Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thank You Captain & Leaders

The Promotional Frenzy Team has a wonderful group of team leaders and captain. Without them, this team would not be where it's at today! I believe I can speak for all the members on our team when I say THANK YOU!!!

Here's who our captain and leaders are:

Janet of Trinketsnwhatnots is our fearless captain! Her shop contains many beautiful pieces of jewelry made of buttons and swarovski crystals.
Jill from JQ Jewelry Designs' shop is home to many lovely pieces of beaded jewelry.

Sewing Granny fills her beautiful shop with sewn items such as pot holders, bibs, and more!

Angel of Symbolic Imports has a shop filled with many different scented bath and body products.

Bill of Pagan Cellar Jewelry stocks his shop with vintage jewelry pieces.

Elizabeth of TurtleXIII is also known for her beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Once again, thank you to each captain and leader for your hard work. Without you, I'm sure our shops wouldn't be where they are at today!


This post brought to you by Crystal of Crystal Gayle Photography.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Great ways to advertise your shop for FREE

This is something I am always on the look for, free ways to advertise my Etsy shop. If you are like me you probably have the same "advertising budget" as many of us Etsians do, $0. However, we are all business owners, and all business advertise in one way or another. Instead of throwing hundreds of dollars away my focus is doing it for little to nothing.

This first site is an easy way to get your shop seen and you can add yourself to it as often as you like, its called 100 craft links, and it's only for crafters with hand made items. It shows 100 shops at one time and as people add you slowly go down the list until you drop off. You are able to add a little blurb about your shop and people who are looking for handmade goodies visit this site daily!


Another great site is http://craftori.com/  used to be known as Etsylush.com but has now opened a new site. Here you register for FREE (they do have paid section but I don't use it), than post your etsy items. People do come here to shop and I have gotten several hits from it. Again this is a site you can ad to weekly when you need to promote your shop.

My favorite place to submit my items is http://www.etsycontest.com/ 

Here you submit your entire shop, and pick a day that you like from their calendar, and they will pick and item to put in the contest. Since submitting I have been in the contest at least once a month and actually came in 1st place last month!!  Basically once they put your item in the contest people will go through and vote for the item they like best 2 at a time.

One more site I have been able to get some views from is http://www.linkreferral.com  it is an easy sign up process and FREE. You add your shop and than you can visit other sites and rate other sites in order to post your ranking and get more views. Lot's of other Etsians are on their and it's an easy way to network with other shops. 

Now my last site is FREE the first time you use it, but from there on you can pay for more credits or refer people. Its called EtsyonSale.com and its a great tool and promotional site. You can use it for many things but they way I use it to drum up business is to run a sale (4 credits, you will get 5 when you sign up) you can pick the amount % off you wish to give. You can pick entire shop or 1 section.
The site will change your images to reflect the sale and adjust prices (once sale is over they will to all the work to fix it back to the way it was.  They also have a page on their site for people to shop to see who is having a sale on Etsy. Whenever I run one of these my views and sales shoot up. Much easier than a coupon code and worth the extra publicity.

Hopefully this will give you something to work on to get more views/sales for your shop at little no cost.  I will collect more free sites and share them with you again soon.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why/How We Circle or Follow on Etsy

Circling on Etsy/ Followers on Etsy 

Courtesy of Shauno ... Original Pop Art Portraits & Abstract Designs

Building a presence on the internet is a necessity if you are going to have a successful online business. The same is true on Etsy.

One of the ways to help build a presence on Etsy is to build up your circles. When someone chooses to add your shop to their circle, then your activity shows up in their activity feed - such as when you favorite an item, or a shop or a treasury, or add someone to your circle. Essentially, they are saying that they like some of the same things that you like and would like to see more of what you like in the future.

It really is quite easy to build your circles simply by adding shops or people to your circle. Often, but not always, they will circle you back - and your circle count grows!

My method for choosing shops to add to my circle is to go to my Favorites - either Favorite Items or Favorite Shops. I select a shop or item that I like - one either with similar items as those that I carry, or with a similar style (even if the item or items or totally different) to items that I carry. Then, I go to the list of those that have Favorited the item or shop. There you will find a list of shops and people who have favorited the item or shop. You will also find a count of how many circles each one is in, as well as how many items they have favorited and pictures of the last four items they favorited.

Now, you have to determine what your criteria will be for including a shop or person in your circle. I NEVER include a "Secret Admirer". They keep their favorites private, so that their favorites never hit the activity feed. Generally, I choose shops that have at least 50 members in their circles, indicating that they have been around for at least a little while. I also look for those that have at least as many items favorited as the number of circles they are in. This tells me that they will be involved in getting items into the activity feed for their circle members to see. All of this helps to get items seen. 

The reason for choosing shops or people that like the same styles that I sell is that some of those will also favorite my shop, which serves as an added bonus!
Thanks to Sharon from RomanticThoughts !
Blog: http://myromanticthoughts.blogspot.ca/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Romantic-Thoughts-and-Treasures-Etsy/144182138988286
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sharonintexas/

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Use Etsy Browse Pages

For years Etsy sellers have complained about the inundated Etsy search capabilities.  Etsy has finally made changes, but they are significant changes.  These changes are so new it can be confusing what it all means for sellers.

I hope to break down some of the information that is spread throughout Etsy forums, and blogs to help us take advantage of this new search.

The OLD search statistically wasn't helping buyers find what they wanted.  According to Etsy, "Up until now, we’ve mostly relied on categories to provide that inspiration, but overall, shoppers rarely use them, and if they do — they seldom find something to purchase. In fact, only 6% of visits that include a purchase have viewed a category."  http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/11054013/page/5#

Think about how you search Etsy.... do you normally go to a category such a jewelry first?  Or do you put in more specific details to find exactly what you want?  The more specific a search is the more likely you are going to find what you need and you will buy.  This is a basic concept for search engine optimization is to find keywords that are very specific to your product so that when a customer finds your product they will act upon it.

The NEW search at first glance appears to ignore or leave out clusters of Etsy sellers.  For example, it wouldn't appear there is a food category or a candle category anymore but they are under this broad category, Home and Living on Etsy.

I understand the resistance to change, and I definitely understand the feelings of being excluded and the possible loss of sales or traffic that could come from this change.  After I read more and more details on this new Browse search on Etsy I started to realize it has more flexibility and more potential then we had before despite the lower number of categories.  (**SIDE NOTE *** Categories are still available but not as obvious and not the default)

A Couple of Advantages:

Your items are no longer limited to ONE category.  If you make jewelry that is also tagged for weddings your item can come up in a jewelry search and wedding searches.  Before this change, your item would only show in the category you assign in your listing.  This could/should mean double the possible exposure.

Targeted Customers.  Through more targeted searches and keywords, shop owners should be able to find their target customers easier.  Through some simple SEO steps you could potentially find your target market much easier.

So what changes do sellers need to make to their shops?

1.  You do NOT need to change any categories for your items.  Although it may appear there is no main category for some products Etsy will still have them in the searches based upon the category of your item.  No need to change that at all.

2.  I would suggest that you tag your items with the BROAD category that is offered now.  For example, for food sellers there is no longer an edible/food category, only a sub category.  The main category that food is under is the Home & Living category.  So I would make sure that a food seller tags with home & Living to make sure you are covered in all the searches.

3.  You will need to find keywords for your product that are "relevant" to etsy.  The easiest way to find these are to search your category for products similar to yours and see what the top results are.  Look at those top shops in the searches and see what are the first 3-5 words in their title and what tags are they using.
Another way is when you start typing in a word into the search of Etsy many other search terms start to pop up below what you are typing.  For example, I typed wood cutting and I started to see wood cutting board, large wood cutting board, reclaimed cutting board..... These drop down words are based upon recent searches on Etsy.  These are words actively being searched so if they apply to your shop or products use them.
Here is a free tool to help find keywords also:
 Craft Weasel

Use trending color tags, I use Wikipedia's list of colors to help me find other shades of colors, and use Pantone's color trends.
List of Colors

Here is an Etsy blog with lots of tips for ideas of tags if you get stumped

4.  Once you find keywords to use, they should be placed into the first 2-3 words of your title, AND also used in tags.  If you are already in your listings editing I would recommend adding these keywords to the first sentence of your description too so that Google will index your listings better.  

5.  I use a notebook and write down all the keywords I can find for each section of my shop, and it is good to spread these words out throughout listings.  Using a variety and just mixing up the order of the words, so that there are no duplicates.  Google will exclude duplicate content from their searches so this will help your google traffic.

Only time will tell if this search really does what they are promising.  I personally hope it does, because it would mean more targeted traffic, which means a higher conversion rate for sales.  I hope this helps everyone optimize their shop for a very successful holiday season.

How to Get Found Tips

How to Make Your Shop Relevant

FAQ's On Etsy Browse

Forum Discussion

Intro to New Etsy Browse

Trinkets N Whatnots - Button, Crystal and Pearl Jewelry

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Color Trends Spring 2013

We are just now hitting the holidays season for 2012, so it may seem premature to think about 2013.  But now is the time to start ordering supplies for upcoming Pantone Spring Colors 2013.

Combining the bright pops of colors that will draw attention with natural, neutral tones will be a huge hit.

The tender shoot greens are nice light greens that represent all the new growth that occurs in the Spring.

Lime Green Turquoise Howlite Coin Disc Beads / Whole Strand 16"
Tender Shoots Beads

Grayed Jade is a more subtle, calming green that is perfect for a neutral tone with these pops of colors!

 Set of 18 Gift Tags Mint with Green Glitter Floral
Grayed Jade

Emerald is a vibrant green that brings about a sense of well-being.
Chrome Diopside Bracelet with Coin Pearls, Amethyst and Silver
 Emerald Combined with Linen Neutral tones and African Violet

Pantone recommends designs that would combine all 3 greens into a balanced design of vibrant tones and calming tones!  A monochromatic design with these shades are sure to be popular!

African Violet is meant to be a statement color/piece.  And could be quite intriguing when combined with the bright Poppy Red.
 composer head bust, painted figurine, vintage, mendelssohn, purple, funky decor, dorm room, music, historical statue, upcycled figurine

Poppy Red is described as sensual, and seductive.
 Dichroic Fused Glass Votive Candle Holder Ruby Slipper Red and Silver 292
 Poppy Red

"Nectarine, a bright, effervescent citrus orange with coral undertones, provides a tangy burst of flavor while cheerful Lemon Zest brings out a piquant taste with its refreshing, spritely greenish cast."   (http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr.aspx?pg=21006&ca=4)

Crocheted Sunglass or Glasses Case - Bright Yellow
Lemon Zest

Stuart Abelman Peach Orange Glass Bead Pendant

Dusk Blue is meant to be calming and is a great choice for a neutral tone against any of these pops of colors.

FALL SALE Vintage White washed brooch blue rhinestones
Dusk Blue

Linen is a basic that all wardrobes need.  It is a warm, neutral tone to use in all designs.

Ivory Pearl Lampwork Spacer Beads, Beige Shampoo Glass Handmade SRA

Lastly, Monaco blue is a classic shade that will provide stability and depth to any design.

 Raindrop Rag Basket - Crochet Fabric Strips

Monaco Blue 

Can't wait to see all the new designs to come with this color palette.  Make sure you tag your items and title them with these key terms to help buyers find them!

Etsy Promo Frenzy Team

Monday, October 8, 2012

Katie from Kater's Acres

Katie Oskin from Kater's Acres
Hi there!  I’m Katie Oskin, from Kater’s Acres.  It’s so exciting for me to be with you all today and be featured this week.  WOW!  I have been a part of the PromoFrenzy team since before Etsy created teams…over 2 years now, yet it seems like yesterday.  So it’s a joy & honor to tell you a little bit more about me!


I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, Luke, my husband of almost 3 years.  We have a beautiful dog (seen in the background of this photo) Daisy who we rescued shortly before we were married.  We also have a mischievous kitten, Smokie, who is now 1 year old.

Both my husband and I work together.  Our “real world” jobs are as Ordained Ministers in the American Baptist Churches.  We presently serve a church, hand in hand in ministry, near Youngstown, Ohio.  We love working together and we get along great.  It’s a joy for me to say that, as many people can not work with their spouse.  For this, I am blessed!


My creative process began when I was 5 and had just learned to write my name.  I took a giant blue crayon and wrote my name on the concrete in big letters at my childhood home.  When my parents brought both my brother and I downstairs and asked who did the “artwork” on the floor, I immediately said, “Josh did it!”  (Please note he was 3 at the time).  And so it began….not the sibling rivalry as my brother and I get along great…but the creative streak that lay deep inside.


I learned this creative streak from my Mom.  My Mom, to this day, is my best friend and one of my greatest sources of inspiration and strength.  This picture was taken on our first ever Mother/Daughter vacation…and boy did we have fun.  When I was little my Mom had a booming chocolatier business that would see her make and sell over 500 pounds of chocolate in one Christmas season.  As time went on, she dove into other things, primarily stained glass.  She did stained glass for 20 years.  I am privileged now to have many pieces of her and my Dad’s beautiful work and collaborative designs.  As time would go on, my Mom developed arthritis in her hands and no longer could take the pressure on her hands that stained glass required.  So today, she’s back into her original love: sewing.

I always grew up around my Mom’s craftiness and unique eye for design, color, pattern, and texture.  As I journeyed through high school and college I dove into scrapbooking and made several beautiful scrapbooks; at the same time I began tinkering with jewelry.  This was long before you could get supplies from craft stores.  I had to order supplies from companies and have them mailed to me.  I did jewelry for 5 years until one of the bead stores in my area had a sign out for “make your own beads from polymer clay.”  I thought, hmmmm…..I’ve always wanted to try this…..so off to the craft store I went to purchase some polymer clay and the rest is history.


Library Reading Parker Polymer Clay Character StoryBook Scene by KatersAcresFrom the first time to clay hit my hands, I was in love.  When it comes to clay, I love the way it feels in my hands, from the way it starts off rock hard, stiff, and cold, to the way it softens and warms with my touch. It always reminds me of my relationship with my Lord, that I am but clay in His hands, being molded into His purpose for me.  In the same way I can make & mold polymer clay into anything I want.  When my best friend came over to “play” with me in my studio last year, I gave her a hunk of clay and asked her to condition it.  She did and then looked at me and said, “now what.”  I laughed at her and told her to make it into something.  She made it into a ball and looked at me and said “I have no idea.”  I thought she was going to cry right then!  I felt so bad…for me, the dreamer in me allows to create easily but for her this was a huge roadblock.

I am blessed with not only a husband who loves me, but is patient with me.  As my “studio” initially claimed 1 table in the living room when we were first married, it now covers a table, coffee table, corner hutch, and cedar chest.  This Christmas my hubby handed me blueprints, for a new studio.  My new studio begins construction on August 22you can watch Parker build his new studio here.  Soon, not only will Parker have a more permanent home, but my husband and I can reclaim our living room for guests, company, entertainment, and general merriment.


Parker's Story, StoryBook Scene Polymer Clay Figurine by KatersAcres
While I love doing many things with clay, from making beads, canes, mokume gane, buttons, and so much more, this year I found myself facing a difficult decision: A new direction for my Etsy store and business.  Parker was going to go into a real brick and mortar store, but I found a huge roadblock.   Thus, the restructuring and rebranding of Kater’s Acres began in May of 2012.  And now in August that transition has been completed with the launch of our own website, new product lines, and renewed store focus. 


It is the love & joy that I find in Parker and his magical world of make believe that brings me the most joy.  With Parker I get to write stories, take him into imaginary places of Kater’s Acres, and bring him to life the way that Disney brought Mickey Mouse to life.  I can allow him to explore his new world as a child would explore this world.  Parker can easily become anything that I want him to be.  My Mom & my husband have said for years that I see the world through “rose colored glasses” and that in everything I am able to find joy & happiness, in part because of my own daily struggles.  Parker is an extension of this joy and happiness in the world around me.

The Original Parker - Polymer Clay Character by KatersAcres
Since Parker was first born on Sept. 3rd, 2010 to the day this article was written over 70 individual orders for Parker and over 150 total figurines have been adopted from around the world.  Parker is bringing a smile to people’s face, one figurine at a time and this is just one of the reasons why Parker continues to be Kater’s Acres CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer).  When I created Parker, he made me smile; and with every figurine I create, its intent is to make its new owner smile.  There’s a lot of pain and hurt out there in the world … Parker was created to remind everyone that there is joy and happiness in the world and that good can still come from a broken world.  My ultimate goal is that when someone adopts Parker, when he makes it to their home and they open their package that their first and immediate reaction is to smile.  And that’s why at Kater’s Acres, smiles begin.



As a special offer, use coupon “FrenzySpecial” to save 10% on any Parker adoption from KatersAcres

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Birthstone – Opal – Libra

The Opal was called "Cupid Paederos" by the Romans, meaning a child beautiful as love.  A legend gives the gemstone's origin as “it fell from heaven in a flash of fiery lightning.” 
Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers.  They were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight.  These gemstones were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares. 

Opal & Rose Quartz Necklace Opal Galactic Earrings
opal necklace opal earrings
Swarovski Opal Ring Watermelon Tourmaline – Alternate October Birthstone
opal ring watermelon tourmaline necklace
The Opal dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed.  As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal.  This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.  Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily.  
Most of the world's Opal deposits are found in Southern Australia.  Other sources are Brazil, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and Nevada.  Quality Opal is very expensive, because it requires special care when cutting, polishing and setting into jewelry.
Alternate Birthstones: Peridot, Agate, Aquamarine,  Tourmaline and Sapphire
An alternate birthstone for October, Pink Tourmaline has the seemingly magical property of pyroelectricity.  Scientifically speaking, this means that when heated, the gem takes on a static electric charge, making it capable of attracting lightweight objects.

Purple Opal Euro Charm Bead Blue Peru Opal Labradorite Bracelet
opal_purple bead blue peru opal bracelet
Opal Care Very heat sensitive, clean with warm or room temperature soap and water. Avoid wearing gem where it will get rough treatment.
  • Opals are delicate, but well worth the care. Their most significant weakness has to do with the water content. If an opal is allowed to dry, it will crack and craze. In most cases, they do not need any special care while stored. However, if you live in a very dry climate, or keep them in a dehumidified room, some precautions are necessary. Keeping them in a tight plastic bag, with a damp piece of cotton or fabric will prevent dehydration.
  • Storing an opal in oil or glycerin is not recommended. It is unlikely to damage the opal, but it is unnecessary and requires tedious cleaning.
  • Because of their water content, opals are also highly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. I know of a woman in Pennsylvania who wore a brooch on the outside of her coat. As she passed from the warmth of her house to the winter cold, there was an audible "crack" as her opal self-destructed.
  • Opals do not mind being hot or cold, it is the rate of change that damages them. You need to avoid situation like the one above, going from a warm house to the winter's cold. Simply wearing an opal under clothing will protect them. Also, do not store opals near a heat source, an open window, etc., where they can be exposed to sudden temperature changes.
  • Being somewhat soft, they scratch easily. Realize that a large component of dust is quartz at 7 in hardness. At 5.5 to 6 in hardness, simply wiping the dust off an opal will gradually reduce its polish. The solution is to clean your opals using a soft cloth or brush, a mild detergent, and room temperature water. Then rinse the jewels to remove any residue.
caution that must be exercised in cutting, polishing and setting it into jewelry.  
A gift of Opal is symbolic of faithfulness and confidence.  And the powerful energy radiating from this fiery gemstone will surely illuminate any occasion!
Opals correspond to the astrological sign of Libra - The sign of the Scales - September 23 - October 23
Opal October birthstone originally appeared on Linda B’s blog