A Beginner’s Guide To Etsy.
I’m just going to start off by saying that I’m still very inexperienced in the realm of Etsy selling. Yet, that hasn’t stopped me from writing an article on the subject. Why?
Because I think it’s a sterling opportunity for a busy mom to make money from home.
If there’s a craft of some sort that you just love to work on, why not turn it into a money-making opportunity? Me? I love making soap, and Etsy gives me the opportunity to make enough of it to make a variety of scents, etc., that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
Here’s what I love about selling on Etsy:
- I can list what I want when I want.
- I can close the shop if, for some reason, I can’t tend to orders that may come in.
- I don’t have to leave home to sell stuff
- It connects people with a love of handmade stuff.
- I know that the handmade things that I love, are going to other people who will love them. Not just people trying to get the cheapest thing they can get their hands on.
So, what’s involved in setting up an Etsy store?
Setting up shop is a no Brainer that anybody could do. I’m mildly embarrassed to say that I made my shop banner in paint – all by my graphically challenged self ( that’s why it looks funny, and I hope to get some help creating a better one soon). You don’t have to have a banner, though – I made several sales without one – and the rest of it is just putting in your information. You know, who you are, what you sell… That sort of thing.
- Create an account
- Connect it to a PayPal account
- Attach a credit or debit card
- Start listing
One of the funky things about Etsy (compared to eBay a least) is their preference for charging your credit card every month for your fees (listing fees, selling fees, shipping labels), rather than using PayPal. Therefore, you have to attach a credit card.
Marketing your product
The first and probably most important rule is to sell something you love. It’s very, very difficult to sell anybody on something you don’t genuinely love. If you don’t love it, why should anybody else?
After you’ve listed several items, start letting people know about your shop. Consider sending an email to all your friends and family, posting about it on Facebook, and pin a few of your items. Also, consider creating a Facebook page for your shop.
In general, just get the word out and raise awareness of your shop.
Shop on Etsy. This is one that I honestly haven’t utilized myself (yet), but shopping with your fellow Etsyers will create goodwill, and it’s a form of paying it forward.
Favorite your favorite shops and items. Don’t just go randomly favoriting shops, but if you find one you like, that you think you’d like to come back to, heart it. I can’t speak for other people, but every time someone favorites me, I click on their profile and shop. Call me curious, but they’re certainly making at least one more person aware of their shop by favoriting.
Project wonderful. This is an ad network that many crafting blogger use. That makes it perfect for a crafter to advertise with. You’ll need to create a graphic for your shop, then look through their advertiser’s directory to find blogs of the correct genre and bid on their spaces. Project Wonderful can be some really cheap advertising – even free!
Look for guest posting opportunities. Find blogs within your niche, and ask about guest posting. For instance, I might look for a healthy living blog and write an article on why commercial soaps (which are really detergents) are bad for your skin, or a crunchy blog and write about why goat milk is good for the skin, or any number of things.
Of course, it’s imperative that you write quality articles with helpful information, not just trying to sell your product, but something truly of value to the reader. You don’t want to sound like a salesman, you probably don’t even want to mention your shop in the article, but if your information is truly worthwhile, it’ll make people want to click that link in the “about the author” box.
Bonus tip: When you’re emailing the blog owner about a guest posting opportunity, be sure to be genuine, and use good grammar. Lacking those things will likely result in no response to your inquiry.
Sponsor blog giveaways. This will help people become familiar with your stuff, and create goodwill. I also recommend that one of the ways to enter the giveaway be going to your shop, and leaving a comment on the giveaway blog telling what the person’s favorite product is. It gets people to visit your shop and, again, become familiar with your products, opening the door for future sales.
Well, there you have it. My tips for getting sales on Etsy. In the future I hope to have the time to implement some of these things more consistently Myself, and perhaps grow my Etsy business into more than just a hobby. But in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have you ever sold on Etsy? What are your favorite marketing strategies?
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