As of October 5, 2016, Etsy has retired the ability for users to create and edit treasuries. This blog post is no longer relevant.
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Once upon a time, I started an Etsy shop. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Luckily for me, however, things worked themselves out…eventually.
About 2 months after opening my darling little shop, I passed an influential milestone.
I sold my first item.
I think each shop owner clearly remembers that electrifying day.
For me, it was especially thrilling because not only was it my first sale, but it also was an international sale (to Indonesia, in case you were curious).
Just a short while after that, I was featured in my first treasury.
My (exact) reaction: What’s a treasury?
Well, funny I should ask. That’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at in this post.
It’s been roughly 3 years since that befuddled day, and I’m happy to declare that I now have a really good idea of what treasuries are.
Starting out, Etsy defines treasuries as ‘an ever-changing, member-curated shopping gallery. The gallery consists of lists, each containing 16 items. Members can create a themed collection or feature their favorite items from all over Etsy.”
You’re probably still confused. I would be too.
Summing up, Etsy treasuries are a list of 16 items (found throughout any shop on Etsy).
Those items are chosen by you, the shopper/seller, and created into a list arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way with the goal of doing…. absolutely nothing.
Except being pretty and fun to design, of course.
Here's an image pulled from an Etsy treasury (see more at the bottom; click on the image to be directed to the full Etsy treasury):
So now that you have a basic understanding of what treasuries look like, let’s go right into the perks and disadvantages of creating them and being featured:
Perks of creating an Etsy Treasury
1. Fills in Your Profile
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s a space at the bottom of your profile where your recently created treasuries appear.
Without at least one, it looks rather bland and empty.
It might be a wise idea to create a collection, if only to fill in this space.
2. Spike in Views
While views generated from treasuries rarely (if ever) result in sales, they do add views to your item.
Which, in turn, bumps up the products in search results.
I have one item that persists in gaining the most views, simply because it already has the most views.
That may sound confusing, but somewhere along the lines, it works out.
(Side note: you can see the number of views any given item has by scrolling to the bottom of the page. In addition to that, you can view the treasuries it's been featured in.)
3. Follower Count
If you have a keen eye for design and create especially pleasing content, you’re likely to gain several followers from each list.
Followers are beneficial for shop owners on one account: when new items are listed, it shows up in your follower’s feed.
This only applies if you’re constantly on the Treasury front page (I have tips at the bottom to explain how you can reach that goal).
While there are many benefits to this, the main one, as I see it, is notability.
I can still tell you the names and shops of all the major treasury curators who were popular ‘back in my day’ (it’s been roughly a year since I was treasury-crazy, and the top spots fluctuate periodically).
If you can manage to make a name similar to that for yourself it’s certain to do wonders for your shop.
Disadvantages with creating Etsy treasuries
As you can see, treasuries can be lovely and amusing to create (or curate, as it’s officially known).
The problem is, too many shop owners believe that by creating treasuries they’ll derive massive benefits (or even minute benefits!).
The truth is, neither will occur.
Rarely have I received more than 3 views from a given treasury.
And when I have, it’s because of team games which are known as ‘clicks’.
In these games, you visit the treasury, open up every item in another tab, then close them all without so much as looking.
Thus, giving the illusion each item has been carefully viewed out of consideration.
This method fools Etsy into thinking the treasury is popular, thus being featured on the front page treasury list.
The problem with this concept is it completely ruins your dashboard statistics.
You may believe that you’re receiving a number of views, but really, all you’re gaining is ‘clicks’.Etsy treasuries ruin your dashboard statistics and you're only gaining 'clicks'. Learn more here: Click To Tweet
When first starting out on Etsy, I was treasury maker extraordinaire.
It took an incredible amount of time. Did I succeed? In a word, yes.
I made it on the front page.
I was a treasury ‘big-shot’.
People featured me in their treasuries left and right, around five a day.
But where is that success now?
Point in case, treasuries give you short term benefits.
In the long run, they give you nothing.
It may seem harsh, but it’s the plainest way to put it.
Instead of focusing on this short term goal, spend time focusing on every word of your title and tags to catch search engines.
That’s the key to lasting success.
As items in your treasury are bought from the shop, they disappear from the list.
Uh-oh. You guessed it.
That means within just a few months, sometimes sooner, you have about 3 items left and your forgotten treasury is in the deep recesses of the cyberworld, never to be found again.
All that time and energy? Wasted.
Another example of short-term success, long-term failure.
Treasuries have a way of shifting your focus.
It goes from working nonstop on the items in your shop, to focusing on the items in other shops.
Instead of ramping up your SEO and preparing for the upcoming season, you’re focused on the new spring style, or what’s hot this summer — not to make your items better, but to make your treasuries better.
Making a few innocent treasuries here and there is perfectly fine (and fun, while you’re at it!).
But full-time curating is tiresome and detrimental to your shop. It takes time. So much time.
You might not believe me, but trying to put your treasury on the front page for the first time is ridiculously time-consuming, and it doesn’t stop there.
Once you’ve found the algorithm, it’s so easy to just keep on going with them.
Although it may sound odd and difficult to believe, treasuries affects your shop (in a negative manner) and shift your focus.
If you’d still like to give them a try (I’d recommend trying at least one), here’s a few rules/tips on how to create stunning treasuries as well as making them successful:
7 steps to creating stunning and successful Etsy treasuries
1. Don’t feature yourself
In the Etsy world, it is fairly considered the cardinal sin to include one of your own items in a treasury you create. So whatever you do, please do not do that. It’ll earn you a bad rap, I promise.
My favorite program to use is TreasuryBox. It makes curating a breeze.
Out of every tip listed, this one is the most significant. I don’t know what I ever did without it.
3. Feature Back
Whenever you’re featured in a list, create your own treasury and ‘feature back’ that person.
Theoretically, by doing this, for each collection you curate, 16 should be created featuring you back.
4. Front-Page Features
This is somewhat a cheat, but here goes: look on the front page treasuries list and feature the first 16 curators in your collection (one item from each shop).
Those who make it on the front page multiple times over (or even once) can rightly be called pros.
They know the game. They know how to promote. They also follow the previous rule (#3).
Meaning, your shop’s items will be featured in 16 front page treasuries.
Most of which have over 3,000 views (now multiply that by 16).
Even better, many folks copy the shops (just using different items) used in the front-page treasuries to create their own (believing that the shop is what drives the list to success).
Believe me, you’ll be on treasury overdose if you curate about 3 of these within a week. It’s a never-ending cycle.
5. Take time, never rush, don’t settle
If you don’t have time to make a treasury well, don’t do it at all. Postpone making one until you do. Give yourself at least 30 minutes, preferably 45 to an hour.
Don’t settle for ‘okay’.
You want to look at every item and fall in love.
You want to look at every item and have the urge to buy them.
Then you want to step back, look it over, and see one big picture that fits together like a puzzle.
It’s not always easy, and it does take time. But that’s what makes it the most beautiful.
That’s the key to front-page success.
6. Use every tag
Even if you’re at your wits end.
Keep thinking up more tags until you hit the max.
Just like normal SEO, every word counts.
7. Message Each Shop
If you install TreasuryBox, you can send it out in one go.
However, if not, you should message each shop that’s been featured.
Be sure to include not only the link to the collection, but the item’s link, as well.
This is necessary because many shop owners, through time, simply cease to check their dashboard feed.
Unless the shop is notified, they won’t realize they’ve been featured. Thus, not viewing your carefully crafted treasury.
Here’s a few messages I’ve received recently. Usually the curator takes a minute to write a simple message the proceeds to send it to every shop:
Your wonderful item is in my Treasury.
Please click love comment and share!
All the best
Treasury for you!
I have added your beautiful item in my new treasury. Please enjoy, click, comment and share.
Treasury: treasury link here
Listing: listing link here
Click– This is what I discussed earlier in the post. Click on the treasury and every item in it.
Love– Also known as heart/favorite.
Comment– Comment in the comment section. If you’re featured, be sure to say thanks!
Share– Through social media outlets, primarily Pinterest
Well, that about wraps it up! I hope all the tips and tricks have been helpful. I’d be glad to answer any questions you may have in the comment section below! Thanks for reading!
Madelyn is a coffee-crazed avid reader who delights in running her blog, Literary Cafe, and most recent Etsy shop. There’s nothing she loves more than curling up on a rainy day with a good book, or scrolling through endless pages of DIY boards on Pinterest .
She started her first Etsy shop in 2011, marking 5 years of successful entrepreneurship. Right now Madelyn is delving into the possibilities of a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of opening a new shop and online store focusing on hand lettering. You can find her on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.com/madelyncut/