I have been selling my metal furniture, jewelry and trees on Etsy since 2007. I have been there and done that and I am still selling! (my shop) Through the years I have learned first-hand how to market my shop. I have also been writing about selling on Etsy since 2008 and coaching Etsy sellers in every niche imaginable. I am the owner and chief editor of Handmadeology and the author of How to Make Money Using Etsy. The following 10 tips for selling on Etsy will help you understand what it takes to become successful on Etsy.
1. There is No “Magic Etsy” Button
My number one tip that I tell new Etsy sellers, is to remember that Etsy is not magic. Just throwing up a bunch of 20 cent listings with no business plan will not bring you the success you are looking for. If you treat your Etsy business like a hobby you will reap hobby money, but if you treat it like a real business you will bring in the money you are striving for . Remember, you reap what you sow.
Here are few articles to make you think and inspire you during your creative business journey:
2. Product Photography
Product Photography should be number one or at least high up on your list when it comes to running your Etsy business. Without shoppers being able to touch and handle your items, your pictures need to be the best they can be. Detailed, clean, clear, not too dark, and from different angles. After a shopper looks at all 5 pictures they should feel like they have picked up the item and looked it over and are ready to take it to the cash register and buy!
Here is a huge list of product photography tips for Etsy sellers.
3. Know Your Product (pricing)
I remember when I listed my very first item on Etsy…I was clueless about pricing. There are many factors that come into play when pricing your items, so knowing your product is crucial. You need to know how much it costs to make your item, how much time you spend making it, and how much it costs to ship. These are just a few things to keep in mind when filling out the price section of your listing.
In pricing articles below, you will find in-depth tips that will help you get the most for your handmade items.
4. Build Your Brand
Standing out in the crowd of Etsy sellers can be a difficult task. You should have a clear vision of what you want your brand to be and stick with it. Doing your research on how to build a strong and long-lasting brand should be high up on your to-do list!
Here are a number of articles that talk about brand for creative business owners.
5. Understand Your Market
Knowing who your target market is is key when it comes to selling online.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Are your target customers male or female?• How old are they?• Where do they live?• Is geography a limiting factor for any reason?• What do they do for a living?• How much money do they make? This is most significant if you’re selling relatively expensive or luxury items.
Example of a Target Market
This is my target market: Women, over 30, median income of $60,000, single or married, college-educated, urban, professional, but quirky…
6. Understanding SEO is a Must!
SEO is sometimes difficult to understand, but it is vital to the growth of your creative business.
Getting your Etsy Shop and Etsy items found on Google can be a difficult task, but with the proper research and placement of specific keywords, you can begin to dominate small niches and move up in the Google search. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you are looking for keywords to use.
When looking for keywords and phrases, shopper intent, search volume, and keyword competition are the 3 most important factors that determine a good key word.
Shopper Intent First — The most important factor to look at when figuring out the value of a keyword or phrase is intent. When picking a good keyword to analyze, pick words or phrases that people interested in your items would search for. You know your product best. Once you determine what these words and phrases are, use the Google Keyword tool to find more suggested words and analyze them to see if they are worthy of using. I will explain more about this later in this article.
Volume Second — When determining the value of a keyword or phrase, you need to look at the search volume. Are there enough people searching per month for a term on Google to even consider optimizing for it? (The Google Keyword tool provides this info for you). If you answered yes, then you have to ask yourself if it is possible to rank for that keyword? It will be extremely difficult to rank on Google for a high volume term such as ‘garland,’ but easier to rank on Google for lower competition, small niche, 2-3 word phrases such as “paper garland”.
Keyword Competition Third – A key word can have a high search volume on Google, but that does not mean it is a good key word or phrase. You have to know how many competing pages there are according to Google and the competition on Etsy. These two factors can help you determine if you want to use a key phrase or not. I will also cover more about this later in the article.
Small Niches Always- Why would you want to focus on a small niche? Smaller niches are searched less on Google every month, but they also have less competition. The smaller amount of competing pages, the better the chance your shop will rank on Google for a particular keyword.
Check Handmadeology’s manual on Etsy SEO right here on the blog. It is packed full of links covering every area of SEO for your Etsy shop.
7. Optimizing Your Shop for Etsy Relevancy
By now most Etsy sellers have heard about the Etsy relevancy search change. When I cruise the Etsy forums, team discussions, Facebook fan pages, comments on Handmadeology, and my inbox, a common theme seems to pop up over and over. Sellers are trying to understand what the changes to the Etsy default search mean, and how they can make the correct changes to get the most traffic that leads to sales. Etsy Relevancy optimization and SEO go hand in hand. Google is also set up as a relevancy search, setting up proper SEO from the start will optimize your shop for Etsy relevancy.
The Handmadeology team has put together a FREE package that will help every Etsy seller understand what the new Etsy search is all about. The Etsy Relevancy Breakdown walks you through every thing that has changed when the search default was changed to relevancy. In this report you will also find helpful tips which will set you on the right path to increasing your views and getting more sales. Also in this package you will get a 12 point checklist that will help keep you on track when you are listing new items and optimizing your shop for the Etsy search and Google.
8. Social Media Marketing
As you know, I am a huge advocate of social media marketing. Marketing my Etsy shop on Facebook and Twitter have greatly increased my visibility and grown my customer base. Getting new potential buyers to view your work is only part of the equation…building relationships with your customers is the other part! Social media makes connection with customers easier.
Being an Etsy seller, I know how hard it is to get any views from just listing your items on Etsy. Marketing your Etsy items outside Etsy is a must these days. I am excited to share this free e-course with Etsy sellers, because I have been using these 10 steps for years and I have seen great results. I have increased my traffic to my blog and Etsy shop, moved up in the Google ranking, and have even seen my customer base grow.
Connecting your Etsy shop with Facebook and Twitter is only one piece to the social media puzzle. Check out this huge list of social media marketing tips for Etsy sellers: Make the Connection
If you are ready to take your social media marketing to the next level and get found in the sea of Etsy sellers, check out Creative Social Media Academy. Creative Social Media Academy is an online social media training course that is designed to teach you how to market your creative business on social media.
If you have not already noticed, all four steps in this marketing plan are free. Yes they are going to take time to build and get right, but in the end, you are going to build a business doing what you love. There is no “easy button”, but if you let your passion shine through, you will succeed!
Social Media Articles:
Quick Blogging Tips:
1. Be consistent. Blogging takes time, and without consistency you will not gain momentum.
2. Build community. Get the community involved in your blog. There is power in numbers and you have to harness that. Feature other sellers and artists, and let them help you spread the word about your blog.
3. Give away free stuff. Give your readers more reasons to visit your blog. Develop a few products that you can give away. Whether it’s a free tutorial on making a necklace , a recipe , a digital download, or an ebook that you wrote. Check out this article on creating an killer ebook! Here are all the free products that we offer through Handmadeology.
4. Build your brand. Your blog should be a reflection and extension of your brand. Banners and color schemes should match across the board. When a customer comes to your blog, they need to know it belongs to you.
5. Have fun. The second that your blog becomes a chore and no fun, you need to stop and reevaluate what you are doing.
9. Guest Posting
The handmade movement is accelerating at a fast pace. Hundreds of thousands of people are signing up for Etsy every month, and it is getting more difficult to get recognized. One way to increase your network, get more recognition, expand more exposure, contribute to the handmade community, and build back links is to write guest articles for blogs. Lets break down the five main reasons you should be writing guest articles.
Increase your network:
When you are writing for other blogs in the handmade community, you have the opportunity to meet other like-minded people. Let’s face it…we all need to make connections and hang around people with whom we have things in common. Do you belong to an Etsy team? Do you join groups and Fan pages on Facebook? Putting your heads together helps everyone get things done faster and in the long run, can improve your business.
Get More Recognition:
A little recognition goes a long way, and writing for other blogs in the handmade scene can increase it greatly. Just by writing articles for other blogs, readers understand that the blog publishing your article sees you as an expert in the topic you are writing about. The more you write the more your recognition will build.
Expand Your Exposure:
By writing on more blogs and websites you will reach different audiences and expand who sees your brand. By writing guest articles, you are building a permanent brand that can bring you more traffic and sales.
Contribute To The Handmade Community:
We all have learned one or many things from blogs in the handmade community. Guest writing helps you give back and contribute to the handmade community. From featuring handmade goods to teaching, blog posts help the community in a huge way.
Build Back Links:
When you are guest writing on a blog, you should be given the ability to link back to your blog, Etsy shop, and other sites. You should also be allowed a short bio that you can leave at the end of each article. Back links will help your SEO, especially when they come from well known, relevant blogs.
Did you know you can guest post right here on Handmadeology? Here is all the info you need to get started.
10. Have fun!
My golden rule for my business is…. “The second your creative business becomes a chore and you lose the fun, it’s time to change it up!” Don’t get me wrong, running your own business can have it’s down times, but the beauty of owning your own business is you have the ability to change it up when things get mundane and boring.
Here are a few more articles from creative business owners that are selling on Etsy and living their dream!
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!!
Is there a Handmadeology article that has impacted you and how you run your Etsy business? If so, let us know which one in the comments below, so we can bring you even more helpful articles in the future.
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