Zero to 10k Etsy Challenge – Progress Report 2

Well, I am two months into the challenge and so far ZERO sales. That is of course because currently I have ZERO products for sale!

Time is proving a huge challenge for me right now as alongside growing the blog, building my newsletter subscriber database, and growing my brand on socials, I’m starting to pack up for our forthcoming travels, while also supporting my daughter for her upcoming exams.

However, this is great! As time is a huge issue for most people, and so if I can (eventually) prove that this can be done in just a few hours a week, time no longer becomes an excuse. 

With that being said, I do need to eek out a few more hours each week moving forward if I’m going to have a shot at achieving $10/month, so this has influenced how I’m approaching some of my other tasks, which I think you’ll find interesting. 

I’ve started asking how I can achieve each task ‘effortlessly’. No matter what it is, from creating posts for social media, to writing newsletters, to creating content for the website, to creating products for Etsy. How can I do what I want to do ‘effortlessly’?

It doesn’t always work. My newsletter took 3 hours to write and compile because I want it to be hugely valuable and I put a lot of effort into it, but just asking the question can inspire some bright ideas.

For example, from some of the Etsy training tutorials I’ve watched, it’s seems to be advisable to open a store with at least 20 products ready and waiting.

This isn’t to say you’ll sell all 20 products, but it makes your store look stocked and more professional.

So I asked myself how could I create and list 20 products effortlessly and that’s what todays update is about!

Creating 20 Products “Effortlessly”

So here’s what’s been happening.

Firstly, a couple of people asked what I meant by ‘dummy’ store in my last update.

I am starting an Etsy brand to compliment my main brand The Working Traveller. However, I was advised not to do ‘warts and all’ training on that as it could affect conversions etc. 

So, using an old store that my daughter & I setup a couple of years ago and never got off the ground in any meaningful way, I’m creating a ‘dummy’ store to be able to show exactly what I’m doing and how I’m doing it, so anyone reading can follow along.

Hope that explains that.

My dummy store is called “Anything But Dull’ and although the name doesn’t really fit, I’ve decided to pursue the dog niche as public store example.

In my last update I showed some custom dog socks I was working on and since then I haven’t got much further, until this week, when I decided to create a bunch of products to list on the store.

As of now they’re not live just yet, but these are some of the products I’ve designed and will be listing this week!

So using my ‘effortless’ strategy, here’s what I did to create all of these designs in a couple of hours this weekend;

  1. Decided to start with 20 basic easy products (I don’t expect to sell many, if any of these. I just want my store to look full, professional and up and running.
  2. I searched Etsy for ‘dog graphics svg’. There are loads of graphic designers selling their designs on Etsy, so if you’re not a designer, why not buy some ready made! NB: make sure to read their license details. Some state that you ‘do not have permission to use for print on demand’. So make sure to find graphics that allow both personal and commercial use without restriction.
  3. I then selected the Gildan 64000 Unisex t-shirt in Printify. (I have it on good authority that the most popular t-shirt for Etsy is the Bella+Canvas 3001, but that’s quite pricey, so I picked the cheaper one until I get a design that sells. Then I’ll use a more expensive tee.)
  4. I added the design to the t-shirt in the Printify design area. Side note, at this stage you have to choose a supplier then click the associated ‘start designing’ button. I chose Monster Digital as more than a few YouTubers have recommended them.
  5. I selected a maximum of 5 colour variants to ensure I don’t overwhelm buyers with too many choices and included ‘black’, as this is the most popular selling t-shirt colour on Etsy. NB: As the designs I purchased were black, I just had to quickly upload them to Canva and reverse the colors to white to add to the black t-shirt. Unfortunately I kept getting an error when trying to do this is chrome, but it worked a treat in Safari!
  6. I added my retail price, (see below for how I’m calculating pricing).
  7. Next, I need to connect my store and set up my listings!

And there you have it in a nutshell!

My Pricing Strategy

Ok so I’m way off my 30% – 50% goal here, but I am starting with the basic t-shirt, which is pricey and competitive.

As I add other products such as personalized socks etc, I’ll be able to charge more for products which actually cost less.

Plus as I grow I’ll start to add upsells also, so there’s lots of room for profit growth.

However, my initial profits will be almost non existent based on how much t-shirts cost on Printify.

Here’s how I’m calculating my price;

Cost of POD product on Printify + shipping cost + PayPal fees = Breakeven.

Here’s a natty calculator for working out PayPal fees – https://www.salecalc.com/paypal

Example – POD t-shirt – $9.59 + Shipping – $4.75 = $14.34 + PayPal fees = $1.27 = $15.61

That is my gross breakeven price. That doesn’t include any marketing costs, Etsy listing fees etc.

To compete with other t-shirts on the site I can’t really price above $20 at this stage as I have no reviews, no shop credibility and the brand would need work!

So at this stage I would price at $19.95, which gets the store up and running with some products and if I do make sales at the very least I should breakeven!

Listing Products

There’s no getting around that listing products is a pain in the a**e!

You need high quality images, a compelling description, tags, keywords etc. It’s very boring and I recommend outsourcing . I will certainly be passing this job through to my VA.

But it’s vitally important to get the right information in the right spots and so I’ll go into this in much more detail in my next update.

In the meantime I’m off to list my products, plus start adding products to my travel store.

Wrap Up

I hope this weeks update has been informative.

There’s no doubt about it, starting any new project is a grind. You’re not 100% sure what you should be doing, the whole research and set up process feels difficult and a bit scary and that leads to procrastination, as I have demonstrated! 😂

However, once you get it off the ground and start to create some momentum, you’ll find your motivation grows and you’ll naturally start to fit more hours in to move the project forward.

I’m committing to spending a minimum of 5 hours on it this week, 1 hour Mon – Fri to see if I can start to get some real traction.

I look forward to following up with an another update next week.

Jo 🙂

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