6 Tips For Setting Up Your Etsy Shop

I'm often asked by people who are wanting to set up an Etsy shop or looking to improve the one they already have, what are my top tips? When I first set up my Esty shop I had no idea what I was doing and I didn't really look for help until much later. I wish I had done more research in the beginning that would have saved me a lot of time and meant I could have avoided some easy mistake. 

So here they are! My 6 tips for setting up your Etsy.

1 - Plan your listings

Look at all your stock together and figure out how you want to split the listings. Do you want to group products together (this works best for items that are the same design but different colours) or do you want to have individual listings for each piece? Whatever you choose, remember that the more different listings you have in your Etsy shop the higher chance you’ll appear in different searches. Some Etsy forums suggest that a shop should have at least 60 listings and some say that you need to have over 100. When I was starting out I had about 10 and then added another 10 or so each week – this worked well for me but do whatever is manageable for you.

Tip - When I first started listing products, I tried to group them together as much as possible and had listings with lots of variations. There is nothing overly wrong with this but I did it because I incorrectly thought that it would save me money on listing fees. This was not the case as Etsy charge a listing fee for every product sold not every listing created.

The Junglee Animal Print Earrings - £9

2 - Titles and descriptions

Use all the available characters for your product title! There are 3 main areas that Etsy’s algorithm will look at when someone searches for a product: the title, the product description and the tags. Ensuring that you use the best combination of search terms in all three of these places will be one of the most influential things in growing your Etsy shop. So, you want to make the most of the character count you are given.

Here’s an example of one of my product titles; The Mammarlee Rainbow Boob Polymer Clay Dangle Statement Earrings, Pride Lesbian Colourful, Breastfeeding Feminist, Quirky Body Positivity

The Mammarlee Rainbow Boob Earrings - £10

I start with the product name/ description and then I add a few of my main tags. I also try and repeat all these key words in my product description and in my product tags to maximise the chance that they will appear at the top of these specific searches.

Tip – Don’t just throw a whole bunch of search words in your title or product description. Etsy’s algorithm doesn’t like that, and it could harm your products position in searches.

3 - Tags

When you list a product with Etsy you can add up to 13 tags to the product listing and you will want to use ALL of the tag spaces. Etsy is like one big search engine for handmade products and these tags are your opportunity to put your product in front of customers when they search for something. When thinking about your tags you want to consider a couple things: what problem does my product solve, what does my product look like and what is my product made of.

Here are the tags I currently use for my ‘Not Today Satan’ earrings.

The Devilee 'Not Today Satan' Earrings - £11

You will also want to steer away from single word tags and try and use long tail tags. For example, it’s better to use one tag that says ‘unique gift for her’ than two tags that say ‘unique’ and ‘gift’.

Tip – Try and get a balance of popular search terms and niche ones. If all your tags are broad like ‘earring’, ‘gift’ and ‘handmade’ you will appear in a search with hundreds of thousands of other products – Erank is a good way to see how popular your tags are and how often they’re searched.

Don’t use random search terms that don’t apply to your product. Yes ‘gifts for bridesmaids’ is a really popular search term but if it doesn’t apply to your product then people won’t click on your listing. If people don’t click on your listing for certain searches, then Etsy will stop listing you for them and then all that’s happened is you’ve wasted a tag space.

3.5 - ERANK (it's 3.5 because I decided to include it AFTER I had made the title graphic. Sorry!) 

Erank is a free SEO Etsy integration app that analyses your listings and grades them based on their ‘health’. It will tell you how well your tags are working, what the most popular search terms are for your category, if any of your tags have spelling mistakes and what your global sales rank is. It’s a really handy tool to use and really easy to set up.

Tip – Use Erank to track the popularity of the tags you use. I usually switch out some of my tags once a month to see if it makes a difference to my search appearances.

4 - Product Images

Product imagery is a huge topic that I'm sure many other poeple could talk about with better authority but I'll tell you what I've learnt and how I've managed with the little equipment I had.

Etsy has space for 10 images per product and they like you to use all of these slots up - now, I haven't been able to find anything that says the more product images you have the better you rank in searches however it can't hurt to have more images of your beautiful items! 

I have always used my Iphone or Ipad to take images, they might not be the best quality but they are definitely good enough to sell my products. When I started out I would take all my images on the same marble background (which happened to be the lid from one of my daughter's toy boxes!) and I would shoot them on a table next to a window at roughly the same time of the day - when there wasn't direct sunlight shining through. This is a really cheap and easy way to take your pictures and can create some really beautiful shots. The problem I found was that the lighting and tone of the pictures could change drastically depending on the weather (hello UK climate!) so I have now moved to using a lightbox which also means I can photograph at night.

If you have Photoshop and are a confident user then I'd suggest using this to edit your pics, but there are loads of free apps out there that are really useful for editing images quickly. My favourites are Snapseed (mainly for white balance function), Airbrush (this is supposed to be for selfies but the blemish tool is great for removing marks from a picture) and the iphones own image editing.

Tip - After you have taken all your product pictures, go through and favourite the ones you'd like to use. This puts them in a separate folder and makes it much easier for editing and uploading later.

5 - Etsy Ads

Etsy have two types of ads: Etsy Ads and Offsite Ads.

Etsy Ads work by listing your products higher in searches and you will get charged each time this happens and each time someone clicks on the add. In the Etsy Ad centre you can adjust how much you want to spend daily on ads (min £1 Max £50) and you can also select which products your want them to advertise.

Etsy Offsite ads are what they say they are, offsite ads. Etsy pay to advertise your products on places like Google, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and they do this without charging you upfront BUT if you make a sale from one of these ads, Etsy will take a 15% fee. If your Etsy store makes less than £10,000 a year you have the option to turn offsite ads off.

Tip – I don’t have Etsy ads on all the time because I’ve found that it doesn’t usually help me get many more sales but I only found this out by letting the ads run for a month and looking at my stats after that.

6 - Social Media

Linking your social media to your Etsy will most likely be your biggest traffic driver when you first open your shop. In the first month of having my shop I got about 75% of all traffic from my own social media and 25% from Etsy itself. Etsy’s search algorithm favours shops that have consistent visits and interest in them as well as shops that have people ‘favouriting’ them. In the early days of your shop it will be up to you to drive this, but eventually Etsy will take over and become your biggest traffic driver. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest rank highest for Etsy social media click throughs but TikTok is slowly creeping it’s way in there.

I will be doing another post focusing on growing your Pinterest as there is a lot to consider there.

Tip – Ensure all your personal AND business social pages link to your Etsy shop and consider offering a discount to your followers to help get those crucial first 10 orders in.


I hope that this information has been helpful and that it has empowered you to get started on your new shop or improving on your current one.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about what I’ve discussed or if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in more detail in another post.

Keep bossing it! Love ya all. x

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