We often let ourselves be pulled by gravity. We show up for school everyday and do what is required of us. We turn up for work everyday only to return home to await for the same day to repeat itself tomorrow. Who, in today’s overwhelmingly work-oriented, constant-pinging-phone world, has spare mental strength to think about the big picture? To spend a night, a week, a vacation to think about our lives? I believe many of us simply just want to be distracted from ourselves. It appears more of a reason than an excuse to complain our lives when we’re clearly the ones preventing ourselves to feel this sense of free falling.
Life will be meaningless if we go through it blindly.
If work, for whatever reason, is more of a means to an end, specifically an activity we do for most parts of our lives to put food in our mouth and shelter over our head, the next thing we need to think about is a side hobby that we can potentially earn money, gain happiness from or both. I am not for the idea that we embrace nihilism and let the ever-changing climate roast us. On the opposite end, I am a huge advocate of figuring out what brings us happiness. Note: what brings me happiness may not bring you as much happiness or any at all. If you’ve read “How Can We Win Our First Authentic Plush Toy from Toreba”, you’ll know that I love the game of claw machine and have been playing Toreba for a bit. I enjoy beating the game, but not necessarily as much as getting the prize. This is where Carousell (finally!) steps into the picture. What is Toreba to me may be something entirely different for you. You may be into flower arrangement, terrarium crafting or whatever appeals to you.
The crucial point is that your side hobby needs to make you happy, and hopefully in one way or another, makes you money too.
It is similar to my guide on “How Can We Build An Instagram Brand In The Most Boring Way Possible”. By no means am I an expert in this field, I’m merely speaking from experience with over 150+ 5 stars positive reviews and a bundle of joy from seeing my customers’ radiant smiles. I do not have the specifics as to how Carousell works, but the algorithm appears to be working in the same fashion as Instagram. Here are some guidelines you want to adhere to with the intent to boost your visibility, and subsequently your sales:
1. Post, Like and Chat Every Single Day
Under the circumstances that you are not selling any new items, you can always take new photos of the items you’re already selling. Please bear in mind not to repost the same exact picture, if not Carousell will flag you as a bot or more appropriately, an annoying spammer. When you post every single day, your account is seen to be more active (not just to potential customers who sort their findings through recent), and the algorithm registers that you’re an active member, hence some of your listings tend to be organically boosted.
In addition, it would be even more effective if you can spare a couple of likes every day on a particular listing or chat with a customer (or a friend) to boost the chances of organic publicity. It also seems to be the case that posts with 4 to 6 photos tend to have more reach than posts with 1 to 3 photos, so that is something to keep in mind too.
These little tips and tricks translates to free advertising with only a couple of clicks here and there.
2. Optimize Key Word Search
There is no need for fanciful complex terms unless we are delving into paid advertising. Unless you have concrete plans to scale your hobby into a business, you don’t really need to pay for advertising fees to further promote your item listing. Fortunately (or till Carousell has a large enough user base to effectively leverage on search optimisation), we are only dealing with organic search. This means that we just need to include all, if not most, key words into what we are listing. If you are selling an authentic Pokémon Pikachu plush toy that you just caught from Toreba, it is recommended to include other highly searched relevant words such as “Eevee, Snorlax, Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Dragonite, Magikarp and Pokemon GO.” It is easy to include many words. The difficult part is figuring out and knowing for a fact which words are more searched than others. Skim through the 50 to 100 most recent searches of the item you are selling and compare their description similarity. Remember, no one likes to read a chunk of spam on an item description. Keep it relevant, keep it neat.
If you’re ever debating with yourself as to whether you should use the keyword “Pokemon” or “Pokémon”, please stop wasting your time and simply use both keywords. It is always better to include more relevant keywords so that you can be found. More importantly, some people do not use auto-correct on their phones. One way is to use “Pokémon” as your title listing, and use “Pokemon” in your description. If you are selling something that can be spelled in its native language and translated to English, you are encouraged to include both versions in your listing too.
Question of the day: If someone searches a word that you use in your description but not in your title listing, will it be shown in the search results? Answer: Yes.
3. Think From Your Customers’ Point of View
As much as possible, we want to limit the length of the conversation. If customers are frequently asking questions to clear their doubts on the product, the chances of them delaying their buy or not buying at all increases tremendously. Ideally, there should only be one question asked in the conversation —”When is a convenient day and time for you?”
In order to make the communication and transaction process flow seamlessly, we just need to spend a little more time and attention on our product description. Customers are primarily concerned with these questions: Is the item authentic? Is the item brand new in box/plastic? What is the size of the item? How many 5-star positive reviews do you have? Where is your desired meeting location? Do you accept different forms of payment other than cash?
Include these information, along with anything else unique to the product in bullet points, and you are good to go.
That being said, our side hobby should come from a place of love, not convenience or societal conformity. It is a serious warning sign if we feel that our hobby is slowly morphing into something that is burdensome. It should bring us joy, not worries. Ultimately, it is not a bad life to have little to look forward to. There is nothing to complain about, but nothing to feel inspired by, either. As we pay more attention to the contours of our life, we need to ask ourselves a simple question from time to time. Are we happier or more unhappy now?