The 5 Biggest Lessons I Learned From Our First $64,000 In Sales On Etsy

By Scott Voelker •  Updated: 12/31/22 •  11 min read

This year on Etsy has been crazy.

As of the time of writing this article, we've done 64,3002.68 in sales.

On top of that, we've had more than 56,000 people view our shop resulting in over 1900 orders.

The best part is the vast majority of these visits, orders, and sales have come since we started focusing our time and effort on our new Etsy shop in late June or early July.

I wanted to take just a few minutes to share the five biggest takeaways and tips that I have if you're going to make 2023 the year you decide to focus on growing your Etsy store.

These are the same five things we are going to be extremely focused on in the upcoming year to reach our goal of doubling our sales.

Now before I dive into the tips, I know many of the people reading this article are wondering exactly how much of that $64,000 ended up in our pockets.

After all, in any e-commerce business, there are a ton of different costs that can seem to add up out of nowhere.

So let's just get that out of the way now.

Although our margins vary a bit from product to product and from order to order, our average net profit falls between 45 and 50%.

That means, after every expense you can think of, including product costs, shipping costs, advertising costs, and even a little bit of overhead for software subscriptions, that 64,000 is netting us just over 30,000.

Not too bad for a side hustle, eh?

All right, with that out of the way. Let's dive into the five things you should be focused on. If you want to maximize your time on Etsy and the five areas of focus we will be using to double our sales in 2023.

Focus only on 1 Niche

Without a doubt, the single biggest mistake. I see new Etsy sellers making is they are trend chasing.

You can't watch even 2 minutes of most YouTube guru's videos on Etsy without hearing them. Talk about creating a new hot t-shirt or mug using the same design that everyone else is using.

Not only is this an utter waste of time, after all, we never want to sell the same thing as everyone else, but it's also a great way to feel frustrated.

Using this strategy, even if you get sales from some of those designs as soon as the trend or demand for that product goes away…so will your sales.

On top of that, what we often see on trendy products is a race to the bottom.

As more and more sellers jump in selling a slightly different variation of that new trendy t-shirt, your ability to make money with that design decreases as the number of new sellers increases.

Instead of being focused on making money, many sellers will start cutting their margins and prices down to the bone.

This approach can be effective if you have extremely deep pockets, but can also be deadly if you don't.

I can already hear you asking, What should I be doing instead?

Rather than chasing trends or trying to be the everything-to-everyone store, you should be building your Etsy empire around a singular niche.

Not only does this approach help us keep solid profit margins, but it makes it substantially easier to sell multiple products to the same person.

I know you may be wondering what a niche is and how it's different so let's cover that quickly.

A niche-focused store is designed to sell products that only appeal to one specific kind of person.

The easiest way to think of a niche is as something likes or can identify as.

For example, someone may say I like birds or I am a bird watcher.

In this case, the niches they would be interested in are birds or bird watching.

By focusing on products that someone in this niche would purchase, we can almost entirely avoid price wars, trending products, and design inspiration frustration.

Additionally, because we only sell things that someone in this niche is interested in, they're much more likely to find multiple products to purchase from us (More on this down below).

To me, this needs to be the number one area of focus for you if you want to be successful moving forward.

Without having a solid niche selected, none of the other tips in his article are going to help.

Take just a few minutes right now and think about one group of people that you would like to serve.

I promise this will eliminate all of the distractions and make your life a lot easier moving forward…exactly like it did for us.

Launch a bunch of GOOD products

With that out of the way, the second tip that I would have for anybody looking to massively increase their Etsy sales is to focus on launching a bunch of good products.

As I talked about in the last section, this process becomes a lot easier if you're focused on one niche.

Instead of spending time and effort trying to come up with a new variation of the same product, everyone else is launching, you can spend just a few minutes thinking about your specific market and come up with a ton of new ideas.

Additionally, because you'll be launching products that are related, the same person who buys one thing is likely to buy something else you sell, You get an even bigger benefit out of the Etsy bump.

If you're not familiar with the concept of the Etsy bump, essentially each time you launch a product (assuming it's something people want to buy) Etsy gives you a little bit of a bump in terms of their organic search rankings.

We recently tested this theory by launching 30 products in 30 days and we were blown away by the results.

The trick to this strategy is launching products. People are actually going to buy.

After all, Etsy's goal is to sell products to customers. The more we can help them with that, the more likely we are to be rewarded.

I know I'm starting to sound a bit like a broken record, but focusing on one niche helps us Make sure that the products we are going to launch have a chance of being found and purchased.

Although I won't say at this point that we plan on launching a product per day in 2023, we do plan on being very aggressive.

Keep in mind, that you don't always have to launch a brand-new design.

Some of our most successful products that we launched during the 30-day product blitz were designs that had worked previously on a different product type.

For example, we would take a design that worked well on a throw pillow and apply it to a blanket and launch that as our product for that day.

Obviously, we don't only ever want to use existing designs in this way, but it can be a nice way to help us more consistently launch products.

Increasing cart value is huge

If we do the first two things talked about in this article correctly, we should start to see an increase in the average order value. 

One of the biggest concerns people have with the niche-based model is that they won't be able to appeal to every different customer.

Since I don't have time to dive into all of the problems with this argument, let's just address the main one.

The real concern people have when they voice this objection is that they may lose a few sales because they can't appeal to everybody.

If we can have higher margins and increase the average cart value of our customers, we can forget about this ever being an issue.

Using the niche-based approach allows us to do both of these things.

When we have other products that customers are likely to buy, they will naturally add more than one to their cart.

This not only means that things like Etsy ads can become more effective, and we can afford to spend more to acquire a customer because they spend more, but it also increases our likelihood to appear in Etsy searches.

After all, if Etsy knows they have a chance to sell two products when someone clicks on my listing and only one product. When someone clicks on your listing, they would be crazy now to show mine every time.

Run SHORT Sales Cycles

If you're not already familiar with the sales feature inside of Etsy, you should be.

It's one of the single most underrated things you can do from a marketing and promotion standpoint inside of the platform. Unfortunately, too many sellers use the set-and-forget strategy when utilizing this feature.

Rather than setting up a sale and letting it run for 30 days, I would rather see you shorten that sale to 7.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it works.

If you'd like to see the actual results that we've gotten from using the strategy, you may want to check out this article here.

There are two main reasons Why this shorter cycle works.

First and foremost, Etsy will notify anybody who follows your shop that you have items on sale.

These are the people most likely to buy from you since they've likely purchased from you in the past. And are likely to buy from you again as long as you are following the niche store strategy.

Secondly, when we use a shorter sale duration as he will show the countdown timer, inside of the search results and on the product listing, letting people know when the sale ends.

It not only helps us stand out inside the search results and get more clicks but the psychology of these countdown timers cannot be understated.

People buy on deadlines.

The nice side benefit of utilizing the strategy is that as you get more sales, especially at a higher conversion rate, like the conversion rates you get during a short sale period, Etsy is going to give your product even more Love.

Remember, that's his goal is always to show the product that a customer is most likely to buy.

If we can show Etsy that our product is selling and that it is converting well when someone clicks on the listing, we will get more search Love.

Don't Forget to Personalize

If it were up to me, 2023 would be the year of personalization.

So many anti-sellers. Either forget that this is an option or ignore it because they think it's going to be too much work.

We aren't talking about creating brand new items for every customer here, but rather swapping out a single word or phrase inside of an already existing design.

For example, if we were selling Christmas ornaments we could very easily add the name of their new baby or the last name of the family as an editable element in that design.

When someone purchases that item, we simply pull up the Canva template for that product and swap out the name.

When we started adding personalization to our items, we saw an immediate jump in sales.

Additionally, you can often charge a higher price for personalized items which can help increase your overall profit margins.

Quick Recap

So that about wraps it up, if you are serious about growing your store in 2023, you need to pay attention to these five tips.

To recap really fast, the very first thing you need to do is focus your store around a single niche.

From there, focus your time on consistently launching good quality products that people in that niche want to buy.

Next, Focus on increasing cart value by adding additional products that your niche is interested in and adding in higher value products.

Fourth, take the time to run short promotions and sales throughout the year.

Lastly, don't be afraid to mix in some personalized products. These can help us increase margins and increase traffic.

These are the five areas we are going to be focused on this year to double our sales from just over $64,000 this year to well over 120,000 next year.

Scott Voelker

Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people TAKE ACTION to UNLOCK their true potential on building their ultimate freedom business, by developing the skills to make them resilient, confident and FUTURE PROOF. I’ve clocked my 10,000 hours over the years working in the trenches myself and helping others build and grow their brands. I know the power in TAKING ACTION better than anyone and I’ve seen people lives changed as a result of it...including my OWN!