The Etsy Experiment: Month Three

As you might guess from the title of this post, I opened up an Etsy shop for my paintings as an experiment about three months ago. Since six months is the length of an item listing, I’ll be tracking and reporting the results of the experiment here for the first six months of this year. Here’s what happened in March.

First, I sold a painting! Woohoo!

And now…

The stats

I’d listed 9 of my paintings at the tail end of December, and did not sell any paintings during January or February.

So by the end of the first month, my stats looked like this:

$9 spent. (All on etsy fees.)
$0 earned.
1 shop category.
7 shop admirers.
9 items listed.
145 total item views.
11 total item admirers.
0 treasury lists.
0 sales.

Three months later, they now look like this:

$16.35 spent. ($9 on etsy fees, $7.35 on shipping.)
$43 earned.
1 shop category.
10 shop admirers.
10 items listed (which takes into account one item sold, and two items added).
363 total item views.
25 total item admirers.
2 treasury lists.
1 sale.

What’s not included

The item views and item admirers are a little lower than what the real numbers would be, because as soon as you sell an item you can no longer see the stats for it. So I’m basically missing the stats for one painting. Also, the money spent does not include the costs of supplies and equipment used to create the paintings themselves.

There’s a reason most people don’t paint in oils: the paints are expensive, especially if you get the higher quality ones that aren’t made of mostly filler. (Which of course you want to, because there’s a huge difference in how they look and feel.) To give you an idea, I bought a 1.25 ounce tube of paint a week or so ago for about $27. That’s one color in a tube about the size of travel toothpaste, and it wasn’t the highest quality I could have gotten.

Marketing efforts

I still need to improve in the marketing area, but I made some basic efforts in March. I added one older painting that I’d done a while back to etsy in hopes of generating more views to my shop, and also added the painting that I finished in March. I tried to include better keywords in their descriptions.

I also posted my newest painting to my MoneyCrush Facebook page, which seemed to generate a little bit of interest. Theoretically I should create a Facebook page just for my paintings, but I’ve been holding back on doing that because I can’t figure out what all I would post there (besides the paintings themselves) and how I would generate friends. So this month I plan to look at the Facebook pages of other artists to try to get ideas.

I continued to use Pinterest, and pinned my latest painting on my paintings board there. I need to find out how to track where visits to my etsy shop come from, because while it felt good to have 9 people repin my latest painting, I don’t know whether that generated any traffic. If you’re on pinterest and like my paintings, feel free to repin.

Shop improvements

I also spent some time in March improving the look of the etsy shop itself. I followed the instructions for adding a banner and spruced it up a bit that way. I probably took the “fly your freak flag” part of this article a little bit too much to heart as I wrote a profile for my shop, but at least the About page is no longer blank. And oh well, that’s the real me anyway. Now my shop at least looks a little bit more fleshed out and “permanent”.

Overall, I’m ecstatic about having sold a small painting and hopeful that I will sell more in the future. Ideally a large one so I can free up some room in the living room and generate a bit more earnings. I have actual promotion plans for this month too, so we’ll see how those go. If you’re curious about how things went in previous months, you can click on the Etsy category.