Running An Etsy Shop

I've been running my Etsy shop Llama Talks for the past few months and wanted to share with you my experience so far with using Etsy and running a shop. I first signed up to Etsy in 2012 back when I was making jewellery and honestly, didn't have much luck with it. I remember turning to the forums for advice and finding other Etsy sellers to be quite arrogant and harsh and I eventually closed up shop for ages before Llama Talks was born, so I revamped the whole thing and tried again. 

This time was much more successful, but very hard work and somewhat addictive. I have become obsessed with stats and keeping an eye on what catches peoples eyes. I'm also currently aiming to have 100 listings in my shop before October and I think little targets like this are healthy to have. And of course, I'm much more aware of how much nicer it is to buy handmade and support other small businesses. Every Christmas and Birthday, Etsy is my first point of call to try and find something wonderful. The sellers really appreciate the business and it feels great to be supporting them too.

I've narrowed down my most valued top tips for starting or running your own Etsy shops and I hope they're either interesting or useful…let me know!

1. Research the tags and use wisely
These are the words used in the search so they're very important to get your items seen. I regularly search for similar items to mine like greeting cards and prints and find out which tags other sellers have used. They're also the words used in your listing title so matching these up is very important.

2. Use great photos
This is probably the most important to me because great photos are the best thing to reflect your items and if they're poor quality images, chances are people won't look at your listing or be put off altogether from buying. Natural lighting, not too cluttered, all that stuff - I'm not a professional so I won't go on too much here, but if you're stuck and want to learn how to take better photos, YouTube have some fantastic tutorials. Funnily enough, I'm not happy with the lighting in all of my photos and I'm looking into getting a soft box or mini studio to improve my shops images.

3. Utilize social media to the max
I've only recently started using Twitter but I've had Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for years and each of these has really helped spread the word about my Etsy shop. Twitter has taken some getting used to but I love it, Instagram is my favourite because its such a visual platform as is Pinterest and Facebook…well I wish I could get rid of Facebook and just keep my Llama Talks page. I also started a YouTube channel this June where I've shared a couple of things to do with my Etsy shop and although I don't think its had much impact yet, I'm still hopeful.

4. Regular updates and shuffle arounds
This helps to freshen up the look of your shop so even if you just shuffle things around a bit, it could help. I also think its nice to have items grouped together so if you sell jewellery, have the bracelets all next to each other and the same for necklaces, earrings etc. I find this much easier as a buyer to mooch through the shops items and it helps the seller feel more organised too.

The list could go on for ages but these are my top four pieces of advice from my experience so far. Another thing is sometimes people join Etsy and expect sales to start pouring in instantly and not everyone is that lucky. Etsy shops take a lot of time, effort and patience but hard work should pay off! If you have any more questions or would like more posts like this, feel free to leave a comment. I've also started a little series of purchases and reviews from other Etsy shops for the lead up to Christmas so keep an eye our for those! You can read my Aurora Fawn review here and my Little Melt Company post here :)

Thanks for reading,

Ellis x


  1. Great advice! I've wanted to set an Etsy shop up for a while but I'm worried about the tax side of things and need to talk to an accountant before I go further eek!

    1. Thankyou for your comments :) you could do your accounts yourself, just keep all your receipts, keep proof of expenses and earnings and you're good to go :) HMRC are good people to call for advice! x

  2. This is great advice. The importance of understanding Ety's platform cannot be overstated. When new shop owners discover how to use tags properly and to upload a clear and flattering product photo, the results can be amazing. Taking the next step of sharing through Instagram and Pinterest is crucial for expanding your reach beyond your immediate circle of acquaintances.


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