Successful Prospecting on Etsy


The Internet has been likened to a gold rush and it’s really not a bad analogy. The truth is, there are thousands of ways to make money online. Some are better than others and there are lots of people trying to hit the mother lode.

The truth is that the majority of successful Gold Rush prospectors didn’t hit giant deposits of gold. They found a decent spot, made their claim, and worked hard. On the flip side of this shiny gold coin are the many prospectors who actually found gold but eventually failed anyway. Why?

For a great many of them, it was because they tried to prospect in too many places at once. The mountains and deserts were full of great spots and even though they were onto gold, the idea that their might be more just around the next bend in the river was too tempting.

They ended-up wearing themselves out starting mines, getting a little gold, and impatiently moving on.

Stake Your Claim and Work Hard

Selling online really is a gold rush. The opportunity is so real and so big that it’s not easy to mentally grasp for little people like me. But it’s real nonetheless.

And just like in the Old West, you can see the next great spot from where you’re working now. And you might worry that someone else is going to get there first and “steal your idea”. But if all you do is start mines, you won’t ever get to the next level where things really start to flow.

If you’ve already found gold, then you know it’s there. If you focus on the thing you’re already doing you can get better at seeing where it comes from and learning how to get more of it in your pan.


Have you experienced this prospector dilemma yet? Ever had a hard time staying focused because of a new idea? I’d love to hear your story in the comments?

~ Kim

Other posts you might be interested in for your Etsy business…


  1. says

    This is excellent advice and only reminds me of people who sell on etsy, artfire, ebay, facebook, and their personal sites…among other places, I’m sure! It’s enough to make your head spin!

  2. says

    What a spot on analogy Kim!! and yes, I need to hear that from time to time myself. I think it is an occupational hazard for creative types especially. At least for me, new ways to create are such eye candy and so alluring (aka distracting), that it is all to easy to go off in too many directions.
    Thanks for sharing this!
    All the best,
    .-= AudreyGardenLady´s last blog ..Sunflower Garden Embroidered Beaded crocheted cuff bracelet =-.

  3. says

    I recently had cause to wonder why I’m selling less now, than a year ago when I was still new. I’ve read everywhere, that I should get as much stuff in my shop as possible. I did. But in reading about the psychology of persuasion, I’ve learned that if you give a shopper a multitude of choices, they become overwhelmed and choose nothing. So I have just removed alot of listings, and have a plan to streamline my product over the next few months. Hopefully it will pay off in the end….
    .-= Janet at New Moon Glass´s last blog ..Elegant Stained Glass Suncatcher Valance with spiral- leaf and bead =-.

  4. says

    This is good, Kim.

    If we want to make sales, it’s important to create a line of work that we can sustain. If we create a good product, and KEEP AT IT, we get known for it. Once we get known for it, customers come back for more. So if we keep going in the same direction, rather than being scattered in our creations, we reap the benefits of all the previous work, sales, and customer connections.

    I find it challenging to balance all the IDEAS I have with the things I already make that sell well. I didn’t want my store to look scattered, so two years ago, I made the big decision to open two more stores, so the other things I feel passionate about creating, have their own context.

    It’s more work, but I can clearly see that my plush sell better surrounded by plush, and my “usable/wearable art” sells great as it’s own group, and my jewelry designs have their own store (though occasionally I lash out and sew up some special gift or storage pouches for them). I create/design full time and it works for me to keep my creativity focused in these three areas.

  5. says

    We have a second etsy site…….we decided to separate the Jewish crafts from the other because we felt that the Kats site was getting too crowded and now I am trying to get the word out on my judaica….I am hoping we did the right thing!

  6. says

    Oh this is so spot on for me!! And just the reminder I needed!! I started with the ETSy shops, selling two very different items. I even considered opening a third earlier this year. But after my holiday boom this season, I realized where my passion, and profits really lie. I’m letting one store go dormant, and focusing on streamlining and perfecting my other craft. Hard decision to make, especially as I look at unused supplies and equipment from the other shop. But, I have to keep reminding myself that not all of my “hobbies” can become a successful business and it’s ok to have projects and hobbies that I do for pure enjoyment, and not to make a profit. Thanks for the timely reminder about not overextending!!!

  7. says

    This is a wonderful article! John and I found that we really enjoying making children’s toys the most, so we are changing our product line to mainly toys and a few other items. Then, I decided at the beginning of December that I was going to look at our Etsy page and see what I can do to revamp it. What I have found is success!!! Just by changing some photos, adding more descriptions, and fixing my tags has increased our sales for the month. And its very time consuming. And at times its difficult to stay focused, but I have found that staying focused and being consistent actually pays off. I’m still working on our Etsy page. We have a few more things to fix, then we are going to tackle our other website at and make the same changes.
    Reading all of the forums and articles that Etsy shares with everyone has definetly help us to improve our website.
    Thank you, Etsy!!!
    John and Val Ireland

  8. says

    This is such an appropriate article. I opened my shop on etsy about 2-1/2 years ago and have slow built up my inventory (I started out painting and had a lot of unfinished wood in my basement I wanted to get rid of… put it on etsy and omg!!! it started to sell). Then I hooked up with my neighbor who has a laser cutter (I do the designs and he cuts whatever I ask). But with that said… I could go off in so many directions with all the wood he is cutting for me but I have decided for now to just focus on the unfinished wood and let me customers do all the painting/mod podge and whatever creative ideas they come up with. I know I am at the point now where I need to take my shop to the next level (that is when I found your blog and subscribed to your news letter) and by taking to the next level I know I was going to have to use social media to marked my wood. There was so much out there… where do I begin and still maintain my shop. For now I have decided on this approach. Every night I get on my lap top and on the desktop screen of my laptop I have a list of what I need to do to market my stop (first I take care of all my shop maintenance such as filling orders, re-listing, convoing my customers). Then I start down the list create a treasury, comment on treasuries, blogs, post to facebook, twitter (of course I am still learning how to use twitter and thanks to your wonderful articles I am TRYING to setup up a wordpress blog). Focus, Focus, Focus and Accomplish…. that is my motto(of yes… and one more motto I have… If I never make a mistake… I never learn anything).
    Thx, Cindy

  9. says

    What an awesome article! This is exactly what I’m struggling with right now. Currently I am selling my vintage items in my Etsy shop, but I also like to make things. I’m thinking of branching out and making handbags, but I’ve been hesitating. I keep asking myself if I can sell both in one shop or if I need a 2nd shop for just the vintage items. Anyway, thank you for the information and inspiration. I really appreciate it.

  10. says

    This is great inspiration as im quite new to Etsy and I am learning so much. But this is a good reminder to keep going and going and not get distracted with other things. Thank you so much


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