Etsy Affiliate Program Review
What you will learn in this Etsy affiliate program review:
- What Is Etsy?
- What Is The Etsy Affiliate Program?
- How To Join The Etsy Affiliate Program
- Do Etsy Provide Affiliate Materials?
- How Do I Make Money With Etsy?
- Pros and Cons
What is Etsy?
Etsy.com started as a marketplace for artists and creatives to sell their pieces.
More recently it has allowed sellers of print on demand type products but it still retains a certain degree of cachet, which allows such sellers to charge more than they would on say RedBubble.com.
What Is The Etsy Affiliate Program?
As you can see from the screen grab above, Etsy has an affiliate program.
This means any customers you refer to the Etsy website will earn you a commission when they make a purchase from the marketplace. This excludes things like postage & packing.
Tracking lasts for a reasonably generous 30 days so even if someone doesn’t buy immediately after following you link they might still generate some commission for you during that 30 day period.
At the time of writing (Sep 2020) the commission rate is 4%.
How To Join The Etsy Affiliate Program
The program is run by Awin. It is quite unusual in that it charges a fee. Go to their website and click on ‘Partner with the world’s leading brands’.
Alternatively, if you currently run an Etsy shop then you should be able to apply to the program from within your account.
Click on ‘Join our network’ and then fill out your information. You will note that joining Awin requires you to pay a £5/$5 deposit. This is refunded back when you make some sales. I have to say that I am not really a fan of paying to join an affiliate network and to be honest can’t say I’ve heard of any other instances where you are expected to pay.
I suppose Awin are hoping to avoid applications from people that aren’t really committed to getting sales.
Assuming you get through all that then you can apply to join the Etsy Affiliate Program. At the time of writing I still haven’t received a reply from Awin regarding a question I had so have not been able to complete the sign up.
If you aren’t successful at the first time of asking then don’t assume it’s a permanent no.
If that’s the case then just fix the issue and reapply at a later date and you may find that you get approved.
Do Etsy Provide Affiliate Materials?
Awin are one of the top affiliate marketplaces and so you can expect a number of materials to help you as an affiliate.
You get banners for your website, there is an affiliate newsletter, a blog for marketing tips and an affiliate inspiration page.
Sometimes they also run competitions for affiliates so you may manage to pick up a prize too!
How Do I Make Money With Etsy?
As an affiliate there are a number of angles you could use to make some money with Etsy.
Listicle: A listicle or list article is an increasingly popular type of blog post. You could come up with an almost infinite number of lists given the 60 million or so items listed on Etsy. For example if you have a blog about cats then you could do a number of listicles showcasing different items in each post eg, Top 10 cat themed bags, Top 10 cat collars, Top 10 cat face masks, Top 10 cat jewellery, etc.
Specific Shop/Artist: Again depending on the niche of your own blog you could promote artists or Etsy shops that are in a similar niche to yours. If you have particular favourite shops then create a post around each one and showcase the items that you particularly like or think will strike a chord with your audience. As an extra bonus you could even try and do an interview with the owner. A big advantage of promoting a shop over a specific product is that a particular product might get removed quite suddenly while a shop is likely to remain around for longer.
Arts & Crafts: If your site is in the arts & crafts niche then you should be able to promote many different products on Etsy that would fit as examples in any number of blog posts that you could create. You could, perhaps, create an item using materials purchased from Etsy. If you have a YouTube channel then you could video the whole process.
Use Etsy as inspiration: You could use Etsy itself to provide inspiration for blog posts. For example you could go through the categories and subcategories to find suitable title ideas for your own blog.
Social Media: You can leverage your social media to promote Etsy products that you like.
Most/Least Expensive: If you have a blog about making money you could do an article on the most expensive items on Etsy to show people what they can buy when they become successful!
How to: If you blog in a ‘how to’ niche you could highlight products on Etsy that show the finished result of using the instructions in your ‘how to’ blog post.
Events: You run an event company, so while writing articles promoting the sort of events you run you could mix in links to Etsy products that fit in. For example a wedding organiser might write an article on creating gifts for bridesmaids and then include some examples from Etsy.
Content Marketing: Everyone is trying to get on page 1 of google search results. Etsy is great for that as it is a veritable gold mine of long tail keywords. If you can build up enough posts that rank on page 1 even for fairly low volume searches then you should start to see an increase in overall traffic to your site. If you are able to retain those eyeballs with the quality of your content then that’s where the gold is plus you may also cream off some of that Etsy affiliate commission too. (Hint: This is the main reason I wrote this article)
There are a number of things that are probably going to rub you the wrong way so it’s best to find out now:
this Payment Types: certain payment types are excluded from earning affiliate commissions
Gift Cards: if someone follows your link and then adds on a £100 gift card to their shopping unfortunately you wont earn commission on the gift card.
The ‘joining’ fee: Ok it’s only a trivial amount but seriously expecting people to pay to join your program and then deciding that there not worthy. Surely it should be the other way round. If you insist on having the fee at least do the checks first and only if the person is deemed fit to join then ask them to pay the fee.
Etsy Affiliate Program Review: Pros and Cons
- 30 day cookie – longer than some (eg Amazon), but not as long as others.
- Product Range – Enormous range of products to promote – there should be something for pretty much every blog out there.
- Brand Recognition – Etsy is a very well known and trusted brand.
- 4% commission – the problem with most affiliate programs involving physical products is the much lower levels of commission.
- Lots of hurdles – if you aren’t an Etsy seller already then you have to apply through Awin and get accepted both by them and then by Etsy. In addition there are lots of other rules to follow such as you can’t link directly from a Pinterest pin but you can from Instagram or Facebook.
- Paid Ads – you have to send leads via a landing page (although you probably would anyway). given the low commission rate it would be difficult to see how paid ads would actually be profitable anyway.
- No commission on your own shops – to be fair not really that much of a surprise but every little helps.
Etsy Affiliate Program Review: Conclusion
I would say that given the low commission rate and the potential issues even getting approved, it’s probably not the first affiliate program I would look to join. Unless your audience is closely aligned with Etsy and therefore is more likely to buy the sorts of products sold on Etsy then it may not be worth the time and trouble of creating content to promote it.
If you are looking for affiliate programs with the potential to provide more profit then take a look at these articles: Recurring Affiliate Programs, Kartra vs ClickFunnels, NordVPN Review, Top Web Hosting Companies 2020, Make Money with Instagram