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How I Made Money My First Month On Etsy

how i made money on etsy

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!