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Hapy Memorial Day from Rustiqued

On this day, we honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. We thank them for giving their lives so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms that we hold dear. We also thank those who to continue to serve in our nation’s armed forces.

From all of us at Rustiqued, we wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.

*Image Courtesy of Custom Heritage Flag Co.

how to write a product description

How to Write a Product Description that Sells

Running a successful online business isn’t just about creating amazing products. You also need to write epic product descriptions that sell your products. A picture is worth a thousand words and is the first thing that draws potential customers in. The product description, however, is what seals the deal. It provides additional information and details that browsers can’t discern from your photos alone and helps them determine whether a product is right for them.

In short, product descriptions are really important!

If you are hanging your head right now and feeling like you’ll never have a successful online business because you aren’t a good writer, stop.

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to put together good product descriptions that will sell your products. All you need is a grasp of basic spelling and grammar, a little bit of creativity, and some simple marketing know-how.

Are you ready to learn how to write a product description that sells? Keep reading!

Understand Your Audience

Before you type a single word, you need to know who you are trying to sell your product to. Developing a solid buyer persona helps you figure out what information you should include in your description. Doing so will also guide your word choices once you start writing. Figure out who your ideal buyer is, why they are shopping for products like yours, and who they are as individuals. The more detailed your buyer persona is, the better it will guide you as you write your description.

Understand Your Product

When you create a project using your own two hands, you know basically everything about it. You know what it’s made from, what techniques you used, and what the product is used for. Jot down important specs like materials and features. Now, refer back to your buyer persona. What are their buying motivations? Figure out which features, benefits, and other details speak to their motivations and needs. If, for example, stay-at-home moms are your target audience, you’ll definitely want to mention safety features or the use of non-toxic materials.

Choose the Right Words

how to write a product descriptionWhen trying to figure out how to write a product description, it’s important to understand the impact of the words you use. Some words are more powerful than others. According to Buffer, there are even certain words and phrases that grab shoppers’ attention and encourage them to buy.  A few of the most persuasive and influential words in the English language include…

  • You
  • New
  • Free
  • Now
  • Amazing
  • Introducing
  • Easy
  • Hurry
  • Quick
  • Easy

There are words that you should avoid, too. It’s not that these words are necessarily “bad”. They are just so overused that they no longer have much impact on buyers. A few examples include:

  • Expert
  • Stunning
  • Breakthrough
  • Market-leading
  • Driven
  • Innovative

Spend some time researching powerful marketing words. Jot down some of your favorites to use in your own product descriptions. Just make sure to only use those that accurately describe your products or business.

Tell a Story

Consumers are tired of being sold to constantly. They want businesses to connect with them in meaningful ways. Telling stories in your product descriptions is one way to do that.

You don’t need to be a master storyteller. In fact, your story should only be a couple of sentences long.

Instead of just listing out benefits, tell a story about the type of problem your product solves. Tell the story of your business. Get creative, and come up with a story that will make your customers feel more connected to your products and your business.

Make It Scannable

Very few people want to read through huge blocks of text when they are trying to learn more about a product. They want to be able to scan through the description quickly to find the information that they are looking for.

A good format for creating a scannable description is a few sentences followed by several bullet points. Tell your customers what a product is and why they need it first, then include things like dimensions, materials, etc. in a bulleted list.

Optimize Your Description

A good product description should make your item more discoverable for people and search engines. If you aren’t familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO, it may sound complex. In reality, though, there are plenty of simple things you can do to optimize your descriptions.

Think about keywords: the words and phrases that buyers might search for when shopping for items like yours. If you are selling a handcrafted kitchen table, for example, you might want to use keywords like “farmhouse table,” “rustic kitchen table,” and “handcrafted table”. Sprinkle those keywords in your product description (and the product title!) in a way that sounds natural. Don’t go overboard, though. Doing so will make your description seem spammy and could cause search engines to penalize the listing. You can use keywords in your product tags, too.

Use a Spelling and Grammar Checker

how to write a product descriptionYou’ve written up a description you’re feeling pretty proud of. You considered your target audience, listed out all the relevant details about your product, and write a captivating short story. You’ve even done a bit of optimization to make sure both people and search engines can locate your products.

You may be thinking you’re good to go at this point, but there’s one more step that you should never forget.

Always proofread and use a spelling and grammar checker before putting your product description online. This is one of the most important aspects of knowing how to write a product description. Grammarly is an excellent tool for this. You can check your text using the online Grammarly app, or you can download a Grammarly plugin for Microsoft Office, Chrome, or Windows. Whichever option you choose, this powerful tool does a great job of picking out typos and spelling and grammar errors. It’s much better than the built-in spelling and grammar check tool in Microsoft Office because it typically picks up word choice errors, like when you type “if” when you meant to type “is”.

Making sure your descriptions are free from spelling and grammatical errors makes you look more professional. And customers are, of course, more likely to buy from someone who seems like a pro.

Manually read over your listing, too, to make sure that there are no errors in your product specifications. Incorrect measurements in your listing, for example, could be a huge problem when a customer buys a product and it doesn’t meet their expectations.

Congratulations! You Now Know How to Write a Product Description

Even if you don’t consider yourself a skilled writer, the tips listed above should help you create captivating descriptions that will sell your products. Don’t be afraid to experiment to determine what works best in your business and what doesn’t. One way to do this is by creating two listings for the same type of product and writing a different description for each. See which description performs better. This will help guide you as you write descriptions for additional projects.

Don’t give up. It may take some time to nail the perfect description, but once you do, you could find yourself selling more products than you ever imagined!

3 Rustiqued Sellers to Buy from During National Small Business Week 2019

For more than 50 years, National Small Business Week has recognized American small business owners and entrepreneurs. This year, the event runs from May 5th through the 11th. While tomorrow is the official last day of the event, there is still plenty of time to show your support for small businesses by purchasing their products.

At Rustiqued, we are incredibly grateful for the vendors and buyers who have allowed us to pursue our own small business dreams. When you choose to support a small business, you are supporting a dream. You are helping pay for a child’s braces, helping a parent pay their mortgage, or helping a young entrepreneur build their own career. If you would like to show your love for small businesses in honor of National Small Business Week 2019, here are a few great vendors to choose from.

Xpressions by Oliver

Image Courtesy of Xpressions by Oliver

Dale Oliver, owner of Xpressions by Oliver, sells handcrafted rustic art and home décor pieces that are must-have items for Colorado natives. His rustic wooden Colorado flags are as unique as they are beautiful, and they come in several sizes. He also offers other rustic décor and gifts, including a gorgeous handcrafted wine tray.

Check out Xpressions by Oliver on Rustiqued, and be sure to give the Facebook page a like, too!

Good Things Designs

Image Courtesy of Good Things Designs

When you visit Good Things Design’s shop on Rustiqued, you can find all sorts of “good things” for your home. From the adorable hanging plant bag pictured above to beeswax candles, candlestick holders, and a rustic photo clip frame, there are options that look great in any home. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to show your support for a small business, Good Things Designs has options for under $20.

After you’ve visited Good Things Design on Rustiqued, be sure to follow the shop on Facebook and Instagram.

Ol Man Woodworks

Image Courtesy of Ol Man Woodworks

If you are in the market for rustic, handcrafted furniture, check out Ol Man Woodworks. From the practical storage coffee table listed above to farmhouse benches and side tables, there are options that would look great in any home.  This vendor even has an awesome wooden bowtie that would be a perfect unique touch for a rustic wedding. Ol Man Woodworks does custom work, too. If you are in the market for custom woodwork, reach out to see if they can help!

Visit Ol Man Woodworks on Rustiqued, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for additional information and updates.

If you are looking for small businesses to support in honor of National Small Business Week 2019, Rustiqued has plenty to choose from! Check out the featured vendors listed above, then be sure to browse our website to discover other talented crafters and artisans. From all of us at Rustiqued, thank you for supporting our small business and for making it possible through your support of our vendors! If you are dreaming of starting your own small business, become a vendor on Rustiqued. We make it easy and affordable to sell your own unique, rustic

small business week

3 Ways Your Online Business Can Celebrate Small Business Week

Are you celebrating National Small Business Week in your online business?

If not, it’s not too late to start!

This year, the event runs from May 5th through the 11th, and it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your own small business and grow your customer base.

Here are a few quick and easy ways your business can celebrate.

Share Your Story

Sharing your business’ story is one of the best and easiest ways to celebrate National Small Business Week. You started your online business for a reason, and that reason is probably still what drives you to get out of bed every morning. Tell the world your “why” and why it’s so important to you.

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to tell your story. A few paragraphs about why you launched your business, why you’re passionate about what you do, and why you keep working to improve your company is all you need.

Need some inspiration? Check out the #MySmallBizWhy hashtag. Don’t forget to use the hashtag when sharing your own story!

Expand Your Knowledge

In honor of National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration and Constant Contact are offering a wide range of free webinars, seminars, and one-on-one coaching sessions. Whether you are interested in learning more about search engine optimization, social media, or email marketing, this week is the perfect time to gain some new knowledge.

Several other coaches and entrepreneurs are offering free and discounted trainings throughout the week, too. Check in with some of your favorites to see what they have going on. You may be able to score a great deal on a training that you’ve had your eye one.

Say “Thank You”

Without your customers, you wouldn’t have a business. Use this week as an opportunity to reach out to them and extend your gratitude. Consider sending out an email with a coupon code that can be used in your online shop this week. You could also offer a freebie along with any orders placed during the week.

Don’t forget to thank the other people who have helped you build a successful business. Take time to show your employees a bit of appreciation. Have a mentor who has helped you out along the way? Make sure to thank them, too.

Chances are, making your business possible takes a lot of people. Small Business Week is a great time to let them know that they are appreciated. Sending tokens of your gratitude or even hopping online and posting a “thank you” video is a great way to make your appreciation known.

Happy National Small Business Week!

From all of us at Rustiqued, we would like to wish you a happy National Small Business Week! We would also say thank you to our vendors and our customers for helping us reach our own small business dreams. We are incredibly grateful for those who choose to do business with us.

unique rustic decor trends

5 Unique Rustic Decor Trends You Don’t Want to Miss

Rustic home décor has been popular for a few years now, and the trend doesn’t appear to be dying down anytime soon. It’s a great way to give your home a comfortable, cozy feeling, and rustic décor can be incorporated into nearly any space. It can even be blended with other design aesthetics to create rooms in your home that are just as unique as you are.

If you want to give your home a new look but aren’t sure where to start, here a few unique rustic décor trends you don’t want to miss!

Handcrafted Farmhouse Furniture

unique rustic decorImage Courtesy of Ol Man Woodworks

Forget about buying new furniture from the furniture store or – gasp – a big box retailer. When it comes to choosing unique and eye-catching focal pieces for your home, it’s all about handcrafted farmhouse furniture. These one-of-a-kind pieces are built to withstand the test of time while adding a beautiful rustic touch to any space. Change the look of your entire dining room by investing in a farmhouse kitchen table, or add something like the farmhouse bench pictured above to your mudroom or the foot of your bed for a rustic touch.

Coastal Textures

Distressed surfaces and natural wood rose to popularity in 2018, and the trend has carried over into 2019 in a huge way. White-washed finishes, organic textures, and neutral hues are a great way to create a rustic, beachy feel in any home – even if you are hundreds of miles away from the nearest ocean! Décor and artwork made from driftwood are great options, too. You can even find accent pieces featuring things like netting and rope to tie the entire coastal look together.

Exposed Brick

While often associated with industrial and commercial spaces, exposed brick can add a rustic touch to your home, too. Let its natural red hue shine through, or cover it up with off-white paint for a softer finish. Either way, exposed brick is a surefire way to add some rustic charm to any space.

Exposed red brick is popular in kitchens. When painted a light, neutral hue, it works well as a backsplash, too. And of course, you can never go wrong with exposed brick around a fireplace in your living room or family room.

Reclaimed Wood Art

unique rustic decorImage Courtesy of The Mountain Woodchic

Investing in artwork made from reclaimed wood is a great way to add unique rustic décor to your home while doing something positive for the environment. Artists upcycle old pieces of wood to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces, like this one from Rustiqued seller, The Mountain Woodchic.

Barn Doors

Barn doors are huge – and not just in size. These sliding doors create a unique aesthetic in any room, and they’re practical, too. Sliding barn doors work well in areas where there isn’t enough swing clearance for a traditional door. They’re also an affordable and easier-to-install alternative to a pocket door.

Why have a home that looks like just like everyone else’s when you can use unique rustic décor to create one that is truly your own? The trends listed above are just a few of the many ways that you can create a cozy, rustic vibe in any room of your home.

sell handmade items online with rustiqued

How to Sell Handmade Items Online with Rustiqued: The Definitive Guide

When you want to sell handmade items online, Rustiqued is a great place to start. We’ve created an affordable and easy-to-use platform that enables you to reach a huge audience and make money doing what you love. Whether you build furniture, create fun home décor items, or make just about anything else, Rustiqued is the perfect place to sell handmade items that are rustic and unique. If you aren’t sure how to get started, keep reading to learn how to sell handmade items online with Rustiqued!

Decide What You’re Going to Sell

Before you can start selling, you need to figure out what type of product(s) you want to offer. If you already have a product that you love making, this step should be easy. If not, think about the types of crafts you love doing and which ones would likely sell well. Be sure to come up with an idea that is unique! Even if you are making something that lots of other people make, putting your own spin on it will make it more likely to sell.

Set Up an Account

Creating a Rustiqued account is easy. Start by heading over to the “Sell on Rustiqued” page. There, you will need to create a username and password. You’ll also need to provide additional information, including your full name, email address, shop name, and your phone number. You’ll get to decide on a unique URL for your shop, too. Check out our Terms of Use after you’ve entered your information, and if you agree, click on the “Register” button.

Go Through the Shop Setup Wizard

Once you’ve registered, you will be taken to a wizard that will help you set up your shop. Completing this step is optional, but it makes it a lot easier to at least tackle the basic parts of getting your shop up and running. Inside the wizard, you can set up things like your shop’s physical address, payment methods, shop banner, etc.

List Your First Item

After setting up your shop, go to your Dashboard. On the left side of your screen, you should see a menu. Click on “Products”. Once the page loads, click the “Add New Product” button in the upper right corner. This will bring up a box where you can enter a product name and price along with photos, tags, and a description. This is also where you will select a category for your item.

Choose a photograph that clearly shows your item. Be mindful of the background, and make sure the item being sold is the star of the show. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good pictures, but understanding a few basic rules do help. (Check out our product photography guide to learn more.)

Write a compelling title that accurately describes your product and draws viewers in. Then, write an equally compelling description. List all important details such as materials, care instructions, etc. Try to use keywords or phrases that people may use to search for items like yours in the title, description, and tags. (We have a guide dedicated to writing great product descriptions, too!)

Fulfill Orders

When orders start rolling in, they’ll show up under the “Orders” section of your dashboard. Fulfill those orders in a timely manner, and you’ll be well on your way to receiving your first awesome feedback!

Sell Your Handmade Items Online with Rustiqued Today!

When you want to sell handmade items online, Rustiqued makes it easy and affordable. You can set up shop and list your first item in just a few easy steps, which leaves you plenty of time to work on your creations or market your new business on social media.

4 DIY Spring Décor Projects That Won’t Break the Bank

Spring has finally sprung. The birds are singing, flowers are growing, and new life is popping up all around us. Now that winter is finally behind us, it’s time to start thinking about decorating your home for spring. When it comes to spring décor, the options are virtually limitless. If you are looking to give your home or garden a fresh new look without spending a fortune, though, you may find it difficult to create the look you want.

Don’t despair! Here are a few of our favorite DIY spring décor projects that won’t break the bank.

Book Page and Embroidery Hoop Spring Wreath

diy spring decor

This simple spring wreath is easy to make and would look great anywhere in your home. You may even already have the supplies for this DIY spring décor project lying around! Check out the full tutorial from My Creative Days.

Twig Vase

diy spring decor

When you’re cleaning up the lawn this spring, save some of those branches and twigs to make a unique vase. For this simple project from Thistlewood Farms, all you need is an assortment of sticks, clippers, a clear vase, and a hot glue gun and glue sticks. You can check out the full tutorial if you like, but all you really need to do is glue sticks to the outside of the vase. If you want to get extra fancy, spray paint the whole thing white when you’re finished. When it comes to DIY spring décor, it doesn’t get much easier than this vase!

Birdseed Rings

If you are looking for a spring project that will bring lots of ever-changing beauty to your yard, try making birdseed rings. Hang them near your windows and you will have a front-row seat and get to see all sort of bird species stopping by.

For this project, you’ll need two donut pans, a bag of birdseed, vegetable oil, unflavored gelatin packets, and twine. Birdseed blends that contain large seeds, like sunflower seeds, work best.

Bring one cup of water to boiling. Pour into a large glass or metal bowl and mix in three packets of unflavored gelatin and five cups of bird seed. Grease your donut pans with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Pour the gelatin and birdseed mixture into one of the pans. Mound the seed mixture to create a rounded donut shape. Place the second tray over the first with the opening side down and secure together. Let cool in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Remove the seed rings and hang outside using twine.

Picture Frame Greenhouse

Give your succulents, ferns, orchids, and other heat-loving plants a beautiful place to live by making a DIY picture frame greenhouse. This step-by-step tutorial from Country Living will show you how to make one using old frames you have lying around.

Conclusion

When it comes to making spring décor for your home, the options are limitless! Of course, if you don’t have the time or the patience to tackle your own projects, there are plenty of handmade home décor items at Rustiqued. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or you prefer letting someone else do the work, handmade spring décor items are a great way to spruce up your home!

selling handmade items online

Selling Handmade Items Online: 5 Helpful Tips

Whether you build rustic furniture, knit custom clothing, or make home décor items, the Internet is a great place to sell your creations. Selling online through marketplaces like Rustiqued enables you to reach potential customers all around the world. Such sites provide a platform that makes it easy to list and sell your items. It’s much easier to sell on Rustiqued than to build your own website. Selling handmade items online still has its challenges, though.

If you are thinking about selling your handcrafted creations online or you already have a shop but aren’t having as much success as you would like, here are a few helpful tips for selling handmade items online.

Offer a Unique Product

In a way, every handmade product is “one-of-a-kind”. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your products are unique, though. If you are making the same products that everyone else is making, you are going to have a hard time standing out among your competitors. And if you directly rip off another crafter or artisan’s design, you’re setting yourself up for serious legal troubles. Seriously – Do not copy someone else’s work!

When it comes to selling handmade items online, creating products that are unique and appealing to consumers is a must. Even if you are doing something that a lot of people do, figure out how to put your own spin on it. There are millions of handmade dining tables out there, for example. If you plan on starting a business selling your handcrafted tables, you need to figure out what makes yours unique.

Spread Out Your Marketing Efforts

Once you have a unique product (or a shop filled with unique stuff!), you need to ramp up your marketing efforts to make sure that people actually see it. There are plenty of marketing channels to choose from. While some sellers focus all of their attention on just one channel – like social media, for example – the most successful sellers of handmade items are those who are great at marketing their brand and products across multiple platforms.

At the very least, consider starting a blog and being active on multiple social media platforms. You can use your blog to showcase specific products, tell your brand’s story, and provide value to your target audience. On social media, you can do many of the same things (in a more concise fashion) plus engage directly with your audience. The best part? You can build a blog and active social media profiles without spending a single penny. If you want to further expand your reach on social media, though, paid ads are great.

Video and email marketing can be powerful tactics for crafters, builders, and artisans, too. You can create videos that showcase your process for completing complex projects, share DIY tutorials, or even just show off your workspace. With email marketing, you can send out updates on new products, share discount codes, promote sales, and more.

Spreading out your marketing efforts allows you to reach a larger audience. It also provides you with an opportunity to experience and see which efforts generate the best results for your business.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Your Photos When Selling Handmade Items Online

Taking poor-quality photos is a common mistake. You already know how awesome and amazing your product is. The only way your potential buyers can see that, though, is through a photograph. They don’t have the luxury of walking into a store and picking up your items to inspect it from all sides. They can’t examine it up close. Instead, they rely on pictures.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good product photos. You do, however, need a put a bit of effort into learning about things like lighting and composition. It’s also smart to take the time to set up shots that effectively show how your items fit into a particular design aesthetic. Add a few accessories to help buyers picture how they would use your item. If you are listing a farmhouse console table, for example, photograph it with a few rustic accessories like the owner of the RustiqueAccents shop on Rustiqued did in the photo below.

Image Courtesy of RustiqueAccents

Nail Your Pricing Strategy

Pricing is one of the most important (and most challenging) parts of running a successful online business. On one hand, if you charge too much, buyers are likely to pass up your products in favor of lower-priced alternatives. But if you charge too little, they may think you are selling a low-quality product. Selling too low also, of course, cuts into your bottom line and can prevent you from earning a reasonable wage for your efforts.

Before you set your prices, conduct a thorough competitive pricing analysis. Pay close attention to how much other vendors are charging for products that are similar to yours. You will probably want to price your items around the median price point, but pay attention to the cheapest and most expensive options, too. Figure out what makes their products more or less expensive than average, and determine if any of those factors should be taken into consideration when setting your own prices.

Adjust your prices periodically to see how customers respond. You may be surprised to find that you actually sell more products when you set your price a little bit higher due to the higher perceived value. Or you may find that simply lowering your price a few cents drastically increases your sales volume. In time, you will gain an excellent sense of your ideal price point.

Make SEO Your Best Friend

When a shopper searches for a product on Google or even the Rustiqued website, the top results delivered are the ones that are the most relevant to the search query. Ensuring that your product listings rank highly is vital when it comes to driving organic traffic to your products. How do you make your products show up in those coveted top spots? SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of essentially letting search engines know what specific web pages and product listings are all about. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to research the types of keywords you might expect buyers to use when trying to find products like yours. This tool provides you with estimates of how many searches are performed each month for specific keywords to help you better determine which ones to target.

Use your chosen keywords naturally in your product descriptions, listing titles, and photo file names. You should also use keywords in your blog posts, titles, and descriptions. Be sure to do so in a natural way that does not sound spammy, though.

If you are new to SEO, it can seem pretty overwhelming. Moz has a free SEO Learning Center, though, where you can learn about the basics without breaking the budget.

Selling Handmade Items Online with Rustiqued

If you want to start selling handmade products online, Rustiqued is a great option. Our platform is easy to use, and it’s free to sign up. Unlike other online marketplaces, we don’t charge listing fees. There are no start-up costs and, since you don’t pay a penny unless you sell an item, no risk. Sign up or contact us today to learn more about selling on Rustiqued!

pinterest marketing

How to Market Your Business on Pinterest

Every brand has a story to tell. Unfortunately, today’s consumers are inundated with so many stories and so much information every single that that making sure yours is heard is becoming increasingly difficult.

One way to make your story shine is through the use of visual marketing. And Pinterest is the ideal platform for launching a visual campaign. With Pinterest, you can tell your brand’s story using compelling photographs rather than trying to tell it entirely with words. Pinterest is an ultra-popular social media platform, and if you aren’t using it to market your products, you could be missing out on a lot of business.

You probably already have your own Pinterest account, but you might not be sure how to use it for business purposes. Here is some helpful advice on why and how to use Pinterest to market your business.

Why Pinterest?

Pinterest has been around for less a decade and boasts more than 200 million users and a mind-boggling 100 billion Pins. Photos take center stage on this popular platform where users “Pin” things they love to virtual boards. Pins and boards are shared and reshared time and time again, potentially allowing a single Pin to be seen thousands – even millions – of times. Pinterest users are extremely active and engaged, so using the site to build awareness of your brand and your products only makes sense.

Many brands have been quick to adopt Pinterest as a tool for visual marketing, and for good reasons. Pins are 100 times more shareable than Tweets, and the half-life of a pin is 1600 times longer than that of a Facebook post. For these reasons alone, Pinterest should be your business’ best friend. Convinced? Here’s how to get started.

Open a Business Account

Whether you already have a personal account or you are brand new to this platform, you will need to set up an official Pinterest for Business account. Signing up is easy, and doing so gives you access educational marketing materials that help you learn how to market your business. You’ll also gain access to Pinterest Analytics, and the team at Pinterest is working on developing new tools and training materials that are geared toward helping businesses succeed.

Create Searchable Pins

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine. Users search for the things they love, and the results come back in the form of Pin-able images. When you write blog posts or content for your website, you use keywords and other elements that are recognized by Google to help users find you, right? The same thing needs to be done for Pinterest.

When writing titles and descriptions for your Pins, think about the words and phrases users may use when trying to find something that is like the products you sell. Pinterest users love arts and crafts, so if you are selling, for example, handmade furniture, you would want to focus on keywords that let consumers know that your products are not mass-produced. Skip the “cutesy” product names and go with descriptive words that people are likely to search for.

Use Captivating Images

Clear, high-resolution images look professional and are visually appealing. When photographing your products, arrange them in front of a plain backdrop, and use soft, attractive lighting. Lighter images are typically re-Pinned 20 times more than darker ones, and images without faces get about 23% more re-Pins. Keep your images simple and crisp so viewers know exactly what your Pin is about at a glance.

The size of your image matters, too. While all Pins have the same width, the length is unlimited. A good size to shoot for, though, is 736 x 1102 pixels. This size is not too large or too small, and it is typically considered the unofficial standard size.

Make Sure Your Pins Are Seen and Shared

You have the perfect image and you’ve already written searchable titles and descriptions. Now what? To ensure that people actually see and share your Pin, you need to optimize for engagement.

For starters, pay attention to the habits of your target audience to determine your optimal posting times. The exact best times vary for different categories, but on average, the best times to post are between 2 PM and 4 PM EST and between 8 PM and 1 AM EST. The absolute best time to post is Saturday morning.

Make it easy for visitors to your website to share your content on Pinterest by adding a hovering “Pin It” button. Pinterest offers a tool to do this, or if you use WordPress, there is a plugin. Whichever option you choose, adding a “Pin It” button is easy (even if you aren’t a Web developer), and doing so makes it simple for users of your website to share your content with their followers. There may also be tools or plugins for e-commerce platforms that enable you to add this useful feature.

Stay Active

Adding a few Pins then disappearing isn’t going to do much to build your follower base or spread awareness of your brand. To be successful on Pinterest, you need to share content regularly and often. When trying to get new followers, you should be posting 5 to 30 Pins every day (not all at once, though). Pinning your own content is extremely important, but it’s also a good idea to re-Pin relevant content from other users.

Engage with your followers by responding to their comments. Reach out to your followers directly by commenting on their pins as well. Engagement is a two-way street, and consumers love brands that take the time to connect and engage rather than only pushing out their own content.

Spend some time checking out popular boards that are related to your products or business, and engage there as well. When you comment on popular Pins, your brand name will be seen by their massive audience, and you could gain some new followers.

Making Pinterest Your Brand’s Marketing Powerhouse

When it comes to visual marketing, Pinterest is the place to be. Users are searching for products, brands, information, and more every single day, and by creating useful, engaging Pins, you can put your products and brand right in front of your target audience. Pinterest is a remarkable tool for marketing, and as the company continues to develop new tools and training for businesses, and it becoming even easier for even individual artisans to have a huge impact.

craft product photography

How to Master Craft Product Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to selling handmade products online, a picture can be worth a lot of money, too. Whether you make furniture, home décor, jewelry, or any other type of hand-crafted item, successfully selling it online requires good photography. After all, your potential customers can only see your products through the photos you share. Simply put, low-quality photos won’t sell your items – no matter how nice they are.

The good news?

You don’t have to hire a professional photographer, nor do you have to be an expert yourself. Here are a few tips to help you master craft product photography and take high-quality images of your handmade items.

Use a Decent Camera

You don’t need a top-of-the-line camera, but you do need something a bit better than that old digital camera that’s been lying around since 2002 or a cell phone that’s several generations old. If you have a newer iPhone or high-end Android device, you can probably get away with using it for your product photography. If it’s in your budget, though, we recommend investing in a decent mid-level digital camera.

Look for a camera that has adjustable settings and creates crisp final images. A DSLR is a solid investment for anyone who sells products online. All the features can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but if you take the time to read your manual and do some online research, you can be snapping products like a pro in no time.

Learn the Rule of Thirds

Even if you don’t know anything else about design or photo composition, learning the rule of thirds can help you take your product photography to the next level. This rule states that a photo should be imagined as being divided into nine equal parts by drawing two equally spaced lines horizontally and two equally spaced lines vertically. Important elements in your photo should be placed along those lines or where they intersect.

Simply put, the rule of thirds encourages you to not center your product in the middle of your photo. Instead, set it slightly to the side and angle it a bit. This results in a more interesting and visually appealing photo. Most cameras have a grid setting that you can use to compose your shots without any guesswork.

Shoot in Good Light

Think your camera’s flash is a sufficient substitute for good light? Think again. Photographing products in good, direct light is one of the most important steps in capturing amazing images. Taking photos outside on an overcast day is perfect. When it’s a bit dreary outside, you will have plenty of soft, direct light that isn’t too bright. If it’s raining, your windowsill will work, too. For best results, remove your curtains or blinds.

If waiting on the right weather conditions isn’t an option or you need to be able to take pictures at night, building your own lightbox is a fairly straightforward process. This tutorial will help you make one for just a few dollars.

Keep Your Backgrounds Simple

When photographing products, you want your handiwork to be the star of the shot. Taking photos with a simple background ensures that the viewer’s focus will be on your product instead of getting lost in whatever is behind or underneath it. Plain walls and flat, solid surfaces are your best bet. Things like grassy fields, brick walls, and wood floors work well, too. Avoid patterned fabrics, busy scenes, clutter, etc. If your background detracts from the item you are trying to sell, you need a new background.

Use Props the Right Way

Craft Product PhotographyLike a busy background, too many props – or the wrong kind – can draw attention away from what you are selling. When you use them correctly, though, can help buyers better understand what you are selling and imagine how your product would fit into their lives. If you are selling handmade ceramic bowls, fill one with some delicious looking fruit for a photograph. Add a few bottles of wine to your handcrafted wine rack. Photograph your wall art hanging on the wall in a nice home. There are a lot of great ways to use props to make your products pop. Just don’t go overboard.

Edit Your Photos

A few simple changes can make a world of difference in terms of the quality of your photos. Adjust the lighting and contrast to make colors look more like they do in real life. Crop out any extraneous background and anything that doesn’t belong in the picture. When editing, remember that the goal should be to make the image of your product like as true-to-life as possible.

Good product photography is more important than many artisans and crafters realize. Your product pictures can make or break a sale, and they can even influence how much you can charge since high-quality photos give products a higher perceived value. Do you have any of your own tips or tricks for taking amazing photos of your handmade products? Share them in the comments!

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