In this article I want to talk to you about five really important elements that I’ve come to realize you really need in not only a successful Etsy shop in general but in particular a successful printable Etsy shop or a digital download Etsy shop. I have been selling art printables for about two to two and half years now. It’s a long story and if you want to know more about it check out my other articles on my website. Why I say two years to two and half years because there was a period of time where I basically gave up. And that’s definitely going to be one of the rules that I put in here which is a big no-no.
Along that journey I’ve come to discover really helpful tips and tricks as to what makes a successful sellable art printable shop or digital download shop on Etsy. Compared to one that just doesn’t seem to build momentum no matter what you do. I just wanted to give you some advice and guidance. If you’re just starting your Etsy printable shop or your Etsy digital download shop and you just want some really useful actionable tips that you can put into making that shop a success.
Selling Printables on Etsy: What is a digital download?
The first thing I want to talk about and define for people that don’t know what a digital download is. What exactly is a digital download? So the standard definition is a digital download is an electronic form of a document or file that the buyers gonna receive without receiving a physical copy. So what that means is that the person is basically paying for a custom item that you make.
But they’re not going to receive a tangible item through the mail. They’re gonna receive a file that they could download and print at their local printing shop. So they could take this document that’s gonna be saved in a JPEG format or PDF format. This is very important with selling printables on Etsy.
They could take it to Kinkos maybe FedEx Costco staples whatever is the local printing shop in your area. And you a lot of people what they do is they either upload it on the actual website. Let’s say they go to FedEx.com upload it and do the work from there or they save it in a thumb drive and take it to Kinkos to get it printed out. So basically you as the seller you’re not printing anything out for the customer. You’re not sending a customer a tangible item. You’re just creating the file or creating the artwork and sending them the file.
Final file for digital download, JPEG or PDF?
Now I do recommend that when you’re sending, you’re providing them with the final file that you send them a JPEG and a PDF format. The only reason why I say send them both is because a lot of printing shops do require a PDF. And then other printing shops they don’t do PDF. They just want to do the jpg that way you don’t have to worry about the customer messaging you later on to provide them a PDF or vice versa. Jpg format So saving them on both formats and sending it to the customer has been the best experience for me.
I’m when selling digital downloads, now the most common items that are sold mxc as a digital downloads are wedding invites. Wedding signs principal artwork birthday signs principal wine labels and principal planners. Now there’s so many options that you could do as long as your creative side comes out. You could do anything pretty much with digital prints it just depends on your niche. And what you’re more more interested in doing. But these are the most common ones that you could do. It just basically depends on what you are more creative in and what you’re interested.
Tip #1: Selling printables on Etsy: Niche down to specific
Tip one is to selling printables on etsy with a target audience in mind. Even better with one target customer in mind. I can’t tell you how many Etsy shops I come across and although that absolutely beautiful. I have no idea who they’re trying to sell. They’re moody and dark one minute and then lighting friendly and another they’re trying to sell you a recipe digital download along with a cool girly art print. And you’ve got no idea really what they’re trying to sell and who they’re trying to sell it to. And if anything this makes a potential customer click on to your shop take a quick look around panic that is just not what they want.
They can’t trust that individual to know exactly what they’re looking for. So they’ll just click off. I made this huge mistake when I started out my Etsy shop. I had no idea what kind of the look of the printables and I wanted the look of the banner. The style of my photographs. When I went in my description to be I had no who I was trying to sell this product to and as a consequence of that I just got frustrated and I gave up. Because I noticed that people come into my job but no one was sticking around and buying and it wasn’t until I took it way back to basics and started again with who do I actually want to buy this product and who is this product design for that.
Going back to basics
I actually started making sales in my shop. So if you have an Etsy shop already or if you’ve never started one then I super recommend going back to the drawing board and working out exactly who your target audience is. Your shop banner should look so enticing to that particular person, your listing images should look exactly how they want it, for example I sell art printables so my photograph and listing should represent the customer that I’m aiming for. And what their home might look like and what my print would look like in their home.
There’s no point me trying to target a super girly girl with my art prints. Again I’m offering a plain and grungy and dark and moody listing image for them to be attracted to because it’s just not going to happen. So I really need to represent them that even goes down to the listing description. So that’s how I speak about the product how I invoke imagery for this person to view it in their home or if it’s an digital download how it really relate to them and the lifestyle that they have. But you can’t do any of that in us if you know exactly who you’re aiming for.
So if you haven’t done it yet definitely go back to drawing board and to reaffirm exactly who you are aiming your shot and your products.
Tip #2: Match the platform with your target audience
This tip kind of relates really closer to this one. But it’s a bit more of a broader scope which is that. Once you’ve found out the person that you really want to target make sure that they’re also the type of person to buy on the platform that you’re selling on. So for example with Etsy, make sure that there is traffic for those types of people there.
Make sure that if you are catering to predominantly females, that lots of females shop on Etsy and they’re searching for similar products that you’re trying to sell. Take a look at your competition. See what they’re selling, how there’s something get what of their products is doing really really well, and then on top of that look at Etsy search and see what popular keywords are popping up.
Make sure that you have some assurance that the people that you were trying to sell to are shopping on Etsy in the first place. And if you go on to any different platform that you sell on Amazon or Creative Market or wherever you decide to sell in the future you need to make sure that that’s the same. You do your homework and you’re sure that that exact customer is using those platforms to buy things and particularly your product in the same vein as that.
Make sure the product you want sell is popular
I also recommend making sure that the product that you want to sell in your Etsy shop whether it is an art print or an organization digital download or whatever it is make sure that it’s popular. Make sure that there are other people selling similar products it might sound a bit counterintuitive to hope that there are other people on the platform doing really similar things to you.
But what it shows more than anything else is that there’s a market there for it. If you’re the only one there you may still be able to sell that product because it may be a niche that you’ve fallen into that no one else is really noticing. But the chance of that is very small and usually if no one is selling anything remotely similar to what you’re trying to sell then it’s not impossible to sell that item on that platform.
But you are making it a lot more difficult for yourself and particularly if you have no experience inside online at all. I definitely recommend making sure that there’s some healthy competition on the same platform with you that they’re selling similar products to you. And are actually making sales when those products as well. I also recommend checking out really cool resources like Google Trends.
Try to use Google Trends
But you can go on and you can see if the keywords are associated to your product whether they’re popular at the moment whether they have a general level of popularity all year round or whether they’re on a downward drop and therefore that particular product might not do as well now as it would have done back then.
This is something I’m only just kind of really started to get to grips with Google Trends but it’s so invaluable for especially different peak seasons of the year so something that might be really popular in wintertime might not be as popular in summer and if you are only focusing your shop on selling something that’s popular in wintertime then you’re going to see a natural dip in your shop during summer.
And if you’re trying to build a shop that can sustain you all year round, then this is something that you’ll need to address and create other products that can fill in those gaps. So it’s really important to keep on top of trends of products and the popularity of products.
Do not purely depend on seasonal products
So you can fill out your shop in a healthy way for all year round maintaining your level of income from season to season rather than really big in winter and then dropped off like a stone for the rest of the year. This is something that I struggled with when I first tied to my Etsy shop and still now I have to remember to keep working on which is constantly adding in items that can hold my shop throughout the season. And I’m not perfect at it and it’s not incredibly easy to make sure that your shop is maintaining a level of sales over and throughout a year.
But if you know that there are certain for example art prints that are popular in wintertime and then certain different products like organization tools that are popular in summertime then you might want to intermingle or you might find that those are art prints that are popular in wintertime and then there are certain art prints that are popular in summer time.
And you want to make sure that you are incorporating as much as possible especially around this time of year when it says summer season a lot of people can see a drop in their sales. And have a massive panic over it and sometimes give up on their shops all together. But if you go in with your eyes open that especially with digital downloads seasonal trends and you need to try and keep on top of them you’ll hopefully see that your income will level out more over a year or two years. However long it takes you to build your shot.
Tip#3: Etsy Search Engine Optimization
SEO is everything if you have not put a huge amount of time and energy into the SEO of your products on Etsy then you are missing a huge trick. And something that’s so vital to any Etsy shop. The most traffic that my shop gets to this day is from Etsy search and that goes for quite a majority of Etsy shops. Whether it’s a digital product shop or if it’s a physical product shop, your SEO is absolutely key. If you don’t know what SEO is you can search for Etsy SEO.
There are ton of materials to learn. If you haven’t already put huge amounts of time and energy into perfecting the keywords that you’re adding into your descriptions and your titles and your tags into each Etsy product that you have then you are seriously missing a trick because this is how you will get found the majority of times on Etsy.
Like I’m going to mention the next tip the more products you have with good quality SEO keywords for each of those products the stronger your visibility will be on Etsy search itself. And Etsy search is the place that most people who buy on Etsy find you. So definitely something to put the time energy and if you have got products in your shop or you are just thinking of starting out a shop and you want to know that one thing that is really gonna have an impact above and beyond then it is making sure that your SEO is key.
Without SEO, It’s nothing
You can have the best listings the best photography the most beautiful shop. But if your SEO is on the floor and you haven’t spent time or energy on it then you’re going to really suffer for it with sales. There are a few really cool tools that you can use that can really help you in just focusing on what keywords will be best for you and best of drive traffic and customers to your items. And they are Marmalade and eRank. There are some others out there. But those two are the really big ones. I personally use eRank for almost all of my SEO because I only discovered it seemed ranked a couple of months ago.
And I’m kind of trying that and seeing how that goes. And I’ll definitely you know how I feel about its numeric vs. man-made. But eRank has been so much help to me in just making the panic of SEO so much simpler.
Tools for SEO for better selling printables
I can go on there every time I have a new listing or a new batch of listings that I want a really boost in Etsy search. And I can work out what keywords are best to use what’s known trending, what keywords are gonna bring me more traffic versus what keywords are most likely gonna bring me a sale. There’s just so much information that you can get from eRank. I’m gonna leave a link to eRank below because again that’s a really useful tool that I’ve used. It’s kind of pointless me using it and then not telling you about it.
So that you struggle well there’s a simple way that I use to solve it so definitely if you haven’t got an SEO strategy and you don’t feel confident or you’re struggling with your keywords and with boosting up your visibility in Etsy search then eRank is a tool I recommend.
Tip #4: Stock up your shop
This tip is predominantly for digital downloads but it kind of goes for all products on Etsy. And this is really stock up your shop. There are so many beautiful Etsy shops that look half-finished because they have four or five products in them compared to the person with and when it comes to art printables it really can be a numbers game. Especially if you don’t know how to drive in your own traffic you don’t have a huge support engine behind you. That’s drumming in traffic and visitors and customers to your shop. Then it really is about your visibility on Etsy.
And the more listings you have out there most important thing is the quality listings that you have out there do not whatever you do just back on anything on Etsy. And hope that’s going to boost your ranking. It’s about portraying every listing as a quality piece. If someone doesn’t want that listing, they want to know that in your shop. You are just about quality but the more of those beautiful quality listings and quality products. But you can portray and show to somebody more chance. They’re going to discover you on Etsy.
Be Active on your Etsy shop for better selling printables
The more editing is going to rank you higher, because your shops more active because there’s more for customers and the more that your shop is gonna look finished. Especially with art printables it is a huge market on Etsy along with all general digital downloads. There are a huge market and you do really have to compete and that means having more than five or six items in your shop. I can’t tell you the amount of people who have come to me and said they’ve been disappointed in their traffic or their sales.
I’m going to look on their shop there a brand new shop with five or six items. Etsy is a marketplace and you have to stand out and with that comes visibility that is what is really important in a place like Etsy. You need to be seen and in the best way for you to be seen especially as an art printable shop or as a digital download shop is to have more listings and more options for your customers. More for Etsy to grab hold of and lift up in the rankings and gain traffic from.
Tip #5: Be persistence
My final tip is probably something that I mentioned because it’s so important to my journey. Persistence is literally my key word it is just such an important element of any journey no matter what goal you’re reaching for. And it really is no different when you are building a shop or a platform on Etsy like an art printable shop or a digital download shop. It really doesn’t happen overnight. I know there are so many amazing bloggers and amazing sellers who can literally open up a shop and start selling thousand straight off the bat.
Because they have the experience. They have the knowledge and they’ve done it ten times before. But if you’re like me and you are completely new to selling online to creating this type of income to creating these types of products to put yourself out there. Then you just kind of have to accept that it takes time to grow and build. Not only to grow and build your Etsy business and your sales but to also grow your knowledge and understanding of how to reach your goals and interact with customers and make sales and build funnels and everything that comes with building a successful digital Etsy shop.
Selling printables on Esty is persistence game.
Success is not an overnight thing for selling printables
Etsy shop in general passive income stream whatever it is that you’re trying to build. I know how frustrating it can be and how much you want to work on an Etsy shop and start making thousands overnight. But unless if you have previous experience and understanding of how to do that then it’s going to take you time and for me I fought it and I fought it and I just I wanted it to happen faster. I wanted it to be quicker I wanted the success without any of the learning and after a while you just kind of have to settle into it and really come to that word of persistence.
I may not be the person who can create a multi-million dollar Etsy shop but I’m gonna keep going until I reach my next goal and that’s all I can do. So if you were starting an Etsy shop or if you have an Etsy shop that’s just not doing as well as you can then don’t get disheartened by the thousands of people that you see who are making thousands on their Etsy shop. And it just looks so easy just go at your own pace with your own persistence and reach your next little goal.
Push your comfortable zone
If your goal is to make sales in your shop then work at that and keep going at that and push and persist at that. I know that I’m incredibly hard on myself sometimes. I was that person that started an Etsy shop and wanted to be making ten thousand dollars a month themselves. Because I’d seen other people do it. Even though I had zero experience when I started and it wasn’t until I hit that point of realizing look. I don’t have the skills the knowledge the background email list or website or blog to bring in that traffic and I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Selling printables on etsy is one of the best to make your goal.
If I did and that’s gonna take me time and energy and focus to achieve that I really started to settle in and think look I’m just proud of the Etsy shop that I’ve created of the products that I’ve created and every sale that I make I’m proud of achieving and I’m just gonna build on that and keep growing and eventually not only will I start to see the sales but I’ll start to get the knowledge of understanding of how to do that again and in different platforms and in different ways and that’s all you can really do just persist at the goals that you are setting yourself and try not to live by other people’s achievements.
Outro: Selling Printables on Etsy
I hope that you like this article and I hope it’s given you some guidance if you’re starting an art printable shop or an Etsy shop in general or to download. I just want to help somebody because I’m getting so many emails from people who are stumbling and struggling along the way and I 100 % get it. It can be understand how frustrating it can be and how much of a stop point it can be every time you stumble upon something. And then you have to go searching around for any bit of help and guidance to get you to the next level.
And especially with art printables because I was really struggling to find people who are offering some really comprehensive how to get me step by step by step to exactly where I needed to be in the best possible way so that I knew then that all I had to do would just keep pushing forward and keep growing and it would expand in the right way.
I’m missing that I really need to focus on. So are just any helpful resources I can give because I know the journey on Etsy can be long and hard and difficult. Selling printables on etsy is very profitable pasive income if you do it right. I want to make it it’s a lot easy for the next person to do it. And it doesn’t take them quite as long as it’s taken me. So I hope that you enjoyed this article and if you do definitely subscribe because I love that building my subscriber base.