I’m Mike Adams, founder of HandmadeIncome.com. You can read more about me and my mission for this site on our “About” page.
If you’re new to the world of selling handmade or vintage products online, you’re in the right place! Since Etsy is the most popular platform for artisans to sell their products, I focus a lot of effort in that direction. However, even if you aren’t an Etsy seller, you’ll still benefit from the information I share on this website, so I hope you’ll stick around and check it out!
What is HandmadeIncome.com?
A large number of successful entrepreneurs make a full-time living selling their handmade or vintage goods online. In many cases, these creatives left a full-time corporate job to focus solely on their craft, replacing and even exceeding their earlier corporate salary.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone.
There are many others that would like to open and run an online shop, but they find the process confusing or overwhelming. Frustrated, they abandon their effort before they even get started.
Others open a store, but the excitement quickly fades when sales don’t soar within a few months. These stores are often put on autopilot. The sellers may have items listed, but there is no ongoing effort to nurture or promote the stores, or to improve sales performance.
In other cases, a good product line doesn’t do well simply because the store isn’t optimized or because the seller isn’t marketing. The owner may lack a solid understanding of how to effectively market and sell online.
I’ve learned over the years that success truly does emulate success. If you want to become really good at something, study those who are already succeeding in that space and model (not copy) them. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to offer a unique angle to set yourself apart in a crowded and noisy online world. Model the principles, but stand out.
There are a lot of people who teach about marketing and selling online. So, how do I set myself apart? Read on.
Our Etsy Store is a Learning Laboratory
What if I could help you reduce wasted time, effort, energy, and money spent on strategies and tactics that don’t work, or that offer little return? What if you could focus more of your valuable time and energy on activities that do work to grow a successful Etsy shop and other online stores, instead?
My wife and I launched a new Etsy store on April 23, 2014. It’s called Busy Bee Burlap. We make burlap prints that are most often purchased as gifts for a wedding, anniversary, engagement, housewarming, and for other special occasions. Our Etsy store is our learning laboratory. A laboratory that can save you precious time and money!
I methodically research and analyze strategies and tactics that are working for other successful Etsy store owners. I talk with other owners. I talk with online marketing experts. I talk with other technology experts. I explore and test different tactics and techniques and adapt the ones I believe will be successful in my own Etsy store.
I then share all the results with you.
This will enable you to emulate the successful actions, and avoid my mistakes and actions that aren’t profitable, productive, or value-add.
Unique Approach: Transparency on Progress
If I’m learning, and I’m teaching others what I learn about building a successful Etsy shop, then shouldn’t I be completely transparent about how my shop is performing over time? This is part of showing what works, and what doesn’t.
In addition to several new blog posts and other content (I’m considering starting a podcast), I occasionally release a progress report that shows exactly how our shop is performing over time, and the lessons I’ve learned. I also share the Etsy statistics, the Google analytics - essentially every aspect of my Etsy business.
You can see our progress report for 2014 here.
I put it all out there. My wins. My failures. My progress. My lessons learned.
Sign up below for our newsletter, and I’ll email you as soon as each report is available.
Why would I do this?
I do this because I believe transparency and authenticity are critical to building trust, credibility, and relationships. I believe these qualities are especially important since I’m sharing and teaching. Otherwise, how do you know the stuff I share really works? Just because I say so? I don’t think so.
Whether our shop performance improves or declines each month, you’ll know the results.
There’s No “Snake Oil” Here.
I don’t consider myself an online marketing guru or an Etsy expert although I’m knowledgeable in these areas. I don’t have any “secrets” to share, and I don’t teach or promote “get quick rich” techniques. There are plenty of sites where you can buy that kind of snake oil.
The fact is, success comes through hard work, trial and error, persistence, and having a marketable product that others want or need. Yes, some people create a product that becomes an immediate success. Those are the exceptions.
For the rest of us, success will come incrementally as we try different techniques, do more of the stuff that works, and less of the stuff that doesn’t work! And above all, create products that others want or need, always give stellar customer service, and don’t quit!
How Can I Help YOU?
Thanks for taking the time to read this far. If this sounds interesting, and if any of this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you. What are you struggling with now in starting or growing your Etsy store? What is the biggest obstacle you face? How can I help? You can reach me through the “Connect” page.
Also, if you’d like to receive regular updates on strategies, tips and resources to improve your Etsy shop, sign-up to receive our FREE newsletter below. You’ll also be notified when our monthly progress and income report is ready.
I’m on a journey. Will you come along?