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Etsy Shop Critique – our newest kit!!!

One of the biggest things I wish I had when I started Zenned Out was a pair of expert eyes on my Etsy shop and someone telling me I was doing a good job. After figuring out all of the ins and outs on my own I went on to have a hugely successful Etsy shop.

I want to help you avoid all of the trial and error, and loads of your valuable time! To help you, I created an Etsy Shop Critique and asked Kerry to come in and add some self-care love to the process.

If you feel like there’s endless advice about running your Etsy shop but don’t know where to start, this is your kit! By focusing on some key topics we can help you narrow down what areas you need the most help with.

This critique will help you target the areas you’re already amazing at, areas that may need some love, and give you insight about what you need to focus on to take your shop to the next level.

You are not in this alone! We will be with you every step of the way asking you to check in with yourself and make sure you’re are taking care of yourself as much as you are trying to take care of your shop.

We’ve broken this critique down into 11 sections that all need some attention in order to have a well oiled Etsy shop. You can tackle them all at once, or skip around to sections you know you might need more help with, or slowly work through each topic.

Here are the sections we cover in the kit: 

  • Branding
  • Photography
  • Listings
  • Pricing
  • Getting Found
  • Stats & Analytics
  • Shipping & Packaging
  • Retaining Customers
  • Social Media
  • Self Care

Each section is a mix of yes or no questions, open-ended questions that require a bit more reflection, and a notes area to jot down ideas, inspirations, and todos. Plus, each section ends with a check-in so you can touch in with how you feel about each topic.

As with all of our kits, this kit also includes some beautiful affirmation cards for you to print out to help get you in the right frame of mind.

Click here to grab your downloadable Etsy Shop Critique Kit!

Looking for some individualized guidance? We also offer a personalized Etsy Shop Critique that includes the downloadable kit and a one page review by Cassie of your Etsy shop.

Click here to check out the personalized Etsy Shop Critique.


Start Before You’re Ready // Building Your Own Website

Looking to build your own website in addition to your Easy shop for your handmade business? This blog post will help you get it done!So, you’ve put countless hours into your Etsy shop, right? And the thought of putting even more time into creating your own website might be enough to make you want to crawl in a hole and never come out.

Creating your own website might seem like willingly jumping into a rabbit hole. Yes, if you’re talking building a robust ecommerce site, it can be an in depth, timely, and expensive process. Fortunately that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. Today, we’re just talking about getting your website started.

Your mental chatter might sound something like this, “Isn’t creating my own website a huge time commitment?”, “Is it even worth my time to create my own website?”, and “I’ve barely got Etsy figured out, how could I figure out creating my own website?”.

Let me clear up one of those concerns right now. Yes, creating your own website IS worth it.

Here are a few reasons why…

I love Etsy and my business wouldn’t be where it is today without Etsy, but Etsy does have it’s downfalls. Etsy is an unstable marketplace that you do not have complete control over. Etsy features can happen one week causing an unmanageable influx of orders, get pulled 2 weeks later causing a dry spell when you just hired extra help, they change their SEO and format constantly, and their traffic can change with no warning or explanation. Zenned Out has been subject to each of these uncontrollables, with mixed results.

Need some more reasons?

  • A website is a more powerful extension of your brand
  • Customers and retail buyers (especially) will take you more seriously
  • You can have a blog (more on why you’ll want this later!)
  • You can capture customer emails with proper opt-ins (more on why you’ll want to be doing this later!)
  • You have COMPLETE control over everything. No one can change your website or suddenly change your traffic without your permission.
  • Oh, also, those pesky Etsy fees, you won’t have to pay those anymore! Side note, building a website might cost you some $ eventually, but in the long run you’ll be saving, why not start now?

Are there any downsides to building your own website?

The short answer, no, there’s no downside to creating your own website.

Creating your own website can be costly, depending on how robust you want it to be. Creating a website is also a time commitment. Downsides, maybe? I like to think of it as an investment.

Still not sold? I’m going to map out how to start before you’re ready with your website so you can ease yourself into it with confidence.

r handmade or creative business. Tips, tools, and more!How to start before you’re ready building your own website

Here are all of the things you DON’T have to have starting out: a shop, a checkout cart, an expensive graphic designer, a blog, an SEO expert, terms and conditions, an about page.

Let me take the fear out of starting your own website right now. Getting started all you need is a landing page, which consists of the following:

  • 1 product image or modeled shot of a product
  • 1 logo
  • An opt-in box of any kind to start collecting your ideal clients email addresses. This will require a email newsletter program, which I’ll go into more detail about on later blog. Starting out on MailChimp, is free and easy.
  • A “Shop” tab that links to your Etsy shop

That’s it! Even better, you could create this for free in an afternoon.

Boom, website started.

Let’s dig a little deeper. You might be wondering what platforms are best to start out on. I’ve broken them down into a few categories for you here:

Free and easy

If you’re planning to stick with a simple landing page for a while and want to start with a free option, these are your best starting points:

  • Wix.com
  • Weebly.com

Affordable and moderate work

If you’re hoping to build off of your landing page pretty quickly with a shop or a blog, or you want more control over your page layout here are some good and affordable starting points:

  • Squarespace.com (This is where I started)
  • Weebly.com (paid version)

Investment with lots of work

If you know that you’re going to hit the ground running and will want a robust website sooner rather than later here are some good starting points. These option may require outside help from a web designer and web developer:

  • Shopify.com
  • Woocommerce.com
  • Bigcommerce.com

Next steps…

With the basics of your website started you can plan accordingly for building onto it. This process could take anywhere from a few months to a few years, it’s totally up to you. For Zenned Out, our site spent time as a simple landing page collecting emails, to adding a blog a year later, and eventually to where it is now as a robust e-commerce site. Our website evolution, overall, has taken about 4 years. Your process may look similar or very different, both are fine as long as you’re moving forward!

Here are some suggestions for how to continue the growth of your new website:

  1. Create your landing page (outlined above).
  2. Create an about page on your new website. Hopefully you already have this completed on your Etsy shop so you can copy and past away!
  3. Add a blog (though you could hold off on this step until later if you wanted).
  4. Create a “Terms and Conditions” page. Similar to your Etsy shop policies.
  5. Add a shop and shopping cart to your website.

Yes, getting all the way to the end of this list will require time, effort and money. But, we’re not talking about finishing this list today, all we’re talking about is getting started.

No more excuses, it’s time to take your website fears by the hand and jump into starting your own website!

Have questions or tips about getting started on your first website for your handmade biz? Leave them in the comments below!

Build you own website for your creative business. Learn about landing pages, gathering emails, and more

The Complete Etsy Kit 5th Edition is Live!

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Hooray!!! It’s here!!! I am so excited to introduce you to The Complete Etsy Kit 5th Edition! It has been almost 3 years since the last update so this is practically a whole new kit. It has a new look, new format, new links, new tips plus new printable worksheets (Social Media Checklist and Weekly To Do List) that coordinate with the kit! All of the kits that used to be separate are now available in one ebook. 78 pages to be exact! This newly updated kit has all of the kits shown in the photo below including 2 new sections: Etsy Extras and Resources!

 

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Want more sales and traffic to your Etsy shop? I tell you how! Wonder what top sellers are doing to get all of those buyers – day after day? It’s in the Kit! Worried about the new changes to Etsy? Don’t be! Don’t have a clue about SEO? Not a problem! Wish you could create a schedule for social media? I have worksheets for that! Want to create a press kit? I got you covered! Overwhelmed by all of the advice and opinions about marketing your craft business and looking for some concise advice? You are in the right place!

Selling your work somewhere other than Etsy and want to know if this kit will help you? It will! Do you have questions about The Etsy Kit? Email me and I will be happy to chat with you about your small business!

Over 4,000 thrilled customers have used this kit to find their own paths to Etsy success. Now you can benefit from my long hours of research and years of experience by putting it to work in your own shop!

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I have been a busy little bee taking into consideration all of the changes that have happened online and in the craft marketplace during recent years to make this new kit absolutely invaluable to you! I have also bundled this new kit with The Etsy Business Planner and Rejuvenate + Create: self care for creatives so you can save a bit of money buying them together. Coordinating To Do lists will be arriving in the shop next week!

A new thing I would like to do is get to know those of you that use these kits and share your story on the blog! I will be launching Handmade Success Stories this year for all of those interested in sharing how these kits have helped their businesses grow. So be sure to keep in touch with me and remember that I am more than happy to answer any questions. Thank you all for your continued support and know that I think you are the best!

Click Here To Get Yours Now!

Etsy’s Going Public Plus a Free Mini-Course For You!

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Happy Friday! Did you hear all the talk this week about Etsy going public? If not, you can read articles on both Bloomberg,  Time and Mashable. I am curious to know your reaction to this? I have heard buzz all over the internet from anger, tentative excitement and someone who just said that they wished they started Etsy. Haha!

I am about to release the 5th Edition of The Etsy Kit so talk about Etsy is giving me a lot to think about. Some people are very successful on there and will not feel threatened while others are worried that they will get buried even more. I read a quote from Marlo Miyashiro that said “what makes shareholders happy – more revenue, right? More revenue means that there are more buyers buying stuff…and isn’t that ultimately what we all want / need?” I like her positive take on the matter. My husband who is finance also agreed that he wished he started Etsy but also said that lots of good will come with the bad that people fear. Honestly, I meet people all of the time who have never heard of Etsy. If this could be a way for more people to discover places to buy handmade then I believe that is a positive change. I also think more sellers will like the control and autonomy of creating a presence outside of Etsy too.

As for The Etsy Kit, I am thrilled that it is filled with tips to help a seller stand out in such a large marketplace including the recent changes. I am glad that it also helps people navigate creating a public persona for their brand and tips for having their own website. It was originally created to help makers serious about growing their business and will still enable them to do that in the current environment.

Speaking of The Etsy Kit, I was approached by some friends to share an upcoming DIY Bundle with you that is filled with ecourses and ebooks. When I saw the lists of items included in the bundle I thought it was the perfect companion for The Etsy Kit. Along with tons of DIY there will also be books on photography, selling at crafts fairs, checklists, and social media advice that will help help you take the info in The Etsy Kit even further in growing your business. The DIY Bundle will go on sale next week and I will be sharing a giveaway that I am a part of but in the meantime you can sign up for this free mini-course, Rediscover Your Creative Side in 4 Simple Steps. I know that we are all creative here but I am looking forward to seeing how this course might freshen my perspective a bit. I believe that sharing the course also helps you possibly win one of the DIY Bundles. Just click the image below if this sounds interesting!

Ultimately, I want to create a space for you to learn, explore, share, grow, connect and expand your horizons as a small business. Since Etsy is growing let’s also focus on how we can grow our businesses and together as a creative community! Enjoy your weekend!

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Your Opinion Wanted: What else is out there besides Etsy?

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Hello! Occasionally I receive emails with questions that are just perfect for all of you creatives to help answer. This month’s comes from Cathi:

“What else is out their that is not Etsy?  Unless you pay for your spot to get recognized it is hard. There has to be some other company like Etsy, or  another one like that. It’s just so big. What is your opinion?”

I could just share a list of these site but I know many of you sell on various sites and I would love it if you could share them along with your experience. Plus tips and any responses you might have to this question would be wonderful!

Thanks for being so supportive!