One of the biggest things I have noticed lately is that there are a lot of people on the forums at Etsy who are complaining about things. They complain they are not being found in the search engines (mostly Google), they complain they are not being featured on the front page. They complain that they don't get any answers why they aren't doing well.
A lot of sellers on the forums seem to want Etsy to promote their shops for them. To me this is being lazy. I mean, yes, it's nice to be featured on the front page of Etsy. I am not going to say it isn't. But I have noticed more than once that, well, people on the forums tend to want Etsy to do everything for them.
Etsy was created to make it easy for people to start their own business selling the items they make in their studios, kitchens, living rooms, etc. They were not created to promote those shops for their shop owners. If I am going to run a business, I need to be not only making the products that I am selling, but I also need to be marketing and promoting my products and my shop.
I have several ways of doing so. I use Facebook & Twitter. I use MySpace. I talk about my products, my inspirations, etc. I host giveaways on my blog and I post links about that on my social networks. I use deviantArt to show of photos of my work. I use what tools I have available to me to promote my shop.
When I send out a package, I enclose a few of my business cards. I use return address labels with my business name on them. Each item that is sent has a business card inside the packaging for the item. That is how I promote my jewelry. I make sure that the buyer knows where it came from, and I give them an opportunity to also tell others about it.
I love Etsy. I have no plans to leave Etsy. Sure I get frustrated, but then I realize that it is my own lack of promotion that is keeping me from reaching my full potential, not something that is wrong with Etsy. More sellers should take a step back, take a deep breath, and see the same thing.