How to Stand Out on Etsy

So you have found and defined your niche and now you have  decided to take the plunge into online dropshipping Print on Demand products. Good for you, it takes a lot of courage and get-up-n-go to start your own business. Now you need a plan to sell all of those gorgeous products you have designed or will be making. In this article I will talk about 3 things you can do to set your shop apart from others. Lets get started

Making your shop stand apart!

First, Branding!

Branding your shop is the top priority. “WTF is branding!?” Branding is the ability to control and project the image that your customer thinks of when they hear your shop’s name or see your logo.

Branding is necessary, if you want to attain, retain and solicit your customer base. There is a market term called “brand loyalty.” Ultimately you want to establish and build brand loyalty. There is a bottomless pit of rational as to why but Wikipedia sums it up pretty well for us.

Brand Loyalty is defined as the positive feelings toward a brand and dedication to purchase the same product or service REPEATEDLY now and in the future from the same brand, regardless of competitors actions or changes in the environment. -Wikipedia

In my mind no other reasons need to be listed. You want a customer who will return to your shop over and over again, purchase from you when they have other choices and who is not affected by market conditions like your competitions sales or special offers. You want that ride-or-die customer, that will not be lured away from your shop. A customer that will see an email from you and open it. Yes, unicorns are real…..

To brand your business, the questions you need to answer are:  1) What is your unique offering? 2) Who is your target audience? 3) What do you represent….what is your brand’s story? 4) Why should people buy from you?

The answers to these questions should be promoted in your advertisements, written on your landing page,  on your social media accounts and reflected in all that you do.


Next up is Advertising

Lets discuss free and effective advertising first. There is an old saying “grow where you are planted.”

Start with the Etsy online market place itself! Etsy has an entire community of thirsty shoppers looking for something to spend money on. Etsy offers a few different ways to make your store standout.  Lets discuss the free things first. Store and listing optimization. There are multiple ways to prioritize your shop to give it the best chances to show up in customer searches:

  1. Etsy titles and tags: The title is much more than a title in Etsy. The title acts as a searchable keywords for shoppers to be aligned with in your shop. You can use up to 140 characters to create as many searchable terms as you can think of. There is also a section in your attributes where you can plug up to 13 tags for your item to be found under. Hot buzzword Drop SEO (search engine optimization). Research and discover what terms people are using and be sure to use them in your title and the tags section in you attributes. The key words you use in your title and tags, categories and attributes pairs your listings with shopper’s search queries. It is vitally important that you understand what “your” customer is shopping for. The customer inputs a searchable item and/ or attribute and if your item has any of the searchable attributes it is eligible to come up in their search results.  Etsy search gathers all of the listings that have keywords that match a shoppers query. Then their query ranks those listings so shoppers see the items most relevant to their search first. Using strong keywords in your listings create opportunities for your items to be shown high in search results.
  2. Description: In the section directly beneath your title is the description of your listing. The description is Mega important. People read through it in hopes of being captured and making an emotional connection to your product. Give it to them. This is an opportunity to convert a potential customer to a paying customer.  Cause “your story” to bleed through while giving relevant information about the material, the design aspects and some uses of your product. Again be sure to leave a piece of your shops personality in the description.
  3. Attributions: Etsy provides you with several opportunities to market your products in the attributes section of your listing. The vast majority of new sellers on Etsy do not use their attributes section fully. Filling in these radio boxes of primary color, occasions that someone would purchase your item for, type of design on your product, type of material your product is made of………. all of these helps to align shoppers with your product and rank you high in queries.
  4. Social Media: Free to use and simple to locate and engage your target customer. Etsy is integrated wiht FB, IG, and Pintrest. Connect with your potential customer. Inform them when you have a sales or when there is a new item in your shop. Market some ads. Make them dynamic, informative and purposeful and if possible valuable. Run give-aways and post discount codes. Keep your social media game interesting. Grab your audiences attention and give them a show or information that is of value.


There is a free Etsy Seller Handbook available on Etsy’s website for free if you are interested. It really helped me to understand how the matrix of shopper and seller pairing works.  Click Here for the Free Handbook  -It was created by Etsy staff. The information is solid and very helpful.

Next up Running Ads!


Now lets discuss some low cost advertising that is worth while.

  1. Run an Etsy ad: Etsy ads are cheap. You can set your maximum spend per day. I run my ads at a $1 maximum on all ads a day. That means I do not pay more than one dollar for all of my ads to run a day. Etsy advertisements rank your listing above anything that is not being advertised.
  2. Run a sale:. Try to run a 40-55% profit margin on all of your merchandise so you can afford to run some good sales on products I recommend 15-20% to get peoples attention. Sales also appear at the top of Etsy search queries. Sales is also its own unique searchable term.
  3. Run Facebook Ad: if you know your target audience and can target them effectively use FB ads. They are cheap and you are in complete control of some very powerful tools. We have had success with FB Ads for one of our shop niches and a big fat goose egg on the other. You need to know who you are going after. We run our FB ads for $5/ day usually on only use it to promote sales

A word on advertising. Remind people of the familiar. Don’t hit people with a knockout punch right away. Familiarize them with your products before you start running relentless ads in your stories on IG. Raise your audience with your business so that they develop a sincere interest and become emotionally invested in it.

Lastly, Tell Your Story 

This is the portion that brings everything together. This describes your purpose. This tells people why they should buy from you and no one else. People desire something to buy into. Develop ,define, understand and promote your story. When we run ads. we are not just trying to move that product we are selling telling our story and promoting our brand. Over time it will bring repeat business. People will know what we are about. You need a story for people to buy into…. a purpose that people can relate to. Giving your customer more reasons to purchase your product will increase your sales. Face the facts other people are doing the same thing that you are and you need an edge that sets you apart.  Be sure to tie you story to your brand to make it more powerful and alluring. Your story should leverage your competitive advantage.

Other Things To Note:

Customers decide our Stock: We are shooting for 150-200 items to have in our store. We have a mix of different things and refine our store according to what sells, not by what people like. Customer behavior is not fickle. When people like something enough, they buy it, flat-out. We call this the emotional purchase and we want these…..a lot of these. We want people hot and heavy for our products.

Reviews and Sales: until you have a substantial number of reviews and sales you will not elicit customer confidence. People know that Etsy is a market place for armatures so it is okay but 25 of each is a good number to shoot for. 50 of each is even better.100 of each and you are golden. Run promotions and contests to boost your reviews. For a new shop I would do this a ton until I got >25.


I hope this information was helpful. Continue to create useful products, probe your niche markets and Make that money sellers!

If you are in the market for some travel inspired gear check us out at

Enter Blog15 for an additional 15% off of any items store wide. -a little gift for reading this article till the end lol

Nomadic Wander



Bill Pay While Abroad

Apart from our Families, Friends and Bills we have no anchors in the U.S. We love it like that. I wish we could just float *inserts Schoolboy Q’s Floating lyrics* (Might turn into a ghost, bum bitch, yes I’m floating…). Extra is not our style.  In fact we are minimalists in our approach to seeing the world but …. we got bills to pay to keep our businesses floating and to keep the credit scores looking right so we cannot totally detach ourselves. That said, we do not have a U. S. phone number or address and this creates some problems when it comes to paying our bills from outside of the country. Here is a short list of things you need in order to pay your bills while out of the country. Read more

Get More VIPKID Bookings

Heyyy! This post is geared toward new VIPKid teachers or to you if you want to get more VIPKid Bookings. First off, welcome to the family new teachers! This is an exciting life and it can lead to many additional opportunities. Next, it is going to be alright your schedule will get full, you will get more VIPKID bookings. The Chinese Culture is much different from our Western-way-of life. Once you can understand what they are looking for I believe you will be able to better supply it to your soon to be customers.

Observe the nerdy profile pic and button-up. I don’t even wear glasses but that profile pic screams TEACHER!




A little about Nomadic Wander. My wife and I have been teaching with VIPKid for two years. I contracted with them while I worked a corporate job in the states and my wife worked with them full-time.  We now both contract with them as we travel the world. We also worked in central China teaching at a university for 8 months. While we taught at Wuhan University of Science and Technology we still worked our VIPKid jobs and we taught elementary kid students (man we made some bank over there…) on weekends. I say all this to let you know where I am drawing my information from. We both belong to FB VIPKid groups and what not but we also have first-hand experience of what the expectations of parents are and what the parent-child dynamic is in China and it is different.

How the hell do you get more VIPKid Bookings?

Read more

5 Overlooked Tips For Long Term Travel

There are plenty of blogs with a wealth of information about long term travel. This is not one of them. This is an Oops Blog. The 5 Things we wish we would have done before we hit the road. We have transitioned from novice travelers to a full time travelers and now we are transitioning to professional travelers.  So retrospectively speaking we have about 5 things we would do differently so we flipped those 5 short sights into 5 tips for the future you.

Our 5 Missed Steps

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The Staycation: Seminyak

We are on our first staycation:

stāˈkāSHn/ noun


: a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

We make home where ever we go. Local groceries, making no scheduled commitments, researching and adapting local street smarts, and avoiding tourists traps as much as possible. Similarly, we are advocates of slow travel; slowing down the pace of our vacation and taking time to experience the place that we are in. There are a few things we do to reach this reality:
  1. Learn how to say “hello, good bye, please, thank you, I don’t speak ______” in the native tongue.
  2. Find a safe clean place to stay in a residential neighborhood.
  3. Research and download the applications that “the people” are using (google it).
  4. Grab some groceries.
  5. Smile, be approachable, and engage with people and make some connections.
  6. Talk to the host if using a homestay and talk to taxi drivers – they usually have the best info.

This trip we are traveling through Thailand and the island of Bali in Indonesia. We used to try to see a lot of towns in 3 day stints but we could never really get a handle of the culture or an understanding of the people. Now we try to stay in a single place for at least 2 weeks….if we can. Ideally, we will find a base and stay there for a couple of months and do some archaeological type of digging into the culture.

Getting Around

We are in Bali for a few weeks. After googling which apps to download we found that the locals use an app called Grab (and Uber) to get reasonable taksi (taxi) rides. We caught a grab to Mal Bali Galeria and it cost us 22K ($1.75 USD) from our residence. When we were ready to come home we wanted to see how much it would cost if we didn’t use the app.

We asked how much a cab would cost and the mall concierge quoted us 250K IDR ($20 USD). An average tourist would think that was okay but your American dollar should do a lot more for you. Needless to say, we used our Grab app and paid the 22K to get home.

Dirty Laundry

We have been on the road for almost 3 weeks. None of the places we have stayed had a washing machine so we washed our clothes by hand until we could locate a laundry mat. There are no traces of them on the main strips or by the malls or by popular restaurants; though, we saw plenty in residential neighborhoods.  To compare, we inquired about the laundry service at a nearby hotel – their price list was a freaking joke. One laundered sweater = $10k, while the neighborhood laundry mat charged the same amount per kilogram of clothes which is very reasonable. AND they came pressed and folded, see image 🙂

We’re just trying to stretch our dollar, and live smarter everyday.

Isla Mujeres

Half speaking the language half gesturing we waved down a combi (a shuttle van filling the gap in public transportation). 13 deep we rolled-out to our final destination. We hustled got some direction written on a Burger King napkin, backtracked about 3 times but we finally got the right bus…

Camera 360 Camera 360

While walking home last night, after our awesome New Years evening the city was washing out 2013. The streets were flooded. Evidently while we were two-stepping and salsa’ing the night away the weather was doing its own one two on the city (glad we were not on an island ;-).


The major cleansing had already happened. My future and I walked through Cancun’s flooded streets beneath a lite drizzle. At times we had to detour by entire city blocks to cross the street, while trying to stay our course in what we hoped was the right direction of home was #Quality.

Another NY, another country, another great night. It feels like memory lane is being decorated and we are just a part of the decor. That walk home may have been the best part. A little rain, semi-lost, with gentle hands and kisses between flooded city blocks in a foreign land. It was nice. Our conversation was just as soft as our gestures nothing too heavy just a nice flow. We decided that we would find Port Juarez to see the island that we didn’t get to see tonight. We wanted to travel like everyone else did who lived in the city, not by cab…But first we would hit Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for our stay in the Yucatan.

It was all so real, it was surreal. We found our way home easily (for the most part), mostly because earlier that evening we explored the general area looking for our place…that’s another story. We made it home after stopping for some junk food and refreshments. We were heading up to our sweet suite for the night when the night attendant interrupts us and hands us a voucher for a discounted breakfast in the adjoining restaurant Cafe Nader. Camera 360

Over breakfast on new years day we made our agenda. A hike to Walmart, lunch and then find our way to Port Juarez to catch a ferry over to Isla Mujers.


Finding Port Juaraz was not easy with the language barrier and Us being oblivious to the public transportation system.



Our Time on Isla Mujers

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Riding along the gulf of Mexico. Pitch of night. High tides. Live music playing with my arm around my Love. The skies ceiling is painted with what seems like a million luminary creatures singing their song to me. To me, because this moment is frozen in time. The hard swaying of the ship, the performer singing in a soft song in a foreign tongue, with my woman fast asleep in my arms for most of our seafaring journey. She worked hard today. We don’t vacation as tourists we go-hard on anthropological adventures. We absorb the culture as much as we can by hanging with the locals as much as we can.  Coasting back to Cancún to prepare for departure in the morning. The urban portion of our adventure is coming to an end. At least some portion of the population spoke English here. We are headed deeper into the country tomorrow. Heading into Merida where we are not expecting to run into too many folks who communicate in our native tongue.

On our way back to our suite we grab some KFC and some ice cream as we are walking we run it to a family-type of festival going on. Kids racing mini-cars, food vendors everywhere, games, and more singing. Mexico loves to sing. This is a nice end to our stay in Cancun.

-Today was a good day.