5 Quick Ways to Grow and Leave Etsy
I have found that there are smart choices to better market your store and help move away from Etsy. For me, I couldn’t cut the income cold turkey. What I could do, was update how I was operating in order to make my products more appealing or easily accessible. Then, I would be better positioned to drive my own traffic. Here are tools and practices I’ve implemented that have raised my sales. I know there are differences of opinions, but these simple practices do work for me. They are also very easy and with a little time, you will be operating in ways that further your energy. As they say, “work smarter, not harder.” Most of these are also done from my phone because I rely heavily on its ease of use.
1.Keywords: I’m sure we have heard this term but may not fully know its benefits. When I first started to think about what it means for my store, I didn’t understand how it would help me. Keywords are important for a couple reasons, the first being it helps search engines bring up your products by matching the site to the search. Broad keywords will help identify your item, but those are more general and will have higher competition. I’ll use my previous crochet work as an example. When I started, I had very short titles. I would write “Newborn Striped Baby Hat,” as the title. This was the basic attributes of the item, but I discovered that phrasings can benefit the item being found. There are many ways you can do keyword research, but an easy way if you’re pressed for time is by typing in a “basic” word of what the item is/has, such as, “gold bracelet” or even “gold.”
The words populated in this search are the most common words used to search. These keywords can be research for items or can be incorporated into your titles and descriptions. If you want to be more specific and start to niche down, then you add more words.
At times, I will just see where the search terms take me. My next search could be “gold bracelet for women,” because I’m seeing what keywords are going to relate to my item but are also regularly searched.
It better assist pinpointing the scope of how shoppers are searching for items. Google keywords is another direction I use to see what words are being searched. Keyword planner will generate a large list of phrases or word so you can see relevant terms that relate.
With the Keyword Planner, it will start with high competition which means those words arecommonly searched. For my store, I do a combination of words that are competitive but also less competitive as it relates to my item. I found the words Celtic, bridal bangle, light weight, ladies, friend gift, had Medium competition so if that was relevant to my item, I would consider adding similar words. The two words that are noticeable are “bridal” and “friend.” This shows individuals are looking for items based on who the receiver would be or possibly for themselves.
After some research with my crochet items, I changed my titles to “Crochet Knit, Newborn Baby Boy Girl, Stripe or Striped Hat Cap, Coming Home Outfit, Baby Shower Gift.” This is a rough and vague title example, but each product you have will have a specific keyword research . This method can help assist making titles on platforms other than Etsy as well. When I updated my titles, I saw a rise in views on my Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and other places where I sell which helped me feel confident in attempting to transition off Etsy.
2.Product photos: These catch attention and relay information. If you have common questions that customers ask, a photo with all the information is a great addition. I have found people will look at a photo before they will read a description. Lightroom is the app I love the most. There are paid versions because it’s an Adobe product, but for my own purposes, it helps me immeasurably. How I started was importing photos and playing around with the lighting and colors. I take my photos in the same place in my home with the same lighting. Sometimes, I am carting the IKEA table around my yard for the perfect lighting. As soon as I found a setting I liked, I saved the “Preset.” Here are some examples of iPhone photos that I used my presets to sell items:
A white background keeps me consistent. IKEA sells kid’s tables that are white and I can take it anywhere for my photos to get just the right light I want. I have a baby monitor clip that I easily attach my phone in and out. This was also my method of spending no money because it was both items my daughter no longer used. Your local big box stores always have cheap options, I wasn’t going to pay a large price for something I simply needed for my phone.
3.Posting to social media: Since you now have amazing product photos, and you’ve updated your listing titles, where do you post your content? Social media is free marketing, even a few views can drive sales to your page. You can use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, depending on your comfort level. This is a lot of information, so if your eyes are rolling in your head causing you to have a concussion, having an open mind can go a long way!
I’m not amazing at social media, it’s difficult for me to connect in real-life and that’s why I couldn’t do a booth at a fair but I can chit-chat online. I drive traffic to my .com store. I take my pretty pictures, post my silly videos, and hope for the best. I do not have a large following, quite the opposite, but I have found that numbers don’t matter in some ways. When I started regularly posting on Instagram during the strike, my views have grown 133% with regular posting. (Even as I’m editing this article a couple days later, it went up to 150%)
On Instagram, I post reels, photo posts/carousels, and stories on a daily basis. This sounds daunting, I understand daily posting seems hard, especially videos. You do not have to take videos daily or even post daily. If you look at your analytics, it’s easy to find what days your audience is most active. Mine are the most active Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. If I’m able to I will do a reel every other day, but minimum a post twice a week. If you don’t know how to make videos, you can record them on Instagram, Tik Tok or Pinterest. That way you don’t worry about space on your device. If you are fine with taking videos, my method is taking a bunch of videos all at once and editing them one at a time as I post them.
Before your final posting, first save the video as pictured below:
Next, find hashtags that go in the description. I have a free hashtag generator called Hashtag Expert. There is a paid version, but I try not to pay for a service if I don’t need more than the free version. In the generator, I type in a word relevant to my video like “stickers”and it makes 30 popular hashtags for me. I save hashtag groups I can use again after time has passed, but I use new hashtag combinations for every post. By doing this, it diversifying how you show up to accounts that regularly interact with that hashtag and therefore your ideal consumer. I have reached 27.2K accounts using hashtags on Instagram and I see regular growth daily. I use less hashtags on TikTok but the same basics: make the video showing product, insert cool sound, hashtags, save the video and post.
I put an emphasis on saving the video because very often I can reuse the same clips for new sounds or posts. An Instagram video that I save before the final post, it doesn’t have an Instagram logo on the final video. Take that video and go to YouTube for a Short, TikTok for a post, Pinterest with an Idea Pin, and Facebook Reels. That way, one video is going to get views on five platforms with the effort of making one! Keep in mind you don’t have to make the video longer than 15 seconds, realistically even less. Some clips are as small as 7 seconds, as long as it gets the point across. I just try for 15 seconds and I found that I can do longer videos for other platforms like YouTube Shorts are 15-60 seconds. My videos are mostly showing my products with a fun sound. Some other ideas are making the items, packaging your orders, compilation videos of what you’ve made in a week even if not for your store. I have other interests that don’t relate to my store that I post about, like my obsession with K-Pop and slime. Viewers are interested in your authentic self.
4.Scheduling Ahead: For Pinterest, I use a very simple method/software of scheduling posts called Tailwind. This drives directly to my website Pinterest traffic. There is a free option, but I have built my way up where I don’t mind the paid version. There is a tutorial here or I have the Google extension downloaded on Chrome. The reason for this is the ease of use. I go to hfpaints.com on Chrome, click the tailwind logo, and it automatically starts making pins. Once they’re created, I pick what boards they go on and in 20 minutes I have a month worth of Pinterest posts.
For planning ahead on all platforms: if you have time to make posts in batches and just want to make all your posts at once, you can save them as drafts. This method also saves money because you aren’t paying to schedule. I make my posts up to the point I’m going to post, and then I “close it” but instead of discarding it, I select to “save as draft.” That way you can make as much content as you want ahead of time and then each day post new content from your drafts folder.
5.Other notes: These are some methods I use to manage and direct my traffic to my .com site. I don’t need to rely on Etsy to bring my traffic whenever, especially as of late they are working in so many ways against you. To name a few, advertising against you by putting “You May Also Like” at the bottom of your listings!
I know that some individuals are intimidated by using other platforms because it doesn’t mean they are “building a brand.” My personal view is that I connected my Shopify to these platforms and it’s helping my items sell. Ultimately it brings sales to my store and spreads the word about my social media. I needed to start somewhere, and if my traction to my .com platform grows where I don’t need the others, and my highest priority of leaving being Etsy, I am going to go after the one stream of revenue. I don’t shy away from other platforms. If you are interested in diversifying and selling on other platforms you can consider some other platforms.
- Etsy has Pattern which is in a way, mildly avoiding the fees or stretching the fees in your favor if you don’t want to make a .com site. It hosts the site but doesn’t take the payment fees in the way “regular” Etsy does. I would suggest you explore this in your pros and cons for your business. I use it to post my Etsy items on Pinterest but avoid the fees Etsy takes for “bringing a customer to me” as they say. If Pattern isn’t for you, Shopify is a great way to sell on multiple platforms and they continue to become competitive with Etsy.
- Ebay is another platform where I have connected my Shopify store. I know it takes higher fees, but you have free listings. I linked my account with my .com store, and I used the tool to post my items on eBay and manage my inventory.
- Facebook Marketplace is relatively new to me selling my products. I can update once I’ve used it more! I have used it previously to sell my daughter’s old toys, so I have established reviews and I have found success so far in selling my Etsy items on this platform.
If you have any suggestions, please comment and share your knowledge with others!