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Etsy or Your Own Website? Figuring out what's best for your small business.

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.


Etsy

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • Larger percentage of sales taken by platform.

  • Less customization options.


Your Own Website (Wix, Shopify, etc.)

Pros:

  • Design freedom.

  • 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. info@yourbusiness.com.

  • Professionalism can be associated with having your own site.

Cons:

  • 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.

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