Etsy Jam Episode 43: The Magic Quadrantilizer of Answers

Have you ever felt like you’re trying to do a billion things at once and more new things are showing up faster than you can get things done? Don’t fall into the trap of feeling overwhelmed and letting each new task rock your boat. Instead, use the Magic Quadrantilizer of Answers to find the MOST important thing for you to spend your time on.

I realize that sounded like the beginning of an infomercial but in all seriousness, this process works really well. We are going to start with a massive list of tasks/ideas and boil it down to the key activities that will help you make the most progress toward a goal. To help keep things straightforward, we’ve broken the process down into 5 easy payments of $19.95. Wait no…sorry…that was for the infomercial. We’re using 5 easy STEPS:

Step 1: Have a goal

In order to know if the stuff we’re working on is valuable, we need to know where we’re trying to go. For our example we’ll keep things simple and use the goal “I want to double the sales of my shop.” Pick your number one goal right now. Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions or just a really solid personal goal that you want to reach. Extra bonus points if you create a S.M.A.R.T. goal – but don’t get caught up on that if you just want some quick answers!

Step 2: Have some tasks or ideas

If you’re like me, step 2 is easier than step 1. There seems to be an endless flow of things I can spend my time on. Take a moment to brain dump and write everything down that’s been weighing you down. Richie and I love to use sticky notes for this but if it’s easier to start by just grabbing a sheet of college ruled paper (to save trees, obviously) and writing one activity per line, go for it.

Step 3: Ask yourself “Can I do it?”

Go through your list of tasks and for EACH one ask yourself “can I do this?” Score them on a scale of 0 to 5 where 0 means “this would be super difficult” and 5 means “this is a total piece of cake.” Don’t worry too much about scoring things perfectly – we can always adjust the scores later. As you go through your list, it helps to compare things with one another too. Ask yourself “is this harder or easier than that?” As you do more, they’ll get easier. We have some examples coming if you feel like you need a little more guidance.

Step 4: Ask yourself “Will it help?”

Go back through your list and for each task ask yourself if it will help you get to your goal. Make sure you’re using the same goal for each task! Just like your first score, use a scale of 0 to 5 where 0 means “nope this probably won’t help” and 5 means “heck yeah this will really help.” You may find that some activities don’t really help you reach your goal or they may be more in line with a different goal. That’s okay! Rate them low or set them aside for now.

Step 5: Graph it up!

This is the really fun part (I think). Grab some wall space or table space or window space or floor space. Just a big 5 foot by 5 foot open area will work perfectly. Now we need to make a big chart with a horizontal axis and vertical axis.

The vertical line measures how well you scored each task for “can I do it?”

The vertical "can I do it" axis

The horizontal line measures how well you scored each task for “will it help?”

The horizontal "will it help" axis

For this, Richie and I like to use painters tape. It will stick well to walls, tables, floors and windows and doesn’t leave a bunch of sticky residue after you take it down. After you’ve got your lines set up, your space should look like this:

The Magic Quadrantilizer Chart

Some Examples

Okay so you may see where we’re going already and be comfortable putting your tasks up on your chart, but if not, here are some examples of how we’d score tasks related to our goal of doubling our shop’s sales. Keep in mind that everyone’s scores will be different. Something that’s easy for one person may be difficult for someone else. Something that worked really well for one person may not have worked out very well for someone else. This is purely our fictional world of scoring (scary, right?)

Start a Blog

Can I do it?

SCORE: 0

Yeah I can do this but it will take a ton of time. I’m going to need to find a hosting provider, register a domain name, make sure I have an SSL cert to help with Google’s SEO, find good blogging software, write and publicize my posts. I’ve never done this before so it will take a lot of research time too.

Will it help?

Score: 0

If I’m honest with myself, I don’t think it will help much. I’ve heard from other sellers that they had a tough time knowing what to blog about and they never really got a whole lot of traffic to their blog….much less traffic that turns into SALES in my Etsy shop. So I’m not super optimistic about this one.

Start a Blog 0 / 0 goes here:

Guest Blog

Can I do it?

SCORE: 4

This one seems much more do-able than creating my own blog. I basically just need to search out blogs that I can guest post on and spend the time to write content for them. Not the easiest thing in the world but pretty straightforward.

Will it help?

Score: 1

Again I don’t think this will be a treasure trove for new sales BUT if I’m guest blogging on an established site, they already have an audience built up. This is something I wouldn’t have if I were starting my own site so for that I’ll give it a 1 instead of a 0.

Guest Blog 4 / 1 goes here:

Promoted Listings

Can I do it?

SCORE: 5

Totally. These seem really easy to set up from everything I’ve seen. I just need to figure a budget and decide which listings I want to feature.

Will it help?

Score: 4

Hard to say but I’ve heard of other sellers getting good returns on their investment with promoted listings. I know that in order for promoted listings to work well, I need to be targeting solid keywords on my items first. Fortunately, because I use Marmalead my SEO is in a really good spot. See what I did there? 😉

Promoted Listings 5 / 4 goes here:

Google Ads

Can I do it?

SCORE: 2

Eh this seems like more work than promoted listings. I don’t know as much about Google or how to set up Google Ads for a good return on my investment. It will take some research time.

Will it help?

Score: 3

Hard to say again but I’ve heard mixed things from other Etsy sellers. It seems like it may not do as well as promoted listings on Etsy – because when a shopper is on Etsy, they are already there with the intention of making a purchase. Showing them my ad will have a higher chance of making a sale than showing it to somebody just searching on Google. Again, not completely sure but my gut says slightly worse performance than Etsy promoted Listings.

Google Ads 2 / 3 goes here:

Social Media

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

Can I sign up for a Twitter and Facebook account and start blasting out photos and links? Sure. That’d be a 5. But can I do Social Media RIGHT? That’s harder. I’ll need to do some digging and learn about which platforms have the best engagement for shoppers. I’ll also need to learn the best way to share content on each platform because they’re all different from each other. If I blast the same message out to each channel, I shouldn’t expect much success.

Will it help?

Score: 0

Kind of along the lines of the blog, I think a lot of people on social media aren’t there to shop. My posts will be attracting more window shoppers than serious buyers. It may help with sales a little bit but will it get me on my way to doubling my sales? Probably not.

Social Media 3 / 0 goes here:

Pattern Site

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

I’ve never made a site before but I’ve heard and seen videos that make this seem pretty straightforward. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.

Will it help?

Score: 2

I am responsible for driving my own traffic to my pattern site so for that I give this a 0. BUT if I slip a card in my packaging or a sticker on the bottom of my items, this could be a great way to attract repeat customers. It could also help when friends ask where one of my customers got something. They can see the URL and send them my way. So because of the opportunity for repeat sales, I’ll give this a 2.

Pattern Site 5 / 4 goes here:

 

Improve Photos

Can I do it?

SCORE: 3

I’ve done all my own photography and I’m pretty comfortable with my DSLR and editing the photos. It’s just a matter of time to go through each one of my listings, take 20 or so photos of each one, pick the 5 best, and upload those to Etsy.

Will it help?

Score: 5

Yeah. This will definitely help. I know shoppers are visual (especially on Etsy) and I know that better photos will really increase my chances of getting customers to click my listings in search. The 4 other photos will help build their desire to buy and help my shop look consistent across all my listings. Big win towards my goal.

Improve Photos 3 / 5 goes here:

Focus on the Top Right

Now take a look at your top right quadrant and make sure you’re focusing on the things there. Hopefully you’ve gone through a decent number of tasks/ideas and arrived at a much smaller list! The card closest to the top right in our example is “Promoted Listings” so that’s what we’d want to focus on. Then once that’s done, start working on the next closest card to the top right (“Improve Photos”).

Focus on the top right

 

Rinse and Repeat

Do this activity as often as you want! I like to go through this exercise whenever I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Richie and I like to do it together to help make sure we’re focusing on the next best thing with Marmalead. As a bonus, here are some tips for things you might encounter when you do this on your own (or in a small group!)

Bonus Tip 1: Use Your Gut

Don’t overthink the scores you give cards. Don’t get caught up on being super accurate. It really helps to start trying to make things relative to one another. Will this help MORE than that? Will this be harder to do than that?

Bonus Tip 2: Make sure you MEASURE

As you’re working, measure how well things are working and how long it took you to finish them. This will make you better at estimating scores on future activities and will help you know what’s working and what’s not.

Bonus Tip 3: Stuff Clumped Up? Change your Scale!

Check out this example:

Cards are clumped up

This happens. Don’t worry if it happens to you. Just take the card that’s farthest to the left – in this case, it’s “Social Media.” Looks like it was scored a 2 for how much it will help. Well guess what? Now it’s a 0. “Improve Photos” over on the right was scored about 3.5 – now it’s a 5. Spread those cards out and adjust your scores accordingly.

Bonus Tip 4: Take a Picture

Sticky notes have a tendency to fall off of walls overnight. Make sure you snag a picture with your phone as soon as you finish organizing things so you can remember where things were in case of a catastrophic event…like toddlers who can reach all your difficult ideas.

Try it out!

We’d love to hear how this activity went for you. Share your pictures with us at success at marmalead dot com or in our Facebook group!

 

 

Etsy Jam Episode 42: The SEO Secret Hidden in Plain Sight with Joanna from EWDMarketing

In this episode, Joanna joins us from EWD Marketing. This is her SECOND time with Etsy Jam. She joined us in Episode 31. Check it out if you haven’t already. Joanna has been doing some testing and has found some really interesting things that she wanted to share with everybody. But we’ll get to that in a minute. 🙂

A Little Bit of Mythbusting

While helping people with their SEO, Joanna keeps finding that people are following rules which applied three or four years ago. These rules are no longer as relevant because Etsy is constantly tweaking and changing their search algorithms. Etsy is one of those spaces that changes very rapidly compared to other places online. If you’re selling on Etsy you want to make sure you are on top of those changes. Know what those changes are and what you need to do to your shop to position yourself in the best way you possibly can.

Often times, it’s easy to blame Etsy for our shops not getting sales or views. But  behind the scenes, Etsy is working feverishly to help shoppers find the products they are looking for. More sales means more success for Etsy AND its sellers. As sellers, we need to stay flexible and work with the changes. If we don’t, we’ll end up as yesterday’s news and losing our grip on the success of our shops.

Reworking your Listing Titles

People always ask what is wrong with their listings. When you tell them they need to update their tags and titles because these are not relevant and not working, they get frustrated. They feel it’s difficult to find relevant keywords and it’s hard to follow rules they’ve heard about – like avoiding keyword stuffing. Most sellers think they cannot use keywords more than once in their titles – or they will be “stuffing” them. However, it IS possible to re-use keywords in different context. For example: you can use silver starfish necklace, silver starfish bracelet and silver starfish ring and this doesn’t mean you are stuffing your title with the keyword “starfish.”

Another one of Joanna’s firm beliefs is that titles do NOT need to be customer friendly. Titles need to be search algorithm friendly because that is what makes it possible for shoppers to find your products. The only time your title needs to be customer friendly is when it’s on social media and you are trying to bring people back. Otherwise, you need to be writing relevant titles so that the algorithm can show your listings to shoppers who are specifically looking for them.

The SEO Secret in Plain Sight

Our tags and titles aren’t the only way we can help ensure our listings show up in search results. We can also renew our listings to get a nice bump in rank for they keywords we’re targeting. Many people think renewing does not work but it DOES. Joanna has tested this repeatedly with multiple shops to prove it. Check out this screenshot:

Joanna put her shop into vacation mode for a good length of time. Then after taking it out, she didn’t change anything in any of her listings except she started renewing listings frequently. As you can see in her stats graph, the shop lit up with activity as her listings started ranking for relevant keywords. Joanna repeated this with multiple shops to make sure her results were reproducible – and they were! This really illustrates the power of renewing listings which have been set up with relevant keywords.

Joanna makes sure to point out that if you do not have relevant titles and tags, then renewals won’t help  you rank for the best keywords – and you likely won’t see much benefit from renewing. So make sure you have your keyword phrases in ship shape condition!

How to Choose Relevant Keywords Phrases

Relevancy has been misunderstood by a lot of shop owners. What you have to do is go for long tail keywords. Most people limit their keyword phrases to 2 or 3 words. But if you increase your phrases to 4 or even 5 words, and use these long tail keyword phrases right at the beginning of your titles, you will have a much better opportunity to rank on multiple first pages of search.

What you don’t want to do is to use the generic terms (gift, gift for her, etc) and not fine tune them. It’s more important to have a long tail keyword phrase that is relevant to your product – and even more importantly is relevant to how your customer is searching for your product.

Try this Activity

So as an exercise, pick a product that you are struggling to find relevant keywords for. Grab your notebook and jot down some ideas. For our example, let’s use “sweatshirt.” Jot down things about the sweatshirt. It’s pink, it’s got a hood, it has a zipper front, it’s for women and it’s a size medium. Now use Etsy search to try to find 5 competitors that have a product just like yours BUT do not use any of your keyword phrases that you just wrote down. That’s a real eye-opening experience. When you try to look for a sweatshirt and you’re not using pink, or hood, zipper front, size medium but you do know it’s a sweatshirt for her. You have to start thinking differently – and NOW you’re thinking like a customer. Which is exactly how you want to be thinking when you’re picking keywords.

Now take all those new descriptive keywords you just found by thinking like a customer and go to Storm inside Marmalead. See what they generate. Going through the list of keywords in Storm is where you find your actual keywords and come up with the long tail keywords.

Speak Your Customers’ Language

It is important to make sure you are speaking your customers’ language. Just because you are getting views does not mean you have perfect keywords. If you can’t get your views to convert to sales, you could be attracting a lot of people who are just window shopping. Your keywords could be too vague or not great descriptions of your product. Of course there are other factors that go into converting views to sales like your photos, pricing, descriptions, etc. But Just because you’re seeing more views, don’t assume that your SEO is set up with the best keywords. The more you learn to talk your customer’s language the better off it’s going to be for everybody.

The Last Chance Sale

Want to try something fun? Joanna told us about a fun activity she did with one of her Etsy teams. She encourages everyone to try it with one of their groups too.

Go to your Listing Manager in Etsy and open up your Stats. Deactivate anything that has 0 sales and basically no interaction for the last 30 days or 90 days. Those are the items that you will put into your Last Chance Sale. Put a hefty discount on them for the sale – and once the sale is over, pull them from your shop for good. That’s it! They’re out of your shop and you’re done. You have to do this because these items are hurting your conversion sale. Any item that has 0 sales is affecting your conversion rate and it has to go. Pull out all your 0 sales items, set them aside and pick out a date for when you’re going to do your Last Chance Sale.

Now you’re going to go in and use Marmalead to search for a keyword that nobody is using and brings up zero results. Use this keyword at the beginning of your titles and as your first tag for each Last Chance Sale item. Set this up and have your group announce to your audiences on Social Media. On your chosen date, go in Etsy and reactivate these products.

After the sale, make sure you remove all of the listings that didn’t sell. Your conversion rate will go up, sales performance increase and people will be able to find exactly what they are looking for. Conversion rate is as important as relevancy is.

Check it Out Yourself

Head over to Marmalead and type in “EDWMarmalead” then do the same thing at Etsy. Joanna has set up an example to show you how this is working in real time. Keep checking back to see how the views trend as more people search this term on Etsy and Marmalead!

Special Offer from Joanna and EWDMarketing

Anyone who spends $20 or more in Joanna’s shop can use the coupon EWDMarmalead to save 35%!

 

 

Scoops for this Etsy Jam are on the way!

 

In this episode, Joanna joins us from EWD Marketing. This is her SECOND time with Etsy Jam. Joanna has been doing some testing and has found some really interesting things that she wanted to share with everybody. But we'll get to that in a minute. :-)

Etsy Jam Episode 41: Makers Biz Summit Announcement with Deb from Tizzit

In this episode, Deb from Tizzit joins us to announce the 2017 Makers Biz Summit. Deb created Tizzit to help online handmade sellers find success. In this episode, she talks with us about the importance of great photography, value-based pricing, how water in the morning can replace coffee, and of course the Makers Biz Summit.

Meet Deb from Tizzit

Hi! I’m Deb and I grew up in France. I have a Masters in Marketing and Business Management. After attending University, I started working in Sephora, the cosmetic company up in Paris. It was all very interesting but wasn’t really my cup of tea because I wasn’t feeling the corporate Parisian lifestyle.  I finished my Masters in Australia and then I started working for small companies around Sydney.  I’ve been doing freelance, online marketing, and design work for clients in Sydney.

Because I love studying (ha ha), I went back to school to do graphic design for another year just to learn Adobe software and all that kind of stuff. From there I was able to mix graphic design skills into my offerings. Since then, I’ve been working with small businesses and doing a little bit of everything for them (which I quite like) so instead of doing just graphic design or web design; I look at their whole strategies and when there are gaps, I fill them up with my skills.

Where did the name Tizzit come from?

The more I think about it, the more I think I really should have a story behind it – but I really don’t! The name Tizzit came to me when I was playing with letters and I liked it because you can read it forward and backward.

I have a friend who sells jewelry and she needed a website but she didn’t know where to start. She’s amazing and she makes lots of beautiful creations but she didn’t know how to put crafting and marketing together. She just wasn’t very interested in the sales and marketing stuff and I knew it was something that I could help with. So she let me help her and I loved that project so much that it made me begin to wonder what I am doing working for other small companies when this personal experience was so much more rewarding.

I have lots of other friends doing handmade on the side and I wanted to help them too.  I quickly realized that a lot of people who had these amazing skills to create beautiful products were really struggling with how to market them. I thought I could be most helpful by starting a blog. As people started to find the kind of information they were looking for, my audience grew. Then, Tizzit was born!

The 3 Big Pitfalls For Online Sellers

1. Photography

It’s so crucial. We have really had good cameras in our pockets now. But if you’re not a photographer, then you don’t know how to play with the lights, the styling of the product photo, and all the other things that go into it. Yes, you can learn; it’s not that hard but you need to be able to either invest in time or just invest in someone that can do it for you. There are so many Etsy Shops and their products are amazing but sometimes, I see some with a shady gray background or the angle is shot in a way that you’re not sure of the proportion and the size of the product. People are not going to buy that. If it’s a $60 product, I’m buying a $60 picture. I see a lot of people still aren’t putting enough effort into it. I feel that it’s more important than your brand, or your logo, or the banner in your shop. Pictures are what come up when you search and they are what make someone click – not the title. So it has to be perfect.

2. Pricing

Lots of people just struggle with what their price should be. There’s a formula online, I think it’s Cost + Labor x 2 = Pricing and it’s so painful to watch people fall for that. It’s hard because you are going to overwork yourself and never be able to make a profit because you’re underpaying yourself. What you need to do is really dive into the numbers.

It’s just so hard to see people working so many hours putting their product together and then they sell it and it works because they’ve got an amazing product. But I talked to a lot of them and they say they still feel like they’re struggling, still not making money, and still working too many hours. My response is “maybe you’re not charging enough.” I’ve heard lots of stories over the years where people substantially increase their prices and to their surprise, they get just as many or even more orders. There are some that quadruple their prices and still sell the same quantity.

This goes back to the first one too which is photos. If you are pricing yourself as the high-end product and you don’t have the photos to back it up, it’s going to be even harder to communicate that to your customers. You have to invest ahead of time – get some nice photos and make sure your listings look great. Make sure that the website you’re selling off looks fantastic too. It’s not like you can just increase your prices and everything would be hunky dory. You need to make sure you’re communicating that through all your channels, too.

3. Investing on Yourself

This is a tricky one for makers. We live in this world where you can find everything on the internet that can teach you how to do something on a budget, or do it yourself. I agree with that and there’s definitely a way to start a business and not spend a dime but there’s also a stage where you need to invest in something and you need to be comfortable with that. I’m not saying that you need $2,000 on your product photography, or pricing strategy specialist straight away, but also don’t expect that everything’s gonna be $0. A few hundred dollars is probably a good way to start.  You can at least have the basics right and you’re gonna save yourself so much time and probably would be able to make more sales way quicker than trying to do everything yourself. Be smart when you decide what things you want to learn to do yourself and which ones are too important to neglect. Get help because it is just so crucial.


Makers Biz Summit | Tizzit

My biggest project so far with Tizzit is Makers Biz Summit – a free online conference for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs. It’s a total of 10 days. It’s organized like a roadmap so every day we focus on one topic. The first day would be the legal setup, the business plan, bookkeeping, and all the foundational work that needs to be done for business. Then we go to pricing, branding, different sales channels like Etsy. There’s a day for setting your own website, setting your retail store, selling online, and then marketing and sales strategies for the last couple of days. We release it in a way that every day we have time to dive into the topic. There are also study guides and 6 workshops where I go into the nitty-gritty side of things. There’s a very wide range of topics that we will cover and that’s only possible with the help of many different presenters. It made me realize how great of a community we have because the presenters are so passionate about helping Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs make a living from their craft.

Get Your Free Access Pass to Makers Biz Summit!

 

In this episode, Deb from Tizzit joins us to announce the 2017 Makers Biz Summit. Deb created Tizzit to help online handmade sellers find success. In this episode, she talks with us about the importance of great photography, value-based pricing, how water in the morning can replace coffee and of course the Makers Biz Summit.

 

Scoops from this Episode:

Etsy Jam Episode 40: 6 Tips to Boost YOUR Conversion Rate

Conversion means converting your views into sales. The point is not necessarily more traffic – in fact, you can have less traffic but more sales if you have a high conversion rate. Conversion rate is the most powerful statistic you have in your shop because that’s where the rubber meets the road.

The formula for conversion rate is sales / views x 100.

It is a really good indication of the health of your business. More so than your overall views or traffic numbers. Because sales is what this is all coming down to. Etsy also suggests that you should be getting a 3% conversion rate and that’s because that number is the industry standard in retail e-commerce.

The average across Etsy is more like 1%. This is what we have seen in our Shop Fitness Calculator. Across all that data set of people who took the test, the average conversion rate for shops is almost exactly 1%.

Etsy knows what your conversion rate is. They don’t want you to be average. They want you to do better than that. Etsy wants to show and feature your listings more often than other listings especially the ones that have have a better conversion rate because that means more money for you and more money for them.

1. Improve your Photos

These are your photos in general. But also specifically, your non-featured photos. Improving your featured photo is going to increase your chance of someone clicking your listing in the search results and be counted as a view. But that’s not necessarily going to directly impact your conversion rate. You might get more people in the door because they see a cool featured photo but to improve your conversion rate, take a look at the other 4 photos that Etsy lets you put and make sure those too are top-notch.

The other 4 photo slots are not just slots to fill, they should have an actual purpose. Think about it, when you’re buying online; you don’t get the opportunity to pick it up, spin it around and see what the item looks like all around. So you have to do the best job you can and a very powerful way to do that is to use photos.

2. Pick More Niche Keywords

This one seems a little counterintuitive. If I’m picking more niche keywords, wouldn’t that mean I’m getting less views on my listings? Yes, it sure would. Basically, instead of covering more ground with your keywords and being very spread out, you would want to target keywords that are very specific. You’re not gonna get as much traffic with niche keywords but you’re gonna get more buyers. You are going to get more people with intent to actually buy. You’re going to get a higher conversion rate because people already have an idea of what they want.

3. Avoid Spammy Views

How do you avoid spammy views? First of all, don’t invite people into your shop with no interest in buying.

So let’s say you have a gym and you want people to sign up for a gym membership. You thought it’s a cool idea to offer a free pizza. A lot of people are probably going to show up but they are showing up only because of the free pizza and not because they are stoked about working out. If you’re doing team games where someone would view and favorite your listing and you reciprocate – then you’re kind of offering a pizza in a sense.

A real world of example of this too is Pokémon Go. It’s a game where it sets you on a quest to find Pokémons throughout the real world. This was causing people to go all over the place and sometimes it would bring them over to businesses. A lot of business owners got really upset about it. It’s pulling a bunch of people into their stores with zero intention of buying anything because they’re just there to find Pokémons. A lot of people got frustrated by it because it clogs up the stores and they’re only getting in the way of the real customers.

Etsy can see this spammy views too. They are seeing these extra amounts of views coming into your listing and people are not buying. That’s not going to bump you higher in search – you’re working against yourself at this point. People are visiting your listings and they should be interested in it, but instead they’re turning away from it. Something must be wrong. Really, you should be keeping an eye out for these kinds of stuff for yourself and keeping your numbers as true as possible because it’s also an indicator to you whether or not something is wrong.

4. Answer Customer Questions In Your Descriptions

Answer their questions before they even ask you. Answer as many of those common questions as you possibly can in your descriptions. If it’s something handmade – can I customize it? If it’s something vintage, did you clean this? or polish? did you do any restorations on this thing? Make sure you answer those kinds of questions because people are interested to know.

Even some of the texts you have in your Shop Policy or About Page are worth talking about. It might be worth pulling a portion of those details forward so you can talk about it in the individual descriptions. Newer shoppers on Etsy probably don’t know how to get to these sections of your shop themselves. Put together anything that you think is important especially if you have gotten these questions from many customers in the past. Other people probably have the same questions so that’s a good chance for when they have that question, you’re already answering it for them.

5. Tell The Customer To Buy. Tell Them The Next Steps.

Tell them to buy. Let them know how to buy too. I think something that a lot of people take for granted is that everyone must or should already know how these things work. There’s a lot of other steps going on. Once someone buys once, it becomes automatic and it’s easy. But keep in mind that a lot of people are finding out about Etsy every single day. Everyone doesn’t always start out online-savvy. They don’t exactly know what’s going on.

If they get 3 steps out of 5 on buying and something happens that they’re not expecting, there is a good chance that they’re going to bail and abandon the cart.

Fun Fact:

Etsy has told us in 2015 that their mobile sales were more than their desktop sales. I’ve also read an article the other day that was talking about mobile sales and it’s saying that 60% of people abandon their shopping carts before they finish the transaction. So do everything in your power to make sure that it is not going to happen to you. Try to make the buying experience as smooth as possible for your customers.

6. Have The Customer Make A Decision Before Buying

The idea here is you want to build some mental ownership. Just like if you’re trying to buy a car, the car dealership wants you to feel right at home in that car. They want to encourage you to even drive that car home. See what it looks like in your driveway. Have your neighbors see you driving that car and understand how it feels to be in that nice new car. Anyone who has bought a car understands that and it has probably happened to you.

But how do you get there? You would want to make a lot of little decisions along the way. For handmade, you make little decisions like sizes and color options. If you’re selling a T-shirt, the person would want to pick their size. Maybe they get to pick the color of the shirt too and the color of the print. The more you can customize these things, the more decisions you’re making about it and the more you are building this mental image of them with the product.

This is something too that you don’t have to tell them to do all the time. Look at Apple ads that have iPhones next to one another. They show all the different possible colors of iPhones. Apple does it all the time and it’s a subtle way of having the customer make a choice. When you see 4 or 5 iPhones next to one another with all the colors available, you are already subconsciously picking one.


Marmalead Copywriting Course

Extra bonus piece of information for you guys. If you sign up as an Entrepreneur for Marmalead, you have access to a bunch of courses that we put together for Entrepreneurs. One of those being Marmalead’s Copywriting Course. Few of these tips that we talked about dealt with descriptions and the copywriting course goes hand in hand with that. There is even more information in there about writing the perfect copy. So if you want to dive a little bit deeper, that’s definitely a resource that you guys can check out if you’re an Entrepreneur!

 

Etsy Jam Scoops from this Episode:

Are your listings performing as well as they can? In this episode we share 6 tips that will help you boost your conversion rate on Etsy. These are simple strategies that you can apply to your listings to start enjoying better quality views and ultimately more sales. Stick around for our top six tips next on Etsy Jam.

Etsy Jam Episode 39: Kara from ACakeToRemember

In this episode we talked to Kara Buntin from ACaketoRemember. Two years ago Kara made the transition from selling wedding cakes full time to selling DIY cake supplies on Etsy. Join us for an awesome chat where Kara covers time management, pivoting her product line the misguided belief in 99 cent pricing, delivering wedding cakes through tropical storms and much, much more.

Etsy Jam Scoops

Before we start, we want to mention the Etsy Jam Scoops that we’re making. Etsy Jam Scoops are short clips of 1 to 5-minute chunks from the Jam that we pull out so for some of you who don’t have the time to listen to the entire episode can still skim the important topics out. We have a separate playlist on Youtube for these.

Here are the scoops from this jam!

How did Kara get started on Etsy?

In my late twenties, I decided to go back to Culinary School to do wedding cakes because I like to bake. At that point, we were up in Boston so I said that was something I could do from home. But in between that, I worked at a department store in downtown Boston. I was in Jordan Marsh. That was a big store and it was very busy so I learned a lot about retail there. When I had the idea of starting a business, I already half knew what I need to be doing. Fast forward when we moved back to Virginia where my husband is from. At that point when we had my daughter, I started doing cakes. So that’s when I had experience running a home-based business.

That is how I ended up doing cakes and then when the economy went into recession in 2008, all the brides started wanting things for cheap. Everybody wanted to DIY their own wedding. To them, DIY-ing isn’t to save money. They do it because they like to and they want to personalize their own wedding by doing it themselves. I knew then that I can’t raise my cake prices that year because no one is paying for a big cake.

To supplement my income, I decided that I’m going to open a shop and sell some stuffs online for the DIY brides. I was selling sugar flowers and things that they could put in a plain cake to fancy it up. But then along the way, I realized that people who weren’t DIY brides were buying my stuff too. Other cake decorators were buying the sugar flowers and they were starting to buy some of the supplies as well. My target market became very strange because it’s cake decorators, it’s brides, and people who were making their first birthday cakes.

Transition from the Wedding Cake Business into Full-time Online Etsy Shop Business

I was doing both Etsy and my wedding cake business full time. I made a lot of money back then. But I knew I can’t keep this pace up and honestly, Etsy was a lot easier in terms of having to constantly seek out customers.

When you think of an online business, you think it’s so uncertain. So I was reluctant to take the leap and quit my wedding business and just do Etsy. But then I realized, wedding cakes are also uncertain. I’m out looking for customers and I can’t be guaranteed of an income either. I don’t know what kind of bookings I’m going to get so why not just do Etsy full time? That’s when I decided to not do any more cakes.

Are You Prepared When Something Goes Wrong?

There are a lot of things that could happen. But since I had been doing cakes for so long, I wasn’t afraid of the cakes anymore. Usually, the bad things happen when you’re delivering it. It’s because if you bake something and it doesn’t work, you can always rebake it. But if you’re delivering the cakes and you slam the brakes on; and the cakes goes into the box or whatever, you can’t redo it so that’s the nerve wrecking part.

Time Management

It’s especially hard if you have little kids. My kids are now older so once they’re in school, you’ll have tons of time and you can do the work. I will say this: if you have a chunk of time, do the work. People think that they should go and get their groceries when the kids are not around. No. Go home and work and get things done so you don’t have to stay until 2 in the morning. It’s just a lot easier to do some work when there are no interruptions around.

There’s a really good book by Julie Morgenstern, Time Management from the Inside Out, and she says that you have to pick a schedule that fits your circumstances. For people who have families they have to balance, you have to look at yourself as the “Crisis Manager”; because you don’t know what’s going to happen on any given day. You have to build in extra time. If you think a work is going to take you an hour, give yourself 3. If you think it’s going to take you half an hour, give yourself two hours.

How to Know if Something is Worth Your Time or Not

I think this is a work in progress for most people. But I told myself this year and my resolution is to always say “What’s the best use of my time right now?” and a lot of times, asking yourself that question will pull you back from checking your email or checking your Facebook.

Kara’s Tip on Product Development

I love customer questions. I develop a lot of my products from customer questions. If someone asks; “Hey, can you do this in purple?” and a lot of other ones follow, then I take that as a cue that maybe purple is a popular color this year. Basically, you want to take your cues from what your customers are ordering, what they’re asking about, and try to get ahead of that.

Pricing your Listings

When you’re pricing your stuff, don’t try tricks. Just figure out your cost and figure out your labor. Think about all your overheads including your subscription to Marmalead. Figure out every single thing you pay for – all that goes to the pricing of your product. You don’t need to worry about tricks like the .99 cents at the end because the .99 cent studies don’t hold any truth.

How do you get new Customers?

Most of my customers are not repeat customers. I’m getting customers through SEO. I have a separate website and a stand-alone website and it doesn’t get the traffic that my Etsy shop does. That is because Etsy has such a built-in customer base. If you can’t get them into your shop, then there are things you can do in your shop to keep them there – like putting links or listings from one link to another. Second, making sure your pictures are good.

What Kara likes about Marmalead

I have a problem with finding good keywords. But you can go to Marmalead and use the Storm. I love that because I found some really weird keywords that I would never have thought of. So just be willing to look outside of what you are thinking of for your products and see what and where you can use it for.

Having a YouTube Channel for Your Shop

A lot of things that people don’t do but they should – is to have a YouTube channel for their shop. You can have a video of you showing the item and just turning it around. Having a 360-degree view of the product gives shoppers more confidence in buying it. People like to see that.

Personally, I use my YouTube channel to demonstrate how to use silicone molds. This is especially helpful if you’re getting reviews from people saying that they couldn’t get it to work. You can do a Youtube video showing it and explain how to get around that problem so that people can go and see it.

It’s a better shopping experience if the customers can see something in real-time rather than just describing it or looking at the pictures. It really makes a lot of difference for people.

Watch the Scoops from this jam

In this episode we talked to Kara Buntin from ACaketoRemember. Two years ago Kara made the transition from selling wedding cakes full time to selling DIY cake supplies on Etsy. Join us for an awesome chat where Karen covers time management, pivoting her product line the misguided belief in 99 cent pricing, delivering wedding cakes through tropical storms and much, much more.

Etsy Jam Episode 38: Where the Driveway Ends

In this episode, we discuss how to know when you should close your Etsy shop. When is the best time to move on? What do you need to focus on when you do? And how much traffic drives past the end of your driveway? Find out next on Etsy Jam!

Why you should NOT close your Etsy shop

No matter how successful you get online, if your Etsy shop is working for you, why would you close it? Why would you close an avenue that’s working. Why stop what’s working? Do more of what’s working.

The way I see it, you’re gonna find shoppers that know what Etsy is, and if they know what Etsy is, they are probably looking for a particular thing that is on Etsy. Now, there is this chance that they are going to find YOU. But ask that same person if they remember your shop name, and chances are they have no clue what that is. In fact, a lot of people that buy on Etsy might not even remember the shop names. They just remember that they got it from Etsy. These are sales you wouldn’t otherwise get if you have a separate website.

“It would be like having a lemonade stand in a food court. And I decide that I don’t really want to be in the food court anymore and so I moved it to the end of my driveway.”

If you think you are someone that needs an off-Etsy shop, you should keep your Etsy shop assuming it’s going well for you. Don’t stop doing what’s working.

If things are going great for you and let’s say you want to move to Shopify or Amazon Handmade, you are closing your Etsy shop because you don’t want the extra business? Then the problem isn’t really Etsy, it’s that you can’t handle that much extra business. Solve that problem. Pull someone in. Pull a friend, or a family member in or pay someone to come help you out. Don’t solve the problem by cutting off the business!

But selling on Etsy is expensive!

I hear people telling that Etsy is expensive. Well, business is expensive! You might not realize how much things cost until you go out there and actually pay for all these individual services that you have to string together. It adds up!

If you’re going to have your own site I’m pretty sure you want to be taking peoples’ credit cards. There’s a fee associated with that. That’s just the way credit card transactions work. You are going to have to pay a fee to be able to process those credit cards. So just like you’re paying Etsy a certain amount for every listing that sold, part of that goes towards covering the fees that Etsy has to pay.

Their hosting is fast too. When you’re on Etsy, you have good and fast CDN networks meaning that all around the world, people are seeing your stuff fast. Shared hosting platforms like Bluehost and Hostgator are not as fast. Yes, they are cheap, but not as fast. Also, you want to be serving up things like videos and images for your external website and once you get into all these stuff – it gets expensive! Etsy handles a lot of that stuff for you.

Etsy is so restrictive about my customers!

The other valid reason we keep hearing is – who owns the customer? Etsy doesn’t want you to spam your customers and get all promotional and we get it. No one wants their inbox being blown full of promotions all the time. But it’s not that hard to just don’t be spammy. Don’t go messaging people or throw people in an email list they didn’t subscribe to. If you have your own website, would you do that otherwise? Would you want to spam people if you had your own site because Etsy won’t let you do it? I don’t think so. Right?

A great way to ask for feedback is to ask for it. Follow up with customers. If you want reviews – follow up with them. Ask them if they are satisfied or if you exceed their expectations.

Every time I buy on Amazon, they send me an email saying:

“Hey, I want to reach out and make sure that the product we sent you exceeded your expectations. And if it did, we really appreciate if you would leave us a review.”

Are they selling me anything? No. They’re just following up. Because when someone buys a product from you, and they didn’t have a good experience, don’t you wanna know that?

How to validate your idea before setting up an external shop

Another thing you could do too that involves a little bit of testing, is to set up your separate website. Set up this site but don’t set up processing payments yet, just make everything on that site link back to your Etsy shop. So if they see a product over there, you send them to the product page on Etsy. It’s an extra step but they are gonna recognize the fact that it is Etsy and they can make a purchase right from that page. Then, check your stats in your Etsy shop and see how many people are actually coming from your external site that you’ve put together. Compare that with the amount of traffic that you’re getting straight off of Etsy. If you’re really going to get rid of Etsy, you need to make sure that this other page you built is doing an insane amount of traffic.

I just don’t want to drive my traffic over to Etsy.

There’s one more thing about Etsy that people complain about too. They say “I don’t wanna drive my traffic over to Etsy. Because then, the customer might see other shops too!”. Well, last time I checked, the internet is an even bigger place than Etsy. So if you think there are lots of shops on Etsy, the internet is a superset of that place.

That would be like Etsy telling Google “We don’t want to be included in Google shopping results because there are other people selling there”. When in fact, they just championed their relationship with Google to make it so they show up more in those results.

While there are other shops out there selling the same thing, if you have a strong offering, then you’re gonna be okay.

What I’ve noticed is, there could be competing products of the same kind and if I don’t know which one to get, I always go with the one that seems most helpful. The one that seemed to help me the most along the journey – I tend to reward them with my purchase. So if you’re thinking that there are shops that make a product just like yours too, you can still differentiate by offering the equivalent of someone walking into a shop and the person is there to be very helpful to you.

It's not hard to be better than the majority because the average is so much lower than you think!Click To Tweet

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Watch the full Jam

Click here to watch all the Scoops from this Jam

In this episode, we discuss how to know when you should close your Etsy shop. When is the best time to move on? What do you need to focus on when you do? And how much traffic drives past the end of your driveway? Find out next on Etsy Jam!

Etsy Jam Episode 37: To Tag or to Title

In this episode, we talk about how you should put together your title and tags for the best SEO and which you should do first. We also discuss how the SEO grading in Marmalead works and what the TRUE meaning of keyword stuffing is. Spoiler alert – it has to do with turkey and gravy. Stick around for another great Etsy Jam feast.

 

There has been a discussion in our Facebook Group about how one should do their listings’ tags and titles. Eventually, it came down to two schools of thought. There are people who:

  • thinks that when you do your listing, you should do your titles first and then pick out what your tags will be from the keywords in your title
  • thinks that you should come up with all your keywords, put them as tags first, and then fit those into a title.

To Tag or to Title

If you start with finding the right keywords, it doesn’t really matter. If you want to take those keywords that you found and put them in your tags and then figure out your title – that’s okay. Or if you want to pick your keywords and put them in your title in an order that makes sense, and then putting those in your tags, that’s fine too. The ultimate and most important thing is to find the keywords first. Always start with finding quality keywords.

Related: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Finding Great Etsy Keywords


As long as we’re getting to the same spot at the end – which are keywords that end up in our tags and in our titles, it doesn’t matter how you get there. Whatever is easier for you and whatever works out for you. It doesn’t really make that much difference.

Targeting Keywords


You can have one target focus keyword. After that, you can have a number 2 focus keyword, number 3, and so on. You want this to happen because the front of your title is the strongest in relevancy search. The closer it is to the front, the better off you are and the stronger Etsy search thinks it is.

How does Listing Grades work inside Marmalead?

Tags in Title

It basically means “Tag and Title Match”. How many of your tags can you fit inside your title? If you have your title keywords written EXACTLY as it is in your tags, then Marmalead counts that as a tag and title match. That is good because Etsy likes to see that.

If it’s different; say you have “wedding dresses as a tag, but you have “wedding dress” in your title, then that’s not going to fit because it’s looking for your tag in your title. But to add to the confusion, if you had wedding dress as a tag, but wedding dresses” in your title – that would match. Because that’s a subset of “wedding dresses” so it would ‘technically’ find that phrase in your title.

In our grading, you don’t have to fit all 13 tags in your title because you are limited by the 140-characters. We only look for 7 tag and title matches for you to have a full score. Etsy is a different thing because they don’t really care how many you fit into your title. What they care about is if the tag exists in your title. Marmalead is just measuring how well you’re making use of that title to match as many tags as you can.

Recency

Renewing is part of the grading as well. People have asked us before “Why is my grade changing when I haven’t changed anything on my listing?”

The answer is: Your listing is getting older. While your listing is getting older, the market space is constantly having new listings being added to them. When people renew or one of their listings get sold, they are automatically renewed and go to the top too.

Keyword Stuffing Explained

There’s a lot of places where people talk about keyword stuffing. We see this in the Etsy Forums a lot. It comes up in our Facebook Group every now and then too. There are other thought leaders in the Etsy space that talks about keyword stuffing a lot and unfortunately, most times that we’ve seen it used, people are using that term incorrectly.

To best understand this, we should get back to before there was Etsy. Back in Google days. Way back in the day when they wanted to figure out how well a site was geared to talk about a specific keyword, there became a term known as “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing back then was the practice of writing really spammy content in a sense that you take a single keyword and you just insert it in every sentence you possibly can even though it looks awful and doesn’t really add a lot of value. It’s just the same keyword over and over.

If you’re putting a bunch of different keywords in your title and tags – that’s not keyword stuffing. It sounds like it is because you’re ‘stuffing’ all those keywords in there, but you are not using the same keyword over and over so you’re good. If your tag and title looks like “Wedding dress wedding dress wedding dress wedding dress” – that’s keyword stuffing. If you’re targeting something ‘wedding’ related, and 4 of your keywords have the word ‘wedding’ in them, don’t be overly concerned because they’re not the same thing.

We don’t grade the quality of your keywords

Your letter grade does not involve the quality of your keyword. At least not yet. That’s why we show the Marma-meter scores in the Tags table. We score how that tag is performing as far as Engagement, Competition, and Category Page.

Things that sellers can optimize to impact their ranking

First, is deciding what keywords you are going to target. You can always cite which ones you want optimized for.

Secondly, you can make sure that you put them together in your shop in a way that makes Etsy want to find you to be the most relevant. That would be putting the focus keyword in the front of your title and in your tags and make sure that those two things match exactly.

Third, is renewing. You can renew your listings to stay on top of the search you are trying to target.

Things that you can’t control

When people search for you and then they visit your listing; whether or not they purchase. Although you can technically control the outcome because you can have great photos and compelling descriptions, the right price point, and making sure you’re targeting the right keywords. All of these techniques can help improve your conversion rate.

Related: 12 Simple Strategies to BOOST your Conversion Rate

In this episode, we talk about how you should put together your title and tags for the best SEO and which you should do first. We also discuss how the SEO grading in Marmalead works and what the TRUE meaning of keyword stuffing is. Spoiler alert - it has to do with turkey and gravy. Stick around for another great Etsy Jam feast.

Etsy Jam Episode 36: Do Less Be More

In this episode, Richie and I share our top goals for 2017 and encourage you to think about your own goals too. We also go a step further and talk about what systems and techniques you can use to make sure you have the best shot of achieving your goals.

Gordon’s goals this 2017

First Goal

My first one is to be healthier. The way I’m gonna measure that is by losing weight. My goal is to lose 50 lbs. throughout the year of 2017. It’s a big goal for me and I definitely have to work for it, but I have a year to do it and I think if I stay with it, I’ll be able to hit that at the end of the year.

It’s not the weight that really concerns me but feeling healthier and feeling that I am in better shape than I am right now. I’d like to get back to something where I feel I am in a healthier spot in my life and I’m going to measure that with weight.

Second Goal

Number 2 for me came from a video by Gary Vaynerchuk where he was encouraging people to set up a goal for themselves to make $20,170 this year. The whole idea is by starting to sell little things around your house that you’re not interested in and then you grow that up over the course of the year to finding things that have a higher value on eBay and selling these things online. It becomes more of a side hustle with the goal of making $20,170 through the course of the year. Why $20,170? Because it’s 2017.

My real goal is not really the money end of things – but I like the idea of purging and going through the stuff that I have in my house that is just taking up space. Watching the video got me thinking about all that stuff and how it would be nice to either sell or donate them.

Third Goal

In our Phone Apps Episode before, I shared with you that I made a mobile game with one of my really good friends, Alex. Along the same lines, about 40 years ago, my dad started developing this idea that he had for a game and he was actually working with Atari at the time. Unfortunately, before it got to the end of the cycle where they were going to release it and put it in stores – the whole program got scrapped. It never saw the light of day other than the people and the relatives of people in Atari who got to play with it.

He always thought that this could be a cool thing to build. When mobile phones became a thing, he thought it would be the perfect mobile game to play because it’s a little fun game you can do on the side without having to devote a bunch of your time to get something from it.

I don’t want to overshare here but my dad’s health isn’t the best; it’s been declining – so one of the things I want to focus on this year is building out this game and engaging him with it to make sure his vision of the game is in there while modernizing it so it is still relevant in today’s culture. My third goal is to complete and publish the game by the end of this year.

Richie’s goals this 2017

First Goal

Unsurprisingly, I fit into that 75% that also share Gordon’s first goal. I’d like to lose 25 lbs. and the reason goes back to the same – it’s not about what the internet says my number should be. I am between 6’2″ and 6’3″, I currently weight about 245 lbs. But if I lose 25 lbs., I’m going to be in that 220 lbs. range. It is still way higher based on BMI standards but based on the best shape I’ve ever been in, that’s the weight I weigh. So based on my personal experience, I feel that’s a really good one.

I think it’s true for so many things too. What’s the right amount of this? What should I be doing? Do you feel good about it? If you don’t feel good about it, it’s probably not the way you should be doing it.

Second Goal

I’d like to focus only on the things that matter. The things that are really valuable so I can be fully present in them. It goes back to being busy vs. having a full schedule.

Full schedule could be busy. That’s one way to look at it but sometimes, busy is just unorganized chaos. So if I want to do a lot of stuff, I want it to be intentional. Intentionally full schedule as opposed to having a lot of things going on but chaotic, unfocused, and plenty of unintentional noise.

What I’m trying to do is instead of doing a bunch of stuff in a bunch of little pieces, and not really being in it; I want to just focus on the things that matter and be present for it.

Third Goal

For my number 3 goal, I’d like to go with “learning to learn”. I think we all have a pretty basic understanding of learning things. Some of us are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, or even a combination of those. I find myself to be more of a kinesthetic learner – I definitely learn more by actually doing it.

I want to go beyond that. Learning to learn faster, learning to learn more thoroughly, and having more things stick – that’s my goal. Because there’s a lot of things I still want to do in life and I want to make sure that I don’t spend 10 years learning something where I could get proficiency in a couple months.

Systems to Achieve those Goals

Breaking Barriers

A lot of times, goals are set like: “Im going to run this many miles per week” or “I’m going to hit the gym X days a week”. But a lot of times too, we build up big barriers why we can’t do that.

Maybe it’s something like “Do 50 push-ups”. The problem with lists like this is the next thing you know you’re building up excuses why you can’t do it today. You’ll say things to yourself like “I’m wearing this polo shirt, and I’m going to get all sweaty doing push-ups, then I’m gonna have to take a shower”, and then this and that.

But if your list just said, “Do pushups.” then the barrier disappears. If you do even 1 push up, then you technically win. Right? But once you do 1 push up, you’ve broken the ice. Now you can do 50.

Reducing Friction

From a systems point of view, you need to remove the things that are going to clutter up the system. Look at the failure points of your system. Things that are going to make it harder for you to achieve your next tasks – you want to remove those and you want to add things that can make it easier.

Let’s say your goal is going to the gym. Just go to the gym. Even if you just set foot in there, and you did a couple of curls, you already won. But how do you make yourself do that in the first place? Well, you know you’re going to change clothes and bring your gym bag with you, right? Put the bag down where you know you’ll be walking. You will eventually and intentionally step over the gym bag reminding you that what you’re supposed to be doing is going to the gym.

Fun Fact: Apparently, within the first 10 days of the New Year, 90% of people have abandoned their goals. By the time this is posted, 90% of you have already abandoned your goals. Get back on it!

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk on New Year’s Resolutions

Dealing with Non-stop Phone Notifications

Gordon: For emails, I use Inbox. One of the cool things about this app is it can suppress certain messages from you. When I get stuff from Facebook or promotional messages from email lists I’m subscribed to, it doesn’t give me a push notification. Now if I look at the app icon, there’s a little badge there that lets me know there’s a message, but it’s not interrupting me with those things. If you’re getting an email from a friend or family, it prioritizes those things and the app will shoot you a notification for it. Overall, it’s been really good at hiding things that you don’t really need to be interrupting you throughout the day.

Richie: I found way too often, I check my iPhone for notifications. Maybe it’s a notification from our FB group. I’ll check it on the go and now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Because it’s on the phone and it’s with you all the time. When I get this email or a message or whatever it is, I get aware of it and I want to respond to it as fast as I can. If I’m doing something, I have to drop whatever it is because I’m thinking about it and I want to act on it. All because I went and checked it when I wasn’t ready to actually work on it. So it’s best to limit your time checking your phone for notifications.

Do Less, Be More

Do less, be more, and just do it now. Go execute today. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Always set up yourself to win.

Good luck with whatever goals you guys have set up and let’s continue the conversation on our FB group too. We’d love to hear back from you guys and what systems you have found to work well for you!

Etsy Jam Episode 35: 2016 Year in Review

In this episode, we celebrate 2016 in true Marmalead fashion – by the numbers! We go over some interesting stats from 2016 concerning Marmalead and Etsy and offer some peeks into when different seasons begin trending. Enjoy some insights and get ready to make 2017 your year! We’d love to have you as a guest on Etsy Jam this year too so hit us up at success at marmalead dot com!

Shops Helped

This is probably the one that means the most to Richie and me, and that’s the number of shops that we were able to help throughout 2016.

Personal Support

One of the other things that we pride ourselves on is our level of Personal Support that we provide. We’re not just some kind of closed-off tool that it’s really hard to get to people behind the scenes if you have any questions or stuff like that. We want to make sure that we are super accessible via emails and Facebook but one of the best ways to reach us is through the Contact Us button inside the app. Throughout 2016, we were personally able to help over 3,000 Etsy sellers which is awesome.

Forgotten Passwords

Also, in 2016 we had over 18,000 Forgotten Passwords. That’s just not good – that’s crazy! That’s 4 times more than 2015! Use Lastpass, guys!

Keyword Searches

Keyword Searches inside Marmalead. In 2016, we had 1.27M keywords searches which is 7 times more than 2015! That’s fantastic growth and we’d love to see this continue on for 2017 too. We want to get more people in the tool using it and more people getting meaningful information about SEO by doing keyword searches inside Marmalead.

Keyword Comparisons

Another feature we have is Keyword Comparison. If you’re an Entrepreneur inside Marmalead, you can easily compare up to 4 different keywords and see quickly which ones has higher Engagement, which ones have more Competition, and what the Price Spread looks like for the different keywords. Throughout 2016, we have almost a million comparisons done inside Marmalead between different keywords. It’s gotten 29 times more than 2015! We think it’s a super useful tool as you are trying to drill into which keywords you should be using inside of your tags and title.

Related: Get Found on Etsy with Marma-Meter

Total Searches

Recently, we just crossed the 3M keyword search mark total since Marmalead has been around! We think that’s awesome.

Top 5 Most Searched Keywords

New Features

Keyword Storm

It’s a way of brainstorming keywords for your listings based on a seed keyword. You throw a keyword at it and it will start coming up with a whole bunch of keywords for you. As you add more keywords into your bucket, new ones will pop up.

Listing Scores

Now, you can tie your shop to Marmalead. We will analyze every single one of your Etsy listings and give you a letter grade score for how that listing is performing with respect to SEO. Anything that impacts SEO gets factored into this grade.

Listing Details

You can drill in any one of those listings to see even more information about that listing. Things that don’t necessarily impact SEO but stuff that you might want to keep a close eye on. A lot of that has to do with descriptions – how long that is, how readable it is, and sentiment whether your description is leaning towards being positive or negative.

Entrepreneur Course Library

Entrepreneur's Course Library

If you’re an Entrepreneur on Marmalead, you’ll have access to a library of videos which we will constantly be adding to throughout next year going forward.

Related: The NEW Marmalead

Storms

We only introduced the Storm right at the beginning of November but just in those months, we’ve already had over 35,000 Storms generated by Marmalead users! It helped people find over 271,000 new keyword ideas.

Listings Analyzed

We talked about scoring listings. Over the past couple of months since this feature has been released, we’ve analyzed over 20 million listings for Etsy sellers!

Entrepreneur’s Course Library

Our course library has started small with only 2 courses out there so far (we plan on adding more as time goes by) but even just in those couple of months with those 2 courses – we’ve had over 735 people participate and seen those videos. We also thrown in an ebook in there. So check out the courses + the ebook!

2016 Top 5 Keywords with the Highest Engagement

What is Popular When?

Christmas

It’s good to know when things are starting to pick up on Engagement for different holidays. You can look at the graph above and see that Christmas starts to pick up a bit in September but really starting to ramp up in October and November. Expect lots of Christmas engagement during those months and then it tapers off a little bit in December.

Wedding

Wedding searches throughout the year are pretty constant. There’s not one part of the year that really jumps out above the others. We do have little peaks around August and May, and a little bit on January and February.

Mother’s Day

Very beginning of May. No surprises there. But the big lead up to that is in the first two months before that – March and April.

Father’s Day

Can’t forget the fathers! The big months for that are May and June.

Fourth of July

Common theme here. A couple of months ahead of time. June and May have the highest engagement right ahead of July.

For anything you’re considering – whether that’s Halloween or Valentine’s day – a good practice is to assume that the first couple of months leading up to that are going to be the best months to start working in those tags into your listings; so you can start showing up in people’s searches.

Shop Fitness Calculator

It’s another cool tool that Marmalead offers and you can find it here. It’s a free tool you can use to grade your whole shop.

Looking across the data from 2016 – we can see that on average, the average Etsy seller has 4,277 views per month across all their products.

In that same vein, the average seller sees about 39 sales per month across all their listings.

The really meaningful part is when we combine these two numbers together – we can figure out the conversion rate (an important number to keep in mind for any person doing e-commerce). The average conversion rate for an Etsy seller right now is about 0.9%. Etsy says to shoot for 3%, but the average that we collected from sellers seem to be about 1%.

2017 is Your Year

Set your goals, set your sights on what you want to hit this year – whether it’s a certain sales goal on your Etsy shop, whether it’s leaving your day job, whatever those goals happen to be, set those up now and make 2017 your year!

Go get after it. Don’t overthink it, don’t over-plan it, just go – take action. Do it.

In this episode, we celebrate 2016 in true Marmalead fashion - by the numbers! We go over some interesting stats from 2016 concerning Marmalead and Etsy and offer some peeks into when different seasons begin trending. Enjoy some insights and get ready to make 2017 your year! We'd love to have you as a guest on Etsy Jam this year too so hit us up at success at marmalead dot com!

Etsy Jam Episode 34: Awesome Phone Apps Part 2

This episode is part 2 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. So if you haven’t heard part 1 yet, check out episode 33. In this episode, we continue to cover a wide range of solutions so stay tuned and find out about some more killer apps you may be missing.

News Apps


Gordon: For tech news, I tend to use Flipboard to keep up on app releases and other things and features that they put out.

Utility Apps


Gordon: I have Speedtest to be able to check network speed. There’s another one called Fast; which does the same thing but it’s built by the folks behind Netflix.

I have Google Home which allows me to control my Chromecast. I got Chromecast plugged in to a couple of my TV’s and it allows me to cast stuff from my phone really easily to the TV and it will work with things like Netflix. More and more apps are including it – NBC and SNL support casting now so you can play something in your phone and throw it up on your TV.

Richie: I have an app that controls my router. It’s been fairly useful for things like turning off network on an iPad that the kids are using.

As far as utilities, I have Hiya, and it’s a spam call identifier app. With iOS 10, it ties in to CallKit so you can block spam calls before it rings you.

I also use this app called Key Ring. It’s a place to store all those loyalty and membership cards that you get from shops. It is exactly as it sounds like – all the cards that you would keep on your keychain; except that you’ve digitized them all. Lastly, I got Contacts Sync. It allows me to flawlessly sync my contacts between iCloud and Gmail.

Games


Gordon: I have DuoLingo which is more like a gamified language learning. It’s really fun and I think they did a fantastic job with it. So if you guys haven’t checked out DuoLingo and if you ever have felt interest learning other languages other than your native tongue, I would suggest that you check it out. They do a great job of making it fun to learn a new language.

They also have another app that is called Tinycards. They’re basically like flipcards that you flip when you’re trying to study something.

I have a game here too that I wrote called Block Blasters. You can’t actually get it on the iTunes store anymore but you can still get it on Google Play Store. Lastly, I picked up Super Mario Run at the time it got released.

Productivity Apps


Gordon: I have Wunderlist as my go to to-do list. I have Trello on my phone too because we use Trello a lot. That’s where we manage projects and move stuff around.

Richie: I use Todoist as my go to to-do list. I also have this app called Mile IQ. If you have a business where you pick up supplies and make drop offs to customers, Mile IQ will automatically detect when you’re driving so you don’t have to remember to record your mileage. It’s useful if you do any driving in your business using your personal vehicle, Mile IQ makes that really easy.

Closing Thoughts


Since we’re talking about phones; the phone is a great tool when used well. It’s very very easy to clutter up your phone and I think that every once in a while, you need to take a serious hard look at what’s on your phone, what you’re doing with your phone, and if it’s serving the purpose you want it to.

Perfectly fine if you wanna use it to veg down on the couch. As long as it’s intentional though. Sometimes, it’s really easy to think you’re being productive on your phone and then find out that something particular is taking up your time.

Bury those distracting apps deep and make them harder to get to. Or uninstall them even. Keep the stuff that’s good for you in front.

This episode is part 2 of a 2 part series about the apps Richie and I love most on our phones. So if you haven't heard part 1 yet, check out episode 33. In this episode, we continue to cover a wide range of solutions so stay tuned and find out about some more killer apps you may be missing.