How to Design an Etsy Cover Photo and Launch Your Online Shop

Etsy started back in 2005, before selling online was a big deal and before it felt like everyone you talked to had a side business.

Aimed crafters, artisans, and artists, Etsy has grown to 1.98 million sellers, 35.8 million active buyers, and over 50 million products, meaning it’s a HUGE market with lots of opportunity — and lots of competition.

If you’re starting or revamping an Etsy business, look no further than this advice from two shop owners (and Looka users), who were kind enough to share their advice on how to launch an Etsy shop that sells.

Erin Waters runs TwinLeaves Jewelry, where she sells her handmade bohemian-inspired earrings. She also just launched a sister shop called BohoKiddoCo.

Twinleaves earrings

Sophie Paton runs SPCardsCo, where she sells hand-crafted greeting cards for birthdays, weddings, holidays, and more.

Examples of products sold on EtsySetting up your Etsy shop: the basics

To get started, you’ll need to fill out a few details on Etsy, including:

  • Your shop preferences (country, language, currency)
  • Your shop name (must be without spaces!)
  • A product listing (you need to add at least one product to proceed with shop setup) – more tips on product photos later in this article
  • Bank account information to set up payments

Once your shop is created, you’re ready to move on with design and branding. There are three main spaces at the top of your shop where you can add branded images:

1. Cover photo – The image that spans the top of your shop (previously known as a banner — you can keep a banner as well as a cover photo, but the banner won’t show up on mobile and will be smaller and less impactful than your cover photo).

2. Shop icon – The image that appears under your cover photo to the left of your store name (usually a logo).

3. Profile photo – The image that appears on the right of your shop under the cover photo (usually a photo of you!)

Let’s take a look at the TwinLeaves shop: 

How to design an Etsy cover photo and shop icon

“I had an idea of what I wanted my cover photo to feel like, which is as if you’re drowning in color and texture,” says Erin of her shop. “I purchased the feathers from Clipart Brat on Etsy, and found the delicious painted background somewhere else online. I worked on placing the feathers for a long time so it all flows together.

My advice is not to feel pressured to make everything perfect at first. Take the time to look at beautiful shops and figure out what you’re drawn to and why.

If you can tie that in with your product, then you have a good chance of creating the same type of experience for your customers.

Also, ask questions! Most makers I know are happy to share helpful info.”

Next up is Sophie from SPCardsCo:

Etsy cover photo and shop icon

I wanted SPCardsCo’s brand to be fun and quirky, like the cards we produce, but also sophisticated. I use my logo in both the profile picture and in the cover photo for my Etsy shop, as well as all of SPCardsCo’s social media profiles.

Consistency within your branding is key for customers identifying your company across these different profiles. I always use the PNG versions of our logo online as you don’t get any pixelation.

I love customizing my cover photo to reflect different seasons or particular occasions, such as Christmas or Easter.

I use Canva for designing images to promote particular product lines, new releases, events, and coupon codes. It’s easy to use and you can upload your own images, such as your logo, to create social media posts or a seasonal cover photo.

For free photos in my social media posts, I go to Burst; they have a massive range of free stock photos to use.

My advice for others is research, research, research! There’s so much help online from bloggers, fellow Etsians, and other small businesses about how to set up an Etsy shop and how to present your products.

Spend time thinking about how you want your shop to look, who your target audience is, and how you are going to promote your shop once its live.”

How to design an Etsy cover photo and add it to your shop

To reiterate, the cover photo is the image that spans the top of your shop. The minimum size is 1200 x 300 pixels; Etsy recommends 3360 x 840 pixels for the clearest display.

You have a few options for your cover photo:

  • Design your own cover image using a paid program like Illustrator or Photoshop, or a free program like PicMonkey.
  • Buy cover photo templates from another Etsy seller (see Erin’s tip above) or Creatopy. Remember to choose patterns or designs that match the colors and feelings of your logo and other branding!
  • Take a product photo that can be used as your cover photo. Keep in mind it should be a wide shot and it’s best not to use something busy or crowded.
  • As an option, you can add your logo to your cover photo, like Sophie did above — you’ll need a program like Illustrator or Canva to do this.
    Note: If you’ve purchased a logo and social media kit from Looka, Etsy cover photo options with your logo are included.

Once you have your cover photo ready and saved, here’s how to add or change it in Etsy: 

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. Go to your Shop Manager and click the edit (pencil) icon next to your shop name under Sales Channels.
  3. Click Add a Cover Photo or click the camera icon at the bottom right to change an existing photo. 
  4. Select your cover photo file and click Save Changes.

How to design an Etsy shop icon

The shop icon is the image that appears under your cover photo to the left of your store name. This is an optimal place to use your logo! If you don’t have one yet, check out our logo ideas gallery or use our logo creator to get started.

Your shop icon should be 500 x 500 pixels (note: if you’ve purchased the social media kit add-on from Looka, you’ll have a version of your logo sized for Etsy).

To add or change your Etsy shop icon: 

  1. Sign in to your Etsy account.
  2. Go to your Shop Manager and click the edit (pencil) icon next to your shop name under Sales Channels.
  3. Click the camera icon next to the shop illustration. 
  4. Select your file and click Save Changes.

How to change your Etsy profile photo (shop owner image) 

The profile photo is the image that appears on the right of your shop under the cover photo. It’s usually a picture of you, the shop owner — something that conveys trust and personality.

To add or change your Etsy profile photo: 

  1. Sign in to your Etsy account.
  2. Click You, then select Account Settings and Public Profile.
  3. Click Browse or Choose file.
  4. Select your file and click Save Changes.

Etsy product photo tips

Running a successful Etsy shop will hinge on your product photos. And, as mentioned above, you won’t be able to create your store until you have at least one product listing.

Product photos must be at least 1000 pixels wide. Etsy automatically resizes and crops photos from the center — here’s more information on adjusting and sizing listing photos.

Here’s Erin from TwinLeaves on how she photographs products: 

“I take the product photos myself, but I really procrastinate — I think I have about 20 listings that need to be photographed right now! I try to use natural light, simple props, and make sure that the items are represented clearly, so the colors aren’t distorted too much.

I would love to have a model to photograph as well. One day!”

Feather earrings sold from online Etsy shop

And here’s Sophie, who outsources her photography: 

Product photography is massively important when promoting your online shop and attracting attention from customers.

SPCardsCo’s product photos are taken by a good friend who is a professional photographer. She hadn’t previously done product photography but was up for the challenge and did a brilliant job.

We used wooden backboards and various props (mainly plants! I love cacti) to create a bright, crisp image of my cards. I got the backboards from a fellow “Etsian” who was very happy to create a custom order for me for the purpose of product photography.

My main tips for someone doing their own product photography would be to keep it simple: use natural light (no flash!) and a plain background.

If you’re not comfortable with doing product photography, reach out to local or amateur photographers. It’ll be much more cost-efficient than a professional photographer and they don’t necessarily have to specialize in product photography; most will love the opportunity to explore a new avenue.”

A note on writing Etsy product descriptions

“You need a balance of enough information to make your product stand out without bombarding customers with information. Once you’ve written a few listings, you get into the swing of things.

I came up with a template that I could use for writing my listings, including a main topic sentence, bullet points of product specifications (materials, size, and occasion, and then information on postage and packaging, shop policies, and more.” – Sophie, SPCardsCo

Tips for marketing your Etsy shop

Once your shop is up and running, you’ll want to show it off. And because Etsy is a super-visual platform, all that work you put into your shop design, product photos, and logo will transfer beautifully to social media. (On that note, you can also see our guide to using your logo on social media).

“I LOVE Instagram. If you don’t have a dime to spend on advertising, it’s the way to go,” says Erin of TwinLeaves.

“I’ve used paid ads, of course, but at this level (part-time business) paid ads can be hard to maintain. With Instagram, you can learn how to reach lots of people who are looking for products like the ones you offer. It’s so easy to use, and every photo looks great.”

Photo of Etsy shop landing page

Sophie also shared how she uses social media to promote SPCardsCo.

“I rely heavily on my Instagram and Facebook pages as a means of advertising cards, new lines, promotions and discount codes.

Several blogs have collated various hashtags you can use on social media for the particular type of product you are trying to promote. I love this blog post from Folksy and use several of the hashtags they mention, such as #craftsposure and #createmakeshare.

I always keep a list of current hashtags to use for each post on the notes on my phone, specifically for promoting handmade products or greetings cards.”

Picture of Instagram account promoting Christmas cards on an Etsy shop

And there you have it! The basics on how to set up, brand, and promote your Etsy shop. Let’s review.

Key takeaways

  • At minimum, you need a one-word shop name, at least one product listing, and bank account info before you launch your Etsy shop.
  • To brand your shop, you need a cover photo, a shop icon (usually a logo!), and a profile photo. Test how these assets look together and make sure all images are sized correctly!
  • Product photos are super important for a successful Etsy shop. Spend time taking appealing photos, or outsource the task if it’s not your strength.
  • Ask for help! As Sophie points out, there are tons of blog from fellow “Etsians” on how to write product listings, increase your sales, and make your Etsy shop look awesome. Her personal favorite is The Ultimate Guide to Etsy from Fuzzy & Birch, where you get regular tips, exercises, and guidance on how to set up a successful Etsy business.
  • Social media is your friend when it comes to Etsy marketing! By spending time on your product photos, logo, and other branding assets, you’ll have a great head start to creating visuals to share on Facebook, Instagram, and more.

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