Ways to Make Money with the Etsy Affiliate Program

Most people know Etsy as a handmade (and vintage) marketplace, where people can sell what they make – crafts, clothes, jewelry, home decor, gifts, art and much more. But did you know that Etsy has an affiliate program, and that you can make money from Etsy without actually being an Etsy seller? It’s true! Today I’d like to share six ways to make money with the Etsy affiliate program…

I've had so much fun (and success!) with it, I thought I'd share six ways to make money with the Etsy affiliate program. You'll also learn how to apply for the Etsy Affiliate Program, some rules you'll want to know, how much you can make, 19+ blog post ideas specific to Etsy, and more. #ThrivingAffiliates #EtsyAffiliateProgram

Interview Makers + Artists

This is by far one of my favorite ways to make money with the Etsy affiliate program! I love it because I get to focus on on particular artist or maker. Here’s how I usually do it:

I search Etsy for a product I’d like to talk about. Let’s say it’s jewelry in this case. I’ll search jewelry (maybe getting specific like “minimalist jewelry” or “boho jewelry”, etc.) until I find some thing (or things) that I like. 

I then dive deeper and check out the shop. Does it seem full? Active? Do I like the images I see? Do they have good reviews? And are the prices in line with what my readers typically spend on jewelry like this? If yes, I go even further by checking out their about pages.

I do all of this because, if I’m going to spend my time creating a blog post about this person, I want them to be around for awhile! I’ve seen so many Etsy shops come and go. So when I find someone I feel like will make a great interviewee, I reach out to them.

One of the things I think is so great about the Etsy affiliate program is that any commissions I receive are paid 100% by Etsy. Your commissions do not cut into the seller’s profit at all! Etsy considers the affiliate commissions part of their advertising budget. So it’s a win for you and the seller/maker/artist.  

In reaching out to them, I tell them how much I love their products, and how I think my blog readers will, too. So I’d like to interview them — I do mine via email. It gives them time to reflect on their answers, and it makes it easy for me to simply copy and paste the questions and answers into WordPress. 

I keep it all very low pressure. And once you’ve done one interview like this, you can share that link with the next person (or people) you want to interview, so they can get an idea of what they’re getting into. 

I’d say I get a close to 100% response rate from the people I contact, but a few never follow through with actually answering my questions. For that reason, I like to have a few makers/artists in my “queue” so to speak. I also give them a reasonable deadline. Usually 2-3 weeks. 

Round-Up Posts

I love a good round-up post, and because Etsy has such a huge variety of items (60 MILLION items, give or take!) I’m sure you’ll find this type of post fun and easy! 

Here are just a few round-up post ideas:

  • 10 Minimalist Necklaces You’ll Love to Wear
  • Art for the (modern/farmhouse/beach/contemporary/etc.) Home
  • Engagement Rings She’ll Say Yes to!
  • 15 Gifts for a New Mom
  • 8 Housewarming Gifts They’ll Actually Love
  • Affordable, Sustainable, Handmade Clothes You’ll Feel Good About Wearing
  • Create the Perfect Party with these Handmade Supplies
  • 7 Modern Desks for Your New Home Office
  • 15 DIY Projects that make Great Gifts for Tweens

As you can see, these ideas are all over the place! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I could make up round-up post ideas for Etsy all day.  That’s because Etsy has so many things to choose from. 

One thing to note: when choosing items to feature in any of these ideas, I suggest trying to avoid things that are one-of-a-kind. Simply because, once it’s gone, it’s gone. And if someone takes the time to read through your blog post, then click over to Etsy to check out something you featured that they love and it’s gone… they’ll definitely be disappointed to say the least. (And it makes your blog post outdated!) 

Write About Supporting Small, Women-Owned Businesses

Did you know that 86% of Etsy sellers are women? It’s true. So when you shop on Etsy, you’re more than likely helping to support a woman, a mom, and/or a small business that directly helps pay people’s bills, helps a mom stay home with her children, and generally helps the economy. 

If you are already blogging about these types of topics, why not feature some of these mompreneurs ?

Create a DIY Craft Project Using Supplies Purchased on Etsy

If you’re a DIY or craft blogger, you probably already know that one of the other categories that is insanely popular on Etsy is craft supplies

You could use and suggest those supplies in your own craft DIY project. This could be on your website (with text links to all of the products used), your YouTube Channel (with the products used listed in the video’s description area), etc. 

Use Etsy's Own Sections to Create Post Ideas

Etsy itself is a great way to come up with blog post ideas. You can obviously check out their high-level sections (like Jewelry & Accessories, Clothing & Shoes, Home & Living, Wedding & PartyToys & Entertainment, Art & Collectibles, Craft Supplies, and Vintage).  

They also have gift-guides with curated listings that will make your searches easier. 

But I also suggest going deeper. For instance, if you click on Home & Living you’ll find several sub-categories, like Kitchen & Dining, and even more categories under that, like Kitchen Decor, and so on. 

These sub-categories, and even sub-sub categories are just ripe with blog post ideas.  

All Things Weddings

One of the most popular categories on Etsy is weddings (this one wedding shop alone has over a half a million sales so far!), so if there is anyway you can create a blog post that fits your niche and includes wedding items, all the better! 

Some blog post ideas for you to consider and/or get other ideas and inspiration from:

  • Fall Wedding Trends
  • These Brides Bought Their Wedding Decor on Etsy: See What They Chose
  • Outdoor Wedding Props
  • These Bridesmaid Gifts are Perfection
  • Handmade Groomsmen Gifts You’ll Love to Give
  • Handmade Wedding Dresses That Fit Your Budget
  • Sweet Handmade Wedding Favors (That You Don’t Have to Make!)
  • Sustainable Wedding Ideas
  • Custom, Handmade Wedding Cake Toppers
  • Bridesmaid Party Ideas

Again, the ideas are virtually endless! It’s just about fitting them into your own blogging niche. 

How to Become an Etsy Affiliate

Etsy’s affiliate program is run by the affiliate network AWIN. AWIN is, well, “unique” among affiliate network because they charge you a $5 fee to sign up as an affiliate. According to AWIN’s FAQs:

“Awin asks for a $5 deposit to join the network to verify your bank account details and minimize the risk of unethical activity. It is refunded to your publisher account as soon as you track your first sale.”

Some people are turned off by this, but I assume AWIN does it to keep less serious people/bloggers from applying. 

Once you’ve applied for, and are approved for the AWIN affiliate network, then you can apply for Etsy’s affiliate program. They typically take a few days to a week to approve you, so you’l need to be a bit patient. 

If, for some reason, you are rejected from the program: first, don;t take it personally. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing or things you need to change to be accepted. So if you are rejected, politely reach out to the person who sent the rejection and ask why, and what you might be able to do to be accepted. 

This actually happened to a couple of my friends! One got a response that her blog was simply too new. She added several more blog posts, let some time go by and reapplied — and she was approved! 

The other didn’t have the required affiliate disclosures, a privacy policy, etc. She fixed that, reapplied and was also then accepted. 

So don’t take your rejection as final. Find out what you need to do, do it, and re-apply. 

Once approved you’ll get their affiliate newsletter, have access to several banners, and they occasionally have fun affiliate contests. I won one in 2018 and got a $100 Etsy gift card! It was pretty sweet! 

How Much You Make as an Etsy Affiliate?

The standard Etsy affiliate commission rate is 4%. Sure, that’s not a lot, but like with all affiliate marketing, it can add up. Plus their Cookie window is 30 days (compare that to Amazon’s 24 hour cookie and you can see that’s pretty fair!) 

So, in most cases, if you send someone to Etsy via your affiliate link, you’ll earn a 4% commission on whatever they buy during that time — not just the item or items you referred them to on your blog. 

I said “in most cases” because there are a few ways someone might purchase something via your affiliate link within that 30 days and you still won’t get paid for it. For instance:

  • If the items purchased are returned or canceled
  • Gift Card purchases earn no commissions
  • When money orders, checks & other payment options are used, no commissions are earned

As for how much you can make as an Etsy Affiliate, that’s entirely up to you. You might make $0, or you could make a lot. After all, Etsy had almost $4 BILLION in sales in 2018, so people are definitely shopping there. 


Important Rules You Should Know

There are plenty of rules in the Etsy Affiliate program, and you can read them in detail here and here. But there are a few highlights I think are important to note for bloggers:

  • Sign up for the Etsy Affiliate Program in Your Country

First, make sure you sign up for the affiliate program in your country. Current countries include: Canada, UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Australia. They also have an EU and ‘Rest of World’ accounts available to those with no country specific program to join.

The good news is that, no matter what country you join from, commissions are paid no matter what country the actual sale was made in.

  • Don’t Link Directly to Etsy Listings on Pinterest

When I first joined the Etsy affiliate program, you could create Pins on Pinterest that were direct affiliate links. That practice is no longer allowed on Pinterest (bummer!) But as of 1/7/2020 you can share direct links on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. 

If you use Pinterest to promote affiliate links, send them to your blog post (first) that includes the affiliate links within the post itself. 

  • You CAN Be an Etsy Seller and an Affiliate

You are allowed to be an Etsy seller and an affiliate (this is also a somewhat new rule) but you cannot promote your own shop (or shops you are “are closely related to”) with your affiliate links. As far as shops you are “closely related to” I’m unclear on what exactly that means (maybe if your spouse owns a shop, too?) If you think this situation might apply to you, you can always email the Etsy Affiliate support team from your country and ask for clarification. 

What do you think of these ways to make money with the Etsy affiliate program? Are you feeling inspired? Let us know in the comments below! 

By the way, if you’re interested in starting an Etsy shop, you can get your first 40 Etsy listings FREE when you use this link

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