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How To Sell More On Etsy

How To Sell More On Etsy

So, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and put your wonderful creative wares up for sale on Etsy: hooray! The first step to selling on Etsy is admitting you’d like to do it. Actually selling items, well, that can be a different story.

While Etsy is a great platform for many small artisans, attracting a wide base of customers it would otherwise be very difficult to find, it’s easy for first-time sellers to get lost among the platform’s many voices. But not to worry, with a few handy tips and best practices under your belt, you’ll be sure to make the most of the famous crafting site in no time. We highly suggest starting with this extensive interactive guide, as well as with these following key tips to to ensure you sell more on Etsy.


    Click image to open interactive version (via WorldPay Zinc).

    1. Find a Theme for Your Store

    Your theme will guide just about everything you do for your store, from the kind of products you sell to your marketing strategy. Start with a good brainstorming session, sticking to your known talents and skills. Then narrow down your options based on the product guidelines. It’s of the utmost importance that you pick a first product you can really do well, so also cut any that are too labor intensive or require too much experimentation.

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    Once you’ve picked your first product, try to think of related accessory products or even products that are very similar to the original one but with a new twist. True creativity is often manifestations of a theme, and sticking to this theme will also help keep your branding consistent. Save the totally out there or different ideas for when your store is better established.

    Once you’ve got your first product, you’ve pretty much got your theme. Did you decide to make a knitted tea cozy? Your theme could be anything from knitted products to tea products. Your theme will help guide a number of things to follow, including:

    Your store name. Go for something memorable that also doesn’t box you into a topic so you can expand later. Do a search of current user names so you can be sure to pick something distinctive. Use uppercase letters but NO numbers, or else you’ll look spammy.
    Your store visuals. Your banner is one of the few places where you can do your own branding. If you don’t have an idea of what this is yet, then just make sure to pick a professional-looking photo—either one that features a few of your products or one purchased from a fellow Etsy seller. Even better, head to a graphic designer to create one of your own. This will help you develop a distinctive voice and tone for your visual branding as you expand your reach and branch out onto other sites.
    Your profile. Your profile page should definitely be filled out fully. Do your best to tell a compelling story about yourself, using your theme to guide you towards the kinds of details you’d like to share (i.e. those that keep you on topic and demonstrate your unique qualifications for selling within this field). The more details you give, the more buyers will trust you and the higher you’ll be ranked in search results, as you’ll find yourself naturally including keywords.

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    2. Optimize Your Products for Sale and Your Store for Sharing

    Once you’ve got your products loaded up on to the site, they’ll need a little assistance in getting found and convincing customers to make a purchase. Just slapping up a hastily written product description and calling it a day isn’t going to do the trick!

    Snap some high-quality photos. Really, there’s nothing more key to making a sale than providing a sharp product image. Doing so not only gives your potential customer a much better sense of the product itself and the kind of experience they might have with it, but it also just makes you look more professional. To take a high-quality photo, pay particularly good attention to lighting and backgrounds, and make sure to take shots from multiple angles and distances. For more in-depth tips on this, we highly recommend Etsy’s own Photography Seller Handbook.
    Write excellent product descriptions. Product descriptions should first and foremost be functional and descriptive. They should get to the point, discussing all of the specifics, perhaps discussing your inspiration, and directing customers to other items they might want to buy in tandem. Keep it all in first-person so it’s nice and personal, establishing trust with your potential buyers and giving them a good sense of who you are.
    Use the correct titles, tags and categories. As you create your listing, it’s important to select a category that really fits with what you’re selling, as that will help searchers more easily find your wares and may also get you featured on the site. If your products span categories, try one category for one product and another for a related product to determine which sells more. It’s also important to choose accurate tags and titles, preferably including keywords, to help searchers find your products. This guide to tagging takes a more in-depth look at how to choose the perfect tags for you.

    3. Market Your Products on Social Media

    Phew! After all of that work, your listing is finally ready to go. Now what? Why, promotion on social media, of course! With millions upon millions of users both within and between the Facebooks, Twitters, Google Pluses and Pinterests of the world, there’s no better (and more cost-effective) way to spread the news about your products. That said, effective social media usage means doing more than just clicking follow.

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    Practice engagement marketing. Remember when you used to watch TV ads rather than fast forwarding through them on your DVR? Well, TV ads (and, really, ads in general) are what we call “broadcast advertising,” and they’re widely ignored by today’s consumer. Social media, in contrast, is all about engagement marketing. Rather than blasting out a constant stream of tweets about your products or sales, reach out to potential and current customers to engage in conversation. Comment like a friend on follower feeds, and share content they really want to read. Host a Hangout on Google+ where you get to do something fun, like demonstrate how to make an accessory for one of your products. While you can occasionally post about your products, it’s best to follow the 80-20 rule: 80% of your posts should share relevant content and build relationships with your followers; 20% of your posts can be promotional.
    Join an Etsy Pinterest group. The visual nature of Pinterest makes it a natural marketing venue for Etsy sellers. Not only should you make your own board, but you should also consider joining any one of these Etsy pinning boards, upon which various Etsy sellers actively pin each other’s materials to build exposure and traction—just one of many examples where the strong Etsy community can really launch sellers to success.

    4. Know When It’s Time to Move On

    Maybe it’s the fees that are getting to you, the competition from similar sellers or the dependency on a single site with its own changeable regulations. Or, maybe you’ve just had enough success that you’ve gained a strong entrepreneurial sense, established your brand and developed a base of customers you know will follow you wherever you go. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that while Etsy is a great place for many crafters to get started, there comes a time when your business may be better hosted on your own domain, integrating a third-party sales platform into your site. How to do so?

    Choose a host and domain name. Try to keep your domain name consistent with your store name so customers will easily be able to find and recognize you. Choose a web host with a good reputation and that also optimizes web speed, as even a few seconds of load time can put a customer off of a purchase.
    Choose a template, content management system and store platform. Whether it’s WordPress, Joomla or something in between, it’s important to pick a template and CMS you’ll be able to manage on your own, even if you get a designer to help you initially establish a site that brings your branding to the forefront. Then choose a hearty and responsive eCommerce platform that’s easy to integrate into your site. Amazon’s webstore is a good candidate, as it has the extra benefit of also including your products in Amazon search results and it comes with extensive support resources.
    Get marketing, all over again! Selling on your own will require a little more work on your end to ensure you’re keeping and growing your following. Be ready to get those hands dirty!

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    The Takeaway

    Etsy is really the perfect platform for the first-time seller. If you’re just getting started, you’re in good hands! The tips above will go a long way towards launching you, but if you feel overwhelmed at any time, Etsy’s community boards, where you’ll find plenty of passionate and caring Etsy users, are just a click away. We can’t wait to see your store!

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    Last Updated on July 4, 2019

    25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

    25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

    Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

    Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

    1. Coursera

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      Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

      Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

      Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

      2. Khan Academy

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        Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

        Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

        3. Open Culture Online Courses

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          If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

          Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

          4. Udemy 

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            Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

            Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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            5. Academic Earth

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              Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

              Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

              6. edX

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                Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

                7. Alison

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                  Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                  It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                  8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                    A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                    Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                    Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                    ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                    9. Stanford Online

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                      Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                      Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                      10. Harvard Extension

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                        Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                        Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                        11. Open Yale Courses

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                          Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                          12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                            Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                            13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                              Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                              14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                                Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                                15. Codecademy

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                                  Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                  The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                  16. Code

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                                    Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                    In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                    Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                    17. University of London Podcasts

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                                      The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                      18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                        Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                        The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                        19. BBC Podcasts

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                                          For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                          Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                          20. TED-Ed

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                                            Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                            Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                            21. LessonPaths

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                                              LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                              22. Memrise

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                                                Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                                Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                                23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                  The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                  National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                  24. Fun Brain

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                                                    Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                    Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                    25. Whyville

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                                                      Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                      Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                      Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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