Etsy reported nearly 90M users this past year which means the opportunity to make money on Etsy is huge right now.
Despite those big customers numbers approximately 65% of Etsy sellers are earning less than $100 per year. What??!
Here are 5 things that Etsy sellers should *not* do this year in order to have the best chance of results on Etsy.
The links below may be affiliate links which means Gold City Ventures may receive a commission should you choose to purchase.
1. Skip Keyword Research
Etsy shops that do keyword research are more likely to hit four and five figure monthly revenue numbers.
We don't have a stat on this but at Gold City Ventures we've taken over 3,000 students through our E-Printables course which teaches how to start an Etsy shop selling printables for near passive income.
The most successful shops we see don't just do keyword research to find good tags to attach to each listing after they have made the product.
They also do keyword research up front so that they pick the best products from day 1.
This means that every product they make and list in their shop has the keyword volume to justify the time spent producing the product.
The successful sellers don't even think about making products where they see low search volume and high competition.
If you'd like to start doing keyword research, try out eRank.
The top sellers in our Etsy programs all use eRank and swear by it. We use it at least weekly and never commit to making a product unless we research it first using eRank's tools.
Check out eRank here (it's free to start). You will love the “Keyword Explorer” tool which allows you to see color-coded results for keywords. If you see a keyword that is green for competition and search volume, you've found a winner!
2. Don't Track Financials in a Spreadsheet
We're guessing that most Etsy sellers skip tracking their financials in a spreadsheet. Don't do this!
Not only does it make it super annoying to add up the totals around tax time but you also may be burying good information that would help you make more informed business decisions about your shop.
This product is a new one that we recently fell in love with here at Gold City Ventures. It's an Etsy Seller spreadsheet created by Etsy seller and CPA, Janet LeBlanc, over at Paper + Spark.
If taxes and bookkeeping kind of worry you, this spreadsheet has you covered.
Here is what you can do with this magical wizard of a spreadsheet.
- Quickly import Etsy data – Save time by quickly importing your Etsy sales each month, along with some of your Etsy fees & sales taxes collected. The spreadsheet takes the data it needs for you, making less work for you.
- See all your sales in one place – You can also manually input your sales from all your other sources, such as Paypal, eBay, your own site, craft shows, etc.
- Plug in business expenses & receipts – Your spreadsheet keeps track of your expenses, too. Expenses categories each have their own tab. As you make purchases or pay bills throughout the month, you can enter your expenses in the matching category. Now you’ll have precise tracking of your expense totals for tax time and your accountant will love you!
- Make tax time a breeze – The spreadsheet is set up to make tax time simple for you. The revenue & expense categories roughly correlate to the ones on your business’ tax forms, making the process of doing your taxes a lot more streamlined and less stressful for you or your accountant.
- Calculate net profit or loss each month – Know instantly whether your biz is making a profit or a loss throughout the year, enabling you to make smarter budgeting and goal-setting decisions.
- Deal with sales taxes – The Etsy Seller Spreadsheet includes a tab that will quickly tell you some of the most important data for your state sales tax return, including total in-state sales each month, and sales per state for economic nexus tracking.
If this is something you've wanted to organize for your business, grab the spreadsheet here.
We always regret the scramble that happens around tax time to sort through our finances so love the idea of getting this organized sooner with Janet's spreadsheet.
3. Don't Capture Customer Email Addresses
Are you capturing the email addresses of your customers and potential customers on Etsy?
Did you know this is the #1 safeguard you can keep on Etsy. If your shop gets shut down for whatever reason, you can still keep all of your customers if you have your own email list.
And it's super simple to start an email list for your Etsy shop.
We recommend the following mini-course to help you get started.
Building an email list of prospective buyers is essential for the success of your online business! Get your products in front of more people after taking this mini-course to start and grow your email list.
This packed mini-course includes:
- Email List 101
- How to Start from Scratch
- Your Plan to Get Subscribers
- Bonus Tips for Etsy Sellers
- List-Building Tactics That Don't Work
- Using an Email List to Connect + Sell
- The Welcome Email Sequence
- New Customer Email
- Regular Email Newsletters
- Content Ideas
- Email Opt-in Examples
It's essentially email marketing all broken down into easy-to-understand, bite-sized lessons.
For a limited time, this mini-course is just $27 (usually priced at $47).
Learning how to build an email list is one of the most valuable skills in online business.
4. Don't Brand Your Shop
We were totally guilty of this one at the beginning.
The best Etsy sellers make their listing pictures, their logos, their colors all cohesive and aesthetic.
The worse ones – well they don't spend any time in this space.
Don't let that be you this year.
Invest in some Canva training and work on your branding so that your shop looks beautiful and consistent.
You can find a color scheme you love for free by using the Coolors tool.
You can use Canva templates to make listing images, mockups, and other designs for your shop (we have Canva pro and love it).
If you don't want to DIY, hire a graphic designer on Upwork or another freelancer site to make the designs for you. It'll be money well spent.
5. Don't Invest in Paid Trainings
We know it's frustrating to have to spend money to make money but the best Etsy sellers know this can be a shortcut to success.
It's also a way to exchange ideas with other motivated sellers. The vibe in paid trainings is just much more serious and supportive than in free groups.
That's why we created our own course and paid membership!
Trainings for selling Digital Products
We have a series of free and paid courses to help Etsy sellers add a stream of passive income products to their shop. Over 8,000 students have taken our paid programs.
Are you sick of managing inventory? Committing to materials up front? Sick of shipping?
Julie, co-founder of Gold City Ventures, was too so she switched her Etsy shop from selling physical products to selling digital products and never looked back.
Now she loves selling printables and helping others add passive income to their Etsy shops.
Not sure what printables are? Think printable household binders, checklists, kids games, branding templates, gift tags and more.
Gold City Ventures has had students make five and six figures on Etsy in their first two years after taking our programs.
We have a free ebook here to see if adding a digital product Etsy shop to your existing product line is for you.
Download our 65 Printable Product Ideas ebook here.
Here are more Digital Courses to level up your game
Whether you're an existing Etsy seller or just getting started, online courses are a great way to get to the next level fast. Here are some of the best online courses available for digital product sellers.
The Gold City Ventures course teaches you how to make seasonal products in Canva and Illustrator, do keyword research, and optimize your shop. These courses below are specialized in other areas of digital products.
We have business crushes on Michelle Rohr and Aimee Johanan because their branding is just so, so beautiful. They spend time making their digital products, their courses, their sales pages, and their templates just look great – and it feels like a luxury experience for the student.
Julie is now working her way through their The Magic is You program which is their coaching program focusing more on the mindset and identity sides of your business.
One of their courses, PDF Glow Up, is on sale this shopping season and we just had to tell you about it.
PDF Glow Up is the starter course to creating a digital planner if you are looking for something more affordable but still giving you the tools you need to create your own digital planner.
For $50, it's an absolute steal and just in time for the digital planner market to take off in January for the new year's rush.
We are SOO excited about this deal. Allie Scraps is the course creator and long-time physical product seller through Amazon KDP. In this course, she shows you how she takes Canva planner templates and turns them into physical books easily and almost effortlessly.
We are having a HUGE sale ourselves on Canva planner templates (50% off) so if you want to pick up some of those templates and turn them into a physical product on Amazon to sell on KDP, grab Allie's course too to learn how to do it!
For example, Allie showed us how you can turn our garden planner template into a physical garden planner on Amazon using their tools – no need to store your own inventory or worry about shipping!
Customers go wild buying physical planners so this can be a great way to get into the game.
Until November 30th, Allie's course Creativity by the Chapter is $15 off making it $60.
Amazon KDP fascinates us and we know people have added streams of income to their business from physical planners. We're excited to see how Allie's new batch of students applies her teaching to their business.
This is one of the top courses we've shared with our community because everyone loves stickers. It's from Michelle Simpkin of Wild & Solo who is a planner and digital stickers lover and expert.
Michelle's Digital Stickers for Non-Artists course is super comprehensive and her video tutorials are easy to follow. Typically, the course is $247 but will be $50 off through November 29th.
Julie first took the course two years ago one Friday night with a glass of wine when she was having “me time” and became obsessed with digital stickers. Her Etsy shop is selling digital stickers every day this holiday season so it was a good investment and a fun course experience.
In the course you will learn how to:
- Create beautiful, fun digital stickers for digital planners (think planners you use on a tablet)
- Examples include:
- Post it notes
- Washi tape
- Word and quote stickers
- Basic shapes
- Picture frames
- Creating stickers with clip art while respecting the designer
- Turn your own photos into digital stickers
- Package up your digital stickers so your customers are happy (and keep coming back for more!)
- Set up your digital stickers in Etsy, then market your digital stickers in a way that embraces who you are
You won't regret learning how to make these stickers and you might even start using a digital planner yourself going into the new year!
We've had our eye on this course for a while because Yadsia has done something pretty unique in our space – she uses Facebook Ads to drive cold subscribers to purchase her templates, planners, and stickers.
It's kind of amazing actually how quickly she was able to scale to a 6-figure business using paid advertising. And she started out fairly affordably (not spending like $100 a day or anything crazy like that).
If you're curious about scaling your business using a paid advertising strategy, check out Yadsia's course Digital Business Startup which is on sale through December 31st for $247 (typically $497).
Also if this is out of your budget right now, she is selling components of her course (and almost all her offerings in her shop in fact) for 50% off through November 29th. Many of the components of this course are less than $100 and some things in her shop are under $20.
We think the stuff she does with paid ads is truly amazing and you'll want to learn it to scale your Etsy business too!
Carmen offers a super affordable but still value-packed Canva course on creating printables and planners. Until November 29th, Carmen's courses are 40% off including this one.
This makes her typically $97 Design & Create Printables with Canva course total around $58 which is a price we LOVE and think is in fact a steal for this information.
She teaches you how to make a weekly planner, kids alphabet tracing PDF, habit tracker, kids reward chart, and many more within Canva (which is a free tool by the way).
You need code BLACKFRIDAY40 to grab the deal.
This is seriously a super affordable way to get started selling printable products on Etsy.
This mini-course and 75-pack of Adobe Illustrator templates is like the perfect starter pack for the printable obsessed person.
We love Erin's fun style and think you could totally use these printables in 100 different ways.
This is what you get with purchase:
- 75 Adobe Illustrator Templates
- 14 Page Resource Guide
- Easy to follow Video Tutorials
- PLUS!!! 7 Bonus Files
While we LOVE Canva, we're huge fans of Adobe Illustrator too and you know you can get an amazing deal on Illustrator this Black Friday weekend too.
Erin is offering $20 off for the Black Friday sale, making the course and templates bundle $47 instead of $67.
You must use coupon code 20OFF.
Adobe Illustrator is one of those tools that those serious about graphic design love so jump in on this helpful course and template pack to learn these yourself.
Sasha Hutchison is a former student of ours here at Gold City Ventures who went on to make 10,000+ sales on Etsy and recently launch her first online course.
In the Fillable PDF Mini-Course Sasha shows you how to create her own bestselling fillable PDF forms. Think budgeting worksheets, resources for entrepreneurs, and other PDFs where stuff is typed in on a computer instead of printed and handwritten.
If you haven't noticed – customers on Etsy are really looking for these products so this is a great time to buy this course.
We were beta testers for this course so can ensure its quality to you. You'll love it!
Digital planners have been exploding with popularity over the past couple of years. They've actually become even more searched than physical planners!
This design course will show you exactly how to create realistic landscape-style digital planners and journals from scratch using Apple Keynote (Mac) or Affinity Publisher (Mac or PC).
For Black Friday, Jayme is offering a $50 discount for her $249 course, bringing the total to $199.
If you've been thinking about designing and selling digital planners, this is one of the top courses out there.
In addition to teaching you all about digital planners, you'll also receive a bunch of bonuses like Etsy listing templates and social media templates.
Alicia Rafiei is offering $50 off her Passive Income with Canva course which we are super excited about!
We also love her YouTube channel.
Doors close for 2021 on November 30th and that is when the discount expires too.
Canva is amazing because it's free for people to get started.
Sharon took two years off corporate America to travel the world as a digital nomad. She grew her Etsy shop to over $1,000 per month to help her fund her travels.
Sharon's online course, The Etsy Entrepreneur, is 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY21 making the course $118 instead of $147.
We love Sharon's simple and effective approach to SEO and keyword research.
Other Resources for Etsy Sellers
Besides tools and courses, here are some other great resources for Etsy sellers.
This seller is completely new to us but she let us know about her bundle of 587+ sticker templates for commercial use and we thought we had to share that with you all.
We know how much you love stickers and so do we!
So getting that many sticker templates that are OK for commercial use for just $27 is pretty crazy.
The deal goes until November 29th and then back up to $97 after.
At $27, that's less than 5 cents per sticker template. It's a great deal.
We'll say it once, we'll say it again. We love templates.
With the Pro Planner Template Pack, you'll have access to 36 done-for-you planner pages that you can use to create your own printable planner in one day or less.
Carmia is currently running a $20 off holiday promotion.
Using templates to create your planners is seriously such a time saver.
Want your website or blog to look good but don't have the budget to pay for a custom designer. Try Restored 316 which has a library of feminine WordPress themes that are perfect for Etsy sellers.
Julie has used the Captivating theme and loves it. It's originally $129 but will be 25% off for this promotion.
In fact, all the themes are 25% off through November 26th with code r316cm21 entered at checkout.
Choosing the right theme can make or break your website. Might as well get one while it's cheap.
Facebook Side Hustle Course by Laptop Empires ($248.50 x 2)
For one day only on November 26th, the uber-popular Facebook Side Hustle course by Laptop Empires will be available at $100 off and for split payment. The course will be around $250 for 2 monthly payments (and 2 free months in the Facebook group free).
You'll need the code THANKS21 at checkout to get the deal.
Julie took the course a few years ago and absolutely loved it. She learned how to run Facebook ads for her own online businesses (often getting down to under 10 cents a click which is insane when driving traffic to her blog).
She also has known Bobby Hoyt for years and he is the real deal. His business partner Mike Yanda is super knowledgeable and really nice too.
Again, this deal is only available on November 26th.
Another HUGE benefit of the course is that it teaches you how to run Facebook ads for clients. Meaning you could find success with this course for your own shop and then sell your Facebook ad services to other Etsy sellers or business owners for additional revenue.
All Products at PLR Beach (50% off)
Becky Beach creates printables for the low-content PLR world that people can edit and sell on Etsy, Print-on-demand, Amazon KDP, etc.
Her PLR products are all 50% off from November 26th through November 29th with code PLR50.
We wanted to highlight one specific product in this roundup.
‘Tis the season to be jolly with her super cute 36-page Merry Christmas Planner. It includes 30 clipart, 24 digital papers, 2 sticker sheets for Cricut users, 2 stickers sheets for hand cut-out, patterns, and 30 digital stickers.
The planner template comes in 8.5 x 11, 8 x 10, and A4 sizes and has 25 pages. You get both the PowerPoint, PDF, and Canva templates!
Make sure to use code PLR50 at checkout for the discount.
Through Monday, November 29th we are putting all 75+ of our templates in the Gold City Ventures Shopify store on sale for 50% off.
We have everything in this store from small business planners like the one pictured above to gardening planners, to templates to create juice box pouches to cigar holders.
All of these templates are 100% OK for commercial use meaning you can tweak them and sell them in your Etsy shop, in your Shopify store, on your blog, etc. as your own.
Or, just use them yourself if it helps you personally. Etsy sellers love our small business planner to get organized.
Another cool thing you can do is take these planner templates and make a larger planner to sell on Amazon KDP or another physical product store.
That's it for the holiday deals for Black Friday weekend. Hope one of these promotions helps you take your business to the next level.
If you'd like to give a digital product business a try, check out our free resources here at Gold City Ventures.
Sale Samurai Chrome Extension (6 months for $39.99)
All of the sellers in the top 10% on Etsy are using keyword research tools. Sales Samurai is one of our favorites here at Gold City Ventures.
Mostly we like using the browser extension for Chrome which when activated, allows you to see search volume in the Etsy search bar for various keywords.
For example, if you type in some keywords related to your top products, you can see about how many searches on Etsy those keywords might generate right there next to the words in the search bar.
This can be a gamechanger for the following:
- Figuring out what to put for tags
- Finding new products to make that have high search volume
We LOVE this feature of Sale Samurai and it's cool they are offering the six-month package because otherwise, the tool would be $9.99 per month. This deal is live until November 30th.
This keyword tool is amazing if you're on Etsy all the time and looking for new product ideas.
Adobe Creative Cloud (40% off)
The time is here when Adobe puts its suite of products on sale for 40% off.
We're huge Canva fans over here but nothing can beat Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and all of the amazing Adobe products that make creating printables, shop listing image mockups, and videos a complete breeze.
Julie personally has the entire Adobe Creative Cloud which means she gets access to all of the suite of Adobe products on all of her devices for the entire year.
This is a sale that we all eagerly wait for once per year because otherwise, the Adobe Cloud would be very expensive.
If you want a cheaper package, you can select one of the components such as Illustrator versus buying the entire suite.
Adobe's Black Friday sale is 40% off through November 26th only.
All of their products are top notch and used by graphic designers around the world.
Design Bundles clip art – $1 Sale
Design Bundles usually has their annual $1 sale starting Friday of Black Friday weekend where you can get hundreds of clip art packs for just $1. We heard a rumor it's this year too although we can't confirm just yet!
Confirmed – It's happening!
This can be an amazing way to stock up on the graphics you need for the entire year for a very cheap price.
We buy from them every year during the $1 sale period just to take advantage of the ridiculously low price point. Fonts are often on sale too!