What is Watermarking?Watermarking is very common in the online digital world. Basically it's overlaying a small image on your finished product photo to either thwart piracy or build brand awareness. See photo below as an example. The watermark is my shop name and web address is the corner.
How Do I Watermark?Watermarking can be quick and simple. You can use PhotoShop, GIMP (free PhotoShop-eque program), or MS Paint to create text or an image. Then, use one of the free tools on this list to overlay it on your product image. You could even do this with Paint by cutting and pasting, or PS/GIMP if you're so inclined. UPDATE: USCountryFolk says: I just did mine using Picnik. Upload your photo, click on the create tab then text. You can change the size and color to whatever works best with your photo. Fast and Free!!
Why should I watermark my images?
1. BrandingEtsy is photo driven and images are sometimes the first and only things people see. By adding a watermark to your images, you're putting the name of your shop front and center on Etsy search, your shop pages, and any featured stories on and off Etsy. And the more times people see your name, the more likely they are to remember you.
2. Google ImagesFor Etsy, your listing title becomes the keywords associated with your product images. This means that when someone does an image search on Google for "wire wrapped rings", your product images under this title have a good chance of being served. However, the images on Google don't link to your shop but the hosted versions of your image on Etsy. So, your images are basically giving Etsy more traffic. Leverage your images visibility to your advantage and coral people back to your shop by watermarking your images.
3. PiratingWe all know it happens--people scraping or reusing your photos. But with watermarked images, at least you get some brand exposure out of the deal. Of course people can do edting magic and remove your watermark, but by definition scrapers are lazy and will most likely leave it, giving you additonal exposure and making scraping work to your advantage.
4. CredibilityJust like a magazine ad with a designer's logo, your images are your "ads." Make them look finished and you as a designer more credible with watermarks.
5. Finished ProductLastly, give your product images a finished "edited" quality. Make them look intentional and fine tuned with a watertmark. Watermarks will not fix bad photography but can augment beautifl photos with a well placed logo.
Hope this helps!