I spend a lot of time educating Etsy shop sellers what to do and how to become successful shops on Etsy. Here I will list the common seller mistakes that I've seen. I hope that it will give others some helpful pointers on what to do to increase sales and commerce to their Etsy shop!
1. Jumping In Without Research
Many people open up shop on Etsy and and wonder why their items just aren't selling. It's almost certain that they haven't properly educated themselves.
Get one step ahead of the game, and make it a point to spend a day learning the ins and outs of this ever-growing community. Do your homework and read up on the Etsy policies, the how-to's and learn helpful strategic advice from other sellers if you so wish to be successful and learn things
2. Posting Grainy or Fuzzy Photos Is a Huge No No
This is a huge problem. Maybe you are in a hurry, or don't have enough time. The light may not be on your side today or your cell battery won't allow you to take pictures with a flash. Perhaps your camera is giving you grief--a viable excuse. Whatever the problem please know that a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Etsy allows you to have five photos per item which really gives you the great options for showing all angles of your item. These photos should be clear, creative, and close up!
3. Titles Titles Titles!
The first five words of your Etsy title of your item is very important, as chances are these are the first five words that will show up in the HTML address of the item.
For instance, let's say you have a vintage porcelain glove mold that you are trying to sell. It would be ridiculous to call it "Great Shabby Antique Vintage White Porcelain Glove Mold" as the key words would not make it in the HTML address.
Think of your titles very carefully.
4. Descriptions : Use Them
People write a one line description and leave out the food stuff. Don't slack and don't write a book! Your description should be as descriptive as possible. Think of how you would want to learn about something. If it's a necklace, what stone is it and how long is it? What kind of clasp does it have? If it's a blanket what are the dimensions and materials and colors? If it's vintage what kind of defects may it have or conditional issues? Always be descriptive yet concise. A story is nice, but not a ten page essay.
Some people tend to link their shops other sections in the bottom of each description, which is helpful to get people to check out other places in your shop.
Tip: Do not link to a specific item, only a shop section. Why? Items will expire and links will go "dead".
Keywords on Etsy are very important and will help get your item found. Many people don't take full advantage of using all of them and this is a major mistake. Use them all.
If you can't think of descriptive words for your item, do a think outside the box exercise. Let's say you have a blue vintage radio and it's made by Crosley. You have used the tags: radio, blue, crosley, vintage, but now what?
Is it plastic , melamine, melmac, bakelite, or celluloid?
Is from the mid century modern period or art deco?
Is it an electronic item?
Could it be searched by the words AM, FM, or shortwave?
is it table top or transistor?
Perhaps you should be putting the color of the item even more than generic hue of blue. Is it more of a turquoise blue or navy blue? Also you may wish to throw in the word music, because that's what it plays.
It takes a bit of getting used to , but sooner or later you will be thinking outside the box.
6. Shop Announcement Hello: Use It
The reason you have a shop announcement is to make announcements, so use it wisely. Keep it fresh and update it often. if you have just added new earrings, say so! If you have a coupon code for the upcoming holiday, post it there. Believe it or not, the first few lines show in Google and so you should think of good words in the first sentence or so. SEO is always watching!
7. About : Use It or Lose It
The "About" section is really your public profile, and should tell a story. This is where people love to read and see what makes you tick. Most people do not realize this little part of your shop may be where your fans will decide whether to buy from you, or the competition.
8. Social Media
Social media is essential when you have an Etsy shop. In fact, Etsy now gives you easy access to connect your Facebook and your Twitter to your shop so you can keep your fans in the loop! There's also share tools like a pin-it buttons for pinterest users to quickly pin your items to their favorite pinboards.
The bottom line: Etsy gives you a storefront and platform to showcare you wares. It is up to you to do the marketing!
Exposure goes hand in hand with social media. This is where your item or shop will get featured using various channels such as blogs or websites. You may wish to consider blogs that allow free submissions.
Etsy also offers something called search ads, where your item is featured on top of a keyword search.
You can find blog exchange and people accepting submission in Etsy teams such as Etsy's Success Team.
Tip: Teams are a great way to network with other like minded Etsians to help you!