How To Sell Digital Downloads On Etsy? Complete Guide

Let's discuss how to sell digital downloads on Etsy.

This is a great way to generate passive income, especially for beginners, as it requires minimal investment and is easy to use.

Etsy is an ideal platform for selling digital downloads because it organically drives traffic to your shop, even if you have limited sales.

We will walk you through the process of creating and uploading Etsy digital products using Canva and Etsy.

Be sure to check out the list of things that sell well on Etsy below.

What Exactly Are Etsy Digital Downloads?

Digital downloads are digital files (eg: PNG, SVG, PDF, DOCX, XLSX, etc.) that can be purchased and downloaded online.

They can include a wide range of products such as music, e-books, artwork, templates, and more.

These files are typically downloaded instantly. And that makes digital downloads a popular way for creators to start their online business, without the need for physical inventory or shipping.

How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy in 6 Steps

Here are five steps to get you started:

Choose a Niche

The first step in selling digital products on Etsy is to choose a niche.

Think about what type of digital products you want to create and sell. This could be anything from printable planners and to-do lists to art prints and more.

The key is to find a niche that interests you and has a potential market on Etsy.

Create Your Digital Product

Once you have chosen your niche, it's time to create your digital products.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to create two different types of digital downloads: a printable planner and a downloadable art print.

This can be done using various tools and software, such as Canva.

Creating a Printable Planner

To create a printable planner, we will be using Canva Pro (but, free Canva works too). Canva Pro offers a wide range of templates and design tools that are perfect for beginners.

Here's how you can create a printable planner using Canva Pro:

  1. Go to Canva and click on "Create a Design."

  2. Search for "planner" and select a template that suits your niche.

  3. Customize the template by changing the colors and rearranging elements to make it your own.

  4. Keep in mind that some people may print out the planner, so make sure to use colors that work well in both color and black and white.

  5. Once you are satisfied with your design, download it as a PDF. This ensures that the file is accessible for both printing and digital use.

Creating a Downloadable Art Print

To create a downloadable art print, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Etsy and search for "digital art print" to get inspiration.

  2. Choose a simple design that you can create using Canva or any other design tool.

  3. Create your art print design, keeping in mind the size and format that customers will be able to download and print.

  4. Save the design as a PDF or another accessible file format. Other popular formats for downloadable arts are PNG and SVG.

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Set Up Your Etsy Shop

If you don't already have an Etsy shop, you'll need to set one up.

Here are step-by-step guide to open Etsy shop, that will walk you through the entire process.

Once your shop is set up, you'll be ready to start listing your digital downloads.

Use Mock-Up Photos

To showcase your digital product on Etsy, you can use mock-up photos.

These photos give customers an idea of what the product will look like when printed or displayed.

Websites like and Canva offer a wide range of mock-up photos that you can use to present your digital products in a professional and appealing way.

Publish Products and Start Selling

Now that your shop is set up, it's time to publish your digital download products on Etsy. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Go to your shop's listing section and click on "Add a Listing."

  2. Upload your high-quality photos of your digital product, including mock-up photos if applicable.

  3. Write a catchy title for your listing, using other shops' titles as inspiration (avoid copying them directly).

  1. Write a clear and concise description of your product, mentioning that it's a digital download and specifying any important details.

  2. Add relevant tags to help customers find your product easily.

  3. Set a competitive price for your digital download. Consider the market value and the uniqueness of your product.

For a single-page download like a planner, a price of $1.99 is a good starting point. Remember, even though the price may seem low, the cumulative sales can add up.

  1. Upload the digital file to the listing to ensure that customers receive it automatically upon purchase.

  2. Review your listing and hit "Publish" to make it live on Etsy.

Market Your Etsy Store Well

To maximize your sales on Etsy, it's important to market your store effectively. Here are a few tips to help you promote your digital downloads:

  1. Optimize your product listings with relevant keywords and tags.

  2. Use social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your products and drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

  3. Collaborate with influencers or bloggers in your niche to reach a wider audience.

  4. Offer discounts or promotions to attract customers.

  5. Engage with your customers by responding to their reviews and messages promptly.

Best Digital Products To Sell On Etsy

A common struggle for many aspiring digital product sellers is the initial challenge of coming up with a profitable idea. Below is a list of top selling digital products on Etsy that have low competition that even beginners could start with.

1. Digital Planning Templates

The demand for digital planning templates, such as Notion templates, is gaining popularity from recent years. Notion is a free platform and used widely. By creating templates for digital planning apps like Notion, you can tap into this growing market.

Start by researching keywords like "Notion template" on Alura to find categories with high search volume and low competition.

2. Branding Elements

More people are starting small businesses and become content creators. So, the demand for branding elements like logos, thumbnails, Instagram design kit, YouTube channel art, and Etsy shop kits is increasing rapidly.

By researching keywords like "YouTube Banner" and "Etsy Shop kit" on e-rank, you can find high-demand, low-competition opportunities to help new brands make the right impression.

3. Mental Health Resources

Mental health is a topic of growing importance and awareness, leading to increased search volume and demand for resources that help people cope with stress and anxiety.

Creating digital resources like trackers, journals, self-care guides, and other tools can be a profitable niche, especially if you have expertise in mental wellness.

The key here is to create listings that target specfic customer segments to stand out from competitors.

4. Fonts

Fonts are essential for design - graphic designers, digital product sellers, and business owners are always looking for unique fonts to make their projects stand out. If you are a font creator, this can be a profitable idea.

Start by researching keywords like "handlettered font" and "groovy font" on Alura to find ideas that you can easily tap into.

5. Chat GPT Prompts

AI technology has gained popularity, but people are still struggling to use tools like ChatGPT the right way. Many people lack the patience or knowledge to generate effective prompts for AI programs. You can target such customers by selling AI prompts as digital products.

Start by researching keywords like "chatgpt prompts" on Alura to find ideas that you can easily tap into.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many items should my Etsy shop have?

Given the competitivenes on Etsy - having multiple types of products in your store that serve different types of customers is a good strategy. In fact, targeting multiple customers within the same shop can lead to consistent income.

The number of listings in your shop can vary depending on the niche, weight, and revenue they carry. Some shops have achieved high monthly sales with just a few listings, while others may require more. It is important to assess how many sales you get and the revenue from your current listings. If your sales are light, consider adding more listings to increase visibility and attract more customers.

The strategy that have worked for me tremendously is adding 1-2 items per day when you are just starting up. Depending on your product category continuing this cadence until you have 50-100 products. And then, slowly adding new listings consistently as you find time.

But, make sure to analyze metrics on your older listings and optimize them as needed, while you add the new ones.

Is selling digital downloads on Etsy worth it?

Selling digital downloads on Etsy can be a highly profitable way to generate passive income, especially for beginners.

Because, unlike physical products, digital downloads do not require inventory management or shipping, making them a low-cost and low-maintenance option for sellers.

Additionally, Etsy being a massive marketplace, its organic traffic can help drive customers to your shop, even if you have limited sales.

For example - there are shops on Etsy that have sold over 20,000 digital downloads, such as planners, for just $1 each. This shows the power of passive income, as the shop owner only needed to create the digital file once and could continue to earn money from it indefinitely.

How much does it cost to sell digital downloads on Etsy?

It doesn't require much money to start up, and Etsy's organic traffic can help drive sales to your shop.

Keep in mind that there is a 20-cent fee for listing a product on Etsy. However, if you sign up for Etsy using this link, you will receive 40 free listings. Etsy also charges a 6.5% transaction fee and a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25 per transaction. But, that is after a buyer makes a purchase, so you don't have to pay it upfront.

Additionally, all the tools mentioned in this article to create your digital products, like Canva or PlaceIt are free to get started.

Final Thoughts

Selling digital downloads on Etsy is a fantastic way to generate passive income.

With minimal investment and the right marketing strategies, you can create a successful Etsy shop and start earning money from your digital products.

Remember to choose a niche, create high-quality products, optimize your listings, and market your store effectively.

Further Resources We Recommend

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