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 prettylittlelines.com 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.