John Golden is a well established artist; definitely one of my favorite Etsy purveyors, and a good source of inspiration and information. When I finally decided I needed a little more diversification in my Beach Cities shop, the first person I thought of was John. His work has a strong uniformity, but is also fairly diverse in subject matter.
I sent John a note asking his thoughts on diversity within a shop space, and if he felt diversity was a key element in his success. His insightful response was so solid, I asked if he didn’t mind me sharing it with you. Here are the key points.
- The tricky thing is to have a niche, but to make it as broad of a niche as possible. My niche came out of a need for art for my kids’ rooms … and I have found some sub-niches within that niche.
- I try to tie them all together with a consistency of styles (tho I sometimes push that envelope) and kind of a similar “voice” (whether it’s a certain type of humor, affection for something, etc.).
- If the idea came to me, and it truly interests me, the execution of the idea has potential to fit my stop. If it is something I think would sell, but is not necessarily coming from that true interest in or affection for some aspect of the subject matter or the illustration style, my execution of the idea may be a harder fit for the shop.
- I think variety of subject matter increases your chances of showing up in searches, and that will increase your presence online.
- I think too often we think of people finding our online stores and imagine them behaving like someone walking in to a brick and mortar store. If you walked into a store with 400 items you could see all at once, it would seem overwhelming. I believe folks online find us one item at a time, so 400 items may not be as overwhelming, but increases our chance of being seen.
- I definitely recommend having diversity in your shop if you can make it work within your vision of your shop. I think it has helped with the success of my shop.
Pretty much solidifies what I was initially thinking, but was a bit gun-shy about pushing forward on in my shop. Thanks to John for the insight. I appreciate it and I know some of you will too. Check out John W. Golden’s work on Etsy. Oh, and he’s having a big summer sale, so get in on that stuff before it’s gone.