I am close to celebrating my fourth month selling on the Internet and looking forward to the fifth.
Have I made tons of sales or money? The answer is no. Actually I only have 3 sales and have spent more than I have made. You are probably wondering why this idiot is looking forward to more. Well, I am learning something new everyday and making friends along the way.
When I first learned about the etsy site on the Martha Stewart Show, my instinct said "Check this out". I spent days looking in the etsy pages and even with the research I didn't realize the extent of the competition on the Internet for handmade, especially in the jewelry category. I thought that I was special and would stand out. What I didn't see was that there are thousands of fine crafters who felt the same way.
In the first month, I learned how to set up my store. There was a banner to make and something called an avatar. What?? Of course, I had no pictures of my work. So the camera my husband bought me 10 years ago came out and I started in the photography industry. I filled my computer with the most horrible, blurry photos. I bought a photo altering program and learned how to download it. Yes, I knew nothing about computers! I still haven't figured out that program. So with photos in hand, and many hours later, my banner and avatar were ready to go. The yellow brick road lay ahead of me.
Next came the listing. I picked the best of my not so hot pictures, tried to think of catchy titles and descriptions and something called tags. I worked hard on my listings, getting very frustrated because I was on dial up. What is this conversation that has a 1 by it? Click! I sold something! They love me! Now I am in the shipping industry.
This spurred me on. I took pictures everyday and listed, listed, listed and sometimes relisted. Nothing! Hours and hours and nothing! So I explored more. That's when I found the chat room and forums and many more hours on the computer. Oh no! My banner was all wrong, along with my avatar and of course my pictures needed to be more close up and artsy. These were all very true critiques from my new etsy friends. Back to the drawing board. Another sale! Whoopie!
In December I switched to high speed. What a wonderful, wonderful world this can be. I was still depressed about the sales. All this work and nothing. Then a third sale on the 7th. Christmas buyers! I listed and listed, never realizing that as soon as I hit the finish button, hundreds of other new listings were being made and I would disappear into Internet oblivion. That's when I learned that etsy is a vehicle to post your items, not a promotion of them. I guess I am going into the marketing industry.
In January, I learned about search engines, tags, proper listing titles and descriptions. I joined a great team called Etsy Friends and have started blogging. I am now in the publishing industry. I also joined artfire, which gives me another avenue for my product.
Why am I putting myself thru this? Where else could I have so much fun? Where else could I have met so many people that are willing to help me succeed? Where else is there so much more to learn and experience? I believe in my product. I believe in myself. And the fact that I look so forward to the next time I see a 1 next to my conversation button and open it to see that someone else believes too.