Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like extra money in their bank account?
You do? I knew it!
Let me give you some advice, or more like…”This is what worked for me, you’re welcome to try it out”.
There’s a lot of talk from seasoned artists about leaving Etsy and having their own shop on their website or Shopify. The issue comes down to seller fees.
But, if you are a beginner, Etsy is the best thing for you. Heck, I still use it and I have no plans of leaving anytime soon.
I started my shop back in 2015, for the sole reason of getting paid by a client. I did a custom illustration and didn’t know how to get paid by credit card, it was my first real commission piece and the only thing I could quickly think of was, Etsy. So I posted the item there, and told the client to go buy it. Haha! It worked. But that was it for a while.
A little later I started adding some of my paintings and illustrations, I really thought I would be an overnight success. Silly me. I saw soooo many shops selling similar things, seeing how many sales they had on their items made me think, “Heck, my stuff is just as good, I’m sure I’ll sell a lot”. WRONG!
No one was interested in my stuff, in 2015 I made one sale.
In 2016 I made four.
Yes, it’s sad. But I didn’t give up, I just fixed my mistakes, researched and kept going.
In 2017 I made over 600 sales and in 2018 I already tripled that amount. So I guess something is working.
So here are my 8 tips for you
SOCIAL MEDIA and WEBSITE
First things first, if you aren’t yet, get on Instagram, Facebook or other social media platform, and start sharing your stuff. The more you socialize, the more people are aware of your existence, and they’ll go check your stuff out. You have to get out there and get seen. Make an appearance at least once a day. People on the internet, and especially in today’s fast paced world, will quickly forget you. So don’t let them.
If you have a website or blog, even better, share share and post consistently, and research SEO like crazy. I still haven’t figured it all out but I’ve been getting better at it.
PRICING AND SALES
I’m not sure if you’re going to sell physical items or digital like I do. But speaking from my experience, figuring out pricing was tricky at first.
I’d start by looking to your competitors or people who sell similar items, then adjust as you see fit. If you feel like you priced something too high, run a sale and then see if that price brings in people. If no one buys it after the sale ends, adjust the price a little and see if that helps.
And if you do run sales, plan them in advance, so you can share on social media. Otherwise no one will know about your sale.
MORE IS BETTER
Have at least 10 items ready to post to Etsy when you open the shop, and then consistently add more.
As you can see I don’t have much in my shop. But the trick is to “renew” your listings, that way the system thinks you are putting in more items. Which will bump you in search results. Etsy likes new listings.
Downside of that is you pay $0.20 per renewal, but in the end it pays off. I renew my worksheets (because that’s what sells most) daily, and if I go a few days without, I definitely see a drop in sales.
I wouldn’t renew all your items, try it with just a couple first, and then see if it helps. I renew only about 5 a day.
Another thing is to focus on that one special item you want to be known for. Don’t put everything you do into your shop. Stick to a theme. That way when people want calligraphy and see your shop, they can browse calligraphy only. Or if they want flower paintings, they can browse 20 flower paintings. Instead of, one flower, one wolf, one abstract, one knitted hat, one vintage dress, one hand made candle.
I know, it’s tempting, but try to stick to a theme at least. So if you love flowers, only sell things with flowers on them.
I’d say one to two niche items is enough. I have printables and worksheets and 99.9% of my sales are worksheets. Maybe I need to rethink my own niche, haha.
Search other shops and see what keywords “tags” they use in their listing that way you know to do something similar or what not to do too.
Aim to be recognizable.
Please please make sure your photos are well lit, and are all similar is some way, so they look like they belong to your shop. When someone sees that one photo on Pinterest, they will automatically know, so and so did it because they recognize the style.
Pinterest is my number one traffic driver to my shop. So get on Pinterest and pin your art to a lot of boards, your own and get on some group ones as well. I use Tailwind to schedule pins throughout the day, they link directly to my shop or website. Pin, pin, pin. Daily and make multiple boards where you can pin your things.
I pin my lettering worksheets to my “learn lettering”, “lettering worksheets”, “brush lettering”, “lettering”, “lettering beginner” boards. You never know who is following which board, so if you have more, there’s a better chance someone will stumble upon it. Just don’t pin the same thing 10 times in one day to the same board. Scatter it around a bit. And DO pin other peoples’ things as well.
And I do use Etsy’s Promoted listing where you set a daily budget — I started out with like $2 a day — and promote your listings that way. Just do a few at a time, 3-5 is a good start.
At first I didn’t see return from that because you have to figure out all the numbers and what best works for you and how much you’re willing to spend. So it took a while to get going, but now it’s definitely worth it. But I’d wait with those till you have at least a decent amount of views and traffic coming in.
I hope these tips help you with your new Etsy adventures. Just remember, it takes time and lots of commitment.