Learn how to sell on Etsy successfully. Are you struggling to make sales on Etsy? You could be making some serious mistakes and I’d like to help you fix them so you can reach your dream goals! Join my free makeover challenge to get your Etsy shop in top shape!

How to Sell on Etsy Successfully

10 Mistakes You Might Be Making Now + How to Fix Them

Are you struggling to make sales on Etsy? You could be making some serious mistakes and I’d like to help you fix them so you can reach your dream goals!

Does this sound familiar? You have this awesome handmade item or something cool to offer the world. So you opened up an Etsy shop. Yeah, you probably thought people would be flocking to your shop. But it’s not happening. Here’s why:

1 | Lazy Listings

Your grammar sucks. You think you can just bullet point a few things in the description and hit publish. Nope. Not good. If you don’t take the time to write in clear and easy to read sentences then how do you expect your buyers to understand what they are getting?

Your grammar should be professional, but you should be personable. Let your visitors know the real you, insert some humor, etc. but you have to retain some bit of professionalism when it comes to your listings.

Get serious. Be clear with your descriptions and make sure you indicate everything like size, terms, etc. But don’t overwhelm. Include:

  • File type (if digital)
  • Size (dimensions)
  • Colors
  • Materials

Everything you write should cover potential questions by your potential customer. Run it through a spell checker or have a friend or family member proofread for you.

Solution: Clean up your listings by making sure your grammar is correct and they make sense while being personable at the same time. If you have a lot of listings then work on a few a day until you’re all caught up. If you copy and paste descriptions to new listings make sure you are updating for each listing (if color differs etc.) Struggling with grammar? Invest in Grammarly and let it help you!

2 | You Aren’t Optimizing Your Listings for SEO

SEO? What’s that? Well, it’s this little thing that helps you get found. If you want to learn more, consider my free Etsy Makeover Challenge.

Struggling to get sales on Etsy? Improve your Etsy shop with my FREE Etsy Makeover Challenge. Get started today and skyrocket your traffic & sales. via @hollymccaig

If you’re not increasing your conversion rate (Sales/Views) then it’s probably because your SEO is off. Maybe you’re using keywords that you think will help you get views but it doesn’t represent what your product is.

That’s hurting you.

If you’re not increasing your conversion rate on ETsy then it’s probably because your SEO is offClick To Tweet

You sell quote art prints? Don’t use keywords like: vintage art, watercolor prints, or kid art if those don’t match your adult-language quote art prints. You know what I mean? If I was looking for watercolor art and I came up on your shop of swear words I would be turned off and you have wasted my time.

You want at least a 3% conversion rate and if it’s lower than that then you’re using the wrong terms to get people to your shop.

Solution: Consider using a free site like EtsyRank.com to help you or Google’s Keyword Planner to learn how you can find the right keywords or long-tail keywords for your product. And, for damn sake – USE ALL OF YOUR Etsy Keyword spaces!

3 | Your Photos Suck

Coming from a professional photographer, I am known to skip right over a product if I think the photograph of your item is deceiving or looks bad. I am a sucker for good packaging and pretty photos and I bet I’m not the only one. If you can’t photograph your item in good light and NOT use those stupid filters or actions in Photoshop then pay someone to do it for you!

Etsy is SUPER visual. I know more people that buy my products and NEVER read the descriptions. So if your photo isn’t good chances are you aren’t going to sell it.

Solution: Invest in a cheap set of lights* and get a white backdrop or some white paper. Bright photos do very well on Etsy. You can still use your iPhone’s camera – they are pretty snazzy these days. You just have to have good light. Here are some posts that might help you, too.

Should I Save My Blog Images as JPG or PNG?

How to Save Blog Photos with Photoshop Actions

4 Places to Find Props for Stock Photos

4 | You Don’t Have Enough Products

I found this out the hard way. Your store needs to be legit.

The more products means the more chances of your product being seen and purchased. Plus, it looks like you care about your shop. This gives potential customers more faith that they will actually get what they are buying. I hate a lazy Etsy seller!

The more products on Etsy means the more chances of your product being seen and purchased.Click To Tweet

In the beginning this can be a struggle, but commit to getting that shop filled! Have at least 50 products in there. I finally reached over 200 and I get sales daily. Imagine if I had 500 listings? The more I add, the more I make.

Solution: Increase your views by adding more to your shop! Depending on what you sell, set up a production schedule. Don’t kill yourself, but figure how many items you can add in a week and how long it would take to reach at least 50 total. Put your new production schedule on a calendar and set reminders! Just do it!

5 | You Aren’t Adding New Products Regularly

Pay attention to the trends and seasons. You want to be seen on the first few pages of an Etsy search by the customer. After 3 or 4 the customer moves on to a new search term. The only way to do this is to add new products consistently or renew listings.

And, if you’re smart and using an email list program you can let customers know when you have new items in your shop. Cha-ching! I get new sales every time I do this.

Not sure how to go about strategically adding products or what any of what I’ve talked about means? Hit me up for a coaching session! I’d LOVE to personally dive in and help YOU succeed!

Solution: Similar to #4 above, get those new products added and set up a release calendar for when to launch. My goal is 3 new SVG designs in my Etsy shop per week. If I can do more, HOORAY! Don’t have time to add new products this week? Renew 2 listings that do okay for you so people can see them on those first couple of pages. It’s just $.20 each!

6 | No One Knows About You!

If all you are doing is posting to Etsy and then sitting back, waiting for things to happen you will fail. Guaranteed!

You should strategically use tools like:

  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook Groups
  • Email

Invest in some coaching or a course to learn how one or more of these tools can help you get the word out. Pinterest is one of the best ways to get traffic and eyes on your product. But, be sure to use the same first paragraph description when you pin it as what’s in your listing. Let that Google SEO thing work for you.

Solution: Pick a social media tool + Pinterest to focus on. Start finding people like you and see what they are doing on the platforms. Pinterest is a search engine and the handmade lovers LOVE it. I use Pinterest and Instagram to share my new releases. I personally use Tailwind* (that’s my affiliate link, get $15 credit!) to schedule my pins and keep them fresh. I just can’t handle much more and put things like Facebook on an auto schedule using Buffer (use the free option until you can afford to pay).

7 | You’re Confusing Your Customer

If you are selling more than one niche item they better work together somehow. If not, it’s confusing. If you want to make jewelry but also want to sell wooden signs, open up TWO shops. Stop confusing people. Market them separately.

Solution: Figure out what your niche is. Stop confusing people. Clear out items that don’t make sense anymore or open a second shop. Take the Etsy Makeover Challenge and on day 1 I’ll help you. It’s time you start selling on Etsy successfully!

8 | You Depend SOLELY on Etsy

If you believe you own your shop on Etsy you’re wrong. It’s a 3rd party platform. Etsy can shut you down at any time if you break the rules. And, you may not know you’re doing it (I’m talking to you people that are selling licensed character products).

Get yourself an Email list. You can do it free with MailerLite* (my preferred choice) and then create a landing page using WordPress and your own domain. It’s not that hard. Embed your sign-up form and offer your audience something free for signing up.

I think I will work on a post about that tomorrow!

Solution: Buy your domain (I prefer SiteGround.com* to purchase and host my website), then, install WordPress for free through SiteGrounds script page (soooo stupid easy). Next, sign up for MailerLite and create a list with an embed form. Put it on your new site’s homepage and then tell everyone in your listing to sign up for it. Now you can email anyone any time, even if your shop goes down.

9 | You Have TOO Many Terms That Scare People

Keep your listings simple, but clear.

The faster your shipping time the better. But don’t kill yourself trying to get something out overnight that should take you three days to make.

If you have a return policy be sure to list it. But be good here. I know you can’t resell a custom item that was returned, however, offer to help the customer if something goes wrong. When someone comes to me with an issue I want them to help me solve it so they get their product and no one else goes through it.

Solution: Create a Terms page on your new website (see #8) and then just link to it in your listings. This way they can copy and paste the link to preview it if they want, and it won’t be distracting from the listing description. Plus, you only have to update the one page now!

10 | You Aren’t Checking Your Stats Regularly

Statistics are there for a reason. It’s how people sell on Etsy successfully. Use them. Etsy Stats will show you what’s being viewed, what’s being searched in your shop, and what your conversion rate is.

Look at where your traffic is coming from and start using that more! Stop wasting time on the stuff that isn’t helping you. Market those items that are selling well.

Solution: Review your stats every 30 days at least. See what is working for you and what isn’t. I can tell when the holiday rush is starting based on what people are searching for in my shop at what time. Also, as I write this, I’m seeing Instagram is a waste of my time for my Etsy shop. 0 visits? Geesh. I am showing the last 30 days as almost half from Facebook (just a little less) and half from Pinterest). I hate Facebook, but maybe I need to make it work!

BONUS | You’re Too New

Ain’t nothing wrong with that! Give it time!

It took me months to pick up steam. But with consistent listing of new items every week, building my email list with Friday Freebies and trying new ways to market my products using Pinterest and the right keywords, I got there. And, I continue to grow. You can too!

Don’t give up right away. Give yourself 6 months to see serious results. But do the work.

What are you working on from this list that can help you fix your mistakes? If you need help, consider my Etsy Makeover Challenge, or hire me to help coach you. I want you to do just as good and have success.

Holly McCaig

About Holly McCaig

Hey you! I'm Holly McCaig and I'm super excited to help you love and ROCK your Etsy shop. I will help you have an amazing online presence so you can build a strong business and attract more customers to your shop. Let's do this together! Let's connect on Pinterest or Instagram, k?

About Holly McCaig

Hey you! I'm Holly McCaig and I'm super excited to help you love and ROCK your Etsy shop. I will help you have an amazing online presence so you can build a strong business and attract more customers to your shop. Let's do this together! Let's connect on Pinterest or Instagram, k?

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