written by Irene
Opening an Etsy shop is a relatively easy process. Whether you create physical or digital products (as in my case) you can use the Etsy platform as your online storefront.
It can become your main and only source of monthly income. It can be the starting point of a series of digital income streams, which is by the way what I’ m building the last couple of years.
Blogging about your business and using affiliating marketing, selling in other online platforms besides Etsy, starting a YouTube channel, create an audience and sell digital courses, are some of the most popular ways, lots of Etsy sellers use to make money today.
In this post I’ll walk you through the basic steps to open your first Etsy shop. I’ll also share a few tips I wish I knew when I started my business.
Step No1 : Create an Etsy seller account: click on the ”sell on Etsy” link, enter your business email, your name and set up a password. You can also log in via Google, Facebook or Apple credentials.
Step No2 : Set your shop’s preferences: language, country you are established in and currency in which you want to list your items. Make sure your bank currency is the same as your shop currency. Finally Etsy will ask you if you are a full time seller, part time seller or other. Your answer does not affect your Esty shop account by any way.
Step No3 : Choose your shop’s name.
Think simplicity and easy to remember. Don’t try to find the most unique name of all times.
Your shop’s name is not what will bring you sales. The quality of your products and your marketing strategy will. So make the decision now.
Choosing your own name is always a great solution since you can build your entire brand around it. Follow Etsy’s guidelines that you can find here.
* Tip: Keep in mind that after you’ve opened your shop, you can only change it once.
Step No 4 : Create your products if you haven’t already (which I doubt)!
You must have at least 2 – 5 listings to add to your shop to make it look professional. You don’t have to create 100 items at this point, but one or two items won’t make your shop look nice.
Etsy recommends to start at least with 10 listings.
Step No 5 : Upload beautiful images of your products. These images are also called mockups. They have to be clear and showcase your products in the best possible way. If you are not sure how to create a mockup please read this post.
After your pictures are ready, click ”Shop Manager” and choose ”Add a listing”. If you sell digital items, upload the digital files. Visit Esty’s Guide to list a digital item. You can upload a maximum of ten photos. Etsy recommends using all ten of them. The size of your images must be at least 1000px square.
Step No 6 : Choose your thumbnail carefully. It is the first image of your product that your customers will see. Make sure it’s worth it.
Step No7 : Fill in your product’s title. Consider you have a 140 character limit. Make the most out of it.
* Tip : don’t forget that your in shop SEO is done in your title and description. So make sure to do your keyword research before writing.
If you want to learn more about Etsy SEO read here.
Product description is also very important. Here you can provide your customers with the details of your product.
If it’s a digital product, you’ll fill the format of the file they will download, the dimensions available, customization options, if there are any. Make sure you are clear and precise.
* Tip : Make sure that you pay attention to the ”renewal options”. By choosing ”automatic” your listing will automatically renew after it expires every four months or if you make a sale. You can choose how many items you have in stock ready to ship. Every time a listing is renewed you get charged with 0.20 cent fee.
If you prefer doing things in your own pace, you can always choose ”renew manually”.
Finally you should fill the ”tags” bar. You have 13 tags available. I reccomend you use all of them. Again SEO is very important, Tags are the keywords your potential customers will use to search for a product. Make detailed research and then pick the 13 keywords that will make your store pop up.
Step No 8 : This step is very important for your business to make a real profit. Set your item’s price. Keep track of your expenses to make the product. If it is a digital product, you might use a software for your designs, for which you pay monthly.
Also consider how many hours you’ve worked to produce your product. Finally, don’t underestimate shipping costs, Etsy fees and taxes. All these can add up and you might find yourself left with little to no profit at all. You don’t want that.
I know for most creative people, maths and money calculations is not something they are looking forward to. However, as a business owner you will sooner or later have to deal with these stuff and become good at it.
* Tip : Etsy can calculate the shipping cost for you. All you need to do is provide Etsy with item weight and size (after it’s packed). Then you will be able to see the shipping cost.
Finally, you are ready to upload your listing! Preview it before, to make sure everything is the way you want.
* Tip : the more listings you have in your store the more likely it is customers will find you. Etsy’s recommendation is at least 10 listings. Start small and add products in the future.
Step No 9 : After adding your products, you must choose a payment method. Most sellers prefer ”Etsy Payments”. It is a payment system created by the platform, which allows you to get paid both through Credit or Debit card, PayPal and Etsy gift cards. It is what I have chosen and I highly recommend.
Add your banking information so that you can get direct deposits after making a sale. Set up billing to pay Etsy fees. For the time of writing this article, each listing costs 0.20 euros. Read all about Etsy fees here.
For some countries Etsy will require a credit card for authorizing your identity.
Step No 10 : Now that you’ve uploaded at least one listing, you are ready to open your Etsy shop! Click ”Open Shop” and it’s done!
The URL of your shop will appear either like that:
or like that:
You are officially an Etsy business owner! Congrats!
Now that your shop is up and running, the real work begins!
There are some sections you can fill to make your shop look professional and therefore attract more customers.
Optimize your shop’s appearance by adding a banner photo, a shop icon and a photo of yourself if you’d like so.
The aesthetics of all the above, should align with the products you sell. For instance, if you sell romantic handmade jewellery you can’t have a minimalistic banner. It could confuse your customers. Make sure everything matches each other.
If you are running a blog, I recommend using the same colour palette and designs as your store. Also, as I mentioned earlier, your shop’s name can be the same as your website’s name. Little by little you will be able to establish your brand and become easily recognisable from your audience.
Add a bio. You can talk about your professional background and share a little bit about your personal journey as an entrepreneur. People love connecting and are more keen to buy if they feel they somehow know you. It feels more personal!
Add your shop’s ”About” section. Here you can share more about how you started your business and why. You can talk about what motivates you to serve your customers. Again, letting your customers see the ”behind the scenes” will make them feel they buy from a real person. After all, people who search on Etsy usually want to support small business owners and are not big funs of retail giants. Take advantage of that mindset and create a connection that will last.
Etsy provides a social media tool, which allows you to connect your shop with all the media platforms you are active on.
As you get more familiar with Etsy’s Shop Manager, you can always go back and add or delete listings, change photos, start a sales campaign, run an ad and so much more!
Etsy’s Manager is easy to use and pretty much self explanatory.
* One last tip : Having completed the above steps, is the beginning of your entrepreneur endeavor. Give yourself a pat on the back and start working on your SEO.
I can’t emphasize enough how important SEO is, both inside your shop and outside (pinterest, facebook groups, instagram, blogging).
Download the FREE 10 step guide to running your Etsy business here!