how to grow your etsy shop fast

25 Easy Ways to Promote Your Etsy Shop (Without Being Spammy!)

There are nearly 100 million active buyers on Etsy (95 million in 2022, and it's 2024 so…), so I bet you're wondering how you can promote your Etsy shop… cuz those folks are ready to shop til they drop!

This means that, without a doubt, Etsy is one of the best marketplaces on the internet.

Etsy also has nearly 8 million active sellers on their platform. Now, most of these sellers are just dabbling. I have no idea how many serious Etsy sellers there are, but even if we use the 10% rule, that's 800,000 active sellers. Wow!

Is that something to worry about? Absolutely not. These numbers tell us that Etsy is a great place to kick off a business, grow an audience, and add to our diverse portfolio of ways we make money online.

Want the TL;DR version of this post? The keys to promoting your Etsy shop are consistency and strategy. Every point on this list will circle back to one of those things. 😉

Growing Your Etsy With Social Media

I'm not a huge fan of social media, and I don't use it myself (except for Facebook groups), but I know many Etsy shop owners who have great success with getting more sales via social media. My best tip here is to pick one platform and run with it. And, make sure it's a platform you enjoy using!!

Love TikTok? Awesome. Make it happen.

Obsessed with Insta? Perf. Do the thing!

What I don't want you to do is try to learn allll the different platforms, or hop from platform to platform because one of them “doesn't work” – they ALL work if you are consistent and sharing useful content. A few weeks of posting sporadically just ain't gonna cut it, friend.

The reason most people fail at improving sales through their social media accounts is because they are desperately focusing on selling, selling, selling. Read the book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk to get an idea of how you should be marketing on social.

Facebook Groups

There are two ways to use Facebook groups to grow your Etsy shop: start and build your own group, and advertise in other groups that allow it.

Building your own Facebook Group

Obviously it takes more work to build, grow, and maintain your own Facebook group than it does to advertise in other groups. However, with your own group you have far more control over what is posted (and what you don't allow to be posted), which makes it worth the effort, if you ask me.

Take my Facebook Group Growth class if you need some extra help on figuring out how to get people interested in – and active – your group. 🙂

Growing through other groups

Using other Facebook groups can be tricky, but there's a way to do it right. There are amazing groups like ADHD Craft Swap & Shop where you can advertise your shop. Use these groups to advertise your shop and network with others (see “joint ventures” below).

Do not (!!) under any circumstances just join a bunch of group to spam the shit out of them. That's not how you get customers, and it's an easy way to get kicked out of groups or even banned from Facebook if you get reported as spam.

Helpful articles from Etsy about growing your shop through social media marketing:

Statistics from Hubspot

Email Marketing

You have many options for email service providers. My friend, Emilee, has a free Facebook group that walks you through how to set up an email list the right way. Because I'm not an email marketing expert, I'm going to hand this one off to her. 🙂 Join her group here.

You probably saw this tip in my other post about getting repeat customers on Etsy, but it's worth diving into a little more in-depth because email really is a super powerful way to promote your shop.

Building an email list usually starts with having a website, so be sure to read the “blog” section below – I link to my free blog set up course there. 🙂

Running Sales

I always have everything on my shop either marked as on sale currently, or rotating through and getting ready to be on sale. I plan for sales and price my goods accordingly, so I'm not cutting into my profits.

There's something about sales psychology that gets people excited about buying when you have an item on sale, when multiple people have an item in their cart, and when you're running out of stock.

I won't pretend to know wtf it is, I just know one thing: sales work.

Saying this part again because every time I tell someone to put their stuff on sale to get more sales on Etsy, they hem and haw about pricing, fees, profit margins being too low, and on and on: work your sales into your pricing!

Sales should not cut into your profits, they should be worked into the price you choose. The same goes for working in your Etsy fees.

Read this article about how to run a successful sale on Etsy.

Branding & Freebies

Brand the HECK out of your shop! I'm talking shop banner, about page, even your photo… your social pages, emails, all the things. And if you're shipping physical products, invest in some stickers with your logo or brand name. These things will help your shop be more memorable. Brand awareness can help with repeat customers.

Another note if you're shipping physical products: include useful surprise freebies (like a bottle opener, pen, or something else related to your product) with your logo on them. Imagine your customer hanging their grocery list on the fridge with your magnet. You'll be much more difficult to forget if you're hanging around the house all day. 😉

A word on this method: make sure you work the cost of the freebies into your prices and shipping costs! Keep costs low by using a small, portable laser tool to customize blanks you buy in bulk. I use the xTool F1. We used to have a Glowforge but when we moved to Mexico, we sold it.

Search Engine Optimization

While this isn't a direct way to promote – like hey I updated my Etsy listing with epic SEO and now I'm instantly getting 100 sales – it's a foundational and very important part of increasing your sales.

Make sure you:

  • Have a niche, or niche audience
  • Use keywords in your listing titles and descriptions
  • Add variations and attributes
  • Take high-quality photos
  • Use video when possible
  • Complete your “about” section
  • Have clear shop policies
  • Use all of your tags, don't repeat
  • Organize your shop with categories
  • Track your metrics
  • Think like a buyer
  • List more often
  • Use a keyword research tool

Pick a niche audience to serve

While I refer to this as a “niche audience,” many people refer to it as a “target customer” or “ideal customer.” Either way, it boils down to the same thing: who do you want to serve? Who is your target market? Who are you creating products for? Who is the person you have in mind when you're listing your products?

Answer those questions and you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of most new Etsy sellers (as well as many business owners in general!).

One issue many Etsy sellers have is that they try to be everything to everybody. Their shops are a hodge podge mess of so many products, there's no cohesive vibe – which is a huge turn off for most shoppers.

While there's the one-off person who loves sifting through piles of junk to find a gem, most people expect a cohesive buying experience no matter where they're shopping, and Etsy is no exception to this.

Think about it: if you went to your favorite local coffee shop and they were selling car parts along with bakery items, would you be like whatthefuck? I know I would!

So, no matter how ADHD you are, keep your ideal buyer in mind – not yourself – when choosing the products you're going to fill your store with. Think of your ideal shop vibe, and the journey you want to take your customers on.

Create products that compliment each other so people will buy more than one item at once, and add new items regularly so they always come back for more.

Use keywords the right way

Practice and learn how to write better product descriptions. You need to use keywords (words people will use to find your products) in your:

  • listing titles
  • listing descriptions
  • tags
  • attributes and variations

This isn't me telling you to keyword stuff: use the words organically, as they fit naturally… do not try to force it. Look at your competitor's listings if you have a new account and don't understand how to do this well.

Make sure you're looking at listings that are actually selling; don't gather inspiration from failing shops (unless you're looking at what not to do).

Don't overthink your SEO too much. Think about how you shop online. How do you find what you are looking for? What info are you looking for when you read the title and descriptions? I was browsing for a pair of shoes the other day and I literally just wanted to know the size, comfort level, and colors. Those are all keywords you'd put in your listing… easy peasy lemon squeezy, y'all!

Other helpful articles:

Add variations and Attributes

Variations on Etsy are for your potential buyers to select from a drop-down menu with which variation they would like. If you're selling digital prints, for example, you can have options for 5×7, 8×10, etc. If you're selling clothing, you can have S, M, L, XL, etc.

The good news? It's easy to add variations to your Etsy listings.

Listing attributes allow you to describe your items with distinct, detailed characteristics to help buyers get a clear idea of what you're selling. For example, if you're selling earrings, you can list an attribute for earring placement (cartilage, earlobe, daith, etc). You can go here to read more about attributes on Etsy.

A fairly new development, you can now add attributes related to sustainability:

  • reusable
  • upcycled
  • plastic-free
  • recycled paper
  • vegan
  • and more

If your listings qualify, use these to be found in search by customers searching for more sustainable products!

Take high-quality Product photos

Yes, high-quality photos (or amazing mockups made in Canva, if you're selling digital items) are a must! And you should always put your very best photo first in your listing.

Photos literally sell your products for you. And you can usually take photos outside in natural light, so you don't have to buy expensive backdrops and such in most cases.

You can even take high-quality photos with your phone, so don't feel like you need to invest a bunch of money in professional photography equipment, because you don't!

Utilize Videos in Your Listings

Etsy is a visual platform. Video shows dimension, movement, and depth that photos alone can't show off as well. There are several types of short-form videos that perform well on Etsy, the top 3 being:

  • videos that address FAQs and potential objections
  • videos that show your product in use
  • videos that highlight creative details

I don't know about you, but when I'm shopping online, I can be a little gunshy. I've bought products that looked amazing in photos but turned out to be complete crap, so when someone has a video, it makes me more trusting. This is especially true with new shops: if you don't have a bunch of 5-star reviews to show off your awesomeness (and trustworthiness), videos can really help elevate your shop to a new level.

Etsy has lots of listing video ideas for you to check out!

Optimize Your “About” Section

When shoppers view your shop's “about” section, it's usually because they want to know more about you and your story. The reason Etsy got soooo popular is because it is an artisan marketplace where each person has a story to tell. Many Etsy shoppers (myself included!) are more likely to purchase from a shop with a compelling or heartwarming story.

Don't worry, not everything has to be perfect: just tell the world who you are, why you do what you do, and the impact you hope to make!

In addition to your story, you should include:

  • a shop video that shows your process, workspace, or even your team
  • photos of you, your space, your materials, etc
  • links to your social media, website, and anywhere people can find you online
  • anything else that makes you stand out amongst the gazillion other shops 😉

Etsy tells us that optimizing our About section can improve our listings in search:

We look at a variety of factors to give each shop on Etsy a customer and market experience score based on the shop’s customer service history and whether it’s in good standing according to Etsy’s policies. Adding an About section increases your score, and a higher score may improve your search ranking.Source

Create Clear Shop Policies

To edit your shop policies, you'll log into your Etsy dashboard and navigate to Settings, and then Policy Settings. You cannot edit your policies from the Etsy app.

Your policies should include:

  • privacy policy
  • returns, refunds, and exchanges
  • cancellations

… and anything else important that your customers need to know before working with you. This is especially important when selling physical products. Often times with digital products, shop owners will say “no refunds on digital products” but will still give refunds in order to avoid a bad review (usually from someone who doesn't understand how to download a damn file).

You can read more about setting up shop policies in the Etsy handbook.

Use All 13 Tags

Y'all. Hear me when I say this: USE ALL YOUR DAMN TAGS!

Any time someone complains about their shop not making sales, it's one of these issues:

  • lack of consistency
  • unorganized
  • no cohesive branding
  • shitty photos
  • not putting in enough time / not being patient
  • not learning and utilizing SEO

Tags. Are. SEO.

Tags are your fishing lures! Each tag is another opportunity to snag your next customer. If you aren't utilizing all 13 tags, you're wasting those opportunities.

Use this listing helper to find the right tags for your product. Or, if you can handle the 29438729 ads, there's also this free tag generator which I took a screenshot of (above).

Organize Your Shop

Imagine you were setting up shop in your house. Customers come over, get to peruse at their leisure, and you're there to answer any questions they may have. You offer amazing customer service, and it's a whole experience.

Wonderful, right?

Now imagine they come over and the sink is full of dishes, laundry is scattered throughout the house, and they can't even find what they're looking for. You're too frazzled to tell them where everything is, and they just end up leaving.

Not so wonderful now, is it?

That's what it's like when you don't have a clear path for your customers to follow in your shop. There is a reason Etsy offers the feature of being able to categorize your items: that's what customers want.

Attention spans are shorter than a bottle rocket fuse and some folks expect them to search through their entire shop. That's crazy to me! Many people don't even KNOW what they want to buy when they arrive. They browse until something tickles their fancy, then they purchase it.

As an Etsy shop owner, it's your job to organize your shop. Make it super fucking easy for your customers to find all of your items. Here's an awesome example from one of my favorite candle mold shops.

It's such an amazingly beautiful experience shopping here because the images are beautiful, but also because it's so freakin' organized! You want Easter? Hearts and love? Food and drinks? Animals? Birds? Cats? Dogs? Christmas? Skulls? They've got you covered! With over 600 items, it can be difficult to keep organized, but they do a damn good job at it.

Offer free shipping for physical items

Almost everyone looking at your listing are more likely to buy your product if the shipping price is low or free. I know it's crazy, but it's #girlmath so just run with it. Etsy will always rank you higher with free shipping than they will rank those without free shipping.

Lower the prices of your shipping fees, or make your shipping free by working the cost of shipping into your product. I realize that sometimes this isn’t possible. But if you can, you should take it into consideration, since it can have an impact on your current ranking and sales.

Read about the pros and cons of offering free shipping on Etsy and the ultimate guide to shipping on Etsy.

Track your metrics

Metrics are like gold. Knowing where your shop stands, as well as what's sending you traffic (and what's not) is exactly how you're going to figure out where you should double-down on your efforts – and where you should back off.

80% of your results are going to come from 20% of your efforts. It's your job to figure out what that 20% is so you can have the results you're after.

You can use Google Analytics to easily track your metrics for your Etsy shop. Whyyyy would you use GA when you have Etsy analytics right in your dashboard? Google Analytics makes it easy to track metrics for multiple shops all in one spot, which you'll appreciate if you have 2, 3, 4, or 17 shops. 😉

Think like a buyer

You're a creator, you're the owner of your shop, and your creations are like your babies… so I get that it may be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. However, it's one of the best tips I can give you! Stop thinking like you and start thinking like them.

This is why I recommend choosing a niche audience, at the very least. This doesn't mean only selling one very specific type of item; rather, it means you're getting in the head of your ideal buyer and thinking about what they would want to buy.

What type of items can compliment your core group of products? What's an easy upsell of similar products you can add? Do they want gift-wrapping? If you're selling digital items, do they love freebies and coupons? If so, include them in your downloads.

Related: How to Create a Coupon Code on Etsy

While thinking like a buyer, make a list of all the possible words and phrases that they would use to find your product. It's like working backwards: answering the question before it's asked.

Another way to think like a buyer is to use Etsy suggest: because it's full of what buyers are actually searching for! Etsy suggest can give you ideas for titles, tags, and even new products you hadn't thought to create yet.

Offer amazing customer service

Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to promote your Etsy shop – and it's so much better if it's someone else's word instead of you having to promote constantly, right?

Up to 60% of an Etsy shop’s orders are from repeat customers. This is an important opportunity to leverage those customers and turn them into repeats, threepeats, fourpeats, or better yet: a loyal customer base for life.

Offering amazing customer service and getting awesome reviews will help your shop grow exponentially (and improve your rankings in search). And, don't worry about the once-in-a-while negative review. It all comes out in the wash.

List More Often

This shop (below) has nearly 400,000 sales – and they're all digital products so this is passive income for this seller, which is amazing. What else do you notice about this shop? They have nearly 2,000 items listed and they're all on sale. Taking a look at top-performing shops will show you every tip in this post in action.

For a while, there has been a rumor that if you list regularly on Etsy, you get a boost in search. Based on research I've done with my small shops, and studies I've read and watched from other shops, it seems that it's not just a rumor… it's true!

Listing more often can be one of the best ways to promote your Etsy shop! If you're a handmade creator and you're creating physical products, this isn't always possible – so don't push yourself too hard and get burnt out. But if you're a digital product creator, you can absolutely list one new product a day and give yourself that organic boost in search.

With this being said, do not rush the process. I would much rather you do a really great job listing twice a week than half-ass daily listings and then say it “doesn't work” – it's about quality, not quantity. However, there is something to be said about quantity: the majority of successful Etsy shops have 100s if not 1000s of listings… and that doesn't happen overnight!

Consistency is key here. Renewing your best-selling items may also provide a similar bump in search. I haven't researched this as much, but there's some chatter on reddit and in the Etsy forums about it working. It's worth a shot!

Use an Etsy SEO Tool

Said in my best old geezer voice: Back in my day… we had to do Etsy keyword research manually, and sit back and wait while praying that it worked. We had to deal with lots of trial and error – mostly error.

Luckily for you, nowadays there are freakin' amazing SEO tools available that can do the hard work for you. 

I personally recommend and use Alura. This keyword research tool is simple to use and it will give you all the necessary information about the search terms that you wish to include in your listing titles, tags, and product description. 

With tools like Alura, you can learn what's selling the best (like the best selling jewelry on Etsy) and create accordingly.

More Etsy SEO tips from my blog:

Joint Ventures

Teaming up with other Etsy shop owners is a powerful way to promote your shop. As a new shop owner, this may seem difficult… but it doesn't have to be! Simply team up with other new shop owners and grow together.

Participate in bundles if you're a digital product creator, and you can even do email list swaps (for physical and digital, though digital will usually convert best) to get in front of new audiences.

The magic of joint ventures is when you actually care about the success of the other person. Many times, I've teamed up with someone and promoted the heck out of them… only to get peanuts worth of promotion in return.

While it doesn't have to be an exact tit for tat (I have 10K email subs so YOU have to have 10K), it does need to be fair. Keep this in mind when networking with others. If you don't have an email list yet, or you only have 100 subscribers, don't try to do a swap with someone who has 20K subscribers: you haven't put the work in yet!

This is another reason having an email list (and a blog) is so important: your business (and promotional offer swaps) become that much more powerful because you have a large, engaged audience. Don't stress about the numbers: if you're consistently delivering value, you will grow.

Blog

Ah, I wouldn't be Sadie Mae Smiley if I didn't tell you to start a blog. 🙂 I've been blogging for nearly 20 years and it's been a hyperfocus of mine for just as long. I love love love blogging. It's the perfect way to spread brand awareness for any business, while controlling everything about it.

I don't mean to scare you but your Etsy shop could get shut down at any time for no reason at all – and sometimes appeals are denied. It happens all the time, to legitimate shops. I've had it happen to one of mine (yet the Disney shops stay… ehem, Etsy, get your shit together).

So then what? You're just screwed? Your income is gone?! That's why you need a blog.

Because I talk about blogging all day every day, I'm going to send you over to my free blogging course and my passive income Facebook group where we can talk about blogging together rather than taking up too much time in this post. 🙂

Etsy Ads

I don't have experience with Etsy ads as I don't run them myself, but I've seen both good and bad things about them in many Facebook groups. My business model doesn't rely on ad campaigns to grow; everything I do (and everything listed in this post) is organic growth.

With that being said, if you can figure out how to run Etsy ads properly, they can help increase visibility (and sales) for your shop. Start small, make changes when necessary, and don't be afraid to abandon ship rather than sinking hundreds (or thousands – eek!) into something that isn't working.

Of course, Etsy has all kinds of stuff to teach you about ads – which makes sense because they're a huge money-maker for them. Just like with everything else, utilize your resources: study, learn, and then execute.

Etsy resources for promoting your shop with ads:

Get Featured on Etsy

I saved this tip for last, and didn't really count it in the original 25, because it's kind of like hitting the lottery moreso than “do this and you will get featured.” However, it's worth mentioning because Etsy tells you exactly what they're looking for in shops they feature, and getting featured on the Etsy site, in an email, or on their social media can change your whole shop's trajectory!

There are different types of Etsy features. The Etsy Finds emails are usually based around a theme (like a vibe, color, holiday, etc), while getting interviewed on Etsy for having a successful shop is more centered around the story you tell, and of course how many sales you've had on Etsy.

Photography is going to be one of your big focuses if you're trying to get featured by Etsy: they want images that are light, bright, and absolutely stunning… so don't skimp.

Remember: Etsy is always looking out for Etsy. Their job is to drive traffic to their marketplace. They don't really care who they feature so much as they want to get people to their site, and keep them there.

If your shop has a beautiful look, you're offering great customer service, and your products are unique, that's exactly what will make Etsy happy – and will increase your chances of being featured. When you make money, Etsy makes money – it's a win win!

Here are some more tips for getting featured on Etsy.

A note

With most if not all of these promotional methods: you're going to need (at the VERY least) a landing page for your products and email list.

I highly recommend going all in, creating a blog, building an email list, etc etc but I know not everyone is ready to do that right now. So, at the very minimum, at least create a landing page website. 🙂 You can always expand it later.

Because the hope is for later expansion, your best bet is to use self-hosted WordPress. My free Blogging Foundations course teaches you exactly how to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. It's the same process to set up a landing page, just way less work LOL.

image reads: 25 ways to promote your (etsy) shop without being spammy or paying for ads
image reads: how to promote your etsy shop. there is a woman sitting on the floor taking photos.
image reads: 25 ways to promote your (etsy) shop without being spammy

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