Updated: Dec 14, 2020
So, as you know if you follow me on any platform, I have reopened my Etsy store. I will preface this with I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON ETSY, I AM STILL LEARNING. But I love the idea that there is a marketplace for whatever kind of creative you are -- and that is Etsy.
My Etsy experience is this, I am compulsively creative, and whether I am doing something for income or not, I am always making something. This was the case when I first opened an Etsy shop back when I was a flight attendant. I drew funny flight-themed illustrations that I turned into bag tags. I opened the shop in 2014, put about ten drawings up in the shop and then completely forgot about it (squirrel!).
I was still a flight attendant and I would sell the bag tags to other flight attendants who saw my bag tag and wanted one of their own. From that point I made almost entirely custom illustrations from flight attendants who I worked with or saw in the crew lounge. All my sales were in-person sales so I didn't bother with Etsy (which, I guess is why I abandoned my online shop).
Jump ahead to 2017 or so, I was still doing a bunch of illustrations for crew, dancers, and just stuff I thought was witty. So, I went back into Etsy and realized I still had a shop profile even though all my listings had expired and my shop was dark. At this point I started drop shipping my designs on cups and t-shirts and was much more focused on it, but I was still spinning my wheels. After I quit flying, I was investing full time as my income. However, I still wanted my creative endeavors to make money -- but they just weren't. I loved being creative and putting my ideas in my shop but I was getting almost no attention from Etsy traffic. So about a year later I quit out of frustration citing the difference in income between my Etsy store (basically nothing) and my investing practice (pretty strong) as the reason. It wasn't one of my more mature moments.
Here's the thing though... my investing practice, while a good income, requires a LOT of patience and waiting and NOT taking action even though you are itching to do something. Hastiness leads to loss of money -- patience to the point of near laziness is often what is needed to make money (I mean, mostly that is the awesome thing about it.) Once I finish my research or reading about the market, if I am in a waiting phase I have the rest of the day to do whatever -- so I make stuff. I draw, I put Stoicism quotes on T-shirts, I read about positivity and determination -- I put those ideas on mugs and t-shirts. I write -- which leads to designing stuff for mugs or t-shirts.
I finally realized that I really missed my Etsy store.
So, in late August I reopened with the determination to make it a financial as well as a creative success.
Like I say, I am still learning how to do this, but I have found a bunch of true experts on Etsy business that have helped me turn it around. I have been back on Etsy for about two months and about a quarter of my all-time sales have been in the last two months -- basically since I started listening to the following people. They all have free resources and some have paid courses as well.
*BTW I am not getting any affiliate pay for these. I just found them helpful and hope you do too.
1) Fuzzy and Birch
This one is a lot of good general information on the look of your shop, effective SEO, understanding your ideal customer - but she (Jenni, the woman behind F&B) is also really helpful when it comes to using Pinterest, your blog, and social media to drive traffic to your shop. F&B has videos, podcasts, and blogs -- all very helpful. She's really funny too, which makes it all fun (yahoo!). She has paid courses too. I haven't tried that yet, but I probably will in the future.
2) The Merriweather Council
This one has really gotten me a long way in a short time. Danielle's (the mind behind TMC) expertise utilizes Etsy only to drive traffic to your shop. This is great for everyone really, but especially good if you don't like social media and don't want to blog or vlog or podcast. She teaches you how to use Etsy's existing tools and traffic to get the right shoppers in your shop. I am currently doing her paid course and it is really helpful. My traffic has jumped quite a bit since I've started tweaking my shop as she teaches. Check out all of her free content too, because she always has actionable tips that really make a difference in your traffic and sales.
3) Crickets to Cha-Ching
I have just discovered this one. The Etsy shop expert behind it is Lauren Keplinger, and she, like Danielle of the Merriweather Council, teaches you how to use Etsy's own traffic generating resources to get found on Etsy. She is an SEO expert (yahoo!) so you can just learn from her and not have to figure out all the SEO magic on your own. She has a FB community where you can go ask questions about specific aspects of your shop.
*SEO is Search Engine Optimization (basically describing your item the way your shopper searches for the item.)
4) Etsy Conversations podcast
This is how I discovered Lauren Keplinger. Ijeoma, the lovely host, interviews successful shop owners who talk about what they do to make their shops successful. It is a wealth of ideas if you are finding yourself stuck or feel like your shop never gets seen by your ideal customers. Just find out what successful shop owners do and do that too.
I now see Etsy as having the potential to get me in touch with my ideal audience, to be a real outlet for my ideas, and to be an extra income stream.
Check out my shop, DesigningDandelion here:
Tell me what you think and buy stuff (if you want).
*Daniella Bozzone is a habit and mindset writer and a private investor. She is also the sole owner of DesigningDandelion on Etsy.com.
I would like to say thank you to those of you who have sent me personal messages about my blog. I am always interested to know what you want to hear more of.
If you would like to read more about Etsy stuff, please let me know. I love to research and learn, so I would be happy to keep digging and pass along info. I will keep the money mindset and financial literacy info coming, of course, but I'd love to add online income, and Etsy to the mix too if y'all want to see it.
Other things to check out:
If you are interested in investing resources, check out this blog post where I talk about where I learned to invest: https://www.daniellabozzoneauthor.com/post/the-investing-course-everybody-has-been-asking-me-about
...or this one about general financial literacy resources: