The new changes on Etsy have lead to a many sellers questioning if they can build their audience on a stand alone website. There are many reasons for having an Etsy store, especially when you are starting out in business and it might be a hobby that you don't want to invest too much time or money into. However, if you are serious about your business (even if it is your side-business), you need to ensure that the only person it relies upon to thrive is YOU and not another platform.
If you are ready to take that leap and Etsy is no longer the platform for you, here's a few tips on how to migrate over to another website.
1. Check your domain address
You will need your own domain if you are going to go solo for your webstore. You can check online if the domain you want is free by popping it into Google or into a domain store. I use Go Daddy for one domain and for this site, I kept it simple by putting it through SquareSpace.
Once you’re sure of the domain you want, you will want to get that purchased.
2. Website platform
Unless you are going for a Wordpress.org site, you can usually get hosted on the platform you use for your webstore. Remember that an e-commerce store needs a lot more going on in the background than your usual blog. There is more development work and more support required.
WooCommerce, Shopify and SquareSpace all offer great e-commerce plans. You will want to have a shop around and see which one feels like the best fit for your business. I’ve worked with all three platforms to build websites, they each have great things going for them although, I am a bit biased towards SquareSpace as everything is all in one place and it works so well.
3. Website design
When you have chosen your platform, you then want to make sure your website is designed so that your potential customers can find your products and buy them in one or two easy steps. You have more scope on your site to write excellent sales copy, create regular content and add videos and audio to support the sales of your product. Think through how you want your website to look and how you want it laid out. Your website is your shop and you need it to look as professional as possible.
If you didn’t get a branding pack made when you joined Etsy, now is the time to do this BEFORE you start building your site. You want this to look as polished as possible so investing in a branding expert and web designer will be a good investment.
4. Content and products
When transferring over to a new website, take a look at whether your images could do with a refresh. This is a great chance to get new photographs taken, to update your key words and descriptions, to think about metadata and SEO.
5. Marketing strategy
The great thing about Etsy is that it is a ready-made warm audience just waiting to find you. When you are on your own, you need to bring the customers to you. Having a strong marketing strategy is key to this. The more consistent you are with your message online, the more you will be able to drive traffic to your site. Your customers are still out there, they just need a bit of extra help to find you.
6. Integrate your newsletter
There is no secret sauce to making a successful business. You need to turn up, do the work and grow a mailing list of warm prospective clients. Integrate your newsletter into your website and start planning your newsletter content and schedule.