March 1, 2011

Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Advertising and Promotions

When I first started selling on Etsy in early 2006, the venue was small enough that I frequently made it to the front page (which never happens now)...If someone searched for "embroidery", I was sure to pop up. There were only 16 pages of jewelry, and we thought that was a lot! If you want your shop to get noticed nowadays, however, you have to promote and advertise.

There are several ways to promote that are free. Facebook and Twitter are both popular. I wrote about Facebook pages a couple of weeks ago. Blogs are also popular, though I have to admit I'm not sure mine is benefiting me much since it's so ugly! A well-designed blog with interesting content can definitely be a promotional asset, however. Also, the new set up of the Community pages has spawned hundreds of promotional teams. I'm the leader of one, called the SNS Saturday Night Specials team, and the member of a couple of others. Using teams to promote is also a good way to network with other crafters and make friends, so it's doubly beneficial.

Paid advertising is always an option too. One method of advertising is Etsy's "Showcase" spots, available for $7/day in a category. I found several blog posts detailing seller's experiences with the showcase, but none recent. Etsy has made some changes to the Showcase feature recently which may change the viability of this feature-- Read this thread from December. RobWhite announced that Showcases were being "pruned", so I would personally recommend avoiding this paid option until Etsy gets all its ducks in a row.

Off-Etsy advertising on blogs and other sites is another option. EtsyNEAT leader PilousPercilla has experience in this area, so I asked her to write a bit about her experiences:

James and I started trying out paid advertising in December after opening James’ photography shop Squidflex. We chose to advertise with a popular, but reasonably-priced blog (Today’s Letters). Since then, we have done some form of paid advertising each month including blogs and one round on craft cult. Thus far it has been a pretty good experience and while we haven’t seen an increase in sales from our ads, I do think it has helped with bringing in traffic and adding to favorites of our shops and items.

I think the most important thing to keep in mind when deciding if you want to try out advertising is to choose a site/blog that you think fits your style and target audience. If you’re like us and sell work that may be a little unusual, it may not be the best use of your advertising dollar to place an ad on a blog whose readers aren’t likely to be interested in your art. We try to pick blogs that we already read and love…that way we know the writer a little and we feel we know the audience (since we’re part of it). If you create items for children, try a “mommy blog”, if you make items that are very design-oriented try one of the popular home/design blogs and so on. We also always try to choose a blog that offers a specific sponsor write up each month, that way we get more exposure than being just a little nameless button on the side.

Pricing is another big thing to consider as well. Most blogs who offer advertising have specific pages that tell you information like what their readership numbers are and page views and then their ad sizes, costs and what would be required (do they want a specific sized button, a large promo photo of your work or you, a write up about you business). We typically pay $10-$20 per month for a spot. Most blogs increase their prices as their reader numbers go up, but if you stay with them month-month you usually lock in the lowest price. You may be shocked by some blog’s prices…there are some that charge $75-several hundred dollars for one month on their sidebar, that’s not worth it for us but if you are a bigger shop that does a lot of sales…it may be for you.

Some blogs like to offer giveaways to their readers from their sponsors, this is almost always voluntary, but a great way to get more traffic to your shop! Chose an item that isn’t too terribly costly to create or even one you feel you need to move from your shop. Most bloggers will require readers to visit you shop and comment on their favorite item to enter the contest (more traffic). Currently, we are offering a giveaway with one of our sponsored blog ( and so far we have had many entries and she has posted a button on the main page, encouraging more entries. All of this is bringing potential buyers unto your store, they may not buy something now…but they are adding you to their lists.

There are some other parts to advertising, like how to create a button for your ad, creating specific coupon codes and ad write ups. I can answer any questions you all may have about that or any other aspect of advertising. This coming month we are cutting down to two ads, one on Today’s Letters and another with Elycia (for the All Night Diner shop). I will post links to the sponsor write ups when they go up here in the comments so you can see what one looks like.


  1. Here is the sponsor write up for Today's Letters

  2. love hearing about advertising, and blogging, helps us who havent been into blogging start.

  3. I went through the whole process of starting a Facebook ad today... and it glitched and totally lost the order when I went to Paypal! Argh! I'm trying CraftCult as a first low-priced ad experience; I've emailed several wedding blogs, but the cheaper wedding blogs are running $75-$125 for the ad-- Not in my budget yet!


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