Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s GuideSell Your Crafts Online

Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker's GuideSell Your Crafts Online

Summary of James Dillehay’s Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide: the author draws upon his experience as a handmade products business expert to offer sound advice to new entrepreneurs for creating their own profitable online store.

Review and Summary of Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide by James Dillehay

Chapter 1: Setting Up Your Business

Once you’ve decided to launch your own business, there are certain steps you need to take. To help you through the process, James Dillehay offers comprehensive advice and guidance throughout Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide.

1.1 – How to choose the right name for your company?

Before setting up your business, it’s essential to think carefully about the name you’re going to give it. Firstly, because it’s the name that will give your future customers an idea of your business. Secondly, you’ll be using it a lot, both on paper (business cards in particular) and on your website.

James Dillehay advises young entrepreneurs to opt for a short, memorable company name. It’s perfectly possible to choose your own name. However, he warns that you should check with Google to make sure that your name isn’t already in use by another company. If this is the case, it’s best to choose your own name.

1.2 – Do I need a business checking account, business permits, or licenses?

The author points outthat sales platforms such as don’t require a business license to sell products in an online store. Via these platforms, you can quickly set up your own business and start earning income. It is, however, essential to set up a bank account dedicated to your business. Your income is subject to the IRS and may be audited. To avoid potential problems, the author recommends opening a business checking account. James Dillehay warns, however, that some banks may require you to have a business license before you can open an account. So, be sure to check whether you’ll need one.

1.3 – How do I accept credit card payments?

The author notes that 80% of shoppers prefer to use a credit card for offline purchases. This is why, if you want to offer your products on marketplaces, the use of a payment terminal is useful. Thanks to a number of applications, you can use your smartphone as a payment terminal.

1.4 –  How do I keep accounting records?

The IRS (International Revenue Service) requires all companies to keep a record of their financial transactions. To do this, you can either use a small notebook, or online software that will enable you to provide a balance sheet at the end of the year.

Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Online Brand

This second chapter explains that implementing a branding strategy will help your items sell better and increase customer engagement.

The author states that, when you promote online, your presentation will have to sell for you. This can be achieved by using promotional material that will help customers remember you.

2.1 – Branding cues

James Dillehay highlights the elements that will create a strong first impression for your potential future customers. They include:

  • Your story.
  • Your company name.
  • Your authenticity.
  • The visuals you’re going to use.
  • Your logo.
  • Your elevator pitch.
  • Fonts and colors.
  • Your contact details.

To help you better design your look, it’s a good idea to look at how successful salespeople have gone about consolidating their company’s brand.

2.2 – Types of promotional material

Promotional materials allow you to use the brand cues defined above. Today, there are many different formats and media available to promote your brand:

  • Video.
  • Business cards.
  • Labels hanging from items on sale, with product details.
  • Thank-you cards.
  • Answering machine messages.
  • Postcards, gift vouchers, stickers, checks, etc.

All these elements enable you to reach your target at different times and communicate your story and brand values.

2.3 – Graphic design suppliers

It’s important to offer your customers a memorable design on your marketing materials and quality images of your products. James Dillehay suggests various sites to help you create your own design and logo, such as, Snappa.comFotor.cometc.

If you’d like to outsource your design, the author recommends several platforms, including

The author also lists platforms offering printing services.

Chapter 3: Images That Sell

Sell Your Crafts Online by James Dillehay

According to the author,exceptional photos help convert online customers into buyers. To help you select the right images, it’s important to determine which types they belong to. Below you’ll find the different image categories listed by James Dillehay. These can be images:

  • That highlight products only: on a white background to showcase items.
  • That explain the manufacturing process.
  • That indicate step-by-step instructions: to explain how to use the product.
  • That show atmosphere and lifestyle: with real customers using your products.
  • For a jury: to submit to art and craft fairs.
  • Of yourself.

If your company doesn’t have the budget to choose a photographer, consider freelance platforms where you’ll find professionals at affordable rates.

Chapter 4: Pricing  Handmade Items for Online Sales

4.1 – What are retail and wholesale prices?

You can sell your products in two ways: either directly to customers, product by product, or through resellers. Prices will vary according to the choice you make:

  • The retail price is the amount you charge for a part when you sell it directly to a customer.
  • The wholesale price, on the other hand, is the price you set when you go through a reseller, via a boutique for example. In the latter case, it’s important to understand that the store will price the items at between two and two-and-a-half times what it paid for them.

According to James Dillehay, you need to know your production costs in order to determine these different prices. The author adds that there is no best model between the two, depending on your situation and your desires.

4.2 – How much will buyers pay?

The price you set for your items will also depend on what your potential customers are willing to pay for your product. To help you find the price buyers are willing to pay, you can browse pages of products similar to yours on Etsy or Amazon Handmade. Similarly, by visiting markets and fairs, you can see how much people are willing to spend on your item. Be careful to look only at products that have actually been sold, as they will give you a good indication of the price to set.

4.3 – What are cost of goods and production costs?

  • The cost of goods is what you will spend to manufacture your product. It includes all material, labor, and overhead costs.
  • The cost of labor is the hourly wage you pay yourself or your employees. This is the monetary value of the time spent creating the item.
  • Overheads, on the other hand, represent all the expenses you pay for the smooth running of your business. These may include business permits, rent, or your telephone bill.

4.4 – What is your profit margin?

Your profit margin is the difference between the cost of goods and the price at which you wish to sell them. As James Dillehay points out, knowing this will enable you to make growth choices by determining how much you can invest in employees, advertising, or whether you can afford free shipping.

Chapter 5: How to Plan Your Marketing

Sell Your Crafts Online by James Dillehay

If you want to set up a business with the aim of no longer being a salaried employee, it’s essential to be organized and to have a marketing strategy in place. To do this, it’s important to know who your potential customers are, so you can target the different communications you’re going to be using.

5.1 – Suggested marketing path for beginners

If you’re new to business creation, it’s best to use Etsy as a training ground: you’ll then launch your business by setting up an Etsy store.

Alternatively, you can get started on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram. Each of these platforms will enable you to set up an online store and sell your items from your posts and publications.

5.2 – Suggested marketing path for sales growth

Before you try to increase your sales by offering your products on several platforms, it’s best to concentrate on a single online store. In fact, the author suggests waiting until you’ve succeeded in generating regular sales via one platform before moving on to other markets. As your business grows, you’ll know when the time is right to expand your business by working in multiple markets.

5.3 – Use a marketing planner or calendar

To avoid getting lost in the multitude of tasks required to keep your business running smoothly, it’s a good idea to plan your actions. With a marketing planner or calendar, you can target the most profitable actions to track and measure.

Chapter 6: SEO, How to Harness Search Engine Traffic 

Sell Your Crafts Online by James Dillehay

This sixth chapter deals with SearchEngine Optimization, also known as SEO.

SEO is the use of various techniques to improve the display of a web page in search engine results based on a key query. It’s a free way of promoting your products. To succeed in optimizing your product page or listing, you’ll need to establish an SEO strategy.

6.1 – Find the search terms buyers use

To successfully drive traffic to your web page or product listing, it’s essential to know what popular terms are being typed into the search bar. If you use lesser-used expressions, you’ll have little chance of potential customers arriving on your page via organic traffic.

To determine the most popular keywords for your product, you can go to Etsy, Amazon Handmade and type in the first four or five letters of a product name similar to yours. The search engine will then complete your initial query with the most popular ones. If you don’t have the time, you can use tools like, which will provide you with a list of keywords and their search volume.

Dillehay stresses thatthis step is crucial if you want to optimize your product page.

6.2 – Reinforce your authority with inbound links to your pages

Inbound links from other sites, redirecting to your product listing pages, are ideal for boosting SEO. This could be a blog post about your product with a link to your Etsy store.

Be careful, however, not to get too many inbound links saying the same thing, as this could be perceived as spam by Google.

6.3 – Place your keywords correctly

For proper optimization, keywords should be present in the following elements:

  • Title.
  • Description.
  • Attributes.
  • About page.
  • Tags.
  • Store announcement.
  • Categories.
  • Store policies.

Chapter 7: Selling on Etsy

Etsy is the ideal sales platform to start your adventure and sell your handmade products. The customer base is very enthusiastic about handmade products. Creating and optimizing your store is good training for your e-commerce business. Then, once you’ve achieved a satisfactory number of sales on Etsy, it will be much simpler to start selling on other platforms like Amazon Handmade, Facebook, or even your own website.

7.1 – Advantages of Etsy stores

  • A large market of loyal customers with over 46 million users.
  • Over 95% of sellers work from home.
  • Easy start-up for new sellers.
  • Seller fees are 5% per sale, compared with 15% on Amazon Handmade.
  • A community of Etsy sellers who also buy from other Etsy stores in order to support handmade items.

7.2 – Disadvantages of Etsy stores

  • Lots of competition.
  • Requires work and patience.
  • Etsy offers the SEO advantage to sellers offering free shipping.
  • Without optimizing your listings, you’ll have little chance of getting visits to your store.

7.3 – The stages of creation on Etsy

To help you set up your store on Etsy, in this section of Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide, the author outlines all the key steps.

  • Choose your store name.
  • Create your product listing.
  • Read Etsy guidelines and policies.
  • Add your story with interesting details for your customers.
  • Create your logo.
  • Write a welcome message.
  • Create your payment, shipping and refund policies.

7.4 – Photos and videos on your Etsy store

90% of buyers indicate that quality photos played an essential role in their purchases. It’s therefore essential to include images of your products from all angles. You can also include videos of people using your product: adding videos can increase your conversion rate by 80%.

7.5 – SEO on Etsy

Etsy’s search engine reads the titles, tagscategories, and attributes of your products. It will then find the search terms that correspond to buyers’ needs and desires. These areas are therefore important and need to be treated with care. The choice of keywords should be appropriate and based on popular terms. The most important area of a “product listing” is the first 30 characters. This is where the most sought-after expressions should be placed to optimize your page. The gradual and regular addition of new “product listings” works in favor of SEO, not least because Etsy highlights each new listing in search results to help kick-start sales.

To find the best queries, you can consult the sales history and see which search terms are most frequently used to buy a product.

7.6 – Your product description

The product description is essential, and you’ll need to take particular care with it, paying particular attention to spelling and typography. You’ll need to indicate how the product can be life-changing for the customer. Above all, emphasize the reason why your product will make everyday life easier. It’s important to mention your handling time: the shorter it is, the more likely you are to convert.

7.7 – How you treat your customers

Communication with your customers is essential. To help you maintain good relations, Etsy has set up an instant messaging system that will enable you to exchange with your potential buyers in real-time. If a customer asks you a question, take the time to answer it, and the quicker your response, the more likely you are to convert.

Customer reviews are essential for any store that wants to increase sales. If a customer has posted a review of your product, it’s important to thank them. Similarly, if you receive a negative review, you’ll need to take the time to understand what happened, contact your customer, and try to improve their experience. If you’ve succeeded in satisfying them, don’t hesitate to ask for another review.

7.8 – The marketing strategy to implement if your store’s product sales are low

If your sales are mediocre, hire successful Etsy sellers to help you find the negative points in your store. At the same time, you can use marketing elements to try to capture customers’ attention. With discount codes or free shipping, you can get new customers. Also, consider increasing your visibility on social media by contacting influencers who can advertise your products.

Chapter 8: Selling on Amazon Handmade

Sell Your Crafts Online by James Dillehay

Founded in 2015 to counter the success of EtsyAmazon Handmade allows makers of handmade products to sell their wares. Although some sellers consider that sales on Etsy may be more important, Amazon Handmade offers the advantage of a huge market of buyers.

8.1 – Advantages of Amazon Handmade

  • Access to the world’s largest online marketplace of buyers.
  • Users trust Amazon payment.
  • An advertising campaign manager.
  • The ability to adjust product listings for better SEO performance.

8.2 – Disadvantages of Amazon Handmade

  • Lots of competition.
  • More complex store set-up.
  • Results can only be achieved through hard work and patience.
  • Amazon takes 15% commission on every sale.

8.3 – Getting started with Amazon Handmade

According to the author, it‘s imperative to checkwhetherthe product you’re selling belongs to one of the categories approved by Amazon Handmade, otherwise, you won’t be able to sell your items on the platform. Unlike Etsy, Amazon Handmade requires proof of identity before you can sell your products.  Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll need to pay $40 every month to Amazon Handmade (amount valid at the time of writing this summary).

Just as on other platforms, you’ll need to put forward your artist profile. You’ll then be able to tell who you are and your story. Feel free to share why you wanted to sell this product and what your aspirations are.

Listing management is simple and accessible to all. You can use the copy-and-paste function to transfer content from your Etsy store.

8.4 – Free shipping offer

Amazon offers its members worldwide the possibility of joining the Prime Program, which includes free shipping.

The author points out that sales of his products were much higher when Amazon handled shipping than when he did it himself. You will be billed for the cost of managing the delivery of your products for every sale you make.

8.5 – Amazon SEO

As with Etsy, managing the SEO of your products is essential. Without optimization on your part, you’ll get very few views.  Remember to check the most searched keywords in the categories where your items are located.

Chapter 9: Selling on eBay

9.1 – How to use eBay

The author begins by noting that, before the emergence of Etsy, the eBay platform was the most popular for selling handmade products.

Successful sellers on this platform share common practices:

  • Use product listings that have generated sales as templates, without copying them.
  • Use SEO to write your titles and descriptions.
  • Use the best possible images.
  • Create listings regularly.
  • Ask the customer to leave a review after receiving the product.

9.2 – What are the commissions on eBay?

The commissions applied by the platform vary over time and are not the same depending on the number of items you sell. Monthly fees will start at $7.99 per month and increase according to the number of listings and additional features you wish to add.

Chapter 10: Selling from Your Own Website

Sell Your Crafts Online by James Dillehay

If you have a regular presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, you surely have a subscriber base. So, if you manage, via your posts, to entice your subscribers to sign up to your mailing list, you’ll be able to solicit them to offer your products for sale. However, beware, warns the author, your followers belong to the platform:if your account is ever lost or closed and you haven’t recovered their e-mail addresses, you’ll lose all your customer contacts.

With your own website, and by offering a newsletter, you’ll be able to build up a list of loyal customers who aren’t dependent on a platform. Your website will become a real hub, redirecting your visitors to your listings and social media. The main advantage of having a website is that you own everything you post on it. Your images, descriptions, and all the other information on your site belong to you, so you don’t risk losing your domain as might be the case in stores like Amazon Handmade or Etsy.

10.1 – Designing your website

Registering a domain name

To create your website, you first need to choose a domain name. Today, there are many domain registrars. The “.com” extension is the most widely used.


If you’re just starting out and you’re on a tight budget, free web hosts are the way to go. Their simplicity requires virtually no technical knowledge, but their free nature implies limited functionality that you can only unlock with a paid subscription.

If you don’t opt for free web hosting, when you register your domain name, you’ll need to choose a host. At a cost of between $5 and $100 per month, you’ll be able to take advantage of advanced features, perfect for boosting sales on your website. According to James Dillehay, most sellers of handcrafted products will only need the cheapest service at first. As your business grows, you’ll be able to integrate new features.

The shopping cart

Many web hosts offer a free shopping cart module. Alternatively, there are shopping cart providers such as,, and WooCommerce.

WordPress, the ultimate site-building platform

WordPress is the best-known platform for creating a website: its ease of use makes it popular with users. Thanks to its Yoast plug-in, you can quickly and easily optimize your content to improve its ranking in search engine results. To do this, Yoast analyzes your blog posts and suggests how many keywords to use, and where to place them and helps you improve the readability of your content.

Compatibility with mobile devices

The use of cell phones and smartphones has grown steadily in recent years. Today, many website themes are adapted for mobile viewing. This means you can create a website that can be used on all devices. However, for optimum compatibility, use images in portrait rather than landscape format.

10.2 – Inspiring trust

Writing a blog

Setting up a blog can complement your marketing strategy by allowing you to create content publications. Search engines appreciate new content, so remember to regularly update the blog section of your website and optimize content for better SEO. What’s more, blogging is an excellent way of generating traffic and raising awareness of your brand and products.

How can you inspire trust on your website?

James Dillehay highlights studies that show that trust is the #1 factor in influencing a purchasing decision. So, to help you create a real bond of trust with your potential customers, the author offers a few suggestions:

  • Design a user-friendly website with easy, intuitive navigation.
  • Communicate in a personal, conversational tone.
  • Allow customers to interact and communicate with you via feedback/comments.
  • Constantly offer new, well-written, error-free content, accompanied by plenty of bright photos videos, and fully functional links.
  • Introduce new products on a regular basis: prices and shipping costs should be clearly displayed.
  • Explicitly state your contact details, order and payment methods (card logos), privacy policy, guarantees, special offers, etc.

10.3 – Developing your customer list

Taking care of your customers

The author mentions a survey that showed that 68% of people who stopped buying from a store were, in fact, often treated with indifference by an employee or the owner.

Therefore, it’s important to take good care of your customers. After all, it’s more profitable to appeal to existing customers than to try and attract new ones. The estimated cost of accumulating prospects is six times higher than that of bringing back former buyers.

Personalizing your communication

Email marketing software enables you to obtain and store e-mail addresses, as well as manage them. What’s more, some software features enable you to personalize your e-mails to get more responses. For example, you can communicate with your customers directly using their first names.  In fact, one study has shown that personalized e-mails increase sales by an average of over 400% compared with standard e-mails.

Chapter 11: Social Media Marketing Overview

Social Media Marketing Overview

The use of social media has grown considerably in recent years. Nowadays, social networks are a good marketing tool for acquiring new customerscreating a climate of trust and helping you follow up with them.

To take advantage of social networks, you can use one of the means highlighted by the author, namely:

  • Publish  images and videos of your products.
  • Monitor your competitors.
  • Understand your customers’ wants and needs.

11.1 – Developing a social marketing strategy

It’s important to take the time to fully understand each social platform before establishing a marketing strategy. After all, user behavior is not the same on Facebook or Pinterest. A strategy may work on one and fail on the other. To fully understand your audience, you’ll need to run tests on each social media channel.

Regularity is the key to effective results on social media. Plan to publish several times a day. Planning tools can help you do this.

As for the frequency of publications to promote your product, the author recommends the following method: create seven publications that offer help to your followers, educating them in some way. Then, publish an article or link about your product.

11.2 – Social message planning tools

Managing your social networks can quickly become a hassle if you’re not organized. There are a number of paid software tools that can help you optimize both your time and your posts. Before deciding on the tool that best suits your needs, you can use the free trial version of these software packages to test out all their features and start managing your social media schedule.

11.3 – Transferring subscribers to a mailing list

It is crucial to take into consideration that you do not own your followers and that, if the social platform you are using disappears, you will lose all your followers and potential customers. However, your mailing list belongs to you, and you can use it to promote your products. By offering your subscribers coupons, a free download, or a mini-competition, you’ll be able to collect their e-mail addresses. Your mailing list is a real marketing asset. Remember to back it up and update it regularly. It will help you keep in touch with your subscribers.

Chapter 12: Facebook Tips

With over two billion usersFacebook is one of the most popular social networks. The author points out that 80% of buyers in the USA have found products by perusing Facebook. This makes it an effective platform when it comes to selling your products.

12.1 – Setting up your store on Facebook

You can sell directly from your Facebook page. To do this, you need to activate the “store” tab in the settings. In order to gain market share, Facebook announced, in 2020, the arrival of updates to the store functionalities. Buyers will be able to view and purchase products without ever leaving the platform. To optimize sales on your store, studies show that Facebook users respond better to images and videos than to text.

Please note: to enable your customers to pay you, you’ll need to install a payment gateway such as Stripe.

12.2 – Publishing on your Facebook Page

The author shares a few tips on how to make the most of Facebook for your craft sales business:

  • Post regularly and several times a week.
  • Post  useful tips related to your products from your store’s Facebook page.
  • Use videos and Facebook Live.

12.3 – Using Facebook Stories

Facebook stories appear above your users’ News Feed and will be available for 24 hours. They offer the advantage of being directly perceptible to subscribers, unlike the News Feed where information can quickly get lost. You can use this Facebook feature to showcase your company behind the scenes and offer exclusives such as new product highlights.

12.4 – Posting to Facebook “buy and sell” groups

The platform offers buying and selling groups for handmade products. These allow you to post images, videos, and descriptions of the products you’re selling. You can also publish links that will redirect potential customers to your items available on other stores like Etsy. To find these groups, simply search on Facebook and ask to join.

The author points out that the platform is used by 800 million people worldwide every month, making it one of the most popular free marketplaces.    

Chapter 13: Pinterest Tips

Pinterest is a media platform that emphasizes images more than textual content. It lets you pin your favorite images and videos from around the web. The advantage of this feature is that it doesn’t expire.

According to the author, working on your marketing strategy on Pinterest is a long-term investment. With over two billion searches each month, it’s the most popular visual search platform. The average sale of a product following a visit to Pinterest is close to $60more than Twitter or Facebook.

13.1 – Creating a store on Pinterest

Once you’ve created your business account on the platform, you can start setting up shopping pins and catalogs. Product pins contain metadata that tells users that products are available for purchase.

13.2 – Creating boards

The platform offers the possibility of creating boards that enable you to organize your images by theme. Once you’ve set up your profile, you’ll need to compose five to ten boards in which to place your pins.

It’s important to keep your images well-grouped so that your users enjoy viewing them. If you don’t have many photos of your products to begin with, don’t hesitate to put forward images of tips on products you like. You’ll also need to choose a popular keyword tag for your board name. With a description using several keywords, you’ll have a better chance of seeing your board appear in user searches.

13.3 – Gathering subscribers

A great way to get started on Pinterest is to find people you’ll follow who can help you maximize your sales. When you find someone with over a million followersclick on their list of followers and follow them. The author recommends following up to 50 new people a day and pinning new images daily. Don’t hesitate to engage your followers in conversation by commenting on their pins.

13.4 – Pinning on Pinterest

The author points out that most Pinterest users are women. It’s therefore a good idea to create pins that will appeal to this audience. Just as on other platforms, you’ll need to pin daily, and be sure to pin videos that are top-ranked by the platform. Remember to write a description using popular search terms and phrases.

Chapter 14: Instagram Tips

Instagram Tips

Instagram is a platform primarily for mobile use, with over 98% of content coming from a phone. The social network has over a billion users worldwide, 59% of whom are under 30. Dillehay claims thatmany sellers report getting more sales via Instagram than on other platforms. Note that users have a higher engagement rate, with over 70% of users buying something using their mobile devices.

14.1 – Instagram Shopping

You can use this platform to sell your products. Indeed, thanks to a button present on publications, users will be able to buy directly from the platform.  Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you’ll need to create your product catalog beforehand, using Facebook Business Manager.

14.2 – Instagram features

The application lets you publish images and videos directly from your phone. You’ll be able to quickly and easily share your publications on other social networks. Make sure you take the time to write the caption, including relevant hashtags. Instagram stories are increasingly used and viewed by users. Via short videos that will be available for 24 hours, you can show your followers behind the scenes of your products’ creation. What’s more, you can use the “polls” function to ask what users think of your stories and products.

14.3 – Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags are the keywords of Instagram. They enable your users to find your products via the search engine. When composed of several words, you can attract buyers to your business account. Studies show that posts with numerous hashtags generate twice as many interactions with Instagram users. Think about breaking down your store’s name into hashtags and use them whenever you make a post.

14.4 – Tips for posting on Instagram

Just as on Facebook, it’s crucial to maintain a good relationship with your followers. As soon as feedback is given, remember to thank the person or like their review. Follow the followers of sellers who offer the same types of products as you. By following them and commenting on their posts, you’ll gain an audience that’s more likely to convert into customers. Make sure you post regularly on the platform: an active account gets more subscribers.

Chapter 15: Twitter Tips

With over 300 million users, the platform produces more than 500 million tweets every day. 80% of users live outside the U.S., and 24% of Americans use Twitter. The author notes that Etsy’s Twitter account has over 2 million followers. Selling on Twitter is all about tweeting a link to an item in your Etsy shopping cart. Twitter’s ease of use makes it a great way to increase your followers. To do this, we recommend you use the search engine to find influencers related to your product. You can then ask them to tweet a review with a link to your product.

You’ll be able to tweet directly from your Etsy store every time you set up new product listings. Take the time to run tests to determine the best time of day to tweet. Just as on other social media platforms, frequent and regular tweets will help you generate more followers.

Chapter 16: Shopify and Multichannel Listing Apps

16.1 – Entering other e-commerce markets 

Once you’ve mastered the art of selling on Etsy and Amazon, you’re potentially ready to expand into other markets. For this, platforms like Shopify are perfect. They allow you to synchronize your products across multiple sites. The author advises waiting until your sales are between $800 and $1,000 and you see a steady upward trend before starting with this type of tool. Why? Because these platforms are not free; it’s best to wait until you’re earning enough to invest in them.

Before choosing the platform that will enable you to develop your sales in other markets, there are a few points to bear in mind. In particular, James Dillehay advises you to check:

  •  Whether it offers inventory synchronization with several sites, to avoid sales when your stock is sold out.
  • Whether it is possible to manage shipments from a single interface.

The author provides several other recommendations to help you decide on the best platform for launching your business.

16.2 – Selling via Shopify

Shopify is a set of tools that will enable you to sell your products online on several marketplaces. It offers you the means to customize your shopping cart without the need for technical skills. Before subscribing to this tool for $29 a month (price at the time of writing), it’s a good idea to check that this operation is profitable for your store.

Since there are no monthly fees on Etsy, it’s best to wait until you reach a certain level of sales before joining Shopify. The application integrates a shopping cart that will enable you to sell on several platforms but does not have a marketplace. For example, on Etsy it will be possible to search for your products and store, but on Shopify you’ll need to find customers and send them to your checkout page.

16.3 – Advantages of Shopify

  • Brings together over 2,000 platforms.
  • Allows you to sell digital downloads.
  • Simple to use.
  • Offers customer support to help you when you have problems.

16.4 – Disadvantages of Shopify

  • It’s important to have an upstream customer base.
  •  Monthly costs must be taken into account when calculating profitability.
  • SEO optimization of product pages will be more complicated than on Etsy and Amazon.

The author suggests other applications like Shopify to extend the sale of your products: Spreesy which is an Etsy-approved application,, or

Chapter 17: Get Influencers to Mention Your Products

In this chapter of Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide, James Dillehay points out that a good, catchy sales pitch will enable you to persuade influencers to mention your handmade products in their blogs or websites. To be sure of winning over your target influencers, you’ll need to do some preparation beforehand.

17.1 – How to prepare before contacting influencers?

“A study has shown that 90% of journalists begin their search for articles by exploring online,” says the author. This means it’s essential for you to have an online presence that will pique their interest, or that of a bloggerproduct reviewer, or influencer.

Before contacting an influencer, make sure they’re a good fit for your product. To make this contact phase even easier, James Dillehay recommends designing a media kit. This can include the following components:

  • Your message (with your story, vision, background, etc.) in short, medium, and longer versions.
  • A fact sheet.
  • An “about us” page.
  • Good-quality photos.
  • A  video of you in the creation phase.
  • A press release.
  • Your exhibition dates if you have any coming up.
  • Awards you’ve won.
  • Amusing anecdotes.
  • Your contact details.

17.2 – What types of influence and media can help you?

In the book, the author gives further pointers on how to build your media kit around different types of influencers and turn it into an effective marketing tool:

  • Social influencers: these are influencers who produce content on social networks for thousands of subscribers. Several social monitoring tools will help you find the influencers best suited to your products. It’s important to analyze the past posts of the influencers you contact. If they don’t contain articles like yours, there may be no point in contacting them.
  • Bloggers and influencers who review handmade products: depending on your budget, you may be able to offer the services of these influencers and bloggers specialized in handmade product reviews to promote your handmade products. Thanks to their reviews, they can help you acquire potential new customers.
  • Magazines and newspapers: similarly, with the right approach, you can convince newspapers and magazines to talk about your products.

James Dillehay shares many ways to find contacts among influencers and media.

17.3 – The author’s other tips for getting publicity

The author suggests other useful tips to help you build your handmade business and increase sales of your handmade products:

  • Cleverly target blogs and shows in which you’d like to appear and follow their publications and news.
  • Find out if they’ve featured products like yours.
  • Share  images and videos, use an unusual workplace to tell your story.
  • With each new productcontact the various media in your address book and offer them a sample of your product.
  • Sponsor an event or donate your creations to an association, a fundraiser, etc.
  • Make the most of interesting, topical events and holidays to sell more effectively.

The bookSell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’sGuidecontains many other tips to help you establish the perfect media strategy to boost your sales.

Chapter 18: Running Paid Ads

Although various platforms now offer the option of paid advertising, the author recommends using SEO and free media first and foremost. Since advertising is a financial investment, it’s best to wait until you’ve reached a certain level of income before embarking on this experiment.

If you can’t sell, there’s little chance that advertising will help you increase your turnover. Once you’re confident that your income is on the rise, you can start by setting a small budget for ads. If they work well, gradually increase the amount you spend on them. Feel free to test ads with different search terms to see which ones work best.

18.1 – Etsy and Amazon Handmade ads

Etsy offers users who sell on its platform the possibility of scheduling advertisements. Dillehay encourages this new form ofleverage when sales from your organic channel are good.

Amazon Handmade also offers the possibility of creating advertisements to promote your products. You’ll be able to choose between automatic targeting or manual targeting, which requires you to choose your own customer types and allows you to select specific keywords, products, or categories.

18.2 – Ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest

James Dillehay explains how you can also advertise on Facebook and Instagram with targeting options. Facebook will allow you to limit your ad spend to $1 per day.

Similarly, you can promote your products with ads on Pinterest. It’s quick and easy to set up ads. For each ad, it’s important to pay particular attention to the quality of the visuals and content. At the end of each ad campaign, you’ll be able to analyze your sales and determine whether your ads have increased visitor conversion.

18.3 – Paid posts from influencers

If your budget allows, you can use agencies to help you find influencers to promote your product. However, according to the author, it’s best to contact the bloggers and influencers that match your niche directly and offer them a partnership.

Lastly, whatever advertising method you use, it’s essential to analyze the results and learn from them. Likewise, don’t go into paid advertising if your sales don’t take off via organic traffic.

Chapter 19: Pitfalls to Avoid

In the final chapter of the book, Dillehay highlights common mistakes made by sellers that can prevent their business from thriving. For example:

  • Using poor-quality images.
  • Not having a return policy.
  • Setting prices too low.
  • Not checking your content for spelling errors.

Sell Your Crafts Online – TheHandmaker’s Guide contains all the mistakes you need to avoid and all the useful advice you need to find success as a handmade products business.

Conclusion to Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide by James Dillehay

Sell Your Crafts Online is an indispensable guideforthose starting out in the business of selling their handmade products.

With a wealth of practical advice, statistics, and up-to-date methods, James Dillehay shares a whole host of tips on how to make a living from selling your creations online.

The author uses a simple vocabulary. He presents the various tools and very accessible marketing strategies for transforming a small craft enterprise into a flourishing business.

Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guidemakes the ideal book for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to leave wage employment behind and start making a living from their online craft business.

Strong points:

  • A very accessible book with a compilation of useful tips that are easy to read, without jargon.
  • Offers concrete, highly practical tools for getting started.
  • The author’s marketing knowledge of online sales, clearly explaining how to set up a strategy: when and how to leverage social networks, paid advertising, etc.

Weak points:

  • The book offers no statistical data for Europe or France, and even though a great deal of advice applies outside the U.S. too, the content is aimed primarily at American entrepreneurs.
  • It could use more examples and testimonials.

My rating : Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward Snowden

Have you read “Sell Your Crafts Online”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (No Ratings Yet)


Read more reviews on Amazon about “Sell Your Crafts Online”

Buy on Amazon “Sell Your Crafts Online”

The Handy Guide to Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide

Elements that help create a good first impression with your customers:

  • Your story
  • Your company name
  • Your authenticity
  • The visuals you’ll use
  • Your logo
  • Your elevator pitch
  • Fonts and colors
  • Your contact details

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide

1. How has the book been received by the public?

The book has been a resounding success, leading to its translation into many other languages.

2. What has been its impact?

Sell Your Crafts Online – The Handmaker’s Guide has had a positive impact on readers as it has enabled them to acquire knowledge about online business they would otherwise not have.

3. Who is the book’starget audience?

Sell Your Crafts Online is aimed at first-time entrepreneurs who want to set up a sustainable, profitable online store.

4. What are the different categories of images according to James Dillehay?


  1. That highlight products only: on a white background to showcase items
  2. That explain the manufacturing process
  3. That indicate step-by-step instructions: to explain how to use the product.
  4. That show atmosphere and lifestyle: with real customers using your products.
  5. For a jury: to submit to art and craft fairs
  6. Of yourself

5. What are the main steps in developing a customer list?

According to the author, the two steps to developing your client list are: Take care of your customers and personalize your communication.

The advantages of Etsy stores vs. disadvantages of Etsy stores

Advantages of Etsy storesDisadvantages of Etsy stores
A large market of loyal customers with over 46 million usersA lot of competition
Over 95% of sellers work from homeRequires work and patience
Easy start-up for new sellersEtsy offers the SEO advantage to sellers offering free shipping
Seller fees are 5% per sale, compared with 15% on Amazon HandmadeWithout optimizing your listings, you’ll have little chance of getting visits to your store

Who is James Dillehay?

James Dillehay

Born in Houston, Texas, James Dillehay is a master craftsman. He publishes articles for those who want to lead a creative and profitable lifestyle. He is the author of three books in the best-selling GUERRILLA MARKETING series, where he shares exclusive tips for creating the business of your dreams with few resources.

To find out more, I invite you to read my article quotes on creativity that might interest you, and also be sure to check out the video below entitled “mieux vendre en ligne” (‘How to Effectively Sell Online’)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *