January 14, 2011
The two most important things are learning to take amazing photos and listing new items in your shop frequently. I would plan to list 12-15 items one weekend to set up your shop and have a 'grand opening.' After that, listing at least something once a week is a good idea. (I would suggest everyday for bead or jewelry makers) It's really hard to sell from an empty shop, so make sure you have inventory to sell and get it listed as often as possible.
A street team would be helpful to someone new on etsy. I know there are teams for almost any medium, style and interest along with teams based on your city or state. I would join a local team first. A team is a group of shop owners that work together to promote each other, each team is different.
Check out the Etsy handbook for tons of great articles on everything you need to know about setting up and running an Etsy shop.
And subscribe to the Etsy Success newsletter, they always offer great information. They are doing a series on shop makeovers right now with lots of great photo tips and weekly assignments.
You don't need a website if you have a blog and an etsy shop. You can set up your blog as your website. If you don't have a blog, work on that too. You have to connect with the online creative community if you are going to sell online.
It is a lot of work to succeed selling online. Finding a niche in your medium will help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of success.