Just putting together an Etsy shop isn’t enough to close a sale. While people may come across your wares as they browse, you need to make sure that there’s a steady stream of traffic going straight to your shop.
Blogs can provide several promotional strategies that can help you build awareness about the products you’re selling online.
Establishing Your Own Blog
- Build a lasting relationship with readers who keep coming back to your site
- Rank well for search terms related to what you’re blogging about and not lose out when a search engine changes the way it calculates rankings
- Communicate easily with potential buyers who may even tell you ideas for products that you may be able to create for them
While there are options for setting up a free blog, it’s better to buy a domain name and set up your own site. That way, you’ll have a lot more control over how you can set up your blog — and if you decide that you also want to sell your products through your website, you have the option to do so. TomKat Studio did exactly that, offering certain products through their Etsy shop and through their blog.
Once you’ve got a site set up, you’ve got to figure out the hard part: what exactly you should blog about. You need to know a fair amount about who you’re trying to sell your crafts to, so that you can write posts that will get them interested in what you’re selling. If, for instance, you make bridal favors, you should consider writing about topics that will interest brides. If you can focus in on one interesting topic, blogging regularly is easier. There are plenty of crafters with slice of life blogs about anything and everything — it’s something that can work well, but it’s a lot harder for a new blogger to compete with than a more focused niche.
Guest Posting on Other Blogs
You don’t actually need to even set up your own blog to get at least some of the impact of a well-written blog post. Many sites accept guest posts — and will give you a link back to your Etsy shop. You can target sites with high traffic and get your designs in front of a huge number of eyeballs in very little time.
In fact, even the Etsy blog itself runs guest posts. So do many major style blogs and most niche blogs. It’s an investment of time to reach out to such sites and find a post topic that you want to write about and that they’d happily run, but it’s well worth it.
Getting Reviews on Big Blogs
Unfortunately, some of the largest blogs don’t run guest posts. But such sites may consider reviewing your products — or even just mentioning them. You need to very carefully weigh the cost of giving away a product for free with what you expect to get out of a review, particularly because many of the big blogs worth getting a review from receive a huge amount of physical mail and requests for reviews. You have to be able to afford giving away an item and not actually getting anything in return.
But when you can get your shop mentioned on the right site, the payoff can be worth any time you invest in the effort. You’ll Lovem personalized a baby blanket for a blogger’s daughter, before the baby was even born. It’s hard to directly attribute sales to a mention like that, but business is still clearly booming for that particular Etsy shop.
Make sure you target potential reviewers as closely as possible: it should be a no brainer from their point of view to look at what you’re offering because it’s so perfectly in line with what they write about. It may seem obvious to you, but make sure you lay it out in an initial email. The further you can go in making your product a good fit, like with personalization (as You’ll Lovem did) or with packaging, is worthwhile.
Some sites offer sponsored reviews or even sponsored posts, asking people to pay for mentions and links on their pages. Whether or not such an added expense is worthwhile for you comes down to the connected questions of if you can reasonably afford the expense and if you’ll get a return on that price in terms of new sales.
Plan an Entire Blog Marketing Campaign
The benefits of using blogging strategies to market your Etsy shop is that you can do most of these steps without having a lot of cash flow. They require an investment of time, but even including setting up a brand new website, you can spend less than $100 to start blogging and promoting your designs through blogs.
You get the full advantage when you can combine each of these strategies: the effects are cumulative. You can also track the impact of each step you take, provided you set up analytics for your Etsy shop. You can use the same software to manage any blog you set up and even analyze how traffic flows between the two. That information can be invaluable for tweaking your online marketing strategies.
There are many tools and tricks out there for promoting any type of online shop. But blogging — writing on your own site and getting mentions on other sites — can be one of the strongest options available.