Don't Use Etsy Promoted Listings

 

Every Etsy Seller thinks about using Etsy's Promoted Listings tool. They want to jumpstart their sales by doing a bunch of ads - thinking that if more people see their Etsy items then more people will buy them. Unfortunately, using Promoted Listings for your Etsy Shop is a terrible idea - especially if your Etsy Shop is just getting started, and here's why: 

  • You can easily spend more money on Etsy Ads than the money you make from them. 
  • Keywords are a much better strategy for getting Etsy Customers to find your Etsy Items.
  • You need to perfect your Etsy Shop before you start spending money on your marketing. If you aren't currently getting a lot of sales from your Etsy Shop from keywords, then you definitely won't be getting more sales through Promoted Listings.
  • The Promoted Listings tool is extremely difficult to master. It gives you very little control other than choosing what items to promote and how much you're willing to bid. There are virtually no ways to optimize and perfect Promoted Listings.

If you have less than 1,000 Sales on Etsy, stay completely away from Promoted Listings. Instead, focusing on improving your keywords, product designs, product photography, listing descriptions, and really focus on getting 1,000 Sales before you start thinking about paying any money on marketing. Using good keywords are the absolutely the best way to find new customers on Etsy.

How Many Etsy Products Should You Have?

 

Every Etsy Seller asks the same question:

How many products should I have on Etsy?

For most businesses, I believe starting out with fewer products is better. You want to prove that your business model and your concept on Etsy is actually going to work. And if you start churning out hundreds of items at once, you're going to get burnt out.

I believe there is a simple rule of thumb you should always keep in mind on Etsy:

For every Sale you get, make one new item. 

So if you have 20 Sales on Etsy, you should have about 20 Items.  If you have 100 Sales on Etsy, then 100 Items is okay. Once you hit about 200 Sales, then your product development should slow down, and you should really focus on quality instead of quantity. 
 

Depending on where your Etsy shop is at right now, here are my recommendations for you:

1. New Etsy Sellers
If you have less than 200 Sales on your Etsy Shop, don't pound out hundreds of items. You need to make sure the things you make actually sell. So start off with about 20 items, and then once you get 20 Sales, then add a couple more items that are inspired by your best sellers. If you have 100 Items, but only 5 Sales, there's a problem. You need to figure out how to improve your current products and use the right keywords before you continue to make new designs.

2. Etsy Physical Sellers
If you sell physical products, you have a ton of things to figure out. Not only do you have to understand keywords, shop optimization, and other unique things about Etsy, but you have to source materials, build things, and ship them to customers. That's a lot of work. So pounding out lots of designs when you sell physical products is going to be very difficult. Focus on inspiring, quality products that you're highly skilled at making. 

3. Etsy Digital Sellers
When you sell digital downloads, there is a temptation for Digital sellers to make hundreds of items that no one buys because building digital items is much easier than physical items. So slow it down. It's not all about having hundreds of designs. It's much better to have 20 good quality items on Etsy that actual sell than 1,000 items on Etsy than never sell. 

4. Etsy Advanced Sellers
Once you have 200 or 500 Sales on Etsy, you're in a much better position to make more items. You know what people want to buy, and you know how to make products, deal with customers, and ship out items. It's only once you have a minimum of 200 to 500 items sold that you can really start to expand your product line, develop new items, and figure out new Keywords so that even more customers can find your Etsy Shop through keyword searches.
 

There is no Magic Number
A lot of Etsy Sellers ask if there is a "Magic Number" to how many products they should have on their Etsy Shop. And there really is no number to hit. Each Shop should figure out what the maximum number of products they can reasonably make, to make the maximum amount of money. As a general rule, the more expensive your items are, the fewer you should probably have. So if your price point is only $5, then it makes sense to have more products for customers to choose from. But if your price point is $50 or $100, then somewhere around 100 or 200 products is more reasonable.

What's more important is that you actually sell the items you make, and that you don't frantically make more items just to have an Etsy Shop that is full of stuff. People go on Etsy to find inspiring, unique things. And if you're in a rush to stuff your Etsy Shop with lots of items, then it's likely not going to be very inspiring and there's no reason someone should want to buy from you. So build beautiful products that people want to buy, and use good keywords so that people can actually find those products.

4 Strategies For Strong Etsy Keywords

 

Strong keywords on Etsy are absolutely essential in order to have a successful Etsy Shop. Here are 4 of the most important techniques to use for creating strong keywords on Etsy.  

1. Use Simple, Boring, Common Keywords
One thing I did when I first started an Etsy Shop was used creative and unusual words to describe my artwork. Things like "Abstract Series No. 24" as a title for your Etsy item is extremely poor. Instead, use keywords like "Abstract Art, Minimalist Decor, Modern Paintings, Black and White Artwork." You want to use simple words that your customers will actually type in to find what they're looking for.

2. Separate Your Keywords With Commas
Etsy organizes listings by how you separate them. You want to split up your keywords into chunks of one, two, and three so that your Etsy Items are prioritized higher than other Etsy Shops' items. So instead of writing a Listing Title like "Black and White Modernist Artwork Painting For Modern Homes", split it up into pieces, like "Black and White Painting, Modernist Artwork, Modern Home Decor." This way, you'll rank higher in most cases for simple keyword combinations. 

3. Fill Up As Much Of Your Item Title & Tags As Possible
The more keywords you can use, the more opportunities you have for being found on Etsy. Make it a habit to always completely fill up your Listing Description's Titles and Tags. At first, it will feel tedious to have to do this, but it's going to have a drastic effect on your ability to be found in Etsy.

4. Don't Repeat Keywords & Always Come Up With New Keywords
Something I see Etsy Sellers do constantly is reuse the same keywords over and over. If you sell mostly "Leather Purses" on your Etsy Shop, do not use the keyword "Leather Purses" on every single listing. Instead, mix it up as often as possible with other keywords like "Brown Purses, Leather Accessories, Leather Fashion, Purses Leather, Simple Purse, etc." Always, always, always think of new keywords and keyword combinations, and different keyword orders for your new products. The more variety of keywords you have, the more you'll be found on Etsy.

Etsy Treasuries Are A Waste of Time

 

Every day, thousands of Etsy Shop Owners pound away at creating their next treasury. Our Etsy Shop gets featured in at least 10 Treasuries per day. That's at least 3,650 Treasuries per year.

Here's the problem: Etsy Customers do not care about Treasuries! 

They are looking for beautiful products, great customer service, and they want to find your stuff on Etsy. But Etsy Customers do not find product through Treasuries. They find them through Keyword searches. 

So if you're an Etsy Seller, don't spend a single moment on an Etsy Treasury. In my opinion, Etsy needs to get rid of the feature altogether, so that no one spends another second wasting their time on a futile marketing tactic. 

Instead, start experimenting with keywords. Here are 5 strategies to help you figure out the right keywords and start finding real Etsy Customers:

  • Simple, boring, ordinary keywords are good, like "Shirt, Jewelry, Necklace, Art, Chair."
  • Always experiment and try to come up with new keywords.
  • Use commas, to split up your keywords into bundles of 1, 2, or 3 keyword groups.
  • Fill up as much space in your "Title Description" and "Tags" for every single item you have.
  • Make sure no two items have the same keyword combinations. Change up the order as words as much as possible, so that you get more variety in your keywords and therefore more views.

4 Mindsets For Etsy Success

 

Probably the most important concept in business, and on your Etsy Shop, is to always push yourself just a little bit more each month to reach a new milestone. It's nice to imagine what your Etsy Shop could be like many years from now. But the only way to get there is to take small, realistic steps every day, and plan your goals for the next month. 

1. Focus on your Etsy Shop & don't compare yourself to others
It's important to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing, or how successful some other Etsy Shop is right now. Instead, compare your own success over time, month over month, and grow slowly. 

2. Stay focused & on a single path
If you don't set a monthly goal that you can easily achieve in the next 30 days, you're going to get distracted with things that simply are not going to work. And at the end of the day, even if you are doing something you love with your Etsy Shop, it really has to be amount making a profit and paying your bills. Otherwise, you're really just doing charity work & you may as well not even worry about making sales. Ultimately, your good creative, artistic decisions have to come out of a place where you can make a profit, pay your bills, and be a creative artist all at the same time. 

3. Set a monthly revenue goal
Let's say your goal is to always improve your Etsy Shop Revenue by 20% each month. 20% growth does not sound like a ton of improvement when you look at it month-over-month. But within 12 months, the difference between your 1st month and 12th month is actually going to be quite a big difference. If you made $100 last month on Etsy, work really hard to hit $120 this month, and then $144 next month, and so on. This slow steady growth can become quite a larger number over time if you keep working at it.

4. Look at your sales and stats to help you move forward this month
When you choose to keep growing your Etsy shop every month, and you put together a plan on how to do that, you need make those growth decisions based off of what is actually working - not off of brand new ideas that have no basis for them. Your growth must be small. It must be based on what you have seen work on your own Etsy Shop, and it should not be based on mere guesses. Here are some things to look at:

  • What are your Etsy Stats telling you?
  • What are your best selling items of all time?
  • What are your best selling / trending items in the last 30 days?
  • What are customers asking for that you are not offering right now?