Friday, July 15, 2011

5 Things I've learned from selling online

I've been on a huge learning curve since beginning my online business in October 2010.  It was so frustrating in the beginning to have to learn so much.  I felt like I need to rush in order to catch up!  Here's a few insights I've learned in the past few months:

1.  Building a business is like building a house.  It has to be done one careful brick at a time.  It is a process.  Be comfortable with the process.  Take it one step at a time.  In no time at all you will have added to your knowledge pool.

2.  Take great photos.  This was perhaps the most frustrating part for me.  I am a photo hobbyist so it was disheartening to find my photos weren't good enough for my online store (, in my case.) Part of the problem for me was the conversion to digital photos.  Part of the problem was having a good enough camera.  When those issues were finally resolved, I had to figure out

-  How to get the lighting right.
-  How to upload the photos,
-  How to photo-shop them. 

The bonus is that now people comment on how great my photos are!

3.  Be patient and flexible. In the beginning I didn't have any sales.  I decided to add vintage to my shop along with my bouquets.  These brought more people into my shop and I began to make a few sales.  Maybe that won't work for you, but cover all of your bases.  While I want to sell my button bouquets more than anything, I need to bring in an income and I'm willing to make some adjustments until my bouquets really take off!

4.   Do your homework.  While there is much to learn, it is well worth the effort.  Set aside some time each day to learn about RSS feeds, SEO's, taking a great photo.  Every little thing bumps us up to a more professional status.  Once I began taking better photos, I was invited to join and display my products on a number of other sites.  The more sites that have me, the better my chances for sales.

5.  Network.  I joined teams on Etsy, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr.  It's time consuming, but that's part of marketing. Each day I spend several hours marketing my products.  There is so much competition out there that we have to be diligent.  We have to tell as many people as possible that we have a shop and it's the best shop with the best items!

Stay tuned for the 5 best ways to take better photos. 

Good luck!


  1. Very good tips. I have yet to set aside some time each day to learn about RSS feeds, SEO's.

    Thanks so much!

  2. I love your post. I am still learning all the tips and tricks myself, it is quite a process isn't it?

  3. Definitely need tips on pictures. Mine aren't awful, but sure not great!

  4. Thanks for your comments! I'm happy to share my learning curve!

  5. Thank you for these points. For me its still a battle with the light to get my photos looking ok.

  6. Hi Heckety. I'm working on the photo tips as we speak. Hopefully there will be some tips you can use!

  7. Thanks for the tips, there is always something more to do or learn!!

  8. So true Create and Felt! I'm always finding new websites for my products and it all takes time to sign up and promote!

  9. You are right. It literally takes hours every day to promote yourself. But that makes it worthwhile and worth it. I am an Etsy fledgling and I am still in the brick-laying stgaes, I think.... And as with a lot of people, the biggest trouble I have are getting the photos to look right!!! :)

  10. Thanks figaro girl! Check out the post on 5 tips to better product photos:

  11. Thank You for your tips. Could You tell more about SEO's and RSS please I do have facebook and an a blog but up till now did not have any sales on my Etsyshop greetings

  12. Nice pointers. Thanks for the reminders.

  13. Welcome What Happened! Thanks for visiting! Your shop is lovely!

  14. It is all much harder than I thought it would be! Thanks for the tips.

  15. What a brilliantly useful blog - I have just set up most of those things but apart from fb and twitter I need to work out how best to promote my pendants on them. I don't want to bore people with continually getting my products sent through so would love to know how it is best to proceed.
    I know this is silly as I have now managed to write 3 blogs on here myself but I can't seem to see how to follow you :0(

  16. Just got my check for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much money you can get by taking paid surveys online...

    So I show them a video of myself getting paid $500 for doing paid surveys to finally set the record straight.


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