10 things I learnt in the first 5 months of running my Etsy shop

I've been running my little Etsy for the past 5 months, and although I'm not yet shifting any real volumes or making a profit, it definitely has consumed A LOT of my time. So much so, that I've put it on holiday mode until 10th Jan to give me a bit of rest.

In the past 5 months, I've learnt a lot...I can't wait to see what 2017 brings!

1) People are lovely 
I've had some lovely messages from customers telling me how much they love their items, and it never fails to put a smile on my face!

2) Some people...not so much
I've actually only encountered two nasty people, but they both really threw me! The first didn't read the listing of the thing she bought, and when I offered her a refund if she returned it, hurled abuse at me - some pretty nasty stuff! The second was lovely at checkout, but because her international order didn't arrive within 2 weeks due to postal delays, she start sending me nasty messages full of caps lock shouting. Baaaaah. I've got to admit, both these encounters really put me off, and I considered stopping my Etsy, which is a shame as it brings me so much joy!

3) SEO is SO important and Etsy always change their algorithyms.
I didn't know anything about tags and wasn't getting many views, but as soon as I made some tweaks with wording, my views shot up1

4) As is recognition by bloggers, Reddit, etc
I've had a couple of bloggers link to my rings, and someone linked to one of my necklaces on Reddit. Not only did it make my traffic jump, but it made me really happy that people out there thought my work was worth linking too!

5) and Instagram, You NEED to nail Instagram. And product photography.
There's SO many beautiful things on Instagram, and I've often found a lovely Etsy shop through their posts. I've been tweaking my Instagram recently, and you can find it here...I've also enlisted the help of a local photography studio to help with my product photography, so I'll show you those when they're ready!

6) Crafting communities are lovely
I've met so many lovely people on Instagram - they're all so supportive!

7) Shipping is expensive yo', and mega unreliable
Like £9 to send something tracked overseas, and £5 for non-tracked. It's supposed to only take 2 weeks, but has been taking 4 of late :(

8) Reviews take over your life
Like, really. I live for those little 5 stars of validation.. Aforementioned crazy abuse lady left me a 1 star review and I cried. I don't think people realise how much reviews mean to people behind the Etsy shops - we're pretty much all one girl bands!

9) Fees. Fees everywhere.
Etsy fees, PayPal fees...tax...

10) It can be the best thing ever and OMG so stressful.
because of all of the above.

Do you run an Etsy store? Send me your link!