How to Make Printables to Sell on Etsy
How To Create Digital Downloads to Sell
Are you interested in learning how to make money on Etsy by selling printables?
You’re in the right place because we’re going to share with you how two Etsy users became successful by selling printables on Etsy. The kicker is, they are not graphic designers.
Two women had a will to make some extra money and decided to focus on creating printables successfully!
ANYONE can do this and I’m going to show you how
Two Top Reasons Printables are Such A Great Idea:
- Passive Income – You make a printable ONCE and can earn money from it FOREVER
- People Need them – Want to get organized and start meal planning? Get a Printable. Want to start budgeting? Get a budget tracker printable. Getting Married? Tons of reasons to get a printable. The list goes on…
You’re obviously here because you want to know how to make money with printables on Etsy so I’m going to show you some examples from my friend Julie who will walk us through how she made almost $2,000 on one bachelorette printable. After, you will see how Sasha is doing it as well.
But first, let’s get to the basics.
What are Printables?
Printables are simply pieces of artwork designed to be downloaded, printed, and used for many different reasons. There are tons of different printables out there but there are definitely some that are more popular than others.
Most Popular Printables:
- Meal Plans
- Calendar Planners
- Personal Finance Trackers
- Coloring Sheets
- Weddings (Games, Seating Charts, Bridal Showers, etc.)
- Home Decor
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
How to Make Printables to Sell on Etsy
Let’s get to know Julie a little better and see how she started making printables.
Can You Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself and How You Got Started Selling Digital Products & Printables on Etsy?
Hey everyone! I’m Julie Berninger and I’m a new Mom to a 6-month-old baby girl. I’m also a personal finance blogger, podcast host, and Etsy seller in a bachelorette party niched Etsy shop, The Swag Elephant. I now live in Seattle, Washington after growing up on the East Coast and I love it here! It doesn’t rain as much as everyone thinks!
I started my Etsy shop back in 2017 because I wanted to experiment with selling products online and thought Etsy was a good place to start since I love buying things from there. I also had been going to a lot of bachelorette parties and thought that might be a good niche to focus on. I spent way too much money on throwaway items for bachelorettes and figured that others probably were too.
I started selling temporary tattoos with funny bachelorette-related sayings and those were profitable! I made about $15 on every order since the tattoos were really inexpensive to make and people usually bought a bunch with every order since they wanted one or two tattoos for every girl attending the bachelorette party.
Selling a physical product really wore me down though because I had to remember to check the Etsy Sellers app every day to see if I had a sale and then package and ship the order at the post office. The entire process was pretty easy but it took up mental space and with a full-time job, it was too much.
That’s when I had someone on my podcast who sold printables in their Etsy shop and it was like a light bulb lit up in my mind. I created a few bachelorette party printable games and they are now my best sellers.
I have one scavenger hunt game that I made once and it has made me over $1700 in revenue. That’s what I love about selling printables on Etsy since you put in the up front work when you have the time and then you only have to do maintenance and a little customer service after you list the product.
Can You Tell Us the Process on How to Make Printables to Sell on Etsy?
The first thing you need to do to sell printables online is to pick a niche that sells.
Weddings, baby showers, scrapbooking, are great niches. Also, anything related to seasonal products such as Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day are also good niches to be in as well. I do lots of research on Pinterest and Etsy to see what is already selling and to get ideas of printables that could be popular.
Once you have your niche and an idea of what to make, you have to actually learn how to make printables to sell on Etsy. There are many free design tools you can use to make the printables like Canva or you can use a paid tool like Adobe Illustrator. I have had success making designs in both tools but I started with free tools. You can use tutorials on YouTube to help you get started or see if your library has free access to online learning platforms such as Lynda which can teach you to use some of the paid tools like Adobe Illustrator.
Here is an example of one of my product listings on Etsy
Then once you make your product, you create product images to put on Etsy. I make those images also in Canva and I make sure to highlight the best features of the product. These images are very important because many customers do not read the product description text and will make a decision to buy based on the attractiveness of these product images.
Once those are done, I list the product on Etsy and put certain keywords in the title and in the listing to make sure it is found by customers.
For example, I put “bachelorette games” on my products so that anyone searching for bachelorette games might find me in the search results. You can also promote your product further using Pinterest and Instagram. Know that it costs twenty cents to list a product on Etsy.
After a product is up on Etsy, you can use the data they provide to further refine the listing images, description, and the product until you get sales. This is the most fun part because once you get it right, you can sit back and watch the sales come in! I love getting the “ca-ching” sound notification on my phone.
I have made over $6,000 in my Etsy shop on tattoos and printables so far and I have 3 other side hustles and a new baby! What I love about printables is that most of the work is upfront. I make the printable, put it on Etsy, and watch the sales come in. Most of the work after the fact is just tweaking the listing keywords and then responding to the occasional question from a customer. I have it set so hundreds of customers can download and buy my printables.
Is This Something Anyone Can Do?
I am not a graphic designer and I don’t have much time so I think many people can do this side hustle but I hate to say it’s good for everyone without knowing everyone’s situation.
It’s most fun for someone who loves being a little bit creative, loves browsing Pinterest for ideas, and for someone who thinks they would like the idea of making money online.
The most important skill is to be persistent and to not give up in the beginning when you are just learning. It takes most people a few months to really learn the skill and then they can create new printables much faster. It took me a bit in the beginning. If you can be persistent and like being creative, I think you could enjoy the side hustle.
Can You Tell Us How Well Your Business Has Done With the Etsy Printables?
I started this business when I had a full-time job, a blog, a podcast that releases episodes weekly, and an existing Etsy shop. Now I have a new baby. For the time I had available to me, I’m super pumped to say that my Etsy printables business has made me thousands of dollars. Below you can see that two of my bachelorette party games have made me $1700 and $1000 respectively. I would say those games took a couple of hours to make each so it’s a great return on my time.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printables?
I think the average person can hope to make $500-$1,000 per month selling printables if they pick the right products and have attractive product images. I don’t think this is the type of business where it’s a get rich quick scheme or you can become a millionaire. That is why I think it’s the perfect side hustle. I don’t plan to make this my full-time job.
Can You Tell Us About Your Course and What’s Involved?
THANK YOU for Creating a Course to Give Us Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Get Started!
I put everything I’ve learned into a video-based course where I take you through the process of picking your product, making a printable, listing it on Etsy, and then marketing your product. I also show you how to use free tools to collect data on how customers are interacting with your printable listing and how to improve it. The Etsy printables course also has bonus videos and printable worksheets from top Etsy sellers, Pinterest experts, and other people crushing it selling printables online.
I put together the printables course with my friend, Cody Berman, who also sells printables on Etsy and blogs. He made over $1,000 the week of Valentine’s Day in 2020. This strategy works!
There is a Facebook group membership that you get free for 30 days and we have over 200 members in there right now who choose to stay with us after the free 30 days. The membership is separate from the course which you will always have access to even if you don’t want to be a member. Members like being in the group because they get 1:1 attention from us.
We do Live Q&A’s on Wednesdays in the Facebook group where you can ask us any question you want about your shop and also we bring in other Etsy sellers to do live trainings on specialized topics about specific tools, getting better results from Etsy search, etc.
We also have bi-weekly graphic design and UX office hours if you need extra help in that area so you can get personalized feedback. We do giveaways twice a month for free products and courses to help you grow your Etsy shop. That’s the most fun part since we love giving away prizes!
This course on starting a printables journey is a blast and we have a lot of fun helping people get this side hustle off the ground.
If you’re not ready to try the course though but want to get ideas of what printables you could sell, we have a free 22 page ebook of ideas of seasonal printables to sell online.
Awesome! Thank you Julie this was so helpful.
Now, in true “Tried and True” fashion I always have to dig a little deeper when I mention a paid course because I haven’t taken Julie’s course YET and I want to make sure you guys have all the details before purchasing? So, guess what?
E-Printables Side Hustle Course Review
I tracked down someone who has taken Julie’s Etsy printables course and asked her several questions about it. I really appreciate her being so transparent.
Her name is Sasha and here is what she has to say about Julie’s Printable E-Printables Course.
Can You Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself and Why You Decided to Take the E-Printables Course?
My name is Sasha and I am an accountant, wife, and mother to two little girls (22 months and 4 years). I live outside of Austin, Texas. I like to read, learn new things, cook, watch cake decorating videos, and hang out with my family. I decided to take the e-printables class because I wanted to learn how to make my own printables. I also wanted to try my hand at a side hustle without putting down a huge initial investment. I am in the debt repayment portion of my financial journey, so every penny counts!
When did you start the E-Printables Course?
I started the e-printables course in mid July 2019.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
The course was $199.
Is the Course Done at Your Own Pace?
Yes! The fact that the course is done at my own pace is why I was excited to start.
Any Pros or Cons to This Course? Anything You Wish the Course Had But Didn’t?
Pros of the course are: the course is self paced and they add new material intermittently, the course is taught in easily digestible portions, and the course covers everything you would need to know to be a successful Etsy printables business owner.
Cons of the course are: The Facebook group membership that comes with the course only lasts one month. I think it should last three so that you don’t have to rush through the course material to ask questions to the owners of the course and the pros they hire to assist. Another con is that there isn’t a “what niche should you choose” guide provided. I think a well thought out guide would help people who want to make printables, but can’t decide which one they should try.
Do You Think the Course Is Necessary to Get Started or Could You Have Found This Information for Free on the Internet?
Absolutely. I would have never been as successful without the course.
What Have Your Results Been Since Starting the Course?
My results since starting the course (July 15th, 2019), are that I have made $2,051. My net profit margin is 80%, which means that after all expenses, I was left with $1,641!
What Do You Think Has Been the Key to Your Success?
The key to my success has been having a clear vision of what I want to do and not allowing myself to be discouraged by the results of others.
When I first started the course, I researched my niche on Etsy and saw so many amazing products! It started to discourage me. Then I thought to myself, “You know what, I will just put all of my ideas out there and see if people like them. If not, then at least I tried. I can always pivot and try something else.” I am glad I didn’t give up!
How Often Do You Work on Creating Printables? What Is Your Schedule Like?
When I first started I put in a lot of time for my printables business. I would say I spent between 15-20 hours per week, for one month, just learning how to use the software programs that I would use to build my products. Month two and three I spent 15 hours a week, mainly focusing on product creation. Month three I spent 10 hours a week learning marketing and price optimization techniques. The last three months I spent 2-3 hours a week, and this month I have spent 1 hour a week (at most) on my business. I want this to be a passive income project for me, which means I want to make as much money with as little effort as possible.
My schedule for printables in my first six months, was to work on my printables business during my lunch break at work (5 hours) and then the remaining 5-15 hours on the weekend. My schedule now consists of mainly marketing my items through Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also have made a goal to make one new product each quarter of the year. This quarter I made a meal planner and grocery list bundle!
Do You Consider This a Great Job for Moms?
I do consider this a great side hustle for moms. It is an excellent creative outlet! I have zero artistic talent, and I have been able to really push myself to learn new and fun skills that I enjoy. Here is my Etsy shop and website Your Frugal Friend Blog
Thank you so much Sasha for such a candid review of Julie’s course.
One thing I’ve learned about taking courses is that they all have their pros and cons. It’s important that the pros outweigh the bad and this is definitely one of those cases. If you’re interested in creating printables, I definitely recommend taking Julie’s course.
If you find that this isn’t right for you, make sure to check out our most popular article on legitimate ways to make money from home.
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