followers on a single social media platform and less than 10 sales in their shop. Their relationship with their followers are weak and probably obtained through spamming. A following of 100 real customers and business partners is much more valuable in the long run for you and your shop.

Spamming favorites and views on Etsy does not equal sales . Again, I have seen shops with over 1,000 shop favorites and less than 10 sales. Many of those favorites are most likely other sellers giving favorites in return for one you gave on their own store. Think about how this looks to a potential buyer: You have thousands of shop favorites and very few sales, something must be wrong with your service or product. Favorite items and shops you actually love.

2. Use Etsy team games and treasuries.

This can be connected to point one above. Team forum games (ex. 'post one - fav one', 'post five - view five') and mass treasury creation are both flawed. Your time is much better spent working on something that will lead to sales. The return on these games and techniques is extremely minimal and they are not a healthy way to develop your shop. The long-term issue here is false data feedback. As you go along you will want to track your progress to make future decisions. If your data is based on other shop owners visiting your store and not actual customers, you will have a clouded view of your true shop traffic.

3. Falsely advertise or use scheming strategies.

This should go without saying but it's easy to fall into. I see new stores with product tags like ‘Most Sold Etsy Item Ever,' or 'Etsy’s Highest Selling Shop.' While this may give you couple views here and there it is not a method to get sales. As soon as that customer sees you have no sales, you will lose their trust. You are much better off using the title and tag space for actual keywords that describe your item. However, when you do begin to have sales you might find that tagging your items with “most sold item”, “most popular item”, may be helpful to point out which of your items are your personal best sellers. In my opinion this is acceptable as long as you are not trying to bait potential customers with false claims.

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To read the rest of this section of the guide, purchase the full PDF document here: http://etsy.me/2pjATNQ

Or buy my 1500+ keyword list for digital print shops which includes the guide for free: http://etsy.me/2or4MYg




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