How To Be Successful On Etsy? Your Complete 15-Step Checklist

Tags: Etsy, Ecommerce, How To, Side Hustle, Listicles
02 January 2024

In this blog post, let's debunk the myth that it is too late to start an Etsy shop as a beginner and discuss strategies to achieve success on the platform, even as a beginner.

Are you worried that your listings will get buried in the algorithm and never be seen?

That's a valid concern - but that's not how the Etsy business works. Instead, understanding how the Etsy algorithm works and optimizing your listings can help you gain more traffic and scale your shop, even as a beginner. Let's dive into the details!

Understanding the Etsy Algorithm

Remember - Etsy wants sellers to stay on their platform for their own good.

So, when you post a new listing on Etsy, it receives a temporary boost in the algorithm.

Etsy wants to test the listing's performance by pushing it to see if it resonates with the audience. If the listing receives views, likes, or sales, it indicates interest, and Etsy will continue to promote it.

But, to make it happen, it is crucial to optimize your listings and conduct thorough research to ensure they perform well.

Identify Your Ideal Customer

The first step to growing your Etsy shop is to understand your ideal customer.

Ask yourself. What is my right customer segment? Are my customers price-sensitive? It might be worth repositioning and repackaging your listings to attract more profitable customer segments.

For example, if you sell soaps and candles on Etsy, you might want to target customers who shop at premium stores like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters. Study how your successful competitors target premium customers and learn from their packaging, aesthetic, and listing components.

Make Product Photos And Videos Stand Out

Style your photos similarly based on your ideal customer and by studying the competition.

People make purchasing decisions based on what they see, so it's essential to think like a customer when creating your listing photos.

Ensure that your photos clearly showcase what you are selling and make any necessary adjustments to improve legibility. Zoom in on your photos, crop them tighter, and consider adjusting fonts or adding more contrast to make them more mobile-friendly.

If you sell digital products, demonstrate how they work or can be downloaded or printed.

Find The Right Pricing Strategy

When you're a beginner selling digital products, consider lowering your prices to attract more customers.

Lower prices can give you an advantage in the algorithm, increasing your chances of making sales. Once you've gained some traction and received reviews, you can gradually increase your prices.

For physical products, it's essential to make a profit, so consider raising your prices and offering limited-time sales. This way, your listings will appear as "on sale," creating a sense of urgency and encouraging customers to make a purchase.

Raise Your Prices

Once you have established a strong presence and are ranking well on Etsy's organic search results, consider raising your prices by 10% on your market leader listings.

This strategy allows you to test the pricing resiliency of your customers and potentially increase your profit margins. Also helps recover your previous losses.

You might be surprised to find that raising your prices can actually lead to more sales, as it can create a perception of higher value and exclusivity.

But, remember to test the pricing resiliency of your customers by gradually increasing your prices and monitoring the impact on your sales.

SEO Optimize Products To Increase Visibility

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

This simply means - making sure your SEO aligns with the search terms your customers are using and focusing on describing the purpose of your products rather than using technical terms.

SEO is not about tricking the search algorithm. And, it's also not complicated.

All you need to do is - avoid using vague or irrelevant keywords and focus on specific terms that your customer uses and that accurately describe your product.

Etsy looks at various elements of the listing, including the title, tags, and descriptions.

Ensure that your title is keyword-inclusive but also human-readable. In the description, cover all relevant information, including care instructions, addressing common objections, and explaining why the product matters to customers.

Product Research To Optimizing Your Listings

To optimize your listings, research successful products in your niche without copying them.

Look for listings with best seller badges, star seller badges, or high cart counts. These listings indicate that their SEO, titles, and tags are effective.

Take note of the keywords they use, the quality of their listing photos, and how they showcase their products. By understanding what works for others, you can create unique listings that stand out.

Keyword Research For Proven Sales

Often, customers search for items using different terms than sellers use in their titles. So, pay attention to the keywords your ideal customers are using in their searches.

If you want to take your keyword optimization to the next level, consider using Chrome extensions or plugins like ERank and Alura. These tools provide accurate search volume data for keywords, helping you choose the right ones.

Using both typical and long-tail keywords specific to your niche will ensure your listings reach the right audience.

Try Alura For Free

Develop New Product Ideas

If you find that your current product line does not align with profitable customer segments, spend some time brainstorming new product ideas.

Dig deeper into the needs and preferences of your target customers. Whether it's a variation of your existing products or a completely new offering, make sure it aligns with the profitable customer segments you have identified.

Analyze Metrics And Repeat What Works

Consistency is key when it comes to Etsy's success. Don't just post a listing and forget about it. Consistently analyze your store metrics and based on it upload new listings, especially doubling down on what is working already.

Identify your top-selling listing and duplicate it across three to five different listings, each targeting a unique customer segment. Customize the SEO strategy, photos, and marketing strategies for each listing to attract new profitable customer segments.

For example, if your top-selling listing is mouse pads for teachers, create three to five listings for mouse pads for different customer segments like nurses, programmers, and data analysts. Reuse as much as possible from your main listing, but customize your SEO and photos for the new listing.

Repackage Underperforming Listings

Take a look at your listings that are not performing well in terms of sales, views, or favorites. These listings might be considered "dead weight."

To give them another chance at success, repackage them with different packaging and marketing strategies. Use listing stats to analyze why they are not working as expected. Experiment with new listing photos, titles, and descriptions to attract more attention and interest from potential buyers.

For example, if you were selling phone cases and used the term "Colorful Phone Cases" in your SEO, but it wasn't selling, try testing a new listing photo that showcases the vibrant colors. Repackage it with a different title, such as "Pink Phone Case" which might resonate better with your target customers. This simple change can make a significant difference in sales.

Run 24-hour Sales on Listings to Boost Sales

Create a sense of urgency and scarcity by running 24-hour sales on all listings, especially the listings that have items in customers' carts.

If you sell digital products, consider offering a discount of 30% to 50% off. For physical products, you can even consider cutting your margin in half. Run these sales for three consecutive days to generate momentum and gather enough data to understand customer behavior.

By displaying a countdown timer on your listings, you create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a purchase before the sale ends. This strategy can help drive sales and increase conversion rates.

Market on Social Media Platforms

Tap into the power of Facebook groups to connect with warm leads who are ready to buy. Join relevant groups in your niche and engage with potential customers by providing valuable insights and answering their questions. This strategy can help you build trust and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Avoid directly promoting your products or asking friends and family to buy from you. Instead, focus on building genuine relationships and offering helpful advice. By leveraging Facebook groups, you can drive targeted traffic to your Etsy shop and increase your chances of making sales.

Use similar strategies to market your products on Instagram or Pinterest.

Make Money On Instagram

Email Marketing

Etsy allows sellers to collect emails and build their own email lists.

You can integrate your potential customer emails with tools like Alura and set up email marketing campaigns.

You can start by sending out one email per week, tweaking your emails based on the results, and then increasing the frequency of emails to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

Keep your emails simple and conversational. Inform your subscribers about new items added to your shop, especially during the holiday season. Avoid being overly promotional. This approach has proven effective in driving traffic and generating sales.

The Power of Consistency

Lastly, keep up the consistency even if you're not seeing immediate success. Treat your Etsy shop as if it is already successful, and put in the time and effort to make it a reality.

Building a successful business takes time and perseverance. Treat every listing as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Remember, if it were easy, everyone would do it. Stay committed, learn from your experiences, and continue to refine your strategies.

FAQ - Is It Hard To Be Successful On Etsy?

It is not hard to be successful on Etsy - but it can take time to see consistent profitable sales. By understanding the Etsy algorithm, optimizing listings with keywords, conducting competitor research, analyzing metrics of your shop, and by using Etsy tool you can reduce the time to see consistent income on Etsy.

By following the strategies mentioned in this blog post and putting in the necessary time and effort, beginners can increase your chances of success on Etsy.

Remember, building a successful business takes time and dedication, but the rewards are worth it.

FAQ - How Much Does The Average Seller Make On Etsy?

Sellers can sell various types of products on Etsy, ranging from digital product stores to print-on-demand and physical product stores. And, each type of product has its own revenue, expenses, and profit margins. Below are some ballpark numbers you can expect for each type of product if you are just starting out on Etsy.

Digital Products

Sellers make $3000 to $7000 per month on average selling digital products. However, it is important to note that this revenue includes the 20 cent listing fee and a 5% processing fee that needs to be deducted. Rest - everything is pure profit (except any paid tools you'd be using).

Many sellers opt in to run Etsy ads to boost their sales. For the above mentioned revenues you can expect to spend $1000 to $2000 on Etsy ads per month.

The revenue for this product type is similar to digital products, that is $3000 to $7000 - on an average. But, the profit margins are calculated differently as there are multiple costs involved.

Sellers uses services like Printful and Printify as their POD processing partners. So, you would have to pay them for the cost of the products, shipping costs, and taxes - in addition to Etsy fees.

For such print on demand physical products it is recommended to set your profit margins to at least 30% to be profitable in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Starting an Etsy shop as a beginner is not too late. By understanding the Etsy algorithm, optimizing your listings, and maintaining consistency, you can achieve success on the platform.

Conduct thorough research, use effective keywords, and create compelling listing photos to attract customers. Experiment with pricing strategies and treat your shop as if it is already successful. With dedication and perseverance, you can turn your Etsy shop into a thriving business.

Further Resources We Recommend

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