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10 Things To Do Before Starting An Etsy Shop

I'm Nancy!

As an Etsy coach, I specialize in helping Etsy sellers turn their passion into profits. With my expertise in Etsy's marketplace, I guide Etsy sellers and develop a marketing strategy to increase their visibility and sales. 

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Before starting an Etsy shop, there are some things that should be considered before diving in headfirst.

DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post. Through my links, I may receive a commission if you decide to make purchases at no cost for yourself! Check out our disclaimer for more info on how it works.

I started my first Etsy shop in 2016. It was my first time selling on Etsy, and I didn’t know about the 40 free listings.

In my first year on Etsy, I made many mistakes, from copyright infringement not understanding Etsy’s algorithm, but after 14,000+ sales, I have learned a lot.

In this blog post, I will be sharing the things I wish I knew before starting an Etsy shop.

Let’s dive right in and talk about the specifics of what you should do before starting an Etsy shop.

Decide on your niche for your Etsy shop

Opening an Etsy shop is a great way to start selling your handmade products online. But before you can start setting up your shop, you need to decide on your niche.

Your niche is the focus of your Etsy shop, and it should be something that you’re passionate about. Take some time to brainstorm what kind of products you want to sell, and what kind of style you want your shop to have. Once you have a good idea of what you want, narrowing down your niche will be much easier.

Think about what makes your product unique, and who your target audience is.

Are you selling vintage items? Handmade jewelry? Art prints? Once you know what sets your product apart, you can start promoting it to.

Make sure to check out Etsy’s terms of selling of what is allowed to sell on Etsy. 

If you’re considering starting your own Etsy store but unsure about which products to offer, my signature course, the Etsy Mastery Course, is your ultimate guide. Learn how to start, manage, and scale your Etsy business to a full-time income. 


Build a memorable Etsy shop with branding

Think about what you want your shop to be known for before starting an Etsy shop.

What feeling do you want your customers to have when they think of your shop?

Are you rustic and earthy?

Cozy and homey?

Quirky and fun?

Once you’ve got a good handle on that, start thinking about how you can incorporate that into every aspect of your brand, from the colors you use to the way you communicate with your customers. It’ll take some time and effort, but it’s worth it to put some thought into branding early on!

Is something that I didn’t do in the beginning and had to go back to fix and it took a lot of time to rectify. 

Here are some great books to help with your Etsy branding!


Do market research before opening an Etsy shop

No matter what you’re selling, it’s important to do your market research before opening an Etsy shop.

This will help you determine whether there is a demand for your product, what prices are realistic, and what competition you might face. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you with your research.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Use Alura an all-in-one platform for selling on Etsy. Set your business up for success with all the features you need to manage and scale your Etsy shop. They even have a product research tool that will help you validate your product ideas. 


Try Alura For FREE!

Google Trends is a great tool for market research. You can use it to see how often particular keywords are being searched for, and what the relative popularity of those searches is over time.

This information can be helpful when deciding which products to sell on Etsy. For example, if you see that a particular keyword is becoming more popular, you might want to start selling products related to that keyword.

Conversely, if you notice that a particular keyword is becoming less popular, you might want to consider discontinuing selling products related to that keyword. By using Google Trends, you can make data-informed decisions about what products to sell on Etsy, which will help you succeed in the competitive world of online retail.

Here are some more posts on starting an Etsy shop

Think about your Etsy cost 

It’s important to think about the costs of running your business on the site.

Make sure you’re charging enough to cover your materials and shipping, and don’t forget to account for Etsy’s fees! With a little planning, you can ensure that your business is profitable and sustainable.

If you’re like most Etsy shop owners, you want to provide your customers with the best possible products and services. But how do you know what’s the right product for them? And how much should you charge?

The Alura Product Calculator can help you answer these important questions. By entering some basic information about your product and target market, it will generate a recommended price point and product mix that is tailored to your specific needs. So whether you’re just starting out or looking to fine-tune your offerings, be sure to give the Alura Product Calculator a try!

Try Alura For FREE!

Choose a name for your Etsy shop

Before starting an Etsy shop, one of the first things you need to do is pick a name.

Choosing the right Etsy shop name is important for a number of reasons.

First, it’s how potential customers will find you in search engines. Second, it’s a reflection of your brand and what you’re selling.

And finally, it can help set you apart from the competition. So if you’re starting an Etsy shop, or thinking about changing your current shop name, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Choose a short, catchy, and easy to remember and spell.
  • Check the name you pick for trademarks.
  • Check if the name is available across social media platforms.
  • Check if the name is available to purchase as a domain.

You can use the site to see what names are available across different platforms. 

Create a product line

When most people think of Etsy, they think of individual sellers who sell one-of-a-kind items. While that is still true, there are also many Etsy shops that sell product lines. Product lines can be a great way to grow your business and increase your sales. 

Those who try to save a small percentage of time by skipping or putting minimum thought into steps 1 and 2 will struggle to find the right flow they need to have steady business. This results in creating an online yard sale – a type of shop and could be a major setback in your goal of being successful.

With that being said, knowing your target audience and niche are simple steps that will help you better accomplish your short and long-term goals in selling on Etsy, so, once you have those in mind, you can easily start coming up with some amazing product ideas!

A good way to get started with your products is by choosing to create a line that matches your niche. Obviously, if you chose a health-related niche, you’d create some form of health product, such as vitamins or supplements, to stay on-brand with your shop.

Not only will that boost your credibility to your customers, but you’ll also find yourself in a more professional and stable environment which, in itself, is a great way to know you’re one step closer to where you want to be; At home, showing your friends and family how you can make a living with Etsy!

Something to always consider when creating product lines – it’s better to keep each line categorized by similarities. If you ever question what products might fit in with a specific line, just think to yourself,” What supermarket aisle would I find this in (health, beauty, pet care, etc.), and does it match my niche?”

The exciting part now is that you get to start creating and organizing the list of products you’ll be selling on Etsy! When thinking of ideas, don’t be afraid to jot down all the items that cross your mind, however, you should eventually end up choosing roughly 3 pages worth of products to market for your business.

Your picture-perfect products

As an Etsy seller, your product photos are everything. They’re what will make potential buyers decide whether or not to purchase your products, so it’s important to take amazing photos that show off your products in the best light possible.

I highly recommend investing in these tools to help with product photography.

The photography box Dimension is 12*12 inch. With particular folding design, the whole assembly of a portable ring light box ONLY needs 10 seconds. No bracket. No screws. No complicated lighting layout. With a durable and waterproof carry bag, it’s very compact and convenient to use in many places without taking a lot of spaces.


Sony ZV-1 Camera for Content Creators is a great way to create beautiful videos of your products. 


Learn Etsy SEO

If you sell on Etsy, you know that good SEO is essential to getting your products seen by potential customers. With a few simple tips, you can optimize your Etsy shop for better visibility in search engines. 

The first two are title & tags – You want to make sure you’re using exact phrase matches because they are stronger than matches on individual words.

For example, a search for “gold ring” would return all items with the words “gold” and “ring” in the title or tags, but items with “gold ring” in the title or tag which matches the exact phrase the customer searched for would be considered a closer match.

If your title & tags match precisely what the customer is looking for, your listings will rank higher in the search results.

The third contributing factor that Etsy looks at when matching your products to shopper’s search queries is attributes. They work similar to categories and help the listing to be found in Etsy search results.

Using attributes is just another way of optimizing your listing to the fullest potential to increase the likelihood of someone finding your products and services.

The fourth contributing factors for Etsy SEO are categories. You want to make sure you’re adding specific categories that match or are relevant to your products. Why? When you add specific subcategories to your listings, your items are included in all the categories that the subcategory is nested within. It allows your products to match with a search which equals more traffic.

Learning how to optimize your Etsy shop for SEO can be pretty overwhelming. What if I told you I had a solution for you. This Etsy SEO 8-page guide will walk you through properly optimizing your entire store (step-by-step instructions) and listings for SEO with visual examples.

Etsy SEO Guide

Set up your Etsy shop

Now that you have all of the information you need to run your Etsy store efficiently and professionally; you can create your Etsy seller account!

A couple of things you will be adding to your shop include your shop picture, banner, announcements, shipping settings, payment info, and your policy page.

Alura has a Etsy privacy policy generator that let’s create one in less than 2 minutes. 

Try Alura For FREE!

For the most part, Etsy will help you put your steps into action, all you need to do is refer to these tips and work through them diligently!

A simple way to help guide you through setting up your shop could be from investigating other Etsy shop pages, determining what does and doesn’t stand out from the rest, and using that information as building blocks for your own profile! Like I said before, times are ever-changing, and there is really no way to ever know what trends will fade or evolve, so taking a couple of quick glances at successful (or even unsuccessful) shop pages now and then can give you better insight on what marketing methods will bring you the most business!

Pick your marketing focus

I know you’re ready to really jump into your business and start selling your products but to really be successful in making sales, you need to do your marketing first.

 Creators that spend the majority of their time focusing on their product designs and listings are setting themselves up for low sales.

Marketing is a major part of selling on Etsy, or any place really. Marketing is what will help you stand out from various other creators, it’s a way to show your customers what your business is without ever meeting them!

Social media is a big platform you can easily take advantage of to start marketing your business, aside from that, there are tons of other easy ways to get your name out there such as direct emails, blogs, paper ads, etc.

No matter where you chose to start marketing, you need to identify your marketing focus.

Picking one place to market might seem tricky due to all of the options that are available, but it’s better to have too many opportunities than none at all!

By sticking to a single market, you’ll have a stronger goal focus to improve your work, rather than jumping around from place to place while making little progress in each.

Think of your market as glass and your effort as water. You have so many empty glasses that you could fill up, but you wouldn’t sprinkle a little bit of water into each cup until you eventually circle back to the first. You would start by properly filling up one cup and moving on to the next when you have succeeded, which is what you want to do with your market!

Designating about 6-12 months to focus on one market will definitely be a smart move to improve your business and leave you more focused.

Now that you know all of the tips and tricks before starting an Etsy shop, I had to give you, don’t be afraid to keep digging! It never hurts to explore more information on your new career to help you grow – Stay steady with your business and you’ll be making a living on Etsy in no time!

And if you haven’t already, make sure you check out our FREE resources!

Rooting for you!

– Nancy

P.S. Have you attended my free masterclass yet to help you scale your Etsy business to the next level with my 4 step framework for a profitable Etsy shop. If not, CLICK HERE to register before seats fill up.

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  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog post online.
    I really loved the way you have included all the essential points in the above article.

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Hi, I'm Nancy.
Your BFF + New Etsy Coach.

I help Etsy sellers turn their passion into profits is a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. Many sellers have great ideas and the drive to succeed, but they lack the knowledge and experience needed to start, manage, and scale their Etsy businesses effectively. As a business coach, I help Etsy sellers by teaching them the exact steps needed to turn their passion into a full-time income.

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I'm Nancy Badillo

Pizza obsessed, quote slayer, loving mom, and chronic achiever with a deep passion for all things Etsy.