If you’re like me, you would be happy spending all your spare time finding ways to be creative. Painting one day, building the next. You simply want to use your talents to make great stuff. The problem, those nagging real world expenses like rent, utilities, groceries and other debts waiting to be paid. If only you could find a way to merge your talent with making money.
You are not alone in your wishes. Fortunately, at least one company has answered the call. What started out as a small online selling platform, Etsy, has turned into a powerhouse for creative designers with talent to sell what they make, and see big profits.
Just last year, over 2 million people made a sale on Etsy. To date, there are over 60 million items listed on Etsy. But don’t let these numbers scare you, let them excite you. Buyers want creative, unique products and gifts that can’t be found in the local big box store.
Sellers, like you, want to get your items to the masses and be rewarded with a payment that represents the time and effort you put into creating. Etsy can help both buyers and sellers get what they want.
Just like any other online selling platform, there is a process to becoming successful. There are steps to take that can set you up for higher sales.
Sure, you can just jump on the Etsy site, open an account, and list something for sale. And you will likely sell your item. You will not be so lucky every time, however. Take it from me.
But if you follow the steps below, you will learn how to avoid the same mistakes I made and build an Etsy store that attracts buyers, builds relationships with customers, and enables you to grow to any level you desire.
How to Make Money on Etsy
You have likely shopped on Etsy or at least explored the website. You have seen the millions of fabulous items for sale. Etsy seems more like an online boutique offering accessibility to the talents of people around the world.
It’s time for you to join the list of Etsy sellers and start making money for you’re the creative projects you produce.
Keep reading to learn specific ways to make money on Etsy, from the basics and beyond.
Cover All the Basic Bases
Writing about yourself and your store are the last things creatives like us want to do. We want to show off our art, not spend time filling in boxes about where to send our massive payments or building our profile sections. However, these are a must do for any seller on Etsy.
It is these basic set-up processes that make your Etsy store complete.
So, start with registering your account and opening your store. Registering your account is simple. You just fill out your name, email address and create a password.
You will then be taken to your Etsy page. Here you can create your profile, add a profile picture, and tell buyers about yourself, your talents, and your store. Fill out all the sections. You only must do this once and it will help you win over customers who want to feel more connected to the artist.
Once you have created your account, it’s time to become familiar with all things Etsy. I know, you are ready to start listing. Be patient for a bit longer. Learning all you can about the platform can help you increase your sales. Meaning, more money money money for you.
Get to Know Etsy
Etsy is one of the greatest selling platforms because they want you to win. When you win, they win. Therefore, they provide you with an enormous amount of education on how to be the best. There are multiple learning outlets: Podcasts, Online Forums, and even the Etsy Handbook.
Podcasts are fun listening that are also educational and leave sellers with tips to succeed.
Online Forums put you in connection with buyers and sellers. This is where you can learn from your peers about the challenges, tips for success, and encouragement needed in any business.
The Etsy Handbook provides you with information on how to help buyers find your products, pricing, taxes, branding, marketing and so much more. It’s the go-to guide for any question you may have regarding selling your products.
Once you have gotten to know Etsy, you can move on to introducing your talent to the world, you can now begin listing.
List Items the Right Way
This is your time to shine. Mistakes in your listing can take your shine to a dim light. I’m not going to let that happen, though. I want to teach you how to list your handmade items the right way.
First, click on “Your Shop” tab at the top right of your screen. Then choose “list item”. This will take you to the simplest step-by-step guide to create a listing page. You will simply fill in the blanks with questions asked by Etsy.
You will be asked who made the item, the year you made it, if it is a finished item or a supply. Use the drop-down tabs to fill in additional information like what type of item it is and any variations available. You will also be asked to upload photos.
Photos are extremely important. Refer to the handbook on how to take the best Etsy photos for your customers. Poor photos can cost you a sale.
Describing your item means giving as much detail as you can so the customer can make a good decision on whether to purchase or not. Your description should be positive and encourage the customer to buy.
You will then be asked to price your item, as well as assign a shipping cost.
You will be able to add tag words to describe your item that will help buyers find you when they are searching Etsy.
You will quickly get the hang of listing items and may find yourself listing some items using the desktop version and other items using the “Sell on Etsy” app for Smartphones.
If you don’t receive a sale right away, don’t worry. The sales will happen. It may take some time for your customers to find you. If you don’t like waiting, you and I could get along just fine. How did I solve this problem? I chose to advertise my items on Etsy.
Advertise on Etsy
Yes, it costs a little bit of money. But you set the price and terms of how much you spend. Some choose to spend just $2.00 a day, some spend much more. The payoff for advertisements can be quicker connections with customers, higher visibility among millions of products, and potential for much higher sales.
Advertising on Etsy is not the only option. You can promote your product on all the social media channels, in a Facebook page or group, and by word of mouth. You can offer discounts for first-time buyers, holiday specials and even freebies for people who join your email list, which can give you one of the best ways to promote your store and get feedback from your customers.
Communicate with Customers
Listen to the feedback your customers give. They will tell you what they want and don’t want. They want you to succeed as well and will offer suggestions for products. They may even request special orders or custom, personalized items.
Providing these options could lead to another source of income for you or allow you to charge higher prices for an existing item.
Communication isn’t just online. When a customer buys your product and you mail it to them, include a letter or note that tells them how appreciative you are for their purchase.
You can also include further information about your work, your studio, or other services.
Stand Out from the Competition
With millions of items listed, it is very likely the products you make will be similar someone else’s products. It will be up to you to stand out and shine brighter than your competition.
To do this, research your competition. Check out their Etsy shop, the number of sales they have had, and read customer reviews. Use this information to your advantage and find ways to differentiate yourself.
What can you do to make a customer choose your product? Change your pricing? Add better photos? Improve your product descriptions?
Or, maybe it is something as simple as choosing better keywords or adding more products to your store. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
Don’t Give Up, Get Savvy
The final tip on how to make money on Etsy is to never give up. If the owner of the Etsy shop Bohemian Findings had given up, they wouldn’t have realized the success they have today, selling over half a million charms and small items.
If you find yourself frustrated with low or inconsistent sales, this does not mean you should close your store. Instead, figure out what is wrong and make corrections.
Improving sales on Etsy may mean spending extra time figuring out what products your customers want. It may also mean a few selling attempts may be chalked up to trial and error. Keep in mind that each time you do not make a sale, you are learning something new.
Take what you learn and apply it to your next listing.
Get more creative in the products you make. Research which items are selling most and apply your talents to create new items or enhance existing items. Gain knowledge on Search Engine Optimization to help buyers find you online.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations as I did, like you will make six figures your first year. Boy was I disappointed. Instead, set goals that are doable, keep improving your skills, and adapt for the market. You can be successful making money on Etsy.