Etsy is known primarily as a website for the artfully-inclined to peddle their wares. It is a great place to get customer jewelry, check out beautiful prints, or even order handmade furniture.

But, Etsy is more than just a hodgepodge site filled with every handmade item you can imagine. It is also the place that you can throw together a five or six figure salary doing what you love. In fact, some of the top stores are run by individuals who are making in the range of $70,000 per month.

Sound too good to be true? Not if you are willing to do the work.

Learn from those trailblazers who have come before you, and check out these five ways to make real money on Etsy.

  1. Offer Something Unique and Specific

The Etsy community thrives on the unique aspects of products. After all, the site does claim that everything is handmade.

Customers want to find something in your store that they cannot find anywhere else, including on other Etsy stores. Look around your product area to find real or perceived gaps in the market. Combine that intel with anticipated trends, and you often have a winner.

Offering customers something unique is incredibly important, however, it also needs to be something the customer wants. Ask for suggestions from customers about what they would most like to see in your store. You might be surprised at what they tell you.

  1. Sell Your Products Everywhere

Putting your products up on Etsy does not mean they will sell.  You have to actively sell your products both on Etsy and across other platforms because honestly, the waiting game is not profitable.

Check out other platforms like Pinterest and Instagram to get your wares in front of more eyeballs.

SEO is imperative for running an Etsy shop because without it, you are only selling to a limited number of views - Etsy customers. To make big money and become valuable to the organization, you need to think outside the box, just like doctor’s promoting platelet rich plasma therapy.

Understanding SEO is key for bringing in new customers to your shop and Etsy, and it is also important to find a strategy designed for online shopping. Check out guides online for creating an SEO strategy, and do not forget to tailor it to your own business.

  1. Manage Your Time Well

For most of us, an Etsy shop starts off as a macramé pipe dream before transforming into a craftily made empire. But, to get from point A to point B, you need to manage your time well.

Use the spare time you have for your Etsy shop in a productive manner. Create and post a schedule for responding to customer inquiries, and stick to it. Dedicate time every week to checking out your stats to see how your shop performed. Use the browsing time you might have spent on Facebook to check out the competition and see how you compare.

Each of these things can keep you engaged with your business while preventing big time wasters that could stand between you and your cash. Remember, hobbies do not earn you a comfortable living, so treat your store like a career.

  1. Present Your Products Well

Unlike craft fairs or store fronts, you only have photographs to tell the story of your products.

Add intimacy back into the buying experience with photographs that do more than capture images. Create product photos that tell the story of the product, your store, and the life your customer will live with your product.

If you cannot get the right shot, keep going. Some of the top sellers admit to taking hundreds of pictures of a single item before they finally capture the right moment in time.

  1. Start Small and Work Your Way Up

The thing about handmade crafts and products is that you often have to work as your own quality control, and when your shop is seeing busy times, it is often tempting to cut corners. A company making essential oils for arthritis can grow and eventually see its products in main street stores, but it has to get there gradually.

The truth is that this can be the death of even the best shops. If your product is less than described, the community will find out.

To prevent this from happening, start out with a small store and products that you know intimately. Know your limits when it comes to the number of orders you can handle making. After all, running a shop is not only about working with your hands; administrative work increases alongside the creative work.

Keep your work authentic and high quality by growing your business along with your capabilities, or even with your staff.

Etsy offers ample opportunity for budding crafters and experienced business people alike. Just remember that with every overnight success in business came years of work, so do not be surprised if you have to get your hands dirty before the money starts rolling in.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremiah Owyang is an internet entrepreneur and CEO of a large tech company.