Many people tend to believe the fact that being an artist also means that you’re broke. While there are a lot of artists that have a hard time making a living from their art, it doesn’t mean that choosing to pursue an artistic career will automatically lock you down financially.
This preconceived notion has been born from the fact that artists are mainly focused on the final product. They put vast amounts of time into making sure that whatever they produce, is of the highest possible quality, and place financial value further down on their list of priorities. This can lead to the illusion that they don’t care about money, and that they are constantly broke.
While it is important for artists to think primarily about the end result, everyone needs to make a living. One of the best ways to earn money as an artist is by using a platform like Etsy.
Etsy is great because it gives people who are artistically inclined the ability to earn money while also creating art. From a technical point of view, the platform is an online marketplace that has been designed to cater to the needs of artists looking to sell their work.
Users can sell both locally, as well as globally, and offers great support in order to ensure that all parties are satisfied.
What you can sell on Etsy
Etsy has been built with a large variety of products in mind. From handmade jewelry, to design services, the possibilities are endless.
While you can sell pretty much any type of artsy object or service, you should always choose to make and sell the things that you are passionate about. The more fun you have when working for your money, the less it will seem like work. Furthermore, it will enable you to deliver more quality to your customers, which will, in turn, increase the amount of money that you make.
Even if you cannot sell your products (for example if you are a carpenter or a potter), the platform will allow you to make money by selling patterns and tutorials. This way, you will make money off of your art, but you will also help others improve their craft.
Now, let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind when considering which products to sell on Etsy:
- Products should be lightweight – You must keep in mind that the costs of storing and shipping your products can easily affect your profit. Try to choose products that are both light, as well as relatively small;
- Niche products may bring in more money – Try to sell products that target a particular group of people. For example, if you’re a jeweler, consider selling custom name rings or items that have a particular aesthetic (goth, medieval, etc.);
- Pay attention to how you price your items – Your products should be priced competitively. In order to determine which is the best price for a particular item, look at what other people sell similar products for. Afterwards, you can set your price a little higher, or lower, depending on how it compares to the competition’s products;
- Sell things that can sell continuously – Avoid choosing seasonal products. Instead, look at what you can sell in order to have people buy regardless of the time of year. Furthermore, you should also try to come up with things that won’t go out of style the next year.
If you look around, you will find that there are a lot of people who have made quite a bit of money by selling macramé jewelry on Etsy. If you come up with a great product, you may earn over $100,000 per year.
Can private label products be sold on Etsy?
Etsy has been built around the idea that artists should be able to easily sell their products, however, there are a lot of people who have discovered that a lot more money can be made as long as they sell premade products which they brand.
The practice originated on Amazon and has become quite popular on many online marketplaces and websites. This having been said, Etsy sellers do not tolerate private label products. The core concept of the platform is that artists should be able to easily sell the products that they have handmade with love and care. Selling items that are built on an assembly line, and then rebranded is considered to violate Etsy’s philosophy.
If you attempt to do this, regardless of how careful you are, there is a big change that the website’s administrators will ban your seller account. Try to come up with a product of your own, and then do the best that you can in order to sell it. Always be fair to your fellow sellers, and you will be alright.
How to sell your arts and crafts on Etsy
In order to start selling your products on Etsy, you will have to set up an online shop on the platform. Once you create it, you will be able to fill it with various products, each having a description, as well as one or more images. This is where things get a bit complicated.
You will have to pay a fixed amount of money for each product listing that you want to include in your online shop. The listing fee is $0.2. After this, you will also have to pay 3.5 % of every sale that you make using Etsy. On top of these expenses, you will also have to add any other fees that you may need to pay if you accept payment via PayPal or credit card (in addition to any conversion fees that may come into play).
Now, it may seem that selling things on Etsy is too expensive, especially when compared to building a website and selling your creations there, without having to worry about listing fees, etc.
While there are a few advantages to selling products on your own website, Etsy gives you something extremely important: an audience. By using the platform in order to sell your creations, you will have access to a large number of buyers who trust the platform, as well as the artists that use it.
Etsy will basically help you reach your target audience a lot easier than you would have through a personal website.
When you building a website, you are basically creating something that people know very little about. As a result, they may prove to be reluctant to buy products that are sold on it. This platform helps you get through this difficult process of reaching people and making them trust you.
If you do the math, you will find that creating a website and selling your products on it is a lot more expensive than listing them on Etsy. It’s a lot slower as well, so you will have to find another source of income while working to maintain the website and create an audience that will actually buy your creations.
If you sell on Etsy, the platform will basically do the hard work for you, giving you time to refine your products and designs. Also, the fees that you have to pay are small when compared to what you can make by selling your creations, and if you sell a product that follows the guidelines above, you will be able to run with the same products for several years.
Would having more than one shop be useful?
First of all, it is important to mention the fact that there is nothing stopping you from having an Etsy shop, while also selling your products on your personal website. There is no rule that forbids this, however, it is hard to determine if selling your products both on and off Etsy can actually increase your profit.
Also selling your products on your own website would be profitable, as long as you create the Etsy shop first, in order to promote your product, and to create an audience. Once people know your brand and products, you can expand to other marketplaces or websites, and get rid of the fees that Etsy requires you to pay.
Selling on your personal website would also enable you to develop your brand without having to worry about any kind of restrictions or rules. It would give you a lot more flexibility, however, it is imperative that you create your Etsy shop first.
The secret to creating a great listing for your product
When creating a product listing on Etsy, you will basically have to look for the same result that you would want when having a website indexed in Google Search. In order to sell your product, the listing should appear at the top of the page, and be attractive enough to determine potential customers to click on it, in order to get additional information.
Here are a few useful practices that will help you create efficient product listings that will attract the kind of shoppers that you need, while also arousing the curiosity of people who are randomly browsing the product listings.
- Do a bit of keyword research
Some may recognize this process from search engine optimization. Product listings on platforms like Etsy work somewhat the same like search engines do. This means that you will have to tailor your product title in order to make it easy for people to find.
The best way to do this is to use the proper keywords for your products. Classic SEO offers a large number of tools that can help you determine which keywords you should use, however, Etsy only has one, Marmalead.
This tool will provide you with all the information that you need. First, you will have to enter a keyword, after which you will receive information regarding the competition, engagement, etc. If you don’t know where to start, the application will even give you keyword suggestions, and tell you what the main trending tags are.
Marmalead has been tested and used by countless people and using it in order to find the right keywords for your products can either vastly increase the amount of money that you make, or decrease it.
- Research your competition
Most people tend to come up with a product, and then start selling it immediately.
Selling something on the internet is never as easy as some would think, and if you want to make enough money to live off of, you will have to take a close look at your competition. This will give you valuable insight into what you can change in order to increase your sales.
Again, you will have to use Marmalead. The tool can also show you shop grades, and various information regarding how you can increase your score. This tool is invaluable if you want to make a living out of selling your art on Etsy, and you should experiment with it in order to learn the various features that it offers.
However, if Marmalead is not enough for your needs, you can also use the Listing in Search feature offered by Etsy, in order to better understand what your competitors at doing. You basically need to find at least three shops that are direct competitors for your chosen keyword. Once you do, type each of the store names into the Listing in Search, along with your keyword.
This process will return a bit of extremely important information, such as all the tags that that particular shop attaches to their products, and the items that are shown when someone searches for the keyword.
Once you have this information, use it to populate your store. Ideally, you should use the same tags and keywords as the competitors, in order to steal a bit of their traffic.
Optimizing your product listings
There is more to selling on Etsy, than simply having your products at the top of the search results list. You need to be able to actually make the sell, once a potential customer clicks on your product.
Keep in mind that you can find a few general tips regarding how to optimize your shops, on Etsy, however, this is rarely enough. Below, you will find additional information that will help you get ahead of the competition.
- Do not spend too much time on image optimization
There is no point in spending more time than you have to, on the images for your product listings. The main goal is to ensure that the image is clear and that it is under 100kb. Do not lose time trying to insert the keyword in the name of the image, as this will be overwritten by Etsy, in accordance with their internal naming convention.
- Be consistent with your listing
You should constantly promote your most popular products. Also, keep in mind that Etsy favors shops that are updated daily, and spending a few minutes doing this will have a large impact on how much you sell.
- Always stay informed with regard to updates
Etsy’s administrators update and change its algorithm quite often, and if you’re not careful, you may find that a change has taken your shop down to the bottom of the list. You will be notified each time one of these changes occurs, so be sure to read the notifications and modify your listing accordingly.
Search Engine Optimization for Google
The shop that you create on Etsy will also show up when someone performs a search on Google, and you will have to do a bit of optimization if you want to be visible on the world’s most popular search engine.
Unlike the optimization process for Etsy, if you want your shop to show up on Google, you will have to spend a bit of time creating proper meta tags for your title and description.
Both of these can appear on Google, as search results, and you will need to make them both machine, and human-friendly. In other words, your titles and descriptions will have to be appealing to the people who read them, but also contain keywords necessary for the Google algorithm to understand what is going on.
The first thing that you will have to remember is to keep your product page title under 55 characters (not words), and your description under 120 characters.
Next, make sure that the description provides as much information as possible about the product.
Another necessity when looking to increase your ranking on search results is to do a bit of link building. Remember that, while this practice is extremely efficient, it is also very time-consuming, and you will have to find a balance.
Link building basically means that you will have to network with website owners, influencers, and forums, and build relationships with people. Your objective is to convince them to put links to your listings on their websites and in their content.
As a word of caution, most people will know if you’re only after backlinks. An organic relationship with an influencer can help you get many more things other than a few simple backlinks. For example, if you’re on good terms with someone who owns a popular website, you can ask them if they would be willing to do a review for one of your products.
Etsy is a great platform to sell your arts and crafts. Its developers and administrators are constantly doing everything in their power to stay true to the artists, and to help them make a living from their creations. This having been said, there is a lot of competition, and this can make it difficult to make money on Etsy if you don’t know how to get ahead of everyone else.
Follow the tips and lessons in this article, and you will be making money on Etsy in no time. In today’s interconnected, always-online word, there is nothing keeping you from monetizing your passion.