Many people choose Etsy as an e-commerce platform to sell their creative and homemade products online. This guide will give you an idea of what goes into building a successful and profitable Etsy business.

You will learn about:

  • The benefits of selling art on Etsy
  • What it takes to become successful on Etsy
  • How to use your Etsy shop to expand your artistic reach

What Is an Etsy Store and Why Would I Want One?

Etsy is an e-commerce website that allows you to set up an online storefront to sell products that you’ve created yourself.

As an artist, this is a great way to start making money from your craft without being “famous.” But if you put in the work, you could potentially build a big enough following to become notable, not only on Etsy but other online platforms as well.

What Tools Does Etsy Offer to Support Your Online Store?

Etsy is a platform where its users rely largely on their own resourcefulness to become successful, sell many products, and get their names and brands recognized online.

One of the primary tips recommended to those looking to use Etsy to sell products online is to research and study already successful Etsy sellers and consider framing your shop in a similar fashion. A few branding tweaks to help your product stand out from others typically do the trick. Etsy has various checks to ensure that products are authentic and original to their creators.

However, the platform has adopted some practical methods to help sellers become more visible. Stores can get features from Etsy editors, merchandisers, or social media teams, which could boost their traffic and sales.

Etsy now also allows sellers to enable off-site advertising, for a fee of course, but it’s an option that lets ads for Etsy shops show up on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bing, and other networks that collaborate with Etsy.

Etsy Site
Source: Etsy

At its core, the company remains largely community-based, with Etsy offering several areas for sellers to congregate and commiserate online. Here are some you can explore:

  • Etsy social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram
  • Etsy Teams, more private support clubs where sellers can discuss the ins and outs of running a shop
  • Etsy Forums, a more public online space where sellers can connect
  • Etsy Success podcast features stories from Etsy staff, successful Etsy sellers, and other special guests

How To Become a Successful Etsy Artist in 6 Steps

Take Great Photos

Taking stellar photos of products is the number one recommendation to being successful on Etsy. Photos should be professional or of near-professional quality. Investing in a high-quality camera or a smartphone with a high-quality camera is a very good idea.

Using editing software, such as Snapseed or Lightroom to enhance photos further is also a great touch. Neutral tones and natural, sharp, clear, and bright images are ultimately what you want to draw in customers. Don’t be afraid to switch out photos for products that aren’t selling after a few weeks or months.

Market Your Etsy Site and Products Well

In addition to having great-looking photos, your Etsy shop itself should be well organized and curated to instill confidence in interested shoppers. This is all a part of great marketing.

Once your shop is up, you should find the different Etsy communities that can be a help in getting the word out about your brand. You might make friends with a fellow seller who shares your Etsy shop on their social media or get a feature directly from Etsy. You should also expand your marketing strategy outside of Etsy, which we’ll explain in detail in the section below.

Use Strong SEO and Tags

Search in Etsy
Source: Etsy

Having strong and easily searchable terms associated with your Etsy store and the items in your store is paramount for people finding you organically. It increases your chances of garnering traffic and sales greatly.

The easily searchable phrases are what make your site come up when customers are looking for items like those you offer. They also make your shop easier to find for things like Etsy features and help it to stand out during the holidays or various Etsy trends.

Have Stellar Etsy Descriptions, Titles, and Copy

This works in tandem with SEO and tags, marketing, and the overall look of your site. You want:

  • The descriptions on your listings to flow well
  • The titles to be catchy
  • Any other text on your shop to be welcoming and encourage potential customers to buy

Also, there should be no spelling errors or offensive content.

Price Your Products Well

Find a sweet spot in your pricing that makes your products affordable for your customers and that allows you to make a profit. Keep in mind that Etsy applies several fees to shops and listings that are your responsibility to pay. Sellers also pay for shipping, so it’s important to ensure you’re being properly valued for your efforts.

You can check out similar Etsy shops to get a general idea of how you should set your prices. If there is something special about your art or certain pieces, such as the time it took to create, or the material of which it’s made, then that should be detailed in your description, SEO, and so on as to why it’s being sold at a premium.

Have Excellent Customer Service

Unlike selling on Amazon, Etsy isn’t a dropshipping service where customers order a product that’s then made by a third-party service and sent to customers in an impersonal fashion. People enjoy shopping with Etsy sellers for their attention to detail.

When a customer places an order, everything falls on your hands. What we mean is you’re responsible for the creation of the product, in addition to shipping, and its fees. In this, your customer service makes a big impression on whether that shopper will purchase from you again or recommend your shop to friends, family, or associates.

Sending packages with a creative touch, including designs, your personal branding, business cards for them to share, and perhaps some sort of freebie, make their overall purchasing experience with you a positive one.

You should be available to customers via email, phone, or chat, with questions or concerns about the product they purchased. Respond to customers quickly and aim to do so in a manner that keeps them happy.

Also, consider following up with customers and asking for feedback. Similarly, keep engaged with your social media followers by responding to comments and questions on your various platforms, or those that may come in through an email list or as a response to a blog post.

Incorporate Selling Art Online with Other Platforms for Maximized Exposure

Melding your online art business with other online platforms is one of the foremost ways to market your Etsy shop online. Once your shop is up and running, you have to bring your audience to you .

YouTube & TikTok

Having a video-based social media platform to promote your Etsy shop and your art is a great idea because it helps people connect your face with your art and help them recognize you as an artist.

You can use YouTube, TikTok, and similar platforms to talk about how you became an artist and your artistic process. You can give tips and tricks on how to become an artist. You can even share milestones, such as your sales of special pieces, or even more mundane things, like a funny post office folly while shipping a package. Some of these platforms can also be alternate streams of income.

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are three of the top social media platforms used for marketing on the web. You will want to have a profile on each dedicated to your Etsy shop.

You can use these profiles to share new art projects you’re developing. You can share details about sales, promotions, and discounts you’re hosting. You can also use these profiles to connect with followers in a similar fashion to YouTube and TikTok by using their live video features.

Etsy marketing
Source: Etsy.com

Being active on social media is a great way to make buyers feel special. If they happen to share photos of their purchase online, you can offer to feature the image on your platforms. This exposure can bring more eyes to your art and add to your reputation as a great Etsy seller.

Create a Blog

A blog can easily be a written version of a YouTube channel or TikTok. You can use it as a platform to share more information about yourself and to share stories about yourself as an artist.

Having a blog also helps you connect with other Etsy bloggers who may be willing to feature your blog and your Etsy shop on their blog for greater exposure.

Create a Mailing List

Maintaining a mailing list is another way to use great marketing while keeping customers up to date with your latest inventory, prices, sales, promotions, and discounts. Email lists are also a great way to easily remind customers of other social media and other platforms where they can find you, in addition to, of course, your Etsy shop.

Why Running a Successful Etsy Store is Important for Your Art Career

The company hosts shops for more than 2.5 million sellers as of late 2019, with Etsy sellers coming from 234 countries globally and its sales totaling more than $4.97 billion.

Selling on Etsy is a great option for artists because of the company’s stance that products marketed on the platform are either handmade or vintage. It’s an excellent way for people to showcase and commodify their unique items online.

Many top sellers can easily make more than $10,000 per year. While that may not seem like a lot, it can be a way for creators to not only grow their profits over time but to also have their exposure grow into other artistic opportunities.

Some of the most important aspects that go into making an Etsy shop lucrative are the same aspects that make you a good artist: Creativity, consistency, and dedication. However, it takes a lot of hard work and internet savvy as well.

Ultimately, having an Etsy shop is an optimal way to create income with original works and a method to ensure that people always have access to your art. People want to ensure the art they’re buying is authentically yours and that’s why they are going to Etsy.

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