after deciding to get my stuff back on etsy, i've been researching and brainstorming over different ways to get folks over to my etsy site. here's what i've come up with:
post items at optimal times. here's a graph and analysis of the highest buying/listing times. there's a tradeoff with posting when etsy is busy - others are also listing items, which pushes your item down in the queue, making it less accessible. my strategy - use 9-10pm eastern as the optimal time, when listings are decreasing, but sales are still pretty high.
spread out posting of items/renew often. if you have many items to post, don't do it all at once. ideally, they'd be spread out. also, you get many more views if your items are at the top of the etsy list...so renew often. (go to: your etsy - renew items)
join flickr. upload your items (using the spread out method) tag and describe heavily, join relevant groups and post your items to these groups. be active - leave comments, join groups, make contacts and post often. make sure to put your etsy shop link in your profile. however, DON'T put it in your item description, or even mention etsy in your description. your account could be banned.
use etsy-mini. this is an easy little promotional tool that can be used everywhere. it's a customized little snippet of items that you have in your store that you can put in profiles, your blog, emails, anywhere. for an example, look at the top right of this blog. to use etsy mini - login to etsy, go to Your Etsy - and etsy mini under the Promote section. choose your customizations/size, copy the code and paste it whereever you can.
create a blog. but don't just post new items and links to your shop. discuss things that are relevant, add tutorials and how-tos, ideas, interesting findings, your life outside of your etsy shop. include etsy mini on your blog for great exposure. use feedburner to promote your blog and get great stats. you can check to see how people end up on your blog, as well as how many click on your etsy-mini store.
take good pictures of your items. use lots of natural light. NO FLASH. use all 5 picture slots that etsy allows you.
join hobby and social networking sites, and be active. post items, write in forums, and be sure to include etsy mini (or at least links to esty if that doesn't work) in your profile and your signature. some of the ones that i like: ravelry, craftster, getcrafty, burdastyle, indiepublic or non-craft related like facebook and myspace.
business or moo cards. promote in the real world. when you sell an item, include a couple of business cards (one for the buyer and few for their friends). post on bulletin boards, hand out to friends. moo cards are nice because they can contain actual pictures of your items.
create your own online shop, in addition to your etsy site. it attracts buyers from a different angle. track your stats with statcounter.com
bust.com - girl wide web. post your shop (and your blog) to this site. i can't tell you how many hits this site gets me.
advertise on craft-related sites for a small fee. (i.e. craftster and ravelry). also, i've heard of projectwonderful.com but i haven't tried it out yet.
offer newsletter signups for announcements and news for your shop
post to craigslist. i've done this a couple of times in the past and i get a ton of hits all at once, but i don't think i've ever had any sales come from it. the craigslist market isn't really one for handmade quality items.