Free Etsy Advice: Views

I have a love/hate relationship with the forums over at Etsy. On one hand, there is genuinely useful information in there, if you can get past the misspellings and the lack of punctuation. On the other hand, sometimes I think I’m the only one who knows how to do a key word search because MY GOD PEOPLE, chances are good someone has already asked that question about postage, and Alchemy has been gone for like a year already, Sweet Zombie Jesus, please stop asking where it went. You are starting to remind me of the people who used to come into the yarn shop and ask where Harmon’s next door went, because they used to shop there all the time. Really? Because we’ve been open for two years, and Harmon’s closed at least a year before that, WHICH YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU SHOPPED THERE ALL THE TIME.

Er. Uhm. Anyway.

One type of forum topic that will make my eyes glaze over and my fingers scroll past it is anything that remotely sounds like “how can I get more views OMGWTFBBQ”… and here’s why it makes my eyes glaze over. Let me tell you a secret.

The number of views doesn’t matter.

I have things that have barely sold that have over 700 views. I have other things that have sold at less than five views.

It’s not about the amount of people who see your things; it’s about That One Person seeing your things. That one person who is going to purchase what you’ve made.

I’m not saying that it’s not important to get your work out there, to advertise, to network, to let people know what you’re working on or what you have to offer. I am saying that stressing over views may be an ineffective focus of your energy. Once you put it out there, short of going to people’s houses and making them go online to Etsy and look at your product, the number of people who view your item is somewhat out of your control. Yes, you can control the advertising of the product (somewhat, leaving aside for the moment the idea of Treasuries made by other people, which will be another post). And you can even ask, or tell, people to go look at your product. But stressing over the numbers…? To me (and trust me, I AM THE QUEEN OF STRESS AND WORRY), worrying about the number of views your product has is sort of like worrying about whether or not it’s going to rain today. It is, or it isn’t, and that’s not something you can control (unless you are Kate Bush and have a Cloudbusting machine). People are going to look at your product; or they’re not going to look at your product.

And Etsy is not a contest. Thousands of views of your product doesn’t mean that what you made is better than what someone else made if they only have hundreds of views. Especially if they’ve already sold their item, and you haven’t.

I think a better question to ask would be “how can I get the right person to view my object?”. Rather than think about how to get more views, how about thinking about how to get more effective views? Consider asking yourself the following:
– What is my object?
– What sort of person might buy my object?
– How can I advertise or somehow get my object in front of them?

Here are some ways to think about that:
– My object is yarn. Knitters might buy my object. I should advertise on Ravelry.
– My object is a jewelry set for brides. Women who are planning weddings might buy my object. I should make a Treasury featuring other wedding-related items, and feature my jewelry in it.
– My object are kid-themed-cupcake toppers. Parents who are planning birthday parties might buy my object. I should see if there’s a popular parent blog that either offers advertising, or writes reviews on objects like mine.

Work on getting your work out there. Worry about how to get the right people to look at your item. But don’t worry about how many people have been looking at your item. Looking isn’t always buying.

6 Comments

    • Oh mah gawd, Anne, you don’t even know — Tim has mentioned a couple of times he thinks I should write a book, because I’m always bitching about creative artistic people who want to do their creative art as a business but they seem to think that the Magic Cupcake Unicorn is going to come along and poop out all the business sides of things so that they don’t have to worry their pretty little heads. Tim’s all, “you should write a book about how to use Etsy to your best advantage!” and I’m all “when someone puts about six more hours in the day!”

        • You know, I’ve never done Nanowrimo – mostly because the person who thought it up must have never in their life worked retail. November is the worst time of year to both have a retail job and try to do anything other than work retail….! I’d rather do something like that in… oh, March. Some long month that doesn’t include a major shopping holiday and ten days of travelling! 🙂

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