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If you are looking to make passive income selling digital products and wonder….”is selling digital products on Etsy profitable or am I wasting my time?”

I have been there. I entered the world of digital product sales last year, and no…I’m not someone that had one product go viral and started making money right away. 

That is the exception and definitely not the rule, so if you are looking for a quick fix, digital products isn’t the ticket.

However, if you are in it for the long game, I can give you some tips so you don’t waste your time making the same mistakes I did. Here are my best tips to get started selling digital products on Etsy.

Decide on a niche for your digital products

It’s true that there is heavy competition when it comes to selling digital products on Etsy, so having a niche will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, if you decide to go with stationery, niche down into wedding, or baby shower or kids birthday, not all three. 

At least not at the beginning.

Having a narrow niche will help you build your store and be seen as the expert in that niche. A general stationery store my have worked in the past, but not anymore.

You’ll also want to determine if you will be selling printables that you personalize for your customer, or if you are selling templates that they can customize themselves. 

You should choose one or the other as having both in your store can be confusing for your customer. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, if you want to do both, you can definitely try it. I have just found choosing editable templates or printables makes it easier on the customer. 

Create High Quality Digital Products

Don’t skimp on the quality and value you provide to your customer. Create your products with the customer in mind.

What solution are you providing? How are you making the lives of your customer easier with your products?

You don’t have to be a designer or a professional to get started. As a matter of fact, trying to create the perfect product will hold you back from improving your skills and will delay you actually making money on Etsy. The more you design the better you will become at designing. 

The biggest game changer for me when it came to learning design, was when I joined The Passive Income Society

Inside this membership there are design trainings, and Etsy audits, along with a ton of help creating your Etsy store. 

I created my first Esty store before I started in the Passive Income Society and it didn’t start making any sales until I followed the advice found in this membership. 

I learned how to properly set up my Etsy store, get it optimized, to how to list a product and get it delivered to my customer – I learned it all from Jessa in the Passive Income Society

I actually have a video walk through of the society here:

Here is a photo of my first digital product I created in my original store, YIKES!

I had no idea what I was doing and just watched a random “how to create a digital planner in Canva” video. 

Thank goodness I found Jessa Bellman!

My designs have improved and I have most recently switched my focus to event stationery, think holidays, graduations, anniversaries etc. 

You can learn quality as you go, just make sure you are improving all the time. Don’t let perfectionism get in the way or you’ll never get started. 

High quality Mockups for your digital products is a must

You have to highlight your product well. If your mockup is subpar it will be very difficult to sell it. When I design mockups I spend almost as much time on the mockup as I do on the product.

You can also buy PSD mockups or if you are good with photoshop create yours on there too. 

You really want to highlight how the product will be used, and add some text explaining features and how it might work. 

If you don’t want to buy mockups you can create your own. In Passive Income Society you have access to a ton of mockups and tools to create your own mockups which is very helpful. 

Having high quality digital products with high quality mockups is really the foundation of selling digital products on Etsy and making a profit. 

Volume is the name of the game

Volume of products is important on Etsy, but don’t sacrifice your quality. There are ways to create a volume of products without sacrificing quality. 

First having a well thought out product plan helps.

Having things organized helps you get straight to work and fill out your store efficiently. This is a step I didn’t take in my first store and it showed, I worked way harder than I had to, and still felt like I had nothing to show for it. 

The best way I have found to create volume in my products, is to create base templates. Once the base templates are done then you can create a variation of that product. So if you are doing a birthday invitation, you’d design the base template then add different variations in color, clip art, font or even just change the age on the card. 

For example: Lily is turning ONE! The next one, Lily is turning TWO! These can all be separate products. 

With this method you can start getting a volume of products quickly. 

This is a bit more challenging with a business or planner store as those products take more time to make. 

So just be prepared for that when you start if that is your niche. You can still make those base products and then have different collections like, sage green, floral, blush pink, etc. 

Leverage the trends

Finding products that are trending or keyword phrases that are trending on Etsy can really bring traffic to your store. 

I use Insight Factory to search trends and have had really solid success with it. It has the ability to search for trending items and has a toggle for beginners. This toggle will find low competition keywords with good search volume that beginners might have success with.

For example, I searched birthday party invitations which is a very competitive term. However, in the trends tab you can see that the term “Birthday Invite for Teenager” is lower competition and is trending, so you may be able to get to the first page with that term. 

Using trends and a product plan that includes foundational products – (products you would expect to find in a store with your niche) will help you fill your store with products people are actually looking for. 

Drive traffic to your offers

The Esty search engine will drive some traffic to your offers, but its a competitive world out there so you should start marketing your store. 

You can post your products on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok and let the world know you have them. Shout to the roof tops, your store is open and ready for business! 

The best platform to drive traffic to your store long term is Pinterest, hands down. If you properly use Pinterest you will drive people outside your network to your offers. 

Pinterest is a slow burn. You aren’t going to see a difference immediately which is why you should still use your social media, but having keyword rich pins directing people to your products will pay off dividends in the end. 

So if you are in this to make a real business, investing time leveraging Pinterest is a game changer. 

If you want to use Pinterest, as I highly recommend, you’ll want to get started off on the right foot. 

You will need to set up your account and get it optimized so your ideal client can find you.

I have created a free mini course where I show you how to do that properly. You’ll also get a bonus of 30 pin templates, 5 banner templates, and 20 board cover templates to get you started. 

So make sure to grab that before you start pinning your products. 

I would recommend starting with boards that match your categories in the store. For example, Birthday Invitations for Kids, Cupcake Toppers, Favor Tags etc. Don’t try to get clever with board names. Keep them searchable.

If you are wondering how to find keywords on Pinterest for your niche this blog post gives you the detailed breakdown.  

Master Pinterest SEO: How to Conduct Effective Keyword Research on Pinterest

I know it sounds like some work to get started, and it is, but if you are serious about creating an income with digital products then these steps will get you off on the right foot. 

Join a Community

The thing that really keeps me going is the community inside the Passive Income Society.  If you have a hard day there is someone to pick you up, if you are stuck on something, someone will walk you through it. 

Weekly zoom calls with Jessa have been a lifesaver, but often I don’t have to wait for the calls I can just ask in the community and someone will bend over backwards to help. 

I joined for the training and templates and stay for the community. Truth be told, the more I learn the less questions I have, but I love the group so I stay. 

Overall I love creating digital products, it’s a great creative outlet that is turning into a pretty darn good source of income.

Creating digital products to sell on Etsy or any other online platform, isn’t going to make you rich overnight, but it is a very viable way to make an income that can eventually turn very passive. 

Find a niche you love to create for, don’t worry as much about competition. If you are doing something you love-you’ll create higher quality products. This will set you apart. 

So I say give it a shot, but do it the right way. If you do that, then yes creating digital products to sell on Etsy is profitable!.

This article contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through these links I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business!

A few of my favorite reads

Unfiltered: Proven Strategies to Start and Grow Your Business by Not Following the Rules
Faith Driven Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Step Into Your Purpose and Pursue Your God-Given Call to Create

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    1. My first store took quite a while, like 6 months, but I learned a lot during the process. I opened a store in July doing events stationery that has been making consistent sales since week 2.

  1. Wow thank you so much for this post! I‘ve been thinking of starting an Etsy but always had some doubts but I think I should just try it out as a long-term project 🙂

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