How to Become Successful on Etsy in 2017

How to Become Successful on Etsy in 2017

Becoming successful on Etsy is no easy task, believe me. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to owning and operating an Etsy shop, especially when you’re just starting out by yourself.  Many new sellers don’t realize how munch work is involved such as working on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing your shop, networking yourself, and having excellent product photography. Whew, it gets me tired just thinking about it.

I’ve owned my Etsy shop since 2014 and things have definitely taken off. I can actually say that I do own a successful Etsy shop.  But, my definition of success and your definition may be completely different.  Success is what you make it.  Here are my top tips that will help you become successful on Etsy in 2017.

 

Set Achievable Goals

If you really want to become successful on Etsy in 2017 then the first step that I would suggest is to set achievable goals for yourself and your shop.  Write goals down in a notebook or on a note taking app on your phone. Your goals can be as simple as having X amount of products in your shop by the end of the year, or starting a new product line by July 2017. But, whatever you do, make sure that the goals are achievable.  If you set unrealistic goals then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Give yourself some wiggle room for when you have vacation time or if you ever get sick.  My problem is that I set so many different goals up for different things. Don’t be like me. Create 2 to 3 realistic goals and stick to them!

 

Improve the SEO in your Etsy Shop

One of the most important factors of obtaining sales on Etsy is by improving your SEO.  While there’s no set strategy, I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips to improve the SEO for your Etsy shop.  These tips include finding the right keywords to use, filling out your shop title and announcement. I would also suggest starting a blog for your Etsy shop.

 

Ship Your Orders on Time

Etsy recently held a conference and at that conference they announced that your processing time will affect your ranking in search.  When you receive an order you are given a “ship by” date which is calculated based on the processing time that you set up when you initially set up your listing.  You must ship by this date in order to avoid being penalized by Etsy.

How can I avoid shipping orders later than expected?

As you can see, you should avoid shipping orders later than expected because it can hurt your ranking in search. To avoid shipping orders late, always make sure that you have a good amount of inventory of supplies.  Keep track of your inventory and keep extra in stock if you can.

Also, if you feel as if you’re falling behind on orders don’t be afraid to put your shop on vacation mode.  Putting your shop on vacation mode does not penalize you at all, despite what others say.

If you’re absolutely stuck and you must ship your order out later than the set date then you must notify the buyer first and explain the situation.  Ask them if it’s okay to ship the item out later, and if so give an updated date.  If this is okay with the buyer make sure you reschedule the shipping date. To reschedule the shipping date, locate the order and click “update” next to the scheduled shipping day.

If you sell custom items and require information from the customer that they did not provide then I would suggest contacting them as much as possible to get the information. If you don’t hear from the customer by the ship date then cancel the order.

 

Invest in Promoted Listings

Another way to become more successful on Etsy in 2017 is to invest in promoted listings. Keep in mind that promoted listings may not work for everyones shop, so it’s best to experiment by spending just a few dollars a day. Do this for about 10 days and then review the progress by checking your stats page.  If you’re making more money than you’re spending on the ads then continue using them.

 

Market Your Shop

Another tip to become successful on Etsy is to market your shop. You can market your shop in so many ways, and social media is a must.  I would highly recommend marketing on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Here are a few great articles that involve marketing your Etsy shop:

 

Network Yourself and Your Shop

Although your Etsy shop is an online based business, you should also focus on networking offline as well.  Join local crafting groups or your local SCORE.  You can find different events to attend via Eventbrite.com.  Attend some of those events and introduce yourself.  You can meet a lot of great people (and, also some very annoying sales people)  along the way. Don’t forget to bring your business cards!

 

Participate in Online Communities

Many shop owners are not aware of the many fabulous online communities.  Participating in the forums on Etsy is an excellent way to gain more knowledge from experienced sellers.  I also highly recommend joining Facebook groups.  There are tons of Facebook groups related to selling on Etsy such as The Joyful Entrepreneur, which has over 33,000 members!  Follow and participate in some of the great discussions. Even though I’m an experienced seller I learn something new from these groups very often!

 

Have Excellent Product Photography

I know that this is mentioned time and time again throughout my blog, but your product photography can make or break your Etsy shop. Consider investing in a lightbox or learn how to make one yourself.  Don’t photograph your items in dark places, and especially not on the floor!  Check out my other article which includes 10 Etsy Product Photography Tips.

 

Use Great Packaging

Let’s face it, we all judge books by their covers. This is why you should use great packaging to ship your items. Stuffing a t-shirt into a poly mailer gets the job done, but wrapping the t-shirt in colored tissue paper and tying it with twine and a business card can make a great first impression.  Some people really appreciate the time that goes into great packaging. It can be really worth the effort to step your game up in the packaging department.

 

 

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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 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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