Get Your Shop Found On Etsy® with Tim Adam
We're gonna talk next about gaining traffic on Etsy, and I get to welcome Tim Adam to join us today, whenever we're ready. Hi Tim.
Hey Lisa how's it going everybody?
(chuckles) Hi Tim, you're coming through the rafters here. It's awesome. (laughs)
Awesome. That is awesome.
So nice to have you here today, thank you for joining us.
Yeah I'm happy to be here. So I just wanna let you guys know, you're gonna be staring at my picture as I'm talking. Then I'll be doing some screen sharing in a little bit. Yeah Lisa, I'm really excited to be here and talk about some Etsy traffic and SEO, and some really technical stuff that you guys are gonna love.
Lisa can you introduce Tim and tell us a little bit about what he does?
Absolutely. Well I'm actually gonna. I said Tim Allen, he's well known in the Etsy community, he's well known in the handmade world. He has a blog called Handmadeology.com, and I'm gonna actually throw that to Tim. I would love Tim for you to tell eve...
rybody. I feel like I'm talking to the rafters. I would love for you to tell everybody how you got your start. You have a really interesting journey with Etsy, and handmade business altogether.
Yeah absolutely. Alright guys, so as Lisa said that I am the owner of handmadeology. Started about, man it's been almost six years ago now. But let me tell you how I got started selling on Etsy. So just a little fast, we'll backtrack too. I went to school for Environmental engineering. Then I was gonna be a Science teacher. In 2005, my sister-in-law asked me to help her with some projects and they were all metal, all welding and things like that, and I was like I don't know how to do any of that. So anyway I went through a welding course, I got certified as a MIG welder, and I started designing furniture and I absolutely loved it. So I started selling in galleries and art shows and craft shows and all that stuff. And then in 2007 one of my good friends told me about Etsy. I got on there in February of 2007. I started selling clocks and jewelry trees and furniture, and through the Etsy community, through the forums and things, I just got advice from people and they said hey you need to make some jewelry. I was like, what, there's no way. I said I am a welder, I'm like come on, I don't make jewelry. (laughter) Right, so I took on my rusty steel and the copper, and all that kind of stuff and I started making jewelry. Totally out of my league, and it started selling, and it started selling well. Probably about a year after being on Etsy, I was able to quit my jobs, and I said jobs because I was working multiple jobs. But I was able to quit and I was able to pursue Etsy full-time. I had some really fun stories like, I had a table that sold to Barneys New York, which was three months after opening my shop that was crazy. It didn't make me successful, but it was an awesome story, and a big chunk of money for us, my wife and I being newly married. But yeah in midst to all of that, it was 2007-2008, I started a blog. I started blogging because my wife said, "Hey, you need to start a blog". I was on the internet, I looked at funny videos on YouTube and I had an email and now I had this Etsy shop, and I'm like gonna start this blog and so I did. And you can still find it today. I'll leave it up because it's pretty funny, not funny, but it's funny to go back and look at things that you do. Now it's what, six years ago or whatever, but it's Timothy Adams at blogspot.com so check it out. But that's where I started talking about my business. I started talking about my Etsy shop. I started talking about different ways to get exposure for my Etsy shop and things like that. I remember doing my first screen capture video. It was how to embed a Etsy mini. If you guys ever remember that. I don't even know if that's still around, but embed this Etsy mini on your blog and people ate it up, it was awesome. But I started Handmadeology because I got an email from a lady and she said, "Hey I've been following your blog "and I lost my job at the bank, "but following your tips and following your advice "like I make more money selling my jewelry "than I did at the bank and I don't have to worry about it". So I didn't know who she was. I didn't even know that she was following my blog. Just someone, a reader and it was just a amazing story to me so that right there put a spark in my brain. I said hey I need to do this, I need to help you, I can help you and people who are listening. So I'm super excited, this is what I do. I haven't welded, I haven't sold, I have not sold a metal piece on Etsy in over, I don't even know, maybe three years, but in 2010 I wrote a book called How to Make Money Using Etsy, and it was Wiley Publishing that came to me and they said "Hey wanna write a book?" I actually don't like reading and my wife thought it was crazy. She was like, "You're gonna write a book?" But I did and it turned out really well, and you can still buy it today but I actually don't recommend buying my book now, it sounds silly, but it's so out of date. Just go to Handmadeology and you'll find all the up to date stuff and you'll find articles that Lisa wrote, tons of articles. I remember when I first launched Handmadeology, Lisa was one of the first writers that I ever had writing for Handmadeology awesome. So that's my story guys and if you wanna talk a little bit more Lisa before I get into SEO, go for it.
Okay as far as, would you mind sharing a little bit about how well Handmadeology, Handmadeology is huge, would you mind giving us an idea?
Sure absolutely, so I'll just give you a little bit of a story. If you are thinking about starting a blog, this is what I did and it was kind of crazy, it was kind of like really ambitious. But what I did for the first 365 days, my first year of my blog launch I published five articles a day for an entire year. And of course, with people like Lisa and myself and probably 12 other writers, we accomplished that. And we have over 5,000 articles on the blog, and we have everything from branding, the pricing, the marketing, and fun stuff too, we have how-to's, we feature artists, handmade artists all the time. We do interviews, all those kind of things. So there's a lot of things for a lot of people and that's why we've grown and so our social media reach has grown, super awesome, love it and we have, I think we're hitting 260,000 fans on Facebook this week, Twitter and Pinterest. It's funny because my wife always, it was a joke, I was on Pinterest before she even knew what it was, and so follow Handmadeology on Pinterest and Instagram and all of those places. But yeah guys, we have tons of content and we have tons of courses and things that you can buy too so check us out, find us on, write on Facebook and you'll see what's going on, so yeah.
And a couple, two more things before you go. So one of the things we're focusing on here. One of the things we are talking about a lot is the long-term strategy that this is, you know, something that you invest time in, and I think you're a testament to that as well because this is not an overnight thing, you're talking since 2008. A lot of trial and error going on, a lot of different places. So would you attest to that, that it takes time and investment.
Absolutely and I think one of the things that I teach and talk about every single day to people is consistency, and I think you can apply that to your Etsy shop. You can apply that to social media. You can apply it to anything you're doing, but being consistent, but like overtime, a long time. Alright so when you first start your Etsy shop, and you're like nobody's even looking at this stuff, nobody's buying it, keep listing. Keep getting your things in there. You're passionate about it and you love it, but think like, that's in your Etsy shop. Then you go on social media it's like being consistent on a daily basis and posting and getting that content out there, and then also too just learning, like growing as a business person. I always talk about photography. We always say this, but it's like if your picture stink you're not gonna sell anything, you might have the best descriptions, you might have the best product ever, but if your pictures are bad you're not gonna sell anything. So even just getting better at your product photography like on a daily basis and being consistent with it, and growing is huge. Yeah if you look back at the things that I sold in 2007, I mean hey the pictures were terrible, but I was taking pictures with a two mega pixel camera right, and but yeah consistency and it takes a lot of work you guys. This is a business, and you know what, I'm sure Lisa has talked about it, and how much you have to invest in this. This is a business. If you wanna treat it like a business, then you're gonna succeed, and yeah so.
Yeah that really helps me out because I think what I been saying is you want the same message, you want it to be a strong message, and you wanna say it. Let me just ask you this question. Was there ever a time where you felt like you were talking to yourself. Where you were putting it out there and nobody was connecting with it.
Absolutely, I mean there was seasons of that because just launching products on Etsy and then not getting any sales and not really knowing what's gonna happen, but then when social media started, I mean hey we all start our fan pages, we all start our blogs, we all start whatever was zero, and at zero, you feel like nobody's listening, and I think that consistency is so important and yeah absolutely, so there's always--
So weathering the slow seasons is one of the hardest parts of the job.
Oh yeah absolutely. When you don't think that you're gonna make a sale, or enough sales to pay the bills or whatever it is, I mean if you're passionate about it you're gonna push through that and get past those hurdles and just like, even like things that you don't know how to do, right. I never went to school for this, I'm an Environmental engineer, what that even means, I don't know anymore, but I taught myself everything right, and that was because I wanted to learn how to do this. Yeah the seasons of slow is you gotta push through those and look towards the future for that, so yup.
Absolutely okay, so before Tim takes it with the SEO tips I'm just going to give you a brief history of how him and I have worked together because we work together very closely for a couple of years now. When I started selling on Etsy I told you this it felt like an outlet for my entrepreneurial spirit. I felt like I had something here. I was so excited to start talking about it. So I used the Etsy forums and I would write a thread like how I made a 100 sells this month, or how I did all these kind of things. I started writing blog posts, but I didn't really realize that they were blog posts yet. So I did one of how I made out of maybe 500 sells in three months, and I put all the steps down and then I put it in the Etsy forums which I wouldn't go near the Etsy forums now. I don't feel welcome there. (chuckles) I don't know what it is, I feel like I'm fresh meat in a shark tank when I go on the Etsy forums, I don't know what it is about them. But I put it in there and it stayed active for days. A lot of people were commenting on it, a lot of people were using it. At the time I kind of had a personal blog, I was playing with it, but I never talked shop like that. I just wanted to say it so bad that message was spilling out of me and I started putting it in the Etsy forums. So one day, I get this outrageous amount of traffic to my Etsy shop, and I think to myself, what could be going on, what has happened, and all of the traffic was coming from Handmadeology.com. So I went there to find that Tim had turned my thread story into an actual blog post credited link back there, link to the energy shop and was sending all of this traffic in all different ways. You know, I've told that story before, but it was because of that instance that I realized that there was an outlet for that. It was because of that day that I realized, oh I can have a blog and talk about talk shop all day long. It's actually what started marketing creativity. As soon as I realized how well I did, I started writing blogs in that format and that's when I started guest posting and working with Tim. And then over the years we've done things like courses together where we help people build better creative businesses, and we work together really well, so that's how we know each other.