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Blog about living a life to nurture, cherish and create.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

What goes into writing an etsy listing?

Over the last few days I've been going through the final stages of the process of getting my new line of children's pillows on sale in my etsy shop, ByElsieB. As a customer you may think that all the work goes into making the actual product, what with coming up with the design, choosing fabrics and the actual sewing. However, a massive amount of work and research comes after this. These are the main steps that go into writing an etsy listing:

  1. Photography - you can't sell online without a good picture, or in the case of etsy, five good
    I've bought all the kit for taking professional pictures now...
    pictures. How complicated can this be? Just put the pillow on a bed, snap some shots, upload them to the computer and from there to etsy. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. It's FAR more complicated than this. First you've got to learn all about the settings on your camera, then you've got to find a time and a place with the right light (natural light works best). If you're in the UK and living through the wettest winter on record, as we seem to be doing, maybe you need to buy some photography lights (as I was forced to do) because there was never enough natural light indoors or a big enough gap in the rain to go outside. Then you've got to think about what messages you're trying to convey with your photographs, which all links back to your branding. Do you want to show the cushion in a particular setting to convey that it's for a particular purpose or type of person? Are there any props that can help you to get this message across? I have REALLY struggled with photography and in the last six months I've spent far more time behind the camera than at the sewing machine. I hope, when I reveal my new listings next week (join my mailing listing at the bottom of this post to get first access to my brand new line!), that you'll agree with me that I've made something of a breakthrough in this department.
  2. Photo editing - the photos downloaded from the camera are never good enough just as they are.
    What a difference some light editing makes!
    I find all mine need to have the lighting fixed. They may also need cropping or retouching. It's complicated and fiddly doing all this stuff and I find it really boring but it really does make a difference to the end listing - and I'm finding that I'm getting quicker at it.
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) research - as a seller I need people who would like and desire what I make to be able to find it on the world wide web (it's a very big place). Luckily the clever people at Google have put a fanastic tool in place to help you find it, but I want to maximise your chances of finding. To do this I have to do a little bit of research. I have discovered that what I would naturally call my products is not necessarily what other people would call them. So, while I would call one of my cushions with a name on it a 'name cushion' many more people worldwide would naturally call it
    SEO for etsy listings
    a 'personalised cushion' or 'personalised pillow'. When I started out I thought I should be converting people to use my language. How very wrong I was about this! I need to come to my potential customers using their words otherwise they don't know what on earth I'm offering them. This is made even more complicated as etsy is a worldwide marketplace and, as I've discovered, Americans are far more likely to use the term 'pillow' when the Brits would use the world 'cushion'. It makes my mind boggle slightly but I'm getting there with this one.
  4. Copywriting -  as you are buying from me on the internet you can't pick up the items I have made to feel their texture or their weight, see the detail of the stitching or get the overall effect in front of your eyes. It is my job to try and bring you as close to this real experience through the copywriting, so I need to tell you everything you might want to know about what I have made
    copywriting for your etsy shop
    Copywriting helps people visualise what it would be like to own what I make
    without boring the pants off you. So, I try to go into details about what the product is like. For example, how big it is, what are the colours, some of the techniques involved in making it and what is individual about it. I then try to put an image into your mind of how you will use it and how it will make you feel. So, I might suggest where you would put it in your home, or how you would feel if you gave it as a gift, or what you would be communicating to the recipient of the gift by giving this present.
Once all this stuff is done you send the listing live and you're into the whole world of marketing - i.e. letting everyone you can possibly reach know that it's there to buy. In truth, all of the four steps above are the foundation of good marketing and, as I've found, without doing them properly any next-steps you might take to market your product won't come to much. Why not take a browse of some of the listings in my shop now?

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