7 Tips for Starting an Etsy Shop While Working Full Time

7 Tips for Starting an Etsy Shop While Working Full Time

Looking to earn extra income online by starting an Etsy shop while working full time? Well, there’s a few things to consider before opening your shop.  Balancing an Etsy shop while working full time can be challenging, and if you have kids to devote time to then it can sometimes be a nightmare!

But have no fear, I started an Etsy shop while working full time and it has since turned into a 6 figure earning business. I’m so grateful that I have been able to quit my full time job to become a full time seller.  It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve opened up my shop and I’ve learned so much along the way. There’s many things I wish I would have considered before opening my shop. With that in mind, here are my 7 tips for starting an Etsy shop while working full time.

Find the Time

Before you even open an Etsy shop or list your first product you should figure out if owning an Etsy shop is right for you.  Prior to opening my Etsy shop, I had no idea how much time that I had to invest in my shop.  There’s a lot of factors such as creating products, photographing them and writing descriptions.  On top of that you have to spend time learning other things that apply to your shop such as improving the SEO in your Etsy shop.  Looking back I really had no idea how I juggled a full time job, school, being pregnant, and owning a busy Etsy shop.  Actually, I did have some help from my husband 🙂

Set Goals

Why do you want to open a shop on Etsy? Do you want to earn extra side income? Do you dream of quitting your full time job to become a full time shop owner? Remember this reason for starting your shop.  Write it down.  Don’t ever give up hope and believe that you won’t reach your goal one day.  Having a future goal will help keep you focused when you’re busy out of your mind between your full time job and your Etsy shop.  And, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve a successful online business!

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

Another important thing to remember while starting an Etsy shop while working full time is that you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself. It’s great to have over 100 products in your shop, but don’t pressure yourself to create that many products if you don’t have the time to do so.  Setting unrealistic goals can set yourself up for failure.  Instead, slowly build your shop up. Owning a shop on Etsy is a big learning process, so it might be better to slowly build up to see what works and what doesn’t work for your shop.

Enlist Help

Like I stated earlier, my husband helped me out a lot while I was working full time and running my Etsy shop.  If you have a few people that you can lean on when things get touch, you’ll be golden.  Ask for help from a spouse or your children.  Teaching business skills to your children is a great learning experience for them!

Take a Break

If all of your resources are tied and you’re feeling a bit too overwhelmed with your shop, don’t be afraid to take a break.  Put your shop on vacation mode.  Vacation mode is where you can shut down your shop temporarily. Your listings will become unavailable and you can still communicate with your customers. You will not be penalized for putting your shop on vacation mode just as long as you are still fulfilling orders on time and communicating with your customers.

Research, Research, Research

There are a lot of Etsy sellers out there that run their shop blindly.  There are so many resources available online that will help you grow your business.  Find some spare time to devote to learning different things about owning an Etsy shop such as improving your product photography.  Pinterest is an excellent resource for a lot of tips for selling on Etsy. I’ve set up a board filled with all Etsy Seller Tips.

Invest Back Into Your Etsy Shop

Finally, if you’re still working full time and you own a shop for extra income, I would really suggest investing some of that income back into your business.  You could start purchasing supplies in bulk, or sign up for an online course that involves selling on Etsy. You could also invest in different machinery to help improve your workflow.  The more that you can invest in your shop now will pay off in the long run.

 

7 Tips for Starting an Etsy Shop While Working Full Time

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10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search

10 Tips to Improve the SEO for Your Etsy Shop

Improving the SEO for your Etsy shop is absolutely necessary to rank higher in search on Etsy, which will bring more traffic to your shop.  Search Engine Optimization has rapidly increased over the past decade or so.  To put it simply, SEO is a handful of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.  Constantly improving your SEO can help more people discover your shop through search engines, which can ultimately increase your sales.  Many people believe that they have to higher a SEO specialist, or invest hundreds of dollars into a special SEO app, nonsense!  With proper SEO practices, you can improve sales and rank higher in Google searches for FREE!  Here are a few tips for increasing your SEO.

 

Use the Right Keywords

Before jumping into improving your SEO, you will want to pick out the correct keywords to include in your item titles, descriptions, tags, blog posts, etc.  To find what keywords/phrases to use for your products, you can use Google Adwords Keyword Tool.  To do this, search Google for the Google Keyword Tool and select “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.  Type in your product name, leave the rest of the information blank, then click on “Get Ideas”.  From there, you can see the types of keyword groups related to your product that are most often used.  You can also narrow your results by location if you are targeting a specific country.  You can also sort the keywords by the competition of the keyword and the average monthly searches.  It’s best practice to use a mixture of high, medium, and low competition keywords.  This way, all of your keywords do not have a high competition.

Another way to search for keywords is by using the Etsy search bar.  Type in your product into the search bar.  The search bar will automatically update and provide you with popular search terms related to the product you typed in, these phrases are excellent guidance for keywords. You’ll see in the example below, that I created Christmas cards for a pregnancy announcement, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to put in the title. When searching, I see that “Christmas Pregnancy Announcement Cards” is a pretty popular search, so I will use that to start off my product title.

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search

Fill Out Your Shop Title and Announcement

Your shop title and shop announcement will help people find you through Google.  Your shop title can be 55 characters, max.  Use your title as a tagline, using a sentence or two with relevant keywords about your products.  The first 160 characters of your shop announcement are used by Google as a meta description of your shop page, so ensure that you are using relevant and popular keywords in this area.

Fill Out Your Public Profile

I have found that many Etsy sellers don’t have their personal profile filled out on Etsy.  Filling out this area can be very beneficial for SEO purposes.  Fill out your profile with 2 or 3 paragraphs about yourself and your shop.  Include the most important keywords within the first 160 characters of your profile.

Improve Your Shop Sections

If you have section titles in your shop you also want to make sure that you are using them correctly for SEO purposes.  Your shop section titles will also be landing pages on Google, so use keywords, avoid S P A C I N G to look fancy and don’t use special characters that aren’t necessary.

Improve the Titles of Your Listings

SEO primarily depends on your listing titles, descriptions, and tags.  Once you have your keywords into play it’s time to start fixing up those product titles!  The first 60 characters of the item description will be used as the title of a search result in Google, so it’s important to use the most popular keywords that describe your item first.  Also, don’t jumble a bunch of keywords into your item titles because this will confuse your customer and it’s bad practice for SEO.  Separate your short keyword sentences with commas or hyphens (-), this way the title is neat and organized.  You can use punctuation in your listing titles, this won’t affect your SEO, but try to avoid using many special characters to make your listing appear flashy because when you do this you are wasting valuable space!  One last thing – make sure you are using all (or almost all) 140 characters in your product title to gain maximum exposure!

10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search

Spruce Up Your Item Descriptions

Just like the item titles, you are going to want to improve the descriptions of your product listings.  The first 160 characters of the item description will be used as the meta data on a Google search result.  The metadata description tag is the 160 characters that appear under the title of the Google search result, so make sure that the first 160 characters of your product description is the most important, descriptive information.

Use Relative Tags

Etsy’s search engine uses all 13 tags to place your item within a search, so it’s important to use all 13 tags with great keyword phrases that buyers may be searching for your item.  The order of your tags does not matter.  It is said that using phrases rather than single words is better.  For example, it’s better to use the whole phrase “Baby Shower Invitation” as one tag than to use “Baby” “Shower” “Invitation” as all separate tags.

Another trick is to use your shop name as one of your keywords.  I say this because Etsy does not provide a search result for shop names.  If you use your shop name as a tag people are more likely to find you when searching Etsy for your shop name.

Backlink

Backlinks are links posted around the internet that link back to your Etsy shop.  The more quality back links you have to your shop, the better your SEO will be.  When I say quality, what I mean is that it’s important to not have the link alone on some spammy website.  You want to include your link with meaningful content such as a blog post on a website or on social media posts.  Don’t waste your time and money by paying other people to provide you with backlinks.  In fact, this may hurt your shop in the end.  Google is constantly adjusting it’s search algorithm to avoid spammy content and websites.

Start Blogging

Another way to increase SEO is by starting a blog for your Etsy shop.  Having a blog is especially helpful when you want to increase your ranking on Google.  By having a blog and updating it at least once weekly you will significantly increase your SEO.  You can also use your blog to back link to your Etsy shop, so it’s like killing 2 birds with one stone.  

Review Your Stats

Go through your shop stats on a weekly or monthly basis.  Find out what keywords are bringing traffic to your shop and where the traffic is coming from.  Also figure out what keywords are not bringing traffic to your shop.  Replace the low traffic keywords with keywords and phrases that are similar to the ones that are bringing traffic.

 

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How to Plan Content for Your Etsy Shop Blog

Hello and welcome back to my mini tutorial series titled How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business. This is part 3 of the series which I will cover how to plan content for your blog.  If you’re just jumping into this series hopefully you already have a website set up and WordPress installed but if not, start by learning how to create a blog for your Etsy business.

Interested in following along for the entire series?  Be sure to bookmark this page and check back every Tuesday and Thursday for an update to the series. Here is the curriculum:

Part 1 – How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business
Part 2 – 5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Blogging
Part 3 – How to Plan Content for Your Blog (coming soon)

How to Create Content for Your Etsy Shop Blog

Brainstorming and planning content for your blog can be quite challenging sometimes.  After all, you do want to create content that will keep your readers engaged and coming back for more.  But, what happens when your mind draws a complete blank?  If you find yourself stuck in this situation you can refer to my 8 tips below!

Create an Editorial Calendar

First things first when it comes to any type of work, the best thing to do is to map it out.  Sit down and create a schedule for your blog, and a realistic one.  Figure out which days of the week work best for you to publish blog posts. Make sure you work your blogging schedule around your work and/or life schedule, and don’t try to overwhelm yourself.  Start out with a goal of posting 3 times a week and adjust the schedule as needed. Space the publishing days apart. For example, I post twice a week – once on Tuesdays and on Thursdays. I do this so I’m not scrambling on Monday morning to proofread and publish the post, I give myself the whole day on Monday to edit and revise. Then, I publish the post promptly on Tuesday morning.

Once you’ve got a set schedule down, you should start to create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is basically a calendar filled in with posts that you would like to publish on certain dates.  I’ve found that having an editorial calendar helps keep me focused and motivated to post new content. There is a nifty plugin for WordPress called WordPress Editorial Calendar, which I installed for my blog and use it as a guide.

 How to Plan Content for Your Blog

Create Ideas from Previous Blog Posts

If you’re stumped on finding new ideas for your blog you can always read through your previous blog posts to gather ideas. Linking to other content within your blog will help boost your SEO (search engine optimization). So, if you decide to create a new blog post make sure to link the new blog post in any previous blog posts that apply.  For example, in an older blog post I’ve written about using light boxes for product photography.  I can then create a blog post about making a DIY light box and link it to the older blog post. This tactic helps me in 2 different ways. I was able to come up with a new blog topic and it will boost my SEO.

 

Do Weekly or Monthly Posts

Another good idea for a blog post is to do a weekly or monthly post that’s the same topic. For example, you could do a “monthly favorites” blog which you talk about all of your favorite new items for that month. Or you could also do a monthly goals post where you write out what your goals are for the month. I lay out my monthly earnings and goals in my monthly earning reports.

 

Publish Seasonal Posts

Seasonal posts are great when planning out your blogging schedule.  Examples of seasonal posts include a recipe for Christmas sugar cookies, or a blog about how you decorate for the holidays.  Seasonal posts do very well when it comes to getting traffic to your blog!  Make sure you fill in all of your seasonal posts on your editorial calendar before your regular content.

Browse Pinterest for Ideas

Pinterest is an excellent resource for finding inspiring content to blog about.  Do a quick search on Pinterest for a topic that’s interesting and see what comes up!  But, remember not to copy other bloggers work. Make sure that your blogs are 100% original.

 

Participate in Facebook Groups

Joining Facebook groups that are related to what your business is or what you blog about is a great idea for planning content for your blog.  Participate in some of the discussions and gather ideas from what people are talking about.  Also check the group rules to see if the admins allow posting blog posts to the group because that would be an excellent way to gain traffic to your blog!

 

Engage With Your Readers

At the end of the day we all have to remember that we are writing blogs for our readers. Sometimes the best blog writing ideas can come from your readers. Ask your readers to leave comments on your blogs or allow them to reach out to you for any questions.  This way you could spark some ideas for new blog topics.

Outline Your Blog Post Idea

Once you’ve found the perfect topic to write about, start by creating an outline for that blog.  I always start out by writing my key points that I want to focus on, then I write down ideas directly below that key point.  I save the introduction and the ending paragraph for last because they are actually the hardest part for me to write!  Take a look at my sample image below for how I establish my outline.

How to Plan Blogging Content

I hope this post has inspired you to create some awesome content for your own blog! What other ways do you find that helps you come up with ideas for blogs? I’d love to know! Let me know in a comment below 🙂

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5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Blogging

5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Blogging

Hello and welcome back to my mini tutorial series titled How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business. This is part 2 of the series which I will cover 5 things to do before you start blogging.  If you’re just jumping into this series hopefully you already have a website set up and WordPress installed. If not, start by learning how to create a blog for your Etsy business.

Setting up a blog can take as little as 10 minutes to do, but there are a few things that you may want to do before you start blogging.  This includes installing a theme, adding pages, and more!

If you’re interested in following along for the entire series, be sure to bookmark this page and check back every Tuesday and Thursday for an update to the series. Here is the curriculum:

Part 1 – How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business
Part 2 – 5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Blogging
Part 3 – How to Plan Content for Your Blog (coming soon)

Let’s get started, shall we?

Install a WordPress Theme
A theme on WordPress is basically a template that establishes the design and feel of your blog. The really cool thing about WordPress is that you technically don’t have to hire a fancy website designer. Well, you can if you want something truly custom, but most people can settle for using a free template that is available. You can browse the different available themes that are listed in the WordPress database.  To do this, go to Appearance>Themes.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

Once you’re on the Themes page select “Add New”.

From this screen, you can browse different themes that are available to install for free. You can click on the photo of the theme to view the details and preview the theme to see if you like it. To install the theme, click on the blue “Install” button. Once the theme installs click on “Activate”.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

Sometimes you may not find a theme that you’re happy with through the WordPress database. If you’re looking for a different kind of style you can also search Google for WordPress themes. For example, I searched Google for “Free WordPress Themes” and eventually stumbled upon Olsen Light.  Olsen Light is a modern chic WordPress theme that I like for my blog, and it’s available for free!  To use this theme for my WordPress blog, I click on “Download Now”. Once the files are finished downloading I’m going to upload the .ZIP file to my theme database. How do you do this? Go to Appearance>Themes and then click on “Add New”.  Next, choose “Upload Theme” and you will be prompted to upload the .ZIP file.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

Click on “Install Now” and wait for the files to upload.  Next, click on “Activate Theme”.

 

Customize Your Blog

Once you’ve installed the theme you would like to use, the next part is customizing your blog. To customize your blog go to Appearance>Customize.

You will see the customization menu to your left and a preview of your blog on the right.  Each theme has different customization options, so if you’re using a different theme the menu may appear differently.

How to Customize a WordPress Theme

Go down the list options one by one and customize the site to your liking. You’ll be able to see a preview on the right hand side.  Don’t forget to click “Save” when you’re done!

 

Add Pages

Whew, building a blog is kind of exhausting, isn’t it? We’re almost done!  The next thing that you will want to do is add pages to your blog.  You should create an “About” page at the very least, which should have a paragraph or two about you and your Etsy business.  To add a new page to your blog, go to Pages>Add New.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

Next, enter the title of the page and the page content and click on “Publish”.

 

Edit Your Navigation

Now that you’ve established an About page let’s adjust your blog navigation.  You’ll notice that pages aren’t automatically added to the navigation on your blog.  To adjust the navigation links go to Appearance>Menus and choose to create a new menu.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

You can add links to your menu with the options presented on the left hand side. You can choose to add links from your pages, posts, custom links, or categories.  To add your About page to your navigation choose your About page from the “Pages” option and click on “Add to Menu”.  You will see that the page is now added to the Menu Structure on the right.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

I would also suggest adding a link to your Etsy shop.  To do this, click on the “Custom Links” option and insert the URL of your shop page.  Choose what you want the link text to say (something simple like “Shop Now”).

Once you’ve finished editing your navigation click on the blue “Save Menu” button.  Wah-la! Your navigation should now be updated.

 

Install Analytics

The next thing that you’re going to want to do before you start blogging is install Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free program that you can place on your blog to track the traffic coming and going from your blog.  You can view reports and stats such as how many page views you’re getting and even where your readers are located!  To sign up for Google Analytics go to google.com/analytics and choose to sign in with your Google account.  Next, follow the prompts to sign up. The prompts are pretty straight forward.

Once you’ve created your account you’re going to need to copy the tracking ID that was provided to you which usually starts with UA-.

Next, go back into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins>Add New.  Then search for “Google Analytics” in the search box.  Next, install the Google Analytics plugin AND install Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.  Follow the prompts for the installs and enter your Google Analytics tracking ID when prompted.

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging 5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

When the plugins are installed and activated you can now to go your Dashboard and view the stats of your blog!

5 Things to Do Before You Start Blogging

And that’s it! Those are the 5 things that you should do (at the very least) before you start blogging!  Do you have any questions or any other tips that you would like to add? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 🙂

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How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

Hello everyone! This will be part 1 of a series of blogs that I will post entitled How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business.  I’m here to help you establish your very first blog for your Etsy business!  You can follow along even if you’re not an Etsy shop owner and you’re just looking to start your own blog.  Creating a blog is not as difficult as it seems, trust me.  Setting up your first blog can take less than 20 minutes to do, although customizing the blog will take a bit longer.  You can set up a blog yourself even if you’re not very tech savvy.

If you’re interested in following along for the entire series, be sure to bookmark this page and check back every Tuesday and Thursday for an update to the series. Here is the curriculum:

So, what are the benefits of creating a blog for your Etsy shop?  There are so many.  For starters, blogging about your products or your specific niche will help attract more customers to your shop.  Think about it, you can’t just walk up to someone with your product and say, “here, buy this” then expect them to purchase the item.  You’ve got to show them why they need your product, and you can do this through pictures and a few paragraphs of text, aka a blog.  Blogging will also help to improve your SEO (search engine optimization), which means you will have better chances of reaching a larger online audience.  I’ll explain SEO in depth in a different part of this series.  Blogging is also an excellent way of connecting with your customers.  By posting new content updating them about new and upcoming products, you can achieve more sales.  Finally, believe it or not, you can actually make money from your blog!  No, really, people blog for a living! You can achieve extra income by monetizing your website in various ways, which I will also discuss in a later part of this series.

But for now, let’s start by setting up your website.

How to Set Up a Website

The first step for creating a blog is to set up your website by purchasing hosting and a domain name.  Yes, unfortunately setting up a website is not absolutely free, but you can purchase hosting and a website domain cheap through Bluehost.com.  So, what is website hosting and a domain name? Website hosting is basically like paying for a big computer in the cloud to store all of your website files and a domain name is your website URL (for example, www.christinaceo.com).

To get started, go to Bluehost.com and select “get started now”.

How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

Next, you choose your hosting plan.  I would suggest starting with the “basic” plan for $2.95 a month.  After you choose your hosting plan you can search for an available domain name. When choosing a domain name, I would highly suggest going for a .com address rather than a .net or .club, just because they are often confusing for some people who are trying to search for your page.  Don’t be discouraged if you the domain name that you really want is not available – there are tons of domain names that are already taken unfortunately, so just keep brainstorming different name ideas.  Once you’ve found the perfect domain name that’s available, continue to the next step.

How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

Next, enter your account information.  You will be asked for basic information such as first and last name, address, etc.

The next step is finalizing the package information. You will notice that the cheapest option for hosting is $2.95 a month for 36 months, I would really suggest going with this plan considering that you will pay more by choosing a month to month basis and you can get a refund if you decide that blogging is not for you down the road.  I also really recommend choosing the privacy protection and if you want to save money you can probably skip out on the site backup, search engine jumpstart and sitelock security, these are just fillers that you won’t really need right away.

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Finally, if everything looks look then plug in your payment info and click “submit”!

 

How to Install WordPress on Your Website

Now that you’ve got your domain name and hosting set up, the next thing that you will want to do is install WordPress. What is WordPress?  Wordpress is what’s known as a “content management system”, or a CMS.  It’s a platform that is installed on your website that makes it easier to post blogs, change the appearance, allow commenting, etc, all without knowing one bit of code!  Most websites that you browse online are handled by WordPress including CNN, Forbes, and even Ebay!

To install WordPress onto your website through Bluehost, log in to your Bluehost account.  Next, scroll to the section that’s titled “website” and click on the W icon titled “Install WordPress”. Continue through the install process.

How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

When you’re prompted to select your domain name, choose the domain that you signed up with and click on “check domain” (make sure that you leave the “directory” box BLANK!).

Next, check “advanced options” to set up your username and password.  The username and password will be used to access the backend of your website.  Be sure to choose a username that’s hard to guess. Whatever you do, do NOT use Admin as the username. Sometimes Admin is used by default and hackers will attempt to hack your website.

Once you’ve set the username and password, agree to the terms and click “install now”.

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Yay! You’ve officially installed WordPress on your website! Not too hard, right?

 

Accessing Your WordPress Website

So, how do you access your website through WordPress? It’s pretty simple. Open a new tab on your internet browser and type in www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin.  Next, log in with the username and password that you originally set up.

Welcome to the WordPress dashboard!  This is where you will manage your entire website including blog posts, pages, your theme, and more!

To view your website, go to the top left hand corner of your screen where the home icon is and click “Visit Site”.

How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business

Don’t be shocked if your website looks hideous.  The default themes that are included with WordPress are absolutely horrific looking.  To continue customizing your new website stay tuned.  The next blog will include 6 things you should do before you start blogging, including how to customize your blog.

 

How to Start A Blog for Your Etsy Business

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10 Product Photography Tips for Your Etsy Shop

10 Etsy Product Photography Tips

Having excellent photos for your product listings is probably the most important factor for getting consistent sales.  Since your customers are viewing your items on their computer, it is impossible for them to touch the items, judge their size, weight, etc.  So, it’s important that you capture this information through photographs and your items description.  Here are my top 10 Etsy product photography tips for your shop.

Use Crisp Photos

Taking photos from your smartphone is okay if they are properly edited afterward.  However, if you are using photos that are too small, too blurry, or too pixelated, this may affect your sales.  Avoid cropping your photos from a smartphone or computer (unless it is a very high resolution photo and cropping does not make the photo look pixelated).

Use All 5 Images Slots On Etsy

There’s no doubt that your first photo is very important, but you have to make sure that you have all 5 photo slots filled.  Why?  Because you want to WOW your potential buyers.  To do this you have to capture your item from different angles, how it looks in different lighting, etc.  Photos are the number 1 thing that convince customers to buy the product.

Use The Same Background and Photography Style

Using the same background for all of your images is essential for your brand.  Buyers like to see a uniform look of a sellers items, it shows that the seller is professional and cares about their brand.

Use Natural Light

When it comes to showing off the details of your items, the sun is your friend.  Try to use a natural lighting at all times.  Take your photos outside if possible.  Avoid using flash on your camera at all costs!  However, if you can’t seem to get natural lighting for your pictures, try the next step.

Use a Lightbox

To sum it up, a light box is a portable photography area that you can set up for taking photos of your products.  A light box is easy and inexpensive to make.  All it requires is a cardboard box, packing tape, some fabric, and portable lamps.  Search online for a “DIY light box”, there are tons of tutorials out there!  You can also purchase a light box on Amazon.com (and remember, that’s a business expense!).

Use a Model

Do you sell jewelry?  Clothing?  Pet Collars?  Use a model (or a mannequin) to showcase how the item looks as it’s worn.  This way, potential customers can see the details of the item very easily, it makes it very easy for someone to judge the size of the item, length of the item, etc.  Using photos with a model display is a lot nicer than photographing the items on the floor.

Don’t Use Dark Backgrounds

Avoid having a dark background for your images, it’s not very appealing to the eye.  The goal is to have light reflect off of your item, and that’s not going to happen if you have a very dark background.  Also avoid using a background that is a similar color to your item.

Don’t Cut Out Backgrounds

Also avoid cutting out your backgrounds with a photo editing software such as Photoshop.  This is instantly noticeable and it’s very tacky looking.  Instead, try to focus on having a more natural background.

Don’t Use Watermarks on Your Images

As a creator or an artist on Etsy, it may seem tempting to watermark your images on Etsy.  After all, there are many people out there who like to copy others work.  However, I would not recommend using watermarks because watermarks get in the way of details of items, and they will also prevent you from being featured in offsite promotion programs such as Google Product Listing Ads.

Don’t Photograph Your Items on the Floor

Please, do not photograph your items as they are on the floor or in an area that may contain germs.  You will be surprised how quickly this will turn away a customer.  Always photograph your items on a flat surface that is clean and clutter free.

Product photography takes time and effort.  You will make mistakes, you might even re-do your photography style over and over until you find a right fit, but it’s important to have a professional photography brand that is unique to your shop in the end.

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October 2016 Monthly Earnings Report

October 2016 Earnings Report

One of the things that I would really love to do with this new blog is to create a monthly earnings post displaying my earnings and accomplishments from the previous month and also list my goals for the upcoming month. So, for example, today is November 4th.  I’m going to post my accomplishments for the month of October and also post my goals for this month.

And, don’t get me wrong – I’m not doing these types of posts to simply brag about my earnings, I’m writing these type of posts so that my readers can follow me on the path to success.  I want to show others that earning a full time income online is absolutely possible.  I loved reading these types of posts when I first started selling on Etsy, so I’d like to pay it forward.

 

So, how was my business income for the month of October?

I earned $9,025.74 during the month of October, before any expenses.

October was such a great month.  The fall rush has been slowly calming down and things are finally returning to normal.  I can finally catch up on some much needed house cleaning, I can take a nap if needed, AND I can work on this blog! I’m so excited.  I’m also very happy about being able create some new products. I was so busy during October that I didn’t have any time to create anything new.  Here is a breakdown of my earnings for October:

  • My Etsy Shop – $8,762.12
  • Zazzle.com – $263.62

How did I do it?

In case you’re wondering what I actually sell on Etsy and Zazzle, I sell printed invitations for baby showers, bridal showers, holiday parties, etc.  I did not go to school for graphic design, but I’ve been working with the Adobe products for years.  I first started out on Etsy in 2014 by selling digital files of invitations that people could download and take to a print shop for printing. After a long time of busting my butt and saving some serious cash, I became the print shop! Now, I sell invitations that are designed, printed and mailed to the customers doorstep.  My shop has grown from making $7.00 a day to making over $1,000 in one day (but, only some days 😉 ).  The trick is really the quality of your items, your shop feedback, the quantity of your items, SEO, and many other factors.

 

So, what are my goals for the month of November?

Personal Goals:

Since the fall rush is slowly fading, I’d really like to start working on organizing my basement.  Right now it looks like a bomb of clutter exploded through it.  We also have a TV and a TV stand that are still in their original boxes that I would like to set up.  We’ll see how this goes.

 

Blogging Goals:

I’m really on a mission to take this blog seriously, which is why I’m setting a goal of posting a new blog every Tuesday and Friday each week!  I fully intend to post twice a week every week of the year, so for now this is going to be my goal for the month of November.

 

Business Goals:

As of today, I have exactly 807 items listed for sale in my Etsy shop. I’d like to add 25 new listings this month, so hopefully I will have 832 listings by the end of November.  And I’ve recently started selling some designs on Zazzle.com, which I have 22 products listed for sale. I hope to have 40 designs listed by December.

 

Anddddd, that’s it folks!  Be sure to check back next month for my next update on my earnings and goals.  I’d really love to make this a “thing” for all of you entrepreneurs out there so I’m going to come up with a hashtag to use

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