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doodle dollars!I’ve made it over halfway through March without saying “I’m running on empty,” but then, I missed two or three or six blog entries at the beginning there. So is it bad that I’m still running on empty? Urgh.

I just finished the first draft of a custom doodle, which was enjoyable, as usual. I also worked on a new gift certificate graphic for Calobee Doodles–the idea I came up with at 4:30 this morning, when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep because of a certain obnoxious little kitty… *cough*PIPPEN*cough*

It’s been a slow month, so I’ve been brainstorming ways to improve my shops. A few things I’ve considered:

  • Re-evaluate my pricing (you can still take my poll… hint hint) and make adjustments as necessary;
  • revise my shop information, item descriptions, and images (working on this now);
  • advertise. Not necessarily the broad-scope Google Adwords type, but something smaller and more targeted… maybe on a few arts/craft sites and blogs. I’m going to continue to explore other, less direct methods of advertising, such as donating prints to giveaways or The Sampler;
  • and finally, list more often. This involves, you know, creating things… and you’d think that would be the easy part, but no… I’m backwards like that.

So, business owners, enlighten me: what do you do to ensure your shop doesn’t stagnate?


  1. Ummmm. I open a new shop? Oh, you did that already. Well besides relisting and getting my butt in gear to make something new- or another oldie but goodie- not a whole lot. Sorry, that wasn’t much help, but I’ll take that $25 gift certificate now. Thanks!

  2. Sadly I have no advice for you, as I’m in the midst of the same process myself. Sigh. But you do have really sweet drawings — I’m guessing probably listing more often if what you need to get them the exposure they deserve 😀

  3. I’m with you…feeling a bit stagnated lately! Maybe it’s the winter blahs 🙂 I’m working on my table displays for a market that i’ll be selling at every (non-rainy) tuesday starting in April! We’ll see how that goes…

  4. I’m also feeling you with this comment! Maybe try to take a weekend away from the computer, and work solely on the production end of things? Except, well, that suggestion goes exactly contrary to your first three ideas! so … um … do one thing one weekend and the other the next? I don’t have the answers!

  5. well…my shop is stagnate right now! I’m wating for a mannequin to retake all my photos…yes I know lots of work to look forward too. I love the gift certificate image—perfect.

  6. oooh–doodle dollars! how cute! love it.

    As far as keeping the shop freshy-fresh…blogging is a good start. i think networking in general is a BIG thing. Do you network via Flickr in groups? Do you shamelessly hand out your business card every chance you get? i’ve heard the “list often” bit of advice from countless Etsians and try to stick to that. keep up the good work…there are always going to be slow times but things will get busy again and you’ll wISH you had a bit of downtime!

  7. I am leaving my business cars in evry location I can think of…inside books at the library, on evry flat surface I encounter, I the money box at the pastry cart, in children’s pockets, on the bulletin board at the local grocery…
    Good luck!

  8. Sorry, I unfortunately don’t have any great advice, but as mentioned already above I hear that listing often helps a lot. I love Kerry’s idea about leaving business cards in every location she can think of. (Kerry made a little typo & said ‘cars’ instead of ‘cards’ which made me chuckle. Business must be booming for Kerry if she can afford to leave business cars all over the place 😉 I love amusing typos. & I’m far too easily amused…

    I also love your adorable ‘Doodle Dollars’ gift certificate!

    I guess it takes time to grow a business, so just keep enjoying & believing in what you’re doing & get the word out as much as possible. You certainly have the creative talent, so it’s just a matter of promoting it any way you can think of 🙂

  9. Great gift certificate image! I’m feeling a major decrease as well…I hit about 1-2 a week, but I’d like it to be more than that (because at one point in time it was).

    I’ve been working my butt off on doing online advertising. Blogging a lot helps, as well as posting many Flickr photos (to bring traffic to my shop).

    Finally, it might not help sales, but creating new stuff helps me stay positive. And I also renew my items quite often.

    I wish you the best of luck…I’m off to take your poll now.

  10. I think photography is a tricky thing to sell on places like etsy, trickier than prints of paintings etc. It’s important to remember that you need to compensate for the fact that people can’t see or touch what they’re buying…

    1. Take time to describe the technical stuff. Most people want to be reassured that it’s going to be high quality. Personally, I love it when sellers mention such and such paper, inks, printer. It reassures me that they are fussy about these things. Invariably , when I’ve been a bit disappointed by something I’ve bought on etsy it was from someone who didn’t do this.

    2. Have at least two photos with the listing – the original image and an example of it framed on a wall or mantelpiece. If you can show the picture in context, in an environment, then that helps people to imagine having it on their own wall at home. (In addition, if something is part of a series, then why not take a photo of them all framed together on a wall. You might sell the series then!).

    3. Don’t be shy. Other bloggers won’t bite! Contact some popular design/craft/art blogs. They will check out your shop and if they like what they see then they will blog about it. You might even consider sending an example. Perhaps a strange idea but if sending a $20 print gets them to write something enthusiastic and thousands read it then it’s worthwhile. (Recently one of my fave blogs Desire To Inspire bought a photo from a photographer called Erin Tyner, she blogged about it, others also blogged about it and I think 100 photos sold quite quickly.)

    4. Keep up your own blog. Things that inspire you, mistakes you make, things you are trying, stories behind photos… It’s not essential but it helps. I know I’ve bought things before because I found an interesting blog and liked the sound of the person and what they were doing. (Posting comments on other blogs is also a form of networking because people get curious and click onwards but do it when you genuinely like something rather than just to get your name out there).

    Hope that helps!

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