I write about Networking a lot. For me- that is how I get sales....or at least I think it helps. I think it because I pay attention to my stats on Etsy/Google and even EBay.
When I see people looking at my shop from some ''Forum" group-- I go and join that group. I don't mean a Etsy forum... the Donkey Forum has had hits on my shop... Well- since I do have Donkeys.. I did join the group. But I have also had hits from different dog groups... like breed groups.. I join them.. I have GSDs-- but that does not stop me from joining a Pug group. There are potential customers there. And someone there is checking out my shop.
Lots of these groups have areas where you can post things you make.. there are Garden Forums, Embroidery Forums, Baby Forums, Toddler Forums, Quilt Forums etc... for anything you can think of you can find a group for.
Blog hops are fun to do...Usually they ask you for a picture to post-- this can be your Avatar or something from your shop. Since my Avatar is Quilts and my Business name- sometimes I use that. Mostly I choose something from my shop and use that. They always ask you for a link for either your shop or blog. Most of them don't care- even tho they might ask you for one or the other. It depends on where I want the fans to go. If you go to my blog, it is easier to find my shop from there than the other way around.
Circles on etsy... I add a lot of shops to my circle. For the most part they are items that I like. Sometimes they are just people who ask me a question. And sometimes- I don't even like their work-- but they are my competition-- and that means that someone else added them to their own circle-- so now- that other person will see my items too. (yes, sneaky-- but we all do it).
Favorites... Make sure you just favorite lots of shops and also favorite followers to your competition's shops... And you do not have to like those shops-- just do it and you just don't know who will like your items. Because some one who liked someone else will see your items and come calling.
Treasuries... Scroll down my blog- I tell you ways to make them. look at 8/20/2010 & 1/06/2011 for info). They are lots of fun and I will say that each time one of my items is featured in a blog- I make a sale. This lets other Etsians who would not normally see your shop-- find you.
Interactive Social Networking... Facebook, Twitter, etc. I have them all too.. And you need to check in with them.
I am maybe a little different in that my personal facebook page is all about my business. I don't really have desire to go play a game on FB or share what I am cooking for dinner. It drives my friends nuts. My avatar is the Blue Heron that was in my yard last summer... my friends know what I look like and strangers don't need to. I am on there to promote my business. So, on my personal site or on my business site.. I will be talking about what is in my Etsy Shop or on Ebay or in my local gift shops.
Other Social Networking...StumbleUpon, Pinterest etc.
Now I am having fun with these sights! They are very addictive and fun. Just another way to get yourself and your business out there.
With Pinterest you can create boards with your own things on it! And others of course-- it is more like virtual boards of all your favorite things. You can check out other's boards and pin their likes to your boards and so on. (see my page at www.pinterest.com/homespunloft)
Make sure to join some etsy teams for these sites and you will get a lot more hits on your items.
Other sites... to join in... Handmade Artist, Indiepublic, Etsy Teams, other Blogs.. there is so much more... just go a google search and see what you come up with. Click on the buttons on my blog too-- it will take you to some of these sites.
Craig's List ... many forget about this one... Did you know that you can create a Free listing for your shop and send people there? Pick a city- does not have to be the one you are in.. and advertise for your shop. You can add pictures of some of your items. Your listing is on for 30 days. You can post a similar listing in other cities.. Just not the same exact one ( at the same time).
And there are sure to be other similar sites!
Networking can be and is for a lot of us a parttime job...besides running your shops and blogs and whatever else.. not counting your regular life/family and doing laundry etc. I would say most of us have a full day. Then you still have to have time to make the items that you sell. And heaven forbid if you also work an outside job or are in school! We are busy people. (I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am!!).
Does anyone else have any more ideas?
Happy Easter to everyone!