Etsy How-to

6 Tips to Help You Scale Your Etsy Business & Grow Your Side Hustle

Running an Etsy business is a great side hustle for busy entrepreneurs in the eCommerce space. Develop a product, upload a couple of photos, then take your listings live for the world to find them. But here’s the catch… not many people will find your products that way — and the few who do won’t buy them. Looking for a way to improve? Keep reading to learn how to scale your Etsy business into a profit machine.

Turning your Etsy side hustle into a growing eCommerce business

Tips to scale Etsy business: Woman using laptop on the floor of her living room.

Turning passion into profit is the dream of every Etsy seller. But you’ll need more than a unique product to make your dream a reality. Improving your Etsy shop requires a strategic blend of market research, optimization, and quality customer service.

With guidance from Marmalead and the steps outlined below, you can transform your Etsy storefront into an eCommerce powerhouse that puts profits in your pocket.

What makes Etsy the ideal marketplace for eCommerce entrepreneurs?

Etsy has always been known as a global marketplace for artisans in the handmade space. But over the last several years, it’s expanded into an ideal selling platform for all eCommerce entrepreneurs. While Etsy is perfect for those in the arts, crafts, vintage, and handmade markets — you’ll also find a market for digital products, print-on-demand, and more.

More importantly, Etsy boasts a dedicated community of shoppers attracted by the marketplace’s unique and one-of-a-kind finds. From personalized jewelry to custom products made to order, shoppers can find just about anything on the Etsy marketplace.

With its straightforward setup, minimal listing fees, and transparent commission structure, anyone can start selling on Etsy in just a few minutes. And when it comes to discoverability, Etsy’s internal search engine helps shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for.

For eCommerce entrepreneurs interested in scaling their Etsy business, the key lies in understanding your audience, optimizing your presence, and delivering consistent value.

Let’s explore these steps further:

Scaling Your Etsy Business in 6 Easy Steps

Tips to scale Etsy business: Man studying Etsy SEO from his laptop.

1. Finding the right niche to sell on the Etsy marketplace.

Beginning with the right product is crucial. On Etsy, the possibilities of what you can create and sell are vast. The options are endless, from handmade scarves and custom stickers to print-on-demand t-shirts and digital downloads.

However, to ensure success, it’s essential to carefully evaluate which product to sell based on the following criteria:

Market Demand: Is there a genuine demand for your product on the Etsy marketplace? If existing buyers are actively seeking and purchasing items similar to yours, then you know your product has potential.

Use Etsy to search for products you intend to sell. Evaluate existing listings on the marketplace and develop ways to make your products unique. Then use Marmalead to explore which keywords are driving traffic to those listings.

Marmalead stats and promotional photo.

Competition: Take stock of the number of similar listings on Etsy. If the marketplace seems saturated with products like yours, consider how to differentiate your offerings. What unique value does your product bring?

Marmalead can help you brainstorm new product ideas with its integrated storm feature. Sort through seamless keyword suggestions that help you prioritize product ideas that are backed by thoughtful analytics.

Profit Margin: Ensure that the money makes sense. Have you calculated the total cost of creating and shipping your product? What profits remain after factoring in Etsy’s fees, shipping expenses, ad investments, and potential taxes?

Take the guesswork out of your calculations with Marmalead’s free profit margin calculator.

Calculator on top of a stack of money.

Marketability: At the end of the day, your marketing can make or break your success. Reflect on your product listings. Are your photos captivating enough to draw shoppers in? Consider the narrative or lifestyle your product promotes. Does this story resonate in your listing description and product photos?

Remember, even niche products can find their dedicated audience with effective marketing.

2. Optimizing your Etsy listings to improve discoverability.

Optimizing your Etsy listings with the right keywords is essential for boosting visibility and attracting the right audience to your products. To scale your Etsy business, leverage an Etsy SEO tool like Marmalead to find the most effective keywords to enhance your listing’s positioning in search results.

Ask yourself: Which search terms are buyers frequently using to discover products like yours on Etsy? And how well do your products align with these terms? Occasionally, slight tweaks in your product descriptions or offerings can make them more relevant for particular Etsy search queries.

Tips to scale Etsy business: Person using a sewing machine to craft their Etsy product.

When diving into keyword research for your Etsy listings, consider the following:

Search Volume: Are your targeted search terms popular among Etsy shoppers? Their usage can range from a handful to thousands per month. Naturally, the more frequently a term is used, the greater your chances of securing a sale. Yet, this often means braving stiffer competition.

Keyword Competitiveness: Gauge the competition level of your chosen keywords. If, for instance, there are 50,000 listings vying for the same terms, how can you ensure yours stands out? The strategy lies in balancing high-traffic keywords with pertinent long-tail keywords. Make the most of all 13 tags available and strategically embed your primary keywords within the title of your listing and the first few sentences of your listing description.

On that note, long-tail keywords are specific, often longer phrases that cater to a niche audience. Their significance? While they might attract fewer searches, they tend to draw in more targeted and, thus, potentially more committed buyers to your Etsy listings.

3. Being consistently great at what you do.

Group of Etsy sellers brainstorming new Etsy products.

Consistency in keyword strategy across all your listings is crucial to scale your Etsy business to more than just a side hustle. Rather than sporadically updating a single listing, strive for keyword optimization across your shop.

This elevates the credibility of each listing and boosts your overall shop visibility. As more shoppers engage with your listings – from clicks to purchases and positive reviews – Etsy takes notice, further promoting your listings to a broader audience.

Etsy aims to ensure a positive shopping experience, enticing buyers to return to their online marketplace. They reward shops that consistently offer positive experiences with an improved Etsy listing quality score.

This score, derived from Etsy’s algorithm, fluctuates based on user interactions. A listing that garners frequent clicks, purchases, and glowing reviews will have a higher score — meaning Etsy’s algorithm will likely favor it more. Conversely, listings that experience high bounce rates or negative feedback will dip in quality across the marketplace, hindering discoverability.

Therefore, the more your shop’s listings resonate with and satisfy shoppers, the higher your overall shop performance climbs.

4. Running your Etsy shop like a business, not a side hustle.

Group of Etsy sellers creating new business strategies in conference room.

It’s important to approach your Etsy shop with a business mindset rather than merely as a hobby or side gig. Even for the busiest eCommerce entrepreneurs juggling multiple online ventures, dedicating a modest amount of time to properly set up your Etsy shop is essential.

Ensure every facet of your shop’s profile is meticulously filled out – from uploading a professional logo to crafting a compelling bio and specifying your shop location. All of this information helps improve your potential for running a successful shop.

Etsy’s primary goal is to offer its users a top-tier shopping experience. Incomplete shop profiles often signal fleeting ventures that may not align with Etsy’s standards for dedicated business operations. Such oversight could lead the platform’s algorithm to sideline your listings, making it harder for potential buyers to discover your products.

Extend this diligence to your listings too. Ensure you thoroughly update core details, attributes, categories, tags, materials, and more. These elements are pivotal in assisting Etsy’s algorithm to match your listings with the most relevant customer searches.

5. Providing excellent customer service.

Tips to scale Etsy business: Etsy seller developing a new business model for her eCommerce storefront.

The customer is usually right.

Do not overlook the importance of prioritizing timely responses to messages and expediting your shipping process. On Etsy (and any other eCommerce platform), you should always aim for consistent positive reviews and go above and beyond for your customers.

Should a negative review surface, take prompt action to rectify the situation for the customer. When difficult customers get you down, brush it off and focus on catering to your future customers. Remember, without them, your business wouldn’t exist.

Though Etsy’s purchase protection program may have its flaws, most Etsy shoppers simply seek the item they’ve paid for in a timely manner.

All this to say — Embrace feedback, negative and positive; it’s an opportunity for growth. Should a customer express dissatisfaction, reflect on the root cause. Could your product images be clearer? Was there crucial information they might have overlooked in the product description?

Evaluate and refine your listings based on feedback to minimize future customer grievances.

6. Promoting your Etsy products effectively.

Tips to scale Etsy business: Etsy seller reading through positive customer reviews from her laptop.

You’ll need to get your products in front of more customers to capture your target audience. While organic traffic is pivotal for the success of any Etsy business, you’ll need to pursue additional avenues to bring more traffic to your listings if you want to scale your Etsy business.

Consider using Etsy ads to get your listings in front of potential customers quickly. If your ads perform well, you know your listing is optimized to convert into sales. If your ads don’t perform well, you’ll need to get to the root cause of why not.

A standout primary listing photo is crucial; the initial glimpse at your product tempts shoppers to engage with your listing to see it closer. Pair this photo with a compelling title that utilizes relevant keywords to maximize clicks to your listing.

If your primary photo and title aren’t resonating with users, it’s time for a revamp.

While Etsy ads benefit most sellers, you can also expand your reach through social media, funneling followers directly to your Etsy shop. Always maintain authenticity in your online interactions. Sure, your goal is to sell more products, but being overly salesy usually doesn’t work well on social media.

How to promote your shop and scale your Etsy business

Tips to scale Etsy business: Etsy seller uploading new Etsy listings to her online storefront.

Beyond Etsy ads and social media, several other strategies can prove effective in helping you scale your Etsy business:

Collaborate with influencers: Partner with social media influencers whose audience aligns with your product niche. A single shoutout or product review can significantly increase traffic to your shop.

Leverage Email Marketing: Build a mailing list and inform subscribers about new products, promotions, or seasonal sales. Personalized email campaigns can often lead to repeat purchases.

Host Giveaways: Organize periodic giveaways on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Not only does this increase your shop’s visibility, but it also engages potential customers in a fun, interactive manner.

Engage in Etsy Teams: Joining or forming teams can help you collaborate with other sellers, share marketing tips, and promote each other’s products.

Local Craft Fairs or Pop-Up Shops: Participate in local events or craft fairs. They offer an excellent opportunity for potential customers to experience your products firsthand, which can translate to online sales later.

Optimize for Mobile Shoppers: Ensure your Etsy shop and listings look great on mobile devices, as many Etsy users shop via their phones or tablets.

With these strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to successfully marketing your Etsy products and increasing your sales.

Over to you

Embarking on an Etsy business journey is more than just listing a product and waiting for sales. It’s about weaving passion, dedication, and strategic insights into every aspect of your storefront.

From impeccable product offerings and optimization techniques to stellar customer service and tactical promotions, every step counts towards establishing a thriving Etsy shop.

But remember, it’s not just about the destination – it’s about embracing the journey and growing along the way. Stay consistent, stay authentic, and as you apply the insights shared in this guide, watch your Etsy business evolve from a mere passion project into a formidable eCommerce powerhouse.

Happy selling!

Grow your online business, develop your SEO, and launch your sales into the stratosphere.

Read The Squeeze each week to see what’s new with Etsy and the growing industry of eCommerce. There’s a lot of noise out there getting in the way of your success. Cut to the chase with tips and tricks you can implement in your business right now. Let The Squeeze be your guide.


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