Can You Really Earn Passive Income On Etsy?

Tags: Etsy, Ecommerce, Passive Income, Side Hustle
15 December 2023

Are you looking for ways to earn passive income?

One popular platform for this is Etsy.

In this blog post, we will explore a strategy to help you get your first 100 sales on Etsy to start you up on your passive income journey.

Additionally, we will also talk about what to do if you have tried everything and still not made any sales.

Is An Etsy Side Hustle Worth It?

Many people are curious about the potential profitability of an Etsy side hustle - before starting their journey on it. That is a fair question.

A typical journey of a newbie Etsy seller looks something like this.

They start their Etsy shop with all excitement, a ton of product research, selecting the right print on demand partners, and after a week or so - publishing 10-15 products on their shop.

If they are lucky enough - one can expect to get a couple of sales in your first week. But, don't expect much profit because you are just starting.

They continue to do more product research, honing their marketing strategies - adding a few more product listings in their chosen niche.

After a couple of months - now they are looking at 50-70 sales. With a profit of a few hundred bucks.

By this time they should have found their winning product. So, they double down on publishing its variations and marketing them. The order numbers have jumped to 100-150 by the end of the 4th month. And profit to about $200-$300 per month.

During this whole time - they go through a lot of ups and downs. In their sales volume and even their emotions.

Based on my and my fellow seller's experience, I believe Etsy side hustle can be highly profitable.

However, it requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to continuously learn and adapt. While the initial months may be slower, consistent effort and strategic planning can lead to significant earnings.

Remember - it is important to diversify product offerings, plan for different seasons and holidays, and price products appropriately.

What Is The Average Income From Selling On Etsy?

Based on this article an average successful seller on Etsy earns between $43,000 and $46,000 per year. It's important to note that this success came from dedicating 20-30 hours per week to the business and continuously improving processes and designs.

Also, please note, that the average income from selling on Etsy can vary depending on various factors such as traffic to your shop, order size, number of listings, and conversion rate.

If you aspire to become successful on Etsy - be prepared to also face the challenges involved and adapt your strategies accordingly.

It's important to research market trends, choose profitable niche, and create high-quality listings to increase your sales.

What Items Sell Best On Etsy?

This is the golden question everyone is curious about.

And, if you are just starting your passive income journey and want to earn on Etsy with zero investment - sell digital products.

Here's why.

They are never out of stock. You can sell (or license) as many copies of your digital products as you want.

It has a very low overhead cost. The profit margins are super high.

And, the logistics involved in delivering your digital products to your end customer is easy.

So, all you need to do is invest your time and effort one-time and enjoy its fruits forever. That's pure passive income.

Why Are My Online Items Not Selling? How To Fix It.

Wait. Before you ask - the price of your product is most likely not the reason your digital products are not selling.

So, before you reduce your pricing - ask yourself:

  • Do my digital products have exceptional designs?
  • Do they provide enough value to my audience?
  • If I keep my digital product side by side with my competitor - which one would the customer pick? And, why?

However, if you have already optimized your listings and your digital products are genuinely superior to the competition, but you still aren't making sales, then this is the strategy for you.

Give Away Your Listings for Free

Some may find this strategy unconventional, but it can be highly effective.

I recommend discounting your listings to cover only the cost of your Etsy fees, essentially giving them away for free.

You can choose to offer a 60% or even a 90% discount, just to gain traction and jump-start your sales. Implement this strategy for your first 20 to 100 orders per listing.

The Amazon Business Model to Ranking Higher on Etsy

Big businesses like Amazon often run their operations at a loss or break even to gain market share and become market leaders.

They acquire a significant number of customers in the first few years by offering discounts and promotions.

Once they establish themselves as market leaders, they can gradually increase profitability. This same principle can be applied to your digital product shop on Etsy.

By giving away your listings for free and generating a significant number of orders, you will build your shop's track record, and overall momentum, and improve your ranking in Etsy search results.

24-hour Discount Strategy

Run discounts on your digital products.

But, don't run month-long discount sales. Instead, create a sense of urgency.

The discount strategy should be implemented through 24-hour sales. This way - you can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a purchase.

Repeat this every day.

For example - start a sale on the 10th and end it on the 11th, then immediately start another sale on the 11th and end it on the 12th.

Continue this strategy until you have reached 100 units sold for each listing.

Once your listings start ranking on the first page of search results organically, you can gradually phase out this discount strategy.

How Do I Get Traffic To My Etsy Shop?

If you have given items at 90% discounts implementing the above-mentioned discount strategy - but are still not getting sales, it's time to drive traffic to your shop.

There are two ways you can do it:

  • By spending money
  • By spending time

While you can choose to spend money on advertising, I recommend spending time instead, at first.

By investing time in driving traffic, you can create a compounding effect that continues to generate traffic long after your initial efforts. You also get to learn a lot about marketing this way.

Spend 20 minutes a day on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to get your product links in front of at least 15 warm leads on Facebook who are ready to buy.

Additionally, implement a daily Pinterest strategy - where you post on it every day and link to your shop. This may take time to yield results but can be highly beneficial in the long run.

Make Money On Instagram

Final Thoughts

Selling digital products on Etsy can be a lucrative side hustle, but it requires strategic planning and execution.

By following the outlined strategy of giving away listings for free, building momentum, and driving traffic to your shop, you can increase your chances of success.

While this strategy may not align with your initial vision of a passive income stream, it is crucial to be active and aggressive in the early stages to achieve that passive stage in your digital product business.

Remember, this is just one strategy, and there are many more aggressive approaches to push out your digital products and grow your shop rapidly.

Further Resources We Recommend

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