As not just an Etsy seller but more importantly, as a business person, it’s really important to stay on top of your craft and be constantly learning new skills. Craftsy has literally hundreds of classes to help crafters do just that.
Their online courses cover a wide variety of crafts, from spinning and weaving, to painting, drawing and paper crafts. They also offer crafting kits and supplies and many FREE classes.
I am going to sign up for one of their courses and then I’ll report back here on my findings 🙂
In the meantime, check out the short video below then hop over there and peruse through the site. There’s a thriving community of crafters over there too!
Newsflash: Sell Your Own Patterns For FREE on Craftsy
That’s right… If you’re an Indie maker/designer Craftsy will not charge you a fee or take commission for you to list and sell your patterns on the site. Read more here about how to sell your pattern through Craftsy.
Another resource for keeping current with your crafting skills. Creative Bug also offers online classes via video tutorials from experts in their crafts. There is quite a bit of overlap in the crafts both of these online venues offer but the categorization of the crafts is slightly different.
From time to time they also offer courses on how to build your own creative brand which is nice because unlike a lot of other “build your business”-type courses these ones are specifically geared towards people trying to build a business in the creative or handmade industry.
I was trying to decide between the two which to join, or at least which to join first so I decided to do a side-by-side comparison. I have created a post that compares Craftsy and Creative Bug so that you too can make the choice that’s right for you.
Here’s my Craftsy vs. Creative Bug Comparison Table
As an Etsy seller you know exactly how important great pictures are to not only making the sale but also to presenting your shop and your Etsy business in the right light (pun intended…)If you’re like me and you can’t really afford high-end photo-editing software like Photoshop and the like…
If you’re kind of bootstrapping things right now, then you’ll probably love PicMonkey just as much as I do. Before I start telling you about all the wonderful I (and you too) can do with it, here’s the best part first… It’s FREE!
Now, there is a paid option ($4.99/month), but honestly, these folks make sooo many of the photo-editing features available for free that you will very likely not have to sign up for a paid account… I haven’t yet and I still get to do a lot with the program just simply using the features that are available for free.
So what can I do for free you ask?
Well you can whiten teeth, remove wrinkles, airbrush… Okay, I’m just kidding (though you actually can do all that…) For your Etsy photos, the features you’ll be most excited about include:
- Cropping, adjusting colors, exposure, sharpening and resizing
- Special effects – but only if it’s appropriate for your photos (it’s easy to go wild with these)
- Touch up – with this feature you can actually whiten teeth, brighten eyes, apply a tan, etc. but these features are more for photos with people rather than product photos
- Text – this feature is available to you but it might be one that you probably don’t want to use on your Etsy product photos. Don’t let text get in the way of displaying your product for buyers.
- Other “nice to haves” but not necessarily for your Etsy product photos include overlays, frames, textures and frames. However, if you like to create posters for Pinterest to promote your Etsy shop for example, then these are really great features to help you make posters that pop.
So that’s PicMonkey… I use, I love it, and once you play around on it and get the hang of it I think you just might too!
Ecommerce & Blogging Solutions
Let’s talk about taking your online selling to the next level. Everyone says (okay, maybe not everyone, but I’ve heard it said, and I do agree) that you should make your own home on the web. So how do you do that? So here are my recommendations and the services I use:
Shopify – Having an Etsy shop is great! There’s a ready-to-buy market there and you don’t need to go looking for customers… Well, you kinda sorta do, but that’s a different topic 😉
It doesn’t hurt to also have your own ecommerce site however, one where you sell from directly to your customers once they find you on Etsy.
For that you’ll need a website with a shopping cart (i.e. a way to charge and collect payments from customers) as well as a place to host the site.
I’ll do a more robust blog post on Shopify and how and why creating your own online store can be beneficial for you but in a nutshell, in addition to allowing you to open an online shop, it also offers you a number of payment solutions so you can accept credit card payments and payments on your smartphone if for instance you’re selling your wares at a craft fair.
HostGator & WordPress
Hostgator and WordPress – Best of all, I’m pretty sure you know that blogging can be a great way to build a rapport with your customers and help with customer retention. They get to know you and your process, as well as more of the story behind your crafts.
I’m all for Etsy sellers blogging as a way to promote their Etsy shops. I highly recommend if you have the time and bandwidth to do it.
Your options for where to host your blog are either a free option like Blogger (Blogspot.com) or WordPress.com or a self-hosted option elsewhere.
Free can be good and cost-efficient… If you don’t mind not having a custom name for your blog or website like “mywebsite.com” as opposed to a “mywebsite.blogspot.com” or “mywebsite.wordpress.com”.
For this website I use (and recommend) a self-hosted WordPress site. To do the same thing, you’ll need to also find a hosting service to host your website on and for that I use (and recommend) HostGator.
I won’t get into all the technicalities of setting up a website and all here but suffice it to say, that even a non-techie like me was able to do it in 1-Click. Hostgator is integrated with WordPress and they make it just so super easy to do…
And if worse comes to worst and you really can’t do it yourself, then you can always call or chat with their 24-7 tech support team and get them to do it for you for free… I’ve done that before on another site 🙂
Sometimes the wait can be long, just depending on when you reach out to them. I’ve found that if the wait for chat help is too long I usually am able to get help quicker by calling their toll-free tech support number and vice versa.
Please note: by clicking the links above and subscribing to the services or purchasing from the companies I mentioned, I may earn a commission. I apply commissions earned towards the cost of keeping this site and the podcast up and running.