How I Make Money on Etsy: May 2016 Edition


Records, records, and more records. If I were to sum up May for Miss Bizi Bee, that’s how I’d do it. Nothing crazy happened in May, it was just consistent orders coming in via Etsy, solid performance from digital revenue channels, and the benefits and traction that come along with consistent hard work.

It was an incredible month for Kaitlin, so let’s dive right in.

The quick stats:

Traffic: 14,379 unique visitors; +4.9% m/m

Gross Revenue: $7,535.34; +45.2% m/m

Net Revenue: $6,188.23; +56.8% m/m

The Chart Porn:

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May revenue crested the $7,500 mark for the first time ever. What month! The craziest thing about May though was Kaitlin never really seemed stretched too thin. Orders came in on a consistent basis without any large lumps coming all at once. It was manageable for her, and extremely rewarding.


Miss Bizi Bee Traffic Breakdown

Traffic was perhaps the one area that failed to move into record territory in May. January still stands as king of the mountain, but I have a feeling it won’t last long. After spending the last few months hanging out in the thirteen-thousand unique visitor zone, May actually popped up into the fourteen-thousands.

Here’s a look at the different traffic channels compared to March:

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The most impressive line item here is organic traffic. It continues to build on itself in an impressive way. If you recall, organic traffic grew a bit more than 7% from March to April. But from April to May it popped nearly 19% from April’s number.

I’m a big believer in the power of organic traffic. You can see why in the following graph:

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As long as Kaitlin continues to publish high-quality content, her organic continues to grow at a pretty steady pace. It’s amazing to see this channel still putting in double digit percentage gains on a month-over-month basis.

I hope this is a pattern we continue to see moving forward as it only fuels Kaitlin’s digital revenue channels.

Miss Bizi Bee Revenue Breakdown

Once again, most of Kaitlin’s revenue came via her Etsy shop in May.

Of the $7,535,34 in revenue here’s how it broke out by channel: Etsy (93.3%), Amazon affiliate links (6.23%), Amazon Ads (0.27%), AdSense (0.18%):

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Etsy Revenue

As mentioned previously, Etsy orders were just strong all month. No crazy social shares or rushes for a particular holiday. Just a solid stream of orders flowing all month long.

I attribute this largely to Kaitlin’s hard work over the last year and a half. She constantly goes out of her way to be friendly, accommodate, and make her customers’ days. As a result, she’s had over 1,500 sales, 530 feedback ratings with a 5-star average (just… wow right there in itself!), and over 1,200 people have favorited her shop.

To build a digital asset and presence like that in a year and a half takes a ton of work. So it’s no surprise to me to see that work paying off in a big way.

Blog Revenue

April saw non-Etsy revenue come to about 9% of total revenue generated. It was only 6.7% of total revenue this month, but that’s largely because Etsy revenue was so strong in May compared to April.

Amazon Affiliate Links

As is always the case, blog revenue was driven largely by Amazon affiliate link earnings. This channel pushed into record territory with $469 in earnings which edged out the previous record of $453 set in January.

It’s surprising that this channel was able to generate more revenue than January when January saw more unique visitors to the blog than May. All that means is that Kaitlin’s revenue per thousand unique visitors was higher than usual:

I’m not sure why that would be. I can’t think of any seasonal trends that would affect this number like in October (Halloween… Kaitlin loves her costume crafts!). It will be interesting to see whether or not this was an anomaly or if we start seeing a higher baseline for revenue per thousand visits.


Revenue via AdSense was pretty sad yet again in May. This isn’t a huge contributor, and I honestly don’t think it ever will be. But who’s going to say no to an extra $13.65 for the month? Not Kaitlin!

This was actually slightly higher than the $12.95 earned in April, but not by much. Again, we’d expect AdSense earnings to increase along with traffic. And that’s what we saw in May.

Amazon CPM Ads

May pulled in about $20 via Amazon CPM ads. This was lower than the $25.50 generated in April. But Kaitlin was paid a total of $6.00 for two “bounties” in April. So excluding those, this revenue went up slightly.

Again, this is to be expected considering her traffic increased slightly from April to May. Like AdSense, this is a small contributor. But when you combine the two ad channels the contribute a little more than $1.00/day to the bottom line. That’s more than enough to pay Kaitlin’s hosting and domain registration costs for the entire year! So not too shabby being able to more than cover the costs of the blog with some simple, hands-off display advertising.

Miss Bizi Bee Expenses Breakdown

For the first time ever, Kaitlin’s expense-to-revenue ratio fell below the 20% mark. The reason for the drop is again, the combination of Kaitlin not needing to make any large materials purchases to fulfill her Etsy orders and the growth in her digital revenue.

Here’s a look at the long-term chart:

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I love seeing this number creep increasingly lower as it means Kaitlin is becoming less reliant on Etsy.

Closing Up Shop

Kaitlin started the Miss Bizi Bee journey in late 2014, simultaneously launching her blog and opening her Etsy shop. Her first blog posts were tutorials on wedding crafts that she made for our wedding, and her first Etsy listings were the same decorations.

When she started Miss Bizi Bee, it was a way for Kaitlin to escape corporate America, regain her sanity, and spend her time doing something she truly loves: crafting. But it was also, the Etsy shop at least, designed to be a means to an end.

Kaitlin’s dream job has always been to be a mother, and we’ve been planning our little family for awhile now. That plan took a big step forward last November when Kaitlin became pregnant with our first child. As a result, she’d planned on closing her Etsy shop at the end of June so that she could focus her energy on our baby boy, Tucker, and our family.

But Tucker had other plans; he surprised us by deciding to move his arrival date up some seven weeks, joining our family on June 4th. The last couple weeks have been an utter whirlwind, but we’re happy to report that Tucker is healthy. He just need some extra TLC in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

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As a result, Kaitlin has decided to close her shop early. She actually (somehow) managed to find the time to shut it down between the time her water broke and making it to the hospital.

Most people are shocked when Kaitlin tells them she’s closing up her Etsy shop indefinitely. They wonder how she can “walk away” from something like that, especially when she’s worked so hard to build it.

But it’s not so much that Kaitlin is walking away from one thing as much as it is she’s walking toward something new. She’s chosen to pour her energy into something we both believe is a higher priority and, to us, much more valuable: our little boy and our family.

I’m proud of Kaitlin for not only being extremely successful in the journey of Miss Bizi Bee, but understanding herself enough to know what’s most important to her.

That’s not to say she’ll never reopen her Etsy shop. It’s not getting deleted into the ether of the Internet. She can open it any time she wishes, take a few orders, and be happy to make some extra money. And she probably will do that at some point.

And Miss Bizi Bee the blog isn’t going anywhere. Once we find a new rhythm with our new lives I’m sure Kaitlin will be back to blogging on a regular basis, and the blog will continue to grow.

But as a result of taking a step back, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to write monthly revenue reports. Kaitlin and I have decided that a quarterly report makes much more sense. That way, hopefully we’ll have something new to share and it won’t get too boring.

So don’t worry, this isn’t the end. It’s just a new chapter. See you in August for our Q3 report!


  1. says

    hey first of all your blog is awesome and your revenue reports are great too. I have tried amazon affiliate marketing worked great for me, never tried ETSY as no scope in India. thanks for Inspiring post to focus more on my online marketing business.

  2. says

    Congratulations! Little Tucker is adorable!

    Good luck on your new adventure. I have two older boys and raising them certainly is a very rewarding adventure (even if challenging at times!)

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