7 Tips for Passive Income on Etsy
This is a guest post from Julie Berninger the creator of Millenial Boss. Julie paid off nearly $100k of debt and is on her way to financial independence. She hosts a Podcast and is obsessed with tracking her money saved via the free app Personal Capital. She loves her dog and drinks iced coffee year round. She also is the creator of The Side Hustle Course where she teaches people how to sell printables on Etsy and blog. Thank you Julie!
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Hey! I’m Julie and I’m a 30-year old new Mom living in Seattle, Washington. I work full-time in tech during the day and as a side hustle, I’m an Etsy seller as well as a blogger and podcaster.
I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2017 when I started selling temporary tattoos for bachelorette parties.
I’ve since transitioned into selling digital downloads since these products are much more passive.
What I like about selling printables is that I make a digital file one time and then thousands of customers can download it.
My top seller is a scavenger hunt printable that took me less than two hours to make and has made me over $1,000 from just that one product.
The ROI for selling printables on Etsy can be insane!
You have to know what you’re doing though in order to make any money.
Here are 7 tips I’ve learned from selling printables on Etsy over the last year.
1) Pick a niche that sells
People are usually shopping on Etsy for specific events or gifts and they are willing to pay more for items related to big events. That is why the wedding, bachelorette, and bridal shower niches are so profitable. I focused my efforts there and I’m able to charge more than sellers who sell clipart to customers who want to scrapbook for example.
2) Bundle your items
I started bundling my one page printable bachelorette games into packs of 4 games.
Customers loved it and I liked making more dollars per sale.
It also helped offset the cost of paid advertising. I typically run a few dollars per day worth of ads on the Etsy Ads platform and have seen a positive return on investment.
3) Create seasonal products
The bachelorette party printable niche is really only popular in the Spring and Summer. I do make sales in the fall and winter but not nearly as many.
This got me thinking about what other printables I could sell in other seasons.
I started putting up fall-themed listings (pumpkin clip art, fall floral wall art) recently and saw an increase in sales.
There is so much you can do to take advantage of seasonal trends. For Thanksgiving, you could make printable placecards and menus for example. For Christmas, you can make printable gift tags.
I shared an ebook with my readers called “The Seasonal Products Secret” where I share 12 months of printable ideas. It also gives tools and tips for making sales on Etsy. I’ll give it away to any readers too and you can download it at this link.
4) Know Etsy SEO
Once you list your product, you’re going to want to focus a little bit on improving your position in Etsy search.
My favorite Etsy SEO tips are to match your tags with your listing title, use the free tool eRank to find better search terms, and to switch up your tags to highlight seasonal trends.
For example, your spring cleaning checklist can become a summer cleaning checklist a few months later.
5) Make it easy for the customer
Give the customer everything they need to know in the listing images. I like to call out that the printable is a digital download and they will not receive anything in the mail in the listing images.
Some people never read the text description and just buy based on the pictures. For that reason, I include all important details in the listing images.
I also clearly name all the files that they will download so they are easy to use.
If the printable is editable, I give instructions in a PDF with the order.
Some sellers will even go as far as including a link to a YouTube video on how to use the product. I don’t do that but I love the idea and may implement that in future!
6) Use coupons
I have a coupon where if a customer enters ‘FLAMINGO’ they get 10% off. I advertise the coupon in my listing images, in the listing description, in the thank you note that gets automatically sent after the order. Customers love discounts and the 10% is not a big loss for me. The margins on printables are huge because I don’t have manufacturing costs besides my time!
7) Practice good graphic design
This last one is hard and I’m not a designer by any means. In fact, I don’t think my printables look great at all but they still sell!
So if you want to do this side hustle and don’t think you’re creative enough or good enough at design, do not worry!
I did learn a few tips though to make my printables look better and stand out more. First, I started utilizing more white space in the printables.
My previous printables were crammed to the margins and I’ve since started to use the less is more approach. They look better!
Second, I try to stick with a max of two fonts on the printable. Anything more just looks really distracting.
Using these two simple tricks have helped me increase my sales on Etsy.
Overall, I’ve used these 7 tips to get to almost $6,000 in sales over the last 18 months. The best part is that I don’t put any time into this side hustle and it runs on auto pilot. I only made one printable in 2019 and made thousands of dollars!
If you’re looking for a low time-intensive side hustle and earning an extra $5k per year passively sounds good to you, this could be a good side hustle for you. It’s a bit of a learning curve to learn how to make the printables but once you get over that hump, you’re golden.
I’ve been teaching others how to sell printables on Etsy the past few months after receiving so many questions from people who heard about my side hustle on my podcast.
I’ve talked about my experiences making printables a few times in episodes such as this one: How to Create Passive Income From Etsy Digital Products.
If you’d like to join the next launch of the course, we’d love to have you! Learn more at Gold City Ventures.