Despite telling people I blog about my Etsy experience few are reading about why I am now here. My store says I’ve had a store for 6 years and 94 sales is pitiful I agree, but as I keep saying, I haven’t been using it as a sales platform seriously and I am probably guilty of a few things on lists like this because of it.
That said, I follow amazing brands who sell in a similar way to me and don’t rely on Etsy that much. They have much lower sales than me and have been there as long as me. Those of us you are brands rather than crafters almost always use other platforms too and may pick up more sales from a website shop, social media or direct sales through bricks and mortar. I don’t think it can ever be all about Etsy if you really are trying to earn enough to live on. Apart from anything else, Etsy’s habit of changing the way the site works means it’s never in your control to manage how you are found.
I could be quietly smug that it’s only been two months since I started to take Etsy seriously. The improvements in my shop are obvious and I am aiming for conversion. The bottom line is hard cash and nurturing views and visits to get to that does take time. I spend many hours reading up on changes to the site, what I should utilise to be seen etc and keeping up with the forums which often show changes in sales trends if Etsy has been tinkering again.
Here’s how my viewer stats look since 1st October when I started to use the site properly (views are in red, sales in blue):
Conversion, of course, is the goal and why all this is so important now. I need more blue bars. I won’t get those without more upward red lines and that requires continues linking and promoting on my part. Etsy does not do that work for you. They are simply the platform from which you strut your stuff.
About this time, I also wanted a creative kick up the backside to get me back into the mindframe of working from home and I also felt that it was worth broadening my inventory to increase my discovery (some think this is a myth). I kept a number of boxes of sundries when I had my brutal September clear out. Throwing them out felt reckless. Waste is unnecessary. That’s not how I work.
I pushed myself into temporary creative areas to use up what I had, but I have also been criticised for taking this approach. I know that they are probably right to a certain extent. Customers like to pigeonhole their brands and if you offer them too much range, they get confused. But like everything on Etsy, it’s just another experiment. Making these smaller items – the bags and keychains – requires minimal outlay from me, a good use of unwanted stock, and potential sales as we approach Christmas. It also keeps me creatively active and that has been to my benefit.
I have enjoyed these relatively simple creations, in part because I don’t have the table space I used to have for pattern cutting. I have made a few garments since I started working from home but these small items require less room setting up, are far easier to photograph effectively, and are just as productive for me. Every penny counts and, for now I hope, they will serve their purpose.