Online Business

  • Blog Monetization Challenge – Update 2

    In 2022 my goal is to monetize this blog via advertising and I’m tracking the progress as a Blog Monetization Challenge.

    This will give me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned as I discover if it’s possible to still grow a blog/website in 2022. This is the second update of the year.

    Previous Blog Monetization Updates

    When I started this blog in March 2020 is was meant to go along with my personal finance and creator tutorial YouTube channels. Not everyone likes learning via video so I wanted to create written content as well.

    After starting the blog I let it sit for the rest of 2020. I started publishing more in 2021 and saw the number of visits grow.

    In 2021 I published 88 blog posts and grew the pageviews to 10,329 in December 2021. This is where I finally started to see the work payoff and decided to double down on growing the blog.

    I did not do anything to monetize the content but instead just allowed it to help others naturally alongside my videos.

    In the beginning of 2022 I decided to take the site more seriously and publish new posts more consistently in order to grow and monetize.

    Here are the previous updates:

    Blog Monetization Goals

    When we started this challenge I was at 10,000 pageviews. That’s not insignificant but it’s a long way from my goals.

    The goals for this challenge are:

    • grow to 50,000 sessions (roughly 60,000 pageviews) per month
    • apply for and get accepted into MediaVine ad network
    • grow to $1,000 per month in blog only revenue

    I will be monetizing the content mainly by advertising income since it is the method I prefer for a more passive endeavor. While I do sell digital products like budgeting printables, I don’t want to add another level of customer service to my plate. Ads allow for passive income creation with digital platforms.

    Blog Monetization Challenge Content Plan

    In 2022 I’ll be creating content based around a few different topics where I have expertise and already create videos. I’ll be using the blog as a hub for the main areas I already create content on with my multiple YouTube channels.

    Blog content topics for Pennies Not Perfection:

    And more!

    Anything about saving money or making money is fair game since Pennies Not Perfection is all about making and using money to help you live the life you want.

    Blog Content February 2022

    In the month of February 2022 I created several new posts.

    I hit my goal to create more posts and but did add 10 new posts. This was the exact number of useful posts I wanted to create but I also spent less time working on this goal.

    This happened because of multiple trips I took during the month to visit friends across the country. Thank goodness for passive income allowing me to skip working to go have fun!

    New blog posts created in February 2022:

    This month’s posts were a combination of all my favorite topics: making money, Etsy, YouTube, and saving money!

    These are the topics that people ask me about the most based on the fact that I make a full time income from YouTube and Etsy.

    Blog Traffic Results February 2022

    Since this blog is mainly about personal finance topics like saving money and budgeting, there is a bump in interest in January. This is followed by a slump in Feburary.

    I expected less visits for the month because of this and because it is a shorter month as well.

    In February 2022 I had 11,380 pageviews.

    This was a decrease from the 13,600 pageviews the blog received in January’s update.

    While there was a decrease it was not as drastic as I was expecting! I expected a much steeper decline in numbers.

    I’m thrilled to still be above 10,000 pageviews and believe that the growth the blog has seen so far will continue to steady out and grow as I create new content.

    Lessons Learned

    The biggest lesson learned in February were not about creating content at all.

    Time For Creation

    Since I spent a lot of time traveling this month I didn’t put as much time into creating new blog content. I also still have to balance creating new YouTube videos and working on my shop since those are my actual income generating activities.

    This blog is a fun challenge for me but it’s often pushed to the back of the list and given minimal time for growth.

    Finding time to create written content will be an ongoing process for me in coming months. I’ll be updating my schedule and attempting to time block my work to find the right fit.

    March 2022 Blog Goals

    he biggest lesson learned this month is that I need to create more content.

    I’m happy that I added 5 posts to the site this month but I need to add a lot more for the growth I want.

    In February my goal will be to at least double this amount and create 10 posts at minimum.

    Featured Tool

    Each update I want to share tools I’m using to help achieve this progress. This month’s featured tool is Keysearch: SEO & Keyword Research Tool.

    Keysearch: SEO & Keyword Research Tool

    Find relevant, low competition keywords to grow your blog, YouTube channel or Etsy shop. Easy to use keyword research tool with full analysis and useful suggestions.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Keysearch is the SEO research tool I’m currently using to help grow this blog via organic search.

    This is one of the top methods I’m using to grow the blog beyond also sharing on social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube).

    With Keysearch I’m able to look up keywords and discover the number of people searching that keyword. This gives me an idea on if anyone will actually be looking for the content or not.

    Keysearch also shows the level of competition that exists for keywords already. This has been helpful for me because finance is a very, very competitive niche for blogging and I’ve decided not to create certain content because there is no way anyone will find my site in the mix.

    Personally I chose Keysearch as my SEO research tool because of the pricing. It’s a mid-tier option that’s not free but is much cheaper than competitors that charge $100 a month. I pay just over $11 with the discount I used during purchase and it’s been worth the expense.

    Want to try it out? Check out Keysearch: SEO & Keyword Research Tool

    Read More

  • How To Edit Etsy Shop Titles

    Your Etsy shop title is the small bit of text where you can briefly describe your shop. It’s useful for the customer experience and SEO so this tutorial shows you how to edit Etsy shop titles so you can take advantage.

    How To Edit Etsy Shop Titles

    How to Edit Etsy Shop Titles Video

    Editing your Etsy shop title is actually quite simple.

    Here’s how to edit your shop title:

    • go to Shop Manager
    • in the left menu under “Sales Channels” click the pencil icon next to your shop name
    • click Edit or the pencil icon next to the text under your shop name
    • type in the text you want to use
    • click the black Save button

    Changing your shop title can help you improve your shop’s overall ability to be found via search.

    It’s also one of the first things visitors read in your shop which means you can use it to confirm buyers are in the right place.

    What Is Your Etsy Shop Title?

    Your shop title on etsy is the little bit of text that shows up under your shop name. It can be up to 55 characters and can be filled with a relevant description of your shop.

    Your shop title becomes the page title for your shop page and this is what shows up in search engines like Google.

    If you use this space to be descriptive with good keywords for your niche then more people can find you via search.

    You can also use the space for additional branding if you have a strong tagline.

    Why Are Etsy Shop Titles Important?

    Your shop title on Etsy plays a part in your shop’s SEO. Etsy search engine optimization (SEO) is a strong traffic source that can send thousands of interested buyers to your shop.

    Your shop title is one of the elements you can optimize on your shop to improve your SEO. Improved SEO can lead to your shop being ranked higher in relevant search results.

    This means the words you choose to use in your shop title contribute to how search engines see your shop and who they send to your listings.

    Your shop title can help you build more relevancy by using the right keywords.

    It’s also a great way to give customers a quick 3 second snapshot of what your shop is all about when they first visit. This is especially helpful if your Etsy shop name does not include descriptive words.

    Finding Keywords For Your Shop

    While editing your Etsy shop title is easy, it’s more difficult to decide how to use that limited space.

    Which keywords should you use? What best describes your Etsy shop? How do you find keywords people are actually using?

    There are a few ways to find keywords to use for your shop:

    • think like your customer: what would they type into the search bar?
    • type relevant words into the search bar and see what auto populates as suggestions
    • use a tool like SaleSamurai to do research on potential keywords
    Sale Samurai - Etsy SEO, Analytics, & Keyword Research Software

    Sale Samurai's powerful AI driven keyword tools help you find and implement long tail keywords that bring in Etsy traffic and generate more sales.


    For a 20% discount on Sale Samurai use my code penniesnotperfection

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    You can use a number of Etsy keyword tools to discover potential keywords that will apply to your Etsy shop.

    Since your shop title is limited in characters you will want to select 1 to 2 good keywords that are the best fit to represent your store and weave them into a description.

    etsy shop titles 101 - how to edit etsy shop title in your shop

    More Etsy Tips & Tutorials

    Etsy has been an amazing side hustle for me. Selling digital products on Etsy gave me the income stability to quit my 9-5 job. That is why I love sharing what I’ve learned as an Etsy seller.

    Here are a few useful Etsy tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Etsy Basics:

    Etsy SEO:

    Etsy Tutorials:

    Read More

  • Sale Samurai Review

    Sale Samurai is a data analytics and keyword research tool for Etsy sellers. It helps you to skyrocket your Etsy sales with useful data and tools. In this Sale Samurai review we look at what it is, what it does, and who should use it.

    Sale Samurai - Etsy SEO, Analytics, & Keyword Research Software

    Sale Samurai's powerful AI driven keyword tools help you find and implement long tail keywords that bring in Etsy traffic and generate more sales.


    For a 20% discount on Sale Samurai use my code penniesnotperfection

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    What Is Sale Samurai?

    Sale Samurai is a data analytics and keyword research tool for Etsy sellers that shows you how to skyrocket your Etsy sales.

    Over 1,000 eCommerce sellers use it with more signing up every day.

    Sale Samurai gives you the insights and analytics needed to skyrocket your sales on Etsy. It does this by giving you a clear overview of what’s working in your shop, where to find more customers, and how to boost revenue.

    The powerful tools included allow you to discover long tail keywords that Etsy shoppers are using to make their purchases. You will discover the search volume behind the keywords that are leading to sales in other shops.

    Armed with this keyword research data along with average shipping days, price distribution, and long tail keyword ideas, you can optimize your Etsy listings to increase your sales success.

    If you choose to use Sale Samurai you can click my affiliate link to support this review.

    What Sale Samurai Does

    Sale Samurai does the following things for Etsy sellers:

    1. It analyzes all of your products and tells you which ones are profitable and which aren’t.
    2. Sale Samurai tells you what keywords people are searching for that your products aren’t ranking for (but should be).
    3. It shows what best sellers are doing with regards to pricing, views per products, and likes to their Etsy shop.
    4. Sale Samurai gives you ideas for new products to create and sell based on what is selling well in your niche.
    5. The tools provided give you the ability to edit your Etsy listings for improved SEO success.
    6. Sale Samurai uploader tools allows sellers to upload and connect with Print On Demand services to increase their listings and make more sales.
    7. The chrome extension provides immediate data while you are browsing Etsy.

    All of this information provided gives your shop an edge.

    With these things you’ll find the results grow your Etsy shop via search traffic and increased profitability.

    Who Should Use Sale Samurai?

    Sale Samurai is a great tool for Etsy sellers who want to increase their sales.

    SaleSamurai is for you if:

    • You want to find out which of your products are selling the best and which ones aren’t worth your time. Sale Samurai shows you exactly what’s working in your Etsy shop. Then you can focus on promoting those winning items and stop wasting time with underperforming products.
    • You want more customers but don’t know where to find them. Sale Samurai’s “Keyword Research” tool tells you exactly which keywords people are searching for on Etsy that your products aren’t ranking for, so you can fill in the gaps and start getting traffic from those searches.
    • You want to increase your revenue but don’t know how. Sale Samurai gives you ideas for new products to create and sell as well. With Sale Samurai, you’ll never run out of ideas for new products to test and sell.

    Using the tools provided inside SaleSamurai you can gather insights that will help you reach the right people and increase your sales.

    How Can I Use Sale Samurai?

    Now that we know a little bit about Sale Samurai, let’s look at how you can use it.

    Here are a few of the things you can do with Sale Samurai:

    • research long tail keywords for your Etsy listings
    • analyze volume and conversion data behind keywords
    • apply keywords to your listings with Etsy SEO guidance
    • connect with uploading tools to speed up your process on additional listings

    These are the main ways you can use Sale Samurai but there are additional tools and ways as well. They also continue to add new tools and features that can help your Etsy shop.

    Sale Samurai In Action

    Let’s look at Sale Samurai in action and see how it can be used to find keywords and even brainstorm new product ideas.

    How To Find Etsy Keywords & Product Ideas With Sale Samurai

    Let’s take an example from the Sale samurai dashboard: Sale samurai tells us which products are getting sales and what keywords people are searching for each month.

    With this data you can adjust your keywords on listings to bring in more traffic.

    Sale samurai gives you ideas for new products to create and sell based on what is selling well in your niche. You can check what shops in your niche are making lots of sales and which products are the top sellers.

    Pricing Plans

    With any product you have to consider the pricing to determine if it is worth using or not.

    Remember that no software is worth paying for if you won’t use it enough to get the value out of it!

    Sale Samurai Review: Pricing plan options

    SaleSamurai has two pricing plans:

    1. $9.99 per month
    2. $99.99 per year

    With my discount code penniesnotperfection you are able to get 20% off for the life of your account.

    Each option comes with a 3 day trial so you are able to cancel within three days and not waste any money if you’re unable to get value out of Sale Samurai.

    Most people choose the monthly plan so they can also choose to cancel at any time. You may only need to use Sale Samurai for a couple months while you are researching product keywords, setting up your shop, or brainstorming ideas. You could use it for those purposes and always cancel later!

    Use this link or discount code penniesnotperfection for 20% off either plan!

    Sale Samurai Reviews

    I’ve used Sale Samurai and found it beneficial but I’m always curious about what other people have to say about their experience.

    Here are a few reviews and comments about SaleSamurai from around the web:

    • “Yep, I started using Sale Samurai last month, and it has helped a lot. Not that my sales increased dramatically because of it, but I sure as hell have been selling more more I ever did before. Lol. So, if we’re looking at % of increment in sales alone, I’d say that it’s been very helpful for me.” via reddit
    • “I like Sale Samurai the most. It shows me the search volume next to the keywords in the Etsy search and I don’t need to go to another site, it’s so fast and helpful.” via reddit

    Surprisingly there were not a ton of reviews for Sale Samurai online but I’m hoping people continue to add more. If you’d like to contribute, feel free to leave a comment on this post with your experience.

    Sale Samurai Reveiw

    Sale Samurai Pros & Cons

    Sale Samurai has pros and cons just like any other software you choose to use for your business.

    Sale Samura Pros

    Here are a few of the pros to using Sale Samurai:

    • Simple to use. Of all the Etsy keywords research tools I’ve tried, this is one of the simplest. This doesn’t mean it is not powerful but it gives sellers the chance to benefit from the very first day of use.
    • Provides actionable insights. With any tool you use you want to make sure you are able to take action and create changes (the main change being more sales). The data you gather from using Sale Samurai provides data you can take action on and improve your Etsy shop listings.
    • Dedicated to Etsy sellers. One huge pro for this tool is that it is focused only on Etsy. Many other keyword research tools include Google, YouTube, etc. and act as an all in one SEO tool. Sale Samurai’s focus on Etsy gives it an edge as the tool to use for Etsy sellers.

    No review is complete without acknowledging the imperfections of a product. This Sale Samurai review would be remiss to skip over the downfalls of the product.

    Sale Samurai Cons

    I believe Sale Samurai can be a helpful tool in assisting Etsy sellers but it does have some downsides as well.

    Here are a few cons to using Sale Samurai:

    • Keywords volume is estimated. Etsy API does not release it’s search data to third party sources so the actual keyword volume is an estimate. Sale Samurai can accurately track and compile things like number or sales and shipping days but the keyword volume is not directly from Etsy.
    • There is no free plan. With no free option, the cost could be prohibitive to new sellers. If you haven’t made a sale yet it is hard to invest in a monthly expense. You can try it for a couple months and quit but even $20 or $30 can feel like a lot when you have no revenue.
    • Only works with keywords. Keywords are incredibly important to Etsy SEO, but it’s not the only thing sellers should improve. Sale Samurai currently does not optimize photos or other listing elements.

    Sale Samurai Review Recap

    The Sale Samurai tool is an extremely valuable resource for any Etsy seller wanting to increase their sales.

    This Sale Samurai review is a positive one because it’s a tool I’ve personally used to improve Etsy listings. I also enjoyed the product so much that I joined the affiliate program and earn commissions for referrals.

    Not only does it give you a clear overview of what’s working in your shop, but it also tells you where to find more customers and how to boost revenue.

    With Sale Samurai, you’ll have all the data you need to make informed decisions about your Etsy shop and take it to the next level.

    If you are ready to try out Sale Samurai, click this link and use code penniesnotperfection for 20% off!

    Read More

  • 5 Best Etsy Keyword Tools To Grow Sales

    What are the best Etsy keyword tools? I want to tell you about the best ones so you can grow your sales to new levels.

    With these tools you can effortlessly find popular keywords people use to search for products to buy on Etsy. These keyword tools show you how many results keywords get per month, what percentage of searches result in a sale or interaction, and how your competitors use keywords.

    Some of the best Etsy keyword tools are:

    1. Sale Samurai
    2. Marmalead
    3. KeySearch
    4. eRank
    5. Etsy’s search bar

    We will cover each of these Etsy keyword tools in depth below. We will also look at some of the things you need to know about Etsy SEO.

    If you want to skip all the learning on your own, you can check out this course that teaches you all about Etsy SEO along with how to make money selling printables.

    E-Printables Course

    Learn everything you need to know to create and sell printables online as a side hustle. Includes lessons, templates, and 24/7 support.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Why Keywords Matter On Etsy

    One of the best ways to increase your sales on Etsy is by using marketing strategies that will help you reach more potential customers. This includes improving your shop’s SEO so you can be found via search.

    Every time someone types related keywords into Etsy’s search bar is an opportunity to get in front of a buyer.

    However, Etsy is a crowded platform with millions of sellers. You are fighting with other store owners to get in front of the buyer in the first position.

    Finding the right keywords to match your listings perfectly improves your ability to show up for the right buyer in the right position.

    When you use the correct keywords in your listings Etsy will send you a steady stream of customers looking to buy your product.

    Selecting the right keywords to match buyer’s is part of Etsy search engine optimization. When you optimize your shop for this you are more likely to make sales from that search traffic.

    What Is An Etsy Keyword Tool?

    An Etsy keyword tool can help you find the best words and phrases to describe your product so that it matches what people are searching.

    Keyword tools help you find and select the best possible words to use on your listinga.

    Etsy keyword tools do this by providing you important information like:

    • The search volume of keywords (how many people are looking for that item)
    • Whether there is high competition or low competition (how many other shops are using those keywords)
    • Related keywords that might also work (giving you ideas for listings and additonal products)

    Etsy keyword tools compile all of this information and offer you feedback on choosing the right keywords for your products.

    Having all of this information in one spot allows you to make better informed decisions about which terms to use for your listings.

    You can then use those keywords to optimize your Etsy listings with good content matching buyer search intent.

    The Best Etsy Keyword Tools

    There are many ways to research keywords for your product listings on Etsy. These are some of the best tools to assist you in making the best keyword selections.

    Let’s look at the pricing, features and reasons why you might want to consider each of these Etsy keywrod research tools.

    SaleSamurai

    Sale Samurai - Etsy SEO, Analytics, & Keyword Research Software

    Sale Samurai's powerful AI driven keyword tools help you find and implement long tail keywords that bring in Etsy traffic and generate more sales.


    For a 20% discount on Sale Samurai use my code penniesnotperfection

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Details: Sale Samurai is a great tool for sellers who want to be the best at what they do.

    The data they provide on Etsy keywords and other information comes from actual customer searches and sales data.

    Plus with information on price, shipping days, and views per product, you’ll be able to stay ahead of your competitors. The insights allow you to position yourself with the most favorable offerings that will guarantee sales.

    This is one of the best options for keyword research because of how powerful the AI is with this tool as well as the detailed analysis it provides.

    Pricing: $9.99 per month but you can use my discount code penniesnotperfection to get 20% off forever.

    Marmalead

    Marmalead

    Marmalead uses machine learning to help you get found on Etsy. Use it to research, analyze, and implement keywords in your Etsy listings.

    Details: Marmalead grows your sales with real shopper keywords. They use advanced machine learning to take the guesswork out of getting found on Etsy.

    There are multiple tools inside Marmalead that allow you to brainstorm and then analyze potential keywords for your Etsy shop. They also offer tools to grade your listings so you know if your SEO work will pay off or not.

    An additional feature that might make it work the price is access to their Entrepreneur Course library. This covers various aspects of running an Etsy business and can help a ton if you are a new shop owner.

    Pricing: $19 per month

    Keysearch

    Keysearch: SEO & Keyword Research Tool

    Find relevant, low competition keywords to grow your blog, YouTube channel or Etsy shop. Easy to use keyword research tool with full analysis and useful suggestions.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Details: Keysearch is powerful but it provides information in a simple way that allows you to make good choices quickly.

    You can run searches quickly and each search provides estimated volume, competition, and suggested additional keywords ideas.

    The platform also includes additional SEO tools. You can analyze competitors and track keywords you’ve researched so you can continue to try new things with your SEO.

    Keysearch is actually my preferred keyword research tool because I use it for everything: blog SEO, YouTube SEO and Etsy SEO. I use the keyword information to make content for all of these platforms!

    Pricing: $17 per month Starter, $34 per month Pro

    eRank

    eRank - FREE Etsy SEO, Keyword Research Tool

    Get helpful tips on how to improve your Etsy listings and how your shop measures up to the competition.

    If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

    Details: eRank is one of the first keyword tools you will hear about because it’s one of the best free options.

    Even the paid plan on eRank is very affordable making it a good keyword research tool for any beginners who want to keep their expenses low.

    e-Rank contains multiple tools for Etsy sellers that give you all the information needed to optimize your listings and increase sales.

    The Keyword Tool will generate keywordsto use for your listings. Then their Listing Audit shows how often shoppers use these same words when browsing through products similar to yours.

    These tools and others on eRank will give you an idea about what type of changes you may need to make in order to stay on top of your competition.

    Pricing: $5.99 a month or FREE for a plan with limited features

    Etsy’s search bar

    Best Etsy Keyword Tools - The Etsy Search bar

    Details: The final keyword research tool is actually built into Etsy itself: the search bar.

    Every time you search on Etsy the search bar shows a drop-down of suggested searches. These are suggested because they are things that people are actually typing to find products.

    You can use these auto-populated keyword suggestions as the keywords for your product listings.

    You won’t know any estimated volume these searches get but you will be guaranteed someone is searching for that term.

    This is a great way to get started with keyword research on Etsy or a way to continue without spending money each month. You can gather useful keywords just from testing out your keyword ideas in the Etsy search bar.

    This isn’t the most detailed method nor does it give you much analysis but it can help you if you aren’t able to invest in a keyword tool right away.

    Pricing: FREE

    Reasons to Use A Keyword Research Tool

    If you can just look up keywords on Etsy’s search bar, why would you use any Etsy keyword tool? Especially a paid one?

    These tools help you cultivate your research and make better decisions than just guessing which auto-populated keyword will be best.

    While Etsy does not release it’s exact search data to any company, these keyword tools are able to still give good estimates and actual sales data from competitors. This is more than you’ll find with the Etsy search bar and it can give you an edge on your competition.

    These tools are also helpful for beginners who need more guidance with things like listing grades and other features.

    After you’ve sold on Etsy for years you’ll be able to recognize the best keywords naturally. But when you first start? It might as well be another language and a whole new job to figure out. The keyword tools help making it easier by providing an easy-to-understand framework when choosing keywords.

    Basically, you’ll save hours of time and lots of headaches when you use a keyword tool for assistance.

    Etsy Keywords 101

    If you are researching the best Etsy keyword tools then you likely know how keywords work.

    But if you don’t, let’s consider why keywords are important and how they actually work on Etsy.

    When someone searches for a product on Etsy, Etsy search gathers all the listings that could match that shopper’s request. Then Etsy search filters them by multiple factors to provide a ranking of which they think matches the best.

    Here’s where you can use the keywords in your listing:

    • titles
    • tags
    • categories
    • attributes
    • description

    Optimizing your listing with keywords in these places will help make your listing more relevant and show up higher in search.

    If you want to learn more about keywords and how they work on Etsy, check out this seller handbook guide: Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know

    While there are many other SEO factors to consider, using good keywords is the foundation. Improving your shop’s SEO can lead to more sales on auto-pilot as people search and find your shop thanks to Etsy’s rankings.

    More Etsy Tips & Tutorials

    Etsy has been a life changing side hustle for me.

    Selling digital products on Etsy allowed me to quit my job and grow a business which is why I love sharing what I’ve learned as an Etsy seller.

    Here are a few useful Etsy tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Selling on Etsy can be a life changing if you learn how to grow your sales and get steady traffic.

    It’s something that I’ve seen change multiple people’s lives. I wish that for you and hope this resource can help you make it happen!

    Read More

  • What Does Etsy SEO Mean?

    Etsy SEO can be a powerful way to bring in customers and generate sales. But too often I find Etsy sellers completely unaware or confused about SEO. What does Etsy SEO mean? How can SEO help a shop?

    What is SEO? What is Etsy SEO?

    SEO stands for search engine optimization.

    SEO on Etsy is the process of optimizing your shop and listings to show up more often and higher in search results. This process helps your shop earn more traffic from both on Etsy and on sites like Google.

    By optimizing your Etsy listings with good keywords and content you make it easier for buyers to find you when they search for things.

    SEO is just the process of making it easier for people searching to find the thing they wanted. This applies to any website that is based around a search engine, including Etsy.

    Search algorithms want to connect users with what they are looking for when they type in keywords. SEO is the process of optimizing your content to match what people are searching for so the algorithm shows your product during a search.

    SEO can be complicated which is why so many people tend to be confused. Even with some knowledge of SEO I see sellers explaining it wrong or sharing incorrect information.

    SEO is also something that is always changing because search engine algorithms are changing as well.

    Why Etsy SEO Matters

    Etsy SEO is important because Etsy is primarily a search engine.

    Every day millions of people type product words into the Etsy search bar while looking for things to buy. Etsy shows them a variety of options in response to their query.

    With SEO, you could be one of the shops shown to people looking to buy.

    The whole site is built around the concept of customers searching the marketplace to find the product they want. Your shop shows up along with millions of others whenever a person searches for something.

    The main reason why people sell on Etsy is because there is already a customer base on the platform. SEO is the way that you reach that customer base and show up in front of them.

    Without SEO you have to actively drive traffic to your shop via social media, email or other methods. If you aren’t utilizing Etsy SEO then you might as well sell on your own website because you aren’t utilizing the benefit of Etsy’s customer base.

    Etsy SEO Factors

    There are many factors that search engines consider in order to create results for users.

    Etsy does not share all of the factors they consider for rankings. However, they’ve shared a lot of info about the important ones so sellers know how to improve their shops.

    These are all potential factors in how your listings are ranked in Etsy search:

    • Quality of your listing (all fields filled out, how users interact with the listing, etc.)
    • Keywords used in the listing (the words used in the listing content)
    • Matching results (search term match your listing titles, tags, categories, and attributes)
    • Shop reputation (customer replies, shop policies, reviews, refunds, etc.)
    • Recency (new and renewed listings get a small temporary boost)
    • Shipping prices (free shipping is prioritized in search results)
    • Shopper habits (Etsy technology shows buyers customized results you won’t see)

    These factors all contribute to where your products show up in search results.

    In order to improve your search traffic you need to improve as many of these items as possible.

    How Does Etsy SEO Work?

    By now you probably understand how important Etsy SEO is to your shop.

    Let’s look at how you implement search engine optimization and the steps it includes.

    Etsy SEO as a process will include the following steps:

    1. Finding the best keywords people are searching for to match your products
    2. Optimizing important elements of your product listings to include these keywords
    3. Improving the content of your product listing to better serve the customer
    4. Providing excellent customer service to keep your scoring high on factors beyond keywords
    5. Get links to your shop and product listings from other websites

    These are practical steps that can then be broken down even further as you work on each one.

    Etsy SEO is one that combines optimizing the improvement of listings along with being a good seller who provides an excellent experience.

    Moving through these steps and improving your shop and listings can help you rank higher on Etsy searches.

    More Etsy SEO Tips

    If you’re interested in learning more tips to improve your SEO on Etsy, check out this list of Etsy SEO tips.

    If you want to keep learning there are many articles and guides inside the Etsy seller handbook. The Etsy seller handbook is where Etsy provides useful information for sellers to improve their shops and make more sales.

    Here are some useful SEO related articles in the seller handbook:

    These guides along with others in the seller handbook will give you a solid foundation in understanding and implementing SEO on Etsy.

    You can also find useful Etsy tips tutorials here on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Using SEO to improve your shop and get more sales is worth doing. You’ll find it’s the most passive way to drive traffic and earn more money from your Etsy shop. Good luck improving your Etsy SEO!

    Read More

  • Blog Monetization Challenge – Update 1

    In 2022 my goal is to monetize this blog. I’ve decided to track the progress as a Blog Monetization Challenge.

    This will give me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned as I discover if it’s possible to still grow a blog/website in 2022. Welcome to the first update!

    Where We Started

    I started this blog in March 2020 to go along with my personal finance and creator tutorial YouTube channels.

    After starting the blog I mainly let it sit for the rest of 2020 and then finally started publishing more in 2021.

    In 2021 I published 88 blog posts and grew the pageviews to 10,329 in December 2021. This is where I finally started to see the work payoff and decided to double down on growing the blog.

    I recognized the power of having a platform I controlled outside of YouTube which is volatile at times.

    2021 Blog Recap

    • Number of posts published in 2021: 88
    • Published in September 2021: 22
    • January 2021 Views: 4,256
    • December 2021 Views: 10,329

    In 2021 I put more work into this blog but still a small amount compared to what I did with my YouTube channels. Luckily the work on YouTube paid off and I quit my job in August and hit my first $10,000 month in December.

    That work did start to pay off as I had the best month ever for the blog and hit 10,000 views in December. It’s not monetized besides a few affiliate offers currently but I’ve hit the minimum level for most ad networks. However, if the goal is to ultimately qualify for inclusion with Mediavine I’m a long way from the 50,000 sessions minimum.

    The Blog Monetization Goal

    When we started this challenge I was at 10,000 pageviews. That’s not insignificant but it’s a long way from my goals.

    The goals for this challenge are:

    • grow to 50,000 sessions (roughly 60,000 pageviews) per month
    • apply for and get accepted into MediaVine ad network
    • grow to $1,000 per month in blog only revenue

    Based on my research I’ve decided that this is the ad network I value the most and find offers the best display ad experience. Since I’m planning to mainly monetize via ads here I want to offer the best experience possible.

    Blog Monetization Challenge Content Plan

    In 2022 I’ll be creating content based around a few different topics. Instead of niching down here on the blog I’ll be using it as a hub for the main areas I already create content on via YouTube.

    Blog content topics for Pennies Not Perfection:

    And more!

    Anything about saving money or making money is fair game since Pennies Not Perfection is all about using money to help you live the life you want.

    Blog Content January 2022

    In the month of January 2022 I did not create as much content as I wanted. Unfortunately personal issues and illness stopped me from being able to blog more along with making videos.

    However I did create five new posts!

    New content created in January 2022:

    These blog posts got a tiny bit of traffic from sharing on social media but will hopefully grow over time via search engine traffic.

    They are also posts that I can use over and over again to answer questions in my YouTube comments.

    Most of the January posts were related to my personal finance content. Several are evergreen posts that I can link to and share when I get questions about tracking net worth, starting a Roth IRA, or doing a no spend challenge.

    Blog Traffic Results January 2022

    After adding just five posts to the site I was worried not much would happen with the website traffic.

    But the growth in my YouTube channel in January and the topic relevancy helped achieve my best month so far.

    In January 2022 I had 13,600 pageviews and 9,663 sessions.

    This was the best month of the website so far and gave me hope that this blog monetization challenge will actually succeed as long as I put in the work by creating good content.

    I also fixed my Google Analytics reporting issues so that next month I will be able to use Google Analytics data rather than the WordPress option.

    At this point after one month I still need to 5X my traffic. I’ve got a long ways to go with this challenge!

    Lessons Learned

    This month I learned that I’ll need to create much more content or work a lot harder to drive traffic to my blog.

    Traffic Growth

    While I’ve grown my subscribers on YouTube it is very hard to get users to leave platforms. Not much of my traffic crosses over even if I leave a link.

    The small bump in views is nice but it won’t be sustainable to reach the level I want.

    Next month I’ll work on brainstorming how to increase traffic in a more dramatic way.

    Tools Used

    I’ve been reluctant to use any more paid tools for this project until it makes money.

    However, I gave Lasso another chance after their team reached out. I had signed up for Lasso and then canceled my. subscription because the work to get it setup put me off.

    I’m so glad that I gave it another chanced! It’s now a critical part of my blog writing process and the affiliate strategy for this website.

    The All-In-One Affiliate Marketing Plugin for WordPress | Lasso

    Increase affiliate revenue by 30% with Lasso. Fix broken links, find new affiliate opportunities, and create product displays that convert to commissions.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Lasso is an all in one affiliate marketing tool for WordPress site owners. It helps you fix broken links, create new cloaked links, and create beautiful product displays.

    I previously used Pretty Links for creating URLs and manually created images for use inside posts. Switching to Lasso has eliminated so much work on the backend because it creates pretty displays instantly.

    I did do a lot of work getting Lasso set up in the month of January. I switched over many of my affiliate links, created new ones, and updated old product resource pages. This did not contribute to creating new content but now the backend of my workflow is much smoother.

    From this point on I believe using Lasso will safve me a lot of time and make the site look better when promoting affiliate offers.

    Speaking of, I’m an affiliate for Lasso now that I use and love it! Feel free to try it out using this affiliate link.

    Create More Content

    The biggest lesson learned this month is that I need to create more content.

    I’m happy that I added 5 posts to the site this month but I need to add a lot more for the growth I want.

    In February my goal will be to at least double this amount and create 10 posts at minimum.

    Read More

  • Blog Monetization Challenge For 2022

    In 2022 I have a goal to better monetize this blog so I’m doing a Blog Monetization Challenge. I’ll be tracking it here on the blog itself as well as on my digital marketing tutorial channel on YouTube.

    Before I get into the 2022 Blog Monetization Challenge details and what I plan to achieve, let’s take a look back at when this blog started and what work has already been accomplished.

    2020 Blog Recap

    • Started March 2020.
    • Number of posts published in 2020: 60
    • March 2020 Views: 72
    • December 2020 Views: 3,450

    I started this new blog in March 2020. This was after medium amounts of success with other blogs previously on different topics of personal finance, earning money online, YouTube, etc. I wanted to start fresh with a new domain name that matched my brand change.

    I pulled over some content from old sites and did minimal amounts of reworking to make sure it passed duplicate content scans. This is how I published the majority of posts the first year and did not create much “new” content for the blog.

    Promotion wise there was zero work put into the blog as my main focus in 2020 was growing my two YouTube channels about personal finance and online marketing. All traffic in the first year was organic search traffic from Google and a few redirects I put up on certain posts that I moved over.

    2021 Blog Recap

    • Number of posts published in 2021: 88
    • Published in September 2021: 22
    • January 2021 Views: 4,256
    • December 2021 Views: 10,329

    In 2021 I put more work into this blog but still a small amount compared to what I did with my YouTube channels. Luckily the work on YouTube paid off and I quit my job in August and hit my first $10,000 month in December.

    Toward the end of the year in September I started putting more work into the blog by creating new content. This coincided with an accountability challenge with someone else building their own blog. The majority of content I created in the whole year was made in the last four months of the year.

    That work did start to pay off as I had the best month ever for the blog and hit 10,000 views in December. It’s not monetized besides a few affiliate offers currently but I’ve hit the minimum level for most ad networks. However, if the goal is to ultimately qualify for inclusion with Mediavine I’m a long way from the 50,000 sessions minimum.

    Why Blog? Aren’t Blogs Dead?

    Right now YouTube is the only place I create content and it’s the main source of my income. I’m a full time creator and depend on that income. I know that I need to diversify.

    The first thought is to diversify to other video platforms like TikTok or Instagram but those are still platforms controlled by other companies – my account could be shut down in an instant. I’ve seen it happen to people who did nothing wrong at all.

    I do plan to create more social content on those platforms but my goal for 2022 is to grow MY OWN spaces including this blog. But blogging? Really? In 2022? Aren’t blogs dead?

    The fact is that personal blogging is dead. Blogging about your day or what you ate and having a community interested in you specifically is no longer a huge phenomenon.

    But blogging itself? It is still an incredible way to reach people and create content that earns money and leads to sales. Blogging has changed drastically from what it used to be but is still relevant in 2022.

    There are still many positives to blogging.

    Some benefits to the audience:

    • Combines multiple content types: Blogs are great because you can combine the written content with an embedded video or tweets or Instagram post or anything else. This pulls together multiple types of media to create a nice guide that works for all types of learners. Whoever lands on your article can engage in multiple ways.
    • People still read blogs: While podcasts and video content exploded in popularity over the last few years people do still read blogs. Most people skim and skip through blog posts to find the information they need. Formatting blog posts is very different than it was in the past to fit this format of scan-reading.

    Some benefits to me as a creator:

    • Easier to update: While social content tends to have a short self life, blog content can live on for years and years. It can also be updated and reworked when things change. You can update a blog post every year but you can’t update a YouTube video – you have to start from scratch and remake it. Updating blog posts is much easier than updating any other kind of content.
    • Easier to create in noisy environments: I’m a mom of two small kids living in a small house. It’s hard to always have time to create videos when my kids are noisy or I’m trying to be quiet so they sleep. Blogging allows me to create content in the environment I’m in and still give value to the people I’m trying to help online.
    • Writing is fun: I actually love to write! Many of my previous jobs included content marketing and I’ve always loved writing. Growing a blog feels like a fun side hobby for me where I get to bring back more writing into my work life.

    Creating a strong foundation on my own website gives me another revenue source in case the YouTube algorithm stops loving me as much. In 2022 I will be putting work into the things that I control like this blog.

    Control As A Creator

    I already have a $10K per month online income thanks to YouTube, but I’d like to diversify to platforms I fully control.

    That’s why I’m planning to do this blog challenge and why I fully moved my printables shop to Shopify.

    Sell On Shopify

    Shopify takes care of everything from marketing and payments to secure transactions and shipping. Sell digital or physical products with ease.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    When you are creating content or selling on these other platforms like YouTube or Etsy you are giving up control.

    You receive tools and traffic in exchange but ultimately are at the mercy of the platform.

    If they shut down – you shut down. If they decide against you – you have little recourse. The lack of control makes it very scary if it is your only platform.

    Having full control over your content only exists when you are building on your own platforms. Otherwise you are just renting internet real estate.

    Building out my website here on penniesnotperfection.com is about taking back control as a creator. I won’t be abandoning the other platforms but I will be focusing more on the ones I fully control like my website, shop, and newsletter.

    Blog Monetization Challenge Goals

    Let’s talk about what I want to accomplish with this blog. What are the blog monetization challenge goals?

    Currently I earn $0.00 from this blog directly.

    In the year of 2022 I would like to change that by growing my traffic and joining an ad network. Specifically I’d like to join MediaVine. MediaVine has some of the best ads and I align best with their holistic approach.

    To do this I will need to grow the blog traffic to hit their monetization requirements:

    mediavine requirements for Blog Monetization Challenge
    Currently I’m just over 7,000 sessions and 10,000 pageviews. Publishing more helpful content over the past year has doubled my traffic but it’s still way below the amount I need to join an ad network like MediaVine.

    So why not join a different ad network now at 10,000 pageviews?

    For this website I have high expectations of quality and that will extend to the ads shown and products sold. Ad networks like Google Adsense and others show subpar ads in my experience. I don’t want that attached to Pennies Not Perfection.

    Since I’m already earning money on YouTube I can wait to join a better quality ad network. I can take my time and create quality content that will grow until I hit the pageviews needed.

    Blog Monetization Challenge Content Plan

    In 2022 I’ll be creating content based around a few different topics. Instead of niching down here on the blog I’ll be using it as a hub for the main areas I already create content on via YouTube.

    Blog content topics for Pennies Not Perfection:

    And more! Anything about saving money or making money is fair game since Pennies Not Perfection is all about using money to help you live the life you want. Remember you don’t have to be perfect with money, you just have to try!

    Blog Monetization Challenge Updates

    Here I’ll link to all of the future monthly updates for this challenge.

    Challenge updates:

    I hope sharing the ups and downs of growing this blog will encourage others!

    Read More

  • How To Get Sales On Etsy

    After teaching new Etsy sellers how to create an Etsy shop their next question is always some variation of how to get sales on Etsy. If you’ve landed on this guide you probably want to know the secrets too.

    How do you get more sales on Etsy? How do you increase the number of sales each month?

    How To Get Sales On Etsy

    Etsy sellers always want to know how to get sales on Etsy so in this guide I’ll cover all the tips and tricks you can implement to get more sales on Etsy.

    Related Etsy tips:

    Tips On How To Get Sales On Etsy

    Etsy is an amazing platform for online sellers. You can sell physical and digital products with ease to a marketplace of millions of buyers. It’s made people rich and it’s provided a fantastic side hustle income for many others.

    If you just want a quick list of tips for getting more sales, check out all the topics we will cover in more detail:

    1. Send Etsy traffic from social media
    2. Add more product listings to your Etsy Shop
    3. Take better photos
    4. Create an abandoned cart discount code
    5. Improve your SEO (search engine optimization)
    6. Include better search keywords on listings
    7. Craft product descriptions that sell
    8. Study the best Etsy sellers
    9. Treat your Etsy shop like a business
    10. Develop an actual brand
    11. Keep improving your Etsy shop

    Now let’s get into the actual tips and how you can get sales to your Etsy shop.

    These are all simple but actionable things you can do to get and increase sales. You don’t need to do them all at once but you can pick one and implement it then return and do others. Save this post or pin it to Pinterest to come back and keep working through the list!

    Send Etsy Traffic From Social Media

    Etsy can give your shop traffic through their search engine, ads, and other tools. However, the first way for you to get sales is to actually send Etsy some traffic.

    You can generate traffic to your shop in a few different ways but one of the most common and successful is by using social media.

    In recent years many Etsy sellers have learned how to get sales on Etsy by developing a social media presence and sending traffic to their shop. This has been explosive on sites like TikTok that encourage buying and can sell your entire store inventory with one viral post.

    If you are not currently building out social media, try some of these sites:

    • TikTok
    • Instagram
    • YouTube
    • Twitter
    • Facebook

    Start building a following on any of those sites and include your Etsy link in your bio and on posts. Sending traffic from your social media can help you get sales since those customers are already aware of and interested in your products.

    Add More Product Listings To Your Etsy Shop

    You might only have a few items in your shop right now and that could be hurting you. If you aren’t bringing in traffic and sales you might want to try adding more products to your shop.

    Etsy loves new items. Every time you add new items to your shop it notifies potential buyers and past customers that you’ve added a new item.

    Like many algorithms online Etsy loves new content and fresh updated ideas. Adding more products is one of the best ways to do this. More products also gives you more chances to be seen in the Etsy search results.

    Many Etsy coaches and “gurus” suggest adding at least 100 product listings to get more sales on Etsy.

    Once you hit 100 Etsy listings you’ll see your number of sales pick up. This is especially true with digital product listings and it is something I’ve seen in my own experience with my shops.

    There are a few benefits to having 100 or more listings:

    • you’ll have more opportunities to show up in the search results
    • you will see what actually sells and doesn’t from your ideas and can double down on the successes
    • you can earn more money with listings that bundle multiple items

    If you are trying to get more sales on Etsy you can start by adding new products and trying to get to 100 listings.

    Take Better Photos

    Etsy is a very visual platform and your photos are competing against others for customers. This means you need take better photos so your products will stand out.

    Photos are incredibly important!

    Your customers can’t physically touch your items so your listing photos are the most information they can get. You need to make sure your photos show your products in the best way possible.

    Customers should be able to see what the product looks like, the colors, the size in comparison to another item, etc. Photos should be both descriptive and eye-catching. They need to serve as marketing to get customers to click on your listing and they also need to be descriptive so customers understand the product and don’t feel tricked after buying it.

    Good photos will help you make more sales on Etsy because they are so critical to your shop. If your photos are dark or busy then you should take time to improving your photos.

    You also need to take photos of different angles and different settings. You should use up all the slots for photos so your customers have as many good photos of your products as possible.

    Create An Abandoned Cart Discount

    One of my favorite features on Etsy is the ability to create discount codes for certain things like an abandoned cart.

    Creating this discount code can be very effective in getting sales. The person already liked your product enough to add it to their cart but they didn’t follow through with the purchase.

    Want to get that sale? Send them a discount code to push them on to finish the purchase.

    How to Create Abandoned Cart Discount Codes On Etsy

    You can create an abandoned cart discount code by going to your Shop Manager > Marketing > Sales and coupons > Abandoned cart.

    Depending on your margins you can set this up for any amount to try and encourage the buyer to finish checking out. These coupons can be very effective to get sales but make sure you are still making your desired profit per sale.

    Improve Your SEO

    One huge problem with most Etsy newbies is a lack of understanding and implementing good SEO.

    SEO is search engine optimization which means you are helping Etsy understand your product to show it to the right customers in the search results. SEO helps get your product in front of buyers who are searching for things to buy.

    How do you do this? Finding the right keywords requires you do keyword research. This helps you understand how many people are typing in certain words per month into the search bar. This process is done through using an Etsy keyword research tool like Sale Samurai.

    Find Etsy Keywords With Sale Samurai

    With Sale Samurai you can research different keywords and find out how many people are using that keyword. This is one of the best keyword research tools I’ve found for Etsy. It’s affordable, easy to use, and gives you all the data necessary to make sure you create SEO optimized Etsy listings.

    For a 20% discount on Sale Samurai use my code penniesnotperfection.

    There are many things you can do to improve your SEO. Here are a few you can try to improve in your shop:

    • use keyword phrases that describe the product and who it is for and when it is for
    • fill up the title space with keyword phrases separated by commas
    • use all of the 13 tag spaces to fill in with those keyword phrases
    • follow the trends and change up your listings if phrases change

    Depending on how much you are already doing for SEO will determine how much you can improve here. If you improve a lot you will show up in more searches and get more sales.

    The more you are seen by buyers who are searching to buy the more likely you will make sales.

    Include Better Search Keywords On Listings

    Since Etsy is a huge search engine you need to be including the best keywords possible. Your keywords are a big part of what determines your SEO success.

    You’ll want to make sure your listings are built around descriptive keywords that people are actually searching for daily. If you describe something with a name you made up then no one will ever be able to find it. You have to describe it with words people use to search.

    Etsy is also a huge gift destination so you’ll need to think beyond describing your product and also include search keywords that include gift phrases.

    Each of your listings should include a combination of descriptive keywords and gift keywords that will be searched by potential buyers on Etsy.

    An easy way to find keywords people are searching without special software is to just start typing in the Etsy search bar. It will auto-populate ideas that are keywords people are using to search. Copy these phrases and use them in your listing title, description, and tags.

    Craft Product Descriptions That Sell

    Your product description space is very important and often neglected by Etsy sellers. I see many shops asking why they don’t have sales but they have products with very little in the product descriptions.

    With the product description you can craft a store that resonates with buyers and helps sell your product. This can be difficult but you will benefit greatly by learning how to improve your copywriting.

    Product descriptions that tap into what buyers actually need is how to increase your conversions and get more sales.

    Learning how to write a good product description that is both descriptive and unique will help you get more sales.

    Look at your favorite websites and see how they describe their products. Good listings will include descriptive items like size, dimensions, etc., and they will also have a bit of copy that make you aspire to own the item. This is the kind of product descriptions you need to be aiming for with your products.

    Run An Etsy Sale To Get More Sales

    Running Etsy sales and creating discount codes is a great way to get more sales on Etsy.

    How To Run Etsy Sales

    With the built in Etsy marketing tools you can do a lot of different sales:

    • run a sale offering a percentage off the whole store
    • create a coupon code you give users on a certain platform
    • send a coupon code to people who favorite your items
    • give a discount code as a thank you after purchases

    And more! There are many ways to do automated sales or create manual sales every month.

    You can often get more sales from running a sale or giving a coupon even if you haven’t lost anything in profits. You should always adjust prices to make sure any sales you run still leave you with enough profit.

    Learn more: How To Run A Sale On Etsy

    Study The Best Etsy Sellers

    One way to get more sales is to study what the people getting sales do. What are the top Etsy sellers doing? What are the shops with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of sales doing?

    While it’s great to learn from online educators, it’s even better to learn from the people actually succeeding.

    Find a popular shop with lots of sales that is similar to you or in a niche that you can learn from.

    Look at what they are doing with their shop. Do they have lots of listings? Do they use certain keyword phrases for SEO in their listings? Are their listing photos bright and eye-catching?

    Make a list of all the things you see successful best-selling Etsy shops doing. Use this list to compare with your shop and find the areas where you are doing the wrong things. Don’t copy the other shop but use it as a benchmark to improve.

    Treat Your Etsy Shop Like A Business

    Many Etsy sellers start as a hobby or side hustle and unfortunately not enough move to the phase of considering their shop as an actual business.

    But this business mindset is definitely needed in order to get sales and continue to increase your sales.

    Mindset is one of those things that you don’t realize the importance of until you reach the other side. Once you are running a shop with hundreds of thousands of sales you realize that mindset was 100% necessary to get there.

    While it’s important to be personable and create an Etsy shop that people feel comfortable buying from, you still need to consider your shop a true business.

    When you start treating your shop like a business you will start earning money like a business. This will also be crucial in learning about marketing, increasing conversions, and all the things you will need to get to the next level.

    Develop An Actual Brand

    Many Etsy sellers want to anonymously sell as a cash grab, but the most successful shops are actually building a brand.

    Building a brand around your shop including your story will help you better connect with customers. They will be more likely to remember your name than just “an Etsy shop”.

    Build your brand with elements like:

    • your shop name
    • the about page for you and your shop
    • shop descriptions
    • listing photos and colors

    If you aren’t sure how to build a cohesive brand then do some research online about brand building. Putting in the effort to be memorable and build a brand will pay off in the long run. You’ll be a more sustainable shop and increase sales as people remember your shop brand and come back again and again.

    Keep Improving Your Etsy Shop

    Too often I see Etsy sellers start and quit discouraged within a month because they haven’t achieved success quickly.

    This is a mistake! For most Etsy sellers you need to put in more work and improve your shop through multiple methods over a longer period in order to succeed.

    To get more sales on Etsy you need to keep improving your Etsy shop. You’ll never stop truly because even the best shops continue to evolve and improve over time.

    Keep the mindset of always improving your Etsy shop and you’ll get continue to grow and get more sales!

    Read More

  • Sticker Business Startup: How To Start Selling Stickers Online

    One of my favorite businesses that I don’t run myself is a sticker business. I have multiple friends running full time sticker businesses that they began as a side hustle. In this article I want to share some of the behind-the-scenes secrets of a sticker business startup and specifically share what you need to start selling stickers online.

    Sticker businesses are fun because it’s one you can start slow, brand easily, and grow massively. It’s equal parts creativity, business savvy, and technical knowledge.

    However, all of that can feel overwhelming at first. If you are a beginner who wants to start a sticker business, then you are in the right place.

    Let’s look at what you’ll need to figure out in your sticker business startup plan:

    • Choosing A Sticker Style
    • Creating A Sticker Shop
    • Branding The Business
    • Designing Stickers
    • Making Stickers
    • Selling & Shipping Stickers

    All of these things are important to creating a sticker business so we will cover them all at least briefly.

    Related posts:

    Choosing Sticker Styles

    The very first step of your sticker business will need to be deciding what type of stickers you will sell.

    The sticker market is actually huge and there are many different types of stickers. You’ll want to evaluate the overall market against your personal interests and gaps that you could fill. You’ll want to focus on designing stickers for a smaller niche like planner stickers for moms or educational stickers for pre-school ages.

    There are many types of stickers including:

    • Die Cut Stickers
    • Kiss Cut Stickers
    • Circle Stickers
    • Square Stickers
    • Sheet Stickers
    • Clear Stickers
    • Roll Stickers
    • Photo stickers

    There are many options for sticker niches including:

    • Planner stickers
    • Budget stickers
    • Funny stickers
    • Inspirational quote stickers
    • Meme stickers
    • Location stickers
    • Spiritual stickers
    • Political stickers
    • Seasonal stickers
    • Labeling stickers
    • Pet portrait stickers
    • Family portrait stickers
    • Customized stickers

    As you can see from these limited lists there are truly hundreds and thousands of options. Once you narrow down your type of sticker and niche then you get to create the sticker designs.

    selling stickers

    Creating A Sticker Shop

    Creating the online shop for your sticker business is the next step.

    This online shop will be the storefront for your sales and help you manage the backend of order fulfillment. It’s crucial you pick a platform that will be easy-to-use and provide everything you need.

    Many sticker shops start out creating a shop on Etsy.

    Etsy offers a great advantage in the fact that there is already an existing audience of sticker buyers on the platform. It’s also easy to set up and offers everything you need to sell stickers. This is a great way to get your sticker business up and running by using the existing audience in a marketplace.

    Read How to Make Money Selling Stickers On Etsy for more details about selling stickers on Etsy.

    After outgrowing Etsy most sticker shop owners I know have moved on to Shopify.

    Shopify offers many sticker business owners the ability to scale and brand themselves better. Instead of showing up next to competitors on Etsy you will have more control with a Shopify e-commerce website.

    With Shopify you’ll have more control over your website, branding, and ability to contact your customer base.

    You can try creating a Shopify store for free here.

    Read these articles to learn more about selling on Shopify:

    You might also want to consider other e-commerce website builders or marketplaces to sell your stickers. Check out this guide to Etsy alternatives that will walk you through options for places to sell your stickers.

    Branding The Sticker Business

    Branding your sticker business startup probably doesn’t seem important. Many people think you need to just create sticker ideas and throw them out there to get sales as quickly as possible.

    A better way is to create a strong brand for your business. Having a strong brand will help create repeat customers who remember your stickers and want more. Branding is incredibly important for long term success and building something sustainable.

    Branding should accomplish a few things like capturing attention and creating a memorable experience for customers.

    You can create cohesive branding for your sticker business in a number of elements:

    • logo for your business
    • brand colors used throughout your shop
    • website design and functionality
    • packaging for your stickers
    • the descriptions of your products

    There are a number of ways to use branding elements to make your business stand out and become memorable to customers. Try to make your branding as unique as possible so your customers remember you and come back again and again.

    When getting started you’ll want to focus on the basics and you can always come back and tweak your business branding over time.

    Once you’ve created a shop and the branding for your business, the next step is to create your stickers!

    using apple ipad and pencial to create designs for stickers

    Designing Stickers

    Making stickers generally falls into three steps: designing, printing, and cutting stickers. The first step is design which can often be the most fun.

    You don’t have to be very creative to design stickers! You can actually make stickers out of many things you don’t design yourself:

    You can create the sticker designs in an online design platform like Canva.

    If you want to draw your own designs from scratch then you’ll need supplies like the Apple iPad and Apple Pencil and the design program ProCreate.

    Once you’ve got a few designs you are ready to start building your sticker shop and creating the physical stickers you will be selling.

    Printing Stickers

    Printing your stickers is the next step after they have been designed. Again, this is a process you can do yourself or outsource.

    You’ll want to be clear on what type of stickers you are creating because this will determine the type of paper used to print your stickers. You might be printing on paper or on vinyl. Paper won’t be waterproof and vinyl are thicker and shinier.

    If you aren’t sure about which to use for your type of sticker then you should do some research before printing.

    Printing Stickers Yourself

    Printing stickers yourself will be all about the supplies you use. You will likely need to do some research and even some testing before you decide on your final product.

    For this step you’ll need to get your paper, printer, and ink. Each of these has many different options available so you will pick the best option for the type of stickers you want to make.

    Sticker Paper:

    Printer:

    • Inkjet Printer – Cheaper and more accessible but not great for printing saturated images because they use lots of ink
    • Laserjet Printer – More expensive but better printing quality and less ink used for the quality level

    Outsourcing Sticker Printing

    You can also outsource the printing of your stickers by sending your sticker design to a company that prints and cuts your stickers.

    These sticker printing services take your design and manufacture a bulk order of your stickers. They specialize in printing stickers so you will have guaranteed quality and consistency among your printed stickers.

    Here are some of the companies that will print stickers for you:

    • Sticker Ninja (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $86 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
    • Sticker Mule (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $83 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
    • GotPrint (Example offer: printing on 60lb paper and gloss labels with UV coating for $41.90 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)

    You can also print directly from some design programs like Canva. Just remember this is a more expensive option.

    Cutting Stickers

    The next step is cutting out your stickers so they can be used as stickers.

    Cutting Stickers Yourself

    There are many different cutting tools available and you can even do it by hand with scissors if you wanted to (you don’t).

    The two most popular cutting machines for stickers are:

    These are commonly used by sticker sellers. I’ve found most professional sticker shop sellers use Silohouette machines but Cricut works just as well.

    There are thousands of useful tutorials online to help you learn how to use either machine or troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

    Outsourcing Sticker Cutting

    This step of outsourcing is generally the same step as printing your stickers because these companies both print and cut the stickers to send the final product to you for selling.

    Here are some of the companies that will cut stickers for you:

    • Sticker Ninja (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $86 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
    • Sticker Mule (Example offer: printing on durable vinyl for $83 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)
    • GotPrint (Example offer: printing on 60lb paper and gloss labels with UV coating for $41.90 plus shipping for 100pcs of 3” round stickers)

    You can also have stickers printed and cut directly from some design programs like Canva.

    Selling & Shipping Stickers

    You’ve got the stickers, the shop, and finally a sale! Now it’s time package your stickers to send our to customers.

    Packaging and shipping your stickers is an incredibly important part of your business. Many new stickers overlook this fact and end up with less than stellar reviews early on. This can destroy all the work you’ve done to get your sticker business startup going.

    The right packaging will accomplish many things:

    • branding your business
    • protecting your stickers from damage
    • delighting your customers with the experience

    Everyone has had the experience of receiving a damaged order. It’s not fun and negatively reflects on the business. That’s why you should aim to provide good packaging that protects your stickers.

    Packaging Basics

    You have a few options to send out your stickers safely:

    • rigid mailers
    • bubble mailers
    • tissue paper (extra protection)
    • cello bags (extra protection)

    You can opt to use a regular envelope but will risk having damaged items. It’s better to provide customer service upfront by sending items in the best packaging available. It might cost a bit more but you can raise prices and avoid bad reviews.

    Remember that sometimes spending a little more upfront to create consistently positive customer experience is one way to set yourself apart.

    Packaging Extras

    You might want to include little extras with orders to create a good relationship and encourage repeat buyers.

    Here are some of the extras you can include:

    • business cards with your shop name and a discount code
    • extra stickers as a bonus
    • little positive message or affirmation
    • free download of a digital product (or digital sticker set)

    All of those will delight customers and make them more likely to come back for future purchases.

    creating stickers on an ipad to sell online

    Sticker Business Startup Costs

    You might be wondering, how much will this all cost?

    Your sticker business startup costs will depend on which items you already have and what you need to purchase.

    Here’s a short list of the items you might need to purchase:

    Depending on what you already have you might spend a couple hundred dollars up to $2,000 – $3,000 if you are buying everything including the cutting machine and iPad.

    Sticker Business Startup Tips

    If you plan to start a business selling stickers here are a few tips for you to succeed:

    • Be willing to test things. Don’t get so committed to one style or idea that you can’t see what the market actually wants. Start small and try out different designs. Print in small batches to test in case things don’t sell and you need to create new sticker products.
    • Research sticker markets. Like we discussed in the beginning – the sticker market overall is HUGE! Spend time researching and getting to know a small niche part of the sticker market that you want to create stickers for. Join the Facebook groups they are in, follow the hashtags they create with, and participate to learn what might sell.
    • Be unique. Standing out in a large, saturated market is difficult. It’s tempting to copy designs that are already successful but that just makes your brand look bad instead of being memorable. It takes longer to build a reputation and style of your own but it also gives your business longevity.
    • Focus on customer service. Customer service is crucial for sticker shops. Your reviews will make or break your ability to sell and scale. If you continue to send out poorly cut stickers or stickers arrive damaged due to packaging your reputation will suffer. Focus on providing excellent service before the customer receives their stickers and after as well. Refunds and replacements are something you should be willing to provide rather than fighting your customers who will ultimately leave you negative reviews.

    Those are just a few of the tips I’ve picked up while watching my friends build their sticker business startups to major businesses over a couple of years. It’s an incredible business to run and there is plenty of room for new sellers to succeed!

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  • Alternatives To Etsy: Where To Sell Besides Etsy

    Whether you sell physical handmade products or digital products on Etsy, you’ve like considering finding an alternative. Etsy is a great e-commerce marketplace but once you grow you will want to find alternatives to Etsy where you can sell your products with better conditions.

    Etsy offers great benefits for beginners like 45 million existing buyers, brand recognition, and easy to use tools.

    However, it can only take businesses so far.

    Alternatives To Etsy: Where To Sell Besides Etsy

    Etsy owns your customer list and storefront so you are limited in your ability to control branding, customer retention, retargeting, and more.

    Etsy also advertises other products on yours which often means you lose out on potential sales. It feels even worse when Etsy advertises a shop that blatantly copied your product and your listing description word for word. Promise me, people do it all the time to my shops.

    All of this means Etsy might be a fine place to start selling your products but you definitely need to find alternatives to Etsy.

    Where To Sell Besides Etsy

    In this article I’ve rounded up different options for you to sell your products online without using Etsy.

    There are a two different types of Etsy alternatives so we will break it down into categories:

    • Website building Etsy alternatives
    • Online marketplace Etsy alternatives

    Basically when you are looking at where to sell besides Etsy you will want to consider creating your own e-commerce website versus selling on another marketplace like Etsy.

    Website Building Etsy Alternatives

    When you are considering leaving Etsy for alternatives you likely are thinking about building your own e-commerce website. Having your own website allows you much more flexibility and freedom with how you market your products and how you interact with your potential customers.

    Most sellers explore these website alternatives because of Etsy’s limitations and restrictive rules. Building your own website gives you more control and ownership over your shop. It also allows you to move to the next level and grow your business beyond what most Etsy shops ever become.

    Let’s look at some of the best website building alternatives to Etsy.

    Shopify

    Shopify is one of the most powerful e-commerce options out there as well as one of the easiest to use. It’s and all-in-one e-commerce platform which I personally use to run my e-commerce shop.

    Shopify is the solution I recommend for most people who want to sell online professionally.

    The monthly plans start at $29 plus the transaction fees in order to sell online or even in a retail store and on social media like TikTok or Instagram. Shopify gives you a full suite of business tools with a multi-channel solution that is user-friendly but powerful.

    Sell On Shopify

    Shopify takes care of everything from marketing and payments to secure transactions and shipping. Sell digital or physical products with ease.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    You can customize your website with templates or custom design. You have your own domain name and access to powerful tools for analytics, marketing, development and more as well as marketplace selling options.

    It’s also very easy to move over your Etsy shop! I’ve written a whole article about moving your Etsy shop to Shopify and have a tutorial showing you how to do it.

    How To Move Your Etsy Shop To Shopify Video Tutorial

    Considering Shopify? Check out these related posts:

    Try selling on Shopify

    Squarespace

    This website builder is as popular for stand alone e-commerce stores as Shopify or Wix. Squarespace plans to build and host a website start at $12 per month but to sell your products you’ll have to choose a plan that costs $18 per month plus transaction fees.

    Squarespace creates beautiful websites and e-commerce options. It’s got a number of user-friendly templates and the drag and drop tools make building pages easy for beginners.

    Squarespace

    Everything you need to build a beautiful website. Squarespace has modern templates, 24/7 customer support, and drag and drop building with no plugins necessary.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    The best part of Squarespace is that it requires exactly zero need to know anything technical in order to set it up and get started with selling your products. This is very similar to Etsy which is why it’s a great Etsy alternative. However to get the best design and exact working set up you need you may have to invest in design and development help as you grow.

    Squarespace has a variety of tools for sellers from inventory management to social media promotion. They also offer varying levels of features so you can move up in levels as you need to add new items.

    Try selling on Squarespace

    Wix

    Wix is a leading website builder for people that want an easy-to-use solution with templates and drag-and-drop building tools and the ability to add e-commerce. Plans start at just $23 per month plus transaction fees.

    Wix offers multiple tiers on their monthly pricing so you can select the plan that fits your needs as a seller the best. When you choose Wix as your Etsy alternative you are able to sell via online storefront, track orders, accept Paypal and credit card payments, create coupons, and more.

    Wix

    Design and build your own high-quality websites. Whether you’re promoting your business, showcasing your work, opening your store or starting a blog—you can do it all with the Wix website builder.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Unfortunately a similarity to Etsy is limited customization. You are generally stuck using the templates on Wix which is great if you want something simple but it limits your creativity in a similar way to Etsy.

    Wix offers an active community online, a robust knowledge base, and decent customer support. You can find your way through most challenges here but it will still ultimately limit you in some of the same ways Etsy does.

    Try selling on Wix

    WooCommerce

    WooCommerce is the e-commerce solution for anyone that already has an existing WordPress site. It is a good solution for anyone wanting something simple that can be added to their existing site so they can sell beyond Etsy. I personally used it for my digital product shop for over a year before switching to Shopify.

    WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms since so many sites are already run on WordPress. WooCommerce is NOT a stand alone site builder but it is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build an online store on top of WordPress.

    WooCommerce

    Sell online with the eCommerce platform for WordPress. WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. Get started quickly and sell physical or digital products on your website.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    In order to use WooCommerce you have to have hosting from a site like BlueHost or BigScoots and install WordPress. Since WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system most hosting companies have one-click installs where they do all the work. Then you will install and active the WooCommerce plugin.

    The great thing about WooCommerce is that it is FREE to use. You will only pay the transaction fees for using things like Stripe or PayPal. However, if you want to do anything more complicated then a basic store youll end up paying for add-on features and plugins. It can also drastically slow down an existing WordPress site so there are a lot of considerations about using WooCommerce.

    Try selling on WooCommerce

    Online Marketplace Alternatives To Etsy For Digital Product Sellers

    While having your own website will have many benefits, you might just want a marketplace Etsy alternative.

    There are a number of additional marketplaces similar to Etsy where you can sell products. Depending on the type of product you sell you may have an easier time using certain alternatives.

    If you are a digital product seller like I am then you may be interested in these marketplaces for digital sellers:

    Marketplaces For Selling Digital Products Besides Etsy

    Here are some of the best marketplaces for digital product sellers:

    Creative Market

    Creative Market is one of the best marketplaces for design work of all types. There are over 4 million products from artists isn 190 countries and the user base on Creative Market numbers over 8 million. While still smaller than Etsy’s overall user base this is a more targeted market that can bring customers to your design work.

    Creative Market does not require exclusivity and gives you plenty of control over your listings. They provide all the backend necessities to make sure your product is seen and delivered digitally without any issues.

    Try selling on Creative Market

    Design Bundles

    Design Bundles can help put your digital design products in front of the right audience in their 1.3 million visitors per month. They have an active newsletter and social media presence that highlights products on their site so there is the potential for even more features.

    This marketplace will take a higher cut of your sales because they operate on a royalty rate style commission. This means you’ll receive 75% of the sale price for non-affiliate sales and 50% of the sale price for affiliate initiated sales. This is significantly lower than other digital product marketplace options so you’ll need to consider your pricing with this Etsy alternative.

    Try selling on Design Bundles

    Hungry JPEG

    Hungry JPEG is an Etsy alternative that offers premium design resources. Applications are reviewed and not every digital seller can sell resources on Hungry JPEG. This makes it more exclusive and the quality stays high unlike Etsy where there is not barrier to entry.

    Store owners on this Etsy marketplace alternative receive 70% of the sale price. This is more than you’ll pay out on Etsy but the reputation and curated nature of the Hungry JPEG may make up for that difference depending on what you sell.

    Hungry JPEG specializes in selling fonts, graphics, templates, crafts and other design resources.

    Try selling on Hungry JPEG

    Online Marketplace Alternatives To Etsy For Physical Product Sellers

    Selling regular physical products or handmade products? Check out these online marketplaces where you can sell besides Etsy:

    Amazon Handmade

    Everyone knows the e-commerce giant Amazon, but did you know they also have a handmade marketplace?

    Amazon entered the artisan marketplace a few years ago as Etsy was growing it’s user base. With Amazon Handmade you can create a storefront to sell your unique handmade items.

    There are some major benefits to selling on an Amazon site and using Fulfillment by Amazon:

    • no listing expiration
    • Amazon sponsored ads
    • insightful analytics from an e-commerce powerhouse

    These actually solve many of the common gripes I’ve seen from Etsy sellers about listing fees and paying for Etsy’s off-site ads.

    However, for these benefits you’ll have to pay more. Amazon Handmade takes a 15% commission per transaction and charges a monthly membership fee that varies based on the number of listings you have.

    There are downsides to selling on Amazon. While you will potentially reach more people with your listing you will not own the customer data – that is all Amazon’s. They don’t allow you to contact customers out side your platform.

    You can definitely get a boost in sales by selling on Amazon but you’ll need to consider the trade-offs for using this Etsy alternative marketplace.

    Try selling on Amazon Handmade

    Zibbet

    Zibbet is very similar to Etsy but charges a flat monthly fee per channel. You import your existing products from a channel like Etsy which makes this a very easy to setup option. Zibbet also allows you to manage inventory across all of your platforms in one location.

    In this one spot you can manage your complete inventory in Zibbet’s handy dashboard. You’ll also be able to manage things like shipping, order management, analytics and more.

    Zibbet has useful customer service which makes it a great alternative option if you’ve had negative experiences with Etsy’s customer service.

    Try selling on Zibbet

    Bonanza

    Bonanza is an Etsy alternative that operates closer to eBay in functionality. It’s focus is on unique items like arts and crafts or collectibles. If you sell individual unique items then Bonanza is the marketplace for you.

    It offers sellers a built-in market similar to Etsy so you have a customer base to sell to immediately from day 1 even if the market is smaller than Etsy. It’s also free to list items on this marketplace so you’ve got very little to lose by getting started with a shop here. The site only charges you base on the final price. They charge 3.5%-5% of the final sales price including shipping.

    You can import items directly from Etsy onto Bonanza which makes getting started fast.

    Since this marketplace operates similar to eBay you should expect customers to try and negotiate pricing and message you about products more often than on Etsy. This means pricing should consider the potential need to negotiate for people to get “deals” on your products.

    Those are just a few of the alternatives to Etsy where you can sell your products.

    Try selling on Bonanza

    Selling On Etsy

    Still want to sell on Etsy instead of the alternatives? Check out these helpful posts:

    These posts will help you get started on Etsy and grow your sales as well. Whether you end up selling on Etsy or an Etsy alternative, you will be glad you decided to pursue your online income dreams!

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