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TEE #030 16 Lies You've Been Told About Building an Online Business

business advice Oct 14, 2023
16 Lies you've been told about building an online business - SJ Etsy Queen - Sarah-Jane Lewis

Read time: 5 minutes

If you’re considering starting an online ecommerce business selling your handmade, vintage, or digital products, you’ve probably encountered some common myths and misconceptions. As a 5 time Etsy Business Owner and Etsy coach helping artists and crafters build successful businesses, I’m tackling 16 top myths about making money online from your talents.


Myth 1: You can make big money fast.

Reality: Building a profitable online business takes time, effort, and patience. Focus on providing value, connecting with customers, and improving over the long haul vs. getting rich quick.


Myth 2: You don’t need much startup money.

Reality: While costs can be low initially, you need some capital for supplies, tools, advertising, and other expenses to launch effectively. Budget wisely.


Myth 3: Handmade doesn’t sell online.

Reality: Handmade thrives on sites like Etsy! Take great photos, focus on branding, optimise for SEO, and provide excellent service.


Myth 4: You don’t need social media.

Reality: Platforms like Instagram and Tiktok are key for finding customers and driving traffic. Post regularly, use hashtags, engage with followers.


Myth 5: SEO isn’t important.

Reality: Search engine optimisation helps customers find you. Research keywords, optimise listings, use alt text on images.


Myth 6: Anyone can run an online business.

Reality: You need organisation, marketing, photography, writing, accounting and other skills. Learn as you go and outsource what you can’t handle.


Myth 7: Sales will be steady year-round.

Reality: Prepare for ebbs and flows based on seasons, holidays, and trends. Save during highs to cover dips. Offer seasonal products.


Myth 8: Handmaking is always cheaper.

Reality: Factor in your time and all costs. Price based on materials plus fair wage for your skill level and time invested.


Myth 9: Making money from your passion is easy.

Reality: It takes effort to turn talents into profits. Manage finances, operations, marketing, etc. Set realistic expectations.


Myth 10: You don’t need to track finances.

Reality: Careful bookkeeping is essential when self-employed. Budget expenses, track income sources, save receipts, register with the taxman.


Myth 11: It can just be a side hobby.

Reality: To grow, devote regular time and treat it like a business. Set business hours, goals, and processes. Learn as you scale.


Myth 12: Anyone can make and sell stuff online.

Reality: Creating quality, appealing products requires practice and skill. Invest in your craft and develop your unique style.


Myth 13: Digital products don’t take much effort.

Reality: Effective online products require planning, creation, marketing, tech skills and maintenance. Budget substantial time.


Myth 14: Going viral is the goal.

Reality: Focus on building a sustainable business vs. sudden virality. Stay consistent with products and messaging.


Myth 15: You don’t need a website.

Reality: A professional site lends legitimacy and helps you connect with customers 24/7. Consider Shopify once you are into the swing of things.  Don't spread yourself too thin at the start of your journey.  It could cost you a lot of time and money, as well as burn you out!


Myth 16: Overnight success is possible.

Reality: Steady sales take time. Focus on consistency, not get-rich-quick schemes. Create long-term goals and be patient.


Key Takeaways:

Don’t buy into myths! Building an online ecommerce business from your talents takes research, skill development, time, financial investment, strategy, patience, and hard work. With realistic expectations and commitment, you can achieve sustainable success selling online.

Focus on providing value, learning as you go, connecting with customers, and growing your business steadily over time. You’ve got this!

Happy Selling!

SJ xoxo


If you're still looking for traction in your Etsy business, I'd recommend starting with one of the following:

1. → My Free Etsy WorkshopPerfect for you if you are just starting out on Etsy. Learn how you can turn your creative passions into cash to earn your first £1000 on Etsy.

2.  Join my Free Community: Successful Etsy Entrepreneurs is a Facebook community filled with creative people just like yourself all looking to grow their inline businesses.

3. → Join my VIP Members: Successful Ecommerce Entrepreneurs for only £27 a month.  With my expert guidance and actionable strategies in my private membership, you'll gain the skills and knowledge you need to build a profitable and sustainable online business.




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