Updated: Jun 21, 2021
The most common questions asked by Etsy sellers, answered!
1. What should I sell on Etsy to make fast money?
There are very little things that you can sell on Etsy just to make fast money. In fact, the only thing that I've seen in recent memory that people were able to make fast money on has been face masks, and it isn't going to stay that way forever. The truth is that you shouldn't go into Etsy just wanting to make fast money - you should go in with a need to fill, a problem to solve, or a passion to spread.
The shops that I find are the most successful aren't narrowed down to one niche, it's the shop owners who believe in their work and put serious time and energy into making their shop successful. I love these quotes by Lori Grenier that relate to being passionate about your product, and I hope you'll find inspiration from them!
“I was fearless, I knew I would make it work, and that’s the difference between successful entrepreneurs and people that don’t get somewhere – it’s that tenacity and drive.”
“There are always things that are needed. There are always ways to do things better. It's all about offering solutions.”
“You have to believe in your product and what you’re doing and other people will follow.”
“A brilliant idea doesn't guarantee a successful invention. Real magic comes from a brilliant idea combined with willpower, tenacity, and a willingness to make mistakes.”
2. How do I get noticed in the search system?
SEO is your best friend on Etsy - and it's not always easy! The Etsy algorithm changes over time, and learning to adjust your listings accordingly can be time consuming. Don't get discouraged if you find that your listings aren't performing well right off the bat - it's all about experimenting. I'm going to share a little trick with you to get a better idea of what SEO keywords are most effective: have two copies of the same listing in your shop at a time. Even though the listing product will be the same, have the titles and tags use different descriptor keywords. For example, say that you're offering this pair of earrings:
Have one title touch on this market:
"Shades of Purple Dangle Earrings, Girls Night Out Jewelry, Gift for Girlfriend, Beach Jewelry"
And have another one touch on this market:
"Shades of Purple Dangle Earrings, Birthday Gift for Her, Polymer Clay Jewelry, Boho Style Earrings"
Notice how "Shades of Purple Dangle Earrings" is the same in both titles. It's important to stay very factual and specific about what the listing actually is (in this case, purple dangle earrings). After that, diversify and play around with descriptor keywords that will help you get noticed. Then you can review the stats after a week or two to determine which descriptor keywords are most effective! Be sure not to keep those duplicate listings in the shop for more than 2 weeks, you don't want to confuse the customer or come off as unorganized.
If you'd like help with your Etsy shop SEO, you can always sign up for your Etsy shop re-work. You can read more about that here.
3. What should my photos look like?
Photos are arguably the most important aspect of your Etsy shop, with SEO being a very close second. SEO can get you to the front page of the search system, but photos are going to be what makes shoppers actually click your listings. Using natural light when you take your photos is going to be the easiest way to make them look professional, without the purchase of a light-box. Set up shop either outside or right next to a window where the light is even, and start having fun taking awesome listing photos! Try to make note of when the lighting is perfect in your particular photo area, that way whenever you have to take a new round of photos, they'll all look similar. Depending on which mood you want (moody, bright, whimsical, etc), certain times of day will definitely work better than others!
Other tips to make your Etsy photography perfect:
Make sure to get the entire product in the photo, don't cut off corners! Pay attention to the way Etsy crops photos, and organize your photoshoot accordingly.
Use props. See that photo example of the polymer clay earrings above.
Get all angles. Don't leave your shoppers wondering what the side, top, or bottom of your listing looks like
Maintain a clear photo style. Try not to have all of your photos taken in a different setting, mood, or overall feel - you want to create a clear aesthetic for your brand in order to look professional.
4. Should I spend money on Etsy ads?
Etsy ads can be extremely helpful, but should NOT be something that you rely on for sales. Using Etsy ads when your SEO isn't up to par is akin to putting a bandaid over a cut that needs stitches. Yes, it's going to help in the meantime, but you're going to need those stitches to be healthy and happy!
Here are some things you should do first before spending money on ads:
Increase your shops' listing amount - try not to dip under 50 listings at any given time.
Make sure your photography is on point.
Make sure your listing information is completely filled out - include occasions and holidays where applicable, create detailed descriptions, and fill out the miscellaneous listing information like colors and sizing.
Perfect your listings' titles and tags (SEO)
Use social media everyday to promote your work for free
You also don't have to "go big or go home" with Etsy ads. If you feel ready to do so, start with a small advertising budget of $2-$5 per day, and potentially increase your spending from there. Keep a close eye on your ads, and make sure that you're getting a return on your money at the end of the month or quarter.
5. How much work do I need to put in?
This answer is pretty simple: if you treat your Etsy shop like a hobby, you'll make hobby money. In order to create a shop that pays the bills, you're going to need to put in a lot of time, effort, care, and even money. When you sell anything online, you immediately have a responsibility to the customer to be timely, truthful, and professional with them throughout their purchase. This can be time consuming and should be taken seriously, but that's not to say that this work isn't fun - because it is! Creating a business for yourself is special, and is a really rewarding experience.
The bottom line - you can put in as much time as you'd like, but that amount of time is going to be directly reflective of how successful your business is long term!
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