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Freedom from Etsy: A Practical Guide

The Etsy Strike of 2022 was the largest strike in Etsy’s history. We were nearly 30,000 sellers strong, and we garnered international news media attention. For a while, we felt unstoppable.

Etsy’s response to the strike was to ignore us and continue to patronize us. They did make much-needed changes to the Star Seller program in response to the bad press coverage about it – but our more urgent issues with the platform continue to be a problem – a problem that they will not acknowledge. In the aftermath of the strike, with Etsy’s anemic response, many people had the reaction to rage-quit the platform. Heck, I wanted to do that myself.

I knew it was a bad idea though.

Rage-quitting Etsy isn’t a smart business decision.

That’s not to say that most or many people can’t quit Etsy. You can quit. It just shouldn’t be a rage-quit.

To quit Etsy, and do it the right way, you need a careful strategy. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. There is very little to running an online indie business that can ever be one-size-fits-all!

I’m writing a series of articles on what I’ve learned in nearly 17 years of running a creative online business. There will be articles specifically tailored to your business – specific steps you can take towards freedom, each based on what you make, and the degree to which you are dependent on Etsy to earn a living.

I’m not a business coach. Business coaches suck, at least for creative businesses, in my experience. I once paid a thousand dollars for a marketing course that didn’t work for me. Things I learned as a result of that experience will be an upcoming article in the series!

Here’s the problem. You can’t learn success. It’s too unique for each person. You have to experiment until you discover the recipe that works perfectly with your business, with your customers, with your personality, and with the way you like to work. There is very little to growing a creative business that is one-size-fits-all.

For now though, there is one thing that is true for every indie seller. No matter who you are, or what your business is about, you need a store off-of-Etsy. Your basic strategy to become independent is to continue to sell on Etsy while you work towards growing that online store, until it’s able to make enough sales to support you.

There are many, many services you can use to build an online store. So many that it’s a bit overwhelming to choose one! The Indie Sellers Guild hopes to help with that. We’re inviting the awesome members of our community to share their experiences with these online services. We’ll have articles about each coming weekly over the next couple of months. In the members-only section of this site, we will host a database of online store services that you can sort according to your needs to find the best one for you.

If you have experience with an online store service, we’d love to hear about it! Please click this link to fill out our interview form.

Finally, please stay tuned for the rest of the series!

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