How I did $50,000 in revenue my first year on Etsy

Being your own boss is amazing, and freeing. I love working my own hours and dictating my own schedules. I decided to take the plunge and open my own Etsy shop. If you’re not sure how to open an Etsy shop, visit that blog post and get started.  I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks that helped me accomplish $50,000 dollars in sales my first year on Etsy. Deciding to take the plunge into opening up shop was pretty terrifying. I enjoy graphic design so that’s when I figured out I wanted to make shirts for women. Start-up costs were minimal which included: equipment, software and supplies. I set goals and worked hard to reach them. Don’t be afraid to swing for the fences.
Being your own boss is an incredible feeling, but it is most definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. I quit my 9-5 desk job because I was miserable and needed to change my life. I quit that 40 hours a week job to work 80-100 hours for myself, but oh was it worth it. Here are a few tips for succeeding on Etsy.

Top 4 tips to succeeding on Etsy


SEO is very important. It’s basically utilizing keywords, tags and information correctly to rank yourself higher in the searches. Etsy likes to be specific, so for example let’s say you’re selling a red necklace with beads and jewels. You could tag it with keywords like “red jeweled necklace” and “red beaded necklace” – instead of just using “red necklace”. Customers tend to search for what they want and having those extra describing keywords will help you rank higher in searches.
Having a filled out “about me” section is just as important. It lets customers know you are a real shop, you are here to stay and you can be trusted. This also goes for having a lot of listings. I found that once I had more than 60+ listings, my shop felt full and I was having more items show up in searches. Basically, more items = more chances to be seen.

Write heart-felt, unique product descriptions. The cool thing about Etsy is that most items are one of a kind and there’s not much like it out there. Explain why your item is superior and let the buyer envision how it will look on them, change their décor, or whatever it is you want to sell.

Check out this post on SEO for more in-depth information!

Promoted Listings:

Now, I struggled with this for awhile, but I decided to go ahead and use promoted listings. All in all I spent $814 dollars and I made $3,412 dollars in revenue. It definitely is worth it. That’s only counting the sales I received from the click on that advertisement. Ad’s are good because they make “impressions” which allow your items to show up in search listings more which helps your items be seen. The more your shop is visible, the better. Of course.

Social Media Marketing: (Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest)

Social media to drive sales is one of my favorite things to do. Take lots of photos of your products, behind the scenes, and let customers peek into your everyday operations. I really drive traffic by doing giveaways, having pin-able friendly images and sharing good and relatable content. Sharing your newly listed items and linking to that product is great. Especially on things like Facebook, Pinterest or twitter where people can re-share your listing if they love it. Who knows, your item may go viral!
I had some luck where my items were featured in a few different bloggers posts which drew in some extra traffic. That’s always a good thing! Making relationships with bloggers and other shops is a good way to cross promote or even get together and have a group giveaway which draws in a lot of people you may of not been able to reach before.

Product photography:

This is very important because it’s what draws a buyer in to click on your listing. This is your first impression. Make it count! Having a few photos with different goals is how I like to show my listings. For example: 1) on a plain white background, the product in all it’s glory. 2) A styled photo so the buyer can envision how it will look in their own home. 3) If your item is a wearable item, show it on a model. This also allows the customer to see how it will look on themselves.
Etsy Shop
I hope this blog post has helped you, feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have. For more information, the Etsy seller handbook is a great resource as well.


  1. Jamie,
    Thank you for sharing information and your insights for starting an Etsy store. I have been learning so much reading your different blog posts–thank you. I have a Shopify store but have been thinking of opening an Etsy store for my downloads and for some products my husband creates. Your articles are very encouraging and practical.

  2. Ellen Olivier

    I have had an Etsy shop for 5 years. Each year sales get better but still needed to learn to drive more people in shopping in my shop. I would love any feedback . I make personalize tshirts etc. my shop name is treasures638. Any feed back would be appreciated . Thanks

    1. Essentially Jamie

      Hey there. I took the time to check out your shop — It looks like you have some lovely items. I would work on updating your product photography. Think of it as “window shopping” you need to capture and draw in the buyer first with your photographs then you can sell to them in the description. Other than that, I think you have a great shop! You can join our Facebook group for more help.

  3. Hi Jamie,
    This information is invaluable, thank you. The one thing I have problems with is pinning my photos in pinterest! I can pin them to my boards but how do they get noticed on the main Pinterest page?
    I would really appreciate some feedback on my etsy shop too “iloveumore” .
    Thank You
    Kind regards

    1. Essentially Jamie

      Hey Susan! Thanks for reading and I hope that I was able to help you.

      Your greeting cards are absolutely gorgeous and I can tell that you take pride in making them. They’re so very detailed!
      My only big suggestion for your shop is to Evaluate your tags. I see that you have “Accessories”, “Ribbons” and “Perfume bottle” on your tags, those are probably not going to target the right buyers. I would try adding in “greeting card” “holiday card” “Blank card” (If they’re blank on the inside)… etc. You’ll want to target the card buyers – Not the people looking for accessories or perfume bottles.

      I hope this helps!

  4. Hello Jamie,
    I am searching for tips to drive more customers to my wife’s etsy shop. We are currently adding more inventory and updating pictures. Any more tips would be greatly appreciated. Her shop name is “Acording2Macey”
    Thank you and have a blessed day,

  5. Victor

    Hi Jamie. Would you share your etsy shop for checking it? Just curious.


  6. China

    Hello! I love your blog and tips can you please check out my shop and let me know if I need to change anything “admirablereelz “ I make custom rhinestone badge holders.

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