If you’ve dismissed Etsy as a potential business opportunity – you’re missing out. Etsy is not limited to people earning a few extra bucks selling handmade jewelry. Case in point? Three words.
Three. Birds. Nest.
If you’re familiar with Three Bird’s Nest, you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning the business that abandoned Etsy in favor of selling direct off their own site – in an article specifically about Etsy. It’s simple: at it’s prime on Etsy, the Three Birds Nest store made $960,000 per year. While the story behind Three Birds’ rise to fame is questionable, whether or not they had mastered Etsy, is not up for debate.
If you think Three Birds is an anomaly, check out this story where another store owner went from nearly $0 to $5,000 in only 4 months.
For some who learn to use Etsy to its full potential, the rewards are real – which is why I’ve compiled a list of helpful resources for those wishing to start their own Etsy empire.
This guide details things such as shop naming conventions/limitations, as well as Billing and Payment setup. It’s a great starting point once you’ve decided to start your shop.
Should you use rhyming words in your store name? Should you go with a broad name that will encompass a whole line of products, or be more specific? Find all the answers in this article. Etsy is a mini-search engine, so your store name has a heavy impact on your ranking in the results when customers are looking for products.
The cornerstone of online stores is quality images. They’re a must. There’s no excuse not to have professional images with sites like Fiverr – where you can get a nice banner image made, starting at $5. This link will give you all of the latest specs you’ll need to ensure your images are the right size and format for your Etsy store.
Etsy is all about the three P’s – Products, Photography, and Pricing. This guide is one of my favorites on this list of resources, and will discuss, in depth, all three of the P’s so that you can set yourself up for success on Etsy. If you’re going to only read one guide, read this one.
A lot of articles about Etsy are more or less the same. What I really like about this one, is that it offers some ideas that really make you rethink your current approach. Things such as: tailoring your products toward a special occasion, or transforming an everyday object into something you can sell. These are things that most people overlook, yet can really separate you from the pack in a crowded marketplace.
This guide provides a nice high level overview of the steps necessary to open your store. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to start your own store, this guide is perfect. Tip number 7 – “Remember, Done is better than perfect” is relevant to any entrepreneurial pursuit. Whether you’re building an Etsy store, or starting an entirely different business, don’t get hung up on making things perfect. The beauty of reaching the ‘done’ phase first, is you’ll find out if your idea is legit pretty quickly. If you start your Etsy store for a small investment, and start collecting sales – you’ll have validated your idea, and can then invest more heavily into perfecting your business..
How relevant is Twitter or Facebook to your Etsy store? Should you waste your time with them, or focus only on Etsy? Learn from someone else’s mistakes. This article provides some great functional advice that is obviously derived from someone who has ‘been there, done that.’
Remember the three P’s (Product, Photography, Pricing)? Photography is massive with Etsy, as it is with most e-commerce platforms. You’re in a crowded marketplace with many others competing for your potential customers’ attention. If you want to stand out – you need eye-catching images. The great news is, great photos don’t have to cost you thousands of dollars. Camera technology has come very far, with even a basic entry-level camera providing quality good enough for a professional storefront.
Piggybacking on the last resource, this article focus on key components of shooting your products: lighting, and background. If you’re thinking that sounds expensive, don’t stress- you can get a quality continuous light which will help you get pro-looking product photos, for cheap, like this Table Top Light. You can have a low end camera, but if you have great lighting, it will look MUCH better. Lighting is absolutely the most important thing in photography, in my opinion.
Pay the Man (Taxes)
We all love to make money, but what nobody loves – is owing the IRS money. Both of these articles will make sure that you have covered all bases on the tax front. If you’re in doubt, seek legal advice, but for 99% of you – following the official Etsy Tax guide (Taxes 101 below) – should be sufficient.
It would really, really suck, to put a ton of work into building awesome products, taking great images, and having nobody show up to buy your product. Unfortunately, this can happen if you fail to take SEO into consideration. Here’s the deal: SEO alone won’t make your product sell, but without at least considering it, you could be seriously hurting your chances of getting more eyes on your product. More eyes equal more sales.
The good news with SEO is that it’s not that hard, and there’s some great articles which will help you check off some boxes on the SEO front for your store. Here’s a few great articles:
Sell Digital Products
When most people think of Etsy, they think of handmade items, vintage finds from thrift shops- and craftsy trinkets – many people don’t realize that Etsy is also a great place to sell your digital products. I personally believe the number one rule with digital products is to find the right niche – a technical e-course on wireless networking probably won’t do well on Etsy, for example. Cater to your audience. Here’s a few solid resources for selling digital on Etsy.
- Listing a Digital Item (Etsy.com)
- 10 Valuable Lessons Selling Digital Products (not specific to Etsy, but a great read)
- Digital Goods You Could Be Selling On Etsy
Did you find these resources helpful? Did I leave an awesome resource out? If so, share it with me and I’ll review it and add to the list!