The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!

The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!

The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!

The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!

The Ultimate Guide to Etsy - This GIANT article has over 20 free tutorials direct from a 6-Figure Etsy seller! Learn how to run your Etsy shop full-time in this step-by-step guide. Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend your time and money. Click to get started now!

Ultimate Guide to Etsy

Side Effects Include: Monthly income you can trust, a well-organized business, and total clarity on where you should spend
your time and money.

Does this sound familiar?

You’re trying to sell on Etsy, but the Internet has other plans:

  • Everything you try fails!

    You’re putting TONS of time into your Etsy shop but only seeing teeny tiny results. You want simpler actions that make a HUGE difference to your bottom line without an 80 hour work week.

  • You can’t get a straight answer.

    All the info you find is either outdated, contradictory, confusing, or so spammy you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy!

  • You just get more frustrated each day

    You’ve almost thrown your computer across the room at least twice, and you just want someone to tell you what’s what.

  • How Can You Keep up with it all?

    You’re always behind the curve. If starting a business wasn’t hard enough, you also need to stay ahead of the constantly changing trends and strategies. #UGH, It feels like you’re constantly chasing the herd!!

  • You Wonder if You're Cut Out for This...

    You’re not sure if you have what it takes (psst… you do!) But you see other shops making thousands of sales while yours sputters along. It feels like you’re doing everything ‘right’ but your confidence is like ‘bye bye!’

Trust me, I get it!

When I first started my shop I had NO idea what I was doing. I spent hours and hours asking questions on message boards, testing different strategies, and hitting my head against the wall.

It was frustrating, scary, and took so much trial and error. But once I discovered what worked, my life transformed.

Just five months after opening my shop, I beat my corporate salary, told my day job to shove it quit very professionally, and now I have a thriving, six-figure Etsy shop! Not to mention a super successful blog, coaching biz, and I still have time for beach-side vacay’s whenever I want!

Don’t be jelly… if I can do it, you can TOO!

Take a second and picture a world where YOU…

Make more moola than you ever imagined. Your Etsy store is rockin’, and you have the freedom to enjoy your spoils. Making money while you sleep? Yes, please!

Feel confident you’re making all the right moves. No more trial and error, you can move forward KNOWING every step will push your biz to that next level.

Easily stay up to date with industry fads. You are in the know when it comes to every trend. You are WAY ahead of the curve and can capitalize on changes with ease!

Have all the info you need in one spot. No more sketchy sites or contradictory info. You have proven, simple to follow advice, tutorials, and courses right at your fingertips. And the best part? The info will grow with your biz!

Are crushing it. You know exactly how to grow your subscribers, adoring fans, throw mega sales, and most importantly, you get to make a great career doing what you LOVE. (Plus you have time to do the OTHER stuff you love too!)

Rainbows! Cupcakes! Unicorns! This sounds like a motherf*cking DREAM!

Ultimate Guide to Etsy

What You Need Before You Can Start Making Money

1. PHOTOS TO DIE FOR

Before you list a single item on Etsy, I can tell instantly whether you’ll succeed or not.

Yup, it’s all dead obvious before you ever sell a single item.

And I wouldn’t even need a crystal ball. All I’d need is a quick glance at your product photos.

Want the answer key to sales on Etsy? Well here it is:

Ultimate Guide to Etsy

You can’t move forward without amazing photos. If your pics aren’t at DAMN GIRL level, then you need to STOP, DROP, and roll yourself right on over to a photography class THIS MINUTE.

That’s because your pictures are going to set the stage for the MONEY THUNDERSTORM that’s about rain down on you.

But without this piece, your sales will fall flat, your items won’t sell, and you’ll be sending me angry emails like “Jenni, your shit doesn’t work!”…to which I’ll respond “What’s up homie? Your photos need work!”

Not sure what amazing photos look like? If your photos aren’t THIS ↓↓↓ good, then it’s time to get your cute little butt into a photography class THIS WEEK. Because you can’t move on without this step.

Etsy Image
Etsy Image
Etsy Image

Not sure where to start? I have a FREE photography tutorial waiting for you in the ⇣ box below ⇣. Use it!

Learn How to take Amazing Product Photos
with your Phone

Hey, guess what? YOU can take amazing product photos WITHOUT expensive equipment, even if you have no natural light.

STOP making excuses for your photos. Instead, slap your email into the form below, and learn how to do photography right in the Ultimate Guide Vault!

2. BRANDING YOU DON’T KILL YOURSELF OVER

Do you look at other people’s stupid perfect Instagram feeds and wonder if you can vomit at them through your phone?

When you’re creating a BRAND, it can be nearly impossible to just settle on something and get to the part where you ACTUALLY make money.

I can’t tell you how many Etsy sellers tell me “I’ve been working on branding for months!” and they’re tweaking something absurdly minor like font size…

Meanwhile, their bank account is dwindling, their products aren’t anywhere to be found online, and they’re basically STALLING their entire life for the size of a f*cking letter.

Seriously guys, your Etsy shop branding can CHANGE anytime. STOP freaking out about your branding. Go hop on Canva, make a logo in 20 minutes, and move on with your life.

And most importantly: don’t friggin’ PAY someone to do your branding if you’re starting a brand new business. Graphic designers are for established businesses that need a re-brand, NOT a brand new Etsy shop.

TRUST ME on this one: your shop logo will NEVER lose you sales.

No one’s going to look at your shop and go “I hate her logo. I’m shopping somewhere else”.

That has never happened ever. And if it did, you definitely DON’T want to sell something to the picky bitch who left your shop because of a logo. (Let someone else work with crazy face. Not your problem!)

Your logo may never cost you the sale, but hesitating to open your shop because your branding isn’t “perfect” is losing you serious money EVERY DAY.

Stoppit.

I told you that to tell you this: The blog you’re reading right now, this is actually the FOURTH version of it. That’s right, I created, designed, and wrote buttloads of articles for three different blogs before finally settling on what you see before you.

Why am I sure this is it?

Because for this blog, I stopped flitting back and forth at light speed. I slowed down and completed exercises to find my target audience. I planned out products. And finally, I created a brand book. This all happened before I posted a single thing.

It only took me a few hours on a chilly winter evening to pull my brand together. And by the following day, I was creating the blog itself. But this time I had an end goal in mind. I knew who would want to read it. I knew what they were looking for and why.

It was like a very abrupt breath of fresh air.

And hey – look at that! I said it only took me a SINGLE evening to finish all my branding for this entire blog.

Guess what? YOU should be in the same boat. Get your Etsy shop together in a single evening, and move on with your life.

Want to know how I did my branding? I’ve created a jam-packed workbook to help you build your brand. I’ll walk you through the exact exercises I did to pull my blog together in an evening. It’s a free download, so give it a try:

Find Your Brand Personality

Ready to get some clarity on your branding? Learn how to organize all your branding decisions in one place. Get the Branding Workbook in the Ultimate Guide Vault!


3. A QUICK AND DIRTY LESSON ON GENERATING SERIOUS TRAFFIC

Traffic is a bitch. Getting viewed anywhere on the web (Etsy included) is determined by this mystical thing called SEO. Most people don’t even know what she stands for, or why she insists on haunting your business with big empty batches of NO TRAFFIC at all whatsoever.

Most sellers are well aware that SEO generates traffic, which makes it f*cking IMPORTANT. But actually doing your own SEO – that’s a different story altogether.

Where do you start? How can you make sure your SEO works? Why the hell is your nearest competitor getting sale after sale, even though you’re using similar words?

As an ex-corporate minion (of the SEO variety), I constantly get questions about Etsy traffic. Many of these questions come from complete beginners, which is why I created SEO Bootcamp.

But occasionally, my established sellers come to me with what can only be described as an SEO Clusterfuck.

SEO Clusterfuck (adj)

A hot mess of tags, titles, and descriptions that were chosen because they ‘look good’ or match what ‘everybody else is doing’ – but they’re actually doing JACK SHIT for your business.

So today we’re going to banish the SEO Clusterfuck once and for all.

And we’re gonna start right here:
SEO = Search Engine Optimization (yawn). It’s the thing that makes your shit pop up on the first page of google (or Etsy, or Amazon, or wherever).

Why do you want to pop up on the first page?

Let’s talk about the last time you searched for something on Google. Do you just scroll through pages and pages of crap, thinking, ‘Oh, I need to see every single solitary option before I click one!’

HELL NO you don’t. Who has time for that shit?

Definitely not you. And neither do your customers.

That’s why MOST people will click something they see on the first or second page. Whether it’s Google, Etsy, Amazon, anywhere. If you can get your product on the first page, sales will almost always follow.

So let’s get you on the first page:
You get on the first page of search with something called “keywords”. These are just terms or short phrases that describe your product or offering.

Etsy keywords are called “tags” and there’s a little spot for them at the end of each listing:

Ultimate Guide to Etsy - where tags go

Now, you MAY think that once you’ve used all 13 tags, you’re good to go.

But you would be DEAD WRONG.

#sorrynotsorry if you’re only using tags to get found on Etsy, you’ve already lost the battle.

Etsy asks you for 13 tags, but what it doesn’t tell you is that you need a FOCUS keyword.

And it’s exactly like it sounds – you’re going to choose ONE word that’s a powerhouse of traffic and sales. And you’re going to repeat the f*cking shit out of this word ALL OVER your Etsy listing.

You’ll use that word in your tags, description, and product title.

Here’s an example of a focus keyword used as a TAG
Etsy SEO Product Tags
Here’s an example of a focus keyword used in Your Description
Ultimate Guide to Etsy - where tags go
Here’s an example of a focus keyword used in Your Title
Etsy SEO Product Title

It’s really as simple as that. All you have to do is repeat your word a few times, and your SEO is hardcore ON POINT.

Just make sure you use your focus keyword for one item – because otherwise you’ll be competing with YOURSELF for sales. Choose new focus keywords for each of your Etsy items, if possible.

If you were filthy rich and hired a top SEO expert to optimize your shop, they would do exactly what I showed you above. Verbatim. (You’re welcome!)

But WAIT, there’s one more step before the SEO gods inaugurate you into their den of traffic and sales:

HOW to Choose the RIGHT keywords
SO…what sort of insane guessing game do you use to pick your Etsy tags? I’ve seen some crazy shit out there among my fellow sellers. Bottom line: if you aren’t using a TOOL to pick your keywords, you’re doing it wrong.

#1 most important thing you MUST know about keywords:
Every single solitary tag you choose for your Etsy product needs to describe your product 400% PERFECTLY. So many sellers do this wrong. Instead of describing what they’re selling (“art print”, in my case above). They’ll describe what’s in the product “nerd”, or what materials they used to make it “heavyweight paper”, “pigment ink”, etc.

All those things go in your “materials” section. Use tags for things people actually search for.

You need to THINK about what your customer is typing into that search bar. And trust me, your customer isn’t a professional artist like you are – they DON’T know all the “correct” terms for things.

If you’re selling a “Platinum Hammered Necklace with Pendant in Multiple Lengths” – your customer DEFINITELY isn’t searching for that shit. No f*cking way.

They’re probably searching for a “statement necklace” or a “long necklace”, or even a “hammered pendant”.

So, if that’s what your customer is searching for…THEN that’s what your item should be called!

Plain and simple. No more complex titles. And NO MORE creative floaty titles like “Beautiful Blue Starlight Whale #2” – that doesn’t say ANYTHING about what you’re selling – which is why ‘creative’ titles will get you NO traffic at all whatsoever.

Help your customers FIND you by choosing the right words.

Which brings me to the…

#2 most important thing you MUST know about keywords:
Stop pulling your Etsy tags out of a hat.

Hey guess what? There’s a tool that will actually pick your Etsy tags for you. Because who has time to think up 13 words that may or may not change the fate of your shop?

Too much pressure if you ask me.

Not to mention, pretty unpredictable. This tool actually analyzes all the existing Etsy items out there just like yours, and it then proceeds to tell you exactly what tags SELL CONSISTENTLY.

Want proof?

Marmalead is the best Etsy SEO tool out there, and it’s pretty freakin’ excellent. I use it every single day, and it’s given me some insane results:

  • When I first started my home décor shop, I didn’t make a sale for my first 30 days.
  • When I opened the wedding shop, I used Marmalead for all my listings. And I made my first sale in 4 days.
  • Recently, I opened an Etsy shop for my brother, and I used Marmalead + my focus keyword strategy above…and he made a sale in less than 48 hours.

Pretty sure I’ve got hard evidence that Marmalead is awesome.

Since we’ve got proof that Marmalead consistently picks words that SELL, you’re going to use it from now on.

Never again will you be coming up with tags from scratch. Every single word you use in your Etsy titles and tags can be found using Marmalead.

Want to see how? Watch the video below:

Ready to Pick Tags that Sell?

Watch this simple SEO tutorial video and learn how to send hoards of traffic to your shop on autopilot! Get the entire tutorial FREE in the Ultimate Guide Vault.

Save

4. WHY YOUR SHELVES NEED TO BE FULLY STOCKED

Have a seat, kids…I’m gonna tell you a story.

About two weeks ago, I got a frantic email from one of my clients.

She had the world’s most perfect storefront – photos to die for, SEO that was on point, amazing products that are featured regularly in blogs and magazines.

But her monthly sales just weren’t growing. And she couldn’t figure out why.

I took one look at her storefront and immediately saw the problem.

My question to her was, “When was the last time you added a new product?”

“I don’t know, maybe a year ago? I’ve narrowed everything down to the things that sell best,” she told me.

You see, our perfect seller only had about 50 items in her shop.

If there are over 25 million items on Etsy right now, and she’s selling 50 of them, that means her items make up 0.000002% of what’s on Etsy.

But we can go even further than that: there are about 1 million items in the category our seller is listing in. That means her items make up 0.00005% of all search results (in that category).

Let’s just talk about how STATISTICALLY likely it is that someone can find 0.00005% of search results.

Translation: if you have less than 100 items on Etsy, your items are impossible to find. ADD MORE, like NOW. (And if you have more than 100? You STILL need to create new stuff on the regular!)

Our seller added more items to her shop, and started creating brand new items on a regular basis. She tells me now, just two weeks later, that she makes a sale every time that she uploads a new item.

Interestingly, the item she sells is NEVER the new item she just uploaded – it’s always something popular in her shop.

What does that mean?

Adding new items to your Etsy shop INCREASES your exposure across the board – Etsy ranks your shop higher when you update frequently. So, her entire shop has benefited from adding new items on a regular basis.

So, let me ask you this:

Why aren’t you adding NEW items to your shop every week??

Maybe your shop is brand new, and you’re just filling your shelves. Or maybe you’re a long-time seller and you don’t have time to add new items anymore.

Maybe you have 5000 kids, 4 jobs, and a rabid octopus goat for a pet. No matter what your reason, if you’re not adding new items to your shop EVERY MONTH, then you are DOING IT WRONG.

#sorrynotsorry.

Why do you need to add new items?

There are over 25 million items for sale on Etsy right now. You and your little shop are just a needle in a haystack! How are your items going to become a big hit if people can’t find you in the first place?

It’s time to make your shop KNOWN…and the fastest way to rise to the top is by adding more products. REGULARLY. Like Clockwork.

Etsy ranks your shop based on how frequently you UPDATE your shit. That’s CODE for “add new items if you want to keep making sales”.

In fact, adding new items is just as important as good photos and SEO.

More items = more chances to get found. Adding listings has a huge impact on your shop ranking and can significantly increase your chance to make ongoing sales (!!)

Don’t believe me?

Here are my Etsy stats from April – June 2015 (when I first opened shop). Notice anything interesting?

The One Thing All Top Etsy Sellers Do That No One Talks About

Can you figure out when I started adding more items on a regular basis?

Your New Items Need to Be High Quality

Here’s a fair warning:

DON’T read this article and immediately start making 5 new items every single day.

That’s a great way to burn out, HARD.

It’s also not going to help your sales AT ALL. Throwing items up just for sake of “more items” is a great way to waste your TIME and money.

You see, Etsy customers can smell desperation. They have lots to choose from, and there’s NO WAY they’ll pick a low-quality item over a well-crafted one made by your nearest competitor for a similar price.

Don’t screw yourself over. QUALITY is the most important thing.

That means if you can’t make more than five high quality items per month, then stick with five. Better to build up slowly than to ruin your shop and your reputation.

How Often Should You Add New Items?

I like to add 10-12 new items to my shop every month. That’s what my brain is comfortable with, and it also doesn’t take up all my valuable time.

While the number of items you add to your shop is up to you, the part that isn’t up to you is how OFTEN you do it.

REGULAR = the most important part.

Every single month, I devote one week to creating new items and adding them to Etsy. I have it in my calendar from now until the END of TIME.

Get yourself on a regular schedule. Repetition means you’ll build the habit and it’s more likely to get done each month.

As an added bonus, regular additions to your shop will usually create a monthly traffic boost for you, too 🙂


5. ONE-OF-A-KIND IS USELESS TO YOU

Etsy is synonymous with one-of-a-kind. But do you really need to create tons of completely unique, never-before-seen items to make money on Etsy?

Let’s chat about one of a kind. And why it’s actually killing your business.

Before we dive in, let’s get super clear about what kind of product is one of a kind (OOAK).

OOAK means a single, one-off item that you cannot reproduce ever again. Maybe you’re using precious materials. Maybe the supplies got sucked into another dimension. Whatever the case, there’s only one of this thing on the entire f*cking planet.

Now let’s talk about why that OOAK item is a bad idea.

OOAK items lead to Exceptionally Shitty SEO.

Oh crap – you sold an item on Etsy. That’s normally GOOD news, but for a OOAK seller, that means there’s one less item in your shop.

And now you need to replace it with something else.

That means you’ve got to create a new item, take at least 3-5 pictures of it, post it on Etsy, write a description, then research and choose your tags and titles. (Oh yeah…and promote the crap out of it).

Well shit, that was a lot of f*cking work for one sale.

Guess what: when your shop is OOAK, this work never ends.

I’ve already talked about how important it is to constantly add new items to your shop. I’ve shown you why this one tactic often makes the difference between full-time sellers and angry, wanna-be full-time sellers.

If you’re selling OOAK, you never get the chance to BUILD UP your storefront. Every time you sell something, you’ve got to replace it.

This means you can’t bolster your SEO. Your items never stick around for long enough to actually RANK.

Who’s going to find you if the items in your shop (and therefore your SEO) is constantly changing? SEO isn’t instant. It takes 30+ days on Etsy and 4+ months on Google. So if your items are selling, search engines never get a chance to catch up.

Every time you sell something, you have to START OVER – with a brand new item, and bottom-of-the-food-chain SEO.

Basically, just take one step forward and two steps back the entire time you’re in business.

OOAK items = Long Workdays for LOW Pay.

Indulge me for a second. Let’s pretend it’s 6 months from now and your shop is KILLING IT.

You’re making tons of sales every day, and you’ve got a decent amount of money coming in.

Let’s be BRUTALLY HONEST about what your day looks like.

When you make lots of sales in a OOAK shop:

  • Every time you sell something, you need to replace it. You can’t make sales with an empty shop! (AKA make at least 1 new item per day).
  • Take 3-5 pictures of your new item, list it on Etsy, do your SEO research, and write a description.
  • Promote your item (either with Etsy updates, on social media, or paid advertising). New items on Etsy often get low views (initially). If you want to maintain sales, you’ve got to drive some interest by hand!
  • Don’t forget, you’ve also got to pack and ship today’s orders – I smell a trip to the post office.

Never mind the fact that you’ll also want to eat some meals, do household chores, and hang out with your family somewhere in there.

But there’s no time for any of that.

You started your Etsy shop so you could have MORE freedom, not so you could enslave yourself and forego everything you care about.

You are putting a cap on your income with OOAK.

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with one of my Etsy coaching clients. Her sales were picking up, but I noticed a problem.

She was only halfway to her income goal, but she was already spending 40 hours a week on her shop.

I decided to work backwards with her. We did the math and figured out how many hours she’d need to work every day to meet her income goal.

And we were shocked.

She was staring down the barrel of an 80 hour workweek for $20k a year.

How is it possible that a successful Etsy shop can make so little money??

Her entire shop was OOAK. It took 5 hours to make each item.

There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to make money.

So we decided to fix it. She stopped customizing all her items and created a line of products that could be sold over and over again.

Now she’s on track to work 20 hours a week for TWICE her original salary.

How to sell OOAK the RIGHT way.

Are you ready to stop torturing yourself? Don’t worry, there’s a simple fix if you’re a OOAK shop:

Take the supplies you have and create a line of slightly less expensive, easy-to-create items.

So, if you sell jewelry, create a line of simple necklaces. Create 10-20 of each necklace. Create them in advance, so when someone orders one, it’s ready to go. Photograph it once, SEO it once, and then *go be free*!

You need to create these types of products until your shop is 80% ready-to-ship items, and 20% OOAK items (at most!)…if your shop contains more than 20% OOAK items, it’s time to change your strategy. The idea is to transition to ALL ready-to-ship items. This is the best way to create reoccurring income on Etsy.

Translation: create a ready-to-ship product line. Like right freaking now.

6. DON’T HAVE A THEME? KISS YOUR INCOME GOODBYE

BAM. You created an Etsy shop. It’s freaking awesome, cause now you finally have a place to sell all those bits and bobs you created in your craft room.

OR DO YOU?

Multi-talented, eclectic shops are great, and it’s pretty damn cool that you’re talented enough to make more than one thing.

And the great part about selling online? You can sell whatever you want, whenever you want. Just pop a picture up, and you’re done.

But guess what: if your shop doesn’t have a theme, you’re missing out on BIG money.

‘Cause here’s the big-girl pants #truth:

CUSTOMERS BUY FROM SHOPS WITH ONE CLEAR PURPOSE.

No seriously. Think about it: when you go to the mall, almost every store has a “theme” and an “identity”. You know exactly what they sell the second you walk in.

How does that translate to Etsy?

Let’s say you’re shopping for your best friend. It’s her birthday and you want to get her something unique. So, you hop on Etsy and start looking at jewelry stores.

You find two necklaces. They’re both perfect, and they’re similar prices.

Necklace seller #1 has a shop packed full of similar necklaces, so you can find the exact color, chain length, and variation that will work for your friend.

When you look at seller #2’s shop, you expect to see the same thing, but instead her shop is full of shoes, furniture, and vintage lamps???

Wait, what??? Can you say confusing as hell??

At this point you’re pretty damn disappointed in seller #2, so you go back to shopping with seller #1.

And that’s how most people feel about eclectic shops on Etsy.

Just because you can find eclectic storefronts on Etsy, doesn’t mean they’re killing it with sales!

What does that mean for your shop?

Guess what all top selling shops on Etsy have in common? A SPECIFIC NICHE. The best strategy for maximizing YOUR sales is to carve out a niche and create a specific reputation for your shop.

So, my little grasshopper, you need a clear ‘hook’ that gets customers in the door. Use your talents to create a theme in your shop — then ONLY sell things that go with your theme.

Why do some things sell on Etsy, but not others?

Ah, well that’s a good question. And the answer isn’t very scientific. Usually certain things don’t sell on Etsy simply because a.) There’s no demand for that item, b.) There’s a better, more functional option, or c.) Your competition is doing a better job than you are.

So, to figure out which category you fall into, have a wander over here and do my 8-minute Etsy storefront check. This is a fun little exercise that will teach you WHY people buy, and WHAT they’re looking for when they do:

Learn What Sells on Etsy

Wondering how you can create products that buyers droll over? I’ve got an 8-minute exercise that will show you EXACTLY what buyers are looking for. Watch it in the Ultimate Guide Vault!

7. SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE RELIGION OF THE MASSES

I’m not going to lie…I was a stereotypical Etsy seller on social media for a long time. I posted my products on repeat, tried all the social networks at once, then I wondered why I bothered because honestly…it made no difference in my sales!

And it turns out: I was doing it ALL WRONG.

So today you’re going to learn from my mistakes. (And get it right the first time!)

The purpose of social media is to drive traffic.
Social media is not for getting exposed to a huge audience or going viral. Yes… Those things DO happen to some people

BUT it’s about as common as a flying unicorn that shits rainbow glow sticks.

Not only that, but sometimes you get featured and it does no freaking good at all whatsoever.

I can’t tell you how many times Etsy featured one of my items on Instagram and forgot to post a link to my shop (whomp whomp).

Or those times I got retweeted by accounts with 100k+ followers…just to wake up to one extra sale.

The fact is, social media is unpredictable. You need to learn how to use it for RELIABLE results. That YOU control yourself.

Instead of crossing your fingers and relying on the social media gods, YOU need to take control of your income and use social media for TRAFFIC.

We all love traffic, but what if you DIDN’T have to rely on Etsy for views and sales? What if YOU had control over how many people visited your shop (or website) every single day?

What if you could send more people as you please?

THAT would be true freedom!

And that’s how you should think about social media from now on…as a way for YOU to gain control over your business.

Let’s just cut to the chase: What if you could hack social media so it would send your ideal customer straight to your Etsy shop? Well today I’m going to show you how I did exactly that with Pinterest.

Pinterest Increase Traffic on Etsy

Imagine This:
Your Etsy shop is getting HUNDREDS of hits per day via Pinterest, and the people who click through are EXCITED about your product. They’re ready to buy. Studies are beginning to show that people are willing to pay MORE $$ for items found on Pinterest…So you’re sitting pretty.

How do you make it happen? It’s time to start building your Pinterest audience NOW. Even if you have zero products on Etsy. Even if you’ve never pinned anything in your life.

Pinterest takes time, so you need to start now. BUT since your pins LIVE FOREVER, you can get massive floods of traffic once your account is established.

But wait, you say, since when do pins live forever?

Pinterest is different. When you pin something, it’s a snowball effect:

10 of your followers re-pin your post > people who don’t follow you see your pin > 10 more people re-pin > You get 20 new followers > suddenly you’re in front of hundreds of people, all of whom can re-pin your item to their followers at any time = Your account grows like an explosion in an action movie.

Let’s take a look at this pin right here:

My Viral Pin

I pinned this baby back around Christmas 2015. About 6 months later it took off. A handful of people started pinning it to their boards, and literally overnight it became my biggest traffic asset.

Now, this pin gets over 26,000 views every month:

Pinterest Analytics

How does that translate on Etsy?

Let’s take a look at my stats (last 30 days):

Etsy Pinterest Stats

If you think this won’t work for you because you have like 2 Pinterest followers, you’re WRONG.

I only had 200 Pinterest followers when my account started driving 100+ views a day both to my Etsy shop and my blog. It’s not followers that matter. It’s engagement.

100 may not seem like a lot, but with an average shop conversion rate of 2%, you’ll make between 1-3 sales per day via Pinterest.

Let me just reiterate that because what I just said is STUPID awesome: That’s 1-3 sales per day from Pinterest ALONE*.

(*if your shop is converting sales properly. If it’s not, this article explains the important bits you MUST have to convert sales…if your shop isn’t converting, there’s no point in driving traffic. So get your shit in order before driving traffic).

Ready to turn your Pinterest into an Etsy goldmine? Here’s a breakdown of the best Pinterest hacks to get you started:

Use Pinterest to Make a Sale a Day

Ready to become a social media powerhouse? Learn the tricks that will get your Pinterest account humming. Download your Pinterest checklist in the Ultimate Guide Vault!

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8. STOP PUTTING ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET

If there’s one thing you’ll come across on every single Etsy blog, it’s this lovely little scare tactic:

“When you’re on Etsy, your business doesn’t belong to you! Don’t put all your eggs in Etsy’s basket, because if something goes wrong – your business will go with it!”

For obvious reasons, this would strike fear into the heart of ANY online seller, pretty much instantly.

(And let’s talk REAL LIFE for a minute – FEAR is a great sales tactic, and lots of bloggers use the ⇡ exact line up there ⇡ to make serious sales off you and your equally terrified fellow sellers).

Bloggers usually use this scare tactic to convince you that you need a website.

Reality check: putting all your eggs in one basket is always a risk, no matter what. Stocks, selling online, personal life – nothing lasts forever, and that’s the reality of our world.

Sucks, doesn’t it?

But here’s the thing.

(I’m about to cause a lot of controversy with this little tidbit. But it’s f*cking true and it drives me nuts that NO ONE is talking about the reality of creating a website).

Building an e-commerce website is a waste of your f*cking time right now.

Ok, ok, I may have just made you REALLY mad, but hear me out for a second:

When you sign up for Etsy, there’s a built-in audience. There are 25 million + buyers on Etsy. As soon as you post your product, every single last one of those people could see it. And those people keep coming back for more (because who doesn’t love Etsy?), so if they didn’t see your product the first time around, they still have lots of chances to find it.

When you create a website, you’re standing alone in the middle of the desert. There are literally NO website platforms that send you traffic (not enough, anyways). That’s your job.

And if you don’t know how to send that traffic, you’re screwed.

Most Etsy sellers create a website and then expect to make money immediately. But real life doesn’t work like that.

REALITY CHECK: who knows that your website exists? NOT A SOUL. Literally. Zero People.

That doesn’t exactly reek of full-time income, does it?

Sure, you’ll tell your family, and you’ll post it on social media. But that traffic will run out quickly. I’m sure we’ve all seen this sad little website predicament:

Etsy Shop Website

Here we see a traffic bump on launch day, followed immediately by *crickets*.

That’s right kids, the internet is a cruel mistress. And if you think for a second she’s going to reward you for your mere existence online, you’re about to get slapped in the face with a bucket of ‘oh fuck!’

Just in case you don’t realize how FOR REAL serious I’m being right now, here’s a mad scary statistic for you:

As of 2017, Google’s search engine has only catalogued 0.003% of the websites that exist. Worldwide.

In case you need me to reverse-math for you, that means Google HAS NOT FOUND 99.997% of websites that exist.

Last time I checked, I think 99.997% means basically EVERY FREAKING WEBSITE ever.

And yet there are millions or even billions of websites in any given google search. That’s how BIG the internet is.

Translation: your website IS a NEEDLE in an (unending cosmic data) HAYSTACK.

To make it worse: Did you know that the AVERAGE number of sales on a Shopify site is about 3 PER MONTH? I reached out to a handful of other 6-figure Etsy sellers like myself, and we all averaged about the same thing. And it looks like this:

Why Your Etsy shop needs a Blog

That does not a salary make. In fact, it doesn’t even pay off the fees Shopify charges you to run your website!

So STOP thinking that a website is going to make a serious difference for your business. (Because unless you’re the god of marketing, it never will).

INSTEAD, let’s talk about how you can get your eggs in some other baskets WITHOUT wasting your valuable time on a website you don’t need.

  1. Have you thought about an email list?
  2. Blogs are ALWAYS better than e-commerce sites! Find out why right here.
  3. There are other platforms besides Etsy, you know…give them some thought!

Ready to Get Serious About Etsy?

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I never thought I'd become a full-time seller. In fact, I made -$40 my first month in business. I certainly wasn't in any position to quit my job, and I was pretty sure it would be YEARS before I figured out how to leave the rat race behind. But during my second month in business, my income suddenly jumped by over $3000! How did I go from -$40 to +$3000 in ONE month? What happened between months 1 and 2??? Well, my little grasshopper, this is EXACTLY what I reveal in my SECRET blog article, How I increased my Etsy income from $1000-4500 per month.

Get yours hands on the secret blog article that reveals exactly how I quit my day job in just 6 short months!

Learn how you can rapidly boost your income, create a brand that gets found across every corner of the internet, and learn how to fix monthly revenue gaps with this all-in one method.

This is one of MANY premium articles created just for serious sellers…and they’re all available in the Subscriber Tribe. Want to become a member? Click below to learn more.

Getting it All Done When it’s Just You

1. SCHEDULE PROFIT-BOOSTING ACTIVITIES EACH WEEK

Now it’s time to create your WEEKLY schedule: these are the things you do every single week to keep those sales flowing. I break mine up into one or two tasks per day – that way I keep my 4-hour workday, and I make it easy to check everything off my list each week.

These tasks are specially designed to keep your income flowing, while gradually increasing your presence online. Here’s how I break down my week:

Monday – Add a new item to the shop + post a shop update

Yup, adding new items is super important, even if you already have 500 items in your shop. My sales on Etsy grew 300% when I simply started adding items on a regular basis. This is not a step to be skipped!

If you’re not sure whether you can create a new item every week, why not add digital downloads to your shop? These are easy to create, you can sit down and blow through one or two in just about an hour. Learn how to get started here.

Once I create my new item, I post a shop update. That’s because shop updates are a free form of mass advertising on Etsy. They give you more exposure to existing customers, and ensure you stay fresh in a buyer’s mind. Plus they take about 4 seconds. Seriously, just try it.

Tuesday – It’s social media blitz time!

Each week, I like to add new content to my social media. You can post your new product (from Monday) to social media today, but I’d also like you to think about NON-product related posts that your followers will like. Make sure you’re really engaging with the people who like your brand, not just spamming them with stuff to buy.

I like to post DIY craft tutorials, blog articles, stop motion videos of my products doing silly things (like dancing around each other, or packing themselves into boxes). I also like to post free downloads from my blog, email opt-in opportunities, and fun freebies. Some of this stuff I create myself, some of it is re-posted (always tag the person who made the original post – sometimes this will bring a flood of new followers!)

You can curate your entire social media feed and schedule it a month in advance, or check out my Editorial Calendar method right here to get your shit extra organized.

Wednesday – Re-WERK it, gurl!

What needs work in your biz? Are you fixing your SEO? Creating a website? Writing a blog article? Building an email list? Well today’s the day to chip away at your BIG task of the week! I find there’s always something I could improve, and I use Wednesdays to check in with my business, chose one task, and polish it off!

Thursday – Feedback Day

I like to use Thursdays to get business feedback. I’ll start the day by cleaning my office and workspaces – this helps me clear my head, and it allows me to dig deep with a new project.

When you’re ready to get feedback (or think about a new project), here’s where you should start:

I like to ask biz questions in Facebook groups. While not all comments are helpful, there’s usually AT LEAST one or two that makes me go, “ah ha!! I need that!”. Facebook suggestions (and just simple feedback on my shop or website) have helped me create some of my highest selling items, products, and services! Give the people what they want!

Not feeling sociable? No worries, I have several exercises on the blog that will help you improve your shop. Check them out here, and pick your favorite:

Friday – Weekly Review Day

Phew: time to breathe! I take Fridays to look back at the POSITIVE first. No matter what, every week has it’s redeeming qualities.

So during my review, I start by writing down what went WELL. I make sure to record any WINS – and that’s because you usually can turn one win into another…with a little planning!

So for example, last week I started tracking all my website conversions on Google analytics. And I realized that visitors from Instagram are spending WAY more time on my blog than anyone else. That makes them more likely to buy, and their bounce rate is lower.

What does that mean? It means my IG followers are ENGAGED – they WANT to interact with my brand. So, when I did my Friday review, my first order of business was to CHANGE my social strategy to focus on Instagram. I want more customers that are super interested, so I’m focusing my energy where those people already are.

(And that’s how you turn a small win into an ONGOING, gets-more-awesome-each-week win!)

Now, for the rest of your review: next you’ll want to write down anything you need to improve. What’s under-performing? What do you want to add? What isn’t working at all, and could be eliminated? This is the time to prune your biz.

Once you’re done with your review, write down a short and sweet plan for the coming week. Keep it simple: all you really need is a task for Re-work Wednesday and a goal for Feedback Thursday. Don’t overwhelm yourself with to-do’s – the more to-do’s I add to my list, the less I actually accomplish.

2. HOW TO BE ORGANIZED WITH 5000 THINGS ON YOUR PLATE

About eight months ago, I was working 14 hour days. 7 days a week. Whenever my friends or family did things that were “fun” I never got to participate.

I had accepted that as an entrepreneur, I would never get to participate in those fun bits of life again (things like carving pumpkins, weeks of straight Christmas parties, and generally leaving the house).

I just assumed that in order to be successful, these were the sacrifices I had to make.

Around that time, I got myself a life coach. Cause quite frankly, I was a hot mess. I had no personal life, no hobbies, my relationship with my husband was cracking due to insane working hours. And I had no idea what to do next.

In our first meeting, the very first thing my new life coach said to me was, “You did this to yourself.

My response was like, what the hell? This is how my business RUNS! I don’t have a choice!

But then she pointed out that I CREATED my business in the first place. And I was free to change it into whatever I wanted. If I wanted to take Halloween really seriously for the rest of my life and carve pumpkins for two weeks straight, I could build a business that allowed me to do exactly that.

It took about two weeks for this to sink in.

And then I realized I really was TORTURING myself. I was striving for some level of perfection that I made up in my head. My business was FINE without me for a few days – not only that, but I could do SMALL things to make it even more hands-off, so I could claim back even MORE of my time.

If you’re reading this section: I’m betting somewhere down the line, you realized you’re doing TOO much just like I was…And it’s taking more time than you want, and you have no f*cking clue how to fix it.

It’s cool. I didn’t either.

Now I work two hours a day. Sometimes I take Wednesdays off to clean the house. Because I can.

In fact, the #1 question I get (via email, facebook, the void of google) is always the same…”How can I get MORE done in less time?”

Here’s the secret. Are you ready? Do you have a pen??

Working less has NOTHING to do with getting more done.

Working less is EXACTLY how it sounds you get to work less because you AUTOMATED more, and you literally have LESS shit on your to-do list.

#Mindblown: people who get MORE done in LESS time create a business that requires them to DO LESS in the first place.

This is how you make your schedule SUSTAINABLE and realistic.

Imagine if you could keep going for months without burning out – imagine if you ENJOYED your workday, and felt productive day after day. Imagine waking up and KNOWING you can finish everything on your to-do list.

That’s what DOING LESS can do for you.

But just because you’re doing less doesn’t mean you have to make less money – in fact, you should be able to make MORE by focusing on what really matters.

Here’s the key:

You need to prioritize the things that make you MONEY, and trash the rest.

That means if you’re spending 10 hours a week taking Instagram photos to try and build your following, but no one is BUYING or clicking, it’s time to STOP spending time on Instagram.

Spend your 10 hours making new products (or any of the other suggestions I made up there ⇡). We’ve already seen hard proof that this methods WORKS. And don’t just make any products: see what customers are already BUYING. Make more of what they want.

I know it sucks to hear this when you’re creative and you have 1000 ideas floating through your head, but here it is:

If you want to make more PROFIT, you need to focus on the things that are SELLING. And. NOTHING. ELSE. So, if your buyers are loving on your simple jewelry pieces, it’s time to make MORE of those. Period.

You can be creative and make new things in your extra time. But when it’s business hours, you should have your head up the ass of your biggest profit makers.

If there are tasks on your list that aren’t making you money, STOP doing them. Spend your time where it matters.

3. THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO GET SHIT DONE

Are you making enough money to be STUPID busy all the freakin’ time, but you’re not making enough to hire the 500 minions you desperately need to help you get your shit in ORDER???

So, what the hell are you supposed to do? Suffer in silence? Miraculously clone yourself? Enslave your entire family while you rule with an iron fist?

Instead of enslaving your loved ones, let’s talk about how we can free you from the crushing weight of an entire business on your shoulders:

FREE PRODUCTIVITY SOLUTIONS

Have you automated your social media yet?

If not, it’s time to get this moving asap. Once per month, you should login to each tool and schedule your posts for the upcoming month. Then just walk away and forget about it for the next 30 days.

  • Automate Pinterest with Tailwind
  • Automate Instagram with Later
  • Automate Facebook, Twitter and all the rest with Postcron, Hootsuite, or Buffer.
  • Use Twitter Fu to automatically post one Etsy product per day to your twitter feed.
  • Use IFTTT to recycle your (aforementioned) twitter posts and add them to your other networks.
You need a big-girl time management solution.

That horrible corporate job I used to have did teach me one thing: there are some kickass FREE productivity tools out there.

My personal favorite is called Asana. It’s free for individuals and small teams, and it allows you to map out your projects, tasks, and to-do calendar with a handful of easy to use tools. Watch some quick tutorials here.

I use Asana to plan my social media calendar, do a 30-Day review, a monthly financial checkup, and execute my 90-Day goals. I also use it day-to-day to schedule a power hour. I set aside at least 1 hour each day to accomplish one single task that will grow my business and make me money (eventually)!

Identify the things that you wake up stressed about.

About three years ago, I realized I was waking up with a start every morning. Sometimes in the middle of the night I’d sit up abruptly gasping for air… What was going on? Why couldn’t I let go of the stress that comes with my normal workday?

I thought about it for a while and realized I was waking up stressed because of #EtsySellerPhobias. These are the common problems we all fear in our businesses, and they’re surprisingly fixable:

  • PROBLEM: I was fearful of what I’d wake up to in the morning. I silence my phone at 11pm, and after that I just ignore it. It means I’ve woken up to huge messes that need to be cleaned up immediately.
  • SOLUTION: There’s NOTHING you can’t fix in your business. Everything seems scary at first. But after a year, you’ve seen it all. Check your email and notifications TWICE per day max (seriously. Don’t just SAY you’ll do it. ACTUALLY do it. This changed my life overnight). Mute your phone the rest of the time. The best treatment for notification phobia is to TAKE BACK your time. The more attention you give notifications, the MORE they’re rule your life. Take the power away from your phone and give it back to yourself. I do this by setting my phone on Do-Not-Disturb during my primary working hours.
  • PROBLEM: I was stressed about fulfilling orders the next day. The longer it takes, the less time I can spend on my blog and building my business. (Or going to my REAL job. And then after I quit, binging on Netflix…)
  • SOLUTION: I started setting myself up to fulfill orders the night before. I look through all my orders, create any custom designs and save them in illustrator. I create artwork for new products if needed. I place all my orders through my fulfillment service before I go to bed so I can wake up with a clean slate.

When you think about what’s causing you stress and address it HEAD ON, you’ll wake up 1000lbs lighter the next day. Figure out what’s wrong and solve it. After all, you built a business. You can solve one or two small problems. (I promise!)

BUY BACK SOME OF YOUR TIME

Hire a Cleaner.

No seriously. You need one. Let me see if I can predict exactly what you’re dealing with right now: Your roommate/partner/entire family assumes that YOU are working from home, SO it’s your job to clean, cook, and generally be the housewife you’re too f*cking smart to waste your time being.

Screw that. If you’re working at home, you’re still AT WORK. You need to FOCUS, not go down an endless spiral of daily cleaning and organizing that winds up wasting hours of your time.

Your time is currently making you money. You need to use that time to make more money, create more of your mouth-watering products, and generally kick ass at your business. No one’s paying you to clean a toilet. And quite frankly, it’s a waste of your time right now.

So, hire someone to do it for you! The week I got a cleaner, my entire business CHANGED. Suddenly, I didn’t feel responsible for running a household AND a business every single day. It was someone else’s problem.

And you know what? I found my cleaner through an online directory like this one, and she’s super affordable. She cleans the entire house, deals with my laundry, and she even empties the cat litter for me. That’s 4-5 hours of work she just saved me in ONE visit. Totally worth it.

Get a Virtual Assistant.

Sounds expensive, right? Think of it this way: for every hour of day-to-day admin you get your assistant to do, you have an hour for your business. Use that hour to MAKE BACK THE MONEY you paid for your assistant.

I mean, you could hire tons of contractors. I’m talking accountants, graphic designers, social media and marketing specialists…but a Virtual Assistant is like all those things rolled into ONE (way less expensive) package.

Seriously. There’s a few different places you can find one. Give Time Etc. a try or check out this directory of virtual assistants for online sellers.

AUTOMATE THE DAY-TO-DAY

Fix your shipping with Stamps.com.

Connect your Etsy account and watch those labels print effortlessly as soon as your orders come in! Stamps.com marks your orders as dispatched on Etsy when you print a label.  It even adds a tracking number automatically! If you’re spending a fortune on shipping or lost packages, it’s time to GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK and get stamps.com to fix your life.

Completely outsource order fulfillment.

If you’re selling common products that can be printed (mugs, t-shirts, pillows, totes, phone cases, water bottles, glassware, art prints, posters, the list goes on…) then it might be time to outsource your daily order fulfillment to a print on demand company.

As of October 2016, Etsy allows you to use outside manufacturers to fulfill and ship your products. Read about this change here.

Print on Demand (POD) is a great way to scale your business up without having to pay for more inventory or equipment. And it has the added benefit of letting you claim your house back: no more house full of boxes! No more ordering inventory! No more throwing out stock when you mess up a print!

It’s free to get started, and you only pay when someone orders something. Your POD company will charge a base price to create, pack, and ship your item (all with your branding) and all you have to is adjust your prices on Etsy so you still make a profit.

All POD companies are different. Some sync with Etsy to automatically fulfill orders with no effort on your part. Others require you to login and submit the order and an artwork file.

Here are some companies that do POD (in the UK and US):

Can’t outsource fulfillment? Outsource your shipping instead.

Here’s how it works: you create the item you’re selling, then you send it to a company who can pack, ship, and send it for you. Best part: they send your items with tracked shipping so you’ll always know where it is (and so will your customer)! They also re-send lost or broken items for free. If that’s not enough, they have warehouses all over the world so your international customers get their items sooner, no matter WHERE your shop is based.

This process is called “drop shipping”, and it just became legal on Etsy in January 2016. Other online platforms like Amazon will let you drop ship as well.

You’ll want to do some research on whether this is for you, but my favorite shipping company is Shipwire.

4. STOP SPENDING YOUR TIME ON THESE TASKS

Creating an e-commerce website

Yup, I already went on this rant right here. Read the whole spiel by clicking the link, or take the detour and read the short version:

When you sign up for Etsy, there’s a built-in audience. There are 25 million + buyers on Etsy. As soon as you post your product, every single last one of those people could see it. And those people keep coming back for more (because who doesn’t love Etsy?), so if they didn’t see your product the first time around, they still have lots of chances to find it.

When you create a website, you’re standing alone in the middle of the desert. There are literally NO website platforms that send you traffic (not enough, anyways). That’s your job.

And if you don’t know how to send that traffic, you’re screwed.

Most Etsy sellers create a website and then expect to make money immediately. But real life doesn’t work like that.

REALITY CHECK: who knows that your website exists? NOT A SOUL. Literally. Zero People.

That doesn’t exactly reek of full-time income, does it?

Sure, you’ll tell your family, and you’ll post it on social media. But that traffic will run out quickly. I’m sure we’ve all seen this sad little website predicament:

Etsy Shop Website

Here we see a traffic bump on launch day, followed immediately by *crickets*.

That’s right kids, the internet is a cruel mistress. And if you think for a second she’s going to reward you for your mere existence online, you’re about to get slapped in the face with a bucket of ‘oh fuck!’

To make it worse: Did you know that the AVERAGE number of sales on a Shopify site is about 3 PER MONTH? I reached out to a handful of other 6-figure Etsy sellers like myself, and we all averaged about the same thing. And it looks like this:

Why Your Etsy shop needs a Blog

That does not a salary make. In fact, it doesn’t even pay off the fees Shopify charges you to run your website!

So STOP thinking that a website is going to make a serious difference for your business. (Because unless you’re the god of traffic, it never will).

Now, a BLOG on the other hand — that’s a different story. Later on, I’ll show you how blogs can skyrocket the shit out of your business right here.

Etsy apps that promote your items for you

Holy waste of your time, Batman!

If you’re subscribed to my email list, you may have noticed that I never send you emails about “this new great app that you have to try right now!”

And it’s not because app creators don’t contact me CONSTANTLY begging that I promote their software to all my lovely Etsy sellers.

It’s that I never f*cking say yes. No matter how much commission they offer.

Because I know these apps are pretty much useless. Did you ever notice they rarely assign NUMERICAL values to their “results”? They just throw case studies and a few short testimonials at you – but there are no concrete, consistent results or graphs?

That’s because most of these apps give you a tiny, temporary boost. The best one I’ve ever seen claimed to boost your traffic by 10% — which if you do the math, usually works out to around 10 extra visits a day.

Last time I checked, 10 extra visits does not a full-time income make.

Not even f*cking close.

Marketing apps are NOT going to create serious income, no matter what you do, or what they tell you. Stop wasting your time on them.

There’s NO such thing as an instant miracle platform. If selling online was that easy, everyone would be doing it and we’d all be rich.

Stop looking for “band-aid” cures. They’re a complete waste of time. Most of them just want your money.

I talk about the (few) programs I use to help me run my Etsy shop right here. I use them because they MAKE me A LOT more money than they cost.

But here’s the IMPORTANT SHIT you need to know: buying these tools won’t GUARANTEE that you start making more money – you have to put in the work. That’s how an investment works: it does some of the lifting for you, and in return, you make the money back SOMEWHERE ELSE in your biz.

Spending more than 3 hours developing a new product

About once a month I get this same email from a random Etsy seller. It always starts the same way:

“I’ve been working on X product for over a month now, and…”

Here’s the thing kids: this is ETSY, not APPLE. We don’t need to spend months creating a product.

If you can’t create, upload, photograph, and publish ONE NEW item in 3 hours or less, you’re spending TOO MUCH TIME on product development.

And trust me, it won’t pay off.

We’ve already talked about how important it is to have a well-stocked shop. And that becomes IMPOSSIBLE when you’re investing DAYS at a time on just a few products.

The products that make the BULK of my Etsy income are all items I created in an hour or less. How did I know to create those products?

Simple: I looked at my stats. I kept track of what sold, and what’s popular.

And I created more of the THINGS THAT SOLD.

Some items are just the same design on a different product. Some are new designs with a similar theme, or font.

Let’s be real for a minute: How on earth would it be possible to make 6 figures if you’re spending all your time creating products?

When you’re making 6-figure sales, you’re gonna need time to pack and ship orders. You also need time to promote your stuff. And on top of that, you need time to keep up with customer service and emails. And this shit just plays itself on repeat every single day.

Product creation is something I do once a month, for about two days. I create a month’s worth of new items in one massive burst.

When you’re making serious money, you need to BATCH important tasks. Cause you won’t have time to do them during a regular week.

So, if 6-figure sellers are spending limited time creating products, YOU should be too.

Asking for input on everything you do

Yup, you’re a big girl now. You own a business, and if you want that business to do well, you need to learn how to make your own decisions.

Quickly.

Because the longer it takes you, the more money you lose.

Some things need input – testing a new product line, or coming up with a good theme for your blog – those are BIG decisions and it’s reasonable to ask for help there.

But asking for feedback on EVERY product you make, or getting feedback on fonts / colors / designs that look dead similar – those things are a waste of everyone’s time.

You’re creative. You’ve probably had good taste your entire life. It’s time to act like it.

Stop putting your own success on hold just because you need positive reinforcement. Post your new products. Watch the reactions from your CUSTOMERS – because they are the people who really matter.

(And hey, guess what? Your fellow sellers or the people you’re asking for advice? They’re definitely NOT your target audience. Use their opinions at your own risk!)

The opinions that matter most are YOURS and your customers. If customers clearly like something and they keep buying it, make more shit like that. Clean and simple.

5. START SPENDING YOUR TIME ON THESE TASKS

Add more items to your shop

How many times have I mentioned adding new items? If there’s ONE friggin’ thing you get from this entire article, let it be this:

Adding items to your Etsy shop (or any other online shop), is a MUST. Your Etsy biz will never go full-time without this strategy.

You need to add new items at least once a month, and you need to make things that people WANT. That means if one of your items or designs is selling faster than everything else, it’s time to make MORE of the same.

And don’t forget: adding more items boosts your SEO (both on Google and Etsy – search engines LOVE new content, and they rank you higher when you create it on the regular). Oh, and did I forget? The more items you have, the easier it is for buyers to find you.

In fact, I have one client with over 1000 items. She sells Bible Prints, and when you search Etsy for “Bible” anything – literally it doesn’t matter what you search as long as the word “bible” is in it – she has so MANY freaking items that she comes up in search EVERY TIME.

But on top of that, her 1000 items are all HIGH QUALITY. It took her years to build up a so much stock, but she’s basically automated her income because it’s so easy to find her online.

Promote yourself and your items on as many free platforms as possible

Yup, you don’t have to pay for serious exposure online.

Most sellers expect that they HAVE to pay for Etsy Promoted Listings or something similar to break the 5-figure mark, but that’s just not the case.

I only pay for promoted listings during my high season (November – February), because they’re only going to make me an extra $50/month during the rest of the year.

(And $50/month does NOT a 6-figure income make – in fact, it’s a waste of my time and energy).

As I said earlier, you should only be focused on the tasks that are making you money. And if promoted listings (or paid promotions) aren’t working for you, stop doing them. Period.

But FREE promotions never hurt, and there are lots of places you can get free exposure. Try out different methods, and see which ones create SALES. Once you find some that work, hyper-focus on them!

Here are some ideas:

Focus on What Your Customers WANT

Hey guess what? Customers will buy MORE if you sell exactly what they want!

If you want to make more PROFIT, you need to focus on the things that are PROFITABLE. So, if your buyers are loving on your simple jewelry pieces, it’s time to make MORE of those. Period.

You can be creative and make new things in your extra time. But when it’s business hours, you should have your head up the ass of your biggest profit makers.

If there are tasks on your list that aren’t making you money, STOP doing them. Spend your time where it matters.

Create an email list

Want to own your business? Want to keep all your customers even if Etsy crashes, or suddenly decides to change their algorithm? Want to ensure you keep making money, even if the worst happens?

You need an email list.

The general consensus is that an email list will somehow make you a millionaire overnight (it won’t). But the truth is that it’s just another part of business that most people avoid until the last possible second.

SO…let’s get down to business and fix your shit. Today I want to show you a little trick I invented (yes, I’m brilliant like that) to grow my email list like a maniac.

Alright. You’ve got an Etsy shop. Etsy won’t let you collect emails because life’s a bitch. So how do you build a list without emailing everyone that ever bought from you (moderately illegal) and asking them to subscribe (annoying)?

About a month ago my buddy Rachel from PaperBerryPress was chatting with me on skype. She was telling me how she has a link to her mailing list on all her product pages, but she STILL doesn’t get any subscribers. We were mutually bitching about our sad little lists when it hit me:

CUSTOMERS DON’T READ FOR SHIT.

I don’t know about you, but customers contact me all the time about the exact crap that’s written all over my listings a hundred times.

But you know what they DO look at?

PRETTY FREAKIN’ PICTURES.

Online culture has become absolutely dominated by visuals. Take a look around social media: what used to be a feed full of written updates (*coughcough* MySpace) is almost entirely video and pictures these days.

So what the hell does this have to do with your mailing list?

THIS ↓ ↓ ↓

grow your shop's email list

I added a “join the mailing list for 10% off” image to all my listings. It’s the final image, and much to my surprise, it converts like a beast. I expected people to subscribe, get their coupon, and unsubscribe, but I actually saw some pretty decent results:

grow your shop's mailing list

Not earth shattering…BUT when you consider doing (basically nothing) at this rate will add 425 SUBSCRIBERS PER YEAR…well that’s a whole new ball game.

Seriously, all I did was add an image to my Etsy listings. I’d say this method has pretty good return for like no effort at all.

Did you notice? In the graphic up there ↑ ↑ ↑, not only did my subscribers increase, but my open rates and clicks did too. What does that mean? These new subscribers are ENGAGED. They wanted to sign up. They’re making my email list incrementally more awesome with their mere presence.

I definitely didn’t expect that.

So how the hell do you steal my method and use it for yourself? Start by downloading your free mailing list image (and watch the free tutorial!) in the resource vault:

Start Your Mailing List Tutorial

It’s time to start building that email list of yours! Get started with the ONE tactic that allows you to TRULY OWN your business. Watch the video and download your mailing list image in the Ultimate Guide Vault.

Create a blog

Hey guess what? Did you even know my Etsy shop existed before you found this blog?

Probably not!

Guess what else? I did that shit on purpose.

I knew I’d have a wider reach, and get more eyes on my business if I had a blog.

Now, we’ve talked at length about why an e-commerce website is a waste of your time, but a blog on the other hand…

A blog is a goldmine.

I’m going to tell you a secret.

My website doesn’t get that much traffic. I’m a ex-web developer literally filled to the brim with SEO tricks. But it’s true. My website is just not a top priority for me, because it’s a 20x more effort than any other part of my business.

MY BLOG, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS A DIFFERENT STORY.

I started blogging to fill my gaps in income. Any product-based business has them: some seasons bring a dip in sales.

But then I realized something: blogging was so much bigger than just ‘filling the gaps’. I love blogging, and adding new content to my blog means I get more traffic with way less work.

Blogging is, I kid you not, easier than maintaining a website. It’s about a zillion times more fun, too.

Want to boost your sales one week? Post an article about how you created your latest item. Send an email to all your subscribers.

Want to see if an item will sell? Ask your blog readers! Get feedback before you spend a minute of time on it!

When you create a blog, you’re building TRUST. You’re creating an active community surrounding your products.

People buy from you without hesitation when they’ve been happily following your blog for months and months.

PLUS you can use your blog to sell things you wouldn’t normally sell on Etsy. Are you an amazing painter? Why not sell online art workshops? Or create mini-lessons, videos and e-books? You’re not only creating customers for life, you’re growing your income however you see fit. Not within the confines of Etsy’s seller handbook. Your business belongs to you when you’ve got a blog.

Best part: publishing regular content on a blog means it will always be easier for you to get traffic (because google prefers content that’s new and updated frequently).

In fact, I use Pinterest to drive constant traffic to my blog. All I have to do is set it up once a month, then I just sit back and watch the traffic roll in.

Ready to Get Serious About Etsy?

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I never thought I'd become a full-time seller. In fact, I made -$40 my first month in business. I certainly wasn't in any position to quit my job, and I was pretty sure it would be YEARS before I figured out how to leave the rat race behind. But during my second month in business, my income suddenly jumped by over $3000! How did I go from -$40 to +$3000 in ONE month? What happened between months 1 and 2??? Well, my little grasshopper, this is EXACTLY what I reveal in my SECRET blog article, How I increased my Etsy income from $1000-4500 per month.

Get yours hands on the secret blog article that reveals exactly how I quit my day job in just 6 short months!

Learn how you can rapidly boost your income, create a brand that gets found across every corner of the internet, and learn how to fix monthly revenue gaps with this all-in one method.

This is one of MANY premium articles created just for serious sellers…and they’re all available in the Subscriber Tribe. Want to become a member? Click below to learn more.

How to Think Like a Successful Business Owner

1. READ THE SIGNS: WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT

About two weeks ago, I noticed a super obvious trend in my sales.

My digital download prints were FAR outselling everything else in my shop.

What does that mean?

Well, off the top of my head, it means I should stop making mugs for no damn reason at all, and instead focus on what the customer so obviously WANTS from me.

This is a common problem I see among Etsy sellers. Look at your sales. Are customers sending you an obvious message that you’re ignoring?

Hey guess what? Customers will buy MORE if you sell exactly what they want!

(Yeah, it was a DERP moment for me. But don’t worry, if you made the same mistake, I won’t tell!)

If you’re not sure what your customers want, just have a look at your past sales.

Do you have a key 5-10 items that sell over and over again? Hey guess what: that’s totally normal. And it’s also your customers sending you a CLEAR MESSAGE:

“We like this! Make more like it!”

Simple as that. You can capitalize on a best seller in a few different ways:

  1. Re-use the design on a different product. For example, I could sell an art print digitally, I could physically ship it, or I could put it on a mug, tote, t-shirt, purse…whatever I can dream up. Each of those things is a separate product.
  2. Sometimes designs are popular because of fonts, colors, size, etc. Isolate the things that are popular by trying them out on new products. Product #1 can be the same color. Product #2 can use the same font, and so on. Hone in on what customers REALLY want from you.
  3. In my case, it was a TYPE of product that was my clear bestseller. If you’ve got one product clearly outselling all the others, make more of that TYPE of product. Focus only on that product when you’re making new items to grow your income faster.

2. Trolls happen. Learn how to deal with them.

Have you ever lost an afternoon gawking at top sellers on Etsy? Or maybe you get lost in the uber-perfect Instagram feed of someone whose business is 10 steps ahead of yours…

The next time you catch yourself lusting after your competitors, I want you to remember something:

Whether you’re the most flawless blogger, the You Tuber with endless followers, or the Etsy seller who can do no wrong…ALL these people get terrible emails, shitty comments, and 1-star reviews for no reason.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your business is.

Between the hundreds of good comments we all get, there’s always a troll wedged in there.

It happens to everyone who does business online. And the more you grow, the more likely it is to happen.

Seriously, you could give EVERYONE who ever visits your website a crisp $1000 bill, and there will STILL be people out there who find a reason to complain about you.

Just to prove my point, I’m gonna tell you a story. Not long ago, I launched a video training series.

I decided that I didn’t want to leave people out of the fun just because they couldn’t pay – so I took my video series (which took over 30 days of work to create), and I decided to offer it, completely free, to my email subscribers.

The only catch? Subscribers got 48 hours to watch over $200 of serious Etsy training for FREE – then after 2 days, those videos got locked away in my members-only vault.

The amount of appreciation I got for a giving away some of my best stuff for free was beyond overwhelming, and incredibly humbling:

Ultimate Guide to Etsy
Ultimate Guide to Etsy
Ultimate Guide to Etsy

These people were so grateful – they totally appreciated how much time and energy I spent just to GIVE them something helpful for FREE. And they were happy to grab their videos within a 48-hour window.

But among the glowing emails, there’s always one of these:

Ultimate Guide to Etsy

Did I have to give this person stuff for free? Absolutely not.

Is it shocking that I only gave them 48 hours to watch? Not really, it’s my content – I get to choose how I put it out into the world.

Was I trying to sell her something? Um, DUH – that’s how I pay my rent each month. What do you think I do, pray the bills away?!?

Is it shocking that people get angry at you when you give them something for free? Um, hell yeah it is!

But it proves an excellent point:

People will find a reason to get ANGRY at you no matter what you do.

Even if you give them free stuff.

Even if you have the best product in the world.

And even if there’s no reason at all, and they just want to be shitty.

That’s the definition of a troll – they hate for no reason at all.

So, what do you do when trolls happens to you?

Let’s look at this lovely little scenario right here:

Ultimate Guide to Etsy - getting reviews

If you’ve sold on Etsy for any amount of time, you’ve probably encountered a review just like this.

A lot of customers forget that it’s difficult to hand-create items, and not only that – it never occurs to buyers that you have business expenses!

But as a seller, if I posted a response telling the buyer “it’s expensive to create handmade items, and I have expenses too, you know!”, it would make me look defensive, hot-headed, and worst of all: difficult to buy from.

Let’s pretend that, INSTEAD of getting upset about this review, I posted something like this:

“Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re not happy with your item! I’d love to make this right for you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve just sent you an email and Etsy convo so you can get in touch with me easily!”

WOW. That feels like some kick-ass customer service!

Added Bonus: For anyone who’s reading through your reviews and sees this response, it’s going to make them WANT to buy from you. It makes you look like the coolest person on the planet.

Here’s the best part about this strategy – NOWHERE in that response did I offer up a refund, or anything specific AT ALL. Since they’ve already reviewed me, I’m not obligated to do anything.

BUT I will usually provide a 50% refund in this case. I think of it as my “I’d-pay-money-to-never-deal-with-you-again” fee. And I’m usually happy to pay it.

Realistically though, once someone leaves you a bad review like this, it’s unlikely they’ll contact you or reply to your messages. So at least this way, you can cover your ass!

What to do with Trolls that wind up in your Inbox

On Etsy, we’re required to deal with customer service and feedback. It’s a part of the job.

But what do you do when trolls wind up in your inbox?

I personally believe that your email inbox is a sacred place. YOU get to choose who CAN and CANNOT contact you, and you have the right to filter people however you’d like.

When readers write me about LEGIT customer service issues, this is always my top priority, and it should be yours too. After all, these are the people that pay our bills and allow us to live our dreams. The least we can do is try our best to make them happy.

BUT when someone just wants to say something awful to you, or tell you that you suck, or provide unsolicited criticism – THAT is an inbox troll.

I’m going to tell you a secret:

If trolls write you shitty emails, leave comments on your social media, or otherwise harass you…you are NOT obligated to answer them.

In fact, I delete them.

Whenever I find a troll, I ask myself two questions:

  1. Is this person currently paying me for something?
  2. Will this person EVER pay me for something? Are they likely to become a customer?

And if the answer to both these questions is “NO” – then I hit DELETE.

Immediately. No thought required.

Using this system removes emotion from the equation. You don’t even need to get upset, or waste your time on this person. Just REMOVE them from your life entirely.

Rather than wasting my time answering these people, I can move on with my day and keep right on running my successful biz, interruption free.

So, take a breath, and LET it GO. This person doesn’t deserve ANY more of your valuable attention.

And don’t forget: it’s widely known in online communities that NEGATIVE comments are a sign of major business growth. Many bloggers (myself included) report that they get an influx of negative emails right before their business gets a serious income injection.

BOTTOM LINE:

All businesses get trolled. A LOT. The pain will always subside with time, then it won’t matter anymore. Focus on YOUR business and what YOU need to do to grow more each day.

3. You’re Being too Hard on Yourself

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend among my fellow Etsy sellers.

When they aren’t making sales at the high five or six figure level, they’re positive that something’s WRONG.

These sellers think they’re missing some magic piece of the puzzle… or they’re wondering if their item just isn’t capable of driving serious sales.

And most of them say they’re one bad day away from throwing in the towel.

But the reality is this: you don’t just open an online store and start making 6 figures immediately (or even FIVE figures).

For real guys: THIS SHIT IS HARD! IF IT WAS EASY, EVERYONE WOULD DO IT.

If selling online were simple, we’d all be RICH by now!

Today I want to talk REALITY. What does it REALLY take to get to six figures?

I mean no makeup, surrounded by plates of leftover food, smells like shit, true-to-life business REALNESS.

This is the reality of being in business. At all times.

To get 6-Figures in the first place, there were a lot of steps I had to take. There were a lot of things I had to pay for. And there was a small clusterf*ck of things I had to stop bitching about and just LEARN.

But most importantly: it DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN.

I NEVER woke up one morning to an insane payday.

(At least, not one that I didn’t plan, create, market, email, post, and nearly kill myself over first!)

It took legit TIME, a bit of torture, and consistent EFFORT on my part, every single f*cking day.

“Luck” has NOTHING to do with a 6-Figure business.

You need to be prepared to put in the work. If you aren’t SUPER EXCITED to get out of bed and work on your shop everyday, then you need to cut your losses and move on now.

There’s no sugar-coating this: if you don’t like your business, or you just want to make a quick buck — you are in the wrong place. Customers can smell desperation. And there’s literally nothing that repels sales faster.

But if you truly love what you do, and you feel like you could do it everyday for years and never be miserable…then all you need to do is BE STUBBORN and keep working at it!

Because the only way you can make serious money at this is to give it serious time and energy.

So, I’m going to go through all the things you’ll experience on the road to 6-Figures… in an effort to help you understand your own hot mess of business.

(Which by the way, is totally normal. If my biz stops being a hot mess, then be warned: I just sold my soul to Satan).

4. YOU WILL WANT TO QUIT. A LOT.

Yup, it’s true. As business owners, we all have days that we want to quit.

And once in a while, I still want to quit now.

If you don’t feel like you’re ready to give up at least once a month, then congratulations: you’re a friggin’ psychopath.

Just to drive this one home, I’m gonna paint you a pretty picture:

6 months after I started my business, I was crumpled up in a ball on the floor of my office.

My husband and I had just polished off one of 50 arguments we were destined to have that year…You know, these arguments: “when are you going to clean up all these boxes?” and “your business doesn’t fit in this house!” and “You can’t work 14 hours a day! I haven’t seen you in weeks and I can’t clean this house by myself!” (he could, husbands are just allergic to cleaning).

In this phase of the biz, my default position was lying on the floor of my office wondering “what the fuck have I done?!”

Meanwhile, I was working a horrible job where my boss yelled at me every single day (coughcough #HardcoreVerbalAbuse), despite the fact I always turned in high-quality work, well before deadline. I was stuck in the corporate hamster wheel and I had long since realized it would never get better.

Reality check: as bad as my business sometimes felt, my current job situation was WORSE.

I had to choose the lesser of two evils.

On this particular day, I had my “lay on the floor and flip out” moment…and then I got up, I pulled out a sheet of paper, and wrote down solutions to all my current problems.

Because the fact is, in business and in life, no one can help you but YOU. Being a business owner kind of sucks. Sometimes, it sucks A LOT.

But you’ve pretty much got two options: keep trying or give up.

So, I decided to shut up and keep moving forward.

BOTTOM LINE:

I can attribute at least 50% of my success to BEING STUBBORN. Pure and simple: my ability to try again no matter how many times I fail at something is the reason my business exists today.

5. WHAT IT COSTS TO RUN A SERIOUS BUSINESS

Here’s what it costs to run this blog every month:

WP-Engine* $82.5 (sophisticated web hosting)
Bluehost $9 (domain name hosting)
Convertkit* $99 (email marketing)
Teachable $39 (a platform for courses)
DPD $10 (delivery of digital items)
Sumo Me $20 (helps me collect emails on the blog)
Postcron* $8.25 (social media automation)
Rainmaker $145 (how I create a premium portal for Etsy Academy)
Google mail $5 (my “fuzzyandbirch.com” email addresses)
Tailwind* $10 (Pinterest + Instagram posting)
Boardbooster* $15 (Pinterest automation)
Coschedule* $60 (Sophisticated social media marketing)
Voo Video $16.5 (Sophisticated video hosting)
Mega $9 (An easy way for me to backup documents)
Bit Defender $4 (For keeping viruses, malaware, and phishing in check)
Samcart* $199 (How I take payments on the blog)
Vimeo $17 (My video hosting platform)
Proof $29 (Social proof that shows who made recent purchases on the blog)

TOTAL – $777.25 / month (yes, really.)

Keep in mind that I collected these tools over time as my blog became more successful. So, when I had the need for a new tool / function on the blog, I looked for something that could accomplish the task and make back the money it cost each month.

Here’s what I’m paying to keep my Etsy shop running each month:

Marmalead* $19 (Etsy SEO tool)
Etsy on Sale* $10 (Etsy sale, tagging, and renewal tool)
Etsy Renewals $12 (renewing items)
Mailchimp $9 (Email marketing)
Adobe Design Suite $19 (custom graphic design software)
ShipStation* $25 (shipping for my fulfillment service)
Etsy Promoted Listings $30 (as needed)

TOTAL – $124 / month

(Link has a * next to it? That’s an affiliate or referral link, you can claim a free trial of this item if you click the link. Full disclosure: I get a small commission).

Once again, I did not START with all these expenses. And don’t forget: buying these tools won’t GUARANTEE that you start making more money – you have to put in the work. That’s how an investment works: it does some of the lifting for you, and in return, you make the money back SOMEWHERE ELSE in your biz.

Why do I pay for all these things? Well, Buttercup, as it turns out, they all MAKE me more money than they cost…not to mention, they allow me to continue making money every day.

Without these products, my business just plain stops functioning, stops selling, or both.

Because at the end of the day, you can’t run a 6-Figure business for free.

Literally zero people do that.

So, get real with yourself, and realize this business of yours is going to require a REAL investment if you want to be serious.

Now let’s review all the…

COURSES, coaching, and communities I pay for

I’m not going to list them all (you’d be reading for HOURS – and my bank account would get super embarrassed), but I will tell you which ones made a BIG difference for my business.

I would NOT be sitting here today without these items:

Pinfinite Growth by Melyssa Griffin ($397) – This Pinterest course taught me how to boost my Etsy and blog traffic with less effort, all by using Pinterest. I bought this course back in early 2016, and it’s still bringing me serious blog traffic and at least 50 visits to my Etsy shop every day.

Call-to-Action by Ramit Sethi ($997) – This course is all about convincing people to buy your product without sounding “sales”, scammy, or feeling icky at the end of the day. I came into the online game with an MFA in Professional Writing, and I STILL needed to take a writing course at the end of the day. That’s because we don’t learn effective ways to persuade people to buy products without sounding like a car salesman. This course in super in-depth, technical, and not for the hobbyist…and if you do the work, you’ll learn how to make money with your writing over and over again.

Accelerator by Ramit Sethi ($997 per year) – This is the premium community that comes with the “Call-to-Action” course I mentioned above. In this community, I can hop on business strategy calls, coaching calls, copy editing calls, or just “shut up and work” calls whenever I need accountability. It’s extremely useful when I’m feeling clueless (which is most days). This level of support is worth FAR more to me that $997/year. I’ve met tons of people like me, created serious business connections, and pushed my business forward like never before.

90-Day Year by Todd Herman ($597) – This is the holy grail for all my peeps who constantly feel unorganized. If you’re ready to stop throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks, 90-Day Year is the ultimate planning course. You’ll learn how to become ultra-productive and organized in a super short period of time. And you’ll understand what’s worth your time, and what isn’t…almost immediately.

Etsy Coaching Collective by Lisa Jacobs ($3000) – About 8 months after I started my Etsy shop, I decided to enroll in a coaching collective with blogger Lisa Jacobs. At the time, I was trying to grow my business exposure by starting a blog. I knew I’d be taking this blog super seriously for years to come – even if it made me no money. I understood the value of a blog and I was well aware that it was going to be an uphill climb. I didn’t expect to start making money until the blog was at least a year old. And that’s why I hired a business coach. I needed someone to help me overcome the initial obstacles of starting a new business (while running an existing business). And that’s exactly what happened – 6 months after starting the blog, it began bringing in between $1000-2000 extra every single month.

Each and every one of those courses was a financial BOMB for me when I bought them – those bitches got charged to the credit card and I was crossing my fingers that I’d be able to pay them off at all.

But EACH ONE taught me enough to start bringing in serious new money. In many cases, I wound up paying off these courses the same month I bought them.

And that’s because I COMMITTED to doing them, top to bottom. I understood each course was an investment in my business, and in order to make them WORTH it, I had to complete the exercises and do the work. (Even when it made me uncomfortable, and even when I really didn’t want to. I did it anyway).

So, if you think EVERYTHING is too expensive, and you’re freaking out about costs, know that WE ALL FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY. Everyone who makes serious money had to buy something they couldn’t afford at some point.

That $997 course I bought from Ramit? It made me $15,000 in a week. This happened just two months after I bought the course.

Makes $997 feel like a pretty good price, doesn’t it?

BOTTOM LINE:

If you’re not spending money on your business (and your personal growth), you’ll never make serious money. Period. No exceptions, no spoonful of sugar.

6. YOUR FINANCES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK

Hey, let’s just be disgustingly realistic for a minute: do you think there are any 6-figure businesses out there that AREN’T tracking their finances??

Do you think there are 6-figure businesses that don’t know where their money is coming from, or what their expenses amount to each month?

TECHNICALLY there are businesses like this – but they won’t keep making 6-figures for long!

There is a POSITIVE relationship between tracking your finances and PROFIT.

But who’s got time to think about all that when you’re starting out, right? You’ve got shit to do, products to sell, and a business to run. You’re the ideas gal, not the boring suit who needs to know where every penny goes, right? That financial stuff will just resolve itself…Right?

Wrong. As I found out, the financial stuff does not resolve itself. In fact, it became a problem I was losing sleep over every night.

Every time I added a product to my Etsy storefront, that nagging voice kept popping questions into my ear like some kind of sadistic Jiminy Cricket:

  • Am I under pricing my products?
  • How do people do wholesale? I can barely afford the price I’m selling at now!
  • Why am I losing money from…I honestly don’t know where?
  • Am I wasting money on all this inventory?
  • Can I afford to make this new product?
  • Am I supposed to pay myself a salary? How would I even figure that out?
  • What’s going to happen when I have to pay taxes on all of this???

What if I told you exactly how to answer all of those questions (and more)?

It’s pretty simple:

Track your shit. Track it every week, review it every month, and make sure you know where your money is coming from.

It doesn’t need to be a lot of work. Every Friday, I take 10 minutes to update all my accounts, transfer myself money, look at some simple graphs in my accounting software, then I move on with my day.

I use a free app called Wave Accounting to track my daily transactions, and I use this Etsy Accounting Method right here to price my products, track my sales, and pay my taxes.

OR…If you need a complete system for managing more complex business finances, check out one of my favorite books, Profit First.

I just named three things that are going to change your business overnight. Go get your finances in check right now – it can’t wait any longer!

The last time I decided to quit f*cking around and fix my finances, I figured out how to save myself an extra $2300 a month. FOR REAL!!

That money goes straight into my pocket now.

You may not find $2300, but I can guarantee that you’re missing something.

Not only that, but wouldn’t it be nice to sleep like a BABY?…Knowing that your finances are completely in order, and you don’t have to do ANYTHING but login and check on them once a week?

That sounds pretty damn priceless to me!

Ready to Get Serious About Etsy?

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I never thought I'd become a full-time seller. In fact, I made -$40 my first month in business. I certainly wasn't in any position to quit my job, and I was pretty sure it would be YEARS before I figured out how to leave the rat race behind. But during my second month in business, my income suddenly jumped by over $3000! How did I go from -$40 to +$3000 in ONE month? What happened between months 1 and 2??? Well, my little grasshopper, this is EXACTLY what I reveal in my SECRET blog article, How I increased my Etsy income from $1000-4500 per month.

Get yours hands on the secret blog article that reveals exactly how I quit my day job in just 6 short months!

Learn how you can rapidly boost your income, create a brand that gets found across every corner of the internet, and learn how to fix monthly revenue gaps with this all-in one method.

This is one of MANY premium articles created just for serious sellers…and they’re all available in the Subscriber Tribe. Want to become a member? Click below to learn more.

Add a Tablespoon of Exposure…Grow Baby, Grow!

Ah, growth. This is the one aspect of running an Etsy shop that somehow seems to allude us all.

If you’re stuck in the plateau (and you have no idea where to go from here), let me ask you something:

Are you ready to TRY SOMETHING NEW?

No, scratch that – are you READY to spend time and energy trying things you’ve never done before – no matter how uncomfortable they make you?

Fact is, change is uncomfortable. I still pitch a fit when my husband doesn’t buy the right brand of dish soap. ‘Cause I hate me some change.

But when it comes to running a business (no matter how big or small), you’ve got to ADAPT and EVOLVE.

Because if you keep doing what you’re doing, the results will never change.

That means if you’re making 20 sales a month, and you’re not willing to start a blog, or create a mailing list, or do any of the stuff I’m about to list below, you can expect to keep right on making 20 sales a month.

Change creates change.

(I know, tacky quote, but that shit is for real. Every time I make changes in my business I see major benefits – more sales, more subscribers, lukewarm internet fame, etc).

So let’s talk about your options:

1. GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON WHY YOU’RE NOT BLOGGING RIGHT NOW.

Yup, sorry, super obvious, but let’s talk about why blogging works. My blog gets about 1200 more visitors per day than my Etsy shop does. It took me about 3 months to create that level of traffic (spoiler alert: I did it with Pinterest. Same strategy we talked about above, get a refresh here if you need it).

And while my blog readers aren’t likely to become Etsy buyers, that doesn’t mean YOUR blog readers won’t want your Etsy products. All you have to do is create a blog that relates to what you sell on Etsy.

Don’t take this too literally – if you sell jewelry, you don’t have to start a jewelry blog. But you COULD start a fashion blog, where you regularly feature your own accessories with an outfit.

OR you could start a YouTube channel where you try jewelry tutorials on Pinterest, and when they work, you sell the result in your Etsy shop. (Yup, YouTubers are bloggers too! It’s ok to break the rules a bit!)

Not into being on camera or writing? You can also start a podcast in place of a blog. Art, hobby, and DIY podcasts are all insanely popular categories. Not to mention, you can grab a guest spot on some podcasts and promote your own blog/podcast (or your Etsy items!). Just find podcasts related to yours on iTunes, visit their website, and look for the “be a guest” link.

Use your podcast to teach listeners something new, then broadcast a weekly listener-only discount code for your Etsy shop. (Yup, it’s a great way to keep your shop in listeners’ heads!)

But the main point here is that you need MORE places that people can find you on the internet. Starting a blog is a great way to get some internet cred, and push your product to a much larger audience.

2. TRICKY WAYS TO FIND NEW AUDIENCES

Publish a Low-Cost Tutorial Ebook on Amazon

Wait, what black magic is this?

Did you know you can self-publish an ebook to Amazon for basically no money at all?

Did you know that DIY is a STUPID popular category on Amazon Kindle?

If you’ve got the graphic design skills, create a craft tutorial. Teach people how to create a simple version of something you sell in your Etsy shop. Then include a link to buy all the supplies – you guessed it, direct from your Etsy shop.

(Yes, ebooks can have links. And yes, you should link to your shop frequently.)

Including a picture of the finished product? Link to the item in your Etsy shop (caption that picture like a badass!)

Why does this method work? At first glance, it may seem a bit you know, completely out of left field?

Well, let’s talk numbers for a minute:

On Etsy, there are 25 million buyers (roughly). And they are buying your items. But you need a boost.

(I’m about to blow your mind right now, and I’m really frickin’ excited about it).

On Amazon, there are well over 300 million buyers.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Etsy!

Which means you could seriously increase your traffic over time with a simple ebook.

Not to mention, you can charge $$ for your ebook. (Can you say PASSIVE income?? Woot!)

Many ebooks go for $0.99 – but when you consider each sale is highly likely to drive interested buyers to your shop…AND you’re getting paid to send traffic to yourself…well that seems like a pretty AWESOME DEAL.

Hyper Focus on What SELLS

Have you seen Summer Streamline yet? In this video series, I publicly revamped my own Etsy shop when sales were slow. While critiquing my own shop (live, watch it right here), I noticed a super obvious trend in my sales.

My digital download prints were FAR outselling everything else in my shop.

What does that mean?

Well, off the top of my head, it means I should stop making mugs for no damn reason at all, and instead focus on what the customer so obviously WANTS from me.

This is a common problem I see among Etsy sellers. Look at your sales. Are customers sending you an obvious message that you’re ignoring?

Hey guess what? Customers will buy MORE if you sell exactly what they want!

(Yeah, it was a DERP moment for me. But don’t worry, if you made the same mistake, I won’t tell!)

More Growth Goodies

I didn’t cover everything here, but no worries, there’s plenty more on the blog:

Ready to Get Serious About Etsy?

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I never thought I'd become a full-time seller. In fact, I made -$40 my first month in business. I certainly wasn't in any position to quit my job, and I was pretty sure it would be YEARS before I figured out how to leave the rat race behind. But during my second month in business, my income suddenly jumped by over $3000! How did I go from -$40 to +$3000 in ONE month? What happened between months 1 and 2??? Well, my little grasshopper, this is EXACTLY what I reveal in my SECRET blog article, How I increased my Etsy income from $1000-4500 per month.

Get yours hands on the secret blog article that reveals exactly how I quit my day job in just 6 short months!

Learn how you can rapidly boost your income, create a brand that gets found across every corner of the internet, and learn how to fix monthly revenue gaps with this all-in one method.

This is one of MANY premium articles created just for serious sellers…and they’re all available in the Subscriber Tribe. Want to become a member? Click below to learn more.