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How to Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond

How to Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond

4.7 8
by Derrick Sutton

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With over 400,000 sellers on Etsy, how can you make YOUR shop stand out and increase your sales? This is a key question for many crafters and artists who are selling online these days. Now here are all the answers and much more from author and Etsy seller Derrick Sutton. Based on his self-published guide, and drawn from his practical experience, you will learn how


With over 400,000 sellers on Etsy, how can you make YOUR shop stand out and increase your sales? This is a key question for many crafters and artists who are selling online these days. Now here are all the answers and much more from author and Etsy seller Derrick Sutton. Based on his self-published guide, and drawn from his practical experience, you will learn how to boost your Etsy sales, attract more customers, and expand your online presence. Derrick shares his proven online sales and marketing knowledge in an easily accessible format, complete with simple actions steps at the end of each chapter. Learn how to completely optimize your Etsy shop, website, or blog, and much more.

Some of the topics covered include:
-How to design a catchy Etsy banner
-How to gain an instant analysis of your shop and where you need to focus your efforts
-A crash course on photographing your items and key mistakes to avoid class
-Fail-safe copywriting secrets
-How to take advantage of Etsy's forums, Treasury, and more
-The effective way to use Facebook and Twitter, and why so many people get it wrong

How to Sell Your Crafts Online offers crafters and artists practical internet marketing techniques from an experienced Etsy seller that will pave the way for a profitable online business!

Praise for Derrick Sutton's e-Guide Crafting Success:

"This is really a great guide through the mind-boggling thicket of internet selling. It's so easy to follow and straight forward…" --- Etsy seller jenniferwhitmer

"I definitely saw a difference in my sales after doing many of the things suggested."

--- Etsy seller mishmishmarket

"A true wealth of useful information." --- Etsy seller helixelemental

"[The steps are] easily presented, so making changes to your shop can be done instantly as you are reading." -- Licky Drake, HappyGoLicky Custom Silver Jewelry

"A tremendous amount of information. I learned more from [this book] than from anything I have purchased in five years." --- Etsy seller HandpaintedGifts

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Who will benefit from this book: Serious new and current Etsy shop owners.... Don't be surprised after reading and implementing the ideas in this book to learn that you have gained an entire new set of skills beyond optimizing your own Etsy shop and elevating your entire online presence.” —spinningdaily.com

“Author and online entrepreneur Derrick Sutton shares over 200 pages of his most useful and valuable secrets that will help you build a successful online presence for selling your crafts and artwork. It really can't get much better than that, unless he decided to knock on your door, come in, and do the work for you. With his easy-to-follow and incredibly detailed guide, though, this book is the next best thing.” —Bead Design Studio

“Derrick Sutton's book offers up helpful insight from a successful seller's point-of-view. Everything from virtual-world advertising and blogging to real-world packing and shipping is covered in easy-to-digest chuinks..” —Theresa D. Abelew, Art Jewelry magazine

“From chapter one...every step you will make as an online craft seller is carefully considered.... [T]his book will be worth the price simply from the money saved using these tips alone.... How To Sell Your Crafts Online is like having a good friend "in the know" who's willing to share all their secrets of success and help get your Etsy shop up and running and on the way to a (hopefully!) meteoric rise!” —Arbee Cards blog

“I found this book to be one that I would recommend current sellers to check out or those who are considering opening up an Etsy shop. Derrick has really done a great job on giving A to Z information on what it takes to set up a shop online, providing tips to help boost your sales, attract more customers, and really make your shop stand out from the rest.” —Peacefully Knitting blog

Library Journal
Online craft marketplaces such as Etsy and ArtFire have made it easy for crafters to sell their wares online. But how do you market them in the increasingly crowded handmade marketplace? Sutton, who operates a successful online craft business, provides a wealth of tips and tricks to help crafters get noticed and grow their business. The content is Etsy-centric, and Internet-savvy sellers will find some of the advice obvious, but crafters looking to start or grow an online business may appreciate Sutton's guidance.

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St. Martin's Press
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Read an Excerpt

How to Sell Your Crafts Online


Naming Your Etsy Shop

IF YOU haven't yet set up a shop on Etsy, you will need to visit the link below and fill in the details. One of these steps will be choosing a shop name, so I recommend you read this chapter before completing this step.




If you already own an Etsy shop and are experiencing low sales, then you may wish to open a new shop using the techniques in this chapter.





When it comes to choosing a name for your Etsy shop and for your Web site (which will be covered in more detail in a future chapter), it's really important that you take some time to find the best option: one that will both represent the items you're selling as well as help you rank in the search engines.

Take time to make a list of your most common items; is there a theme or "keyword" that can act as a neat summary for your creations?

Sometimes you may find Etsy shops whose shop names have very little in common with the products they are selling, and in terms of a shop being optimized for the Internet this can be counterproductive.

When it comes to choosing a name for your Etsy shop, you can use a keyword, which may help you to rank in the search engines. Or perhaps you prefer something more fun or personal, e.g., using your own name for your shop. Let's look at both options.


A keyword, in terms of the Internet, is a word that the search engines use to categorize and decide what a Web site, or piece of content or article, is about.

If, for instance, you're selling photographic art prints, then your keywords would be "Photographic Art"; if you were selling handmade Celtic jewelry, then your keywords would be "Celtic Jewelry." This may sound obvious, but working out the essence of what you're selling and choosing keywords will help you with the topics throughout this book, as well as give you a boost when it comes to placement with the search engines.

You could use your keywords within the title of your shop; for example, if you were selling fine art, you could call your shop something along the lines of "Fine Art by——", or if you were selling handmade tote bags, you could call the shop "Tote bags by ."

This may sound unimaginative, but it can tell visitors to your shop, in a glance, exactly what you're selling as well as helping the search engines decide where your shop fits within their rankings.

The sample Etsy shop I'm going to use throughout this book is selling sea glass jewelry. So if I chose the shop name "Sea Glass Jewelry Box," I would be using my keywords "Sea Glass Jewelry." The search engines would "read" the shop title and this would give my shop a slight boost if I wanted to rank for the phrase "Sea Glass Jewelry."

Here's how my shop name would appear:




However, you may wish to have a more thoughtful or imaginative name for your shop or perhaps, as mentioned, you want to build your brand using your name. This is fine, because the techniques and exercises in this book are going to help you optimize your shop for the items you're selling. Think of using your keyword in your shop title as a small boost in search engine optimization, rather than an essential decision.

The one thing to bear in mind is that youshould choose a brief, memorable name, which is both positive and appealing to your customers. You will also need to ensure that your shop name is between four and twenty characters long to fit within Etsy's requirements and bear in mind that, once you choose your shop name, it can't be changed at a later date.

A fun way to tackle this exercise is to brainstorm and write down a few names and options, perhaps using keywords as well as more personal choices, and then ask friends or family to help you decide.


But what if you're selling more than one item? You may be creating and selling both jewelry and artwork, so how do you choose a name for your Etsy shop? If you're an existing seller, then you could run a simple analysis of your shop and decide which item sells the most and is of the most interest to browsers and customers, as well as having the highest value. If you're new to selling, then you could still use the above solution, analyzing your items to see which of them you will be concentrating your efforts on and are going to be the most profitable.

If you're planning on selling more than one type of product and they have nothing in common, for example, sea glass jewelry and landscape photography, then there is no reason why you can't open two Etsy shops. The only thing you need to bear in mind is that you must link your shops by disclosing them in each shop's announcement.

If you're selling different items, then you can work towards your shop having a "theme," which will unite your creations. This can be achieved in a number of ways (all of which are covered in future chapters). A few ways to ensure your shop stands out from other sellers and has a strong sense of unity is your choice of shop name, distinct and sharp photography as well as the color schemes you use for backgrounds in your photographs, how you title your items, and your Etsy banner. If you tie all of these together, then your shop will have a distinctive and identifiable look and feel, even if you are selling different items.

If you take a little time to look at a cross section of Etsy shops, you will see how organized and well-presented some of them are, as opposed to the less well-planned shops, which can sometimes look fairly chaotic and haphazard and do not have a clear theme.

Whether you're going to start a new Etsy shop with a keyword-specific name or stick with an existing shop, you'll need to ensure your store is fully optimized for the search engines. This topic is covered in chapter 2.


Find keywords that summarize your items for your Etsy shop name, or choose a warm, memorable, and professional name.

Analyze a cross section of Etsy shops to see how other sellers represent themselves through their shop names.

Get a second opinion—conduct a poll with friends, family, or colleagues and ask them to choose the best name for your shop from a list of brainstormed suggestions.

Copyright 2011 by Derrick Sutton. All rights reserved. Printed in China. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Meet the Author

DERRICK SUTTON and his wife sell their artwork and jewelry in their Etsy store. After using simple internet marketing techniques to promote their work, they saw their Etsy sales increase dramatically. Based on these techniques, Derrick produced this guide to help other artists and crafters increase their success.

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How to Sell Your Crafts Online 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those reference books that you must have if you're going to sell on Etsy. Not only does it tell you WHAT to do, but it has very specific step-by-step instructions of HOW to do it. The best part of the book, and one that I wasn't actually expecting, is that the author tells you how to promote your Etsy shop and your products on the internet and, again, there are specifics on how to do that. I'm not easily impressed by books (I find most don't live up to their advertising) but this one was great. Easy to read and understand (the visual layout is great, too).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very helpful and easy to follow tutorials, this book is a must for etsy starters! Perfect as an ebook the links are very helpful, wish the images were larger for ebook. This book is a keeper on my shelf!
reawakenedbynancy More than 1 year ago
I have been following it step by step and have found it totally up to date. The very clear instructions are deeply appreciated. It is a great value for this much specific and clear advice. He includes website addresses, which buttons to push, illustrations on how to find what you need. Generous and great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!!! My husband and I are new sellers to Etsy called "Rolani's Wonderland", and this book has been extremely helpful! When I 1st read it, it wasn't long before I was flying through  the pages and already half way through the book. Derrick makes it extremely easy to grasp every concept without feeling like your going to fall asleep, it's the 1st instructional book I've ever read that is a real  PAGE TURNER and gets you excited! It made me excited to utilize his tips, tricks and tools in order to further the growth of our business.This is a book that I will still refer too even once I'm finished reading it. It's completely helpful, well written, and visual simulating, not filled with boring black and white pages that make you drowsy. He literally walks you through everything step by step, and tells you the benefits of why he is teaching you to implement these ideas into your shop. It literal makes you have an "Aha!" Moment of  your own. This is a  must buy book for all Etsy Sellers! He talks about everything from How to take effective photographs of you products, free online software to utilize for your store photos, how to advertise, how to write product descriptions, how to use twitters, and other social medias to effectively grow your business online, it's PACKED with helpful information! You WILL ENJOY IT! Trust me! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very helpful for people interesting in selling their crafts or handmade products. I am looking to start a small etsy business to gain experience and understading of business and entreprenuership. Before, Etsy seemed like a lot of work and very time consuming, but this book offers the instructions to create a successful and manageable shop on Etsy. Mr. Derrick Sutton guided me to not only start small etsy business, but to have fun with it as well. It truly recommend this book to anyone who is looking into Etsy or just wants to understand more about business, entrepreneurship, promotions, and what it takes to sell products.
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