How to Facebook LIVE Best Tips + Tricks

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Facebook has introduced this fun feature called Facebook Live and it’s a GREAT tool for bloggers and other business owners but it can be a bit daunting at first.

Great post for bloggers. Why and how to use Facebook live. Tons of tricks and tips and step by step instructions.

I’ve been playing around with FB live on my page (raegunwear) as well as a few pages I contribute to We Heart Books and The Daily Seam. And I have noticed a HUGE improvement in my FB. I’m just going to be honest I HATED FB before. I hated the game of it but I feel like we’ve been giving an opportunity with FB LIVE and like all things it will go away but for those of us who can hop on it we can really benefit.

Why Facebook Live

I’m going to focus on the HOW as opposed to the WHY but here are my top reasons why you should think about adding FB live to your social media plans.

  • Engagement: I attended an online blogging summit recently and one of the speakers (I think Quirky Momma‘s Holly Homer) said that FB live gets 3-4 times the engagement of any other type of post. And I believe it. People like to comment and they comment often because at it’s root it’s a conversation.
  • Growth: I have seen a boost in the reach of my other posts and my followers.
  • Reach: You know how FB doesn’t show anyone your posts? Well they DO show them your live videos. Live videos have priority in your feed. You can get insane reach especially if you have a few people help you share your post. Like 20 times your normal reach insane.
  • Realness: When people see you live they connect in a way that isn’t possible with your regular posts. People love to see behind the scenes and when they connect with you in this way it makes them interact with your page differently. They are no long visiting the Rae Gun page they are visiting Marissa’s page who they hung out with and chatted with the other day.

Disclaimer: I am not a pro video person, in fact I don’t know much about video…at all. I am not the best at FB Live but I’ve done a handful now and that has taught me a lot. I’ve had a bunch of blogger friends ask me to share my tips so here they are. If YOU have experience with FB Live and have suggestions to add I would love you to put them in the comments. These are just the things I’ve picked up through trial and error myself and from watching friends do live too! I will update this post as I learn new things so feel free to pin it for a handy reference!

Facebook Live Tips and Tricks

My biggest tip is to JUST DO IT. Just force yourself to do it. The first one is by far the hardest. For me I get too nervous if I plan too far ahead. I decide to do it and then get my supplies together, description typed, and go on! You will learn something and if you hate it you can just delete it.

People like the peek behind the scenes and to see that you are human. Like why do people like watching me do my nails? I get the first time seeing nails stamping, but over and over? Who knows but they do and you know what I love chatting and getting to know my audience more so it’s a win win.

everything bloggers need to know about facebook live. Great tips tricks and step by step instructions to follow

(from 10 NEW Adventure Books Live video)

BEFORE YOU GO LIVE

  • Before you go live on your page go live for practice. In a small group of friends or just create a practice group anything. Just so know you the steps and how everything works.
  • Type up a description and email it to yourself. That way you can copy it when you’re on your phone. Things to include
    • What you will be doing, so people can share and people joining in the middle know
    • Any relevant links or at least a link to your blog.
    • Affiliate links to any products you might use (properly disclosed)
  • Make sure you have a strong internet signal. You can test it in a private group if you’re not sure.
  • If you’re not somewhere very quiet consider using a mic even just the iphone earbuds that have the built in mic can make a huge difference.
  • Test out your camera angles, tripod, however you’ll be setting up your shot.
  • Contact any friends and ask them to come chat and share to help. I have some blogger friends I notify when I’m going live and I text my sister and she helps me to do a couple shares too. It’s nice to have people to help get the conversation rolling.
  • Most of us have not seen any benefit from doing a pre-live announcement but some like to do it. I find it helps get some friends on if I post on Instagram that I will be live.

WHEN YOU GO LIVE

    • Set your phone to do not disturb. Make sure that your do not disturb settings prevent everyone from getting calls through and that it’s set for always not just for when the phone is locked. The default is to let your contacts through and that can interrupt your stream.
    • From the Pages app click write post then click on the guy with circles/waves/halos coming out of his head. This will open a dark live screen.
    • Copy and paste your prewritten description.
    • When you click to go live it will count down FAST 3 2 1 and you will be live. No one will be there. Even if you told 100 people who are waiting by their phones and computers it takes time to load the page and get on.
  • STALL
  • STALL
  • I have watched many live videos where I knew they were going on. I was ready for them and I still felt like I missed a bunch because they started so fast. Say hello and introduce yourself. Chit chat about your day or the project it doesn’t have to be related to the project and during this time share your post. Feel free to tell them you’re going to share this so that other people can join and know you’re live. Ask them to answer a question while you’re doing that (ex. where are you watching from) To share yourself you will need a 2nd device, I like to have my laptop sitting by me. If you dive on in people will think they missed too much when they realize you are live or just be totally confused.
  • Share the post to any relevant groups that you have permission to share starting with the largest. It’s helpful to have friends/VA’s/sisters do this for you. If you are doing something crafty or creative feel free to share into my Craft and DIY group!
  • This will sound weird but share it to your page wall yes the very same place you are live. SO for me I go live, I share to 2-3 groups, I share to Rae Gun Ramblings (and if it fits the We Heart Books and/or The Daily Seam) and I share to my own personal timeline. I also try to throw links in share groups that have FB live threads or ask friends to do that.
  • Introduce yourself again, explain what you will be doing.
  • As you see people come in (there’s a running number of viewers) ask them to introduce themselves and ask them a question (ex. Where are you from? Have you ever made X? Have you ever used this technique? What did you have for lunch? What is your favorite book? ANYTHING it doesn’t even have to be related to your topic. You can be doing a craft but mention that you’re in the middle of potty training and ask for any tips.) Just something to get people talking.
  • ENGAGE!!!! This is one of the most important parts and what makes FB live special. Thank people for showing up, comment on answers, ask follow up question.
  • You will feel like it’s taking a long time and that you must be boring. YOU ARE NOT BORING and if you are people can click away, if they are watching you are doing fine. Also it’s normal for people to pop in and out so it’s new to many viewers all the time.  It is much more frustrating when people hurry through and you can’t keep up than for it to be a little on the slow side especially at the very beginning.
  • Every once in awhile stop your program/tutorial/recipe/etc. to welcome new people and reintroduce yourself. Give a brief overview of what has happened and check in and respond to comments.
  • Tell people if they missed the beginning or can’t stay until the end they can save this by “sharing this post to their timelines” and liking your page. That way it will be easy for them to find later. Do this every once in awhile especially if you see a spike in the viewers.
  • Try and reshare (or have someone reshare for you). If you can manage it reshare every 15-20 minutes to your own page. Or aim for once in the ⅓ or ½ through. Really anytime you reshare will help. After you are off you will hide the shares from your timeline.
  • Shoot to be on as long as you can. The longer you are on the more chance people will see it. Typically the reach of FB lives don’t grow significantly after you are off. So stay on as long as you can. I try to make the shortest 30 minutes. But even 15 works. FB will kick you off at the 90 minute mark. It will give you a red warning in the upper left hand corner and at some point start a countdown and flash. (UPDATE: the time limit has been extended to 24 hours but I haven’t tested that but I have been live for almost 4 hours)
  • When you’re finishing up remind people to subscribe since we know the button shows up when you sign off. Try and ask them to like your page and subscribe through out the video but I personally have only seen the subscribe button pop up at the end of a video other’s swear they’ve seen it while I was on so who knows.
  • When you are done (either the 90 minutes is close or you’re done with what you want to do) say good bye ask if there are any more questions and wait because there is a delay. Don’t end the live stream while you’re saying good bye I see this all the time. Say good bye pause look at the camera push the button unless you’re maxing it out ;) Before you actually sign off remind people to subscribe.

What to do AFTER you go live on facebook and tons of tips for bloggers and Facebook live

AFTER YOU ARE LIVE

  • You should get the option to save the video. It only works 60% of the time for me. But you can download it from FB later.
  • Edit your video. Click on videos then video library then the edit pen.
    • Select a thumbnail or upload a thumbnail.
    • Add a title
    • Edit your description with things that came up during your live show
    • Click on “no button” to add a call to action button. It will give you the option at the bottom and then you will be asked for a URL and a description.
  • Go hide the video shares on your own page so only the original is showing
  • Download if you want by going to the permalink. To get to the permalink click on the timestamp of your video if that just gives you a black pop up page click on the timestamp again. From that page it should give you the option to download.
  • Feel free to reply to and like comments. I don’t know what’s best. I find I’ve replied to most verbally while I’m live but at the same time it feels weird to have a long list of comments with no reply. Sometimes I’ll thank them for tuning in or if they asked a question a future viewer asked I might answer it again as a comment.
  • Congratulate yourself for doing it. Come comment and let me know so I can go watch it!

TROUBLESHOOTING

  • Let real life happen. If you’re kids pop in let them say hi, roll with it people like seeing real life. Holly Homer is the queen of live and she’s had a dog throw up on live video. She just told the audience that she had to deal with real mom stuff for a second. Let the video roll went and cleaned up the dog and kid and jumped back on. On one of my first videos I bought the wrong pieces for a how to video people still loved watching and it was fun and good practice.
  • Just try and laugh at any bumps and hiccups. Crafting (and really all of life) has fails. Even if your project doesn’t turn out it’s nice to bond over that.
  • Be honest that you are nervous or it’s your first time or you’re not sure how it will turn out. FB live isn’t a perfect type of thing.
  • Don’t focus on trolls if you get any them and hopefully your audience will help get rid of them. If you have another admin on your page they can help too.
  • If FB says you’ve lost the signal tap your screen and usually it’ll come back.
  • If your comments aren’t refreshing try scrolling up and down or try to look at them on a second device. Refresh the page on the second device often to make sure you can see the comments but keep in mind there is a delay. Usually my comments will start up again on my phone even if they stall.
  • If you get kicked off or you time out just start another feed right away and add the permalink into the description and comments of the first one. I have been shocked at how willing people are to jump to another video when this happens (I had a friend restart at least 4 times and people kept jumping back on).
  • If you want more than 90 minutes pick a spot to finish so you don’t get abruptly kicked off, warn your audience and encourage them to go to your page for part 2. Tell them there will be a short delay but you’ll start part 2 in a minute or so. Then start a second video. Add the link to the second video as fast as you can to the description and comments of the first one so people can find you quickly
  • Things will start to go wrong as soon as you plan to go live. Here are just a few that I’ve witness: Kid refusing to nap, Router dying, blog being down (okay I do recommend if you want clicks to the site to make sure it’s up BUT I kept prepping like I was going to go live and it did get up in time). Try and push through and don’t give yourself the excuse not to do it. If something weird happens know you’re not alone.

Great tips and tricks for Facebook Live success. Great guide for bloggers.

TIPS FOR SLOWING DOWN (BOTH FOR EASIER VIEWING AND STALLING)

  • Have your supplies close but not prepped. This gives people more time to see what you’re using and will force you to slow down.
  • Show them all the supplies/ingredients. Give them time to see them. Give the person that is listening to you in the background time to click out of another tab and look to see what you’re talking about about.
  • Interact and engage. This is good for so many things but can help your pacing.

GOOD LIVE TOPICS

  • Anything you would blog about.
  • Anything that is behind the scenes.
  • Wandering around a cool location your town might be boring but it’s fun to peer into other people’s lives!
  • Give a tour of your workspace. People loved my craft room tour!
  • Really basic how-tos. Even 10 minute sewing projects or recipes take a long time to explain and repeat and show people the steps.
  • Holly Homer feeds turtles and people swarm to watch. See I told you anything!

Everything you need to do and know about Facebook live. Great tips, tricks and tutorial for bloggers

SUPPLIES

  • You first and foremost need a device that is able to go live. In most cases this will be a phone or tablet with the Facebook Pages app (if you’re going live to a page) and a strong internet signal.
  • I haven’t used a mic yet but sound is probably the MOST important thing. Iphone earbuds that have a mic work well. Also people have mentioned blue tooth mics.
  • Tripod(s) that can hold your device. I have a traditional tripod that I add a phone adapter to. This is my favorite phone tripod adapter because it fits my huge iphone 6plus and can be turned depending on orientation. For an overhead view I made a table top tripod from PVC pipe the link to the tutorial is here.
  • Consider  your lighting you might want something depending on your setting.

NICHE RELATED 

I’ll add when I think of more or get more input. If you have ideas of tips for different types of posts let me know

Tutorials

  • Go slow and repeat often. Even easy projects are hard for people to follow
  • Take time to hold up the supplies and give people a good look.
  • Link to the supplies on amazon. People will ask where you got everything
  • I’ve seen good success with people repeating crafts. Like make one completely and then make another.

Food

  • Don’t touch your face
  • Wash hands
  • Consider having your hair up

Other

  • Link any related posts or products that you might talk about.
  • You might be asked where you got whatever you’re wearing or stuff that might be within view, might be another affiliate link option
  • Consider your clothing, camera angle and movement. Ask me how I learned this one ;).

How to do facebook live. Great tutorial for bloggers with lots of helpful advice.

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Steps, tips, tricks and mistakes to avoid when starting and growing a handmade business - Rae Gun Ramblings

Yes! Totally agree. I wish I knew all of these when I was pregnant. Great tips for first time moms.

How to Build a Successful Craft Business: 5 Lessons from an Etsy Pro

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5 Important lessons from years of running a successful Etsy Shop - Rae Gun Ramblings

It’s been a little over two years since my last Etsy Life post. My how time flies. Since then my business has grown, I’ve had a baby, and I’ve learned even more about running a small craft business. I thought it was time to revisit and share some of the things that I’ve learned since then.

Set Good Goals

Whether you are just thinking through the possibility of having a craft business or trying to take your current business to the next level, setting goals is a must. For a long time I just flailed and tried to keep up. When I started to set goals I was able to really evaluate my progress and it became more real. Once you have a goal you can formulate a plan to reach that goal. Make sure the goal is reasonable, measurable, and has a date that you want to complete it by. Here are some things to keep in mind when setting good goals.

  • Write your goals down. There’s just something about putting them on paper that connects with the brain.
  • Set different sized goals both in importance and time it should take to accomplish them.
  • Set measurable goals. Whether it be monetary increase, items sold, or new follows, you want a goal that you can tell when it’s accomplished.
  • Set a timeline to reach your goal. I’m a crazy Shark Tank junkie and Robert once said “a goal without a timeline is simply a dream”. So many times we have great ideas but without putting it on the calendar life tends to get in the way. Also I know for me deadlines give an extra little push that I need.

 Tips for success on Etsy - Rae Gun Ramblings

Get Organized

It’s amazing how many lists I make to keep my business trucking. I’ve got lists for orders to fill, potential new products, marketing ideas, and more. Organization is so important to running a well ordered business. I like to keep a three ring binder that I can more permanent notes to so that everything is in the same place. But for me the process of putting pen to paper really helps organize what needs to be done.

  • Organize your goals. Relating to the last point make sure your goals are written down and kept somewhere you can reference and somewhere that will motivate you to keep striving after the goal.
  • Organize your ideas. If you’re like me you are sure to come up with new ideas whether it’s new products to try or new ways to get your name out there. If you try and do every idea that pops into your head  you’ll never have time to finish them. Keep track of your ideas so that when you have time to push more that brilliant idea won’t go to waste. Which leads me to the next point.
  • Organize your time. I’m a big to do list maker. I always have a notepad out where I can write my lists of what needs to get done. Something about the process of physically writing out really helps me to focus on what needs to be done. Also. with online business it’s really easy to allow all of your time to be sucked into computer tasks. One thing that was great for me was to set times to check email. Now I try to only check and reply to email and messages twice a day. That way you don’t have your tasks constantly broken up by replying to people all day long plus you’re less likely to be pulled into facebook. With your time more focused you’ll be able to get more done. I love using fun colors for my lists, I find it makes it less burdensome.
  • Organize your products. However you do it you’ll want to make sure your products or supplies are where you expect them when you need them. It might be silly but two of the most important supplies for my shop after fabric and sewing machines are plastic bags and Sharpie markers. I use them All.The.Time. I have different colors just for fun  and it makes my life way easier. Some day I want to coordinate different colors to different sizes.

Since I know I’m not the only Sharpie junkie, and since they really are a great supply for so many businesses I want to make sure you know about the great deal I got. Staples is having crazy good prices on Sharpie Fine and Ultra Fine markers and highlighters while supplies last. I got a big pack of the regular colored markers for just 5$ seriously that’s a steal. Your welcome!

Tips for Etsy Success - Rae Gun Ramblings

Determine Your Why

It’s really easy to throw everything into starting a business. It can be really rewarding and addicting to watch to your stats starting to climb. But to protect yourself from burn out make sure to set your priorities. It the beginning after things took off I was working All.The.Time. I shared some of this before in my Etsy Journey post but in short it was too much and I was very overwhelmed. More than that I was working just to work. We didn’t “need” the money, I wasn’t pushing for something specific I just got caught up in the adventure of a growing businesses. I like to ask myself and others when they ask me for business advice what the purpose of the business is. Once you know WHY you are trying to build this business the answers to how, how much, and how far will come a lot easier.

  • Is it for the money? Having a small craft business can been a good way to supplement or even replace your income. If you’re trying to do this for the money how much do you need? After you reach that, how much would you like?
  • Is it to be able to work from home? Whether you want to spend more time with your kids or just not be on some one else’s schedule having your own business is certainly flexible but then again you’re always at work. Sometimes I’d find myself going non-stop. Now I make a point not to check my Etsy account during the weekends.
  • Is it for a creative outlet? Do you also like the business end of things because you might be surprised at how many emails and calculations come with running a business. That’s not a problem though you just might want to bring on help or learn more about those things if you need.

Whatever your why may be it probably isn’t because it’s the end all be all of your life. But it’s easy to let it become that way. Owning and growing a business is hard work and people online expect you to be available 24/7. For me my family and my sanity is my number one. So while I try to run my business professionally at the end of the day I want it to be something that fits into our lives not that we have to work around. A crazy stressful customer isn’t worth the money!

Be Realistic

If you have read my initial series you know that I was a big proponent of made to order sales. I would take a sale, have a turnaround time, and then make the item and fulfill the order. Now that Teddy is here, that has been really hard. In fact pretty much every thing is hard with him and he’s a pretty middle of the road baby. I’ve had to be flexible and readjust my expectations at the different stages of my life and business. Also remember to keep in mind that your business is your own it won’t look like someone else’s and that’s okay.

  • Different phases of life (both family and business) will make your business look differently and that’s okay. For example I’m finally coming to grips that my “maternity leave” lasted months longer than I intended and I’ll just be back in time for my most important time, costume season. But that’s okay since the little guy will only be like this for a short time.
  • Sometimes hard work pays off later. Just remember that most things aren’t automatic.
  • Sometimes when the hard work isn’t paying off it might be time to evaluate why? Is it the type of thing that takes time, are you reaching out to the wrong audience, etc.

An Etsy Veteran shares what she's learned - Rae Gun Ramblings

Keep Learning

And finally my last thing is to keep learning. One of the big things I’ve started doing is listen to Entrepreneurial books and I LOOOVE it. While I’m sewing or driving I’ll have a business book going and at home I’ll pause it to write down good points because I’m a note taker type. This has been really eye opening and when I’m burnt or have a problem or just don’t feel motivated I’ve felt that that has been a great spark to renew me. I hope to share some of my favorite business books soon :) Also don’t underestimate how much you can learn from people.

  • Read relevant books. I find the entrepreneur focused ones to be super encouraging and helpful since they hit on many aspects of what you’ll face.
  • Talk to anyone who has experience or even related experience. You never know what gem they’ll share or who else they might connect you with.
  • Find some businesses you admire and pay attention to what they do well. Don’t copy them or their product because it won’t work right but do think about the little things that might transfer to your own situation and see how you can implement it or make your own version.

I hope this has been helpful. I don’t want to let another 2 years pass before I check back in on this type of stuff so, if you have any questions or ideas for a post that you’d like me to write with respect to my business life please let me know! I love helping when I can.

Honest look at what it takes to start a successful creative business

Want to know more about running your own craft business? Check out my Etsy Journey post where I share the details with a year by year break down of how I got my business off the ground.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #StaplesBTS http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Etsy Life: Juggling Vacations and Your Shop

We just got back the other night from a 5 day trip to Colorado and I thought I’d share how I handle vacations with respect to my Etsy Shop.

Before we get into my method I want to talk real briefly about Etsy’s Vacation Mode. When I first started, this did not exist (a lot of nice little features did not exist, I love that they are constantly trying to make improvements). To read Etsy’s info about the vacation mode check out this and this help page. When you put your shop in vacation mode it allows you to add a special shop announcement as well as a conversation auto-reply message. If someone visits your shop while it’s in vacation mode they will not see any items, just your shop announcement and a form that they can check if they want to be notified when you return. If someone has a direct link to your item (like from their favorites, blog posts, treasury, bookmark, etc.) they will be able to see the listing but the “add to cart” button will be grayed out so nothing can be purchased.

I don’t use Vacation mode because I don’t want people to come to an empty shop. And I don’t want to completely kill the momentum of my sales. On Etsy, each sale and relisting gives you more exposure and I don’t want to miss out on that just because I’m out of town for a few days. I know I’ve come across a few empty shops that were in vacation mode that I might have favorited but didn’t because I couldn’t see if the one item that pulled me into that shop (from an external link) was the norm or not.

For all my Vacations

Here’s what I do instead of just using vacation mode. I edit my shop announcement to say something about when I’ll be gone and if any shipping orders will be impacted. This really is mostly so if I’m slow responding to messages they’ll know why. Since my normal turnaround time is 2-3 weeks before shipping a shorter 5 day trip makes no difference as long as I’m on top of things before I leave. A longer trip on the other hand may impact my turnaround time. When I went to Florida since it was a longer trip I added a note that said all orders from this date to this date may be delayed an additional week.

I also edit the message that is sent out in the transaction email that goes out with each order. Yes many people don’t even bother to open these but they really should. There have been more than a few times that I have found very important info in these kind of emails and if they start wondering hopefully they will go back and look at the transaction email.

That’s what I did for this past trip and it was fine. Nothing weird it was great.

For Longer Trips

When I think there will be a chance that orders may be delayed I like to do a few extra things. In addition to saying as much in the shop announcement and email, I like to have way more warning. I change my banner and avatar to say something about being on vacation and before I leave I like to warn my customers in my shop announcement, blog, facebook, etc. to get in their orders by a certain date to avoid a delay.

Something I discovered last year that was super helpful was Etsy On Sale. This site is set up so that people can put their whole site on sale without editing each listing. I have over 150 listings in my shop so editing each one to say I’m on vacation would take many hours. When I went to Florida I put everything on sale for 1 cent off and added the text “ON VACATION PLEASE READ SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT” to the front of each listing. This is good because not everyone that buys something from your shop will ever go to your home page.

That worked out fine…except that I came back and immediately got really sick so even though I gave myself a week long buffer that wasn’t enough. So depending on the volume of your shop I would double how much time you think you’ll need to catch up just in case.

The other thing was that I did not relist much while I was gone on my trip. As I said many times before sales create momentum so not relisting will cause a natural slow.

Obviously this method requires more work and does have risks so I would only do this if you have internet access while you’re gone that way you can quickly use vacation mode if you need to. When I got back from my Florida trip sick that’s what I should have done, it would have been fine if I had thought to do that. This method also means that you can’t just go on vacation and not check in. You’ll need to check into your shop here and there which depending on your personality might not fit into your ideal vacation. For me it’s worth it to do a tiny bit of work while I’m away rather than missing out on the sales and having to do all the hard work of building back  up my shop momentum when I return. Obviously it’s not for everyone but it’s worked for me. Keep in mind that my 2-3 week before shipping turnaround time gives me a lot of wiggle room so you need to consider the norms of your shop when you decide how you want to manage your own time off. I hope some of this was helpful.

What do you other shop owners do to handle vacations? If you’ve used Etsy’s vacation mode, how did you like it? And always if you have any questions about this or any other etsy life types of things feel free to ask either in the comments section or by emailing me.

Etsy Life: Relisting and Renewing

Today I want to talk about relisting and renewing. On Etsy you have an option to renew items that have sold or relist items that are currently for sale. What this does is bring the item to the top of your shop list as well as bring it towards the top of the search results. Even though Etsy has tweaked their search so that ‘relevance’ factors higher in their equation, recency (i.e. most recently renewed or relisted) still plays a role.

If you’re not selling, in addition to reevaluating your products, pictures, and tags you might want to see what the date on your most recent item is in your shop. I relist/renew many many times a day (but I also sell a few items a day). For me I consider the fees associated with relisting and renewing a part of my costs just like I would with the cost of fabric or electricity. When I was starting out I relisted at least once a day even if I didn’t sell anything. Back then recency had much more weight in the search but I can tell you even now that I see a direct correlation between when I relist/renew and my sales (as well as views and favorites). If I want to keep the momentum of my sales I renew or relist something every time I get a sale or when things seem a little slow. Right now I have about 5 items that I’m waiting to relist that I had sold but forgot to relist and about 4 new items that I can list when things get slow.

It also works the other way around. When I feel overwhelmed I stop relisting and renewing and it gives me a break. So from my experience it really does seem like the more you relist/renew the more people will see your listings. So if you’re not selling and you haven’t relisted, renewed, or added something new to your shop in a while you’re basically doing the same thing that I do when I want to deter sales, just something to consider.

I do not pay for advertising. Instead I pay to relist and renew my items. Yes it’s 20 cents a pop but really if no one knows you exist then how are they going to find you in the first place? I get most of my sales from people finding me on Etsy (not me bringing them in from off site). Not only are people who are on Etsy ready to shop, they appreciate handmade goods so it’s worth it to try to get them to notice your items. I’ve tried the different options for advertising on etsy with no success and I can tell you for the same price as an ad slot you can relist/renew so so many times and have much more of an impact. Any ways I find relisting and renewing to be helpful so I thought I’d pass that on.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts and your questions whether they are about relisting, selling handmade stuff, or really anything whether it relates to this stuff or not. It seems like people like these types of posts but I’m not sure what would be helpful for me to share so if you have any questions feel free to leave it in the comments or email me.

(customer appreciation pic from teachergirl on etsy)

Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Working on Your Product Pictures

(Color Me Happy Treasury by Laura of Moags)

Pictures are very important. You can sell things with bad pictures (I sure have) but you’ll sell more and it’ll be easier to sell if you have good pictures. It is worth working on. My pictures aren’t great in terms of works of photography but they are good enough to stand out on Etsy and be featured (see how mine is the lamest out of the ones above). I could invest more time and improve them but since I have to pick and choose how I’m going to spend my time, I go with a sort of bare minimum that still sells and gets my products noticed.

So what makes a good enough picture? For me I have a four questions I ask myself when I evaluate what pictures to use for my listings. I hope you’ll find them helpful.

Can I picture my image on Etsy’s front page?
Take time and look at the front page (it changes a couple times a day). Also look at the treasuries that are considered hot.  You’ll noticed most treasuries featured on the front page include items with a similar feel to their photos. Clear colors, natural lighting, bright (as opposed to shadowy and dark) photos taken from interesting angles (rarely ever above the product laying on a table). Many featured items are staged with props. Study what Etsy features (because most of what they feature is based on that first picture in the listing) and try to make your photos so they would look good sitting along side those pictures.

How will my pictures look like cropped?
Except in your listings when the photo is selected your photos will always appear cropped. In treasuries, your featured items on your shop home page and on the front page the pictures are a rectangle with the top and bottom chopped off. In other places it will be cropped into a square. Yup different sizes, kind of annoying but that’s life so make sure when you frame your shots you leave room around so that your product fits inside the frame when it’s cropped.

Is my image clickable when it’s a thumbnail?
Most people will see a tiny image of your project. You need the image to be tempting enough to make them click it. This is both for potential buyers, Etsy admin that choose items to feature, and treasury makers who will feature your items and may get their treasury (and so your item) featured on the front page. Compare your images to the others that show up around it. How does it look in that long line in the search full of tiny images. Yes there are a lot of bad photos on Etsy try to make yours stand out.

Is my product properly represented?
Remember that the pictures and description are all an online shopper has to go by. I think you should give all the product details twice. Once in words in the listing and a second time via pictures. Are the colors visible, do you show the different angles and views, does it give you an idea of the scale or size, does it show details that make it special, does it show how it works, possible uses, possible functions, etc. Sure you might want a more eye catching artistic photo for the first image but you’ve got 5 pictures available for each listing, try to answer your potential customers questions by showing different shots.

But I’m not a photographer, I don’t have a fancy camera, I don’t know much and more excuses. Yup Excuses

I have ALWAYS used a point and shoot for my Etsy pictures. I also always edit EVERY picture before I put it on Etsy. I use Picassa a free program and really like it. They have an “I feeling lucky” button, “Auto Color” and “Auto Contrast”. I use the “I’m feeling lucky almost always sometimes I use the other two if the whites look too yellow and sometimes when I’m stuck taking pictures at night (try to avoid this at all costs) I tweak the lighting. For me clicking the one edit button and saving is usually all it takes and it makes a huge difference.

Use natural light when possible. Open all windows possible. If you’ve got a place where you can shoot outside away from direct light that might be good too. I’ve always taken pictures inside next to or across from a window. I only take them at night if for some reason I forgot to take one during the day and it’s a new item that needs to be in the mail before I can wait until better light.

You might not know much about photography but if you are going to do well selling online it’s necessary to learn some basics. Play around with taking pictures in different places you have available with different lighting and staging options. Also try out the free photo editing programs (there are many out there).  If you take one tip away from this I hope it’s to look at the pictures that Etsy features and to try to get yours to the point that they’d look at home on the front page.

So many times I wonder how many cool products I just skimmed over in my browsing because the picture was unclear, or weirdly staged, or somehow otherwise not grabbing me. When I write articles for Modern Handmade Child I have a hard time finding cute items with decent pictures that fit my articles themes. If you just touch up your pictures a bit it will go a long way in helping you stand out in the crowd, get featured and hopefully help you sell your creations.

I hope that helps, I am not a photographer at all I just know the bare minimum to make my pictures work for me. I look at my pictures and can name things wrong with each and every one but they are good enough for my purposes. Your pictures need to be decent not win any awards. I know many of you have wonderful insight so as always please please share in the comments so we can all learn from each other.

Ready to Ship verse Made to Order

  (some of Lindsey’s newest items from The Pleated Poppy)

There are two, well I guess three approaches to selling stuff. You can do ready to ship, made to order or some combination of the two. I find that many people when starting out only think of ready to ship or made to order. That is they wonder how on earth they are going to restock when things sell (ready to ship focused) or how they will ever keep up with orders while juggling the demands of their family (made to order).

Both approaches have their pros and cons. I primarily do made to order, it has worked well for me. I understand that it’s a very personal decision that depends on so many factors so I decided to recruit Lindsey of the lovely Pleated Poppy blog and shop who primarily sells ready to ship so that those of you who are thinking through this can get a bit more of a balanced perspective.

What draws us to one or the other
Lindsey (ready to ship) – I began my shop with a mix of ready to ship items and then people started asking for custom orders.  Because that meant more customers, I said yes and started on custom orders.  Then I was going crazy with completing my orders before anything else, like taking care of my kids.  I realized that for me, as a mom with kids at home, it is more important for me to prioritize my time with them and put business second.  So when I do have a spare minute to work on products, I will.  But its only when I can and want to and not when I have to.

Me (made to order) – I started off listing items that I had made for friends so I had photos and explained that I could make a variety of sizes. In the beginning I even showed pictures of fabric swatches saying I could make the same design in various fabrics. This worked well for me. I have tried to sell ready to ship items and they just sat around. I sold most eventually (but over a year or more for some). Now I don’t do the fabric swatch, if I have a new product or fabric I either make one up and list the sample as ready to ship or use it for a gift to friends and family. Still to this day my ready to ship items move painfully slow. Even though I think I know what sizes sell somehow I always pick the opposite sizes of what people want of those exact fabrics. So making things to order works better for me. Also I’m the kind of person that needs deadlines. It’s really hard for me to be motivated to make things with no goal or time frame. I don’t leave things to the last minute but I do work better when I’m a little busy.

(some goodies from my shop Rae Gun)

The benefits as we see it 
Lindsey (ready to ship)  much less stress!  I only sell what I’ve made, so if I want to take a vacation, I just make a bunch of items, list them and leave.  I also have much less emails than when I was taking custom orders.  I also get to make what I want.  I don’t have to wait for a customer to tell me what they want.

Me (made to order) less wasted time and product sitting around. I can appeal to more people with more sizes without having to put unnecessary work in first. I get paid before I invest the time so I know my time is covered. I give myself a very lenient turnaround time. I don’t have to worry as much about reading potential customers’ minds of what they will like and in what sizes.

The harder part
Lindsey (ready to ship)  not everything sells as quickly as I would like them to.  You definitely have more money invested ahead of time when you have an inventory of products.

Me (made to order)  You have to stay on top of how fast/how much you’re selling. Most of us will have limited resources both from the point of labor (how much time we can invest) and from the point of materials. You need to make sure you have enough supplies for what you sell. Please don’t sell items if you don’t have everything to make it on hand because stores stop carrying things, products that were staples at your local craft store go on back order and then you’ll be stuck explaining to an angry customer why you took the order in the first place. Also if there is a rush that I don’t notice it can easily become overwhelming. But having had that experience I know how much I can handle so if things start getting backed up I can just stop relisting the items that sell (this slows the movement of orders). If I really need things to slow down I can simply put the shop in vacation mode or edit the listings to increase the turnaround times. Not all customers want to wait for their items to be made but in my experience 80% of the people who want things faster are willing to pay a rush fee.

Some things you’ll want to think about either way: turnaround time, what happens if you get sick, what will you do about vacations, what if you get a ton of orders all at once,  if you want to do ready to ship will you be open to custom orders and if so under what circumstances (for example you might consider it if it’s a large order and you have plenty of time to fill it), will they be one of a kind or multiples of a kind, remember that if they are one of a kind you’ll need new pictures and descriptions for each which takes more time).

One last tip from me when deciding on your turnaround time set it at 1/3 more of what you most often can handle. For example. my turnaround time is 2-3 weeks before shipping because I can almost always get the orders done in 2 weeks, but people get sick, fun things come up that I want to be apart of and other life things can add delays. Pay attention to if you’re constantly pushing the max of your turnaround time you may need to increase it, consider raising your prices or lighten you load (either by taking less orders or getting help).

Hope that’s been helpful. As always I know many of you have get tips so please share them in the comments since I’m sure it will be useful for someone. A huge gigantic thanks to Lindsey for sharing her experiences check out her shop here.

Also I’m not sure what other stuff you might want to know if you’d comment about that too that will help me with future posts (what about pricing ideas, pictures, what else?)

Etsy Tips: Working At Home with Kids AKA Juggling Kids and Etsy

So I know that I said that I have no idea how my Etsy will work when I have kids of my own but that’s not really true. I actually have a pretty good idea how I’ll do it. While I don’t know how every minute of my days will be chopped up since I haven’t had kids full time, I do know a few things about how to get things done with kids around. 

There were a few months that I took care of my baby niece while my sister worked. Now my nieces also come over all the time and hang out while I’m working (often while Mom or Grandma are running errands). I’ve also had a number of friends and helpers who have kids around while we work. All that is to say that I’ve learned some things about managing kids while getting my work done.

Let me first say, I am exceptionally good at multitasking. I know that’s not the case for everyone. If you are someone that really needs to focus on one thing at a time you might do better with working while the kids sleep or look into having someone come to the house to watch the kids for a couple hours a week. I know many fellow shop owners who swear by this approach. But if you want to try to juggle here’s a few tips from me and some of my fellow EtsyKids team members.

Set up your work space to work for you

The set up that works for me has me behind an open area where the kids can play. This way I can work while seeing everything that they are doing. I have the stuff they can’t get into out of reach or closed up in boxes and the stuff they can play with easy for them to access. I’ve got tubs of toys in my work room, an exersaucer and many kid movies. Little babies do great in car seats close, new crawlers get a barricade around an approved space (with tubs, boxes, etc.) and older kids have a variety of toys, craft stuff, etc to freely use. And of course there’s TV and movies. The Wiggles and Princess and the Frog are favorites here.

Have a plan, do the thinking while they’re asleep

Do your planning and prep stuff while they are asleep. Even though I’m really good at multitasking its hard to think and juggle. Do you’re thinking when it’s quite that way you’ll have your list to consult when there are many competing voices. Bethany of Bethany’s 5, mom of 5 (ages 5 to 12) says her schedule is very important. She works weekdays from 7am to 2pm.  Starting her day with emails for her and cartoons for the littles. She makes herself a to do list with timeframes of when to complete things (I do this too).  She leaves a lot of wiggle room to take care of the kids needs while working and if she doesn’t meet a goal for the day she understands that the work will still be there for her tomorrow or after the kids are in bed for the night.

Take it outside when you can
You’ll probably be trapped inside a lot but if you do something portable take advantage. After a morning of cartoons and computer work, Bethany takes to the porch with her little ones where they can play and she can crochet. I’ve done pinning and hand sewing while the girls played in the yard.

Let Them Play with Your Crap

Make sure the stuff they can and cannot play with is clear and in place. It takes too much energy keeping them out of your good stuff and constantly taking things away. If there’s stuff that you use that it’s okay for them to play with let them. They will love it (and that’s less junk to clean up since it’s already out). The nieces particularly like fabric scraps, that cardboard that bolts of fabric are wrapped on, and my ruffles. When they get older give them little jobs to  help (my nieces are just barely able to help sort and cut ruffles and they love it – you know for about 5 minutes). Tiffany of Cupcake Dream gets her little one involved whenever she can. She even lets her hold glue, pull out shapes and draw next to her.

Don’t try to just ignore them and or expect them to do their own thing
While some kids (if you’re lucky) might entertain themselves, my nieces rarely do that. And while they are getting better at that the older they get, if they are around I’m probably interacting with them. While I’m sewing I am always talking to them, telling them their drawings are pretty, giving them suggestions of fun things to do, getting kisses, giving kisses etc.  Making faces at a cranky kids, singing silly songs, and talking to little ones while you’re doing other things with your hands really goes a long way. I’m working but I’m also there for them.

Let your work do double duty when it can
Christine of Belly Bear Baby Gear often uses her kids as models. This lets her spend time with them while getting great pictures that do double duty: personal photo albums and etsy shop pics. When the girls were little I made many things for them that ended up in the shop. Now many of my creations, parties, etc. for them double as blog posts.

Be close and give yourself to them

Sometimes kids are just needy. If they need to be held a lot (or most waking hours like my niece did) slings come in mighty handy. Other times you might have to revert to just working with them on your lap. Yes this will probably slow things down but that’s just life and most kiddos probably won’t be this needy all the time. I have worked for many many hours with my niece in a sling or sitting on my lap. Other times you might just need to take a work break to be mommy (or aunty or grandma or whatever) but you are your own boss and you work from home so you can. This is where giving yourself generous turnaround times comes in really handy, a sentiment that Erin of Sweet Child of Mine Kids echos.

I hope this has been helpful I would love you to share your own tips with each other so please by all means comment with tips that you have found helpful. Different things work for different families so it’s all about seeing what works for you.

For more of these etsy related posts see my “etsy life” category. And I’d love to hear if you guys have any questions or topics you’d like me to hit on.

Etsy Life: Shipping Tips

(my sister posted this on my fb I laugh out loud, this is so my life, oh how I can relate. my hubby does post office runs all the time! hand made ryan gosling)

Looking at a lot of the comments I’ve received people seem a little anxious about figuring out what to charge for shipping. I have good news, it’s not that hard.

  •  Get your item, pack it up how you would if someone bought it and weigh it. If you make a lot of different items you may want to buy a postal scale (you can get a postal scale for around 10$) but if your items will be similar enough in weight it may be fine just to go weigh it at the post office. Make sure to always round up.
  • Paypal’s multi-order shipping tool is free and super helpful. You can print labels from your home and either hand them to your mail person, drop them off in a blue receptacle, or at the post office. And you don’t have to wait in line. You can only use this for US orders. I use it even if I’m only printing one package since it’s easier/quicker to use than the other set up. Since it automatically loads the addresses this will save tons of time writing out addresses and purchasing postage. Also it includes delivery confirmation so you can track the packages. It sends your customer an email to let them know it shipped with the tracking info and it gives you proof of shipping if for some reason there is ever a dispute. (It’s always good to double check that the paypal address and the etsy address match up before shipping.)
  • International shipping is scary to a lot of people but don’t let it stress you out it’s not that hard. You can enter into the postal calculator the weight of your item and determine the shipping to any country and it will tell you how much it will be. For me I ship a lot to Canada, the UK, and Australia. Much much fewer and further between would be the Philippines, Spain, Brazil, Germany, and a few others. For me most of my international orders have not been much expensive than shipping to Australia I think Israel was the most. On etsy you can set your shipping to “everywhere else” I have three options: domestic, to Canada and everywhere else.
  • What to charge. Technically shipping costs involves the cost of shipping, the cost of printing the label (paper, ink), your time packing and taking things to the post office, your gas to take things to the post office, your envelopes and tape, and usually more. With the exception of extremely heavy items my philosophy is to charge a just little more than what my envelope plus postage costs are.  For me adding 50 cents to a dollar to what the postage is has worked for well. So if the post office charges me 2.50 I’ll list my price for 3.50 because I buy my envelopes in bulk and I know that will probably cover the rest of my supplies but it is still reasonably low. If you’re using more expensive envelops or including other stuff that might not work for you. Some people have success with rolling the shipping price into the cost of the item. This seems to work particularly well when items are expensive to ship or when most of your customers are in a different country (cuts that barrier of  ‘oh do I want to pay for international shipping?’ potential costumers might have).
  • You could make it easier on yourself by just using flat rate priority packaging. They make envelopes and boxes. It’s one price and the packaging is free/included in the shipping cost. You can pick up a stack and bring them  home to pack and then either print  up the labels at  home or pay for the shipping later at the post office. I use these a lot when people order multiple items. This cuts out having to buy envelopes and tape and you don’t have to figure out how much to charge since it’s a flat rate.

Hope that’s helpful to a few of you. Let me know if you have any questions about this or have other topics you’d like to hear my two cents about.

Etsy Life: Setting Up Shop


I was surprised to see how many of you really resonated with my “Etsy Journey” post. I had lots of comments from people either with very young shops or who have been strongly considering opening an etsy shop. In my opinion, if you’ve really been wanting to try Etsy out, go for it. At 20 cents a listing it’s very inexpensive to try if you sell something etsy and paypal each take a small percentage but if not all you’re out is the initial 20. Here are a few tips I have for those of you who might be just getting things started or re-started.

  • Put all your information up. Fill out the shop policies section, the profile section, and every other section there is to fill out on Etsy. This will help you think through many possible scenarios you may encounter as a shop owner and it will answer important questions for your potential costumers. Also don’t forget to add a banner, featured items, profile pic etc.
  • If you haven’t already, buy something on etsy and leave feedback. This serves afew purposes. It teaches you how things work and puts you into the mindset of a customer so you can better anticipate what questions your potential customers may have and gives you the opportunity to get feedback. Hopefully your experience will be good and you’ll leave good feedback. If the shop owner doesn’t leave you feedback send him or her a message explaining that you are trying to build up your feedback and asking if they would mind leaving your feedback for the purchase you just made. That way when customers get to your shop they will see a positive percentage (sometimes having no feedback makes people nervous).
  • If you haven’t written up a listing write one up. Then look at it from the view point of a customer. Are there multiple pictures that show different angles, sides and details? Is the sizing, color, etc. clear (write it in words in the listing AND if possible show it in a picture)? Do you explain what the turnaround time is? Use all your tags.
  • Fill up your shop. The short of it is that most successful shops have many pages of listings. Each page has 24 items. I’m tempted to suggest trying to shoot for a full page of items to start. But unless you just have stuff sitting around you probably don’t want to make up a bunch of things that you’re not sure will sell yet. So I think 10 would be a solid start. On the other hand I have purchased something from a shop that only had 4 items. Part of filling a shop is to let potential costumers know that you’re serious. Unless you have a ton of good feedback a shop with just a few items might make customers doubt how serious to take the shop. While all the shops I’ve seen that are really successful on etsy have pages of items I fully believe that it’s possible for a shop to just sell only a few and do well. One shop I saw that sold seasonally just had a few items she’d relist over and over and remake them and that worked well. Another option would be to make multiple listings of the same item (assuming you either have multiples made or are prepared to make multiples).
  • Etsy will let you write up a bunch of listings and save them as drafts so you can post them later when you’re ready. I like to stagger listings so that they are at least an hour apart. While it’s tempting to put all your listings in at once if you stagger them you have more of a chance to hit different groups of shoppers that are on the site at different times. 

Also please understand that all of these”tips” are based on my personal experiences so please take them with a grain of salt. These are just things that I’ve noticed have worked for me but one of the great things about etsy is how different each shop and approach can be. 

To see more of these etsy related post check out my etsy life tag (I will be adding more regularly so check back in, next week I’ll share a little bit about shipping).

    Q&A: My Typical Work Day and Some Great Selling on Etsy Resources

     I hope it goes without saying but just in case you need the invitation I want you all to know that I love getting emails and questions from you guys (fun, serious, whatever).  

    A few weeks ago Krissa of the super adorable Etsy shop  Mish Mash Clothing sent me an email asking a bunch of questions. I hit on a few of her questions in my last post about my Etsy journey but I thought this one was kind of fun and to be honest I was kind of curious about the answer myself.
    I stumbled across your blog today, and had a look around. I see that you are a very successful Etsy seller, and I have a few questions if you have the time.… I would like to know how you divide your time. Do you set a certain amount of hours per day or per week that you work?

    First I have to say I spend A LOT of time working. A LOT. My hubby and I both work from home and we both work a lot. We both set our own schedules. And while we could do things in the middle of the day in the middle of the week most of the time we keep normalish work hours. Where he works on his ‘day’ job (social work-y stuff) and his music, I work on my shop and the blog. I see the blog as part of my business but I also see it as something separate. When I need to cut something it’s always the blog side that gets cut. I’m not writing this as ‘advice’ by any means I just thought it was a fun question and I know a lot of people are curious as to what the day of someone who does Etsy full time is really like.

    Typical Work Day (I do this or some variation of this probably 4-5 days out of the week)

    9:30 am Wake Up – Check email, shop and blog. Respond to questions, relist items that have sold, comment on treasuries I’ve been featured in, respond to blog comments and submit to link parties that weren’t
    up the night before while drinking juice and eating a granola bar

    11-11:30 Make or consult my “to do today list” start cutting or sewing or getting things ready to ship (printing labels packaging yup that takes a whole lot of time too). If I have new items I’ll photograph them as well.

    1:30 have some lunch, tidy up the kitchen minimally while lunch is cooking, and take my What I Wore pictures. After food is cooked I usually eat while I continue to work or while I check/respond to computer stuff again.

    2:00 get back to product making. At some point I start packing items up that are ready to ship. People don’t realize how much time this part actually takes (and that’s after you’ve gotten someone to buy something and made the item)

    3:30 go to the post office on my way to the gym. if it’s a cardio day I read during my workout

    6:00 get home, shower, and start making dinner or stop at the market (or fabric store) to pic stuff up. While I’m making dinner I start submitting to more link parties and check/respond to computer stuff again.

    7:00 eat dinner, watch tv, and submit to link parties (this is kind of my down time). I never just sit and watch tv. Even though I consider this down time I’m still on the computer, or doing hand sewing or something else that is kind of relaxing and mindless but productive.

    9:00 get back to work for real. About half the days during this time I’ll write blog posts, write shop listings and do other computer stuff that I can do while sitting on the couch. The other half I get back on the sewing machines.

    12:30 submit to the last of the link parties, print shipping labels for the next day and make sure the blog is set for tomorrow. Make my to do list for tomorrow.

    1:00 – 2:30
    get in bed and read. I love reading plus it helps me to shut my mind off (I usually fall asleep between 2 and 3:30). I’m not going to lie I wrote my times down last week to prep for this post and I didn’t get in bead before 2 am. That’s totally normal for us and half the time when I head into read my hubby is still on his keyboard making his tunes.

    The weekends I usually work half days which means probably a couple hours of actual sewing, cutting, making the product type work and a couple hours (to many hours) of computer stuff and a post office run. Even on an off day I probably work at least 3 hours but a lot of times that’s late at night. But I normally do less product making on the weekends.

    A couple nights a week we’ll go out to dinner or do something during the evening. But I usually still work for a couple hours after I get home. Sometimes we play like 6-10 ish or 9-12:30 ish. Yup we’re night owls.

    I tried to do a kind of half day during the week where I’ll go do what I want like shopping for fun, or shopping for supplies or make something for myself or try out a new recipe for the blog. But I don’t stick to it that well.

    To me I work a lot so that when something fun comes up I can just do it. If my family or friends want to go out for lunch or watch the nieces or go do something fun 99% of the time I’ll do it. I do regular craft days with my friends and my husband I go out a lot. But then again I’m someone who likes being busy and since there’s always plenty to do work-wise, when there’s not much going elsewhere on I’m usually working. But again I really do enjoy it. And if people come into town I usually will do a week full of half days. After all if I wanted I could just take less orders, it’s my business I can do what I like. Like right now I’ve been on the computer for like 4 hours and am getting antsy and even though I’m pretty far ahead on work stuff it sounds appealing to do a bit of serging while listening to my Divergent audiobook (and it’s 11:30 pm on a Sunday). It helps that I really like watching my shows and listening to books while I work ;)

    Top Tips?

    So I know I said that I was going to write a top tips post but I sat down to do it and after about 2 hours of typing and thinking, I was totally overwhelmed and felt like I had barely touched on anything. I figured if I’m overwhelming myself then what hope do I have in getting my ideas across to some of you who are just barely starting out. So instead of trying to cram a bunch of tips into one manageable post I’m going to hit on one topic at a time and make sure to do etsy tips regularly (like once a week). Definitely let me know if you have any specific topics in mind.

    And for those of you ready to dive right in here’s a ton of reading material for you.

    • Etsy’s official tips blog post I’d start here. It’s chalked full of many links on many topics. 
    • And also be sure to check out Handmadeology’s great post full of tips with lots of linked articles under each tip for more info. 
    • And last I found this Newbie Guide to be helpful when I was starting out. This looks like it’s the newest version (still 2.5 years old) but some of the info will be helpful. I know there’s a lot of info. 

    Try not to be overwhelmed just read a little here and there. If you have any questions or suggestions of topics you’d like me to talk about feel free to let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.