Thanks so much for getting in touch. I hope you don’t mind me replying publicly to your question, I just felt it might be of benefit for anyone else with a similar question. (and I went a little over the word count to reply privately haha)
That sounds great, I strongly encourage you to get out there and go for it! I’ve tried a couple different online selling sites and I’ve personally found Etsy to be the best fit for me. They have a really great search function if you’re savvy with how you tag your items, and they also have a very supportive team who are always sending out helpful emails with hints and tips of how to improve your store.
Photos are important.
Consider the best way to portray your lovely cards so that when people are searching for things yours stand out against the pack. Also remember that when people are searching for your items they only see a 25mm x 15mm thumbnail, so close ups of certain details can be useful as well. I find that using bright coloured backgrounds, or interesting environments can be very helpful, as long as they don’t distract from your items.
Tagging is important.
This is the best way of utilizing their search function. I always use tags that I would use if I were trying to find my illustration. You can also look at popular shops for tagging ideas, they will be at the bottom of their listing.
Your item’s description is important.
Be as clear in the description of your cards as possible. I always try to cover size, paper stock, paper weight, how it has been printed, how it will be packaged ect. Also, don’t be afraid to put some of your personality into descriptions too! I try my best to write in a way that reflects the way I would speak to someone about that item in person. Your personality should be embraced and could be something that makes people sit up and pay attention.
Customer Service is of paramount importance.
I try to develop good relationships with my customers, because at the end of the day, they’re freaking’ awesome. This is much easier to do in person at markets and at design fairs, but online I try my best to communicate with them efficiently and notify them of when I’ve received and sent their orders. Even small things like putting in an extra birthday card when I see that someone has bought a print for their partners birthday just helps to show that you value your customers.
Re: Is Business Good?
When I first opened my Etsy store I had one sale every 2 months, if that. That then grew to one sale every month, one a week, and now to the point where my local post office all know me by name (and give me cute animals stamps). However, that took time, and is the combined effort of Markets, Design Fairs, drunken business cards swapping, and social media sharing.
So it really depends on how much you are willing to put in, and everything takes time. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t kick off right away, people just need to be guided in your direction. Some people might be lucky and don’t need to do much promotional media themselves, but I still do frequent markets around Melbourne, and am constantly reassessing my store to find new ways I can improve it. I also share my new experiments and works with my Instagram followers, as I find it to be an excellent way to include people in the process and get great feedback on new pieces.
Anyway, I think it might be time for me to climb down from this little soapbox. I hope this has been helpful for you, and best of luck with the creative adventure you’re about to embark on!