Has another week really gone by already? I could have sworn I just wrote my last post a couple of days ago. I guess what they say is true: the older you get the faster time passes.
Etsy is becoming one of the most-used platforms when it comes to handmade and digital products. More and more people are turning to the Etsy search bar to find the gifts they want and the products they want. If you are considering a shop or just getting started, this post has some advice on how to make Etsy work for you.
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In my last post I talked about cutting out my Etsy Shops, but after some careful consideration I have decided to keep at least one going. It’s an easy platform to list my digital products and it doesn’t require daily maintenance. However, more regular updates are beneficial from what I understand, as Etsy rewards shop owners that are more active. Not monetary rewards, but in how often the shops show up in searches. (I do suppose if there’s a sale generated then that does become a monetary reward.)
I have been practicing my copywriting skills in my product descriptions as well, which has attracted a bit more attention. I don’t make a sale every time someone clicks on my shop but my conversion rates vary from less than 1% to 10%, depending on the product. Some months are better than others but I believe that’s the case for most businesses, whether they’re on or offline.
Something I have started using to see which products are popular on Etsy is Everbee. It has helped me ditch several ideas which I thought were great, but the demand (or even interest in some cases) just wasn’t there. It has essentially saved me from spending time and money on a listing that isn’t going to get any visibility because there’s no one searching for it.
The search pictured above is showing mostly physical bookmarks, which is probably as good or better than digital downloads. Bookmarks are light and fit into a regular size envelope, which is also inexpensive to mail. (If shipping physical bookmarks be sure to work the cost of shipping into your price. Shoppers like free shipping.)
Everbee has helped thousands of shop owners earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, simply by using the analytics tool to see what’s popular. That said, don’t just create an item because it’s popular. The point is also to enjoy the creation process so it should be something you’re interested in. Believe me when I say it’s more of a chore to create something you don’t like.
I added a set of bookmarks to my shop today, as well as a Canva template so other shop owners can create their own bookmarks or product inserts for physical products. The demand for bookmarks is still high even with a lot of people reading ebooks. (I don’t know about you, but I still enjoy reading a hardcopy book. They’re easier on the eyes and there aren’t any batteries to need charging.)
With the increase of digital products being created many are turning to templates to make that creation faster. I have purchased templates in the past for planners and journals with commercial rights, and have had some small successes with certain ones. Now that I have created my own on Canva I foresee myself adding more templates to my shop to help others create their own products.
The templates are not restricted to digital products though either. It’s relatively simple to use a template, print out the product you created, and sell it as a tangible item. There is always someone out there that would like to get a physical product as opposed to a digital one. besides, physical products are much nicer for gift-giving.
One thing to keep in mind when using a template is whether or not you can sell the finished product you create from it. Some shop owners will allow the sale of the items created, while others specify it’s for personal use only. No matter the end-use of the product created, the templates are generally not allowed to be sold by others. This can cause hiccups so be sure you’re clear on the end-use policies.
As the picture above shows, my sales haven’t been spectacular this year. But, they are better than last year. My total sales for this shop were $86.oo in 2022, and I have already surpassed that and there are still 4 months to go in 2023. I think with the addition of templates my numbers will continue to rise.
If you can afford it, I also recommend advertising your products on Etsy. The daily budget is from $1.00 – $25.00. I suggest starting at $1.00/day for no more than 3 or 4 listings. I just increased my daily budget to $1.50 for 5 listings, so will see how that works out for me. You can choose to spend your daily budget on one listing or several, but I have found the sweet spot to be around 3. It may not immediately translate into sales, but it could translate into a new shop follower. That in itself can lead to sales when you list new products.
Wrapping It Up
There are entire courses and ebooks on how to make Etsy work for you, but this post is based on my experience with the platform. As I said in the beginning, I was contemplating cutting my shops but have decided to utilize the resources I have instead. I’ll be able to either write my own case study by year-end or throw in the towel. Either way, spending time using Everbee, Canva, and Etsy ads will help me create the products I enjoy. And most of all, I’ll be able to do a follow-up in Q1 of 2024 and let you know what worked (or didn’t) for me.
Have you spent much time on Etsy as a shopper, or do you have a shop of your own? Let me know in the comments below.