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Insider Updates

Should You Open an Etsy Shop in 2022?


Selling handmade goods on Etsy is an excellent way to earn some extra income while embracing your creative side. With so many possibilities and countless ways to make money online as a creative, selling your own products might be high on your list too. 

However, just because it’s a good idea doesn’t mean you should necessarily rush into it straight away. There are quite a few important considerations to take into account, many of which will likely determine if you are successful or not in your endeavors. Taking the time to figure that out may we’ll set you up for greater success.

So are you actually ready to start an Etsy shop? We'll cover the initial considerations you should take as well as some of the key steps to take when first starting a online shop.

If you are questioning whether now is a good time, as in, is 2022 a good climate to sell in - there is no time like the present to get started, the road is long and you simply can't predict what is ahead of you!


So - Is Selling on Etsy Right for You?

Before you dive in, you’ll want to make sure that this particular business choice is right for you. If you’re still sitting on the fence, here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if Etsy is the perfect fit for you.

1. How Many Hours a Week can You Spend on your Etsy business? 

You’ll need to make sure that you have enough hours in your week to dedicate to an Etsy shop. You’ll probably ending up spending on average about 30 hours a week doing research, promoting, selling and taking care of other business-related tasks as well as making and shipping products.

If you’re struggling to find the extra time, you might want to reconsider the idea of opening a shop as a side hustle because it WILL require some sort of time investment to make it work. It will end up costing you and you won’t get very far with it.

So then you might be thinking you’ll start a digital product or print on demand style shop instead - which is passive income after you’ve created the listings. Right? 

Sorry to burst that bubble, but Etsy shops are simply not a form of “passive” income regardless of what you sell. There are other platforms that would be a much better choice if you’re looking for less involvement, as those platforms do all the marketing and selling for you, taking a great deal of responsibility off your shoulders. An Etsy shop, unfortunately, is fully your own responsibility and is a lot of work to maintain no matter your product type.

That said, a digital or POD shop uses automated shipping and products only need to be made once, so they can be significantly easier to manage from a time spent perspective.

2. Do You Have Any Experience Selling Online?

If you have no experience with this kind of work, you might want to do some research before diving in. Even if it sounds like a great idea, it could turn into a frustrating experience if you just don’t have the skills.

There are so many components to running an online retail store all by yourself and you’ll have to wear all the different hats unless you can afford outside help. Photography, writing, seo, marketing, selling, social media, taxes, legal aspects, shipping and customer service are just the top level tasks you’ll need to master. And that’s after you’ve come up with your amazing product.

Experience and existing knowledge is very much underestimated by new sellers to Etsy, largely because it’s so easy and accessible to get started in the first place And with so many info marketers touting Etsy as easy money and talking about the vast sums they’ve earned, it’s not hard to understand why so many people fall for the ‘hook’ of their own successful shop.

While you certainly can build a successful shop on Etsy, the number of failures staggeringly outnumber the true success stories. Keeping realistic expectations, while understanding how business and retail actually work will help keep you grounded in your decisions.

Investing in your own personal business education is going to be a constant theme throughout the course of running any business successfully.

3. What Is Your Financial Situation?

Just like any other business, Etsy comes with a set of financial obligations. It’s not free. You’ll have to cover the cost of supplies and overhead if you go with physical products and costs can quickly add up. Deciding whether a particular side hustle is worth the time and money will depend on how the math stacks up and what risks you’re able to take.

Just to be clear, business is a risk. For anyone. No one is immune to the whims of the markets. Even seasoned professionals in top performing international brands will have product failures.

Understanding the risks and mitigating those with good research, a solid business plan and some financial acumen is probably a good idea if you are laying out significant funds to start your Etsy shop.

One of the bigger mistakes new Etsy sellers make is in the assumption that thing they want to sell - will actually sell. Just because you make it, doesn't mean someone will buy it. Market research and thorough product testing are truly helpful in figuring out if you have a winner.

If you can start an Etsy shop with very little financial investment, and most people do, the risks are obviously much lower and your investment becomes 'time spent'. 


You Must do Some Research Before You Start Selling

Selling things online can be a really exciting and fulfilling experience, but you have to do it right. Before even considering opening an Etsy store, you’ll want to do some research and learn as much as you can about your targeted industry. 

Start by reading online forums and blogs that are dedicated to Etsy sellers. Browse through articles on every topic you can think of related to selling online and on Etsy specifically.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the different requirements for selling on Etsy and the requirements for your products. So many new sellers don't do this basic research before listing products, they run foul of the rules and either get their products revoked or worse get their shop shut down completely. It's absolutely essential to know the rules and applicable laws.

You simply have to read and understand the different rules, regulations, and legalities of running a business and understand how those affect your own product niche. This isn't optional.


You Have to Know Your Market

The hardest part of starting a business is getting it off the ground. You have to convince potential customers to buy your products. But how do you even find potential customers if you’re not sure of your target market? 

This is where market research comes in. You’ll want to conduct research to find out what your potential customers want and need. You can do this by speaking to potential customers and by doing industry research.

It's therefore helpful if you're looking to sell a product that you already know a lot about or have a passion for and have contacts you can share that with.

If you're struggling to figure out who would buy the product you want to make try thinking about it the other way around. What sort of customer do you want to cater for and what products do the need/want/like. 

This is an often difficult hurdle. But once you’ve figured it out marketing your product will be so much easier.


Logistics of Setting Up an Account

Etsy is one of the most popular marketplaces for selling handmade products online mainly because it’s easy to use, easy to get started and users can earn a lot of money by selling their own goods. 

Before you can get started selling on Etsy, you’ll need to open an account. Initially your account will be in buyer mode. I would suggest getting familiar with the site, how it works, how it's organized and most importantly, review all the information Etsy provides about seller accounts and their house rules.

Unfortunately Etsy has a rather strange way of creating the seller portion of your account. In order to become a 'seller' and have access to the backend seller dashboard you have to first create a product listing. Personally I find this very backwards but it's always been setup this way.

My way around this has been to create a fake placeholder listing, filling out the minimum amount of information, and then immediately (like a nano-second after publishing) deactivate that listing. This gives you breathing room to familiarize yourself with the dashboard and get the bones of your shop setup before launching your products.

This is the most sensible way to open a new shop and the way you would do it on any other platform.

A lot of Etsy sellers will start very tentatively with that first single listing or even a few products and completely disregard the rest of the shop structure initially. This is not the most successful way to launch a business but is fine if your expectations match the effort you start out with. 


Stay Active and Promote Often for Momentum

Once you’ve opened an account on Etsy, you’ll want to stay active. You’ll want to post new listings regularly and promote your items in some way. 

If you are starting out with an audience of zero, joining social media groups or forums might be a good way to start gaining traction. Pinterest is also a great way to start promoting your products for free.

Social media platforms provide a great way to connect with potential customers and to get feedback on your products. Start with just one or two options though so you don't spread yourself too thin.

What you don't want to do is list your products on Etsy and then sit back and do nothing. While this might work if you have a product that quickly goes viral or is sought after with no competition most products and shops require a certain amount of marketing. Etsy will not do all the work for you.


Keep Track of Reviews and Measure Success

If you want to make money on Etsy, you’ll want to keep track of your sales, reviews and other metrics to measure your success. Keep track of your sales by logging them. You’ll want to track the number of items sold, the average price and the number of customers who buy your products. Learn from what works and what doesn't.

You can also use Etsy’s metrics to view sales, clicks, favorites and other metrics on your account. These metrics will help you keep track of your success. Repeat the things that work best and improve on areas that aren't.

Keyword SEO is probably the most important aspect to track on a new shop. You'll want to review how your chosen words are performing over time and change things up that aren't working well.



Reading this you might think that I'm trying to talk you out of starting an Etsy shop! That's not true at all, but you DO need to be realistic and I'm not going to sugar coat it for you. Anyone can start an Etsy shop, but not everyone will be successful with it. And that’s the plain truth.

While Etsy is a great way to make a little extra money online, or even a full time income, you’ll want to spend a good amount of time researching your market, testing your products and perfecting your selling techniques. 

Running a shop is hard work. There's a lot to know and a lot to do. Constantly.

If the above points haven't scared you off, you just might be ready to start an Etsy shop in 2022. Plan well, be confident in knowledge and take your time!


Happy creating!







Understanding File Format Types for Graphic Design


Before you purchase digital files online it is handy to know and understand which file types are being offered with your purchase.

It is wiser still to understand which file type you need/want in advance of making your purchase based how you intend to use that file. This way you know you are purchasing the right file for your needs without any surprises.

If you've gone ahead and purchased though and are now wondering "what do I do next?" - the following list of file types will help explain what you have in front of you, which one to choose in which instance and how to best make use of them based on their purpose and compatibility.

Common File Formats in Graphic Design:

This is the default file format for photographs and is a static file type (meaning it doesn't do anything except look pretty). These files can be opened in almost any software program as they are a universally accepted file format, perfect for printing.

Used specifically for things like clip art, this file type offers transparency enabling images to be easily layered into design work.  Can also be opened in almost any software program, perfect for design work across a multitude of project types.

A file format that is used to present and share documents containing text or graphics for the purpose of viewing/printing. PDF files can be either fixed or editable depending on how they are designed and set up - sellers will define a PDF as editable if that is the case, otherwise do not assume it is.

These vector files are scalable, meaning you can resize smaller or larger without any loss of quality.  This is a popular craft file compatible with all cutting machine brands (like Cricut or Silhouette). It can only be opened in programs that support a vector file format so they will not open in just any program.

This is a type of AutoCAD file and typically opens as a simple outline of a graphic or text design. It is compatible with most cutting machine programs and particularly used with laser cutting. It is best used in AutoCAD software.

Specifically for Adobe Illustrator software, these files can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension (Adobe, Affinity). These files will be fully editable design files and are useful to those with experience with the Illustrator program.

Specifically for Adobe Photoshop software, these files can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension (Photoshop, PS Elements, Photopea). Depending on the creator's intent, these files may or may not be fully editable but are usually offered with some design intent since these programs have a wide range of design tools.

This is a more universal version of the Adobe Illustrator file format. When opened by any vector based drawing program you will be able to fully edit the design (Affinity, Inkscape). When opened in any other type of program it will become a flattened raster file, much like a PNG or JPG file.

Specifically for CorelDraw software, these files can only be opened in programs compatible with this file extension (Corel, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape). Not to be confused with video or audio files with the same .cdr extension.


This is not a comprehensive list of file types, but rather, a list of the most common file types you'll encounter when purchasing digital graphic design based files. Should you come across a file type that you do not recognize, a quick google search will be able to tell you what it is and how/where it is useful.


Happy Computing

5 Positive Mindset Skills for Success


In today’s challenging business landscape, it’s increasingly important for would be entrepreneurs to develop a confident and adaptable mindset. Thankfully, there are many ways that we can train our brain to operate more effectively and efficiently. Mindset is one such skill—and arguably the most important one for success in any field. 

This article will explore what exactly mindset is, why it’s so important, common pitfalls that prevent people from developing a healthy mindset, and strategies for mastering a positive mindset skill set. 

Whether you work in business or are an aspiring professional with aspirations of advancement, these insights might just be the catalyst you need to take your career to the next level.


What is Mindset?

A mindset is a conscious or unconscious set of attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that determines how we process and respond to information. In other words, your mindset is the lens through which you view the world—and it determines how you approach challenges, opportunities, and even relationships. 

There are two main types of mindset: positive and negative. A positive mindset is optimistic, open-minded, and future-focused. Conversely, a negative mindset is pessimistic, closed-minded, and focused on past failures. 

Having a positive mindset helps you overcome challenges more effectively and efficiently, while staying motivated and thriving in even the most stressful environments. Having a negative mindset, on the other hand, leads to feelings of stress, frustration, and even self-doubt. For this reason, it’s important to develop a positive mindset skillset.


Why is a Positive Mindset Important?

Having a positive mindset is incredibly important for success in any field. In fact, studies suggest that a positive mindset might even be more important than intelligence when it comes to reaching one’s goals. 

Here are a few reasons why:

A positive mindset promotes grit and resiliency. When you’re facing challenges and setbacks, a positive mindset gives you the tools to stay focused, motivated, and productive. It also helps you keep things in perspective: one bad outcome doesn’t define your future success.

A positive mindset enables greater creativity and innovation. Because you’re open-minded, you’re able to explore new ideas and concepts without letting fear or doubt get in the way. This is an essential skill when you need to come up with breakthrough solutions to complex issues. 

A positive mindset leads to better relationships and helps you approach others with an open and constructive mindset. You’re able to listen actively, ask good questions, and have productive conversations. These are essential qualities in any leader or collaboration.


3 Habits to Develop a Strong and Healthy Mindset

1. Calm your emotions with mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is a practice that’s been around for thousands of years; it’s one of the oldest forms of meditation. When you practice mindfulness, you focus on the present moment: your emotions, thoughts, and even physical sensations are all welcome. This helps you stay in control of your emotions and avoid getting overwhelmed. 

While emotions are important for success, having them take over can lead to poor decision-making and hinder your ability to thrive in challenging environments. Mindfulness is a great way to keep your emotions in check and avoid letting them become destructive.

2. Stop catastrophizing and learn from your mistakes. 

Humans are notorious for “catastrophizing”: turning small setbacks into catastrophic failures. If you make a mistake, don’t let it consume you. Instead, make sure to learn from it so you can move forward more effectively. 

If you do catastrophize, you’ll find it difficult to stay motivated and productive in the long term. By shifting your mindset, you can avoid costly mistakes and stay focused on success.

3. Set positive and constructive goals. 

Having positive and constructive goals is an essential part of developing a strong and healthy mindset. What are your long and short term goals? How do they align with your values? Are they realistic? 

Setting positive and constructive goals is a great way to keep yourself focused on success and make sure you avoid getting caught up in the rest of the noise in your life.


2 Practices to Solidify Habits and Develop a Stronger Mindset

1. Practice gratitude. 

Gratitude is an ancient technique that’s been shown to have a wide variety of benefits in all areas of life. By shifting your focus from negative to positive, gratitude has the potential to improve your mental and physical health, increase your enjoyment of life, and even strengthen your relationships. 

Studies have also shown that gratitude is highly effective for mental health. By practicing gratitude, you can reduce feelings of sadness and anger, and even improve your mood. Having an attitude of gratitude is an important part of having a strong and healthy mindset.

2. Perform a self-awareness exercise. 

Self-awareness exercises help you recognize and understand the emotions, goals, and fears that shape your perspective. They can be done in a variety of ways: journaling, completing a questionnaire, or even having a conversation with a trusted friend. The key is to be honest and open with yourself, even if the process is uncomfortable. 

Self-awareness exercises can be difficult and uncomfortable, but they can also be very rewarding. They’ll help you understand your emotions and personality better, and they can assist you in creating a positive mindset.



A positive mindset is essential for success, and it can be developed through a wide variety of techniques, including mindfulness, gratitude, and self-awareness exercises. Having a positive mindset will help you overcome challenges more effectively and efficiently, stay motivated, and thrive in even the most stressful environment.



How to Unzip Folders on Any Device


All of my template files provided as digital downloads will arrive to you in a ZIP format folder and so I’m often asked by first-timers or infrequent users on how to best go about opening such files.

Most digital products are offered this way when multiple files need to be bundled together in a single folder. It is, unfortunately, the default delivery method for files across the internet. So it's something you are bound to come across time and time again.

If it's your first time coming across a .zip folder and you’re not particularly techie minded it can be a little frustrating to deal with depending on which computer operating system you have and how downloads are automatically handled on your computer.  And of course, mobile devices offer a whole separate challenge!

All of the solutions provided here use the default software already included within your operating system, no need for special programs or purchased software, with the exception of mobile devices.

Here are the basic instructions for each operating system:

Windows 7 thru 11
- Right-click on the Zip file icon and choose “Extract All”
- When prompted, choose a location for the folder to be extracted into
- Keep the "Show extracted files when complete" box unchecked
- Now click on the "Extract" button to start the extraction
- Once complete, this new folder is now your “unzipped” copy of the Zip folder
- You may keep the original Zip folder or delete it since it is a duplicate


- in your downloads explorer window, you'll find an Extract menu button on the top navigation bar
- click this and follow the prompts, in much the same way as above

Windows XP and Vista
- Double click on the zip folder
- In the window that opens, click on the “Extract all Files” link
- The “Extraction Wizard” will open, click “Next”
- Choose a destination for your unzipped folder
- Click “Finish” to complete the process
- This new folder is now your “unzipped” copy of the Zip file
- You may keep the original Zip file or delete it

- double click on the zip file
- job done


Mobile Devices

You will need to install an appropriate app in order to download and open .zip files.

Winzip is a free app and comes highly recommended by experts

- Once the app is installed you will have an option to “Open in Winzip”
- This will reveal the contents of the zipped folder
- Click “Open In” to choose where you wish to extract the zip folder contents to
- You should now be able to access the files in their new location
- Note that you won’t be able to open a file type if you do not have a corresponding app to, but all image files will open in the camera roll or photos app

ZArchiver is a free app and comes highly recommended by experts

- Open ZArchiver and use the file manager to find the zip folder
- Click on the file when you find it
- Use the View option to see the files in the zip folder
- If needed you can extract a single file or extract all
- once extracted the files will be in your main folder for full access

Happy Computing

Why do Svg Files Show as HTML?


A fun little quirk about SVG files is that your computer might be listing them as html documents in your folders. And then next to the file name will be a web browser icon. If you double click that file, it will likely open as the image it is... in a web browser window. 

What the heck is that right?

Many an unsuspecting user has therefore assumed that the SVG file they just downloaded simply isn't in the folder where it should be and the HTML item is just something else.

This happens because SVG files are in fact, html code. Unlike other file types, SVG is made up purely from strings of code. So your computer is actually reading it correctly.
Windows comes with all sorts of default settings, including which program should open what type of file. So if it reads a file as being made up of web code... then it likely thinks the 'appropriate' program is a web browser, and that's what will be selected by default to open it. Hence the switcheroo, Windows thinks it's being very clever.

Here's an important thing to remember - just because Windows renamed the file, doesn't mean the file has been changed or will work any differently. You can still go ahead and use that file exactly as you intended, even if it does say html. But if it bothers you, there are a couple things you can do to fix this
Here's an example of the problem to show you exactly what I'm referring to:

As you can see, this folder contains an html file... or does it?

By simply making one tiny change to how the folder is viewed, suddenly that information becomes just a little clearer. Click the 'View' tab in your folder screen, as below, and then tick the 'File Extension' box. By adding the file extensions to the file names in the folder list you get a more accurate view of the actual file types you are looking at.

You don't necessarily need to do anything further. As I already mentioned, the integrity of the file itself is not affected at all and will work exactly as expected in whatever program you are using it in.

If however, you don't like that, and maybe you'd like to be able to double click the SVG file and have it open in a specific software program, you just need to change your computer's default settings. Something that is really not too difficult at all to do.

Right click on the SVG file name in your folder. A menu will appear with an option to 'Open With'. Choosing this creates another menu pop up which will have a list of a few possible programs you can select as the new default. 

If the program you want isn't on that short list select 'Choose Another App'. You'll be presented with a longer list of options to choose from. Ensure that the box 'always use this app to open .svg files' is ticked and select the program you want as your default, for example, Inkscape or Illustrator.
At this time, you can't choose your cutting machine software as a default program, because files need to be uploaded into that system in a different way.

But, your SVG files should now show up correctly on your PC, and will open nicely when clicked!
Happy computing!
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