It's a decision we all have to make at one point or another when it comes to our small business journeys. Do I make the leap and invest in a website of my own or start simple with an Etsy shop? There's no right or wrong answer for this, of course - but I'm here to share my process and thoughts behind this question as it's one that I've got quite a few times from fellow makers and creators!
Let's start with some pros and cons.
No startup costs beyond a $0.20 listing fee. (Get your first 40 listings free using my link here).
No website building skills needed.
Super simple setup.
Internal SEO (search engine optimization) aka Etsy brings people to you.
Large market pre-existing on the platform, great for getting started.
Larger percentage of sales taken by platform.
Less customization options.
Your Own Website (Wix, Shopify, etc.)
Lower fees associated with sales (you keep more of your own $$!)
Have your own custom URL. (Just want to say this was a huge moment for me and made me feel like I was taking another step in legitimizing my business).
Can create an email with your URL - ie. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professionalism can be associated with having your own site.
Upfront cost of website.
Takes more time to set up (if you don't feel comfortable, it might be time to invest in a freelancer to do it for you).
BYOC (Bring Your Own Customers) - not necessarily a con, but certainly something to factor in if you're just starting out and don't have much of a following yet.
Let me sum all of those points up for you to keep things simple. The way that I went about my process was starting on Etsy to see how sales would go and not have to commit to many fees when I started. There have been ups and downs with it and ultimately I determined that it was time for me to get my own website as well. I have more of a following now and I get a lot of sales through Instagram, so here we are on knotreallyart.com.
If you find yourself directing a lot of people through social media to your Etsy to buy, it's time to make the leap. I personally have chosen to keep operating on Etsy as well, as I have found that I get a different customer base there that I wouldn't typically reach. Again, you can use my link to get 40 free listings to get yourself started here!
I'm sure there's more that I could add to this thought process and lists, but I like to keep things to the point. The comments are open below if you have any specific questions about starting your own Website vs Etsy.