Today I’m going to give you a little behind the scenes action! Between my two shops, I have over 200 listings on Etsy. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to that point. Over time I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work and you’re going to get a first-hand look
There are certain steps I follow when I’m doing each listing. These steps help me make sure I have everything I need and have allowed me to batch my listing creation. Batching listing creation helps me save time and get a bunch of listings done very quickly so I can focus on other things later in the week. I tend to create about five listings or so per week. I save them as drafts and trickle them out over the week to keep my shop active to Etsy and so I don’t completely overwhelm my customers with new content.
Here’s how I do it…
First, I need some sort of inspiration! There are a lot of different places you can draw inspiration from. Sometimes it’s something that a friend says in passing. Other times it’s an image that pops into your head. It can even happen when you see a design and realize you can do it better!
My most popular item is something that a friend asked me to make her. She wanted a phrase on a maternity shirt so I designed one and sent it to her. I figured that if she liked it, maybe others would too! I was right and this shirt has quickly become my most popular listing.
I keep an on-going list of ideas that I have. This makes it extremely easy when I sit down to create listings. I have a bunch to chose from and can pick the ones that I think would be best at the time for my shops.
Check for Trademarks
Did you know that “Birthday Girl” is trademarked for t-shirts? I recently learned that! So many common phrases are protected by trademarks so you must check before you go any further. Do not skip this step! The last thing you want is to lose your listing and have a ding on your shop for violating intellectual property rights. Do I agree that “Birthday Girl” should be trademarked? No. But it is, so I’m going to walk away from that idea because it’s not worth the hassle to me. You can check for trademarks here.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you aren’t copying someone else’s creative work. You wouldn’t like it if someone did that to you, so you owe them the same courtesy. If you search on Etsy, you’ll find a bunch of trademark violations. It can seem unfair that you are following the rules and other people are not. However, for all you know they will get a takedown next week. All you can control are your own actions, so make sure you stay legal!
Once I know I’m clear to move forward, I create my design. I often use Adobe Photoshop but there are free tools out there that you can use as well. I play around with fonts and layouts until I find something that I love. Then I move different design elements into place and I’m always trying to find different layouts and designs so that my customers have lots of options!
I utilize a lot of sites that offer free fonts for a short period of time. Other sides will offer free designs for a short amount of time as well. Between the fonts and the illustrations, I have a lot of options!
Make sure that anything you use in an Etsy store, illustration, SVG file, or font, has the proper license. You can only use design elements that you have a commercial license for. This is something to check and track. Again, you want to stay legal!
Create item for Etsy
Next, I create the item for Etsy. Most of my items are made to order, but I try to create a sample of each listing. You’ll notice I don’t sell back to school signs in my shop. When trying to make the sample for my listing, I realized how much I did not like making those signs and scrapped the idea. I also realized that I didn’t want to deal with shipping such a large item. I needed to physically have that in hand to know these things.
How does Etsy know what you’re selling? There’s this awesome thing called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that lets Etsy know that you are selling a crocheted baby hat or a wooden sign. I use a free tool called EtsyRank.com to make sure that I’m calling my item what customers expect me to call my item. There are a lot of different ways to describe a baby bodysuit and some are trademarked. So it’s nice to be able to have a resource to give me other ideas.
Create text for description
Next, I describe my item for the description. It’s really important to let your customer know what they are getting. How disappointing is it to wait for a package to arrive only to have it not be what you thought it would? You can combat that disappointment by making sure that any question a customer may have is answered in the description.
One of the things that I do that helps me write better descriptions is to list all of the features of my product. Then I go through and write why a customer would care about that feature. For example, I sell soft milestone blankets. The feature of the product is that it’s soft. In my product description, I talk about how it’s soft so that you feel good laying your baby down on it and knowing that they will be comfortable.
If you sell similar items (I sell multiple designs of milestone blankets) then there are parts of your listing that you can duplicate for each product. Don’t duplicate your entire text (Google hates that), but for things like size descriptions or how to purchase, it’s OK to copy from one listing to another as long as it’s
Create images and photographs
At this point, you’re almost at the finish line! Photographs are essential for your listing. Bad photographs will tank your sales and make it nearly impossible to draw people to your page. It’s the one task that can always be improved! I make sure that the photographs tell my customers what they need to know, especially because I know not everyone reads the description. I make sure the thumbnail looks great and check out the preview so I know what my customers will see.
Publish the Listing
Finally I get to hit the publish button! It takes a lot to put yourself and your designs out there so this step is one of the hardest! But the only way to know if your customers will like your product is if they get the chance to see it. So hit that beautiful button and set your product free in the world!
Share / Promote
Did you think you were done? At this point, you need to promote and share your listing. Etsy might eventually send traffic your way, but you want to let your customers know what’s going on in your shop and help the right people find your stuff. I have had great luck with Pinterest and Instagram. It takes time to learn these platforms, but it’s worth it!
So now you know what it takes to create an Etsy listing! And now I get to give you free stuff.
Are you thinking about starting an Etsy shop? If so, you can get 40 free listings by clicking here. Just so we’re all clear, if you use my link I get free listings as well. Listings are normally $0.20 a listing so it’s an $8.00 value.
Also, there’s a LOT of steps to take and it can be confusing to keep track of it all. I’ve created a printable for my own use that you may find helpful that I want to send you straight to your inbox!
Free Listing Tracker
Sign up for our subscriber list and we’ll send you a free Listing Tracker for your Etsy shop!
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A few years ago, my life was a mess. I had so much to do, so many responsibilities, and too much for one person to handle. Since then, I got my stuff together and have a far more stress free life. Help me help you decrease your stress and live your calmest life.