How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy? (Baby Steps!)

Are you a small business owner? Or are you looking for a company to sell your handmade items at the best price? 

Not only for selling items but even if you are looking to buy something from small business owners or a branded item, Etsy is the perfect platform for you. 

Before hopping on to the main part, let’s first know what Etsy is. Now for those who don’t know what it actually is, do not miss out on reading ahead! 

Etsy is an online market or retail company that was established in 2005.

This website is a perfect place for independent business owners who can sell their products, be it jewelry, clothing item, art, and crafts, handmade items for home decor or any other purpose, toys, and a whole lot more, on a global level. 

Etsy home page

Would you believe me if I told you that by 2007, this company had millions of active users on a daily basis, and it made around $26 million? 

By 2018, Etsy had around 2 million retailers partnered up with it, and almost 50 million products were available on the website for sale. 

This kind of success was possible not only because of their warehouses and storerooms but also because of the small business owners and their fan following!

One of the best parts about Etsy’s company is that women own 87% to 90% of businesses, and the company itself organized this survey in 2019 and reported it. 

In short, Etsy is just a middleman that connects business owners and customers.

These business owners get a chance through Etsy to showcase the products that they themselves curated to attract more customers.

Not only do the businesses sell their products through this company, but they also keep track of their inventory and orders themselves. 

The total net worth that this company holds is $12.59 billion as of May 01, 2023. I mean, why not? The reason is, in 2023, Etsy itself reported that it has over 100 million products out for sale on its website, uniquely curated by 7.5 billion business owners and around 95 billion consumers who spend around 90-110 minutes on Etsy on a regular basis!!!! 

Okay, now I guess by this, you know what Etsy actually is and what exactly it deals with, and of course its whopping net worth!

Moving on, let’s give you more information on selling and buying on Etsy. 

Everything About Buying & Selling On Etsy

As a customer, you need to know that buying on Etsy is pretty easy! All you need to do is click on the search bar, type your product, and click on buy now! 

If not, and you want to look through more options, you can always go through the category option and search individually through a variety of products. 

It is not necessary to have an account on Etsy for you to buy products. You can even browse through as a guest. 

Just like Amazon and other big giant merchants, Etsy has multiple payment options for you to choose from, like paying through various merchants like google pay, apple pay, PayPal, credit and debit cards, and interact transfers as well. It also has multiple EMI options for both national and international consumers. 

And if you are a seller, then selling products on Etsy is quite an easy task. All you have to do is set up a shop on Etsy. It is very easy, I have explained how to do so below!

Once you are all done setting up your shop, you need to upload your products and their prices by categories and specifications.

Now, you’re good to go, and you can begin selling your products at the best price. And TADA! Enjoy watching money flowing towards you! Scenic right?

But before all of this, it is crucial to decide on your niche before you launch your Etsy store.

I advise picking a specialty that will make your shop stand out from others on Etsy and about which you are enthusiastic. 

If you don’t have a genuine interest in your market, you’ll probably give up and not put in the necessary time and effort to establish a successful business. And that is now how a business works my friend!

Motivating enough? Shall I move on? Okay!

As you define your niche, keep the following in mind:

  1. Spend as much time as is required to identify the ideal niche idea for your Etsy shop.
  2. Do you have insufficient time to devote to a competitive niche that you’re trying to enter?
  3. Make sure to select a market niche that is neither overly broad nor under-utilized.
  4. Treat your internet business like you would any other.
  5. Look into other Etsy stores that have been operating for at least a year and analyze their performance.

Now that we are already talking about selling and buying on Etsy, let’s shift our main focus to digital products. 

Is Selling Digital Prints On Etsy Profitable?

Now, Etsy is quite a cool place that not only sells physical products but also deals in digital products. 

Don’t know what digital products are? No worries, I got you. 

These are basically e-products like wallpapers, software, music, e-books, movies, calendars, lightroom presets, business or greeting cards or invitations, banners, cosmetic labels, and a whole lot more that are easily accessible only through the digital platform. 

Products that are printable also come under digital products. One of the best parts about digital products is that you just have to make them once and then sell that product unlimited times forever! 

For instance, you prepared a wallpaper online, and now you have uploaded it on Etsy; you can now sell it forever until and unless you come up with something new and get bored of the old editions! 

Etsy digital downloads can be quite profitable, and because they are digital, they require a lot less labor than selling handmade products on Etsy.

Etsy digital downloads

Just to be clear, any business owner can sell digital products on Etsy along with their physical products! 

Extra knowledge alert!!! If you are wondering, I said I’d talk about digital downloads, but all I am ranting about is digital products.

So my friend, digital downloads and digital products are the same thing! I am sure it could have been a little confusing, but any digital product that can be bought just by paying and downloading it on Etsy is known as a digital download or a digital product. 

Do You Need A License To Sell Digital Art On Etsy?

First of all, selling digital goods on Etsy can be a second source of income for you, no matter if you’re a creative entrepreneur, self-supported artist, or owner of a small business.

With features like immediate digital delivery once downloaded and a protected payment transaction process, selling digital goods on Etsy is also surprisingly precise.

So, bottom line. No! You do not need a license to sell any kind of digital art on Etsy.

Let’s look at some of the digital goods you could market through Etsy! 

Can You Make A Living Selling Digital Downloads? 

Well, the amount of money that can be made by selling digital goods on Etsy varies substantially. You can make thousands of dollars a year, just like owning a traditional Etsy shop with tangible goods.

Since many factors influence sales, it is impossible to estimate them precisely. It’s safe to state, nevertheless, that the monthly income can range from $50 to $2000.

Selling digital goods is a terrific strategy to generate passive money while creating another Etsy shop because you may manage numerous shops on the platform.

The amount of money you earn from selling digital downloads on Etsy is affected by several factors, including the expenses you set, the level of demand for your digital products, the level of challenges, and the time you invest in advertising and promotion.

Since your individual circumstances and efforts will determine your earnings, it is difficult to predict them with precision.

Successful Etsy sellers can typically expect to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month from their digital download sales.

To boost your revenues, I’ll advise you to devote more time and effort to your marketing techniques and strategies.

You can also upgrade how you manage various costs by becoming more knowledgeable about Etsy’s unseen fees. Your time investment will pay off in the long run for the prosperity of your company.

Keeping in mind these factors can help you earn decent money just and e enjoying the “creating once, selling forever” method! 

What a relief, right? Preparing your products in one sitting and publishing them on the website to get sold! And watching every download helps you make money! I think digital products should be sold by every company to some extent in order to increase sales with no other extra hustle! 

Now at this point, the question that strikes the mind is how one can create digital downloads for Etsy. Is there a special method to do so?

What kind of application can be used to create one digital product? How much time does it take? And a whole lot more questions that can be addressed! 

Moving on! 

How To Start Selling Digital Downloads On Etsy?

Well, first, I have a video for you…

Do not worry! Creating a digital product is a cakewalk! It is not as intimidating as it seems. 

Below are the steps you can follow to sell your download without any hustle!

1. Research Matters

Why I mentioned research as the first step is because you need to be aware of what kind of digital product is excelling in the market these days and what is the true cost, your margin, etc.

To do that, you need to research well about the product that you have been thinking of converting into a digital product for a while.

Who knows, you might come across a better idea for your product to help you earn bigger money! All of this depends upon what kind of market is in trend! What exactly are the consumers looking for? 

Not only this, but during your research, you can even go through your competitor’s selling strategies, and you can even go through the numbers and their designs and try preparing a better one if that’s your deal! 

But make sure your research must be in consideration with Etsy because that is the platform where you will sell your products and let them get downloaded in exchange for money! 

Additionally, you can even look through the trending keywords while looking for a digital product that is up-to-the-date.

All this will simply help you identify your target audience, and you can easily look up to their needs. 

2. Product Making

Once you are done with your research, you just have to finalize your product and think of the designs, templates, colors, fonts, etc., for it.

Try making your product so intriguing that it catches everyone’s eye, and the uniquely curated digital product can get sold at first look! 

Now thinking about how to create a digital product?

There are tons of third-party applications and websites that were solely created for the digital world! Companies like Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Adobe Draw, and so many more editing and Photoshop firms can help you out with your digital product creation.

For example, I personally used Canva for a while, and the templates, backdrops, editing tools, and formats are very easy to understand if you’re a beginner.

Canva for etsy

Another way to design your product can be by hiring a designer! Yes! It is possible to look for a good graphic designer and get whatever you need just by paying them!

3. Setting Up A Price

Done with the prep? Now set a price for your product that is not too high or not too low! The margin should be enough that it profits you in every download!

You can even set competitive prices with your challenger to have a little fun of your own! (Do not call me evil, haha!). 

4. Open A Store On Etsy

Once you are finished with setting up the prices of your product, all you need to do is set up a shop on Etsy for your product with an intriguing product name and the shop name!

Setting up a store on this website is a doddle! All you have to do is get started on creating a shop, choosing its location, name, and currency that you want to deal in, and setting a payment method along with the billing method!

It is simple to navigate and set up a store on this platform because it is user-friendly and uncomplicated (shown below)

Setting up Etsy store

5. Time To Showcase Your Prints Or Products

Once you have finished setting up your store, you must upload your products along with their prices and specifications by category.

Just make sure that The largest digital file size that can be uploaded is 20 megabytes.

You can even reduce the image quality if your file is too enormous or split it up into smaller files.

The very important aspect to keep in mind is that the file’s resolution should be high if it is a printable download! 

For your digital art, it is important to upload clear photographs so that customers can see what they are purchasing.

6. Prepare A Fresh Listing & Specifications For Your Products

After getting done with all these steps, make fresh Etsy listings, or specifications, if you must say, for your own digital goods, that must include photographs, concise and thorough product descriptions, and pricing details.

It is very vital to keep in check that you don’t mislead your target audience in any way and make sure to give proper information about your product.

When selling digital downloads on Etsy, the correct formats (JPG, PNG, PDF, etc.) must be mentioned.

In order to improve your product listings, you may also examine the best-selling things on Etsy to discover what they are doing differently. 

What Kind Of Digital Art Sell Best On Etsy?

The best return on your time, in my opinion—as I mentioned above—will come from digital goods.

Additionally, you could always increase your revenue by including digital items in your Etsy shop if you want to produce physical goods.

Now as I told you above, there are multiple digital items that you can sell on Etsy. Let’s dig in deep! 

  • E-books
  • Wallpapers
  • Templates
  • Logo and Banners
  • Fonts
  • Invitation
  • Digital Artwork 
  • Music
  • Softwares
  • Business Cards
  • Gift tags
  • Flyers
  • Stickers
  • Children Learning Materials etc. 

Currently, these are some of Etsy’s digital goods with the highest sales. But as consumer preferences and market trends change, that list may frequently be updated. In order to stay current with the newest trends, you should always conduct your own market research.

The choices are essentially endless with Etsy digital goods. Although this is the case, many individuals immediately conjure up images of digital prints when they hear the term “digital downloads.” Digital prints are among the best-selling items on Etsy and for good reason.

However, you can actually sell much more than that. Customers are interested in a variety of digital products, such as if you quickly search for “digital downloads” on Etsy.

Now I will let you know some marketing tips for your digital products to make it even easier for you to earn decent money!

Important Marketing Tips

You might believe that your job is finished once you set up your store and list your products. And it certainly is if you don’t want to start selling right now!

If that’s the case then it’s time to spread the word about your listings once they are online. You could, for instance, advertise on Etsy, advertise on Facebook, create a Pinterest account, advertise on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and more.

To go even further, you can develop a lead magnet and begin building an email list of subscribers to continuously market your items.

I wish I could say that earning money by selling digital goods on Etsy is a passive source of revenue that lets you “make, publish and forget,” but I can’t. Nothing on earth is as simple as this.

Mentioned below are a handful of suggestions to assist you in selling digital products on Etsy with maximum success and the quickest outcome.

1. Good Research Will Pay Off

Market research should take up a lot of your first time. After then, as was said in the portion about selecting a particular niche, explore Etsy to discover what’s already doing well in that niche.

2. Marking Important Keywords

By typing your concept into the Etsy search bar and checking the results, you may conduct free Etsy keyword research. If you want to advance your Etsy keyword research, try using a tool.

In order to sell your goods on Etsy naturally, SEO is essential. Create a list of keywords for your product title and description using an Etsy keyword analysis tool and free keyword techniques for research. 

There are several ways to figure out how to find Etsy keywords if you are new to SEO. 

The best place to look for fantastic keywords to promote your Etsy products, though, is on Etsy itself. 

Make a list of all the extra titles that appear in the search bar after you enter the name of your product or your product idea.

3. An Etsy Course Can Always Help

If you want to get started quickly but know very nothing about selling on Etsy, I would strongly advise completing an Etsy course. 

Yes! You heard me right! There are tons of courses online that can help you understand the website better, and apart from that; you can even learn techniques to make your business shoot up! 

4. Utilize All Other Social Media Platforms

Marketing your goods outside of Etsy is also a good idea.

To promote your Etsy digital downloads, concentrate on social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Start an email list in addition to using social media for marketing.

To encourage individuals to sign up, you might provide one of your products as a giveaway and then keep in touch with them through consistent email newsletters. 

Then, entice them to purchase by informing them about your goods, providing exclusive subscription-only promo codes, hosting seasonal sales, etc.

Honestly, this kind of marketing technique is mostly used by all business owners nowadays! So this can be a win-win for you too! 

5. Keep Your Customer Service Up To The Mark

You need ratings and reviews if you want the goods you sell to rank well in Etsy search results.

Your items require high ratings and outstanding reviews, not just any kind of feedback. 

Not only will positive reviews improve your results, but they also serve as social proof, a very potent technique that can increase your sales.

Some of the important key factors to keep in mind when it comes to customer service can be:

  • Over-deliver what you’re providing, such as by including a complementary bonus with their purchase.
  • When a customer asks a question, reply appropriately and asap.
  • If any mishap comes up, make every effort to correct that fault.
  • After a customer makes a purchase, follow up with them and see if there’s anything you can do to help. In your follow-up message, you may additionally request them to leave some feedback for you.

6. Consistent Discounts

Offer discounts on your products if you’re seeking to increase sales!

Make special coupon codes just for clients who have already made a purchase from you as a way to encourage repeat business.

Your Etsy store should consistently have sales. For your social media and email followers, create unique promo codes.

7. Etsy Advertisements Have Your Back!

Even if it’s optional, using Etsy ads to promote your products is a critical next step to start generating new sales or increasing the volume of current ones.

Without knowing how to operate them profitably first, I wouldn’t advise jumping into Etsy advertisements for selling your digital downloads; failing to do so could result in significant financial loss.

I really hope you found these techniques and strategies helpful to some extent! These strategies are overlooked by so many business owners, and then they complain about their products not getting sold! 

But I am sure you are smart enough to keep a check on your products and marketing approaches! Aren’t you? 

Now, let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons!

Pros of selling on Etsy

Yes!! There are tons of trump cards that can be in your pockets just by selling digital downloads on Etsy!

  1. Selling digital downloads on Etsy can help you earn high profits because look at it this way! You just have to upload it on the website, and the consumer will pay you for downloading it! You will save up on shipping costs! So the profits will be touching heights! Correct me if I am wrong! 
  1. Since Etsy has low overhead costs, I especially advise selling digital products there. Inventory, purchasing raw materials to manufacture the product, and, basically, your profit margins when you sell the product are all things you don’t have to worry about.
  1. Making a digital product on your computer just requires a small investment of time and money. Then, thousands of Etsy customers can buy that file without you having to do anything more than occasionally respond to a few customer service inquiries.
  1. The best aspect is that Etsy attracts people to you, so you don’t need to worry about advertising. When you first start out, you don’t yet have a sizable customer base, email list, or social media following, so that is a tremendous benefit.
  1. Owners of Etsy shops can also benefit from joining Etsy Teams, which gives you the opportunity to interact with other sellers in groups, post to discussion boards, and promote your digital designs and downloads.

The fact that you have a large audience right now is one of the biggest advantages of selling on Etsy. Every day, millions of people access the platform. A large number of visits will provide your store with a lot of exposure.

Going digital creates a passive income stream as opposed to operating a traditional Etsy shop. In addition to that, you can earn money while you sleep because the entire procedure is automated.

You have more than enough reason to switch to digital on Etsy with these advantages.

Now let’s switch to cons. You know right? Something that has pros has cons too. That is why the pros and cons go along!

Cons of selling on Etsy

I’ll straightaway begin by pointing out some cons!

  1. One of the most important factors that can be a little harsh on you is the competitors! The competition in the digital world is very high and selling digital products can be a tough call! So it is kind of important to do your research well before you begin selling online.
  2. Now, since the competition is too high, there is a possibility, to beat that competition, and other sellers can easily steal your ideas and sell it. In business terms, it is called “Copyright Infringement”. So yes, it can also get a little out of hand to deal with.
  3. Once someone buys your digital product it will be just one click away. Like you cannot add any kind of fun or personal touch to your package to make your customer feel more special! So yeah! That’s sad, isn’t it?
  4. Nowadays, the world has become digital but only to some extent. People still believe in buying physical stuff rather than buying something digital. Not everyone has access to a computer or a phone. So yes! Your target audience restricts only to the people who are connected to the digital world!

But don’t worry, the world is not far where everyone will have access to the digital techs! After all, World is developing at its own pace. So give it some time!

And nothing is impossible! So selling digital goods on Etsy can be worth a hit and try, isn’t it?

My Advice

Now that we are almost at the end of the article, I am sure this ultimate guide to selling digital downloads will help you out and let you earn pretty generous money! 

I agree the initial stages of selling digital downloads and products demand a lot of work.

To ensure that you get the word out and inspire people to buy, promote your products vigorously after you’ve finished making them.

If you do your research, selling digital downloads on Etsy can be profitable as it doesn’t take a lot of capital upfront. Additionally, compared to handmade goods, digital downloads require a lot less manual labor.

Initially, you might not make much money, but with the right study, perseverance, and strategic planning, you can build a tremendously successful company.

Reaching a broad and diverse audience by offering digital downloads for sale on Etsy may be easy and rewarding. 

To provide the level of customization and personalization that your customers want, selling digital prints on Etsy calls for a major time and effort investment. 

To further establish a good reputation, you must continue to advertise and promote your store on social media platforms including IG, Pinterest, Twitter, and so many more, as well as interact with customers in a straightforward and professional manner.

Moreover, I’ve overheard people constantly bragging about how other social media platforms can compete with Etsy in selling products! Well, say no more! To clear out this doubt, you can read an article where a clear Instagram V/S Etsy match is on!! Go have a look and find out who won! 

Bottom Line

This is the complete resource to promote your digital downloads on Etsy, to put it briefly. Don’t be afraid to list your creation on Etsy if it is based on your area of expertise. 

It will assist you in generating long-term income and expanding the market for your goods.

I sincerely hope that everything you have in this essay will be put to good use. You can now create a profitable and enjoyable business since you know how to accomplish it.

Today, start selling your uniquely curated digital downloads. There is no way to err.

Simran - Shivansh's Affiliate Team

Simran Sharma

A content writer and affiliate subject matter expert who knows her stuff – have always been expressing via my written word. And here I am, an honored member of Shivansh’s team. Apart from this, I’m a fully family & friends person, keeping an interest in autobiographies!

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