8 Tips to Help You Start a Successful Etsy Shop Selling Handmade Items

How to Grow From an Etsy Hobbiest into an Etsy Entrepeneur

  • 01 of 08

    You Must Have Beautiful Product Photographs.

    Esty opening at Nasdaq
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    This tip is the most important number one rule to follow. Make sure to take beautiful photos that showcase your products at their very best. The photos should be clear, bright and well lit. If you have photos that look dark and amateurish, potential customers will click on by and go to another shop that has a more professional presentation, and you will lose a sale.

    You do not necessarily have to have an expensive camera; excellent results have been achieved using a cell phone camera! Take your...MORE photographs in natural light staging your products with appropriate props or use a white background.

    If you are unable to shoot your handmade items in natural light, use a light box. To learn how to use a lightbox, search photography tips on Youtube, or do a google search to find various photography sites on the internet for free. There is no reason not to have great looking photos when you are first starting out, you just have to do a bit of research and practice!

    Another option to consider is joining a local photography club. These organizations usually welcome people at all photography levels, and most members love to help beginners out! Clubs are fantastic resources for beginning photographers.

  • 02 of 08

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is Your Best Friend

    Next to having beautiful photos showcasing your products, the second most important rule is to learn SEO techniques. You may have the most beautiful handmade products for sale, but your shop will not make a dime if potential customers cannot find your store. Proper SEO will help you rank higher in both the ETSY search box and Google search.

    Learn how to insert keywords correctly into your title, description and tags. If you are unsure, a good place to start learning SEO is right here on...MORE About.com.

  • 03 of 08

    Determine Your Market

     Before you start your shop you have to think about the type of hand made products you are producing and who is going to buy them.

    Determine what your customers are interested in and then cater your products towards their interests. It is not a good idea to offer several unrelated products in your shop. You have to determine what you are going to make that is novel, well made and something that people will want to buy.

    Don't make something that has been seen on Etsy in thousands of shops. You...MORE have a much better chance of success when selling items that have your unique style stamped on them.

  • 04 of 08

    Use Social Media to Promote Your Etsy Shop

    In today's world, you must use social media to reach your potential customers. Make sure you have a Facebook page, Google plus page, Pinterest , Twitter and Instagram account,then go to these places and promote your shop and products.

    You cannot expect to have a successfu shop on Etsy just by putting up a few items and hoping customers will come. You have to put yourself out there in social media and network with others.


    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Be a Guest Blogger

    Guest blogging on other craft sites is another great way to advertise your shop and gain credibilty as an expert in your field. You will gain exposure and if readers like your article they will often follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram which can help the beginning Etsy entrepeneur develop a loyal following.


  • 06 of 08

    Consistent Hard Work

    As in all aspects of life, the saying "Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy" applies to your Etsy start up shop. Be prepared to work hard! You cannot just upload a few photos to your Etsy site and expect the money to come rolling in.

    You have to be diligent with social media, marketing, establishing your brand, producing high-quality products and never giving up. In time with hard work you will have a profitable online store.




  • 07 of 08

    Tell Your Story

    It is important to use the about page to tell your story. Many shop owners leave this space empty or just add a sentence or two. People love to know who it is they are buying from and why those people are making their products. It adds a personal touch, and your customers will feel connected to you!

    It is important to be authentic, even if you are a little weird. People will just love you and your shop all the more! Many times customers will purchase a product even if it is more expensive then...MORE elswhere if they like the makers story.


  • 08 of 08


    Beginning craft entrepeneurs often have problems pricing their items. Giving away your items by underpricing doesn't help anyone. If your work is of hight quality and well made customers will gladly pay the higher price. Make sure to add your supply costs, photography time, packaging, shipping and work time into your final price.