February 6, 2011

How to Control the Appearance of Your Etsy mini

The Etsy mini is a wonderful tool that Etsy provides for its users.  Both buyers and sellers can use it to promote their favorite items.  Sellers use it to show off their shop items.  The Etsy mini is code that can be posted in any blog or website.  We use it promote our TAFA Team members and to post ads on the sidebar of our main site, TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.  Every TAFA member who has an Etsy shop also has the Etsy mini on their member profiles.  The mini is also what we used to build our Gallery of Shops on this blog (See the category tabs under our banner).

Most Etsy sellers know how to grab the code.  For those who don't, Timothy Adam created a tutorial in the following video:

Timothy has made a huge contribution to the Etsy community over the years with his blog, Handmadeology.  Loaded with tutorials, reviews and tips, it's a great resource for Etsy sellers.  He's come a long way since this first video on Etsy minis!

The video shows how to grab the mini code and paste it to your blog.  It doesn't go into how the mini looks or what items can be chosen for it.   This is how you control the appearance of your Etsy mini:

Items for Sale

When you go to "Your Etsy", the backbones of your Etsy shop, the default view is a list of the items that are for sale in your shop.   The following images are screen shots.  Click on them and you will get a full-size view which will help you see the content.

 "Currently for Sale", default view of Your Etsy

Notice the stars to the right of each item.  If you click on those stars, they turn green and become featured items in your shop.  The Etsy mini will automatically pull the last items you listed as the images shown in the mini, unless you click on these stars.  Once you do that, the mini will show your featured items.

Featured Listings

Next, you will want to choose the order in which these featured items are listed in your mini.  If you don't, the mini will default to when they were listed, most recent being displayed first.  The sidebar has a section of links related to how the shop is set up.  The first has to do with the items in the shop.  Under Items, look for Featured Listings.  Click on that and a list of items shows up.  Those are the ones that have the green stars. 

Featured Listings in an Etsy Shop

Notice that there is a group of four items at the top, separated from the rest.  Those four show up at the top of the Etsy shop and are also the first four in the Etsy mini.  I normally keep at least 16 featured items so I have a long list of items with green stars.  

At the far right, there is an arrow with an up and down box.  Click on that to move the item up or down.  It's a slow process and I don't know why Etsy doesn't use the same process as it does when we select the order in which images appear on our listings or in treasuries.  At any rate, this is how it is done now and hopefully, some day they will make it easier.

Final View of Your Etsy Mini

I choose to keep 16 items featured because that is the largest mini that is likely to be used on other sites.  Here is what my mini looks like in my TAFA Member Profile:

If you go to my profile, you will see it live.  If someone clicks on one of the items, it takes them to that item in the shop.  If they click on Etsy, it takes them to Etsy's home page.  If they click on rayela, they go to my shop.  (Tricky how close Etsy places their link to our shops...)

Again, the first four items at the top of this mini are the same ones that show up at the top of my shop.  It is very important to keep at least four featured items so that the four gallery sized spots are filled.  Often people forget and if there are less than four, the shop looks unorganized.  If one of the mini items sells, the next one on the featured items list takes its place.  It's a good idea to have at least six featured items.  As I sell both things that I make and vintage cultural textiles, I try to keep two of each in the first four.  You might want to organize things by color, type or price.

Advertising with Your Etsy Mini

If you use the Etsy mini to advertise your shop, that first item is especially important as it is the one that will show up if one gallery size image is used.  Make it a good one and change it often.  We have ads on our TAFA site and accept both images and the Etsy minis.  Here is what mine looks like at the time of this post:

 Etsy mini ads on TAFA's sidebar.

I hope this tutorial has helped you understand how to maximize your Etsy mini's performance.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment and check the box to receive emails on new comments as we will answer here.

Explore our Gallery of Shops on this blog to see how our Team members use their Etsy minis.  These are a block of four gallery sized minis.   We hope that you will also see something that is a must-have and shop from them!

Interested in supporting TAFA with your Etsy mini as an ad?  Visit our Sponsor page for rates.

If you found this tutorial helpful, share it on facebook, email it to your friends and blog about it.  I did it because I searched for something similar to share with some of our TAFA Team members but didn't find anything how to control your Etsy Mini's Appearance.  Now you know how to do it!


  1. Rachel - thank you so much for turning me on to Handmadeology. I am going to make it my daily reading for a while. :-)

  2. Make sure you check out his Etsy shop, too. He does beautiful work in metal and has some really cool displays for jewelry.

  3. Thank you so much for this info.It helps so much to better understand how to use the tools available to us.

  4. Thanks, as always, for this info. Very useful!

  5. Thanks so much for this tutorial, Rachel! Just what I wanted.

    Interesting you should mention Tim. I think he was my first 'guru' when I joined Etsy!

  6. Good! I'm glad all of you are making use of this tutorial. The Etsy mini is one of the smartest tools that Etsy has come up with. And, Tim is great!

  7. Rayela, thanks for the article on Timothy's Etsy Mini. He makes it so simple and now I am ready to add my Etsy mini to my new Blog. I plan to start the blog in January. I will visit him on Etsy and follow more of his tutorials.

    Thanks, Timothy!

    Diana Bracy

  8. Rachel thanks so much for this tutorial as selling online is so tough for someone like me who is having to learn from scratch via the virtual path. I'm looking at the year these posts were made 2011! Then is was much easier via exhibitions.


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