Tuesday , 29 July 2014
Why Etsy Sellers Should Also Have Their Own Site to Sell Their Handmade Goods On

The Advantages Etsy Sellers Gain From Having Their Own Website

 

Many artists and crafters find success selling their handmade items on Etsy.   Etsy is where I started selling online.  Generally, crafters turn to Etsy because it’s fairly easy to set up and sell their items without needing a ton of technical knowledge.  It is a quick way to get your handmade items in front of buyers searching for handmade goods, but there are a number of  reasons why you should also have your own website to supplement your Etsy shop.

Why Etsy Sellers Should Also Have Their Own Site to Sell Their Handmade Goods On

The downside of an Etsy shop is you usually have a harder time getting search engine rankings for your Etsy shop than you would if you had your own website – which means you miss out on internet traffic from people typing in search phrases in search of products to buy.  Etsy users also frequently complain about low sales volume as a result of the competition from other Etsy shops

It’s Difficult to Be Unique on Etsy: Etsy is a marketplace of individuals selling handmade items.  Your Etsy shop is going to look like every other Etsy shop – making it difficult to be unique.  The only difference is your products and descriptions. You may however find other sellers on the site borrowing your product descriptions, and eventually everyone selling handmade ceramic bowls may have similar product descriptions as the other Etsy sellers with similar ceramic bowls.  How do you get noticed among all the other sellers in the marketplace?  When shoppers come to the site looking for ceramic bowls, there is little to distinguish one seller over another.
When you have your own website to sell your goods, it is less likely that your product descriptions will be copied by other sellers.  Your website visitors are only going to see your own products – and not be faced with countless other store owners selling similar items at the click of a mouse.  It is common for customers to comparison shop, so when they’re shopping through Etsy, chances are they’re going to end up buying based on price rather than quality.

It’s Harder to Get Search Engine Traffic to Your Etsy Shop: Google changes their algorithm regularly, but recent updates to the way in which Google ranks websites in the search listings is based on duplicate content. If all the shops on Etsy selling ceramic bowls have similar descriptions, they may all be penalized by Google and receive less search engine traffic for having duplicate content.

You Have Little Control Over Your Etsy Shop: Some people argue that selling their items on Etsy helps them get more exposure than they would have if they sold products on their own website.  In the same way you could lose your potential shoppers to other Etsy sellers; you can gain shoppers from people browsing all the stores in the Etsy marketplace.  This is a great benefit of selling through Etsy, but the disadvantage is giving up control over your own store.  What happens if Etsy increases fees and you can no longer sell profitably?  What if they decide to change direction and only allow crafters of certain goods (which you do not sell)?  The truth is, when you use a site like Etsy, you are at the mercy of the owners. (Read this story: Etsy Shop Suspended! What You Need to Know) They may decide to make changes to their marketplace at any time to better their own profit margin, but it may not be to your advantage and there is nothing you can do about it.

I have been selling on Etsy since 2007. (my shop!) The day I started my shop I had my own domain (my site)but never sold items on it.  It is mainly just a gallery to show off my work then point people to my Etsy shop.   I have been on the search for the perfect platform to start selling my metal work on my own domain, but I have never found the right platform with the right mix of options to supplement my Etsy shop.  About a month ago I received an email from the founders of Indiemade.com letting me know about their site and what they had to offer. I checked out all the options, features ,and pricing, and to my surprise they offered everything I had been looking for.

Here are just a few features that really stood out to me.   Things I have been looking for!

  • Founders that came from a handmade / design background (understands the handmade community)
  • Extremely affordable pricing (1/5 of my Etsy monthly bill)
  • Very good clean design (multiple designs and design flexibility)
  • Awesome SEO ( Article )
  • Easy Checkout system with no login required
  • Etsy product import (huge time saver)
  • Integrated blog
  • Social media connections and promoting
  • Reports ( sales, coupons, products, customer)
  • Analytics

There are a ton more features that Indiemade offers.  Check out the infographic below to learn a little more!

In the first few days of my shop being open I have had a flood of traffic.  By implementing the techniques I have taught for years!

Here is my Indiemade shop Timothy Adam Designs.

I am offering a special package to help anyone who signs up through Handmadeology for Indiemade get a jump start on your shop.

I have written three must have ebooks for any Indiemade shop owner, and you can get all 3 for FREE!

indiemade seo

Simple SEO For Indiemade Shops  $12

Without traffic and views coming to your Indiemade shop, you will neve make any sales. Getting shoppers into your shop is the first step to making sales. There are many ways to get traffic but the best way is free traffic from Google. There are millions of searches everyday and proper SEO (search engine optimization) can help you harness the power of Google.

The great thing is that Indiemade has made it easy for sellers to maximize their SEO. Simple SEO is an easy-to-follow guide that can help any Indiemade shop owner properly set up their shop for SEO.

I have been selling online since 2007. In this step-by-step how-to I will show you how I get over 700 visitors just from Google and other search engines per month.

I will explain exactly how I am putting my keywords to work to get FREE traffic from Google everyday.

social media for indiemade shops

Social Media Success Plan $18

If you are ready to learn how to decrease the amount of time you spend promoting your Indiemade items and at the same time maximize your results, the Social Media Success Plan  is just for you!  These are the basics that will help take your Indiemade shop to the next level.  Once you get into a rhythm you will be able to perform these 10 steps of the Social Media Success Plan in less than 30 minutes.

pinterest made easy

Pinterest for Business  – Made Easy  $22

That’s why I’m going to explain everything you need to know about this hot new social property – so you don’t have to waste a bunch of time getting up to speed. You’ll be able to move right in and start using Pinterest like a pro to…

Link your social media accounts – because not everyone follows you everywhere, so it’s critical to cross promote!

Set up your pinboards for maximinum effectiveness – so your visitors will know that you are the authority in your niche.

Pin consistently – it’s not as random as it looks, and if you try to use Pinterest that way, you’ll be wasting your time.

Attract followers – Because it IS a social network, and that means followers are critical to your success.

Encourage repinning – because the ultimate goal of pinning your posts is to get them repinned – I’ll show you how to make that happen.

It’s a lot to take in all at once, but I’ve broken it down into a simple, actionable plan you can easily implement.

  • The Pinterest Vocabulary – because if I don’t understand that, I’ll be lost from the start!
  • The Pinterest Tools – So I can pin faster and more efficiently, and help my blog visitors to do the same.
  • The Pinterest Etiquette – because looking like a newbie isn’t good for business!
  • What makes a good pin? – knowing this will help me create pinnable blog posts and pages.
  • How to share my pins – so I can share important information with my Facebook fans and Twitter followers

Here is how you can get your hands on these ebooks for FREE.

1. Sign up for Indiemade.

2. Fill out the form below

Comments or questions are welcome.

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83 comments

  1. I originally had my own website, but after finding Etsy I let go of the site. I still have the domain, but just pointed it to my etsy shop. I’ve been thinking about setting up a site again, but have been putting it off. Thanks so much for this post and the encouragement to get me motivated! I signed up for a site over at IndieMade and can’t wait to receive your tools (: Thanks so much!!!

    • I used indie made and received virtually zero traffic, same with shopify. ( shopify). I do like advertising on blogs, and I have a facebook page.
      I have used artfire, indiemade, etsy, blogger, wordpress, godaddy, andy shopify.

      I like shopify and godady the best. and of course etsy. I am taking a stab at the godaddy account this time around. Its hard to use templates because i am such a control freak and used to do webdesign ( before CSS and before HTML 5!) lol. Its hard but Go daddy has the most customization available and an easy to use interface that allows good control. Shopify is also very user friendly ( but again you will be paying extra for apps an advertising)

  2. Always looking for better ways of doing business! Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. I’m not even on Etsy (yet) but might just skip it for this! Thanks!

  4. I checked out Indiemade because of the etsy import feature. Unfortunately it did not seem easy at all. You had to first download the listing to a spreadsheet then edit it. Huh? Techie I am not and when I read this kind of stuff I know I’ll just end up frustrated. Do you have any advice? Thanks so much.

  5. Thanks for this post! I just signed up for IndieMade. Excited!

  6. I am so going to get my own website ASAP!! I had my shop suspended a few months ago. It was devestating:(
    It seems that they are getting very tough on collecting thier fees. In the past you had up to 2-3 months before they would shut down your shop. So if things would get tight, I would be a bit late on my bill. It was a Friday and I was 15 days late. Without warning, they shut down my shop and went home for the weekend. I had no way of contacting them to solve the issue. I was left the entire weekend with no way of making any sales. Thier policy is very vague about the due date of fees and the consequences of being late. They urge you to quit your day job, but it is very risky to rely completely on Etsy.
    I quit my day job and lived in a 20X20 space with me and my child and husband to build my shop. We had no kitchen, or hot water for 2 years to get it going good. I worked my butt off and sacrificed plenty. It was a very rude awakening when they just suspened my shop for being 15 days past due and without any warning at all.

  7. Interesting…not sure that I like indiemade being in the domain name…I’ll have to do some more research.

  8. Hi Timothy,
    Is there a link that is similar to Etsy’s do’s and don’t for Indiemade? I was just wondering if there are restrictions on what you can sell, or is it more like you just have your own shop?

  9. Hi Timothy,

    Regarding the tags on Etsy becoming store sections, do you think it’s easier to remove store sections than edit tags in Excel, when you’d like to have many of those tags turn into sections? Or is removing store sections difficult in Indiemade?

    Thanks.

  10. Thank you for making me aware of IndieMade.

    I have just spend a long time looking at the site and all the examples of websites provided. I’m very impressed with the professional look one can create. It looks relatively straight forward to set up which is important as ‘time’ is always in short supply.

    It might be just what I have been looking for! Need to think and have another look, but have to say that I’m quite tempted…..
    Birgitte

  11. You did it again, Tim! Exactly what I needed. I got my domain name today and set up my indie shop. They already have my store imported. Fantastic! Check it out at http://www.aShareeDesign.com

  12. I’ve been hearing alot about IndieMade recently, and it is definitely on my To Look Into list! But now reading your article and responses, and to have a real live person from IndieMade here making comments?! Baby! I’m sold! Once I get all set-up over there, I’ll be back here to sign-up for the books, Tim! Thanks so much!

  13. Well, the article did inspire me to continue work on building a standalone site to supplement my Etsy shop. However, I’m not sold on IndieMade, specifically since I wanted to see existing shops and decided to start by visiting those featured in the testimonials on the front page. Three sites actually landed me on an IndieMade hosted site/shop, while one sent me to an outside hosted page that said the owner could be found on Etsy and Blogger, but not IndieMade. The kicker was that the rest of the links went to domain renewal notices. Not exactly the way to inspire confidence in the services offered.

  14. I have an Etsy presence as well as a store with Big Cartel, I have a aarcade theme which I purchased to further customize my cart and the overall look of my shop. I have no problems with big cartel really but am curious… Tim, I am sure you have looked at Big Cartel’s product when doing your research, what would Indie Made offer that Big Cartel does not at this time?

  15. I tried to sign up earlier today. I never got the activation email and figured it didn’t work. Tried again and it said an acct already existed. No clue what to do now

  16. This looks really great. I have been looking for something else lately besides Etsy. The article about your shop being suspended is really scary, it makes me feel a bit sick to think that it could happen without warning.

    I recently had a very horrible experience with another seller who was really harrassing me. The Etsy Australia team were wonderful however the responses I got from Etsy were very mechanical and dissapointing, plus the whole process could have been fixed really quickly yet every email took days to get a reply. It was extremely stressful and left a sour taste in my mouth… they make hundreds of $ from me every month and I felt the support I get was severely lacking.
    I am looking elsewhere, also looking at bigcartel which I have used before but will be setting up the free trial soon on indiemade.
    Thanks for the info,
    Cath

  17. Thanks for the help :)

  18. I have been looking for ecommerce web hosting for a little over a month for most of the reasons above. After reviewing indimade the only reason I will not join is PayPal. I would rather have a direct payment method without going through PayPal.

  19. This too happened to me a couple of years ago and was definitely a wakeup call to not rely on Etsy solely. I have my own website and have listed my items on other platforms that are more fashion based. I will look into the above mentioned website as well.

  20. I’m an Etsy shop owner and you have very good powers of persuasion!! I’ve just signed up to IndieMade and will be up and running at http://www.ModernBling.net there soon! Yaaay, you’ve sorted out my web-hosting conundrum!! Today it was on my “Do” list and it’s now done! Thanks!

  21. Tim, I own my own domain but have it pointed to my blogger blog. Can I try the domain to Indie? And is it best to start over on blog, link up my blogger blog or way to trf it in?

  22. Hey Tim…does the link to your site take us to your indie made site? Lisa

  23. thank you for posting such wonderful information. I love Handmadeology b/c it provides us w/ such valuable information. I have been thinking of doing something else besides Etsy and this is great. I even got my own domain name because of Lisa’s story….thanks again. You Rock!

  24. Can someone please explain re: editing tags of your downloaded etsy file in Excel…would that mean removing all tags from each item, then giving each item one tag, which would be the “product category” you want it to show up under on your indie site? I have downloaded my etsy shop now need to know next step. Thank you!

  25. Sorry, Tim…just saw the link near the top for your indiemade shop. Really loving indiemade…having everything (set, blog, social media) in one place is fantastic. Already received a nice welcome from Jennifer. Thanks for introducing me!

  26. Tim,

    As I’m editing my tags in Indiemade, I think if a shop has a lot of items, and/or lots of different tags, it would be quicker to do the editing in Excel. In Excel, you can do an easy find and replace that will delete tags you don’t want quickly. Within Indiemade, I’ve been working on it a few times during throughout the day and I haven’t hit the “M”s yet. Really depends on how many need to be eliminated.

  27. Tim,

    Why only let individuals export Etsy CSV file? Why not individual’s own e-commerce CSV file? Artfire is the same and if you are not selling on Etsy, you leave them no option.

    Thanks!

  28. I love ETSY and also have my domain called http://www.artisticinclinations.com – I use the website to lead folks to my ETSY page. I have sooooo many sales I can barely keep up.

    I had to close my shop because too many sales come in, so I really do think ETSY is better for me for now. Later on I will switch over to my site completely.

  29. Tim, I want you to do an AD for me on your page <3 e-mail me please <—- you see my e-mail or message me via my shop http://www.artisticinclinations.com thanks

    Let me know how much $$$

  30. I signed up for Indiemade yesterday and I’m already sold! I like that you can give it your own unique look instead of having the exact same look as everybody else like on Etsy.

    I can’t wait to start trying out all of the features!

    Off to procure a domain name right now…

  31. Today’s featured seller on Etsy discusses why she chose IndieMade and how she uses IndieMade and Etsy. http://www.indiemade.com/blog/etsy-featured-seller-jeanne-connolly-uses-indiemade-and-etsy-together

  32. My new IndieMade site is up and running at http://www.heartfeltjewelry.ca I’m still tweaking the site but am thrilled to have it in action. Received excellent and prompt support from Axel at IndieMade as questions cropped up while I was setting up. I had been shopping around for a while in preparation to set up my own site but couldn’t find the right features anywhere for a price that was practical. Am running my Indiemade site in conjunction with my Etsy shop http://www.heartfeltjewellery.etsy.com ~ Thank-you, Tim, for pointing the way. ~ PS. Tim did you say we should still have an external blog? Can you please explain why this is important?

  33. Hi Tim! I tried signing up for your ebooks but the site said there was an issue. Here’s my Indiemade shop http://mbyalcantaradesign.indiemade.com/

    This entry was really informative!

    Thank you!

  34. Hi Tim,

    I currently have 3 sites going on

    http://www.beegracious.etsy.com
    http://www.beegracious.artfire.com (should close)
    http://www.beegraciousbirdhouses.com (website)

    etsy ~ OK not nearly good as I would like
    artfire ~ totally dead
    website ~ hosted by 3dcart with shopping cart, expensive and hard for me to get it perfect with-out having technical knowledge.

    Indiemade seems so much simpler

    I know I do not want to be on a double dot platform going forward with a site.

    ? is ~ what should I do, NOT to have all this duplication of names & info that Google penalizes for? I certainly would want to try Indiemade before making a decision regarding 3dcart. I think 3dcart has a good platform, just not for beginners. I do have my own gateway set up to take credit cards directly from my website. Alot is at stake to disrupt. Any suggestions to help me think this thing through?

    Thanks Tim
    Frankie

  35. Having owned my Silentgoddess.com domain for many years and having it redirect to my etsy store, I am pretty excited to try out the Indiemade site as I have been wanting to get a stand alone store up and running. Just signed up and have loaded 6 products. Will come back to add more after getting some art jewelry made ;)
    Thinking that I will get my domain name redirected to my Indiemade store as soon as I can. I really like the ease of use and the clean look. Thanks for suggesting this!!

  36. I found http://mysupadupa.com to be clean and straight forward, site imported my etsy listing flawlessly.

    Only draw back is making OOAK items, can’t have listings in two places.

  37. I love the look of Indiemade and the features. I really do. I’m curious about duplicate content problems with the use of an importer though.

    As you know Panda hit sites hard last year and duplicate content and boilerplate content should be avoided. I can think one sales venue in particular that really got knocked down in rankings because of it.

    How is Indiemade handling this?

    Also are there plans to submit to google shopping?

    Sure love the look, features and apparent ease of use. Kudos Indiemade!

  38. Tim, have I missed the answers to my questions, one here and one sent by contact us Handmadeology. Thanks in advance.

  39. Thanks Tim for the e-books. I look forward to reading them. And thanks for introducing me to Indiemade – the perfect solution for me.

  40. Do you know that whether on Etsy or not, you can always promote your products for free on Bizspeaking ( http://bizspeaking.com/ ).

    It can even auto-import your Etsy items.

  41. Unfortunately, indiemade doesn’t help sellers like me who specialize in vintage goods.

    Also, how does having your own website that points to your Etsy store help you when Etsy decides one day, randomly, to deactivate your store? (Like they did to me yesterday.) Now all you have is a website that points to an “Uh oh! There’s something not quite right in the URL. Please check for any errors in the address bar and try again.” message.

    Right now I’m super-steamed. My whole store is gone, with no emails from Etsy on why or how to fix it.

    • Marcheline, just so you know — IndieMade *can* help you if you’re selling vintage. http://www.vintagerenewal.com is just one of many. We don’t have any restrictions on what you can and can’t do with your site — you’re paying for it, it’s YOURS. Sell whatever you want.

      Also, IndieMade sites are fully featured independent e-commerce sites. You don’t just point to your Etsy store; you have your *own* products posted on your *own* site.

  42. I currently have my own site http://www.bellina.weebly.com. I’ve actually done a lot of work on it. But it points to my etsy shop. Why? Because it doesn’t get any traffic. Despite my best efforts using kewords, meta tags etc. I am not found in searches unless you specifically search my company name. I need to draw in people specifically looking for my type of items. Sea glass for instance or birds nest jewelry. How does indiemade get you traffic? I’ve been sick over how to overcome this. I heavily promote outside of etsy but still my traffic is very low to the website.

  43. Tim now that I have your book, I have learned ALOT about selling on Etsy. Although I have had only 1 sale I’m confident that Etsy platform will be successful for me.
    I love indiemade concept and will look into that later on in my handmade career.
    I just spent the last year building my website from scratch and intergrating my designs/ elements into indiemade is not possible ( I checked)
    Great article and as always thank you for the quality and valuable information.

  44. Ok, cool this is just what I’m looking for. The reason I hate Etsy is that anyone can see my sales, then anyone can come along and copy my best sellers. Am I correct that my sales don’t show on Indiemade? If so, I am in.

    • I have made the jump over to Indiemade, imported my products easily, and DONE! I love the fact that I can sell whatever I want because sometimes I want to sell manufactured petticoats to go with the aprons that I make. I also love that nobody (my competition) can see what I sold and how many. I could be selling zero, or thousands and it’s nobody’s business.
      Also, there aren’t little popups everywhere (like on Etsy) leading my customers to other apron shops that are just like mine. That is seriously the worst thing I have seen on Etsy.
      I use Indiemade along with Weebly. I don’t know why, but I really love Weebly, it’s like a fun toy (although Weebly has a piss-poor e-commerce capability).
      For my next shop, in the works, I might just use Indiemade alone.
      http://dotsdiner.indiemade.com/store my Indiemade shop
      http://www.dotsdinershop.com/ my Weebly shop, using Indiemade as shopping cart
      Thank you!!!!

  45. Tim- thank you so much!
    I have been looking for an independent platform for quite some time and I am blown away! Not to mention I really value your opinion, and your site looks great.
    I am currently in a hotel and my shop on vaycay mode as we moved to a new state…I can’t wait to be settled in my new house, new studio, and now a new selling venue! I will be signing up for sure especially in light of all this new Etsy change/nonsense/disregard…and to quote Rachel “reading your article and responses, and to have a real live person from IndieMade here making comments?! Baby! I’m sold!”

  46. Hey

    I just recently discovered http://www.lajuliet.com. This marketplace is different than etsy because it is specifically for jewelry designer, which makes it much easier for designers to be found by customers.
    They do not charge listing, re- listing or commission fees.
    Right now they also offer the first three months for free.
    I think it is worth to take a look at it.

  47. I am new and have been wanting to sell on etsy ,but your site sounds much better. thank you.

  48. This is so true. Everyone I talk to that sells on etsy, doesn’t have their own personal website. In my opinion, your etsy store should just be one of your avenues for sales. Businesses should really be building everything around their website.

  49. hi guys

    I signed up for the indiemade shop was wondering how long it takes for the free pdf’s? I want to have a huge read through before i start building my site

    thanks
    sammy

  50. Thanks so much for the information. I have a domain name, but it mostly shows some photos of my jewelry and points visitors to my Etsy shop and blog. I keep thinking I need to develop it more but never seem to have the time. I’m going to have to change that soon!

  51. my store on etsy got closed without warning and a vague explanation I don’t understand it was a shock as I had high feedback and good sales . I left my job to do etsy full time, and was so shocked and devastated I can’t still think straight all of a sudden I have no income. they don’t answer emails quickly or tell you how to fix it. they just close it down, I have read tons of other stories like this about etsy on the internet. so I opened an indie made shop and am praying for good results. and will be opening a second one for my second store through handmadeology for the free books so I hopefully can get going well. it was so easy to set up I can’t believe it. they are user friendly and offered so much…I created a page of cusxtomer revfiew off etsy and you can interface with your etsy store and load all your products right from etsy. I definitely recommend indie made….they answer all your question/help very quickly…….

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