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Etsy vs. personal website | Have your cake and eat it too

Etsy vs. your own, personal website:  

Can you have your cake and eat it, too?

 

We get a bit choked up sometimes, thinking of the Mothership, Etsy.  Etsy, where dreams are born. Where tiny handcrafted studios in little basement apartments from Brooklyn to Portland churn out painstakingly intricate and beautiful things to be sold in a vast marketplace of curiosity seekers.  Yes, that Etsy.  

 

If there’s a downside to Etsy, though, it’s the sheer number of gorgeous handmade things a person can find, and how hard it is for any one of these handcrafters to rise above the rest.  Rise above, like quit-your-day-job rise above.  Empire building.  Achieving greatness.  The dream we all are chasing.  

 

Etsy can be as limiting as it is empowering.  

 

If you look at the very tippy top of the iceberg of Etsy sellers—the ones who really have risen above the surface—you’ll notice that they, nearly all of them, have their own websites.  Coincidence?  We think not.

 

These top sellers are as business-minded as they are creative.  They recognize the value of a well-curated mailing list.  They do paid marketing on search engines and social media, and they direct that marketing somewhere that can build and accrue equity over time—their own websites.  

 

There’s something very ephemeral about Etsy.  Your brand equity only lasts as long as that one item you’re selling is live.  If your listing expires, that equity dissipates.  Evaporates.  The churning tides of Etsy are charming for buyers (always something new), but painful for growth-minded sellers (never anything permanent).  And so the idea of having a website becomes an important step towards audience and traffic expansion.

 

We’d love to leave it at that:  we’d love to say it’s totally sufficient to just have your own URL and a few pictures.  But there’s so much more to it than that.  Audience expansion is hard work, and we try to make it easier for you by showing things we’ve done to build our own audience, and things we’ve learned from the seasoned experts in the industry.  But the fact remains, it’s hard work.

 

Some people want their own website for personal reasons.  They want something beautiful to point to and say”this is mine.  this is my little claim on the wild prairie of the internet.”  For you, we have effortless websites in about 5 minutes.

 

For the rest of you, we have this wisdom to share:  

 

Audience building is hard and rewarding work.  Use every traffic-generating tool that BeesWax gives you, and know that we’ll be standing there with you every step of the way.  We want you to succeed, too!  

 

Build your mailing lists and send things that people want to open and read.

 

Share on social media, and make it meaningful—not just a listing, but the story behind the listing.

 

Look at search engine marketing as an interesting puzzle, the solution to which can be found in the analytics attached to your website.  The odds are way better than a game of roulette, but the work is much harder.

 

Tell people about yourself.  Tell them about your website.  Tell them to go to your website because you have put wonderful things there that will interest them.  Tell them to spread the word.

 

A BeesWax website doesn’t compete with an Etsy shop—rather, it gains equity over time based on how many people visit it, but it feeds directly into the Etsy ecommerce marketplace so you can build your brand in both places.

 

Over time, your website will act like a bridge.  A bridge from Etsy to Google.  Getting you found on the internet at large, not just among a small community of buyers, but by everyone who uses the internet.  They’re looking for you.  Be present for them.

 

This is why you build a website and work on it tirelessly, day after day.  So you can quit your day job and spend your time hammering steel in the shed out back.  So you can spread your vision to the world.  So you can, in fact, have your cake and eat it too.  

 
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