Why I love selling prints on Etsy

Today I have a fun post from my friend Cody Berman. Cody is a digital nomad who quit his corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He started selling digital products in 2018 and became addicted after earning $700+ in a week. Now helping other entrepreneurs and creators monetize their businesses through digital products….

Today I have a fun post from my friend Cody Berman. Cody is a digital nomad who quit his corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He started selling digital products in 2018 and became addicted after earning $700+ in a week. He now helps other entrepreneurs and creators monetize their businesses through digital products. It was previously featured here on Making Sense of Cents and you can find that article here – How do I make money selling prints on Etsy?.

I used to be a chronic side hustler. At one point I had 20+ streams of income. Sounds great, right? Except it wasn’t.

I was All on site, trying every hustle imaginable – delivering UberEats, editing podcasts, building websites, selling CDs, running affiliate campaigns, writing articles, improving boats, you name it. But most of the time I felt stuck trading my time for money.

Free Training: Make Money Selling Prints

Want to make money selling prints online? This free training will give you great ideas of what you can sell, how to get started, costs and how to sell.

Don’t get me wrong, the money was great for some of these side hustles, but if I wasn’t working, I wasn’t getting paid. At one point I made $500 writing a single blog article! But once the article was delivered and the invoice paid, I had to find another gig and turn in work to make another dollar.

At one point I co-founded a disc golf company. I thought this business would be my golden ticket. For those who don’t know, disc golf is similar to ball golf, except instead of hitting the ball into the club hole, you throw a plastic “disc” into the basket. Our company produced these discs.

We began to scale very quickly and within two years we were selling our products in all 50 states and over 20 countries. Everything looked amazing on paper. But behind the scenes, we constantly had product issues, delivery delays, mismanaged inventory, and everything that could go wrong in a physical product business.

I was feeling tired and burnt out and was looking for something new.

Fast forward to early 2019 and my friend Julie, another side hustler, told me she was selling printables on Etsy. She spent about 60 hours creating a bunch of digital products (aka printables) and made over $5,000 yet. The words “yet” caught my attention.

Unlike my physical product business, where each unit had to be manufactured, quality tested, packaged and shipped, these “digital products” sounded different. As Julie described it, I could once create a digital product and continue to make money from it without much additional effort. This sounded ten times better than all the side rushes I tried (and much more passive).

The only problem was that I actually had no idea what a “printable” was… and I’ve never even been on Etsy. And right now, you might be thinking the same thing.

What exactly they are printable? Basically, these are digital files that customers can download and print at home. Think cards, planners, calendars, games, gift tags – the possibilities are endless!

The best part? Once you’ve created a printable, you can sell it an unlimited number of times without having to worry about restocking or shipping costs.

Now back to my story. Even though I didn’t really know how to make prints, what kind of stationery to sell, or anything about graphic design, I decided to give it a try. If Julie could do it, so could I, right?

Poorly.

My first ~20 printers were absolutely terrible, but I listed them on Etsy anyway. You’ll never guess what happened next. I have tremendous…zero sales.

Okay, maybe you guessed it.

Between my zero graphic design skills, lack of product research, and ignorance of the Etsy platform, I definitely wasn’t making any sales records.

some of the print materials I've created
One of the printables I created

But after some trial and error—well, many through trial and error – I managed to come up with some pretty decent looking printables. I focused on creating seasonal products, a strategy I often recommend to beginners. And let me tell you, it paid off.

I made dozens of printables for Valentine’s Day in December and January because I heard it was one of the biggest holidays on Etsy. Some of my designs have included Valentine cards, love coupons, editable love notes, custom photo cards and more.

AND Finally, after months of crickets, the algorithm seemed to be working in my favor and lots of people are looking for valentine gifts and wishes for their loved ones. The real excitement began on February 9, just five days before the big holiday.

I remember that week vividly because while all of this was going on, I was actually skiing in Lake Tahoe. And on February 9th, when I checked my phone at the ski lodge at lunch, I made over $100 that day…

The entire week continued to be extremely profitable and I ended the week with $718 in sales from a handful of products that took me several hours to create. It was the first time I experienced real passive income. The only part that wasn’t passive was answering the occasional customer question, which took less than five minutes a day from my phone.

This experience was a game changer for me. This was the moment I realized the true potential of selling digital products on Etsy. And I owe a big thanks to Julia for introducing me to this side hustle and helping me see that I can create products that make money long after I’ve created them.

Let me be clear – building a successful Etsy shop is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Getting your store up and running involves work, from creating high-quality designs to optimizing your listings and promoting your products. But trust me when I say the effort is worth it.

Once your Etsy shop is up and running, it can become a passive income machine. Your print materials can be sold for years and years after you list them. That next Valentine’s Day I was in Aruba for a wedding event and the same exact suggestions that made me $718 in Lake Tahoe and made me hundreds again the next year.

These Valentine printables have been sitting in my Etsy shop for a long time flight at this point and continue to sell every year. Compared to selling physical products, delivering UberEats by bike, editing podcasts, or writing blog posts, this side hustle is much more passive.

If you want to learn more, I recommend signing up to Free Training Workshop: Make Money Selling Prints. This free workshop will teach you how to get started selling print. You’ll learn different ideas for selling printers, how to get started on Etsy, and how to actually sell.

Are you interested in online print sales? what questions do you have

Free Training: Make Money Selling Prints

Want to make money selling prints online? This free training will give you great ideas of what you can sell, how to get started, costs and how to sell.

Recommended reading: Gold City Ventures Review: E-Printables Course Review

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