January 16, 2014

Printers, Ink and Paper for Printing Wall Art and Greeting Cards

An informal study of forums on Etsy leads me to believe that Epson printers are the best printers for printing everything from fine wall art to invitations and greeting cards. For me, I wanted to know what the print quality of different Epson printers was and what different types of paper looked and felt like.

Most office stores do not carry the high quality Epson printers. So I went to the Epson website to do some research on printers, ink and paper. Epson provides the entire printing ecosystem from printers to paper. The nice thing about this is that Epson has already tested different combinations of printers, ink and paper to figure out which combinations work the best. This makes me happy since that is a lot of work in and of itself. My goal is to create - not to run endless print samples trying to get the perfect combination of printer, ink and paper.

If you want to get a free sample from Epson then go to the Epson website and request a sample kit for each printer that you are interested in. It looks like they only offer sample kits for their mid to high end printers. This makes sense because these are the printers that (a) artists and graphic artists are interested in and (b) cannot be found in local office stores. The sample kits include a photo printed on fine art paper (which is super nice) and a "Thank You" note printed on a wedding invite type of card stock.

So, spend some time on the Epson website exploring their vast product line and order a couple of printer sample kits for that tactile portion of your printer research.

January 4, 2014

Overcoming Section Limitations on Etsy

Let's get this said upfront. Etsy is an awesome platform. However, I do not understand why the sections appear to be so limited. Sub-sections would be a cool feature and help to better organize products. As a seller, what do you do when you sell two very different types of products? A long list of sections makes it hard for a customer to find what they are looking for. Sub-sections would be really helpful in refining the categorizations of products in a shop.

What I have found is that, rather than mixing totally different types of products in a single shop, it makes more sense to create multiple shops. Etsy has a requirement that a person who manages multiple shops be completely transparent and provide information about both shops in the About area. Heck, this is actually good and you have the opportunity to cross-sell between shops.

We provide two types of products - digital and physical. After playing around with defining sections to separate the digital from the physical we found that other Etsy sellers have established two shops - one shop for digital products and instant downloads and another shop for physical products. This allows the seller to make it easy for customers to find the exact product that they are looking for.

If a customer is looking for a print (or wall art) and they find your digital store then they can easily find the physical version of the product by clicking a link in the digital product's description (manually placed link when writing the product description) that takes them to your physical product shop. And the reverse is also true.

Our belief is that anything that makes things easier for the customer is the right thing to do.

Get free designs from my Blog and Shop my other items on Etsy

December 29, 2013

Free Download - Digital Scrapbook Printable Page

Hurry up and get a free digital scrapbook printable page from Huggable Me Designs. This offer won't last forever. Click the product image to download.

Image of free downloadable, printable digital scrapbook page with Valentine's Day theme
Free downloadable, printable digital scrapbook page with Valentine's Day theme

Do you like this digital scrapbook page? Purchase this collection from our Etsy shop. While you're there, check out our many designs and packages.

 Buy from the Huggable Me Designs shop   

Terms of Use:
This digital scrapbook page is for personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited. To obtain a commercial license for this product, you must purchase the page (individually or as part of a bundle) from our Etsy shop. This is a digital product. A physical product is not available as part of this offer.

You MAY NOT use digital designs, images and clip art by Huggable Me Designs to share, resell as original digital or printed artwork or to claim them as your own designs.

December 19, 2013

Etsy Sales Patterns - Ups and Downs

Once you open a shop on Etsy you will immediately want to see sales and cash flowing in. Well, be patient. What we have learned is that there are some reliable patterns that occur again and again. We have also learned that there are multiple sales patterns affecting sales at the same time.

For example, sales are dependent on your product and its relationship to things like school schedules (start finish, breaks, events), weather (hot, cold, nice, rainy, etc.) and holidays. Birth patterns affect sellers who sell stuff related to babies.

Also affecting sales is the ability to show up in Etsy search results, search engine search results (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and other Etsy features (treasuries, favorites, followers, reciprocal following, a treasury featured as a handpicked treasury on Etsy's home page, featured shop, recently listed items, community, etc.)

Etsy loves fresh listings and updated content. Even relisting a product that has not yet expired seems to indicate freshness to Etsy (and an additional .20 of listing fee revenue). It seems like Etsy favors content so spend time coming up with great product titles, product descriptions and tags. All of these things affect search engine optimization (SEO) techniques used by Etsy and popular search engines.

Everything I have mentioned so far is free except for relisting products. If you are patient then you can roll some of your profits into things like ads that help direct customers to your Etsy shop. Facebook is a good place to run ads. Google is another place that is good for running ads. There are a million other options out there such as running ads on blogs related to your products or even sending product samples to professional bloggers in hopes of receiving a good review and a quality link back to your Etsy store.

Consider starting your own blogs. Offer tips for Etsy sellers. Offer how-to videos and posts to show people to do what you do. Share your expertise. If you write your own blog then you can also write about your products and link your blog back to your Etsy shop.

There is always a lot of speculation about how to appear higher in search listings. Patience, persistence, quality content (text, images, videos) and consistency are the best methods of increasing free exposure. Build that network. Once money starts coming in then use some of that money for paid advertising and networking. Don't try to keep up with the Jones's. If you look hard enough the you will surely find an Etsy shop that opened a month ago and already has hundreds of sales.

Examine shops that seem to hit the ground running. The shop owners may have previous Etsy experience so they already know what they are doing. They may have a great product that is in demand. Study their product titles, descriptions and tags.