Secrets of Million Dollar Etsy Shops

Secrets of Million Dollar Etsy Shops

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Using E-rank for competitor research
  3. The importance of a niche focus 3.1. Choosing a niche 3.2. Avoiding niches for the sake of money
  4. The drive to succeed 4.1. The power of a high number of listings 4.2. Making listings a cost-effective way to increase traffic 4.3. The dedication required to create thousands of listings
  5. The value of longevity 5.1. The majority of successful Etsy shops have been running for 8-10 years 5.2. Overcoming the uncertainty of business 5.3. The importance of optimism and faith in your business
  6. Conclusion

What the Top Etsy Shops Have in Common

If you're trying to build a successful Etsy shop or any business for that matter, you'll know that sometimes it's a lonely road. Sometimes it's going to feel like you have no idea what you're doing and you don't know what the next step is. For me, whenever I feel like this, one of the most helpful things that I do is to look at people who are already successful, doing the things that I want to do, and I just kind of observe what they're doing. I write everything down that I notice and I try to reverse engineer how they got to their success. So, that's exactly what I did over the last few days. I went through all 100 of the top Etsy shops of the year. I was looking through their shop pages, their social media, the items that they sold - everything. And while all these stores were special and unique in their own way, I found three major characteristics that they all have in common. I'm going to share them with you today in hopes that we can apply them in our own stores and maybe see the same kind of success in the future.

Before I get into those things, I'm just going to talk about the tools that I use to do this research. The first one is E-rank. If you've never heard of E-rank, it's pretty much just a research tool that a lot of Etsy sellers use. What I mainly use it for is just competitor research, as well as just keeping an overall view of what the current trends are for certain keywords. The other resource that I use is a website called Marketpulse, which has a pretty useful list of the best-selling Etsy stores in the last 30 days. I found myself checking this website every so often just so I can kind of keep up to date with what the best Etsy sellers are doing right now.

So, after going through hundreds of Etsy shops, I really want to focus on five of the main ones that I found really encapsulate the rest of the list. The first store is Caitlin Minimalist, which is a store that we've talked about before and, in my opinion, it's really one of the best stores on Etsy. I'm finding that it's always performing near the top of the list when it comes to monthly sales, and it's just one of the stores that I'm really vibing with the most. The next ones are Silver Rain Silver, We Have Twist Stationary, Bead Boat, and Mod Party. All of these stores are million-dollar Etsy shops and they're still near the top of the list in terms of sales every month. So, they're really good stores to check out.

Now, let's get into the fun stuff. Let's talk about what all these stores have in common. The first characteristic that I want to talk about is that they all have focus. If you look through all their stores, you'll notice that all of them have a really strong focus on a certain niche in the market, and it's something that their shop is known for. The top stores are focused on just one thing, whether it's jewelry, stationery, or party supplies. They're not like a department store selling everything. They're really specialty stores where customers are going to them because they know that they're good at what they do. And I really think that's what Etsy is all about. I think that the type of customer that Etsy attracts are customers that are looking for people who are really good at what they do.

The thing is, if you're selling a bunch of different things and you're not serving a specific niche, customers might assume that you're not good at what you do or maybe you're just dropshipping things from Alibaba or something like that. Like, for example, if a customer is going on Etsy and looking for a handmade leather wallet, they're gonna look for a store that specializes in leather goods, right? Because they know that that store knows how to make really quality leather goods. If they see a store that's selling leather goods, wedding invitations, printables, jewelry, or party supplies, that kind of store is not going to be attractive to them.

So, knowing that, I think it's important to pick a niche that really matches our skillset and whatever we're interested in. And there are really two ways to approach trying to find your niche. You can either plan it right from the beginning, or you can discover it along the way. I know there are some people who know exactly what they want to do and they start with that one thing and they stick with it for the next five years. But for others, like myself, it takes time to find the niche that's right for you.

One of the things that has helped me find my niche is to just write down everything that I think I'm good at or the things that other people say that I'm good at. And I look through the list and see if there's any way that I can make a product out of those skills that I have. So, that's something that you can do too if you're struggling to find your niche.

Another thing that I want to mention is to try not to get into a niche just for the money. I get messages from a lot of people saying that they want to start a sticker shop, but they're not really artists or graphic designers or anything like that, and they don't like dealing with machines like cutting machines and printers. And for people like that, I would actually suggest not getting into the sticker business because if you don't like to design things or draw things or make art, and you don't like to deal with machines, that's really what making stickers is. I would say that there's probably a better niche that's suited for you instead of just making a sticker shop because I have a sticker shop.

Let's move on to the next characteristic that these stores share, and that's drive. If you spend the time and go through the list of all of these stores, you'll find that there's something that sticks out like a sore thumb, and that's that all of these stores have a huge amount of listings. And in my opinion, the only way to get this amount of listings is to have drive.

When I say that they have a lot of listings, I actually mean an insane amount of listings. So, I'm just going to go through the list that I mentioned previously and tell you how many listings each store has. As of today, Caitlin Minimalist has a total of 948 listings. Mod Party has 1653. Silver Rain Silver has 1940. Twist Stationary has 2433. And Bead Boat has 777. Just comparing those numbers with my store, my store has around 120 listings, and when I tell that to people, people think that that's a lot of listings. But that's nowhere close to what these stores have.

And just going through the list and seeing these high number of listings, I can't help but think that this is really contributing to their overall success. If you take some time to think about it, it really makes sense because Etsy is a search engine. People are going on to Etsy to search for things to buy, and the more listings you have, the more chances you have to be found by potential customers.

Another thing that people talk about is Etsy ads and how they're really expensive and not worth it. But if you think of a listing as kind of like a pseudo ad that directs people to your store, it's really cost-effective because a listing costs 20 cents to make, and it lasts for four months and has an unlimited amount of clicks. It's not until somebody buys something that you have to pay another 20 cents. But for Etsy ads, in some cases, you're paying anywhere between 50 cents and over a dollar for just a click. That's not even a guarantee that they're gonna buy the item.

So, I think what most of these stores are doing is they're using listings to direct traffic to their store. Not all 7,000 of these listings are meant to be best sellers. Some of these are meant to just direct traffic to their store so that customers can find what their best sellers are.

When I say drive, I really mean it because it takes a really driven person to have the dedication to make thousands and thousands of listings. And this is something that I'm going to be tackling over the next year. And what I can say is that you just really have to take it one at a time. You have to take it listing by listing, every day or every week or every month, and you just have to make it a habit to start cranking these out. You're only going to be able to make this amount of listings if you really enjoy what you're doing. So, that's another reason to remember the first point, which is to pick the right niche.

The next characteristic that I noticed in all of these shops is longevity. This one's not as obvious as the other ones, but the vast majority of these stores that are listed in the top 100 have been running for a long time - like 8 to 10 years. And the thing with that is that a lot of people aren't willing to do things for 8 to 10 years. When they set out to start a business, some people are looking for results within the year or even less. And as you can see with these stores, success doesn't come overnight.

Most people look for instant gratification and try to get rich quick. But the thing is, a good business takes time to build. There are some stores that catch lightning in a bottle and they become overnight successes. But you can't bank on that happening to you. I think a lot of people struggle with longevity because of the uncertainty of business. So, a lot of people just give up and stop when things get tough. And you really just need to have faith and just keep going. You have to believe that your business is going to be successful, even if it might not be.

You have to be realistic about what your business is and what you think it can do. But it really pays, in these cases, to be optimistic. People are so pessimistic these days that just having a little bit of optimism is a great way to just keep yourself going when things are getting tough.

The hardest thing about business is that there's no set path to success. When you're in school and say you want to be a doctor or something like that, there's a set path to get you to where you want to be. But for business, you really have to accept that it's not like this at all. It's kind of like you're just thrown into a random game where no one has explained the rules, and you just have to figure it out as you go.

But one of the things that has really helped me is just to look at people who have already done it and just try to reverse engineer what they've done. And if you treat business like this - with this mindset - it can actually be fun. For me, when I'm playing board games, the funnest part for me is in the beginning when I'm trying to learn the rules and I'm trying to figure out what my strategy is going to be and seeing if I can implement it. Board games, for me, get boring once I become too good at it and I know what to do.

I think those are the three most important things that I've seen that all these stores have in common. But do me a favor and look at the list for yourself and let me know if they have anything else in common that maybe I missed. Also, if you like this video, be sure to keep an eye out for my next one, where I'm going to be talking about how much my sticker shop made last year. If the video is already out, I'll put it up on screen. And if not, make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don't miss it. But yeah, that's it for the video, guys. Thanks so much for watching. I'll see you in the next one. Bye.


  • The importance of focusing on a specific niche in your Etsy shop
  • The benefits of using E-rank and Marketpulse for competitor research on Etsy
  • The value of drive and dedication in creating a successful Etsy shop
  • The significance of having a high number of listings to increase visibility
  • The importance of longevity and perseverance in business success


Q: How do I find my niche on Etsy? A: To find your niche on Etsy, consider your skills and interests. Write down everything you think you're good at or things others say you excel in. Look for ways to make products that align with those skills. Alternatively, you can discover your niche along the way by experimenting with different product ideas.

Q: How many listings should I have on my Etsy shop? A: The top Etsy shops have a significant number of listings, often in the thousands. However, the number of listings you should have depends on your resources and goals. It's essential to find a balance between offering a variety of products and ensuring quality and relevance in your listings.

Q: How long does it take to become successful on Etsy? A: Building a successful Etsy business takes time and persistence. While some stores may become overnight successes, the majority require years of dedication and hard work. It's important to have realistic expectations and maintain a long-term mindset.

Q: Can I sell a variety of products on Etsy? A: While it's possible to sell a variety of products on Etsy, focusing on a specific niche can often lead to more success. Customers are often attracted to specialty stores that excel in a particular area. Having a strong focus and expertise in a niche can help build credibility and attract the right customers.

Q: How do I increase traffic to my Etsy shop? A: One effective way to increase traffic to your Etsy shop is by creating a large number of listings. The more listings you have, the higher your chances of being found by potential customers. Each listing serves as a pseudo ad that directs traffic to your store. Additionally, utilizing relevant keywords and promoting your listings through social media can also help drive traffic.

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