How to Make Money on Etsy in 2021

How to Make Money on Etsy

Clothing is another popular category on Etsy. It’s the perfect place to showcase your unique designs and print them on t-shirts and other clothing. The categories you’ll find available are:

  • Men’s
  • Women’s
  • Kids and Baby
  • Bags and Purses

You can work with Etsy partners to deliver unique prints to your buyers. Give this category a try. Everyone needs clothes, and offering a unique and affordable product is a great way to make money.


This category is self-explanatory. Anything that’s considered art is available in this section of Etsy’s marketplace. That includes:

  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Prints
  • Sculptures
  • Drawings
  • Collectibles
  • Glass Art

If you’re artsy, it’s worth trying to sell your art pieces.

Toys and Entertainment

That’s a huge section where you can find everything from custom-made toys for children of all ages to electronic gadgets, video game accessories, and movie accessories. You’ll also find book accessories in this section.

If you have any products that fit this category, you could ell them on Etsy to make money.

Craft Supplies

If you’re thinking about whether you can sell various supplies to crafty customers, you’re in luck. Etsy has a huge section explicitly dedicated to crafting supplies and tools. Explore what’s available in this section and give it a try.

Wedding and Party

Wedding and party is a trendy niche. People enjoy decorating their special occasions and are ready to buy just the right decoration no matter the price.

If you’re thinking of selling products in this category, we believe that you can easily make money. Some of the categories you’ll find available are:

  • Invitations & Paper
  • Party Supplies
  • Wedding Decorations
  • Wedding Accessories
  • Wedding Clothing
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Wedding Jewelry

Explore which products are available in each of these, and you’ll get the perfect idea of what you could potentially make and sell to your potential buyers.


This custom category sums up all the products which can be considered vintage. This subcategory includes all the ones mentioned above and more, but only if the item is vintage.

If you’re someone who has plenty of vintage items in your inventory, it can be the perfect theme for your Etsy shop.

Overall, finding the perfect product to sell is going to be a challenge. You’ll have to conduct thorough research and then experiment by selling products from different categories. After taking those steps, you’ll know which types of products work best for you in terms of profit. 

Take a Deep Dive and Explore What Your Competitors Are Doing

If you want to start an Etsy shop but are still unsure of which product to sell, you should begin by exploring all the categories we’ve mentioned above. It’ll give you the right idea of what you could offer to your potential buyers.

Once you figure out what you’re going to sell, it’s time to do market research. Make sure to take this step, as skipping this step is one of the mistakes that new Etsy sellers make. 

You can quickly analyze your competitors with the right tools. It’s where Alura Extension is very useful. After logging in to your Etsy account, all you have to do is search for keywords you want to rank for.

Alura extension will show you valuable data, including:

  • Listing sales figures
  • Listing revenue
  • Number of favorites
  • Listing Tags
  • Listing Titles

When you explore this information, you’ll get an idea of your competitors’ actions and what they are offering. That way, you can provide something better to the customers, which will result in better performance of your store’s listings.

Brand Your Store From the Start

Branding is at the core of every serious business. It’s the only thing that will distinguish you from your competitors. So if you’re thinking of a way to leave a great first impression and run a memorable store, think of your shop’s branding from the start.

Branding your Etsy store will bring several benefits to it.

  • Prominency - your customers will quickly memorize your Etsy shop and come back to it in the future.
  • A higher degree of trust - a professional-looking store will immediately instill confidence in your customers. Branding helps in the process.
  • Cohesiveness in advertising - working with a set of cohesive branding colors makes it easier to stay cohesive across your advertising channels.
  • Customer loyalty - you want to create a brand that people will gladly revisit. Branding will make it easier for you to build up returning customers more quickly.

Creating a brand is like telling a short story to your customers. Your name needs to resonate with your mission. 

As Simon Sinek would put it: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe.”

Therefore, make a slogan and create a compelling brand story behind your Etsy shop. You’ll be surprised how steadier your growth is going to be.

If you’re not sure how to do it, you can always head over to one of the freelancing platforms and work with professionals to create your brand.

Establish a Well-Optimized Shop

Optimizing your listings and your shop is necessary because of three different factors.

  • Ranking
  • Conversion rates
  • Transparency

Therefore, optimizing your store to perform optimally is necessary if you want to keep up with the competition. Let’s explore what you should do to optimize an Etsy shop.

Listing Optimization

First thing’s first, you need to make sure that all your listings are perfectly optimized. What does this mean? Well, there are a couple of crucial things to optimize. They are:

  • Listing Title - Your listing title needs to specify what’s the product you’re offering. Keep its length between 70-120 characters.
  • Listing Tags - Title tags are crucial. They represent the keywords that your listing is going to rank for. Use tags that are relevant to the product you’re listing. Use all 13 tags for every listing.
  • Listing Description - The purpose of the listing description is to help your customer learn all your product details. On top of that, the description is relevant for off-site search engines such as Google. Therefore, make sure that you also mention a couple of relevant keywords, as your listing might rank in other search engines’ results pages.

Also, don’t forget to put your listing in the correct category. You don’t want to list your jewelry in home decor. No one will ever find it.

If you’re eager to learn more about writing great Etsy product descriptions, look at our guide.

After taking care of these, it’s essential to focus on photos. Let’s see how.

Present High-quality Photos

Etsy is a visual marketplace. You want to make sure that your photos are fantastic right from the start. That way, your customers can see what they’re buying. There are a couple of general rules to follow.

  • Place your product against a white background - it’ll stand out more that way. Customers can notice all the details.
  • Invest in a pair of photography lights - the more light you have, the more details you can capture.
  • Use all ten photo slots - take pictures of your product from all sides. You want to help your potential buyer learn all there is to know about the product.
  • State measurements in your photos - place your product against a common household item. The buyer will immediately understand its size. Additionally, use one of the photos to mention the dimensions of your product.
  • Work with models - If you’re selling clothes or jewelry, have someone wear them. It’ll give a different perspective of the product.

Improve your product photography skills, as high-quality product photos can improve your listings’ conversion rates.

Optimize Your Store Page

Once buyers get on your store page, they need to understand what you’re selling. That’s why you should use your store page photo to tell a story.

Also, make sure to include a brief description of your store next to its name. Simply add keywords that best describe your products. They count in the overall ranking game.

Fill out the details about your shop’s policies. It’ll keep everything about your processes transparent. That way, customers can see details regarding refunds, returns, cancellations, and estimated shipping times.

Taking all these steps will help your store and your listings rank better. Take some time learning the right optimization approaches. They are the foundation of your Etsy shop.

Figure Out All of Your Expenses per Sale

If you want to make money on Etsy, you’ll have to get your math right from the very start of your shop. That means that you’ll have to calculate your profit margins carefully. There are numerous expenses that you’ll have to consider when you’re forming your product prices.

It all starts with the costs of your product’s materials. Then you add all the Etsy platform fees. Depending on the services you’re using, you will face some of the following fees:

  • Listing fee
  • Transaction fee
  • Shipping transaction fee
  • Payment processing fee
  • In-person selling fee (only for those who offer in-person selling)
  • Pattern fees (Pattern users only)
  • Currency conversion fees (optional)
  • Ad fees (optional to some point)
  • Plus Plan (optional)

To see how much all this amount, take a look at our blog post covering all the details about all these fees.

But that’s not all. There’s more to consider. What are your local tax laws? Don’t forget to add that to your pricing.

Don’t forget to include all the marketing costs.

Once you add all that up and any operational costs, you can see your actual profit margin.

Practice Healthy Marketing Approaches

While you can rely on Etsy’s organic traffic, there are more steps you can take to stay ahead of your competitors. As there are thousands of businesses promoting their products in various places, it’s necessary to do the same to keep up with the competition.

While it’s going to require a specific budget, there are multiple methods that you can try out when it comes to Etsy marketing.

Etsy Advertising Mechanisms

It’s a good idea to start your advertising journey on the platform. Etsy offers two different ways to achieve this. The first one’s Etsy Ads and the second is Etsy Off-site Ads.

Etsy Ads

Etsy Ads is a PPC method that lets you advertise on the platform. Your listings will now appear in more Etsy search results. Whenever someone clicks on your listing, you’ll pay a small fee to the platform.

The good thing with this approach is that you can set daily budgets, and when the platform reaches it, it’ll simply stop promoting your listings for that day. That way, you take complete control of your advertising efforts. 

Etsy Off-Site Ads

Off-site Ads work differently. The critical thing to mention is that the feature is optional to Etsy shops with revenue under $10,000. However, if you exceed that amount, your shop will enter the program automatically.

Generally speaking, Etsy takes it upon itself to promote certain listings on various partner sites. These range from Google Ads to many other social media platforms. 

If someone purchases from you through the program, the fee is 15% for shops with revenue lower than $10,000. For those who’re participants of the program by default, the fee is 12%.

That’s something to keep in mind when you calculate your profit margins, as selling an item through Etsy Off-site ads will lower it.

Social Media

If you want to increase sales and make more money, it’s necessary to create pages across multiple social media platforms. That includes: 

  • Pinterest - This platform is excellent for driving traffic to your Etsy shop. Check out various pinning strategies and find out which one works best for your products.
  • Facebook - Facebook is a mature social media network with billions of potential customers. Unfortunately, getting any organic traffic is practically impossible due to the presence of countless competitors. Still, you should create a page and share products and updates about your Etsy shop.
  • Instagram - Instagram is a very visual platform that you can use to promote your products. It’s a great way to build a community. Use it to promote discounts and coupon codes.
  • TikTok - As the fastest growing platform, TikTok is currently your best bet for getting organic traffic. The platform’s algorithm will push your videos to a high number of people. If you get lucky, some of your videos can go viral. Use this app to share behind the scenes. Add a little bit of fun and watch the follower count go up.

Create different content for different social media networks. Some platforms work better with images, other with video, while some are also great for sharing walls of texts. Mix things up and see which approach gives the best results and the highest engagement.

Besides growing your following on social media accounts, you can also use them to run PPC campaigns by promoting your pages and posts. Set aside a daily budget to do this, and monitor your sales. If you notice an increase in sales numbers, slowly increase your advertising budget.

Collaborations with Influencer

Much like with other advertising approaches, it’s good to create a budget for sponsored content with influencers.

Do your research and see which people create content to promote one of your products naturally. We generally recommend working with multiple smaller influencers as it’s a more budget-friendly yet effective way of advertising.

While you can’t measure how practical this marketing approach is, you’ll be able to notice spikes in traffic once your collaborator has promoted your product. If you notice sales going up during that time, you can see whether it’s worth the investment.

Build an Email List

From the moment you begin your Etsy journey, building an email list is one of your top priorities. It’s the best way to create a community to which you can communicate directly. It’s the perfect way to keep people updated with your products, promotions, and discounts.

Figure Out the Platform Inside Out

Create a reminder to check out Etsy News blog every week. That’s a great way to stay updated with the platform’s updates, upcoming trends, and other Etsy-related news. Any big feature update can have an impact on your store’s performance.

Another great place to explore is the Etsy community. Have a friendly chat with other sellers and buyers. You can come across some interesting stories that might benefit your business.

Last but not least, from the moment you create an Etsy shop, check out all the platform’s settings. That’s the only way to learn the platform inside out.

Concluding Thoughts

While there’s no sure way to make money with Etsy easily, there are some principles to turn the odds in your favor. Following all the tips from this blog post will surely help you achieve that goal. 

Furthermore, take a look at our Alura Etsy tool. We have equipped it with all the essential features that aim to help you from the moment you create an Etsy store. Use it to find keywords, create compelling listings, and spy on the competition.

If you want to learn more, please reach out to us. We look forward to helping make the best use of Alura.

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