Shop Etsy

Etsy Success Writing Workshop

May 4, 2011

by Michelle Traub handmade and vintage goods


Update: For those who missed the workshop, scroll down to watch the recording or find it on our Livestream channel! Be sure to download and print out the worksheet.

As one of the editors for the Etsy Blog and a long-time shopper, I’m trawling your profiles and item descriptions all day long, and let me tell you, it is a sad state of affairs! To me, a lackluster piece of text misses the point of Etsy. Your MFA and press mentions are all well and good, but I’m far more persuaded to buy your resin sculpture because of your weekend zydeco band and passion for coleslaw.

When you hold an heirloom in your palm, you can feel the soft weight of familial mythology, vivid memories, engaging anecdotes. The object’s value transcends its physicality and becomes a treasured vessel of storytelling. How do you apply the power of the narrative to your shop’s creations and collections?  Join me for a writing workshop focused on telling your story in your profile, your item descriptions, your blog posts, and your tweets. On Etsy, you have a unique shopping audience that’s actually yearning for a good schmooze. Are your words living up to your compelling potential?

We’ll spend an evening applying fundamental tools of storytelling to your shop, exercising new creative muscles in the craft of wordplay, and exchanging feedback that will serve you no matter what new, shiny communication platform comes out tomorrow.

The transformation will be magical! Right: Excerpt of AdrienArt‘s exemplary profile.

When: Wednesday, May 4 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Etsy Labs at 55 Washington Street, Suite 712 (7th floor) Brooklyn, NY


  • ThriceAsNiceShop

    ThriceAsNiceShop said 8 years ago


  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 8 years ago

    Its all about the conversation! Save your mother, buy vintage jewelry!

  • ThisSticksLife

    ThisSticksLife said 8 years ago

    Ooooo baby! This is gonna be good. Off to put date into my phone calendar..

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 8 years ago

    eek! Off to peek if mine needs some jazzing up!

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 8 years ago

    The power of words!

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    IlluminatedPerfume said 8 years ago

    Cool! I'm attending via cyber space.

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 8 years ago

    love mind whorls with stories

  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 8 years ago

    wow ! Really interesting !

  • BluuLotusDesigns

    BluuLotusDesigns said 8 years ago

    I've been told I need to improve my descriptions! I am not much of a writer. so I do need help with this I will be attending too! for sure!!! :)

  • wahlrus

    wahlrus said 8 years ago

    I never how long is too long! I'm a little too loquacious. EtsyLove from, Jamie

  • wayfaringmagnolia

    wayfaringmagnolia said 8 years ago

    Something I KNOW I need to work on. Thanks for the reminder :)

  • funkomavintage

    funkomavintage said 8 years ago

    I just finished writing 2 blog posts....I love to write....and read stuff that's been well-written...So many style of writing that I writing is short, simple and concise. Business writing is meandering and flowery, and yet importantly, must impart important information.

  • youcute

    youcute said 8 years ago

    ok! let's wax poetic!

  • SewardsCuriosities

    SewardsCuriosities said 8 years ago

    Time to bring out the inner folklorist story telling skills!

  • pinkmilkvintage

    pinkmilkvintage said 8 years ago

    Looks great - off to work out whether its the middle of the night over here or not, will download the worksheet anyway!

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 8 years ago

    looks like a great workshop...hope to be there virtually!

  • needleyou

    needleyou said 8 years ago

    This looks good. I could use some help. : )

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    sounds like a good date Michelle! (ofcourse not the American term for the word 'date' but, er, date as in, day to mark in my diary, date) not that I have a diary, only numerous scraps of paper on my keyboard console, so shall make it prominent and keep it at the front ;) many thanks!

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    er - where is the LiveStream Channel??

  • mtraub

    mtraub said 8 years ago

    @dragonhouseofyuen Sorry about that! It should be linked now. You can also always find our Livestream channel on the Etsy community page.

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 8 years ago

    Love the handout and looking forward to the workshop! Thanks Michelle

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 8 years ago

    point taken, i just have a hard time expressing myself in words. i usually like to try express myself in other ways. but i guess i could try a little harder.

  • gufobardo

    gufobardo said 8 years ago

    so cool

  • LuLusApple

    LuLusApple said 8 years ago

    I need this!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 8 years ago

    Uh, oh. You're talking straight to me, aren't you? OK, I'll admit I have a problem. I'll be there. I'm printing out the worksheet now... Thank you for thinking about me. It's nice to know you care.

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 8 years ago

    Merci !

  • vintageserendipia

    vintageserendipia said 8 years ago


  • NaturalPetProducts

    NaturalPetProducts said 8 years ago

    Fabulous, looking forward to seeing!!!!!!!!1

  • labellefairy

    labellefairy said 8 years ago

    I'll see you there!

  • jessjamesjake

    jessjamesjake said 8 years ago

    Great idea!

  • MaryMorrisJewelry

    MaryMorrisJewelry said 8 years ago

    I have added you to my calendar. Boy, do I need the help, thanks.

  • SpoiledPetsAndPeople

    SpoiledPetsAndPeople said 8 years ago

    Great, I know I have to be more exciting than I appear to be on Etsy. I mean even though my kids fail to recognize my cool factor I am sure it is there!

  • prisonbreak007

    prisonbreak007 said 8 years ago

    So cool,

  • tousleddolly

    tousleddolly said 8 years ago

    i am so in!

  • LesleyWilsonArt

    LesleyWilsonArt said 8 years ago

    This sounds like it will be really helpful!

  • ElisaGomez

    ElisaGomez said 8 years ago

    Can't wait to watch it's so hard to know when your not saying enough and when you are sharing TOO much!?!?

  • simpledream2

    simpledream2 said 8 years ago

    I am eager to learn more, can't wait.

  • donnastruthers

    donnastruthers said 8 years ago

    You talkin' to me? Yep, I think you are. I need to be there! (virtual there).

  • BarkingBirds

    BarkingBirds said 8 years ago

    I need this badly!

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 8 years ago

    Antique dealers understand this concept. They know that people want their belongings to have provenance - a history, a story. Here at Etsy, buyers appreciate knowing the person whose hands stitched, carved, baked, or molded their new treasure. It's a neat thing to be so connected to someone far away. Great idea, Michelle!

  • buyoldschool

    buyoldschool said 8 years ago

    Definitely saving the date and looking forward to the livestream! :) Buying and selling within the Etsy community should not be an impersonal experience. Including the fine details through words (in descriptions, titles, blogs, etc.) makes us human and all that more interesting. :)

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    thanks for the link Michelle :) appreciated - Annette

  • sacredsuds

    sacredsuds said 8 years ago

    oooh, putting this on my calendar!

  • LaAlicia

    LaAlicia said 8 years ago

    on my calendar! looking forward to it! ;)

  • VitaNostra

    VitaNostra said 8 years ago

    I am really looking forward to this one!

  • ReneeAccessories

    ReneeAccessories said 8 years ago

    Yay! I could use a little help, I am so there online!

  • StephBAKER

    StephBAKER said 8 years ago

    love the worksheet! Especially the 250 word melt down about the bio. I love a good challenge!

  • originalsbyannemarie

    originalsbyannemarie said 8 years ago

    Great! Got to be there.

  • therusticcottage

    therusticcottage said 8 years ago

    This is going to be great! It's on my calendar.

  • MenagerieAlamode

    MenagerieAlamode said 8 years ago

    <3 I so need to work on this. Looking forward to it.

  • tricode

    tricode said 8 years ago


  • StitchingInCircles

    StitchingInCircles said 8 years ago

    love this idea! I am a reader and a writer (and a teacher of the above) for my day job, but I have never had a copywriting job, so this sounds like a cool opportunity to learn something about swaggering, swashbucking prose that sells.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago


  • Indounik

    Indounik said 8 years ago


  • QuiltedCocoon

    QuiltedCocoon said 8 years ago

    Just what I have been working on! Hope to join livestream and get to know more of the Etsy community.

  • byNettaWagner

    byNettaWagner said 8 years ago

    I love a good story ...

  • SilverLinesJewelry

    SilverLinesJewelry said 8 years ago

    I ve always beem a bad writer (and much worse in English which is not my language..Im Greek)...and this is why I always have admired people who can express themselves through writing..who can make your mind "travel"..who can make you dream just with a few words..and the way they've used them..

  • ScrappyTudeStudios

    ScrappyTudeStudios said 8 years ago

    I can't wait! Putting it in my calendar NOW! (and telling my friends!)

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    I've been meaning to sort out a new 'about' section for my shop, I haven't updated it for a while. This'll be great!

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns said 8 years ago

    I need to be doing some rewriting!!

  • michemozaix

    michemozaix said 8 years ago

    I'll be there!

  • thePhotoZoo

    thePhotoZoo said 8 years ago

    awww! hey! thanks for using my picture!!! so cool! xo

  • MySliceOfThePie

    MySliceOfThePie said 8 years ago

    I've been tempted to do some storytelling in my descriptions, but was afraid to try...didn't want to sound silly! Looking forward to some tips!

  • TheZestyDesk

    TheZestyDesk said 8 years ago

    Sweet! I'm in!

  • expressyourself

    expressyourself said 8 years ago

    Very interesting!

  • edith

    edith said 8 years ago

    I love the picture

  • irishandmore

    irishandmore said 8 years ago

    There are so many sellers that don't even proof read their shop text, let alone make it creative! I would love to see this improve. I think this is a wonderful idea for a workshop. Kudos!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 8 years ago

    Looks awesome. I would love to know more on this!

  • BooPatch

    BooPatch said 8 years ago

    I will definitely be marking this one to check out!!! And to those of you with the fabulously witty remarks above, you know who you are, If you comment is that funny....perhaps you need less help than you think :-D keep up the great replies, thats part of why I read the comments!!

  • desertdaze

    desertdaze said 8 years ago

    Bless your heart, I'm just so happy you wrote "trawling" instead of "trolling" which seems to be the most misused word in everyone's writing these days. As to the points you make, I agree; I love a great description with a bit of a story behind it. Think J.Peterman catalog. And I *always* look at people's profiles. If there is nothing, I'm disinclined to engage with that person.

  • VintageMeans

    VintageMeans said 8 years ago

    This sounds very interesting, but I won't be able to attend via the online because i won't be near a computer. Will there be a way afterward to download an audio recording of it and listen in then? I sure hope so. I went ahead and downloaded the worsheet anyway, thought I might still be able to use it to spark some new thinking. Thanks.

  • mtraub

    mtraub said 8 years ago

    Hey everyone, glad to hear you're excited! For those who won't be able to make it at that time, it will be recorded and rerunning on our Livestream channel. Of course if you are available, I do encourage you to show up at 7, as you can take advantage of being able to ask questions and get immediate feedback.

  • LakesEdge

    LakesEdge said 8 years ago

    Yay, I'm so glad to see you post it will be recorded I definitely need this workshop, it's hard for me to write good descriptions just because I'm always afraid to teeter on the "Too much information" side of things if I'm descriptive. I'll try to make it to the live streaming of it but hooray for "just in case" :)

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 8 years ago

    I could definitely use a bit of advice in this area. Glad it will be availble to view after the "date" too. Thank You!

  • GraciesCottage

    GraciesCottage said 8 years ago


  • museumshop

    museumshop said 8 years ago

    You go GIRL. Great article

  • SewWriteCreations

    SewWriteCreations said 8 years ago

    Finally - some help looms on the horizon! Can't wait!

  • kraft1kimmi

    kraft1kimmi said 8 years ago

    thankyou in advance for posting the audio version, post~event. with gratefulness and appreciation

  • BellaPuzzles

    BellaPuzzles said 8 years ago

    Can't make it, so I'm glad you post the audio afterwards. Thanks!

  • lumafina

    lumafina said 8 years ago

    This sounds fab. I'll be there.

  • ALittleCharacter

    ALittleCharacter said 8 years ago

    I love writing the descriptions for the characters I sell. I feel like they're half of what I do. The story is as fun as the making and the selling. Plus very satisfying to step into the world of a giraffe or a dragon or whatnot and grab a little slice of their life to share with customers. :) This workshop would be a fun one to attend in person but I'm in another state, I mean besides bliss, Arizona. Same thing really. Being able to join online is a cool option though, we live in the future now! Yay.

  • latenightdrawing

    latenightdrawing said 8 years ago

    Sounds great! wish I could be there...

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 8 years ago

    Sounds great! So glad I can view it after, I could use it!

  • anacavalcanti

    anacavalcanti said 8 years ago

    It's my personal rush hour, but I'll see it later. Thanks.

  • honeystreasures

    honeystreasures said 8 years ago

    We're on the west coast but will be online watching it live. As long as I remember the time difference, marking it on my calendar now. Oh, are you going to be uploading our snacks and refreshments to us? lol Guess I'll just have to pop some popcorn. ;P

  • opendoorstudio

    opendoorstudio said 8 years ago

    this sounds like a wonderful idea indeed! I finally feel like i am back to my old listing story telling style! it had gotten pretty bare bones there for a while... dry and humorless! Ill be there!

  • art4ear

    art4ear said 8 years ago

    I love writing my descriptions and there is always room for improvement. Thanks for this!

  • fiveorsixgirls

    fiveorsixgirls said 8 years ago

    read mine! it's a good one=)

  • GrowingUpWild

    GrowingUpWild said 8 years ago

    Very excited for this! Writing my descriptions is the hardest part for me!

  • BonTons

    BonTons said 8 years ago

    looking forward to it

  • sunnyglass

    sunnyglass said 8 years ago

    I really need this! Thank you.

  • Lanasboutique

    Lanasboutique said 8 years ago

    Can't wait!

  • GoatieGirls

    GoatieGirls said 8 years ago

    I definitely need your help. Thanks so much for doing this. I just started selling on Etsy a few days ago. I was trying to keep my shop all about my products. I didn't think anyone would be interested in me personally. So I'm really looking forward to the workshop. Do people really want to know that Sadie had triplets and Copper Girl had twins? That they are beautiful little bottle babies. That I love goat milk and all the wonderful things you can do with it. How healthy it is for you. :)

  • rockymttreasures

    rockymttreasures said 8 years ago

    I definitely could always use some tips for writing a description. Never hurts to learn.

  • woodbeedesign

    woodbeedesign said 8 years ago


  • linmarks

    linmarks said 8 years ago

    This is just what I need. So many things to list...but always come up short in the creative writing department. LQQking forward to joining in..xo

  • capitalcitycrafts

    capitalcitycrafts said 8 years ago

    This is so exciting, I hope I can be there!

  • Beauje

    Beauje said 8 years ago

    I do look forward to this session. My writing skills is so blase. I am sure there will so much to benefit from. I can't wait!

  • BackyardBrand

    BackyardBrand said 8 years ago

    10 4 from the Land of Lincoln

  • Uhmerules

    Uhmerules said 8 years ago

    This is so great!!!! =)

  • MtnStarCreations

    MtnStarCreations said 8 years ago

    We'll be watching from Colorado Rocky Mountain High! Great topic - can't wait.

  • picksomeflowers

    picksomeflowers said 8 years ago

    Excited about the Livestream! Thanks, Etsy :-)

  • meeshy

    meeshy said 8 years ago

    Great idea....thanks!

  • doradogem

    doradogem said 8 years ago

    I am still working on getting up and going here so any ideas are welcome. I will put on my hearing aids and try to hear it!!

  • ellenvesters

    ellenvesters said 8 years ago

    oof...that's 2 am in the netherlands...! will there be a summary or something like that afterwards? would love to join in on all that knowledge!

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice said 8 years ago

    sounds like fun!

  • GwynndasGems

    GwynndasGems said 8 years ago

    I'll be attending via cyber space! I can't wait, I'm new to Etsy so I need all the help and guidance there is...Thank-you in advance for this workshop.

  • DawnSmithDesigns

    DawnSmithDesigns said 8 years ago

    I'm new to etsy (as a seller) and, like Gwynnda, I know that I can use all the help and guidance that I can get! Thanks so much :)

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead said 8 years ago

    I'll be there, thanks!

  • FauxRichesse

    FauxRichesse said 8 years ago

    This is one of the topics I am working on now, trying to get my shop up & running...yay, my instincts told me the same but was afraid of boring my potential customers...I,too, believe people like to know some history of pieces & cool to know others feel some objects have a certain vibe that's transmittable...Good company! Thanx for invite

  • ArtcycledMosaics

    ArtcycledMosaics said 8 years ago

    Looking forward to joining the Livestream. I always struggle with descriptions, it would be so wonderful if they were easier to write. Great topic to highlight.

  • ladiesdayout

    ladiesdayout said 8 years ago

    Wowsers! I'm going to rethink and then rewrite my profile! All things come to those who write ... well.

  • k2designs

    k2designs said 8 years ago

    sounds like it will be a great workshop event! I hope to stream the session!

  • jmayoriginals

    jmayoriginals said 8 years ago

    Marking my calendar. Thanks!

  • JoleneFay

    JoleneFay said 8 years ago

    Oh, this is just what I needed! I always struggle with putting words together to make an interesting sentence! Looking forward to this online class!!

  • JuJuBeader

    JuJuBeader said 8 years ago

    Very much looking forward to this!!! Putting it in my Blackberry RIGHT NOW!! :)

  • JuJuBeader

    JuJuBeader said 8 years ago

    Very much looking forward to this!!! Putting it in my Blackberry RIGHT NOW!! :)

  • JuJuBeader

    JuJuBeader said 8 years ago

    (oops! Sorry!)

  • ravejewelry

    ravejewelry said 8 years ago

    AS a newbie at Etsy, I'm really excited about your workshop. I'll be there, for sure!

  • artlandish

    artlandish said 8 years ago

    oh yeah, this is now on my calendar! Thanks for the print out too!

  • joyscottglass

    joyscottglass said 8 years ago

    Always looking for the right words

  • joyscottglass

    joyscottglass said 8 years ago

    Always looking for the right words

  • summerfield68

    summerfield68 said 8 years ago

    I'm very interested in this workshop. I never look at anyone's profile. If I'm interested in an item then I buy it. I find it intriguing that other's are swayed by what a person's profile does or doesn't say. I'm with "joyscottglass" in that I'm always looking for the right words. I try to describe my items with all of the necessary information but without too much syrup and fluff.

  • kmbutterfly

    kmbutterfly said 8 years ago

    This might be my first workshop to try. I'm a stickler for grammar and correct writing (I even write a series about it on my blog!), but sometimes my creative muscles get stuck. Having an English degree doesn't even help!

  • Zozuz

    Zozuz said 8 years ago

    I totally understand kmbutterfly - my English degree doesn't help much either. I think it's not so much that writing itself is a problem, but trying to figure out what your audience care to hear.

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises said 8 years ago

    Thank you!

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry said 8 years ago

    "Words...don't come easy to me..."

  • LadybugWreaths

    LadybugWreaths said 8 years ago

    So exciting... I have been finding more and more through the last few years, that my wreaths sell much faster if I elaborate on the descriptions. For example... instead of bird and mushroom, I might say: "The sweetest little bird has perched upon the side of the sponge mushroom tucking herself into the mosses, grasses and leaves as she rests after a long day of nest building." My customers LOVE it! And, I am sooo looking forward to your workshop. Thank You!, Nancy...Ladybug Wreaths

  • FreehandCards

    FreehandCards said 8 years ago

    Yes! this will be very useful. I have wondered if I'm on the right track, feeling a little silly with my descriptions...and not getting sales. Thank you!

  • EscargotArtsyBits

    EscargotArtsyBits said 8 years ago

    whew! just read every single comment here! I have gotten critiqued that my stuff is verbose - I asked her to tell me so it's ok! I've been here over a month now and no sales, sigh. I keep on keepin' on, but this escargot is runnin' low on gas! Sara

  • peacebird

    peacebird said 8 years ago

    me like pictures and makey things...not too many words :)

  • DelorisC

    DelorisC said 8 years ago

    I would love your expertise in this area, but I work evenings. Will this be available to listen to at another time?

  • weedeeweedee

    weedeeweedee said 8 years ago

    Will this be recorded? We teach childrens bible study and crafts this wednesday evening. Please?

  • FeuFollet

    FeuFollet said 8 years ago


  • dawnaurora

    dawnaurora said 8 years ago

    hope to make it virtually

  • katndrewcards

    katndrewcards said 8 years ago

    Brooklyn!? I only wish. Alas, I am not there. However, the idea of telling a story seems quite engaging - as I assume it should ;)

  • MagpieQuilts

    MagpieQuilts said 8 years ago

    I really need this - would love to be there in person, but virtual will have to do.

  • PriaVanda

    PriaVanda said 8 years ago

    This is going to be so useful!

  • adrianaallenllc

    adrianaallenllc said 8 years ago

    That would be interesting to attend. I have over 12 years of experience as a journalist and editor-in-chief of some of the leading European magazines and yet, I am looking forward to learn something new.

  • singingturtle1047

    singingturtle1047 said 8 years ago

    This is a great opportunity for all of us to go from boring to gathering attention getting writing techniques that will not only, educate the buyer, but stimulate them to want our item no matter what. I shall be there......Thanks....

  • 4USimply

    4USimply said 8 years ago

    How can I miss it? Thanks for the info. Planning to join via Livestream. Elena

  • boygirlparty

    boygirlparty said 8 years ago

    sounds great! marking my calendar.

  • JoJosArtisticDesign

    JoJosArtisticDesign said 8 years ago

    I can wait to see this so that I have more ammunition to toss at friends and family who tell me that no one wants to read the personal fluff that I include in my descriptions. I love telling people how much I LOVE the fabrics that I work with and how the fabric seems to speak to me. Well, not really, but I love creating something unique so that people have something unique in their homes.

  • JoJosArtisticDesign

    JoJosArtisticDesign said 8 years ago

    Forgot to mention that I do believe that most etsy shoppers CRAVE details since they can't actually touch something. When I'm searching for a unique piece of jewelry, I want to know how it is made and learn something about the beads that are used, so I assume that pillow people would appreciate the same information.

  • TheStitchinChicken

    TheStitchinChicken said 8 years ago

    I can't wait!

  • indigoinspirations

    indigoinspirations said 8 years ago

    Oh.....I so wish I could be there but am on the other side of the world....will try and make it virtually.

  • OwlsNook

    OwlsNook said 8 years ago

    I will be there! Etsy is really great having all this information and live or live online seminars! When I check my email I always look for the ETSY SUCCESS emails they make my day! Thanks again I can't wait

  • PaulaArt

    PaulaArt said 8 years ago

    me too! appreciate the time etsy takes to educate and help us!

  • gypsystrunk

    gypsystrunk said 8 years ago

    Oh yes, this is much needed in my case. See you Wed. online!

  • KarensLoom

    KarensLoom said 8 years ago

    this is just what i need but unless im not anywhere near brooklyn on wednesday and wont be near my compu either as have a b´day to attend that evening but i do hope to catch the next one or read up about it afterwards.....thanks for taking the time to help us out!!!

  • seagullrock

    seagullrock said 8 years ago

    A seminar on the value of good grammar and syntax would be far more worthwhile. Advertising copy, which is really what we're talking about here, should be clear and concise. Loading a description with off-topic, rambling prose is a waste of the seller's time. Buyers don't come to Etsy to read.

  • Electrolucy

    Electrolucy said 8 years ago

    Was this a joke? As a writer, I'm floored that this woman is suggesting we follow her lead in producing more mundane drivel that's designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Nobody's going to win a Pulitzer for writing a ten-page tome on the ethereal beauty of grandma's doilies as their description. Describe the product and its features - add a tiny bit of flair, but I'll tell you that I'm LESS inclined to buy a product when I read the kind of self-indulgent ramblings described above.

  • NaughtyHook

    NaughtyHook said 8 years ago

    What seagullrock said. I'd much rather read a clear, concise description that actually tells me about the item. Wit and humor are great, but rambling claptrap about your recurring dream that inspired this awesome painting belongs on your blog, not in your item description.

  • 6eisha

    6eisha said 8 years ago

    Electrolucy +1. This sounds like a joke. It must be the first time I actually loled reading an official etsy post (but then again I don't read everything;)

  • tanisalexis

    tanisalexis said 8 years ago

    as much as I do love the creative concept behind this idea, I feel somewhat offended by it. All of a sudden, on top of the many little things it requires to run an etsy shop, I am now expected to sound entertaining and eloquent. The previous 3 comments are a great example of how I feel about this. Etsy, our relationship is getting a bit rocky. I still love you, but it's getting a bit weird.

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 8 years ago


  • Elizabeth5803

    Elizabeth5803 said 8 years ago

    I'm planning to open a shop by year's end, a mxture of handmade, vintage, and miscellaneous (for repurposing, artwork, etc.) and I want to learn as much as I can before I start building my shop, so I'd love to attend in person, not online. Brooklyn (at least that part) is not convenient, as I live in northwestern Queens. Do you plan on holding a class in Manhattan? Thanks!

  • Joeysdreamgarden

    Joeysdreamgarden said 8 years ago

    I agree fully with Seagullrock, Electrolucy, Naughtyhook, 6eisha and Tanisalexis above. I read the example of AdrienArt's profile and thought it was really good, because he's explained the background to his creative process, so I think he should be giving the seminar! But Zydeco bands and coleslaw?? What on earth does that have to do with the things that you make? I would be extremely impressed if I found out that someone bought one of my items based on what I do at the weekends or my preference in salad accompaniments.

  • lostaloha

    lostaloha said 8 years ago

    Wait, I'm confused.... How does Zydeco and cole slaw equate to successful business writing? Maybe it's just my distaste for anything creamy, but I'm seriously dumbfounded at the moment...

  • guenevere

    guenevere said 8 years ago

    I usually don't buy things from shops that have drivel like that splashed all over the description. I don't want to wade through mindless blather trying to find out if the damn skirt will fit or if the seller remembered to list the size of the shoes. I have found a few listings like that.....all froo froo and flowers and not one thing about size or construction....NEXT! I will not pay money for someone else to tell me how to write.

  • caz0rz

    caz0rz said 8 years ago

    Agree with guenevere and everyone else who is not hot on this idea. It seems ridiculous to have a workshop on this in the first place...I mean, seriously? Okay add a description but a biography? No thanks! That's why people pay for therapy, we don't need it on Etsy :].

  • racergirl1313

    racergirl1313 said 8 years ago

    I tend not to purchase items that come with made up stories. Tell me a little about your process, a little about your inspiration then accurately describe the product. I find this type of drivel leds to over inflated prices. If you want to write, write, but if you want me to buy your product don't sell me a story, sell me the item!

  • kriswinningham

    kriswinningham said 8 years ago

    @ racergirl -- thank you. is this for real?? my items are boring and unsellable because i don't like coleslaw???!!!!! amazing.

  • katsbags4u

    katsbags4u said 8 years ago

    This is DEFINITELY something I need to work on! I will use this as the impetus to add some more "oomph" to my profile and descriptions. Thank you for the push!

  • AeridesDesigns

    AeridesDesigns said 8 years ago

    The thought of embellishing my descriptions with information that may "factually true or false" part lost me.... I'd prefer to keep my prose very clear so my customer can make an informed decision when purchasing from my shop. As far as my profile - I have to say there are more shops that have made me want to click the back button (i.e. exit) by sharing too MUCH than too little...

  • sugarbumpscreations

    sugarbumpscreations said 8 years ago

    I so need help. Will be joining via cyberspace.

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty said 8 years ago

    I'd rather you all at Etsy work on the reseller problem...

  • caz0rz

    caz0rz said 8 years ago

    Watch saburkitty be silenced for that comment.

  • NatureVisions

    NatureVisions said 8 years ago

    But, Sabur, see how effective proper, artful writing can be? Those shops are all collectives, not resellers.

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty said 8 years ago

    Oh I see, you all know I'm just jealous right :P I have been adding my inspiration stories for a year now ~ all true and heartfelt :'(

  • twelvedaysold

    twelvedaysold said 8 years ago

    As a buyer, I hate when there is too much florid prose in the description. I just want to know what yarn was used so I can tell if I need to machine wash it not not, or what size I'm buying, etc. When the description is too wordy and never gets to the point, I've already backed out of that page and moved on. I think one or two sentences that are light and fluffy can be cute (like if I'm buying a caricature) but if it's more than that, no thanks. If a seller has a hard time being creative with a back story with painted clothespins, they shouldn't force what's not there. I'm not here to read the most creative description, I'm here to shop.

  • twelvedaysold

    twelvedaysold said 8 years ago

    Amen, saburkitty!

  • KTsPlace

    KTsPlace said 8 years ago

    if you can do anything else to my items to help them sell then please do so because i hae not sold a thing, and also you say my email stinks you can change that as well to html because i do no know how.

  • sparkklejar

    sparkklejar said 8 years ago

    thanks for the regretsy bashing. i obviously took one for the team.

  • Tefi

    Tefi said 8 years ago

    When I read a description with a made-up story that anthropomorphizes a tea cozy, it sort of makes me think the seller might be crazy. I've got a degree in creative writing and rhetoric; I appreciate good writing. But this isn't the J. Peterman catalog.

  • onemorning85

    onemorning85 said 8 years ago

    I'm grateful for this! I'm an editor and I keep running into shops that are in need! Even the shops with charming stories for their items need to be edited! It's not only a matter of appearing professional, trustworthy, or, simply, smart but also of making sure one's words are readily understandable--Etsy is in need. Lauren

  • KathyPanton

    KathyPanton said 8 years ago

    has this been on yet i am in australia

  • mylatestexcuse

    mylatestexcuse said 8 years ago

    Can't wait! Just RVSP'd!

  • kjerstiee

    kjerstiee said 8 years ago

    This *has* to be a joke.

  • ArtisticTeaseDesigns

    ArtisticTeaseDesigns said 8 years ago

    I never knew Etsy offered this workshop. I learn something new every time I sign in. I shall be there! I read all the posts and see a lot of people running off to mark their calenders. I ran across a free desktop calender months ago I cannot live without. Contact me and I'll send you there. Nothing in it for me, just being a good neighbor....

  • AccessorizeYourRight

    AccessorizeYourRight said 8 years ago

    Gosh, this is SO what I need! Unfortunately, I can't be here because I work tonight. :( Will there be another workshop like this at a different day/time?

  • artimpaasa

    artimpaasa said 8 years ago

    Spaceromantic, I love you. Please, sellers, just describe the item's size, colors, and functionality. I'm tired of wading through the life stories you create for your frelling items only to realize nowhere in your description did you tell me anything of use.

  • 6eisha

    6eisha said 8 years ago

    Very seriously, I think racergirl1313 was the only one who managed to pinpoint the explanation behind this whole incredible thing: "I tend not to purchase items that come with made up stories. Tell me a little about your process, a little about your inspiration then accurately describe the product. I find this type of drivel leds to over inflated prices."

  • kidcassidy

    kidcassidy said 8 years ago

    For real? The stories are distracting and usually completely unbelievable versus just honestly selling the product.

  • cjbcollectibles

    cjbcollectibles said 8 years ago

    I could really use this, but can't make it to DC. Maybe I will catch the LiveStream

  • VidaDoce

    VidaDoce said 8 years ago

    Agreed. I love it when sellers take time to creatively describe their items rather than just list the details. Although I find that it works just as well to list details as it does to write a more creative description--it just depends on the style of the shop, and the style and personality of the seller.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 8 years ago

    Totally agree. The creative story is part of what makes the items vintage.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    Always room to improve at Simple Joys Paperie. :) Thanks for the incentive to do better. The workshop should be a great one!

  • WyndwalkerCreations

    WyndwalkerCreations said 8 years ago

    Just what I need. I am just getting started with my listings. I need all the help I can get.

  • LuxeFabricandYarn

    LuxeFabricandYarn said 8 years ago

    Would love to attend, but CAN'T! Will the workshop be available later?

  • KevinInmanArt

    KevinInmanArt said 8 years ago

    I would definitely be interested in reading a transcript of the presentation, if you prepare one. I don't love twee item descriptions although I think it works well for some shops.

  • ZenBrush

    ZenBrush said 8 years ago

    will try to tune in.

  • thehatcottage

    thehatcottage said 8 years ago

    This makes my skirt flip up in a big way! I will be tuning in for sure. Many thanks!

  • kakenterprise

    kakenterprise said 8 years ago

    I wish I could go.

  • itsmolly

    itsmolly said 8 years ago

    I've been away, SO glad i saw the tweet. YAY, will tune in :) Thanks! ~Molly

  • siomaragw

    siomaragw said 8 years ago

    Wish I could.....

  • DreamingRetro

    DreamingRetro said 8 years ago

    For people who live in the boondocks of America and can't get up to the big city to take this awesome class, my thoughts are you need to offer a workshop online. If you do, please let me know as I would be very interested in what you can teach. To me half of selling is not the pretty photos but rather the way a person describes what they offer. I sold a vintage perfume bottle for 185 bucks because I told of the background of the long gone fragrance and the awesome glass bottle that was designed by someone famous. I agree. Selling in in the words.

  • gypsystrunk

    gypsystrunk said 8 years ago

    Thanks Michelle-Looking forward to reinventing my shop!

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace said 8 years ago

    so true I have been told many times by my customers "the reason I purchased was because of the descriptive story behind the item" Yay!!

  • LetsAllMakeBelieve

    LetsAllMakeBelieve said 8 years ago

    Is there a way to view it now? I wasn't able to tune in :(

  • rusticCrush

    rusticCrush said 8 years ago

    thanks Michelle - loved this workshop and totally rescripted my profile

  • ThisSticksLife

    ThisSticksLife said 8 years ago

    Great workshop. My first one! Not my last. Thanks Michelle for volunteering to do it.

  • girlinacafe

    girlinacafe said 8 years ago

    Sorry I missed this.

  • cattuslavandula

    cattuslavandula said 8 years ago

    Interesting. After reading all the responses, it's easy to tell when Regretsy posted this article to their site.

  • NaughtyHook

    NaughtyHook said 8 years ago

    "The creative story is part of what makes the items vintage." Sure, if you mean the creative story about how this cheap crap from China is actually a handmade antique OOAK item you found in a barn in Vermont. But for a lot of buyers, the actual vintage qualities of an item -- in that it is actually more than 20 years old -- is what makes an item vintage.

  • arcticpoppy

    arcticpoppy said 8 years ago

    i think this is a wonderful benefit to sellers. i found myself looking through items to buy, and feeling a little disappointed in the car salesman approach to the descriptions. i'm looking for art not a laptop at bestbuy! :) lol. thank you for offering this workshop. i look forward to applying the concept once i guess my own store going. :)

  • PhenomeGNOME

    PhenomeGNOME said 8 years ago

    Before any workshop on item description writing is given -- Michele needs to "trawl" on over to where the Etsy search team is (or isn't) and ask about how this "workshop" will affect your listings in search. Beware what dribble you write in your listings people -- it may hurt you more than help you when it comes to having your item be picked up in Relevancy Search -- or ANY Etsy search as far as that goes...

  • NicholeDesigns

    NicholeDesigns said 8 years ago


  • congcongdesign

    congcongdesign said 8 years ago

    thanks. good word for buz.

  • lemondear

    lemondear said 8 years ago

    the required reading was so inspiring it made me hungry for more, I wish the workshop and its participants great success

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 8 years ago

    too cool. mahalo!

  • littlealouette

    littlealouette said 8 years ago

    narrative is king! xo

  • stonecoldvintage

    stonecoldvintage said 8 years ago

    True. I like shop's that have a distinct, quirky voice. I need to update my profile! Good post!

  • Lundberg

    Lundberg said 8 years ago

    I didn't make it to the workshop so I am just going to dip all of my work in coleslaw and call it good.

  • kathyanneart

    kathyanneart said 8 years ago

    If we missed the workshop is there any way we can see a video on line?

  • lulouandada

    lulouandada said 8 years ago

    This has definitely got me thinking.

  • Daffygrl

    Daffygrl said 8 years ago

    If I wanted a story, I'd buy a book. When I'm shopping for an item, all I want a decent description of it (whatever is pertinent for that type of item), some clear photos and price/shipping info. A short paragraph about inspiration I can handle, but the trippy, sappy "stories" drive me to the "back" button every time. That kind of stuff is OK if your target market is pre-schoolers, but c'mon, please. If writing this sort of thing becomes the norm at Etsy, I am sooooo outa here.

  • Daffygrl

    Daffygrl said 8 years ago

    Side note: Coleslaw? Really?!?!

  • TheNoisyOyster

    TheNoisyOyster said 8 years ago

    waiting for the video...

  • desertsoapstone

    desertsoapstone said 8 years ago

    Crumbs! I missed it. Is there a way to see it again?

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago

    I should be ashamed. I am a freelance writer and my descriptions are super boring...

  • deardavy

    deardavy said 8 years ago

    I need this!

  • bytheairport

    bytheairport said 8 years ago

    The point of Etsy is be a repository for superfluous, verbose product descriptions?

  • ObservatoryPlace

    ObservatoryPlace said 8 years ago

    I missed this work shop! But I could REALLY use it. Will you be posting it somewhere for the etsy shops that missed it?

  • christiemartinez

    christiemartinez said 8 years ago

    The beauty of a marketplace like Etsy is everyone is unique and while good form and quality are important the idea is to be yourself. I could definitely use a lesson in telling my story better...thanks.

  • jollyfish

    jollyfish said 8 years ago

    I missed it :(

  • MadameZelda

    MadameZelda said 8 years ago

    Wow! Like'n this site a lot! Love and light in the world, folks. Bring it forth, and you will receive it ten-fold. Believe, and it's yours.

  • karikatzi

    karikatzi said 8 years ago

    Awesome and thanks for recording a posting, here's the link for us'ns that missed it!

  • hankietankie

    hankietankie said 8 years ago

    thank you so much! one-of-kind pieces of vintage materials do have stories galore, thanks for the inspiration to work on writing them more! xo

  • TheJewelryCat

    TheJewelryCat said 8 years ago

    Thanks Michelle. Your workshop really helped me write a better proflle by avoiding the typical cliches. I was inspired by your suggestions.

  • aclhandweaver

    aclhandweaver said 8 years ago

    I think something is good for description, but not too much. Sometimes it's hard for artists to see themselves and promote themselves. I get so turned off when shops have nothing, yet also have seen so many "mothers of 3 at home." I'd like to know some training/skill, interests, and something that makes it personal, but don't need to know it all...Don't assume your work speaks for itself.

  • MockaMooseMarket

    MockaMooseMarket said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this great info! I appreciate all the help and suggestions I can get to promote my shop more successfully. Thanks again!

  • pentopaper123

    pentopaper123 said 8 years ago

    Thank you. Some really great suggestions here.

  • Bratenella

    Bratenella said 8 years ago

    THANK YOU! Very inspiring.

  • cosmichippodesigns

    cosmichippodesigns said 8 years ago

    Can't wait to jump into my profile and revise. Enjoyed the workshop immensely. Thanks!

  • patchworkwench

    patchworkwench said 8 years ago

    Great class, Michelle! Terrific ideas for newbie and pro writers alike. Hope we all get to hear more from you again soon. Thanks!

  • billiemonster

    billiemonster said 8 years ago

    Haha, I love the Arrested Development reference in the beginning, near 10:11, when she's talking about profiles... "Marry me!".

  • onemorning85

    onemorning85 said 8 years ago

    This is CERTAINLY the first step--loved the workshop, glad it was recorded for those of us who missed it on Livestream--but I challenge Etsians who have already taken this step to better your shops even more: Get editing! It's about credibility. And if even inexpensive editing is out of your reach, at least *consider* grammar: capitalize "I," leave a space between sentences, use spellcheck, etc. Good luck!

  • clayartjewelry

    clayartjewelry said 8 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed the writing video workshop last week, and I do hope my shop benefited by all I heard. Learning to be a bit more creative with wording is a good thing.

  • NiChaPoN

    NiChaPoN said 8 years ago

    Thank for good advice

  • Hapagirls

    Hapagirls said 8 years ago

    Great advise! I can always use new tools to better my business. Thank you!

  • danicad333

    danicad333 said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great advice. I tried something new with my profile, based off an old poem I did in High School. It looks lots better and like a poem on my blog, but I wanted most of the words to show up in the Profile screen and not have someone have to hit "Read More." I hope it is alright. I've never been good at writing. Please let me know if it sucks and I'll think up something new.

  • margaretscrafting

    margaretscrafting said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the advice, very interesting and a lot to think about. I will be going over my shop and having a think about what I can improve.

  • saranorwood

    saranorwood said 8 years ago

    Wow...thank you that was so inspiring! I'm off to download the worksheet and have a go myself.......

  • karilu

    karilu said 8 years ago

    Thanks for all of the great help! I'm going to go spruce my page up!

  • luvyu

    luvyu said 8 years ago

    This is some of my capias and favors that was ordered on 4/05/2011 for a baby shower. I will be putting it on to my esty shop the ending of this month. please send me a comment on my capias and my favors. I also knit and crochet baby blankets, Queen size spread, twin size, full size.

  • LibraDesignsNYC

    LibraDesignsNYC said 8 years ago

    I just attended this writing workshop online. I loved it and really enjoyed Michelle. Writing is my weakest link and any suggestions on ways to improve really help. Thanks Michelle, I will try to incorporate these ideas into the next item I post.

  • Messyparrot

    Messyparrot said 8 years ago

    Great writing workshop....I am certainly against trapping though. It is cruel in any way shape or form. Wish another store was choosen for the workshop.

  • niftyknits

    niftyknits said 8 years ago

    Thanks for this Michelle. I don't know if it's my natural British reserve (seems unlikely considering the innate silliness of my product!) but I find it very hard to be so off-the-wall as you seem to be suggesting. I have just added bit more of the "real me" into my profile, but I can't imagine suggesting I'm a galactic shipper!

  • AlisaJulie

    AlisaJulie said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for posting the video. This workshop has gotten my brain to start working again towards being more creative in my writing! It isn't just my jewelry that I need to put all of my creative efforts towards, it also doesn't stop at photography, but the writing needs to be original as well! :) Thanks again! I really appreciate it.

  • Spleodar

    Spleodar said 8 years ago

    Absolute tosh. My artwork speaks for itself, thanks very much. I had to turn off the video at about 10 minutes when Michelle was glorifying someone who kills and maims animals in the most cruel way legally possible. Ridiculous.

  • GabrieleSOHO

    GabrieleSOHO said 8 years ago

    Thanks for all the great advice will think about making some changes or updates on my site.

  • DebbieSaenz

    DebbieSaenz said 8 years ago

    Great Information! Thanks Michelle...I'm heading on over to my profile to see how I can rearrange/reinvent my words! xo

  • roseglen

    roseglen said 8 years ago

    This is great I have already started reworking my profile announcement

  • violetsommer

    violetsommer said 8 years ago

    I don't get this at all. When I see (what I perceive to be crazy or rambling) item descriptions, I run- I'd never buy from a seller who writes like that. I agree that Etsy has much more serious things to focus on.

  • CWDesigns225

    CWDesigns225 said 8 years ago

    I find there is a fine line between writing personality into a description and making up a long, time-consuming and uninteresting story about things that really don't have much more of a story then you made it. If there is some documentation to a relevant history, that gives substance and value to the vintage piece, I'm all for that, but again, just trying to make-up something is a waste of time. A profile is read by people that do want to know more about you, that's why it is called a profile. I get annoyed when I see something in a shop that is so fabulous that I want to "meet" the artist or collector and know more about what makes them tick and there is nothing there, not even a friendly "Hello". That even makes me lose interest in the item. So there is a place to expand in creatively writing an informative background story and there are places it doesn't belong.

  • onemorning85

    onemorning85 said 8 years ago

    @CWDesigns225 ....Well said.

  • schwartzem

    schwartzem said 8 years ago

    Damn that speaker is fine.

  • suzanneartist

    suzanneartist said 8 years ago

    Could we banish the word "Crafter" I hate that word. These are the sentences that perturb me: "I've been crafting since. . ." "I've been a crafter since. . ." I make it a habit not to purchase work from artists/artisans who are too lazy to write anything about their work in the profile section. Why? it always makes me wonder why the mystery and if they are actually selling something they made. Lack of a information is the equivalent of not having a business card available when a potential buyer doesn't have enough money at the market to buy a piece from you, but would like to visit your online shop when she/he does.

  • fibrous

    fibrous said 8 years ago

    Potato Salad is awesome.

  • OrganicBrew

    OrganicBrew said 8 years ago

    This was incredibly inspiring to me as an etsy seller. I continually struggle with my profile and item descriptions trying to make them unique and I feel I have a better understanding of what appeals to buyers and how to make those changes in my own profile and item descriptions. Thank you so much Michelle!

  • meganbmalone

    meganbmalone said 8 years ago

    So helpful! I will get to work right away!!

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls said 8 years ago

    So true! When sellers say they've been featured here and there I usually assume that their work is too expensive for me and move on. I love reading profiles to find out where sellers live and what inspired them to create their one of a kind art. Etsy is unique and every seller should take the time to make their shop special.


    STARRFIRESTUDIOS said 8 years ago

    Your workshop was very informative and well presented. Thank you so much.

  • bookmarksNbangles

    bookmarksNbangles said 8 years ago

    WOW! This is so great! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • TangoMouseandMe

    TangoMouseandMe said 8 years ago

    I was totally inspired to reconsider how I've been writing. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • blackburnarts

    blackburnarts said 8 years ago

    I used the tips in this workshop to rewrite my profile and right after that a newspaper called me for an interview and specifically said they were drawn in by my art but also how I had written about myself! The article is running next week! Thank you!

  • SimplyLenas

    SimplyLenas said 8 years ago

    Wonderful & useful tips! Thanks so much; I will most defiantly will be trying out my new inspirations from this info.

  • KikuVintageBoutique

    KikuVintageBoutique said 7 years ago

    Coleslaw sells!

  • SolskenDesign

    SolskenDesign said 7 years ago

    I've had this video bookmarked a long time already and finally listened to it. I can recognize myself (well my weak points, haha) from many of the "don't do this at home" examples, so off I go to make some necessary improvements. Thanks for the support!

  • ruchla

    ruchla said 7 years ago

    This helps allot! Thanks so much y'all!

  • SusiesBoutiqueTLC

    SusiesBoutiqueTLC from SusiesBoutiqueTLC said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips. I have alot of work ahead of me. :)

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