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Insider Updates

10 Tips for Running a Successful Etsy Shop


Creating an Etsy shop is just the first step in a long journey. The real work begins once you make your shop live. Running an Etsy shop takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the payoff is worth it. 

It’s not uncommon to see new Etsy sellers struggle to gain traction with their audiences. It takes time, patience and persistence to build a profitable business on Etsy. It is extremely rare for any business to be an overnight success, and even then, a lot of work will have gone into the initial launch to make that happen.

However, by following these simple tips, you can increase your chances of succeeding over the long term. There are millions of people searching for new and unique products every day on Etsyso finding buyer is absolutely possible. 

And while aspiring sellers might be afraid of all the competition that currently exists in the marketplace, it's really just an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and create something amazing. 

Here are some helpful tips for running a successful Etsy shop:


Be Unique and Authentic

One of the most important tips for running a successful Etsy shop is to be true to your brand. You want to be known for offering high-quality products that are unique and authentic. If you’re using an overstock product or sourcing factory goods, your products won’t be authentic, you'll just be another retailer with a lot of competition. 

Authenticity is key when building a loyal customer base. Your customers want to feel connected to your brand. They want to know that they are supporting a real person behind the products. They want to feel like they have a direct connection to your brand. If your products are just more of the same 'ol thing customers can buy anywhere else, what is the incentive to buy from you - or become a fan follower of your shop?

Additionally, if you try to be everything to everyone, your brand won’t be anything to anyone. Your unique selling proposition (USP) should be the core of your brand. By understanding your USP, you can dive deeper into what makes your brand special. 

What is USP really? It's that special ingredient that you bring to your business that makes you stand out from the crowd. It can be anything, but it should be the thing you become known for. 

Your Etsy shop should tell your customers everything they need to know about your brand and products with well written product descriptions, beautiful product photographs and a clear call to action.


Be Realistic with your Expectations

New Etsy sellers often expect to make a living from their shops on day one, or day 12, or day 30. Sadly, not everyone will become an overnight success. This is actually a pretty rare occurrence.

The more usual path to becoming a successful Etsy seller is to follow a consistent and steady growth pattern. Realistically, you should expect to see some results anywhere from three to six months. But there are plenty of Etsy sellers that have been in business for years and still struggle to make a profit. 

There are some common pitfalls new Etsy sellers encounter, and they can be easily avoided. Spending time to learn the platform as well as good business practices in general will help you move forward more successfully. Keep reading and learning every day! 

If you don’t have a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs, you’ll struggle to provide a solution. Remember, customer buy what they need or want. You need to be able to answer that question for them and include it in your sales pitch.

If you aren’t willing to commit to consistent promotion and outreach, you’ll never see the results you expect.


Network, Network, Network

The best way to kick-start your sales initially is to network with other Etsy sellers. Start by connecting with other sellers on Etsy through teams or forums. You’ll learn more about the community and find ways to collaborate with other sellers. It's also a great learning opportunity since most Etsy sellers are happy to share information.

Find Facebook groups where you have honest conversations about running an Etsy shop. There are several big and active Facebook groups where you can grab ideas, get feedback and network with fellow sellers. You can also join various forums and groups on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, but you'll likely have more productive conversations in Facebook groups. 

When joining any group, make sure to follow the rules and post relevant content that your fellow members will appreciate. There are tons of groups that are dedicated to Etsy sellers so join as many of them as you can and become an active member. Participating in these groups is a great way to learn new tips and tricks.


Grow your Audience Before Launching

If you are starting from scratch and have no audience at all you really should start building your audience before your Etsy shop even launches. You can grow your audience in many ways before launching your Etsy shop and gain traction for sales before your product is even ready. 

For example, you can start a blog, create a Facebook group or video series. A blog is an excellent way to grow your audience before launching your Etsy shop as not only will you have a place to direct your potential customers, but you’ll have a place to gain confidence within your niche. If you have a blog, you can eventually link to your Etsy shop through your blog posts. 

You can also use social media platforms to direct people to your blog so that once you have an established audience you can easily reach out to them and ask them to support your Etsy shop.


Promote, Promote, Promote

Once your Etsy shop is live, it’s time to start promoting it. You can’t expect people to come to your shop and start buying products if they don’t even know it exists. You really do need to actively promote your Etsy shop yourself. 

A common misconception is that Etsy will bring all the traffic you need to your store. While this can happen, it really does depend on your product niche and how well your products are placed in the search results.

Use social media and search engines like Pinterest to promote your new shop from day one. Create content specific to each platform and showcase your shop, products or services through regular posts. Each platform has paid advertising options, but tread carefully here, some knowledge of best advertising practices are essential for success and each platform has a different level of ease with their advert programs.

Once your shop is live,, depending on your product, you could start reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your industry and ask them to feature your products. 

Create a newsletter sign-up form and create an incentive for new customers to sign up. Use your newsletter to promote your products and sales to encourage repeat buying. 

Another option is to use paid advertising through Etsy to promote your products. Etsy offers two types of advertising, onsite and offsite ads. While many new sellers choose to opt out of off-site ads due to the unpredictability of overall costs, if you budget for this in your pricing it could be a great way to attract new customers.


Use Quality Photos

The images you use on your Etsy shop and product pages are critical. People make their purchasing decisions based on images. If your images are blurry and poorly lit, you won’t see a lot of sales. 

You don't need fancy equipment to take professional-looking product photos. You can achieve great results with just your phone's camera. The trick is to understand how to set the products up, using the right lighting and knowing what sorts of photos work best.

There are loads of free tutorials online to help you achieve this and a lot of very expert advice. Use that to your advantage.

A common mistake new sellers make is to use their own preferences when it come to styling the photo shoot. Industry best practices exist for a reason though and tailoring the photos for the benefit of the customers is always better than allowing your own personal tastes to get in the way.


Learn Something New Everyday

It may seem obvious, but we never stop learning in life. There will never come a point when you can say you already 'know everything'.

Running an Etsy shop is hard work for a solo-preneur and chances are you are not an expert in every area required of you to run your business.

Make sure you build time in your schedule to explore new ideas and new ways of doing things. Or just learning new skills, expanding on what you do know and taking in random facts. 

Customers are a great opportunity to learn from, both positively and negatively. From each interaction examine what you have learned from it and adapt or adjust where necessary.


Diversify Your Offerings

If you only have a few products for sale, you’re going to struggle to keep your customers coming back for more. You need to have a reasonable selection of products for your customers to choose from. 

With only have a handful of products for sale, you won’t be able to keep your customers satisfied but just as importantly, you'll have fewer opportunities to show up in search results. The greater the number of products the more chance you have to be found and seen.

This works through keyword density. Each product listing can only use so many words to be found in search. The more variations or styles or colors etc of your product, the greater the possibility for additional keywords - which leads to more opportunity to show up in searches. 

That said, your products still need to form a cohesive collection.


Price for Profitability

To be successful in any business it is imperative that you are profitable. Pricing your products properly means taking into account all your overheads and having room for things that can't be accounted for (like refunds, lost packages, forced discounts or unexpected fees).

Many sellers look to their supposed 'competition' on Etsy and assume that they have to price their goods accordingly. This is NOT a good practice. For starters, most Etsy sellers completely mis-identify who their competition really is. Or they use the "i wouldn't pay that" mentality for their own goods.

Every product or service on the market has a price range. The price variance depends on the niche but every single product is available at multiple price points from budget friendly to ultra posh. Understanding where you are on the scale of quality/uniqueness/availability is helpful to truly comparing your products to any competition you might have.

Pushing your prices ever lower in hopes of finally selling something is not a success strategy, In fact many sellers have noted that sales increased only when they put their prices up. This is because of the 'perceived value' effect. Put simply, if something has a small price tag it must be of low value. If something has a big price tag it must be more valuable or sought after.


Adapt to Changing Markets

Learning to pivot in your business is a useful skill to develop that can help you stay successful for the long term. This looks different from one business to another but either way being in tune with your niche and your customers is important for longevity in business.

This might mean keeping on top of trends and pivoting as things fall from popularity and new styles emerge. It might mean entirely new products altogether.

The point is to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your industry and being able to react to it in a timely fashion. Even better if you can predict these things in advance. 

Other aspects of business tend to change and evolve as well. Things like wages or taxes. New rules to follow or changes to the Etsy platform. Many many Etsy sellers bemoan the fact that Etsy changes things with great frequency. 

While that certainly can be more than a minor annoyance, it's really just a part of being in business. You'll experience similar upheavals no matter where or what you sell. Being able to roll with it and adapt is part of the process to being successful in business.


Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of running a business. You might spend most of your time thinking about what you have to do next. You have to put yourself on a schedule, but you also have to make time to celebrate your successes. 

You’re probably going to have some bad days where you feel like it’s all too much. You’ll have days where everything seems to go wrong and you feel like giving up. You’ll also have days where you feel like you’re on top of the world. 

Make time to celebrate every milestone, every achievement, and every small win. You have to make time to appreciate everything you’ve done because it takes a lot of hard work to run a successful Etsy shop.


Happy Crafting


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