Best Tips and Resources for Starting an Etsy Business

etsy shop
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Etsy has more than 1.7 million active sellers worldwide selling more than 40 million vintage or handmade items, from clothing to crafts to tech accessories. You could certainly conclude that Etsy has something for everyone. That's a good thing, because, with some 27 regular million buyers, the audience is huge.

The site may have a folksy, homespun image, but Etsy entrepreneurs need to be thoroughly professional. Many types of shops can do well on this peer-to-peer e-commerce powerhouse—provided they have a product that fills a gap in the growing Etsy market and they know how to sell it.

Develop a Moneymaking Product

A mistake that many independent crafters make is thinking that just because they can create something pretty cool by hand, they will be able to sell it easily on Etsy. But this isn't always the case; every product on Etsy does not have the same potential for bringing in profit. While the development of your product line can certainly start with an item or two that you have made and truly love, success will only come if you do the proper research into the market and competitors already on Etsy. The site offers suggestions for creating a winning product line along with pricing tips.

Take Captivating Product Photos

OK, it's a cliché, but a picture really is worth a thousand words. All of your product photos must be interesting, accurate, and representative, conveying to potential customers exactly what they can expect to receive with their purchase. You don't need expensive equipment to take great product photos; your smartphone will work fine.

Write a Detailed Product Description

Once you have your photographs and design in place, further captivate your potential customers with an attractive and engaging product description. Truly personalize your product by talking about how you made it, what the process was like for you, and what benefits you hope it will bring to the customer. Make sure you use keyword tags so that your product can be found when someone searches Etsy or the web in general.

Brand Your Shop

A big part of being successful on Etsy is setting yourself apart from the competition. The best way to do so is to create a strong and unique brand carries through from your shop to your products to your packaging. Start by coming up with the right name for your shop. Then make sure you complete your biographical "About" page on the site and customize your shop with a logo and banner that support your brand. Use the Etsy image size cheat sheet to make sure all of your branded images are sized appropriately.

Connect With Your Customers

Buyers are the lifeblood of your Etsy business; make them feel valued so that they buy from you repeatedly. Share your background and the story of your products with your customers so that they get to know and trust you. Then, be sure to ask your customers for their feedback and reviews after a purchase and incorporate their suggestions into your products and store where appropriate. A good experience with your shop can go a long way, so think about the packaging, presentation, and shipping as part of your business and how they make your customers feel and whether they will bring customers back for more purchases.

Promote With SEO, Social Media, and Word of Mouth

Promoting an Etsy business doesn't have to cost much. With a little time dedicated to marketing, you can increase traffic to your shop and hopefully increase sales, too. Start by using some SEO techniques to help your shop rise to the top of Etsy and Google searches. Then, add in some social media promotion, using those captivating product photos you created to build interest in your products. Lastly, as you continuously connect with your customers and create a happy client base, they will be encouraged to share their experience with friends and family, creating word-of-mouth buzz for your shop.

Use Shop Announcements

The shop announcement is the area at the top of your shop page. You can use this to announce sales, special offers, low-inventory items, and more. This is the ideal place to add links to featured or new products, or even to your About page. Use SEO techniques here also for an added boost that can help search engines find your shop.

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Etsy Basket

Just because you have an Etsy shop doesn't mean you don't need your own standalone website. Possibly the biggest perk is that you have total control over a site you build on your own, giving you the ability to scale your e-commerce store as your sales and customers grow. At a minimum, your website can function as an informational hub linking to your Etsy store, generating search traffic and creating another way to funnel visitors to your Etsy shop to make a purchase.

Etsy Resources

Be sure to cruise Etsy itself. The site provides an immense of help to new sellers, via a variety of resources—apps, guides, a Facebook community—that teach you how to get established, find answers to questions, and promote your products.