Listen, I've been there. I'm great at drawing, creating, and making things by hand. Sure, I could make extra money doing what I love and have a passion for. I opened up a shop on Etsy and then silence. Just 6 sales my first year. Plus, I will admit it. I cried. Just so embarrassed. Yet, I stuck with it and am doing better than ever.
So let me give you some tips when you hit the now what stage of opening an online shop.
1.) If you list it, buyers will come right?The answer is NO! As a newbie, you are a ball of excitement and energy. You may even get a few family and friends to buy in to what you sell. Outside of that, you have nothing. Not one view. I've been there. Here's the key: RELAX. Having an online shop, whether hobby or not, should be treated like a business. You going to have to put in the time and work. Its hard work. Take a look at your shop. Are your photos clear and show every angle of your product? Do you describe everything about your product (measurements, color, etc.)? Are there a healthy amount of items in your shop? Which is better 10 items or 100 items? Have you researched SEO (search engine optimization)? SEO and keywords in titles and descriptions get you seen in the search ranks. What shop policies do you have? Ask yourself what is your course of action when something goes wrong. That's what shop policies are for.
Advice: Listing alone does not attract buyers. You have to put in the work.
2.) Take constructive criticism.When I was a newbie, I would ask questions. I felt like I never got the right advice, i.e. products and focus. So I stopped asking and tried it on my own because other online shop owners don't know what they are talking about. My stuff is different. Why are they criticising me? I'm doing exactly what they have said? Ugh...NO! I wasn't. It's hard to accept criticism. As an artists, we take criticism personally. Other online shop owners, especially on Etsy, were telling me things to help me make my shop better. They were not trying to do harm. When taking constructive criticism, weigh the pros and cons. See what works for you. Don't get offended when someone criticizes. Take a deep breath and relax. In essence, they are trying to encourage you towards success. Once I started accepting constructive criticism, things started to change for me. It will change for you, too.
Advice: Constructive criticism should not offend you. It should encourage you on your journey to having a successful online shop.
3.) Impatience Gets You Nowhere!Your thoughts: I'm not getting any sales or views. This sucks. I've tried everything. These are things all online shop owners have said to themselves once upon a time. This impatience can cause you to become inactive. I know I did? When I would list a few things, I would become obsessed with looking at my stats. Then nothing would happen. Then I would get so impatient with my shop, I would just ignore it completely. Please, don't do that. It gets you nowhere. Just relax and take a look at your shop. What could you do more? Promote on Instagram or Twitter. Do you have a focus? Try focusing one thing instead of thousands of things. Are you constantly updating? Do trends work for you? How are your photos, descriptions, etc.? Once you stop being impatient and just relax, make up a checklist of things that you could do more of. This list can help you when impatience tries to creep in.
Advice: Impatience can lead to inactivity. Relax, focus, and see what you can do more of to improve you shop.
The advice I'm giving right now is advice I have learned to take. I was a newbie once. Its difficult. Plus, an online shop can drive you up a wall. Yet, if you continue to improve, take constructive criticism, and turn your back on impatience you can get there. My Etsy shop is growing because of these three tips. I believe it can happen to you.