Wading through the minefield of Etsy “Experts”- Myths Busted

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Etsy, I am just an active seller sharing my experiences and opinions.

Today I want to bust some Etsy Myths.  This information will help you not only understand more about Etsy and the way it works, but be able to identify Etsy “Experts” that are offering outdated or incorrect advice.

1.) Amount of time it takes for SEO changes to become relevant.  If you are using proper SEO then the amount of time it will take you to see a difference in views/visits/sales is 24 hours max..not days, weeks or months.

2.) Tag and Titles – While Etsy said that buyers may prefer short titles, they NEVER said their algorithm changed.  The best way to get views/vists/sales is to utilize long tail keywords and ensure your tags and titles match.

3.) Follow Trains- Follow and heart trains were once helpful to your shop. Today they are not.  One factor in the Etsy algorithm is ratio of likes to sales.  So, if you participate in a follow or heart train Etsy sees lots of people viewing your item or shop and not people buying from you and lowers your ranking.

4.) Etsy Search- Even if you use incognito mode searching for your own item will NOT give you an accurate depiction of where your items are ranking.  If you want to check how your items are ranking, use Erank.com.

5.)Vacation Mode- If you need to catch up on orders, or actually take a break, using vacation mode will not negatively affect your rankings.  So, take that vacation you know you need!

6.)Shop Status- Etsy doesn’t go around turning shops “off”.  Period.

7.)Reviews- Responding to a review doesn’t mean Etsy won’t remove a review if it meets their qualification for removal.

8.)Saturation-  There is no such thing as saturation on Etsy.  With proper SEO, and great photos, you can be successful on Etsy even if you are selling jewelry!

Etsy has evolved over the years and has grown its platform and sellers tremendously.  It is my personal opinion that there is no such thing as saturation when it comes to art. The wonderful thing about art is that the beauty really does lie in the eye of the beholder.  So, there is a buyer out there for everything.  Again, with proper SEO and great photos, you can be successful on Etsy.

The most important thing to understand when looking at Etsy “Experts” is that Etsy is a unique platform. You can not take any standard marketing strategies and apply them to your Etsy shop.  An SEO guru for the real world, can not translate their knowledge into sales for you on Etsy.  Etsy’s algorithm is unique. So the keywords/tags and titles that would be a home run for you on your own website will likely garner you zilch on Etsy.

If you learn and understand Etsy’s algorithm AND stay up to date on their changes (this is huge!) then “marketing” is pretty much a waste of time.  You do not need to post 987 photos to social media a day to be successful.  The people who have great sales and are getting them from social media have missed out on a huge opportunity! The bulk of your sales should be coming from your tags/titles on Etsy.

Are you surprised by any of these myths?

 

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Wading through the minefield of Etsy “Experts” – Red Flags

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Etsy, I am just an active Etsy seller sharing my personal opinions and experiences.

So, we’ve determined that not everyone who claims to be an “Expert” is.  But, how do you navigate through the minefield of “Non Experts”?   It is no easy task!   I have a few Red Flags I look for.

I think that an “Expert” should have several qualities, at a minimum.  They should be an active seller on Etsy, they should have considerable sales and should have positive reviews.   Let’s break that down a little further.

1.) Active Seller- If you are buying Etsy advice/critiques/training from a platform other than Etsy, the person may not currently have, or EVER have had an Etsy shop.  You don’t think about that when hiring someone, to ask if they have a shop…it is easy to assume since they claim this vast knowledge that they must..but don’t assume anything!  If the person does not share their Etsy Shop name/stats that should be a red flag.  Some of the most popular Etsy Trainers right now had Etsy shops that were and/or are complete failures!  One in particular had just 19 sales. NINETEEN SALES! And, closed up shop and started selling Etsy advice!

2.) Considerable Sales- Again, it is easy to think that if someone has more sales than you then they have learned something you haven’t.  I disagree. I think if you are looking to hire someone to help you with your shop you should be looking at an Active Seller with 1000+ sales.  It takes a lot of work and dedication to get to 1000 sales.  If the person selling a training system hasn’t reached there yet…keep scrolling!

3.) Positive Reviews- If you’ve verified their shop is active and have greater than 1000 sales, check their reviews too.  You don’t want to take advice from someone who doesn’t have a 5 star rating do you?

4.) Inconsistencies- The other red flag I think you should be looking at is inconsistencies in their statements. This one is a little harder, but I have seen someone who has a big flashy website and sells a training program that is $1000 whose advice is to NOT have an Etsy shop…but they HAVE AN ETSY SHOP! Ummm what?   I also saw a person who claimed one of her 6 Etsy shops made over 80k a year (but she wouldn’t give you the names of her shops (RED FLAG!), but in one of her horrible videos she talked about her day job.  I did some digging because if just ONE of SIX Etsy shops is making 80k a year, why does she need a real job still?  Well, guess what? Her most successful shop has about 100 sales and the rest under 20.  Not an expert by any means.

5.) If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!  There are several people right now claiming ANYONE who takes their program can quit their day job and make 100k on Etsy a year with almost no effort at all.  I have a real problem with this.  How can you promise that without knowing anything about what a person is selling and/or the quality and/or the uniqueness of their items? How can you promise that without knowing how much effort the person is going to put into their shop? Are they going to finish your program? Are they going to do everything you suggest?  I am not saying 6 figures is unattainable with hard work and dedication, and a product that appeals to the masses. But what I am saying is that if it is attainable, it isn’t going to be attainable with only 5 hours a week of work.

Tomorrow- We will begin to bust through some Etsy Myths.  Knowing the truth behind some of these myths will help you to weed out more of the “Non Experts”.

Wading through the minefield of Etsy “Experts” – What is an Expert?

Disclaimers: I am not affiliated with Etsy, I am just an active Etsy Seller sharing my opinion and personal experience.

When I started my Etsy shop, my view of an “Expert” was warped by my complete lack of knowledge, and my NEED to make my shop a success. I would look at shops with 100 sales or even 20 sales and think, “WOW! How do I get THERE?” They had to know more than I did, right?  They were “Experts” right?

NO!

Merriam- Webster defines “Expert” as: “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience”.  How do you define “Expert”?  Granted it is easy to think someone is an “Expert” because they know more than you do, (or you think they do).  But, that is not always the case.

As my shop has grown, my view of “Expert” has evolved.  I have surpassed many of the shops I used to look up to, wishing I could achieve their level of success.   If your shop is new, or struggling, or just not meeting the goals you set for yourself. Here are some things to consider:

1.) A shop that has more sales than you doesn’t necessarily qualify as an “Expert”.

2.) A flashy website, professional looking videos and a ton of Facebook ads do not mean a person is an “Expert”.

3.) The amount of money a person charges for their program/training/critique does not equate their “Expert” level.   Just because someone is charging $1000 for a training program DOES NOT mean they know more than you, or even know enough to help you.

So, where does that leave you?  How can you determine if someone’s program/video series/email series/etc can help you? Tomorrow we will explore some red flags to look for.

In the meantime, what is your definition of an Etsy “Expert”? What are the hallmarks you look for?  What have your experiences been with Etsy “Experts”?

 

 

Wading through the minefield of Etsy “Experts”

In December of 2016 I started my Etsy shop, EpicallyEmbroidered.  I had zero clue what I was doing. I didn’t know how to write a title or tag, how to take a photo, and I wasn’t getting any sales. I was determined to read everything I could get my hands onto, watch every video I could find and join ALL the Facebook groups.  I spent more money that I can count, or want to admit, on “shop critiques”, SEO help, marketing programs. And, you know what? 98% of it was TERRIBLE advice, that didn’t help my shop.

Before I go any further..in the interest of full disclosure, I am not in any way affiliated with Etsy. I am just an Etsy seller sharing my personal opinion and my personal experiences.  Also, while I do sell an Etsy Master Class and do live training sessions, this series WILL NOT have any sales components.  I honestly just love Etsy, love the life I have been able to create as a result of my Etsy shop and don’t want my fellow Etsians to get taken advantage of.

Here’s the problem: Lots of people want/need help with their Etsy shops. Lots of people offer Etsy shop help. There is no certification for Etsy “Expert”. Anyone can call themselves an expert. So, how do you vet a potential “Expert”?  How do you know if the person claiming to be the answer to your prayers can live up to the expectation?

I can tell you from personal experience, that I didn’t know how to do this in the beginning. And, that is precisely HOW I hired the wrong people, watched the wrong videos, read the wrong articles and took so much terrible advice.

Over the next several weeks I will be doing a series on HOW to vet these “Experts” so that you can avoid all the pitfalls I did in the beginning.  I hope you will join me for this new series and I hope that it helps you!

I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences with so called Etsy “Experts”.  If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a message below, you are welcome to email me at: orders@epicallyembroidered.com

It’s been a while, but here’s some tricks for a perfect wedding!

Long time no blog, huh?

Today, let’s look at ten tips you can use to make your wedding the best day possible. We want to give credit, so check out the links at the bottom of the post for additional ideas.

  1. If you are having an outdoor wedding (or plan to have a giant fan in the venue), get some veil weights. If you are handy, you can even make them yourself: veil weights
    DIY Veil Weights
  2. Everyone is going to cry, so be sure to have personalized handkerchiefs for the wedding party. Embroider d hankies are perfect gifts for bridesmaids, the mother of the bride and groom, and especially for the father of the bride and best man. Click here to see what we have: I’m not crying, you’re crying! 
  3. 2. Don’t lick envelopes! Use a sponge or glue stick. tumblr_ml23egjtIQ1s7m362o1_r1_400
  4. Don’t fall down while walking down the aisle: slightly scuff the bottom of your wedding shoes with sandpaper if the venue is tile or other slick flooring.
  5. Setup a unique email for the wedding. You will be amazed at how much spam you will get once you kick off the planning process! We like Gmail, but any free email service will work.
  6. On your RSVPs, add a line for song requests. You’ll still have final say, of course, but it’s fun to know what your friends and family want to hear. Hopefully it’s not any of these: Worst Wedding Songs.
    skynyrdFree Bird is over nine minutes long and you can’t dance to it!
  7. Your bridesmaids will probably never, ever, ever wear their dress again. Think about a rental service like Rent the Runway. Your friends and family will appreciate it!
  8. Don’t use new haircare or face products of any kind in the last couple days before your wedding. You don’t want the wedding photos ruined by a breakout or allergic reaction.
  9. Eat something after the ceremony. You’ll think, “But the caterer is making blah blah blah”, but YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EAT IT. Everyone will want to congratulate you, shake hands, and hug, plus the photographer is going to be all up in your face. Before you know it you’ll be driving away in the limo, carriage, or car and trying to find an open McDonald’s equivalent in Tahiti. (Yep, the golden arches are in paradise, too!) A mid-event meal will save the day and keep you from falling out during the first dance.
  10. Number your RSVP cards. If anyone forgets to write their name (yeah, it happens) or they write like this then you will still be able to identify them.

Links to some other handy tips:

https://stylecaster.com/wedding-hacks-every-bride-should-know/
https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/best-wedding-tips-hacks-to-save-you-money
https://lover.ly/planning/news-tips/how-to/brilliant-wedding-hacks/

You may have noticed that our number two tip is to get embroidered, customized handkerchiefs for your wedding party (wink, nudge!). Seriously, they are a beautiful, affordable addition to your wedding, while also being very useful if anyone turns on the waterworks. We can match your colors in the embroidery thread and have a variety of hankies, like traditional unisex, lace, classic crochet, men’s, and even pastels. Swing by to see what’s on sale today: epicallyembroidered.com

View More: http://courtneylynnphoto.pass.us/coralhankies

 

Epically Embroidered Featured on Emmaline Bride

View More: http://courtneylynnphoto.pass.us/hankiesandtp

Today over at Emmaline Bride they have written a feature about our monogrammed hankies.

Check it out here:

Emmaline Bride Blog

monogramThey are featuring our Monogrammed Hankies.  These are great not only for weddings, but for any gift giving occasion where you are scratching your head over what to get that special man in your life. Perfect for birthday, anniversary, Christmas, groomsmen, groom, even retirement!  All our hankies are fully customizable, so we can work with you to create just the right sentimental keepsake.

Check out these and all our other handkerchiefs and more at: Epically Embroidered

 

 

 

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up on June 16, so we thought we’d talk about it this time.

Important thing to remember: not everyone can be the kind of dad Homer Simpson is, and that’s a good thing.

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In the Catholic Church in Europe, March 19, St. Joseph’s Feast Day, has been celebrated as a day to recognize fatherhood since the 1400s. In the United States, the first Father’s Day was held in 1908 in West Virginia. However, it  didn’t become an officially recognized holiday in America until 1972, probably after significant effort by the greeting card industry, since there aren’t any major holidays in June. Now it’s a day to take Pops to dinner and give him a new tie or a mug with a dad joke on it.

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Maybe this year, instead of the same old cheesy gifts, consider a custom embroidered men’s hankie. A handkerchief is classy AF and it shows your dad (or father figure) that you took the time to consider a unique gift they’ll be sure to love.

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Father’s Day at Epically Embroidered

Paired with a nice steak dinner, and maybe a cold beer from this great list of underrated (but delicious) cold brews, you’ll make it a perfect Father’s Day.