Kate Riley

Kate Riley is a business coach, creative specialist, and serial entrepreneur. She is also a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance and fantasy.  

  • Optimizing Your Etsy Shop

    When it comes to optimizing your Etsy shop so you’re able to drive targeted traffic to your listings, it all begins with the keywords you use within your product descriptions and titles as well as how thoroughly you’ve optimized your storefront.

    Learning how to properly research and use focus keywords in your product pages will not only help you optimize your listings and overall shop, but you’ll begin to see what’s selling based on actual search volume. 

    Meaning, you’ll get hard data that you can work with. No guesswork. You’ll know what people are actively searching for and buying so you can create those types of products for your own shop.

    To start, you’ll want to focus on just a single keyword that you know you’ll be able to rank for. We call this our focus keyword.

    This keyword is the main one that you are hoping to rank for in a product listing. You highlight this keyword in all areas of your product listing while using secondary keywords to fill in the gaps.

    Your focus keyword should always appear in the title and in the product description.  All other keywords are known as supporting keywords, or secondary keywords.

    The key is to choose the best focus keywords possible that are relevant to your product and will directly target the right audience. 

    Time Saver Tip: I always encourage people to invest in an Etsy-specific research tool such as https://www.MarmaLead.com, rather than a generic, all-encompassing SEO product that isn’t designed specifically for Etsy because they know the way Etsy works!

    MarmaLead has been responsible for taking shops that weren’t getting any visibility and turning them into top-selling superstars. 

    If you wish to go it alone and do the work yourself, there are other ways to build up your focus keyword lists quickly, starting with Etsy itself. 

    Begin by browsing for products in your market and then visit 15-20 different shops. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll find keywords used for those product pages. Write those down and then run them through Google Keywords to determine search volume.

    Google & Amazon
    You can use Google’s search bar as well as Amazon’s and let auto-complete help you identify commonly-used keyword strings.

    Begin by entering in a few seed keywords and then see what comes up. Also, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the first page of search results of any Google search to see other popular keyword phrases used by on-site users. 

    Amazon offers the same auto-suggestion feature as well. With Amazon, take things a step further and check out some of the book pages for journals and planners in your niche. Every low content book could be turned into a printable pack, so the keywords you find on the product pages can easily be used in your Etsy listings. 

    Pay attention to keywords used in the product titles as well as the bullet-points used on planner and journal pages. You’ll quickly find a ton of relevant keywords that you can add to your seed keyword list!

    Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com
    A favorite hot spot for keywords based on popular tags.

    You can start by entering in your primary keyword phrase and see where it takes you, but the better way is by browsing the categories. 

    Google Trends

    If you want to be notified of when certain search terms are used so you can figure out how popular a keyword phrase is, hop on over to https://trends.google.com/trends

    Start by entering in a keyword phrase, such as “pregnancy printable” to see what pops up. 

    You’ll also be able to see related search queries which is a great way to come up with commonly used keyword strings that you can later plug into your Etsy shop listings.


  • Printable Shop: Quick Start

    There are many ways to create an online shop so you can start selling your downloadable products, but one of the easiest ways to get started is with Etsy, available at https://www.Etsy.com

    Here are just a few reasons:

    With an Etsy shop, you can easily build a mailing list of buyers and maximize your income faster and easier than ever before because you are in direct contact with your customer base.

    In addition, you will never be dependent on just one marketplace because you’ll be able to cultivate a tribe of buyers and build a brand that you’re in full control of.

    There’ll be no guesswork.

    You’ll know where your buyers come from, what they’re interested in, and how to create additional products they’ll want to buy.  And making money online will never be easier once you’ve built that community of your own.

    Plus, people are already searching for printables on Etsy! This means that you’ll be able to instantly tap into an ever-growing customer base that is active on the marketplace. 

    So even if you don’t launch your own marketing campaigns, chances are you’ll be able to start generating sales from Etsy’s existing traffic.  Easy!

    And finally, there are valuable tools that make it easy to create Etsy listings that stand out from the crowd. I’m talking about resources like https://www.MarmaLead.com that not only break down your existing Etsy listings to show you how to improve your outreach, but they grade your listings based on focus keywords, exposure and more!

    When it comes to creating an Etsy shop, you’ll want to carefully choose a shop name, and customize your storefront so it clearly represents your brand. 

    This includes a high-quality shop banner, memorable logo and shop description/tagline, and of course, in-demand printable products.

    Let’s get started.

    Step 1: Create your Etsy Account:

    Head on over to https://Etsy.com and create your account.

    Make sure to fill in all the profile and account areas, including your payment information, address and add a credit card to your account so that Etsy can charge you for each listing whenever it needs to be renewed.

    You will also want to set your shop preferences including shop language, country, and currency.

    Next, make sure to set your shop name so it’s the exact same name as your blog (if you plan to create one, and I recommend you do!). The key is to be consistent across all platforms. 

    Your shop name can be between 4-20 characters and shouldn’t contain any spaces or special characters.

    Whatever shop name you assign will also become your Etsy web address and will look something like this: keyword.etsy.com

    Step 2: Add Your First Product
    The next step will be to stock your shop with at least one printable product.

    Note that you can’t create an Etsy shop without having at least one available product, so if you have yet to create your first printable offer, you’ll want to do that first and then return to your Etsy account to complete the process. 

    Each product listing can include up to 10 images and you’ll want to use every available space.  

    However, you don’t need to have all 10-graphics ready. When adding your first product listing, you can always start by just adding one image and then go back in and add additional images later.

    Step 3: Complete Your Payment Settings

    Set your payment preferences, including how you wish to be paid (Paypal, check or money order, etc.) 

    Then, set up billing. You’ll need to add a credit card to your account.  

    Step 4: Create your Brand Graphics

    Now that you have a brand-new Etsy account, it’s time to customize your shop! The important thing is to make sure all your images look alike while highlighting the different products.

    You want to build a cohesive, memorable brand.  If you look at the top printable sellers on Etsy, we all use a set color scheme and they stick to it. 

    Not only does it look more professional, but it helps people begin to recognize your brand so when they see your pins or visit your blog, they know who you are and what you have to offer.

    Creating your shop graphics doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming.  My personal “trick” is to create one set of templates using a resource like https://www.Canva.com and then re-use them over and over again, simply replacing the product snapshots with ones that represent the current product offered.

    Note: It’s always best to create printables based on evergreen, time-tested markets, and then figure out a way to put your own unique twist on each product.

    That way, you’re offering something fresh and new, while still sticking within those popular, established niches that are continuing to grow.

    Now it’s time to launch your shop!

    When it comes to maximizing your sales, there are a few things you’ll want to do to give your shop an instant boost in exposure.

    To start, you will want to work on building up that inventory. I always recommend setting your initial product goal to be at least 50 printable products.

    Yes, this will take time, but it’ll be worth it!  The more products, the better because it will help you rank for different keywords/focus words which will maximize revenue.

    After you create your shop, you’ll want to add categories for your products.  This will help you rank for the keywords used in category titles, but more importantly, it helps shoppers navigate your store. 

    Note: I recommend starting off with only 3-4 categories until you build up your inventory. You don’t want any of your categories to be empty or to inundate your customers with too many options.

    Categories help to better organize your shop and help potential customers find what they’re most interested in quickly, so keep them targeted.  To do this, use clear keywords such as: Student Planners, Goals & Productivity, Health & Fitness or Business Planners, as examples.

    When it comes to optimizing your Etsy shop, there are a few different areas that you’ll want to optimize.

    You use tags everywhere, not just in the keyword boxes associated with each product listing, but in your titles as well.

    Etsy gives you the opportunity to include 13 tags that describe your product and you’ll want to use all 13 of these so you can increase your chances at being matched to a search.

    A well-crafted title that triggers the Etsy search engine to show your listing will naturally drive in sales, but one thing you need to know is that your tags and titles should be the EXACT SAME.
    You won’t increase your ranking by using different keywords in your title and tags. In fact, using the same keywords is a critical step in fully optimizing your listing so you’re more easily found.

    Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

    Etsy allows up to 140 characters in your title. While many people recommend using up every bit of spacing, from my own research and stats, shorter titles often convert better.

    Shorter titles are easier for a buyer to read and understand. And if you construct it so that your title is very clear and direct, you’ll be able to cut out a lot of words that aren’t necessary, nor helpful in boosting visibility.

    Etsy uses your title to determine which keywords you’ll appear/rank for when someone enters a search phrase on Etsy. Therefore, it’s important that you include some of the best keywords in your title, while also keeping it short and to the point.


  • Launching an Etsy Shop with Pinterest

    Pinterest is an amazing resource for driving targeted traffic to your Etsy shop. In fact, unlike other social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is designed to perform like a search engine where people can discover new content quickly and then save that content to their own boards.

    In addition, with Pinterest, pins don’t expire or disappear in a sea of posts like most social media posts often do. That means they are always visible and can end up going viral at any time – even months later! 

    The organic reach that you’ll get from Pinterest is also far superior to that of Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

    The most important thing when it comes to building an audience on Pinterest is that you spend time every single day pinning new content. 

    In fact, consistency is often the one thing that’s missing from those who struggle to build a successful business. 

    You want to be diligent in actively working on boosting exposure and cultivating a loyal customer base. Doing so will set you miles ahead of the competition.

    It all starts with creating a fully optimized Pinterest account that clearly defines your brand, activates the search engine algorithms by sending signals as to what your business is about, and then siphoning traffic to your shop. 

    Again, keep in mind that Pinterest is a search engine rather than a traditional social platform like Facebook, so you want to focus on integrating targeted keywords into your account wherever possible, such as on all your boards and pins so that you are maximizing visibility based on specific search queries.

    To get started, if you already have a personal account, you’ll want to upgrade to a business account at: https://pinterest.com/business/convert

    Not only will this help you build a professional presence on Pinterest, but it will give you access to important data that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

    Next, Pinterest will ask you where you’d like to start. Click on “Showcase your Brand”.

    Next, you’ll want to add a profile photo. If possible, you’ll want to use a picture of yourself, but you can always use your Etsy logo or a mascot that represents your brand. 

    The key is to maintain a consistent theme across all platforms. So, whatever business name and profile photo you use on Pinterest should also be used on Instagram, your blog, Etsy, and/or your Facebook business page.

    The important thing is to include 2 or more keywords in that field. Again, you should always include your primary keyword in your business name field.

    Your Printable Business Name: Keyword, Keyword, Keyword

    Now it’s time to apply for rich pins. 

    Rich pins are an upgraded version of regular pins that can help increase visibility and overall engagement. The rich pin content is pulled from your blog titles and posts, or if pinning from your Etsy shop, the pin will pull content from your product listing title and description.

    But the greatest advantage to using rich pins is that your pins will include a Follow link, whereas pins that don’t have rich pins enabled will not.

    In addition, unlike regular pins, rich pins will also include a link to your main Pinterest profile, further encouraging engagement!

    Now, before you’ll be able to activate rich pins, you’ll need to create one post on your blog. It doesn’t matter what the content is, it’s just used to verify the metadata on your website. 

    So, create a post on your blog and save it.  Copy the URL at the top of your blog post. You’ll need it in the next step.

    Now, you’ll need to visit:  https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/

    Enter the URL you just copied into the text box (your blog post URL) and click Validate to complete the process.

    Now you’re ready to to level up your Pinterest marketing game, which means you’ll want to sign up for Tailwind here: http://tailwindapp.com/

    When it comes to reducing your workload, staying consistent and getting the most out of your Pinterest marketing, nothing beats the power of Tailwind.

    TailWind is a robust scheduling tool that will allow you to set up bulk pins so that they go out automatically at pre-determined times.

    Not only does it put you in full control of being able to schedule your pins so that you’re not spending hours a day updating your Pinterest account, but this tool will show you the best time of day to post your pins to maximize exposure.

    To start, create your free account and then you’ll be prompted to connect your account to Pinterest.

    Once that’s done, you’ll also be able to download the Chrome plugin so that Tailwind can go to work directly in your browser.

    One of my favorite things about Tailwind is the in-depth analytics they share with you. 

    This allows you to quickly track performance so you can see how people are responding to your pins and monitor your outreach, including follower growth.

    The better you understand your audience by monitoring what pins are getting more likes and saves, the easier it will be for you to create additional boards that are bound to drive in traffic.


  • Getting Started With Kindle Vella

    Chances are, you’ve heard about Amazon’s new platform, Kindle Vella, that focuses on publishing serialized content, such as short stories and episodes. It’s similar to other platforms like Radish and WattPad, where there’s an ever-growing demand for episode-style content.

    While Kindle Vella is currently only available to the United States during its beta phase, I asked a friend who is publishing on Vella in anticipation of its launch, to help us better understand the pros, the cons, and everything in between.

    Here’s what she said:

    First of all, while I’m getting ready to ramp things up for when Vella launches, I’m not going all-in right away. I want to get enough content out there to determine whether it’s a viable platform, but as with anything Amazon, I’m not a fan of putting all my eggs into one basket, so I’ll keep my options open.

    And like other platforms, Kindle Vella is based on short 500-5,000-word episodes and involves a coin payment system where readers can purchase tokens in exchange for access to episodes.

    Amazon is adopting the same payout structure as other existing platforms and offering 50% of the proceeds, however, they require that the first 3 episodes of every story be made available for free.

    Further, Kindle Vella requires that your content be *almost* exclusive to their platform.

    What I mean by almost is that their terms aren’t quite clear yet, but there is mention of the following:

    You cannot upload any previously published material. This means that you wouldn’t be able to take an existing book that has been published and serialize it.

    Amazon wants new content, and while they seem okay with you publishing on other serialized platforms, it needs to be behind a paywall – no free access to that content in any form.

    You can, however, publish the serialized content as a full novel later, however, you must remove all episodes from the Kindle Vella platform first. But beware, it sounds as though we wouldn’t be able to return our content back to the Kindle Vella platform once it has been published elsewhere.

    This means we’re limited on how much testing we can do, as once our content is taken from Kindle Vella, it can never go back in. Ugh.

    All of that being said, I’m still really excited by the possibilities of Kindle Vella, especially with Radish recently changing their pay structure and lowering rates to where it is no longer as viable as it once was.

    Here’s my plan for Kindle Vella:

    I am going to focus on getting 30 completed episodes ready quickly. Each episode will be around 2000 words long (the typical length of a chapter in one of my novels). At 30 episodes x 2000-words, it’ll come out to around 60,000 words, which is the usual length I aim for with my romance.

    That way, I can compile all the episodes at a later time, pull them from Vella once they’ve run their course, and publish them as a first-in-series.

    I want to get started as soon as it rolls out with the hope of riding what could be a very profitable wave for early adopters. And since my main genre is paranormal romance, a lot of readers in that space are used to serialized fiction since it became so popular on Radish, so it shouldn’t be difficult to build up a following.

    Fingers crossed!

    How about you? Are you considering participating in Kindle Vella? Do you have a game plan?