If you’ve been selling on one of these sites (or one like them) for more than a few days, it’s probably a safe bet that you belong to some “support groups” either on facebook or forums.
It’s also a safe bet that you’ve heard people complaining that they’re not getting sales, or that they’re struggling with getting traffic, or that they don’t know if they’re pricing their items properly, or… or… or… any number of problems. All these problems are huge, but all too often what you see (even from seasoned “veteran” sellers) are words of encouragement or very basic suggestions. I’ve seen it first-hand, time and time again. People telling others not to give up, maybe offering a few suggestions for pricing formulas or how to take better photos, but outside of that, nada.
No one understands what the most dangerous threat to ANY online business is, much less to one where you’re selling handmade items.
It’s your ignorance.
I’m not talking about racism or not getting your GED. I’m talking about not educating yourself about how to run a successful online business, and using all the tools available to you. All too often I see people toss up some camera-phone crappy photos, a description that reads like the ingredients on an oatmeal box, and then they tweet out their listings (and only their listings) or put them up on their facebook profile/page, and then wonder why no one’s buying.
Your ignorance is leading you in a very bad direction. It’s keeping you reliant upon someone else’s site to do all your marketing and promotion. Not for nothing, while they can be great tools and many have made a great living with them, you’re nothing more than a needle in the haystack if that’s all you’re doing is listing your items and playing FarmVille while you wait for those customers to roll in.
As of right now, Etsy has almost 300,000 sellers.
Zibbet and Artfire are considerably less, but both have almost 500k pageviews per month as compared to Etsy’s 5.8M per month.
And yet, many sellers go month after month without a sale.
- You need to own your marketing efforts, rather than relying on the popularity of these sites to do the work for you.
- You need to know the right way to use facebook, twitter, pinterest, and the like. THE RIGHT WAY.
- You need your own well-organized and designed website, with a blog, on your own hosting account.
- You need to know what to put on the site, and how to do it yourself, because it’s not that hard anymore.
- You need to stop wasting time and then claim you don’t have any.
- You need a proper, opt-in mailing list, with an auto-responder – and you need to feed more than your blog posts to it.
- You need to think outside the box, and develop additional streams of income, beyond your craft.
- You need to stop sticking your head in the sand and then getting frustrated.
Taking control and actually treating your work as a real, bonafide business is the ONLY way to make things happen. Slapping items up on someone else’s site, and then waiting for the cash to flow, isn’t going to cut it.
How are you going to kill the threat of self-employment ignorance?