So, you want to try selling in Etsy? But you don’t know how to setup your Etsy shop?
That’s a great idea. You can succeed in this platform given that Etsy alone brings millions of traffic to their sellers’ shops every single day. In fact, last March 16 they have 174.20 million visitors with only 43.91% bounce rate based from Similar Web Analytics.
It is ranked as #179 shopping platforms globally and top 100 in the world and #42 in the US, according to Alexa rankings. As of November, they ranked 145 globally and no. 49 in the US.
Etsy is a great place for creative bloggers to sell their own products and consider this as their most trusted platform for their awesome goodies. They accept either physical or digital products which makes them a fabulous place to earn more income through their products.
Pretty insane, right?
Now, the question is how to setup your Etsy shop and start selling your handmade items successfully.
To give you an idea on what you can possibly sell in Etsy, you can try any of the following:
- For physical products, you can do:
- Handmade journals
- Memo pads or jotter pads
- Customized shirt designs
- Everything handmade
- For digital products (everything in PDF), you can do:
- Blog planners
- Weekly planners
- Monthly planners
- Food planners
- T-shirt designs
There are tons of things you can sell. Make sure you create them that your customers will REALLY love (some of the products sold there are crap!)
Anyway, in this post, I’ll be teaching you how to setup your Etsy shop with a free downloadable checklist to see your progress before you finally launch your Etsy shop. (If you do, please share your shop to me by placing the link in the comment section below so I can check them out, too!)
How to setup your Etsy shop, for real?
A. Etsy Shop Pre-setup
Err, before that, let me have a pre-setup session with you. To setup your Etsy shop, you need to know how complicated Etsy system works. As we all know, this platform has millions of visitors per day. If you don’t stand out, you’ll just hear loud cricket sounds in your shop. Nobody will notice you at all.
It doesn’t matter if you have nice photos or nice descriptions. There are secret sauce that other top or popular Etsy sellers are doing to stand out from the creative crowd. I’ll get into that later on.
First things first, you have to be aware of the fatal mistakes I and others did when they sell stuff.
1. Know the fatal mistakes of the Etsy sellers. There will always be room for improvements. But before you commit your first crime, I’ll share with you what I did and what other veteran Etsy sellers have to say about their fatal mistakes.
- Lack of niche. You are fabulously creative. But, it doesn’t mean it will work in Etsy if you create a lot of stuff like almost everything. You should find one particular product you really love making and focus on it.
“I also spread myself too thin. I made table runners, potholders, bed quilts, lap quilts, baby quilts. I wanted to start making flannel blankets, wall hangings, stockings, candle mats, table toppers, and a few other things I can’t remember right now. Finally, I have decided to stick with table runners, lap, bed, and baby quilts and patterns!” – Abby from FluffyPuppyQuilt
- Lack of market research. You can’t just start your online creative business without an in-depth research of your target market. Start researching, especially your rivals. If you are a handmade journal seller, research what other handmade journal sellers are doing. Be a detective.
“[My business mistake was] not digging deep enough to find what customers truly will purchase. The crazy thing is what sells well in person can be completely sidebar different than online.” – Andrew Konkle from Theteepeeguy
- Lack of work balance. Many craftsmen suffer from the inability to balance production and personal life. It is understandable that creating a product takes a lot more time, especially if you are offering customization in your shop. But that doesn’t mean it will consume you to stress, fatigue, and anxiety.
“My biggest mistake was working 7 days a week for months on end that turned to years! Balance is huge! I had a heart attack in November of 2014! I no longer work 7 days a week! Lesson learned the hard way!” – Sharon Dudka from MetalRocks
- Lack of pricing knowledge. Before you determine the price of your product, you need to know the market price. How does other handmade journal sellers price their items? This boils down to an in-depth research.
“The biggest mistake I made in the beginning was charging prices that I would pay for something, instead of charging the market rates. I’m not my target market. I was afraid customers wouldn’t pay more but in reality, they were already used to paying much more for hats. I doubled my prices and my business grew.” – Paulette from Dahliasoleil
- Lack of flexibility and openness to possible business changes. There are many times that your pre-planned expectations of your business and to your customers’ demands. Though you have the items they love, be prepared on bulk of products they purchase, the customization, the pricing, the trend designs, the marketing strategies, etc.
“Way back when, before the internet, I had a very successful business based on one product. Times changed and the demand for the product disappeared almost overnight, nearly bankrupting me. Since then, I’ve learned to never pull my income dependency on on or even a few related products. Diversify.
Stay on top of the market and pay attention to what your specific audience is doing, thinking and buying. Also, do not rely on one marketplace. Things happen. Take control of your own business and your own destiny. Use a marketplace wisely and re-evaluate often, don’t depend on it to support you without keeping track of what is going on in the business world.” – Mary Richmond from MaryRichmondDesign
- Lack of perseverance. To be honest, this was also my fatal mistake when I first started Etsy. I listed around 10 items for some months. But, I closed my shop just because nobody purchased or only a few liked my items. It was too shallow, too immature for me to do that. Other Etsy seller from CraftyToTheCore shared the same experience.
“The biggest mistake I see is someone quitting after listing a dozen items and not seeing results.”
- Lack of exposure. Though Etsy can bring millions of visitors per day, it doesn’t mean it can guarantee you exposure. It means you have a tough fight when it comes to competition against the hundreds of thousands of sellers active in the platform. You need to be strategic enough to get noticed by your target market.
“My biggest mistake was to not keeping myself out there enough for two years since it can led me to loss the already established customer base that I had built up for over 10+ years.
However, I had someone come to my house from two towns over asking if I still did saw/sawblade painting … I have not advertised that service locally for a good four years. So, that told me that word of mouth was still working for me at the local level.
So during rough times, still put yourself out there so you do not loss all your momentum. [This] is what I learned.” – Kelly Badgerow from KKaysArtistryDesign
2. Learn the existent tough Etsy competition. When I opened my shop last year, I was excited. When I launched it, a lot of people see and favorited some of the items I listed there. But, errr, *cricket sounds* no sales. Only a few likes.
I said, “I come on, I have nicely taken photos, nice items, but how come, all I have were visitors. No customers! No sales!”
So, I was thinking there must be something wrong or maybe I missed something. Yes, there was. But I was able to realize it months after I paid $50 for nothing (fresh from my pocket) and closed my shop.
As I shared in the previous point, you need to know the market and the changes in the business industry. You need to be updated with how your customers think, live, and decide.
Nowadays, social media is rampant. So, take advantage of it. Be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagam, Periscope, and Snapchat and capture the attention of your audience there.
So how can you guarantee your success in Etsy after setting up your online shop?
Aside from having nice photos, which is really a no-brainer tactic most Etsy sellers do, there are secret sauces you need to mix to create The Ultimate Etsy Exposure Cheesy Crepe. I don’t know how that tastes like. For sure cheese lovers like that.
Anyway, to assure you Etsy success you need to know the following:
- Etsy SEO
- Etsy Social Media secrets
To do that, we’ll do an in-depth investigation. Are you with me? **crickets** Ugh, are you with me? **Yeahhh!** Alright, let’s go!
Secret Sauce No. 1: Etsy SEO
Etsy SEO and the SEO used by most bloggers doesn’t have much difference. The sellers utilize some SEO tools like the underrated Etsy search, Marmalead and Google Analytics for their target keywords most potential clients are using.
With the use of these useful tools, it helps you to know the keywords you will use in your title tags, your product descriptions, and your meta descriptions.
That said, let’s take a look on how these tools to help increase your shop’s traffic:
Etsy SEO Tool #1: Etsy Search Bar
Everyone can see this tiny bar on the side. When you land to the Etsy landing page, you’ll see this orange search button. It appears in blue button if you’re on the site pages. This is your important keyword tool.
When you search something using the search bar, different suggested keywords pop out that are useful to your product listing title. Let’s say your product is a handmade journal. We’ll have,
So, instead of having “handmade journal” as your product listing title, you can utilize the different keyword suggestions from the search bar that are frequently used by your potential customers.
Original title: Handmade journal
Suggestions: Handmade leather bullet journal, personalized writing leather journal, personalized leather journal for pregnancy journaling, etc.
Etsy SEO Tool #2: Marmalead
When constructing listing titles that are SEO rich, many Etsy sellers tend to use Marmalead as their tool to identify which keywords they use for the product titles. In fact, over 25,000 sellers trust this SEO tool to optimize their titles and descriptions based on the keywords suggested.
What makes it so? Let’s find out!
When you land to Marmalead, you see this.
When you click Get Marmalead!, you’ll see two options. Free version and the paid version ($19/month). If you use the paid version, needless to say, you’ll enjoy lots of stuff in here. You can get the best keywords for your Etsy shop. But, for now, let’s see the free version first.
After you registered, connect your Marmalead account to your Etsy account. Then, you’ll see the dashboard, which looks like this. Since we don’t have our new Etsy shop after its closure in 2015, apparently, it looks like this. But, but, but if you are an active Etsy seller, you’ll automatically see your listings.
Do you see that search button on the left side of the screen? Let’s click that one. Type journal as our example. After typing in the word, you’ll see the analysis which constitutes the keywords you’ll use for your product listing. It might take some minutes before Marmalead provides the top keywords most sellers use.
Since we only use the free version, you can only see the top listings, the top journal details like the pricing and views per week. Below is the actual screenshot of the results for free version.
But, if we take a look at the top listings below this screenshot, you’ll see the titles of the top suggested, top viewed listings from others sellers. From there, you’ll have an idea on how to structure your titles to improve your Etsy listing titles.
Based on the results of our product “journal,” you have bunch of titles to use as a template for your own listing. Focus on the listings with high views per week. So instead, of “handmade journal,” base your titles from the highest listings. Let’s take a look at the top 4 listings:
- Bullet journal stencil, Calendar wheel stencil, Monthly tracker stencil, Habits tracker stencil – fits A5 journal and Midori regular
- Gravity Falls: Journal 3 replica
- Personalized Leather Journal Notebook or Sketchbook | Rustic Brown, Saddle Tan, Dark Brown
- Bulk Plain Notebooks, Handmade Tiny Pocket Large Journals, Personalized Journal, Mini Diaries, Jotters, Blanks Books, Kraft Paper Notebook
Given the top suggested listing titles above, create your own title depending on your product. Don’t just create based on what’s the trending listing, but based on your product itself.
NOTE: Make sure you utilize the 35 characters for Etsy SEO. That means, the most important keywords should be seen first.
Let’s say, you’re selling handmade leather journals. So, you have this formula:
- Handmade + material used + type of notebook/journal/diary + size + other details
- Handmade leather bullet journal, notebook, mini diary, mini sketchbook fit for Midori, A5 size, or
- Handmade fabric plain journal, notebook, mini diary, mini sketchbook A5 size plain, blank, eco-friendly pages
Etsy SEO Tool #3: Google Analytics
Google Analytics functions the same way for the Etsy shops like it does with the blogs. If you know how to use Google Analytics, then you can start using it.
If you already have an active account in Google Analytics, you can immediately add new account and follow Google’s tracking instructions once the page opens.
- Go to Admin, then hover to your property. At the bottom, you’ll see “Create New Property” button. Then click.
After clicking the “Create New Property” button, you’ll see Google’s instructions to get your tracking ID, which is really important to track your visits, views, from your audience or your potential clients.
Just follow Google’s instructions afterwards. If you have already done this process in your blog, this is already familiar. Make sure you use your Etsy shop link as your website link.
Secret Sauce No. 2: Etsy Social Media secrets
The secret: SEO + Your Own Blog / Vlog / Podcast. 😈
I have observed that many of the shop owners who have lots of reviews, sales, and favorites were those who blog or vlog their items. Their blogs (in their shop domain), vlogs (with same Etsy shop name), as well as their podcasts become their traffic referrals.
When we say traffic referrals, they are channels where traffic to your website originated. Through these traffic referrers, it helped a LOT to drive traffic to their shops that resulting to higher exposure of the items they list.
Thus, to standout from the rest of the sellers, you need to create channels for your traffic. If you compete with the norm, you won’t be noticed resulting to no sales, no income.
How to setup your traffic channels?
Let’s say, you have a blog. There are lots of ways you can show your products.
- You display “Shop” in your top/primary menu.
- You place Instagram feed on the sidebar.
- You create a sidebar ad about your recent challenge teasing your audience about own product. For example, a free tote bag you also displayed from your shop. Voila!
- You talked, shared your process on how you created your product in one of your blog posts.
- If you do vlog, create a video teaching your viewers from YouTube about your product and what your customers could expect/benefit from it. At the end of the video, you say “I’ll be listing this item in my Etsy shop. Just click the link below to see full description and the price of the item.” Bang!
- This is optional, but if you also do podcast, you created an ad for your own product. It’s similar on how you do in your YouTube videos (vlogs). If you know somebody from Etsy, you can be a guest to their podcast and vice versa.
If you did these, bunch of traffic are contributed to your shop plus, Etsy already drives organic traffic to their shop. **giggles**
See? Setting up your own Etsy shop takes a lot of work!
My question is, do you still want to try? If yes, great! I have here an infographic that contains another set of tricks to improve your Etsy shop statistics and sales.
How to Setup Your Etsy Shop: Step-by-step process
Download your free checklist and your free creative business printable format below as your initial guideline, if you don’t have an Etsy business idea yet.
On the other hand, if you already are an active Etsy seller, I have something for you as well. You might as well check that out in our next post, because I will be talking about an in-depth discussion about Etsy SEO.
When you ask Google on how to setup your Etsy shop, there are tons of pieces of advice you can find but not as in-depth and real like I did in this post. I’m not self-promoting but this is true. Personally, I don’t want you to experience what I’ve experienced last year when I opened my shop with no plans at all.
Etsy has a lot of traffic which is really helpful for your shop but the competition is really high. If you don’t work on these strategies I gave you, you won’t standout. You need to have clever but competitive strategies to the audience looking around searching for products to buy.
Setting an online shop like Etsy is as stressful as you think like you’re setting up a real shop. But the advantage is, it gives you more authority to your audience in a flexible way and you’re not paying monthly rents to produce and sell your products.
This is all for now, but before you exit, grab your free worksheets and creative business plan to help you setup your first Etsy shop. I’ll be sharing you more tips on how to increase your Etsy exposure personally in your inbox. See ya, pal!
To help you out based from my failures (a humbling experience for me, too, as an entrepreneur) is my greatest goal. Through this post, I am really hoping I did help you out. God speed, pals! 😛
Do you find this post worth your while? If you like this post, feel free to share this to your family and friends who are struggling in their Etsy shops. Click the social media icons on the left sidebar. Thanks a lot, pals! Your one click is worth a thousand smiles! 🙂