When is the correct time to start your own website?
Is it going to replace your Etsy shop or compliment it?
Do I buy self-hosting or start a Shopify store?
These are all excellent questions, and luckily for you, we have the answers you are looking for.
To answer these questions correctly, I’ll have to assume a few things.
I’m assuming you are a dead set on being successful and committed to the long haul.
If that is you, start your own website as soon as possible.
Once You are Committed
There isn’t much of an argument against starting your own website. Maybe the time commitment? Perhaps the fear of failure or the fear of the unknown.
These fears are valid, but if you found your way to this article, you’re fighting through these fears and looking for some positive reassurance.
Please stop throwing money away; life is short, get the most out of it.
Start Your Website Today!
Let me tell you all the incredible reasons why.
Ownership of a Digital Asset
You don’t own your Etsy shop. It can be shut down without notice and without much recourse to get it back. Now obviously, this is not an event we want to happen or a super common occurrence, but it does happen.
We’ve had our shop shut down twice. The first time was the scariest and took an incredible amount of energy and stress to get it re-opened.
The genuine possibility of losing your income overnight without much recourse was enough for us to start our own eCommerce website.
We own JooJoobs.com. Nobody can ever take it away from us.
Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, Facebook, etc., all of these marketplaces can shutdown your store without notice, without recourse, without compensation. You are a visitor, a guest on their platform.
Build your e-commerce store when times are good, not when shit has already hit the fan!
The term branding can be a little strange and confusing when you first start unless you have a marketing background. But all of us have been inundated with branding our whole lives.
We buy Nike shoes because we believe Nike shoes are something we need, trust and recognize. I guess the thousands of adverts you’ve seen have worked and solidified Nike’s brand into our very culture.
You need to start your brand too, and a website is a valuable tool for this. It’s also good for Google. Google likes brands as they help Google figure out which sites are legit and which are spammy.
We started our Etsy shop in 2013. We killed it. No, seriously, we killed it. Those days are over. We make a fraction of what you use to earn on Etsy but…
Because of our branding, we have a lot of repeat business. I can’t give you actual numbers, but I’d guess 50% of our 2019 Xmas sales were previous customers. Built a brand; built a following of loyal customers.
With your own website, you get the opportunity to receive organic traffic to your shop. You have no control over this with your Etsy shop. With your own website, you can integrate a blog to go alongside your product listings.
45.9% of the traffic to JooJoobs.com is organic. Free. (ignore the dip in Sept, we broke the tracking for a little while)
Also note, over time, your organic traffic will naturally increase. Google likes branded e-commerce websites.
Writing articles, allows you to attract possible customers to your website. If you are an expert on a subject, let the world know.
Etsy does have the option of paid traffic (PPC). We 100% recommend all Etsy shop owners use promoted listings. More recently, Etsy has also added Google shopping and Facebook ads.
Updated Dec 19, 2019 (take Xmas stats with a grain of salt)
We paid $2056 to generate $9241 in revenue, this is consider….awesome. It won’t be like this for the rest of the year, just at Xmas.
Google Shopping Ads on Etsy
The problem with running Etsy Google Shopping ads? You can’t really control them, there is no way to optimize, a/b split test. You set it and forget it. This strategy doesn’t really work with paid traffic.
Our private Google Shopping Ads that we control have produced much, much better results than our Google Shopping Ads run via Etsy.
There are thousands of other paid traffic opportunities on the internet, but they all require you to have your own website.
Last but not least, affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is what made Amazon the biggest retailer in the world.
Affiliate marketing is a potent tool. Its word of mouth advertising, sharing part of the profit with the partners who send you customers.
There are lots and lots of reasons to start your own eCommerce website. For us, just the fact that we owned it was all it took to convince us it was necessary.
In future articles, we will be teaching you exactly how to set up your very own WooCommerce shop on your own domain.
More Etsy Tips
This series aims to teach Etsy sellers on how to improve their shops and sell more items.