Imagine waking up in the morning and seeing you’ve already made $100 in sales for the day. It’s a great feeling making money in your sleep so read this epic guide on how to sell printables on Etsy.
Keep reading to learn what I did to sell 27k worth of printables on Etsy and how to successfully start your own Etsy shop!
What Are Printables?
Printables are digital files that customers can download and print at home or at a print shop. You design your printable, upload the file to Etsy, and, boom, you can start making sales!
Obviously, it takes a lot more than this to run a successful printables business so keep reading to find out my best tips to making money selling printables!
Can You Make Money Selling Printables on Etsy?
I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves! In my first year selling printables on Etsy, I’ve made over $27,000! That is amazing considering I didn’t have any graphic design experience or Etsy experience before I started! If I can do it, you can too!
I am completely obsessed with digital products because …
- You make a product once and then it sells for you over and over. You’re not trading your time for money
- You can create printables using FREE software and there’s no shipping involved
- There is much less customer service involved with digital products
- Waking up to sales and making passive income is awesome!
TLDR: Once you build your shop up, it’s a passive income stream
To get started on Etsy completely free open your shop through my referral link! This is one of few ways you can generate money online without investing any money to stop.
Etsy has a $0.20 listing fee that you pay every time you list a new product or an existing product is bought and re-listed. You can choose to manually re-list your products or have it done automatically.
Types of Printables You Can Sell
There are so many types of printables you can sell on Etsy! Below are just a few examples…
- Wall Art
- Coloring Pages
- Photo Booth Props
- Table Numbers
- Party Signs
- Greeting Cards
Choose a Niche
A niche is just a fancy way of saying what kind of products you sell to or who you sell your products to. You should pick a niche and then niche down again.
For instance, instead of selling all kinds of printable wall art niche down and sell motivational wall art for photographers. This will make your shop more targeted and easier for your ideal customer to find you.
General —> Specific
Printable Planners —> Manifestation Planners and Printables
Invitations for every event —> Invitations/printables for a particular event (baptisms, adult birthdays, bachelorettes)
Many people will tell you that you should pick a niche that you’re super passionate about. Personally, I don’t think you have to be completely in love with your niche because there’s no better motivator than money. Lol!
It’s better to be in a niche that you like that makes you money than a niche you’re super passionate about but brings in few sales. Do some research and pick a profitable, not-overly-saturated niche that you’d be okay with being in for the long run.
TLDR: What are you selling in your shop? Pick one type of item to sell (self-care printables) or various items that one audience will love (chore charts and calendars for busy moms)
Before you create a product, you should ensure that there is demand for it. It is a waste of time to create products that no one actually wants and that is where many Etsy printables sellers go wrong.
Before opening your shop or creating a new product, do product research! There are both free and paid ways to go about this.
- Search on Etsy to see if similar items/shops are on Etsy and if they’re making sales
- Use Google Trends to see the demand and interest levels in your product
My favorite way to find low competition, in-demand products to create is with Erank. I pay $5.99/month and it allows me to do keyword research, helps me with SEO and shows what’s selling on Etsy.
I usually try to find products that are low or medium competition with a high demand.
You also don’t want to create products that have too much competition so it’s too difficult for a newbie to be seen.
Search the product you’re thinking of creating in the Etsy search bar and see how many results come back.
Products with less than 30,000 results are the sweet spot!
When there is less competition, it will be easier to rank on the 1st page of search results and get seen by more customers!
We all know that most people don’t make it past the second page of search results when shopping. So, unless you’re down to pay for ads to get on the first page, you’ll want to start with low-competition products.
TLDR: Create products with low-competition and high demand. Use Google Trends, Etsy and Erank for product research.
How to Create Printables to Sell
I create all my printables using Canva and recommend it wholeheartedly. It has both a free and paid version and is very beginner-friendly! I absolutely love Canva and upgraded to the PRO version after a couple months.
Please keep in mind that you can’t just take one of Canva’s templates, change it up a bit and sell it as your own. You have to create products from scratch. To avoid any issues, I always start projects with a blank page.
Get a 30-day free trial of Canva Pro and see the perks for yourself!
You can also use Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Adobe Illustrator to create printables.
TLDR: Canva is a free, beginner-friendly way to design your printables! Click HERE for a free trial!
Where to Get Commercial-Use Fonts and Graphics
My favorite place to get commercial-use fonts and graphics is Creative Fabrica. They have a membership where you can download unlimited fonts and graphics for $29/month but honestly, that’s expensive! They usually have deals around Black Friday so wait for a better price.
Tips for Designing Pretty Printables
It should always be your goal to create aesthetically pleasing, professional-looking products! No one wants a product that looks like it was made in 5 minutes and has crooked lines or spelling mistakes.
My best tips for beginner designers are
- Look on Etsy, Pinterest and Canva for design inspiration
- Draw out a rough copy of what you want your product to look like
- Use no more than 3 colors or 3 fonts at a time. You want your product design to be cohesive and not too busy
- Use coolors.co for help picking product color palettes
- Less is more! You don’t need to put a bunch of graphics on your design
How to Create Listing Photos for Etsy
After you create your product, you will need to create mockups and listing photos for Etsy. Your listing photos need to get customers to stop scrolling and check out your product, so make them good!
The purpose of a mockup is to give customers an idea of what the item will look like in a room or when it is being used.
On Canva, you can search “wall art mockup” or “desk flatlay” to find a good background. Then, position your product into the picture.
Be sure to be selling through your photos! Add in words about the benefits and not just the features of your product. If you’re not sure about benefits vs features of a product, check out this article.
You should also put important information like how many pages your product is, what sizes the customer will get. Many shops design a branded size chart listing photo if they’re selling wall art.
Also, dedicate a listing photo to reminding shoppers that your item is a DIGITAL PRODUCT. You will be surprised about how many people will buy digital products thinking they will be receiving a physical product in the mail.
So, try to make it as clear as you can that you’re selling a digital item. Put “This is a digital product” in both your listing photos and description! Seriously, it’s not too much.
How to Upload Your Product to Etsy
After you design your product, save it as a PDF print and download it to your computer. Be sure to title it something that is customer-friendly because that is the file name they will see on Etsy.
When you upload your product, you’ll upload that PDF where it says “upload file” You can add up to 5 files. If you need to upload more than 5 files, put them all in one folder and upload them as a zipped folder.
You will write a product title, description and tags for your product. You’ll want to optimize your listings for SEO but more on that a little later.
How To Price Your Printables
When it comes to pricing your printables, look at your competition and see how much they’re selling their product for. I would go somewhere in the middle to start things off and use your judgment from there.
Play around with pricing and the strategies you use.
Some beginner sellers, price their products stupid low ($1) to get some initial sales and reviews. I didn’t do this myself but it is up to you!
PRO TIP: Price your item higher than you want to sell it for and then run a sale so customers feel like they’re getting a deal
Learn Etsy SEO and Optimize Your Listings
Having good search engine optimization (SEO) will help people searching on Etsy find your listing in the search results. It will also help Etsy advertise your products for the proper keywords for off site advertising.
SEO is basically your way of telling the Etsy algorithm what exactly your product is. The algorithm needs data to be accurate so be sure to help it out by giving it a lot to work with.
Use long-tail keywords (3 or more words) in your titles and description because it will be easier to rank on Etsy. It is also easier for the right customer to find your product when you are specific and use long-tail keywords.
For example, instead of “wall art” try “coffee lover wall art.” Instead of “day planner” try “pink minimalist day planner”
See an example of tags you could use for coffee wall art!
You’re more likely to get a sale when a person who searches for a “pink minimalist day planner” comes across your product that is exactly what they’re looking for. That person already knows what they’re looking for and has their wallet ready versus a person who generally searches for a “day planner” and is browsing through all the different choices.
Use up all the title space with different variations of keywords to reach as many different customers as possible.
Be sure to use all 13 tags and use tools like Erank or Marmalead to find good tags and keywords.
Drive More Traffic With Pinterest
You shouldn’t rely solely on Etsy to bring traffic to your shop. Social media is a great way to drive more organic traffic. My favorite social media platform to use is Pinterest!
Pinterest is great because it is a visual search engine more so than a social media platform. Many Pinterest users are looking to buy what they’re searching for so it is great for e-commerce.
If you didn’t know, Pinterest is made up of “Pins”, or images. To post on Pinterest, you’ll need an image, pin title, pin description, and the link to your product.
There is a lot that goes into growing on Pinterest so I suggest you do some Youtube research or take a shortcut and invest in a course!
I took Ell Duclos’ Pinterest course when I was first starting out on Pinterest and now my account reaches almost 1 million viewers monthly! Don’t be scared to invest in your education because it will help you see success faster.
Check out Ell’s Pinterest course!
Keep Scaling and Don’t Give Up!
It may take a while to get your first sale but when you do get that first “cha-ching!” you’ll be jumping up and down with glee. Be patient, keep experimenting and make marketing a priority!
You can have 1000 products but with bad SEO and no marketing strategy, you’ll get no sales. If you see that you’re getting a lot of traffic but no sales look at your product quality or pricing.
Experiment with price, listing thumbnails, running sales and SEO strategies! Keep working on your shop even if you’re not seeing immediate success. It took me 4 months of working on my shop before I had my first thousand dollar month!
Building an Etsy shop is a marathon, not a sprint. So do the groundwork, get the ball rolling and build up this awesome passive income stream!
Good luck building your digital empire!