Bumps in the Road: Paying for Ads on Etsy

Bumps in the Road: Paying for Etsy Ads I wanted to start writing a mini series of blog posts about 'bumps in the road' that I've come across while operating a handmade business. Guys, this is going to be fun, because there have been some BUMPS. The first one? Definitely ads on Etsy.

I first took advantage of Etsy's promoted ads several months ago. Unfortunately, I did not have my listings optimized correctly. I didn't know how to research keywords and give my items relevant tags and titles so that I would show up in search in the first place. So when I set up my promoted ads, my Etsy bill went from maybe $2/$3 a month with listing fees, etc., to $35 - with no sales. I was losing money. No bueno. Here's an (embarrassing) example from March:

Bumps in the Road: Paying for Etsy Ads


I did make a few sales in March, but I did not come close to breaking even, especially with the bill from February. Ew. I understand you need to lose money to get money, but this was wasting money. So here's the lesson: Do not try and promote your items without first learning how to optimize them for ultimate performance. Do your research, take great photos, write down titles and tags, experiment for a little bit until you see organic results, and THEN try advertising to reach more people. Until you've done all of these steps, don't waste your money!

Of course, this was a great lesson for me to have learned, and I'm glad it happened, but it still stunk. Honestly, sometimes I feel like Etsy is just out to make as much money as they possibly can from me, what with listing fees, transaction fees, renewal fees, promotion ads, and shipping labels (although I actually love those - no more waiting in line at the post office!).

Are you a handmade business owner or entrepreneur? What are some 'bumps in the road' you've experienced? Stay tuned for next week's Bump in the Road post - I'll be talking about product fails and what I've learned from them. Happy Wednesday!