What I learned in one month about running an Etsy shop: my journey through 5 FREE resources

Last month, I embarked on a journey to create a nursery print collection in one month and open my own Etsy shop. I was a little bit insecure about it at first, since I have attempted Etsy in the past when I was in college and it really didn’t take off. I think I made about 40-odd sales in 3 years, quite a lackluster result! I knew that this time, I had to take it more seriously and do some actual research instead of just winging it. It was a very interesting month, as I listened to podcasts, videos and webinars as I worked.

Now October is over, I have my print collection and I’m getting ready to launch my shop next Friday, November 9th! I feel so much more confident and excited than ever before, and it is thanks to the amazing resources I found. Although there are many paid courses and trainings on the subject, I decided to focus on free resources at first and with some digging, got an amazing education without having to pay a single penny. I thought today I would share with you my 5 favorite free resources that taught me so much about running an Etsy shop!

Ready? Let’s see my favorite 5 free resources!

1. Renae Christine

I was extremely lucky in that the very first thing I came across was a real good one and a life-changer! It is Renae Christine’s product line training. Renae is a business coach who teaches handmade sellers specifically. She created the Handmade Titan University, which is her paid course, but she has a lot of free info on her Youtube channel and also what I’m talking about here: her completely free viral product line training.

This is a series of 4 free videos that pack a punch of information!

  • What not to do: hope marketing. That is throwing a bunch of random products in an online shop and wait/hope for it to sell. That is what I had done in my last attempt to run an Etsy shop… Was there actually a better way? This is where this video hooked me.
  • 7 common mistakes sellers make
  • The game changer: Renae’s product line formula. This taught me for the first time the importance of creating a collection of products instead of just random items one at a time, and it even tells us a formula for what to put in it. Invaluable and it is the foundation for every other tip and trick I have found since!

Click here or the photo to find her free training

2. Starla Moore

I found Starla through Renae Christine, as Renae was actually Starla’s own business coach at one point! Starla is a top selling Etsy owner and now also a business coach in her own right. But whereas Renae teaches about crucial business things that every seller needs to know no matter where they are selling, Starla has a focus on Etsy specifically. Both are very important, but since I’m going to start on Etsy at first before thinking of branching out to my own website, Starla really has some useful specific information. Like Renae, she has a paid course but she also makes videos on Youtube (nice and long at 1+ hour each, which is really nice to put in the background while you work!)

Things I learned from her channel:

  • How to be found on Etsy
  • 4 messages to send for the best customer service (and to get 5 star reviews!)
  • Tips and tricks to stay relevant in Etsy search
  • Tutorial of EtsyRank, an Etsy SEO tool
  • Common Etsy seller mistakes

Click here or the photo to go to her Youtube channel

3. Eva Knows

From there, I decided maybe it would be helpful to specialize even more and get advice specifically on selling art prints and printables on Etsy. That’s how I found the Youtube channel EvaKnows. This really sweet English young lady had some really good info about art printables and it’s from her that I learned about drop shipping: having a third-party company print, package and ship your orders. My passion is illustrating, NOT battling with Canada Post, so this was really interesting info to me! I ended up watching her entire channel and found out her thing is passive income: setting up systems that in time can generate money by themselves with low maintenance. I really had never thought about it, but this is quite intriguing. My ultimate goal is to illustrate children’s books and design prints in between books, so learning that some parts of a business can be automated was fascinating.

Eva has a Youtube channel and a mix of paid and free resources on her blog. Some of the things I learned:

  • Common mistakes art prints sellers make
  • The importance of knowing your target customer
  • Best ways to market art printables
  • Automation tools for Instagram and Pinterest
  • How drop shipping companies work

Eva’s Youtube channel

Eva’s blog

4. Fuzzy and Birch

This is another Youtube channel full of Etsy tips I found while rummaging around. Jenni is the owner of not one, but 2 extremely successful Etsy shops! She has a lot of very specific tips and goes into great details about SEO. My favourite part though is her “6 minutes makeover” series, where she takes an actual Etsy shop from one of her subscribers and does a shop critique pointing out ways that person could improve their traffic and sales. It was so useful to see some of those concepts applied to a specific shop and this lady gives some of the most actionable Etsy advice I’ve heard!
Things I learned from Jenni:

  • Specific tips to improve tags, titles and descriptions
  • How to make your photos more appealing
  • How to create a keyword strategy to rank for a specific keyword
  • How to know if a dip in sales is normal seasonality, or something you’re doing wrong
  • How to drive your own traffic to your Etsy shop

Jenni’s Youtube channel

Jenni’s blog

5. Tara Swiger

The last free resource I want to share with you is a great discovery: the podcast “Explore your enthusiasm” by Tara Swiger. I personally listened to it on Youtube, although she is sharing it in several other places where podcasts usually are. Tara is another handmade business coach, but instead of specific tips she is more about how to create a healthy sustainable business, follow your enthusiasm and not drive yourself mad in the process!

What I learned from Tara:

  • How to define your business goals
  • How to map your business to achieve those goals
  • How to think about branding and marketing
  • How to manage stress
  • How to a business in a healthy way
  • And lots more!

Tara’s podcast archive


I hope you will enjoy these free resources as much as I did! I feel like I learned so much in the past month and I am so ready to jump into this new nursery decor venture. I’m looking forward to this adventure with you!

Until next time, stay safe everyone!

xox Ness

(1) Comment

  1. Thanks, these are great tips. I will look into them.

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