I love, love, love selling on Etsy and blogging. My husband, Tim, and I both work online full-time. The freedom to work from anywhere while doing something you love and hopefully helping a few people along the way makes it a dream worth the effort!
The business model we suggest spreads your income out over three areas: Etsy, Blogging, and establishing your own domain. These are the tools I use for each of these and I recommend them highly. ~ Kim
We believe that one of the first keys to success online is becoming an active blogger on your own self-hosted blog.
We use WordPress for this site and for a number of other sites we operate every day.
When we built our first blog, we had to learn everything from scratch, including how to code a website. You don’t need to learn all that
Use Genesis Themes for your WordPress blog and look like a pro from day one. StudioPress
Who knew you could love a web hosting company? You can and we love Hostgator!
Hostgator is great in more ways than we can fit in this box. See below! Web Hosting for Creative Bloggers!
When you sell online, shipping is a huge part of your to-do list! Stamps.com is what we use to make that process faster, easier, and more accurate.
Once you get your feet wet selling online, you may want to start thinking about your own domain.
We use Big Commerce for our shopping cart and eCommerce platform. It’s so so good.
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I hate to state the obvious, but here goes: In order to succeed online, whether selling on Etsy, blogging, or anything else, you need people to see your stuff! One of the most effective tools you can have in your toolkit for getting traffic is a blog. A good blog can be so effective that I think it really should be considered a requirement of online business.
If you’re going to have a blog, you want it to be a self-hosted WordPress blog. Self-hosted because you’re building a long-term asset that you’re going to want total ownership of and control over in the future. WordPress because it’s the best, the most versatile, has the most resources available, and because the core software is free.
You can usually install WordPress very easily through the company that hosts your website and it doesn’t cost anything. See below for hosting and theme information and links to get you started.
Once you’ve decided to do a self-hosted WordPress blog, you need two things to get started: a domain name and a hosting account. Web hosting is very inexpensive so don’t worry. However, you should be careful which hosting company you choose, because they are not all created equal.
We suggest HostGator for a number of reasons. Many of those reasons won’t matter to you until after you’ve grown, but believe me when I tell you that when you get there, you’ll be glad you’re with a good hosting company. A few of those reasons, however, matter right from the start:
Another great thing about Hostgator is that they have Reseller Hosting accounts. These accounts start at only $24.95 per month and give you the ability to build your own little hosting business. If you plan to include services such as blog design in your online business, you may find out that you can add a decent bit of income with reseller hosting.Reseller Hosting Starting at $24.95!
We know this stuff can be kind of hard to figure out for a first timer, so Tim will answer any hosting or WordPress related questions for free in the comments at the bottom of this page.
One of the great things about WordPress is the availability of thousands of custom themes. Themes are what make your WordPress blog look and work exactly how it does. The way pages are arranged, the backgrounds and colors, and unique features such as social media integration are all often packaged with WordPress themes.
An experienced coder/designer can take just about any theme do just about anything they want with it. But none of them do! Why would they put the time and effort into transforming WordPress into something amazing when StudioPress has already done the work for them with the Genesis Theme and the vast collection of Child Themes?
Also, if you were intrigued by the reseller hosting idea above, you’ll love the Pro-Plus package that includes all the themes. We bought it and it has paid for itself many times over. As with anything on this page, Tim will answer theme related questions in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Mailchimp and Craftmonkey
For Etsy sellers with a mailing list size of less than 2000 people, this is a great combination. You need a mailchimp account, and then head over to Craftmonkeyapp.com and connect it all up. You’ll be sending out awesome looking emails for free in no time.
We have a detailed video showing you how to sign-up for and set this all up. Email Marketing App for Etsy Sellers Video
Disclosure: After using these services ourselves and finding them valuable and worth recommending, we signed-up for the respective affiliate programs for these vendors, so we get a commission if you purchase through our links.
It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but helps us keep the bills paid and the kids fed!
Thank you very much! – Kim & Tim