My First Year on Etsy:
April of 2017 was the one year anniversary of my Etsy shop, Liberty Island Farm. I’ve had lots of ups and downs over the past year from selling shirts to selling wood signs, my husband’s motorcycle accident and a Christmas season that was amazing but so overwhelming. I wouldn’t trade any of it though.
The Etsy life isn’t an easy one. I put a crazy amount of my time into researching Etsy, SEO, photography, social media, and more to help ensure my shop continues to provide for my family. It really is worth it to me though because I have full control of the creativity, the business, and most importantly, my time.
My First Year Etsy Income Report:
The photo above is my stats from Etsy from April 6, 2016 to April 6, 2017. I also included the promoted listings info which accounted for roughly 8% of my sales. I average around 70% profit margins so after you take out all of the Etsy fees and supplies I made around $37,000 profit before taxes.
I grew or maintained my sales in every month of 2016 and had a really great Christmas season. I saved a big portion of our sales from our busy Christmas season because I knew that January and February were especially slow for retail and I was taking a week off in March to go on a cruise (which Etsy sales paid for). Planning for a rainy day is essential for retail sellers because you will have rises and falls in your sales.
The Biggest Key to my Success:
Thinking back to when I started, I remember how seeing Etsy income reports like this added fuel to my fire. If others could do it, I knew I could too. I knew SEO was important so I focused my attention there.
And it turns out, SEO was THE key!! Before you focus on social media or photos or anything else, learn about and work on your SEO! I can’t stress it enough. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization is what determines whether your listings appear in the Etsy search results for buyers. If you don’t appear in the search results you won’t get any sales.
The Other Keys to Success:
I made sacrifices to achieve this level of success. I learned everything I could. I was never too attached to my own idea of what would sell and instead, I focused on what my target market responded to.
I completely switched up my product line based on what was selling well and had the best profit margins. I experimented and innovated every day to help move my business forward.
I also attribute a lot of my success to good product photos, Etsy promoted listings and EtsyRank which I started using early on to help me find the right keyword phrases. But SEO was definitely the most important area to focus my time.
I’m no longer focused on selling in my own Etsy shop because I’m now helping other sellers in my learning community for motivated Etsy sellers, the Handmade Journey Academy.