If you are:
- Someone who has ever wanted to run a side hustle
- A creator with too much physical merchandise
- An artist with an overflowing archive
- A crocheter or any other talented crafter with more creations than you can give away
My point is, if you make anything, one of my favourite ways for you to make an easy income is Etsy. I want to be transparent that this is not a sponsored post, I’m just a long-time user of their platform.
I use Etsy as my online business platform for the following reasons;
- I found it the easiest to navigate; vs. Shopify, Ebay, Depop, or even Squarespace.
- It guides you through filling out every attribute for a more thorough listing description, making it easier for people to find you in related purchases and Etsy searches.
- Everything is there if you need it, you just have to look for it. The Etsy Seller Handbook is a good place to start.
- I didn’t have reliable access to a computer until 2018. For 2 years I used my iPad to run my business, and website designers do not take kindly to them.
- I find the fees reasonable for the service and customizability, as well as the legal protections your business receives as a seller. My shop was paying for itself within my first financial quarter.
I have been using Etsy as the marketplace to sell my handcrafted goods and artwork since October 2016. In the beginning, I didn’t have many resources at my disposal. At the time I was running the shop and making all of my work from my iPad and a $70 printer…
My problems at the time were access to poor-quality cameras, rudimentary editing software, and having slower order turn-around times as a result. It would sometimes take me up to 5 business days to ship something out because using these poor quality tools took so long!
After switching to operating from my phone I was able to cut that time down to 1-2 business days, which is a huge advantage in regard to Etsy’s internal SEO.
The increase in quality lead to more sales, which I was able to use to buy a laser-printer for all my business printing needs!
Creating a listing using the Sell on Etsy mobile app is a breeze.
Esty’s app guides you through the first couple of tedious steps and then easily lays out all the other information your listing needs. You should be filling in as much as possible while also using all 13 hashtags.
You must use the right hashtags. They should be more than one-word searches and not sweeping, broad categories. They should be as relevant and descriptive as possible.
Try also using synonyms; buttons are to pins as paintings are to artwork. I use tags such as; punk patches, trans pride pins, pronoun enamel pins, etc. These are extremely specific to my niche market and relevant to my products.
I do all of my photography and editing on my phone.
I use my iPhone 8 Plus to take all my photos. I only mention this because of the high quality camera with stabilization, so I don’t ever have to worry about my shaky artist hands. I’m sure many phones have this now, but I love the portrait function for taking photos of my apparel outdoors.
After editing, they’re ready for uploading. I write up my item descriptions in either the Apple Pages or Notes app. Pages is great because it can give you a word count; you should be writing at least 250-500 words, this will additionally aid Etsy’s internal SEO.
Sales are clear and easy to manage.
After the listing is all set up, it’s time to address sales. When you make a sale, it will create an order for you in it’s own tab. Using the app I check the order contents and shipping info. This way I can pack my orders, still without touching another device.
I write my shipping labels by hand. I have pre-printed business cards, return labels, and flyers to stuff in my orders. That way I don’t need to print things more often than once or twice a month. Since I designed these assets in Adobe Draw on my iPad, I can access all of my printing assets through Creative Cloud and print them from my phone! Thought there was a loophole, huh?
I have found the one thing the app is missing is you cannot mark multiple orders as shipped at the same time. You have to mark each listing as completed separately, but if you’re not shipping more than 5 orders per day it’s not a big deal.
I fill out my international customs forms from my phone, send the barcodes to my email, and save them as pictures to a new note on my phone.
All I have to do is present the barcodes at the post office counter and pay with tap using, you guessed it, my iPhone! I guess you could use your wallet for this step, but it’s not as futuristic and cool.
And that’s how I increased my Etsy sales by reducing my administrative work and freeing me from my desk. I know adapting this workflow will benefit your small business practice and make you feel like the badass boss you are!
I would love it if you let me know what your trends look like after fully filling out your listings, or if you have tips to share about your Etsy shop practices. Stay tuned for the next Artist Journal by following on Facebook or Instagram!
Until next time,
–Joey @ The A/J
Joey Dean is an illustrator and artist lifestyle blogger. Since starting his online art-based business in 2016, Joey has been writing educational articles to help other artists learn essential solo-preneur skills like time management and productivity and is best known for his ability to translate left-brained concepts for right-brained people. Share his passion for art business and creative lifestyle on his blog, The Artist Journal, and catch him at @_joeywrites on Twitter.
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