For as long as I can remember, I’ve featured small artists and artisans on Kittenhood (on my regular Shop handmade feature). It probably sounds like the easiest of things: you go to Etsy, you’re struck with inspiration, you copy those beautiful pictures to your own blog and you’re done. But it’s never like that in reality. Creating a feature can take anywhere between half an hour and two hours, and that’s without counting time spent down the rabbit hole of putting things on my wishlist. One thing I’ve noticed over the years (and have been meaning to just put out there for everyone to know) is the feeling that sellers/artists are going out of their way not to be featured. It feels like they’re hiding essential information on purpose, and in all the weirdest places. I know that’s probably not the case, so I thought I’d put together a guide on how to have your Etsy shop featured on blogs (like mine). I hope some of you will find it useful.
1. Make your products searchable. This is absolutely crucial if you’re a seller, and you probably already know it. Write the name of your product wisely, meaning: be descriptive and use keywords. Take this for example: “Made to measure black boat neck dress with two detachable collars and cuffs”. Do you know everything you need to know about the product from the title? Yes. It will probably pop up in results for boat neck dress, black dress, collar, made to measure etc. Mission accomplished. Etsy is nice enough to offer free stats for your shop (both from Google and Etsy), which is where you can find search terms used to reach your shop. Use these in the naming of your products, old and new, whenever applicable.
2. Mind your photos. I know you’ve heard this one before! The Etsy search tool works similarly to Google. It can bring so many results that it’s easy for your products to get lost between all the others. That’s one of the reasons it’s super important that your main product photo is beautiful and eye-catching. You probably have to experiment with different types of product photos before you know what’s right for you, but consider these factors:
- the main photo should show the product clearly, in focus, preferably on a simple, non-distracting background. Feel free to use the same setup for all your products, to create a cohesive look.
- consider that in search results your photo appears cropped to a certain size. Make sure the cropped picture still shows the product and the product doesn’t appear too small.
- it’s nice to have several photos to choose from for a feature. Try to provide both landscape and portrait photos; with and without a model (a human touch is always nice, even if just for scale); photos on a white background (where the product can easily be cut out for a collage), and large size photos.
In my case, if a seller has big (about 800 px wide) photos on a model, it’s more likely that they’ll get a solo feature (e.g. here and here). If the pictures are good but small, they’re more likely to be featured in a roundup along with other sellers. Between landscape and portrait photos, I do my best to crop according to what I need; but when that’s not possible, I might just skip the product entirely.
3. Have a complete profile. I know writing an “about me” is one of the hardest things to do. But it’s also super important. This will give bloggers a few things to write about you (and it will probably make you look more approachable to customers). So fill in not just the description of your shop, but also the page about yourself. Generally, try to make use of all the features that Etsy puts at your disposal, they’re there for a reason, and you can only benefit from them! Here is an example of a well written about page.
4. Social media links. Remember how I said to make use of all the features? That applies here as well. The “about” section on Etsy allows you to enter the social media networks you’re active on. I personally like to mention the sellers I feature on Twitter, so I’m always on the lookout for their Twitter handle! From the product page, I scroll down to “meet the owner” and cross my fingers in the hope that I’ll find the info I need. The success rate is usually about 50/50. Of course, no one says you have to be active on all networks, but remember that different people have different preferences. For some, it might be Twitter, for others, Instagram. It can’t hurt if you’re there greeting them on both. I often find artists I like on a completely different channel before checking out their Etsy shop, so.
5. Update your shop frequently. If I’m working on a feature with a certain theme (e.g. ice cream or David Bowie), the first place I’ll look is in my list of favorite shops. Etsy offers users an option to see “new from your favorite shops”. If you haven’t updated in forever, needless you say your stuff won’t appear there. Of course, no one expects you to come up with something new every day. But if you have a big batch of products to add, space them out instead of publishing them all at once.
6. Shoutout! Sometimes the easiest thing you can do is just email your favorite blogger and introduce yourself and your shop. Even bloggers don’t know everything that moves (shocker!), so they might actually appreciate it. I love it when I get a “pitch” email about something that truly suits my blog aesthetic (and you’d be surprised how much offtopic stuff I receive!) Remember to keep it short and sweet, be friendly and, most importantly, include links! You want your products to be easy to find and not a treasure hunt.
So make your products searchable, show them off with pretty and varied pictures, and don’t shy away from your about page. With regular updates and some social media buzz, you’re pretty much ready to be featured!