The Longest Newsletter Ever – Part 2 of The “Etsy is Stealing Your Money” Newsletter Article

This is what happened after I sent out that September newsletter.   I received a huge amount of email.   It was the biggest newsletter response EVER.   And i just had to share one exchange I had with a very nice woman who didn't agree with me at all.

"I'm Making Jewelry in my Jam Jams" ISSUE 5,   Part 2,   SEPTEMBER 2009
It's Not Your Fault

Hey

If you've been trying to sell jewelry online and it hasn't been
working out, it's not your fault.   It really isn't.

Some key information isn't being shared, and I'm not just talking
about on Etsy either.

(I really didn't want to go back into this, but here I am.)

-->Sidebar

This is a long one.   All about jewelry selling.   Yes, I am aware
that this is a jewelry MAKING in my jam jams newsletter.

This is the last time I'll talk about this on this newsletter.   I
promise!

If you have no interest in selling, I don't want to waste your
time.   Please close this email now.   Life is short!   Don't waste
your time reading anymore :)

--->End of Sidebar

Before I get into this, let me preface it a bit.   I got the
hugest response ever from the September Newsletter.   If you didn't
read it, it was called "The Issue Where Christine Says Etsy Is
Stealing Your Money".

I wasn't really planning on revisiting this subject with you,
because as you know this is a jewelry MAKING newsletter not a
jewelry selling newsletter.

I only wrote the story I did because the most often asked question
I get is, "I want to start selling my jewelry but I don't know how
to get started."

If you remember back to the August Newsletter, I said that I would
write an article related to one of the most often asked questions I
receive from readers like you.

So that's why I started researching into Etsy in the first place.
I did sell on Etsy a few years ago (and still do occasionally if a
friend requests a custom bracelet or something and wants to pay me
by credit card).   I wasn't planning on "outing" Etsy.   In fact my
purpose was to show you some basic marketing 101 - how to use
available knowledge to do market research and make results-oriented
decisions.

My main objective really was to say here are some places to sell,
here's how to pick what to sell, and here's how to get people
interested, and ultimately make a living doing something you love.

So instead, I came across roadblocks.   Of course, that reminded me
of a rather unpleasant exchange on an an Etsy forum about two years
ago.

To top it all off, I started writing the newsletter on the morning
of the day my parents were coming from five hours away to visit for
a few days and I had just heard they were coming the night before,
so I was rushing to write the newsletter so I could send it and
still vacuum before they arrived.   So I wrote it in a huge rush and
just sent it off without really thinking about what a stink it would
cause.

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LONG WINDED PREFACE OVER

Ok, so I received mostly good feedback - a relief actually, because
I did sell on Etsy, I am aware of the Etsy culture and the whole
community that surrounds being a seller there.   After sending it off
and having a bit of time to think it over, I was a little worried
because I was pretty darn sure a lot of people would be really
really mad.

But fortunately for me, most of the feedback was really good and
the consensus seems to be that my whole diatribe was pretty
cathartic for most readers who've had experience on Etsy.

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WHY THE HECK I'M REVISITING THIS THING

So here's why I'm revisiting this.   Two reasons.   The first
reason is that I wanted to clarify a few things so that you
don't get the wrong end of the stick.   I don't want to be that jerk
that shoots her mouth off without backing up what she says and
won't admit when she's wrong.

The second reason is that a couple of the responses made me grin so
I wanted to share so you could grin too :)

For everyone that writes, I'm sure there are five more that don't,
but are feeling the same way.

If you're not getting results selling your jewelry online, it's not
your fault, and you're not alone!   Jewelry is sort of a unique
handmade item to sell online.   It's different from handmade baby
clothes or one-eyed knitted monsters.   You have to market it uniquely
and sell it uniquely and no one seems to be acknowledging that from
what I'm hearing.

So for everyone out there feeling like they are the ones doing
something wrong, don't beat yourself up.   You haven't been given
good information.

These two cool emails will make you feel better and hopefully make
you grin too.

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LET'S GRIN FIRST

I really enjoyed reading these emails because when I was going
through my stint on Etsy, I sure didn't get any back up from the
community then!

If you remember from the September Newsletter, I asked the forum
how to get results on Etsy and actually be able to make a
worthwhile income.

I'll be honest here - I wasn't being a shrinking violet with my
question.   And I did invite a bit of abuse with more obtuse
questions.   I was part of that community.   I wasn't surprised by
the response at all.   I know what the culture is like there: work,
network, work, advertise, network, join street teams, get the word
out, get the word out, be part of the community, rah rah rah.

I don't know what it's like there now, but back then in 2007, the
forum threads changed so fast that most questions just floated away
without getting any responses.   So I made it a little juicy on
purpose.   I guess I was feeling frustrated and wanted to challenge
some of the Etsy assumptions.

People got really mad.   I know you're "not supposed to be in it for
the money", but in my opinion, every time you put a dollar value on
something, you want to get some money.

It's silly to pretend otherwise.   You're just fooling yourself, and
when you're not straight with yourself, you can't plan and set
goals.

And if you don't set goals, how do you know where you're going and
whether you're behaving in ways that will get you there?

Anyway, the nicest comment on my forum thread went something along
the lines of, "It's OK dear, once you grow up a little and
understand life and how it works, you'll realize that you just
don't know what you're talking about.   Back off everybody, leave
her alone.   She doesn't really understand what she's saying".

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FELLOW ETSIAN RECOVERY SUPPORT CLUB (tongue in cheek.   I'm not
really starting a for-real club.   Don't send hate mail)

So here are some of the emails.   I'm sure they'll make you smile too
if you've tried your darndest and still haven't seen the type of
results you'd like.

(If you wrote too and I'm not posting yours, don't take it personally
please!   I didn't want to make this email even longer than it already
is so I whittled it down to these two.)

Cool Email #1

"YOU ROCK!

I read your etsy article out loud to my boyfriend and we
were both nodding our heads thinking "so true"....

I've been completely ripped off by etsy. I too "re-list" to increase
visibility etc. Spend money on showcases that result in nothing...
spend money on cameras...and I think my jewelry is pretty
different from the rest. I don't know...but I"d be happy to
articulate my experience for your work-in-progress article. I think
you may be surprised by how many people will agree with you!"

Cool Email #2

"Christine:

"Thank you for your expose on Etsy.   I believe what you are saying,
and am so glad you said it because my experience on that website
was very poor.   My hand made jewelry got buried under the huge
piles of other jewelry items. It was in my opinion, a rip-off.   I
even tried to showcase a few of the items with no results, and my
jewelry is beautiful (in my opinion) with sterling silver and gold
filled beads with crystals.   Again, thank you. Somehow, your "rant"
( I didn't view it as a rant) was cathartic for me."

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The emails are still rolling in.   Many of them are asking specific
questions about how to proceed in a way that will actually produce
results.

I'm working on some lessons.

If you want free "result-oriented" lessons for selling online too,
you can subscribe here:

and I'll let you know when I post the first lessons.

(I'll talk more about the lessons at the end of this long-winded
email).

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REASON #2 FOR REVISITING JEWELRY SELLING ONLINE -   IT'S ABOUT NOT
BEING A JERK.

You've got them, I've got them we've all got them, right?

Those emails from people who are just trying to scam you.   And
that's why we're always on the lookout for people to be wrong so we
don't get scammed and be left feeling like an idiot.

As an internet-based newsletter writer, I'm really aware that
people are looking for signs of "wrongness" - of incongruency that
might mean hypocrisy and scammage.

I'm not a scammer.   But I do goof up from time to time.   More often
than most, probably!

How do I keep my goof-ups from looking like wrongness and possible
scammage?   I go by an "anti-jerk" policy.   I promptly correct
anywhere I misspoke or typo-ed or jumped the gun.   You know, regular
stuff for passionate people that speak before they think.

I know, I know.   A pretty big lead up.   No, I'm not retracting my
whole newsletter.   I still stand behind everything I said.

But I was called up on a few points by a reader so let's just
address that stuff right now and be done with it :)

(I know this is a really long email.   If you're still reading can
you do me a favor and just hit reply when you're done and give me a
quick one-liner of your thoughts?   Or just hit reply and say "yup"
and I'll know you read this far.   For my own curiosity).

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HERE'S WHAT I RECEIVED FROM A READER

"Not sure where you got your numbers, but I do know you are wrong
on several of them.       Etsy does not charge .20 a day as you
stated. It is .20 per item to run it for 90 days.   That is .0022
cents a day.   I average 300 items which totals .66 cents a day.     I
can't run a web page for that.

No one at Etsy is telling anyone to re-list every item every day.
The suggestions in the forums are to re-list a few items daily to
keep your shop near the top of the views.     As with any business,
you get out of it what you put into it.     Some people do well, some
don't.

Please, if you are going to print negative things about any
company, be sure you have your facts straight!"

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SO I REPLIED:

Hi XXX,

--->Sidebar:

I don't want to have people poking into her business and
harassing her.   Better safe than sorry.   So this reader is "xxx"

(Also these little sidebar things are my way of commenting on the
text in my emails and xxx's emails.   Just FYI.)

--->End of Sidebar

Continuation of my email

Good to hear from you again :)

I'm sorry you disagree with me, but I clearly linked to exactly
where I got my numbers from.   The article was posted on CNN.   It
was a reprint of a Fortune Small Business Magazine article.

The link, once again is here:
http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/13/smallbusiness/etsy_wars.fsb/index.htm

I'd like to quickly respond to what you said in your email:

Re "Etsy does not charge .20 a day as you stated. It is .20 per
item to run it for 90 days"

I didn't state $0.20 a day, I said $0.20 for four months.   Is it
only three months now?

RE: "I average 300 items which totals .66 cents a day.     I can't
run a web page for that."

As for $0.66 cents a day to post items on a website, actually I'll
be showing everyone how to run a website for less than $10 a year
for a domain ($6.99 a year actually is what I pay), and $15 for 3
months web hosting at my very favorite work-at-home mom hosting
service.   So that is, let's see....

$6.99 per year + $5 per month = 66.99 per year, so divided by 365
days, that is actually 18.3 cents per day.

Re: "No one at Etsy is telling anyone to re-list every item every
day.   The suggestions in the forums are to re-list a few items
daily to keep your shop near the top of the views."

I stand corrected.   I don't think I actually said every item every
day, but I can see how that was implied.   No, they say only to
re-list some every day, not every item every day.

But the implication is that you must re-list to stay near the top of
the views.   I don't know if you've actually watched the opening
page where they show you the most recently listings, but the last
time I just checked right now, and they show 10 pictures of
recently posted items.   Those ten items shuffled down at least 3
times just during the few seconds it took to count how many they
showed.

Now you can't seriously tell me that re-listing is actually a
strategy that brings any kind of results.   What are the chances
someone will see your re-list, click on it, and actually buy?

Did you know that an average click though rate on a Google Adwords
ad (you know the ones on the side of your search page) is about 2%
if you write a really good ad?   And those ads are really really
targeted to whatever you are searching on.

And once you actually get a click on that ad, you are doing better
than most of your competitors if you get a sales conversion rate of
1 or 2%.

So those people, who spend money on advertising, and presumably are
making their money back on advertising, are happy if they get 1
sale out of 1000 ad views.

--->Sidebar:

I realize I miscalculated.   I guess 2% + 2% is actually 4
sales out of a thousand ad views for Google Adsense results
happiness, not 1 out of a thousand as I stated.   MY argument is
still valid whether for "1 out of 1000" or "4 out of a thousand".
Please don't email me to correct this small typo:)

--->End of Sidebar

Continuing on with my email response:

How many people see your re-listed item?

How many people click on that re-listed item?

Well, what do you know, Etsy won't tell you either number.

Google Adwords tells you exact numbers.

Etsy could easily tell you those numbers too.

But they don't.

I wonder why not?

(Sorry about being long winded.   The more I think about this the
madder I get!)

Moving along.   You said: "As with any business, you get out of it
what you put into it.     Some people do well, some don't.   "

I agree totally.   All I care about is results.   If you're doing
well, I'd love to hear your numbers and what you put into it versus
what you get out.

From what I've been told, you have to put a lot of hours into Etsy
to make it work for you.

I've been told 60-80 hours is normal.   And no one is telling me
what you get out for those 60-80 hours.

For 60-80 hours away from my family I want to be making a lot more
than a pittance.

(Actually, I don't think you could pay me enough to be away from my
kids that much!)

If I can be corrected I would love to be able to tell people they
could actually be running a business on Etsy and get results.   I
want that so much that I'm willing to put my money where my mouth
is.   I'm taking applications from sellers wishing to be interviewed
to share their tips and experience with others.   I'm willing to pay
$250 per interview If you can prove your numbers, and help shortcut
others' success.   If you want the full criteria for applying as an
online jewelry selling expert, please email me and I'll get that
out to you.

And if you aren't making money on Etsy I'd love to hear that too.
I'm not putting down Etsy for charging for a service.   I pay money
for a lot of services to keep my own online business running.   I
think services are wonderful because they mean I get to spend more
time with my family.

My problem with Etsy is that I think they are not telling the full
truth.   Not only that, they could be giving you the tools to
actually make a full time income but they aren't.   They have the
numbers you need.   They won't let them be released.   Other people
have figured out in the past how to release those numbers through
Etsy's API, but Etsy sicced their lawyers on them and made them
shut down.   I don't know if you remember ETSYTools?   Gone.   And
there were others becuase I found a whole bunch a few months ago.
They are gone too.

So I don't think I've gotten anything wrong here at all.   Sure you
get what you put into a business, but Etsy ain't letting people in
on the full picture.

Just so you know, I'll be reprinting this email for the mailing
list because I'm sure there are others who are thinking the same
thing!   Of course I won't post your name or your Etsy shop or
anything like that.

I know what I'm saying is controversial.   I sincerely would love to
be proven wrong.   But I know in my gut that I'm not wrong and it is
wrong to build up people's hopes without telling them the full
truth.

Best,
Christine

P.S. In case you skipped over that part about me wanting to
interview people who are doing well, here it is again:

If you are making a full time income selling jewelry online,
whether on Etsy or otherwise, I'd love to hear from you!   I'm
taking applications from sellers wishing to be interviewed to share
their tips and experience with others.   I'm willing to pay $250 per
interview If you can prove your numbers, and help shortcut others'
success.   If you want the full criteria for applying as an online
jewelry selling expert, please email me and I'll get that out to
you."

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--->SIDEBAR:

NOTE TO YOU DEAR READER -
Yes, I mean what I said about the interview.   Please reply if you
want the criteria and I'll send that out to you.

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SO XXX REPLIED BACK:

"I know exactly how many people click on each item.   All you need
to do is use   http://www.craftcult.com,   It is not just tracking
hearts.   It tracks views.   Etsy does not prevent those from being
counted.   I also track my Etsy traffic via Google Analytics,
There is no huge secret about traffic to Etsy.     If you want to see
what individual sellers are making, that's no big secret either.
I simply go to their sold items and look.   It gives a date sold, so
you can see how many items a month they sell.   If you feel you have
to know how much they made, you can estimate the sold prices from
what they currently have.   Again, no big secret.   If Etsy allowed
people to view what the top selling items are, folks would try to
jump on the bandwagon and flood the market with those items.   Ebay
did   that and ruined the sight for the average seller.   I am glad
it takes a bit of effort to find it on Etsy.

I do not spend 60-80 hours online, let alone on just Etsy.   Yes, I
spend a great deal of time on the business, but that includes
making the jewelry and filling orders which I suppose some people
would include in their estimate, especially if they want it to look
inflated.

--->Sidebar from Christine

Actually, I did mean to include production, packaging, shipping,
trips to the post office, tracking down lost orders, etc. etc. in
the 60-80 hour estimate.   I didn't think they meant 60-80 hours on
the computer.   When I calculate a per-hour business, I count
everything that goes into the business.   I don't think anyone
should spend 60-80 hours a week on any job or business, no matter
what the tasks are!   Life is much too short.

--->End Sidebar

Continuation of Reader email

I know you can get a domain name and web hosting rather cheap these
days but, how many hours do you spend on that?     I had a web site.
It took hours and hours to set up and maintain.   I never made a
single sale from it.     It came up in   Google and other searches.   I
had an easy to use shopping cart on it.   I worked on it for several
years before I decided it was not worth the effort.   Time is money
too when considering the cost.

You did say to re-list every item every day.   "Sure, it's only $0.20
A day, but one of the tips for sellers is to re-list everything
Everyday so you keep showing up in the new item feeds."

---->Sidebar from Christine

I didn't re-read my newsletter, but I'm sure XXX is right.
I'm sorry for suggesting it was every item every day.   My bad. Not
that it makes a huge difference but I guess it would to some. So only
a few items re-listed for little return rather than all listed
for little return in actual fact.

---> End of Sidebar

Continuing on with the response

That simply is not true.     I re-list a few items several times a
week at peek hours.   I get those hours from the above mentioned
Google site.   I do get sales from this strategy.   Not every time,
but often enough to know it works for me.

No, I do not make a living from my sales on Etsy. I do make enough
to keep at it.     I just feel what you are telling people is not
completely correct.   Just because it was on CNN does not make it
gospel truth.   Numbers can be twisted to make a point in either
direction if one tries hard enough, ask any polotician.     There is
no great Etsy conspiracy to dupe the public as you imply.

I wish you good luck in your efforts.

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FROM ME AGAIN

Thanks for taking the time to reply.   I understand exactly what
you're saying and I agree with you on many counts.   I don't expect
people to see everything the way I do, of course!

I'm glad you've proven me wrong on the Google Analytics.   I had no
idea you could do it.   I just did a search and found out they added
it, so thanks so much for pointing that out!

This gives me a great tool to help others figure out how to sell
better.   If I didn't know it was there, then you can bet that
people just starting out don't know it either.

Regarding page views, that wasn't what I meant.   I know you can see
views.   What I meant was that you couldn't see where the clicks
were coming from, and you can't see which clicks led to the actual
sales.

For instance, I can see which clicks come from newsletter
subscribers, and how many of those clicks result in E-book sales.
I can see if the E-book sales come directly from passers-by, or
people who have visited before and how many visits they made to the
sales page before they decide to buy.

--->Sidebar:

I should add that I can split test two similar pages against each
other to see which one performs better.   I'll be showing you how to
do that in the lessons.   As it stands now, this is impossible to do
on Etsy.   If they wanted to though, they could make this type of
testing available for you.   Even if they charged you an extra fee,
it would be worth it)

--->End of Sidebar

Continuation of my response:

Did you get clicks from recently listed?   Does Google Analytics
tell you?   They should be able to tell you this information.   As I
no longer sell on Etsy, I don't have any hard data to be able to
check.

Do you get only your own data?   Or do you get overall Etsy data?

The comment that most interests me is Google Analytics.   I didn't
go into this to "out" Etsy.   I wanted to help people figure out how
to sell more jewelry and how to use tracking and testing to do it.

I noticed you weren't interested in the interview.   Would you be
willing to chat with me about how you use Google Analytics with
Etsy to improve your sales?   My main goal here is to help people
find the fastest easiest way to actually get results.

I have a number of systems and theories that I use for my website.
It's brought me into the top 1% of all websites within my first
year online and I want guinea pigs to test it out for hard goods.

I understand if you aren't interested though.   Clearly you feel I'm
being sneaky in some way.   Honestly, I just want to help other
people achieve the success I am experiencing myself.

Good luck, and I hope to hear from you!

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THE READER RESPONDS BACK

Christine,

My first impression of your e-mail was not that you were trying to
be sneaky, but that you did not have all the fact straight before
you published it.     The title saying Etsy is stealing turned me off
immediately.   I am not interested in an interview because I do not
want what I might say to get twisted or misunderstood in any way.

If you take the time to get into Google Analytics, you will find
all the information you are asking about.   No, I can not track
other Etsians on it, but I have no reason to do so.

--->Sidebar:

Actually, I just wanted to know if you could sort out the search
results for Etsy from your own specific search results.   It would
be useful to know which search terms people were using to find you.

Then you could figure out what terms to target because you could
research how many searches were being done for a specific term, try
to target high search volume low competition terms, and see if you
were getting results that way.

I suspect the search terms on a multi-user site like Etsy wouldn't
be vendor specific in Google Analytics on Etsy, so this type of
analysis wouldn't be possible.

That's the great thing about having your own domain and website.
Your analytics are very exact and you can track the results of
marketing experiments.   That's the only way to improve and give
yourself a pay raise.   Testing and tracking.   Love it.

--->End of sidebar

Continuation of XXX's email

I am only interested in my own business.   I can find where visitors
are coming from.   I know exactly how many come from direct traffic,
or   my blog, or Facebook, or from Twitter, or other's blogs, etc.
I can't tell which ones lead directly to sales, but again, that
isn't high on my priority list.

======================================
Sorry another sidebar - I just can't help myself on this one!

Aaugh!   How can sales conversion not be on the priority list?
That's the only thing that needs to be on the priority list!

Okay, freakout and passionate outburst ended.   Sorry xxx,
I don't mean to pick on you.   Probably most jewelry sellers are in
the same boat of opinion.   (Is that the expression?   It isn't,
is it?, Oh well, you know what I mean).

My argument is that this lack of focus on results is exactly why
jewelry sellers   aren't making the sales they could be making.

It never comes down to the product (well, almost never).   All things
being equal, profitable versus not profitable is all down the
marketing.   And if you can improve your marketing by small
increments over time, then you can turn a loser into a winner.
It's basic oh so basic marketing.   How do you improve sales if you
don't know what led to the sale?

(That goes for you too XXX.   I've seen your shop and your work is
impeccable.   You could easily shift your focus in a few areas and
be creating a full-time income from your work.   Honestly, you have
the potential to sell much much more than 85 sales over a two year
span!)

---> End of Sidebar

Continuation of email

I know it takes many clicks for a sale.   Google tells me when those
visitors are most active and which venues to concentrate on.     I
can narrow it down to what day, and the time of day so I know
exactly when newly listed items are the most likely to be seen. For
instance, I know very few people come to my Etsy shop from
Facebook, so I don't spend much time there.   I get a ton from
Twitter, so I Tweet several times a day.     I know Sunday is a dead
day, so I don't normally list anything on a Sunday.   My views spike
around 9 am and 6 pm my time, so that is when I list.

I hope this was helpful.   Now, I'm off to work on my business.

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So that was the exchange.   Sorry it was so long, but I didn't want
to be accused of misquoting anything.

If you read that whole exchange, I really admire your perseverance.

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MY CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS SO NO ONE THINKS I'M A JERK:

My husband is not a computer guy and he thinks the internet is a
pretty scuzzy world filled with scammers and porn.

I understand that many people are wary about the internet.   I know
it's an uphill battle just making anyone trust me enough to even
share their email address. So I always try to overdeliver to help
build trust and confidence and show that not everyone on the internet
is untrustworthy!

I told my husband once that this was my philosophy about marketing
and business in general:   Everything I write, I put up to the jerk
test.

What's a jerk test?   Here's what I do: I read what I've written
(whether its a newsletter, an email, a webpage, or anything really)
and try to put myself in the shoes of someone who has no clue who I
am, and try to decide from what I'm reading whether it says "jerk"
or "nice woman".   Which I am:)

So when I realized I goofed on a couple things I thought, "What
would I think if I were a newcomer to my list?   What would I think
if I knew these claims not be true?"

Of course I would think, "jerk".

So that's why I bother with this long drawn out email.   I'd rather
err on the side of telling too much in an effort to be transparent,
than on the side of "jerk".

I figure if you don't want to read long emails you have that choice
right?   Not like I didn't warn you at the beginning :)

HERE ARE THE CORRECTIONS FROM SEPTEMBER ISSUE PART 1:

#1 Etsy doesn't suggest you re-list EVERYTHING every day, just some
things everyday.   Not much of a difference if you ask me since it's
pretty iffy whether re-listing gets you hits or not, but that's a
separate argument.

#2 Etsy does allow you to put Google Analytics code and has offered
this since January of 2009.   I haven't really done the Etsy thing
since 2007.   Sorry.   My bad.   But great news for those of you
already on Etsy!   In my lessons I'll be showing you how to use the
results from Google Analytics to increase your conversion rate
(i.e. the number of browsers that become buyers).
Once again, free lessons - subscribe here:
http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/getinfo.html

#3 This correction has nothing to do with the email exchange.   I
found a list of top sellers!   I guess I didn't look hard enough
the first time round.   So the rumors that Etsy has broken arms and
shut down anyone who releases their secrcrets has been greatly
exaggerated.   I found a couple of sites that show the top sellers,
top listings, top items, and the like.   I'll share
this in an upcoming lesson.   Subscribe to the lessons here:
http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/getinfo.html

(Should I take screenshots before they're pulled?   No, don't give in
to paranoia Christine!)

By the way - surprise surprise!   The biggest sellers sell supplies
and services like Etsy banners and graphics to other sellers.   Not
surprising since the majority of visitors are sellers!

Ridiculous musing coming up: I wonder what the visitor ratio of
sellers to non sellers is?   It would be interesting to know wouldn't
it?   What if most buyers were other sellers?   Isn't that almost
like a pyramid scheme then?   People sell to make money to buy, or
buy to stimulate sales... Chicken or the egg?   Ok now I'm talking
out of my bum.   Clearly that didn't make any sense.

====================================================================
THE POINT OF THE LESSONS

While I have you reading the longest email you've probably ever
seen (in for a nickel, in for a dollar, right?), I'll take this one
last bit of your time to answer a question I've been getting.

The questions have all been along the lines of, "So if Etsy isn't
the answer, what do I do?"

Well that's what the lessons are about.

When I started the How-to-Make-Jewelry.com website less than two
years ago, I knew practically nothing about html, writing
newsletters, search engines, and what keywords were.   If you don't
know either, then you're just as well off as I was two years ago.

I've learned a lot over the past couple years (mostly because I'm
an obsessive researcher and have spent way too much time and money
on courses and learning the best practices for results-oriented
ethical sustainable online marketing.

Over the past couple years online marketing has become one of my
passions.   As I see results, I get more and more motivated so I
learn even more.

I know I'm talking too much.

I'm going to boil it all down.

The lessons are going to walk through the steps you take to get
results online selling jewelry.

When you sell jewelry online, you need a strategy.   Without a
strategy, you're just spinning your wheels.   You don't know what is
worth doing and what is a waste of your time.

I have a strategy I used to go from zero to the top 1% of websites
online.   I did it in under a year.   I can't guarantee you'll do the
same, but that isn't your goal as a jewelry seller anyways.

Your goal is to get traffic and convert that traffic into sales.
Right?

So in this experiment that is my goal.

Now you could go ahead and get traffic the way I did, by buying an
SBI site and working through the step by step program of building a
content website.   And that would work for you too, I'm sure of it.
The only problem is that an SBI site costs $299.99 to start, and,
though others would argue with me, but it's not set up to easily sell
hard goods like handmade jewelry.

Of course, it can be adapted to a hard goods business, it's just a
little trickier.   If you want the link to build yourself an SBI site,
it really is a great option.   I totally credit SBI with my current
success online.

Read my story here:
http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/work-from-home-story.html

Another option is to follow along with me and my lessons.   Here's
my lesson plan - I'm going to build (using the cheapest, easiest to
use tools possible) two jewelry selling websites and you can watch
as I do so.   If you follow along and do what I do, you should get
similar results to what I get.

I'm building two rather than one because I want to test whether the
SBI tools really give you that much more of an edge or not if you
know what you're doing already in terms of strategy.   For that
reason I'm going to build an SBI site, and a WordPress Site.

It's the WordPress site that will cost the 18.3 cents per day, and
not much more. I can't think of any non-free secondary services
you'll need to buy to get started.

The SBI site will cost over 82 cents a day and has many built in tools
that are especially useful for non techie type people who wouldn't
know html if it smacked them in the face.   (No offense to non-techies.
I was you two years ago, remember?)

So you can pick which platform you can afford.   Either way you can
follow along with me.

Plan, research, and plan some more.   Build a traffic pulling
website, build in automation and tracking, build relationships,
track results, test out theories, course correct, test some more,
perfect the strategy with a small amount of products, and wash rinse
and repeat.

That's basically the lesson plan in a nutshell.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it though.   This is not a get rich quick
scheme.   This will take time.   It will take longer than most people
would like, but won't be as much work as you think it might be.

As with most things worthwhile doing, slow and steady wins the race.

Oh - I almost forgot.   I want this experiment to take up less than
2 hours a day of computer time on average. I don't have a lot of time
to spare, and I'm sure you don't either.   You want to spend your
time filling orders not being on a computer.

There will be many days where you won't be doing anything online
(unless you want to of course!)   But I have no desire to disrupt my
mommy life because that's my first priority.   And I do have this
website to maintain from time to time too!

Once it's setup, my goal is to show you how to automate or outsource
enough that you as the business owner are spending less than an hour
on the computer a day.

I know you're skeptical.   That's OK.   I expect you to be skeptical.

So that's it in a nutshell.

Maybe I'll fall flat on my face.   Who knows?

If you want to get in on this experiment, once again you can
subscribe here:
http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/getinfo.html

That's it,   The longest email ever.

Is there some Guinness's World Record I'm breaking?   Where do I
check that?

Rock on,
Christine Gierer
Possibly more than slightly insane webmaster
~how-to-make-jewelry.com

==================================================

P.S. I love my readers! Something nice in my inbox every single
day.   The latest customer feedback on my E-book is this:

"Christine,   I just downloaded your wonderful book Wire Work
Secrets-what a jewel this is!" ~Pat C.

Thanks Pat, glad you like it!

If you're interested in checking it out too, it's here:
http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/wire-work.html

If you don't want to, that's OK too.   I'll still love you.

If you didn't read the post that preceded this one, you can read it here: The Etsy is Stealing Your Money Article

Return from Etsy Stealing Your Money Newsletter 2 to the Handmade Results About Page

Return from Etsy Stealing Your Money Newsletter 2 to the Handmade Results Jewelry Marketing Home Page

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12 Comments

  1. Debbie Mischley
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Hello Christien,
    Yes, this article (email) was quite long, but well worth the read. I don’t see how you could have made it any shorter and still say what needed to be said. I too have tried selling on Etsy – without much success. Hardly any sales at all. I do buy a lot of supplies on Etsy though. There is an awful lot of everything on Etsy so it is hard to get yourself noticed, unless you are making something very unique and unusual. I mostly go on Etsy just to look now – and to get some creative ideas when my head is blank.
    Thank you Christine for your newsletters and this website – don’t know what I would do without it.
    Debbie :)

  2. janae rocha
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I finished the article!
    It was long…but worth it.

    I do believe you are more right than wrong about Etsy…and I am equally curious about the % of sellers being buyers vs. outside of the seller ranks sales.

    I use GA on Etsy and also on my ProStore website – but am totally overwhelmed by all of the data and do not use it to its full advantage. On that, I will def need your help.

    Keep us the good work, Christine!

    janae

  3. Maureen Shafer
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    As as a former Etsy seller I think you’re right on. They push the old cry of “Renew, renew to stay at the top of the search results!” because their search is pitiful and returns results in reverse chronological order, when what they should do is overhaul their search engine to return more relevant results or to randomize the results. And that’s only one of the many problems with the way Etsy is run. Here’s the link to a post a fellow jewelry artisan and friend of mine made on her blog about how much Etsy sucks:

    Sayonara Etsy

    With all that said, I do have one correction to make concerning the info you’ve presented here. The owners of Etsy Tools shut down the site because they received death threats from disgruntled Etsy sellers who weren’t happy with the way they (the owners of Etsy Tools) did things and the tools they were offering.

    • Christine
      Posted December 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that added info Maureen. I do remember the death threat thing now that you bring it up – it wasn’t because they were defending Etsy? I though it was something about Etsians closing ranks to defend Etsy and the Etsy way.

  4. Maureen Shafer
    Posted December 11, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a post one of the owners of Etsy tools made on UEN (Unofficial Etsy News) about that subject:

    http://etsynews.com/647/a-sad-goodbye-to-etsytools/

    Warning: There is some rough language in this post.

    • Mary Spencer
      Posted July 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Darn I can’t read it. The etsynews.com domain is for sale.

  5. marie gilvey
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I do have 174 items there, but not to may success for buyer maybe i do something wrong i do better on crafts show will see with handmade results how i will do

  6. Kathy Pine
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great Etsy info! I’m in the process of developing my marketing strategy for my jewelry and was leaning towards selling some pieces on Etsy. I think I’ll avoid that now and focus on other things that might result in more sales.

    • Christine
      Posted February 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Your welcome Kathy. Etsy is so attractive, isn’t it? Easy, lots of hype in the media – it seems it’s everywhere. What nobody is talking about is the actual vendors and how they are doing. It’s true, that some vendors do very well – but only in certain niches. Jewelry is a really tough one on Etsy. (I hear handmade baby crib sets are doing awesome though…)

  7. Essexy
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Yup and I had heard about Etsy on Oprah and was going to try it out this very day until I read this newsletter. Thanks for putting the word out for I am a single mom and I do not have a 9 to 5 income so I would like to avoid any avenues for marketing my jewelry that will not benefit me!

  8. Jenifer Long
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Nice Christine! I just subscribed to your lessons. I don’t sell on easy for the same reasons you mentioned. Knew I wasn’t the only one;-) I was spending more than I was making and it was ridiculous. I understand you have to spend some money to make money but….well you know what I mean. Anyway, to get to my point. I’m glad you are so upfront and honest. I’m looking forward to learning from you.

    Thanks,
    Jen

  9. Eve Hankwell
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi ya,

    In the UK we have a well known, well loved TV comedy show called “The Catherine Tate Show”.

    In it is a sketch were Mrs Tate (the shows comedian) plays a moody teenager.
    The tag line for every sketch is every conversation disintegrating into … ‘am I bothered, do I look bothered? Do I look bothered to you?’ in an aggressive, disgruntled sort of a way (which is really funny).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFWkJuPhApc

    Isee?? – couldn’t. Get it – didn’t. Did it – no chance! Missing the point ….

    Wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about and how to get into it and now officially

    ‘Am I bothered. Do I look bothered’.

    At last, no, I’m not! :)

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