Friday, March 12, 2010

My Online Success Story

I recently reached 150 sales in my etsy shop and am very thankful for my success.  Going back and looking at the numbers and reflecting upon what got me to where I am now with my shop, sparked the idea to do this blog post. 

First of all, we all have a different definition of success, so 150 sales in a little over a year may not be much to you or may be more than you want.  I have 4 part-time jobs in addition to my etsy shop and am raising 2 young children, so selling in large numbers or doing wholesale would not fit with my definition of success.  I have even turned down selling in a brick and morter shop because it did not fit with where I want to go with what I do.  That said...

What I found with my sales that blew me away was how long it has taken me to reach 50 "more" sales.  It took me:
- 8 months to make my 1st 50 sales,
- 5 months to make my next 50 sales, and
- 3 months to make my most recent 50 sales!

This led me to ask: WHY?  (What else would I ask?)
The first 9 months of my shop were focused on:
- perfecting my craft (techniques)
- branding my shop (think colors and feel of shop)
- slowly improving pictures (taking them outside)
- and I started promoting my shop (Twitter, blog, and more).                        

The next 6 months, I knew where I was going.  I had worked on branding and had sold enough that I knew what my buyers wanted.  While I experimented with different colors, white is by far the most popular color in my shop.  Ignoring that would not be wise at all.  So whenever in doubt about what color to paint something, I choose white.  I also make sure that I have a good selection of white items in my shop at all times.

Around the end of these 6 months, I was featured in the Etsy Storque: Home Decor Finds which brought more traffic to my shop in one morning than I had seen from all of the work I had done to let people know about my shop.  I sold as many items that day that I had been selling in a month!  I honestly feel that that was a turning point for my shop.

That leads to the past 3 months where, at times, I average a sale a day (which is a lot for my shop) and an amount that is ideal for me.  How did I reach my personal goal of success?  Here it is...

I worked very hard at improving my pictures.  I look back now and can't believe that I thought the pictures I used when first opening up were good.  They were awful and I had to be honest with myself about that.  (Pictured to right - picture of the 1st item I ever sold.)  I now take all pictures with the same backgrounds and all in natural light - an amazing difference!

I continued to work on branding: backgrounds of pictures are cohesive in my shop, items I choose to sell are all cottage/shabby chic style, but I also offer a variety. Branch out with your products and pricing, but not too much. I also have business cards, thank you cards, and free items that fit with the feel of my shop which I send with every purchase.

Romantic Cottage Style Clock

Finally, what I notice has the greatest impact on my sales in the number of listings. Once I hit 100 items in my shop, my sales jumped! So I am maintaining at least 100 items - which is easy after all the work to get there. And I work to list 2 items per day. When I consistently list 2 items/day, I see 1 sale/day. As soon as I drop to less than that, my sales dropped. I start listing 2-3/day and my sales jump right back up.

                                         Paris Inspired Tags

So there it is - my recipe for success which I am still working hard on.  But this is my recipe for my shop.  Your recipe will almost definitely be different. However I hope there are some ideas here that can help you to improve your shop and reach your goal.  


  1. Congratulations! I love your crown tags in the last picture!

  2. All you've said is true and thank you for your post =)

    i'm reaching my 9 taking the slow route to 50 sales =P But I am selling offline as well and am on my way finding my shop niche (hopefully) =)

  3. Congratulations, that is awesome :) T.

  4. A hearty congrats! You are a great talent and I love your work!

  5. Wow! 150 sales is awesome! congrats!

  6. Enjoyed reading about your store. I've been on Etsy for about 3 it.

    I'm at

  7. Congratulations and thanks for the great advice! Next, I'd love to know how you manage four jobs, two kids and an Etsy store -- talk about a full plate!

  8. Congratulations, I can "hear" the truth in your words. The next 50 will fly by!

  9. Congratulations on reaching 150 sales! And many thanks for sharing your success story. It's very inspiring.

  10. Congratulations on your sales, What a great and inspiring article. Thank you so much! I am going to try your ideas.

  11. Thank you so very much for your wonderful information! We also follow each other on twitter! I will be following your blog as well now! Your experience and insight are greatly appreciated! Blessings, Julie

  12. Thank you thank you! When ever I think I have it tough I will stop and say..nope nope, she does it with*****FOUR****** part time jobs AND 2 kids! You've worked hard and earned it, congrats!!!!!!! When do you find time to craft? Do your kids help you?

  13. Congratulations and thank you for an inspiring post. I wish you the best of luck and much success! Ana

  14. Congratulations! When I first started selling my pictures were worse than yours! Great blog and shop!!

  15. Great blog! Thanks so much for offering these tips. My pictures were blurry and all done with a flash when I first started. I am now working on getting more items in my shop to hopefully see more sales. It definitely takes a while. Thanks for the inspirational post!

  16. Thank you for taking the time to write this- I am grateful for all info!

  17. I wish you continued success of, Thank you!