Hey there Creatives!
Today’s topic is all about your own website and/or blog. No, they aren’t the same thing, they can be, but not always. I will explain that in a bit.
I know that you do not want anything added to your to-do list. Especially if your todo list is as long as mine is. But this is important, I promise.
I had a website and a blog way before Etsy was even dreamed up in the founder’s head. I tried selling online back in the late 1990’s. That was way before online shopping was a thing. I didn’t do so well. I switched over to doing live events, but I did keep my website. I turned that website into a blog in 2002. If you could see what I started with then you would laugh. That was way before WordPress made blogging easy. I had to teach myself HTML and it was usually an exercise in frustration. In 2005 Etsy came on the scene. I must admit I was very late, I was working on a totally different income stream than selling my handmade soap at the time. In 2008 a friend asked me why I wasn’t on Etsy and I didn’t really have an answer. I was working as a freelance writer and only doing my soap on the side. In 2012 I finally took the plunge and went from writing back to creating. I set up my Etsy shop and had a bit of success. It was great fun.
Etsy made it easy for the creative to set up a shop and actually sell their products. But since then there has been a lot of changes. I have had various Etsy shops since then. I do like Etsy, but that is not what this is about. This post is about having a website/blog can help you sell products on your Etsy site.
I get that many people do not want to set up an e-commerce site. It does take a lot of time to set up and it does need maintenance, while it is not hard, it can be very time consuming. Setting up a website and/or a blog can be a fun adventure and another creative outlet. It can also have the benefit that it can drive traffic to your Etsy shop. There are also plugins that can be installed in WordPress where people can shop from your Etsy Shop right from your website.
Doesn’t sound bad now does it? But let’s dive a bit deeper into this.
Here are 5 reasons that you should have your own website and/or blog for your craft business.
- You own your website. You will purchase the domain and the hosting. It will be yours. Your Etsy shop ultimately belongs to Etsy. They can shut down your shop, or even disappear in the middle of the night and you will lose everything. Your website will belong to you. Your customers will always know where to find you. They will know to type in yourdomain.com to get to you. If Etsy were to shut you down tomorrow you still have a website that is established and that your customers know. With a little bit of work, your selling platform could be up and productive if you choose.
- You have complete control over your website. Let’s face it, all Etsy shops look alike. Their headers may be different, but they all have the same layout. It is just one shop after the other. It is easy for a customer shopping to get lost in the massive amounts of shops that are out there. If you have your own website, you control the look and the feel of it. You can add a widget in the sidebar with your Etsy items if you want. You can showcase an item in your shop in a blog post. The color, the layout the “feel” of the site is completely up to you. The content is yours as well.
- You can connect with your customers. A blog is an excellent way for you to tell your story. You make a handmade product. Your products are directly connected to you. When your customer gets to know you and your story they connect with you. They trust you and want to buy your product. You know that you are more likely to buy from someone you know and like than purchasing from a total stranger. Your customer is the same way. Your website, better yet your blog, lets your customer connect and get to know you.
- You can build your email list. Etsy has an email list of everyone that purchases from you, but if they shut down your shop you would lose all of your customer’s emails and contact information. When you have your own website you can put in an opt-in and your customers will give you their names and emails. They will want to be on your email list because they have connected with you.
- You have another creative outlet. You have another place to shine! You can creatively design your website. You can write your content. You can feature your beautiful artwork. It can become a showcase for your products!
You can promote your own Etsy shop better than Etsy can. Let’s face it, to Etsy you are just a number. If you are not one of their top sellers they don’t have to push traffic their way. Their methods (algorithms) change all the time on how they send traffic to your shop. No one knows exactly what they are looking for at any given time. If you have your own website you can promote your Etsy shop and your blog, which in turn you can have linked to your Etsy shop. You can promote it on social media. You can use Google SEO to get ranked.