Jenna Rainey


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I’m Jenna Rainey. 

I'm an artist, self-taught designer, and multi-faceted creative entrepreneur who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice.



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A highly creative nerd with a unique breed of humor and the proud earner of a self-bestowed award for being the world’s most curious and driven human.

Hey I'm Jenna!

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It’s like Netflix-binging Bob Ross videos, but with a dose of dry + quirky humor and fewer happy little tree references. 

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example of selling your art on etsy

How to Get Started Selling Your Art on Etsy

How To


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Have you been looking into getting started selling your art on Etsy? If so, you are in the right place. More than ten years ago, I was working at a soul-crushing day job, constantly day-dreaming about art. I had been asked to create place cards for a friend’s wedding (since I had decent handwriting), which in turn sparked a passion for hand-lettering, which has somehow gotten me to the business I have today (what a ride life is, am I right?). 

From that one wedding project, I became obsessed. Then, one day, my husband encouraged me to open an Etsy shop and I thought… why not? I didn’t know anything about Etsy then (and I definitely didn’t know what I didn’t know!), but it was SO worth it. Today, I want to share advice for getting started selling YOUR art on Etsy! If you’re curious to learn more of my story, head to this Youtube video here.

Learn the basics of SEO 

Before you start selling your art on Etsy, there’s ONE skill you really need to get the hang of: SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. When I think about “what I didn’t know I didn’t know” when I first opened up my Etsy shop, this one is at the top of the list.

In case you are feeling lost too, let me break it down. Basically, SEO is what helps people find your art when they're searching on Etsy. It means that you need to choose the right keywords, titles, and descriptions for your listings. This way, when someone’s looking for something cool and unique like what you’ve got, your stuff shows up in their search results. 

It goes without saying but just to make this clear: if no one can find it, no one can buy it. So, yeah, getting good at SEO is a big deal for getting your art noticed on Etsy.

Want more on this? Head here where I share the basics of using SEO in your product descriptions.

Practice Writing Product Descriptions

Have you ever been guilty of putting a TON of work into your art, or creating a product, only to then rush the product description? Not only do your product descriptions need to be FOUND on Etsy, they have to be pretty compelling too. Consumers have a lot of choices in 2024. That’s not to discourage you, but I want you to be aware of the reality of the situation. Your product descriptions need to clearly communicate exactly what your customer can expect to get, and reinforce why they want it! 

Learn How to Digitize Your Artwork

It sounds silly, but once you’ve created something, you need to learn how to digitize your artwork in order to be able to sell it on Etsy. This isn’t hard to do, but there are certain settings you’ll need to be aware of (and you’ll need some equipment – like a good scanner!). I break down how to digitize your artwork more here if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought!

Price Yourself Properly

There are a LOT of people severely undercharging on Etsy. It’s not just on Etsy either – a lot of artists and other creative business owners don’t understand or appreciate the value of their work. And if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that charging $7 for your art will NOT lead to a sustainable business. No exceptions.

That being said, if you can’t look around at what your “competitors” are charging, how should you decide what to charge? While pricing is more of an art than a science, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Know what your fixed costs and variable costs are (don’t forget about your time!)
  2. Decide what your business goals are (for the short-term AND long-term)
  3. Know what your “break even point” is (the number of prints you’ll have to sell to cover your costs and hit your goals)

Want a more detailed guide to pricing your artwork? Head here next!

Grow Your Own Audience

Here's the kicker: Etsy won't hand you an audience on a silver platter. That's on you. While Etsy is a great starting point for showcasing your work, relying solely on it for audience growth is a bit like hoping to win the lottery. Sure, it could happen, but it’s not the most sustainable way to grow a business. You don’t get access to ANY of your customer’s information from Etsy.

In my opinion, building a strong brand is your secret weapon here. Think of your brand as your art’s signature – it’s what makes your work unmistakably yours. You want to be more than just another shop on Etsy; you want to be a memorable presence that people return to time and again. Etsy does have some tools to help you (like automatic discounts for repeat buyers), but most of the time you’re going to want to grow an online presence off of Etsy too. 

For example, start marketing your business on Instagram and/or focus on getting people to sign up for your email list. You can even offer a discount, freebie, or even exclusive BTS peeks to entice people to join. Growing an email list is one of the BEST investments you can make in your business, and I’ve talked about it here on the blog over and over again. Head here if you want advice for getting started.

Creating a Long-term Plan 

Lastly, if I could go back in time and give myself advice before starting an Etsy shop, I would say this: Etsy is a fantastic starting point, but don’t let it be your endgame. Dream bigger. As your audience grows and your brand solidifies, focus on expanding your presence (or even just create your own website right from the beginning!). While I do think Etsy can offer a great place to start when it comes to selling your artwork online, don’t neglect investing in yourself to grow your OWN business and brand. You won’t be sorry!

Starting an Etsy Shop in 2024

And there you have it—the essential steps for kicking off your new Etsy shop. It's been quite the adventure from those initial days of creating wedding place cards to building a 7-figure business as an artist. It’s been SO worth every step though. As I wrap up, I really want to encourage you to remember that diving into Etsy is just the beginning. It's a platform that offers a lot, but it won't do all the work for you. The real magic happens when you take charge of growing your audience, creating a brand that stands out, and planning for the long term.

PS: Want to learn to make passive income as an artist? Check out my signature course all about licensing your artwork here!

by Jenna Rainey 

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