Dirtsy Visitors: What I Learned From You

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Learn as if you were to live forever. ~Mahatma Gandhi (tweet this quote)

Customer service defines a business and I’m constantly trying to improve mine. I do this by paying attention to my visitors- the way you browse the site, topics you’ve voted on in my recent poll and your e-mails.

I’m constantly trying to learn from the way you interact with my site: I look at all my Twitter mentions, read every comment and try to reply to e-mails within 24 hours.

Today’s post is about learning, and it’s a little different from the way I usually write. I’m going to show you how to adapt to the way customers behave by using Dirtsy as a live example.

Here’s what you’ve taught me so far:

You come from all over the world

Dirtsy demographic

Since launch, Dirtsy has had visitors from 67 countries!

You prefer Facebook over Twitter

I didn’t want to spread myself too thin on social media and opted for Twitter over Facebook. I didn’t even bother to link my Facebook page in the header.

I made a mistake.

More Dirtsy posts are shared via Facebook than Twitter. It also seems a lot of Etsy sellers hook up their twitter accounts to automatically repost what they write on Facebook; they treat Twitter as a secondary platform.

I’ll be more on Facebook in the coming months. If you haven’t yet, please like Dirtsy’s Facebook page.

Designing for mobile is crucial

A large number of visitors are reading Dirtsy through phones and tablets.

You may have noticed Dirtsy’s layout changed a couple of weeks ago. This new design adapts to mobile browsers automatically without creating two versions of the site.

Resize your browser window to see it in action, it’s nifty.

Not all of you sell on Etsy

When I started the site, I focused on Etsy-related topics like SEO for Etsy and writing About pages. I soon realized that a lot of Dirtsy’s visitors don’t sell on Etsy.

You sell on Ebay, your own domain and sometimes exclusively on Artfire.

Expect to see more tips that can be applied across different venues from now on.

You like personalization

I’ve been testing out various ways to send my newsletter, from using short subjects to including symbols at the start. My e-mails were read the most when I addressed readers by name in the subject line.

I’ve changed my mailing list provider as a result. Readers can now choose what kind of topics they want to be notified about, and how often the updates should be sent.

If you’re already a Dirtsy subscriber and want to change the way updates are sent to you, just click on “update subscription preferences” at the bottom of the emails.

New subscribers can add their names here:

You like my content enough to save it

This surprised me most of all: visitors like Dirtsy’s content enough to write it down! Many of you copy/pasted a short snippet of my articles to share via messages.

I think this serves as a reminder that not everyone chooses to share via social media. There are plenty of people who’d rather e-mail or instant message instead.

You’re watching the way I work

Dirtsy may have only been up for a little over a month, but I’m already seeing people mirror the way I run the site.

I should point out a little caveat though: I experiment a lot and you may end up emulating a quirky test rather than something that actually works. For example, the purpose of my lip balm giveaway is to see how much it can boost my Klout score. When it comes to using giveaways as a promotional tool, I don’t think raffles work for everyone.

( If you want proven tactics, all my time-tested secrets go in my PDF guides! )

I’m currently testing out different ways to write listings too: You’ll notice that some of my Etsy SEO guide listings have very in-your-face call to actions while others have none at all. Some are instant download while others aren’t.

I think variety helps in finding out what customers want.

Are you learning from your customers?

Are you paying attention to what your customers interact with your store and product? How has it impacted the way you run your business?


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  1. Henry

    Its definitely interesting getting to know your niche group a bit better. Its quite amazing how much you can learn from it.

    I had a website once (sold now), which focused on free educational videos. It had around 300.000 visitors each month and was highly ranked on Google. It was so amazing to see that people came from the entire world to view the site and what discussions they brought to the website. What it taught me more than anything else is the fact that you need to deliver the best of the best, as fast as possible and as foolproof as possible. With the society we live in today, competition is fierce beyond anything and whenever you are content with your business – your competition stands ready to work harder to attain your place and above. When your business is cashing in money, keep going and stay innovative. People aren’t going to look at your business for long if it isn’t interesting.

    Its interesting to see who the people coming to Dirtsy are though. I don’t sell on Etsy, so its good to know I’m not the only one.

    • Blaire

      Thanks for reading, Henry! It’s really important to pay attention to visitors, especially for web sites :)

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