Monday, November 30, 2009


Wow, what a weekend.  I've sold 10 items since Wednesday, had several inquiries for modifications and a few custom order requests!  I have to tell you, I'm loving this BlackFriday, CyberMonday sale thing!!   I went away for the Thanksgiving weekend and was only able to check my shop once in a while.  Every time I did, there was another sale. I really hope this keeps up for the holiday shopping season. This rocks!  Congrats to FiberPuppy who can no longer call herself a D-Lister since she made the front page on Friday!  I'm so proud ;-)

I'm wondering if this weekend successes will help  my shop positioning overall?  Will the traffic cause my shop to rank higher on the searches?  Will the sales that show on my shop help entice buyers?  This all remains to be seen.  Can't wait!

So, how did you all do?  Any big successes?...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Relationship with Your Buyers

Hi everyone. I'm finally back to the blog. I've been so busy. Mostly life stuff but also, my shop activity is picking up.  I've been making regular sales, but ... I've also been getting custom requests.  Which leads me to this post.  I'm noticing that when I communicate with my customers by convo'ing them when they make a purchase, that these customers are leaving good feedback and even contacting me to talk about future items that I might be listing.  Or, they just convo me to tell me who they gave the item to etc.   It's becoming apparent to me that treating your buyers as if they were friends is an important part of having a successful shop.  I've had several buyers refer me to thier friends who ordered because they were told I give really good service. I don't think my service is any better than most of us DListers, but it really matters to my buyers.  It makes them feel special, and to me, they are.   I've always thought customer services was extremely important but I think on ETSY it really is important because it's not just a place to buy stuff, but a community. Communication on a friendly basis makes a difference.  I think we "low sales" sellers want to develop a relationship with our buyers because #1) we are so happy to have a sale we want to reach out and give them a vitual kiss, and #2) most of us are new to ETSY and want to learn from our sellers and create a connection that is more than just a merchant and a customer.  So, I ask you... how do you feel about the relationship you have with your buyers?  Have you made any suedo freinds?  Have you had buyers return because they like their buying experience at your shop?  Do tell.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I ran across another etsian crowhavenstudio (, who made stained glass window panels with photos in between two pieces of glass (featured to the left on this blog).  I thought that was really a cool idea, and then I thought, how cool would it be to her put one of my images (I'm a graphic artist also and do photoshop family collages and fantasy images for fun) into her stained glass window panels.  Then, going off on a tangent as I often do - a lot - , I thought, it would be cool if she would collaborate with me, to put some of my graphic pieces in her stained glass and sell them on etsy.  She is not currently able to make that happen, but it made me curious as to how many etsians collaborate with other shop owners.  When you think of it, there are so many d-listers who could collaborate to make some really cool things. 

So, I did some research and found some interesting articles on collaboration.  I'm sure there are many other resources for collaborating on etsy, and intend to keep looking, but for now... this is what I have found....

There is a section in the etsy do's and don'ts page that mentions collaboration:

Here are some examples of collaboration teams: (love this one)

Anyone else have any experience in collaboration?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Web Analytastic!

Where are your buyers coming from?  What are they searching for?  Who is referring people to your shop?   I'm always wondering if all the social networking, "youtwitterfacing" is really working.  I mean all the work we put into our shop marketing because "everyone" says it's the thing to do.  But there is one way to be sure what your doing is working. 

No more putting yourself out there on blind faith. These  mysteries can be solved simply by setting up your Google Analytics via your Etsy shop.   If you go to the "your etsy" section on Etsy, and look under Shop Setup, you will see link called Web Analytics.  Here Etsy will walk you through step-by-step, how to set up Google Analytics so you can really see what, how and who have been visting you shop.  Etsy will give you a Tracking ID, then you go to Google Analytic (you need to have a Google account for this, which you should have anyway because of all the other cool tools they have) and set up a web tracking profile.  Once you do this, Google Analytics will start tracking things like visits per day, referrals, and all kinds of stuff.  This is powerful info for you as a shop owner.  You can now see exactly how people are coming to your site, whether your facebook time and effort are paying off, if your twittering is making a difference, and if your tags are working.

CASE IN POINT:   A very nice D Lister named Sharon, ( ) was checking out my site and mentioned that I had a lot of items that I described as Aqua Blue, and she suggested that I also call those items "Tiffany" Blue as she had noticed a lot of people are looking for that type of color (tags are important).  I thought that made sense so I went in to my shop descriptions and added Tiffany Blue as well as added that to my tags.  Not more than 3 hours later someone bought 3 of my "Tiffany Blue" items!  I checked my Google Analytics a few days later and saw that Tiffany Blue was a search term that someone used to find my site!  CRAZY COOL!!!  I have featured mycrochetgard on this blog as a thank you to Sharon.  She rocks!

Now, you should know that setting up the keyword search is another step in the web analytics process.  I found a cool article on Etsy on how to do this..  here it is...  and it works!

Here is a great resource for Google Analytics, thanks Charissa!

Also check out Search Engine Optimization (SEO) info here  as recommended by stitchesintime ( on a prior D Lister thread.  And the Keyword Analyzer Tool is cool too..

Oh, and one more thing... ask your customers.  Whenever I have a sale, I always ask how they found my shop in a convo.  And they always answer me. 

So, if you really want to feel like your efforts are paying off, or if you want to make sure your putting your efforts in the right place... try Google Analytics and shift your marketing strategy according to what is real, web stats!

Anyone else have an interesting story about web analytics?  Do tell....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take a Deep Breath

Here I am, waking up at 4:30am thinking about all the things on my Etsy shop to-do list.  I need to work my full time job, take care of my family, add more items to my shop, take photos of the new items, make new items, figure out the whole FaceBook mess I have going, participate in the D Lister message board, check the forums, Twitter, buy some supplies, and oh, research that BNR thing (what the hell is that!) ahhhhhhh. 

Then it hit me while I was counseling someone else on slowing down and smelling the roses, that I also need to slow down.  It's so funny how we  get all caught up in the frenzy. And there is this sense of urgency that is really kind of stupid to me.  What's the rush?  Is it that we see the new listing flying by and think.. OMG I better hurry, keep up, oh crap, I'm getting behind.  HA! In reality, many of us will never be able to keep up with the gazzilion items on Etsy and will always be struggling to rise above the bottom.  And for some of you who do this full time, I can understand the need to move at a fast pace and get stuff done.  But there is always more than one way to be successful.  So, I'm giving myself a break. I still plan to work on that never ending to-do list, but... instead of flying through it like a check-box junkie, I'm going to be calm and systematic about it.  Just a few things at a time.  Take some time to enjoy other artisans work without wondering how I can compete or compare.  Take more time to figure out the things about promoting that I don't understand and know that in time, my success will happen organically... in it's own time, the way it should for me.  I still want to sell, and be a successful seller, but on my own terms darn it!  Whew... I feel a lot better now.

Anyone else feeling the frenzy?   What's your take on it?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pardon the Interruption

Well, I'm closing my etsy shop! No worries, only for a day. You see, I'm packing up my stuff and taking it to a street sale. So, to avoid having someone purchase an item at the street sale and simultaneously purchase something on etsy (as if!), I need to close my etsy shop. It's pretty easy to do, you just go to "your etsy" and under "shop setup" click on "vacation mode". There it will allow you to shut your shop down for any extended period of time and even allows you to put a message as to why. It's a really nice feature that I will be using tomorrow.

So, I'm really curious to see how this street festival will go for me. It's just a small neighborhood sale, and some if it will be second-hand, dare I say, garage sale items. I almost feel like I will be reducing myself by participating but I figure I will be getting local exposure, which can't be a bad thing. And, I can promote my etsy shop in the process. Besides, it's not like I have so many sales come in every day that I need to leave my items up. I'm thinking that whatever I have not sold, I will re-list, just to make them fresh again when I reopen my shop. What I don't intend to do is haggle with people at the street sale. And I have a feeling there will be people that will want to do that. I can do specials and volume discounts, but I'm not going to sell my stuff as if it were a garage sale item. So, this should be interesting.

What experience have you had with local festivals and street sales?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Romancing the Stone... where can you find good gemstones beads?

I've been on the hunt for good gemstones for my jewelry and it's not as easy as I thought it might be. I have gone to gem shows but honestly, the prices weren't very good. They did have some good quality stuff but it was really pricey. So..I went to the neighborhood bead store. Nope, they only had a gazillion crystals and manufactured beads and findings, no nice stones. I've ordered online, from Etsians, and some of the orders were very nice but some were not. It's so hard to buy stones when you can't actually look at them. And a lot of times when you get them, they are sooo small. (even with the mm size shown on the shop). I did find some good stones at a shop in West Palm, called, Beads Gone Wild. Very nice moonstones.. not cheap but they gave me a deal and let me break up a strand. So, I ask... where do you all get your good quality gemstones at reasonable prices?

Added a few new resources to the blog resource section on the left... check it out.

Oh, and the Schmoop says Hello!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chock Full of Goodies

The D List message board ( ) is becoming my personal source for really good info for people like me who need all the help they can get to get their shop noticed.  Here are a few of the recent recommendations:

The Sampler:  ( )  This is really kind of cool.  Basically, from what I have read, you, as a handmaker, send a sample of your work (probably something less expensive) to The Sampler.  They feature it and you on their site.  Then they package it up nice and pretty and send it randomly to one of the other registered sample submitters.  So, you promote your stuff and get a little something for doing so.   I have not done this, but I plan to try it.  If nothing else it sounds fun!   Thanks to for telling us about this site.

50 Sites to Promote Your Handmade Website:  On a pendent making site called  they list 50 places you might want to check out for promoting you site.  Pretty extensive list.  Definitely worth checking out.  Thanks to for that suggestion.

Treasury Clock:  This is really neat.  It is a dashboard that shows you the status of the availablity of the Etsy Treasury. So, you check the clock and when the hand starts to go to the red area, you know the Treasury will be opening up soon.  Love this.!  Thanks to for this.  Pretty neat!

Oh, and since my kitty Schmoopie felt the need to contribute to the blog today by walking across the keyboard like a gazillion times, I have to give her a shout out as well.  Here's to the Schmoop!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The "D" Lister Message Board is HOT!

The D Lister message board is now up and running thanks to  and I HIGHLY recommend you check it out.  Good ideas are flying in like crazy.  So much great info on how to promote your etsy site, and general chat is coming in and I anticipate this will explode.  Make sure you check it out.

Here are some of things I picked up from the board yesterday that I thought were great:
HEARTOMATIC : OK, this is really cool  This site will show you all the people who have hearted your site, and items and other statistics.  It's a little easier to digest than the etsy "who hearts this site" page. 

STUMBLEUPON: Register with and then recommend your own sites and blogs.  I just did it, so not sure how this will effect my activity, but  and  say they saw results the first day.  Cool!

Follower Suggestions:  recommends trading.  It's kind of a way to network and get sales on your site (which is always good to have when starting out).  This is how she describes it:
1. Ask someone if they are willing to trade.
2. Through convos or email decide upon what you each feel is an equal trade.
3. Post the item that you are going to trade from your shop with "Reserved for X."
4. Wait for other Etsian to buy the item. They just need to put it in their cart and click "commit to buy."
5. You go into your Sold (order) section and click "got payment." The transaction is complete as it assumes you received payment (no need to go through paypal).
6. Mark as shipped when appropriate.
7. Other Etsian will follow the same process (posting trade item and you purchase, etc.).
8. The items in both shops will show up as sales; you will be able to give feedback to the other shop as a seller and a consumer.
9. Wait for your terrific trade to arrive!

So much great info.  Keep it coming.

And remember, when at all possible, buy from a "D" Lister!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Optimism Abounds!

If even for a brief moment, many of we self proclaimed "D" listers felt like super sellers yesterday simply by connecting and telling our stories.  It was really something to see.  I will try my best to keep the momentum going. (for the whole story, see Entry Four)

I've made a few changes to the blog, learning a thing or two from studying another blog, namely That Design Girls Blog . She had a nice background and I  noticed it was from thecutestblogontheblock.  So I add one one too.

We have over 100 people interested in joining the "D" List Etsy team.  How exciting.  We should hear from Etsy on our submission soon and will start the ball rolling.  Thanks again HippieChickBoutique

I've started a Resources section on the left and will begin listing resource links so they are easier to reference.  Check it out.  And feel free to make a suggestion on a good link/resource.

Found something really cool... the Sneak Attack. (see resources on left) I love this.  This is a great way to promote "D" listers. Handmademovement encourages etsy sellers to buy from a seller who has minimal sales by picking a seller and listing them on their site.  Check it out and participate if you can. Sign up for the mailing list.

My favorite blog avatar   TwoCatsCreative   How cute is this?

I guess having a Blog really does help....
My item views on my shop went up a lot, I got 20 heart for my shop in one day, I made A LOT of new friends and I started a team initiative with HippieChickBoutique. Not bad for my 3rd day.  Hopefully, with the new team effort, I will turn some of those views into sales...for us all!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Entry Four - Blog - OMG.. This is awesome!

I had no idea today would be what it has turned out to be.  I was just clopping along with the new blog thing, and decided to drop an invite on the Etsy forums.  Thought there might be others out there who feel like I do and would be interested in going on my journey with me.  So, I started a post..      Well, boy were there.  I started with 0 followers and now have 28 and counting!  So many of you were feeling the same helpless, semi-confused feeling I am and needed to connect.  Out of the almost 80 posts, came a friendship with HippieChickBoutique who took the ball and ran with the idea of getting a team together. Others gave great tips and info (listed below) and others just wanted to say, heck yes I'm a "D" lister and so happy you are too! 

So, now we (HippieChickBoutique and soulstone321) are starting an Etsy team and already have several pending members.  I'm adding several sections to the blog.  A Super Shout Out section to highlight someone who either gave great advice, support or encouragement.  A Successes section to list any exciting sales, or milestones that our "D" listers may have had, and an Announcement section to provide info on events or team happenings. 

Wow, one day and a community is born... I'm so proud!  Thanks to all in the original thread who brought momentum and enthusiasm to the conversation!

Some great resources were born:
BannerSketch - suggested by my new friend HippieChickBoutique - A banner generator that is awesome

Info on setting up a  Treasury - suggested by HippieChickBoutique

More Treasury links suggested by Monkeeta  -,

Info on customizing your blog suggested by ArtrageousClay - Thank you so much, I will be checking that out.

Entry 3 - Blog - Still Learning

I learned today that I can put my Etsy Mini on my blog, and so I did.  I just added a gadget, chose HTML/JAVASCRIPT and pasted my mini code in.   Tada!  It worked.

Also found a few good Etsy Blogs and Websites:
All Things Handmade - A MiniBlog for Etsy Sellers - Jackpot! This is a good one.  Lot's of resources here. Great blogging section
Item of the Day - Love this one and love, love, love the background on the blog.  Note to self, get a better background you noob!

Finally, a shout out to germandolls
 for being my second follower.  Thanks germandolls!

germandolls cute little elf baby!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Entry Two - Blog - Updating My Blog Appearance

Ok, so after I created my blog I went back to the Etsy forums and posted a link to my blog on the forums, of which I got no reponses.  I did find another post relating to a blog so I checked it out.  It was a seller of dolls who said she needed help with her blog.  I checked out her blog and realized... if she needed help, I was in intensive care.  I had no photos, no custom design  etc... So, I created a custom design and added photos.  What do you think? 

I know... still have lots to do.

Anyone have good blog how-to resources, please add to comments.

Thanks to for being my first follower.

Entry One - Why the D List?

What is the Etsy "D" list you may ask. Well, I am an etsy shop owner (, who is not having much luck selling or getting attention for that matter. I am realively new to Etsy and I've been on the hunt for guidance on making my site successful. Right now, I would consider my shop to be "on the "D" list".

Why is soulstone321 on the D list? Well, as much as I think my site is super cool the reality is:

1)I only have 17 items for sale ( I work full time and have a very busy life and put as much time as possible into my shop without getting the look of neglect from my husband for the time I am spending making, photographing, listing, researching etc...)

2)More importantly, I only have 2 sales, and pathetically, one of them is a mercy sale from a friend of my mother-in-law. A very nice gesture, but still, it's kind of like kissing your brother, if you know what I mean. Still, thank you so much Martha for making my day!

3) My items are NOT all that unique. I love to make beaded jewelry, I love natural semi-precious stones and I love the idea of wearing them on my body and seeing them worn on others. But let's face it, I am but a grain of sand in the Sarah of beaded jewelry sellers.

4)As I research how to make my shop successful, I am realizing I know nothing about selling on Etsy. Creating, setting up a site, taking good pictures and pricing well is only a very small part of being successful.

I have accepted the sad fact that I am a "D" lister. And I say to myself... is it worth it? Wouldn't it be easier just to shut down, sell all my supplies on Ebay, and go to the beach? Well, it would. But I'm not doing it! I'm starting to realize that as much as I love making jewelry and love people wanting to buy my jewelry, I love the game too. I love the challenge of trying to get my "sales" number up. I love the idea of climbing out of the "D" list and actually having a successful shop. I dream of being one of those on the forum who posts that they had a "really good day today and sold 5 items and made the FP!" FP: Front Page... the holy grail of Etsy.

And so... there is my ultimate challenge and goal. I want to make it to the FP! Then and only then will I feel like I have made it out of the "D" list.

So there you have it. I'll be writing on the topics that I learn will help me be a success on Etsy and the changes that I make to make it to the FP.

Stay tuned, this will be either very interesting or very sad. ;-)