Selling on Etsy – The Importance of Image Quality

Selling on Etsy – The Importance of Image Quality

After keywords, your product images on your Etsy store are the biggest facts in the success of your shop.  Ranking on Etsy or getting views based on your titles and tags is like a dark art on its own.  It is also subject of many articles and Youtube videos like this one from Etsy coach Nancy Badillo, or Etsy and Erank guru Starla Moore


I have also discussed the importance of Search engine optimisation SEO in a previous blog] and the value of images in marketing your blog or online store.  SEO for Etsy stores is about using relevant keywords that the average person would use to find your products.


This blog post focuses on how to improve your Etsy shop through improving the quality of your product images in your listings.




  • What makes a quality listing?
  • 10 Images – Analysis of a Listing
  • What is a lifestyle Image?
  • Canva Templates
  • Summary

Be sure to grab my Ultimate Etsy Image Guide to keep as a hand guide

How to Create a Mood Board in Canva


What Makes a Quality Listing?


In my opinion, the number one rule with images when selling on Etsy, or any online store, is to ensure that your images clearly show what you are selling.  On your Etsy store, the first thumbnail or feature image is key, as that is what determines whether a visitor will click through to view the rest of your images.  The thumbnail should be a close up or zoomed in view of the item you are selling without distracting backgrounds.

Far too often I see photos of people’s handmade hard work not being shown to look their best.  You have worked so hard to make and design, don’t let yourself down by your images.


Let’s take one  example – earrings or other jewellery photographed lying on the lawn, draped over coloured rocks, or hanging on bushes.  Most of the time the size of the jewellery in these types of photos is very small, or out of scale with the props used.  I recommend not including props in the thumbnail or main listing image – this way it is not only clear WHAT you are selling, it is also clear to the buyer that the props are NOT included.  Whilst this may seem obvious, a quick read of seller posts on some Etsy Facebook Groups will quickly show you that buyers can make all sorts of assumptions or claims when making a purchase based on what they see.


If the background on your Etsy listings is too distracting – heavily textured and dark timber are some I see often – it means the buyer has to really squint to see the detail of what you are selling.  As many people shop and browse on their mobile phones, image clarity is even more important.  You want the potential buyer to like what they see enough to click through to your other images and to make a purchase.  So make your hardwork the focus.  Show a close up of your product.


As much as overly dark or distracting backgrounds take away from the quality of your product, so too do stark white backgrounds.  It’s not a great idea to remove the background of your product and then show it ‘floating’ on a stark white background – this can be “jarring” on the eyes.  You want some muted toning or softening of bright white. 


One thing to note is that the colour and style of a background that suits one shop, may not work so well for another shop.  So often lately on social media I am seeing posts and comments from overwhelmed and confused Etsy sellers saying “I read that we should only use white background”, or “I read that we should not use white backgrounds”, “I heard that we should now use wooden backgrounds) … and the myths go on.


There is no 100% right or wrong answer.  Find what works for your items taking into account:

  • Using a close up of your product
  • Keep props off the first thumbnail if possible
  • Use light coloured and lightly textured backgrounds generally
  • Use darker backgrounds where it suits – but not if they obscure the detail of your item
  • Avoid stark white photos with your image just floating in white space


    5 reasons you need a mood board for your business

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    10 Images – Analysis of an Etsy Listing 


    Etsy gives us 10 image slots for a reason.  I encourage you to use as many as you need to show what you are selling.  Think of it like a shop window – people have the opportunity online to view items without touching them, so they want know:


    • What it is?
    • How to use it?
    • What colour/s it is?
    • What material it is made of?
    • What size is it?
    • What will it look like?
    • How is it packaged?


    ALL without the benefit of physically touching or trying on the item.  YES we have written descriptions which can tell Etsy shoppers all about the details and beauty of our products and digital downloads, but I find that most people will not go to the written details, if the images are not good enough to convince them that they need your item or that what you are selling will solve their problem.


    I used to think that we should always use all 10 image spots, and I actually do this for my Canva template shop.  However, don’t do it if it means showing the same or similar images of an item over and over for the sake of filling up all 10 photo spaces.  In these cases, I suggest that less is more.  I wouldn’t do any less than 5 or 6.  If you think about it, by the time you show some different angles of the item, some lifestyle shots, explain a few details, showcase some other items in your shop, I think it would be hard for you to be including less than 5 images.  Remember a few words next to your photo will answer a lot of questions a buyer might have, before they get to the detailed description.



     if a listing comes in other colours, show the variety available. Even if the items are listed separately, it will encourage a shopper to browse your store and understand that there are options available.

    Scale  –

    humans are funny beasts and not all of us can easily visualise the scale of an object.  In addition, with Etsy being an international platform, you have different measurement systems to deal with leaving some scratching their heads as to what 5 inches equates to and others wondering if the 80 centimetre long artwork will fit in the space they have in mind in their home.  I’m a fan of showing the scale of objects in a relevant way.  Don’t just throw in a coin or a ruler and hope for the best.  Try to use a prop or a guide that is related to the item being sold.  For example, in one of my templates for a crocheted baby toy, I show the toy next to a baby’s bottle, to give some idea of how big the toy is.  In another project I have shown a timber sign hanging on a wall above a dining table to show as a guide – how big the sign is.


    Include a video when you can in your listing – show how you create your item or show your product in different settings.  This all adds to the visual marketing appeal of your goods and your shop as a whole.


     Ugghhhh !!  I’m hearing the groans even as I type this, that some sellers will think this is too much work – and that my friends, is where the magic of templates come in.  Read the section below on Canva templates and find out how you can save so much time AND have high quality listings.



    What is a Lifestyle Image?

    A lifestyle image or mockup is showing people how your item is used in everyday life.  As people, we are emotional beings.  We like to visualise how clothing is worn, what you can fit inside a handbag, how a blue scrunchie will look in different coloured hair, how the geometric artwork would look in a lounge room, office or nursery.


    These are all lifestyle images to help sell your product.  They are examples of how a buyer can use your item which will help convince them that it is right for them and that they need to add it to their cart.


    Does this mean that you need to photograph every item in your store in different locations, on six different models or get a professional photographer to flatlay your products?  No.  Clear photos of what you are selling, plus a few Canva templates,  and you will be able to list your items more quickly and make them look professional and saleable.  Read on below for more information. 


    Make your lifestyle images relevant though.  As I mentioned earlier, don’t photograph your earrings or your wine glasses in your backyard on the green lawn or rocks as they are not relevant to the item you are selling.  In this setting, these props distract from what you are selling, confuse the buyer and often stops a buyer from getting a detailed view of your item.  Not only that, it’s time and effort that you don’t need to be spending.



    5 reasons you need a mood board for your business

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    Canva Templates

    I still remember the joy of the day I discovered Canva.  You can use the free version (, although personally I have Canva Pro because I use it multiple times a day for my business.  The benefit of using a programme such as Canva, is that you can take reasonable quality photos yourself, even on your phone, upload them and create great listing images by adding backgrounds, text and other elements.  This reduces the need for expensive equipment, a lot of time you probably don’t have, and also eliminates the need for a variety of props.


    If you are not sure where to start, I have some Etsy shop listing templates in my store.  Some are niche specific – such as for soap shops, candle shops and crochet shops, however these can really be used for any type of Etsy shop.   I also have a general mockup template which can be used for any type of shop whether it is a product or digital shop.


    The idea of using templates is that they are super easy to edit, save you a whole lot of time and up the WOW factor for your shop.  With my templates, simply:

     1. delete the placeholder images and insert your own

    2. Edit the text

    3. Change the background colour if you wish


    The best part is you can use this same template for ALL your Etsy listings, saving you a ton of time, as well as making your shop look professional and consistent.


    Create a colour palette from your moodboard




    Remember – people act on visuals.  If they like what they see in your images they are more likely to stay on your Shop and look around and to purchase.  You only have 1 to 2 seconds to capture attention.  Your product images need to be clear and they need to answer any questions your buyer has when they are browsing.  Most potential buyers are not going to read the details in your listing descriptions if they have not been won over by your images.


    Have a look at some successful shops in your niche.  See how they present their photos and listings.  But when you do this, keep it in the context that a lot of older shops, that have built up a great following and high sales, may have done so with less images, darker backgrounds, lower quality photos.  In a world where online shopping has grown astronomically, and there are now well over 4 million Etsy shops, competition is fierce, and best practice is important.  Etsy is a small business platform, so to succeed, you need to engage in proven small business marketing techniques to attract your buyers.  It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, yes it can be a lot of work, but your images are the deciding factor as to whether your views convert to sales or not.

    Let me know what you think and I would love for you to share some before and after photos if you decide to update some of your listing images.


    If you do purchase one of my Etsy listing templates – be sure to share it here or over on my Instagram as I would love to see how you put your personal touch on them.


    K Digital Design
    Pinterest Analytics Update – January 21 2021

    Pinterest Analytics Update – January 21 2021

    A quick blog overview on changes released by Pinterest on 21st January 2021. 

    As a Pinterest Manager I like to keep up to date with Professional Development by staying informed with Pinterest and Tailwind as well as sharing information and ideas with other Pinterest Managers in online forums.  This helps me deliver quality content and up to date strategies to my clients.  Stay up to date with Pinterest tips and information on my blog by signing up to my email list.



    What Has Changed?


    Rule number 1 – don’t panic.  The changes are largely cosmetic and logic-based changes related to the analytics of your content.  Whilst the appearance of your account may have changed slightly, it is to show you the data related to YOUR own content, rather than ALL the pins you have in your account.  In my mind, this is a great improvement for business owners and bloggers.



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    Pinterest Marketing for Small Business


     Let’s take the monthly view that now appear in your top right corner as shown above.  This metric or data  is now showing you the number of views that YOUR pins have had in the last 30 days.  That information is much more relevant to you as a business owner as it is telling you how many people are loving your content, rather than loving all of the pins in your account, which includes other people’s pins.


    The monthly views does include all “impressions”, so if someone views your pins multiple times in a month – but that is still good – its showing a lotta love to your account right?  And the more times someone views your content, the more chance you have of conversions and clicks.


    Pinterest explains this change as:

     “Analytics will no longer include data for Pins you’ve saved that do not link back to any of your claimed accounts. To see stats as they were, tick ‘Include saved Pins’ in the Analytics filter bar.”


    For some people the numbers may show large changes, either up or down.  For myself and my clients, there is unlikely to be a significant change – because I use a strategy that focuses on fresh content that belongs to the business connected to the account.


    There is nothing wrong with pinning other people’s content, after all, that is part of what Pinterest is based on.  BUT what a lot of people don’t realise is that Pinterest favours fresh content.  This became even more important when the Pinterest Alogrithim changed in late 2020.  Fundamentally I don’t believe that Pinterest did change significantly as it has always been about creating new content – but this is the subject of a future post.


    As indicated above, you can click on the analytics to see data for all pins on your account if you wish.


    Why The New Pinterest Changes?


    According to Pinterest, the changes to the default appearance of your Business Hub Analytics is:

    “We’ve made this change so that you can understand which content drives followers, traffic and conversions”


    In all forms of marketing, data is “King”.  If you analyse your data, and understand your data, you can use that information to inform your decision making.  In this context, the information can help you in your pin designs to ensure that you are reaching more of your target audience and converting more traffic.


    Key Changes Explained


    This information is directly from Pinterest itself – refer to for further information.


    Before the update, stats included: Today, stats include:
    Any Pins you saved Only Pins you’ve saved from your claimed accounts
    Any Pins you published No change. This includes Pins you’ve created by uploading content to Pinterest as well as Pins you’ve saved from your claimed accounts.
    Other Pins connected to your account No change. This includes Pins saved by others that link back to your claimed account, and Pins created from a catalogue feed.


    Updated Metrics


    Metric Updated definition
    Impressions The number of times your Pins were onscreen
    Engagements The total number of engagements with your Pins, including clicks and saves
    Pin clicks (formerly close-ups) The total number of clicks on your Pin to content on or off Pinterest
    Outbound clicks (formerly link clicks) The total number of clicks to the destination URL associated with your Pin


    Pinterest Data Terms

    For organic pins:


    • Close Up – is now called a Pin Click – this means someone clicked onto your Pin image, ‘cause it looked cute and called them to action.


    • Link Click – is now called an Outbound Click – this means that some has taken the next step by clicking through to your website.


    These are the most important analytics that you want to focus on as part of your monthly analysis.  You want visitors to your site and you want people to have their eyeballs on your content.  Each month, follow your month on month growth in these areas to help track how successful your Pinterest account is.


     Do I Need to Change My Pinterest Marketing Strategy?

    Not as a result of the data name changes.  If you are following a good strategy, focusing on your own fresh content you should keep going as we all know that a consistent long term strategy is how to be successful on Pinterest.   All you need to do is become familiar with the terminology changes if you like to keep track of statistics, and maybe update any spreadsheets you use.


    Let me know what you think of these changes and whether or not you like them.


    K Digital Design
    Pinterest Marketing for Small Business

    Pinterest Marketing for Small Business

    This Blog is the first in my Pinterest content series, and provides an overview of why and how Pinterest marketing works for small business.   Many people out there have been using Pinterest for personal use for many years, but have not yet discovered that Pinterest is a great tool for small business marketing as well.

     In this article I explain:

    1. What is Pinterest for Business?
    2. Why Pinterest is different to Instagram and Social Media
    3. How Pinterest can help grow your business

    If you are not currently a subscriber, sign up now to stay up to date with my latest tips and advice on Pinterest, business systems and website design.

    Pinterest Marketing for Small Business


    What is Pinterest for Business?


     I LOVE Pinterest.  I literally eat, sleep and dream Pinterest – either business related, or searching for ideas, recipes, inspiration.  And that is exactly why Pinterest is the perfect marketing tool for so many businesses.

    Pinterest is essentially a visual search engine.  Think of it like google with images.  Except that Pinterest is so much better than that as every image on Pinterest links back to your website.  So every time that someone clicks on one of your business pins, they are being directed to your website, where they can browse, shop and get in contact with you about your services or products.

    When you or someone else is on Pinterest, they are using it to look for ideas, inspiration and information.  That is why Pinterest has been successful for many years for food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, crafters, business coaches and the like.  Many of these bloggers and coaches have turned their side hustle into their main hustle and make money from their blogging.

    What people are now starting to realise is that you don’t need to be a blogger to use Pinterest.  In fact, Pinterest as a marketing tool has become one of the biggest growth areas for small businesses because it has the power of:

               Visual images + links to your website or URL


    You would have heard of the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  There is nothing quite like grabbing the attention of your target audience with eye catching images or pins, text overlays and links to your website.  Here is an example of the type of pin you can use.   Progammes such as Canva (  or Affinity Designer (Affinity – Professional Creative Software ( can be used to create graphics which are called ‘pins’.



    why your business should be on Pinterest

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    Why Pinterest Is Different to Social Media


    Like any tool, in order to grow your business with Pinterest, you need to understand the fundamental principles behind Pinterest and how they differ to other marketing platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.


    We have already discussed that one of the underlying principles is for attention grabbing visual images.  A key difference between Pinterest and the social media of Facebook and Instagram is that Pinterest pins have a much longer lifespan.  Social media may generate interest for 24 hours and little more before feeds are filled up with other news and images.  Pins stick around for months and years on the platform.  This gives you as a business owner much more value for your time (and any money) spent on Pinterest.


    Another important difference is that Pinterest will not give you overnight success.  It can take 3 to 6 months for the Pinterest algorithm to process the data you are feeding it. 


    The reward for your patience will be growth every month and every year, provided that you are consistent with your content and provide content that is relevant to your ideal customer or client.


    Why Pinterest is good for business

    How Pinterest Can Help Grow Your Business


    The first step towards Pinterest success for your business is to set up a business account for Pinterest.  This is different to a personal account as it can track information about the number of visitors to your website, your popular pins, your audience profile, etc

    Signing up for a Pinterest account is free and easy ( )  Follow the steps given by Pinterest to ensure that you link your website to your Pinterest account so you can track visitor numbers.


    Some tips for small business to experience growth on Pinterest:

    • Be relevant – include images, words and descriptions that are relevant to your business and your client avatar
    • Be consistent – pinning quality pins, regularly is more important than trying to pin a ton of pins on one day a month
    • Design a variety of pins – static, video, story pins (when available in your area)
    • Analyse what is working and try something different if its not
    • Focus on content for your business, whilst sharing a sprinkling of other people’s content
    • The number of followers you have is not really that important. To some extent it can be helpful to have followers who are sharing your content, but it is not overly important in the scheme of the things


    Pinterest is a great tool, and helping so many different types of business make a lot of money and driving a ton of traffic to their website.  BUT success comes with understanding how Pinterest works.  Any marketing you do for your business needs to be underpinned by a good strategy, otherwise you are wasting your time and your money.  When you only have a few seconds to convert a potential customer, the power of the visual image on Pinterest can be highly successful.


    I hope you learned some great tips from this blog.  Please let me know what you found useful and what you would like to see covered in future blogs in my Pinterest series.  If you love the concept of Pinterest marketing for your business, but don’t want to do all the work yourself – check out my Pinterest Management packages and monthly pin design subscription.


    K Digital Design