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6 years ago I was doodling in my notes…this year I’ve made $1000 selling stickers on Etsy

I never imagined that anyone would actually want to buy my art!

I have always been a creative person, but I never took art classes or formally studied art. Though I have spent years learning techniques, watching videos, and reading books, I never really considered myself a “real” artist because I never formally took classes or studied art.

**Imposter syndrome is real.**

I attempted to create blogs, websites, and my first Etsy shop to showcase my art, but these attempts were not successful. At the time, I had no idea how to market myself. Instead, I just internalized it and felt that my art wasn’t good enough.

*How could I possibly sell my work when there are thousands of others out there with more impressive techniques and more experience?*

Many years later, I invested more in my art and in myself. I decided to try Etsy again. This time, I spent a significant amount of time researching strategies.

I decided to sell stickers, even though it is still a competitive market. I read and read and READ countless strategies and recommendations for getting sales on Etsy…*and it worked!*

The sketches I doodled in my notebook in college while lamenting over the fact that my art was “mediocre at best” ended up becoming best sellers. I haven’t necessarily reached a huge milestone, but my shop has grown a lot, and I’m proud of it!

For anyone interested, here are a few tips that have helped me:

# Photos are EVERYTHING

People are visual creatures. When they shop online, they are giving up their ability to physically hold something. They can’t visualize the product’s size and dimensions in the same way. It’s your job to convince them of your product’s quality! Product photography should do more than just convey dimensions, but should sell a *lifestyle*.

On reddit, I posted a photo of my rainbow “f– off” stickers with a funny caption, and my sales skyrocketed. Your photos and accompanying text should be carefully crafted.

You should invest in photography if you want to grow your business. I recommend buying or creating a light box and getting some decent light sources. These items don’t need to be expensive. But it truly makes a difference.

# Establish credibility

People don’t buy from just anyone. It doesn’t matter if the product costs $1.

People are more inclined to buy from shops that they trust. And successful shops look like they are run by professionals. You should seek to make your business look as professional and credible as possible.

You should have policies clearly outlined, an About section that shows the audience your expertise in your niche, regular announcements and product updates, and informative product descriptions.

Be consistent with your online presence. Shops that don’t post new products regularly or engage with customers regularly don’t do as well as the shops that do.

# Search engine optimization (SEO) is highly important

Basically, the only way your products will be seen is if your products are displayed when people type in specific keywords. Even then, products are ranked. If your tags are keywords that people rarely ever search for, your products are not going to be seen by anyone.

You want to do some research on keywords to determine which keywords people are actually using to search for something. Tools like eRank and Marmalead are great for this.

Some keywords are highly competitive and have a ton of people searching for them. It can be difficult to get your products seen with highly competitive keywords like this because so many other shops are using the same keywords (a lot of competition).

It is a good strategy to use some medium-engagement keywords. These are keywords that have a good volume of searches, but there is not as much competition with other sellers.

A combination of medium-engagement and more competitive keywords can make a difference. Even if you are using paid advertising, having good SEO will make your advertisements reach more people.

# Give something back

I’m not necessarily advocating for people to undervalue their work or give everything away for free. However, showing some generosity and helping others goes a long way.

People are more likely to engage with your business if they feel valued by it. I have regularly hosted free sticker giveaways on my Instagram, and this tactic has brought in new customers and new followers.

I also post on r/Etsy and other subreddits often, and I have offered shop critiques/specific advice to other sellers. Just having an online presence can do wonders in establishing credibility and trust.

Anyway, I hope this has helped somebody out there!



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10 replies on “6 years ago I was doodling in my notes…this year I’ve made $1000 selling stickers on Etsy”

I was actually just buying stickers the other day for my car and it’s weird how hard it was to find good stuff. Etsy is swamped with shops that just take a generic image/phrase and plaster it in every product they can. There was surprisingly not as much creative options as I anticipated, but the ones that were done by genuine artists and not people trying to make a quick buck on simple items was pretty evident. While they aren’t big ticket items, I still spent around 30$ on 4 or 5 stickers because I really liked them and there was not really many alternatives.

Thanks for sharing! I’m curious about your printing/shipping/pricing model. Do you make these yourself? Print on demand? How much do you sell for and how much does shipping typically cost?

I’ll probably be hunting through your post history in a minute to see if you’ve posted this before, but thought I’d ask here first 🙂

I recommend you read the artist’s way by Julia CAMERON, just check it out. It’ll change your mindset about your art.

sounds great for 3rd worlders w/3rd world expenses.

now tell us how you are going to scale that into real 1st world money.

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