Cut the Etsy Pity Party – 5 tips to Etsy Handmade

Lately I have seen a lot of facebook questions surrounding “How long does it take to get an Etsy sale? Why haven’t I gotten my first etsy sale yet? Why is Etsy not working for me, I have tons of views but no sales?”. I get it and it’s tough, but these questions don’t have an answer except for: Hardwork. Etsy is a whole new beast, but if you aren’t willing to get into the ring to conquer it – it will eat you alive.

When I see these questions I have to ask “How long have they been on Etsy? What have they done to increase their SEO (search engine optimization)? Have they looked into getting their etsy shop critiqued? Why do they want to use Etsy so bad, why not another option?”. If the answer comes back as “Less than a month” my eyerolls begin even though I try not to.

Let me preface this blog post with a few facts. 1) Owning a business is not easy, you have to do the hard work for it to pay off. 2) Etsy is not easy and if anyone says they know the Etsy algorithm… they’re lying. Etsy takes a whole bunch of work, to work in your favor in the long run. Note: They are their own business too, and they want you to pay your dues (literally – by paying for listings and fees). So.. without further adieu let’s get to the grits. My lovely friend Laura from White Willow Wearables is actually the beauty (and brains) behind these words:

  1. Tags

  2. Titles

  3. Pictures

  4. Push

  5. Patience



These little beasties are like hashtags in the social media world. Easily searchable and their own hub of information. Make sure to use all your tags available to you and SWITCH. THEM. UP. These “keywords” should be things that your customer is already searching for when looking for a product you’re offering. Remember to use the lingo of your customer. They may not know what a double crocheted hat looks like, but they will know what a “crochet hat” or “knit hat with pom pom” should look like.



Titles on Etsy work similar to tags. The best advice I have been given is to group them in easily searchable chunks. Example: Burgundy infinity scarf, knit scarf, burgundy cozy scarf, chunky knit scarf, bulky infinity scarf. etc. Etsy loves seeing searchable sentences.



Etsy is all about online shopping so your photos are going to be grabbing your customers attention first. If your photos suck… so will your sales. Give as many angles as you can of your items and try to use all 10 photo slots available. Stage them in ways that your customer can envision themselves wearing, or seeing in their home. Ever wonder why more houses sell quicker when they are staged beautifully? It’s because the person looking can imagine what their life is going to be like living there. They know the best spot for the TV etc. Think of what your customer would want to know and show them that when taking your photos. Remember, they can’t reach through the screen to touch it, so find a way to showcase that as best as you can for them!


Push to your etsy shop! Use your social media marketing to pump to your shop. Use the sentences “Click the link in bio” or “Head here to find this item” in your advertising/posts.  It sounds sales-y but that’s what you need to do to get your customer over to whichever buying platform. Though Etsy does have their own SEO (search engine optimization) do not rely on that to get you sales. There are over 1.7 million active users on Etsy. Etsy is not going to single you out to help boost you to the top. You have to do the work too. I saw a beautiful answer in the Maker Strong Facebook group that went along the lines of “If you purchased a location for a brick and mortar shop, but it wasn’t doing well, you wouldn’t blame the landlords for your poor sales. You would blame your own marketing and advertising”. Etsy is run the same way. They do have their own SEO, but they aren’t going to hand it to you on a silver platter. You have to do *most* of the work.


This one is KEY. Etsy is a slow grind. If you haven’t made your first sale and it’s been a month – welcome to the club. You’re not alone. Not many people head to Etsy and just start selling gangbusters. It took me over 6 months to get my first Etsy sale with Knitatude. So please – don’t be discouraged… and calm your tits. *Wink*

I am by no means an Etsy expert, but not many are. If you’re looking to get your Etsy critiqued I would suggest going to and if you’re looking for more info for some courses I suggest The Merriweather Council. Danielle is awesome and has the numbers/sales to prove it!



2 thoughts on “Cut the Etsy Pity Party – 5 tips to Etsy Handmade

  1. Yessy says:

    I have been on Etsy since 2008 with a break of an years in between… it really does require a lot of work and got my shop critiqued by a few a while ago and things changed. You have to be humble and be willing to make the needed changes so your shop can be as better as it could be. As maker and trying to run our small business, we all continue to learn, we continue to grow and our shop will be reflecting that. Some think that is just posting and waiting for sales. It is definetely not the case. It required regular and consistent work.


  2. Kate Shields says:

    YES! It’s hard work. You’ve gotta be your biggest fan and biggest critique all in one. No one will love your shop the way you do, so no one will care about it as much as you do. Be the driving force to your success!! Loved this piece!


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