Online Business

  • How To Get Sales on Etsy For New Sellers In 2021

    Do you want to increase your sales on Etsy and get more sales in your Etsy shop? It can seem overwhelming as a new seller on Etsy so in this post I want to share tips on growing on Etsy shop when you are a new seller.

    In 2021 and beyond it can feel impossible to break into a saturated market but it’s possible! (If you haven’t started your shop yet, check out the post about how to start an Etsy shop.)

    In the video above I go over many of the ways you can get more sales or even your first sales on your Etsy shop.

    In 2021 and beyond many people would love to start an Etsy shop for extra income. Unfortunately because it’s a saturated market it can be hard to get a new shop off the ground. These ideas should help get you started so your new shop can grow.

    Tips For Getting Sales On Etsy

    Here are some ideas for getting sales on Etsy, especially as a new seller:

    Pick a niche & stick to it

    On Etsy most shops are very focused around one niche or type of product. You will see successful shops that are full of only funny t-shirts or only printable wall art for example. The best shops are focused on either a certain style, nice or product.

    When you start and try to grow a new shop you should pick a niche and stick to it. If you are planning to open a shop selling SVGs then only sell SVGs in the beginning. It confuses buyers who might find your shop when you are selling 1 or 2 items of many random things.

    Master one thing first

    Similar to the niche concept, master one thing first. You will likely have competing interests and want to copy things that are successful you see others doing. That is human nature. However, to truly have a successful shop you will want to master the one thing you plan to be known for first.

    Does this mean you’ll never get to experiment? Not at all! It means that you will work to establish both your product creation skills and your shop as a a leader. Mastering one thing will allow you to then move on to another to master.

    Be different from others

    Being different from others is key to success on Etsy. Unfortunately I often see people copying others directly or even stealing downloadable products and selling t hem as their own. They may achieve some temporary short term success but in the long run these people never succeed. Why? Because they aren’t different and people won’t remember them.

    In order to stand out and build your shop’s reputation on Etsy you will want to be different from the competition, not a copy. You will want to figure out some way to make your product different and unique. Yes you might sell the same type of item as other shops, but how is your different? Is it a more modern style? Easier to use? You will be inspired by others but instead of copying, find ways to stand out.

    Get sales for social proof

    Sales are social proof. Knowing others bought the product you are selling helps convince buyers to trust you. Etsy does a great job encouraging this by displaying the number of sales and even reviews that shops have. This makes buyers feel more secure when purchasing.

    Your goal in order to get more sales is to build your sales number. Shops that already have a lot of sales in fact tend to get more sales, partly because they are selling a good product and partly because new buyers feel like they can trust someone with thousands of sales.

    Getting your first sales

    Sales, sales, sales. We know it’s important because of social proof but how do you get your first ones? Your first sales will likely come from either being patient (very, very patient) or by getting creative.

    Since sales are social proof you may have to “prime the pump” and have someone you know buy your product first. Or you may want to team up with another new Etsy seller and buy each other’s products. Perhaps your first sale can come from a friend or family member who wants to support you and start you on the path to success. Get creative because often new shops aren’t optimized well enough for SEO and the lack of sales can turn off buyers who do find you.

    Focus on promotion

    Once you’ve got a sale or two you’re ready to scale your shop to get more sales. This will be done by focusing on promotion. If you think people will just know you have a shop and flock to it then you are wrong. It’s easy for people to not know you even have a shop even if you feel like you talk about it all the time.

    Ideas for promoting your shop and products:

    • Create a YouTube channel showing off your products
    • Write tutorials on your blog about the item
    • Create a Pinterest account and use Tailwind to pin and promote
    • Share on your personal social media accounts
    • Share on your business/shop social media accounts

    Remember that you’ll have to continually promote your work and often people will need to see it multiple times before buying.

    Use Etsy’s marketing tools

    Etsy has a number of great marketing tools built into their system. It is in your benefit to not only take advantage of their analytics but also these awesome marketing tools.

    Within Etsy you can do things like set up marketing emails to reach out to someone who has an item in their cart to give them a coupon code. You can run sales and offer incentives that encourage people to buy. These are so useful! The two examples I just gave have driven many sales within my own shop.

    Keep learning how to grow your shop

    The most important part of getting more sales to your Etsy shop is to keep learning and growing. Etsy changes regularly and in order to grow you’ll have to keep learning and growing yourself.

    It’s very easy for new shops to give up. I’ve seen hundreds of people start and quit before they even had a chance to succeed. The ones whoo eventually end up succeeding are usually the ones who simply won’t give up. They might not succeed on the first try but they learn from it and adjust in order to grow.

    These are all tips to start your shop off and get it growing so it can eventually grow and become something you can even live off of financially.

    What I Wish I Knew Before Starting An Etsy Shop

    There are many things I wish I knew about being on Etsy before I started which is why I shared the post and video: What I Wish I Knew Before Starting An Etsy Shop.

    This post may be helpful for you as a new Etsy seller so I’ll share a few of those things below about what I wish I knew:

    • SEO is very important for Etsy success
    • Your effort level determines your success
    • Promotion is very important to your success
    • It is just as easy to sell expensive items
    • Etsy controls your shop and you have to work with that
    • Etsy will take fees from your profit so price accordingly

    Knowing these things before you start is critical for your success as you start and as you grow.

    Opening An Successful Etsy Shop

    Those are a few of the things I wish I had know before starting my Etsy shop in 2019. However, despite the good and bad, Etsy has been an incredible addition to my online business! It’s been a great way to get started with selling products and interacting with customers in the marketplace.

    If you are interested in opening your own Etsy shop, I’ve shared instructions in the video below.

    You can use this link to get 40 free listings on Etsy when you start your shop. When you open a new shop Etsy recommends starting with at least 10 listings but I have started both of my shops with 1 item.

    Tips I’d recommend for building a successful Etsy shop from the beginning:

    • have a strong niche where your products are very focused on either one niched area or style
    • create a strong brand story and share that in your shop and listings
    • continue your brand elements throughout the shop via colors and fonts
    • share photos that clearly show your items and how they can be used
    • make your descriptions clear and very descriptive – the more the better when you are explaining what comes with your item and how it can improve someone’s life
    • clearly articulate your shop’s policies if you don’t offer refunds or have specific policies that a buyer needs to share
    • build your shop with more listings to bring in new buyers and more traffic
    • make sure you promote your listings both on Etsy with seo and ads and off Etsy with social media

    Those are a few of my best tips and I hope your new Etsy shop thrives!

  • No Face Video Ideas For Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube without showing your face is definitely possible in 2021! In this video I’m sharing video ideas and EXAMPLES of money making YouTube video ideas that don’t show your face 2021 for your YouTube channel!

    If you’ve been waiting to start a YouTube channel because you were worried you have to be an on camera personality then this video is for you!

    These video ideas that don’t show your face are great options for those wanting to start on YouTube without showing their face or being public on the platform. Some of these video ideas don’t even require your voice if you prefer to create content completely detached from yourself.

    Here are the 6 video ideas covered in the video that you can make for YouTube without showing your face.

    How To Videos

    YouTube is first and foremost a search engine. It’s the second most widely used search engine after Google. People use it every day to search how to do something.

    This means how to videos are very popular and serve a huge audience who is constantly searching for them. You can make how to videos on a number of different topics without showing your face.

    My favorite and most successful in this category is software how to videos. These are where I show someone how to use a certain program to achieve an outcome. These videos usually walk someone through a process of doing something.

    How to videos are definitely saturated on YouTube for most topics. You can look for underserved markets where how to questions are not answered and make videos for those people to achieve long term success.

    Tutorial Videos

    Tutorial videos are similar to how to videos because they are teaching your audience something. They are very commonly search focused because people search for tutorials on how to make or do a certain task.

    Tutorials often walk someone through the steps of a project or task one by one. My favorite in this type of video are craft tutorials since that’s what I make and like to watch. These craft tutorial videos can teach someone what they need and how to create a project from start to finish.

    Slideshow Videos

    Slideshow videos are incredibly easy to create. They are at the very basic level just a slideshow. You can create the slideshow and then overlay either your voice reading or just music to create a vibe.

    Slideshows by definition are about the content of the slides. This means they are a great type of video to make if you don’t want to show your face. I love making slideshows of photos combined with music around a certain topic or niche.

    Compilation Videos

    Compilation style videos come in many forms but they are simply adding up multiple clips into one bigger video. These videos have made certain channels huge on YouTube and there are whole business models around compilation videos that use user generated content. A few examples include fail video compilations or funny pet video compilations.

    You can make compilation videos featuring other people’s content or your own content if you have it. Either way you can create videos without your face that are likely to get massive views.

    Unboxing Videos

    This style of video is another good option for anyone not showing their face on YouTube. Unboxing videos focus on the item being unboxed so naturally a face is not necessary. You can create a great unboxing video with just your hands.

    The only downside here is that you may run out of things to unbox if this is your only type of content. It’s likely that unboxing videos would be one of multiple types of videos you would want to try making without showing your face.

    Haul Videos

    Haul videos tend to revolve around personality centered channels but they can also be done without showing your face. The key on these haul videos is to focus on the products in the haul.

    The most successful haul videos without someone’s face will be very niche specific and focused instead of broad. You’ll want to share lots of detail about the products and good close ups of the items. Since it’s less about you and more about the items the focus will be on them, allowing you to not have to show your face on camera.

    No Face Video Ideas

    You can do all of these YouTube video ideas on your own and the examples I’ve included show you others who are making videos without ever showing their face.

    This list of no face video ideas is not comprehensive but I will be creating a much longer list of ideas so subscribe for more!

    Can you make money on YouTube without showing your face?

    If you’re considering starting a channel and want it to be profitable then you probably are wondering if you can in face make money without ever showing your face. The answer is yes!

    In fact, the channel I started to make videos without showing my face actually now makes more money than my first “primary” channel. Below is a screenshot of my earnings for my faceless videos last month. I made over $1,800 from videos on YouTube without ever showing my face in them!

    That is a significant amount of money to earn just from ads without ever showing your face. And that is not even counting affiliate marketing income or sponsored videos on this channel!

    The type of video you make and the ability to connect with or educate your audience matters more than if you are on camera. You make money on YouTube by providing content that helps people in one way or another and having your face in the video is not necessary to accomplish that goal.

    Be careful though – YouTube is not quick money. It often takes months or even years of hard work in order to get to a place where the income is sustainable and enough to replace a creator’s full-time job.

    In fact, making money on YouTube is hard. It’s hard work. It’s hard to compete. It’s hard to constantly be creative. And if you are new it’s hard to even get monetized and make ad revenue. In order to be part of the YouTube partner program and earn money from advertising you have to hit a number of requirements.

    Before you can make any money from ads you have to first:

    • Have more than 1,000 subscribers
    • Have more than 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months

    Those are hefty requirements that usually take new creators a while t achieve. This keeps the platform in better conditions for advertisers and viewers alike so it’s a great requirement even if it is a higher hurdle for most new creators.

    All this means is that when you start making videos for YouTube you need to be realistic about the amount of money that you may be able to make. At first you won’t make anything and this phase can last a long time. You might be creating content and not earning anything for months or years. I made videos for at least 6 months without earning a dime. It’s important to remember that YouTube is a long game for income.

    Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    I’ve written a few times about the ways I’ve grown my channels on YouTube. Here are a few of those tips:

    • Use YouTube growth tools like TubeBuddy
    • Learn about and implement SEO
    • Build a community around your channel
    • Make quality content with good videos
    • Provide unique value in your videos
    • Experiment with ideas on your channel
    • Find ways to be more efficient in your processes
    • Keep growing and learning because YouTube changes!

    You can read more in my post How To Grow A YouTube Channel.

  • March 2020 Online Income Report – $1,483.94

    I’m a couple months late, but I’m finally sharing my March 2020 monthly online income report! I’m diving into how I make money online selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    I share monthly income reports here on the blog and on YouTube. I share what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop because I like to be transparent and reading income reports inspire me to start my own online endeavors. I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others and I value transparency which this report allows me to give you.

    I’ve been slowly building online income over the last two years while working on my blog and YouTube channel part time during my off hours after working a full time job. Sometimes I work on this income and sometimes I don’t, but I usually spend 5-10 hours a week on it.

    Reasons why I’m trying to make online income:

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small youtubers make and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    While I’m not earning a full time income online currently, I am happy to show that I’ve grown my income to hit that original online income goal and I’ve been able to help a lot of people along the way. It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in 2019 has been trending much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $1,500 each month.

    I’m consistently earning $1,000 a month now when I was only earning $300-500 last year when I started tracking my online income. That might not seem huge since it’s small numbers but that means I have doubled my monthly online income!

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers what is possible with a channel that isn’t huge or growing by hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a year. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Seeing these numbers in this format helps me to see the growth I’ve already had and inspires me to keep growing.

    Mary 2020 Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month of February. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join too!

    Advertising Income – $923.20

    • YouTube Advertising Channel 1 – $809.31
    • YouTube Advertising Channel 2 – $102.32
    • Adsense & Sponsored – $11.57

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $162.50

    • Amazon – $101.76
    • Awin – $43.71
    • Impact Radius – $0.00
    • Shareasale – $0.70
    • Rakuten – $0.00
    • Capital One – $0.00
    • Robinhood – $16.33

    Product Sales Income – $397.94

    • Etsy Products – $397.94

    Total Income: $1,483.64

    This is the amount earned in March 2020 before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    That means this amount is what I earned but not what I keep. I will only keep 70% of this income after taxes and expenses.

    There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    Another thing to note is that this is not what I received for the month of March but instead what I “earned” through my efforts. This means depending on the income source, I’ll get this money anywhere from the day I earn it to 90 days later. Most pay out a few weeks or the next month.

    However, I must say with much excitement I am thrilled at my continued income earned each month! I am hovering around the $1,500 mark each month now and that feels quite sustainable and very exciting for our family.

    This is very exciting because this has been a very consistent amount for the last few months.

    I keep hitting the goals I set and I’m incredibly excited about it! When I originally started YouTube I wanted to earn $600 to pay for our daycare costs. Then I hit that amount and thought, maybe I could earn $1,000 a month. Then I decided to aim higher and try to aim for $2,000 a month or $24,000 a year. It’s a big goal but I’m sure that I can hit it since I’m continuing to hit every goal!

    What I Worked On In March 2020

    March was a very strange month because it started out like a normal month and then turned into anxiety city like coronavirus. Personally this cause me to struggle

    I did still create a few videos in March that went well. Here are a couple of the March videos that performed well and I’m very proud of producing!

    I didn’t do much on my blog but I was pretty happy to product multiple videos in the month of March!

    More Popular YouTube videos on my channel:

  • How To Grow A YouTube Channel

    Growing a YouTube channel can be hard and sometimes it depends on luck and topic. In fact, it can take some of us years to hit 10,000 subscribers while we watch other speed past us by multiple times. If you want to grow then there are some things you can do to increase your chances of growth and success.

    Tips For Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    Here are the ways I’ve learned to grow on YouTube.

    Utilize Useful Youtube Growth Tools

    I resisted using a paid tool like TubeBuddy for a while because I thought I was smart enough to do it on my own but when I finally caved and bought a subscription I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

    With TubeBuddy you can see EXACTLY what other channels are using for their tags and video data and compare their channels to yours. You can learn how to do a lot of title and tag work for SEO with TubeBuddy.

    some of my other favorite tools I’ve used inside TubeBuddy while growing my channel:

    • canned responses which is super useful for interacting with your audience
    • upload checklist
    • video topic planner

    Those are a few of my favorite tools within my account to grow. TubeBuddy has a free version with limited tools listed here and paid accounts when you really want to grow (which are amazing for the price).

    Learn About SEO

    There are tons of videos on Youtube about how to use SEO on the platform. Watch some. Learn about what keywords are and how to use them. For many channels, search is the key way they are found and earn money.

    To shorten your journey in learning and implementing SEO, I again recommend TubeBuddy because it’s like an all in one solution for YouTubers.

    Here are the SEO tools you have access to inside TubeBuddy:

    • view and copy video tags from another channel
    • tag rankings so you can track where you rank
    • suggested tags for your videos
    • keyword explorer
    • search rankings
    • best practices audit

    And even more! All of those tools help you get your video ranked on YouTube so you get more views. It seriously has more tools than I’ve even had time to use yet but what I have used above has helped take my videos to the next level.

    Since I’ve been using TubeBuddy my SEO has improved and my search traffic has doubled. Seriously, it doubled! TubeBuddy has been an incredibly helpful and the first month I used it I actually doubled the views on my channel going from 45,000 views in a month to 110,000 in a month.

    Build Community

    Having a community around your channel and your videos is another great way to guarantee successful video launches and continued success. Building community can be done in a few ways:

    • commenting on other youtube channels
    • responding to all of your comments
    • referencing viewers and comments in your videos
    • giving shoutouts to people in your community
    • giving your viewers a nickname and expected phrases

    Those are just a few ways I’ve found to build my community but you can find what works for you! The most successful YouTube channels have an element of community around them.

    Those are just some of the ways I’ve learned how to grow my channel and consistently doubled my channel size each year I’ve been on Youtube while still keeping consistent and engaged subscribers.

    Make Good Videos

    Seriously, making good videos is how you grow on YouTube. There are a lot of additional factors but you won’t grow if you make bad videos.

    You should be making videos that you know are good. If they make you cringe when you are rewatching to edit, how do you expect anyone else to enjoy them?

    Here are a few of the best tips from successful creators I’ve followed about making good videos:

    • Get to the point in your videos. Don’t ramble on for a long period at the beginning where people will fall off.
    • Make your videos provide value. If your videos are educational then make them very educational. If they are entertainment based then they should provide value by making your viewer feel something. Think of each video and consider what value it is providing someone.
    • Audio quality matters the most even over video quality. You can have top notch video but if your audio is bad people will stop watching.
    • Focus on your presentation and story telling skills. When you first start making videos you probably won’t be very good at this but it’s something that makes the best YouTubers connect with their audience.

    Remember that these are all things that you can work on and you can’t compare yourself to other creators. You should work hard to improve your skills and tune out the distractions of others.

    Provide Unique Value

    This is similar to the idea of making good videos but even good videos won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t providing some sort of value to your audience.

    Every video on your channel is providing some type of value. That value might be education or entertainment or just a feeling like someone belongs. You need to recognize what value you are providing and then put your own unique spin on it.

    Make sure your video has a value driven purpose and you are delivering that value for each second of the video. You don’t need to ramble or go on tangents that don’t deliver on that value.

    Experiment With Ideas

    You likely won’t know what will succeed on your channel until you try some new things. Growing on YouTube means you will have to constantly experiment with ideas and trying out new things with your content.

    When you experiment and try something new you need to do a couple things:

    • be clear to yourself what is different
    • study your analytics to see how the video performs differently
    • double down on experiements that are working

    That is basically the way to succeed and grow on YouTube. When you have a video go viral? Make another similar one in a similar way and provide similar value.

    Experiment until you find something that works and then double down on it.

    Similarly to video types and ideas, experiement with all of these things:

    • thumbnails
    • call to actions in your video
    • titles
    • descriptions
    • video length

    Try out new things and constantly track how the experiments perform. You won’t know what works and what doesn’t work for your channel until you try. There are all sorts of pieces of advice out there “use your face in thumbnails” or “don’t use your face in thumbnails” but you won’t know until you try it on your channel.

    Find Ways To Be More Efficient

    If you plan to grow on YouTube then you need to find ways to be more productive, use your time more wisely, and be more efficient overall. YouTube can be a lot of work and a lot of really tedious work that can be time consuming.

    You may want to try out a number of different things:

    • Using TubeBuddy to batch process tasks
    • Hire an editor too speed up your editing
    • Hire someone to make your thumbnails
    • Outsource any number of tasks to a VA

    Find ways to make tasks faster and more efficient so that you can scale up with your content and growth.

    Keep Going

    I’ve heard time and time again from people who blew up on YouTube that they had their biggest success right after they had considered giving up… but kept going. That means that all the people who quit at that stage likely quit right before they would have seen success.

    There are a lot of fears, excuses, and reasons why people don’t continue to grow on YouTube.

    I recommend you examine those and find ways around them so you can keep going and keep growing your channel. Consistently post videos and work on improving your skills so that you are able to become a pro at YouTube.

    Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube is not a fast process, but it is possible!

    I started YouTube as a hobby and quickly fell in love with the platform and how it allowed me to find a community, create content, and also make money for my time.

    If you want to make money on YouTube I’ve written multiple posts about how do do earn money both directly on YouTube and with using YouTube as a traffic source to your products:

    I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about making money on YouTube, clearly! It’s an amazing platform that has completely changed many people’s lives by building a business or income from the platform.

    You can see some of my past income reports on YouTube.

    You can watch the video below to see how much YouTube paid me for 2 million views.

    In that video I explain how YouTube pays for views and the amount of money they pay for videos with millions of views which is very useful to understand if you want to make money from your YouTube channel.

  • Shopify For Beginners

    I recently began selling products with Shopify and then loved it so much I helped a friend set up their business with a Shopify store too. The ease of creating a store and immediately beginning to sell your products makes Shopify one of the best platforms for selling online today.

    In this post I cover everything you’ll want to know about Shopify and how to get started with your own Shopify store. I am a Shopify affiliate so you can use this link to open your store which will help support my work here.

    Shopify 101

    Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store where you can sell physical or digital products.

    You might be wondering is Shopify legit? They’ve been in the news and had crazy speculative stock prices lately, but is their product actually good? The answer is yes! Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy but also robust which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    In fact, large multi-million dollar businesses like Harry’s Razors and Gymshark use Shopify to power their stores as well as many small businesses and online content creators.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it. They also offer apps and tools that put it far above any Shopify competitors. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    Try Shopify for free!

    How Does Shopify Work?

    Shopify works by providing both a front end (what your customer sees) and a back end (what you see and manage behind the scenes).

    Your customer will see your beautiful and streamlined storefront when they are shopping and once they’ve made a purchase all interactions will continue on the backend where you control everything.

    In the very comprehensive back end of Shopify you have control over your products, inventory, pricing, orders, payments, analytics, finances, and more. They give you every tool you might need and even some that you probably won’t use at first.

    In addition to all of this Shopify also has an app store with plugins for every possible thing you could think of to add to your shop.

    Who is Shopify for?

    Shopify is for aspiring sellers all the way up to large multi-million dollar brands. Shopify’s pricing plans range to suit all sizes of ecommerce companies and their starter plan makes powerful online selling possible for individuals and small shops.

    You can also open any number of types of stores with Shopify:

    • traditional ecommerce
    • digital product sales
    • dropshipping

    If you are eager to grow a large store or create a huge brand then Shopify is definitely the right tool to grow with you.

    Shopify Pricing

    Shopify costs vary depending on which plan you use.

    Here are the three pricing plans currently offered:

    • $29/month for Basic Shopify: All the basics for starting a new business
    • $79/month for Shopify: Everything you need for a growing business
    • $299/month for Advanced Shopify: Advanced features for scaling your business

    However, right now, they are offering 90 days for free!

    You can sign up, set up your store, and pick a payment plan later once you’ve settled in. This is a fantastic offer and allowing a lot of people to jump into ecommerce without any upfront costs or risk.

    You can get your 90 day free trial here.

    Shopify Fees

    If you can’t tell from the basic pricing model with Shopify, it means there are no additional platform fees to pay for selling your products.

    This gives Shopify the edge when comparing it to other store building platforms because it caps off the amount of money it takes from creators which allows store owners to keep more of their money.

    There are going to be payment processing fees when you sell on Shopify but that is true of even platform you use to sell online. In order to accept any payment online for your products you will have to pay someone to process your payments. That might be from incorporating Paypal or Stripe or another payment processor.

    Shopify Review

    Do I recommend Shopify? If you couldn’t already tell from this review, then yes! It’s truly the top option when you are trying to create a store online.

    It’s easy to use and lets beginners start a shop in no time at all. It’s got an amazing support team, room for you to grow, and lots of features with each plan they offer.

    Beyond that the sheer amount of flexibility and features Shopify offers blows away every other online store platform. Things like multiple payment options, multi-channel selling across physical stores or social media or marketplaces, abandoned cart recovery, and more make it far and away the top option when you are comparing different platforms for creating an online store.

    Try Shopify for free and see what you think for yourself!

    Shopify Vs Etsy

    Shopify and Etsy are entirely different types of platforms you can use to sell digital products or physical products. Because these are the two of the three platforms I’ve used to sell online I feel that I’m able to compare these well.

    Shopify vs Etsy Customer Traffic

    Etsy has the advantage in being able to bring customers to your shop. Your Etsy shop will automatically be in front of more people just because it is on Etsy and that is because Etsy is a marketplace. There are already buyers on Etsy who are looking for things to buy.

    Shopify on the other hand, provides the tools you need to sell online but it does not currently provide the level of marketplace activity that Etsy does. This may change in the future but at the moment creating a Shopify store means you will have to do your own marketing and bring in your own customers.

    That trade off is very small if you already have an established following and can drive your own traffic to your shop.

    Shopify vs Etsy Fees

    Since Shopify does not add on any transaction fees like a site like Etsy does, this means you will only pay for your monthly Shopify bill and payment processing fees. The payment processing fees on Shopify lower with the higher paid plans but for online credit card rates they charge 2.9% + 30¢. Any other payments you decide to use besides Shopify Payments start at 2%.

    Etsy on the other-hand, charges a large number of fees. They charge a listing fee of 20¢ any time you list a product and then another 20¢ to renew that listing once an item sells. They also charge a 5% transaction fee for every item you sell. In addition to this they also have started charging you 12-15% for any item that sells due to their offsite advertising. All of these fees are also applied to whatever you charge for shipping. This can lead to 20% or more of your item price being eaten up by fees.

    If you sell at a high volume level Shopify ends up being a much cheaper platform than a site like Etsy that charges 5% transaction fees as well as listing fees and offsite advertising fees.

    Shopify vs Etsy Pricing

    Etsy does not charge anything to open a shop and it does not charge anything ongoing to run one. It provides all of it’s tools “free” in exchange for the higher fees they take from sales you make. This model makes it easy for new sellers to get started with very little risk.

    However, that model quickly runs out of positives for anyone selling expensive items or selling massive amounts of volume.

    Shopify offers three different plans ranging from a reasonable $29 per month to an advanced price of $299 per month. You are able to start with a $29 plan and scale up as you need to in order to support your growing business. But as you grow you’ll get all the tools you need for $299 per month without worrying about giving over 5% of your overall sales volume.

    In the end Etsy pricing is great to get started but if you plan to sell your products seriously then you will end up better off with Shopify.

    Moving Your Etsy Shop To Shopify

    If you are currently selling on Etsy and want to leave due to high fees and lack of control, I highly recommend moving your Etsy shop over to Shopify. It’s incredibly easy and Shopify allows you to import all of your Etsy data so you don’t have to start over.

    This video shows you the process of moving over my Etsy shop to Shopify when I decided to start selling on my own website instead of just with Etsy.

    While you will have to drive traffic to your Shopify store, you will be also freeing yourself up for more control over your marketing and success.

    Moving from Etsy to Shopify is something I think most Etsy sellers should do and many have done so in 2020. There has been a large exodus of Etsy sellers for Shopify stores because of Etsy’s high fees and introduction of mandatory off-site marketing.

    How To Get Started On Shopify

    If you plan to start a store to sell your products online then Shopify is likely where you will want to start. You can have a beautiful shop up and running in minutes.

    You can currently get a 90 day free trial of Shopify which is an amazing way to get started selling without any risk. Definitely give it a try and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email of dm!

    Start your free trial with Shopify!

  • How To Make Money With The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    If you are a planner girl who creates plan with me videos on YouTube or Instagram you could be making hundreds of dollars a month doing what you love by joining the Erin Condren affiliate program.

    In this post I’m sharing how you can make money as an EC affiliate and why you should go sign up for ShareASale and join the Erin Condren affiliate program right now!

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is one of the best affiliate programs available for anyone making planner content. Even if you use a different style planner it is likely that your audience will love Erin Condren planner products.

    How To Sign Up For The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is run by the affiliate network ShareASale.

    ShareASale is an affiliate network which means it is a platform where you can sign up for multiple affiliate programs within it. There are a couple great programs within ShareASale but for this specific niche of planning and budget planners the best one is Erin Condren.

    In the video below I walk through how you can sign up for the Erin Condren affiliate program on the ShareASale affiliate network.

    Benefits Of The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    So why is the Erin Condren affiliate program so amazing for planner related content creators?

    The Erin Condren affiliate marketing program gives you 10% of each sale you refer to them which is often quite high since their average sale is $73.71 and your viewers are likely to be planning to buy there anyway.

    As a planner you are likely already using Erin Condren products or related items so you will be showcasing and recommending their products in your content. The affiliate program they run through ShareASale allows you to earn 10% of whatever your audience buys through your links. It’s additional money for you as a commission for sharing how much you love Erin Condren products.

    Things you can recommend from Erin Condren are planners, stickers, and other related accessories. It’s a great program and I routinely earn money from it even though I don’t use Erin Condren products! If you do you should get paid for your efforts instead of only getting free products through referrals. 

    To promote Erin Condren you should go start an account with ShareASale and search for Erin Condren under merchants or in the top ranked merchants since they are always near the top.

    Why Use Affiliate Marketing

    If you have a planner related blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel then you can monetize your content through affiliate marketing especially the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    I’ve been making money from my budgeting YouTube channel for a while and because of this I get a lot of questions from new YouTubers about how to make money or grow their channels. I always suggest using affiliate marketing for products they already use and love.

    Affiliate marketing has made my channel more most months than I’ve made on ads. It makes this amount of money because people love to click through and purchase the budget stickers I used in my planner. 

    When you create a channel about something you are passionate about you probably have a dedicated audience that will support you by using links where you can make a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing is the BEST way for new content creators to get started because you don’t need huge amounts of views or followers.

    All you need is a passion for the products you are sharing and if you are a planner you likely already have a huge passion for Erin Condren products because they are amazing.

    What is affiliate marketing?

    Affiliate marketing is where you promote products to your audience and then earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. 

    You earn money by selling other people’s products.

    The commissions for those sales can range from 4% to 70% of the product sales price.

    As you can see, you can earn major amounts of money when you are earning 50% or more of a product price without having to create the product.

    Affiliate marketing works in the same way as many old school referral programs and allows people to earn money through their blog or social media platforms by talking about things they love. It actually works well for all parties involved because you are only paid when you make a sale, it does not increase consumer cost, and the company providing the product does not have to pay upfront in case you don’t provide sales. 

    There are affiliate programs for all types of products and in every industry. There are affiliate programs where you can earn money promoting clothing, makeup, crafts, credit cards, bank accounts, ebooks, online courses and more. Regardless of what you plan to talk about online there will be an affiliate marketing program that will fit into your niche.

    Affiliate programs will pay commissions in three different ways:

    1. Pay per sale – You will earn a commission only when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.
    2. Pay per lead – You will earn a commission if someone signs up for a free trial or creates a free account or somehow otherwise gives a company their email address as a lead.
    3. Pay per click – This style of program is where you are paid money whenever someone clicks through one of your links.  

    There are many types of affiliate marketing programs but the most common one is pay per sale. That is what I will be referring to and giving tips to since it is what I use the most. 

    How is affiliate marketing different from referral programs? 

    People are very used to “referral links” where someone recommends a product or service they use via a link inside their account. In return for the referral you may get a free month or other benefit from the referral. It’s a common way apps grow their user base.

    An example of a referral program you can promote in order to earn free products is Erin Condren.

    Within the Erin Condren website you can get a referral link where customers can get a credit and you get a credit too. This allows you to buy more Erin Condren products but it doesn’t earn you an income that goes into the bank.

    I’m amazed by how many passionate content creators I see using this referral program so they get free products but not using the affiliate program where they can earn actual income.

    In contrast, you can earn money with the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    Affiliate marketing programs are different because they are special partnerships that not everyone has access to. Many have special requirements like a certain number of followers or website traffic and some even require a certain number of signups per month.

    Affiliate marketing programs most often give affiliates cash or a similar form of compensation for their work to create sales through driving traffic through their links. An example of affiliate programs are when someone signs up for a program I’ve shared and I receive $50 in return. 

    How To Create Affiliate Links To Erin Condren

    Once you’ve signed up for the Erin Condren affiliate program at ShareASale then you will then need to create the affiliate links you will share in order to make money from commissions.

    Creating links to Erin Condren products can be done a few different ways:

    • copying affiliate links in ShareASale that Erin Condren created
    • using the deal and coupon links created
    • posting ad banners that use affiliate links
    • creating custom links to Erin Condren products you love
    • making a page showing multiple Erin Condren products

    Creating these links is as easy as copying and pasting in most cases. The video below shows you how you can create affiliate links in several different ways.

    You will create the type of link that fits your need best depending on the strategy you want to use to promote your affiliate links.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For Erin Condren Affiliates

    After you sign up to be an Erin Condren affiliate you may be wondering how to promote the program in order to earn money.

    Here are a few of my favorite tips specific to promoting Erin Condren products as an affiliate.

    • use Erin Condren products in your video/photos and link to that specific item by creating a custom link
    • create a page using ShareASale datafeed tools to recommend your favorite Erin Condren products on a page on your blog
    • share your hauls of new Erin Condren products and link to the new products
    • offer coupon codes for your audience from the coupon / deals section
    • show off how you organize your planner items and promote Erin Condren products and content that show how to organize items
    • connect with your affiliate marketing manager – Erin Condren has a dedicated affiliate marketing manager you can contact through the ShareASale program and they can help you with tips and tricks
    • create content with affiliate marketing in mind instead of as an afterthought – this will allow you to craft content around promoting certain items
    • show off your planner layouts each week either on Instagram and YouTube along with your EC links in the description or bio

    These tips and ideas should get you started for promoting the Erin Condren affiliate program!

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For YouTubers

    If you are a YouTuber with a budgeting related channel and want to start use affiliate marketing to earn money then here are some of my favorite tips:

    • Mention your links in the video and direct your audience to your description box.
    • Include an affiliate disclaimer link in your description box that is clear you will make a commission.
    • Link to specific products you use instead of the general page. The less steps between a buyer and the purchase the better. Specific links convert better than generic ones.
    • Use products in the programs that you are promoting as an affiliate. If you have a choice to use products in the program or not, use the ones you can promote as an affiliate. People always want to know where you got things.
    • Leave a link to what you used in the video in a pinned comment.
    • Respond to any questions where people ask where you got something and give them the affiliate link. (This is just polite practice as well that builds trust with your audience.)

    Those are just a few of my best tips for how I’ve managed to share products I love like Erin Condren and my favorite budget stickers shops and cash envelope makers while also earning income for doing it!

    If you have any questions about affiliate marketing or want to learn more, sign up for my email list where I share tips and tricks about how to monetize your YouTube channel.