A Forum Post by Artfire's Tony Explaining the Difference Between Etsy and Artfire

>> Tuesday, September 28

 {This is an exact copy of the forum post. I think this post is very useful, honest and helpful!}
Click here for the link to the original post

Welcome to ArtFire. We want you to be successful.

Things are a bit different here. By explaining how they are different and what you can do to be more successful, we hope we can help you skip the confusion most new sellers have and move right to getting more traffic and making more sales.

Etsy is a wonderful site. They have a great community of artists who are building exciting businesses. But, Etsy is completely different in foundation, and has different business models and exposure methods. These critical differences can be confusing for people who are trying to run a business in both places or are transitioning from Etsy to ArtFire.

Here is what you need to know.

Renewing or Deactivating/Reactivating does not help here.

1) Search– On ArtFire the search results are based on relevancy to the shopper’s query using a system very similar to the major search engines like Google and Yahoo. Pro sellers get a +1 in search (which means if you tie for relevancy with a basic item, your item is returned above it) BUT, if the basic item is a better match for the query, it will be returned first.

2) Categories-Categories are not based on tags – they are based on the category you list the item in. You can only put the item in one main category, sub category and sub-sub category. You cannot list the same item in more than one of these. The order of items is randomly generated on category pages for every shopper every time they visit. Basic and Pro items get the same exposure for general category browsing. The more items you have listed, the more often you get seen in your category because it increases your odds of being on the first few pages of the category. Since everyone has unlimited listing capability, the level of exposure you will get in a category is entirely up to you and how many items you list.

3) Gift Guides, Trend Pages,Holiday Pages- These can either be pulled by a specific search, group of searches, or by the holiday you associate with the item during the listing process. Only Pro members' items show up in these promotional tools. How recently the product was listed has no bearing on the position or frequency of the item in these shopper tools. Renewing can actually hurt your items here.

ArtFire is focused on getting your products to ALL shopper types and groups on the Internet.

We are not just concerned with shoppers who visit ArtFire.com but with all shoppers anywhere online. That means we focus heavily on SEO (search engine optimization). We’ll get into SEO more a bit later, but here is what you need to know about the concept of “renewing” and SEO: The longer an item page is up (with some updates and changes regularly) the more links it can get and the higher it will be returned in searches.

Pro members who can create multiples of an item should list multiple quantities since they get significant long-term benefits. When you have 5 items for sale and 2 of them sell, the original page stays live with the remaining 3 items. You can add more items as you make them, so that page stays up indefinitely, gaining better and better links and higher search rankings. Re-listing the item DESTROYS all of the links and authority; you start over at square one. SEO is the single biggest method of free exposure online.

We have a full library of SEO guides here on ArtFire. You can find them HERE.

You should read them all. We try to automate as much of the optimization as possible for you, but we only have the titles and descriptions you create to work with. If those are bad for SEO, the optimization will only be slightly improved.

There are two main keys to SEO in ArtFire and they are the difference between 1 view per day and 1,000 views per day.

1) You have to title and describe your items for the things people search for. Artsy titles like “sunset flame” are not searched by shoppers. “hibiscus shea butter soap” is searched. There are tools to help you see what people are searching for in the SEO guides and your internal ArtFire stats. Use them. Use titles and descriptions to hit the keywords for how shoppers are searching.

2) If you just duplicate your Etsy shop here and do not change the titles and descriptions this studio will get ZERO traffic. Google does not like duplicate content. Google dislikes duplicate items for sale EVEN MORE. You have to use the two markets as two different places for targeting different shoppers. By doing this, you can double or triple the amount of traffic you could get with just Etsy or ArtFire alone.

Promotion – They call it a business because it takes work.

You might make some sales just by listing and having good SEO. But, anyone who says “Just list it and forget it until the money rolls in,” is selling you snake oil.

We’re going to do everything we can to make it easy to promote, link your promotion, let you track your promotion and be creative in your promotion. But this is a business and it will take work to be successful. You are not selling DVD’s or laptops; the artistic entrepreneur cannot just list a good product at a fair price. You will have to inspire the buyer and sell some of the magic that is the artistic process. We have lots of training to help you, but be prepared to work at this, because while it looks easy when done correctly, it is work.

What we’re going to do for you.

1) We push your product to the world. People often say “Etsy has more traffic” - that is absolutely correct; yet, ArtFire has more potential shoppers. Why? Because we don’t force anyone to come to ArtFire to buy from you. Even when they do come to ArtFire they don’t have to become a member to buy. Everyone who sees your items can buy nearly instantly and we make sure more than just ArtFire visitors see your items.

We push your product to Google Shopping (25-30 million monthly shoppers), TheFind.com (20-25 million monthly shoppers), your blog and website (with a remote checkout enabled widget- shoppers can buy right from that page), Facebook (via the remote checkout Facebook kiosk) and other partners we negotiate with every day.

The bottom line – if you list on ArtFire we are pushing your products all over the web and all over the world to get your items in front of potentially 50 million + shoppers who may have never visited ArtFire before.

2) We make it easy to sell globally. When a shopper in Tokyo logs on to ArtFire every price is already displayed in Yen. A shopper in Paris visits your studio and all the prices are displayed in Euro. Perhaps just as important, the page loads just as fast for those global shoppers as it would if you were next door to our servers in Tucson. We duplicate your images, banners, and branding on 60,000 global servers in 70 countries around the world so the pages load FAST. Faster pages mean more sales.

3) We support you with tools. Coupon codes, global editing tools, on-the-fly editing, sales and promo labels, in-depth direct server stats, and 30+ exclusive ArtFire developed seller tools are all here to help you customize your strategy, business, and brand.

4) We support you with education. We have nearly 70 help guides and tutorials linked directly from the pages you use to access the tools. We expand our education every month with more guides, ideas, tips and tricks to help you. We regularly do one-on-one and group Q&A in the ArtFire forums. Our CEO and COO do a regular podcast to discuss the business and the marketplace developments.

5) We support you with mentors. ArtFire.com has over 100 FireMentors and we add more every week. These are your fellow sellers who have agreed to be there to help you, show you the ropes, suggest ideas and share best practices. You can find them easily in our forums by the blue flame graphic next to their name in forum posts.

6) We support you with . . . support. Pro members can call us on the phone, we average about 24-48 hours on email turn-around for even our free members. We are expanding customer service with every stage of growth and all employees (executives included) are required to spend some portion of every week helping our sellers; be it on Twitter, Facebook, in our forums or on the phone.

Some key differences that you may not have realized.

1) Our forums are community moderated. We have no staff mods, we don’t close threads. But if a person is rude, spammy, mean or obscene, other members can vote them into a temporary “time out” by voting on the participant’s forum reputation. There are extensive anti-abuse protocols in place and so far in nearly 8 months of this system being in use less than 10 people have ever been temporarily put in this “time out” situation.

Most of the forums are fed to Google so your shoppers can read what you say, but your reputation bar is hidden from the public . People are generally nice and supportive here,and we work hard to keep it that way. But, calling out, referencing closed threads, or referencing transactions are not rules here. We trust you to behave like adults and manage your own community.

2) We don’t care about fee avoidance. If you need to complete a sale off site, link to another marketplace or send a PayPal invoice – go for it. We want you to make sales.

3) We encourage you to list your inventory in as many places as you can professionally manage.

4) You can use our tools to promote yourself. You can make a collection of JUST your items - that is okay. It won't be eligible for the Front Page, but we encourage you to use our tools to make sales. Our collections are not just for the FP, they are a tool for each of you to use in the best way for your business.

We don’t care if it is on other venues as well (just learn our SEO tips to get the most bang for your buck).
Some things that are the same.

1) You need good pictures and descriptions to sell here as well. Internet shoppers look for those. If the pics are not approaching magazine quality you will sell less. Your pics and description are the major tools you have to convert the views into sales.

2) You need to have the right product at the right price to sell here. Market research will be helpful. No company can help you sell a product that the market does not want. You have to learn and experiment to find the right product/price mix here just like on any site.

3) The holidays are a large part of the sales here, not all , but a good portion. There are seasonal swings to buying and selling online, just like the real world. We will try to work with you to adapt to seasonality, trends and shopping behavior changes.

4) Like any venue, we make some mistakes, we have occasional bugs and we learn as we go. We’re getting better at this every week, just like we hope you are. We strive to keep these to a minimum and use increasingly robust testing to prevent issues, but minor errors do pop up.

5) We want you to be successful. We think any venue has to work toward getting its members a bigger share of a shopper’s spending money. The venues that are serious about helping creative entrepreneurs all want to support this.

If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this. There are many helpful people here in our forums and on the site who will be glad to answer questions and show you the ropes. Please work with all of us in the community to maintain a supportive, vibrant and diverse community. Someday we hope you will become a Maven or Fire Mentor and pay forward the help and support to the next new seller.

Welcome to ArtFire - we are glad to have your creative voice as a part of this community.


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