Shop Etsy

Handmade Comments: How Not to Spam While Being Active Online

Jan 26, 2010

by Vanessa Bertozzi

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

You’re at a gallery opening, discussing the paintings with the artists and other attendees. Someone bursts into the room shouting, “I MAKE PAINTINGS TOO!” and tosses a fistful of flyers on the floor and leaves.

This is what it feels like for many readers when a seller comments on our blog with just a link to her item, completely out of context.

Making a real-life metaphor for an online situation is always tricky. It’s useful here because I want to discuss what self-promotion “feels like” to those on the receiving end. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t use the flasher metaphor?)

This post is about etiquette (or, that wonky neologism “netiquette”). It is not about Etsy’s rules or policies, but rather our behavior and culture — the way we do things around here, you could say. So let’s talk about spam-ishness, self-promotion vs. welcomed participation in conversation and community. What social behavior do we as a community enjoy? What do we tolerate? What makes us cringe? What can we do about it?

It is not just me.

Recently, I, as the editor-in-chief of Etsy’s blog but more so as a reader, was struck by the increasing number of comments on Etsy blog posts that were simply a seller pasting a link to an item in their shop. I’m not talking about posts where the author invites members to show similar items or share links to items along a theme — that is helpful to Admin trying to find undiscovered items and useful to shoppers who want to extend beyond the twenty-one or so Related Items highlighted in the post. I’m talking about sellers pasting links either where none are called for or that are irrelevant to the topic of the article or theme.

I started a Forum thread asking Etsy Forum-goers if they considered this kind of blog comment “spammy.” While clearly these are not professional spammers pasting links to their discount factory outlets and porn sites (believe me, I take issue with those much more!), there was a general consensus in the thread that these self-promoting comments are spam-ish in that they are unsolicited. Some Forum folks suggested Etsy disable linking in comments altogether or make a rule that Admin enforce by deleting comments. On the other hand, some felt that although the comments are off-putting, they can just be ignored. I cringe when I click to an article about Etsy.com on a major newspaper’s website or a blog post where the blogger mentions Etsy, and Etsy sellers have posted a ton of comments with nothing but, “Check out my shop (link)!” Because this is about our community’s culture and because this issue extends beyond the Etsy blog to off-Etsy blogs and social networks too, I don’t think making a rule is the way to go (or at least can’t solve the problem completely). But I don’t want to ignore it for fear of seller spam catching on and becoming common practice. I think we need to start a discussion to raise awareness. And further, I want to hear your suggestions for better ways of participating in comments and social networks without being spammy. A lot the sellers who do this kind of thing are new to Etsy and new to the Internet. Post in the comments with your tips, and I’ll share some of mine below.

Beyond the self-promoting kind of “Promote, promote, promote!”

Let’s acknowledge the motivation behind such spam-ish comments: Sellers want to get their products out there. It’s a hustle, I know. Sellers have heard that you need to be “active” online if you want to get sales — you can’t just sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. And yes, I fully agree that Etsy needs to build more tools for sellers to show off their work. But the linking we’re discussing here is not helping these sellers. It’s making them seem robotic at best and desperate at worst.

 

You move to a new neighborhood and you’re excited to meet your new neighbor and local shop owner at the corner store. But ever since you shook your neighbor’s hand the first day, now every time you leave the house, she accosts you on your stoop and yells at you, “COFFEE AT MY HOUSE!” Annoyed, you say no thanks and stop by the corner store on your way to work and get your coffee there. The next day and every day thereafter, the shop owner screams at you when she sees you, “AREN’T YOU GETTING YOUR COFFEE HERE TODAY?” More people move into your neighborhood and yell random demands at you. It starts to feel like a neighborhood you don’t want to live in anymore.

Trust me, a seller will annoy her potential customers and scare away returning customers if, every time she lists an item, she auto-tweets and drops an item link on Facebook and that’s it. I’ve also seen sellers repeatedly dump product photos into Flickr groups clearly not meant for this. They’re called social networks for a reason: They are social places. We are not robots that churn out messages on an assembly line and shuttle them out into the world for nameless, faceless customers; we are humans capable of sharing funny, insightful, moving, or even off-the-cuff ideas about ourselves and other people!

I’m not suggesting sellers stop being “active” online. There is an alternative: I want sellers to make their updates, comments and Flickr photos more interesting! I’m looking for a good story — even if it’s bite-sized. I want to see your sense of humor or find out what challenges you worked through. All it takes is some thought and care and practice. Just like in real life, it takes picking up on social cues that may be subtle (or in the case of this article, not so subtle!).

My Tips for Tactful Participation

  • Read a blog post before you consider whether or not you want to comment.
  • If you are moved to share a thought or your reaction then post a comment.
  • If you’re on the Etsy blog, your avatar and username link to your shop. If you’ve said something that intrigues people or resonates with them, maybe they’ll click through and check you out. There’s no need for an additional “footer” with your shop URL. (On an off-Etsy blog, you may want to have a footer or signature with your URL.)
  • If you have an item that is meaningful to the discussion because you can use it as an example when telling an anecdote or sharing a tip, then link to it to illustrate your point. Add something to the discussion and show some personality. Same goes for a Forum thread on Etsy, tweeting or updating and commenting on Facebook.
  • Link to other Etsy shops, not just your own. In the Forum thread I started, one person likened self-promoters to those people you know in real life who only talk about themselves. Those people are boring.

It takes more time to read the article, to think of something relevant, witty or touching or provocative to say. But that is what Etsy and the handmade movement are all about, right? Take the time to craft something unique to you.

P.S.
When I was talking with the other Admin about writing this post, this Forum thread came up from seller HautTotes. As a seller, she has worked through many of the points I’ve made here.

P.P.S.
I don’t want to discourage people from simply saying they liked a post or the items featured. Not every comment has to be the most profound thing you’ve ever said — it just has to be true to you and the post.

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771 comments

  • herbolution

    herbolution said 9 years ago

    Thank you, Vanessa! "Read a blog post before you consider whether or not you want to comment. " - this is soo true! How many times I've seen posts that are absolutely not related to blog itself! Spammy and annoying..

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio said 9 years ago

    I agree, it's very sad this situation.

  • Fairyfolk

    Fairyfolk said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this, Vanessa... I can't stand it when people post unasked for links to their shops or items. Hope this will make them think twice before doing it again... I'm tempted to try to be funny by posting a link to one of my items... but wont! LOL.

  • FrostedWillow

    FrostedWillow said 9 years ago

    Such a touchy topic. Thanks for these great tips!

  • moonovermaize

    moonovermaize said 9 years ago

    Wonderfully written. You and HautTotes made so many good points, thanks. :)

  • janellelile

    janellelile said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a thoughtful discussion on this issue...I think it's important that the community comes together to decide where to draw the line between participation and spam. I think the answer is somewhere in between ignoring the problem and over-aggressively enforcing a no-promoting rule.

  • triciahoke

    triciahoke said 9 years ago

    LOL, your real life metaphor was hilarious... I do agree though, there are sooooooo many talented people on this site, it can be hard to feel like you're getting noticed. Yet those posts do tend to step on the toes of the highlighted artists, and in turn seem tacky. You cant blame them for trying though... and to be honest, I find it tacky, but have still clicked on them! Just like I would pick up a flyer from the crazy person in the gallery... he made the effort! Maybe there could be a way for people to list their site as a "kindred" spirit to the blog, where shoppers/readers could then go and search thru them... (for a fee of course... etsy wink wink)

  • iheartmies

    iheartmies said 9 years ago

    this sort of "spamming" is often off putting to me as a seller i believe in self promotion but with a touch of humbleness thanks for sharing!

  • soap

    soap said 9 years ago

    the art gallery example is a perfect analogy!

  • atelierdewolvelay

    atelierdewolvelay said 9 years ago

    Many thanks for this post. It's an important message, particularly for those who are new and perhaps don't know any better. I am all for less cringe-factor!!

  • megalunostudio

    megalunostudio said 9 years ago

    Thank you, Vanessa! I love your illustration of tossing flyers into a room. It made me laugh out loud, since I recently had someone try to convince me to market exactly like that! "It takes more time to read the article, to think of something relevant, witty or touching or provocative to say. But that is what Etsy and the handmade movement are all about, right? Take the time to craft something unique to you." That's bang-on! Marketing in the handmade world should not be like screaming in someone's face - it should just be YOU, in whatever way you are unique.

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead said 9 years ago

    You've made a very thoughtful point, and one I'd like to see practiced. My non-Etsy friends consider Twitter to be polluted with Etsy-spam. No one wants to meet a walking info-mercial in person, and it doesn't come across any better online than off. I think that posts such as yours, Vanessa, go a long way towards raising awareness, and its nice to see this conversation get started.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 9 years ago

    You made some very good points here Vanessa. A blog or any other social networking site for a seller is better balanced with some personality added to the mix, rather than just posts about selling the product. I enjoy getting to know the person behind the product when I visit other blogs. As for the spammy comments that you get here on Etsy's blog, I'm sure your team will come up with something. :)

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns said 9 years ago

    Hi Vanessa, You said it! The example you used at the beginning of the post is exactly the way I feel sometimes reading comments on Storque. Whew, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. This post is so well written on such a touchy subject. Thanks! Mieko

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead said 9 years ago

    Very interesting read. I appreciate everything you said.

  • blossomnbird

    blossomnbird said 9 years ago

    Great article Vanessa...we,ve got to keep it real to keep things growing in positive ways...surely it can't thrive if it's only about selling

  • michon

    michon said 9 years ago

    Great article, I like the tips you posted and I hope people read them. A lot of people don't realize how annoying it comes across when someone only posts self-promotional comments, whether that's on etsy or any other site.

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie said 9 years ago

    Fantastic article Vanessa!! Much needed!!

  • OpendoorHandmade

    OpendoorHandmade said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, great way to address the issue!

  • Lithic

    Lithic said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this! I've been wondering how to promote, esp. because I'm hoping sometime soon my shop will help out with college fees. No one likes a spammer, though, so I was kind of at a loss! :)

  • nine15photography

    nine15photography said 9 years ago

    Very well put!

  • bradleybeads

    bradleybeads said 9 years ago

    The coffee analogy was great. It made me think of the British comedy "Keeping up Appearances," where Hyacinth's neighbors all try to avoid her because she brags incessantly. Your "tips for tactful participation" should be a guide for the blog world as a whole. This truly is a social issue, as you said. People have their own interpretations when they hear advice to participate in the Etsy forums and Storque and post on blogs. I wonder if some Etsy sellers actually advise people to do this kind of spam. Some of the regular forum posts are very thinly veiled spam. Thanks for your thoughtful post and tips.

  • eroa

    eroa said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article. Much needed:-)

  • MidwestAlchemy

    MidwestAlchemy said 9 years ago

    Well said...

  • taylorseclectic

    taylorseclectic said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article, Vanessa! I think that people need to take the time to read the articles, find a point of view about it, and then post a comment about the article. When people do nothing but pop into the storque and spam it, it reads like they could care less about anything but promoting their own shops. Storque is about supporting all of our fellow sellers!

  • enhabiten

    enhabiten said 9 years ago

    Very tactfully written and so so true. You have to be genuine, I think. Be yourself, respond to what truly moves you. People can sense that sort of thing. That is what intrigues a person to check out you and your shop.

  • goldminetrash

    goldminetrash said 9 years ago

    Wonderful post and very well said! I see cold, impersonal spam as the antithesis of what Etsy is about. Hand crafted (and hand selected vintage) is all about adding a PERSONAL touch. That's what makes this site so amazing. Spammers, please save it for the attention whores on myspace : P.

  • riorita

    riorita said 9 years ago

    On the Nose!

  • NerdyTogether

    NerdyTogether said 9 years ago

    This was a very tactful article! And it really needed to be said! I've never comment on an article before, but I really needed to leave a "bravo!" for this one. :)

  • simbiosisbyjulia

    simbiosisbyjulia said 9 years ago

    So very, true. Great article!

  • Sigmosaics

    Sigmosaics said 9 years ago

    yes, agreed .. a great post. I find the storque articles interesting and varied and when i've commented on them I just ignore the 'spammy' comments. I can see the valid point though, about how it appears unprofessional in the bigger scheme of things. It is a touchy subject and will no doubt irk some, but it's something that you have addressed in a professional and thoughful way .. kudos :D

  • somethingbunny

    somethingbunny said 9 years ago

    Great post, your gallery example said it all (: Of course we have to self-promote but I have seen many instances of overkill (i.e. with the linking to your shop despite your avatar/name linking to your shop)

  • maddhatterslab

    maddhatterslab said 9 years ago

    Great article... and AMEN! I read this via Google Reader but wanted to pop over and check out the comments from other Etsy members to see if it resonated with others. The weak stamp at the top of the article cracked me up; I so needed a laugh today.

  • KatHannah

    KatHannah said 9 years ago

    Bravo! - much needed advice

  • stilettogirl

    stilettogirl said 9 years ago

    Great article. I have been thinking much about how to be tactful and still encourage traffic in my shop. One way I'm just starting to play with is on my Facebook page. Like mentioned in the article, dropping random URLs and pics on my fan page seemed a bit redundant and wasn't really producing interaction with my fans. So I started posting a new weekly series called 'how to wear it'. I pick one item from my shop and pair it with a dozen or so other Etsy seller items to mix and match in a weekly photo album. It is sorta like a treasury and promotes other shops, but is focused around my shop. I'm having a blast with it and hope it helps improve not only my traffic but also my fan interactions.

  • Eiriel

    Eiriel said 9 years ago

    Very interesting - I liked the coffee example (and yes, pretty much identical to 'Keeping Up Appearances'!). I get bored of people just posting on twitter when they list something at not just to say hi or say something interesting. By all means, post when you list. But tell me what exciting things you've done today, or what you're looking forward to this week as well.

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 9 years ago

    Wow great analogies!

  • mqstudio

    mqstudio said 9 years ago

    I love your metaphors. They're right on, and this needed to be said.

  • seawillowherbs

    seawillowherbs said 9 years ago

    Thank You for this post. I am new to etsy and the internet. This social networking stuff is really a new world. I have really had to pick up on the "way of doing things" by myself. It is hard to be the "new kid". There is so much to learn and pitfalls to avoid. A lot of times when you come into a new social scene and you make a mistake people just laugh at you and write you off as stupid. There is no one to take you and show you how things are done and show you in a kind way. Thank you agin for you kind but firm, humorous but serious social networking how-to!!

  • stitchntyme

    stitchntyme said 9 years ago

    Thank you for giving this some thought. It was much needed. It really is tacky to throw up a link to an item and run, especially without posting. I love the way you compared it. Spam and the Storque are not cohesive. Hopefully we will see less of it.

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 9 years ago

    Leave it to Etsy to drive the point home most creatively!

  • louloudo

    louloudo said 9 years ago

    I'm really glad that you've brought this up as sometimes I think some relentless self-promoters don't realise that they just look rude. The coffee analogy made me laugh so loud I woke up the cat! Also, that SPAM collage is AWESOME.

  • OhFaro

    OhFaro said 9 years ago

    Venessa- Thanks so much for such a well done article. It is a great reminder and I appreciate that etsy is addressing this very sensitive issue.

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 9 years ago

    nobody wants to live near hyacinth!

  • cutiepiecompany

    cutiepiecompany said 9 years ago

    Amen to that! I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one that feels that way. Thanks Vanessa!

  • WingsDove

    WingsDove said 9 years ago

    The analogies in this article are excellent. I hope that the sellers who do this recognize themselves. Most have no idea that the links they leave behind in all their comments have the opposite of the desired effect.

  • beyondtherockz

    beyondtherockz said 9 years ago

    Great read, Vanessa. Thank you! But all of this talk about spam! Now I am hungry...

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 9 years ago

    great tips. i think the best part of etsy is the love from everyone involved. lets not ruin great articles with shameless self promotion and spam. ps. thanks for picking my dress for the related items. i was shocked to see it and i love etsy even more :)

  • LazyTcrochet

    LazyTcrochet said 9 years ago

    I really think it's a learned behavior. Newbies, especially, don't know how disrespectful they are being. At first it's all about "how can I get noticed?" I love your Tips for Tactful Participation.

  • marysgranddaughter

    marysgranddaughter said 9 years ago

    Hear hear! Fabulous post...I couldn't agree more.

  • rachellucie

    rachellucie said 9 years ago

    I totally agree about the spammy comments becoming the culture, new people do it because other people seem to do it and it seems to be ok. Well it probably isn't. I am wracking my brains to remember if I have done it (don't think I have). This post shows why I love etsy, rather than don'ts or rules, rather an open discussion. Fab! (have you seen this in my sho...) :)

  • ajoeynamedroo

    ajoeynamedroo said 9 years ago

    The sad thing about it is I don't think comment spam works...it just looks tacky and clogs up the board. As an etsy seller and buyer, I'm much more likely to click on the avatar of a commenter who left a thoughtful, interesting post rather than someone who randomly posted a link on the board.

  • admiredhistory

    admiredhistory said 9 years ago

    I see no point in promoting myself to other sellers. They know how to search Esty and if they are interested in the type of items I sell they will find me. And when you spam in a forum what are the chances that a person is interested in your product at that point in time? ~~Probably close to zero.

  • spottedlobes

    spottedlobes said 9 years ago

    check out my newest post... kidding. totally agree. :)

  • pincushioncrazy346

    pincushioncrazy346 said 9 years ago

    It needed to be said and you said it well...thank you.

  • CardsbyCarla

    CardsbyCarla said 9 years ago

    Great article! Loved your explanations and the points you made. In response to another reader, I don't think it's newbs. I think it's just more aggressive self promotional personalities. I'm new on Etsy and it would never, in a million years, occur to me to self promote in that way. It smacks of snake oil salesmanship.

  • JenniferAitchison

    JenniferAitchison said 9 years ago

    Excellent article! The more that we do to authentically support one another in our Etsy Community, the more support your shop will have and therefore the better your shop will do. Leave the competition to the development of your own skill and use this community for mutual support, knowledge and growth.

  • almapottery

    almapottery said 9 years ago

    I agree with everything everyone said,now go buy my stuff.:) I actually have something serious to say ,the spamming of the Storque articles started when at some point it was pointed out in the forums that a good promotional tactic is to make sure you are on the first people who comment after a Storque article to get some of that visibility. From that point the rush of people trying to comment first ,turned to a lot of people linking to their shop in the comments in a natural way and it was just getting worst lately.I think for many people it was not clear what is acceptable and what becomes just spammy so maybe this article will clarify some of this matter.

  • bunniesandbows

    bunniesandbows said 9 years ago

    This article is fantastic! Thanks so much for writing it! I agree with everything you wrote!

  • BringingHomeBrandi

    BringingHomeBrandi said 9 years ago

    I have to agree with admiredhistory. Unless there's an ad thread (which I have seen) what's the point?

  • TheInvitation

    TheInvitation said 9 years ago

    Bravo! And so well put! I am often accused of NOT blabbering about my work, nor my vintage shops---but I think it's just so blatant at times that it is a total turn off...and not tactful or appropriate to shout from the highest mountain top anytime we have a chance to. Incidentally, I used to have a neighbor when I lived in a condo that worked late, and would knock on my door everyday when she came home. I learned to turn off my lights & TV from 10-10:30pm. Vanessa...this was just a wonderful, and tactful article! (um, and also appropriate! :))))))

  • Armillatadesigns

    Armillatadesigns said 9 years ago

    This is something I worry about every time I leave a comment on a blog, because I know Etsy has gotten a bad reputation in some circles due to some enthusiastic self-promoters. I hope this article reaches the people who need to see it, it's got a lot of great (and tactful) advice.

  • AlieKeegan

    AlieKeegan said 9 years ago

    Some great points here. Thank you.

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, that was spot on. I appreciate you taking the time to canvass ideas and opinions from the community. At the end of the day, while all sellers are interested in selling their creations, it is quite easy to see through someone who is only interested in promoting themselves, not even reading or participating in any way in what's going on outside their shop. By writing this article, and putting this out there, perhaps some of that kind of one-track-mind-spamming/promotion will be replaced by something more real. And that would be refreshing. Thanks!

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 9 years ago

    "LOOK AT ME!!!!" Too subtle?

  • OpulentOddities

    OpulentOddities said 9 years ago

    I think some people struggle with this concept, or maybe they just blatantly don't care, but it makes SUCH an impact on how you're business is perceived. If you are out there, active in the community in a proper way as disgusted in this post, people will take notice of you, and maybe take interest in what you have to say. If you are half-way active posting spammy bits of information, people will also notice. But not in a good way. They may visit your shop, but you better believe they aren't shopping there.

  • OpulentOddities

    OpulentOddities said 9 years ago

    Discussed, not disgusted* hahah, whoops!

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 9 years ago

    thanks for this much needed subject. but i must admit, i have posted a link to one of my items when it relates to an etsy blog. won't do it again tho'. :)

  • sugarraindrops

    sugarraindrops said 9 years ago

    I liked the, "spam," related items for this article, made me lol. :]

  • cayennepeppy

    cayennepeppy said 9 years ago

    I like the metaphors you used...I think they really shed some light on things. If I walked in to an art gallery and told the artist 'your art is gorgeous and I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!', I wouldn't think that inappropriate. That being said...I LOVE the fingerless gloves in cream..AND HER HAIR ROCKS!!! Cheers and good wishes fellow-etsy-lovers as we journey together!! :)

  • ksjoblom

    ksjoblom said 9 years ago

    I used to try and scroll through the comments to find anything of interest that actually related to the topic, but often, I found that the only posts were people linking to their shops. Although I have a shop, I am on Etsy more to buy stuff than to sell stuff, and I won't even look at those posts that are just unrelated shop links. It is a real turnoff to me as a shopper. If I am looking for something to buy, I use the search function or things like the treasury. I don't look at blog comments. I want the comments to be about the topic at hand, so they are useful to me. I am not sure there should be a rule, but people need to be encouraged to be more thoughtful about this.

  • DanceTheMoon

    DanceTheMoon said 9 years ago

    Excellent article, Vanessa. Thank You So Much. "A lot the sellers who do this kind of thing are new to Etsy and new to the Internet." Perhaps a very visible link to this article could be posted on the final page when a new seller account is opened? Or maybe in the confirmation email (I think links to the do's and don'ts and such are in that one, aren't they?).

  • CarolineUnderwood

    CarolineUnderwood said 9 years ago

    Hahahahahahahahaha this was JUST posted on facebook and has already had 2 'look at my shop' comments!!! Hilarious! I may have been guilty of doing this once when I first joined but now I know my way around a bit better I realise that it's not really the done thing... Maybe there should be something about this in the guidance for sellers setting up shops?

  • FlourishBathBody

    FlourishBathBody said 9 years ago

    Hear hear! (okay- admit it- how many of you scanned through all the comments to see if anyone obliviously posted their links here?)

  • KDemARTe

    KDemARTe said 9 years ago

    I agree! This needed to be said and you did it in such a tactful way. Thanks for such a great article!

  • broochefrommaris

    broochefrommaris said 9 years ago

    Great article & LOVE the related items!

  • skywatcher1121

    skywatcher1121 said 9 years ago

    I don't usually post on blogs, but how about having more openings for Etsy Treasuries? I look through treasuries all the time and find both items and stores that are interesting and that i'll go back to. There are never any openings (sorry, I'm not up at 4:30 AM on Tues to wait for the number of treasuries to drop below 300) and that would give more vendors a chance to get their name & items out there without having to over promote.

  • TwilightVisions

    TwilightVisions said 9 years ago

    Nicely written and hopefully this will become a common practice.

  • SHAbang

    SHAbang said 9 years ago

    There is always going to be spam, unfortunately. We are business owners, we are here to sell; and some just think by "posting & running" it drives sales. Well, some people may look, but can you sell regularly that way? Probably not. See the Promotions section in the forums as an example. I've posted there; not frequently, b/c of that realization. There is no cultivation of buyers & again, while it may be nice to have an entire fly by night section to look, I don't think it's beneficial in the long run. There are thousands of us on etsy wanting to be seen, get chosen for the voters, treasuries & front pages, and perhaps if there was a more even keeled way for more shops to get chosen, and not the same ones a few times a week (or even in a day), some spam might be curtailed. For now, I just ignore it.

  • naughteebits

    naughteebits said 9 years ago

    well said!

  • onaroll

    onaroll said 9 years ago

    Great article! You make your points really well without being accusatory.

  • ShelleAnne

    ShelleAnne said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article. I hope many people read it and find it helpful - loved the "coffee example."

  • dianedesign

    dianedesign said 9 years ago

    Great article. I hope lots of sellers see this post. It is good to toot your own horn now and then but, it's not fun when it's shoved in your face.

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 9 years ago

    Wow vanessa, very well written, a English major maybe or future book writer? Enjoyed all the lil tidbit story's I could picture them in my minds eye. We live bout 2 hours west of the Spam capital in the U.S. hmmmmm. Appreciate being in da finds. :) Thanks.....

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 9 years ago

    Good to know...thanks for the info! I don't have a big on-line presence, but I'd like to & will take any advice I can get...this one rocks!!

  • flahwiz

    flahwiz said 9 years ago

    That treasury cracked me up:) I'm am becoming more socially conscientious of my comments. I will comment thoughtfully and without spamming, not that I ever did...but being very new to the Etsy scene, didn't know this was taboo! Thank you for the article.

  • BuyMyCrap

    BuyMyCrap said 9 years ago

    what did I miss?

  • DerangedDesigns916

    DerangedDesigns916 said 9 years ago

    THANK YOU for writing this! Now if only some myspace users would follow these rules! People that post dozens of bulletins a day advertising their stuff drive me NUTS. Same with people that try to advertise on my comment page, or send me messages promoting things I have no interest in.

  • coolranchstudio

    coolranchstudio said 9 years ago

    thank you for this...i like the analogy about people you know in real life who only talk about themselves. :) of course, if you tend to be quiet and shy in a group you might not comment at all - sometimes i find i am pushing myself because i'd like to be a part of the conversation. in the end, better to say something only when it's meaningful and relevant.

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 9 years ago

    Wow! That forum thread from Haute Totes is so full of great examples of truly connecting with people. I think Melissa must be a very special person indeed. Great work Vanessa. I admire tactful people...trying to be more socially graceful all of the time. Thanks for the example.

  • crochetgal

    crochetgal said 9 years ago

    Very well written Vanessa. As many of us are sellers as well, its really discouraging to see the amount of spam in the Storque. If I see something that intrigues me, I can always click on an avatar! That's why we have avatars... to entice people into our shops!

  • bellabijoujewellery

    bellabijoujewellery said 9 years ago

    Spot On! I love that opening line about the gallery and the artist flying in with flyers - GREAT visual there hahaha

  • workingforpeanuts

    workingforpeanuts said 9 years ago

    Thanks for your thoughtful take on Spam on the Storque. Your analogies were right on and funny! I've often felt uncomfortable when seeing a seemingly random or shameless link in the comments, while on the other hand I think, "What's wrong with me? I'll never change my polite midwestern ways and 'get my stuff out there!'" It's a fine line, isn't it? BTW, SPAM is made in my home state of Minnesota! So I guess even midwesterners spam.

  • VintageSurplus

    VintageSurplus said 9 years ago

    Very well put. Such a sensitive issue and doesn't always hit home when it should. Your article is awesome and effective: Matter of fact and gentle, at the same time. Thanks!!

  • VivianneDesigns

    VivianneDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this post Vanessa! As someone who is fairly new to Etsy, I am still in the process of trying to figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to getting yourself out there. Very helpful post!

  • helenapuck

    helenapuck said 9 years ago

    Wonderful advice! I get so excited about the handmade movement that I tend to promote anything and everything, sometimes even forgetting to say, "Here is my new listing." I think enthusiasm for craftiness is self promotion in and of itself. It's very organic like the conversations you were using as a metaphor. But an internet presence is very much like that. I wanted walk up to someone and say, "Here are all the things I sell, buy them now at -blank- price." It's just not natural. I think I prefer to help someone find what they are looking for, even if it isn't from me.

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 9 years ago

    Great article. Although I kind-of understand those sellers that do randomly post links to their own items - they are desperately trying to be seen, noticed. However they can, regardless. Desperation is always sad.

  • Jenifersfamilyjewels

    Jenifersfamilyjewels said 9 years ago

    Totally agree!!! Thank you so much for this perfectly written article! I love the gallery opening part too!

  • CreativeArtandSoul

    CreativeArtandSoul said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this very well written and timely article. It just so happened that today I was reading a blog written by a certain celebrity and Etsy had a brief mention in one of the many blog posts. I noticed that this one particular blog post had many more comments than most of the other posts, so I started reading the comments. Sure enough, other Etsy sellers found this blog article and left link upon link upon link upon links to their shops. It just didn't seem right and I doubt that this celebrity blogger would want to post anything regarding Etsy again. I think Rachellucie's above comment was correct that once someone sees one person do it, they feel they can do it too. I also agree with ajoeynamedroo, who said that they were more likely to click on someone's avatar or profile if that person had made a thoughtful contribution to the discussion, rather than if they just added a "Come look at me & my shop!"

  • silverbox

    silverbox said 9 years ago

    nice article. I'm just a beginner to the blogging community. You may have saved me from making a fool of myself. thank you, in advance :)

  • starless

    starless said 9 years ago

    If fellow Etsy sellers- who KNOW how hard it is to get your name out there- are really annoyed by spammy link-dropping, can you imagine how non-sellers feel about it? Great article, thanks for posting this!

  • timesandchimes

    timesandchimes said 9 years ago

    Great article, Vanessa! Thank you for the insight!

  • papermichelle

    papermichelle said 9 years ago

    The weak stamp made me lol. Thanks for posting this article - I only hope some of our cohorts take note.

  • secondsanctuary

    secondsanctuary said 9 years ago

    what I loved most about this posts is the number of long-time, successfull etsians who clearly know that following the storque is good for business.

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 9 years ago

    Thanks, you're absolutely right! Good sellers with great quality items attract great buyers who appreciate their work without using questionable tacticts. *The work speaks for itself.* But while I'm here I've always dreamed of having my work featured on the Etsy homepage!

  • HurricaneCarrie

    HurricaneCarrie said 9 years ago

    Great article, thanks for bringing this info out into the light. I always try to sandwich my posts about me and my jewelry with things about others and non-jewelry interests. That's what people love about esty sellers, we aren't just a place to buy amazing things, we are real, messy honest-to-goodness people living interesting lives. Also, kudos to Lithic...you go girl...paying for tuition with art is totally withing reach. I just managed to pay for my first semeter of ecology grad school with my jewelry sales. Here's hoping for some more well-educated etsians!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 9 years ago

    Thanks,Vanessa for writing about this topic. I always felt it was rude and not fair to other sellers to promote their shop on blogs. This message could be included in your shop on your Etsy page.

  • ThePurlMinx

    ThePurlMinx said 9 years ago

    Well said. Although I did chuckle at the imagery of someone walking into the art gallery and throwing their flyers all over the place.

  • susanneedlehands

    susanneedlehands said 9 years ago

    I think this was very helpful. Being that many of us on Etsy are new to "selling our wares" we need to know the ins and outs of what is appropriate and what is not. Also, some of us are shy and don't really know what to say to add to the conversation. I really appreciate the reminder to read the article and only comment if you have something to say that relates. Thanks!

  • itsastitch

    itsastitch said 9 years ago

    As well said as this is, it's AWFULLY tempting to post a comment with a link to my shop ;) Great points though, I think some people get a little... carried away in their "promotion".

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    AutumnLeavesJewelry said 9 years ago

    I love the line about --->linking to other shops, not just your own<---, those people you know in real life who only talk about themselves- are just boring...how true!

  • edwardandlilly

    edwardandlilly said 9 years ago

    Excellent article, I'm so glad this topic has been dealt with here.

  • OverTheLuna

    OverTheLuna said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa for writing about this! I have often felt this way when reading posts on Etsy, and many people just paste their link and leave no other feedback. If your link is relevant to the post, I see no harm in posting it, because as others have said, it can just be ignored. However, this is not even necessary, because we can link to a shop already, as Vanessa pointed out. It is nice to be able to read and comment on posts and know that others are discussing that material, not just self-promoting. Thanks for a great article, and a great Etsy environment!

  • flowermash

    flowermash said 9 years ago

    While self-promoters are well intentioned, I think your illustrations will help those who are misguided become more tactful and tasteful in their participation. :) Great post.

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 9 years ago

    Great points all! Done with a cheeky sense of humor and play, but also making sure everyone understands the basic common sense philosophy of being considerate and thoughtful with your business in a forum! Love the flyers being thrown in the air example btw! : )

  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire said 9 years ago

    Great guinea pig stamp! They do sound like that! I get so frustrated with all of the spam on these comments (as well as those in the forums). Nice article, Vanessa.

  • greencouchdesign

    greencouchdesign said 9 years ago

    Wonderful post, I agree with seawillowherbs that it is hard to be the new kid, I've only been a seller on Etsy since December. Learning when to speak and when not to is truly hard sometimes because there isn't one individual you can learn from. You have to learn from the group. For about a month I didn't comment on any of the blog post's I just read them. I wanted to see how people responded and learn a little more of the culture. I think if people will be in a little less of a hurry to sell, and a little more willing to connect with the community it will help them to understand why this is an issue to us. Ultimately I still often only leave comments like 'great finds' or 'I really liked _____ item' and that is ok, because these statements are true and from the heart. I like to believe that we are all trying to make things better and that when we comment on blogs or discussion strings sometimes we are simply saying Good Job! I'm with you 100%!

  • ArtfulSynchronicity

    ArtfulSynchronicity said 9 years ago

    I have seen sellers simply type "marking" in post comments. I'm guessing that is just another example of shameless self-promotion.

  • ClaudiaLord

    ClaudiaLord said 9 years ago

    Funny thing just happened - I tried to post a nice comment about this article and my post was flagged as spam and sent to admin for review. Now if the spam filter only worked for real spam..... Anyway - good article! Hope this one makes it through the spam filter!

  • paintingpam

    paintingpam said 9 years ago

    What comedians did a skit about SPAM? I believe it would fit nicely here:-)

  • casualgal

    casualgal said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for this. I love the gallery visual - too funny!!

  • aereonyx

    aereonyx said 9 years ago

    Well said, and nicely put! For such a touchy topic in general, I think you really hit the nail on the head in regards to social networking versus shameless self-promotion. Thank you so much for bringing this to light!

  • VitalVintage

    VitalVintage said 9 years ago

    Love the metaphor about throwing the flyers into the room! Thanks for posting this nice reminder for everyone.

  • IndigoElephant

    IndigoElephant said 9 years ago

    Great article! Thanks.

  • vintageaimee

    vintageaimee said 9 years ago

    The concept of this post seems like good advice for the whole world! The opening image in an art gallery is not too far from scenes I have actually witnessed at craft shows, art galleries, upscale retail stores, etc. When all you can do when you see someone else's work being admired is call attention to yourself, you have some personal reflecting to do!

  • wishartglass

    wishartglass said 9 years ago

    Obviously this hit home for many Etsians. Thanks so much for a thoughtful and necessary article.

  • TooMuchOfAGoodThing

    TooMuchOfAGoodThing said 9 years ago

    I'm still learning the Etsy culture so thank you for your thoughts. Spamming like this isn't something I would do...self-promotion scares me. I haven't even linked my shop to my facebook yet because I don't like "guilting" people to look at/buy my products. Anyhow, I have seen people paste links to their shop and that seemed odd to me. Thanks for pointing out that it's not cool.

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 9 years ago

    Great post Vanessa. Nobody likes spam.

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 9 years ago

    Gosh, I hope you are not talking about...

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 9 years ago

    me

  • TwoSugarBabies

    TwoSugarBabies said 9 years ago

    Good job Vanessa :) There are some etsy sellers that are on Twitter for the sole purpose of "advertising" (*cough* spamming *cough*). I definitely choose not to follow those etsy sellers. But the sellers that provide a dialogue and not just link after link after link of their new items, i do follow and am interested to see what they do have new in their shop b/c i've found an interest in everything else they've had to say!

  • chrystalyn

    chrystalyn said 9 years ago

    I really appreciate this article. I've heard a lot in the forums lately that the larger Etsy gets, the more its lost some of its charm (with common courtesy and all). It's good to know that the people behind the name, Etsy, care about stuff like this. (-;

  • deesadornments

    deesadornments said 9 years ago

    There are a lot of advice articles saying that one way to get noticed is to post in the Storque comments. Those articles really need to take the time to explain that just posting a link is NOT the way to do it. Instead, post relevantly and try to be interesting. People seem to forget that all someone has to do on Etsy is click your user name to go to your shop. be interesting and people might click! In outside venues, often when you comment on an article somewhere, you are asked to include your URL, which will be made into a link where people can click on your name. That is the way to promote, again, by being interesting in the comments so that people will want to click you. People want some easy no-brainer recipe for how to get noticed. It's hard being interesting. It's easier to be lazy and post a link whether or not it's appropriate or relevant. Unfortunately it's also just boorish.

  • breedingfancy

    breedingfancy said 9 years ago

    Thaaaaaaank you for addressing this! If it's advertisement in any space that's not meant for that purpose, it's SPAM! Plain and simple. In the case of blog comments, is it just me, or is there already an automatic link to the seller's shop attached to the comment? So why the overkill? It's desperate and unprofessional. Leave a good, thought provoking comment. Maybe that might draw people into your shop. Or perhaps make sure you've got a spiffy avatar. But, please, no spamming!

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 9 years ago

    A point to ponder is...so many sellers would love to have their items show up once in awhile in the blog posting, but we don't know how to get noticed, it seems like allot of the same shops get featured often. Not saying they don't deserve it with great product, pictures etc.

  • tweeprints

    tweeprints said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a wonderful and delicate subject. You are such a great writer. Your examples for different scenerio are so funny and true.

  • HappilyEverAnderson

    HappilyEverAnderson said 9 years ago

    This is a great article. I agree that some of the people doing this a lot may be new to the whole internet communication thing and the general etiquette that needs to be followed.

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 9 years ago

    Great points, thanks!

  • breedingfancy

    breedingfancy said 9 years ago

    I just re-read the post and this suggestion stood out: "(On an off-Etsy blog, you may want to have a footer or signature with your URL.)" I actually disagree. I feel like that's spammy, too. There's often a link to your username/profile when you leave comments. People will look for your info if they're really interested in you. I think the only time it's okay to leave your URL is when the article or blogger specifically calls for it. If it's not asked for, don't do it! Pay for ad space instead.

  • JHenryDesigns

    JHenryDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for the reminder to all about unofficial "Etsy-quette"! Your writing is compassionate, yet straight to the point! Thank you!

  • SWANclothing

    SWANclothing said 9 years ago

    i agree with all this. it's a total waste of time bieng a spammer too. i really don't get it. but there are cases where people who only talk about themselves get attention and sales. though they aren't true spammers. i used to blog a lot of other sellers on my blog. but i can't really now, i don't have the time. and as much as i know i am spreading the love, sometimes i wonder if i really don't need the focus to help me make living. but yes, totally agree, spamming is unbelievably lame.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 9 years ago

    I have noticed on the blogs that the comments left don't even match what they're taking about. "Hello", you read the blog first and then comment. Don't put a link unless asked to put a link. Be polite! :)

  • onegreatthing

    onegreatthing said 9 years ago

    Thank you so so much for bringing this up! I think you handled the issue very well, and it is going to make us all think about the way we have been promoting (here, flickr, facebook..) That's why I LOVE ETSY! You guys are always looking out for us, and making sure we have all of the helpful info we need. I can't not imagine selling anywhere else! ♥♥♥♥

  • RagsandRibbons

    RagsandRibbons said 9 years ago

    Love this! It drives me batty to add someone on Twitter and all they tweet about is new listings in their shop. I love talking to other tweeters and promoting others work too.

  • soule

    soule said 9 years ago

    Great article thanks for all the advice!

  • jvdarcy

    jvdarcy said 9 years ago

    Great article! If no one has said it yet, I find your choices of "Related Items" both entertaining and a little confusing. Nonetheless, an interesting mix!

  • mfmapparel

    mfmapparel said 9 years ago

    Great article and a good reminder to all. I also love the first metaphor. Thanks!

  • mixedspecies

    mixedspecies said 9 years ago

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36698069

  • ElizabethMD

    ElizabethMD said 9 years ago

    I do agree, and I will admit that being new to selling just in general I am sure I have also done several of these things before. I think the issue here is learning is of course a curve and as I have said before what you give, you will get back. There are so many threads and chats and people willing to help you on Etsy. I came into this thinking instant sales cause my jewelry is so great! I don't have to do anything at all, and I don't need anyones help. Well I was wrong and have reached out with wonderful response several times.

  • KamiMono

    KamiMono said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this article! I always think that those sort of spammers are sleaze balls. Although I do wonder if spammers have more or less sales than non-spammers.

  • NotSoShabbyChic

    NotSoShabbyChic said 9 years ago

    I am a regular in Etsy chat, and nothing turns me off more than someone who does nothing but post their own items and spam about their shop and sales they're having etc. etc. I know for a fact that doing that has the opposite intended effect, b/c I, as well as many others, flat-out refuse to support those shops EVEN if I love their items. It also disgusts me when I post an item of someone's on the side and instead of thanking me they try to pitch me a deal on it... just b/c I post an item does NOT mean I want to buy it! Posting others' items in chat is something that is done as common courtesy and some people just don't get that.

  • HotLavaClothing

    HotLavaClothing said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article and well made points. A great one to read. The only good "spam" is the one in a can (very popular over here in Hawaii :)

  • linkwritenow

    linkwritenow said 9 years ago

    This is a great post. I think sometimes it's hard to stand back and separate the "artist" from the "seller." If we begin to think of our shops as our brands, which they are, then we need to remember that a brand is only successful when it connects with its audience; and that connection needs to be real and human. Therein lies the problem, of course, because nothing is really less "human" than a post. It's so easy to step in and out of space without any real visual contact. The HautTotes forum thread is a wonderful post that everyone should take a look at. Thanks, Vanessa, for taking the time to wave this flag.

  • yayforfidgetart

    yayforfidgetart said 9 years ago

    Vanessa's article really hits the nail on the head. I've also witnessed other Etsians rudely spam in threads involving serious, real-life issues (i.e.: Somebody discussing their relative's terminal illness, death, etc.). It's sometimes unbelievable what some people will do to get noticed.

  • ToadLillie

    ToadLillie said 9 years ago

    "Enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me?" LOL Thanks for the thoughtful article.

  • desertsoapstone

    desertsoapstone said 9 years ago

    I recently had some soapstone salesman from Kenya post on my Facebook fan page to come check ot his wares. Needless to say it wasn't interesting and got deleted. However, I too can benefit from this post. Thank you Vanessa!

  • tallysdesigns

    tallysdesigns said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the article. I am new and it has helped my thinking on talking on the various forums and blogs.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 9 years ago

    Oh I would never do that. Great article thanks for posting this.

  • withaflourish

    withaflourish said 9 years ago

    Excellent points! The art gallery analogy really made me laugh. I was almost scared to look down at the comments lest I would find someone had commented without reading the article and posted their links ... ha! Great spam-related items in the related items, too. :)

  • carolbroadleypottery

    carolbroadleypottery said 9 years ago

    Such good points! I grew up on Spam...didn't like it then either!! :)

  • ModelCitizen

    ModelCitizen said 9 years ago

    Forgive me if someone already mentioned this... In the past few months I've started listening to Craftypod and they recently had an awesome pod cast about engagement marketing - and that is exactly what you want to do here. Make a connection (online) & form relationships with sellers & buyers alike. I highly recommend it to all Etsians. It only takes 20 minutes & we've all got that right? Enjoy! http://www.craftypod.com/2010/01/01/craftypod-106-engagement-marketing-for-your-crafty-business/

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 9 years ago

    Great post Vanessa... I am retired from the movie biz, which I lovingly call: "the land of me."

  • sidquilts

    sidquilts said 9 years ago

    VERY nice article and I love your metaphor.

  • WoodPigeon

    WoodPigeon said 9 years ago

    I both laughed and shook my head at all your examples! A great idea to write such an article, well done.

  • geminiartworks

    geminiartworks said 9 years ago

    well said vanessa, it is like going to a restaurant and start taking food from other people's plates.

  • Kooby

    Kooby said 9 years ago

    I think you make some great points here. Definitely an interesting topic. Thanks! :)

  • bittersweetdesign

    bittersweetdesign said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, Not only was this a great article for those who are new to the online community - it also was a great reminder for those who have been here awhile. Thanks!

  • xraiko

    xraiko said 9 years ago

    From what I've experienced, Etsy is one of the few online communities that I belong to that has people posting constructive and comprehensible comments i.e. less spam than other places.

  • Hiryuu

    Hiryuu said 9 years ago

    I fully agree. I operate mainly on DeviantArt to boost my work, and there are a few people on there that will only post journals when they have posted new items. Very rarely do they ever say things about themselves or even ask about their customers. Its ridiculous, honestly.

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this well written article. I love reading your blog and posting on it but I hope I don't seem boring. I'll try to come up with something witty:)

  • RogueCollars

    RogueCollars said 9 years ago

    Great article - thank you!! I bet a lot of newer Etsy shop owners may not even think of this. Especially when you get used to posting a lot in the Promotions section of the Forum -- it's good to remind people of this! I know I'm guilty of doing this when I was newer to Etsy... then I realized how annoying it was to read just advertisements! Great reminder! :)

  • KnockKnocking

    KnockKnocking said 9 years ago

    Gosh, yes I totally agree! Sometimes I feel so overloaded with links and promos on this blog's comment area that I just give up altogether when browsing through the responses. The analogy of tossing papers in the floor is both witty and to the point. Thanks for addressing this difficult topic.

  • MithrilDreams

    MithrilDreams said 9 years ago

    I really liked this article. I sometimes post more than links but wondered if anyone cared. The comments on the facebook link had me in stitches.

  • riveraurora

    riveraurora said 9 years ago

    Here, here! Love the scenarios you've described. Sometimes I feel like "that guy" when I'm on twitter and I always feel as though I put myself on the spot to say something interesting and wonderful and unique (and funny!), and I get sort of an internet mini stage fright! Its nice to know I'm not as bad as spammies and I appreciate your great advice of just being genuinely social. Thanks!

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 9 years ago

    Great article, Vanessa! *tosses flyers on the floor and runs out* :-D

  • woodponddesigns

    woodponddesigns said 9 years ago

    touchy subject; great advice!

  • CLineCreations

    CLineCreations said 9 years ago

    Thank you, this is so true! And now about that flasher metaphor....

  • Happiknits

    Happiknits said 9 years ago

    Great article Vanessa. Alot of times I just follow interesting or pretty blogs~ I'll lurk and read but will only comment when I have something to add to the discussion :) not stalk, but lurk :-) (peaseblossom- you made me chuckle!)

  • kidgiddy

    kidgiddy said 9 years ago

    thank you for saying what needed to be said! we are all in this crowd trying to be noticed - we are asked to simply raise our hands and hope to be picked...but once in a while someone comes in with a banner as wide as a football field trying to cover everyone else up... some people just don't know. and yes - some are just so desperate. This spells it out - it's ok for us to go to the person too and simply let them know in a kind way to please stop - if it's made personal. You just might get an apology and you just might help them learn some Etsy and social networking etiquette! Thanks so much for posting this! -Kerry

  • MiriamClimenhaga

    MiriamClimenhaga said 9 years ago

    Nice article. Particularly loved the art gallery metaphor...it made me read the article, too funny.

  • mietteLove

    mietteLove said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this! I am really getting tired of seeing the links to items that are totally irrelevant to the post. I enjoy reading The Storque daily because it is so inspiring. You guys have a truly amazing and talented staff. Keep up the good work Etsy!

  • WinkArtisans

    WinkArtisans said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the guidance. The metaphor indeed gets the point across.

  • frankideas

    frankideas said 9 years ago

    all so true. I started on twitter, meet some interesting people, then we all started spaming each time we listed on etsy, it got so boring! I'm now trying to limit to once or twice a week showing something new from my shop and chatting about other stuff in between - but you have to wade through endless listings of priducts from others on twitter -its sooo frustrating.

  • fivelittlegems

    fivelittlegems said 9 years ago

    I am so glad to see this post from you. As a newbie a year ago, it never even occurred to me to "spam" anyone even before I realized what spam was. And yes, it leaves a very bad taste in your mouth when it's randomly posted in unrelated business or even social topics. I can sometimes understand that a lot of new folks don't realize, but I've seen some more established sellers doing it just as often lately. Thank you, thank you so much for bringing this to the forefront of Etsy. It is very much appreciated and yes, very necessary.

  • peterhickey

    peterhickey said 9 years ago

    Loved your article, what can I say, I don't understand most of what you talked about,I will try not to offend!

  • prettydamncute

    prettydamncute said 9 years ago

    As someone new to etsy, as a seller, not a buyer(!). I found this really article really insightful. Since I opened my shop at the beginning of the month, I have tried to find healthy balance between my etsy addiction --browsing-- and my voracious need to see and learn about all that this site has to offer. I'm really captivated by all that's going on here and touched as well -- so many people producing and selling things with love; but, as I have been clicking and typing clicking and typing, I think I'd forgotten to pause and assess what etsy is all about -- and what I am doing here. I think you said it best when you reminded us all "this is about our community's culture ." Thank you for keeping it real. [NOTE: Are long comments like this appropriate? See, now I am second guessing myself, but at least I am thinking!]

  • asundrynotion

    asundrynotion said 9 years ago

    Well put, Vanessa!

  • KissedByAPixel

    KissedByAPixel said 9 years ago

    Love this article. Point was definitely made =)

  • SudzNThings

    SudzNThings said 9 years ago

    thanks for tackling a touchy subject matter. Kudo's to you.

  • foamywader

    foamywader said 9 years ago

    I really appreciate this being said.

  • foxpots

    foxpots said 9 years ago

    Great article. The concept applies to forum threads as well - it's so annoying for a stranger to come into the thread, post a promo, and run!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 9 years ago

    Wholeheartedly agreed!

  • twiddletoes

    twiddletoes said 9 years ago

    Thank you for writing this article! Sometimes it's hard to see how in-your-face promotion is, and this article really puts it out there in plain view.

  • BeadsInTheBelfry

    BeadsInTheBelfry said 9 years ago

    I think that analogy in the beginning pretty much sums it up! Thanks for the gentle reminder!

  • FableBay

    FableBay said 9 years ago

    great article. this of course is a touchy gray area topic. to some it feels like advertising, getting your name out there, but this article clearly paints the picture as to why this behavior raises so many peoples blood pressure:) and why sometimes it feels like there are forum police in Etsy's forums:) people do care about content, people do work hard, and have interesting things to say. those who abuse the comment section to drop a link to their page are not participating in this community, which this is a way of life for many. And in that it can be offensive.

  • Charmish

    Charmish said 9 years ago

    Great article. And some of us, in FEAR of being annoying, are low on the self promoting end. Etsy articles on unusual promoting practices have been a gift.

  • editionbw

    editionbw said 9 years ago

    Amen! it's all I'm saying... Amen! That and: Yes, I have clicked through on a spam, & have always been disappointed. Oh and "Don't forget the YELLERS!" I feel mean saying that.

  • SweetPeaFabrications

    SweetPeaFabrications said 9 years ago

    This article was great, esp the metaphor from the floor of the art gallery! I just passed my 1st year anniversary with Etsy. Woohoo! There is a fine line between promoting and spamming. I have not figured it out yet and, therefore, tend to do less networking. I am sure this is not in the best interest of my shop. I always feel bad that I might be "bugging" my friends and colleagues with a "yahoo, look at me" approach. Posts like this are always helpful- thanks

  • TheSteelFork

    TheSteelFork said 9 years ago

    Well done Vanessa. It is overwhelming to be in this sea of beautiful things. There is a powerful urge to push forward to the head of the line. It is so easy to forget our patience. Perhaps we need some inspirational quotes to boost our spirits- reminders to believe in what we're doing, stay focused and patient.

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 9 years ago

    Great article! I've also been annoyed by the spam comments. I usually never click the links and just pass those comments by - but I think it also keeps me from reading other comments that could be very helpful or insightful!

  • VintageOddsAndSods

    VintageOddsAndSods said 9 years ago

    What an outstanding article. Very good point and I totally agree -- it's very annoying when sellers pop in just to promote themselves -- I would never click on their link. And good point to state that social networking is "social" -- we don't just promote, but share and socialize - follow others and show an interest in them. This article should be posted once a month to remind the offenders!! LOL :)

  • PillowPallooza

    PillowPallooza said 9 years ago

    I agree with this post though at times it feels overwhelming trying to promote your shop and still not getting the right amount of exposure. I feel the strongest feature on etsy for such exposure is the front page treasury. Etsy has to figure out a better way to expand this feature, perhaps make it a virtual platform as seen on online magazines, where it allows you to flip through the pages I think this would give the treasury viewers a more exciting experience. Just a thought :)

  • eurolenscape

    eurolenscape said 9 years ago

    So true. I had a friend , who flooded me with "Pampered Chef" e-mails. It was so annoying, that I've never bought anything from her! Thanks for sharing!

  • outdooreducator

    outdooreducator said 9 years ago

    I'm not sure a lot of people really realize what it seems like to others when something like this happens. Seeing it in metaphor really drives that point home. Good job!

  • JoannasPhotography

    JoannasPhotography said 9 years ago

    Really good article. Thank you for posting this here. It's good to know, that issue of spamming is being recognized. I know, there are probably many different approaches to the subject. And there can be very thin line between trying to self promote and adding input without connection to the main subject.

  • CarzooCritters

    CarzooCritters said 9 years ago

    It is nice to see this being said. I notice that a lot in the critique sections as well, sometimes I feel like people are just trying to get views rather than really listen and want a critique. It is always good manners to say thank you for those who have taken their time to look at your work and critique it, instead of just posting a link to your work and never coming back to see who took the time to critique it. Thank you for writing this article. Thank you, Thank you!

  • dayslonggone

    dayslonggone said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article, Vanessa, and right to the point! I appreciate the time you took to write this!

  • Archivia

    Archivia said 9 years ago

    I hope the right people find this article. So well put! I absolutely loved your faux "real-life" examples...priceless. I was ASKED recently to post my links, so I did in that situation, but it's hard to know what the correct ettiquette is when posting on blogs. Here, it's just obvious, at least to me--no need to link when a link already exists <<<<<

  • Sugarshoxcrafts

    Sugarshoxcrafts said 9 years ago

    I'm wondering if the people who post the spam links to their shop are aware that they can only lose by doing this. They put their shop's name in a negative light and reputation, and even then no one really goes to the link!! As for constantly "spamming" on the social networking sites, a good balance is always key for me. I post a mixture of personal and shop announcements--in fact, I post way more personal stuff on my blog than shop stuff--and I set the blog up for really just shop info. Also, when I list a few things a day, I spread out the advertising on sites--not just bombard my friends & followers with "BUY THIS!" all day.

  • talulabelles

    talulabelles said 9 years ago

    An issue that needed addressing..Etsy is a community.. it's like an overly large english village where everyone looks out for one another..we bless the day we found this wonderful site..be polite not pushy

  • beadweaver

    beadweaver said 9 years ago

    Wow, lots of responses! I've had this problem on my own personal blog and I've adopted the policy of deleting comments that aren't pertinent to the topic. If someone says "Great article!" etc, I generally leave it but if someone promotes their business, I delete. There's a lot of heavy self promotion going on these days but my experience for true success has been that it is hard work and lots of patience and time to earn the interest and respect of readers - which may lead to potential buyers (with the interest and respect being the goal, not the purchase). I'm not sure that participating in all kinds of "social networks" gives a person an advantage unless they really make a contribution. And individuals who don't make a contribution are usually ignored (just like those annoying Ads on the side of webpages). So I suppose, in that sense, it does work itself out. Sorry to hear about so many self promoters, I'm not sure there is an easy answer as to how to make it more of a community. But I do appreciate your attempt to tackle it!

  • EvesLittleEarthlings

    EvesLittleEarthlings said 9 years ago

    So what is the reason we call it SPAM ? Check out this funny blog and watch the classic Monty Python skit that started it all! http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Origin-of-SPAM

  • livistitches

    livistitches said 9 years ago

    Great Article and some awesome tips. Thanks :)

  • hawleywood

    hawleywood said 9 years ago

    I am so glad you wrote this article! I can't tell you how many Etsy sellers I've Unfollowed because every single post is a link a listing in their shop. I don't mind a few links here and there, in fact I like looking at the new stuff, but when someone tweets 8-10 times in one day and the only thing they have to say is "NEW ITEM BLAH BLAH BLAH," (and it's *always* in all-caps), it gets real old. I hope over-eager Etsy sellers will rethink their spammy Tweets after reading this!

  • missbutler

    missbutler said 9 years ago

    What a great tone you struck - very diplomatic. It was a great point that when we comment on blogs or sites off Etsy that we should represent the community well and not spam with shop links. The world should never think of Etsy as a group of carnival barkers.

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca said 9 years ago

    you have no idea how much I want to post a link & run, now. This is a great way/article to handle the situation. Much better than what I do, which is to roll up a newspaper, bop the offensive seller on the nose & shout "Bad Etsian! Bad, bad etsian! Go to your kennel!"

  • sweetlysinister

    sweetlysinister said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this Vanessa. I have seen this type of 'commenting' so many times on blog posts. It is hard to know where to draw the line when you are trying to promote your store but i think your post will definitely help. I have always thought this was spamming in a way if the comment or your store were not related directly to the post Thanks again for help clear this grey area a little ;)

  • UglyBaby

    UglyBaby said 9 years ago

    Oh my god - mixedspecies I think I'm in love with you. In a sea of well thought out poignant comments on this post - you post a link to a Go Lemmings shirt. Hilarious. I'm still laughing.

  • modmomME

    modmomME said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article! I agree completely. It's all about tact, respect, and common courtesy. I love your "real-life metaphor." I have never given in to pushy sales people and I am not going to start. Thank you!

  • Mulchandmore

    Mulchandmore said 9 years ago

    Well said, I even feel guilty when I make a short comment just to mark a thread (when I have nothing revelant but would like to see the answers to the OP)

  • Ebrown2503

    Ebrown2503 said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, your article was very good and basic. But, the people who NEED to read it the most are probably the least likely to read it. Hopefully it will touch a chord with a few. Small steps to tackle a big problem. Your analogies where very well represented.

  • moosomething

    moosomething said 9 years ago

    I wish I had more time to social network- it's a full time job on its own. But this kind of "spamming" is ugly and annoying. I'm glad this article was written. But MixedMedia, that was pretty funny.

  • corrnucopia

    corrnucopia said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a great article, hopefully those who don't read and post will take the time... and btw I wouldn't bother to click on spammy links (unless it's from mixedspecies!)

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 9 years ago

    I'll admit to putting a link in the comments (I think 2-3 times in the last 8 months) mainly on articles about recycled/upcycled products, because I felt my work was related to the topic. Guess I was a "lemming", saw so many others doing it and had not read anything in etsy rules that said I couldn't/shouldn't. Why did I do it? Because I have such poor views to my shop, and wanted to improve traffic/sales. I don't consider myself a spammer, and really don't feel like I need to be ashamed. SHAbang said it so well: There are thousands of us on etsy wanting to be seen, get chosen for the voters, treasuries & front pages, and perhaps if there was a more even keeled way for more shops to get chosen, and not the same ones a few times a week (or even in a day), some spam might be curtailed.

  • laceramiste

    laceramiste said 9 years ago

    so many things that needed desperately to be said. thanks for doing it tactfully and helpfully. p.s. i love love love that bird pilolw.

  • kristincoffin

    kristincoffin said 9 years ago

    I also get personally embarrassed when I see decontextualized links to Etsy shops on other websites. That behavior most definitely reflects poorly on the rest of us. Another real-life comparison: when people plaster their bumper stickers on every street sign, wall, and dumpster in sight.

  • TheShabbyChicCottage

    TheShabbyChicCottage said 9 years ago

    Such good advice! Thanks for the reminder, because I'm ashamedly guilty...

  • RollingHillsVintage

    RollingHillsVintage said 9 years ago

    Thaks for the article Vanessa. Very good!

  • ForrestConcepts

    ForrestConcepts said 9 years ago

    Great article! Thank you!

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 9 years ago

    This article and the comments, certainly have changed my idea of what spam is, and what I will do to promote in the future. Still don't feel guilty for linking 3 whole times in 8 months in the comments, guess I want to be the bad girl!

  • LaughingFridge

    LaughingFridge said 9 years ago

    This article should be mandatory reading for new sellers (at least some of them), but it also make a good refresher course for the rest. As many have already reiterated, please read the subject of a forum post, not just the title, before you comment! I also agree that showing your personality and being responsive to the author or other posters is the best way to get you noticed and possibly liked. The ones who just copy and paste, copy and paste, everywhere they post, really irk me! Thanks for a very good article!

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo said 9 years ago

    I solemnly swear on my itty bitty Esty heart I will not enter that territory. It will be only quality, not quantity here :)

  • whyte

    whyte said 9 years ago

    Thank you for a well thought-out article.

  • jewelryarte

    jewelryarte said 9 years ago

    I've been seeing people posting their shop links on posts that have nothing to do with anything they are selling. I find this very annoying.

  • ScholarlyArticles

    ScholarlyArticles said 9 years ago

    Haha, I love how there are no links in this particular comment board.

  • curlyhairedmomma

    curlyhairedmomma said 9 years ago

    This is a great piece. I find it very annoying even when you ask people to post specific items, (i.e. items for your kitchen) and they post their main link and say "look at my shop". That wasn't the request, now was it??? I feel it makes those shops seem very desparate - which, I wouldn't look at them out of principle...so there they have alienated themselves from a possible (1) viewing and (2)potential sale. Thanks for the topic.

  • ladybluebell

    ladybluebell said 9 years ago

    Great post....I agree. I try my best to interact beyond "promoting" with my Twitter, Facebook and forum folks. Whether I'm found to be interesting or not is another question. Pushy, 'in your face' salespeople type are not fun, online or off. Thanks for the well written article!!

  • QuiltingFrenzy

    QuiltingFrenzy said 9 years ago

    I opened my shop 18 months ago and business has been slowly coming my way. I have started to blog and to read other blogs so I really appreciate this guidance. I find blogs that are geared toward sharing life experiences and creative inspirations are more interesting and encourage "social" networking so they should not be used as a "billboard" to sell yourself.

  • twolittletots

    twolittletots said 9 years ago

    What a great post! I love it and thank you for sharing.

  • scrivenerferret

    scrivenerferret said 9 years ago

    I liked the coffee analogy. For my Keeping Up Appearances pals: "Coffee at eleven, Elizabeth!"

  • craftjunky

    craftjunky said 9 years ago

    +1 on your article Vanessa. Wonderful read and I hope every seller picks up from it. I get irritated with unrelated postings too... so I try not to do it ...but we are only humans and forget sometimes ... out of desperation:-)

  • DaydreemyrsDestiny

    DaydreemyrsDestiny said 9 years ago

    I loved the analogies in this story. Every day life is going so much towards internet, texting and the like now that I think some people don't really have that much grasp on what is and is not acceptable in person any more as well! So many people communicate by texting or twittering rather than actually speaking to someone, that I imagine perception of what is and is not ok gets lost somewhere between the keystrokes. I am just starting to get things going here with my own shop and I personally find promoting a bit awkward. I tend to feel too pushy even mentioning it sometimes, so that is something I have to work on which is completely the opposite of the problem the subjects of this story seem to have. Maybe next time I see the neighbor outside I'll yell at her to come have coffee with me and see if that helps get me out of my shell :)

  • FoundVintageStyle

    FoundVintageStyle said 9 years ago

    Extremely well thought out article. Thank you!

  • LePassions

    LePassions said 9 years ago

    Such a great topic! I too find this very annoying. I am another one that out of principle will not look at link that has been posted when not requested. It is just plain rude! And in this day and age should not be done, the internet has been around long enough that we should beyond having to teach netiquette. *off my soap box* :)

  • WhimsyCottageMinis

    WhimsyCottageMinis said 9 years ago

    Wow! Great article! (And I think this is the first time a Storque article hasn't been plastered with "comments" containing links to the sellers' shops ;))

  • kneesandpaws

    kneesandpaws said 9 years ago

    Being new, it is rather tempting to want to be noticed. However, I love this article because it is a reassuring reminder that many people still value manners and support the idea of sharing our products in a positive, respectful way.

  • EarthGirlKnits

    EarthGirlKnits said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for this! This was very tactful and got the message across clearly.

  • jennyhoople

    jennyhoople said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article :) Not only is it about good manners, it's about having a successful business, too. "Be the change you want to see in the world", right? Let's take back commerce from those corporations and make it something worth participating in!

  • memorybooksandmore

    memorybooksandmore said 9 years ago

    Great article! And love your picks for related items... can of spam, and tacky and all about me dog shirt lol! Your analogies are perfect also!

  • thefrogbag

    thefrogbag said 9 years ago

    Thank you for highlighting a topic that is very sensitive for a lot of sellers. We all want folks to visit our shop, and to get that we have to get "out there" and be seen. But that also requires a delicate touch. Sometimes it's hard to walk that line. Good job adding a little light and levity to the subject of "netiquette"!

  • gibberish2

    gibberish2 said 9 years ago

    This is a great article! I hope this isn't off-putting in anyway, but as I was reading, I was thinking about the students I work with every day as a high school teacher. I feel very fortunate that I do read thoroughly and try to be thoughtful when responding to things (even though I don't have time to read the bazillion comments already posted in response). However, we are living in a time that is soooo overwhelmed with media that my students (who btw, I ADORE) have great difficulty in slowing down to actually READ and not just whipping out a response (as they do on their phones constantly.) So, if you guys figure out the way to make it happen, you could be VERY RICH in the field of education! In the meantime, your tips were very helpful. Thanks again for a great article.

  • ViviansKitchen

    ViviansKitchen said 9 years ago

    I swore last week I would no longer participate in etsy forums, etc. because I was always inundated with sellers just giving their shop info or buy my products when all I wanted was some honest answers to questions or help. I hope your info helps as I have met some great people via the forums and learned some useful tips from seasoned sellers.

  • uncostumed

    uncostumed said 9 years ago

    People get more sales by promoting their artistry, not by just promoting the items they have for sale. I like the suggestions posed in the article but I don't feel that any of them would help. I agree with kidgiddy above. Being punished or having blatant promotional comments automatically deleted will not not discourage this behavior as much as being personal and teaching everyone proper etiquette. After all Etsy is all about being handmade and personal. Thus, it is all our responsibility to educate others. To not do so is to encourage it.

  • uncostumed

    uncostumed said 9 years ago

    However, I noticed after posting my above comment, that if I had so wanted to retract my previous comment there is no delete button. Having this feature would be helpful (especially to "newly educated" Etsians), so we can all retract comments that we have second thoughts about, making the Etsy comments more inviting to read.

  • Sarahkat

    Sarahkat said 9 years ago

    Self-promoting is a skill in itself. Not everyone is good at it. Now look at my shop.

  • notengomiedo

    notengomiedo said 9 years ago

    Way to just say what many of us were thinking! Thanks!!

  • smittenforyou

    smittenforyou said 9 years ago

    Happy this was addressed. Self promotion is such a touchy subject and over-promotion is never comfortable. Thanks!

  • LuksiCreations

    LuksiCreations said 9 years ago

    spam is ham in a can, and delicious in breakfast burritos. however, i do agree that people just posting links thinking it will bring more attention to them get on my last nerve. it's one of the reasons why i don't read some blogs because there are just comments full of spam. plus its obnoxious and rude.

  • wizeowlhandprints

    wizeowlhandprints said 9 years ago

    Thanks! This was very timely indeed since I'm wrestling w/having to tell a friend to stop promoting herself over just connecting w/me. Even though I don't seem to have the time to participate in the forums enough, I'll take it as good advice.

  • eclipse

    eclipse said 9 years ago

    "Trust me, a seller will annoy her potential customers and scare away returning customers if, every time she lists an item, she auto-tweets and drops an item link on Facebook and that's it. I've also seen sellers repeatedly dump product photos into Flickr groups clearly not meant for this. They're called social networks for a reason" I couldn't agree more Vanessa, unfortunately much of Etsy's "business advice" to sellers has been to do these very things. Other admins in the past have asked and encouraged Etsy users to spam twitter, Flickr, and Facebook with their new listings (or even just promoting Etsy itself, not even their own shop). We've also been encouraged to litter our neighborhoods with flyers, Etsy bumper stickers and business cards, even to the point of Vandalism. (stickers are hard to remove) I have a feeling many of the people doing this think they are following Etsy's advice, or following the advice of many of the "Advice shops" selling "how to be successful" booklets and seminars on Etsy. Once this spam monster has been unleashed it's very hard to get him back into the cage.

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 9 years ago

    its gonna be awkward is someone posts a spam comment lol

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 9 years ago

    Timely article and kudos to the writer. I'd suggest also thinking about branding as a storyline. If anyone watches commercials avidly (I do since I was in the biz for so long), you get that the ones making you laugh or telling a story, or that are visually arresting, are the ones you prefer to watch. They're obviously still promotions, but they're highly creative and we respond with our intellect, our emotions and hopefully with our wallets. That's the point of interesting content positioned as advertising.

  • prairieprincess

    prairieprincess said 9 years ago

    Kinda hard to decide whether to comment on this one or not. :-P I fall in the "it's rude to post nothing but links to your own stuff" camp, and I'm glad you brought this up. It's also really annoying to find advertising where something else is expected (like randomly throughout the flickr etsy packaging pool). It's tacky, and if I mentally connect a spammer with a product, I'm not going to buy the product.

  • TwoIndustriousFerret

    TwoIndustriousFerret said 9 years ago

    I really loved the example at the top, made me chuckle. I immediately read that thread. I hate twitter, I really do, I have one but don't use it. Point is I tried what was suggested and just started talking to tweeters. It was kind of fun, I'm not gonna lie... :-)

  • empower

    empower said 9 years ago

    i love love love the 'weak!' hamster!

  • littleputbooks

    littleputbooks said 9 years ago

    welllllll said!!!!!! Thank you for addressing this issue elegantly!

  • slidesideways

    slidesideways said 9 years ago

    This needed to be said and you did it with style and grace. Thank you! We usually just ignore the links that pop up every once in awhile linking to their shop. It's especially weird though, when a shop has bought something from our shop and left positive feedback that said "thanks, check out my shop." Anyways thanks again, it needed to be said.

  • HautTotes

    HautTotes said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the mention Vanessa :)

  • berrybluecreations

    berrybluecreations said 9 years ago

    I read the article and some of the comments. Very timely and relevant, especially to those who need to brush up on their netiquette.

  • meanoldbags

    meanoldbags said 9 years ago

    I can see that you are passionate about this topic and I would cring too if my blog posts were peppered with meaningless links. That said, I do think Etsy itself has - at in least part - created this mentality. My impression is that a majority of Etsy shop owners are new to selling online and much of the advice given via previous articles, labs and administrators has been to promote,promote,promote at every opportunity. Thus some of the problem is genuine ignorance, some over excitement and some just blatant disgregard for online etiquette. I do think Etsy will probably have to change it's stance on encouraging sellers to promote the site and take over the reigns.

  • RusticGoth

    RusticGoth said 9 years ago

    If we are talking about your stuff, I think we need to keep talking about your stuff. If we are talking about my stuff, I think we need to keep talking about my stuff. This is kind of how I feel whenever I comment on a blog post, piece or art or wonderfully unique pendant, forum discussions...etc. It's about keeping focused on the topic of conversation..not about changing gears midstream and going off on an 'off topic' tangent. It's really not cool to post a link to your stuff...if we aren't even discussing your stuff. It's as rude as interrupting someone mid-sentence. I see it way too often and chances are...I will never visit one of those links..even if they have the coolest things since peanut butter.

  • holacards

    holacards said 9 years ago

    Well said! I have seen this "shameless" promotion tactic and it is sad. My passion is making my product - not selling it. Sales will come, but we need patience.

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, thank you for this article, and for listening to our forum posts. I think that a link to this article should be sent out with Danielle's "Etsy Success" emails.

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 9 years ago

    cheers ~ a slice of humble pie ~ for all

  • Emmamaha

    Emmamaha said 9 years ago

    Well put. And I will definitely respect the etiquette of posting on the Storque blog:)

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 9 years ago

    well said! great job on approaching this subject!

  • deelind

    deelind said 9 years ago

    Perfectly stated, much needed. Thank you.

  • 9108designs

    9108designs said 9 years ago

    Very well written, and excellent analogy. I appreciate the insight regarding posting things that are interesting on your social network. I am guilty of only posting when I have new items. Recently, I have been posting items from the Hearts for Haiti shop, and keeping people updated on totals raised. I love talking about other shops items that I love, and will continue to do so. Thanks for the reminder to have more substance!

  • WhileYouWereAsleep

    WhileYouWereAsleep said 9 years ago

    I am new to Etsy and one of the things I like best about the site/community is that most everyone seems polite and supportive of each other... probably a major factor in the success of the site and it's very talented community. As a new user I really appreciate all of these helpful articles, keep them coming!

  • AllCountryPretties

    AllCountryPretties said 9 years ago

    This could get out of hand if every seller tried to use this tactic to get noticed. I would never do this. Heck, I haven't even figured out how to promote my store on Facebook! I am new to Etsy and I can understand how sellers work hard and want to sell their product. I find it particularly disheartening to see the same type of product "handpicked" day after day. I mean how many little stuffed criters, journals and "keep it weird" stuff, etc. do we need to handpick. If that sounds like sour grapes, I apologize. It seems to me like maybe the desperation comes from knowing that if your items aren't on the handpicked front page, that you aren't going to do very well in sales. I would like to see a system of picking items that is not so subjective to the picker's personal taste.

  • debhillart

    debhillart said 9 years ago

    A very graceful style of writing to get the point across. I especially enjoyed the gallery analogy.

  • everythingok

    everythingok said 9 years ago

    THANK YOU. these are words to live by. besides, i'm sure that letting people get to know you via your witty and informative online presence is ultimately a much better promotional tool than poking your head in and shouting "BUY MY STUFF!" which, by contrast, is no incentive at all to do so.

  • irismishly

    irismishly said 9 years ago

    Thank you for writting about this issue, although i feel mixed up about the subject i know it's most important. It has taken me ages to overcome my embarracement of promoting myself, i am not talking about commenting in blogs about my work, i am talking about promoting in facebook, twitter or sending special sales to my subscribers. Some may look at promoters flickr/facebook/twitter and say they are business oriented, but the truth is i wish we could sit back and just enjoy art without the need to invite people to buy, as for myself, i try to do it as gently as i can, and i offer a lot of free stuff as well, to balance the sales promotion. My moto is - what i dis-like, i am not doing to others. thank u again Iris. **& sorry for my english mistakes...

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 9 years ago

    Fantastic article Vanessa.. Much needed! Thank you...

  • pocketcarnival

    pocketcarnival said 9 years ago

    Yay no spam! And how cute is that syko cushion? Very.

  • FlutterbyeNotes

    FlutterbyeNotes said 9 years ago

    Wow - I notice a a big shift just in the comments to this article! Personally, I have never once clicked through when someone just posts a link for the sake of posting a link. I do agree with AllCountryPretties about the 'handpicked' items. I've mostly stopped check my daily emails, because I no longer expect to be intrigued. New ways to promote would certainly be appreciated!

  • SimplyInvitingCards

    SimplyInvitingCards said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, thank you for your analogies and insight. I just hope that the overeager promoters who need to read this actually do read this.

  • MissToryDesigns

    MissToryDesigns said 9 years ago

    The way networking is changing so fast I'm beginning to see the need for some kind of filtering system here on etsy and other sites. Otherwise we may be losing integrity with our buyers.

  • LovMely

    LovMely said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, great article ;)

  • firedupladies

    firedupladies said 9 years ago

    Well said! I love the throwing the flyers example. Thanks for putting this out there.

  • SepiaSmiles

    SepiaSmiles said 9 years ago

    I think once people realise it is not accepted within the community it will gradually die down - it won't completely dissapear but I think most people here want to fit in and generally, will not want to offend other Etsians :)

  • StarletGlamBathBody

    StarletGlamBathBody said 9 years ago

    Excellent article! That coffee analogy was spot on. I would say, damn...what a tool for a neighbor! Well, there's a promotion section where people can follow the title and rules and if asked, post their links. :)

  • envydesignsjewelry

    envydesignsjewelry said 9 years ago

    This blog makes me think I am even more computer illiterate than I thought. I agree Spam is bad, but have no Idea What constitutes spam. I am new to Etsy, and apparently have a lot to learn. I like reading what other people who sell here have to say. I think the related items that you picked were very cute! Even though I barely understand this topic, Thank You!

  • eclipse

    eclipse said 9 years ago

    ArtfulSynchronicity said: I have seen sellers simply type "marking" in post comments. I'm guessing that is just another example of shameless self-promotion. ----------------- That guess would be wrong. Marking is short for bookmarking, it's so they can find the thread later in their "threads you have posted in" section.

  • anjalehn

    anjalehn said 9 years ago

    Thank you Vanessa for the article...I think that VixVantage got a really good point there! It seems like it is the same and the same shops who get promoted a lot of the time..and yeah I can understand the frustration that many sellers got..but on the other hand patience is maybe the keyword here and of course good manners..:)

  • veredahava

    veredahava said 9 years ago

    As a new member of the etsy community, and new in the internet sales, I'm wondering what to do and how all the time. To be a part of the group on one hand, but promote my shop on the other, and do so in a nice and effecting way. Your artical is what I needed, so thanks, and I hope i'm doing it right...

  • mollimoo

    mollimoo said 9 years ago

    Wow! Great post. I do find it hard to get noticed on Etsy but even so, I wouldn't dream of just spamming everywhere, left right & centre! I think the best thing is to just be yourself & your genuine interest in crafting & appreciation of others' work will naturally show. Thank you for a wonderful article x

  • piperewan

    piperewan said 9 years ago

    you hit the nail on the head! it is better to teach people etiquette, than to have to enforce rules. i do hope that people will think about the consequences of their actions when posting online. thank you for this article.

  • littlemoandfriends

    littlemoandfriends said 9 years ago

    cool. hopefully we'll see less of spams?

  • smilingbluedog

    smilingbluedog said 9 years ago

    Thanks for this post. Some of us are still learning "netiquette", and it's nice to have helpful teachers.

  • nicolelindner

    nicolelindner said 9 years ago

    I liked this! great tips!

  • LastChantsStudio

    LastChantsStudio said 9 years ago

    Maybe there needs to be a tiny little cartoon character at the top of forum pages or Storque articles. Like a drawing of "Aunt Spammy" burying the onlookers in little "me!me!me! flyers. Because, while this article is fantastic, much needed and all of us seem to be in agreement, how will folks (especially new folks) see it way down the road when it's not right in front of our noses? Time passes...the point made in your article is too valuable to disappear from sight.

  • pamwishbow

    pamwishbow said 9 years ago

    Great article, sellers who vomit their link everywhere just kind of freak me out. I've noticed those who, instead of touting their own links incessantly, feature other people's work actually appeal to me more. Plus, not only does the featured seller get a look so does the person who shared. Share the love. I also noticed on the forums some people critiquing other people products following with a "reminds me of my -link here-." What kind of backhanded spammery is that? ahaha

  • meltemsem

    meltemsem said 9 years ago

    This is excellent topic. I enjoyed when I was reading:) Thank you thank you thank you very much:) xx

  • emberatia

    emberatia said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa, I guess on the net as in life there are always people who dont "get it". Its funny that you used the example of the gallery opening and the dude who comes in and drops flyers yells and leaves-This actually happened to me at my last large opening! To make matters worse it was a friend who did it and left the flyers on the altar we made and handed the out to everyone at the exhibition she didnt actually shout but she may have well. it is the Worste feeling in the world and really dissapointing that people cant read social cues. In my example it was because she felt desperate for sales ( which in the end backfired for her terribly- karma) but was really blinded by her "need" to sell work at the cost of her dignity. i think there needs to be more education on netiquette, as i cant even count the amount of times someone has just posted a link or made a comment about their listings that are completely out of context to the thread etc. but how do we respond to this ? thats where my own emotions get the better of my netiquette and sometimes not always though, i just let them know in no uncertain terms that their comments arent cool. do we inform them of their inapropriateness or do we just let it go?

  • emberatia

    emberatia said 9 years ago

    lastchantstudio - i LOVE the aunty spammy idea....

  • unphotography

    unphotography said 9 years ago

    eeeeerrrrrrrrrm.....check out my shop??? :-D only joking... looked through the comments if someone actually had the cheek to put a spammy link here, but haven't found one, so it seems to have already had an effect - at least on this post. I agree with the facebook links - I'm careful now how often I post a link as I know how annoyed I get with "same old, same old, 5 links a day from the same person, about the same stuff". Less is More!

  • maryhadalittlelamp

    maryhadalittlelamp said 9 years ago

    As a relatively new seller still trying to figure out how to run a successful shop, this article and everyone's follow-up posts have been invaluable! There is SO MUCH literature and shamelessly-promoted advice to be had on how to network extensively and yes, how to shameless-self-promote! However, there is little to be had on over-promotion, promotion vs networking, the negative effects of poor self-promotion, how promotion may devolve into nothing more than spam. Consequently, I have taken a watch and learn approach to posting, social networking, etc. in order to get the hang of it myself before jumping in. The fact of the matter is, the more I visit blogs and read posts, the more terrified I become! I assume everyone is as strapped for time as I am, yet there are so many of you, obviously successful, who clearly take considerable time to construct beautiful blog sites and social pages, or simply to post thoughtful comments on point. It all looks so effortless! I am already frenzied and befuddled simply from trying to wade through the loads of "how best to promote your shop advice," but trying to apply those lessons in an arena where you guys already do it so well is pretty intimidating (for me, at least). So, I can't help but wonder if at least some of those "shameless self-promoters" are truly shameless. Rather, might they be similarly intimidated and frenzied, unfortunately choosing to employ guerilla-esque promotional tactics which favor quantity("How many blogs, articles, etc can I quickly be 'seen' posting and linking to today?") over quality ("I have x amount of time for networking today. How will it best be spent?"). Hmmm...

  • bymcm4u

    bymcm4u said 9 years ago

    Good feedback/info for users! This is actually the first time I've checked out the blog section. First lesson learned :P I'm sure there are people that will miss this much needed post. Unfortunately for some poor blogger out there. Thanks!

  • sillychic

    sillychic said 9 years ago

    maryhadalittlelamp; I couldn't have said it better myself. And I am one of those people who feel ashamed when I try to promote myself and my shop. Yesterday I commented on treasuries and after some minutes I felt that it was enough, even though I meant everything i said, it became repetitive after a while. I think common sense is the best thing to go on while doing this. Even though all the promoting tips are overwhelming - your promoting doesn't have to be it. I can't really see any of the "spammers" getting much sales from it either. I never click on their links...

  • LiyoLabs

    LiyoLabs said 9 years ago

    Some people do just have the hard headedness to just go out there and hammer it home in an effort to get views and clicks. The ones I feel sorry for are the ones that are new to Etsy, stores, and social networking all at the same time. For them it's a tightrope walk between being interesting while being interesting. I only say this as I have a few friends that started off funny with their product posts but then turned into one of those production lines :( Hopefully this helps save a few people ^_^

  • tizzalicious

    tizzalicious said 9 years ago

    Great article! There is nothing that stops me from clicking on a shop's link more than people ASKING me to go there.

  • schmooks

    schmooks said 9 years ago

    Hip! Hip! Horray! Spot on.

  • skullandcrossbuns

    skullandcrossbuns said 9 years ago

    Great article, lots of good guidance there for new and old Etsyians alike :) All this talk of spam always makes me think of the Monty Python boys ;)

  • hjmart

    hjmart said 9 years ago

    Great points! I totally agree! I think the main reason people place a quick link on twitter, facebook or other social sites is because of luck of time and/or their desire to show/sell their products fast. And it's understandable, but based on my experience, I only had sales from twitter or FB when I actually spent time talking to people. Many of these people are now my on-line best friends. I've also learned that it's better to FOCUS on the site that you like the most and make the best of that experience.

  • masaoms

    masaoms said 9 years ago

    Great article Vanessa, it's a really helpful information and I'm agree with all you say! Thank you! ;-)

  • britishvintage

    britishvintage said 9 years ago

    Excellent article, Vanessa. I just hope the people that really need to read the article, actually read it!

  • JaniceCordeiro

    JaniceCordeiro said 9 years ago

    As I grow older I notice more and more that the social graces are sadly lacking. I often yearn for that quieter, kinder time. Sad that we need articles like this one, but, having said that, I say thanks for the timely reminder and advice.

  • alipink

    alipink said 9 years ago

    Great article.

  • luzbox

    luzbox said 9 years ago

    Wow, thanks for that article! Basically, I think our comments should reflect our behaviour in "real" life (as you point out with your nice depiction about the coffee neighbourhood). One of the things I like Etsy most for is that it stands for quality (meaningful objects) and less for quantity (mass-production). If we esteem this kind of quality, this should be reflected in our comments. Let's take a minute or two for every comment we leave, and put some meaning into it. I'm trying to live like that in real life (to do the things right, that i do), but sometimes, I'm completely lost :)

  • ozzana

    ozzana said 9 years ago

    Great article and comments!

  • kerrishangups

    kerrishangups said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa, great article.

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 9 years ago

    wonderful article, thanks for sharing

  • lifeartdesigns

    lifeartdesigns said 9 years ago

    Great article! Love the examples you used. Glad to see this here.

  • GardenGwyn

    GardenGwyn said 9 years ago

    Though I hope I am not spammy in the forums. I have actually never posted in the blog before. But this had some really useful insight I never thought of! I think I will actually start reading this blog. I'm not sure why I never stumbled in here before... ::wanders off... ::

  • niftyknits

    niftyknits said 9 years ago

    Oh this is so true. I listened to a waggleforce seminar, and they asked if you'd pay someone to stand on a street corner shouting out your shop name...of course not! So why do people do *virtually* that all over the place?

  • lazydayz

    lazydayz said 9 years ago

    Fantastic, and I think using a Blog Article to talk about it was sooooooo smart! target your audience :) I know I am a suck up sometimes, lol

  • uknowuneedanother

    uknowuneedanother said 9 years ago

    :) Cool article! I do kind of agree with some of the posters within the thread and feel that there could be a certain level of confusion generated by "advise at large", that is read within venues AND the social sites. You DO see continual advise to promote, and I think that each individual needs to find, I guess you'd call it, 'their own comfort zone'. I have read repeated advice to start a blog, to join twitter, facebook, et al. I tried some of the social sites and even wonder about the supposed value of them. I personally kind of lean toward seeing alot of these moves as little more than time drains. I've thought through the blog concept, :) and then ponder, ... "But wouldn't I then need to try to figure out how to herd people over to that? AND, other than rambling on about "whatever", I then ponder the possibility of the potential preteniousness of doing one. I kind of see them as writing public diaries. In the grand scheme of things, online IS new. I think that time is needed to allow the entirety to find its own level, and to age and develope, and mature into its full character. I don't weird out over spam, and will usually even check it out. :) I like junk mail too. Well, I figure, you just never know when or where you'll hit paydirt.

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy said 9 years ago

    This needed to be said. thanks

  • GemAddict

    GemAddict said 9 years ago

    Great article!

  • jewelzodonnell

    jewelzodonnell said 9 years ago

    Absolutely wonderful article! I had to wipe off my coffee off my computer screen first though after the flyer comment in order to keep reading! It is so frustrating at times to be able to figure out ways of getting "out there" and be noticed, let alone get responses when one is trying to open a dialogue. Doubly so when those who do respond are not actually responding to you but deliberately ignoring the topic just in order to get noticed themselves. You have certainly been effective in showing us what "spam" looks like from the other side of the coin. Thank you!

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 9 years ago

    thanks for this Vanessa. I feel the most important point made is that those new to this online selling medium really do feel rather lost and mainly, harmlessly, do post links that are inappropriate. The best help I could offer is to join an etsy team, post in the threads and meet likeminded people. Over the months you will discover many wonderful new friends, share their adventures on their blogs (not all blogs are personal - but they all have the authors 'voice') and go from there. I have been online for over two years now and very tentatively will be making my foray into twitter. The time will come when things are 'right' for you to find the online mediums that connect you to others while acting as a 'polite' showcase for your work. (ofocurse there may be people who link to their items outwith this newbie practise ... but the world is filled with all sorts, as long as we remove the warehouse-stock-clearance posts :) and we must be tolerant and friendly to all involved, after all - we were all newbies in the online world once too :) thanks, Annette

  • MyDearest

    MyDearest said 9 years ago

    I like and agree with this post. (I am not a robot, do not be frightened.)

  • Art2ArtColorado

    Art2ArtColorado said 9 years ago

    Bravo! *off to find some quiet coffee*

  • SweetClothesOfMine

    SweetClothesOfMine said 9 years ago

    This was great to read as a brand new Etsy seller. Was feeling so pressured to tweet, blog etc every day but reading this makes me feel better about just enjoying the ride too, things take time as well as effort. Really helpful blog.

  • lterrill9

    lterrill9 said 9 years ago

    Fantastically stated! Netiquette it key to success and most successful shops. You won't get a return customer by spamming, they come back for quality and great customer service... not because they were told to~ Great article, thanks!

  • PrimaryColorsTN

    PrimaryColorsTN said 9 years ago

    Wonderful!! I know I have stopped following people on Twitter for just this reason. Sad because I think the "spammers" think it will bring them more business, but I think it really just makes them the annoying kid on the block that you try to avoid!

  • TheEarringBoutique

    TheEarringBoutique said 9 years ago

    Well written and very tactful. Such wonderful food for though. Unfortunately, what are the chances of the violators actually reading it? They're too busy spamming.

  • ColoursandTextures

    ColoursandTextures said 9 years ago

    Useful and thought provoking blogpost, thanks Vanessa.I think that the boundary between enthusiastic marketing and spamming (or what is useful information v annoying)is fairly thin and will vary from one buyer to another so best to be senstive to that.

  • blythehopesvintage

    blythehopesvintage said 9 years ago

    This is a fab article - and very true. Just because there's a space there where you *could* drop a link, doesn't mean you have to. By the way - did anyone see the facebook comments on this post? It was waaaay too funny. I sprayed tea all over my keyboard.

  • blythehopesvintage

    blythehopesvintage said 9 years ago

    Oh, and Vanessa - I love your new picture! You look glowing :)

  • DormouseDesigns

    DormouseDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thanks, Vanessa! I read and posted in the thread about spam-ish posts and I still think that a lot of it comes down to ignorance and sometimes desparation. Yes, this is a big market place and it is difficult to get noticed. But at the end it's like talking to a 'friend' about something and he/she always responds by talking about him or herself...I think everyone knows somebody just like that. Maybe people should just forget that we are in cyberspace and view this just like a face-to-face encounter and imagine what the other person would think if we told them how our item is the 'best thing since sliced bread'. I think its not really etiquette (or even netiquette...) but old fashioned good manners and consideration. To me, this 'in-your-face' marketing is not compatible with the handmade ethic and I'm also glad that the article mentioned using social networking sites in a way they weren't intended for. I keep reading posts in forum threads about how to attract more traffic to one's shop, that we should tweet and retweet our items. Of course, this results in loads of views, but to me that's spam and I really don't want to go down that road...

  • MRSBAUBLES

    MRSBAUBLES said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa for a great article.

  • javagirls

    javagirls said 9 years ago

    Thank you. Very graciously spoken.

  • RelentlesslyCraving

    RelentlesslyCraving said 9 years ago

    You're damn right. "Those people are boring" indeed!

  • outofafrika

    outofafrika said 9 years ago

    Ditto. Isn't this site all about celebrating our originality? The other thing that really makes me grimace is a certain seller who leaves the exact same, highly superlative, punctuated comment on every single Treasury. Find something that really speaks to you and then tell people how fantastic you think it is!

  • duckfoot

    duckfoot said 9 years ago

    I believe that with this new "non-spam" attitude, Etsy is encouraging its sellers to be more creative and contributory towards Storque posts and forums. Great step forward!

  • SistersOfTheMoon

    SistersOfTheMoon said 9 years ago

    Very well said. Its amazing there is not one spammer link in all of the comment made. Thanks Vanessa

  • TheWhimsicalMuse

    TheWhimsicalMuse said 9 years ago

    Thank you!

  • ClaudiaLord

    ClaudiaLord said 9 years ago

    Thanks for writing this!

  • 2treasurehunt

    2treasurehunt said 9 years ago

    Thank You!

  • 2treasurehunt

    2treasurehunt said 9 years ago

    Thank You!

  • somsstudiosupplies

    somsstudiosupplies said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article. The Etsy community is fantastic, unfortunately some of us need a nudge or two in the 'Netiquette' aspect. Your real-life examples are fantastic. There are so spammers 'tossing fistfuls of flyers'....that the actual discussion loses focus. Thanks again!

  • ApollosonAcres

    ApollosonAcres said 9 years ago

    Great Post - I hope many read this! Usually, I find when someone randomly posts a link to their shop where it is not warranted, I don't really want to click on it!

  • MountainsideCrochet

    MountainsideCrochet said 9 years ago

    Well done, Vanessa. Do you have a way of 'monitoring' these blog posts... in other words, 'approving' them before they are published? Besides my Etsy shop, I'm also on Squidoo and one of the modules we can use in a Squidoo lens is a plexo, where people can add a relevant link. Also a guestbook for comments, same as a blog. We have been discussing this type of 'spam' at great length lately in the Squidoo forums; same problem here and on a person's individual blog. On Squidoo we have the ability to 'monitor' and/or delete comments and links that are not related, and some even add a line about 'irrelevant links will be deleted'. Also, just posting a comment that says "great job" or 'good blog' are as worthless as unsolicited links. If you are not commenting to actually add to the discussion on the blog, posting a personal link, or even 'good job', just to get your 'face' (avatar) seen, is the same as 'spam'. I agree with everything you said. We need to be more 'socially' aware that we are being 'rude, boring, bothersome, annoying..... etc.

  • ABoxForMyTreasure

    ABoxForMyTreasure said 9 years ago

    A great post that has dealt with a touchy topic in an articulate and straight-to-the-point way. I think a greater understanding and use of 'netiquette' can only serve to improve Etsy's community.

  • MrsSMeow

    MrsSMeow said 9 years ago

    So true I know it immediately turns me off a shop when they 'post and run' on forums and especially through comments on a blog. There are threads within the promotions forum specifically for this. However I would agree that while annoying they can be ignored, and to enforce a 'no promotion' or active deletion rule would put too much stress on people who do want to post and also the etsy admin. x

  • urbanknitfits

    urbanknitfits said 9 years ago

    i'm enjoying all the more lengthy comments on this blog ; ) I will say this about social networking, it does take some getting used- trying to meet with people and engage in a dialogue without ever actually meeting them in person is a bit strange at first... but I think I'm getting the hang of it! and thanks for the new ideas!

  • etincelledesign

    etincelledesign said 9 years ago

    true, true. lots of valid points. worth adding that many times we (readers) enjoy the articles, but may not have the time to pen a well-thought out comment - so it ends up being: "thanks for the informative feature!"

  • anneshirleycreates

    anneshirleycreates said 9 years ago

    I wonder if the "offenders" recognize themselves; I think most are just so caught up in trying to be seen that they become oblivious to etiquette. Thanks for the lesson.

  • RockPaperSilver

    RockPaperSilver said 9 years ago

    An artful, succinct way to approach a touchy subject...very well stated.

  • AllthingsWood

    AllthingsWood said 9 years ago

    THANK YOU! I think that I may be guilty of doing this myself a time or two in the past. Never again, I promise!

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 9 years ago

    Agreed on all of this. It's sad that people need to be explicitly told what is inappropriate online, but you did it tactfully and articulately. Thank you.

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 9 years ago

    Thanks for posting this Vanessa. This would make a great topic for one of the Etsy emails that go out. I don't think I've seen one, but I could be wrong.

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 9 years ago

    well said, Vanessa, and the Spam collage is especially on point : )

  • Royalpaca

    Royalpaca said 9 years ago

    Funny I thought the same very recently, mostly because I felt like that's what I was doing... You've made it clear for me now ! And I think by addressing the issue , lots will look at themselves first ! Like I did... Good job "Etsier's" and "Etsian's" ! :) Everything is always a learning process...

  • TamsyTrends

    TamsyTrends said 9 years ago

    Check out my shop... haha. just kidding :) Thanks for posting this great article. I love all the analogies especially.

  • paulandkatestudio

    paulandkatestudio said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article! Very thoughtful & funny too!

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 9 years ago

    Great points to ponder. I think we all have to look at the appropriateness of our comments. I don't feel comfortable with self promotion in certain ways. I think the avatar is a more than adequate place to advertise your sale, or your latest creation. anneshirleycreates says I wonder if the "offenders" recognize themselves; I think most are just so caught up in trying to be seen that they become oblivious to etiquette. Thanks for the lesson. ***************** True, it seems a lot of us are non offenders. Hopefully more will start feeling this type of promoting is a faux pas.

  • scarecrow3331

    scarecrow3331 said 9 years ago

    great post! and i agree it would make a great email topic!

  • twiglu

    twiglu said 9 years ago

    While I have a new etsy shop, under a new moniker because of a change in mediums, I have been on etsy as a seller for three years now. I used to love the chat rooms, where there was a lot of funny conversation, and what felt like budding friendships. Most people, if talking about their products, were just looking for suggestions. More often than not, though, conversations revolved around trying to make a living while doing what you love, work, families, tv shows, movies and all around gossip. I miss that. Whenver I have entered a chat room lately, I feel bombarded by promotions. Links get posted more than ideas. Even the product listing on the right moves much faster than it used to-- so that you barely get a chance to look at what is being shown. As an analogy, it feels like the chat rooms have transformed from a road trip down Route 66 to a gridlocked cab ride through Midtown. The chat room equivalent of a Red Grooms painting. So, while I do try to promote my work, especially my new shop, I try to keep in mind how bombarded I feel in the 'new' etsy chat rooms. Not to mention the forums. That kind of promotion just turns people off.

  • litapsilverj

    litapsilverj said 9 years ago

    A true artist who believes in themselves and their work does not need to be a pushy salesman. If you have confidence in your work and wait patiently for what time brings, it will come to you. Your work will sell itself. Think before you speak. Etsy provides an abundance of ideas for the seller to make their site more visible. Thank you Etsy Team! However, most people just want to get that shop going and get that money coming in so they don't take the time to read all the links provided. Remember "Patience is a Virtue" - Rome wasn't built overnight. There are too many people out there mass producing art/crafts/jewelry etc... Make your statement in your art. As this has apparently become more of an issue, I think the more that Etsy writes about discouraging it, the less we will see it. Maybe more should be stated in the "Getting Started" mode. Perhaps a general reminder to the vendors now and then would help, too. ETSYQUETTE Forum...here we go... ;o)

  • UniqueNest

    UniqueNest said 9 years ago

    I agree wholeheartedly & hope every single [spammish] person on Etsy reads this post!! Thank you :)

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article. Loved OppulentOddities' original comment - Freudian slip? The comedy troupe is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE Now, where can I get athletic shoes at a discount?

  • nanouke

    nanouke said 9 years ago

    I loved the article, specially the metaphors! So funny, but so real!

  • 1532vintage

    1532vintage said 9 years ago

    I would not have coffee with that neighbor!! What a turn off spam is no matter where it comes from :-( Thanks for an intersting article!

  • litapsilverj

    litapsilverj said 9 years ago

    P.s. - I just love the statement made in the "related items"... touché

  • Mimiandlola

    Mimiandlola said 9 years ago

    Well written Vanessa! I'm so glad you wrote this article!

  • MonjioCreations

    MonjioCreations said 9 years ago

    Wonderful points! The perfect analogy was the art gallery example! Loved it! Great article!

  • claraclips

    claraclips said 9 years ago

    So true! Not only is spamming annoying and rude, it's also the complete opposite of effective marketing. Preach it!

  • ErikaPrice

    ErikaPrice said 9 years ago

    Thank you Vanessa for this thoughtful post, and I heartily agree! "Post and Run" comments turn me off looking at a seller's shop, and I now have to moderate all comments on my blog because of the increase in spammy comments :)

  • VickyJeanLouis

    VickyJeanLouis said 9 years ago

    It would be funny to just paste a link here!!!! LOL Important and good article!

  • moop

    moop said 9 years ago

    Well put! I love the word "spam-ishness" - great description of that slippery topic of self-promotion. Thanks for putting all of this to words.

  • DrawntoLetters

    DrawntoLetters said 9 years ago

    Maybe Etsy admin could publish some numbers to prove nice guys can build sales without being "in your face" or discovered by a mega online resource? As a 6 month old shop, I have been sincere and even received a "thoughtul feedback award" from a blogger with a special link back, had a small feature in a large Craft Magazine,twittered a free Valentine pdf from my facebook link, got thanked, but have noticed no increase in sales or fans. Is there helpful sales data showing why the "all day shouters" persist? Thanks for the hope, Etsy.

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 9 years ago

    oh, amen! What a refreshing post. I am totally and completely turned off by link spamming... and when I see someone do it both on AND off Etsy - it means there is *no way* I am going to click through to their item. (It is somewhat different on a venue like Twitter - as that's part of the reason why I "follow" people over there -- but by the same token, if every single RElist is also tweeted, and/or that's SOLELY what they use it for - then I "unfollow" in a heartbeat.) And I completely agree with the "social" aspect of being online ... spamming just does not fit.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 9 years ago

    Useful points. Spammers are boring!

  • magnoliastreet

    magnoliastreet said 9 years ago

    A well written, thoughtful article. Well done, Vanessa. I agree that the biggest part of promoting your work is establishing a personal connection. IT TAKES TIME. You cannot instantly grow a rapport with a base of people; this takes months and even years to develop. And it has to be genuine. False efforts fall flat. An additional point - unless you know someone very, very well, it's a very bad idea to contact him or her with a sale that's going on in your shop. I've had a few Etsy sellers do that to me, and it's a huge turn-off. I'd never even patronized all but one of the shops previously. And now I never will.

  • VintageTen

    VintageTen said 9 years ago

    I believe most people are pretty well intentioned. However, mainly just need some better guidance.

  • frogprincessdesigns

    frogprincessdesigns said 9 years ago

    Oh thank goodness for this article! It gets truly annoying when you need to slog through the spam posts on a forum thread or in a chat room to get to the heart of the topic actually being discussed. I find, whem someone spams, I am less likely to ever visit their shop - even if they have products I'm interested. The absolute opposite of good marketing.

  • YoungCreative

    YoungCreative said 9 years ago

    Your examples illustrate the line between active participation and shameless self promotion beautifully. I've shared this article with some coworkers in my day job. I work in a marketing department where we are encouraging staff to get out there and be social. As marketing professionals, we are used to pushing out messages, the idea of having conversations and building communities is a new one for many people.

  • zJayne

    zJayne said 9 years ago

    Well said and stated in the first two paragraphs. An analogy that's like a picture that speaks a 1,000 words. I'm always surprised how much "less" reading there is these days. Read on...makes a difference. Thank you!

  • WanderlustBling

    WanderlustBling said 9 years ago

    Great thoughts. I've left "social" networks because they felt exactly like the coffee hawking neighborhood in your analogy!

  • chrisssmith22

    chrisssmith22 said 9 years ago

    This is great, sadly sellers are posting and running and it gets spammy. I think so many are impatient to sell, and miss so many steps that need to come first. If I knew then what I know now! Thank you for posting this. One of my favorite forum threads was to post an item of someone elses and why you liked it.

  • magnoliastreet

    magnoliastreet said 9 years ago

    Clarifying an earlier point I made -- when I mentioned that I was turned off by being contacted by shops for promos, I was contacted by Etsy convo by those aforementioned shops, OUT OF THE BLUE, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I see no problem with a seller asking if I'd like to be added to their mailing list for future promotions and discounts. But I think even those should be sent sparingly. And with a cheerfully worded "unsubscribe" option at the bottom of the e-mail, so if I want to opt out at some point, I can. Painlessly.

  • theLittleGreenButton

    theLittleGreenButton said 9 years ago

    Very good analogies! I think that increasingly we have become a society that feels we need to comment on everything. Everyone needs and wants to know what I think, right? Facebook, right? I try to think whether or not my comment brings something useful or new to the table. If not, I tend to internalize and move on. Furthermore, posting links should be reserved for the "Promotions" threads. That is to say, Promoting should be reserved for the Promoting threads.

  • bluedillybaby

    bluedillybaby said 9 years ago

    I have a question. Is it bad taste to include one of your own items in a treasury you make? I have seen it done, where it seems self promoting, and other times where it fits so well with the other items, it seems okay. What does everyone else think?

  • junejulyseptember

    junejulyseptember said 9 years ago

    regarding treasuries . . . I was included in a treasury with a very set theme, and one of the components of that theme was what the seller specialized in. It had a tango theme and she made pretty ribbon hair flowers. I thought it was fine, and a creative way to craft a "spirit" or ambiance around what she was selling. It's good to be polite and smart about promotion, but you can't only stand at the door saying "no, after you", "no, after YOU," "no, after YOU, I insist . . ."

  • StudioElan

    StudioElan said 9 years ago

    Wait, wait -now I won't be able to sit here and say to myself "At least I'm not as desperate as those spammers" while at the same time wishing I had the guts to try it in case it works... What will I do now for my regular dose of angst?

  • thesaltypeanut

    thesaltypeanut said 9 years ago

    Great article Vanessa!

  • hdawnparratt

    hdawnparratt said 9 years ago

    nice article, i really hope people in chat read this, i used to be an avid chat room freak, but lately all the spamming that goes on there and people whining about no sales, makes me crazy and lately i have decided to not chat so much, it has upset me as my sales are down because of it but i refuse to sit in a room and listing to all the crap that goes on in there now, less stress and less sales sucks but i am focusing on other applications to get my shop seen. thanks for this article :)

  • shecological

    shecological said 9 years ago

    I am really glad to see this topic being discussed. I especially like the point about slowing down and how it is part of the whole handmade movement! I have read a lot of the sincere comments posted here but I actually don't have time to read them all! :0( I would just like to say that I love this idea by stilettogirl: " I started posting a new weekly series called 'how to wear it'. I pick one item from my shop and pair it with a dozen or so other Etsy seller items to mix and match in a weekly photo album. It is sorta like a treasury and promotes other shops, but is focused around my shop. I'm having a blast with it and hope it helps improve not only my traffic but also my fan interactions." great idea!

  • LiseVintageLighting

    LiseVintageLighting said 9 years ago

    The response to your wonderful post is amazing, Vanessa! I have been following along since yesterday and from reading all of the responses, it is clear that you have hit on a collective raw nerve. Further, you have hit additional collective nerves and inspired further discussion on several related topics (what exactly constitutes spam, what is the actual motivation of social networking, how much of the loads of advice to self-promote should we actually follow, how do you self-promote in a moderate, tasteful way, and when exactly did social networking morph from more than its intent into a promotional vehicle). Well done! One of the things I love most about Etsy is the sincere community feel and how everyone is so open with each other. As a pretty new seller and a complete neophyte to social networking, I have never blogged, tweeted, or posted on a wall. I finally set up accounts but I have been too terrified of self-promotion and time-strapped to use them! I can count my responses to posts in the single digits, but I often "read and learn." With your spot-on post and the loads of responses, Vanessa, I have learned an enormous amount! Thanks so much to everyone!

  • lemondropstudio

    lemondropstudio said 9 years ago

    This was a helpful post, and I feel like it applies to so much more than just the Etsy World. As a buyer and a seller, I try to think what would turn me off of a shop, and then I try my hardest not to be *that* shop!! Thanks Vanessa!

  • vickiorion

    vickiorion said 9 years ago

    Thanks for covering such a sensitive subject with such elegance.

  • Uniqueartglass

    Uniqueartglass said 9 years ago

    Thank You Havazelet

  • SugarPineBoutique

    SugarPineBoutique said 9 years ago

    Yes, yes, yesh!!! Absolutley! Thank you for this post, I ditto this out the door. ; )

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 9 years ago

    Amen Sister! Now if you just click here you can see my new item... haha! I totally agree with this article. Thank you for addressing this issue!

  • MonEsperance

    MonEsperance said 9 years ago

    Thank you for covering this! It would be great if Etsy admins could delete "spammy" stuff like this, but I see how that would create a ton of work for them. Anyone else run into this problem into the chat rooms too? You are just trying to chat or get advice, and the people keep on pushing their product instead of contributing to the conversatioin?

  • nonesuchgarden

    nonesuchgarden said 9 years ago

    I agree that there is a certain amount of etiquette that should be used when replying to a blog or forum post and during discussions in chats. It should be relevant and not be used to promote yourself unless the original poster is asking for that kind of reply. It's just tacky and often rude! When it comes to a personal blog, twitter, facebook, or other social networking tool, I think it's fine if people want to use their personal accounts to promote like crazy. If people don't want to read that kind of promotion, they don't have to watch or follow that person's postings. I personally think it's better to create a balance between promotions and genuine thoughts and feelings, but I'm not going to dictate how someone should use their personal accounts.

  • DebellisFiberArts

    DebellisFiberArts said 9 years ago

    amen!

  • ArtbyCleatress

    ArtbyCleatress said 9 years ago

    Oh my! I may be guilty but I'm new to all the social networking and I noticed that there are a lot of "Out of context" conversations going on period. I'm so slow at typing that for "twitter" the conversations have changed by the time I type my 140 characters anyway. I've asked my customers however, how the found me and it's always through one of the social networks. I'm on facebook and twitter. I too see people in the chat rooms complaining about no sales and have more than me. I'm happy with my sales and attitude is everything!

  • time2cre8

    time2cre8 said 9 years ago

    Very well written post, Vanessa. I try not to be spammy, but I do admit that I use the "publish your new item on Facebook" link at least two or three times a day. My Facebook friends who are fellow beadweavers and bead artisans probably don't bat an eye at it, but I'm not sure what my other FB friends think (other than one having mentioned to me that my status updates are about the most random she's ever seen - going from posting new items, to talking about the weather, to what I'm having for an afternoon snack: peanut butter and fluffernutter on crackers). I don't spend a whole lot of time reading through comments on the Etsy blog simply because I got sick of seeing all the people posting their links. Maybe this will hit home with some of them and they'll stop. When I have taken the time to read comments, I've avoided those spammers like the plague.

  • heartsandlaserbeams

    heartsandlaserbeams said 9 years ago

    this post reminded me, i totally just made something you guys should check out... ahhaahahahahaha just kidding - spot on, down with comment spam!

  • newsprout

    newsprout said 9 years ago

    Well said.

  • deetsy

    deetsy said 9 years ago

    thanks for the article! i'm often curious how much "success" sellers actually get from linking and linking and nothing else. it may still work for some, but it certainly also becomes part of the image you are giving of your shop, and not necessarily a good one. i love following etsy sellers on twitter, but those who post only links to each item they list become quickly unfollowed. an etsy seller stays fresh in my mind whenever i see their avatar with an interesting comment or tidbit, when all i see is self promotion, i don't even stop scrolling by.

  • edithandlulu

    edithandlulu said 9 years ago

    Excellent post. Thanks for the reminder. The last thing we want is potential customers to start ignoring us because they see "Etsy" and associate it with annoying spam. I'm guilty of tweeting only my new listings. I need to turn that auto tweet function off.

  • AllThingsQuilted

    AllThingsQuilted said 9 years ago

    Very Well Said, Funny too.

  • headchange

    headchange said 9 years ago

    huuuummm makes me think today would be a good day to dig through the ephemera I know there are some vintage Spam adds I could list ;)

  • heathertyfeatherty

    heathertyfeatherty said 9 years ago

    I don't even pay attention to spammy posts like that, or replies on blogs with spam like that. I wonder if those people realize the harm they're doing? Maybe you could implement some sort of moderation tool that would decrease the spam? Like a "no links-only posts, self-promotion posts with no value (hmm?) can be reported as spammy?" Then a three-strikes and you're out kind of rule?

  • fantasybeader

    fantasybeader said 9 years ago

    Great advice, But I do love to click on items that are posted by sellers if its kinds like whats being posted. Ex. Etsy finds, Say its all boots, I like to click on the links if they have boots too. Not if its something completely different though. Might be just myself though.

  • delguidicestudio

    delguidicestudio said 9 years ago

    In truth Spam is counter productive! It turns people away from you rather than bringing them in. Thanks for the clarification Vanessa!

  • sweetharvey

    sweetharvey said 9 years ago

    Wow, that example is the best! I have seen this happen before - well, not the flyers but definitely shameless self-promotion happening at another artist expense. While I do find myself in a hurry sometimes and have had the urge to post something simple but I have gotten to the point where if I see a topic I want to participate in but dont have time to include a well thought out comment - I bookmark it and come back to it later when I have time. It is difficult to get your work out there - it is hard to get noticed with the thousands of other very talented artists here on Etsy. I just don't believe that spamming will get you noticed - in fact, I think it will leave people thinking - oh no it's that person again. Participation in the Etsy community is fun - just need to be thoughtful and genuine with the comments you offer.

  • Jaydemia

    Jaydemia said 9 years ago

    thanks so much for posting this Vanessa. As a newbie here on Etsy, I've read so much about promotion to be noticed. As I try to be active online, I started to wonder if that's the culture here. (I'm talking about the non-stop use of product links.) When I looked at those TOP Seller's list. I was surprised to see that I rarely see them posting their item links. They are not on the all the forums but if they post something, the content is worth reading. I think it's more of the quality not the quatity of the post that makes us noticeable. :)

  • wuglyees

    wuglyees said 9 years ago

    I guess jumping up and down saying "Look at me! Look at me!" would be frowned upon too then! LOL...All of your points were good ones. I will try to remember them on those desperate no sale days! :-)

  • RubyRougeJewellery

    RubyRougeJewellery said 9 years ago

    Vanessa this is a great blog post. I especially agree with everything you said about etsy sellers posting their links on external websites that have mentioned etsy. It really does sully the reputation of the etsy community in one fell swoop. I can understand the desperation of some etsy sellers and their desire to promote constantly but there are better, more polite ways of doing it. I think a lot of people haven't gotten to grips with internet etiquette yet. In fact I think that a lot of people see it as a place where you can be complete free and unfortunately sometimes that means breaking away from "the societal constraint" that is manners. You don't physically have to face up to questionable behaviour on the internet. You don't have to stand in front of someone you've annoyed and explain yourself or apologise and because of that people often forget that there's another person on the receiving end of their comments. Unfortunately that makes the internet a breeding ground for behaviour that wouldn't be acceptable - or would be highly irritating! - in the real world. I hope your post makes an impact. I think it definitely needed to be said! :)

  • MuseSilkPaintings

    MuseSilkPaintings said 9 years ago

    This is excellent! Thank you for writing this! The constant spamming does seem quite desperate and I can definitely see that as a turn off for potential buyers. I have even voiced my distain about people visiting my fan page, and simply announcing their sale, or posting their link (completely irrelevant to the post). How rude! I think your points are really just common sense, however, umm how can I put this politely? Not everyone has it!

  • ojami

    ojami said 9 years ago

    This is so important! We affect each other's reputations here on Etsy.

  • pulpsushi

    pulpsushi said 9 years ago

    Along with ajoeynamedroo, I also wonder if that even works? I mean, I don't click on those links, I just bypass them. Who doesn't? Anyway, I'm glad this was posted and is now out there for everyone to see.

  • LisaConfetti

    LisaConfetti said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the time you spent on this project, Vanessa. Can Etsy also create a way for members to mark a post without having to write in the post? I get tired of scrolling through all the "marking" and "great post", etc. that people write just to mark the post. I do it myself, because you have to, but it would be great if there was another way to do it.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 9 years ago

    Great example, makes you stop and think... have I ever done this? But, I think I've been a good girl. : )

  • Domesticlady

    Domesticlady said 9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this Vanessa. Simple common courteousy will help in all areas. If we are speaking face to face or online, reading a post first and fully is like listening to someone...before you speak. It's not polite to interupt someone...before they are finsihed speaking, niether is it polite to interject a comment by entering the chat room or forums and promoting yourself while others are having a conversation. I know I don't like a pushy salesperson. I want time to browse and and shop without a high pressure sales tacktic. Most of work on our ETSY times at home right? What if a sales person kept knocking at our door everytime you just got into your project? We need to remember there are faces and people behind those shops and treat them as you would want to be treated. There is a time and a place to share your links and the links of others because after all we are selling. Courtesy, goes a long way in catching the eye of a customer and reflects well on all ETSY sellers.

  • electricbluebird

    electricbluebird said 9 years ago

    I think that if we were seeing more traffic and sales, there might be less desperation among sellers. Hopefully, some of the changes etsy has planned will help. Sadly, many new sellers spend so much time in the forums promoting their shop and neglect the entire outside world. That is really where their focus should be. The more something gets pushed in my face, the less likely I am to visit a seller's shop. However, stellar photos, a sense of humor, an interesting post make me curious. Great article!

  • ajsweetsoap

    ajsweetsoap said 9 years ago

    This is such a great article, with many valid points... I often enjoy going into the chat room to meet with cyber friends and browse through their items. I love to post their items out of appreciation for their talents and their creativity - it's very flattering as a seller to have your work recognized and appreciated. With that said, there's nothing worse than the person (and I've found at least one in every room I've been in) that will only post pictures of their own items. What that shows is that no one else's work is valuable except for their own. It screams "pay attention to me" and has no respect for other sellers. Personally, I would never shop with that seller, no matter how much I loved their items.

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 9 years ago

    U cant be profound all the time. Sometimes u just agre with something you read and have nothing to add. I think that one of the reasons there a rise in coments in this blogs is that everyone keep saying to get more exposure u need to participate in the blogs. This is prob also y a lot of people just write " I like ... item"

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 9 years ago

    Loved the analogies; very clever! The community of Etsy is such an amazing thing, we can't let it become corrupted. Oh, and sense I'm writing a comment here, you should visit my shop at blah blah blah dot blah...JK, hahaha!

  • kalliedesigns

    kalliedesigns said 9 years ago

    A really great article-- points well taken and clever!!

  • ginnywinny

    ginnywinny said 9 years ago

    "It takes more time to read the article, to think of something relevant, witty or touching or provocative to say. But that is what Etsy and the handmade movement are all about, right?" Great article and very bravely written. What a lovely reminder about etiquette, so often put aside. A phrase that I heard a lot growing up comes to mind, "Think before you leap". :) Thank you!

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 9 years ago

    Loved the analogies; very clever! The community of Etsy is such an amazing thing, we can't let it become corrupted. Oh, and sense I'm writing a comment here, you should visit my shop at blah blah blah dot blah...JK, hahaha!

  • VioletsNewVintage

    VioletsNewVintage said 9 years ago

    People who sell on Etsy love Etsy and forget that promoting is a 'world wide' effort. I think some of us get carried away and a nice reminder likes this blog post, helps to put things in a new perspective. thanks

  • KiraAnnDesigns

    KiraAnnDesigns said 9 years ago

    Great article. I am making more time to read the Etsy blog and storque articles.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 9 years ago

    A reminder of "netiquette" is long overdue, not to put people down for doing things wrong, but to point them in the direction of doing it right. No one knows about things like writing in capitals being the equivalent of shouting unless they get told, & hopefully most Etsians are sensitive enough to get the hint about links in blog comments, without Etsy having to make heavy rules to enforce. However, we DO hear an awful lot about promoting ourselves by taking part in the blogs, which can only encourage people to carry on pasting links in the comments. Maybe each time we see that advice it should be qualified by adding when links are acceptable & when they're not. I think often what someone says makes you curious enough about them to visit their shop, they don't need to talk about specific items they have to sell. I think including links anywhere you're not invited to do so is rude, pushy & overbearing, but just mentioning something you make as part of the conversation is fine. And by the way, please visit my shop... :-D

  • TheMysticCircleArt

    TheMysticCircleArt said 9 years ago

    Great article,well done. Thank you for finally saying this :) Now if the right people read this- maybe the spamming will slow down. Thanks

  • lilprincessbow

    lilprincessbow said 9 years ago

    So True and so needed to be addressed. I just hope those who are actually doing this is reading this article too! Can the person who started the forum thread delete replies by others that is "spam"ing? It would be nice. I know I can delete comments on blog that is not related or not appropriate. Would be nice to have the same "control" on a forum discussion topic!

  • AncientGrove

    AncientGrove said 9 years ago

    too true! I can't stand spam. If someone I am following on twitter just posts their new listing over and over again I promptly unfollow them. I just don't want to read that. They just seem like an annoying and obnoxious person and I want nothing to do with them. And it doesn't matter how awesome their products are.

  • kerrsmithdesigns

    kerrsmithdesigns said 9 years ago

    As a relative newbie to Etsy and the world of online selling all this information is really useful. It reminds us that purchasing handmade items is very personal and the promotion of them should reflect that.

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta said 9 years ago

    good article, it looks like everybody read it :P no more redundant links to the shops.

  • theframedfrog

    theframedfrog said 9 years ago

    Great article! When I see shop links or item links in a spammy comment, I never click through because it is somewhat off-putting for me. As for twitter/facebook, my rule is to post five or six non-promotional comments to every one promotional comment. Since I have three crazy kids and lots of drama in my house, there is no lack of subject matter. :) And I absolutely love that one of the featured items is Spam. ;)

  • livingstonandporter

    livingstonandporter said 9 years ago

    Well, let's hope that this is the beginning of a new day. It's been said. Hopefully people will learn to have some tact in how (and where) they present themselves. My friend posted this quote today and it seems rather fitting: "The more you say, the less people remember." - Francois Fenelon

  • kerrihale

    kerrihale said 9 years ago

    ----->> www.myjewelryrox.com <<----- (just kidding! that's not a real link so dont get mad i was just kidding :) hehe)

  • AntoinettesWhims

    AntoinettesWhims said 9 years ago

    Thank you ~ This is great info for us newbies. Next article should be on the genteel art of self promotion as it seems that listings can quite quickly get lost and never be seen again. What's a newbie to do to get noticed?

  • babazoobee

    babazoobee said 9 years ago

    for sure! as a newbie i'm still not sure how to self promote...i find it easier to NOT self promote then to get caught being even a bit "spammy".. when/where is the complementary article about when and how TO self promote in said situations?

  • SimpleTraditions

    SimpleTraditions said 9 years ago

    Very well said.

  • LANCERIKA

    LANCERIKA said 9 years ago

    a touch of class is better than spamming out loud.. old fashioned manners never out of style grateful for all these posts!!

  • sleeks

    sleeks said 9 years ago

    I liked your "real-life" analogies. They add a good perspective to the topic. Hauttotes is just the right person to quote here - I was thinking of her as I was reading the post, so it was a pleasant surprise to find her name at the end of it. Great minds.. :-) Thanks!!

  • RoughMagicHolidays

    RoughMagicHolidays said 9 years ago

    Thank you, Vanessa! You and Hauttotes have written this so well that I actually had fun reading about an unpleasant topic!

  • KathysDesignsLLC

    KathysDesignsLLC said 9 years ago

    I agree with you. Posting only links to your shop without any comments related to the article. Your post is like all the ads that bombard us at a lots of internet sites. They are very annoying. I personnaly click on very few links because sometimes there are virus that can be downloaded. I am also less likely to read the comments if all I see are links to other sites. So they really defeat the purpose of adding the links in the first place.

  • zparkleys

    zparkleys said 9 years ago

    "But the linking we're discussing here is not helping these sellers. It's making them seem robotic at best and desperate at worst." the problem is... a lot of sellers ARE desperate to make sales. there's thousands of shops here with no sales after 6 months, and i think it sends them into a tail spin. the trick is finding a balance between spamming and sharing.

  • KarensKreationsPhx

    KarensKreationsPhx said 9 years ago

    Applause! Applause! to those whose comments addressed the "why." While annoying it doesn't take long to see why sellers comment "Hey! I sell that, too!" A friend told me about Etsy. I first checked it out in mid October. The experience was both amazing and humbling. The talent and imagination are incredible. However, after a couple of weeks the same items seemed to show up repeatedly. Thinking I just wasn't paying attention, I started a list of those items which later expanded to sellers. With hundreds of thousands of sellers all paying the same fees it seems at least one item from each seller should find its way to the home page or an article eventually without having to repeat so much. Perhaps start with those on Pounce: Undiscovered. If featured, they might make a sale. Speaking of Pounce: Undiscovered, please rethink saying the shop hasn't made a sale. New and/or undiscovered, yes. My first impression of Pounce: Undiscovered was nothing screams louder "Even though Etsy has millions of customers, no one has bought from this seller." Consequently, I never look at it.

  • TheHourglassStudio

    TheHourglassStudio said 9 years ago

    Thank you for that wonderful information and yes, I agree about the Twitter. I have not figured out how to post there but I have stopped in to check it out and all I am seeing is SPAM and more Spam. It has discouraged me from trying to figure out how to post so I just stopped looking for the directions. I love to view others shops and see all the talent and even buy here on Etsy but I do not have the time to look at all the spamming that takes place. Thank you again for putting all this out there . mary C.

  • akmoose68

    akmoose68 said 9 years ago

    I was just thinking about this exact thing the other day! And the thing is, I don't think it really works very well, anyway. I was reading through the comments and I was never tempted at all to click on any of the links that had nothing to say about the article, but just promoted themselves. On the other hand, I did click on some of them that were relevant to the topic (it was the lighting when photographing your items), because their questions/comments were things of interest to me as well and I wanted to see how their pics had turned out. I definitely wouldn't want etsy to stop having the link to the commenters shop, because I love to look through the ones that catch my eye, but some kind of filter would be nice...

  • vintagemaison

    vintagemaison said 9 years ago

    Good, thought provoking article.

  • happywhosits

    happywhosits said 9 years ago

    I'm trying to figure out why esdesigns beautiful mother and child necklace is a related item? It doesn't quite fit with the can of spam. Eileen...

  • Uniqueartglass

    Uniqueartglass said 9 years ago

    Thank You!

  • verityunmondoaparte

    verityunmondoaparte said 9 years ago

    thanks for this article, i think is right what you write in...i can say that when i read comments where there is nothing about article but only promotional link, i dont clik it...usually i click the avatar to see shop when i think that what the seller write is about the article and interested for me... sorry for my english, it's poor ^_^

  • JuliaPeculiar

    JuliaPeculiar said 9 years ago

    Thanks for a great article, your analogies really made me laugh. I'm terrible at self promotion, something I really need to work on but am very put off by pushy sellers. Just as you say, if you meet a pushy person you do tend to avoid them after a while, I like to discover sellers by accident, makes the find seem more special and exciting, as though you have stumbled upon a hidden treasure rather than been grabbed by a pushy market trader.

  • mysticknotwork

    mysticknotwork said 9 years ago

    I see nothing wrong with a reply like I am making here. There is content and insight relevant to the topic. However, at the bottom of the message is a quick link in a signature. However, in my mind, the line crosses when someone posts a single line like : bookmarking. It is obviously across the line when they ignore the original topic and just launch into a Carny self promotion. The more important question is how to police and what to do with obvious offenders? Do you refuse to allow them to post items for sale? The forum spam of 'bookmarking' is probably the single most common post out there right now. I'd be offended if you stopped letting the simple signature tag at the bottom of a post, because most of us do that outside the Etsy homestead to draw people into this company to buy from us (and by extension they'll buy from others). You've got a tough decision to make, but this is my input. Matt www.would-be-my-etsy-page/but-not-this-thread

  • WoodlandBelle

    WoodlandBelle said 9 years ago

    Well said, Vanessa! I completely agree and I think most of us feel the same way. It is an issue that needs to be addressed.

  • ArtistaStyle

    ArtistaStyle said 9 years ago

    It drives me crazy when i click on a topic I'm interested in in the forums and have to troll through a few pages where nobody has anything to add beyond "marking". I d be sad to see this great community become what it hates.

  • girlscantell

    girlscantell said 9 years ago

    very well articulated, vanessa! i love the real-life examples. the best marketing and way to get value from social media is to create genuine relationships and to add to the general conversation, be it through creating original content or reposting worthwhile content. the rest is just noise, and a room full of screaming people just makes most people want to leave.

  • drawworm

    drawworm said 9 years ago

    Your real life analogy is very funny, and really sums up the issue nicely.

  • ValerieTyler

    ValerieTyler said 9 years ago

    You did a wonderful job with this. While marketing oneself is essential, there is indeed a polite and positive way to go about it. There are lots of places to put links---where they are RELEVANT, not just because you can drop the link and run. When marketing I think the adage everything in moderation holds true...moderate where, when and what you say. Vary comments to fit the source. Thanks!

  • susansheehan

    susansheehan said 9 years ago

    Excellent article! This had to be said and you did it beautifully.

  • BerkanasGarden

    BerkanasGarden said 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for this post. I just hope the "spammers" take heed and stop with all the unnecessary links.

  • meljensdesigns

    meljensdesigns said 9 years ago

    I loved the real-life example of the gallery! It was perfect and SO true!

  • KeptWench

    KeptWench said 9 years ago

    People who spam like that (and it IS spam) annoy me greatly. What annoys me the most about etsy is the large number of sellers who are selling articles that they claim are handmade by themselves, when in reality all they did was open the box of items shipped to them from someplace like China or similar. :p

  • rosepetalcards

    rosepetalcards said 9 years ago

    As someone who is new to selling on Etsy, I had heard the "you must be active on the blogs" comments and I just hadn't jumped into that yet. Reading this thread is helpful to me as I test out the waters... I don't want to be too pushy and I want to comment when appropriate. Thank you for the insight!

  • JDangerLyJewelry

    JDangerLyJewelry said 9 years ago

    Relief with a glimmer of hope after the read. Much thanks!

  • TheSilverSwann

    TheSilverSwann said 9 years ago

    It's not just Etsy either. I've seen many online communities where people will shamelessly promote SOMETHING that has nothing to do with the topic/conversation. Funny, those people haven't ONCE convinced me to follow their instructions and "check them out." It compels me to never "check them out....." ...ever. So you could say for some people, spamming could hurt their business.

  • 4GetMeNotTreasures

    4GetMeNotTreasures said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article Vanessa! Thanks so much! I truly hope it will help. Still relatively new to Etsy myself (as well as a lot of the "tech" stuff") I usually "lurk" for a while before participating in the various areas of the community. That being said, my first impression of each spammer I saw from day one, was "How rude!" As someone earlier said, I still feel awkward "marking" a forum post because, though having no comment/input of my own, I really DO want to hear the answer that the OP receives. What I would love to see as a follow up to this (you did such a phenomenal job!!) is a similar post on spamming in the Labs. (I'm a lab regular) LOL - those white squares are "seats" & many times you can't even see them due to all the abandoned listings & the chat area is covered with them as well, making it nearly impossible to chat with others who are in the room. Spamming has gotten so bad in there lately, that at least 3-5 times a week people are actually posting listings as the moderator is speaking on another topic/shop. (When posting a listing in labs - the picture goes directly in the center -- covering the moderators face). I do understand that some folks are new & inexperienced (I still consider myself that) - but there is a difference between ignorance & rudeness. I sincerely hope that your article has helped show some people the difference. Sigh - ok...off my soapbox now. (Thanks for listening :) )

  • lostandfoundart

    lostandfoundart said 9 years ago

    Glad you brought this up. I know being active in the forums is supposed to be helpful, but I get annoyed seeing a bazillion comments that don't add anything at all to the conversation. Beside the listing self promotion spamming you speak of, I think a lot of folks just take up space commenting that they read the article or are marking for later, and it doesn't add anything helpful. I consider that just as spammy really. Thanks for a conversation starter - there are actually a lot of comments worth reading here!

  • 2nifty

    2nifty said 9 years ago

    Excellent article. I enjoyed your metaphors. To me, the best way to 'self-promote' is through building relationships. I understand that Etsy can be a long, frustrating road, but if sellers just stay true to themselves and their shops, I believe that's the best way to success and recognition.

  • BandGeek

    BandGeek said 9 years ago

    At least the artist in the galler can claim he dabbles in performance art... ;-)

  • noisettemarketing

    noisettemarketing said 9 years ago

    Great post and something I have been thinking about for a while now. It's hard when you are in a competitive marketplace to stick to your guns and not follow the crowd in what is starting to be considered normal behaviour. I personally hate spammers and I ignore the links but their shops ARE more visible on Etsy and elsewhere online and they are making great sales because of it. That is why they do it. Some of the spamming will be hit or miss but it must be working for them or they wouldn't do it. Personally, I prefer to grow my business organically, yes I'd like more sales but I'm not going to compromise my beliefs to get them.

  • BarkerBell

    BarkerBell said 9 years ago

    Thanks so much for writing this article! Personally, whenever I see someone just drop a link to a listing in an unrelated forum post, I groan internally. I recognize it's difficult to get our items seen, but I don't think many sellers realize how off-putting things like that can be. On Twitter, I do post links to new listings from time to time, but I also actively participate in discussions with numerous users.

  • SEOWebDesign

    SEOWebDesign said 9 years ago

    Clearly self-promoting links in feedback to a blog post on any blog is very annoying and never entices me to click on that link. Removing or disabling these links from blog feedback would be so welcome.

  • syko

    syko said 9 years ago

    Great speech! I think it's the same thing with blogs. If they are only there to promote one shop's products I find no reason to read them. When you make things by hand many customers are interested not only in the quality and uniqueness of the product but in the story behind it. THAT is something to share with others. At the same time you create an interest for your label and your products. Not by spamming. And thanks so much for featuring my bird cushion!

  • pinpinn

    pinpinn said 9 years ago

    This article was a long time in coming. SO glad it was put out as this needed to be said. I feel like standing up and applauding. It also made me laugh alot.

  • ingermaaike

    ingermaaike said 9 years ago

    It is a matter of common courtisy to not just scream 'me,me' whenever one feels there is an opportunity to do so. Every minute spent spamming could be used improving your product and presentation, much more constructive methinks..

  • Copperhorsestudio

    Copperhorsestudio said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article! But this type of salesman-ship can be encountered all over the internet, unfortunately. Fortunately, Etsy is one of the few places where it isn't so prevalent. I think this spammish type of self-promotion comes more from inexperience and insecurity more than from a genuine desire to be an annoying butt-insky. My approach to selling art is very similar to my approach to selling fine wines at the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort where I'm currently employed. The hard sell will never sell a bottle of wine, especially in the high-end market where high standards of etiquette are expected. What sells the wine, aside from taste, aroma, texture, and color, is the story behind the wine. You create a good story, you create intrigue, and therefore desire for that wine from your guest. Therefore, the guest is drawn to the wine, rather than you drawing the wine to the guest. Trust me, it's much more fun that way!

  • JeansVintageCloset

    JeansVintageCloset said 9 years ago

    Reading carefully through the threads in the Community section to get a better understanding of the posts, posters requests, needs and only referring to one or two listings in the Community Promotions section is about my limit. I do read what the first thread poster requests, in Community Promotions and if they do ask (request) for a link or two about items in your shop. Your Etsy profile section is where many can locate your links if need be, Also I do not put any of my links in storque articles, I post about the content of the Storque article

  • TinksTreasure

    TinksTreasure said 9 years ago

    Thank you for these tips.

  • MeadowbelleMarket

    MeadowbelleMarket said 9 years ago

    Wow. Thank you, Vanessa. I'm glad you brought up this topic and I love to see so many heartfelt responses. I have to admit, I get a tingly feeling when presented with the opportunity to be the FIRST comment post on a blog article. It's exciting! Everyone wants their voice to be heard and to be noticed in an ever-growing community. However, I'd never consider posting something as 'spammy' as some of the comments you mentioned, Vanessa. We've got to work together to maintain an intelligent, thinking community. It's each persons responsibility to contribute thoughtfully. I was sharing some of your same takes on simply posting a link to one's shop or shouting blatant promos without adding anything relevant. I, too, tend to simply overlook the person's comment that so shamelessly interrupts an otherwise inteligent discussion. I even feel embarassed for them. I DEFINITELY wouldn't purchase anything from that person - but might check out their shop as one does a car wreck from the side of the road. Then, I'd take mental notes of what NOT to do...anyone who feels the need to make a desprate plea probably isn't conducting their business in the best way either. On the contrary, I'm much more likely to become a fan of someone who speaks intelligently and provokes some relevant thought. I'll probably take a look around their shop, trying to figure out just who this wonderful human being is. Be real and say what you think (even if it's simply the occasional "thank you, great article" or "wow! this is neat!"). Like-minded people will be attracted to you, no matter what you say. Remember that. In this world of increasing machine power, it's nice to pick up on some heart & soul. Let's keep Etsy true to that model! (so check out my shop! kidding. really.)

  • ToBoldlyFold

    ToBoldlyFold said 9 years ago

    Thank you! I think that neighborhood metaphor is so perfect. Keep up the good work!

  • craftysarah

    craftysarah said 9 years ago

    so very true! thanks for your thoughts!

  • essenceofvictoria

    essenceofvictoria said 9 years ago

    thats kind of crazy i mean we all want our items to be seen by the world but at the same time posting a comment on any blog should be relevant to the topic at hand indeed..

  • mamaiwawaki

    mamaiwawaki said 9 years ago

    i say amen. thanks for the food for thought.

  • marykerran

    marykerran said 9 years ago

    I am just now learning about blogs and facebook. I pictured my back yard in the summer time this week and got a lot of remarks. I'm trying all suggestions you have made. I do not want to bore people.

  • ctrlaltdeviant

    ctrlaltdeviant said 9 years ago

    This is a wonderful article that should be standard reading for all Etsy sellers. It's great to see such an outpouring of thoughtful, supporting comments too. Reading through them all has reminded me how awesome Etsy's active community is. Thank you all! :D

  • rachelsjewels

    rachelsjewels said 9 years ago

    Etsy twitter-ers are the worst offenders of all. I have un-followed many of them! Thank you for pointing this out to the community.

  • edyodeco

    edyodeco said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • mustlovehomedecor

    mustlovehomedecor said 9 years ago

    I just have to say it does get discouraging every time I get an etsy finds email pertaining to home decor and never seeing one of my items. That is usually when I will post a related item. I find it hard when a venue like Etsy promotes some sellers over others. I would rather see a pay per ad system.

  • RSSDesignsInFiber

    RSSDesignsInFiber said 9 years ago

    The points in this article are well put -- and I hope well understood and well taken by all. Promotion is a form of communication -- for it to be valuable communication, it should be in context. I just want to say, that in some instances, say as giving an example of something relevant to a Storque article, I welcome links to items in shops!! Still studying and learning always -- sometimes from articles here in the storque -- and examples of something can be very valuable!! Basically, I am saying this because I think totally disabling linking in storque article comments would not be a good thing. If you have to have someone review and reject or delete comments for irrelevant linking, then so be it. Personally, I just ignore things I don't think are relevant or appropriate.

  • moonstr

    moonstr said 9 years ago

    yaay! boo spam!

  • dolcechic

    dolcechic said 9 years ago

    Couldn't agree more!

  • jewelflyt

    jewelflyt said 9 years ago

    excellent article :)

  • AncaNY

    AncaNY said 9 years ago

    Loved the gallery opening analogy you used in the beginning. Brings the whole thing to life. But you will never be able to stamp out this behaviour, as long as society/ad industry/marketing gurus promote(s) the idea that "any exposure is better than no exposure".

  • TCaponePhoto

    TCaponePhoto said 9 years ago

    Great article... having a blog myself, I'm amazed at how many people (not talking Etsians here, just general public) post simply to add a link to their product or promote themselves. There definitely needs to be a good balance between promoting and being social; it's difficult but definitely not impossible, and it just shows respect for others. Thanks for the post! *tracey*

  • tootsystreasures

    tootsystreasures said 9 years ago

    It's all about balance! We live in a self-focused society but I've found in life that when you help others promote, they will help you. Great tips on options other than spamming! Thanks!

  • SiklosPhoto

    SiklosPhoto said 9 years ago

    I particularly loved this point "If you are moved to share a thought or your reaction then post a comment." I have often noticed (and ignored) the shop links style of comments. But then I've often wondered what the point of commenting should be - I often feel very shy about leaving comments - as if I'm revealing some of myself to people who I don't know. This article was a useful reminder that comments and forums are a social network, with real people and that commenting is useful (and welcomed!) when you truly have something to say! Thanks

  • sacredsuds

    sacredsuds said 9 years ago

    This is a fantastic article. I'm a very social person *in person* and I'm still trying to figure out how to be myself online as well. I read the post in your P.S. by HautTotes, and it helped me tremendously. My main stumbling block is that putting myself (not just my shop) out there to the online world makes me feel vulnerable somehow. I'm trying to get over that and just be myself while also promoting my shop, other shops, and treasuries when appropriate. I guess my gauge of whether I'm being spammy is when I wonder, "Am I being spammy?" If I feel like I am, I probably am.

  • suzedablooze

    suzedablooze said 9 years ago

    My brothers nickname used to be 'Spam Boy' until he learned that it gets you no where and is extremely irritating, good point, well made Susie

  • floodplainstudio

    floodplainstudio said 9 years ago

    One of my favorite things to do on my blog is to post my monthly Etsy feature on another seller, usually a specific item that intrigues me. There's so much great stuff on Etsy I can't help writing about it! Thanks for this article.

  • ashlynsbowtique

    ashlynsbowtique said 9 years ago

    I totally agree with this blog! I am somewhat new to selling in my shop and find it hard to know how to get my shop link out there. But I would have to say my best success thus far is just having great customer service and not "bugging" people. Then my happy customers refer me to their friends and family. I do wish there were better ways to get my shop out besides blogging, or tweeting. (I tried that and as much as I want to do it for success, it's just not me.)

  • DivaBabyDesigns

    DivaBabyDesigns said 9 years ago

    This is a great article! I am fairly new to etsy and am on twitter & facebook and DO post every time I list a brand new item. I had been wondering if I should stop. You see a lot of other sellers doing these things so you start to think that is what you should do to get sales! I never want to be pushy or in your face! So thank you for this great article to let us know that it is NOT the way to go about it! I will start posting more fun facts or little stories instead! Thanks again, Leslie

  • MGMart

    MGMart said 9 years ago

    Great article Vanessa! Looks like everyone read it, as I can't see any links to listings :) Have a great weekend! xo Marianna

  • loleys

    loleys said 9 years ago

    my most recent issue with spam has been someone using convos to send me unsolicited info about their store. i had never purchased from this person so i should not be on any list for sale alerts or updates. the first time i ignored it, but when the second + third convo dropped in my box with the exact same info, i was completely turned off. does anyone else feel convos are also not the best way to promote?

  • ThisNThatCraftHouse

    ThisNThatCraftHouse said 9 years ago

    This is such a great article! Thank you for taking the time to post it. It's something that needed to be said. I started following Etsy sellers on Twitter not long after I opened my shop late last summer. I couldn't believe the amount of spammy tweets. They clogged my Twitter feed and annoyed the heck out of me. One by one they were unfollowed. If you make it hard for me to read the interesting stuff I'm going to unfollow you. Then one day I took the drastic step of going from following 200 to following 75. I got rid of all but a handful of Etsy sellers who aren't guilty of spamming. What good did spamming me do for those Etsy sellers? All it accomplished was that they chased away a potential buyer. I'm closing my shop this weekend for personal reasons. When I was actively trying to sell I felt guilty if I tweeted about an item. It didn't gain me many extra views so there really was no point in continuing the practice. Again, I'm glad this article was written because it's a subject that needed to be addressed. Thanks Vanessa.

  • KnitGirlinIdaho

    KnitGirlinIdaho said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the article Vanessa! As someone new to Etsy, I don't comment much in the forums or blogs yet (out of shyness), let alone promote my shop for fear of turning people off. I am guilty, however, of signing up for Twitter for the sole purpose of promoting my products. You have given me food for thought about how I need to personalize my tweets, hopefully, attracting more people to my shop!

  • loddelina

    loddelina said 9 years ago

    Thank you, Vanessa, for this article! I have only recently started blogging and I always try to include interesting stories and pictures in my blog posts, not only about my shop and my items being featured in a Treasury (and when I do blog about that, I include a link to their shop). I have gained many blog readers through people clicking on my avatar, seeing my writing and starting to follow. They are for me the most valuable and sincere followers who communicate with me throught their comments and I communicate with them through commenting on their posts. It is so much more than just "follow me and I will follow you". Show me a person who trully reads all the updates from 150 or more blogs they are "following"!

  • happytimesco

    happytimesco said 9 years ago

    Wonderfully written article! It can be hard to distinguish yourself from the crowd-but there are certainly wrong and right ways to do so. Thank you for highlighting this issue and hopefully this will help with the problem!

  • StitchedArtz

    StitchedArtz said 9 years ago

    how tempting was it to put a random link to something you sell on this blog?? thank god i don't sell anything, i don't know if everyone appreciates my sense of humor...

  • FoundryDesign

    FoundryDesign said 9 years ago

    A little selflessness goes a long way. As a former boss used to tell me many moons ago when I worked in public relations, you only have a few "at-bats" with the media. Those few chances to offer something of value and substance also applies to the still-new world of blogging and to everyone who does it. Sincerity and shared wisdom open minds. Impersonal self promotion shuts them pretty quick!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, it was so delightful to read this blog! I giggled out loud when I read your two ancedotes (as I see others did, too!) Very diplomatic in the delivery of the message ~ Thank you!

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria said 9 years ago

    Oh so true! Blogging is a social networks for folks to sit back and have a conversation of sorts, share ideas, and get to know their community of interest. You had so far over 500 comments on this post I would never have time to read all of those, but as I scroll down the pages I get a glimspe of their avatar and shop name and that sometimes is enough for me to link on to their shop. Thanks!

  • lilyjillbowtique

    lilyjillbowtique said 9 years ago

    Love the post! Check out my store www.... Just kidding. I find it a little hard to swallow when a new seller comes to you for advice on how to get sales in her own shop.. When you go and look at her new shop she has used your bio, profile, and policies excatly. My Bio really? This would be no big deal.. I love to help new seller with anything they ask.. except when that seller is selling the same thing you are. If I need help I ask a seller I know that sells nothing like what I sell. Anyone?

  • MothersComfort

    MothersComfort said 9 years ago

    Thanks for your article! I am new on Etsy and have been so proud of my few sales and new listings that I have been sharing it all with my friends on facebook. Your words are making me think that maybe I should back off and only post when I have something more interesting to say than "Hey, Look what I made!"

  • PlaidPumpkin

    PlaidPumpkin said 9 years ago

    Very good article. I have not blogged much but do enjoy the articles when I have time to read them. Keep them coming.

  • rozzissweetpeas

    rozzissweetpeas said 9 years ago

    Very insightful..nice to get someone else's point of view. This will help us trememdously with our business..people should always come first!

  • wookwoodworking

    wookwoodworking said 9 years ago

    So glad that this article was written...it seems that 9-1/2 times out of 10 a link will have nothing to do with an article. It is understandable that some people would self promote though comments but I think it's important to make those people aware that it generally turns people "off" rather than "on" to their site! I can safely say that I have never clicked on a "check out my site" post. I have, however clicked on a shop if I think that their avatar is interesting. So thanks for the great article!!!

  • kt40

    kt40 said 9 years ago

    i have found this to be the case when i type in a question for the forum and then when i click the link it is just self-promontion. This is a bummer because i really am using the forum for help. so i get this post. kt

  • lepiedleger

    lepiedleger said 9 years ago

    thanks vanessa, this is a great article to start a reflexion on a complex issue. i also think the "make a rule" or "admins deleting the spammy comments" is no solution. we are a community, we need to be conscious of our responsability inside this community. and this article gave a step in the direction of more consciousness. thanks!

  • RemingtonCreations

    RemingtonCreations said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this article, I found it very helpful. I've just started my Etsy shop, and I've been looking for effective ways to promote my work, without seeming like a pushy car salesman. Being a shy person, I don't normally talk about myself, so its hard to get a feel for what's too much, what's not enough, when it all seems like it too much. I think articles on self promotion and discussions like this are extremely helpful for a shy nubie like me. Thanks.

  • BunGirl

    BunGirl said 9 years ago

    I deal with a lot of spammy comments on my blog some days and my rule of thumb is this: If I can't tell by your comment that you actually read the post, I will delete it. Needless to say, I use that rule of thumb when I'm commenting on other blogs/forums/whathaveyou as well. Something that etsy might consider is instead of posting the seller's profile picture, have an option to post a photo from their shop or their favorites. This way they'd be able to highlight their product of choice in a visual way but still need to post some sort of comment or content. It's not perfect as I know some people would still abuse it, but I think it might be a fun way for those of us who are not spamming to showcase our work or the work of others we support.

  • saltlabs

    saltlabs said 9 years ago

    For my first time ever on Etsy, I just posted a comment on "Ecouterre's Tips for Snagging a Feature on Design Blogs" but I'm going to reiterate it here because I think it's relevant. I was disappointed to find that Etsy has no way to get the word out within the Etsy community when you actually snag that feature on the high visibility blog. So may I make a recommendation to Etsy? Why not offer a special section to Etsians to tout their successes. Why doesn't Etsy create a storque section dedicated to featuring not only editor's picks but major blogger's picks. That would be so helpful in promoting (vs spamming) within our own community.

  • FrugalMMmama

    FrugalMMmama said 9 years ago

    Self-promotion always reminds me of my next door neighbours. They are always selling the latest "health" pyramid (MLM) product. No matter what the conversation, it always includes a pitch about their product somewhere. I have struggled with being "active online" because I don't want to appear spammy or desperate to my friends and family or anyone else for that matter. I have clicked on interesting avatars from comments in the past, so I think that a post in itself can get you noticed. But I guess the link could be considered like any online "ad". Click if you're interested, ignore it if you're not.

  • LakeCharlotte

    LakeCharlotte said 9 years ago

    I encountered the Spammy's first in the chat rooms where people would ignore the featured seller and just keep posting their stuff. It was realy annoying. However, I think I could do a better job sharing my items on Facebook. Oftentimes I don't write anything what I share the item. What I am not sure about is: is it okay to convo people who hearted your shop and offer them a "thank you for hearting me" discount?

  • BlessedRepublic

    BlessedRepublic said 9 years ago

    Thank you Vanessa. This is very enlightening. Hmnnn. I could be guilty of making comments. Lol but I don't post links. Now I know how readers think.

  • BlessedRepublic

    BlessedRepublic said 9 years ago

    Thank you Vanessa. This is very enlightening. Hmnnn. I could be guilty of making comments. Lol but I don't post links. Now I know how readers think.

  • capitalcitycrafts

    capitalcitycrafts said 9 years ago

    Great information. Hoping that everyone will take it to heart and be more considerate.

  • BridalJewelry4u

    BridalJewelry4u said 9 years ago

    I love the analogue you used!!

  • AmyMayDesign

    AmyMayDesign said 9 years ago

    Great article I agree wholeheartedly about the spam-isms, and am glad you addressed it is such a good way:) Love the metaphors! I think they ring true for all of us, whether we have spamed or not:) Thanks for the tips and pointing out what you as a reader want to see, it really does help! Its hard to guess what readers really want to hear all the time. And thank you ModelCitizen for the link!

  • BlackSheepDesign

    BlackSheepDesign said 9 years ago

    This is a bit of a tangent because it's not really the kind of spam you are addressing, but I'm curious about this issue: Yesterday I received a request from someone to donate jewelry to a fundraising auction they are holding for what appears to be a good cause. They have been etsy members since last fall, but they do not have a shop. Does this happen often? What is the appropriate response?

  • trumpetflowerstudios

    trumpetflowerstudios said 9 years ago

    As a new shop owner, I'm reading absolutely everything! Thanks.

  • unicornsgarden

    unicornsgarden said 9 years ago

    Great article. Thank you!

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this helpful article. I love the example of throwing flyers on the floor! I have my own (not nearly as funny)example. I belong to a several groups on TwitterMoms, all with different subject matters. There are several members who seem to belong to just about every group on the system, who post the same message in each group. Since all the groups are different, the messages are irrelevant to most, if not all groups they are posted in. I delete these messages without ever reading them. Not only are they irrelevant & annoying, but they're ineffective. Thanks for your reminders (& funny examples!)

  • saltlabs

    saltlabs said 9 years ago

    thank you, mixedspecies, for your spam of this article...hilarious! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36698069

  • FirebirdHouse

    FirebirdHouse said 9 years ago

    this was a great article, and a good way to helping sellers think about different ways to promote without being spammy :)

  • greenWinkle

    greenWinkle said 9 years ago

    Very well spoken Vanessa. It's so good to just plain know the "rules" about these things. I tend to sit back and do nothing rather than risk being offensive or pushy. Thanks for giving such quick, and clever advice on working within a community rather than just "working" the community. If you get my meaning. :]

  • DaysLight

    DaysLight said 9 years ago

    Points taken and thanks. Want to add that there are plenty of threads where links back to your shop or a sale item are REQUESTED - mostly in the Promote section of the Forum. There, people want to share links and check out other's. It's a pretty active place, but is it enough? Clearly not to some folks...

  • ScorchedEyebrow

    ScorchedEyebrow said 9 years ago

    Great timing. Just had FB discussion about posting "random photos" on other folks's walls - a big NO NO! Become a fan of Art Biz Coach / Stanfield Art Associates and find good info on all manner of business of art issues.

  • reclaim2fame

    reclaim2fame said 9 years ago

    I loved the compassion with which this was written. Many a neophyte are capable of desperate acts of self promotion without awareness. This article gives them a chance to see the error of their ways without being harsh. Beyond that, it encourages all to express their true selves. That's always good advice.

  • Amievoltaire

    Amievoltaire said 9 years ago

    Such a fine and tiring line :<) Thanks

  • VeronicaHughes

    VeronicaHughes said 9 years ago

    Great article for raising awareness of this issue. It reminds me of one of the rules a professor had for posting comments in online discussions. We received points for contributing to conversations. If we posted something like "I agree," and didn't elaborate, no points. Instead we had to contribute something valuable to the conversation in order to get points. Spam is similar, if we just keep shouting, "Look at me, look at me," so we can get some attention (points) we'll just become noise. Instead if we give something of value to our readers they'll be more likely to pay attention.

  • ebenotti

    ebenotti said 9 years ago

    Great Article. I got my first spam convo the other day. I usually get really excited when I have a new message, but this was making me think twice.

  • quenchmetalworks

    quenchmetalworks said 9 years ago

    Wow! So many comments...you hit a nerve, Vanessa! I couldn't agree more! This should be a must-read for any Etsian!

  • littlejennywren

    littlejennywren said 9 years ago

    Great article. I get so annoyed at the "self promote at all costs' mentality so many people seem to have. In places like this and the forums it is people's avatars and interesting/funny/well thought out/heartfelt comments that make me want to check that persons shop. I think this is why I find twitter such an alien place because at times it just seems like a huge hall filled with people all shouting look at me, look at me.

  • PhoebeDea

    PhoebeDea said 9 years ago

    I think because Etsy is a social network, that most people will respond to social pressure. Putting it out there that it's rude/ not a good idea to post random links to your items will be much more effective than any "rule" that would have to be enforced by someone. Good article: http://lensaunders.com/habit/peerpressure.html

  • Salts

    Salts said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the great article Vanessa. There is so much noise out there that its seems like very few people are "real" with each other. I love having conversations with people that don't start with "so what do you do?"...theres more to life than what you sell. On another note, I am tired of bloggers wanting to "review" products for their blogs and emailing me randomly. If I want to be on your blog I will email you and tell you that I love it first...generic "send me free stuff so I can review it" emails are rude....

  • NeverOrdinary

    NeverOrdinary said 9 years ago

    Thanks SO much Vanessa. I've all but given up reading through many forums because of this "spam". There is no polite way to describe it. When I started "Twittering", I was astounded to note that Etsy sellers are the worsst culprits. Last week I just 'stopped following' several of them after they flooded my site with their lists. Your avatar links directly to your shop. There is NO need for lists of your items. I think we should talk about this a LOT .... because there will always be people who break the rules, if there are rules. It's selfish, aggressive and plain RUDE. I think we should risk perhaps making a few feathers rise by commenting on it when we do find it. I should have tweeted ..." Sorry I removed you from my list. Too many ads." But I'm too polite and timid to do it. Together, with more forums touching this topic, we can stem this obnoxious tide, which is harming us all on ETSY.

  • suebryanprints

    suebryanprints said 9 years ago

    Good article on a touchy subject, but I do think that a lot of those posts are probably done by people who are new to the whole 'system'. I myself was guilty of posting a link to my site on a few Facebook pages that related to my work. No one seemed to mind, but since becoming more familiar with the whole 'netiquette' thing over the past month or so, I wouldn't do it again. People find their own way to you in the end.

  • kpiscioneri

    kpiscioneri said 9 years ago

    What a refreshing discussion! I've been really shocked at the exhausting amount of self-promotion on places like Indiepublic. I'm beginning to wonder what this whole social networking thing is really for--it's leaving me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. That said, I'm also guilty of just posting new listings to Facebook and Twitter ;) I'll think twice next time.

  • SMboutique

    SMboutique said 9 years ago

    By the amount of scrolling down, I feel like a bit of an echo!Thanks for this very well written article Vanessa.

  • JenEcklundDesigns

    JenEcklundDesigns said 9 years ago

    This was helpful. I realize I'm doing too much 'advertising' on my facebook page. I will need to tone that down a bit. Thanks for this useful information.

  • BerylBlue

    BerylBlue said 9 years ago

    As many have said, excellent points. I have never understood why people include links to their shops on Etsy (except in Promotions threads or as an illustration of something) because your shop name links to your shop. I think it's mostly because there is so much to learn about selling online that people get overwhelmed and resort to "carpet bombing" everywhere they can think of.

  • muchodesign

    muchodesign said 9 years ago

    Thanks for touching on this topic. It's important for people to see how annoying self promotion can be. We are still dealing with humans although we are online and people for the most part are going to be disdainful of people who constantly talk themselves up just as they would be in person.

  • HandmadebyEmilyShop

    HandmadebyEmilyShop said 9 years ago

    Thanks for this article. It's difficult to find the balance between friendly self-promotion and irritating self-promotion. I've always found it annoying when people leave a "comment" whilst actually forgetting to write a comment and instead you just see the irritating blue font of their URL!

  • pearlies4girlies

    pearlies4girlies said 9 years ago

    Excellent article, as a relatively new seller I was wondering what the 'rules' were in this aspect as it just didn't feel like the right thing to do, but a lot of people were doing it... Thanks for your pointers. Reading through some of the comments I noticed the importance of a good avatar, I clicked on some that caught my attention and found some great shops!

  • JOJAPIPOSA

    JOJAPIPOSA said 9 years ago

    Should I comment, or should I not? Great article.

  • charlottahamilton

    charlottahamilton said 9 years ago

    Vanessa...this post about etiquette touched me...I find even on my own blog I get the odd spammer who always have to say "please come visit me" and leave their link...there is no need as you said...It's something Esty sellers should be taught...maybe a short quizz should be given to Etsians who want to sign up! There also are certain forums where the topics are specific to "Promoting your NEW store" this is where they should be...all those spammers. Have a great day. Char

  • AJthePurple

    AJthePurple said 9 years ago

    So true! Thanks for the analogies :) Sometimes it's hard to know where the line is between advertising and spamming. I've definitely stopped following people on Twitter for spamming, and I don't want to become one myself!

  • noellecarr

    noellecarr said 9 years ago

    This is a great article. As a new etsy seller, I find these types of articles and your e-news very helpful.

  • betley

    betley said 9 years ago

    This is such a good article. I am always hyper-aware of being too pushy, so it's nice to have some references to check to see if its ok!

  • AutumnUK

    AutumnUK said 9 years ago

    I like the "related items" that use the word 'tacky' in the name! Too funny!

  • ronodell

    ronodell said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the straight talk Vanessa. I have been guilty in the past, but no more spam from this cat head.

  • YaYasCritters

    YaYasCritters said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article. As a newbie, I have fallen into the trap of copying others, even if what they were doing seemed pushy. I'll be more careful and creative about my promotion in the future. Keep the articles coming. I'm still learning!

  • deardesire

    deardesire said 9 years ago

    i'm so glad you addressed this issue...it certainly is cringe-worthy when we see this kind of spamming so often. i agree that there will always be those who want to jump in and shout out their name, declaring their presence. fortunately most are not there for that reason. thanks, vanessa, for bringing the topic out in the open!

  • ribbonsundone

    ribbonsundone said 9 years ago

    Well, this is all so pretty new to me. And overwhelming. I've been told that I'm "old school" -- I'm just recently learning what a blog is and I'm still trying to comprehend Facebook. Please don't laugh. The article above certainly was helpful in regards to behaving properly as an Etsy seller. It gives me great insight and helpful info before I jump in and join Facebook and, God help me, start up my own blog. Looking forward to the fun!

  • bananamiranda

    bananamiranda said 9 years ago

    I have seen what you are talking about, and it is a shame. I love to promote other sellers and do so in chats, which also keep me up to date on what is out there in Etsy. I have dropped out of some chats also because the promoting is not reciprocal, and the interest from chatters is not very widespread. I think it is a real quandary in this network But I also thing there should be some sort of way to self promote, say with a limit of three items that then might have an opportunity to appear somewhere on the front pages of Etsy every now and again. I have not figured out yet how some people are so often featured, and others are never featured. What is the deciding factor?

  • lulumoon

    lulumoon said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this post, Vanessa. I think it's important to share the wisdom - after all, so many of us don't know what cool or uncouth in Internet social activities. I imagine a lot of people forget social manners simply because they're not actually face-to-face. But then again, there are those who will promote themselves in person, even during someone else's workshop! Yes, we want to be noticed, but in a GOOD way!

  • HeatherMitchellDraws

    HeatherMitchellDraws said 9 years ago

    These analogies are helpful. Now that I've put together a FB Fan Page, I don't feel as though I should/have-to post much etsy stuff on my personal page. The next trick is figuring out how to attract twitter followers without being pushy with my friends and associates. More articles of this type would be helpful.

  • MyWisteriaCottage

    MyWisteriaCottage said 9 years ago

    I agree that it is more interesting to learn something about the commentor rather than just" look at my site". I tend to look up the site of people whom I found interesting in their comments. I love when they have something worthwhile to add that will educate me. Thanks for your comments and articles.

  • terrasanta

    terrasanta said 9 years ago

    Cross Necklace produced in the Holy Land Necklace made of stunning gold and silver http://holylandprayers.net/ or http://terrasanta-products.com/

  • dearestdeblet

    dearestdeblet said 9 years ago

    where can i get that cavy stamp

  • MARISMALL

    MARISMALL said 9 years ago

    While I agree one shouldnt be too pushy and post randomly, I dont think there is anything wrong with suggesting a similar product or posting links to like items. The point of comments is to start a discussion. I also dont think there is anything wrong with posting your URL if its part of your signature. Of course it should be done in a tactful way. Perhaps make a comment relative to what is being discussed and then if it fits in, talk about your shop. It's all part of the branding process and in this day and age most people are a 1 person marketing machine. While your analogies were funny, I didnt find them to be quite accurate. It is totally different than someone yelling in your home or yelling at you because its written and you can easily look at the next comment if you dont like what you see. Its not as personal and less confrontational. PS-The person above me is quite funny! They did exactly what you said is wrong. I actually found it to be funny and yeah, I did click on the link!

  • doodadlady

    doodadlady said 9 years ago

    Thanks, Vanessa. Your words are all so true.

  • EmbellissezLaReine

    EmbellissezLaReine said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the informative and interesting topic. It is difficult sometimes to "fit in" or understand what is appropriate, especially when you are new to Etsy, blogging, facebook, twitter, etc. I have yet to master all of these. I have spammed in a somewhat similar way and you are right, it is desperate and I am not ashamed to admit it. We are all at different levels of understanding online business and different levels of developing our own art. When someone spams in the way you were referring to, it is a signal to me that they are inexperienced and possibly immature. I do love the candidness of your post. Some of us need to hear things in very clear terms and it is helpful!

  • PeaHenCreations

    PeaHenCreations said 9 years ago

    Insiteful!, Thanks heaps for writting such grace.

  • VeryCarey

    VeryCarey said 9 years ago

    Good info. Maybe some like Canned Spam, but most don't care for Blog Spam.

  • KellyHasz

    KellyHasz said 9 years ago

    Well said. I have a variety of friends that I've considered "unfriending" because of their persistent spamming for their buisinesses. I want to know and support what they're doing, but even more I want to know what's going on in their lives...the social aspect! Thanks for writing what so many of us are thinking.

  • DestinysTreasures

    DestinysTreasures said 9 years ago

    HI Great post. I hope everyone reads this and the spamming stops. It is annyoing.

  • kittybblove

    kittybblove said 9 years ago

    This should really be a *must-read* for newbie sellers. Not only will it boost the overall professionalism of etsy sellers, but also allow that particular seller to have a better brand identity for their shop.

  • dmarcela

    dmarcela said 9 years ago

    Love your post! It's such a delicate balance. Thanks, I really enjoy it!

  • JBworld

    JBworld said 9 years ago

    thank you

  • katterbiller

    katterbiller said 9 years ago

    It really is a difficult balance, because it can be so competitive even in a supportive forum like this. You just want to be seen, you know? That being said, I don't like selfpromotion, so I have no idea how to promote my stuff...it's kind of a sticky wicket.

  • catchiara

    catchiara said 9 years ago

    Desperation only devalues your work!!!

  • teepetals

    teepetals said 9 years ago

    Thanks for this Vanessa!

  • blushdrop

    blushdrop said 9 years ago

    My sister in law gave out her business card at a funeral recently. I think it's just a person to person etiquette level. Although the web does grey things a bit because you don't get the odd looks in response...

  • FruitsOFtheBLooM

    FruitsOFtheBLooM said 9 years ago

    It's funny, when you write a blog like I do and someone comments in a way that shows they didn't read the post it is both obvious spam to the author and to anyone who does read your words. Such negligence and narcissism leaves a poor impressions of you as a person. It is not always true that every form of publicity is good publicity--the kind where you make a nuisance out of yourself doesn't draw people to you or make them want to learn more about what you sell; no matter how talented you may be.

  • MauiMommyMade

    MauiMommyMade said 9 years ago

    This article was very helpful. I have just started blogging and searching, and see how everything is sorted, etc. I have found people posting random links when I'm trying to find something relevant to my search and feel frustrated when it is just "spam." I tend to be a soft sell...I participate, I give people an opportunity to be interested, and THEN I share. I could probably learn some tips on being a bit more assertive and less passive. I tend to sell most of my things by putting my daughter in them, and while out and about, people are always commenting, and then I say, "oh, I made that for her..." and that gets a conversation started.

  • watercolorsNmore

    watercolorsNmore said 9 years ago

    It's good to read these helpful comments. All of this type networking is new to me and have found very good tips.

  • Jewelrybynala

    Jewelrybynala said 9 years ago

    Oh my, I'm going to have to rethink the way I comment--or if I should comment. I must admit, that when reading a post on someone's blog or Facebook Page that I'm moved to comment on, I often leave a comment like, "Great post about a wonderful artist" or "Beautiful work" or something similar, because I just don't have the time to write something clever. Now I'm afraid they might be thinking I'm spamming them ...

  • janysde

    janysde said 9 years ago

    Wow! I SO like this article. As a writer primarily, i know exactly what Vanessa says. Sometimes i go for coffee mornings to get away from my laptop and jewellery and I sincerely want to meet new people (usually it's a woman's coffee morning!). Sometimes, it so happens that a woman will know that I'm a writer (or am THE writer for this particular magazine), and instead of just saying that it was a pleasure to meet me, will say that she herself is a writer but unlike me she is married so has not the time for such things!!! And to think i go for coffee mornings to meet new people! That is what usually pushes me back into my shell. And just work on my jewellery or on a writing project. But then there is that need to be social and sociable! I guess this happens everywhere - online or in actual community events. Thanks again for this article. It's a winner. Jan.

  • pkspolymerdesigns

    pkspolymerdesigns said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, Thank you for taking the time to explain your point. I'm sure there are many Noobies like me who are excited to get their product out there for people to see but do not know the proper behavior as so well outlined in your artical. Happy Monday all! PK

  • thecosieposie

    thecosieposie said 9 years ago

    I'm a newbie and this article is great...I'm trying to find balance. I want to get the word out but don't want to turn people away. I'm still learning all the etiquette for etsy and blogging. Its hard because how do you get noticed?? I tried purchasing a spot in the showcase and they were all sold out? Is there a secret I need to know about? Best Cosie and Clueless

  • persimmonjewelry

    persimmonjewelry said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the post! I totally agree, sometimes I want my ideas hear but there and tons a pages ahead of my of shameless self promotion. We all have to hustle but know where to get your hustle on!!

  • wildwildthings

    wildwildthings said 9 years ago

    Yes, there is a fine line between promoting yourself, and being proud of your product, and coming across as a spammer, somebody just trying to make the sale! Thanks for the article!

  • JanetMillerDesigns

    JanetMillerDesigns said 9 years ago

    I find it hard to be professional and personal with sites like FaceBook and TWITTER - to find a balance - not merely posting links to new items in your shop but also letting people know more about you without turning them off, I have issues with my throat chakra. ..any suggestions anyone?

  • lizsanford

    lizsanford said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the advice! This has been bookmarked so I can review it from time to time :) I've been having a hard time finding the line between a respectable online presence and just plain annoying, and I love all the ideas and tips here.

  • WSK63

    WSK63 said 9 years ago

    I think the content was great but that has to be one of the cutest guniea pigs I ever seen. He's even cuter than the one I own.. Serioulsly though great topic to bring up for discussion.

  • Thyme2dream

    Thyme2dream said 9 years ago

    I firmly believe comments really should be about the original post, anything else is spam (or possibly just thread drift, and thats another topic entirely)..now if someone can think of a creative way to include their item that is truly relevant that is a different story- but it needs to make sense in the context of the discussion:)

  • tlshelton

    tlshelton said 9 years ago

    Great advice. New Etsians need to realize this is a "get rich quick" scheme. It takes patience and understanding. If you're doing something you love and it shows, the sales will eventually come.

  • jspiess22

    jspiess22 said 9 years ago

    I love this article and all the comments! As a new etsian I just started reading the blogs and such and I was totally shocked by all the "spam" glad things are being done and you at the very least are suggesting changes! Thanks!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, thank you for the wonderful tips. I think like you do that some of these "spammy" comments come from folks new to the process... I have to admit I was one of those guilty folks, but once I learned that this truly is a community that I love, I realized I wanted to spend more time here and make my impression meaningful.

  • SparkleTrue

    SparkleTrue said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa! I just started and am still learning how to increase exposure. Yes, just post shop URL to the comment section is rude and probably not many people will click on it anyways. Very educational!

  • Dragonflightdesigns

    Dragonflightdesigns said 9 years ago

    Fab article. I hate that kind of mindless self-promotion that doesn't think about the person on the receiving end and I refuse to do it, even if it means I never make a success of my business. I'm happy to admit I'm not a sales person - I love creating stuff but find any sort of advertising/promotion hard work (even the good kind). The best part of Etsy is the sellers that put their love of what they do ahead of making lots of money.

  • bijouxdellostregatto

    bijouxdellostregatto said 9 years ago

    Thanks for helping our community to reflect about this! It's true: nothing is so boring as spamming comment!

  • StoneznStix

    StoneznStix said 9 years ago

    What I love about social networking sites is the ability to connect with a wide range of talented people and share creative ideas. I find it sad that things get lost in the mix because others are abusing this. Thanks for the article and putting this kind of behavior into real life scenarios.

  • VinniesArt

    VinniesArt said 9 years ago

    Hey Vanessa, This is wonderful! I'm new to branding my name and have been researching like a mad-man on the best ways to market/promote myself. I've for sure made the mistake of "check this link out" and nothing more. I realized that when I purchase new products, such as shampoos, I always read the back and am always impressed with the companies who describe their product with humor. So I thought "I'm actually a funny guy and should use that to my advantage". I'm in the process of revamping how I do things which started today with a twitter post "Battle between an army man and cookie" followed by a link to a new product. Catchy enough to grab some attention? Will see how it goes. -vince!

  • charmedbyjessica

    charmedbyjessica said 9 years ago

    Vanessa, I love that you were able to discuss this! So many times I've seen the unsolicited promotion. And I really love the coffee metaphor you used. So very spot on!

  • SmileOfAnubisLeather

    SmileOfAnubisLeather said 9 years ago

    Hi there editors, admins, and community! (Sorry, please bare with me here, this is a longer comment...) Yes, how true. I am just getting started with my shop and I am trying to think of constructive ways of spreading the word about my shop and products, and I must say it is really not easy, especially when your products are more specified for a limited audience. I think a big part of the 'link-omania' is simply desperation and anxiety speaking.And I am including myself here!: Anxiety to get lost and not be seen in this ocean of genuine creativity and originality. That's probably also where the issue of self- worth comes into play for many sellers, and fears of not being good enough become overwhelming, especially after one has finally gathered the courage to step out there and put a price on your art- that is a big deal for a lot of people. Including myself. I have a suggestion to make for that: I came across a website (for dog people) where members are encouraged to post pictures of their pets. (I think the pride some people take in their pet is very similar to the personal attachment one has with their art work) So, the wonderful feature this website had, was an automated rotation of ALL the pictures that were posted by members and were thereby made visible to anyone who views the website. Whether they are a member or not. ( The pictures were shown in form of five frames across a section of the site that were renewed and 'shuffled' after each click) That simple feature completely put me at ease, knowing that 'My pictures will be seen' whether I link and post them until my fingers bleed or not. A simple but powerful feature I found. Just thought I would share that with the community. Wish me luck in finding creative ways of showcasing :) Same to all of you! Marie

  • violavintage

    violavintage said 9 years ago

    Excellent advice. There is a time and place for everything and it is not always the time to link to YOUR items. It is very hard to find the time to promote and maintain our etsy stores, but we have to try to do it in a way that is not annoying to other sellers or esp buyers. I do love selling online though as we get to meet people from all walks of life and all over the world. Thanks for the great advice.

  • FishDream

    FishDream said 9 years ago

    This is very true. People in this generation, at times, forget the tact that comes with person to person relations because there has become a decreased necessity for human contact. One may not put together that this online interaction is still human to human and not just from one computer or smart phone to another!

  • ShopNicole

    ShopNicole said 9 years ago

    great tips, thanks!

  • AlphabetCityStudio

    AlphabetCityStudio said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the article!!! I'd definitely prefer to promote in a humble way than to be in everyone's face. Thanks for the suggestions and reminder that it's our uniqueness that's going to let us shine.

  • fallawake

    fallawake said 9 years ago

    Excellent article! So what are some *positive* methods of promoting ourselves? I'm new to Etsy and still trying to find a way to stand out in the crowd. How do we let our past customers know about our new products without coming off as spammy? Is it okay to send them new product lists from time to time, or is that a no-no? Also, I'd love to see a feature on the Etsy shop's profile where we can add photos of our studios, materials we use, other personal pics to show our buyers a little more about ourselves than just a tiny profile avatar. Any thoughts on that or other ways to personalize our shops?

  • EmmalineExperiments

    EmmalineExperiments said 9 years ago

    Not that there aren't already a lot of comments, but my first reaction to this was a little voice inside my head saying "Uh-Oh, you do this a lot". Relating spamming to a real life situation is really helpful when thinking about posting online, esp. so we can comport ourselves with dignity. It's really easy to think of the internet as a drop box for all of thoughts and ideas, but really, we wouldn't act or say the same thing in real life. I think while the internet is awesome in that it can be used so widely so quickly, it also feels a little superficial if we don't watch ourselves. Some positive promotion tips would also be really helpful!

  • ebohner

    ebohner said 9 years ago

    This is such a thin line between self promotion and annoyance. What a great article!

  • Positivelystoned

    Positivelystoned said 9 years ago

    I suggest we all be sneaky and casual when mentioning our crafts - like a carpet sales man who compliments your lawn, presents his business card and then compliments your coat. It's like a sales pitch sandwich! lol ;P

  • InspireUart

    InspireUart said 9 years ago

    I appreciate this type of informative post more than I can say. Being rather new to Etsy and the entire internet selling thing I recognize that I may have been, on one occasion or other, that pesky neighbor shouting for somebody to get their morning coffee at my house when really all I wanted to do was suggest, kindly, "If you'd like some coffee, I have some great tasting options for you to consider." Thanks for putting the message the way that you did. The spoonful or two of sugar helped the medicine go down. I'm an optimist for sure, but I genuinely believe that many are just trying to do whatever they can in attempt to get their sales on. Info like yours will hopefully inspire us newbies to take a look at our sometimes misguided methods. Thanks, again! :o)

  • YDfStudio

    YDfStudio said 9 years ago

    Thank you for a wonderful article. I have just set up shop and one of the things I am having trouble learning is the social networking environment. I have never been much of a social creature and though I have been online for 15 years I tend shy away from them. One of the things I feared about starting in the social networks is that I would come across as self-premoting and that is the last thing I want people seeing. Thanks to your article and the link to HautTotes thread, I feel more comfortable going in the "crowd" of social networking.

  • SimoneOFineArt

    SimoneOFineArt said 9 years ago

    !Great article! Informative and hilarious! As one of the first things I read this morning, I nearly lost my coffee through my nose at the idea of the person running into the gallery shouting about their paintings and throwing their fliers in.Excellent real life metaphor.

  • claycass

    claycass said 9 years ago

    I like this article. My day job has been very demanding therefore time spent in the forum for me is at a very bare minimum. So this article helps with some new fresh ideas. Thank you.

  • SamisBracelets

    SamisBracelets said 9 years ago

    My time is sooo limited with school and sports. Good article.

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    AmberHeartOfTheFinch said 9 years ago

    it's amazing how many newer people don't understand these points. I think it's through naievety and just following others not so squeeky clean examples. This is a great article for starter etsians!

  • artistamuerta

    artistamuerta said 9 years ago

    I am glad I'm not the only one that was annoyed by that type of behavior. An item from my shop made it into gift guide page over Christmas time because someone nominated me. And I decided to return the favor by spending some time and nominating some other items and shops that I really enjoyed. Reading through the suggestions, I saw that most people were just nominating their own items, which seemed to me against the spirit of the process. I decided I didn't feel like participating anymore. Here's hoping that your great article will help people understand the collective nature of a handmade economy, instead of focusing on self-promotion.

  • palominoblue

    palominoblue said 9 years ago

    Thank you for this article, as a relatively new seller I have struggled with the whole promotion element. This helps me to understand what others think and hopefully become a better seller to my customers.

  • DeannasTreasures

    DeannasTreasures said 9 years ago

    Hi I am only 10 and my mom showed me this article because she is trying to teach me more about having a shop on Etsy. I agree with it a 100%.

  • Talula

    Talula said 9 years ago

    Like. (sorry, so use to doing that on facebook...) ;P

  • alluvia

    alluvia said 9 years ago

    Great article. It's kind of you to give people the benefit of the doubt about not knowing what it means to be "active online." A speaker I heard once described the currency of social media as "generosity". (Speaker was the brilliant Dave Neff - http://www.daveiam.com/ ) I think this applies directly to community and selling on Etsy. If you decide to be "active online", the first action is to read, listen, and understand what that community is all about. Think about what you can OFFER and how you can provide a service or connection and then be genuine about it. Your art gallery analogy is right on and gave me an excellent chuckle!

  • DornickDesigns

    DornickDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thank you, thank you!!! I'm so glad you asked this in the forum threads, too! I've been a seller on Etsy since 2005 [the beginning of time]. I always enjoyed the forums ~ meeting people, yacking about stuff, getting and giving critiques, etc. Then it got to the point where every single topic seemed to be flooded with promotions, regardless of the thread topic. After several comments, it seemed as though the topic was all but changed to something else entirely. I finally gave up and stopped not only posting in the forums, but reading them. Fortunately, most of the wonderful friends I made on Etsy started blogs, so now I just communicate with them there, without all of these people chiming in that don't really care to read the topic, or even talk about the topic, but just want to promote themselves. When I do see this happen, I make sure that I never even visit their shops. It just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Sure, we are all here to sell our things and make money, but don't be so hungry for the dessert that you won't enjoy the entre'. ~ my 2 cents, for what it's worth ~ ♥

  • actionjackson

    actionjackson said 9 years ago

    Thanks for posting this on Facebook; I hadn't caught it for the original post a few months ago. The online shameless self promoting annoys me to the nth degree, and because of it, I think it's discouraged me in some ways from promoting my jewelry more (for better or for worse). I've done themed features on my blog where I'll showcase 8 or 9 Etsy items because it's fun/neat and because it's interaction with other Etsy artists. I've tried commenting thoughtfully on other people's blogs without spamming my shop or blog url. I even promote other Etsy artists' events and wares on my Facebook page. All of which sound like what this article is trying to encourage people to do. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but from what my experience has been, a good number of artists don't seem to genuinely care when fellow artists do this, and it gives off a sycophantic vibe. I'm at a loss for how to effectively promote myself (and believe me, I've tried a number of the best tips people have to offer) in a way that doesn't resemble what I feel other people do to me, but the internet is the most relevant way to show my work to people who aren't in the same city as me. So, I feel stuck and reluctant to promote except occasionally on FB. That being said, I'm always inspired when Etsy does write-ups like this, and I seem to have a renewed state of mind/ my goldfish memory kicks upon finishing reading. I know Storque is loaded with good reads, but I just want to say that more articles like this one would be greatly appreciated!

  • TheWhiteHare

    TheWhiteHare said 9 years ago

    thank you for your input on this we all walk a fine line out there trying to get discovered by future customers and doing it all on our own

  • hollyedwards

    hollyedwards said 9 years ago

    Amen! Hopefully some people will learn a bit from this article. I think people need to realize too - yes the promo boards are for promotion, but please do not copy and paste a new item link in every thread. I hate posts about blogs or specific items, that are filled with spam shop links.

  • BeverlyBijou

    BeverlyBijou said 9 years ago

    Thank you for writing this and sharing it on facebook so I came across it. I hope that sellers people will practice this "netiquette"and find more tasteful ways to promote their store.

  • TutusChic

    TutusChic said 9 years ago

    About adding someone's else link to your forum comment. I did that just the other day and some other person's actually criticized the shop that I was upholding as a great shop. It was SO disheartening. A And the kicker was that the not-nice shop was a competitor to the shop that I was recommending! It was nothing to do with tutus, it was about graphics! I was very happy to see that an Etsy admin stepped and closed the post for calling out! I caught this on FB too. Great idea to do so. Thank U!

  • poppyporter

    poppyporter said 9 years ago

    I do try not to be spammy - particularly on Facebook as I really don't want to annoy people I see day to day - maybe that helps thinking about the actual people and not just "chucking flyers" at them. One useful thing - I expect most of you do this anyway - I have found it useful to post my blog to the notes in Facebook, I get loads of comments on it on Facebook even if the actual blog site only gets a few.

  • VivaRevival

    VivaRevival said 9 years ago

    Thanks for posting this again in the forums. The thing with me is, I'm so afraid to promote my site even on facebook every now and then because I HATE people trying to sell to me sometimes and I don't want to do that to other people. The one thing I don't want to be is obnoxious and I think it's a very fine line.

  • erinsapparel

    erinsapparel said 9 years ago

    Great to call outs. By the way, (I probably missed it), is there a section in etsy that talks about etiquette? If not, maybe it would be a good idea to create something that new sellers can read before they set up shop.

  • thesecretlifeoftoys

    thesecretlifeoftoys said 9 years ago

    simple and to the point. you hit it right on the nose.

  • SilviaMaciasDesigns

    SilviaMaciasDesigns said 9 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa. I just came across this (and HautTotes' post) months after you wrote it. But it was exactly what I was thinking about right now. I had seen the links within the Storque comments and at first wondered if people didn't know that their names & avatars linked to their shops? Then I realized it was deliberate and very tacky. Glad you guys addressed fb & twitter too. I am so annoyed by sellers who tweet about the sale they are having 10 times a day. I know they're just trying to promote, but it's a bit much. Hope these posts reach their targets. BTW: The gallery example was a hoot.

  • StormySilver

    StormySilver said 8 years ago

    Thank you, this is such a helpful entry. I've been reluctant to get into the whole promoting myself gig even though I know it's a big part of being a seller on the internet. I hate pushy sales and I don't want to come off as boring or spam-like. Your tips from this post, as well as a conversation with my friend about how she was using twitter to help promote her web business, have encouraged me to dip my toe into the waters of self-promotion, confident that it can be done without turning myself into an annoying robot.

  • SzetoBaby

    SzetoBaby said 8 years ago

    Great tips! Reminded me to chat about (FaceBook) funny random things that happen daily vs. just talking about my latest project!!!

  • LittleSmartyPants

    LittleSmartyPants said 8 years ago

    As a new store owner I say "Aw shucks" I'm really going to have to dig deep and really focus on marketing...in my spare time?

  • hattricks

    hattricks said 8 years ago

    I'm so glad to see this in writing.. It's so important not to focus on yourself and your work. I xo a good sense of humor and asking other's opinions. Not just posting my own. Thanks for this great post!

  • BrazenCosmetics

    BrazenCosmetics said 8 years ago

    Ah what a great article!!! Thanks! It's one of the less talked about topics on here but just as note worthy. I really hope it gets people to STOP AND THINK before they post random garbage online. Hopefully, creating a more thoughtful community of sellers will be a short realized action here on etsy. i <3 etsy!

  • WHSKR

    WHSKR said 8 years ago

    I getting up in New Zealand and so glad to see this. I like seeing a certain amount of promotion on Twitter and Facebook as I don't have time to trawl the net but constantly promoting people are unfollowed or unfriended. You hit the nail on the head by saying they are 'social' and people need to balance things.. I have blogged and written about this several times in frustration!

  • WoodenNickelsJewelry

    WoodenNickelsJewelry said 8 years ago

    Remember when your mom said, "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all."? Spam isn't nice peeps. Vanessa, I believe you have planted a mustard seed. Yeah for you! *Shaking pom poms*

  • Joeysdreamgarden

    Joeysdreamgarden said 8 years ago

    Hi Vanessa, this has been a really interesting article, also because its generated such a lot of discussion. For me personally, I tend to use my blog to promote my work but also to write about other things that interest me and that hopefully will inspire other folks. For example, I like to do the odd film review, and I'm going to be writing about a craft fair (yes it's craft, but not mine) that I went to on Saturday. Sometimes the fact that I don't just write about craft-related things bothers me that I don't have a 100% craft-focussed blog, but then maybe that's a good thing... I have read some folk's blogs that seem to be just about themselves and their work and it really is like listening to someone who talks and talks and you can never get a word in edgeways! And with that said, I'll shut up! :D Joey x

  • hawleywood

    hawleywood said 8 years ago

    I love your analogies! People (hopefully) wouldn't do those things in real life, so why would it be okay to do online? I have unfollowed many Twitterers (is that a word?) who tweet every five seconds with the newest item in their shop. So annoying! Unfortunately, I don't think that calling them out will do any good--most relentless self-promoters I've met (virtually and in real life) don't seem to care if they're annoying people as long as they're getting their names out there!

  • Joeysdreamgarden

    Joeysdreamgarden said 8 years ago

    I've just been reading some more comments on here, and I think that what may help, is that Etsy goes the way of Dawanda and allows comments on items. I would welcome nice words about my items, or for example why someone has hearted something of mine. Yes, folks could send a convo but I don't think many people do that. I used to when I first started a couple of years ago, just because I wanted to somehow connect with other makers out there. I think it's sometimes the perception that there's no-one out there looking at your shop, that leaves people thinking that there's no choice but to promote their creations in an in-your-face manner. I hope this makes sense! :D Joey x

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 8 years ago

    nice post Vanessa, excellent discussion here

  • lvogelartstudio2

    lvogelartstudio2 said 8 years ago

    Well said, Vanessa-and too true! Drawing attention to this can only help, in my opinion. Thanks for the jump-start. Laurie

  • NydamPrints

    NydamPrints said 8 years ago

    I laughed at the opening scenario. I once shared space at an Open Studio show with a painter who launched into the spiel about how talented she was to every single person who peeked around the edge of the doorway - even if they were heading to someone else's display! As for myself, I very seldom post comments, am not at all outgoing, hate to sound self-promoting, would never dream of posting an unsolicited link to my stuff... and feel as if I will consequently never get noticed on Etsy. I guess I need to find a bit more balance here!

  • zime

    zime said 8 years ago

    Excellent article, Vanessa. I'm agree with all you say! Thank you! ;-)

  • GirlyRevolution

    GirlyRevolution said 8 years ago

    After reading the article and many of the comments I can only say THANK YOU! After too many years in retail, no one likes a pushy salesperson! Thanks again!

  • UrbanHandiwork

    UrbanHandiwork said 8 years ago

    Love it, thank you for getting this conversation going! I've so enjoyed my experience on Etsy teams because everyone is SO supportive and nice, giving advice about Google Analytics and Craftopolis, support to team members in tough times, tips and in's for craft fairs, etc. I agree that it really is supposed to be social, and when you are exposed to a genuinely nice person who's contributing something of substance to the community, you WANT to take the time to hunt down their shop and promote them. I'm so excited to wear (and tell people about!) great Etsy stuff that I know comes from great people!! When people are spammy, I just ignore them...

  • soggybottomflats

    soggybottomflats said 8 years ago

    Thanks for being so on the spot with these issues!

  • lelabela

    lelabela said 8 years ago

    I've struggled with this topic, because I'm new to marketing and don't really know how to get myself out there, but at the same time, I feel weird putting links back to my store out there just to get noticed. So, the idea of making thoughtful comments (and letting the link that's already there speak for itself) is helpful. :)

  • trinketsandbeaus

    trinketsandbeaus said 8 years ago

    What a pleasure it is to read an well written, informative article on a topic that is so important to the Etsy community. I am new here and it never dawned on me to self-promote this way. I am grateful for the heads-up just in case I might have ever had a moment of carelessness. Thank you Vanessa!

  • trinketsandbeaus

    trinketsandbeaus said 8 years ago

    "a well written"

  • redeemdesigns

    redeemdesigns said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the tips. For new forum users it's often hard to work out what the "netiquette" is and sometimes there is the pressure 'but everybody's doing it' as every thread you wander into has links posted galore. Although I must admit to a cheeky impulse to post my shop link here....LOL. I am naughty like that.

  • aziedesigns

    aziedesigns said 8 years ago

    GREAT ARTICLE! I think we live in a very different day and age... I've seen fewer and fewer children learning MANNERS. Kids are taught in school that if their spanked, to "tell" on their parents. It's my belief that youth is becoming more out of control. Combine that with a HUGE transition from "real" world to "digital" world, and you've got a whole slew of people that either aren't sure how to act, or simply don't care. I try to always mind my Ps & Qs - in my daily life AND my online life. I consider them one in the same most of the time. For someone to shrug it off while saying "it's just the internet" is ENRAGING to me. I can't imagine being that disrespectful - the internet isn't just a compilation of faceless bots... there are real people behind that screenname, just like there's a real person behind yours. For me, this all relates, because every time I go out, I see young people being disrespectful all the time - they're loud, overbearing, impolite, and have mouths like truckers. But they're not afraid of consequences because they never had them growing up. Enough time has gone by where it's now young adults behaving this way, and even older members of society trying to "keep with the times." I remember fearing mouthing off to my parents when I was young; now I can't go to a store without seeing a child commanding his parents around. I think we're evolving into a very spoiled society - "it's all about me, me, me, and I don't care who I have to step on to make it always that way." Heck, we're even seeing it in corporations too! Now that I've throughly ranted, I'll throw in my disclaimer: Before I'm attacked, please realize these are my opinions that have been formed after years of careful consideration of my observations. I'm in no way saying that ALL youths are like this. I've met my fair share of very polite children. I'm just noting the epidemic that seems to be occurring around me.

  • BrazenDesignStudio

    BrazenDesignStudio said 8 years ago

    Ah yes the habitual "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO" Stewarts of the world. I rarely post comments, although I am quite outgoing. I guess there's just this internal hate or self doubt when I am self-promoting, therefore I would never dream of posting an unsolicited link to my stuff. Perhaps I'm just hoping that my own pay it forward promotion of other sellers will in turn add to my own Etsy Karma. lol

  • Owlishly

    Owlishly said 8 years ago

    I completely agree! Occasionally when I've wanted to say something about a certain topic I've even avoided commenting on a blog/thread because I don't want to appear spammy. I do go out of my way to ignore people who post their links with generic comments. If they say something on topic or thought provoking I'll usually check them out, but it's really easy to see who actually has something to say versus someone just wanting a bunch of hits.

  • LifeForceArt

    LifeForceArt said 8 years ago

    This post is really helpful for newbies like me that is learning how to navigate this new arena of Etsy. There is so much to learn here and not making stupid moves just because you don't know any better isn't a valid excuse. Looking forward to reading more great tips to make for a great experience here. Thank you!

  • sarahndippity

    sarahndippity said 8 years ago

    Like SzetoBaby said it definantly made me think about my facebook and how I need to make it more personal. social connections can be difficult when you are not socially sauvy in person.

  • giseleleblancturner

    giseleleblancturner said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this information! I think I fall into this trap, as I work full time during the day and struggle to find time to make the connections I would love to on ETSY. Being fairly new and strapped for time, I post links in an attempt to connect with folks, but looking at it from another perspective, it's really not always appropriate or appreciated. Thanks for this valuable advice!

  • TheBeadStorm

    TheBeadStorm said 8 years ago

    True dat sista!

  • LaughingFridge

    LaughingFridge said 8 years ago

    It's tough to balance the business side with the social side and still have time to create your art. I suggest starting out small by saying good morning on twitter and FB every morning, and say good night as well. And if you think of some funny little thing that will fit on twitter, pop in and post it. Hang around to see if you get any conversations going though, or people will think you're just talking to yourself! Thanks for re-posting this article. We can all use the reminder.

  • SilverRoseSewing

    SilverRoseSewing said 8 years ago

    Thank you for writing this article. I have been struggling to get myself out there and I recently told my boyfriend that I was getting exhausted social networking to get people into my shop because then I don't have enough time to sew! It's a lot of work, but no one is going to check you out for no reason...they'll want to come because you have something interesting to say and sell. I've made myself limit my time in the forums, but check back several times a day and comment when I have something special to say. I love your analogies, btw!

  • personalizedpebbles

    personalizedpebbles said 8 years ago

    Agreed. Also-- allthough alchemy requests aren't blogs, I've often heard complaints about people 'spamming' those, as well. What a shame :-/

  • candlekitty

    candlekitty said 8 years ago

    Yes, yes, yes! Please don't post to FB every time you list.....people can hide you! I did that to a friend of mine since she was getting out of hand. Then, nobody will ever see what you're putting up. Better to be infrequent and subtle, that's the way to get people to click on you. Also, start a business blog or FB page; that way, you can update or post anytime, and only those who wish to see it will look. That's not annoying to the rest of your friends who don't care and have limited time. As for Etsy spamming....just stop! It's making us all look stupid.

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago

    Great article! Most artist have to create and promote which can be exhausting. Thanks for the tips.

  • GregsFineArt

    GregsFineArt said 8 years ago

    Very good article and thought provoking.

  • thetrendytot

    thetrendytot said 8 years ago

    Great article! I would only at one thing to your netiquette piece--people behind the comments are real people with feelings. I've seen a lot of just plain mean comments on the blogs and FB posts lately. Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say to someone's face. And that old adage is true, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.":-)

  • spiritofthenorth

    spiritofthenorth said 8 years ago

    A great article, I was guilty of spamming for about 2 weeks. When I became bombarded with other peoples spam, I realised how awful I was and stopped. I have made some interesting social contacts on Facebook and Twitter but I´m reluctant these days to open these sites because there is a flood of Etsy spammers. I feel that this just cheapens Etsy and is negative for all sellers on Etsy. Thank you for this! PS. I started getting sales when I stopped spamming!

  • ScrappingWithSherry

    ScrappingWithSherry said 8 years ago

    I am a new seller here at etsy and have questioned this very topic. Reading comments like the ones discussed here wondering if that is what all the networking is supposed to be about. Thinking to myself it seemed tacky! Glad to know that I may be new, but socially on the right track.

  • PureaAccessory

    PureaAccessory said 8 years ago

    Interesting writing. I learn a lot from these Etsy discussions and article. Thank you.

  • MadebyLoulabelle

    MadebyLoulabelle said 8 years ago

    Thanks for this really interesting article. I've been working on creating an online profile for a while now - mostly blogging. But tweeting, and commenting on forums are the things I find the most intimidating - I tend to go the opposite way to the shop-name spammers and instead, I spend so long worrying about saying something significant that I overthink it or end up just blurting something random out! Having read your article though, I'm thinking that maybe that's okay if it's still "me"!!!

  • HaraldGeisler

    HaraldGeisler said 8 years ago

    ---------------------------------------------- Title: Alternatives to not readable Comments. Thought: What concerns me most about such a long Comment list is that I would like to read it but I can't because of two reasons: 1. the amount of text 2. the lack of structure in text Suggestion: To give the content (the comments) a structure two ways come to my mind. First a Typographic approach, secondly a social approach. Imagine a newspaper without headlines pictures etc. - yeah - that is pretty much like the comment list of this article. To structure the comments in order to raise the quality it would be good if commentators had the same tools to structure there information. i.e.: 1. Give your comment a headline (instead of your username which is now the headline) i mean this is now the biggest information on the comment list and yet it says nothing. Imagine a party where everyone before she/he talks says: MYNAME: … i think the name could be at the end. 2. Maybe keywords could be also given so that comments can be sorted along keywords. 3. Give users the ability to use simple formating like bold and italic, lists to structure content. 4. Give users the ability to add pictures to the comments. Second approach: Social Give users the possibility to promote a comment according to the quality of the content - although it should also be possible to look at the downgraded ones because not always the ones that people dislike are the ones that (sometimes) make a point. This way people get immediately get to know what other people also thought it is important. ---------------------------------------------- Conclusion: I just realized that all these changes are etsy design sided. Also a quote came to my mind: who reads what everybody reads and means (opinon) what everyone means - acts like everybody and nobody (freely translated from a german quote) Conclusion Two: check out my breakfast coffee mug: http://www.etsy.com/listing/43102056/breakfast-of-champions-handwritten-gold ----------------------------------------------

  • WearArmor

    WearArmor said 8 years ago

    Great article! Thank you, Vanessa, for the tips!

  • AsianArtAndQuilts

    AsianArtAndQuilts said 8 years ago

    Good information. Perhaps it will raise awareness about how this practice would be percieved. I'm sure that these persons just don't realize how it might be annoying.

  • KnuttinButYarn

    KnuttinButYarn said 8 years ago

    Hi Vanessa: Great article. You know the very fundamentals you outline here for a lot of people should be common sense, but for a newbie like myself I feel the pain of those guilty of these acts - in fact I know I have been guilty as well. I think starting out a new business is frightening and overwhelming at times. When you make something with your hands and then go out on a limb and decide to sell it to other people it is overwhelming and extremely frightening. You wonder if anyone will buy it? Will they leave nasty comments on how they don't like it? I'm churning stomach acid just thinking about it. Luckily if we read blog posts such as your own I think it is possible for all of us suffering the anxiety roller coaster to really see the end of the ride. Thanks again.

  • dankartistry

    dankartistry said 8 years ago

    I clicked here because I've been feeling alienated with the whole self promotional structure. I feel like a tiny creature in a sea of links.

  • NoKitschProject

    NoKitschProject said 8 years ago

    Hehe, turn Storque comments to anonymous and see how many people will feel an overwhelming desire to comment on how much they loved the post. In this case I prefer them to post a link, at least it's honest.

  • bellabiscotti

    bellabiscotti said 8 years ago

    Very good points! It is important to respect other people's work, absolutely. Now if only I could get this blog to the people using Asian symbols to promote porn sites on my blog...that'd be super.

  • FableAndLore

    FableAndLore said 8 years ago

    Super, super post. These are really great tips for everyone and very helpful. Thanks Vanessa!

  • FunkyMonkeyCreations

    FunkyMonkeyCreations said 8 years ago

    That real-life metaphor is SO fitting! I've felt exactly the same way so many times when someone just does a "run-by" on my page. Thanks so much for addressing this issue, makes me more determined to NOT be an annoying commenter in any way! ^_^

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado said 8 years ago

    I'll try not to disappoint you.

  • MineCollective

    MineCollective said 8 years ago

    This should be compulsory reading. Could Vanessa please have a quiet word with a few of my facebook friends? It's hard to get the balance right, but this has made me determined not to become a pushy Etsian.

  • rope

    rope said 8 years ago

    Well said. Anna

  • LaughingMoonCreation

    LaughingMoonCreation said 8 years ago

    Great article. I agree totally. Great to read that other sellers feel the same way. Another area that is similar and also annoys me is when an artist creates a treasury and puts themselves in it! Why? It's for supporting and paying tribute to other etsians. My little rant but kind of along the same lines as lets add a comment with a link to promote my shop.

  • heycaryann

    heycaryann said 8 years ago

    I totally agree! I try to only comment on conversations that interest me. But I admit that sometimes I use Twitter for a lot of promos. It's a fine line.

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 8 years ago

    Thanks Vanessa. Appreciate all the tips.. I am so just starting my leraning curve but at least I have not included my URL everytime I post yikes!

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 8 years ago

    OMG and I need to utilize spell check!! Really!

  • trudiedavies

    trudiedavies said 8 years ago

    Oh and I need to read everyones comments also to pick up on any threads!

  • ArtistiekEndeavors

    ArtistiekEndeavors said 8 years ago

    Thank you for this article. Anyone who blogs...PLEASE read this and use great netiquette!

  • PinknBlueCreations

    PinknBlueCreations said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your experience and for helping new people like me(this is my very first comment)to learn some netiquette. Posts like this are very useful for newbies.

  • TheMayFlower

    TheMayFlower said 8 years ago

    Great article. I think the spamming needed to be acknowledged. It gets annoying when you're having such a fun conversation with sellers in a thread and all of the sudden, some seller comes in just posting about their shop over and over again. It really just kills the mood. Glad something is going to done about it!

  • vintagekraze

    vintagekraze said 8 years ago

    very relevant article - appreciate the thought to how it "feels" since i've just joined etsy about a year ago and am trying to learn more about how to network online without being pushy. haven't started in the forums yet, but i'll get my feet wet soon!

  • Arios

    Arios said 8 years ago

    So true, so true. I usually don't post on these Etsy blogs, but I just have to say how much I loved your likening of self promoters to the "HEY YOU GETTING YOUR COFFEE HERE!?" guys. Genius. That's what I'll think of now whenever I see spam comments.

  • peanutmm

    peanutmm said 8 years ago

    I've been reading all the comments, and have to agree with everyone. I'm somewhat new to Etsy (not quite a year yet), and have noticed the spam at times and been put off by it. Great article, and timely advice on netiquette. Thanks, Vanessa.

  • PhantomsRose

    PhantomsRose said 8 years ago

    great! it needed to be said! :)

  • littlebirddesignuk

    littlebirddesignuk said 8 years ago

    Well said and thanks for the tips. It's always difficult to know what to say but from now on I'm going to try harder to make more interesting and thoughtful comments.

  • ananemone

    ananemone said 8 years ago

    NoKitschProject Hehe, turn Storque comments to anonymous and see how many people will feel an overwhelming desire to comment on how much they loved the post. In this case I prefer them to post a link, at least it's honest. --------------- hah.

  • HandcraftHomeAccents

    HandcraftHomeAccents said 8 years ago

    This was a wonderful article. I think that there should be a reminder that people ought to come to the conversation with something positive or constructive to say. I have also read some comments that are just rude or nasty in tone. More people will think highly of you if you tend to word things that help the artisan or the bloggers and even the other readers.

  • mullishmuse

    mullishmuse said 8 years ago

    YEP. especially since etsy has become a bona fide phenom, i notice this more and more. i used to frequent forums a lot more. got tired of the spam-esque comments instead of relevant comments. i guess i'm guilty of "loving" a post, but i'm from the deep south (MS) where we express our love. it's second nature. <3

  • sunshinecitylassie

    sunshinecitylassie said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • kelligbarnettdesigns

    kelligbarnettdesigns said 8 years ago

    I actually read through most of the comments on ths article because I figured this time it would be safe from spammers!! I can't even really read my twitter feed anymore! I need to go through it and delete the spammers and I almost never read the etsy blog comments for that reason! I like the approach of starting a dialogue rather than making a rule. I heart etsy!

  • JessicaEmilyJewelry

    JessicaEmilyJewelry said 8 years ago

    So true! Many advice articles on promoting a young shop mention frequent blog comments as a subtle method of promotion, but there are clearly lots of people who are totally miscontstruing this idea. I suppose that a thoughtful and genuine comment might get your shop a view or two at most, but these blatant self-promotion comments are useless as advertisements and degrading to the author and actual commenters.

  • angeluci

    angeluci said 8 years ago

    Please visit my Etsy Shop at....just kidding. Brilliant article, thanks x

  • 111collagedesign

    111collagedesign said 8 years ago

    Very interesting - "social network etiquette" is such a new concept - pointers are definitely helpful. I do sometimes feel like I'm shouting "look at my art!" (esp on Twitter) but I do try to walk a fine line where people understand where I am coming from and know a little bit about me. Actually, my art is so intertwined with who I am on a very deep level, that this is not too difficult.

  • shandke

    shandke said 8 years ago

    Great points! Some times I feel like I'm posting too much about myself on facebook and twitter, but a lot of times I'm doing this because I have something brand new. Or I want to sincerely share it with my friends and family. I would love it if someone pointed out that it seemed too much like spam though. One thing I've noticed about posting comments on blogs, there is almost always a place for you to include a link to your website. Or if your profile is thorough, your 4-1-1 will be included as a signature. I don't really think it's necessary to include a link as a footnote. If you really have an online presence, people should be able to do a search for you and have some interesting stuff pop up... not ridiculous comments about yourself.

  • melxcloud

    melxcloud said 8 years ago

    Thank You for talking about this topic! I do not have an Etsy shop, though it has crossed my mind MANY times. I have a hard time picturing a way to promote a shop without it becoming spammy. This has been a major sticking point in holding me back from having a shop. Thank You!

  • TheAngryWeather

    TheAngryWeather said 8 years ago

    Well say!

  • paperfairies

    paperfairies said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the article, always good to hear what other people think. I love the 'Related items' below it - trash can, 'tacky', 'it's all about me' dog t-shirt, lots of hands and fingers, and a shouting face! Perfect! I really liked stilletogirl's comment as well.

  • studiorandom

    studiorandom said 8 years ago

    Of course, then you have the situation on Etsy where people comment solely because their comment will link to their shop. I can tell those a mile away: they repeat what the original poster said (verbatim or paraphrased) or they throw out a compliment, and as far as I'm concerned, neither of these adds to the discussion either. Great. You agree. You like the post. I'm gonna assume you do unless you speak up and argue against it. But when you must announce it to the world, I have to wade through all your reiterations and compliments to get to any actual discussion taking place. Have you noticed how many comments a typical Etsy blog post garners, most of them of the types I just mentioned? It's insane. Good thing I'm not on dialup--and some folks still are, even in the U.S. (by the way, there's nothing in my shop at the mo', so don't worry about looking... *grin*) (I'm serious... there is NOTHING there!) I don't have that problem with being spammy on my Facebook and Twitter accounts because I have a fan page (or whatever they're calling it now) for my shop on FB and a separate account for it on Twitter. I make it very clear on both accounts' profiles that these are Etsy shop profiles. If anyone's surprised when I list something and link to it on either account, they weren't paying attention to the profiles and I don't worry about it. I also don't worry about the link-spammers on the Etsy fan page. If they make it worth my while (i.e., write something besides the link that is interesting), I might click, but most of the time I don't. I'm weird, though--I've been on the Internet since 1996, and I've gotten to the point that if I see a link I do not parse it as speech. Referring to the example in the original post of various neighbors yelling "COME ON IN AND HAVE A COFFEE," that's not what the links "sound" like to me. Say for instance someone says, "Great post! [Etsy shop url]", I mentally parse that as "Great post! [blank]." So it's not *quite* the same effect for me. I realize I can't speak for everyone though, especially not relative newcomers.

  • SweetAvenueJewelry

    SweetAvenueJewelry said 8 years ago

    Thank you for this article! I hope people take notice.

  • YesterdaysSilhouette

    YesterdaysSilhouette said 8 years ago

    Hey everybody, check out this newly listed item in my shop...LOL..just kidding! :) Seriously, I couldn't agree more with the points made in this post. Hopefully people get the hint and drastic actions don't need to be taken to keep peoples spamminess in check. It would be a shame if there had to be a rule made about posting links, because every now and then they ARE relevant and appreciated. Moderation is key, kids!

  • LillyQueen

    LillyQueen said 8 years ago

    FlourishBathBody Hear hear! (okay- admit it- how many of you scanned through all the comments to see if anyone obliviously posted their links here?) FLOURISH - I totally went through the comments to find spammers, AND THERE STILL WERE SOME!!

  • AnythingCrochet

    AnythingCrochet said 8 years ago

    Well said! :)

  • miatortilla

    miatortilla said 8 years ago

    another newbie saying thanks!

  • beevintageredux

    beevintageredux said 8 years ago

    This is so so important! You gotta think before you post. Thanks so much for writing this!

  • davisjewels

    davisjewels said 8 years ago

    very good points. I completely agree that it makes those sellers look a little desperate. There are forums set up specifically for self promotion and this is where all those types of posts should be kept. Seeing them in other discussions are a bit annoying.

  • ozzana

    ozzana said 8 years ago

    Oh, so many comments on this already, sorry I can't read them all, but I've read this great article!

  • RabbitfishJewelry

    RabbitfishJewelry said 8 years ago

    I love the real life example of the gallery opening. Very clever! Unfortunately, there will be folks who "spam" on blogs. And these people won't be dissuaded from their actions. By their very nature, they are inconsiderate and probably don't realize they are spammy or don't care. As many have said though, these off-putting people will end up damaging their own business and reputation. However, this article is a good rule of thumb for anyone wanting to post comments and it's always good to have a friendly reminder of how to behave online. Thanks for posting!

  • HillbillyHandcrafts

    HillbillyHandcrafts said 8 years ago

    I still consider myself a "newbie" to practically anything online. I just discovered this blog today and am very grateful for the guidance! I hope to be able to "make my living" on etsy soon. Your article and many of the comments are both very helpful! Thanks to all!

  • creatingmama

    creatingmama said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this discussion! I appreciated your perspective on acknowledging that simply making a rule doesn't solve the problem, nor does it really bring the result that is needed. Creating an awareness and discussion about it will actually bring the issue to light more, and will cause self-promotion to be an extremely uncomfortable and self-criminating (to use a strong word), practice to participate in. The fact that it's being discussed aong the community means more people will spot the offense when they see it, and reject it, thus hopefully bringing a natural consequence to the self-promoter.

  • meowadays

    meowadays said 8 years ago

    I'm so tempted to post a link...

  • cottagepixie

    cottagepixie said 8 years ago

    Well said. I'm relatively new to Etsy and have been lurking in the forums for awhile now. The advice for many of us newbies centers around reading the forums. It can get painful to read through the comments when you have to sift through all the self-promotion to get to the "good" stuff :-) I do agree with many of those who commented that social network etiquette is a new concept and many folks are just learning the ropes. Thanks for the post!

  • heversonart

    heversonart said 8 years ago

    Thanks for this, I loved the coffee shop and art show metaphor, too funny! I am fairly new to Etsy and appreciate all the great advice I read in these blogs, hopefully I can find my niche on Etsy too (without being "spammy" ha ha!) :)

  • SeaFlowerStudios

    SeaFlowerStudios said 8 years ago

    I'm a brand new etsy member and have been trying to figure out the fine line between being "spammy" and just trying to join in the community here. I have to say that I'm probably the opposite end of the spectrum in that I have never been the type of person to join in online conversations and didn't even have a personal facebook profile until a month ago. But I realized if I continued like that no one would ever know I exist. I think it will probably take some trial and error to find a middle ground but the information you shared gives me a good idea of where to start. Thanks for the great article and to everyone who made comments!

  • olana11

    olana11 said 8 years ago

    lol-great tips...good to know! thanks :)

  • OneEyedBee

    OneEyedBee said 8 years ago

    Timely article? Important? You betcha! I noticed this started in January and everyone is still discussing (except for June) -- vacation time I guess. The point is, we all need to hear this and be reminded. Great job Vanessa. The only time I link on FB is when a "friend" has asked me to, and that truly is a friend or family so I don't feel bad about it. I write a blog for a local craft group and of course I link anyone in the group on it, but to cram those who don't know me with my spam - I think not! Great advice for new and seasoned sellers.

  • GlassandCanvas

    GlassandCanvas said 8 years ago

    Saw this today in my facebook newsfeed. Great things to think about. I usually just post new photos of my new fused glass creations on my facebook page without much comment and think it would be great to share a story about them to encourage discussion and not just say "hey, look what I made!"

  • elsewares

    elsewares said 8 years ago

    Some of your points I just never thought of before and am glad you highlighted them. Thanks

  • IocchelliStudio

    IocchelliStudio said 8 years ago

    A lot of people don't get social networking online. Twitter is a good example of this. People just self-promote instead they should be concentrating on developing relationships with people. Let people get to know YOU and your sales will follow.

  • BubbleOffPlumb

    BubbleOffPlumb said 8 years ago

    Great info and a good topic to cover! I rarely click through from Facebook, but did for this, because I want to make sure I'm promoting my business politely and appropriately. What a shock to find an item from my store in the related items. OR is that just the server knowing it's me?

  • inspiredmama75

    inspiredmama75 said 8 years ago

    Thank you for saying this. I've gotten so fed up with this issue (and the negativity back and forth on posts) that I don't even read comments anymore. I almost considered "unliking" the fan page because of this. I get a ton of feeds on my wall & don't need endless unrelated posts or negativity added to my day.

  • ManoBello

    ManoBello said 8 years ago

    Being new to social networking, but a motivated learner, I have spent hours researching this subject, read countless forums and articles, and asked many questions. I have learned quite a bit about the importance of inbound links to your etsy shop, but, I have to admit, it is still a "mysterious" process that is difficult to not only understand, but, to put into use. It also seems that there is a lot of competition out there....not just from etsy...just in general, for people desperately trying to collect inbound links and leave there "mark" leading back to their etsy or blog or whatever.... I still feel very clumsy and nubish...wishing for an "inbound link guru".....that would be nice! Thanks for the info!

  • TwinTreeCrafts

    TwinTreeCrafts said 8 years ago

    I have to disagree with one thing in this article. I agree that you shouldn't be spamish, but I also think that just posting "thank you" or "great post" inresponse to posts makes it seem like you are just trying to get your shop name out there. I would rather someone post what they thought of the article or an insight they gained. Otherwise, I'm just scrolling through a long list of "thank yous". (sorry to those of you who posted "thank you" above. I don't mean to offend, just to enrich our community.)

  • Veil31

    Veil31 said 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed your article...I have been dealing with spam covo's for purchases and getting super aggrivated with it-was looking for more info on how to deal and recognize spam in my convo's...I spoke with etsy and they emailed me a blog that had been deleated-then I ran across yours-wish there was more info on here to help-any more blogs helpful for this issue on here??? would LOVE some insight into the matter! ;) thanks again

  • Veil31

    Veil31 said 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed your article...I have been dealing with spam covo's for purchases and getting super aggrivated with it-was looking for more info on how to deal and recognize spam in my convo's...I spoke with etsy and they emailed me a blog that had been deleated-then I ran across yours-wish there was more info on here to help-any more blogs helpful for this issue on here??? would LOVE some insight into the matter! ;) thanks again

  • Veil31

    Veil31 said 8 years ago

    define a spammer????

  • MindfulMedley

    MindfulMedley said 8 years ago

    As a newbie to the world of Facebook, etc., social networking is still a bit mysterious and confusing. It seems like more of my time is spent online than in my studio. I wish there was a "guru" or "coach" of some kind to guide me through this process. Becoming more extroverted is not easy... thanks for listening.

  • TheFancifulFox

    TheFancifulFox said 7 years ago

    I completely agree, though, as a newb myself I do understand the frustrations of raising a fledgling business. You brought up some great points. I can testify that the best way to get people to remember you is to say something funny, creative, or insightful; something that people can connect to that makes them want to get to know you more. Humans are very curious creatures, and are much more likely to purchase a product of they like the person selling it. It takes a lot more time and effort to grab someone's attention with creative words (versus a URL grenade) but I believe it's much more effective. And, if nothing else, it's a great way to make new friends; which is always a plus :)

  • mbstover

    Melissa Stover from mbstover said 6 years ago

    I love the art gallery metaphor! It's a great hook line & totally pulled me in to read more! Thanks for the link to the Forum Discussion by HauteTotes! As a fairly new shop owner, I have been searching for viable ways to increase sales and have been on the fence about promoting with social media. It just didn't seem like "me," but the forum discussion opened my eyes to ways I can use Social Media to interact with people and convey my personal brand in a way that IS totally me. Thanks again!

  • Katexpressions

    Karen Todd from Katexpressions said 5 years ago

    An excellent article, thanks so much!

  • BekahLu

    Becky from EssenceOfTheSouth said 5 years ago

    I really appreciate your frankness about this subject and yet tactfully presented. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

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