Two and a half years ago (!) I wrote an article on how to improve your Etsy shop. It’s by far the most popular article on my blog, and as of this writing has 256* comments. I’ve noticed a particularly sad trend: Etsy sellers commenting with simply a link to their Etsy shop.
Comment spam is not at all unique to Etsy sellers, I get 20+ spam comments every day. Most of them are caught by the spam filters. But most of them are also from spambots – automated scripts that seek out popular blog platforms and spray comment spam wherever they can.
But the Etsy spam seems to come from mostly humans, which means that there are people who think that tediously copy-pasting their link onto blogs is the most effective use of their time to market their shop. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and the idea that someone is sinking hours of their life into this is just heartbreaking.
There are a number of reasons why comment linkspam isn’t an effective way to drive traffic to your shop. Frankly, no one is likely to see it. Very few people are going to click a link in a comment, and the chances of converting them into a sale is minimal. The return on the investment of your time just isn’t worth it.
A lot of people are under the mistaken assumption that planting links to their Etsy store all over the web will improve their positioning in search results. This is called Search Engine Optimization. But nearly all modern blog platforms are wise to this practice, and tag outgoing links in comments as “nofollow.” This tag tells search engines that they should not consider the link trusted, and not to give any SEO benefits to it.
I think part of the problem is that a number of sources, including Etsy itself, have promoted blogging as a means of driving marketing. And there are a lot of ways in which this is true. But comment spam isn’t one of them. A lot of marketing is about building a story behind your products. For the hour you spend copy/pasting your shop address all over the internet, you’d be much better off writing a story about your creative process or background and asking relevant blogs if they’d be interested in featuring it.
Comment spam feels “free” because there isn’t a cash investment involved, but ultimately your time is worth something. And for what you’re spending (time) versus what you’re getting back (nothing), comment spam is possibly one of the most expensive things you can do.
* Omg 256 comments! What a great number. That’s 2^8, which any nerd knows is a very important number!