Fatten The Wallet

How To Sell Digital Downloads On Etsy in 2024

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Are you looking to earn some passive income but don’t know where to begin?  Look no further than Etsy!

Etsy is a popular online marketplace where you can sell your handmade goods, and selling digital downloads is one of the best ways to make passive income on Etsy. 

That’s right!  You can sell your digital creations, such as printable art, digital invitations, and more, all on one platform.

One of the best things about selling digital downloads on Etsy is that it is a low-cost way to start earning a passive income.  You don’t have to worry about the expense of manufacturing, shipping physical products, or returns. 

All you need is a computer and an internet connection to create and upload your digital products.  Plus, you can reach a global audience with just a click of a button.

Etsy had over 96 million customers in 2023 alone and that number is growing every year. 

On top of having a huge customer base, setting up your shop and getting started selling on Etsy is super easy, even if you’re new to all this!



What Are Digital Downloads or Printables?

how to sell digital products on etsy
Source: Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Digital downloads or printables are digital products that can be downloaded and used immediately after purchase. 

They can be anything from digital art, downloadable patterns, or digital planner templates.

These types of products are becoming more and more popular on Etsy because they offer customers the convenience of being able to use the products right away and often at a lower cost than physical products.

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Why Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy?

There are many benefits to selling digital downloads or printables on Etsy:

  1. Low Cost – Unlike physical products, there are no production or shipping costs associated with printables, this means you can start your shop today with little or no cost.
  2. Flexibility – Selling printables on Etsy allows you to work from anywhere, at any time, and you don’t need to worry about inventory, packaging, and shipping.
  3. Passive income – It won’t be passive in the beginning since you do need to create your products, but you only need to create them once!  You can create your printables while watching Netflix or listening to music.
  4. Scalability – Start with a few printables and add more printables when you have time.  You can also expand to other platforms such as your website or other marketplaces such as Shopify to sell the same digital products.
  5. Big Marketplace – Etsy had over 96 million customers in 2023 alone and that number is growing every year. 

If all mentioned reasons above are not enough to entice you, Etsy also provides your first 40 Etsy listings for free!  



What Kind Of Digital Downloads Can You Sell On Etsy?

The sky is the limit when it comes to digital downloads.  Some of the most popular include:

  • Printable arts
  • Digital planners and planner templates
  • Printable invitations and cards – for various occasions such as weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and more
  • Digital patterns
  • Fonts and graphics
  • Coupon books
  • Templates for eBooks, courses, and video tutorials
  • Resumes, business cards, brochures
  • Social mediate templates
  • Affirmation cards

Related Read: 65 Easy DIY Crafts To Make and Sell for Money


How Much Can You Make Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy?

How much you make selling digital downloads on Etsy can vary greatly depending on your niche, product, and pricing. 

Some people make thousands of dollars per month in just a few months after opening their Etsy shops.  While it is possible, it is not the norm, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any sales right away. 

Whether it’s $10 a month or $1,000 a month.  It’s still extra income.

Just like any business, it takes time and effort to build up a customer base and increase sales over time.  With the right strategy and persistence, it is possible to make a significant passive income from selling digital downloads on Etsy.


How To Sell Digital Downloads On Etsy

1. Choose the Right Products to Sell

Before you do anything, you need to research what products you want to offer.  I made the mistake of jumping in head first.

It took me more than 2 months to create my first product!  It was partly because I didn’t know what I was doing, but it was mainly because I tried to do too much with my first product. 

Now I can create most products in a day or two.

Some popular printable products on Etsy include digital planners, printable wall art, and printable affirmation cards. 


2. Research Popular Digital Products on Etsy

how to sell digital art on Etsy

You don’t want to create a product that nobody is searching for.

The easiest and free way to search for keywords is by typing in the Etsy search bar your ideas to see what populates. 

I use “affirmations” as an example and you can see that people are also searching for “affirmation cards”, “affirmations instant download”, “affirmation wall art”, and many more. 

From there, you can pick any of the keywords and check to see what your competitors are selling.  Create something similar but with your own personal flair to set your shop apart.  Don’t copy exactly what your competitors are selling. 

I’ve seen people straight up just take pre-made templates in Canva and post them on Etsy to sell without doing any alteration.  This is a big no-no. 


3. Design Your Products Using Canva

Some commonly used software to create digital products include Adobe Illustrator, Canva, PicMonkey, and a few others. 

My favorite to create digital products is Canva.  It is very intuitive and easy to use.  A big plus is a lot of Etsy sellers also use Canva, so you will be able to find a lot of free resources on YouTube. 

Canva has a vast selection of templates for you to choose from.  From graphics to ebooks, there is nothing I haven’t been able to find on Canva.

how to create digital downloads on Canva

You don’t need to get a pro version on Canva right away.  In fact, I used the free version for almost 5 years before I finally caved and paid for the pro subscription when I needed it for other projects.

You can really start your Etsy shop at no cost at all.


4. Prepare the Files

Once your design is complete, you’ll need to prepare the files for sale on Etsy. This includes converting the file to a suitable format, such as a PDF, JPG, or PNG.  Make sure that the file is high-resolution and ready for printing.

You don’t have to worry too much about pixels unless you offer printable wall art.  Your wall art would need to be in 300 dpi resolution (pixels per inch).


5. Set Up An Etsy Shop

how to set up an Etsy shop

Setting up an Etsy store is very easy and straightforward.  Click “sign up” at the top right of the page to either log in to your existing Etsy account or create a new one.

From there, you can fill out all the basic information, your Etsy store name (you can change this later), and set up payment information. 

Be sure to customize your shop by filling out your “About” section and adding a banner, shop icon, and shop policies.


6. Create Your Listings

To list your printable on Etsy, you’ll need to create a listing.  This includes writing a detailed product description, creating mock displays of your products, and setting a price.  Be sure to optimize your listing for SEO by including relevant keywords in the title and tags.

Keep in mind that Etsy not only charges selling fees but there is also a $0.20 fee per listing.  The listings on Etsy expire after four months.  

You can get your first 40 listings for free here.

Additionally, there is also a transaction fee of 6.5% of the sale price.


7. Test Your Product

Before listing your printable for sale, it’s important to test the product to ensure that it looks and works as expected.  Print out a copy of your product and check for any errors or issues.

The last thing you want is for your customer to receive a copy of your digital product and find spelling errors or images not aligned.


8. Market Your Etsy Digital Downloads

There are a few ways to promote your products.  You can pay for Etsy ads, but I always try to find a free route first.

I have seen a lot of Etsy sellers promote their products on Pinterest by creating beautiful Pinterest pins.  Additionally, you can also promote your products on any other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Offering sales and promotions such as 50% off the first month of the grand opening or buy two get the third one for free is a great way to attract potential buyers.


How To Price Your Etsy Printables?

You have more flexibility with pricing your Etsy printables since there is no real production cost except for your time and effort.

Take a look at similar printables on Etsy and see what they are priced at.  This will give you an idea of what the market is willing to pay for similar products.  Be sure to look at the quality of the products and the level of detail put into the design.

Etsy has a built-in pricing calculator that can help you determine a fair price for your printables. You can input your costs and see how much you need to charge to make a profit.

While it’s important to price competitively, you also want to make sure that you are making a profit.

Another great way to upsell your products is to offer bundles.  Offering bundle deals can be a great way to increase the value of your products, and it’s also a way to get your customers to purchase more than one item, which can help increase your profit.

It’s also important to mention that Etsy takes a fee for every sale.  Currently, it is 6.5% of the item price and a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25 for orders sold on Etsy.  Keep that in mind when calculating your earning potential.


Tips For Selling Digital Downloads On Etsy

1. Market Your Product

Marketing your digital downloads on Etsy is an important step in growing your business and reaching a wider audience.

You can run ads for as low as $1/day on Etsy.  If paying for Etsy ads is not in your budget, there are other ways you can advertise your printables for free.

Pinterest would be my go-to method to market Etsy printables for free.  You can create beautiful pins that lead directly to your product where people can purchase it.

Don’t forget to mention your products on your social media pages, on your website (if applicable), and email your readers if you have an email list.

Honestly, I did none of the above because I was very passive about it, and Etsy buyers still found me via Etsy search engine. 

2. Maintain High-Quality Customer Service

Having great reviews will help potential buyers feel confident in purchasing your products. 

So how do you get reviews as a new shop? 

All you can do is create great products, be quick to respond to customer inquiries, and go above and beyond to accommodate your customers. 

Some people suggest sending your buyers a thank you note after their purchase and asking for a review.  I don’t recommend this at all.  Buyers are already getting multiple email reminders from Etsy to leave reviews, so don’t pester and annoy them.

No review is better than a bad review.

3. Offer Discounts / Bundles

how to run a sale on Etsy

I am a bargain shopper and I love discounts.  Offering a discount might even help you make more money if you do it right. 

If you don’t have too many products in your shop, you can offer 30-50% off as a grand opening discount.

If you have multiple items in your shop, you can offer a bundle discount such as buy 2 get 1 free.  Yes, you are giving away a free product, but you’re able to make a sale on 2 products instead of 1.

Alternatively, you can also offer coupons for repeat customers to encourage them to shop more from your Etsy store.


Is Selling Digital Downloads On Etsy Worth It?

Selling digital downloads on Etsy is a great way to make passive income, but I am not going to lie and say it was easy for me.

There was a big learning curve and it took me 2-3 months to create my first product.  I was watching every YouTube video out there, every blog post (at least it seemed that way).  I was trying to do too much instead of keeping it simple.

So, is it worth it?

Absolutely!  It took me a while to get the hang of it and now it’s almost therapeutic when I create these products for my shop. 

The great thing about selling digital downloads on Etsy is that you only have to create it once!

If this is something you might be interested in, click here to sign up for Etsy and get your first 40 listings for free!

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