I received an email the other day from a reader, asking me how I choose the Etsy items and their sellers to feature on my blog. So, while I work on my new look (yes! A new look for Grandia Road!) I thought I would take a few minutes to answer that question here.
The best advice I can give for picking items and selling on Etsy is to post clear photos!!
I can't tell you how many times I have passed over an item because the photo was blurry. I might love that item and really, really want to show it to you, but if the pic is blurry what's the point? If you can't see it, you can't determine if it's something you want to buy. I never buy anything if the pic is blurry. I want to be able to zoom right in and see everything; details to flaws!
I know we're not all professional photographers with the proper lighting and a studio and the artistic education and background. But! It isn't necessary. All that is required to sell your item is a good, clear, picture. Make that 5 good pictures; that's 5 chances to sell your item for every angle you can post.
I look for items that are featured, in focus, and are the center of attention. Having other items in the background can be distracting. As can using live models. There is a lot of discussion about that particular topic on the Etsy forums. I find myself looking at the person, not the item. My personal opinion is that human nature necessarily draws the eye to the person not the thing you're trying to sell. Are they making a goofy face? Is their hair sticking up? What color are their eyes? Are they pretty? Handsome? By the time you've gone through all those things in your mind.. are you even thinking about that item anymore? I'm sure not.
Composition! is everything as well! If you do it right you can create a scene that the viewer will want to jump right into. For me, it makes me want to buy that item all the more! Here's an example of what I mean.
I featured this bag by Carry Me Away in this post. I love this photo. Doesn't it look inviting? It made me want to live in the photo, carry that bag to the market, and eat that yummy fresh fruit. Super cool example of great composition!
If you do it wrong... ugh. In order for me to show you a good example of a bad photo I'd have to pick on someone and I don't really want to do that! Suffice to say if you pounce through 'undiscovered' you will see a lot of examples. That is not to say that all undiscovered sellers have undesirable photos!! There are a lot of people who get lost in the shuffle on Etsy.. not surprising since it is a super popular venue. But there is also a large percentage who just aren't keeping their photos and shops in general in good condition. That leads to my next criteria.
Information! Also key. I want to see a banner, an avatar, a profile, and a shop announcement. At the minimum. I have also passed over super neat items because there was nothing to talk about beyond the item itself. I can't personalize my feature if there isn't any information about the person who made it. You don't have to be a graphic artist to get a banner and/or an avatar. There are a gazillion free services and even Etsy sellers who will work you up some graphics in a pinch!
The profile is all you though. Tell me who you are, what you do, why you do it. Part of the charm of buying hand made things is to connect with the crafter. I recently featured Lara at Countryside Sayings. . She custom made me some totally rad blocks for the holiday, which I'll be posting photos of in the near future. She was as sweet as can be and I was her first sale and happy and proud to be it So we connected and I purchased and now she's had four sales! Can't you just feel the love!? Clicking on a cool item only to discover that there is no information other than a few items for sale is the second worst thing that can happen. What's the first? Bad photos!
Web presence! Not necessarily key, but a super fabulous bonus for me when I'm looking for people to feature. I love finding their blog or their website and linking to them. That's another way of connecting with people. So if there's a web presence listed in the profile or shop announcement I grab those links and post them here. If there isn't.. believe me when I say I go looking for it. If I find it I post it. Get yourself out there. Everywhere!
So that's all I've got for today. I hope it was informative and I hope anyone popping by will take it as it's meant.. to help and encourage. :)
In the meantime I'm working on a new look for the site so please bear with me if you visit and things look a bit wonky!
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