You’ve heard of Etsy. You know, it’s the place you go to when you need an adorable print of your favorite quote. It’s the hub for gorgeous, unique, hand-made jewelry of all sorts. It’s the perfect eCommerce website to find organic products, vintage items, and craft supplies.
You may even already have an Etsy side hustle of your own, and know everything that is involved with selling your own hand-crafted items online.
What you may not know about Etsy, however, are the exact numbers that prove just how successful Etsy is.
To fill you in, reports show that Etsy generated revenues worth 603.7 million U.S. dollars last year alone, according to Statista. Not to mention, in July 2019, the company had a market capitalization of 7.46 billion U.S. dollars, and Etsy is projected to grow its revenue at a 22 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2021.
What this means in regular people speak is this: Etsy is the perfect place for crafty individuals to start a successful side hustle.
While using Etsy is an awesome way to list and sell your products online, it’s only half the battle of growing a successful online store side hustle. The other half lies in running, operating, and integrating your Etsy products into your own website.
This article will cover why you need your own website along with your Etsy store, how to build your website, and how to integrate your Etsy store into your website.
Why Every Etsy Shop Needs Its Own Website
Etsy is an excellent eCommerce platform for listing and selling your products. However, that’s where Etsy starts and stops.
If you are looking to grow your side hustle into a revenue making machine, then it’s necessary to have a website. Let’s look into some of the reasons how a website helps you grow your side hustle.
1. You can increase the sales of your products
The first reason to start your own website is so you can take complete control of the sales of your products.
To illustrate this point, let’s meet a successful side hustler, Rebekah Welch. Rebekah Welch is the owner and operator of Cherish Bath + Body.
Welch describes what she does in her own words. She says, “I make bath products and skin care from scratch using natural, organic, plant based ingredients.”
While Welch started out selling products with only an Etsy store, she soon recognized that she lacked complete control of her sales. As a result, she used HostGator to build her own website, and boost her revenues.
Welch says, “I just recently finished building my own website. Previously, I relied on Etsy for sales. Now, having my own site, I can sell my products on my own terms.”
Now that Welch has complete control of her online sales, she has plans for future growth. About her future plans, she says, “I am going to grow my business into a full time income. I would like to set up a few wholesale accounts and see my products in boutiques as well as building a brick and mortar store.”
Key Takeaway: Building your own website will allow you to sell your products on your own terms.
2. You can gain complete control of your business
Since Etsy is its own company with investors, pressures from stakeholders to grow rapidly, and a list of terms and conditions you agree to, Etsy often works on a different agenda as its sellers.
For example, at any time Etsy can raise their transaction fees to boost profits, make design changes as desired, and change its search algorithm, which may result in dips in your Etsy store traffic.
These potential changes can negatively impact the sales and overall success of your Etsy store, and there is nothing you can do about it.
The best way to ensure your business isn’t subject to the “Big Wig Decision Makers” at Etsy is to create a website—a website you control fully.
Key Takeaway: When your store only exists on Etsy, Etsy is the boss. When you build your own website and sell your products in your own online store, you’re the boss.
3. You can invest in robust online marketing
Another benefit of having your own website is the ability to invest in online marketing, content marketing through your blog, and to grow at your own pace.
When you have your own website, you have full control to optimize it for search, invest in paid advertising, and build a content marketing plan.
All of these endeavors will help you grow your fan base, boost your clientele, and make more sales.
Key Takeaway: Operating your own website allows you to participate in online marketing to grow your traffic and boost sales.
Grow Your Etsy Business by Building Your Own Website with HostGator
One of the benefits of Etsy is how easy it is to get your store up and running. The good news is setting up your website with HostGator is also an intuitive process, especially if you’ve already set up an Etsy store.
To set up your own website, you don’t need to know how to code, or be an expert on web design. You also don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to hire a professional to help you.
All you need to do is follow six easy steps, and you can get your website up in less than a day. Here is a quick overview of each of the six steps.
Step 1: Pick a hosting plan for your website.
Every website needs hosting. Buying a hosting package essentially means you are renting space on a third-party company server to store your web files.
HostGator is a web hosting company that offers three website builder plans you can choose from for your online store. You can pick your plan depending on your needs and how much functionality you need for your site.
The Starter plan includes a free domain, 200+ templates that will work well for someone looking to promote a book, cloud hosting, a drag-and-drop editor, and website analytics.
The Premium plan includes everything the Start plan includes plus access to priority support when you need it.
Since you are running an online store and will be selling products, the best package for you is the eCommerce plan. This package includes everything the Premium plan provides plus full eCommerce functionality. In other words, you can sell your products online with this plan.
Once you’ve picked the eCommerce plan for your online store, click “buy now” and you can set up your account.
Step 2: Pick a domain name for your website.
Every Gator Website Builder package includes a free domain. This means you don’t have to purchase a domain from a separate domain hosting company. To pick your domain, simply type something in the “get domain” box.
Since you already have an Etsy shop, the best thing to do would be to choose the name of your Etsy store as your domain. For example, Rebekah Welch picked cherishbathandbody.com, the same name of her Etsy shop.
If you are just getting started and don’t have an Etsy store yet or a domain name, here is a helpful article on how to choose the perfect domain name.
If you already have a domain name you’ve been saving for when you launch your own website, then you can connect it to your HostGator account by clicking “connect it here.”
Step 3: Create your account.
Once you have a domain name, it’s easy to connect your HostGator account. All you need is a Facebook account or an email address to connect. Then, enter your payment information for the package you selected, and you’ll be ready to pick a template for your website.
Step 4: Pick a template for your eCommerce website.
As mentioned above, you don’t have to build your website on your own. The Gator Website Builder comes with templates, and all you have to do is pick the one that matches the style of your Etsy store.
Once you create your account, HostGator will direct you to the “choose a template” page.
You can scroll through more than 200 professionally-designed templates, and select the template that you love. The next step is to customize it as you please with the drag and drop builder.
Step 5: Add content to your online store.
After you have selected a template, it’s time to start customizing your website with content. Click “start editing.” This step will send you to your dashboard where you can add, edit, and delete pages like your homepage, about page, online store, product pages, blog, and any other page you want to include.
With the drag and drop builder, you can make your website look how you want it to look by pointing, clicking, dragging, and dropping the elements you want to include.
It’s an intuitive process, but if you have any questions, HostGator provides a free and easy step-by-step guide for reference that you can access at any time.
To access this helpful guide, click the “menu” icon next to the Gator by HostGator logo and select the “getting started tour.”
Additionally, since you signed up for the eCommerce plan, you have access to priority support whenever you have questions.
Step 6: Review your content and launch your website.
The last step is to review your website, make any desired changes, and publish your website. By clicking “preview,” you can see your website in full.
If everything looks perfect, then click the “finish preview” button at the top and then “publish website” at the top of the dashboard. Gator Website Builder will present a series of quick steps to help you go live.
How to Integrate Your Etsy Shop into Your Website
Do you already have your own website? Then, you’ve already done the hard part! All that’s left is for you to integrate your Etsy shop into your website.
Etsy used to offer a service called Etsy Mini where you could copy and paste a unique code into your website, and the code would pull your products into your website. Unfortunately, Etsy no longer offers this service, and without some deep digging and intense work arounds, it’s difficult to integrate products with an Etsy code.
However, even if Etsy Mini is no longer an option, you’re not out of luck. You can still add your Etsy store into your WordPress account. Here’s how.
1. Add the Etsy plugin
The first step to getting integrating your Etsy store into WordPress is to install and activate the Etsy plugin
Upon activation, remember to go to Settings and then the Etsy Shop page and enter your Etsy API key to connect your shop.
2. Copy your API key
Once you have connected your shop, you will see your Etsy API key. Copy this key for the next step.
3. Paste your API key
Next, return to your WordPress admin area and paste the Etsy API key, and save changes.
4. Create a page or edit an existing page
Once you have saved your changes, you’re ready to sell products from your Etsy shop on your WordPress site. You’ll just need to create a new page in WordPress or edit an existing page, and add your shortcode.
And, that’s it!
It’s worth mentioning that since Etsy is its own eCommerce platform, and won’t have the same functionality as WooCommerce. As your side hustle begins getting traction, and when you are ready to grow your side hustle into a full-fledged business, you may want to consider ditching your Etsy shop entirely and building out your own eCommerce platform on your website.
Grow Your Etsy Shop with Your Own Website
If you have an Etsy side hustle and are looking to gain more control, make more sales, and market your products online with more freedom, now is the time to set up your own website.
For more information on how to get started with building your own website, visit HostGator and check out the Gator Website Builder.
With the help of the Gator Website Builder, you can get your own website up and running in less than a day.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.