Printables are a type of digital product that can be downloaded and printed by customers either at home or using a printing service. Examples are birthday cards, thank you cards, wedding invitations, planner sheets, and business cards. They are commonly sold on platforms like Etsy, where many aspiring entrepreneurs have generated over $1000 in monthly income by selling printables.
It has become a profitable and lucrative source of passive income for numerous graphic designers.
If you have experience with design software, you may be curious about monetizing your skills by selling creations such as business cards, logos, birthday cards, wedding invitations, party banners, resume templates, and more.
It is easy to make hundreds of dollars per week by selling printables on Etsy. If you visit the Etsy.com website and search for the keyword “printables,” you will find thousands of results and observe that the top-ranking products have received hundreds of authentic customer reviews. It is a good indication that printables are a huge market with high demand.
But before you start selling printables on Etsy, it’s important to gather more information about the following:
- The most selling printables on Etsy.
- Steps to sell printables.
- The best software for creating printables.
- Setting up an Etsy shop.
- Effectively marketing strategies for your products.
In this article, we will discuss the above points to help you launch a successful Etsy shop that would generate thousands of dollars per month.
Keep reading this article until the end, as it provides a step-by-step guide to successfully selling printables on Etsy.
What are Printables on Etsy?
Printables are digital PDF or picture files that customers can purchase and print at home or a print shop.
Various printables are in demand, including birthday cards, wedding invitations, resume templates, business cards and logos, and more.
Few printables, such as wedding invitations, are editable. Customers can download the templates and customize them to their preferences, such as changing names and dates before printing.
Printables offer significant time savings for customers since they only need to select their preferred design from a wide array of options, download it, and print it on the same day. Customers don’t have to hire designers, provide guidance on their preferred design, or worry about exorbitant fees.
Printables are also affordable for buyers, with an average price ranging from $3-5.
Finally, printables for Etsy shop owners can be described as “make once and sell forever” opportunity.
How much money can I make selling printables on Etsy?
An average Etsy store makes up about $100 per week by selling printables on Etsy.
If that figure seems inadequate to you, scale your earnings to thousands of dollars per week by establishing your shop effectively, regularly adding new products, and promoting them on various platforms.
Of course, you heard it right; you can make thousands of dollars by selling printables on Etsy. It all depends on how serious you are and how much time you are willing to invest.
A simple search about “printables” on the Etsy.com website results in millions of products. Few popular Etsy stores earn between $3,000 and $ 10,000 monthly by selling printables.
Regardless of whether you work part-time or full-time, it’s crucial to realize that selling printables on Etsy has the potential to become your ultimate source of passive income. Achieving success with this venture requires treating it like any other traditional business and committing to it.
How to sell printables on Etsy? – Step-by-step Guide
Selling printables on Etsy is a straightforward process. In the following section, we will delve into the detailed steps of selling printables on Etsy.
Step 1: Market Research
To have a successful Etsy store, it’s crucial to have a large selection of products that are in high demand. Therefore, before launching any new product, it’s essential to ensure that there is a demand for it or that it will be well-received and purchased by customers.
And, what is the exact process to know whether the product has demand?
Well, it depends. You can leverage the tricks discussed below or come up with your own. But do not skip this step, as it is crucial for the long-term success of your business. Failure to do so may put your business at risk.
#1 – Analyze top sellers
You can conduct a thorough analysis of the top 10 competitors in your niche and attempt to find answers to the following questions:
- What types of products do they have?
- How do they represent and market their products?
- How frequently do they add products?
- What are their top-selling products?
- What are the recently added products?
Note that these are only a few sample questions you can ask yourself. Analyzing your competitors is a highly effective strategy to increase sales, so a thorough analysis is important.
#2 – Prepare a list of printables
Create a list of printables you want to sell on Etsy based on your skills and experience.
Next, validate each product on your list by checking if any other Etsy store is already selling similar products and performing well in that category.
To do this, go to Etsy’s website and search for each product on your list to see all available products on the marketplace and their sellers.
Note that you will usually find enough results for each search, indicating that many Etsy stores offer products under that category. In other words, it means you have very little scope to excel.
However, you can either try to figure out if you can add more value to what other sellers offer or jump to the next product and repeat the process.
If you’re fortunate, you may discover minimal competition for some products on your list, enabling you to make a significant amount of money quickly.
#3 – Use the Etsy search feature
If you have already decided on your niche, then the search bar on Etsy can provide you with a plethora of design ideas.
Let me explain how!
To find relevant search terms customers use to find specific printables in your niche, go to the Etsy.com website and locate the search bar in the header. Type in a keyword, and the website will display autocomplete suggestions in a pop-up.
Note these suggestions and analyze them individually to determine if the existing search results align with customer intent.
Step 2: Choose the proper tools for creating printables
You don’t need a graphic design background to create printables for marketplaces like Etsy. Anyone can create a visually appealing printable with advanced tools and premade graphics and elements.
However, I believe having a creative core and a passion for art and design is essential before starting this journey.
Though there are many tools out there, our favorite is Canva. It provides numerous pre-designed templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, enabling you to create your own designs from scratch.
Apart from Canva, here are a few other tools that you can use for designing printables:
- Adobe Creative Cloud – Adobe is a popular brand amongst creative people. It offers 20+ apps for editing images, audio, and videos. With a Creative Cloud subscription, you can access Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and all of Adobe’s other apps.
- GIMP – This is a free tool that comes with almost all of the professional editing capabilities of Adobe Photoshop.
- Pixeden – It offers free and premium resources for designers. Pixeden is a great tool for print design and branding.
- Corjl – It is a popular tool amongst Etsy sellers and small business owners. Corjl offers a beginner-friendly editor where you can customize printables with ease.
- Inkscape – It is a free tool mainly used for creating professional designs. Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator.
- Affinity – It provides three main applications for graphic designers: Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, and Affinity Publisher. Each of them is designed for specific tasks and can be used for designing nice-looking and professional printables of all kinds.
- Piktochart – It includes a range of templates, graphics, icons, and images. Piktochart is the best fit for designing printables such as infographics and posters.
- PicMonkey – Includes standard editing tools and features and a range of design templates, graphics, and fonts for designers and developers.
For stock media, you can use any one of the following websites:
- Unsplash – It offers high-resolution stock photos by a community of photographers worldwide. You can use them without crediting the author.
- Pexels – It is similar to Unsplash. Pexels offers a range of stock media for free. A worldwide community of photographers and videographers contributes all stock photos and videos.
- Freepik – The website includes modern-looking stock photos, vectors, icons, and more. You need a $9.99/month commercial license to use the stock media from Freepik in your designs.
- Shutterstock – This is the most popular website for downloading stock media. The premium plan starts at $29/month and comes with a commercial license for using the content.
- Adobe Stock – It offers impressive stock photos, graphics, and videos for use in creative projects. But the Adobe Stock subscription starts at $49.99/month, which is costlier for beginners and small business owners.
Step 3: Creating printables to sell on Etsy
Once you are ready with the design idea and tools required to create a printable, it’s time to go ahead and launch your first design.
Canva is our favorite tool for designing printables. You can sign up for Canva by clicking here.
Alternatively, you can start with a blank template and design your printable from scratch.
If you are a novice at designing creatives, a pro tip is to create a list of all the elements you want to incorporate while designing your printable. It will not only save you a lot of time but also keep you focused throughout the design process.
After designing your printable, export it in high-quality PNG or PDF format. You need to upload this file on Etsy while listing the product. Also, in case of editable printables, copy the template link. You have to create a PDF file including this template link to upload on Etsy.
Step 4: Create Mockups of the printables
You will need high-quality product photos while listing the product on Etsy. In the case of printables, you need to select “Digital” as the product type.
When uploading product photos on Etsy, it’s important not to directly upload the final designs. It is because customers could easily download and print them.
Instead, use watermarked mockups that can’t be printed directly. You can create these mockups using tools like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Artboard Studio, Mockplus, and more.
Creating high-quality mockups that showcase your product and its features will ensure a higher click-through rate for your listing in Etsy search.
Step 5: Setup your Etsy Shop
If you don’t have an Etsy account, this is the time to create one. You can start selling on Etsy within a matter of minutes.
To begin selling on Etsy, start by creating an account using your email address. Once on the homepage, navigate to the upper right corner, select “account,” then click “Sell on Etsy.” This will take you to a new page where you can scroll down and select “Open Your Etsy Shop.”
Next, you will need to provide personal and payment details, including verification of your card for future payments. You will also need to select your account’s language, country, and currency preferences.
A crucial element of building a successful Etsy store is providing concise and comprehensive information about yourself and your business. The “About” section is an opportunity to do just that.
Note that you can select from various payment methods and shipping options while setting up your store. In the case of printables, you don’t need to worry about shipping because Etsy takes care of everything, including returns and replacements.
Don’t forget to choose a descriptive business name and create a professional logo for your store.
Step 6: List your first product
In the next step, you will create your first product listing for sale.
Once you set up your shop, Etsy will ask you to list your first product. It starts with uploading high-quality images (mockups) of your printable. Then you need to provide details such as title, description, tags, type, and more.
All digital downloads need to be listed as “Made by You”. You are allowed to add five files of up to 20MB for download.
Create a PDF file containing a template link for editable printables, such as wedding invitations. With tools like Canva, you can easily share template links directly with others. By sharing the editable template link with your customers, you allow them to update necessary details such as dates and names on wedding invitations.
Finally, as you sell a digital product, ensure you have enabled Automatic Listing Renewal. This approach will make sure that your product won’t be shown as out of stock every time someone orders.
Note that while selecting your product type, you will click on “Digital.” You need to be extra careful while selecting the product type as you are selling a digital product called printable.
To earn a significant amount of money right from the beginning, your Etsy store should have a minimum of 20 products.
Step 7: Product pricing
The average price range for printables on Etsy falls between $3 and $10, which can vary depending on your niche, competition, and product type.
When determining your pricing strategy, take your time and consider the long-term impact on your business and Etsy shop.
- Consider whether your customers prioritize high-quality products over low costs or vice versa.
- Conduct a thorough competitor analysis by examining the top-performing Etsy shops in your niche, their product portfolios, and pricing structures.
Keep in mind that drastically lowering your prices compared to rivals is not a recommended strategy. Ensure you set prices that cover the cost of designing tools, platform fees, and, most importantly, your time investments.
Few products, such as business logos, homeschooling planners, product labels, wedding invitations, and more, can be sold at higher prices than thank-you cards.
Consider incorporating seasonal variations into your pricing strategy for maximum success.
Step 8: Optimize your product listing for SEO
Etsy SEO guarantees your shop’s visibility to customers searching for your products using related keywords.
Creating a keyword list for each of your products is crucial for succeeding in Etsy SEO. After finalizing your list of keywords, incorporate them seamlessly into your product listing. You can use the title, description, image alt texts, and tags to insert the keywords.
Note that you are allowed to add up to 13 tags per product. While it is not the maximum number of keywords you can include in your listing, using an optimum number of relevant and meaningful keywords will help you in the long term.
That said, adding appropriate keywords to your product listing attracts customers to your store and helps significantly increase your daily sales.
Etsy SEO is a free technique that sellers can use to gain customers and make sales initially.
However, if it falls short and fails to achieve desired sales, other strategies exist to boost sales. We will discuss them in the next step!
Step 9: Leveraging Etsy Ads and Social Media Marketing
Using cost-effective and proper marketing strategies is crucial for growing your Etsy shop.
While printables are low-cost products, you can offer huge discounts to attract customers initially.
If you find that SEO alone is not enough to attract customers, Etsy ads can be an effective option that guarantees a good return on investment and are easy to set up.
Once you have successfully scaled your printable business using Etsy ads, you can consider exploring other advertising options, such as Facebook and Pinterest ads, which can also yield positive results in the long term.
Consistency with your marketing efforts and frequent optimization of your campaigns based on data-driven decisions is key to success.
Q. What type of printables sell best on Etsy?
Although a wide range of printables is being sold on Etsy, which indicates endless possibilities, it is advisable to create printables that align with your skills and expertise and cater to your area of interest.
In the past few days, many Etsy shops have made thousands of dollars selling the following types of printables:
- Homeschooling printables
- Event printables
- Hand Embroidery
- Product labels
- Order inserts
- Business cards
- Wedding invitations
- Knitting Patterns
- Fitness trackers
- Fillable to-do lists
- Self-improvement printables
- Party banners
- Crossword puzzles
- Menu templates
- Resume templates
- Coloring pages
- Sewing patterns
Keep in mind that the ideas mentioned above are just the beginning. I recommend exploring Etsy.com and browsing the top-performing shops and products to gather more inspiration.
Q. Is Canva the best choice for designing a template to sell on Etsy?
For the past few years, we have been using Canva for designing creatives, and we highly recommend it for designing printables to sell on Etsy.
Canva offers powerful editing tools and features suitable for designers of any experience level. With a vast selection of premade templates, graphics, elements, fonts, shapes, and more, Canva provides a comprehensive library.
Designing a printable from scratch is a breeze with Canva.
In contrast to other professional-grade editing software like Adobe Photoshop, which comes with a steep learning curve, Canva is a beginner-friendly tool that can be mastered within a few days. It is a web-based application that you can use from your laptop, desktop, and even smartphone.
Q. Is Etsy saturated with printables?
There are many shops selling printables on Etsy. However, the market for printables on Etsy is continuously expanding with high demand, and many new shops are emerging, generating a considerable amount of passive income per month.
The main factor contributing to this trend is the vast scale of Etsy’s platform, which boasts over 95 million active buyers.
Additionally, let me answer this question using data!
When I searched for “Workout Planner” on Etsy, it displayed thousands (23,892) of results. But the next time I entered a longtail keyword as “Workout Planner for Women”, it only displayed 1,149 results.
It is a good indication that there are many blanks that you can fill in.
Q. Can I sell premade templates as is on Etsy?
To read how to sell Canva designs on Etsy, click here.
Also, Etsy doesn’t allow you to sell premade templates through their platform. You must follow specific rules and guidelines outlined by the platform while listing products on Etsy.
As per Etsy, users must list an original design, pattern, sketch, or template crafted from scratch.
Ultimately, I recommend making necessary modifications to premade templates to give them a unique touch before listing them on Etsy. Failure to do so may result in account deactivation for not complying with Etsy’s guidelines.
To Summarize: Printables on Etsy
Etsy printables have immense potential to become your ultimate source of passive income. It is important to conduct thorough research on profitable niches and product listings and develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.
It is an excellent way to monetize your graphic design skills!
With proper knowledge and a set of tools, it is easier than before to build a source of passive income, like selling printables on Etsy.
Undoubtedly, designing printables and selling it through marketplaces like Etsy is quite straightforward. So what are you waiting for?
Now is the time to launch your first printable product on Etsy.