Crafters University: Opening an Etsy Shop

What better time than the beginning of the year to start something new?!
Almost exactly three years ago, I opened my Etsy shop – CsqDesigns. I think I had been knitting and crocheting for about a year and had “collected” quite a few finished pieces. I had way more than my daughter and I would use, so I thought perhaps I could make some money on this new skill.
When I started out I really didn’t know what I was doing or how it would go, but you never know unless you try, right?
Well, I thought I could just share with you the basics of how to get started, some things I’ve learned, and answer any questions you may have, so join me every Thursday this month for a new post on starting a shop on Etsy.
Oh, and in case you noticed the “Crafters University” in the post title, this year I plan to do a post every Thursday that is either a craft tip, tutorial, business help, what NOT to do, etc, and I’m calling it Crafters University. You can find a link on the left side of my blog, just in case you miss any.
So, how do you open an Etsy shop?
Begin by clicking this link to take you to Etsy’s registration page. From there you will click on “Open an Etsy Shop”. Etsy is an online marketplace to sell handmade items, vintage items, and craft supplies.
One of the first things you will need to do is to choose a name for your shop. When choosing a name, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. What are you selling?
    If you plan to sell a variety of items (like I do), you may not want to choose a shop name like “Radical Knit Hats”. This is why I chose the name CsqDesigns. Not so helpful for Point #2, but it also doesn’t limit my creativity. However, you could also choose to open two shops if you plan to sell drastically different things and want to keep them separated. If you do open two shops, you must link your shops in the shops’ announcements.
2. It helps if your shop name is SEO-friendly.
    What do I mean by that? Search engines use keywords. It is how they categorize and decide what website or article is best suited for the search entered. If you plan to sell strictly vintage goods in your shop, perhaps a name with “Vintage” in the title would be good for you.
3. Make it memorable.
    This is especially important if your shop name isn’t going to directly reflect what you’re selling. It is best that you choose a name that is short, easy to remember, and appealing to your target customers. Etsy’s shop name requirements mean that your shop name needs to be between four and twenty characters long, so keep that in mind while brainstorming names.
I suggest thinking of a few different shop names, sit on them awhile and see which stands out to you, or even put it up for a vote between your family and friends.
Once you have chosen a shop name, you’ll want to fill out description information. On the top, hover over “Your Shop…” and click on “Info and Appearance”.
 – Fill out your shop title. Remember, keywords are good. This is like your shop’s tagline. On Etsy’s front page you see “Etsy – your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies.” This will show up at the very top of the browser when someone looks at your shop. It will show up when your shop is searched for in a search engine, and it will also be seen in the middle of your shop page under your shop name and banner.
Fill out your shop announcement. Again, keywords. (Noticing something here? Keywords are VERY good.) Your shop announcement is one of the first things people see, so spend some time on this. Search engines will read this area for searches, and visitors will read it also. Include keywords, but also write something that’s going to draw customers in. Make it exciting, informative, and brief. There’s only so much that can be seen without having to hit “see more”, so try to make it short enough to be completely visible. This is also a good place to announce any sales you may have going on or anything else pertinent to your shop.
Fill out your message to buyers. Basically, thank them for their purchase. Maybe include your business blog site or Facebook page for your business. If you have a shop newletter, this would be a good place to include the sign up link also.
One more thing for this week, across the top, hover over “Your Account”, click on “Public Profile”. Fill out your information and upload a photo.
Don’t forget to save all your changes! It would be awful to go through all the work and forget to save it.
Next week I will talk about your Etsy banner and creating listings. I would love to hear your comments and questions. If you are already an Etsy seller and have an additional helpful tip or you have questions about anything here, please comment below.
Keep Creating!!!

Casey 🙂



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