Friday, February 3, 2017

How I Got My First Sale On Etsy

If you're reading this, you're probably in one of two situations.

A) You're about to open or just opened your shop and you want to get a running start and sell as quickly as possible.

B) You were person 'A' but it' has been awhile since your shop opening and you haven't sold anything yet and you need advice to sell that first item.

I was person 'A' and 'B' a one point. I was filled with extreme optimism that I would open my shop and my products would fly off the shelves. One month later I was frustrated that, despite all my work, nothing had sold. There were three key changes I made that changed this. And these were the changes that got me my first sale.

Better Pictures

This was the first step I took toward getting my first sale. I sell prints of my art and let me tell you, how I presented it affected views on my products. Originally, I had one photo up of the original artwork, and that was it.

Mistake #1 was that I only had one picture up and didn't use all five slots. Mistake #2 was that my picture was dark. Like, embarrassingly dark. No matter what lighting I used I just couldn't seem to make it brighter. But then I discovered how to edit the picture properly, improving the quality tremendously. Just look for yourself.
After fixing all of my photographs, I realized that all others selling prints and art showed their work in a mockup. A mockup is basically showing what your product would look like in a real life situation to give your customer more purchasing confidence. For artists, this typically means displaying the art in a frame. For crochet or knitting, this could mean showing your items on a model (or willing friends and family).

I went through three different mockups before settling. That's because I learned a lesson with each one. My first mockup was against a grey brick wall with a black frame. This looked wonderful in theory, but it turns out that people have a tendency to click on bright, eye-catching photos. So then I switched to a light off-white wall with a cream frame. While this one was brighter, it didn't stand out in any way. Basically, it was blah. Then I reached my final mockup. It was bright, eye-catching, and simple. And that is the perfect mockup formula. Here it is.

Now self-evaluate your photographs and see what you can do to improve them. Make them bright, simple, and enticing to get those views! If you need inspiration for your photos, you can check out what I've done HERE.


If you're a newbie, you're going to hear this over and over again. When I learned about and improved upon my SEO, more people were able to find me through search, and that's what we want. There are many paid sites out there that will help you with SEO but I use a free site that gives you almost all of the same features a paid one will. It is very helpful and eye-opening. You can read all about how I use it HERE.


This is the final step I took in my shop, and it's the step that truly led to my first sale. Promote your work! Now, this doesn't have to be paid promotion, because I don't use it. There are plenty of free ways to get your work out there in front of potential customers. The site that got me my sale was (drumroll please) Facebook.

There are groups on Facebook all about Etsy. I joined a couple of these and started promoting (posting to the group) once a day with a different product. When I post, I usually get some likes, occasionally a comment, but always click-throughs. Even if nobody buys your item, you'll rank better in results because of increased views. Then, one day, it happened.

I was posting a Valentine's Day card in a group and a woman commented on it asking if I had a version with a hedgehog. At that time, I was actually planning on making one, so I told her I would have it up tomorrow. I made it, posted it to the group, and she purchased it that same day. Not only that, but she ended up looking at my other cards and purchasing one more!

Join groups and Facebook and hen discover other ways to promote that work for you. Social media is the most common way: Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are usually the go-to for most sellers. Experiment and find what works for your specific market!

I was so excited when I got that sale, and I'm excited for you to get yours as well. Be patient, and be optimistic, it will happen. Your small business is only as good as the care you put into it. Nurture your shop, and it will grow! If you want to read about how to start and run an Etsy shop for free, read THIS

Do you have any questions about selling? Or, have you already sold your first item? Share your experiences in the comment section below. And don't forget to subscribe for more Etsy and small creative business tips!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

7 Ways For Creatives to Rest

Bloggers and Artists need rest from work just like everyone else. Sometimes even more so. We don't work normal hours, we work most days, and we rarely take vacations. Rest is greatly needed.

Below are my favorite ways to take a break from work. I hope this list will help you do the same!


Music has to be my number one way to relax. I'm music minded, the music I listen to can affect my whole outlook on the day. Do a little exploring with new music or listen to your tried and true favorites. If you're looking for something new, try Il Volo. They are my favorite music of all time.

Go Outside

The great out of doors. One of the best places to be! Fresh air, the sounds of nature, and sunshine. Going outside has been shown to improve your mood and reduce stress. Take a walk or try something like hammocking (I've been wanting to try this for awhile!). Go to the beach or your nearest park and enjoy nature.


A nice way to relax is by having a good old fashioned guffaw. I've made a ritual out of doing this daily with my family. We watch an awesome YouTube channel called Good Mythical Morning. It's a channel run by two guys named Rhett and Link, and let me tell you, they are hilarious. They've been known to make me cry from laughter. If you feel like laughing until you cry, watch this video, I laughed so hard I got a stomach ache.

Snack Break

Snacks are a great way to recharge during a stressful project. Just make sure you grab something healthy! Go get some fruit, a handful of nuts, a little cheese, the options are endless. If you want something a little more indulgent or 'snack flavored' check out this post on my favorite healthy snacks for artists and bloggers. Time to refuel!


Sometimes you've just got to let loose. Turn up your jam and get dancing! When I'm feeling frustrated or wired from a project, dancing calms my nerves and gets out the jitters so I can get back to work. Don't know which song to dance to? I really like this song to break out some moves!


Deep breathing is a great way to get some rest. It slows your heart beat, lowers stress, and gets you refocused. A technique I learned was this: breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 7, and breathe out for 8. This exercise helps me tremendously.


What better way to rest than sleep? It's been shown that often a quick cat nap can rejuvenate you in the middle of the day when you need a pick me up. Most of us need an excuse to sleep a little more, so if someone catches you snoozing, just tell them it's for the good of your business (*wink*).

Those are the seven ways I rest from creating. They all help me and I hope you get a boost in your day from these as well!

What are some of your favorite ways to rest from work? Share in the comment section below! And don't forget to subscribe for more lifestyle tips for creatives!

*Bonus question: If you watched the above videos, what did you think about them? I can't wait to hear your opinions!