How to Sell Art on Etsy in 10 Steps

Is it possible to sell enough art on Etsy to make it your full-time job? The short answer is yes, but to sell art on Etsy takes skill, time, and patience to build. Making your online store stand out from the crowd while earning extra money is one step toward attracting and building a customer base.

While it is difficult to become a top Etsy seller, it isn’t impossible, especially if you follow these tips and tricks to attract more sales consistently.

Before learning how to sell art on Etsy, it’s essential to understand that Etsy requires all products to be handmade or designed by you, the artist. This ensures that Etsy remains a great online shop to showcase professional and artisanal handmade crafts from original art to clothes to jewelry.

The first step to attracting potential customers shopping online is to put in the hard work. The next step to set up your own business on Etsy and start selling art online is to follow these steps to ensure you’re maximizing the Etsy store and making it work for you. In addition, be sure to read Etsy’s policies and guidelines when setting up your page.

Below we’ve covered the top expert tips on how to sell your handmade goods on the Etsy shop.

Know the Competition

Knowledge is power, as they say, and before you start selling your art prints or animal portraits in your Etsy shop, knowing your competition and who your target customers are is key to establishing yourself on Etsy.

Look for how much your competition is selling art for. What price points sell the most? What sells the least? You want to price your art prints, jewelry, or other products competitively. Keep in mind to look out for what makes your Etsy shop different from the competition.

In addition, focusing on who your target audience is will help with all of the other steps below. Not everyone puts in the time to establish these two foundational criteria. The good news is that if you’re serious about selling your artwork on Etsy and becoming a successful Etsy shop, then start there.

The best solution is that while you’re researching your competition, take notes. What do you like that your competition does? What don’t you like? Notice if they use their social media accounts, like a Facebook page, to promote their art.

When establishing your art on Etsy, another thing to keep in mind is to remember that you’re writing specifically for your target customers.

Showcase your Etsy Brand

With all of the Etsy competition out there, you must make it clear what your unique perspective is and what makes you and your art different from everyone else’s. While this may seem like a no-brainer, other Etsy artists might not take the time to complete this primary step and highlight their unique art online.

It makes sense to be clear on what you’re offering that is different. Do you create original art? If so, what makes it stand out from the crowd?

Branding is an excellent way to focus on your unique selling point. Branding is a very personal process and should speak to your customers and consider your personality and the artwork you’re selling.

The ultimate goal of branding is to encourage your customer’s faith in you and your products. It also means using key colors throughout your site that are readily identifiable as your product.

Choosing a color palette of just a few colors, a specific font, and a simple design may further help consistency. Think Kate Spade, Tiffany’s, and other top-selling brands. Branding is big business and can make or break how you sell art on Etsy, so we encourage you to take your time on this part.

Canva seems to be a top-rated site and has great tips for branding on a shoestring.

Use High-Quality Photos

One of the first things that Etsy shoppers will see is your photos. Great images can sometimes sell themselves and are an art unto themselves. They also showcase your Etsy artwork and are definitely one of the best ways to make you stand out from other artists.

Great photos are preferably taken with a good camera under natural light on a white or clear background.

If you don’t have a nice camera that can take high-quality images, we suggest asking a friend to help out. Don’t forget to give your friends photo credit on your Etsy page.

Need help with this? Check out our guide on How to Photograph Artwork in 4 Easy Steps

In addition, be sure the color of your image matches the exact colors of your artwork. Artists sometimes forget that part of their brand is to build trust with their Etsy art buyers, and ensuring color consistency on prints or jewelry is vital.

Photoshop is a good editing tool used by many artists for their business that can be used for this purpose. It’s also important to ensure your thumbnail photos are professional-looking.

Selling Art by Maximizing Etsy SEO

Using keywords helps your page show up on search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo. In addition, using keywords that are specific to Etsy can also help sell your unique products. You can put keywords in your Etsy item description, the image, available tags or titles, and headings.

A few reliable keyword search tools can help, but if you’re an artist that’s just starting and don’t want to shell out cash until you make a sale, a good idea is to think about your Etsy shoppers and what they would be searching for.

One way to do this is to use Etsy’s search bar and type in relevant terms like– oil paint, original painting, jewelry, or boho fashions. Be sure to write down the list of words that come up and Etsy’s suggested keywords and sprinkle them throughout your listing. This can help boost sales and help your Etsy shop appear at the top of searches.

Create Detailed Etsy Product Descriptions

Some Etsy sellers create a detailed item description of their art using keywords mentioned above, specific to Etsy. The more descriptive you are, and the more relevant keywords are used, the easier it will be for your customers to find you and make that sale.

Avoid Additional Fees

Some artists new to selling their products on Etsy might not know this, but if your art doesn’t sell within four months, you must either take it down or pay Etsy to keep it on your page. That’s why it’s essential to keep new product listings consistent. Know what art will sell and what won’t sell. This can take some time to master, but it’s well worth the effort.

As an artist, we understand that getting your art out there and making a sale is the most crucial factor for your Etsy shop. Still, those small fees can add up and take away from overall profit, so keeping your page fresh and keeping artwork new can avoid unnecessary Etsy fees.

Leverage Social Media Platforms and Your Network

All of your social media accounts are potential places to promote and attract more buyers and sell your art.

Using a Facebook page, Instagram, or Flickr account to promote your art can bring more traffic to your Etsy page and help increase sales. Keep in mind the variety and scope of each different traffic source to promote your Etsy shop and understand the criteria used for each one.

This understanding can increase your exposure as an artist, help other artists and potential customers find your art on Etsy, and help establish sales.

Remember, your branding should be consistent across all pages and easily identifiable to your Etsy customers.


Always be clear about shipping charges and whether they are included with the product or are separate. Be sure your return policy is also clearly outlined and what happens if artwork arrives damaged.

To avoid damaging items in transit, be sure to package delicate items well using a foam core and bubble wrap. This also shows customers that you value your products and their business.

If possible, use packing materials that are preferably in line with your branding scheme.

The extra attention to detail when customers receive their items can help set you apart from the competition. For example, sending a handwritten thank you note with each purchase can show the customer that you appreciate their business.

Extras for a Successful Etsy Shop

Note that new Etsy listings are only shown at the top of each category for a short period of time. This means that you should space out new listings to ensure your page is getting attention and your Etsy customers can stay updated on new products. Keep in mind upcoming holidays, and be sure to increase listings to showcase new prints, jewelry, or clothes and have a clear call to action.

In this case, you want to sell your art, so your call to action can focus on offering discounts on sales made before a specific date or offer another item for a discounted rate if purchased together (also called upselling). You can also invite customers to favorite your shop so they can see new listings on their Etsy page.

Did you know that cross-selling has been linked to a 35% increase in profits for Amazon? Learn from this highly successful giant and cross-sell items as often as possible. Have a vest that would look great with the shirt you just sold? Cross-sell. Have a necklace that also has matching earrings and a bracelet? Cross-sell. Have artwork that goes beautifully with three other prints? Cross-sell.

When big holidays are coming up, add a note on your page that you gift wrap and include a small card with the gift. You can also guarantee the item will arrive before Christmas or another holiday if purchased before a specific date.

Find Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors can help spread the word about your products for free. These ambassadors are inspired by your products or the message delivered in your branding and will share your products on their social media accounts. This word-of-mouth strategy has a whopping, four times higher likelihood to attract new customers.

Additionally, choosing a charity to receive some of the proceeds of sales is another way to attract brand ambassadors and customers interested in supporting a cause. Be sure to review the Etsy procedures around cause marketing when setting it up.

Our Final Thoughts

Anyone who has owned a business knows that selling anything is hard work and that it takes time to build a business with consistent sales. As an artist, selling our own creations can add an element of personal angst, but following the guidelines outlined above can help you be on your way to creating a winning Etsy page to sell your handmade creations and build a thriving art business.