I wanted to write this entry awhile ago, but I was hoping to link it to the original source articles where I got my information. Since I can't find them again (darnit!) I'm posting without.
The article talked about the importance of diversifying in online marketing. The old, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" idea.
I'm generally happy with Etys, but the article did make good points. I don't run Etsy. I have little to no control in what changes they may choose to make. It is in my best interest not to connect my entire business future on something I have so little control over. Diversifying helps buffer the risk of changes that may negatively affect my business in any one venue.
So I started several other easy to operate online shops in other venues. I've linked these so that you can see how they look if these are venues you are interested in as well, but bear in mind that I have very little added to my other shops yet. I just don't make things fast enough, I'm afraid.
Mintd.com - http://www.mintd.com/stores/show/1032-Karabu-s-Creations
eCrater - http://karabu.ecrater.com/
Lov.Li - http://lov.li/users/2886
There are more sites out there, but these are more than enough for me to deal with right now.
On all of these sites, there are no listing fees, and the selling commission runs from about 5% to 7.5%. On eCrater there are no fees at all. eCrater also has a neat page with promotion tools that tell you how to add your site into various search engines, and other great tips.
The other thing I did was buy my own domain: Karabu's Pathcwork Creations
It only cost about $18.00 or $19.00 for two years thru GoDaddy.com. I'm a far cry from being ready to start up my own website, but because I have my domain, I will be able to have that option later of if I so choose. Right now all that site does is forward to my Etsy shop, because that's the main place I want to sell right now. The larger benefit, though, is that I can put all my effort into promoting my own site instead of another (like Etsy for example) What that does for me is if and when at some later time I choose to change the focus of where I sell, I don't have to start promoting all over again. I just change where my site forwards to, or actually start my own site. The point is, with my own url, I have a lot more options and control over how my business runs and grows.