Friday, September 2, 2011

Front Page Worthy Pictures

So we all want to get on the Etsy Front Page, but it seems like such a long shot, like it would take a hand of luck to get there. I felt this way for the first 6 months of being on Etsy. Finally, one day I just realized that if I wanted to get on front page, (and of course I did) I needed to do something to get there. I had read many posts in the past about having great pictures, but I didn't truly understand the importance, until recently. Statteam Captain, Hippiechicjewelz made a post on our discussion board about taking pics, and it finally soaked in. I got busy, re-working my shop and was determined to make my pictures better. After I started this process, a report was put out for sale by "Handmadeology," titled "The Naked Truth About the Etsy Front Page"- I was so excited to get this report, hoping for some insight into what I was missing about getting to the front page. I was very disappointed when I got it and realized it had nothing new to offer me. I had already learned all this information, thanks to Jewelz. It was reassuring to know that I was on the right track. Shortly after, I re-worked my photos, there it was, the day I dreamed of... Front Page!! 

Now I am thinking, maybe I can share some of these details with you, so you can share in the Front Page glory too!

So basically, in the report, they have taken the photo statistics from 7 Front page treasuries. They broke it down into 11 different questions and took the statistics to answer them. Some of these, I found to be irrelevant. For example, they suggested that if you want to statistically increase your odds of being on the front page, you should list items in the most commonly featured categories, which are Jewelry, Art, and Vintage. The only reason, these items are featured more, is because there are more of them on Etsy than the other categories. Therefore, I think it is ridiculous to say that you should change the items you sell, just to get a front page feature. Instead, let's focus on getting the items you already sell, on the front page. 

Another statistic that I found useless, was that they suggested to not have a human in the photo. Statistically, these photos are not featured in treasuries most of the time. Of course they are not. You don't see front page treasuries full of people. You may see one or two, out of the 16 photos. So of course, there will be more photos on front page without a person in it. I have decided to include a little of both in my shop. Just be sure to follow the other guidelines when taking pictures featuring people and they can turn out pretty and be featured on front page, as mine did. :)

So let's talk about what I did find useful...

What type of background did the product have?
The answer is simple.... about 44% of the photos featured had a solid white background (or close to white) 
White Background:
They broke these photos down into 4 categories...
NO background -13%
White- 44%
Scene - 20%
Texture- 23%
A photo with a textured background, came in 2nd at 23 % of the time.
Example of textured background: (the background was not white, but had some other consistent texture)

Example of a photo with NO Background: (the picture was an art print, the whole product was the background) Remember, there is only going to be around 2 art prints per treasury, and of the 7 FP Treasuries pulled, there were 15 photos featured with NO Background...
and 20% of the photos were featured with a scene in the background... (the background was some environment, nature, a building, etc)example:

So basically, if you want to increase your odds of being selected for front page, take your photos on white backgrounds if at all possible.

Moving on... "Position of the item in the photo". 
3/4 of the photos selected for front page, were photos with the item positioned in the center. That is very easy to understand. You want your items to be centered in your photo. 

So should you take a close up picture of part of the item or a far away photo that shows the entire item? 
The answer... 82% of the pictures featured, were far away shots, showing the entire item, instead of focusing up close, on a portion of the item.

Next, it was discussed as to whether the picture should include props or not. 
The answer was 2/3 of the photos featured stood alone, without additional props. It is best to clearly focus on the product for sale, you don't want your potential customers to have to guess what you are selling with your photos. Show them clearly. If you have to include the words, "props shown are not for sale" you probably have too much in your photo. Show them what is for sale. Don't make them search for the answer. 

Should your picture be busy or simple?
99% of the pictures chosen for front page, were simple shots focusing on the product only.

The shots were not modified (other than cropping and natural color enhancing), such as several put together in a collage or shading the background of the picture gray and emphasizing one color.

It's that simple! Literally... simple, clear photos on a simple white background are most likely to be featured on Etsy's Front page. That does not mean that these are the only photos you will see on the front page, but statistically, these photos have a better chance of being featured. I know you are thinking, that it is a lot of work to change all your pictures... but trust me... it is worth it. I have been featured once, and I want to be featured again. I could not believe the incredible amount of views my shop received. I am not giving up, I am going to keep my photos consistent to meet the guidelines, and I encourage you, to do the same. :)

Thank you to LittleLadyIrish and BlackFridayStudios for the use of their photos. :)

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  1. Wow, great info! Thanks for sharing this Mojo!

  2. Interesting statistics! Thanks for sharing.