Descriptions on Redbubble allow the artist to communicate to the potential buyer. It can be a sales pitch, background info on the creation of the artwork, whatever you want. There are two main locations you see the product description. The first is on the shop page for an artwork.
The second is on each product page featuring that artwork. It appears below the product preview images, about halfway down the page.
I've written some long product descriptions in my day. One of my original descriptions on Support Main was five paragraphs. 278 words 1,635 characters. It was a good big block of text to tell a longform story that would interest the reader and hopefully convert to a sale.
I've noticed over the last few weeks [in December 2020] that Redbubble hasn't been displaying my full product descriptions below my products. They are getting truncated severely.
So I did a character count of the text that does show, before the cutoff. It measures out at 256 characters. This was true for several designs that I checked.
So that suddenly created a big job for me. At this point I had uploaded over a hundred artworks to Redbubble. I now had to go into the description for each one and severely edit them to fit within the newly imposed character limit.
Consequences for Artists
What does this mean for you as a Redbubble artist? You must fit whatever you want to say about your artwork within 256 characters, or it will be cut off. It seems most RB artists already have descriptions well below this threshold, so that's good. But for anyone who is particularly verbose, like me, we'll have to do a lot of rewriting.
A downside I can see is that you have less opportunity to pack in search engine optimisation. Before you had ample space to add as many keywords and phrases as you wanted. That is no longer so.
Although, that may be a benefit. It forces the artist to be much more straightforward. No waffling, no distractions, tell me why your artwork matters. Only include text that has the most important keywords for this artwork.
If you need help making descriptions that are the exact right length, I'd recommend using WordCounter, a browser-based text editor. It's completely free, no sign-in required, and even has a spellchecker. I write all my descriptions in it, and I immediately know how many characters and words I've used. This isn't a paid promotion, I just find it really helpful.
I've got to say, I'm also disappointed in Redbubble for not making a formal statement about this change. It does have a big impact on my, and many other people's, online stores. Now many people's descriptions need to be edited because they look ugly, being cut off mid-sentence or mid-word. If this applies to you, I suggest getting to that editing pronto.
What changes to Redbubble have you noticed lately, that have gone undocumented? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Peace, love and sunshine,
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