A treasury I made was featured on the front page this week:
I notice in the Etsy Forums that people are always asking for help with treasuries! Here is what I've learned over time, that will make a curator out of anyone:
Know The Basics
Read Etsy's Guide to Creating a Treasury. It is comprehensive, has a lot of visuals, and will tell you almost everything you need to know.
Use Both Treasuries
There are two treasuries. Treasury Main is a link on the Etsy homepage. It holds more individual treasuries. Treasury West is hidden in links you'll find in forum threads. It holds fewer individual treasuries. It's somewhat of a mystery why there are two treasuries (something about development), and there's always a warning that Treasury West can be deleted at any time.
Treasuries last between two and three days (at random intervals) before they expire. Once enough treasuries have expired to leave only 332 treasuries on Treasury Main or 221 treasuries on Treasury West, a box pops up on the bottom of the treasury list page. You have a very brief moment to type or paste in the title of your treasury. Work quickly.
How to reserve a spot in the treasury
Figure out (roughly) when the treasury will open. Follow the existing treasuries by expiration, or go to The Craftopolis Treasury Clock, which estimates how soon a treasury will open. Take into consideration that people often delete treasuries ahead of time, so the Treasury Clock is only an estimate.
When there are about ten treasuries left to expire (or about 20-30 minutes worth), it's time to wait. This is usually when I curate a treasury. I know some people probably make their treasuries a long time in advance, but I prefer to limit the amount of time I spend on them. Time is precious.
Keep four screens open while building a treasury. I have never missed a treasury while doing this:
1. Treasury list, so I can watch for expiring treasuries and notice when the numbers are shrinking.
2. Another treasury list - the same screen as #1- because I get frustrated that treasuries don't really keep up with "real time". I am a person who is compelled to refresh the screen. If I have two copies open, there is always a back-up. If you don't have a back-up screen, and you refresh, then you will probably miss out on a spot in the treasury.
3. Poster Sketch. This is where you add items, refine and rearrange your treasuries.
4. Etsy - keep a screen open for browsing items to add to your poster sketch
Choosing your items: The Fun Part!
This is where careful curation comes in.
Treasuries are often built around themes. Etsy does this all the time, even if the theme feels vague, like "Found browsing Etsy Categories". Some curators choose very specific themes - I saw one last week that was a tribute to a long-deceased scientist I'd never heard of. Today, I saw an I Love Lucy treasury. Some treasuries increase awareness of an illness or a charity. Most treasuries focus on a specific type of item or color scheme. I am a huge fan of a color scheme theme.
I don't really think there is a right or wrong way to choose items, so I'll share my personal dos and don'ts.
What I will do:
1. I review my favorite sellers and look for an amazing photograph of an item. I'm drawn to bright colors.
2. I'll go through more favorite sellers and find other amazing photographs of items in a similar color scheme.
3. I'll search Etsy for other items that fit well the items I've already chosen. If there a lot of dots or leaves, I'll look for similar shapes in the other items I choose.
4. I'll try to include items from multiple categories that show the variety on Etsy. There are always amazing yarns in about any color. I try not to use too much jewelry, and sometimes have to make tough choices when there are so many great jewelry items. I'll try to use something practical, like soap or jam. I'll try to post something inexpensive as well as something extravagant.
5. After I've found twelve beautiful photos (not necessarily twelve beautiful items - because beautiful items can be sabotaged by average photos, which would make a less-than-inspiring treasury), I will arrange them. I will balance colors, balance round and square shapes, put faces near the top and feet near the bottom - put profiles of people toward the center of the treasury and not looking away from it...until it all looks "right" to me.
6. I choose alternates that are just as nice as every other item.
What I won't do:
1. I will not put a less-than-beautiful photo in a treasury. Even if it the coolest item ever, no.
2. I will not put a visible "watermark" or shop name in a treasury. If you can see it in the thumbnail, no.
3. I will try really hard not to put an item in the treasury that I know was already featured on the front page.
Choosing a Title
You could think about this for a long time, because a catchy title seems like it would matter. After all, this is all the general public sees of your treasury if they are looking through all 600-700 lists. I don't really put much investment in a treasury title, though. Time is precious.
Most treasuries either tell you exactly what they're all about ("ALL ABOUT APPLES"), involve a play-on-words or familiar reference to color ("mellow yellow"), or have some kind of mysterious title to make you want to click ("softly, s o f t l y").
When you post a link to a treasury, the title is not in the link, and since this is how a lot of people find treasuries, rather than going through all the lists, the title doesn't matter as much to me.
The important thing is having a Title ready when a treasury opens. People say you should open a word document, type a title, and copy it so you can paste it into the box. You don't even have to work that hard. Just type the title ANYWHERE IN YOUR BROWSER and copy it. You can copy it into the Etsy Search bar. Again, time is precious.
Share your treasury!
Any time you create a treasury, share it!
Did you know that there are ALWAYS threads in the Promotions Forum that start when treasuries open that exist solely to share newly created treasuries with other people?
I always post new treasuries in the forums. Other people find your treasury this way, visit it, click on the items and make comments, because they want you to do the same for their treasuries. Visits, clicks and comments increase the "hotness" of a treasury, and help it to be seen. That helps you promote your shop (any time someone sees your shop name it is promotion!) and promotes the beautiful items you have chosen.
Other people post their treasuries around the internet, and that's cool too. Do what works for you - just know that people will not necessarily notice your treasury just because it has been created.
Good luck, and happy curating!