Author Topic: How Long Before Your First Sale??  (Read 17694 times)

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Offline InstinctivelyIndie

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How Long Before Your First Sale??
« on: December 24, 2013, 04:10:08 PM »
Hi Everyone!


I'm new here, been open about a month. I was just wondering how long it took everyone to get there first sale. It took 2 weeks on Etsy for my first, and I'm still waiting for my first here. I have 101 items listed in my shop and I've been working hard to continue to do so. Any and all suggestions are welcome. I feel more and more comfortable on this site every day, but it still feels a little bit foreign to me. 


https://handmadeartists.com/shop/InstinctivelyIndie
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 04:30:58 PM by InstinctivelyIndie »

Offline JimJuris

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 05:56:07 PM »
I looked at this product listing-

Blue Fried Marble Earrings

Your product title needs improving because it is too short and it does not contain enough KEYWORDS. 

Here is what I recommend for a product title-

Blue Fried Glass Marble Earrings, Nickel Free Ear Hooks

Unlike Etsy, you do not have the built in traffic on Handmade Artists so you have to optimize your product listings for the search engines (SEO).

What is a convo?

Convo me before purchase ....

Is someone finds your product listing on one of the search engines, they may not have a clue what the term convo means.

The photo of you wearing the earrings do not look like the earrings that you are selling.

If you just copied and pasted everything from your Etsy shop you may have a hard time in making sales here because Google hates DUPLICATE CONTENT.  Your product titles and product descriptions need to be a minimum of 30% different in order for Google not to consider your Handmade Artists product listings as duplicate content.  Otherwise Google will probably not list your Handmade Artists product listings in their search results.



Offline Larissa

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 07:19:23 PM »
I honestly don't remember.  I've got two shops & know it was a lot faster for a sale on Reef Botanicals than it was for Fabric of my Mind.  Each shop is really different and a lot depends on you pushing it.  I pushed Reef Botanicals a lot harder than Fabric of my Mind & it showed (shows).  We haven't got the sheer volume of members Etsy does, so you really can't compare the two.  We also don't have a board of directors and investors to answer to, or a guy from Walmart running the show here.  So while selling here takes some work - from you and from all of us to promote ourselves and each other - at least you know who you're really dealing with.

Offline InstinctivelyIndie

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 11:15:11 PM »
@Jim
 
I was under the impression that Google did not like "title jamming" if the titles are too long and wordy they get passed over.
I'll admit that I did copy/paste from my Etsy shop with the exception of slightly different titles. The idea of having to rewrite item descriptions for the 450 items I currently have listed on Etsy sounds incredibly daunting. I'll do it if that's what I have to do, but making it at least 30% different is going to be difficult.
Convo is short for conversation.
The picture of the model (not me) wearing the earrings is the stock photo I use whenever listing a pair of marble earrings to give the customer a better idea of the size and the way they hang. I wish I had the time and money to photograph every piece of jewelry on a model, but I don't. Do you think this will be confusing for the customer?
I realize that HAF doesn't have the traffic that Etsy does, but my item views for one item are over a 100 when on Etsy the same item is listed for four months without reaching a 100 views.

myeuropeantouch

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 07:40:20 AM »
WE all know as sellers what a Convo is, but the peeps out there we are trying to reach, do not know. I would not use etsy lingo on here and rather use "contact me" or whatever.....and yes I had and did rewrite my description and titles way back when I came. But I also don't have 405 of them....
and I still don't have it right, its a constant work in progress, but I have 15 sales I can count for  and other custom orders thru here that did not go thru my shop..... so it does work....
Keep at it.... ;) :D

Offline JimJuris

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 11:04:19 AM »
Here is a little bit of a background about me.  I have been selling online since 2002 and I have created a number of websites for myself.  I have been helping sellers on both Etsy and Artfire optimize their product listings for the search engines for about four years.  I have helped hundreds of sellers in the past four years.

I have seen everything from one or two word product titles to product titles that use the maximum number of characters.  Neither titles that are too long or too short are good for SEO.  I have also seen Etsy product listings show up on the first page of Google with long product titles, but not with short product titles.  I would consider a short product title to be about 48 characters or less.  I recommend making your product titles about 70 to 100 characters.

The way that I see it is that you can complain all that you want about not making any sales, but, the problem is not Handmade Artists, it is the seller.  Etsy sellers are always coming to Artfire and listing their Etsy products on Artfire and thinking that all that they have to do is to list their products without altering them and they will make sales because that is what works for them on Etsy.

The same thing applies to being a seller on Handmade Artists.  This is not Etsy.  There are only THREE selling venues that have a large amount of built in traffic.  They are Amazon, Ebay and Etsy.  That is why you can make sales on Etsy and Ebay easily, but when you try doing the same thing anywhere else you will fail.

I know what a convo is, but someone who is not familiar with Etsy will not know.  The term convo is unique to Etsy.  Convo is not a term that is used on Artfire, Zibbet, or Handmade Artists.  Just like you should not expect Wall Mart to be Neiman Marcus.

I sell a few of my products on both Artifre, Etsy and Handmade Artists.  What I have done for each selling venue is to write a product title and product description from scratch.  That way I do not have to worry about duplicate content.  Each of my listings on all three venues is unique.

Basically what I am saying and what you will probably not want to hear is to start over from scratch, except for the product photographs.  You are not the first person to face reality.  Everyone that is successful selling on Handmade Artists or Artfire has faced this problem and they have dealt with it by making their product listings a minimum of 30 percent different.

OPTION #2 is to not list the same products on more than one selling venue.  That way you don't have to worry about duplicate content.  As your products expire you can bring them over here.  But, if you do that you will still have to optimize them for the search engines, otherwise your products will not be found on the search engines.

I DO NOT recommend using any photo in your product listings that do not show the actual product unless you are throwing that product in for free with the one that you are selling.

Imagine if someone is advertising a blue 2003 Ford Mustang and they show an image of a blue 1967 Ford Mustang.  That is FALSE ADVERTISING.   A buyer could turn into a problem buyer if you do that, and that is something that you should avoid at all costs, no matter what selling venue you are selling on.

Good luck selling on Handmade Artists.


@Jim
 
I was under the impression that Google did not like "title jamming" if the titles are too long and wordy they get passed over.
I'll admit that I did copy/paste from my Etsy shop with the exception of slightly different titles. The idea of having to rewrite item descriptions for the 450 items I currently have listed on Etsy sounds incredibly daunting. I'll do it if that's what I have to do, but making it at least 30% different is going to be difficult.
Convo is short for conversation.
The picture of the model (not me) wearing the earrings is the stock photo I use whenever listing a pair of marble earrings to give the customer a better idea of the size and the way they hang. I wish I had the time and money to photograph every piece of jewelry on a model, but I don't. Do you think this will be confusing for the customer?
I realize that HAF doesn't have the traffic that Etsy does, but my item views for one item are over a 100 when on Etsy the same item is listed for four months without reaching a 100 views.

Offline InstinctivelyIndie

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 05:35:00 PM »
Yikes Jim!
I wasn't complaining about lack of sales, I was simply trying to get a feel for how this site works. I did not expect this site to run exactly the same as Etsy. I get the feeling that you don't like Etsy sellers very much, and I don't know what I can do about that. I respect your background and experience, which is why I posted this topic in the first place.
I understand what you are saying, but I disagree with you on one point. Your example of selling a 2003 Ford Mustang in blue and showing a picture of a 1967 Ford Mustang in blue is not accurate to my situation. For me I would be selling a 2003 Ford Mustang in blue (which I would show pictures of), and the final picture is of a 2003 Ford Mustang in red with a driver behind the wheel.

Offline Larissa

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 07:59:49 PM »
I'll take one of each - a '67 & a '03.  :)

It's not that HA members don't like Etsy sellers, for the record.  Etsy corporate is a different story, and that's recognized.  The problem we've seen more than once, and I think it affects tone sometimes, is that Etsy sellers come to HA, behave like this is just another Etsy (same language, same content, same expectations) and then get pissy when it doesn't work.  I think we all just need to recognize that this is a new arena for you and that you're an individual, independent of other new sellers, and that we're going to get the same questions more than once, that's all.

Welcome to HA, if no one's said it.

Anyway, as for "convo," and the term actually long-predates Etsy to BBS chat about a thousand years ago (or at least the late '80s/early '90s), while a lot of people do get it, I think the best bet is to move out of the handmade arena and talk to our buyers as if they're regular laypeople - the general populace.  After all, that's who we eventually want as customers, right?  Not just other handmade vendors, not just bloggers, not just people who are already part of our world.  We want the average Joe who'd shop Amazon but wants something different and one of a kind.  We want my mom, if she'd actually use a computer.  My sister, who doesn't blog or make anything to sell, but would happily buy here.  The WHOLE WORLD.

On the other hand, I tend to agree that showing an item in one color being worn while selling another color, if the description is clear & photos of the actual item for sale are prominent, is OK.  If you look in Fabric of my Mind at the cat toys, each listing is different, but each includes the same photo of my own cat playing with the toy I made her.  That's because I'm not making her a replica of every single toy I'm making for sale, and I'm not letting her play with the actual ones for sale because it wouldn't feel right to me to sell a "used" toy.  Just make sure your listings are clear, and I think you're fine.

Offline JimJuris

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 09:04:02 PM »
Yikes Jim!
I wasn't complaining about lack of sales, I was simply trying to get a feel for how this site works. I did not expect this site to run exactly the same as Etsy. I get the feeling that you don't like Etsy sellers very much, and I don't know what I can do about that. I respect your background and experience, which is why I posted this topic in the first place.
I understand what you are saying, but I disagree with you on one point. Your example of selling a 2003 Ford Mustang in blue and showing a picture of a 1967 Ford Mustang in blue is not accurate to my situation. For me I would be selling a 2003 Ford Mustang in blue (which I would show pictures of), and the final picture is of a 2003 Ford Mustang in red with a driver behind the wheel.

I have absolutely nothing against Etsy sellers.  If I did not like Etsy sellers I would not have helped several hundred of them over the past four year.  Like I said, I have seen many, many sellers on Artfire say on Etsy that Artfire lacks traffic and they did not make any sales.  The reason that they did not make any sales on Artfire is because they did exactly what you did here on Handmade Artists.

The reason that they did not have any traffic coming to their Artfire studio is because they just listed a few products on Artfire and ran.  They did not do any promoting of the Artfire studio or their products on Artfire and they did not optimize their products for the search engines.

Many Etsy sellers come to Handmade Artists and say the same thing about Handmade Artists after listing some of their products on Handmade artists for a month or two.  Then they say in the Etsy forums that Handmade Artists does not have any traffic and that they did not make any sales.

I don't want you to be one of those sellers who says that they did not get any traffic from selling on Handmade Artists.  That is why I pointed out the things that I did. 

When I try to explain things to people I don't hold back.  I call it like I see it. A number of people who I have critiqued have told me that they appreciated my honesty. 

Offline InstinctivelyIndie

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 11:19:51 PM »
@Larissa- Thank you for your input and for realizing I'm an individual human being. I'll be sure to change the wording to eliminate the word convo. Thanks again!
 
@Jim- I have no problem with honesty, but I found your tone of voice off-putting. I realize that you have helped many other sellers, but please take into consideration that I am not them.
"The reason that they did not have any traffic coming to their Artfire studio is because they just listed a few products on Artfire and ran.  They did not do any promoting of the Artfire studio or their products on Artfire and they did not optimize their products for the search engines."
I've listed 100 items so far and I have been working with my photos to make sure they look right in the HA format. I am trying to put the HA shop widget on my personal website and I'm promoting on Facebook. I am reconsidering tags and doing my own searches on Google to see which products from my HA shop are showing up. I am also here on the forums trying to learn and interact with the HA community. I am trying to do what I can to make this work.
Please keep in mind that not all newbies (Etsy sellers or not) are the same. I've been selling online for 3 years now, but starting a new shop on HA is intimidating. I appreciate you giving me advice on my shop, but your first post felt as though you were accusing me of being lazy and ignorant. Some of us respond better to a conversational tone, instead of a lecture.
Thank you for your input.

Offline trusk4u

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Re: How Long Before Your First Sale??
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2013, 08:11:25 PM »
Cute shop you have! I just want to welcome you and say give it some time. I know I need to focus and do some serious reworking of my shop. My photographer friend has offered to help me with my pictures and she has a lot of experience with this type of stuff. I'm also trying to figure out if I should have the "catchy names" or a more direct, to the point name for each item. I have both now and not sure which is better. Much to think about and even more to do!  :P