It seems like everyone buys from Etsy. Whether it is jewelry, furniture, or clothes, Etsy is now a household name where unique and handmade products can be found and flaunted.
I, personally, do not have the gift of craftsmanship, but perhaps you are one of the lucky people who are. Are you one of those people who make special gifts by hand at Christmas for all your relatives? Do you make your own clothes? Do you have a knack at making pottery? Then, congratulations, you have the gift of craftsmanship.
If you are skilled enough to enter the world that is crafting, you may be able to make money off of it. But where do you even begin?
This step-by-step guide will help you not only to determine whether or not you should begin selling on Etsy, but also help you determine how to go about making your shop and what resources you can use for it to be a viable and successful business.
1. The Pros and Cons of Etsy and Should YOU Make the Jump?
Making your own eCommerce business can be frightening and even demoralizing. You may ask yourself whether it is worth the time and the effort to start it or even whether anybody will like your product enough to buy it. However, if you get started on the right foot, you can determine easily whether it is worth making an Etsy page.
Use these resources to learn whether you are the perfect candidate to begin your own Etsy shop!
Should You Make an Etsy Shop?
The first thing you must determine is whether or not you should make an Etsy shop at all. Well, according to Brittany Klontz from BPlans.com, Etsy is a good business to enter if this is your first business venture, or to accompany an eCommerce website that you already have.
“In fact, many first-time craft entrepreneurs cut their teeth on Etsy before moving on to their own site once they’ve developed their business and marketing skills and a loyal customer following. Other popular crafters say, “The more the merrier!” and operate on both Etsy and their own site, and sometimes even on further platforms beyond that. And hey, why not? As long as you’re not spreading your energy too thin or diluting your traffic, the more exposure you can get, the better.”
If you have little business experience and want to get your foot in the door and get a customer following before you enter the big pool that is eCommerce, Etsy is a great place to begin. Even though there are some cons to having an Etsy shop, in general it is a great way to begin your own business, which can later be a companion to an eCommerce website.
However, even if you have your own eCommerce website already, you can enhance it by also creating the additional Etsy page, possibly gaining more of a following.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy
Selling on Etsy is not perfect. There are many benefits to this way of business given its name and reputation, but there are also some cons. Holly Castro, who has been selling on Etsy for several years, posted a video that analyzes these negatives and positives.
“Obviously I have been for a few years now so overall I do really like Etsy but, as with anything, there are a few things about it that can be negatives. It’s very user-friendly. It’s very to get started on it, open a shop. You can have a shop open and start selling things within a day.”
This video is a must-watch. Not only does this video reflect that Etsy is a fantastic platform for anyone to begin their own business, you also learn the difficulties that arise while using Etsy so that they can be considered.
Knowing these problems allows you to counteract them when you open up your own shop.
What Does It Take To Be a Success? An Interview with an Etsy Seller
You now know that any craftsman or woman with an idea can begin an Etsy shop and that it's a risk-effective way to begin selling your own products.
You also know that Etsy is a convenient springboard into the ocean that is eCommerce and how to manage the cons of it. But, you still need advice from an Etsy success story targeted to people like you who are thinking about setting up your shop.
Our2Cents is an informational interview show by Sarah Mock. She speaks with many people about social media strategies and, in this show, she speaks with Hayley Croom, a successful Etsy shop owner.
Croom gives outstanding advice to those who are considering beginning their business career and how to mentally prepare yourself for doing it so that you can be successful from right from the beginning.
Croom’s primary advice is especially important:
“It is super easy to get things physically set up. That’s the easy part, to be perfectly honest. The difficult part is really finding your focus and making that decision that this is going to be a thing.
I think my biggest piece of advice for people looking to make that transition from I am making stuff at home to give to friends and family and maybe sell at school bazaars to I want to open an Etsy shop and make this legitimate is to, from day one, to treat it as a business.
From day one you say I am going to do everything possible to set this up as a viable business. If you do that from day one, you will save yourself a lot of heartache down the road. It will help you streamline things and it helps you take it more seriously.”
As if coming from a self-help book, this is the soundest advice for succeeding in any career, let alone an entrepreneurial one. The more you put effort into your business, the more likely it will succeed. If you are willing to learn all that you can about this business and how to improve your product you are more likely to be one of these successful Etsy entrepreneurs.
Now, are you ready to open your very own Etsy shop? If yes, continue reading to learn the basics of Etsy and even start listing some of your products!
2. Learn the Basics of Etsy and Open Your Shop
So you want to open your own Etsy store, but you have no idea where to begin. How do you even open up the shop? What does it entail? How do you get paid? Are there any fees?
Follow this guide to figure it out and be on your way to sell your products.
Using Etsy Resources
What is wonderful about Etsy, from a start-your-own business standpoint, is the resources that they provide to their sellers. They have many of their own materials that help you begin the selling process.
Their article Learn How to Sell on Etsy provides a mostly-promotional page that explains how Etsy works, the benefits, the fees, provides seller stories, and responds to frequently asked questions.
If you have absolutely no idea as to how to get started on Etsy, this is a great way to begin! Etsy not only provides their link to begin opening your shops right away, it also details the essential information you need to know and make it very easy to start!
The Best Hands-On Video to Set Up Your Etsy Shop
Once you have read all of this vital information, you have to open your shop. If you are anything like me, sometimes step-by-step guides aren't the best resource. Personally, I end up annoyed when a guide is unable to answer essential questions or excludes important information. I prefer watching a video tutorials. This is the best video that I found to help you set up your Etsy shop:
Rose Meister, the video creator, discusses the most important aspects about opening an Etsy store, including fees and how to go about listing items. She is very pleasing to listen to, explains slowly, and gives clarifying examples.
I also recommend reading the comments because many people ask other questions that are answered by other viewers and may help you answer any additional questions that you may have.
Etsy for Dummies
By now, your Etsy shop has been created. If you are not technologically skilled, however, you may have reached a dead end as to how to work within the site. Yes, you have the basic knowledge on how to run your store, but there are many more things you need to know.
Lucky for all of us, the “For Dummies” series has provided a solution to this problem and better yet, you don't even need to buy the book. This link includes many reference guides to do pretty much anything with Etsy. It answers your most basic questions such as “How to Report Problems to Etsy” or “What are Etsy Forums?”
Each resource page provides an explanation on how to do anything on Etsy in the style that we are accustomed to from the “For Dummies” guides. You can comment on their work, find related articles to what you searched, and it even provides you with a link to buy their book right within the page, in case you want to have a copy on hand.
You now have the tools needed in order to handle the creation and handling of your Etsy shop. Read on for our best (mostly free!) resources in order to be a successful Etsy shop owner. As Hayley Croom explained, the more we are willing to do what it takes to make our Etsy shop succeed, the more likely it will happen. These resources will help make this a reality.
3. I’ve Made My Page – How Do I Make Sure It Is Successful?
You have your idea, your page is up, you know how to work the site, but you have never ran a business before!
Your crafting skills may be a gift, but your not as business-savvy as you'd like. Luckily, there are many successful Etsy sellers that have been generous enough to provide tips and resources for you to succeed as well.
These are the best free and paid resources on the Internet that can help you start making money out of your craft making ability.
Etsy’s Advice On How To Be Successful on Etsy
As I have shared before, Etsy provides many guides to their sellers, and several of them are quite useful.
A particular one that grabbed my attention was Etsy’s 7 Steps to a Successful Start on Etsy. This 7-step essential guide consists of advice as to what you should take into account when posting a product in your shop.
Not only is this a step-by-step guide to ensure that your products will sell, their own sellers provide marketing advice for your product. You should definitely read this guide in order to learn about the importance of clear photos, keywords to attract buyers, and the importance of naming your product.
Etsy also has their own YouTube channel where new videos are constantly being added so you can learn more about how to improve your shop. They also have their own blog where you can get advice on how to market and sell different types of products.
If you use these Etsy resources, you are on the right track to being a successful eCommerce business owner!
Know Common Mistakes from Etsy Sellers and How to Fix Them
I don’t know about you, but before I try any project I make sure that I know what I should not do before I learn what I should be doing. You do not want to begin selling your products using tips only about how to be successful without considering what errors you could be doing, just to realize months later that nobody wants to buy your product! Before you start selling, take a look at these 4 common mistakes that Etsy sellers make so you can avoid them!
Furgison not only analyzes the mistakes people make, she advises how to fix them. From sub-par photos to generic products, keep these mistakes in mind so that you avoid them in the future!
The Best Etsy Resource Guide on the Internet
My favorite tips on how to be a success on Etsy can be found on Handmadeology.
This is definitely one of the most extensive blog posts I have found in terms of tips and resources for the Etsy seller. Although there are only ten of them, it is extensive and includes a list of the top Etsy sellers so you can take a peek as to how they sell their products.
Under each tip is a list of many webpages and resources so that you can actually achieve these goals. It is a one-stop guide with everything that you can possibly want in terms of resources.
“When I launched my Etsy shop I had no knowledge of the Internet except email and YouTube. I have learned so many valuable lessons over the past few years. What stands out the most and what I will never forget is to never stop believing in yourself. If you have a passion for what you are creating and selling you will succeed. Love what you do so you can do what you love!!”
For a quick video of the ten tips, watch Timothy’s YouTube video!
Timothy Adam not only has the gift of being a successful Etsy shop owner, he is also an excellent vlogger! Make sure you subscribe to his channel if you want to watch webinars that provide training on marketing and for more Etsy tips.
The Cheapest Amazon Best-Selling E-Book You Can Find
If you are willing to spend 99 cents on a Kindle e-book, I recommend purchasing this Amazon’s Bestseller Etsy: Ultimate Etsy Strategies For Selling Crafts Online. The majority of the reviews are positive and, if you are like me, you prefer to read and make notes in the Kindle app, this 4.5 average rating e-book may give you that extra edge in the market.
The benefits of having a Kindle e-book are extensive. You can read them on any device since you can download the software (no need for a Kindle, yay!), and you can highlight and make comments on what you read so that you can go back and look at the most important parts!
The Hands-On Approach to Marketing Your Etsy Store
Although the resources provided above give excellent tips and advice, they do not have a “hands-on approach” to learning how to market your products.
Etsy Seller Mastermind is a website that provides courses and webinars in order for you to get this practical experience. Although there are some resources (such as the courses), that you have to pay for, they also have some free ones such as the Branding Mastermind Webinar.
Dalia explains clearly and teaches you how to successfully brand your product (worksheets included). There is also another webinar that focuses solely on SEO, product and photography, which you can find here.
I also recommend taking a look at their blog that includes postings such as “Have so much you want to do, but end up doing nothing? 8 Lessons in Productivity” and “How to Survive the Etsy Search Changes – 2016 Edition.”
Make the Most of Your Time with Podcasts!
What do you listen to when you drive to work or when you are cooking dinner? Instead of listening to music, you can easily listen to a podcast instead!
Although you may not have access to an Internet connection on your morning commute, you can easily download a podcast episode at night and it will be ready for you by morning.
I challenge you to take a look at this list of essential podcasts, written by Craftmakerpro.com. This list contains podcasts created by Etsy, Etsy sellers, and independent crafters on challenges they face, photography and more. Listening to and learning from podcasts is just another way to invest time into your business, even when you feel like you have none.
These resources are extremely beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their Etsy shop so that they can make more sales. You should definitely bookmark all of these resources and constantly read and listen to them to keep up-to-date in order to stay motivated and to ensure that your shop is appealing to buyers.
Believe in your product and in your abilities. If you know that your product will enlighten the day of another person, you can learn how to sell it to others. With this checklist, your toolbox is now created. Just apply it to your craft.