For many people, making DIY crafts is an enjoyable hobby that gives them a creative outlet. Whether they create candles, scarves, charcoal drawings, or jewelry, the fruits of their labor are often enjoyed at home or gifted to family and friends.
For other people, crafting handmade items becomes a regular activity that allows them to sell their goods online and make money from home.
Successfully moving from creating DIY crafts as a hobby to launching an artisan business requires the right strategy as well as a significant amount of time and effort. You’re transitioning from simply making handmade items to actually marketing and selling crafts online.
Furthermore, you’ll be running a business and managing relationships with customers. While you can expect your new venture to be hard work, the sky’s the limit for how much money you can make in ecommerce with the right strategy in place.
Are you ready to launch an online business selling handmade items from the ground up? Are you trying to find solid footing for a business that you’ve already started?
Regardless of where you’re at with your journey, these tips will set you on a path toward success!
1. Decide what items you want to sell
Do you already have specific crafting skills that you want to monetize? Or are you searching for ideas for a relatively easy item that you can start making and selling from home?
Coming up with ideas for what to craft and sell online isn’t always easy.
The right products to focus on are those that are cost effective for you to make and sell. Consider the total cost of the supplies as well as the cost of your time to make those items.
Buying supplies in bulk could help you to shave expenses for whatever DIY crafts you wish to sell. However, before you invest in a bulk order of supplies, you might decide to launch your business and test the waters first.
After all, you may discover that your business model or products require tweaking. You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of craft supplies that you no longer have use for.
Do some research to see what sells
While you’re brainstorming potential products to sell, be sure to research the demand for those goods online. Consider how many people are already selling them and what price they are selling them for.
In addition, check out the number of customer reviews that have been published for those items to get a reasonable idea about demand. You may find that the marketplace is saturated with the goods that you want to sell.
In this case, consider selling a spinoff or variation of a popular product to make yours stand out.
Sell crafts that spark your interest
As your business grows, you’ll need to spend an increasing amount of time crafting to keep up with demand for what you sell. This may not be an easy feat.
Creating a few products infrequently as a hobby is far different than making them for many long hours on a daily basis to make money.
The best handmade crafts to monetize are those that bring you true pleasure. What’s more, they should be items that you want to share with others and that you won’t tire of making.
2. Focus your efforts on making one high-quality product
Creating a niche product is an excellent way to stand apart from other crafters who are selling similar goods online. Think about who you could make your product for specifically and how you could tailor it to appeal to their wants and needs.
When you try to be all things to all people, your business and your products could get lost in the shuffle. You might then soon find that your online store isn’t selling as well as you’d hoped.
Besides focusing on one type of niche item initially, find cost-effective ways to improve its quality. Whatever handmade craft that launches your business will be what your customers initially judge you on.
The success of your online business may therefore hinge on that product making a great impression!
3. Find an ecommerce platform to create your online store
After you’ve decided what kinds of DIY crafts you want to make and sell from home, you’ll need to create your shop’s website. Building an online store can be a bit intimidating if you’re just starting out, so it’s important to choose a great ecommerce platform to assist you.
We at WiziShop delight in helping online merchants of all experience levels sell their products. Our ecommerce solution is super easy to use and features over 400 different tools designed to optimize your website.
In addition, when signing up with our platform, you’ll have access to educational info and guides to boost your ecommerce knowledge and sell more.
That’s not all.
WiziShop also boasts a great team of ecommerce specialists, known as our Business Coaches, who are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Whether you’re selling dinosaur-themed bracelets, watercolor pet portraits, or another creation, your DIY craft business will be in good hands with WiziShop!
4. Develop a strong brand
Your craft business should have a well-designed, memorable logo. This logo should be on your website, packaging, and correspondence.
Consumers will quickly associate this logo with your brand image and your products. However, developing a brand extends far beyond the design and placement of your logo.
Branding tells people what your business is about. This extends to who you are as a crafter and why you are passionate about what you do. It also covers your business’s core values and goals.
Spend ample time defining your brand image early on for your business. Everything from marketing to product development will hinge on it.
After defining your brand, you’ll need to actively promote that brand through your website’s “About Us” page, your social media profiles, and other static areas. All marketing efforts should also reinforce your brand image through graphics, text, and overall design.
For example, all social media posts, blog posts, and product descriptions should circle back to your brand image.
5. Ensure that you price your crafts correctly
There are two primary steps to take before pricing your crafts. The first is to research the competition.
Unless you have a niche product that offers clear benefits over another similar item, you’ll have a hard time selling overpriced goods. Competitors’ prices set an upper limit for your pricing.
The second step is to analyze your total cost per unit. Calculate costs for supplies and tools, packaging and shipping materials, postage, labor, and fees to list your handmade products on ecommerce or social media platforms.
By analyzing the expenses against market rates for comparable products, you can determine the lower limit for your pricing. From there, you can establish competitive pricing to guarantee that your crafts are making you a worthwhile amount of money.
While your inclination may be to initially establish lower prices to earn business and to establish a customer base, this may not be the best strategy.
A thin margin leaves no room for unexpected expenses or promotional discounts. The best price gives your online shop a healthy profit margin while still being competitive.
6. Use high-quality images on your website
As you prepare your product listings for your crafts, focus on your customers’ online shopping experience. In many cases, shoppers will come across your listings after searching for similar items.
Many results may be returned in the search, so customers will then scroll through a line of product photos until something catches their eye. Without great images of the items, people may never click on the link and give your store full consideration.
Images for your products should be styled with your business’s branding in mind. They should also be top-quality photos that clearly show the item’s details.
In most cases, you’ll want to provide multiple images of a product, showcasing its different angles. They may also display the product’s size in relation to a known object, features, and other details that are relevant to a customer’s buying decision.
7. Write interesting titles and descriptions for your products
As exceptional as your images may be, they likely won’t tell people everything that they need to know to make a final buying decision. After consumers notice a product image, their attention usually then moves directly to the product title.
This title should be sales oriented yet descriptive. For example, it may include some of the materials you used to craft the item, its dimensions, and other relevant factors.
If customers take the time to read a product description, they’re usually seriously considering making a purchase. Well-written descriptions can seriously do a lot to help you sell your goods.
This is your opportunity to provide a full description about the product that is aligned with your brand. In addition, the description should sell your product to the customer.
For instance, you might include information such as highlighting how your crafts can be used and what impact they’d have on the customer’s life.
Product titles and descriptions also impact search engine optimization (SEO). Both should be optimized with keywords that your target audience are likely to search for. Keep in mind that the keywords should be incorporated in the text naturally and with readability in mind.
A customer’s buying decision will also be based on cost. Online shoppers focus on the total cost of the item and the shipping fees. A free shipping policy can be a true selling point, so ensure that this perk is easily visible to customers with a quick scan of the page.
8. Display clear store policies on your website
Regardless of how small your business is and what you sell, you need to publish your store’s policies online. They should be displayed prominently on every platform on which you sell.
These policies may include your return and exchange policies, privacy disclosures, and other expected items. You can find inspiration for your policies on your competitors’ sites, but make sure that you tweak them to fit the needs of your shop.
Your website also should have disclaimers and warnings, such as if products may be a choking hazard to small children. These product-specific disclosures should be on the actual product description page so that it’s easy for people to see them.
9. Join seller forums online
Networking with other crafters is an excellent way to get tips, advice, and ideas from others who have been in your shoes. Many forums have niche groups that may be specifically related to the type of products that you sell.
While some of the members may be direct competitors, you’re less likely to run across this if you specialize in a specific area.
Seller forums are found on social media platforms as well as ecommerce sites. You can even look for groups outside of these areas, such as on Reddit or Quora.
You might scroll through the questions and comments to gather advice that you may need at some point to help you sell more. Perhaps you want to ask direct questions that are currently relevant to your situation.
Either way, you can save yourself time, money, and stress when you get first-hand insight from your peers!
10. Create social media accounts to interact with your followers
Developing excellent relationships with your customers is a good business practice regardless of your industry or the goods that you sell. As a maker of crafts, at least part of your brand image is centered around creating products into which you pour your heart and soul.
You want your customers to love your products, and you want to stay in touch with them to ensure that they have a positive experience. Connecting with your customers regularly is also key to establishing and maintaining loyalty and to tapping into the benefits of word-of-mouth referrals.
One of the most direct and cost-effective ways to interact with your customers online is through social media. It’s easy to add images and links to your most recent creations so that your followers can immediately learn about them.
Provide links to blog posts and add a personal touch to your text to maintain contact and to establish a connection with people following your accounts.
11. Market both your crafts and yourself
One of the key selling points of your crafts is that they are handmade, but who’s making them? As the artisan, your skills and story are important to defining the appeal of your products.
Considering this, find a happy medium between portraying your business professionally and maintaining the personal touch that customers expect when they buy from an artisan.
Business cards that you hand out at craft shows and that you ship with your products should be professional. However, you can add personal tidbits about yourself and your history with your crafts on your website and on social media platforms.
You can even create videos of yourself making your products so that customers see the skill required to produce the crafts you sell.
12. Research how SEO works
The two primary ways to drive traffic to your ecommerce store are through paid advertising and organic, free advertising. Maximizing the potential of organic traffic is strongly suggested, and it’ll have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Search engine optimization is a primary factor that ultimately boosts organic traffic. For this reason, you should have a working knowledge of SEO to get more people to your website, which will ultimately help you to sell more goods.
When the concept of SEO became mainstream many years ago, website owners rushed to stuff their content with all of the relevant keywords that they could think of.
Over the years, Google and other search engines have dramatically refined their algorithms so that online searches yield better results. As a result, keyword stuffing and other blatant efforts to manipulate your website’s rankings can result in significant penalties.
Today, SEO revolves around creating the best experience for your visitors. While content should be optimized with the best combination of keywords, it also needs to provide true value to your audience. This means that all text should be written naturally and engage the reader.
Some of the many other SEO-related areas to research include meta tags, backlinks, mobile responsiveness, page load speed, and others. Keep in mind that search engine algorithms continue to evolve.
You’ll therefore need to regularly research new SEO tips and strategies for your shop to stay at the head of the pack!
13. Start using Google Analytics
After you begin to sell a few items, your attention may turn to focusing on what works.
How did those buyers get to your website? What words did they search for?
These are important things that you need to know if you want to fine-tune your marketing efforts and refine your product catalog to suit your target audience.
The most comprehensive and effective way to monitor traffic to your website is through Google Analytics.
After you create an account with Google Analytics, you simply follow the instructions to link your website to your account. Google will then provide you with relevant stats that can ultimately help you to grow your business strategically.
14. Set up a booth at craft shows
The internet has dramatically transformed how artisans connect with their customers and sell their goods, but you shouldn’t lose sight of other methods. Craft shows and festivals have traditionally been top spots for vendors like you to showcase their products directly to their target audience.
These events offer a wonderful way to meet customers personally. What’s more, they give people the opportunity to interact with your products before money is exchanged.
Even if sales are minimal at these events, handing out your business card and making connections can result in future purchases.
Hosting a booth at a craft show is usually not free, so you need to be strategic about attending the best shows for your store. Carefully research all of the shows that interest you.
Get details about expected attendance and demographics of attendees from the event host. You can then determine which events may be good opportunities for you to sell your goods.
15. Stay realistic but optimistic about your goals
Most businesses are not overnight successes, and this holds true for artisan businesses as well. Launching a business is a labor of love that comes with no guarantees of success.
Your venture can grow if you put in the time and effort while focusing on strategy, developing relationships, and refining your processes.
The rate of growth can be painfully slow in some cases when trying to make money from home with a new business. It’s easy to lose hope that your business will ever reach the full potential that you originally envisioned.
It’s important to be realistic about the energy and time that your online store will require. However, you must also remain optimistic about the future so that you remain motivated to continue.
Starting a business to sell your handmade crafts from home may be one of the best things that you have ever done. However, it may also be one of the most challenging and stressful.
Each of these tips should play a critical role as you nurture your business to grow and to become profitable. Because they can also help you to stay on track, keep these tips handy so that you can periodically refer back to them.
No matter what you want to sell, WiziShop is happy to assist you with every step of your ecommerce journey. It’ll be possible to sign up with our online store builder shortly, so be sure to visit our homepage and provide your email address to sign up for early access and email updates!