I opened my Etsy store Ben & Jess in April 2010 and in these few short months of being part of the Etsy family I have learnt alot – some lessons were learnt by trial and error, some by listening to others, some by accident. I am still on my “Etsy training wheels” but I’d like to share with you what I have learnt so far…..
1. You have to be making items that people want to buy. You may love what you make but do others? I know this sounds harsh but it is reality (a reality that I am confronting right now).
2. Search Etsy for similar items that you are selling. If there are hundreds of other items that are similar or the same as what you are selling then you will just be one in a million in an “Etsy boat” cast a drift with no point of difference. You need to find your own voice. What makes you different from everyone else?
3. Fill out your bio and store policies. I personally prefer to purchase from sellers that have taken the time to do this. To me it shows that you care about what you are doing.
4. Have a clear store banner. No fuzzy half baked banners. Etsy provides banners for free. Once you are sure that Etsy is for you then you can have a store banner made for you.
5. Use your store announcement and section names to your advantage. State what you sell without a lot of waffle. Search engines are looking at this.
6. Photographs. You must (did I emphasize must) have clear and interesting photos. Use all of the photo spaces provided. You will not sell anything with out of focus photo’s as people can not clearly see what they are buying (I am still working on my photographs. I see this as an on going process).
7. Make your item descriptions interesting. Create a story. Describe how your item is made. What size is it? How does it feel? What colour is it?
8. Tags. You need to use all of your tag spaces. Include shapes, colours, seasons. Don’t use tags that irrelevant to your listings as it wastes the customers time. Your irrelevant tag may get customers to your store but once they see it’s not what they were looking for they will move on.
9. Do Custom Work. You are in the handmade world where custom work is expected. Be open to suggestions from prospective clients. Email photo’s of samples to clients. Work with clients to close the sale.
10. Renew items as often as you can afford to. This keeps you at the top of the list.
11. Check your emails daily and reply to emails promptly.
12. Ship worldwide. This expands your customer base to the enth (is that a word) degree. Put postage costs in your listings so customers can see exactly what they are expected to pay for from the start.
13. Join an Etsy Team.
14. Visit the Etsy Forums. The forums are full of valuable information from experienced Etsy sellers.
15. Try the Etsy Virtual Labs. They have sessions for newbies.
16. Subscribe to the Etsy emails. Pay special attention to the emails from MaryMary. She is telling you in advance what Etsy is looking for, what way trends are going.
17. Visit the Etsy Storque – Etsy Handmade Blog. There is lots of valuable information in there.
18. Create a Treasury and comment on Treasuries – be part of the Etsy community.
19. Create a Google Analytics Account. You can find out how people found your Etsy store items, what search terms they used, how many people are visiting your Etsy store. Use this information to tweek your Etsy store.
20. Visit other Etsy related websites like Handmadeology . They contain tools and information to empower your Etsy store.
So this is my top 20 things that I’ve learnt so far about being selling on Etsy and I’m sure there is a lot more for me to learn.
I’ve had six sales on Etsy since April 2010 – that’s one per month. I know its going to be a long way to the top to have a successful Etsy shop but it is a dream, it’s my dream and hopefully this will help you realize your dream to.