How to Build a Successful Etsy Store

How to Build a Successful Etsy Store

I began my Etsy e-commerce store in 2008 when Etsy was fairly young. Quite a lot has changed since it was founded in 2005 and will continue to change as Etsy’s growth persists.For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it’s a global marketplace where you can buy and sell things handmade. If you are looking for a unique gift for a person that is hard to buy for or if you’ve thought of starting an online business to sell things you’ve made, this is the spot!

In the past 7 years, between curating an Etsy store and helping hundreds of other Etsy businesses, I’ve learned some Helpful Hints to Success:

High Quality Photos of Products.

▸ Show as many views/angles as possible. Your buyer wants to feel like they’ve seen an item in person.▸ Take photos in natural light for maximum brightness and accurate color reflection.

▸ Avoid using a flash which often causes over and under exposed areas of an image.

▸ Show product scale.

▸ Use as much white space as possible. Note that clean photos with white or neutral backgrounds most often show up on the Etsy homepage and treasuries.

▸ Develop a consistent photography style.

Give your buyers an “ah-ha” moment.

▸ Be clear in who you are and what you sell. Buyers want to feel like they “get it.”▸ Don’t curate too many various goods. A store without clear direction yields a high bounce rate.

▸ Use your friends and family as test subjects. They may point out issues you’ve missed.

Develop branding to be used throughout.

▸ The easiest way to do this is through a shop banner utilizing clean, clear text or a logo. Develop this thoughtfully as it’s the first image seen on your page.▸ Continue your branding through packaging.

Descriptive Text.

▸ Write keyword-rich item titles and descriptions. This will help potential buyers find your products.▸ If you aren’t grammatically-inclined, have someone who is proof your writing. Errors will disprove your credibility.

▸ Write text you’d like to read as a buyer. Make it an interesting read.

▸ Develop a thorough “about” page for buyers to get a further sense of what your store is all about.


▸ Renew Items every few days if possible.▸ Place your favorite items on your homepage.

▸ Share your items on social media platforms set up solely for your business i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+.

The Most Important Advice.

▸ Make changes one at a time to control the environment. Monitor your stats pages for web traffic to gauge what viewers are clicking and favoriting. When web traffic and purchases go up, success can be measurable.

Etsy is an ever-changing marketplace, and is no longer solely hand-made goods. In late 2013, Etsy opened their doors to manufactured products. Make sure you keep up with new posts and announcements via the community page so you are in the know on changes.

Through Etsy, I’ve found a network of incredible artists, makers, entrepreneurs and more. I’ve developed friendships and partnerships with many from around the world and can say it’s truly a community worth exploring. And if you can quit your day job and make money doing what you love, why wouldn’t you?!


  1. Laura, at Court Street Knits

    I appreciate this article. I am in the process of opening/stocking/creating an etsy (and also a goodsmiths) store. All the insight you “veterans” can give, will certainly help newbies like me. Thank you!

  2. Laura, thank you for your comments! I am happy to help if you have any other questions as you build your empire. 🙂

  3. Enjoyed your post Meredith. I am always struggling with Etsy, but I love it!

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