Starting an Etsy store is a great way to earn an income and potentially start a lucrative business. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit but a limited budget, Etsy can be a great foundation for getting started. This platform is a marketplace for handmade goods and crafts, and consumers turn to Etsy for all types of unique products that you can’t get elsewhere.
Here’s how you can get started with your Etsy listing:
Optimize Your Listing
Standing out from the competition is important, and the discovery methods you use to get noticed can make all the difference. Just as you would optimize a webpage to appeal to search engines, you need to optimize your Etsy listing to appeal to traditional search engines and the Etsy search engine. Here are some tips:
- Add tags to each item. On Etsy, you’re allowed to add 13 tags for each item; you should be using each one. It helps to create variations of tags, and check out similar products to see what tags they’re using, too.
- Categorize accurately. Categories on Etsy are similar to tags, and the more targeted your categories are, the more likely you are to reach your audience. For instance, there are broad categories as well as deeper, niche subcategories. Using specific subcategories makes your unique items more discoverable.
- Offer free shipping. Believe it or not, free shipping can make or break a sale. In fact, there’s a bit of psychology behind this: if you bumped up the price of your item, and offered free shipping, your product would be more appealing than the same exact product at a cheaper price, but with shipping excludedâ€”even when the final cost is the same.
- Use keywords in your title, and make it short and simple.
- Choose a great first photo. The first photo in your listing is what will appear as a thumbnail image in search results, which means it should be as appealing as possible.
Take Advantage of Automatic Ads
Etsy makes it easy for your products to appear in “Promoted Listings” during a search, which puts your product at the top of results. Set your daily budget, and let Etsy do the rest. “I’ve found this has a huge increase in impressions, traffic, clicks, and sales at a very low cost and a huge return on investment (ROI) when paired with specific keyword targeting through Etsy tags,” said Etsy seller Stacy Caprio.
Dropshipping is a quick, low-cost way for you to sell products. With drop shipping, you don’t have to hold any inventory, and products are ordered directly from the manufacturer once an order is placed. This is a popular way for budding entrepreneurs to get started quickly without the added risks associated with starting a new business.
You can use the dropshipping method with Etsy, as long as you play by the rules. For example, Etsy’s Terms of Service state that “reselling” is only allowed in certain instances. Reselling is when the seller hasn’t made or manufactured the product themselves.
However, for example, you might decide to dropship mugs with custom graphics. The graphics are created by you (or by someone you hired) and owned by you, and you’ll simply order the mug when an order is placed.
Have Your Own Website
Although Etsy is your primary platform to start, it’s helpful to have your own corresponding website as well. There are plenty of benefits to having your own website in addition to running your Etsy store.
As a homemade, craft-based platform, chances are you pride yourself on your artistic side. With Etsy, you are limited to your layout, color scheme, and much more. A website provides you with all the creative freedom you need to shed light on your products.
This ultimately provides you with the branding power you need to grow outside of Etsy, and build your SEO for a higher chance at appealing to Google search engines. Furthermore, it eliminates competitor distraction. You’ll notice that on Etsy, customers also see “related products” on your product page, which could lead them to other online stores.
Starting a website isn’t difficult, and if you have WordPress, you can achieve this through an Etsy-WordPress integration. However, be sure to choose the right hosting plan. While a shared hosting plan might seem good at first, if you plan on uploading hundreds of product photos or publishing video demos, you might need a more reliable dedicated host.
Create a Mailing List
A mailing list is every marketer’s dream. Naturally, Etsy makes it difficult to build a mailing list with your customers, but there are ways around this. Once you set up a website, include the link in your description, and encourage your Etsy visitors to head to your website and enter their email for a first-time discount code.
These incentives them to provide their details. Once you start creating emails, you can send out email marketing campaigns to let them know when you have new products or when there are sales.
Build a Photo Shoot Around Your Products
These days, it’s not enough to simply show an image of a product. People want to see how the product looks in a lifestyle setting. For this reason, you should be building a photoshoot around your products.
If you sold a hand-carved wooden box, for example, photograph it with daisies and herbs, or show it on a bookshelf surrounded by an antique collection. There are plenty of creative ways to have fun here, and it sets your Etsy store apart from others.