Now that you've set up your Etsy shop, it's time to take the next step.
The hardest thing about running an Etsy shop is getting seen. The methods sellers use to get seen are known as promotion. There are a huge number of different ways to promote outside of Etsy; but I'll discuss those another time. Today I will be dealing with what you can do on the actual Etsy site to help your shop stand out.
Promotion and learning on Etsy Forums. The Etsy forums are a great floor to learn about Etsy and to help others learn. Whether you're just starting out on Etsy and don't know much, or you're a total expert, there is a place for you. I am a big fan of the Business Topics section of the forums, and I have learned a lot there.
You can learn a lot on the forums, but you can also use the forums for promotion. Whenever you make a post, there's a link to your shop right there. I know that I've bought things from people who have posted in the forums. Having an attractive avatar and writing helpful posts will help you get seen on the forums.
Keep on your toes in Etsy Chat. Chat is like the forums, only much more fast-paced. One interesting feature of chat is the ability to post people's items on the side of the chat. It's considered rather gauche to post your own items in chat - Instead, post other sellers' items and they will do the same for you. Chat can be fun, just make sure you're not in a room with special rules ("FS" chat means Featured Seller, where you're only allowed to post items from one seller). On the whole, I've found Etsy sellers to be very nice and I've even made some friends there.
Etsy Teams. Teams can be a GREAT way to promote and build friendships on Etsy. Some Etsy street teams are more active than others, and some teams are much larger than others. Take a look at what teams are doing before you join. I'm a member of two teams, Etsyknitters and Yarnaholics. Etsyknitters team is larger and more active than Etsy Yarnaholics, but both are valuable in their own way. Often times teams will get together and throw large team-wide promotions. I haven't participated in these yet but they're probably good for promoting your shop.
Treasuries. The Etsy Treasury can be a valuable tool for Etsy promotion. Treasuries are groups of 12 items picked by Etsy members. You'll be most familiar with the treasury in the form of the Etsy front page. However, there are several hundred treasuries on Etsy at any one time.
Each treasury lasts about 2 days, during which time people can view the items and comment on them. The more views, clicks, and comments a treasury gets, the higher a ranking it gets in the treasury list. If one of your items is in a successful treasury, it can mean a lot of new views and hearts for you.
Sometimes Treasury Curators will convo you to tell you that you're in their treasury, but for the most part it's kind of a secret. To find out if you're in a treasury, check out the Etsy Treasure Hunt at Craftopolis.
The Etsy community is a great bunch, and building relationships within it is rewarding. Not only are you making friends and learning how to improve your shop, but you're also building connections that can lead to greater exposure of your Etsy shop.