Monday , 25 January 2021
I have those days where I feel like all that work is not paying off. It helps me to tell myself that there are people out there who will connect with my work, I just have to find them and get my work in front of them.

The Breakdown With John W. Golden : Connecting With Your Market

Redstar Raygun Tin Toy Box Art Print 8x10

Redstar Raygun Tin Toy Box Art Print 8x10

John W. Golden is a digital artist that has been designing since the 80′s.  John joined Etsy in July of 2006, and has sold over 10,000 items.  You can also find John’s work in Target!  The Breakdown series is a ongoing series that goes behind the scenes of John’s successful Etsy shop.   We will be looking at real questions from real sellers, and John is going to break them down and give his straight-up answer.   We will be covering a wide range of topics, but all will be geared to the success of your Etsy business.


KathleenRobinaugh says:

Hi John..I had posted to you about twitter on the handmadeology site, and did have success with it…sold 2 of the items that I listed the day I really worked it, and they were items I wasn’t sure would sell (in a different shop)
now this shop…the positives, I have a lot of items, all at affordable price points, all unique and well made with quality materials. I am atleast a few new treasuries everyday, and get new hearts almost constantly. I don’t renew a lot, I mostly list new items. I do have 533 sales over 4 years, but they just trickle in. I feel like I am jumping up and down and yelling but am invisible to buyers. I enjoy doing this, the making, photos, listing, etc, but financially, it is hardly worth my time. I have a huge supply stash, so I just keep keeping on. Frustrated!
I do tweet, of course, have facebook, blog.  I realize there was no specific question in there, just what the heck?

johnwgolden says:

Congrats on all your hard work! It is really hard to keep doing all the things that we have to do to get ourselves out there when it doesn’t pay off as much as we would like or need it to.

I have those days where I feel like all that work is not paying off. It helps me to tell myself that there are people out there who will connect with my work, I just have to find them and get my work in front of them.

On days that I’m not getting much return (either in views or sales) on my marketing, I look at it as not having found those people. Every day will be different, and some days I will be better at connecting with my market.

That may not be true, and it might be more practical to acknowledge that if I am getting repeatedly frustrated by something, I should take that as a sign. It is definitely important to keep in mind the cost and benefit (both financially and in your personal life) of doing this, and to not let ourselves get steamrolled by it.

When I invest a lot of time and effort into making something like my Etsy shop successful I am resistant to let it go when it does not pay off. If I decide to keep at it despite the lack of success, I have to identify the value that endeavor has for me beyond the direct financial one. Everything I do for my Etsy shop has more than one value for me, and as long as I keep that in mind, I can continue to do things that may pay off down the line, but today don’t really seem to be worth it.

As I think everyone in this thread would attest, we all do lots of little things to encourage our Etsy shop to flourish. And really, I think that is to our benefit. It allows us to drop a practice that we decide really has no benefit to our business without bringing our business’ progress to a screeching halt. It allows us to add new practices that could benefit the business, and hopefully to be able to give them enough time to take hold.


PFk-1 Tin Toy Robot Box Art Print 16 in x 20 in

PFk-1 Tin Toy Robot Box Art Print 16 in x 20 in


Read up on the Break Down Series.

More Etsy Tips

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. An Ouch article – I’m working very hard at Etsy these days – I’m reading soooo much and have set a deadline for some sort of improvement by the end of December. That was a tough decision to take !

  2. I have always assumed that if I love my creations then other people are out there that will as well. You are completely right, it is just about finding them. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Good luck chayagallery with your December deadline.

  3. Thank you so much for this very inspiring article. I have like most of the people on ETSY have tried different things that I think will help our business and sometimes after a while you do come to the conclusion to maybe drop something that you see after a while is not working. I love what I do and I still do love my ETSY community and I will continue to work at making our shop work. It’s really an ongoing process to try to find what works.

  4. I like the idea that you have to measure value in ways other than just financially. Let’s keep doing what we love and what makes us happy :) Good luck fellow Etsians!

  5. Basically, I need an attitude adjustment. That’s worth learning! Thanks so much!

  6. So true! I like to think of the other benefits Etsy provides on my off-days (or weeks, or months!)

    The storefront is a way for Google searchers to find me, and if I keep my branding strong in the storefront they will recognize me if they stumble across me again.

    One time I gained a huge wholesale client because a product in my shop, although it’s not what they wanted, was kind of like something that I could easily make for them. Score!

    When I’m speaking with new retail shops that may be interested in carrying my work it is so great to have a very easy-to-navigate storefront for them to visit to see a ‘portfolio’ to reinforce the samples I bring to show them. It’s like getting a free (ish) catalog of your work!

    Keep on keepin’ on, sellers! :)

  7. So relating with what you all said.

    This is target practice.

    I keep thinking all this hard work will pay off and hopefully when I get better, that I can then help some other soul who is just starting out.

    Thank you for sharing, JohnWGolden

  8. It does help to know that there are so many other artists out there that go through the same thing, and feel the same way.

    When I am having one of those ‘disconnected’ days on Etsy, I remind myself that making tutus is an escape for me, not just a financial incentive.

    I have a list of bloggers who have contacted me over the past few years on Etsy, and these are great times to visit their posts and engage in comment. Every little bit helps!

  9. I loved how you create your shop, and how you sell alot of items all at once, what is your secret in finding the right ideas of selling your peoducts that stands out and how do you got started in selling your products and how did you advertise to keep your customers to come back for more. Tell me how you got sales , and how you get your customers to your site.
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>