Why I did what I said I wasn't going to do...

blog Etsy paperbacklife Relaunch!

Well, I did something I said I wasn’t going to do. 

I relaunched my Etsy site. 

Now, why is that a big deal?
Mostly, its not.
It’s just personal...principal, I guess?

You see, a few years ago when kid #2 was on the way, I put my Etsy shop on vacation. While I was ‘on vacation’ (ha!), the Etsy peoples in charge made some decisions and changes that did not sit well with me as a maker, or a buyer. And I’m not the only one. At the time, there were lots of talks, online ‘protests’ and many people, like me, vowed to leave Etsy and never look back.

But here I am, looking back, ignoring those personal principals.

While its hard to deny the shitty stuff ‘Etsy’ has done (more than doubled the maker fees almost overnight, for starters), it is also hard to deny that it is a name that works for the maker.

As soon as you mention in conversation that you are a maker, people ask for ‘your Etsy’. Not your website that you worked so hard to build and pay real money to keep alive month to month. Your ‘Etsy’.
When you web search a product, Etsy and Amazon listings are the first thing to pop up, even if that specific maker you are looking for has their own website (SEO fun!)

So, while I want people to visit me here, on my website, that I’ve been working hard to build while still making new products, and creating enjoyable content, and doing all the other things that make a business go, I guess I’ve realized I need a bit more help. And since I can’t afford to hire employees (yet!), that’s where Etsy comes in. 

While Etsy fees did go up, they are still currently less per month than hosting my own online webstore, or paying someone to do it for me. 

SEO, or search engine optimization, how you & your website are found on the interwebs, is an art in and of itself. I’m working on it for my website, but Etsy has it all figured out, especially if you just read their helpful articles and keep up on current trends (which they will tell you about in other helpful articles! that they email to you all. the. time.)  As a maker, it’s hard to justify spending so much time figuring out key words to drive traffic to my personal web site when I’d rather just make pretty things. Etsy does that for me for free, mostly, with very little effort on my part aside from some light bathroom reading... 

And then there is the community you can find in Etsy. Just like any other social media site, there are groups you can join, and advice feeds you can follow. You can ask other successful Etsy sellers for tips and tricks. You can share struggles and victories with groups of makers who understand and have actually been there themselves.  You can even join events in your area to meet other makers and buyers in person. It’s a lot harder to make those connections through the contact form of another artists personal website.
So I relaunched my Etsy store. 

Partly for the sorta free advertising, partly for the community of makers, partly because I *am* in the business of making money. {Any artist that tells you otherwise is probably lying - or super unrealistically idealistic. We all have art supplies to buy and some of us have bills to pay too}
6 Harry Potter themed cat shaped gift tags are displayed on a white background.
Hairy Purrter Gift Tags on Etsy

Now, there will be a slight difference between the Etsy shop and here, my own online shop. While I do have a few current popular product offerings available on both sites, almost everything else on Etsy is last chance or older designs. Things I don’t plan on making again for whatever reasons, or that I can’t make again because of limited or one of a kind resources. Most, if not all, of these items are ready to ship next day for free, untracked with Canada Post Letter Mail. Items are listed until sold, or up to four months (how long the initial listing fee lasts). After that I’ll reexamine if the item is worth storing & relisting for sale, or if it should be upcycled to something else. AND, other than this post, I don't plan on pushing the Etsy site very hard with social media posts.  The point of the site was for the items listed there to kinda 'sell themselves'.  

Valentine's Day Celebration Box only on paperbacklife.ca
Items on my website are newer works, current events & seasonally inspired items. Some of these items have slightly longer processing times, as many of the bulkier items are made-to-order due to *super* limited storage space at my home studio (aka my kitchen & living room. Thanks Covid!). Items on my website will be listed year round for 2021, with ‘off season’ items having the longest processing times. And if you can find it on my website, it’s available for shop owners as part of a wholesale or consignment order, or to you, random person reading this, to customize & bulk order for your personal event. Contact me for more details on either of those options. 

So there you have it. 
I did what I said I wasn’t going to do. 
I relaunched my Etsy shop. 
And I’ve even half heartedly justified it to myself, and maybe you, if you even cared to begin with. 
So maybe swing by and see what’s there, at my Etsy shop
You might find that last chance item you were looking for, or at least have a fun trip down paperbacklife memory lane. 

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