Tuesday Treasure: Crisp Graphic Designs

by Molly Kimball, elephantbeads

There are countless reasons to browse Etsy’s PaperMarkCreative shop. To list just a few: (1) You want to memorialize an adorable phrase from your toddler in a piece of art for her bedroom; (2) You are celebrating a special someone’s milestone birthday, and are creating the perfect artistic poster for the event; (3) You want to frame your favorite inspirational quote for your office to keep you going on those crunch days; or (4) You are looking for a logo or a new look for your latest product, blog or storefront.

Meredith Nawrocki’s creations are sophisticated, clean and bright – check out her shop or send her a convo to see if she can help you with your latest graphic arts needs! And if you need a touch of summer to help you celebrate the season ahead, here are just a few designs from PaperMarkCreative to get you started:

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KEEP: What is all the excitement about?

By M Kimball, ElephantBeads

KEEP isn’t really new – it has been around for awhile. But it seems to be taking off in the world of online browsing and shopping. So what is all the excitement about? Is Keep really just a hybrid child of Pinterest and StumbleUpon, as one of our team members observed, or is it something quite different?KEEP1

After a bit of research and dipping our toe into team promotional activities on Keep, we have determined that Keep is something quite different – revolutionary, in fact. As Wired Magazine noted back in July 2014 – “At Long Last, a Universal Shopping Cart for the Web“! This is no small shift in the fabric of online shopping. This is a significant transformation!

So what does this mean to those of us who are Etsy shop owners? Here are your key takeaways:

  1. Keep is about BUYING. “Keepers,” unlike “Pinners” or “Stumblers,” are not casually browsing for photos, jokes or recipes to clip. They are shopping.
  2. Keep is APPEALING. It is easy to use, which means it is easy – even fun! – to shop and buy.
  3. Keep’s shopping cart is UNIVERSAL. What does this mean? Your customer can put your beaded necklace in a shopping cart with a pair of Kate Spade earrings from Macy’s and a pair of shoes from Malta.

If you are not yet using Keep to promote your shop, we strongly encourage you to do so. Tomorrow’s post will include a quick tutorial to help you get started.

Teaching Thursday: The Wonders Of SEO by Miss Tan

Note: Today, we are reading an article on SEO by Miss Tan from MissTanDesigns of the Etsy DListers.

Definition: SEO or search engine optimization is using keywords and phrases to get your online shop or website noticed on search engines.

It sounds simple, and is it. I have had an Etsy shop for three years now and am still mystified by SEO. So, what is SEO? For years, I have searched for the answer to this recent age-old question. I would obsessively read pages of content only to leave scratching my head thinking, what are they talking about? Forums, Etsy groups, and other Etsy sellers tried to help me and I just did not get it. For a while, I thought I would never be found amongst the numerous Etsy shops. I figured I would stick to adding more products to my shop and see if that works. It didn’t.
So last fall, I had a change of heart. Maybe I should go back to this SEO thing. I was cruising through the Etsy forums one day and found numerous questions about SEO. As I perused through each question’s responses, I was getting nothing.  I kept looking and then started to write down what people were suggesting. And this is what I got: put keywords in your titles, repeat those keywords in your tags, and in your descriptions and your views and sales will go up. I thought, “It can’t be that simple.” Yet, it was!
For example, I looked at a particular greeting card I was selling. I would write down every word that I could associate with that card from the design to color. Is the card funny, romantic, sexy, adult, red, has hearts, etc.? I would put those in the title as two or three keyword phrases because most shoppers will look for it like this, i.e. valentine card. Then I would repeat some of them in my description and filled out all 13 tags with these keywords as well. Finally, I would just wait to see if it worked. Guess what? It did!
My views tripled and my sales doubled. I had the best Holiday season ever in 2013. With Valentine’s Day coming, my views are even higher. I never thought SEO could be that simple.
Remember, repeat keywords in title, description, and tags to see an improvement in stats. Plus, read 4 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Increase Traffic.
Good Luck!
 Miss Tan from MissTanDesigns

Teaching Thursday: Getting the Word Out

So you’ve got an Etsy shop, now you’ve got to get the word out about it — how will anyone buy your wares if they don’t know about them? How can you get the word out? Blogging and Twitter are two free, fairly simple ways.

There are many blogging platforms, WordPress and Blogger are the most popular. I prefer WordPress (obviously 🙂 ) but many people like Blogger. Once you have a blog, be sure and let people know when you’ve posted. How do you do that? Read this article, 13 Places to Share New Blogs Cheatsheet.

Twitter is easy to use — just sign up and start sharing in 140 character posts. Once you’ve done that, and followed a few people, you might start noticing hashtags, words preceded by # that are searchable on Twitter. If you tag your posts with them, it is easier for people to find your posts on a given subject. One hashtag you might notice is #FollowFriday or #ff when people make special notice of their followers on Friday. What is that all about, you might ask? Read all about it in Do You Need to Participate in Follow Friday?

StumbleUpon – Tutorial series

Bookmark the little blog post linked below, as it re-introduces a series of helpful tutorials in our DTeam blog about StumbleUpon. Handy info to have! Thank you LizbethsGarden for re-upping these!

StumbleUpon tutorials in DTeam blog

MUSTS when opening an Etsy Shop – Part 3

By Angee Perry from ABitCreativeAMP ♥♥♥

Below is a snapshot of a shop policies page on Etsy. My tips, below, will walk you through the components of this page. This example is provided courtesy of Molly Kimball fromElephantBeads.

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– Shop Policies can make or break a sale. It’s where you help your customer make an informed decision about purchasing from your shop by letting them know what they can expect from you and your products. You’ll touch on some of these things briefly within your listing descriptions but here is where you want to provide all the details for all your products. It’s important that your policies don’t contradict Etsy’s site-wide policies. It’s a good idea to read over the DOs and DON’Ts of Etsy (www.etsy.com/help/article/483 ) and Etsy’s Terms of Use (www.etsy.com/help/article/479 ) before writing or changing your shop policies.

– Your Welcome Message is where you welcome the potential customer into your store and encourage them to look around and ask questions if they have any. You’ll also want to list any promotions you’re having and/or special seasonal shipping information you have to help the customer be informed as to if something in your shop can make it to them in time (like Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc).

– Payment Policy is where you list what form of payment you accept. This helps the customer know before they go to check-out so that they can be prepared. Depending on the forms of payment you accept will determine if you also need to include a timeframe for payments to reach you and what you’ll do if payments are not received in the timeframe (like canceling the sale)

– In the Shipping Policy section you want to describe how you package your items, the company you use to ship and what method you ship them with that company (like USPS First Class, UPS Ground, etc). This is important to the customer as it lets them know how long it might take for them to receive their items. If you offer international shipping be sure to list as many details as you can as the customer may not order from out of country often and will not be as knowledgable as you on your country’s international shipping timeframes.

– Refund Policy is where you let the customer know what they can expect from you if they are unhappy with their purchase for any reason. Be sure to state if they are responsible for return shipping or if you will refund them for shipping also.

– Additional Information lets you make blanket statements about the products you sell. For example, if you sell photographs this is where you’d talk about the paper quality of the print and if you print through a 3rd party lab. If you make things to order you’d mention the timeframe needed to create the item and then the timeframe needed to get the item in the mail, etc. Also mention if people need things by a specific date to contact you so that you can see if it can be made and shipped in time.

– Seller Information is not necessary for most countries, but some countries do require additional information like your name, physical address, contact email, etc. See this FAQ ( www.etsy.com/help/article/171 ) for more information.

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You’ve made a name for yourself and let customers know a little bit about who you are and what to expect when purchasing your products. Now all you have to do is list your items and you’re good to go!

How to research and write the cleanest, clearest, most persuasive blog copy on earth — fast, too!

Blogging to support a business involves more commitment than it used to. Dr. Jeffrey Lant offers some great guidelines about how to do it successfully.

How to research and write the cleanest, clearest, most persuasive blog copy on earth — fast, too!.

Pinterest Tips 8 – When to Pin

By Angee Perry, ABitCreativeAMP    ♥♥♥ 

This is the final in my series of Pinterest Tips. If you have followed my tips so far, and applied them, then you are beginning to see results from a more targeted, personal, and focused approach.  Today’s tips, again compiled from Pinerly and re-structured, offer some guidance about when to Pin in order to drive more views. Pinerly, in a future phase, will offer the ability to schedule Pins – a great help when it comes to timing your Pins.

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  1. Best hours to pin: 8 PM to 1 AM EST (5 PM – 10 PM PST)
  2. Pin at lunchtime. People have more time to enjoy content when not working.
  3. Pin on weekends. Specifically Saturday. It is the best day to pin. Wednesday is good too. People have more time to look at Pinterest then.
  4. Space out your pins in intervals instead of flooding all your pins at once. Pins get moved down quickly. Small bursts throughout the day are more effective than a long stream once a day.

Pinterest Tips 7 – Promote Your Pins

By Angee Perry, ABitCreativeAMP ♥♥♥    So far my Pinterest Tips have focused on getting your Pins and your Boards into shape to share the information you want to share and create interesting Boards that attract followers. Today’s tips, again compiled from Pinerly and re-structured, will help you expand your readership beyond your followers, and even beyond Pinterest.

  1. Tag people in positive pins. People like to be credited and talked about.
  2. Adding a hashtag (#) to key words in your pin provides you with a much higher chance of being found through the search on Pinterest where their search algorithm displays the latest pins (e.g., #weddings, #babies, #geeks, etc.).
  3. Providing a more detailed description for pins will provide better SEO on Pinterest.
  4. Add some of your boards to your blog to make it more visual and connect the two.
  5. Tweet and Facebook your pins. It seems obvious, but not everyone does that.
  6. Promote repins with a comment like “if you like/share our _______, please repin it ☺”. People need a little push sometimes.
  7. Arrange a “pin exchange”. Get a few brands in your industry together and exchange pins by sharing and pinning each other’s content. You are promoting your collective products and don’t seem so intrusive and sales oriented.

Pinterest Tips 6 – Promote Yourself

By Angee Perry, ABitCreativeAMP    ♥♥♥    Now that your Pin Boards are organized and attracting other Pinners, you are positioned to begin promoting your content more effectively. Today I will share some additional tips I have compiled from Pinerly about using Pinterest to promote yourself!

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  1. Promote a lifestyle, not a product. People often like the “idea” of something more than the product itself.
  2. Create original content, like an outfit design or a how-to guide etc. Save it to your website or blog, then pin it to your pinboard.
  3. Add a $ value to your board. It will allow people to budget for your product.
  4. Be professional. Respect others and don’t bash the competition. No one likes rudeness.
  5. Thank people for re-pinning your content. You never know, it may spark a conversation.
  6. If you have coupons or promotions pin them onto your Pinterest board. If you don’t have any, create some to be Pinterest specific.
  7. Pin from an individual post not from the homepage of your site. This will target a specific idea or product, giving you more direct traffic.
  8. If someone pins, or repins your content the least you can do is like it. It is better if you like and comment on it. This way when people see their pin, they will see your name and comment also.
  9. Crowdsource: Ask fans to pin images with your product or brand. They’re like mini visual testimonials.
  10. Use Pinterest as a focus group. Put a product out there and see how the response is. It’s a good way to find out what your customers think.
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