Hey friends! In this post, I’m going to walk you through 10 Etsy Tips for Beginners. You can start implementing these right away to increase your traffic, sales, and grow a more successful business.
#1. Selling Crafts Online: Pick a Niche
The first mistake that I see a lot of handmade sellers make is that they don’t pick a niche. Often, when beginners start their first Etsy shop, they’ll open up a shop and throw in a whole bunch of hodgepodge items that they’ve made. This might include a big range, knitted items to pottery or woodworking. Maybe they throw in something for their pets and then something for kids.. Customers are not going to know what they can expect from you. It also doesn’t make you look like a master in any specific thing.
They aren’t going to put that much trust and value your work as much as say, somebody that specializes in their field. For example, somebody that only makes dog backpacks, or somebody that only does pottery. That person is held to a higher level. They expect value out of their work, more than somebody that has an Etsy shop with a wide array of things. Plus, with the Etsy algorithm, it’s going to go through your listings, your product descriptions, and your headings. It will find all that good stuff, and provide keywords. It can help show what it is that your shop makes, and show it to the right people.
If you have a lot of different products, using a lot of different keywords in a lot of different areas and niches, it isn’t going to know who to show your products to. It’s going to stunt your growth in the long run. Even though you might think, “Oh, I’m going to throw a whole bunch of stuff up there, see what sells and then go from there.” It’s going to make it so that it takes a lot longer for your Etsy shop to start gaining momentum. It’s going to slow you down a lot when you’re first getting started.
#2. Do Keyword Research
My next tip that a lot of new Etsy sellers are just missing the boat on, is doing keyword research. Now, there’s a lot of different ways that you can do keyword research for your handmade products. The best one that I recommend for Etsy specifically is using Marmalead.com. Marmalead is a website that will walk you through exactly how many people are searching for a specific item. It breaks down what the average cost is for that item, what percentage of people are charging shipping for that item, and they will even rank your listing.
That way you know what to improve. You can see how you’re looking overall, and give you a really good idea of what new products to create even before you make them! You can know what’s going to be successful and get a better idea of why your shop isn’t working. Keyword research is a thing that full-time sellers spend so much time investing in, and what new sellers don’t even think about at all.
So if you’re looking to take your shop to the next level, invest some time into learning about keyword research and how you can make it work for you. I have another YouTube video on my channel on how to use the Etsy algorithm to grow your brand. I walk through everything that you need to know about keyword research, and where to find and place the keywords to grow your business.
#3. Offer Free Shipping
My next tip might be really simple, but it’s really effective: Offer free shipping for your products. Now, you can even take your shipping total and add it to your product itself. That way you’re not really losing any money on your shipping charges. This way when a customer is checking out, they’re not surprised by extra fees. That can be a huge turnoff, especially when there’s so many other Etsy shops that are offering free shipping.
So again, I really recommend adding your Etsy shipping fees and whatever that’s going to cost you to ship that product to your product price. So for example, if you are selling a handmade mug for $10 and it would cost you $4 to ship it, then you should just charge $14 for your mug and have free shipping. It’s really going to help your conversion rates, which basically means it’s going to help people to actually give you money and place the order.
#4. Download the Etsy Seller App
My fourth Etsy tip is to download the Etsy seller app. It’s totally free to use and make sure that you turn on the notifications, because that way, if somebody sends you a message or you get an order, you can respond quickly and you can thank your customers for shopping with you. If anybody has any questions, you can respond really quickly, and that’s going to really have a huge impact on your positive reviews, on your overall sales, because chances are, if your customer is sending you a message, asking you a question, they probably sent a similar question to a couple other shops. The first shop to answer is usually the one that gets the sale. This tip really helps you achieve all 10 Etsy Tips for Beginners much easier.
So having that Etsy seller app installed and ready to go is a great way for you to always be able to be accessible to your customers without it being really overwhelming. Now, if the idea of kind of always being on call and always be waiting for your phone to ping, then I recommend setting a reminder on your phone to check your Etsy messages every single day. So that way, if anybody reaches out to you, they never have to wait too long to hear back, but then you can still maintain a lot more work-life balance and not always have your phone on you.
#5. Focus on Good Photography
Product Photographuy is a huge thing that a lot of new Etsy sellers miss. You need to focus on good quality product photography, because a picture really is worth a thousand words. It’s the only way that you can show the detail and the hard work of your products. It’s the best way to show exactly what it is that your future customers are purchasing. Product photography is such a huge deal to growing a handmade business. There’s many things that make it a lot easier. You can get professional results just from your phone.
I created some mobile product photography presets so that you can use the free Adobe Illustrator app on your phone. You can get those in my workshop here. Snap a picture, and it will adjust the lighting and contrast. It will enhance the details and make it look far more professional. That way you can upload it straight from your Etsy app and save a ton of time, a ton of headache, and create really good quality photos, making all the work you put behind these 10 Etsy tips for beginners seen.
#6. Price Your Products
My next tip for new Etsy sellers is to price your products correctly. You can snag my free craft pricing calculator here. Now, inside my private community, Creative Entrepreneur 101, I have a full pricing calculator that walks you through step-by-step how to price your products. It makes it possible to cover your overhead. It can cover any rent or equipment that it took to make it as well. In general, as a basic rundown, you’re going to want to track the time that it takes you to make your products, and assign yourself an hourly rate of how much you want to make whenever you’re working on your business.
Be sure to include any time that it takes to do any keyword research. Include any time that it takes you to package your orders, to photograph them, and all that stuff. Be sure that it is a well-rounded number that really gives a more accurate description, not just when you sit down and rush something out the fastest possible. Make sure that it is a really accurate number that’s sustainable for you. Then you’re going to make sure that you note how long it really took for you to make that product and factor that number in.
So for example, if you want to pay yourself $15 an hour and it took you 30 minutes to make the product, but another 15 minutes for you to package it and do a little bit of keyword research and all that good stuff, then you’re going to price it at a full hour. So that way, you’re covering that extra time. I hope that that makes sense. Plus, you’re going to want to add your material fees. So this is the price of any of the equipment and the materials needed to make that product. Then add any of the fee is like your studio fees, sewing machine fee, any of these extra equipment items that a lot of people overlook.
For example, if you are a seamstress and your sewing machine needs to be replaced every two years, you should be adding a couple dollars to each listing so that way the next time your sewing machine breaks or it needs to be repaired, your business has covered it. This way you’re not losing money and it’s not coming out of your profits.
#7. Start With Listings
This one is so painful when you stumble on it on Etsy. When you first publish a brand new Etsy shop, Etsy is going to want to send you traffic and sales. So if you publish an empty Etsy shop, it can do nothing for you. You also don’t use that boost that Etsy is trying to give you when you first open up. So I recommend having at least 10 listings. They can even be the same product with different headlines or different main photo. Make sure that you have 10 separate listings, at least, when you open up your Etsy shop. You can learn more about how the Etsy Algorithm works here.
That way, when you hit publish, Etsy can and will send traffic. You’ll start getting a good idea of what your business is. Etsy can figure out what you’re all about, and as we’ve mentioned before, and that all of your products are in the same niche or in a similar category. Then it helps attract a similar audience. So that way, when your people find you, they’ll be really excited about you, stick around and continue to buy your products.
#8. Create Routines
This next one is an ever evolving step, but to grow a new Etsy shop, it’s so important for you to create consistent routines and rituals around your business. Maybe at the start of the day, if you make a cup of coffee, you also write in your gratitude journal. You sit down and you check email for five minutes. You could respond to Etsy messages, or relist something if you need to. You’ll be able to spend a couple hours doing whatever it is that you’ve assigned yourself that day. At the end of the day, you can set aside 30 minutes to package up your orders for that day, and get your shipping labels all created. Then you can ship everything the next morning, and call it a win.
These little things make it so you can bookmark the start of your day and the end of your day. That way your business is always maintained well, and then it’s going to set you up for better success in the long run. Building these habits and these routines and rituals as you’re growing is really going to be impactful. It makes it so when the orders pile up, and the messages start coming in, you’ll be so much more prepared. You’ll have these systems in place, so that nothing really important ever falls behind.
#9. Go International
My next tip is a really quick fix. In your Etsy shipping settings, be sure that you offer international shipping for all of your products. You may not be able to do this for free. If it’s not possible for you to offer free shipping on international orders, that’s okay. Consider that opening up your products to the entire world is going to be really impactful for your business. Often since Etsy is marketing worldwide, if you are only shipping within the United States or just within your country, you’re missing out on so much opportunity that Etsy is already promoting you for.
So I highly recommend you figure out whatever your strategy is. Maybe that means kind of eating a little bit of the cost so that you can accept those international orders. It could mean charging a little bit for international shipping . You find whatever works for you. No matter what you decide, it’s important to go international. Open up your shop to the entire world, not just the United States!
#10. Set Reminders
My last tip is to set reminders. Use your phone or computer as an alarm. Set a reminder at the end of each month to log in to your Etsy dashboard. Go and check out your analytics and see where it is that your shop really grew. See first-hand what keywords were really impactful, and what items sold. Really take a look to see what happened over the last month. Then set goals for the month ahead. This can be hugely impactful for a huge variety of reasons. You can take a look at your keywords and see how you can tweak any of your other listings. It’s the best way to be sure that you’re getting the most traffic, and really using those keywords in the best possible way.
Now you can also use your product sales and any keyword information that you get to make new products. You’ll get a really good idea of what your customers are already searching for. This way you can help them out the best and get more sales. You can also use this to see if your shop is growing or shrinking. Use it create a game plan, and then set new goals.
I really hope these 10 Etsy Tips for beginners were impactful and helpful to growing a profitable business. Because let’s be honest, starting an Etsy shop can feel overwhelming. That’s why I created the Ultimate Etsy Shop Launchpad.
The launchpad contains Time-Saving Swipe Files, Graphics, & Fill-In-The-Blank Templates For Creative Entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. You’ll Learn the systems and strategies full-time sellers use to automate your social media posts and customer service emails. Plus, access fill-in-the-blank product descriptions that highlight your handmade listing features and increase orders while ensuring you never forget to include valuable information again. There is so much here for you to get started. Learn more by clicking here.