Etsy can be used to set up your own shop to sell a wide variety of items including plants, crafts and more. While that offers the potential for a lot of different kinds of e-commerce side hustles, there’s one in particular that many people don’t know about.
I’m talking about selling digital products on Etsy that don’t require shipping something to your customers. Printables are the most popular and successful of these digital products. This guide will teach you the basics about how to create them, choosing the right designs, and maximizing your earnings from this business.
What are Etsy Printables?
The basic idea here is that you use some kind of graphics software like Adobe Photoshop to create things that people can buy and print out at home. For example, you could design your own wedding invitations or greeting cards to sell. Customers would then go to a hobby store to buy card stock to print your designs onto. This gives people access to a wide variety of unique items that they simply won’t be able to find in a store, so they’re rather popular these days.
This kind of business does require you to have some kind of artistic skills in most cases, along with the ability to use some kind of graphics software proficiently. There are some free options online that you could utilize, and clip art can eliminate the need for true artistic ability. To truly succeed with this side hustle, you’ll have to create a lot of designs. The more you create, the more you can potentially earn.
Don’t just randomly create printable designs to try to sell. Research and plan your designs ahead of time to help ensure that each of your designs can be top sellers. One easy method is to just browse the Etsy website for other printables that you can confirm are top sellers. Make the same kind but with your own design.
Another tactic is to target holidays and special occasions. Anything you can create that targets one of these holidays can be a easy seller. A final option is to use Google and Google’s Keyword Tool. See what people search for relating to different types of printables. By targeting things that are commonly searched for on Google, you can get more sales for each creation.
Creating Printable Graphics
I’m a long-time fan and user of Adobe Photoshop. I’ve been using this software for over 20 years and even went to art college for computer animation, so I learned this software title in school. It’s hard to match the power that you can achieve with it. Adobe offers low priced subscription programs to access Photoshop and/or the rest of their software titles. Others like Illustrator could potentially be great picks for printables too.
Even though you can get Photoshop for under $20 per month, there are still going to be some people that want to try out this side hustle without investing any money upfront. For a free graphics design option, you can try Canva. However, I’d recommend upgrading once you get a few sales so you can produce higher quality printables.
Passive Income on Etsy
The best thing about a Printables business on Etsy is that it’s almost completely passive income once you have done the work to make the designs and list them for sale. Since these are digital products, you don’t have to actually ship anything to the customer or do any additional work to fulfill each sale. You may sometimes have minor customer support inquiries, but you should be able to scale this business to hundreds of daily sales and still be able to run it solo.
Do your best to avoid targeting one-time events. Weddings and birthdays happen in everyone’s lives and occur over and over again. So do holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas (just to name a few). By targeting these timeless events, you can continue earning from the same work for years or even decades into the future. This is truly the best approach to earn a passive income with printables since you can grow your revenue over time without having to increase your weekly work hours.
Sports (avoid copyright issues), Countries and Hobbies are a few more ideas to help you get started. Most of these things have fairly stable demand that should continue well into the future. You mainly want to avoid targeting passing fads that could generate sales for a short period of time and then become worthless designs after a few months to a year.
Maximizing Business Revenue
With a side hustle like this, it can be easy to become complacent after you’ve done it for a while. Even when you reach the point where you’re happy with your earnings, I strongly urge you to avoid the temptation to stop work entirely. You could potentially reduce your working hours, but you’ll be much better off in the long run if you continue to create and list new designs as long as you run this business.
Periodically, do more research on both Google and Etsy. There may even be some other websites you could use for research, such as eBay. Over time, new ideas will emerge and times will change. Competition could increase on the types of items that you sell, which could reduce your overall income. By constantly releasing new products, you will drastically improve your ability to stay ahead of your competition and continue earning a passive income from your Etsy printables for many years.