Boost your Blog // Why Should I Open a Digital Etsy Shop?

If you're a blogger looking to make a little bit of income on the side, opening a digital shop might be for you.  You can sell digital prints, stock photos, worksheets, workbooks, planner printables, etc. especially if it is relevant to your content.  Opening a digital shop will add another revenue stream from your blog!  There are a ton of eCommerce sites where you can open this type of shop, but I want to tell you about why Etsy is the best place.
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Etsy is the leading handmade marketplace.  It's been around for 13 years.  I remember when I first heard about Etsy and it was then that I decided to open up shop selling earrings and crocheted items.  I didn't have much success with physical items - plus I did not like to go to the post office!  When I moved up to Indiana in the Fall of 2012, I'd been selling digital items in my Etsy shop for about a year.  At that time I sold blog templates & custom Blogger designs.  It was when I started selling digital items that I found the most success.  It was a balance between being creative and not having to go to the post office!

I've shuttered my online doors a couple of times in the past but I've kept my current shop open for a few years now.  Currently I sell digital planner printables as well as stickers designed to cut with your Cricut Explore.  But I'm thinking about branching out to selling more digital supplies for creative businesses - graphics & templates, social media stuff, etc.  Check out the shop here.

But why Etsy Especially since they just announced a plan to increase the transaction fee from 3.5% on the sale price only to 5% on the sale price + shipping starting July 16, 2018.  I've written a post here on why I keep turning back to Etsy, by why should you consider Etsy in the first place?  In the age where eCommerce shops can be made quickly & easily, why start with Etsy?

Low Start Up Cost

Etsy has the eCommerce platform down for you.  You don't have to build or pay someone to build the website for you.  While there are a lot of drag & drop options and most eCommerce platforms are easy to use, with Etsy you don't have to invest much time or money into getting your shop up & running.  It is free create a shop, you can use free software to create a shop graphic & even edit/create your shop listings.  At a cost of .20 cents a listing you can list 100 items for about $20.  Each listing lasts for 4 months.  You're only charged the transaction fee (3.5% prior to July 16, 2018) once a sale is made and if you're not finding success, delete and item before it renews and you won't be charged another .20 cents to relist it after the 4 months expires.  You're not investing the time or the money you don't have!  Plus if you're selling digital items you're not going to be shipping anything.  So this increased transaction fee won't impact you as much.

Digital Fulfillment Service Built In to the Platform

Selling digital items means you'll need to actually get that file to the customer.  With Etsy there is a fulfillment service built right in at no extra cost.  You list the item and you're done.  You don't have to monitor sales and deliver the files to a customers email.  Etsy does this for you after the payment has cleared.  Other eCommerce platforms often require the use of either their app or a third party app to execute this fulfillment process.  While that's not too bad, Etsy makes it very easy to run a digital shop without any extra work.

Name Recognition & Search Optimization 

Etsy allows you to tag your listings with relevant search tags.  You're also given ample space in the product title to include relevant search terms.  The description area is a thrid place to create a through product description.  All of these allow you to show up in Etsy's search.  Because Etsy is the leading place for handmade & creative products, people come to Etsy to search for what they need.  If they are coming to Etsy to search they will find your shop as long as you tag your products properly.  This is the most work that you'll need to put into your listings (well, this and your photos).  The more work you put in to properly tagging your products the better you'll show up in the search.  It's as if the advertising is being done for you.  Of course you'll need to share that you actually have a shop on your various platforms but you're not going to need to pay for advertising space.  While Etsy does offer the option to advertise in search results, my unscientific studies have proven to me that this type of advertisement really has no bearing on sales.

Ease of Use

All points above add to the fact that Etsy is just easy to use.  You don't have to manage security certificates, cookie notices, or any changes to internet use laws because Etsy will do it for you.  I feel, you're getting a great convenience for a very low price and peace of mind.  If you want to take it upon yourself to manage your own website and eCommerce and fulfillment, good on you.  I just place big importance on ease of use.  You're getting the advertising & the digital fulfillment covered, your partnering with a big name in the game and you're not having to create & maintain your own stand alone site.  The overall design of the Etsy platform is aesthetically pleasing as well and you're not having to make all these design decisions that cost moolah on your own site!

So, while there are some restrictions Etsy is a great place to start selling.  I am of the set it & forget it mindset.  I am also not going to fix something that isn't broken!  What I am going to do though, is change with the times.  I plan to raise my prices in my shop in July.  Why do that?  Why not move to another platform?  Because I like this platform, I find value in this platform, and I think my community finds value in my product.  When we partner with businesses that are in the business of doing business, we must realize that things will change - these partners want to make money just like we want to make money.  This is also the first increase in 13 years of the platform so I find this site rather trustworthy and believe they aren't ripping us off!  Etsy does a lot of the managing for you - fees, fulfillment, security, advertising, etc - and I find value in their service.  

If you're thinking about expanding your blog income by starting a digital shop, forget the headache & start with Etsy!  Want to read more about running an Etsy shop? Check out these posts.

Do you have an Etsy shop?  Why do you use Etsy?

xoxo, Moe

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