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[#31cbbcJuly2013] 10 Things You Should Know BEFORE You Open an Etsy Shop

Welcome List-a-palooza Guests. Thank you for stopping by. Michelle Gallagher of My Craft Assistant wrote this post last year. Lots of great tips for those interested in selling on Etsy. 

Michelle Gallagher of My Craft Assistant shares her advice for new Etsy shop owners. She helps handmade businesses open an Etsy Shop.

Open an Etsy shop

Let’s Set Up Shop – Before You Start

Michelle shares some common sense advice that often times we forget when rushing into selling our handmade creations on Etsy. Learn about SEO for your listings, taking top quality photographs, Etsy Relevancy, building your brand, choosing a proper shop name, pricing your goods and more.

Michelle on Selling on Etsy:

Selling on Etsy can be a lot of fun. It’s a great way to share your craft with other people who appreciate handmade items and it can become a way to bring in an extra income. 

In order to run a successful shop there are a few things you need to know:

1. An Etsy shop is a lot of hard work.

There is a lot to learn but you don’t have to do it all at once! If you feel overwhelmed take baby steps. There are a lot of resources available to Etsy sellers to help you get your shop in order.

Enjoying this article? You might like –> Thinking of Closing Your Etsy Shop? Check Out These Numbers


Howie the Penguin crochet

Pattern: Howie the Penguin by Stacey Trock of
via Design a Monster Class on Craftsy

2.  A picture is worth a thousand clicks…

well not literally, but in order to entice people to view your items your photos have to be clear, concise, in-focus and show enough detail for the customer to make an informed decision before buying it. Make sure you have a decent camera (a tripod is helpful) and some place with a clean background to take your photos before you start listing items.

Enjoying this article? You might like –>Taking Photos of Your Crochet Work


3. Search engine optimization will give your shop a boost

in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing – if you can start learning about it early so that you know how to set up your Etsy shop correctly from the start then great, but if not it’s never too late to start.

Here’s a great series on Keywords and Seo –>Keywords 101 Series by Karen Dennison

4. Etsy has their own algorithm for their internal search engine (called Etsy Relevancy).

It is important to learn about Relevancy to get your items displayed higher up in search results done by potential customers.

5. Build your brand

your Etsy shop banner, avatar, business cards, etc. are all a reflection of your shop’s brand. It helps to have a professional, cohesive look. Decide on a theme and some colors and put it on all of your marketing materials.

branding business

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/

6. You have to market your items outside of Etsy too.

Because the Etsy marketplace is so big, sellers can often feel like their items are getting lost among the masses. That’s why it’s important to come up with a marketing strategy outside of Etsy. Many Etsy sellers have luck on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


7. Your shop name is very important and will stick with you as you grow your business.

Try to think of something people can easily remember (and spell correctly) and gives potential customers an idea of what you sell.

It might take you a while to make your first sale since you don’t have a reputation built up or feedback. Be patient and don’t worry if you don’t make a sale in the first day or even in the first few weeks. Sales will come in time!

pricing crochet

Made using

9. Pricing your items correctly is essential to getting sales.

Figure out how much the item costs you to make and how much time you put into it. Check your competitor’s listings as well and factor all of these things into your final price.


10. Be yourself.

People who buy handmade love to hear the story behind the product. Create an ‘About Page’ so they feel connected to you. Remember to tell the story of the item for sale in each product listing.

The most important thing is not to feel overwhelmed by Etsy! Once you get the hang of it, it is easier than it looks. If you need any help getting started or growing your existing Etsy shop I’d be happy to work with you.


Michelle Gallagher


If you need any help getting started or growing your existing Etsy shop I’d be happy to work with you.  I am an independent craft consulting specializing in helping Etsy crafters grow their online shops. Visit my website for more information on the services I offer.


Have question about opening your Etsy shop OR updating the one you have? Ask Michelle. 

About I Love Crochet

Sara Duggan is a Wife and Mom enjoys crocheting and writing. She joined the crochet blogging community in 2007 as Momwithahook. In 2008 she toyed with designing patterns and shares her creations with you. Connect with Sara on Twitter and Pinterest.

  • Great tips! I think the name is really important and I see a lot of same problems with bloggers choosing their URLs. I mean what happens with “MomOfFour” has another baby? WHOOPS! Lol!

    • Exactly. I have momwithahook and am trying to transfer to my name but it’s difficult as I’ve used the name for so long.

    • I couldn’t agree more! I’ve seen a lot of Etsy shop names that are hard to pronounce. If I can’t say it correctly, I probably won’t spell it right and it will be very difficult to find that shop again. It is difficult to get repeat traffic that way!!

      • Michele, exactly. I like how Etsy now allows you to name the shop one thing but also have an owner name. This helps to some extent. Choosing a business is name is as important as choosing a memorable but short URL for your website.

  • Interesting article… I was unsuccessful at selling anything on Etsy, but if I ever decide to try again, I’ll definitely try some of these tips.

    • Doree,

      Selling is a learned skill. There is a lot of little things that go into it especially online. It is possible to profit from selling on Etsy but it’s hard work and great business sense that will make you succeed.

    • Sorry to hear you were unsuccessful the first time! There is a lot to learn about Etsy, but once you get going it gets easier and easier to make sales. Practice makes perfect!

      • Michele, I’ve learned so much about business since then. I’m positive if I chose to start another shop I would be successful. I guess my frame of mind back then was more of a hobbyist than a business owner.

  • I’ve thought about starting an Etsy store from time to time. These tips are really helpful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I think just about every crafter who knows about Etsy has thought about opening a shop at some time. I used to work for Wal-Mart and I would have people giving me their Etsy shop business cards at the checkout. 🙂

    • No problem Stephanie! If you ever decide to take the Etsy plunge and need help getting started I’d be happy to help!


  • Glenda Cates

    Wonderful post as I have wondered how people get started on Esty and I love the businesses that are on it. I love featuring them on my blog as they always have items that can not be found else where. But as a blogger it can be tricky to find Esty workers to work with as I have none people who have gotten kicked off when they have approached Esty Business owners for events and reviews.

    • Etsy is definitely one of those places where you can spend hours admiring the work of the artisans. I’m not as bad now as I was when I first started but I do have a large Favorite section. 🙂

      Glenda, as with all business partnerships it can be a hit and miss relationship. Once you find someone you can trust and work with, keep them.

      Etsy clearly states you can’t contact aka spam the shop owners. I think with reviews they might be a bit weary of because many people take advantage of new shop owners. They get ‘free’ stuff and then never write the review.

      For reviews, I would connect with shop owners on Facebook groups. Just search review blogs handmade and you should find a few that you can join.

  • Hi Sara, How do I ‘back-up’ my blog? I just saw your post from January – now that I am ‘blogging’ I think I need to know how to do this! Just in case 🙂 Thanks so much, Rhondda

    • Rhondda, you’re on blogger right? I have a video on it. I’ll post it and then email you the tutorial.

  • Hi Sara, thanks for the post but do you have any tip for Etsy shop SEO?

    • Yes, I’m trying to get a guest author for that. Have you seen RichMomBusiness’ videos? Here’s one that introduces SEO.

    • Hi Maz,
      SEO for “regular” websites and SEO for Etsy are very different. I would be happy to help you with your Etsy SEO if you’d like. I have more information here: and you can feel free to email me through the site for more information.

      Michele from

  • Hi Sara!
    These are great starter tips! I am considering starting my own shop and currently am in the research stage. I’m questioning my name…what do you think about Irish McSweeney? Is it hard to remember? Spell? It’s natural to me, but I’m a little partial….

    • Jessi, I think that initially people who don’t know you might find it difficult to spell and remember but the more you interact with your community the easier it will be to remember. I like ‘Irish McSweeney’ too.