So, you’re a maker who wants to know the best ways to sell your crafts. Sure, you could always set up a booth at a local art fair. But if you want to cast a much wider net, you should try selling your crafts online.
If you follow some simple steps, you can start making money off your art in no time, all from the comfort of your home. Let’s get started. First up: branding!
Build Your Brand First
Establishing your branding is an important first step in selling your crafts online. It’s a chance to show off some of your style and establish who you are as an artist. It also it helps customers connect with you. At a glance, your brand should give customers an idea of what makes you unique.
It’s good to think about branding right off the bat, so, as you move forward, your product photography and promos have a consistent feel. Your brand identity should be applied to everything from your business cards to your online craft store and social media profiles. Having a uniform voice, tone, and style will help convey your brand to customers faster—and help them start building customer loyalty quicker.
Some of the things that you should consider when creating a brand include:
Thinking about what sets your brand apart from others
Keeping your target audience in mind
Coming up with a brand name (it can be as simple as your own name or something more catchy)
Choosing a theme for your website that suits your style (this includes the site layout, graphics, typography, and more)
Spending some time writing a great About Me section
To learn more about branding in detail, check out our guide on creating a brand identity and how to brand yourself.
Open Your Own Online Craft Store
While there are many ways to sell your crafts online, selling through your own website is, arguably, the best place to sell handmade items online. You can deal with customers directly, and don’t have to pay any marketplace fees.
Also, when a potential customer visits your website, you’re no longer competing with other artists. Instead, customers will be looking at your collection of goods alone, presented precisely in the way you want.
If you’ve never built a website before, don’t worry. It’s easy to do in just minutes if you use the right website builder. Make sure to pick one that has an online store built right in. This way, customers can browse through all your awesome crafts, learn about what makes your items unique, and easily place an order—all in the same place.
Add a Blog to Your Online Craft Store
It’s a good idea to add a blog to your online craft store, as it can help draw in traffic. If you blog about topics that are closely related to your crafts, then it will make it more likely that potential customers will find you. Blogging consistently can get your site to move up in Google search results, thanks to the way Google ranks websites. Great, craft-specific content results in a higher ranking. (Want to learn more about how search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, works? Check out our handy SEO guide!) And the more customers that find you, the easier it will be to sell your handmade items online.
But blogging offers other benefits as well. For instance, you can use your blog to show off your crafting skills and let potential customers know more about what makes your work special. For example, if you blog about some of your craft projects that are still in progress, it’s a chance to highlight all the work and care, or rare ingredients, that go into them. This type of content can increase the value of your crafts in the eyes of potential customers.
Blogging can also be a way to connect with customers by giving them a window into your life and creative process.
Some general ideas for blogging topics include:
Write about your influences and favorite artists.
Use your blog as a journal to keep people up to date about what you’re doing.
Share some of the challenges you’ve faced with your craft projects and how you overcame them.
Give other craft makers some advice on how to make a living selling crafts.
Plus, here are some other blog ideas you can try!
Sell Your Crafts Using Online Craft Stores
Not sure where to sell crafts online beyond your own website? There is a variety of craft sites that can help you extend your reach and find more potential customers. If they like your work, it may lead them to check out your website as well. Here are some of the most popular online craft stores, plus the pros and cons of each.
Etsy offers the benefit of being a craft site dedicated to items that are handcrafted, custom-made, unique, or vintage. When it comes to ranking all the marketplace options, many consider it the best place to sell handmade items online.
Etsy has been praised for its ease of use, so you can start selling crafts online in no time. It also offers a large customer base of people who are interested in buying unique, handmade items.
The large number of people selling homemade items on Etsy means there’s a lot of competition, which tends to drive prices down. That means it can be a little harder to make money selling crafts online with Etsy.
There are also some fees for listing your items and getting access to all the tools Etsy offers. Firstly, Etsy takes a five percent transaction fee when you make a sale. There’s also a $0.20 listing fee for every item you put up for sale.
You’ll need to sign up for Etsy Plus to customize your shop page with banners or get featured listings. It currently costs $10 a month, and is set to increase to $20 a month in January 2019.
GLC Arts and Crafts Mall
GLC Mall is a marketplace for selling handmade items. It features crafts in a wide range of categories, including ceramics, glass, knit goods, paper crafts, and fabric art.
This craft site doesn’t charge any transaction or listing fees, although you do have to sign up for a monthly plan. If you go for the Pro plan, GLC Mall will regularly feature your products on their homepage, which can offer great exposure.
To start selling your handmade items on GLC Mall, you have choose a monthly plan. The most affordable option is $4.50 per month, which gives you a basic store, and enables you to list up to 300 items for sale.
Handmade Artists’ Shop
Just like the name suggests, this is a craft site for selling handmade items. It accepts all types of goods: the only requirement to become a seller is that you are “a handmade artist passionately creating from the heart.” However, all items need to be “family-friendly,” so NSFW items won’t fly here.
This craft site doesn’t have as many sellers as more popular sites like Etsy. That means there’s less competition and you’ll have an easier time getting customers to see your crafts.
Also, this is another market that doesn’t involve any listing or transaction fees. There’s just a monthly fee for sellers (plus the site doesn’t try to upsell you more expensive plans to get access to more features).
To start selling on this online craft store, you’ll need to sign up for $5 a month, or $50 a year if you go for the annual plan. One downside of the Handmade Artists Shop is its website design isn’t as polished as sites like Etsy. It just not very visually pleasing. On top of that, the product images are smaller than on other craft sites listed here. That means it’s a little more difficult to grab customers’ attention as they browse.
This is another marketplace for selling handmade items. Its selection covers all types of goodies, including painting, ceramics, woodworking, weaving, clothing, jewelry, and more.
What makes this online craft store unique is that it is completely free to use: there is no sign-up cost and no transaction fees. It attracts a lot of sellers offering a wide range of crafts, which draws a large customer base.
Since this site is free, they get a lot of artists looking to sell their crafts. As a result, you’ll have a lot of competition.
Facebook Marketplace is like Facebook’s answer to Craigslist. It’s used for selling all types of items to people in your area. Best of all, it has an Arts and Crafts category where makers sell handmade items.
Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to create listings on your phone through the Facebook app. Since it’s tailored to selling to people in your area, you’ll avoid the shipping costs that can turn some customers off.
Another benefit is Facebook Marketplace is tied to people’s Facebook accounts, so you get a better idea of who your customers are.
In addition, since your item listings on the marketplace will be tied to your Facebook profile, they can help draw people to see your social media promotions and visit your online craft store.
You won’t be casting as wide a net as you would with other online craft stores, since only people in your area will see your items. In addition, since Facebook Marketplace is used for selling everything from cars to kitchen appliances, many people who browse through it won’t be in the market for arts and crafts.
How to Make Money Selling Crafts Online
Now comes the fun part: selling your crafts, and raking in the coin! No matter which online craft store you choose for selling your crafts, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you boost your sales.
Take Great Product Photos
When it comes to selling handmade items online, shooting professional-looking pictures of your crafts is critical! These product photos will be what catch the attention of potential customers as they scroll through a large collection of listings, so they should be clear, attractive, and interesting.
Try and follow the standard rules for product photography. Typically, this involves shooting the item on a plain white background. This method ensures there’s nothing in the image to draw attention away from the item, and it looks nice and polished.
However, you should feel free to express your style with these photos. A quick browse through any of the craft sites listed above will show you there are lots of great product listings that don’t use a white background. Take a peek at your branding guidelines again for ideas on brand-approved colours you could use for this.
Another option? If you’re selling wall art, consider shooting your item displayed on a wall, and capture enough of the room to help customers picture how the item could fit into their home’s décor. If you’re selling jewelry, clothing items, or accessories, consider using a model to display your items.
Ace Those Listing Titles
Another way to boost your sales on craft sites is to carefully consider how you word your product listings. That includes both the item name and description. When coming up with a name for a listing, you should think about the search terms your target customers will use.
That means your listings should accurately describe what the item is in plain language (as opposed to only including the more creative name you may have given that particular piece).
Use Social Media to Help Sell Your Crafts
Taking full advantage of social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your craft sales online. You can use your social media posts to draw in new customers and let people know about your latest offerings. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of your efforts on social media.
It’s important to keep your social media accounts up-to-date if you plan on making a living selling crafts. One reason for that is it can help create loyal fans. If you regularly update your followers on what you’re working on and the latest crafts that are available, you can keep them interested and always have your business at the top of their minds. But, if you let your social media accounts go stagnant, it can quickly lead people to unfollow you.
Thankfully, there are post scheduling tools that make it easy. These tools will let you create your posts in advance, and schedule the times you want them to get posted.
Analyze Your Post Performance
If you’re struggling with how to sell handmade items, and your social media promotions don’t seem to help, you should take a look at your analytics. This information can help you optimize your social media promos.
Facebook and Instagram offer built-in analytics, and there is also an array of other amazing Instagram analytics tools that can help you go further. These tools will enable you to discover which of your posts perform best at drawing people to your site. They will also help you gauge how effective your promotions are at helping you make a living selling crafts.
Once you learn what type of content your followers are most interested in, you’ll know where to focus your efforts. Want to learn more about crafting the right content? Check out our guide on creating a social media strategy.
Choose the Right Social Platform
As you promote your online craft store with social media, it’s important to understand what the different platforms can offer and tailor your posts to suit them. Here’s how to kill it on the main ones:
If you’re not yet promoting your crafts on Instagram, it’s time to get started. Many have argued it is hands-down the best social media platform for business promotions. One reason for that is it has highly engaged users. Studies show that visitors that find your site through Instagram spend 45% more time checking it out than visitors who come from Facebook. That means they are more likely to make a purchase when they visit your online craft store. Try these Instagram tips:
Don’t neglect your Instagram bio: keep it up-to-date and use your precious outbound link to send folks to your online craft store.
Use hashtags to ensure your posts get seen by your target audience. You can start simple with tags like #crafts or #handmade. Also consider using tags that describe your crafts more specifically, as they will help you reach your niche audience.
Engage your audience by responding to commenters, commenting on other craft makers’ accounts, and posting regularly.
Facebook offers a very wide reach when you’re trying to sell crafts online. Stats from Pew Research Center show 72 percent of adult internet users in America is on Facebook. That includes users from every age group, so no matter who your target audience is, you should spend some time promoting your online craft store on Facebook. And, if the target audience for selling your crafts is people aged 50 and over, Facebook should be your go-to social media platform. That’s because it has 64 percent of people aged 50 to 64 (compared to Instagram’s 11 percent). Try these Facebook tips:
Set up a Facebook business page, as it will give you access to analytics tools to gauge the performance of your promotions.
Try using Facebook Ads. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to start making more money selling crafts online. You can start a Facebook Ad campaign by spending as little as a dollar. (For more on this, check out our Facebook advertising guide.)
Join Facebook groups that relate to your crafts and start posting there (just make sure to check the group guidelines first to ensure you aren’t violating any spam rules).
This platform is ideal for making quick updates about your latest crafts or promotions, and drawing people to your online craft store. Try these Twitter tips:
Social media experts say posting Twitter polls is a great way to engage your audience. So why not consider posting some polls asking your followers to pick a favorite craft project you’ve completed or for one they’d like to see you do?
Find other craft makers and ask them to cross-promote with you. Since you both likely have followers who are into handmade goods, promoting each other can widen the audience for both of you. It’s a real win-win scenario, and can help you quickly make more money selling crafts online.
Make sure you have a great profile picture. When someone visits your profile, this image will be front and center and can really influence whether they follow you or not—and whether they end up visiting your online craft store. A clear image of your face can help potential customers connect with you.
Now that you know how to sell your crafts online, what are you waiting for? Remember: the most important step is to get your online store up and running. If you haven’t done that already, just find a site that offers a free trial, so you can get started without any obligations. Good luck!
Want to hear more about building your creator business?
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