If you have a successful Etsy shop that you rely on for some, if not all of your income, this post contains some very important information! As you probably know all too well as an Etsy seller in 2019, the platform has launched several disruptive changes over the last year. In addition, now just one or two bad reviews can warrant Etsy shutting your shop down, for good. In short, it’s downright irresponsible to leave the fate of your business in the hands of Etsy, and you must take actions to protect yourself and all that you have built.
You have to open your own, standalone website. Yes, you have to.
Don’t worry, below you will find 10 easy steps to prepare, before you ever even launch your own website.
Who am I to tell you this? My Etsy shop was selling close to $1M a year at that point, and suddenly things started going haywire in late 2017. I knew that if I truly valued my business and all that I had worked for over the last 7 years, I had to take control of my business, and that meant no longer depending on Etsy. I spent all of late 2017 to late 2018 moving my business from Etsy to Shopify.
While the entire process took me just over a year, and may seem very daunting ( it was for me), there are some things you, as an Etsy seller, can start doing NOW to set yourself up for success, if and when you decide to launch your own website (and you should).
Below are 10 things that I did to prepare myself and my business to start building a brand beyond Etsy. And don’t worry - this was all before I ever launched my website - which in my case was my Shopify store. You might find variations that work better for you (for example maybe you want a different mail platform than Mail Chimp) - but this is what did and continues to work for me, so I am sharing it!
10 Things to do NOW to prepare for launching your own website
Buy your domain (or a few!)
Visit sites like godaddy.com or name.com. Your name taken? Try adding “shop,” or purchasing .co instead of .com
Set up Google Analytics
It’s very easy and you can find easy instructions of how to link your Etsy shop. This data is priceless.
Start collecting emails
Ask clients if you can add them to your list, or put email sign-up links in your shop and item packaging.
Set up a MailChimp account
This is where you will store all of your new email addresses and will eventually send emails to your list.
Dive deep into Etsy stats
Use Etsy stats to find your best-sellers and see what keywords buyers are using to inform your Shopify marketing later.
Create a domain email
Get your email address @yourwebsite.com to look more polished and to get your domain in front of people.
Get at least some kind of branding
Even if you don’t have the funds for a full brand design, at least choose colors and a typeface to use consistently.
Put up a landing page
Not ready to launch your standalone site? Put up a landing page (try intsapage.com) - and it can collect emails, too!
Start learning about PPC ads
If you are looking to drive serious six or seven digital sales on your own website, you will most likely want to pay for PPC ads at some point. Pinterest and Facebook both have TONS of resources to teach you about how to run your first campaigns.
Work with a professional
Consultants can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month, but when you consider what you could be gaining, it should be the first investment you look to make in your new standalone shop. Someone who has done it before you and is willing to share what they learned will literally be worth their weight in GOLD.