etsy tips for beginners

Pinterest Freebie - Possibilities Planner 2018

Pinterest have created a wonderful Possibilities Planner for businesses, which is essentially a free calendar to help you implement your marketing strategies. "This is your go-to guide for audience insights, keyword recommendations and timing tips — download a copy to dream up a year of possibilities."

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's  Possibilities Planner

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's Possibilities Planner

The planner is designed to "help you understand what moments matter to Pinners and how your brand can be a part of their journey as they discover, save and do." Use the calendar to see when Pinners start saving Pins for each moment, which you may discover can be surprisingly early! Download Pinterest's Possibilities Planner PDF here.

Thanks Pinterest!

Share your thoughts: copywriting - words you would retire from product descriptions?

Copywriting for product descriptions

Copywriting product descriptions can be a tricky yet essential part of running your own business. Could it be time to refresh some overused, tired, filler words, and brainstorm words/phrases that are more imaginative and fresh?

Once upon a time I worked in the office of a major online fashion retailer in London. I worked next to the copywriting team, and at the time didn't realise quite how valuable an experience that would prove to be for writing my own product copy in future. 

On the wall beside the team was a whiteboard with seemingly random words scrawled upon it - but upon closer inspection, these were lists of words they had retired and must not use. Tired words, overused words, boring words, gimmicky words, cringeworthy words. Phrases like 'on trend' and 'this season's must have'.

Having these restrictions in mind later aided my self-critical approach to writing copy for Etsy's social media posts. 

This is a post to get you thinking about the words you may choose, or have already used that should probably be retired. From the point of view of shoppers, have they seen it all already e.g. when browsing Etsy? Which words could be replaced to make your product descriptions imaginative and fresh? Make a list (& share in the comments!)

My copy bugbears (only my opinion of course) that immediately spring to mind are:

  • Quirky: overused for crafts/design, and whimsical - in an old fashioned sense. 'Unusual' is much better.
  • Funky: I see this word as how an older person describes something 'hip' and 'cool'. Having said that, young people roll their eyes at me when I say 'cool' because I'm in my late 30s, thus apparently 'old'.
  • Perfect for/perfect gift for: we're all guilty of it, but it's so overused it hurts! The entire sentence could be turned around to accommodate a similar intent e.g. 'X-person will find it useful because...', 'kids love the way it...', 'X-product complements modern furnishings', 'X-person finds it helps them..', 'it will fit in effortlessly with a contemporary theme', etc.

Think about incorporating the benefits and features of the product while telling a story.

Now brainstorm alternative words to replace your redundant ones. The thesaurus is your friend! I'd be interested to see your 'retired words' list - share your thoughts in the comments below!

Want more tips for making the most out of your products? Click here for my post about getting your products featured in gift guides!

Start As You Mean To Go On - New Year Pep Talk For Small Business Owners!

Digibloom new year pep talk for small business owners

Here's my personal small business new year's mantra: "ASBO".
Thankfully nowt to do with an anti-social behaviour order.

Achieve more with planning
Stay healthy by switching off
Be more productive with time
Organise like a fiend.

Here are some more of my tips for starting 2017 as you mean to go on:

  1. Plan a (healthy) daily routine
    Plan your days in advance, ensuring to begin in the morning as you mean for the day to go on. Get up and dressed, have breakfast, prepare for the working day as if you are going to work (because you are, even if it's in your home!)

    Have regular breaks, perhaps pop out for lunch to get some sunshine. End the working day at a reasonable time, switch your computer off and clear your workspace ready for the following day. Maybe even prepare meals one day for the rest of the week. Planning can help your productivity sooooaaaarrr!
  2. Create an inspiring workspace
    Whether you work from home, an office, studio, library or cafe, try to create a working sanctuary. If you are easily distracted by other people in the room, invest in noise-cancelling headphones. If you waste time searching for your tools, have them organised in a storage system.

    Have your computer-based work organised into a filing system, not a bunch of files scattered all over your desktop. Guilty! Surround yourself with inspiring imagery such as artwork and photos. If you work from home, try to use a separate area from where you sleep and eat. Keep your space tidy and inviting so that you feel like working.
  3. Know when to unplug
    As a small business owner, it's so easy to fall into working long hours as there is always so much to do, it never stops! However - you need to protect your health and wellbeing by finding your work/life balance.

    If you rarely unwind, your spring will be so wound up that you pop! Please don't pop. Take the breaks you deserve, get outside and away from your screen, and when you unplug, really unplug! Don't think about or talk about work until the next day. Easier said than done, I know! But I have personally experienced ill health in the past due to always being 'switched on', and it can negatively impact your business. Not worth it.
  4. Socialise
    Talk to like-minded thinkers, whether going for a coffee, chatting on the phone, or meeting for an exhibition. Inspirational people, discussions, and places will surely aid ideas and motivation. Sometimes you can't just rely on the cat. I said sometimes!

    Do you have any tips towards a healthy and happy work/life balance?Share with us in the comments below!

Etsy Shoppers' Guide - how to find UK shops on Etsy (or filter by any country of your choice!)

How to find UK shops on Etsy - shop local and filter by country.

This post covers how to find Etsy shops that are local to you, using UK as an example.

If you're looking to shop local on Etsy, typing "uk" or "uk sellers only" in search will only bring results from shops that have tagged their items with those keywords, i.e. a small minority.

To see everything that UK sellers have to offer, use Etsy's location filter. Simply type in your search term e.g. "ceramic teapot", click the 'Search' button, then select 'United Kingdom' under the 'Shop location' heading in the left-hand side bar.

If you click on another category or type another search term, the location search may return to the default 'Anywhere', so keep an eye on it, you may need to select your country again.

How to find UK shops and sellers on Etsy - filter by country

Etsy also has a dedicated Shop Local page featuring their tool for finding sellers near you.

In the 'Ship to' dropdown, make sure United Kingdom is selected to be certain the items can be delivered to you. This is also a handy function if you'd like your purchase sent elsewhere e.g. a family member in Denmark - you can then find UK items that ship to Denmark instead.

How to find Etsy shops that ship to your country with the location delivery tool.

Spread the word and help shoppers discover gorgeous items on their doorstep.

Are there any Etsy tools you find particularly useful? Let us know in the comments!