Learn How To Start And Grow Your Etsy Business

How to Make Money Selling on Etsy

Mamas, have you ever considered opening an Etsy shop instead of returning to your 9 to 5 when maternity leave is over? Learn how to start and grow your Etsy business with our guest author Erin Clay. Erin is your girl! Read on.

In today’s economy, everyone is searching for a way to make extra income. It’s easy to create a side hustle and make money selling on Etsy if you have a craft hobby or a unique item to sell. 

Etsy is a platform to sell your unique items. The items have to be handmade, vintage, or supplies used to make handcrafted items. So each item is uniquely crafted by a small business owner.

The important thing is to set your shop up for success so that people can find your products. I can help you get started so that you can have success. Are you excited to open your own Etsy shop?  Keep reading to find out how!

Decide What You Want To Sell On Etsy

The first thing you need to do before opening your Esty shop is to decide what you want to sell.

Search for items that you want to sell. If you find shops selling your type of products, that is an excellent sign that your product is in demand. You may want to expand your niche if you don’t find any shops.

You want to ensure that every item you sell in your shop is related or belongs to the same niche. Having all your products relate to a specific niche makes it easier for people to find your products.

For example, if you sell organic teas in your shop, you can sell your teas, as well as handmade cups, diffusers, honey sticks, and anything related to tea, making tea, drinking tea, and serving tea. Adding non-related products to your shop makes it harder for your clients to find your products.

Setting Up Your Shop

Now that you have your product, you can set up your Etsy shop. Setting up your shop is free. It costs $0.20 to list items and a transaction fee of 6.5% for each item sold. To create a “Shop” and sell, you must have a consumer account. From your home page, click on your “Profile” dropdown menu and select “Sell On Etsy.” Then choose “Open Your Etsy Shop.”

The next few steps are setting up your account, so read each section carefully.

Name Your Shop

Next, you will reach the box to Name Your Shop. This needs to reflect your business. This step will be easy if you already have a business name. Name your shop after your business. If not, then you need to choose your Etsy Shop name.

Choose a name that:

  • Reflects your product and or business
  • Is unique, so it isn’t confused with other business
  • Is short and easy to remember
  • Is easy to pronounce
  • Has at least one keyword in it that tells what you sell

You can always use your name if you can’t think of anything else. For example, Tina’s Organic Tea Shop

Use correct spelling. Using misspelled words such as “Krazy Kat Krafts” makes searching for your name confusing.

Ask friends and family for their opinion about your shop name. Ultimately the name is yours to decide. You can change your name later, but rebranding a business is a long process and one you want to avoid if possible.

Know Your Competition

What kind of competition do you have in your niche? Do a little research on other Etsy shops that sell similar items.

  • Find out what types of things they sell, their keywords, and how their shop is set up. 
  • Pay attention to the shops that appear first in your search and see what makes them stand out.
  • Get inspiration from them. You want your shop to be uniquely yours, so don’t copy anything but find inspiration.
  • Find a shop you like, then “Follow” it and “Favorite” items you like.

Position Your Products To Be Unique

How will you position your products to stand out in a crowded market? When you are first starting, you will not have reviews, testimonies, a customer service reputation, or followers, so you need to capture your audience’s attention.

Photography For Etsy

Photos are a great way to show off your product. You want a simple background with lots of natural lighting. Take several photos of different angles of your product. Then include a photo of your product being used with props. You can be holding the product, wearing it, or using it. Etsy allows up to 9 images and a 5-15 second video to be uploaded of your product.

Etsy requires a specific ratio for their images, so when taking a photo of your product, leave some cropping space around the product. That way, when you upload the image and crop it on Etsy, you don’t lose an essential part of your image.

Pricing Your Products On Etsy

Pricing your product is always tricky. You don’t want to overprice because no one will buy, but you don’t want to undersell yourself. You worked hard on your product, so you deserve to be paid for it.

Here is the formula that most craft business owners use to calculate the cost of a product.

  • Cost of supplies + your hourly cost of labor + 5% – 20% Markup = Total Cost
  • Total Cost x 2 = Wholesale Price
  • Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

Keep in mind that Etsy has a $0.20 charge for each item you list and a 6.5% transaction fee for every sale you make.

Listing Your Product On Etsy

Now that you have your product, your shop set up, the images of your products, and your prices set, it is time to list your product in your shop.

In “Shop Manager,” click on “Listing” in the left column and click “Add A Listing” in the top right corner.

Adding a listing is easy, and Etsy walks you through each step.

Images And Video

First, you are going to add your images and video. As you add images, it gives you a suggestion on what image to upload. The first image you upload will be the primary image; then, it suggests different angles of the image, an up-close image, an image of the product in use, a product scale, a styled scene, and variations of color or size.

Videos are incredibly popular and help sell your product. Videos have no sound, so you let your product do the talking. Some video ideas are to get a video of you or a model wearing the item or show your item being used as decoration or in an everyday setting. You want to make your customers see how they can use this product.

Naming Your Product

Once your images are uploaded, you will name your product and give details. For your product title, you want to think about your product from the consumer’s point of view. What will they type in the search bar to find a product like yours? Using cute descriptions will actually hurt your results. You want to name your product what people will be searching for. Simple and to the point.


Keywords are words in your title and description that people would use when they type a product into the search bar. You want to make as many matches as possible so you will be found. You should have some common keywords or keyword phrases that are used in each listing. This helps people find your store and your listings.


Tags are essential and tell the specifications of a product. It answers specific questions such as:

  • Who is it for?
  • What is the primary color?
  • What method or technique did you use to make it? What size is it?
  • What style is it?
  • What is the primary material?
  • Does the item feature imagery or motifs?

Variations And Personalization

You can add color and size variation to your product listing if you offer the same item in a different color. Instead of listing it twice, you can add a color variation.

If you provide personalization on your product, such as name, initial, or date, you can include that in your listing.

Promoting Etsy On Social Media

You will not have immediate traction when you first open your Etsy Shop. It takes time to get visitors to your shop.  One way to introduce it to potential buyers is to share your listing on social media. Etsy has made an easy way to share directly from your Etsy Listing. Go to your “Shop Manager” and select “Listings.” You will see all of your listed products. On each listing, you will see a gear with a dropdown menu. Select “Share,” and you will see the option to share on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or a shareable link that you can copy. Share on all your social media platforms with a powerful description. Share new and old listings often to reach the most people.


Now that you have all the basics, is there anything stopping you from opening your own Etsy shop? Etsy makes it incredibly easy to run your shop. With some effort, you can be a highly successful Etsy Shop owner.

Are you ready to turn your hobby into a profitable craft business? Then download my Free Cheat Sheet, 5 THINGS TO HAVE BEFORE STARTING A CRAFT BUSINESS & Turn Your Hobby Into A Business!

About The Author

I am Erin Clay, and I learned how to sew and machine embroidery in high school. In 2014 my dream came true, and I was able to purchase a home embroidery machine and start a craft business. In 2020 I began helping others start up their own craft business. Since then, I have helped hundreds Launch Their Dream Businesses.