The Internet is one of the driving forces behind the modern resurgence in arts and crafts. It’s easier than ever before to trade techniques and information with others, and thanks to Etsy you can even turn your passion into a profit. Starting your own Etsy shop and steering it to success can be a challenge, though. Fortunately, Etsy itself can be an excellent teacher when you’re learning how to sell. Taking a close look at other shops is extremely enlightening.

Etsy As A Research Tool - Learning From The CompetitionFinding Out What’s Selling

Etsy isn’t just a worldwide bazaar that allows you to sell your wares to virtually anyone; it’s also one of the most potent research tools imaginable. Because there are plenty of other creators out there who have used Etsy to power their way to success, you have the opportunity to learn from their experience.

A great place to get started is, an independent tracking site that tracks Etsy shops by total number of sales. You can use the site to zero in on your own product niche and take a look at the most popular shops in that category. By reviewing multiple stores, you’ll get a good idea of the product ranges that appeal to Etsy buyers. To take an even closer look, check out individual products similar to yours and see how many favorites they’ve racked up. There’s a strong link between favorites and sales!

Optimization And Relevance: Not Just For SEO Anymore

Of course, making successful sales is challenging in a marketplace as big as Etsy. To rack up impressive numbers, you need to make sure that customers can find you. This means you need to apply the same kinds of tactics to your Etsy store that marketers have been using for search engine optimization for years. The descriptions you use for your store and your products should contain the most relevant and frequently-used keywords buyers use to find them.

You can glean some of this information while you’re reviewing your competitor’s offerings. There are plenty of other resources to use, though! Take some time to make full use of Etsy’s own search bar. When you enter a basic term (e.g. “cake”) without pressing the “search” button, you’ll be presented with a drop-down list of related terms other shoppers use frequently (e.g. “cake topper,” “cake stand,” etc.). This can give you some good ideas about keywords you should include in your own descriptions.

The same tools that help SEO marketers zero in on productive keywords can work for you, too! Google’s Keyword Planner ( is an extremely potent research tool that allows you to use all of the searches executed through Google to assess the popularity of given phrases. You’ll need an AdWords account to access the Keyword Planner tool, but this is completely free.

Going Deeper: Planning Your Marketing Strategy

So you’ve taken a look at products like yours that are already selling well on Etsy and started thinking about the all-important terms you’re going to use to describe your own merchandise in your shop. This is far from the end of what your competitors can teach you, though! Head back to those best-selling shops in your niche you looked at earlier. Now look deeper at the shops themselves (and the owners’ profiles) to start getting ideas about how to build your own shop.

You’ll notice some common threads that run through virtually all best-selling Etsy shops. The standard of photography is extremely high. The language used throughout the shop is typically polished (although not necessarily formal). You can also get a better grasp of how your competitors handle themselves by following them and looking at how they interact with customers.

Success on Etsy isn’t just a matter of offering outstanding products. You need to offer them the right way in order attract customers and make sales. This is a skill that responds well to study and practice, and the best way to start is by taking a close look at competitors who have already mastered that skill. Paying attention to other Etsy shops will help you craft your own shop into a relevant, popular, and popular mainstay in your niche.

Patrick Godknecht is a successful entrepreneur and business owner. He operates an online marketing agency, which serves professionals, entrepreneurs, corporations and businesses, no matter how big or small.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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