How to Make Money Selling Etsy Printables

Selling Etsy printables can be a great way to create a side hustle you can do from home. And believe it or not, you can start selling printables with little to no experience or upfront cash.

If you are interested in learning how to make money selling Etsy printables, you’ve come to the right place. Our guide to selling printables on Etsy will help prepare you to launch a business that could lead to some serious passive income

Table of Contents
  1. What Are Printables?
    1. Digital Design Graphics
  2. Printable Ideas
  3. Do I Need Graphic Design Experience to Create and Sell Printables?
    1. Purchasing Pre-Made Designs
    2. Creating Your Designs
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Printable Designs on Etsy
    1. 1. Create Your Designs
    2. 2. Set Up Your Etsy Shop
    3. Upload Your Designs
  5. What Types of Printables Sell Best on Etsy?
  6. How to Market Your Printable Designs
  7. How Much Can I Make Selling Printables on Etsy?
  8. Pros and Cons of Selling Printables on Etsy
  9. Final Thoughts

What Are Printables?

A printable is a graphic design item meant to be sold as a digital download and printed directly by the customer who buys it. Selling printables can be lucrative if you do it correctly.

Digital Design Graphics

The beauty about creating and selling printables is that once you’ve completed your design and uploaded it to Etsy, you’ve done most of the work. Potential customers visit your Etsy store page, where they can browse through – and hopefully buy – your products.

File downloads and payment is made through Etsy, making this a genuinely passive income source. But what kinds of designs can you sell on Etsy? The list of possibilities is long.

Printable Ideas

Choosing a theme is a good strategy if you sell Etsy printables. Take wedding planning, for example. You could design and sell:

  • Wedding invitations
  • Bridal shower invitations
  • Bachelor/bachelorette party invitations
  • Shower or party game printables such as scavenger hunts

Or you could choose a different niche and design printables that celebrate babies and children, such as:

  • Baby announcements
  • Birthday celebration invitations
  • Baby shower invitations
  • Baby shower games
  • Party decor

Organization tools also work well as Etsy printables:

  • Printable calendars
  • Organization worksheets
  • Budget worksheets
  • Chore worksheets
  • Goals worksheets

The list is endless. Other printables you can create include:

  • Cupcake toppers
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Inspirational wall art

Do I Need Graphic Design Experience to Create and Sell Printables?

Just about any item printed on paper can be sold as a digital download product on Etsy. You don’t need to have previous experience as a graphic designer. Thankfully, some quality tools can help you create printables to sell on Etsy.

I created my own Etsy printables shop a few years back, and my kids will confirm that I am among the most technology-challenged of parents. Believe me; if I can do it, anybody can do it. 

Here are some options to design printables to sell on Etsy. 

Purchasing Pre-Made Designs

Websites such as Canva or Adobe Acrobat can help you design printables to sell by using their premade designs. For instance, Canva has both free and paid accounts. Canva’s free version has over 250,000 free design templates you can use to create the printables you sell.

Canva also has paid accounts that start at $12.99 per month. With a paid Canva subscription, you get access to an expanded selection of designs, the option to use stock photos, and other tools that will help you create and personalize your printables. 

Etsy Printables Screenshot 1

Here is an example of a design graphic you can use with a free Canva account. 

Etsy Printables Screenshot 2

With Canva’s free design templates, you can change the text to match any customer’s request. If you choose a paid subscription to Canva, you have more flexibility in design and template selection.

You can change fonts, backgrounds, and more. The free Canva account will give you a good start, but a paid subscription gives you more opportunities to use your creative skills and design unique printables. 

Creating Your Designs

You can also use a site such as Canva or Adobe Acrobat to create your designs from scratch. This option does require some creative skills and a bit of knowledge about graphic design, however, both sites provide tools to help you create your printable templates.

Another route for creating your own Etsy printables is to use a basic word processing program such as Microsoft Word. This option will help you create basic but cute designs you can sell in your Etsy shop. Here’s a layout I made using a simple Word program.

License-Free Images on Word

This simple, printable graphic was created with Word using a license-free font. Etsy provided the frame/mockup to make the design pop. 

The cool thing about opening your own Etsy printables shop is that you can go as straightforward or as elaborate with your designs as you’d like. Just know that there are several tools to help you create your Etsy shop and personalize your printables to your liking. 

Next, we’ll share a step-by-step guide to helping you make money selling Etsy printables. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Selling Printable Designs on Etsy

Learning how to make money selling Etsy printables is something that even the technically challenged like me can do. Here’s your guide to creating your own Etsy printables shop.

1. Create Your Designs

Creating your designs should be your first step as you prepare to sell printables on Etsy. Follow the instructions above and use a platform such as Canva, Adobe Acrobat, or your own PC’s Word or another program to create your designs.

Experiment with various colors, designs, fonts, and more. Some design features are free to use commercially, while others come with a licensing agreement. 

If you’re using Canva or Adobe Acrobat, those platforms will tell you which design features are free to use commercially and which will charge you a fee. It is essential to know whether the font or design feature you’re using is available for free commercial use. If it’s not, you’ll need to pay accordingly. 

Remember that practice makes perfect. Keep experimenting with your designs until you feel confident in your finished product.

2. Set Up Your Etsy Shop

After you’ve created a few designs, you’ll want to start your printables business by setting up a shop on Etsy. Simply set up your shop by registering with your name and email or Facebook account.

You’ll click on the “person” icon at the top right-hand corner of your Etsy account and click the Sell on Etsy tab.

Then hit the Open Your Etsy Shop tab on the right-hand corner of your screen. The site will walk you through various questions and ask you to name your shop. Think carefully when you choose your shop name. This will be your brand, and branding yourself correctly is essential. 

Note that the fee structure for selling on Etsy is simple: $0.20 for every listing and a 6.5% transaction fee plus a 3% plus $0.25 payment processing fee for every item you sell. 

If you decide to use Etsy’s ad program, you’ll pay an additional 15% commission if you sell an item through ads. 

Upload Your Designs

After you’ve chosen your name, you’ll be asked to upload a listing. Etsy makes this very easy!! Simply follow the prompts on the site.

  1. Upload photos of your digital file. Depending on what you’re selling, you may want to offer several sizes.
  2. Follow the prompts to describe your design.
  3. Choose “Digital” as your product type.
  4. Write a description of your product
  5. Add tags that help buyers find your product.
  6. Choose your price and your available quantity.
  7. Upload your digital files. Consider offering several sizes if applicable.
  8. Hit the Save and Continue button located in the lower right-hand corner.

If you offer buyers several sizes of your file, you can upload up to five files per listing.

Etsy Printables Screenshot 4

When choosing a price, remember to be affordable. After all, this is a “one and done” creation for you. And people buy printables because they’re cheap. 

And choose your pricing wisely. For instance, a printable file with an inspirational saying will likely sell for less than a printable file for a wedding invitation. 

Wedding Invitation Image

Also, it’s important to remember under the “type” section to check the box that says your product is a digital product and not a physical product. That way, potential buyers know what they’re getting–and what they are not getting. 

You’ll likely get more viewers as you add more products to your store. Using the Tags section is important, too, since many buyers search using correlating terms to the products they want to buy. 

What Types of Printables Sell Best on Etsy?

So, what types of printables should you sell on Etsy? That depends entirely on what your preferences are!!  

As mentioned earlier, go with what you love! If you love kids, sell birthday invitations and game sheets for kids. Or growth charts for kids. 

If you love wedding planning, sell items related to weddings and getting married. If you’re great at encouraging people, sell encouraging sayings on your printable that people can print out and frame. 

wedding planning Printables

The old saying goes, do what you love, and the money will follow. But remember to market your designs as well.

How to Market Your Printable Designs

Marketing your designs is essential to having a successful Etsy printables business. Don’t expect that you will sell your designs simply because they exist on Etsy.

Etsy has millions of sellers. And many of them are selling printables. Marketing your designs will lead people to your Etsy shop and help increase exposure for you. 

Etsy Screenshot 7

You can market your printable designs by using any social media site or avenue.  

  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Etsy ads
  • Twitter

And more. You can even start your own blog or website and start blogging to share your Etsy printable tips, successes, and failures! 

The key is to get the word out and get your designs out where people can see them. If you need to, take an online course in marketing to learn more about how to market effectively.

How Much Can I Make Selling Printables on Etsy?

You may be wondering how much money you can make by selling printables on Etsy. The good news is that the answer to that question is entirely up to you. You can make your Etsy printable business as lucrative as possible if you’re willing to spend time and effort. 

Successful Etsy business owners make thousands of dollars per week. It is possible, though very difficult, to replace your full-time job income with your Etsy printables business if you create great products and market appropriately. 

Pros and Cons of Selling Printables on Etsy

There are pros and cons to selling printables on Etsy, as with everything in life. Here are some of both to consider before starting your Etsy printable business.

Pros

  • Potential passive income stream
  • Digital products mean no storage and no shipping
  • Make your business as large or as small as you wish

Cons

  • Creating the right designs and marketing them effectively takes a lot of work.

Final Thoughts

While an Etsy printable business can be fun and lucrative, it will, like anything worth having, take a lot of work. And you’ll need to work hard if you’re interested in achieving success with your Etsy printables store. Before you get started, consider investing in an Etsy Printables course. You’ll learn some best practices, and perhaps even better, find out what not to do!

If you genuinely want to sell Etsy printables, it can be done. However, know that you need to be committed to the business to make it work. Be intentional about design, marketing, and more. Success can happen!

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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