Since I opened my Etsy shop on January 10, 2013, I am amazed at how much business it has created. The things I make weren’t very interesting or Pinterest worthy, is what I believed other thought. But suddenly, not only were people purchasing the pre-made baby one-pieces I had in my Etsy shop, they were asking for custom orders. My work has been sent all over the country, to every coast! I’ve even had international customers purchase my templates.
When I tell friends about the small success of my shop, they all ask the same questions: how did you get started and how can I start? I hope to answer all those questions here, especially for those readers who have thought about opening their own shop!
Why did I decide to open an Etsy Shop?
When I was preparing decorations for my baby shower in the summer of 2012, I couldn’t find a free baby one-piece template to make it with. I’m fairly handy with simple photoshopping skills, so I drew up a template in Paint. I decided, on a whim, to post it on Pinterest. Later, when I started a blog to vent my pregnancy frustrations, I put the template in a post, labeling it a as a free template. That post took off over night, and I was getting thousands of views a month on it alone, so I decided to open a shop and earn a few dollars while providing moms-to-be with beautiful banners for their showers.
Where do I see my shop in the next year?
With New Year’s Day coming up and everyone making resolutions, I’ve been giving this some thought. This coming year, I am going to expand my offerings to include seasonal and birthday banners. I’m also going to work on building up inventory so I can distribute flyers locally and possibly attend craft shows.
Do you need many followers and a blog to have a successful shop?
They aren’t necessary, but they are definitely helpful. The great thing about Etsy is you can see on your dashboard where your shop views are coming from. Here’s my Traffic Source chart from my Etsy shop.
As you can see, I have substantially more traffic coming directly from Etsy than I do from my blog. However, see the source that’s ranked #2, Etsy Mini? That’s a little mini Etsy shopfront app I put at the end of this post. So, do you need a blog? Yes and no. Do you need followers? Yes and no. The more people talking about your shop, the more traffic you will get!
How do I get started?
With Etsy shops, it’s best to jump right in and start one. I literally started with one listing, my PNG formatted baby one-piece template, and grew it from there. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Think about what you are going to offer in your shop. Try to stick with one theme.
- Come up with a shop name and design a logo.
- Figure out how much to charge for your items. Check out other shops that sell similar items to get an idea. Also, be sure to check out the fees Etsy charges on every sale.
- Do a soft opening of the shop, listing one or a few items until you get the feel for it.
- Play around! There are so many useful tools at your disposal on Etsy, and there are hundreds of ways to really make your shop look professional. Don’t be afraid to click on all the buttons and find out what they do!