2.15.2011

one year on etsy: what i learned..

Today marks my one year "Etsy-versary," and I could not be more excited about it. I am so happy that I started my shop and my blog. I've met some amazing people and had a truly wonderful time selling vintage. I thought it would be fun to put together a little list of things that I learned in my first year of blogging/Etsy-ing/tweeting/etc. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts or with more tips!


one year on etsy: what i learned
a wild tonic


A Good Name
Your name is important. You'll want to choose a unique name, but a name that is still easy to remember, spell, and pronounce. I think "A Wild Tonic" works well for a vintage shop because it comes from a quote from The Great Gatsby. Make sure your name fits your product or theme!


Social Networking



I don't use Facebook for A Wild Tonic, but I use Twitter, and I love it. It's an easy way to promote and build community. I've made plenty of friends through my Twitter account. We support each other by RT-ing and mentioning each others blog posts and links on Twitter as well as Facebook, Tumblr, etc. I also just recently started using my Tumblr, and I love it so far too!


Community Building
In my opinion, one of the most important things involved with running an Etsy store and blog is the community. If you have friends in your community, you're opening yourself up to potential buyers, advertisers, friends, blog features, and so much more! "Networking" sounds official and formal (and maybe complicated), but it's easy and fun! Check out this guest post by Diane at Simply Freckled for more on the topic!


Real-Life Promotion
I've read all over that carrying business cards around with you is one of the smartest ways to promote your shop. Get some made ASAP if you haven't already. In the past, I've used Moo and Vistaprint. Vistaprint has a free option, where you pay for shipping and they put a small ad on the back. If you want business cards but don't want to spend too much money right away, I think that's a great choice. I use my cards as little "thank you" notes and sometimes include extra cards for the buyer to share or coupon codes for future purchases!


Excellent Photography



When I first started out, I would post on Twitter and the Etsy forums for tips for my shop. The number one piece of advice I got was to have amazing photos. Find a camera that you like and a setting that works for you. Edit and crop and adjust the levels so the product looks accurate, bright, and appealing. Search Etsy's blog and forums for more tips. Or just Google it!


Even Better Customer Service
Always reply to convos and emails as soon as you can, even if it's to say, "I'll get back to you with more information later today." It shows that you care about your customers. Also, if you wait to reply, you might forget to reply..and that's not a good thing. Good customer service will result in positive feedback and possibly repeat buyers. There is no harm in putting a little extra effort in! Be proud of your work!


Blogging



When blogging, choose topics that interest you as well as the reader. If you write about what you're interested in, it will shine through in your posts. Use photos; people love photos! Consistency is important as well. That doesn't mean you need to post every day or multiple times a day, just keep it consistent. Also, make sure your blog is easy on the eyes. Watch out for crazy colors, fonts, and formatting.

Don't Treat it Like a Chore
Tweet about everyday things that you do, not just links to posts or products. Blog about your interests, not someone else's. Make photographing and listing your items a game (like Mary Poppins!). If you treat this like a chore, it will seem like a chore. Treat it like something you enjoy and you'll love what you do!

Ask for Help



I've asked for help from more people than I can remember. My mom and sister assist with measuring my vintage items (which is my least favorite task). My boyfriend helps me with outfit photos, tagging advice (male perspective is so helpful), and motivation! I ask for tips and advice on Twitter and the forums, and I always get so much help and thoughtful opinions. I even had a survey up on the blog a few weeks ago to get some input from my readers. One lady suggested that I shorten my header so more of the blog was visible, and (as seen above) I took her advice! Don't be afraid to ask for help!


Thanks for reading, and thanks for a great year! Here's to many more! :)

ps. Check out the big, half-off, celebratory sale going on right now at the shop!

7 comments:

  1. Great tips! Congrats on your first year! I will celebrate the one year "etsy-versary" of my vintage shop on Friday! The most important thing I learned this year is to set goals and deadlines.

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  2. Great tips and we share an etsy versary as my one year was yesterday as well!

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  3. What a great post. I love hearing about what people learn from their experiences. I think this post is especially helpful because it educates current and future Etsy shop owners. Keep going for it girl!

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  4. great tips! thanks for sharing! congrats on year one!

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  5. yahoo for one year on lady! good job! and hope those sales keep rolling on in....

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  6. Congrats on your Etsy-versary! These are great tips...thanks so much for sharing.

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  7. Happy Etsyversary & thanks for sharing your experience & knowledge! :)

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