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terrim8--you might be interested in some of the posts on page 5 of Website Building and Marketing, starting with my "befuddled" query. It is hard with so many similar pieces. I am also reluctant to describe glazes or colors---big diff between  "this" blue, and "that" blue, and do customers know or care that the interesting black specks are due to an oil spot glaze?  For now, I am sticking with just the type of item ---i. e. tea light holder.... not "stamped tea light holder in Forest Satin with pinched rims".  I let the photos do the talking. I do put the clay body (stoneware, earthenware, porcelain) and anything of special note, like raku. More description does not seem to garner more sales,  so the time involved to craft all that text is time I'm not being compensated for.  Looking at other online shops, I saw that short and simple seemed to be the way to go. 

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@terrim8 I really liked the name you used for them on instagram last night. You seem to have deleted the post, but anyways I thought the name was perfect. The words “white” “speckled” and “holes” can be included in the description. 

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When I list things on Etsy I follow a pretty simple rule:

Color / Size / Object / Alternate Name 

So for a mug, I would put:

Grey Mug - 12oz Coffee Mug - Medium Coffee Cup - Pottery Mug - Handmade

I do the same for Yunomi:

Black/Grey Yunomi - 6oz Tea Cup - Rustic Tea Cup

You can then go into more detail in the description as Mea said.

An example description: (italic's the keywords for an example of how I worked them in)

This grey and black yunomi is handmade by me and covered with a beautiful black clay that crackles and feels amazing in your hands. The teacup holds 6oz's and is wonderful to enjoy your morning tea out of every day. The surface is different as you go around the pottery cup and you will find new things about it each time you use it.  It is durable and made to last. I hope that you enjoy this cup and find joy exploring its surfaces every day. All of my items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed! If you have any questions please use the contact button to ask. 

After the description, I always include something like this : 

• This item is dishwasher safe, microwave safe and food safe.
• Measures: a little over 3 inches tall, and 3.5 inches wide at the rim.
• Holds 10oz. 
• Weight: 337g or .75 of a pound. 

Of course, Etsy has places to list color and then tags to put in other things. Make sure to use all of these the best you can.

I wouldn't worry too much about titles being fancy, just describe the object in the most general sense you can, but don't leave out the details. I don't like seeing titles like:

"Coffee Mug"

With descriptions like: 

This is a coffee mug made by me, it was fired to cone 6.

---

Stuff like that is practically useless, people wonder why they don't sell stuff well on Etsy with that kinda description who would. You can include things like what temp it was fired to or whatever else you want, but I have found they only care about the way it looks, how big it is, and how much it holds. 

Lastly, I would put as many pictures as you can take. I usually do 4 sides for each pot, a top view, a bottom view, a laying sideways view and a detail shot of the best part of the pot.

Anywho, the trick to doing all this is to make your descriptions super generic besides the first sentence or two, so you can copy and paste it and then just change 5-6 words.

Edited by Joseph F

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14 hours ago, terrim8 said:

I think picking a name for an item to put it on Etsy is difficult.  - eg. white speckled lamp with holes. 

Anyone else have this problem?

 

Terri, I think they look very contemporary.  That  could be a word for your description??

Roberta

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16 minutes ago, Roberta12 said:

Terri, I think they look very contemporary.  That  could be a word for your description??

Roberta

I think words like this are a huge boost for the long tail search terms. People looking for specific things know these terms. Stuff like: wabi-sabi, contemporary, modern, rustic. 

Edited by Joseph F
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6 hours ago, GEP said:

@terrim8 I really liked the name you used for them on instagram last night. You seem to have deleted the post, but anyways I thought the name was perfect. The words “white” “speckled” and “holes” can be included in the description. 

Did you mean "rotunda" or "arctic"? I backed off of the architectural version as I didn't want it applied to my waistline! I have to start exercising.......

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6 hours ago, Joseph F said:

When I list things on Etsy I follow a pretty simple rule:

Color / Size / Object / Alternate Name 

So for a mug, I would put:

Grey Mug - 12oz Coffee Mug - Medium Coffee Cup - Pottery Mug - Handmade

I do the same for Yunomi:

Black/Grey Yunomi - 6oz Tea Cup - Rustic Tea Cup

You can then go into more detail in the description as Mea said.

An example description: (italic's the keywords for an example of how I worked them in)

This grey and black yunomi is handmade by me and covered with a beautiful black clay that crackles and feels amazing in your hands. The teacup holds 6oz's and is wonderful to enjoy your morning tea out of every day. The surface is different as you go around the pottery cup and you will find new things about it each time you use it.  It is durable and made to last. I hope that you enjoy this cup and find joy exploring its surfaces every day. All of my items are 100% satisfaction guaranteed! If you have any questions please use the contact button to ask. 

After the description, I always include something like this : 

• This item is dishwasher safe, microwave safe and food safe.
• Measures: a little over 3 inches tall, and 3.5 inches wide at the rim.
• Holds 10oz. 
• Weight: 337g or .75 of a pound. 

Of course, Etsy has places to list color and then tags to put in other things. Make sure to use all of these the best you can.

I wouldn't worry too much about titles being fancy, just describe the object in the most general sense you can, but don't leave out the details. I don't like seeing titles like:

"Coffee Mug"

With descriptions like: 

This is a coffee mug made by me, it was fired to cone 6.

---

Stuff like that is practically useless, people wonder why they don't sell stuff well on Etsy with that kinda description who would. You can include things like what temp it was fired to or whatever else you want, but I have found they only care about the way it looks, how big it is, and how much it holds. 

Lastly, I would put as many pictures as you can take. I usually do 4 sides for each pot, a top view, a bottom view, a laying sideways view and a detail shot of the best part of the pot.

Anywho, the trick to doing all this is to make your descriptions super generic besides the first sentence or two, so you can copy and paste it and then just change 5-6 words.

Wow-  I have to learn to write. I did the measurements and described the glaze but my descriptions are pretty dry compared to "crackles & feels amazing in your hands". But I will practice. Can I send one to you for an edit next time or maybe even dress up the ones I have now? I'll redo the descriptions with contemporary- but what is wabi-sabi?

Edited by terrim8
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32 minutes ago, terrim8 said:

Wow-  I have to learn to write. I did the measurements and described the glaze but my descriptions are pretty dry compared to "crackles & feels amazing in your hands". But I will practice. Can I send one to you for an edit next time or maybe even dress up the ones I have now? I'll redo the descriptions with contemporary- but what is wabi-sabi?

You can message me if you like, but I really don't think it is necessary. I always try to explain to people, you don't sell products by talking about the features. A lot of people think you sell products talking about the benefits, but I think this is wrong too. I believe you sell products by evoking emotion first, then talking about the benefits. Look at all the best sales companies in the world. 

- Apple's entire brand is based on emotion. They make you feel like you are awesome for having their products, heck everything statistically about their product is completely inferior to the price they are asking, yet they charge almost 100% more for stuff. They are masters at making you feel emotionally connected and inspired by their marketing. Heck, most of their ads don't even say anything about specs or the actual product, they just pump you full of emotions and say: iPhone X.

- Coke does this as well. All of their commercials don't say, coke tastes great, coke is the best, coke is this, what they do is show you people having a blast drinking a coke, making memories, or kissing for the first time. They invoke emotions.

I could go on and on but you get the point. When your selling ceramics online, you don't have much to go on. It is a picture of a cup, you can't pick it up and hold it, you can't see it in the sunlight and in the dark, you can't turn it to see the angle, so what can you do?

Well, you can say it holds x amount, is blue and is food safe... But so is every single other blue mug on Etsy.

So you need to do something different and I went with trying to evoke a little bit of emotion in my description. I didn't even do a very good job with "crackle that feels amazing in your hand." 

In one of the previous items that I sold it wrote something along the lines of: "Every morning I discover something new about the piece and it reminds me to approach my day with an open mind and to look for unique moments..." 

Of course, some people don't care about this crap, but some people do, particularly people buying my type of work. Another thing I do is write something like, "The surfaces of my work remind you that you are holding a cup, that you are drinking from a cup, it becomes something you think about each time you pick it up, and it reminds you to enjoy every little moment of your morning tea or coffee."

Again, this isn't for everyone, but I am using anything I can to get a sale, and I also really feel this way about my surfaces. It goes directly with the choosing glaze post that Min made. To me, the surface is everything, because when you reach to pick it up, if it doesn't feel like you expect it to, then you pay attention to what you're doing, and that itself is very special. It is like kissing your spouse or your son on the head, its such a natural thing we take it for granted, but sometimes it's nice to be reminded of how special a kiss is.

Anyways, so just think about why you make your work, and put a little bit of your heart into it, particularly if your selling online,  because you're competing against the masses and you gotta be different.

 

EDIT: wabi sabi : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

Edited by Joseph F

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4 hours ago, Joseph F said:

 "Every morning I discover something new about the piece and it reminds me to approach my day with an open mind and to look for unique moments..." 

This is what I want to infuse my descriptions with, at least a sense of, if not blatantly said. I am revamping my product text now, because I realized that I was not honoring my own self, my own work, by trying to keep it SO simple (the name, size, clay, maybe one or two adjectives). Until I read Jos.' post I didn't know exactly what was bothering me. The surface,  weight, feel & vibe are all important aspects of my pieces and I can see that reducing something to being "a blue mug" just isn't going to spark much interest.   The tip for cut & paste w/a few changed words for similar items, including keywords, is very helpful. I don't sell on Etsy, but my shop will somewhat "look like" that kind of page. 

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@LeeU I definitely think it is important to put a little bit of yourself in the work, and if it isn't something obvious then maybe a little explanation is okay. Isn't that why galleries require artist statements anyways? I think it probably is. We don't get artist statements that get read online usually, so it's best that we put a snippet of them in our product description. 

I could be very wrong about all this as I don't have a ton of experience with online sales of pottery. I have sold a high percentage of the total number of what I listed in a relatively quick period of time, so I guess that counts for something, but I don't have 1000's of sales to really have valid data about my ideas.

It is probably also just as important to leave most of our ego out of the product as well. Let it speak for itself too, so its a balance between too much and too little.

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An interesting shop on Etsy that I love. Obviously jewelry is to a certain extent about fantasy but if done right it should apply to blue mugs also. The point is her titles spin out a fantasy that makes each item potentially personal.  

https://www.etsy.com/shop/somethingtodo?ref=condensed_trust_header_title_items

 

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