Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

[#12] 10 Things You Must do to Have a Successful Online Craft Business

Today’s episode is a podcast version of one of my all-time most popular blog posts, which talks all about the steps you need to take to have a successful online craft business.

There is lots of information out there about how to maximise your online presence to make more sales but when it comes down to it, there are some really simple concepts which will help your business thrive.

It’s not an easy road but I have found that by following these tips, I now work full-time in my own creative business and my husband works with me while we earn a wage for the both of us.

Here are the 10 tips I talk about in the episode:

  1. Create something that people actually want to buy
  2. Work on it every day – but be patient
  3. Be friendly but professional
  4. Have beautiful photos
  5. Make reproducible items
  6. Believe in yourself and your work – fiercely – but be open to change
  7. Get a mailing list
  8. Price for Profit
  9. Get Your Own Website/Blog
  10. Learn, learn, learn

I would love to hear how you implement these ideas into your own craft business and if you have some clear steps to take after listening in today.

Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • There’s so much that goes into having a successful online craft business.
  • The path is long until you build up a modicum of success.
  • “Sometimes I can’t quite believe that we’ve reached this point. I work full-time in my business, Nick works full-time for the business.”
  • It is possible to build a profitable, sustainable online handmade business.
  • It’s not easy and it’s not quick.
  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  • “You have to be really patient. It will take time. Businesses do not grow overnight.”
  • Be dedicated, be patient and be flexible.
  • You don’t have to be a big company when you’re not.
  • “Be you but be the best you.”
  • Even if you don’t get a sale, make a positive influence on someone who might be your customer in the future.
  • Never complain about a customer in a public forum.
  • This is the key to standing out online – have beautiful photos.
  • Photos is 80-90% of the decision making process.
  • What makes a great photo? Natural or white light and using backgrounds which scream ‘your brand’!
  • Don’t use backgrounds that are too busy.
  • Close up, far away shot, styled shot, modelled shot.
  • Use interesting or intriguing angles.
  • “The idea of the main photo for your product is to capture someone’s attention and make them want to click through and buy that product.”
  • You CAN make one-of-a-kind items; but when selling online, it could hold you back.
  • Make a prototype and make that same item over and over.
  • It’s not just about making the product – it’s all the extra work that comes along with it.
  • If you make reproducible items, you don’t need to do all that extra work each time.
  • Time photographing, adding to your online store and everything else that comes along with it is time that you can’t be making new items.
  • Be proud of what you make and really advertise that.
  • “If you’ve been plugging away at it for years and you’ve made no progress, then something needs to change.”
  • In order to succeed, you might need to make some changes.
  • Email is still the most direct and effective way to really connect with your customers.
  • They are showing that they trust you with your email and so they have a closer relationship with you.
  • Treat that email with respect – don’t spam but keep in touch on a regular basis.
  • “We all have struggled with pricing and we generally tend to price too low.”
  • Don’t price low as it’s not valuing your skills.
  • When you do your pricing, add a profit margin and don’t compete on price.
  • Commodities can compete on price as you can get it anywhere and the customer looks around for the cheapest price.
  • People aren’t buying from a handmade business because it’s cheaper, they are buying because you can give them exactly what they want.
  • Be confident in your pricing.
  • Blogging is really powerful if you’re comfortable with it.
  • You can connect with your audience and build relationships as well as helping with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
  • Even if you just have a landing page with a link to your offsite shop – it just looks so much more professional.
  • “In business, there is no such thing as done.”
  • If you don’t try, you might not fail, but if you try and fail, you will learn.

Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

What say you?