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 March 29th – Opening Day Edition

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Can you believe March wraps up this week? But the good news is that there are so many great buying opportunities coming up for your e-commerce store. Here are this week’s tips.


Your Shop’s Blog

If your e-commerce site has a blog, do not simply make the blog a category heading. Instead, bring your blog articles to the forefront with a hyperlinked graphic right on your shop’s home page. Both Nordstrom (their blog is called The Thread, below) and West Elm promote their blog posts on their home page to increase traffic and keep customers on the site longer.

nordstrom blog

Social Media Followers

When was the last time you went through your social media followers lists and followed back? There could be some potential customers in there so do not ignore them. If you follow back, it allows you to interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts when they come up in your feed.

Shop Banners

Spring is definitely here so it is time to change your shop, Facebook and Twitter banners to promote popular upcoming sales opportunities such as Mother’s day, prom, grad gifts, gardening, outdoor and Spring products, as Uncommon Goods has done below.

uncommon goods banner

Instagram Tip

Not sure how to maximize the trending hashtags I give below to drive traffic to your shop? #Breakfast is a very popular hashtag on Instagram, and the shop Indigo uses it to showcase their housewares collection.

Screen shot 2016-03-29 at 12.01.53 PM

Trending This Week

  • March 29 – #NationalMomandPopBusinessOwnersDay, #NationalLemonChiffonCakeDay
  • March 30 – #WednesdayInspiration
  • March 31 – #NationalPromDay
  • April 1 – #AprilFoolsDay
  • April 2 – #FinalFour, #NationalPeanutButterandJellyDay
  • April 3 – #NationalFindaRainbowDay, #OpeningDay (baseball)
  • April 4  – #MondayMadness

My Services

© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

My Marketing Tips for the Week of March 22nd – Etsy Shop Tips

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I have been working with Etsy sellers for a few years now, from some of the top sellers to shops just starting out. I even have my own shop there. So if you are one of the 1.6 million people now selling on this popular marketplace, here are a few Etsy shop tips that might help you out.

etsy shop tips

Etsy Shop Tip #1

Etsy has just changed their shop format, now allowing 15 shop sections instead of 10. This is a good update because the more shop sections you can have, the more specific you can get with their titles and hopefully get more targeted search results. Google reads your individual shop section pages the same way it reads a home page with the shop section title taking the same relevance as a title tag on a home page. For example, if you have a shop section entitled, “Gold Initial Necklaces” and then you have 30 listings in that section that have the words “gold initial necklace” in the title (or synonyms such as “letter” “monogram” etc.), then your shop section page now has a very good chance of coming up first in Google results when someone searches on the phrase “gold initial necklaces” because it is repeated on one page so many times.

Etsy Shop Tip #2

If you go to the bottom of the Etsy home page, under “Discover and Shop”, you will see a heading entitled, “Tastemakers“. These are the Etsy pages for various publications, blogs and the like. I recommend following all the Etsy pages shown here because they may possibly take notice of your shop (they get a notification that you are following them) with the hope that they may add one of your products to their curated lists. You also want to be known by the people managing these Etsy pages because from time to time, certain “tastemakers” are asked to write a post for the Etsy blog highlighting their favorites and these “tastemakers” tend to also share these posts with their blog readers.

Etsy Shop Tip #3

Are you following Etsy on all of their social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? Make a habit of regularly commenting on their posts (always something nice). It is a good way to get your shop name in front of their social media managers who pick the Etsy products that they profile daily on these pages.

Trending This Week

Below is what will be popular on social media this week as well as some other popular hash tags you may want to try:

  • March 22 – #TuesdayTrivia, #TravelTuesday
  • March 23 – #NationalPuppyDay, #WomanCrushWednesday
  • March 24 – #Sweet16, #ThursdayThoughts
  • March 25 – Good Friday, #BatmanvSuperman, #Sweet16
  • March 26 – #EliteEight, #SaturdaySwag
  • March 27 – Easter Sunday, #EasterEgg, #EliteEight
  • March 28 – #NationalBlackForestCake Day, #DWTS, #MotivationMonday

Want more Etsy tips and advice? Get my Etsy Shop Critique!






© 2016 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

3 Easy Ways to Be a Walking Billboard for Your Small Business

by G.B. Oliver

Are you maximizing the exposure of your business, starting with your everyday life? Once you walk out the door, you can become a walking billboard for your small business in many ways. Here are 3 good examples to try:

Custom phone case from Zazzle

Your Cell Phone, Laptop & Ebook Reader Cases – More than likely you have a cell phone and you have a case for it, but did you realize that you have valuable advertising space right on the cell phone case itself? There are hundreds of companies that will create a custom cell phone case for you that could incorporate your company logo, maybe a tag line, a website address, you name it. So, the next time you are sitting at a Starbucks, make sure your cell phone is on the table, case side up so it gets noticed. You can also do this with a iPad case, a laptop bag or backpack and walk everywhere with your company name facing out for everyone to see. If you have employees, create custom covers for them as well.

Your Clothing – Maybe you can’t afford to be an exhibitor at a consumer show (such as a bridal show, a home show, a parenting show, etc.) However, you can afford to attend the event and spend the day walking around the show in a t-shirt that clearly advertises your business on both the front and back. Make sure to have business cards on you in case people ask. Wear the t-shirt for any big traffic event, such as walking through a busy marketplace, running a marathon, attending a televised sporting event – the point is you want to always be advertising. And it doesn’t just have to be a t-shirt, it can be a jacket with your logo (and url) on the back, a baseball cap, your baby’s onesie (why not?).

Your Vehicles – Most people are familiar with this one. You can put your logo on your vehicle, but you can also paint your entire vehicle as an ad for your business. The key is making sure the vehicle gets seen. Leaving it parked in your garage is not going to help you. You want to hit the highway in rush hour where people will likely be stopped behind you in traffic. You want to park in front of a busy mall or outdoor event. You also want to think about other vehicles. You can put your logo on your motorcycle, bicycle, trailer home, or boat.advertise-car

FINAL WORD: Look at what you take with you when you go out the door, from your phone to your purse to your clothing to your car, and think about whether it can be an advertising medium for you.

Need Marketing Help You Can Afford?

GB OliverI have helped hundreds of small businesses market themselves for success. Just fill in the form below for more information, or email me at to discuss or see my Marketing Services page. Or check out my Ebook Shop for great Small Business Marketing Ideas.

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

The Importance of Labelling Your Products So Future Buyers Can Find You

by G.B. Oliver

In November we had a family photo taken and one of the primary reasons was to use it as a Christmas card. After we got the card back and I was about to send it out to people, I realized that our wonderful photographer missed out on a great opportunity.

The photo we were using for the card could have easily included a line below, “Photo by Starmark Photography” because I am sure that some of our friends and family are always on the lookout for a good photographer. Free advertising.

How do you make sure that people, who did not buy your product but may see it in a customer’s home, at a wedding, wearing it, etc., know that it’s from your shop? Sometimes when you are a small vendor, you forget to label your work.

Labels from HobbyTime on Etsy

Ways to Label Your Products

  • If you do greeting cards, or essentially any type of paper product, it is easy to include text on the back, “made by XYZ company”.
  • If you make clothing, hats or scarves, you can easily attach a fabric label.
  • If you make ceramic or wood products, you can imprint your company name on a part of the product that isn’t clearly visible (like the bottom of a vase) but there if people are looking for it.
  • My husband bought this great iPad cover on, and luckily the vendor was smart enough to include a label with his company name sewn on the inside flap, because we just remember that we bought it on Fab, not who from.
  • A lot of people sell iPhone covers, where are you putting your label?
  • Sometimes you have to get creative about how to sneak your name in. Maybe if you sell soap or candles, insert a small plastic disc (the size of a quarter) with your name on it into the middle of the bar of soap or candle that will appear when it starts to run down so they know to buy more (and where from!). This is really helpful if the item was given as a gift.

Now some products are not that easy to label, such as jewelry (unless you put a small metal tag on the clasp of a necklace) smaller scale products and edible products. That is when you need to include your business/calling card (please see my post, Why Including Your Business Card is NEVER a Bad Idea).

My point is, are you remembering to label your products? If you haven’t, start now to get that referral business and repeat customers.


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