Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Etsy Success - Blog & Magazine Features

Etsy Success Symposium ~ Part I

Recently Etsy did a series of online labs to help Etsy sellers learn ways of boosting their businesses.  It was  10 hours of information!  Amazing tips and tricks by many experts and on tons of topics.
They covered topics like Pinterest, to how to get found in Etsy searches!
Etsy created a Workbook for these symposiums.  The workbook has some worksheets you can use to help implement a lot of what was discussed ...
You can find the workbook here
They also created a website for the topics here

I would like to share what I found helpful during these labs.

Blog Feature and Magazine Features

One of the real keys I heard is that the editors are looking for unique items with good value.  The reason this is significant is that if you create nothing but one of kind items you will probably NEVER see a feature in a magazine.  The editors said their readers get really upset if they read something, go to a site all excited to get one, and there are none available.  This kills the article and feature and hurts their readers.  

Since we are artists and we all take pride in our designs, and MANY shop owners strive for one of kind items I found this a critical point.  That even if you make one of a kind items you really need items in your shop that can be reproduced, and that you can sell a good quantity off.  Not just for a big magazine feature but also to keep your shops stocked and looking full.  To help you remain visible in searches too.  This is really key to build inventory.

Tips to Get Featured

1.  Know the magazine you want to be featured in.  Learn their demographics, and the type of items that are featured to see if you are a good fit before contacting the editors.   They mentioned a site called compete that helps you find the readership of a publication, demographics etc. Make sure your target market matches with theirs for the greatest success.
2.  Research a season in advance.  For instance, right now magazines are looking for Seasonal fall previews.  If you send in a Spring themed item you won't get the feature.  Their spring stories are already done!    
3.  They said having a cohesive look in your shop is very helpful.  They look for the same style of lighting, or color palette, backdrop, photo's.  She used an example that if you take pictures on an all white background, then make sure you crop them all in the same spot so that there is a distinctive style for your work.  I found that tip very helpful since I do use all white backgrounds, this will help me find a style.
4.  These editors specifically mentioned several sites that they frequently look through to find items they want to feature.  So being on these sites with your products would increase your odds of getting found.
a.  Polyvore
b.  Pinterest
c.  Etsy
5.  For your listings they prefer to hear a story behind the product.  They realize that we can't write a book in our listings because customers won't read it and we have to get pertinent information out to our customers.  But when they are doing an article or feature for a magazine it is the STORY that sells.  So if you can tell a story in your profile and in your product listings it will help them build a story for a feature.
6.  Make sure your listings are extremely clear about the products, supplies used, length of time to produce or mail the products etc.  They don't want to work with a business that won't follow through and will upset their readers.  So they need very clear information.
7.  Value and Quantity - They mentioned that they want a well stocked store.  As for value the one editor said it would be rare to sell high end items through a featured article.  Now this depends on the magazine, but most readers are looking for "value" she said.

How to Pick the Right Blog

They described ways for you to find the BEST blog or magazine to contact.  The best thing you can do is to research each venue.  Find out their website ranking, so you know the type of traffic they have.  But traffic isn't the end, it doesn't matter if they get a ton of traffic if their traffic is inactive.  Meaning, look to see how engaged the readers are, do they tweet the articles, do they leave comments... the more active a blog page is the more engaged readers are.  This means if you were featured on there you would get better exposure.  

Tips for Contacting Editors or Blogs

EVERYONE wants to know what are they looking for, and how to stand out.  They get 1000's of emails a day of people wanting to get featured.  So some tips to help you stand out and make an impression.
1.  Subject Line of your email  - This should be a sentence or a question.  Not just one word, Feature, or something.  They say the more specific the better.  So if you have a specific feature or section you want you should put that in the subject line.
2.  Have high resolution pictures to provide at least 300dpi they mentioned.
3.  Tell a story.  Help them understand why their readers want this product.
4.  Pick a Theme:  Again they are looking for Fall items now, so make sure your email will fit in with a subject they are actually looking for to increase your odds of a response. 
The last tip I took from this was, KEEP trying.  They don't mind getting emails from you more than one time ... they have rarely been annoyed by entries and unless you are told not to submit again, you should keep trying.  BUT when submitting another time, switch it up!  Try a different angle, a different picture to grab their attention, a different story line.  Don't keep submitting the same thing. 

I hope this helps everyone feel more comfortable to contact and reach out for extra exposure.  I know this motivated me and definitely help me feel more confident in what I should be doing!

Good luck.  If you have had luck getting into a popular blog or magazine we would love to hear about it.  Please post a comment and link!!



  1. Wow - lots of food for thought here and such valuable information THANK YOU!

  2. Great article, Janet! Thanks for outlining the most interesting & important points of Etsy's Symposium!!!

  3. Wow, so informative! I really wanted to attend the Symposium but couldn't. I'm so thankful to have this information. Can't thank you enough for posting it here!

  4. Wonderful Tips & Information! Thank you for the post and sharing this!

  5. Great info Janet. Thanks for doing the article. I went to Hello Craft and could not figure out how to list items there, and Polyvore seemed to be all fashion. I would love to have a team project where we all have to go and find mags and blogs we could all pitch too. Of course we can't really all pitch to the same ones, though.

    Now I need to write my article, huh?

  6. Great info! I actually watched all the videos and such much info was given and its all helpful i recommend watching it!!

  7. Thanks Janet for the great tips and for attending the workshops and sharing with us.

  8. I think you're right about having duplicates. The only time one of my items was featured in a magazine, it was one of the Medicine Stones...of which there were duplicates (though not exact).

    Need to ponder this a bit.

    You always make me think...oh, the pain!

    1. I hope you don't have too much pain :) hihihi

  9. Great information, this is so great to know. Thank you!!

  10. wow this is fantastic information, thank you. and just in time as I am working on my shop to make it more cohesive :) thank you for all this great info

  11. Great information! I will be spending sometime on the links you provided. I just feel kinda stuck right now, so maybe there is some info that I can put to use to get unstuck. Thanks Janet!

  12. Thanks for the posting! I'm getting ready to submit now and will be seeking other opportunities soon!

  13. Thank you for the very useful and concise information, this really helps so that I know what others are looking for once I submit my proposal. Many thanks!

  14. Wow! What great information. Wish I would have been able to sit in those ten hours. Thank you for making it concise and to the point.

  15. Leaving my shoop for Granny's blog! pagancellarjewelry.etsy.com

  16. Thank you so much Janet for taking notes and sharing them with us! Great points and having all this tips in one place is priceless!

  17. Thank you so much for all this informations ! very helpfull

  18. I love these tips! Thanks for sharing! I used this information on my blog! thanks again!!

  19. great tips!

    thank you so much for sharing :)

  20. Great information and insight! Oh, the work I have to do..especially on a cohesive shop and backgrounds!

  21. Wow! Some great info here! I never actually knew you contacted magazines about features. I thought they just went to you! Definitely changes my perspective!

  22. As someone who has had many designs and articles published over the past 14+ years, I totally agree with the awesome benefits of working with magazine and book editors! My tips would be to always strive to communicate as professionally as possible, be selective and submit to publications that fit YOUR style and not just for the publicity, and you'll never know if your ideas are publish-worthy if you don't take the chance and submit them in the first place! ;-D

  23. Amazing article Galla..thanks so much for sharing !!

  24. I'll have to come back and re-read this. It has SO many tips.

  25. Unique Cozy Treasures- Great tips Janet. Thanks!

  26. WOW! What great tips. I would have never been able to come up with these. WOW! Thanks. I can't wait to put them to use.

  27. Great article! Thanks so much for posting.

    Cheers :-)
    - CoconutPalmDesigns

  28. Great information, thanks!! And great blog!! Katie from KatersAcres sent me, and I'm so glad she did, following you now!! :)

  29. Katie from Katers Acres sent me:) Great article:) Following you now:)

  30. So much info here. Wonderful! I started "following" you. And Katie from KatersAcres sent me to you!

  31. A lot of great information! I am now following you, and Katie from KatersAcres sent me! :)

  32. Thanks for the invite Kater Acres! And I am following you now too

    A link to my shop

  33. hey all! Katie sent me to follow - and this is a great blog!

  34. I enjoyed reading this, and I learned helpful information. Amy sent me from New England Quilter.


  35. Katie from Katers Acres sent me:) Thanks for the great article:) Following you now! Will be good info to have when I re open my shops!


  36. Great article, thanks! Everything I sell is one of a kind, I guess that's a problem.