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how i made money on etsy

How I Made Money My First Month On Etsy

By etsy, sell clipart

How I Made Money My First Month On Etsy Selling Whimsical Clipart


Are you thinking about starting an Etsy shop? Maybe you just started an Etsy shop and are waiting for you first sale?

Well if that is you then you have come to the right place.  My name is Matt and I have just finished my first month on Etsy selling my wife, Kris’s, whimsical clipart.  Whenever I hear that word whimsical it makes me want to say…

Come! Let us dance like children of the night!

I am pretty sure that was Mike Meyers who said that in one of his old movies of which the name escapes me right now.

Anyhow, really quick, I started my Etsy shop a month ago and have been blogging about it along the way.  If you haven’t already you can check out my other posts on how to make an Etsy listing and how I got my first sale on Etsy.

I really didn’t anticipate making any money on Etsy for months but was pleasantly surprised to make more than I expected.

I know I expected nothing so that really isn’t hard to beat but the shop did really well for the first month with minimal traffic.

Let me tell you what I did the first month and what that got me in sales.

I Figured Out My Niche

Thankfully this was easy for me to do since I already knew I was going to sell my wife’s clipart on our Etsy shop.

We have already done a lot of work on her business in terms of keyword research, figuring out who our customer is and how they think, and of course already having lots of products to sell.

If you have already got your niche nailed down start thinking about who your ideal customer is, what they are looking for and what kinds of words would they use to search for what you are selling.  The more solidly you know your niche the more you know your customer and what kinds of words they use.

This is hugely important because Etsy is really just a big search engine so you want to know the words your customer is going to use when they search for your products on Etsy.

You want to use those words in your product titles and descriptions which we’ll talk about in more depth in a minute.

I Set Up My Shop, Obviously

Yes, it does sound like an obvious step but there are many of you out there that have gotten stuck on this step whether it be from procrastination, anxiety or perfectionitis.  If you are a procrastinator that’s easy to remedy.

Just schedule a time, get off your duff and get it done.

If you are anxious about starting your Etsy shop than maybe you just need to get out of your own way or maybe it’s something else you need to overcome your anxiety around it. If you suffer from perfectionitis just let it go.  Your shop will never be perfect.  It’s good enough and you can always tweak it later.  The important part is to just get the shop up.

You can fix it later.

That being said, take some time to make a nice logo and shop banner or get someone else to make them for you.  Get all your shop policies in order and figure out your return policy if you have one.

Thankfully, my wife is an artist and this is our third year in business so we already have a logo and a bunch of art for branding that we have already done.

You also should have at least one product ready to sell.

I Created My First Listing And Did Keyword Research

If you want to sell something on your Etsy shop you have to list something to sell.  In order for people to find your listing you have to use the right keywords in your listing.  So if you are selling watercolor floral clipart and your potential customer searches for floral clipart your listing could have a chance of being shown by Etsy to your potential customer in the search results.

I go into more depth about this in how to make an Etsy listing if you want to know more.

Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in searching for keywords that were relevant to my listing that had searches every month.  In short, you want to use relevant keywords in your title and description and relevant tags.

By relevant I mean words that tell what your product is not what you product could be used for.

Make Sure Your Images Are On Point

The images you use in your product listing should look professional.  Thankfully, I sell digital artwork so I can make the images myself on Photoshop.  If you are selling a physical product it may take more time to figure out your lighting and setup to get really good quality pictures.

You may even want to consider having professional pictures taken of your product but regardless of what you do just get the best pictures you can get right now.  You can always get better pictures later.

I Posted Multiple Listings

I am not sure if Etsy’s algorithm gives preference to stores that are posting new listings on a regular basis or not but I would assume it would.  I posted 19 listings on my shop in the first month.

That is around 4 to 5 listings per week.

I think the more listings, the more keywords you have a chance of showing up for and the more chances potential customers have of finding you versus if you have only one or two listings.

Think of it as spreading your net wider and wider to potentially catch more fish.

The thing is you can do all the keyword research, write killer titles and descriptions, have awesome photos and great tags but you just don’t know which listings are going to rank well and which ones won’t.  Posting new listings consistently gives a greater chance of you having a listing that does well.

If you have one or two listings that get a lot of traffic that will also make it easier for those people to find the rest of your listings in your shop.

It’s all about getting your products in front of people that are looking for what you are selling.

What If You Only Have One Or Two Listings?

I get that there might be a lot of you that don’t have an entire catalogue of products like I do that are just waiting to be made into listings for your Etsy shop.  If that is you don’t lose hope!

With Etsy you can duplicate listings as long as you change something in the duplicated listing.

That means that you could duplicate a listing and try different keywords, tags, descriptions or pictures in order to have more chances of potential customers finding your listing.

Let’s say you had one listing for a type of dog collar.  You could make a listing for it then duplicate it and just change the keywords and tags.

This not only gives you more chance of customers finding you but also allows you to see which keywords do better.

As a result you have a real time data that tells you more about your customer, what keywords they are using and what resonates with them.

I Let People Know About My Shop

Because Kris and I have been building an audience for the last two years, and believe me we still have a long way to go, I was able to post on some of our social media accounts to get the word out about our Etsy shop.

Etsy has a nice tool built into it to allow you to post directly to all your social media accounts.

I mainly focused on posting to Pinterest and our Facebook page.  The follower totals on each of these isn’t that big but I did get some traffic from each to the shop.

The point is you just want to let people know you exist and every bit helps.

So How Did I Do In My First Month

Like I said in a previous post, I wasn’t expecting any sales for the first 6 months.  On every marketplace my wife and I have sold on, including our own website, it has taken months to get the first sale so this Etsy experiment was kind of surprising to say the least.

In the first month the Etsy shop generated 10 sales which translated to almost $250 in profit.

Now that may not seem a lot but considering I was expecting nothing I was overjoyed!

Does that mean I can count on my Etsy shop to generate $250/month from now on?  Absolutely not!  It’s a great start but there is still lots of work to be done in terms of posting listings and driving traffic to the shop.

In fact, it wouldn’t shock me to have no sales the second month just as much as it wouldn’t shock me to have 20 sales.

It is still just so early in the game.  Obviously, what I did so far got good results so I will keep on doing what I have been doing and hope for the best.

I know this is a long game and there might be ups and downs along the way but it sure is fun so far!

first sale on etsy

Got My First Sale On Etsy!

By etsy, how to sell digital art

Got My First Sale On Etsy!

How To Sell Art On Etsy | From Zero to ??? – Part 3

I Got My First Sale On Etsy!!

Holy $#%t it works!

Sorry.  Pardon me…for the language.  This is a family friendly post.

But OH MY GOODNESS I got my first sale on Etsy!

I know it’s only been about 2 weeks since I opened up shop on Etsy and I did say that I didn’t expect to get a sale for like 6 months but it sure is nice to see a result!  Even though I knew that I was not expecting to get any sales there is always that little voice in your head, you have to strangle at times, that is telling you that this whole Etsy thing is a stupid idea.

Don’t listen to that voice!!

I know what you are thinking…IT’S JUST ONE SALE!  And yes I know there is still lots of work to be done, and no I can’t retire yet, but if I can impart anything to you about whatever journey you are taking to your larger goal it would be this – Celebrate the small wins along the way.

Let’s face it there is going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears in doing this.  You gotta enjoy the process and celebrating the small wins makes doing that so much easier.

What I Have Learned About Etsy So Far

It is hard for even me to believe how much I have learned about Etsy in the two weeks since I have started.  Let me highlight some of the gems.

There is No One Tool That is Going To Skyrocket Your Etsy Sales

At least not that I have found yet! I know it’s only been two weeks!

Now don’t get me wrong, I think tools are great and they can be very helpful but just because you found a new tool to help your Etsy sales that doesn’t mean you can sit back and the sales will roll in.

I’ll talk about here because that is the tool I have been using here at the start of my journey.  I have been in that thing everyday, using it and trying to figure out how it works.  I mean don’t get me wrong on the surface it’s not that complicated to use but I think by using a tool over and over again you learn new things about how to use it and you start to gain a better understanding of what it’s strong points and limitations are.

I think this is a good thing because it allows you to be more efficient.  For instance, I was told to look for keywords with low competition that had some search volume.  Now at the beginning all I seemed to find was keywords that erank said had no searches but super high competition or high competition and high search volume.

At first this made me question how accurate erank was.

Now I’m going to say that probably no 3rd party tool that gives you search term traffic is a 100 percent right but at least it gives you an idea.  This brings me to my next point…

Trial and Error Is Your Friend

You can watch all the videos and take all the courses on how to do something you want but there is no better teacher than experience.  It is smart to gain as much knowledge as you can before opening your Etsy store and putting up your first listing.

If you are waiting to know everything before posting your first listing is will never get posted because there is always something else to learn.  And there are so many things you can only learn about Etsy and how it works unless you start posting listings.  I have already, rightly or wrongly, changed titles and rewritten descriptions multiple times in the first two weeks.

Of course more seasoned Etsy shop owners may tell me that is the wrong thing to do but I won’t know unless I play around on Etsy and figure out what seems to work.  Here is another trick I learned…

Make multiple listings to test keywords

I had no idea you could do this but I learned about it from watching a video.  You can duplicate a listing and just change the keywords and tags to see if you can rank for a different keyword or if which keyword is more likely to convert to sales.

I also learned that you can duplicate a listing and then put the duplicated one with a new thumbnail image.  This allows you to A/B split test if people are more drawn to one image over the other.  Isn’t that cool!

More is More

The last thing I will ramble about today is the other thing I am learning, which is that I think the more listings on your store that better.  What I mean by that is the more listings you have the more ways potential customers on Etsy can find you.

As a store owner I have no idea which listing Etsy is going to rank or which listing is going to be a big seller.  If I have lots of listings I have more chance of one of my listings becoming popular.  Once a lot of people find one of my products they will be exposed to all of my other products and they might buy them.

Again, you and me both know this is a grind but that is part of the fun, which reminds me…I gotta go put up more Etsy listings in my store!


So I have 157 view, 72 visits, 1 sale and 11 listings in my first two weeks.  No idea if this is good or bad, I’m just learning as I go.  If you have any tips or tricks to share with me drop me a line in the contact section.

Of course you can get all Kris’s artwork here.  If you want to check out the Etsy store you can see it here.

how to make an etsy listing

How to make an Etsy Listing

By etsy, how to sell digital art, sell clipart

How to make an Etsy Listing the right way– Without Losing Your Mind!

How To Sell Art On Etsy | From Zero to ??? – Part 2


On the surface making an Etsy Listing is actually not that hard.  In fact, some might say slapping up an Etsy listing is downright easy.

So why am I feeling overwhelmed you ask?

The reason you are feeling overwhelmed is because there are so many things that “the experts” say you need to get right on your Etsy listing.  The great thing about your Etsy listings is that if you don’t get it right the first time you can go back as many times as you like to edit your listing.

And that brings us to my first point on how to make an Etsy Listing the right way without losing your mind.

Don’t Stress if you don’t get everything correct right away

I have got 4 listings up so far.  If you haven’t read my last post on starting my Etsy store you can check it out here.

Anywho, originally I thought my Etsy listings were just fine but then I started watching some videos on how to “properly” make an Etsy listing.  As the old saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” – and when you do you realize how much you don’t know.

That’s how it was for me.  As I started to learn about all the things I should be doing in my Etsy listings I realized how much I didn’t know.  Like I said, the good news is you can go back and edit your Etsy listings as much as you want so no reason to stress if you don’t get it all right the first time.

So, allow me to save you some time and pass on what I have learned about the right way to make an Etsy listing.  Besides, it’s always more fun to learn together!

Create Quality Photos or Images for Your Previews

Your main image is what is going to catch the eye of the people searching for what you are selling.  When it comes to images, the no brainer stuff is that you want to use the proper dimensions and the right dpi settings.  Since I am making images and not photos I set my dimensions at 2000 X 2000 and 300dpi so I have a high quality image.

Come Up with a Title That is Compelling

After all the research I have done all the “experts” say to put the main keyword you want to show up for at the beginning of your title but DO NOT stuff your title with keywords.  Now, this makes perfect sense to me and is what I have done for my listings.  However, when I look at listings of Etsy shops that I admire and are doing well I see that some of them are pretty much keyword stuffing in the titles of their listings.

For now, I am going to follow the experts advice and not just put a bunch of keywords in my title but I may try it with a couple of listings and see if I notice those ones doing better than my other listings or not.

So for a good title start with the keyword you are wanting to show for and then the rest of the title could include how your product could be used or what events it would be good for.  The main thing when writing your title is to think about the what and the why your ideal customer would be searching for and include that in your title.

Start Your Description With the Main Keyword You are Targeting

After you have your title nailed down the next thing you should focus on is writing a good description.  Your description should start with your main keyword and maybe a quick sentence on what events or uses your product would be good for.  I like to stuff a few more keywords in this part of the description right at the top.

Obviously, you want to clearly describe what the customer is going to get when they purchase your product.  Since I am selling clipart collections I like to put what is included in the package,  instructions on what the end user can do with the art and a link to where they can buy a commercial license if they are using the art to make another product that they intend to sell.

If your product is part of a greater collection of related products that you sell then by all means include links to those other products in the description.

Use All The Tags for Additional Keywords You Want Your Listing to Show For

After you have chosen the category that your product would fall under you will scroll down to the tags section.  This is where you can add more keywords that are relevant to your product.  You can add up to 13 tags.  Now the mistake I see some people make is they don’t use all 13 tags that are available to them.

Make sure to use them all!  Think of 13 different keywords or keyword phrases that someone would use to find what you are selling and put them in.  It sounds easy but trust me it can be harder than you think!  I find that sometimes I get stuck on the initial keyword I have thought of and can’t seem to think of any other phrases because my mind just goes blank.

Thankfully, there is something to help you with that!

Use Erank to Help You Figure Out Keywords You Might Actually Have a Chance Showing For.

To help with brain freeze when thinking of keywords you can go to  In fact, Etsy is set up to integrate with your shop.  Just go to your dashboard and click on integrations and scroll down and you will see the icon.  Sign up for a free account and then use the keyword research tool to get further suggestions for your main keyword.

This is great because also shows you how many listings there are for each keyword phrase.  You will probably want to steer away from the ones that have over 2000 listings.  Aiming for terms that have less listings means that your product has more of a chance to show up on the first page of results when someone searches that term.

And we all know that the majority of us only look at what is on the first page anyways so that is where you want to be.

Ultimately, what you want when you are picking search terms is something with a low amount of listings and a high amount of searches.  Now that is easier said than done.  If you want to go after higher competition terms you may have do some paid advertising to get your product to show on the first page of results.

Paid advertising will be a topic for another day!

Publish Your Listing

After everything looks good go ahead and hit the publish button to make your listing go live!  Additionally, tweet, pin, shout, Instagram and whatever other social media you have your listing so people know about it!

Now don’t expect to make one listing and watch the sales roll in.  Now that you have your first listing under your belt go make a whole bunch more because the more listings you have the more chances people have to find your shop!

P.S.  So it’s been 4 days since I last posted.  I now have 4 listings live and have 34 visits and and 48 total views in the last 30 days.

Things are look up!!

Hey, if you got a tip or trick I may have missed drop me a line by clicking on the contact form and let me know.  I’m just learning too!

how to sell art on etsy

Sell Art On Etsy

By etsy, how to sell digital art, sell clipart

How To Sell Art On Etsy | From Zero to ??? – Part 1

Starting An Etsy Store From Scratch

Hey everyone, Matt here.

Ah yes, New Year’s resolutions!  Those things we make that we already break first week in! 

So, I figured for 2020 I would start selling Pretty Little Lines Clipart on Etsy.  Now this is not a New Year’s resolution.  It is actually a year 3 part, of a 5 year plan.  Not that it really matters to you but the main point is, it is not a New Year’s resolution – so I won’t be breaking it in the first week!  Ha ha!

Anywho – the plan is for Pretty Little Lines to grow this year and, in addition to other things, Kris and I thought Etsy might be one way to help with that.

Now I know pretty much nothing about Etsy.  I mean I get that you sell stuff on it but other than that I really don’t know anything about the nuts and bolts of how it all works.  I do know there are lots of people on Etsy and it has a ton of traffic.  I am willing to bet there is a good amount of that traffic that is looking for the type of illustrations and clipart that Pretty Little Lines sells.  This begs the question of why not open a shop on Etsy?

That pretty much brings us to where we are now which is opening a shop on Etsy selling digital clipart products.  What I thought I would do is sort of do a series of blog posts on my Etsy journey.  You know, sort of a birds eye view of how I set it up and what I am doing to generate sales and how it’s going.  That way you can learn from my mistakes and successes and, who knows, maybe give me a few pointers here and there!

Initial Thoughts About Etsy Shop Setup


Now I’ll be upfront that I had Kris setup the Etsy Shop.  I mean obviously, she wants it to have a certain look, and I can’t do all that stuff so she set it up and then turned it over to me.  I will be listing all the products, doing the write ups, making the previews and generally trying to figure out the Etsy puzzle of how to get your listings in front of the people that are looking for what you are offering.

Now I think my feelings of being overwhelmed have to do with already having a bunch of products to put up on Etsy and not being able to get them up fast enough.  I could see if I just had one product it wouldn’t be so bad.  At first I thought it would just be a simple case of listing what is already on our primary website and slapping it up on Etsy.

That is not the case!  Etsy has totally different parameters so basically one product on has to be broken into at least 4 smaller products with new preview images for each product.  That is actually a lot of work! 

Don’t get me wrong – I am guessing that is a good problem to have but it is somewhat tedious and not my favorite thing to do.  I know, I know…cry me a river right?

In addition to that, what I find overwhelming is all the keywords, tags, writeups and such that need to be done.  From what I gather from my research is that with anything on the internet there is an SEO component to it and Etsy is no different.  It’s just another search engine and if you want to be seen you have to think like your customer, in terms of what they would search for to find your listing, and optimize your listings for those search terms.

I have to be honest…I already looked into hiring an Etsy virtual assistant expert to help me with all this but decided not to yet as I want to learn all of this myself first.  Anyhow, if I do end up hiring someone to help me I will let you know in a future post and document what I did.

For now, I have decided that the only way to eat the elephant is one bite at a time.  So what I will do is just focus on getting up one listing at a time and seeing where that takes me.  I already have a couple of listings up and no sales yet – Wait! What?

With most of the things, actually pretty much all of the things, I have had success with on the internet I have discovered there is no secret sauce to quick success.  The things that have been successful have been so because of a willingness to grind it out and stick with it producing content or implementing your system everyday.

I expect Etsy to be no different.

It wouldn’t surprise me to not have a sale in the first six months even if I can post 100 products in the first six months.  Now some of you with more Etsy experience than me might say that’s crazy but remember I have no Etsy experience and I am just basing things off of my other experiences of starting to sell something on a marketplace from scratch.  I think it is hard to know whether you are going to have success on a marketplace or not.  I think the key is to keep going or at least fail as fast as you can.

I like that idea of failing your way to success!

Currently, I am wondering about listing titles and keywords.  Some very successful Etsy shops I see seem to stuff their listings with keyword phrases and some do not.  Since I will have a lot of products to put up as listings I will probably try both ways and see which listings I see better results from in terms of impressions and where they show up in the Etsy search rankings for particular keywords.

If you have any Etsy tips and tricks for me drop me a line using the contact form.  That would be so much appreciated.

I’ll leave it at that for now but check back in as I will be posting about what I have done and how it is going.

For reference sake so far I have 2 products up – not including the commercial license – and in the 30 days I have 15 visits, listings viewed 11 times and 0 orders.  I have done zero promotion other than put up 2 products on our Etsy store so I can’t say I really expected anything to be honest.

The good news is there is only one way to go and that is up!

P.S. – If you want, check out our Etsy shop.