Guest Post: 8 Steps to a Killer Listing

This week we have a guest post from Blaire Windsor, the brains behind Dirtsy.com, covering the step-by-step process for Artfire sellers to whip their listings into the best shape possible. Follow these steps and see a boost in your traffic & sales conversions!
 
 

  For anyone selling on an online marketplace like Artfire, the listing serves as both pitch and showcase. It can make or break a sale. Here are 7 ideas on writing to help you write a great listing that sells:  

PREPARE

  • Before starting, write down a list of product features and benefits. For example, “The light-weight material on this dress is perfect for summer.”
  • Ask yourself what someone who wants to buy items will type into a search bar. Write down some common phrases they may use. This will help you prepare for SEO.
 

ENTICE

  • For the sellers depending on Google for traffic, the title and snippet is what causes buyers to click. Titles are where your pitch begins:
  • Be descriptive to increase your chances of reaching the right buyer and let them know what to expect. Include details that will help a buyer know if the item if right for them, such as the most important features, scent or size. For example, “Hand-crocheted baby hat with pompoms – White”
  • Be succinct so your entire title shows up on Google and to increase the chances of social media shares. Keep in mind that Google only shows the first ~70 characters of a listing title and Twitter has a character limit of 140. Artfire automatically adds “[studio] – [category] on Artfire” at the end of all listing titles, which bumps up character count.
  • Use the Google Adwords Tool to find out what buyers are searching for. I recommend going for the low-competition keywords to increase your chances of showing up on the front page.
 

SHOW

  • Once a prospective customer has clicked on a listing or done a search on Artfire, pictures serve as the best attention-grabbers.
  • Professional images are vital to selling online- a customer can’t touch, smell or try your product, so pictures are key to getting a sale. Use up at least 5 of Artfire’s picture slots to show various angles.
  • Have a look at Nosh’s article on macro photography and Sara’s photography guide to improve your photography skills.
  • Natural light is best, though homemade lightboxes can be easily assembled.
 

DESCRIBE

  • Anticipate any questions the customer might have and answer them in your listing descriptions. Not many people will take the trouble to contact the seller and wait for a reply, so an incomplete description can lead to a lost sale.
  • List features like size and color. Add the materials used- many handmade buyers are conscious about what goes into their purchases and some may even be allergic.
  • Write for Google too. Have your description be at least 250 words and check the Google Adwords Tool for low-competition keywords you can use.
 

HUMANIZE

  • Many handmade buyers purchase from Artfire for the experience and the chance to support small businesses. Humanize yourself in your listing description and let your passion shine.
  • Avoid the passive voice. Instead of saying “this plate was hand glazed,” say “I carefully hand glaze and fire each piece to create plates that are one of a kind.”
 

REASSURE

  • Many of the people looking at your listing will be first-time buyers. It’s common to be doubtful when purchasing from a new store, especially when the products can only be seen on a screen.
  • Reassure buyers by fleshing out your Artfire studio — fill out your Policies and Bio; many customers won’t buy unless they know what your return policy is.
 

STAY PRECISE

  • Many people won’t read an entire listing these days. Keep your description to the point and avoid unnecessary wordiness. If it’s long, make use of short paragraphs and subheadings.
  • Consider the use of a bulleted list if your product has a lot of features.
  • Once you’re done writing, check if it can be easily skimmed.
 

VARY

  • Vary your listing titles, pictures and description across listings to reach as many prospective buyers as possible.
  • Google regards repetition as spam, so targeting different keywords in different listings can make sure you show up on as many searches as possible.
Author Bio: Blaire Windsor is a handmade enthusiast and small business supporter who left the corporate world to write.   She blogs about turning craft to business at Dirtsy.   You can find her on Google+ here.

31 Comments

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Dot Van Apeldoorn

    Very nice, I will definitely try it, we all NEED sales right now.

    • Reply March 28, 2013

      Blaire

      Thanks, Dot, let me know how these changes work out for you!

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Dot Van Apeldoorn

    I will definitely try these ideas, we all NEED more sales right now!

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Irena

    Thank you. These are all good ideas.

    • Reply March 28, 2013

      Blaire

      I’m glad you found this article helpful, Irena!

      I love the swirling on your Aura Bliss soap (*huge* handmade B&B fan).

  • Reply March 30, 2013

    Michelle

    This is a very helpful article, and there are lots of great points here. However, I will note that Artfire allows 10 photos – not 5 as mentioned in the article.

    • Reply April 2, 2013

      Adrienne Hunter

      That line has been updated to say “at least 5” — 10 is a lot of unnecessary work if you get every shot right in the first five! 🙂

  • Reply March 31, 2013

    Katie

    Thanks a lot for these wonderful tips. I’m certainly going to give them a try!

  • Reply April 1, 2013

    Diana Redlin

    Hello,
    Great article.
    But one question on precise description and short paragraphs.
    I am under the impression that the more words the better. That is what our pages ask from us. Showing pop-ups that tell you to do that.
    So could you tell me is it concise or is it as filled up as possible?
    Thank you,
    Diana

    • Reply April 1, 2013

      Blaire

      Hi Diana, I’m glad you liked the article!

      Precise doesn’t mean it must be short. It’s best to write your copy in a way that can be skimmed easily, but include all the necessary details.

      Google doesn’t have any set guidelines on length. I aim for at least 250 words for SEO purposes; but again, no unnecessary wordiness.

  • Thank you for your insights. Am always looking to improve – lots to think about here (:

    • Reply April 2, 2013

      Blaire

      I’m glad it helped, Catherine!

  • Reply April 2, 2013

    Diana Redlin

    Thank you for the explanation Blaire.
    I am many times stumped by what I should write for descriptions. I’m not quite sure why. I love to write and I love my pieces…..?…so what is the deal. I’m going to try the bullet list. And then quit worrying about it!
    Diana

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Blaire

      You’re welcome Diana! A bulleted is perfect for skimming!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Christine

    Thank you for sharing. Now going to check your blog.

    • Reply April 14, 2013

      Blaire

      Thanks, Christine, I hope you find the articles there helpful!

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Barbara mathews

    This is very good advise for a newbie so will give it a try

    • Reply April 14, 2013

      Blaire

      Thanks Barbara, let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Reply April 10, 2013

    KatsAllThat

    SEO has always been an enigma to me and I thank you for your points of interest. I will try the bullet points and see how it goes. Thank you for the article.

    • Reply April 14, 2013

      Blaire

      Hi Kat- SEO is easy once you get the hang of it 🙂 It’s all about finding the keywords buyers are using to find products like yours.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • […] Artfire Guest Blogger: Eight Steps to a Killer Listing […]

  • Reply April 18, 2013

    Helen Rudy

    Social medias are the best alternative for Google traffic, it is good to not just solely rely on SEO traffic which we know will always be triggering an algo change

  • Reply April 25, 2013

    consuelo

    Thanks, Blair.You actually cover some points that have not been covered in the many advice articles I have read over the years.
    I will try writing down some of the attributes down before heading to featuring a new item in our shop.I look forward to reading your next article.

  • Reply April 26, 2013

    Andrea Eskritt

    Thanks so much for all your suggestions, I certainly will try to use them in my listing. Hope it brings sales.

  • Very informative article. I have to work on both my item descriptions and photos. I’m going to google how to make a light box.

  • Excellent article. I’ve been away from selling art online and in galleries for about 4 years now (I went nuts and started a micro farm with goats, rabbits, chickens etc etc ad nauseum, holy moly type stuff) and coming back out has been an interesting challenge. A whole lot has changed in the social media environs, to the point of being overwhelming sometimes. I had forgotten how much time and effort it actually takes to be the artist and the marketer etc. Many hats. Your article really helped me to say “yeah, I forgot that part!” Thank you!!

  • Reply May 23, 2013

    Maura

    Nice succinct advice – thanks for the article.

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