$273.97. I specifically remember when I came up with this number. It was late January of 2016, I had just given birth to my daughter. I was at home rocking her while she slept and I was doing some calculations on my phone out of boredom.
No way, I thought. There’s no way that I could earn $273.97 a day on average with my little Etsy shop. Okay, maybe I thought it would be possible to make that 5 years from then. But, here I am. It’s now January of 2017 and looking back on my stats from last year and I’m completely baffled.
Instead of doing an earnings report for the month of December, I figured it would just make more sense to do a wrap up of the entire year. From my earnings, to lessons learned, and I’ll even throw in some goals for next year.
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.
If you’re interested in seeing how much I made last month, check out my November 2016 Earnings Report.
Okay, enough with the suspense. Let’s get the ball rolling.
So, how much money did I earn from Etsy in 2016?
$108,591.71, before any expenses. Mind=blown.
But, notice how I said that was before any expenses? Yeah, I had a lot of expenses this year!
2016 was definitely a game changer for me. I was able to quit my corporate graphic design career to become a work-at-home mom. I’m seriously so grateful for all that’s happened in the past year.
I’ve learned that busy seasons can really depend on what you sell. This December, while everyone else was crazy busy, my shop was extremely dead. I’ve also learned that if you can set your mind on something and really work hard on achieving a goal, you can do it.
How did I earn six figures in a year on Etsy?
In case you’re wondering what I actually sell on Etsy, 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 Adobe programs 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. 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 earning $7.00 a day to earning over $1,000 in one day (but, only on some days 🙂 ).
There are a lot of factors that contribute to earning six figures a year on Etsy including SEO (search engine optimization), great product photography, excellent customers service, quality products, and much more! I’ll break down each category.
I preach about SEO (search engine optimization) constantly. SEO is without a doubt the number one reason why I get so many sales. SEO is basically a strategy of word placement that will help your items rank higher in search placement. So when someone searches for “Fall Baby Shower Invitations”, one of my listings appears on the first page of the search results. To learn more about SEO for your Etsy shop I’ve written an in depth article called 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search.
Great Product Photography
We as humans are very visual. When given a lot of choices at once our minds tend to automatically focus on the one thing that draws the most attention. That’s why it’s so important to have excellent product photography. Use natural lighting and avoid photographing items on the floor! For my best photography tips check out 10 Product Photography Tips for Your Etsy Shop.
Excellent Customer Service
Providing excellent customer service is definitely one of my top priorities. I’ve had so much repeat business within the past year because my customers love that I communicate quickly and because I ship my orders out as fast as I can. I know that I’m not going to please everyone out there, but I try my hardest to do so.
To put it in simple terms, if I don’t personally like the quality of my product then I won’t sell it. I always aim for the highest quality product with an affordable pricing point.
Quantity of Products
If you have more products available for sale in your shop then you’ll most likely get more sales. This year I ended with over 800 products in my shop and I hope to have over 1200 products listed by the end of this year.
Offer Matching Items
Finally, my biggest tip that I have for earning six figures a year on Etsy is to offer matching items. So, for example, I sell printed invitations. This year I extended my product line to offer matching inserts for the invitations such as diaper raffle inserts, book inserts, games, etc. Doing this alone prompted my business to explode!
Here are a few more helpful blogs that I’ve written about selling on Etsy:
- What To Include in Your Etsy Shop About Section
- How to Become Successful on Etsy in 2017
- How to Price Your Handmade Items
- How to Get 5 Star Reviews on Etsy
What’s new this month?
Since the holidays are now over it’s time for me to start focusing on the upcoming wedding season. Although I don’t currently offer wedding invitations, I do offer a lot of items for bridal showers, engagement parties, etc. So I’m starting to design a lot of invitations for these events. Wish me luck!
What are my goals for the upcoming year?
I really hope that this year will be packed with surprises, just like last year. This year I plan on working more on this blog than growing my Etsy shop. I’m still going to work on my Etsy shop, just not as much. With that being said I really hope to close the 2017 year with 1,200 products in my shop and $125,000 in sales. We’ll see how that goes!
As for this blog I really, really hope to establish some sort of e-course, or at the very least create an e-book. But, I’m also expecting another baby girl in March so who knows what will happen.
So, in closing, I’d like to say that if you really want to make some serious money in 2017 then you’ve got to work for it. Don’t sit around and wait for an opportunity to knock on the door, go out and make your own opportunities. Set goals for yourself and your business. Go to bed early and wake up early. Declutter your house (I really have to work on that)! Unfollow negative people on social media. Challenge yourself and conquer your fears. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in one year.
Cheers to 2017!