Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tags tags tags tags....

When someone asks for a shop critique, wonders why no-one is viewing their items or why they have no sales, the one thing you can guarantee is that their tags will need some work.

I'm sure right now you're thinking 'I have tags!' - but have you used them to their best effect? Let me explain what's so important about tags...

To tag effectively takes a little more work that just accurately selecting a category (although this is a good start!). It's only a little more work, I promise, but this little work will make a BIG difference.

Firstly,you MUST use all 14 tags. I can't stress how important this is. People have no way to search for your items other than via your tags. This is the ONLY way they will find you.

As an example throughout this post lets use this necklace:

If you have tagged this: Jewelry, Necklace, - this is going to be lost in thousands of other listings. People can't narrow it down enough. Let me illustrate this (and you do the same): right now, search in etsy for "jewelery, necklace" how many items come up? (I get 250710!!).

Okay, so now you understand why, but how do you use all 14 tags? This will take a little bit of brain power! There are a few ways to do this - but the best way to start is by brainstorming,
you might call it a spider diagram. Something that looks like this:

Start in the middle using all the descriptive words you can find - using our example above, words like: colors, rainbow, sparkle, multi-color, reflecting, silver, girly, fun, kitsch, dangle... and so on.

Next a new branch: a list of all the materials used - so for the necklace: swarovski, crystal, chain, sterling, silver, clasp.

Continue this spider diagram using even more descriptive categories, for example:
  • Colours,
  • method used to make it,
  • the size,
  • any important features,
  • the occasions it could be used/worn for,
  • any specific styles.

Now you should have a huge list of words to choose your 14 from, but how do you narrow this down? The best way to do this is to put yourself in your buyers shoes. Which of these words do you think a buyer would use to search for your item?

And now you should have a brilliantly tagged item that can be found by all your potential customers!

For more information about tagging take a look at the resources below:
Storque - Tagging for Success
Esty Wiki

-lishlash runs her etsy store selling jewellery and paper goods, and has been known to lurk in the forums dispensing advice on making your shop look great and getting it seen! For any other advice you can find her here:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Before You Ask for a Shop Critique...

In the two years I've been an Etsy shop owner, I've been asked to do a number of shop critiques, and on many occasions, I've asked the requester to do a little homework before I spend my time and energy giving a thorough critique. Why? Because I'm a big meanie? Well, perhaps I am, but I also want to help get your shop in the best possible shape. These steps will help you get ready for your critique:

1. A little light reading
I ask that everyone who approaches me for a critique read all of Etsy's FAQs, Do's and Dont's, and Terms of Use first. I know that it seems like a daunting task, but it is all written in very simple, straightforward language, and it won't take as long as you think. It's well worth the time. It's probably not possible to memorize everything in there, but at least you'll have a familiarity with what is included in Etsy's policies and guidelines.

2. Fill in all of your shop sections
Make sure that you have a banner and an avatar, a shop announcement, a profile, a shop policies page, shop sections, a message to buyer, and at least a few listings. It's difficult to evaluate a shop that isn't complete.

3. A tiny bit more reading

After setting up shop, check out the EtsyWiki for advice to shop owners. There's a ton of great advice on photos, pricing, and on successful selling.

4. Make improvements to your shop based on what you've read
This step might seem obvious, but be sure to use what you've learned. You'll find that improving your shop is a constant iterative process. There's always more to learn, and there are always ways to improve.

Now that you've completed these four steps, you're ready for a detailed shop critique. Contact the Etsy Mentor of your choice, and we'll be happy to give you pointers based on our own experience.

About the Author: My name is 'Chel, and I'm the owner of Lava Jewelry and Zbella. I've been a member of Etsy for just over two years, and I'm available for mentoring in the following areas: Etsy Policies, Shop Critiques, USPS Shipping, and Gemstones.

Friday, August 29, 2008

SASsy Blog Rules

We have created a basic set of guidelines for blog posts and would appreciate all authors giving them a peek before posting.

•All posts must be relevant to the nature of our team and therefore be positive and helpful. Resist the urge to shamelessly self promote or post off topic entries.

•Keep topics detailed and well written. Posts need to be more than one liners and links. Ideally, they should be fun & interesting as well.

•This is a multi-author blog and we want everyone to have their 15 minutes of fame. Save your post for the next day if someone has already posted that day.

•Please let everyone know who you are when posting an entry. A link to your shop would be appropriate and appreciated.

•Any photos should be appropriate, high resolution, and posted with links to the original owner. Please respect copyright laws.

•Removal of posts not following these guidelines will be done without notice or consent of the author. Occasional editing for grammar & spelling will be performed silently in the night.

•Authors who have not posted for 60 days will be removed.

Since we are new at this, anything else that becomes necessary will be added from time to time and we will make everyone aware of any changes. Input on these guidelines and anything we might have left out is welcome!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SASsy Members by Language and Location

We have consolidated the Mentor list in to one place to make it easier to find and navigate.  Please click the button above to go to the new Mentors List.

SASsy Members by Expertise, Shop type and Technique

We have consolidated the Mentor list in to one place to make it easier to find and navigate.  Please click the button above to go to the new Mentors List.