If you blog it they will come....tips and links for driving traffic to your online store

I was recently asked to do a blog entry on how to drive traffic (and sales of course!) to your Etsy shop or other website. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for this one, it requires a lot of work! The economy isn't helping us or any other business owners right now too. However, I've put together some quick tips and a list of links to help new and struggling shop owners get more views.




Become a Presence

When it comes to increasing views, you simply can't take the "wait and see" approach. Don't make the mistake of thinking that people will suddenly start pouring into your site for no apparent reason. You have to be the one showing them the way. The best way to accomplish this is by becoming an online presence. What does that mean? Well, in short your name, image, and links need to be in as many places as possible that your potential customers might be. Don't worry about "is this the right place to be marketing??"....just get out there and brand yourself. Your goal is to have people who frequent handmade websites be able to immediately recognize your shop image and name.


It's also a numbers game. The more places you have your shop linked to, the more people you are likely to have click on your link. Business is not the place to be shy! Get out there and link to as many sites as you can that target your customer demographic. All the following tips are really just other ways of accomplishing becoming a presence.


PLACES TO NETWORK AND MARKET YOUR SHOP:

byhand.me This is a site dedicated to handmade shops that offers forums, groups, and a really cool feature called spotlighting that allows you to choose your favorite Etsy items and display them in a frame for other users to view and comment on.

blog catalog there are two Etsy groups on here, however I haven't seen too much traffic from this site.

indiepublic is another community for handmade items. I haven't signed up on here yet, but I hear it is a great resource. If you are on here, please leave a comment about your experiences
craftster with 170,477 members, this is a great community to meet fellow crafters, share ideas, and market your shop.

Twitter by far drives more traffic to my Etsy shop than any other social networking site!

Just remember, regardless of what site you use to market you items, you have to consistantly be logging in and reaching out to other people in that community.


Participate in and hold your own contests

I have been hearing so much about this recently, and how much it works, that I am seriously thinking about hosting some give-aways on my blog (stay tuned!) Apparently Twitter had a 5 minute give-away contest from Etsy stores the other night and it was hugely successful. Think about it, people want free stuff. The trick is asking them for something you need in return...such as to follow your blog, follow you on Twitter, heart your etsy shop, link your shop to their blog...the possibilities are endless. But what you are asking them to do is easy and free so it's really a win/win for both of you. And the winner might just like what they recieve from you so much, they could turn into a new customer! Here are some links to fellow Etsians currently offering giveaways or contests (I chose them randomly):




ChristieCottage : this one's for a good cause....



Have an eye catching image (avatar, profile pic, banner, etc.)

Yes, this does matter....a lot! If you have a blurry, boring or irrelevant avatar don't expect people to click on it. Most people are visual creatures, and they gravitate towards the beautiful or unusual. Here are my suggestions of what helps make an image "clickable":
Do this:
  • Match your avatar to your banner

  • Use bright and striking colors

  • Make it relevant, ie: it should give potential buyers some hint as to what you sell
  • Make it clear-don't upload poorly sized photos or dark photos

  • DON'T DO THIS:
  • Use a photo of yourself, unless you look like Angelina Jolie (except on your blog and Facebook)

  • Use a photo of your kids or your dog unless you sell kid or dog related item
  • Use photos of celebrities
  • Use scary or anatomical images....I've seen quite a few people using images of internal organs that look like they are from a medical text book...why????




9 comments:

  1. Great advice all round. I am now going to bookmark this and use it for future reference! Thankyou! :)

    Jen

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  2. Super tips, thanks for posting these. You are so correct in that it is a lot of work to build a presence...and even more work to maintain it! Blogging is a top resource for me and it has helped me network more than I would have ever imagined. Plus I love writing and sharing so it's all good. :0)

    Happy blogging/selling/sharing,
    Tina
    Pfeiffer Photos

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  3. these are really some wonderful tips! some i use all the time, some i've forgotten about and glad to have the refresher! thank you! oh and thank you for posting my contest as well! contests really are a fun way to get seen, get views/hearts and sales! Sarahinflorida and i do them all the time, and they are always a huge success!

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  4. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog contest, it tomorrow morning - February 23rd, so get your guesses in today!

    http://alwaysartistic.blogspot.com/2009/02/help-me-name-this-photo.html

    ~Pam

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  5. Great tips! Your blog is fantastic☺

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  6. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to go back over them and check to see what I'm doing, what I'm not doing and what I need to change.
    http://KayzKreationz.etsy.com
    http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com

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  7. Invaluable advice from first hand experience - gold dust. Have bookmarked you and will be studying posts in detail.

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  8. Thank You very much for sharing your experiences. And I was going to just read a book tonight. Now I have to research Twitter.

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  9. Thanks for mentioning ByHand.me!

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