I am fairly new to Etsy myself, so I thought writing a post about a very important but sometimes overlooked part of Etsy might be helpful to other crafters and artisans.
Etsy forums are found on your Etsy navigation bar under Community. They are a place to ask for help, ask for advice, chat about business, and even promote your shop. The people that post in these forums range from newbies like me to seasoned shops owners.
After setting up my own shop and getting a blog going;( The blog took a while. I had no clue what I was doing at first.) I set out to check out the forums. The some of the topics include Site help, Critiques, Techniques and Materials, and Promotions. As first I did ALOT of reading.
(Side note: I am a researcher by nature. At one point in my like I was thinking of going into Microbiology Research. I am the type of person who thinks it's fun to go the library, pick a topic; any random topic and then find every book on the subject to try to absorb all the in formation contained in them.)
As I was saying; I skimmed around several topics and read through many threads to get a feel for the type of people that were posting. I immediately got the impression that there were others like me still trying to swim through all the information available at Etsy. Everyone in the forums is friendly and always willing to help out a fellow Estian.
The the most helpful topic I found was Site Help. The threads are mostly from people new to Etsy but others of from people just looking for some help or advise to improve their shops. I know I found it useful in making my Esty mini for my blog.
An interesting topic I saw was Critiques. It first I thought it was going to be a bunch of shop bashing. But I was wrong. Threads such as 'Critique my shop', 'What do you think of my newly listed item?', and even 'What do you think of my photos?' were represented along with others along the same vain. Everyone responding to the threads were helpful and constructive, and in many cases very supportive. What a great place to get an ego boost!
A continuing theme I found throughout the forums was 'Connections'. It is all about making connections. What I mean is the forums are an excellent form of networking. The more you read and post to a thread or many threads; the more great crafters and artisans you get to meet. In turn they can spread the word about your shop and you for their's. ( I really simplified there, so I hope I get my point across).
Now I know there are many of you out there on Etsy that may feel shy or intimidated, but the forums may be the place to break out of you shell. Remember we are all there to do the same thing, make our business's succeed. So go ahead ask the question you thought was dumb, chances are there is someone with the same question. Besides, I don't think any of us bite. (At least I have not seen it in the forums.)