In Which I Do that Which I Said I Wouldn't
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the feeling of fragmentation and the creative life. My main artistic pursuit is surrealistic photo manipulation but I also bead jewelry and have started experimenting with geometric abstracts.
In an age when its hard to find full time employment, so many of us have resorted to what we call "the side hustle". I find I like re-framing my different artistic interests as a "side hustle" instead of a "fragmentation of creative self".
In that blog post, I said that I thought it was important to maintain three different profiles: one for my surrealism, one for the beading, and one for the abstracts. I have three different web stores, three different Facebook business pages and three different Instagram accounts.
Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to continue to do that. I'm going to be re-thinking my entire strategy.
I was using Etsy as a destination for my beaded jewelry (Victorian Minx) and intended to set up an Etsy shop just for my abstracts (Geometric Voodoo), but a new Etsy policy has made that unworkable.
Most of my Etsy traffic comes to my Etsy shop via my social media posts and not from searches in Etsy. However, Etsy has instituted a new policy requiring that I opt into something called "Etsy Plus" in order to be able to promote listings from my Etsy shop in my social media. I am no longer able to boost Etsy listings through Facebook or Instagram unless I sign up for "Etsy Plus".
Opting into the program costs only $20 a month, which would be $40 for me with two shops. I would, in essence, be paying Etsy to be able to promote my shop in social media. I would be paying to pay. I don't think that's worth $480 a year.
When I started with Etsy many years ago, my items received a lot of traffic through their site, but over time, that traffic has dwindled and I've had to work on other platforms to drive traffic to my listings. I generate most of my own traffic through social media posts.
Maybe that isn't true for you and your Etsy shop is flooded with Etsy based traffic and that is absolutely wonderful, but I'm afraid that just isn't true for me.
I also get that it's their playground and their rules, but it doesn't mean that I can't take my ball and find somewhere else to play. Consequently, I will be moving all my bead work over to my web store on my own website.
I know I said that I would never cross the streams, but sometimes we have to do the previously unthinkable in order to save the world (or save a few hundred dollars).
Fare thee well, Etsy Cupcakes. I am sorry I am leaving your playground. I wish you all the best and, if you have a change of heart about your rules, maybe we can play together again someday.