7 Steps to Start an Etsy Shop

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If you’re a person who is not only talented and creative, but also possesses an entrepreneurial drive, you should consider Etsy as a way to monetize your hobby.

If you’re not familiar with Etsy, I’ll try to describe it in a few words: Etsy is an extremely popular eCommerce platform dedicated mainly to handmade objects, where you can find anything from baby clothes to custom jewelry. It’s a strong online market place, which encompasses more than 1 million active sellers and over $1 bn. dollars in sales last year.

So if you’re interested in earning some extra money through Etsy, you should do a bit of research to find out what the platform offers, which is your potential competition how you can stand out from the crowd.

To get you on track, here are 7 tips you need to know when starting an Etsy shop:

1. First of all, you need to ensure that Etsy is the best platform for you. One of the most important aspects of any business, whether you are opening a coffee shop or starting a franchise, is research. This is the first step that should never be skipped and in this case the research should focus on the platform and its features to see if it fits your needs.

You can find more details about Etsy products and policies on the Etsy blog. A huge factor you need to take into account is that a successful Etsy store will take a lot of time to maintain and develop. Thus, ensure that you are able to regularly commit a lot of your time on the venture. Given that you are trying to tap into the eCommerce business, a sloppy created shop or a neglected one after its launch will almost certainly not make you any money.

2. Conduct research about your product. Along with researching the platform, you also need to research your product. Make sure to ask key questions such as “Who are my competitors?” and “Who is my target market?” You definitely do not want to launch a shop based on wrong assumptions only to notice that you need to step in another direction and re-do most of the work. You will save a lot of time and energy by creating a proper marketing strategy from the get-go. Moreover, make sure to include a plan B just in case things don’t pan out as you’d expect them to.

Also, this is the right time to consider creating a business plan. And we’ve got you covered. You can find out more about writing a business plan in our section dedicated to Business plans.

3. Consider SEO and social media strategy. And while you might be tempted to focus on creating the shop, a significant part you need to take into account must be getting pageviews and creating brand awareness. A good place to start is Google’s Keyword Planner, given the fact that this specific instrument helps you determine the search terms people use to find websites selling similar products to the one you offer. Another important aspect in this stage is that you need to choose a proper name for your business. After doing this, make sure to sign up for all of the relevant social media platforms and update your accounts on a regular basis. The ones that focus on the visual aspect have always proved to be great for Etsy sellers. Platforms such as Pinterest, Vine or Instagram are extremely popular among Etsy users. Also, don’t forget the great reach that other platforms, such as Facebook have.

4. You will also need high-quality professional photos to post. Etsy sellers believe that having high-quality photographs is definitely a must, because by posting outstanding pictures of your products, the sales are not only facilitated, but are also made. Just take into account that the photographs are one of the main deciding factors when a customer is considering buying a product. Moreover, you’ll also need to use of a compelling avatar for your accounts.

5. Create a foolproof, scalable shipping and returns policy. To make sure that you shop is successful, you need to meet two characteristics: customer friendly and consistent. Thus, you need to ensure that your policy is clear, timely and that you don’t stray from it – ever. At this point, your goal should be to achieve a high rating. And the best way to do this is by offering top-notch and fast customer service with a virtual smile on your face.

6. You will also need a trustworthy advisor or a friend to review the shop. Avoid bringing in a person who will not tell you straight to your face how it actually is. You need a person who is honest and can offer constructive feedback. Also, you need to make sure that customers are able to easily find your shipping and return policy, your product descriptions, pictures and the about page.

7. Last but not least, you absolutely must stay on top some business operations following the successful shop launch. Once your shop is up and running, there are several ongoing aspects you need to consider when operating your business. You absolutely must stay on top of certain things such as funds, returns, social media presence, SEO and even responding to reviews. In some respects, being an Etsy seller is like being a regular business owner and remaining active and involved in your business is the driving force that will lead you to success.

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