The Real Reason Your Etsy Shop Isn’t Succeeding

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

One of my favorite books is “The Power of Positive Thinking“, and a quote in the book that always stands out to me is “People are defeated in life not because of lack of ability, but for lack of wholeheartedness“. The same applies to your business. Have you thrown yourself entirely into marketing and promoting your Etsy shop or have you just done it half heartedly? This is likely the reason you are not finding success.

A lot of people come to me for advice and then, for some reason, don’t take the advice or pick and choose parts of the advice. It is almost as if they think that just asking my opinion will somehow change things. No, if things are not working then you HAVE to make changes, sometimes major changes. Remember the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It won’t happen.

I know many shops who refuse to invest one dime into marketing and then wonder why they have no customers. You don’t just set up a shop and then sit and wait; you’ll be waiting for a long time. They fear spending any money, but the old adage that you have to spend money to make money is true. Running a $100 Google ad that results in $500 in sales is definitely worthwhile. Spending $200 might get you $1,000 in sales. Now, if the ad brought no sales, then at least you know and can spend your ad dollars somewhere else.

I have clients who just do a little marketing and expect big results. For example, if you sent out 10 pitches trying to get publicity for your shop and none were successful, then send out 100, and try smaller blogs instead of just the most popular ones.

I have some clients who expect to see results of their efforts the very next day, and if they don’t, they freak out and want to give up. Success rarely comes quickly or easily. There is no magic secret. It takes TIME, it takes MONEY and it takes EFFORT to grow your business, and you have to do all three wholeheartedly, not just a little.

This is one of the reasons I came up with my monthly Etsy Marketing Plan because I literally give you a “To Do” list marketing-wise. These are tactics you need to do every day and every month in order to get your shop seen. Yes, you will have to invest some money and some time and some effort but it is the only way to see results. Otherwise, expect to have another year like this year.

So here is my message for 2017: If you want your shop to be successful you HAVE to amp up your marketing. No more half hearted efforts, you have to really go for it, take risks, spend money (wisely) and get loud about your business.

Try my Etsy Shop Marketing Plan. This month there are over 70 tactics to try including a full social media plan with posting ideas for each day of December. It is just $7, so if you are hesitating on even spending $7 to help your Etsy shop, you may be one of the people I am talking about above.

Look for my all-new 2017 Marketing Plan and 2017 Social Media Plan on sale December 15th that will help put your Etsy Shop on the path to success in 2017!

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of February 2nd – Groundhog Day Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Happy Groundhog day! Expect to see lots of trending hash tags such as, #GroundhogDag #earlyspring #sixmoreweeksofwinter and #ghd2016. The coming week also offering some great opportunities for promoting your online shop.


Superbowl Week

It will be everything Superbowl this week. On the day of the game Twitter will be busy with score updates, talk about amazing plays and of course reviews of the #HalftimeShow (it’s #Coldplay #HalftimeShowColdplay). Interact with your customers this week by posting your best recipes and party décor ideas. #Superbowl #SuperBowlCity #SuperBowl50 weekend #SuperBowlAds #SuperBowlCommercials.

UK Mother’s Day

A big selling opportunity for shops that ship to the UK and the Republic of Ireland is Mothering Sunday on March 6th. The UK’s equivalent to Mother’s Day, people are typically looking for the same types of gifts for moms, although it is a Christian holiday coinciding with the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Product Names That Get Press

I have spoken extensively in my marketing ebooks about how the quirky and unusual always gets press. On that thinking, Target has just released their first nail polish line, called Defy & Inspire, and they decided to name the 38 shades after popular titles and phrases from Reality TV. Shade names such as Final Rose, Bachelorette, Toddlers & Tiaras, You’re Fired, Tribal Council, Real Housewife – just to name a few. The quirky names were definitely enough to get them early press from all the major fashion blogs and magazines, so we’ll see how they use these names to also maximize their exposure on social media.

Creative Trends for 2016

Shutterstock released a report covering the top 2016 Creative Trends and I highly recommend you check out the infographic. When you get to “Visual Trends” be sure to click on the actual trend name to see examples. For those of you selling online, you will notice that the “Flay Lay” photography trend is more popular than ever and not just on Instagram.

Trending This Week

  • February 3 – National Carrot Cake Day, #WednesdayWanderlust
  • February 4 – #ThursdayThoughts
  • February 5 – National Wear Red Day
  • February 6 – #SaturdayKitchen
  • February 7 – Superbowl, National Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • February 8 – #MotivationMonday, Chinese New Year (year of the monkey)
  • February 9 – Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, National Pizza Day

If you like my blog I hope you will please support it by sharing my posts on your social media pages – thanks in advance!

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© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

What is Etsy’s New Guidelines and What They Could Do Instead

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you do not understand what is Etsy doing with their new guidelines, last week they announced that they would be changing their business model to allow mass produced products to be sold on its marketplace. Needless to say, many sellers on Etsy are upset about this because they feel it means Etsy is no longer an exclusively handmade community, and they are not incorrect.

But Etsy is first and foremost a company, and it has to make decisions to ensure its continued growth.

Does this particular decision affect their brand? Yes. As a marketer, I never agree with changing one’s brand (unless it is no longer successful) because it causes customer confusion and you can lose all the marketing efforts you have invested in to-date. As a result you risk losing customers, not gaining them.


Artisan vs Entrepreneur

There is a difference between an artisan and an entrepreneur. Some of the top sellers on Etsy are more of the entrepreneurial nature – they came up with a good idea for a product, found a way to produce it quickly, priced it competitively and sales took off. They want to keep expanding even if it means they become more hands-off. There’s nothing wrong with that, everyone has a different vision for their business, and the economy needs growing companies more than anything right now.

These shops also bring in big numbers for Etsy. If you think of the 80-20 rule, 80% of Etsy’s sales are probably coming from 20% of its shops. So, obviously Etsy cannot afford to have these shops move off the marketplace.

Therein lies the problem for Etsy. Expanding without changing the brand that made you successful in the first place.

My Solution – Divide the Marketplace, Don’t Try to Blend It

Etsy is not going to please all parties here, but maybe a better solution to consider would be dividing their marketplace (which has become quite large) into four independently searchable segments, such as Handmade, Vintage, Supplies and General Marketplace, the latter being for those who wish to mass produce.

So people would still land on the same Etsy marketplace page, but they could choose a page tab that indicates one of these sections. From within these sections, you can then choose categories such as Clothing, Jewelry, Kids, etc. This would also drastically reduce the number of listings in the Handmade category, making it easier for those sellers to be found. It will also make it easier for shoppers to find what they really want (a mistake is to lump all buyers together; not everyone wants inexpensive goods, many want unique handcrafted items and are willing to pay for it).

It would have to be policed, and sellers not conforming to the original handmade guidelines would have to move their shop go over to the General Marketplace.

POLL: What Do You Think of This Solution? Is It a Win-Win for Everyone?

Need Help Marketing Your Online Business?

GB OliverIf you need help marketing your online business, I can help. I even have special rates for Etsy shops here or email me at

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.