Earlier this month I celebrated my First Anniversary on Etsy. I had tried selling online via other avenues in the past, with little success. Knowing how to market and where to market seemed to be a sea of unknowns, not to mention ~ time consuming. Finding the time to devote/seek out marketing avenues after working 8+ hours 5 days a week can be difficult. Internet marketing is vastly different than a Brick and Mortar store. You can't physically see your target audience and you only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression that will prompt the visitor to look beyond that first click.
When I stumbled across Etsy, I was impressed with the fact that I could open a shop for free, the listing fees very reasonable, and the selling fees equally reasonable. Best of all, Etsy is a selling market geared to expose handcrafted products. I figured I had little to lose if nothing sold. But, if I did start selling, then I've gained some much needed extra income for my family.
Within weeks sales began to come in. After spending hours on end scouring the forums on Etsy, I came to realize that the only way for sales to keep coming in I had to devote an incredible amount of time to market my shop. And the marketing had to go beyond Etsy to be effective and far reaching.
Selling online is hard work. New avenues to market yourself are discovered every day. You might find one technique of marketing that works today, but is "dead" tomorrow. Just as technology is changing every day, so is internet marketing. Do you know how many people I have met both online and off that have never heard about Etsy? If you aren't marketing your shop off of Etsy you are missing a huge market of potential customers.
I have met some of the greatest people on Etsy. I've gained some awesome friendships and customers both locally and abroad. I have little to complain about...at almost 600 sales a year later, I'm pretty jazzed!