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How To Start an Etsy Shop With $0 Investment – Beginners Guide

Etsy is a huge marketplace for independent artists selling handmade and vintage products. When it comes to handmade and vintage items – Etsy is your go-to place.

Etsy market place currently has 40 million active buyers. Now that’s quite the market and you only need a small piece of that to make income from this. There are also 2 million active sellers. So there’s also competition and it won’t be easy to compete with all of these sellers, you will have to be smarter and you will have to create kickass designs to be at the top.

Etsy definitely is the most easier platform to get started. Creating an online/e-commerce store hasn’t been easier. They made it really “beginners friendly”

Top Reason To Get Started with Etsy

  • You want to start an online business for free
  • You don’t have the previous knowledge(beginner friendly)
  • You want to test out if your product has demand before investing heavily
  • You don’t have money for traffic
  • You don’t have products to sell (you can get started without designs and products)

So if you’re convinced and ready to start your first Online Business for Free. So without any further ado let’s get to it.

  1. Signup for Etsy
  2. Pick a name, write a description & create a logo
  3. Add products to your store with Printful
  4. Turn on ads (if you have a budget)

Start Selling on Etsy

Let’s go through the signup process. It’s pretty straightforward, you shouldn’t have any issues with this step. Go to Etsy signup process.

Etsy-regisitration-first-step

Leave the language at English, pick your own country, so you can receive payments and pick your banks’ currency otherwise you might lose a couple of percentage if your money converts.

pick-a-name-brand-for-your-etsy-store

I would suggest picking something that’s easy to remember. Short & Catchy and it would be perfect if it would be related to your products and niche. But to be honest I don’t think your brand name plays a huge role when it comes to Etsy. Don’t get too much into this, because you will be able to change it later on.

add-a-listing-to-etsy

Add a listing to your site. I know you might not have a product yet, don’t worry. Just add a blank product and you will be able to delete it later. Let me give you an example:

etsy-test-product

Just fill out all the necessary fields and add “test product” or anything else. Like I said you will be able to delete your test product as soon as you finish the registration. Your primary goal still is to finish the account and only then think about product upload, which I will show you in a bit.

bank-details-etsy

In this step, you will have to fill out all your bank details & personal information so they know how to transfer your money to your accounts. Some time ago you were able to transfer your income from Etsy to Paypal, but they got rid of that option, so you need a bank account in order to create your store, no way around this, if you don’t have one, ask your friends & family to help you out.

Setup-billing-etsy

Not only you will need a bank account, but you also need a Credit card in order to finish the registration and as you can see they will add $0.20 to your next bill. So, technically you’re still starting your business with $0 investment.

P.S. They also charge you with $0.20 for each product you list, but it only adds to your next month’s bill. So don’t get carried away with many listing. Quality>Quantity.

That’s it now your account is created you just need to customize it a little and add some products and get those sales rolling in.

Name your Etsy Store

Go to your store’s settings

logo-name-description-etsy

Now I want you to fill out all your personal data. Add pictures & write a small bio. It will make your store look more trustworthy. Trust me. I also want you to create a short tag line for your store that’s catchy. It will also shop up in Google Search Results.

The last thing I want you to do before we move on is to create a logo. Now I’m not much of a designer myself if you can create it yourself – kudos to you. If not I suggest you go to Canva and find something for free or go to Fiverr and order some custom logo for $5. No logo and no profile picture will definitely decrease your conversion rate. Not only you need to be trustworthy, but you have to look trustworthy. Especially at the beginning when you have 0 sales and 0 reviews. You will have to earn those reviews, so do as much as possible to give credibility to your store.

Add products to your store with Printful

First of all, you need to create a Printful Account.

If you don’t know what Printful is here’s a short description. It’s a print on demand company. Also fulfillment center, but let’s leave it at that. Basically – they will print your design on their merchandise (t-shirts, yoga pants, hoodies, bags, hats, etc.) and send it to your client.

Simple as that. You will never even see the product you’re selling. You create a design at Printful. Upload it. Publish it. Done. This is called Dropshipping. 

Pretty cool, eh? Online Business has never been easier.

Your next step – Connect your Printful account with Etsy Shop. To connect them – click here. If you followed the previous steps you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever. In case something doesn’t connect there’s a tutorial video on how to connect your store with Printful in the link above.

And now when your store is connected – it’s time to add products, but before that, you will need some designs.

Find free designs/vectors for your merchandise

free-watermelon

There are a couple of websites that give out free designs for free commercial use, your job is to make sure they are for free because you don’t want to steal other peoples design, that would be illegal, so I’ll give you a couple of websites where you can find free designs.

  1. freepik.com
  2. stockio.com
  3. 123freevectors.com

If you use a different one, leave a comment below.

If these are not good enough for you or you can’t really find what you’re looking for I suggest you go to Fiverr and find a designer that will create what you have visualized. There are some great designers on Fiverr and for $5…that’s a steal. I personally have had some great experience with Fiverr, in case something isn’t the way you want it you can call for revision. I suggest you check their reviews before ordering. Check their portfolio and see if you like their style.

Add products from Printful to Etsy

You have found some designs that you like and you want to add them to your merch. Now find the merchandise you want to sell and start adding your designs on it.

add-product-with-printful-to-etsy

Upload your designs. Drag & drop.

printful-product-descriptions

This part is really important. You need to add Title & Description that not only describes your product but also what people search for. Because if you don’t have a budget for advertising the only other option you have is SEO. So before you upload, you will need to figure out what kind of search queries people might use in order to find your specific product.

Watermelon-tshirt-women-etsy

If you have done Google SEO you would never stuff keyword because that’s just bad for ranking, but in Etsy – go nuts, every keyword you can think of – add it in the title. If you’re going to check Etsy’s first page of any keyword you enter you will notice everyone is doing that.

In description I wouldn’t get carried away, just add 1 main keyword somewhere in the middle of your description.

etsy-tags

Another important thing to do in Printful is to add tags. You can, of course, edit them later in Etsy. Tags also affect your search position. You need to find relevant tags that describe your product. If you’re going to decide later to turn Etsy ads on – promoted listing, this is how you will rank. As soon as someone searches for these specific keywords your listing will pop up. Try to add as many as possible and as relevant as possible. (13 max)

Etsy Keyword Research

In order to find a keyword to add in your title, you can use Etsy keyword research tool. Just add a keyword that’s related to your design and it will show you some relevant search queries in Etsy.

Without a doubt, Etsy Search correlates with Google Search as well. You can also use the Google Keyword Planner.

Another option is to just go to the Etsy store to add your main keyword and see the suggestions. I know it sounds silly, but this strategy often works better than a specified keyword research strategy. To narrow it down add a specific product name e.g. “watermelon tank top” and you will get some ideas.

etsy-search

How many products should you add?

The more the better, I would suggest you at the beginning to go easy and try to create high-quality designs instead of going for quantity. The minimum that I would suggest you – 10 listings. Create 10 listings and just forget about your store for a week, don’t touch anything, don’t edit anything, just brainstorm some new ideas, but just leave it as is.

etsy-listing

Etsy Promoted Listings

If you created a decent profit margin for your products, which I suggest you do. You can always pat to appear in Etsy search results. Paid Traffic can have a great impact on your organic growth, you can quickly boost sales and get some reviews which will, of course, increase your organic growth a lot faster.

Also, you can get data and feedback from your customer a lot quicker. In the very beginning, it’s going to be very valuable. Use your feedback wisely and improve your listings and overall marketing strategy.

promoted-listings-etsy

Start slow. Steady wins the race. If you’re creating promoted listing set your budget $1-$2 per day. And edit your CPC manually for each listing don’t go higher than $0.15. Otherwise, you will just drain your budget, if you’ll leave it as automated bidding – same.

Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest Ads

These are great advertising platforms but before you haven’t created a flawless listing and generating high ROI, don’t even think about going outside Etsy Marketing Place. First of all, conquer Etsy Organic/Promoted Listings and only then start considering going on other ad channels. Reaching positive ROI on these ad platforms is incredibly difficult. Stay humble and stay in Etsy.

How long does it take to start earning from Etsy Shop?

Opening your Etsy shop does not guarantee sales. Nor Traffic. But if you do your research before uploading products, you will be doing just fine. I can only speak from my own experience. Etsy isn’t my main job, but I’ve opened a couple of stores and when I do in a week or two I’m starting to get some traffic and usually I get my first sale in about a month or so.

I can share one of my stores data.

Etsy-results

It’s a small one, but it’s almost completely passive. I haven’t made any edits since the launch. Published it and left it. Just responded to a couple of clients and sent them their product. That’s it.

If you will invest the time follow the guidelines you will do x10 of sales without any problems.

Etsy Beginners Selling Guide Summary

The biggest benefit of Etsy is that they have their own audience of Etsy Shoppers. You don’t have to think a lot about Marketing & Advertising. When you start off with Etsy you have to think about your product and your design. Of course, descriptions & titles & tags are also important, without those people will never stumble upon your product.

Invest the time in all of these things and orders will start falling in. There are 40+ million active Etsy Shoppers. It’s a bit like opening a small store at a local supermarket. People will come to the destination no matter what. All you have to do is – grab their attention once they pass your store. 


That’s it. I hope the post was helpful and I hope you’re going to start your own Etsy Store and your sales are going to explode. If you have any comments, please, drop me a line below. If you’re already an experienced Etsy seller, don’t be shy share some knowledge and experience in comments below.

printful

Sometimes Marketing is More Art Than Marketing. A lot of People Don't Get That.

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