You are ambitious, you want to see results, and you crazy believe in your product. You might be three months or 14 month in and the sales are slow. So you start tweaking here, tweaking there, you don’t really know if maybe your shipping is too high, the dispatch time is too long, your photos too dark?
These are things that everyone who is starting an Esty shop goes through. It’s the doubt.
- How shall I sell these things?
- Am I doing the right moves here?
- Is this even worth my time?
And so the doubt starts creeping in.
You might have fallen in love with Etsy because of the opportunity to sell your crafts and do all day what you love most, but when it’s about marketing it, those cha chings aren’t there.
Marketing, unless you have a system in place that you can rinse and repeat over and over again you would be doing more work than on a 9-5 job.
To see any passive growth in your shop you need to be on Pinterest.
For months I based my entire shop’s faith at the mercy of Etsy algorithm. Trying to keep up with the changes, adjusting it to be more relevant and continuously testing new tricks that I read in Facebook groups.
(Btw tweaking continuously your SEO is actually one of the worst things you could do for your shop.)
You can have the most well-researched SEO for your Etsy shop and still see a minimum amount of orders.
For me, one of the game changers was making my Etsy shop more Pinterest friendly.
There is something special about the passivity of it, about the initial investment of your time to learn the platform and to schedule your pins and once they’re out there,
Pinterest will take care of you by bringing consistent traffic to your shop. When somebody pins your images their followers are able to see it and repin it at their turn. This way it keeps going and going.
Once you create a pin and send it out, it’s out there. This is free marketing for your business and if you are not already doing it, you are leaving money on the table.
93 per cent of Pinners uses Pinterest to plan purchases.
They might not be in the market for it but then they stumble on your pin and get inspired.
I tried to be on all the social media. They say you have to be everywhere but I quickly realised that will only dilute the time and the effort that I can put into each platform and will only result in being mediocre in all. For my type of content, I found Pinterest the most efficient, quickly followed by Instagram.
So I made a plan. A plan that could help you too to get refocused and bring your best content in front of more eyes and see your shop gaining traction.
Let me show you how.
How to create pins for your Etsy listings
I will try to keep this simple. We will divide this by
- size matter
- templates that make your life easier
- Use stock or shoot your own photos
1. Size matter
One of the first things to keep in mind is the size. By making tall images you take advantage or the real estate that Pinterest has to offer you. Your tall image shouldn’t be longer than 1260px though as it will be cut in the feed and only seen in full after a click through.
817×1200 I found to be the optimal size for my images.
The best way to design your images to be optimised for Etsy as well as for Pinterest is to create a template and use it throughout your listings.
When you upload the first image on Etsy the rest of your images will have the same height and width so for example if your first image is tall but the rest are landscape, Etsy will give you a listing that looks like this:
2. Templates that make your life easier
Lifestyle shots go very good on Pinterest. Flat lays work like a charm on Pinterest as well as on Instagram, if there are planner inserts, show them on a desk in a planner, if there are clothes show them being worn and styled, if there are kitchen items, show them being used.
Let’s talk about templates. This is the most efficient way to be consistent with your uploads.
To create my template in Photoshop:
1) I set the canvas for 817x1200px and add the banner with the website at the bottom of the page.
2) I create a collage style template
3) Thumbnail gallery image. I decided to have the thumbnail cut on the first part of the image. Etsy will automatically resize and crop your image to 170 x 135px so having the most important part of your image happening within those dimensions is essential to how your image will show up in the search. If you are using my recommended dimensions in the thumbnail action should be at the top of the image in and you can design it accordingly for 817×648
Adding text. To make it stand out more and I wrote the title at the top of the page as well as the size. This might not be relevant to you but as I sell personal size and A5 I want to make it clear for the customer to spot the size that they need without clicking thought o see the whole title.
You can adjust your thumbnail to determine how your image will look in the search by dragging the image with your mouse
For my shop, I went ahead and optimised all my listings and made them Pinterest friendly. Now if you already have 487 listings with landscape images don’t sweat it, there is still hope.
Choose your top 10 most well-sold items and work on those ones only. If you see an increase in traffic and you might consider that it’s worth working through the rest of the listings do that then. In this case, I wouldn’t recommend adding vertical images if the first one is horizontal but will be pinning an image straight to Pinterest and linking it to your shop.
Make sure you enter a keyword rich description to describe your pins. Make it short and keyword rich in a natural conversational way. Your pin description should clearly describe the benefit that the user will get and should include a call to action such as “click through to find out more”, “visit now”.
3. Use stock or shoot your own photos
Related: How to take stunning photos for your Etsy shop
If you sell products that can’t benefit a mock-up, then the only way to showcase them would be through your own photography. But if you sell digital items, planner inserts, card design, birthday invitation or similar things that you might find great success with using mockups. Websites like Creative Market and Etsy have some of the best mockups that I’ve seen out there.
Using stock images for digital products is a good idea to give it that extra special look. Look for flat lays that includes your brand colour or make it your own and keep reusing it.
I’m gonna be honest, in the beginning, I was taking a new shot with every single one of my new planners, then was the editing part, the collage, and finally the uploading. What I found specifically with planners is that when I was trying to make the image lighter the inserts were looking too washed out and the text was too faded
So I invested some time ahead and took shots of flat lays with blank pages and I would later add the images in Photoshop.
My own images, with my brand colour and my brand feel.
No expensive stock images.
Clear and bright images that clearly highlight my product and creates a natural lifestyle shot.
Here is an image with the photo that I took inside the binder with plain paper
And here is the pin that I made using that image and added my insert in. I love the way you can see the field clear and everything is readable.
In the situation when you’re not going to revamp your entire shop with new pins, making one pin for each listing and uploading it directly to Pinterest is the second best option.
If you’re not quite sure how to do that here’s a quick guide:
- If you are creating a pin for your products, make sure you save it with a proper name and searchable keywords as this is important for the SEO.
- Now head over Pinterest and click the red + and Create new pin.
This box will open up
Add your pin and the URL of the page you want your pin to direct to.
One thing that I would recommend is when you add the URL rather than directing it to that specific listing add in the address of a section. Individual listings may run out of stock or you might want to replace them and you don’t want people to land in an Etsy 404 page plus this is an opportunity to get your product that otherwise might not search for in front of more eyes.
To do that select a section in your shop and copy that URL.
For example, I know that financial planners are highly searched and these are some of my best selling refills. On the other side” Vitamins and supplements” are not so searched but once people see it, it might be a fit for them.
Add your pin a description. For this part I see people doing keyword stuffing and #. Pinterest is not a big fan of this. Add the relevant keywords for your listing in a conversational and natural way to make your product stand out making it clear for the buyer what’s in it for them. Don’t forget to add a call to action like click to “find out how.. “, “view now”, “click through to find out more”. Hashtags are fine but please no more than one or two. We don’t wanna look desperate and spammy.
Now select the relevant boards that you have and if you joined any group boards that accept Etsy items.
So for this pin, I will be saving it in the Budgeting board as well as my Etsy board which is a board dedicated for all my Etsy items only, and to some of the boards that I joined for Etsy sellers. For items that are not brand new and you are looking to repin, before adding it to the board make sure that the original pin is down a couple of scrolls in the board and it doesn’t look spammy.
And you’re done.
Now it’s time to get to work, this effort will be so worthy. Remember start with few items and built it up as you go along, don’t let this overwhelm you.