Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Week in Pictures

Awwwwwesome beads from potterygirl1 - these little blobs are so sweet and creamy coloured..!


Vintage buttons bought from ingrandmasattic to use on textile cuffs and brooches


Gorrrrgeous Moroccan beads from Yvonnesjewels - they were sold as clay but they're stone.

Incredibly pretty ceramic pendant from boonepottery - I'm going to have to keep that pink heart one for myself!


Forget-me-nots by the garden shed


Jasmine by the garden fence


Happenstance layerings of antique paper and lace

earrings on the go



Finished pieces of jewelry waiting to be photographed and listed (soon!)



And a cake I made for Mum's birthday- first proper attempt at icing! Don't judge me. And this is as fancy as my food presentation is ever going to get. I caught a few minutes of Masterchef on the telly earlier tonight (I'm alright now, thanks) and it made me angry to see people dicking around with sauce in squeezy bottles and little wafers of shit. Just put the damn food on the plate and give it to me already! I hate pretentious food presentation. Almost as much as I hate it when people sift icing sugar over desserts. Am I still talking?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vacation time

I'm having a sudden break from the shop for 2 weeks- shipping is delayed till October 5th. I do have to go to the Post Office tomorrow but that's it for 2 weeks, so if you are very lucky and go buy something right now... you might get through in time! Otherwise...I need a break from my own brain, and the only way that's possible is if I can stop it worrying about housekeeping on Etsy. And the only way to do that is to switch it off. Etsy, not my brain. OH if I could do that...

Some loot from a parcel I received from boneflowers - look at the graphics!!! They're killer!!!!

Fagin's Daughter is on complete vacation- the only reason Sparrow Salvage isn't on complete vacation is because Etsy removes you from search when you do so, and as so many people search for me by name on a daily basis, putting the shop on vacation would mean I wouldn't show up for them and they'd think me gone for good! Not the greatest set-up Etsy, but since you haven't bothered to change it all this time I'm forced to work around you.

Inside, we have teeny vintage pearls, little flower beads, and this eeny weeny box with even eenier weenier little beads in! I think they're watch parts...

In the next two weeks I hope to do what I was supposed to do the last time I took 2 weeks off- clean up this darned blasted freakin' mother loving studio! There's so much stuff in here I may- no, will- never use. I've counted 5 boxes of vintage/antique paper and book scrap that I'll never use, as well as a suitcase of leather, another newly discovered suitcase of textiles for kits, a huge tub of pretty linens I once had bunting dreams for, etc etc and etcetera.

I made cake! Black forest, from scratch (no box mix!) - I don't make enough cakes.

So hopefully in 2 weeks I'll have a ton of kits both of the textile and paper variety, vintage fabric and antique supplies up the yin-yang, as well as lots of new jewelry, a spanking clean studio and some sort of huge announcement about the future of my world. Yes kids, this is one of those 'changing my life' vacations that I have a fetish for. And this time I mean it. With cake.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mail tiemz

I love getting things in the mail, and this week I received TWO presents from my fellow creatives!


This incredible stash of crystal beads from corvidDelights - those huge rose quartz chunks (the biggest one is about the size of a marshmallow) are beads!! They're drilled through! The spears were in her de-stash shop a while back and I always meant to buy them- they're even more amazing in real life.

I love the little pink druzy (between the amethysts) - that's going in my special collection on my bedside table, can't let that one go.

Then I got a lovely little package from Numinositybeads...


Headpins she's made herself! They're all pale pink and spotty and lovely, I can't wait to find something that's good enough to put them in! Sometimes I get supplies that are so awesome I get scared to use them, in case I ruin them with something terrible. Does anyone else get this? It's only these last few months that I've been able to crack into the 'precious' stash (after Fanci goaded me) and use things that are just way too divine to be bought down to earth in my crafty rubbish. :P (That's how I feel.)

Then, while traipsing about on eBay I ran into these curious critters:


The description for them read 'These anodised buttons along with hundreds of thousands of other various types of buttons ( no exaggeration ) were found buried under sheets of corrugated iron which in turn were buried under soil under the floor boards of a garden shed on an abandoned semi rural property.'


How cool is that!?! Under soil, under iron, under flooring! What a mysterious occurrence. Naturally stuff flike this gets me all in a frenzy of wonder, and I had to have them. I've never seen anodised buttons before, these are from the 1960s and will make great details on doily brooches and cuffs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Iceberg

A few days ago I did some tinkering as I am want to do- I bought some etching cream designed for people to fancy up their wine glasses and applied to it the usual dose of inappropriate use of tools (one thing about being pioneery is that you have to use tools for things they're not designed for.) In this case it wasn't too much of a stretch- this cream is for etching glass and that's exactly what I did with it.


It wasn't exactly the power house of frosty permanence I was looking for. You're supposed to brush it on and leave it for about 5 minutes, then wash it off. I brushed it on then left it- for 5 hours. Because I completely forgot about it! I went off and made a cake, because that's what I usually do while I'm waiting for some toxic stuff to finish doing something fun in the laundry.


The pink ones show obvious frosting, and I'm pleased with that- on the right you can see their original condition.


The green bicones here you can see have barely frosted at all. The frosted ones are on the left- I think...


Here's some Czech leaves- all it's really done here is strip the colour off (frosted ones are on top), but that's okay because they're now original at least, and they have a snowy feel to them.

So that was mildly successful- I shall do more of that later. And for funs, here some random shots of my desk:


Technically these were a couple of days ago, my desk is now awash in thoroughly uninspiring (to me) elements as I bag up the final mountain of destash.

I feel lately that my blog posts are somewhat sober and uninteresting. It's funny when I look through my blog, I think 'if someone wanted to get an idea of who I was, they'd end up with a pretty skewed picture just going from this!' It's not that the blogs not me, it is- but well, it's a bit of a Disney version. In real life I'm buckets of fun! Here I'm probably a bit too professional for my own good.


While I make attempts to remedy this, here's a few things about me you don't see exhibited here:

1. I swear like a dock worker. Not every second word; let's just say I cruise permanently on Billy Connolly mode. I try to get creative with my cursing when I'm in losing my patience with something, though that usually ends up with me just muttering a string of obscenities. Being within earshot of me is not for the faint hearted.

2. I like bloke's movies. People assume because I'm a girl and I'm wearing pretty floral print things and generally being nice that I'm going to want to see some heartwarming tale about some woman moving to a small town after a divorce and falling for the local half-her-age who drives a beat up truck. No thanks! I'd much rather something with explosions, aliens, car chases or all of the above.


3. I'm a domestic diva. Keeping house is probably my number one biggest hobby/passion, to the point where I'm trying to find a way of making an income out of it. I like being at home- baking, housework, decorating... it's all my bag, baby. I don't see any reason what so ever why people can't have a lovely clean and nice looking home no matter how poor they are. I live on the poverty line and I've managed it well.


4. I feel like I'm the only person involved in 'nostalgic retail' who doesn't want to go live in the past. 'Born in the wrong era' is not applicable to me. To me the past is a dull, unhygienic, labour intensive, repressed misery devoid of TV and internet (and electricity if you go back far enough). What I like best about being alive now is that I can pretend it's the 1940s or 1840s or whatever, and then once I've done that for a few hours I can have internet and TV. I love the design of things made in the past, and though I do think there are some things that were nicer then (people had better manners/fashion/attitudes about life), I doubt even a certain bow-tied chap in a police box could get me to go back there for more than a day trip.


5. In my previous internet life, I used to write fictional stories about certain well-known pirates and wizards. They were fun and did wonders to exercise my writing skills since writing with known and popular characters gives you an instant world to dive into and an instant audience to get feed-back from. I wrote mostly pirate stories- so many in fact that I can be informally credited with inventing a commonly used term in that fandom. And no, you can't see them!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gruel and honey

There are some kits available in the shop!


Only 5 up right now and one is gone already, so quick sticks my dears. There will be more available next weekend, possibly the second or even last lot as my 'unwanted' textile supply is very sparse now.


On the supply front though, I had a massive clean out this week and now officially have more supplies I don't need than stuff I do! So jewelry-making takes a back seat this next week and probably the next one while I spend some time making up little 'bead soups' for fagin's daugher.


There's also a massive amount of Victorian supply left. I feel like half my studio is 'stuff I gotta sell'. I'd like to get it out there as quick as possible so the place feels a bit more clear.

It's lucky that photographing little antique things is one of my favourite tasks ever.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the sum for the whole

Working steadily at my desk, developing mostly elements of things but not getting much done in the way of finished pieces. Determined to get more finished product out of my desk than custom orders, I've rented two seasons of Cranford and a small collection of dumb Hollywood comedy in an effort to stare at a screen, because there's nothing like watching TV to make me want to sew at the same time.


I am in half a mind to do a challenge of sorts, some time soon. I have some cuff bases that I feel I ought to finish, but I'm wondering if I should offer them to a select few of you instead, to see what sort of world you can build on a scruffy lace base. Still ruminating over that one.


In the meantime here's some pictures of pretty fabrics littering the studio, soon to be cuffs and brooches and possibly even kits, if I can persuade myself to let some of it go. It's easy enough kitting up the dark and murky tones, but when it comes to the dusty pastels I'm still a little clingy! I know there are quite a few of you waiting for kits and I'm trying to get some done, hopefully there will be 6 to 8 of them available this Sunday coming.


And here are some headpins I made using Fanci's technique. Just the same as her I used stone beads, UTEE and never-gunna-wear-it make up minerals.


Due to my make up being more powdered than hers I've ended up with a sort of copper gold covering rather than a glitterfest, which if I do it right only partially covers the bead, leaving the colours of the stone still visible.

I love that the one right up the back there (which has two beads; amethyst and a smaller angelite one) looks like a seashell! I'm yet to perfect the technique but I think these are pretty good for starters.

I've also just creaked open the purse and lashed out on...


A disc cutter and dapping set! So I can make amazing bead caps (like these) and other ring things out of the myriad of antique tin things I have laying about the place here. Those caps linked to above are awesome, but no one's offering anything with quite the right level of rustic ruination that I require, so I figured I'd make my own and offer some to you chaps as well. Excitement! There's nothing quite like investing in new tools. Also as I realised some time ago, I enjoy making supplies more than making jewelry. Methinks Sparrow Salvage is about to expand.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

inspiration - artisan jewelry

Since we've been doing a lot of talking about technicals and since the only pretty stuff I've shown you lately is my own work, I think we're long overdue to see some exquisite trinkets from our fellow genius Etsians. So here are a few of my latest favourites.



Time whisperer by lejonklou all the way over there in Sweden! I've noticed many Swedish shops have a a very ethereal style and this one's no different- gorgeous snow-pale hues and elegant serenity. Those beautiful little faceted pink beads are lucite! They look like perfect rhodonite. I love the shabby edge on the focal -which she made herself; I'm very jealous of anyone who can make their own glazed pottery beads. I think that and enamel are my two biggest envies.



The Noosphere by fancifuldevices- you know she had to show up so let's get her out of the way early, otherwise she'll fuss around up the back being noisy. Seriously though these are blowing my mind even more than her stuff usually does for me- again the big chunkies in the middle are lucite (I'm warming to this vintage plastic thing) and the contrast of super rustic stone discs and delicate lace is just superb. Are we surprised? No.


Desert Shaman earrings by papvier - I adore the rough tourmaline together with the soft downy feathers! The contrast of slick pure white teeth, rustic orange on the feathers and that chocolate coloured wire... delicious.



I don't know what this used to be called- it's called reserved now! I'm usually a bit scared of super-chunky things, being that I'm the sort of person who wears very delicate jewelry. This necklace from MorningDove...I'm in love! The giant slabs of chrysophrase are perfect focals for the natural rustic and antique tribal beads between them. There's something powerful about this piece- not just the bold style; there's a real power in the stones. (This is also a great example of complimentary backgrounds!)


Dewdrops by Stregata - again I'm all over the contrasting textures (I sense a theme). Rustic rich metal drops and creamy smooth shell beads, and then the little glow of the moonstone. Luvverly.


Rustic by Vintajia (an Aussie!) - the deep colours in the raku and glass are perfectly showcasing the fire in the copper. I love the way she's wrapped the hanging beads too, not your usual head pin situation. Inspiring! (inspiring is a great word to use when what you really mean is 'I'm totally gunna steal that idea'.)


Poison Ivy by beadsnbones who always does such gorrrrrgeous work. The greens here are intoxicating to me right now- all that gorgeous patina and ceramic hand-formed shapes. The little pink seed beads are to die for!! Great contrast to the sea green too.



Birch bark rose ring by Umbellata, with the most exquisite rustic metal bezel like lava stone, contrasting with the slick glassy resin. This is a serious ring, sitting up high on the hand. And a bloody good price too! I'd buy it but again- I don't wear chunky things and this is some serious chunk.


Last but certainly not least - Mauve feathers by CorvidDelights, a seller who is not only one of my bestest friends who I like, tell everything to and junk, but who's also evolving right before my eyes into some kind of bead-wielding enchantress. Her work was always fantastic, but now there's a divinity coming out of it. The grungy wire and black chain with the delicate pink is drop-dead awesome.

+++

So you can see pretty strong themes here of rich earth tones especially green and amber gold, as well as the contrast of smooth and creamy with rough and rustic. This wasn't just a post to showcase some of my recent favourites, it was an exercise in what my mind is attracted to lately. I have tons of stuff in my faves that I could've shown you- but these were the things that jumped out at me. Looking at all this stuff my keywords that come to me are 'feminine but wild', 'pretty but rustic', 'pure but ancient'. Contrasts? In some ways. More unexpected examples of a type. femininity can be wild, pretty can be rustic, purity can be ancient.

There is often a significant lesson in these sorts of actions- the things you are drawn to always harbour clues to what you are currently seeking in your own world, creative or not. Sometimes (if you believe in that sort of thing) you can apply colour therapy to it. I know perfectly well why I'm attracted to pretty pink and dusty green right now, and I know what the smooth cream and rustic textures mean too. But I don't have to tell you every thing. :P


All images belong to the Etsy sellers represented

Monday, September 5, 2011

Relevancy - taming the savage beast

If you hang out on the forums or know someone who does then chances are you will have heard that Etsy has changed the default setting on their website, so that search results come up as 'most relevant' rather than 'most recent'. This is brilliant for buyers because it now means when you search for 'red umbrella' you actually get red umbrellas. This is not so brilliant for people who never really mastered relevant tagging (most Etsy sellers.) and completely un-brilliant for people who don't realise this has happened (a hefty portion of Etsy sellers).

(Okay so I wanted a business cartoon but they're all so 80s and suck, and then I remembered business cat who I quite like (alot) so there you go. It's relevant-esty think this new search is great but most people are looking at it as if it IS a dead mouse. haha!)

When Etsy announced this last week, they posted a few quick Storque posts about titles and tagging and then -following the realisation made by the smarter forum monkeys that tag stuffing was the only way to get ahead- changed their tagging policy as well. They then waved cheerily and went to hide under the table and hum the theme to Care Bears in the hope of drowning out the clamorous din resulting from this sudden change of half the rules. And that was only from people who visit the forums- Etsy didn't send out letters to notify of this change, they just did it.


Admin have largely abandoned all threads, choosing instead to let the helper monkeys answer all the questions and quell rumours about what does and doesn't work. And because I've spent the best part of the last 2 weeks in the forums being one of those monkeys, I've gathered what I consider to be a helpful guide. So without further ado...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sparrow's guide to being relevant!
(or how to be seen in the modern Etsy marketplace.)

(look I discovered the coloured text settings! weeeeeeee!!! ooooooh... I bet these are hard to read.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Before I go into relevancy I want to get one thing clear- there is more to being seen on Etsy than relevancy!! I wrote a post about how you can improve other windows of visibility here - try to keep that in mind as well. No don't go reading that now, read it later. Read this now!

How relevancy works (I know it's boring- you can skip this if you don't care but reading the instructions, really helps) - When people look for something on Etsy search now, the searchbot is returning the closest it can find to that query. If someone searches for 'sterling silver leaf pendant' the search bot is going to return everything that has those words in the title and tags. The more those words appear, the more relevant it thinks it is. If the title or tags matches the exact search (that is the words are right after each other like the search is) then it's even more relevant. But how the feck can you be sure people are using the words you use and vice versa?

Let's go deeper...

(yo dawg I heard you like to lol so I put some lols in yo tutorial so you can lol while you learn)

1. it's all in the title

I don't believe there's any one most important factor in relevancy, but a good title will definitely carry you far. When you list earrings for example, you can't just say 'earrings'. You can say 'pink earrings' but that's a bit generic- there are thousands of results for 'pink earrings' on Etsy's search. But if you say 'pink lampwork earrings' or 'rose quartz earrings' or even 'pink hoop earrings', you'll be doing better.

tea party- pink lace earrings

Most of us sell unique items, and unique things can be hard to sell- no one can look for something if they don't know it exists. On the plus side unique means there's little competition- but you've got to be seen before you can be seen out-striding your opposition. You can still make a unique item easy to find, all you need do is narrow down what I call the 'everyday uniqueness' of it. There's very little in this world that is singularly unique- sooner or later there's something ordinary about it. I'm a pretty unique person but I'm also a woman, a redhead, an Aries, a human...all fairly ordinary things.

Making a title for the right buyer is another place where we meet our old friend 'Know Your Market'. Get inside the mind of the buyer- to want your item, what would they be looking for? If it's a pair of earrings with crosses hanging from them, are they earrings that will appeal to a catholic lady, or are they more gothic? Are they upside down crosses? They'll appeal more to occult people. Get the picture? Buyers will narrow down their search according to their desires, so you've got to be there to provide it, like a good butler who knows his master is thirsty before the master knows it himself.



Looking at the design of these earrings I could call them doily rosette earrings, but who's going to search that? Probably not many people. Doily earrings? I don't know if people will search that either. They're lace though, and pink, and earrings of course. All things people are likely to search for, perhaps all at once. So they're pink lace earrings! Now I'm settled on what I'm calling it, in we go with the typey typey.


Now, Etsy has put it out there that the first 3 words are the most important. Untrue. What they should have said was 'the closer to the start your keywords are, the more weight they carry'. The most important words in this listing's title are 'lace' and 'earrings', so I put those immediately after my arty title.*

Pro tip- The suggestions that pop up in Etsy search when you're typing are examples of things people have popularly searched for in the past, so clearly these are the terms people are using to find what they want. So if you're unsure what to call your item you can use the search bar to generate ideas. Originally I had my item listed as doily earrings, but I wasn't happy with it. I went to etsy's search and typed in 'doily' - sure enough neither earrings or jewelry came up as a suggestion. So I started searching 'lace earrings' and 'lace earrings' came up as one of the suggestions, showing people have searched for things this way. I added pink because there's a lot of results for lace earrings, and colour is something people are likely to add to their search. If someone searches doily earrings they still come up, so I'm covered there as well.



Pro tip 2 - If you sell multiples of things, it might be more beneficial for you to list them as individual listings rather than as having more than 1 available. This way you can give the same item (essentially) a different title and draw in a different crowd. For example, someone might search 'pink lace earrings' but other people might search 'pink doily earrings' or 'crochet earrings' - so if I had two or more of these to list I could get all those people. So if you have 5 different kinds of silver hoop in your shop or 12 different fingerless gloves patterns, add some keywords about their colour or style and mix up the order of the words a bit to cover your bases.

Pro tip 3 - If you've got a hard time of it trying to think of what to call your thing, look around in the shops of sellers who make similar work to you- what do they call it? (make sure they're doing well with views and sales and their term is searched for, no point learning from someone who's getting it wrong!)

that was a lot of learning - give yourself a rest with this hilarious moment of office humor. (click to enlarge.)

2. Categories matter

The category drop-downs (the 'what is it?' drop downs you fill out when you're listing) are very important in relevancy. Almost no guides to this stuff mentions them, but they are an important part of search. When you shop, you don't just enter 'earrings' and then sit there wading through 13,303941 listings to find something you like. (If you do, you gottalotta patience.) People are going to be specific about their search such as 'sterling silver earrings' or 'amethyst bead earrings' etc. Then after that they're highly likely to narrow down their search on the left side- from Handmade to Jewelry to Earrings... and then they're going to pick something from that (rather unhelpful) list of styles.

So when you fill out your categories, don't just think 'eh who cares' on the third category. I know they leave much to be desired, but work with them the best you can. I have the earrings above listed in 'fiber' because although I think fiber jewelry is stuff made from spun wool or felt, looking in the category itself it seems to be where 90% of the lace earrings live (second to 'dangle', which is a really vague and unhelpful term in my opinion). And technically crochet lace is fiber. You can mix your categories through different listings too if it's appropriate. If you're not sure where to put them, go to search and look for a similar item, then see where people are putting them.

3. description

The words in your description only matter if you care about Google- relevancy doesn't look at them. I know it's a butt pain along with everything else, but you should care about Google since it's what people find us with if they don't know what Etsy is. Back in '09 Etsy put out a guide to SEO and I did an easier to understand SEO tutorial in response (SEO is the techie code for 'how google finds your shop') so you can refer to those for all that stuff; you can also look in the Etsy forums.

One thing I didn't mention in my old SEO tute- If you have a link in your description that goes back into your shop, people are more likely to stay in your shop. This isn't anything much to do with relevancy, but once you are found you'd like them to stay awhile, yes? I found I've upped the traffic to my store front by having these 'click-back' links in my descriptions. Not all of my listings have them (more laziness/forgetfulness than anything) but when I do I switch it around, some times it's a link to my shop front, other times it's a link to a particular section. Sometimes on custom orders I'll link to my sold page to help people realise I can re-make some things.

Now on to tags! Tags tags tags. You need to have your tag phrases match the keywords in your title. If your keyword in the title is 'lace earrings' you need to have 'lace earrings' as ONE tag for your listing to even start being relevant. Tags really haven't been stipulated enough in most of these guides for my liking, they really are just as important as your title. A few days after relevancy was discovered to work better if you went against the tagging rules, Etsy changed their rules to allow tags of more than one word. Now you are allowed to tag your product for what it is. An evening dress can be tagged 'evening dress', a red balloon can be tagged 'red balloon'. Before it was considered tag stuffing and frowned upon, now it's a must-do. Go figure.

So- here's a close up of my tags on the earrings:

Don't worry about materials or styles or any of that guff- as far as I know, materials don't count for relevancy search and style attributes aren't being used yet. I'm not saying don't fill them out- definitely do! Materials can be included if someone uses advanced search and ticks the little box to say so, and since we're cracking open every listing to change tags and titles, you might as well drop in your style attributes while you're there- saves going back and doing it when they come in to use.

So- you can see the little coloured squares up there; the green blocks show where I've used two words as a single tag- the same two words that sit next to each other in the title. This is important- words next to each other carry more weight. If someone searches 'pink lace earrings' my listing is right on top (at the time of writing this!) - if they search 'lace earrings' I'll come in high as well, since I have a 'lace earrings' tag AND the words next to each other in the title.

The blue squares are showing you where I've put tags of other words that are in my title. The one that says 'doilies' has just been changed to say 'doily' so it matches up with everything else.

The pink and purple squares are highlighting where I've used the top two keywords of my title (lace and earrings) as many times as I can in my tags- repeating your keywords will make your listing more relevant. The searchbot will think 'they want pink lace earrings, and this listing has 'pink, lace AND earrings in it's title and several times in it's tags- I conclude it to be relevant!' Also by teaming 'lace' and 'earrings' with other words I'm covering myself for other titles people might search for, like 'pink earrings', 'crochet earrings' and 'lace jewelry'. (I'm not sure why, but I've noticed putting 'jewelry' in as a double tag as well as earrings/necklace/whatever is helping relevancy.)

If I wanted to get really on it, I could have 'pink lace' as a tag as well, but right now Etsy only gives us 13 tags so you have to make hard decisions on what's going to get searched and what can be left out. I have 'pink' a few times and 'lace' a few times too, as well as 'pink lace' in the last tag with another key word, so I think I'm well covered.


SO in conclusion, business cat sparrow sez:

+ keep your primary keywords next to each other in the title and have secondary keywords if you can

+ use your primary keywords as a single tag

+ repeat your keywords as many times as you can in tags

+ make sure your categories are filled out the best they can be

+ switch around titles and keywords if you carry multiple listings of a similar item

Other notes: You will only have ONE result come up on the first page. There's some kind of magical do-hickey which ensures there's no more than one item on the first page by the same seller, unless of course the search is so narrow in result that it can't be helped. This is to ensure one or two sellers don't dominate the pile, so don't have a princess moment if you only see one of your sterling silver Dalek charms on the front page instead of the 12 you have listed.

Also remember that if you're number 5 most relevant for 'angel costume' and you can't figure out why the person ahead of you is more relevant- relax! It matters not. You're on page one, that's good. In fact if you're on page 2 that's fine too. Relevancy might determine where you show up, but it has nothing to do with the 100 different reasons why someone would pick your listing over another. Price range, materials, picture, etc- these all factors in being clicked. It's not the end of the road when you come up relevant, you have to be a stand-out example on that page so your photos have to be super-awesome. Don't rely on being just what the shopper was looking for!


I know it seems like a brain drain now, but once you do a few listings it'll become easier. Changing your titles or prices is made easier with the express editor over at Craftopolis, but you can't adjust your tags there- so you might as well crack open every listing. I have heard too that if you don't have the 'who made it' etc bit filled out then listing are overlooked. I don't know if this is gospel but do fill them in anyway.

A note on renewing- it would seem now that search is by relevancy not most recent that renewing is pointless. Well yes and no. It's pointless to renew just to be seen- you can save that $1 a day or whatever it was you spent. BUT- renewing can sometimes help if you sell something that lots of other people sell too. The first 4 results shown in a search are most recent, so even if you wouldn't rank high in relevancy on a certain search, you will pop up there on most recent.

Do your listings a few at a time and don't panic about it. Generally speaking if your stats say Relevancy is in spot #6 or higher on your Etsy traffic sources, you're good. When all is said and done the best exposure you can give yourself is networking. Now is the time (if you're not all learned out) to go look at that forum post I linked to at the start of this article. It's all about using your Etsy shop stats (OH how I love stats) to find and develop the other ways people are coming to your shop.

So there you go! Any questions please do write to me and ask, either via email (from my profile) or Etsy convo. I'll try to help you as best as I can!

footnotes:

*There's a lot of talk going about that having arty titles like mine are no good- granted this may be true for hooking in Google, but in terms of search results on Etsy I find no problems. I've yet to experiment how things would improve (if at all) without them, because frankly I like my arty titles, it's part of my brand and part of my work. I'd rather work harder in other areas of the market to be able to keep them. If you're interested in learning more about why and why not, you can read my forum post on it here.