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How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy

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Are you looking to start selling digital downloads on Etsy? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This article will cover everything you need to know about successfully selling digital downloads on Etsy. We will cover setting up your shop, uploading products, marketing your shop, and more. So let’s get started!

What Are Digital Downloads?

Digital downloads are digital files that customers can purchase and download over the internet. This could include PDFs, images, music, videos, and other types of files. These items do not need to be shipped as they are delivered electronically.

Arguably, some of the most popular types of digital downloads on Etsy and blogs are printables.

Commercial Use vs. Personal Use Downloads

Before we dive into all the details of selling printables, it’s important to understand the difference between commercial and personal use of digital downloads.

Personal use digital downloads are intended for individuals, not companies or businesses. These downloads can be used for things like scrapbooking, crafts, journaling, wall art, etc., but cannot be sold on products (t-shirts, mugs, etc.) or used in any kind of business.

Companies or individuals can use commercial use digital downloads to tweak and resell as their own. Typically, these types of digital downloads will cost more than personal use downloads because they are being used for commercial purposes.

Why Sell on Etsy?

Etsy is a popular destination for printables and other digital downloads. Sellers can benefit from the platform’s large customer base, easy-to-use tools, and low fees. Moreover, customers love Etsy because it offers a wide selection of unique items that are handcrafted or digitally created by independent sellers.

To sell on Etsy, your digital products must be your own creation (this means you’ve added your personal touch). You cannot resell someone else’s work on the platform.

The Costs of Using Etsy

Before you open your shop, you’ll want to understand the costs associated with selling on Etsy. There are two main types of fees: listing fees and transaction fees.

  • Listing fees are a one-time fee (usually $.20) that is charged for each item listed in your shop. This fee covers the cost for Etsy to maintain your listings for up to four months or until the item is sold.
  • Service/transaction fees are a small percentage of each sale (usually 6.5%) that Etsy charges once an item has been purchased.

Additional fees might include advertising and signing up for a monthly subscription to expand your brand. See more about it here.

How to Get Started

Now that you have an understanding of digital downloads and why Etsy is a great platform to sell on, let’s discuss the steps to get started.

1. Create Your Shop

Before you can start selling digital products, you will need to set up your shop. This includes creating a shop name, selecting categories for your items, and setting up payment information.

You also need to set up your shop policies, which explain how customers can contact you and the return policy.

2. Decide what products you want to sell and design them

Now that your shop is set up, it’s time to decide what digital products you want to sell. It could be printables, print designs, or other templates. You’ll also want to choose a niche. With a little market research, you can choose a profitable niche you enjoy designing.

Once you have decided on the type of product you want to offer, it’s time to design them and upload them onto Etsy. You can use free tools like Canva to get started asap; just pay attention to license agreements to ensure you can sell the item you design. If you’re unsure, just contact Canva or any other design company, and ask.

3. Upload Your Products

Once your shop is all setup, you are ready to start uploading products! Be sure to include clear product photos and descriptions that accurately represent your items. Being as detailed as possible will increase the likelihood that your products will show in a customer search.

When it comes to digital downloads, you must ensure customers understand that their purchase is a digital file. It’s also important to include instructions on how they can download the files after purchase (this could be through email or a link).

At this point, you will also need to set a price for your products. Set a competitive price in your niche that will help keep your business profitable. You may need to start with lower prices at first to get a handful of good reviews before you can start increasing them.

4. Promote Your Shop

Now that your shop is set up and you’ve uploaded some products, it’s time to start marketing! There are lots of ways to reach potential customers, such as advertising on Google or other social media platforms.

You can also start writing about your products if you have a blog. For a blog, you might consider offering free PDFs, like they do at the Creative Color Lab, to collect emails and offer an exclusive paid collection to your subscribers. If you don’t have your own blog, reach out to other bloggers in your niche and see if they’d be willing to feature your products.

You can also use Etsy’s own promotion tools to reach out to shoppers, such as joining an Etsy team.

If you think this is too time-consuming, consider outsourcing your marketing efforts so that it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

If you’re low on funds and can wait to make an income, you can slowly experiment and find what channels work best for you. Don’t feel like you need to waste money on marketing.

5. Engage With Customers

Once customers start buying your digital products, make sure you respond promptly to any questions or issues they may have. This will help you build trust and loyalty with customers, making them more likely to purchase from you in the future.

You can also engage with shoppers by posting special offers, discounts, or giveaways on social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter. This encourages customers to follow your shop and keep coming back for more.

Running competitions or promoting special discounts is a great way to get people interested in your products, especially if you have just started out.

Finally, don’t forget to thank customers for their purchases and offer any additional support they may need, such as troubleshooting help with the product or advice on how to use it.

That’s All it Takes

With a bit of hard work and dedication, you can create a successful digital product shop on Etsy! All it takes is some patience and a willingness to try new strategies. With these five steps, you could make your first sale in less than 24 hours!

Related read: 47+ Business Ideas for Women

Digital Download FAQ: Tips and Tricks for Success

Now that you have all the basic steps, let’s review some commonly asked questions about digital downloads and how to create a profitable business on Etsy.

What are best selling digital products on Etsy?

Etsy’s most popular digital products include printable artwork, planner pages, fonts and logos, digital scrapbooking kits, SVG files for crafting, and digital photo prints. These products offer customers instant gratification: once they purchase a product, they can instantly download it from Etsy!

How do I guarantee success on Etsy?

Success is never guaranteed. To make a good income from selling digital products on Etsy, you’ll need to create high-quality products, promote your shop, engage with customers, and offer excellent customer service. You may also want to consider offering special discounts or running promotions on social media channels to help drive sales.

How much can I make selling on Etsy?

It depends on how much effort you’re willing to put into your shop and how successful your marketing efforts are. Selling digital products on Etsy can be a very lucrative business, but it may take time and practice to get to the point where you can make a consistent income.

Since there are no upfront costs to selling digital products, you can start small and gradually build up your shop over time to six figures and beyond.

To maximize profits, you should eventually plan to sell your designs in bundles that allow you the most profit per purchase.

What if I’m not a designer?

You don’t have to be a designer to create digital products on Etsy. Many sellers source artwork from stock websites such as Envato Elements, Creative Market, and DepositPhotos.

You can also outsource design work to a freelance designer if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself. Just hop on Fiverr or Upwork and hire someone.

How do I choose a niche?

Choosing a niche is an important step in setting up your digital product shop on Etsy. Research popular trends and find something that interests you, that you can create content for, and that there is demand for.

You may want to consider choosing a niche that has a narrower focus, as it will be easier to create content and market your products. Having a niche also helps you stand out from the competition.

How do I get started when there are already so many sellers?

When starting out on Etsy, you must work extra hard to stand out from the competition. One of the best ways to gain traction is to offer coupon codes or offer an initial discount.

Additionally, focus on creating high-quality products with unique designs, excellent customer service, and creative marketing strategies to help your shop stand out from the crowd. Additionally, make sure you are pricing your products competitively.

You can also sign up for an online course that gives you step-by-step instructions for getting started selling.

Related read: Work from Home Jobs with No Experience

Is Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy Worth It?

Yes! With some hard work and dedication, selling digital downloads on Etsy can be lucrative. There are few upfront costs, so you can start small and build your shop up over time. It’s also possible to make a consistent income by leveraging creative marketing strategies, offering discounts, and creating high-quality products.

Start by creating digital products and testing the market to see what works best.

Need more guidance? I highly recommend taking an online course that takes a deep dive into this subject with creators that have had great success.

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