Why Etsy may be your best bet to a lucrative online hustle in 2021

E-commerce has been a very hot topic the last decade or so and it’s only gaining momentum as technology continues to advance and more people become less interested in the brick and mortar shopping experience. The idea of running your own online business from the comfort of your home is a tempting one for many.

With so many different avenues and opportunities, however, sometimes we can get stuck in the “paralysis by analysis” phase and give up before we even start. The questions often asked by those curious about beginning there own e- commerce business tend to sound like, “What would I even sell?”, “How much money could I make?”, “How do I reach people to sell to?”, “Should I also sell at things like markets or trade shows in addition to online?”, “Which selling platform is the best for what I want to sell?” These are all totally viable questions and ones that should be thoroughly considered before diving into the world of online selling.

There are many selling platforms to choose from when deciding where you want to sell, and many, like most things, have a decent balance of pros and cons, depending on your specific selling needs. Etsy is an ever-growing and evolving e- commerce platform that focuses on handmade, craft supplies, and vintage items. Many wonder if they should create a shop to sell on Etsy, or have their own website.

The answer could very well be – do both!

Etsy and Organic Traffic

The main reason Etsy is a valuable platform is because of it’s massive amount of organic traffic (44.8 million buyers in 2019 to be exact!), meaning the amount of people who use Etsy as a search engine to find and buy things they’re interested in. Etsy sellers can use Etsy/Google ads, social media, and a host of other ways to drive traffic to their Etsy shops, but with a little search engine optimization knowledge, you can pretty much build a booming shop from Etsy’s organic traffic alone.

In terms of creating your own website, the biggest issue many sellers face, that most fail to consider before buying their own domain, is where will the traffic be coming from? If you have an advertising budget and some technical know-how, you can certainly drive traffic from Facebook ads. You could also be using social media, such as Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook to reach people and direct them to your website, but this takes continual, consistent work, a solid social media strategy and usually quite a bit of time.

Many sellers have found the combination of an Etsy shop and also their own website to be a great way to sell and to not put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, by relying solely on Etsy as your only source of income. Having your own website can help eliminate the risk of what may happen if you run into issues on Etsy or have your shop suspended for whatever reason. All that being said, there is not much that compares to the beauty of free traffic, and that is what makes Etsy worth it for many online sellers in the handmade, craft, or vintage categories.

Etsy Stats

If you’re interested in a piece of that 44.8 million buyers (and growing!) pie on Etsy, the next step would be to consider what you want to sell. The smartest thing to do before deciding on your product category is the simplest answer – RESEARCH! Spending time in Etsy search and browsing through different categories (paying special attention to those listings with the “Best Seller” badges!) is one of the easiest ways to get a feel for what is most in demand and doing the best on Etsy. Using resources like erank.com or marmalead.com, which are websites for Etsy sellers that use real Etsy search data with keywords, to determine hot markets is also an extremely effective way to decide on your product types.

Whatever you decide to sell, if you want a marketplace that offers its sellers a giant customer base just waiting to find and purchase your items – Etsy may be just the place for you. This doesn’t mean it’s easy to jump on and start selling like crazy. There is plenty of competition and it is imperative to first learn the ropes and familiarize yourself with the basics of getting found on Etsy (SEO). However, with a little bit of research and time investment, the reward for your efforts, in the form of a consistent stream of free traffic, can be very well worth it!