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Sarah Waggoner

101 Digital Downloads You Can Sell on Etsy (and how to get sales quickly)

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If you’re interested in selling digital downloads on Etsy, you’re probably wondering what to sell and how to sell it on the platform. So let’s talk a little about how to pick what type of product you want to sell on Etsy and how to start getting consistent sales.

How Much Can You Make Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy?

There are digital download sellers on Etsy making six or seven figures a year on the platform. If you are just opening your business, you can start selling digital downloads and make a few hundred to a few thousand in your first year pretty simply.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of work, though. Turning Etsy into your full-time job is going to take a lot of work. So let’s walk you through each step you’ll want to take to sell digital downloads on Etsy. First, you’ll want to pick a niche.

How To Pick A Niche on Etsy

Digital product ideas can cover hundreds of product categories on Etsy. I have some examples for you below, but let’s walk through the process of picking a niche first.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What do you love to make (and who do you love to make it for)?

  2. What niche do you know a lot about?

  3. What niche might have the best demand vs competition ratio?

  4. What niche might be the most profitable?

These are questions where there are no right or wrong answers.

I know there are a lot of Etsy coaches and consultants out there who will tell you what to sell based on the keyboard research data. And I want to tell you today why that is a bad move for your Etsy shop in the long run.

When you create digital downloads solely based on the competition and demand numbers, you are most likely making products that you don’t have experience with for people who you don’t know a lot about.

And while you can have some success with this method at first, sellers who do this often have trouble scaling because of their limited knowledge of the products. You may have gone into selling this product with the goal of a passive income business, but if you don’t spend a lot of time learning about who you’re making products for, the ceiling for your revenue hits quickly.

Some of these niches also have a handful of large shops with very high listing quality scores that have proven themselves to Etsy already. So, while the numbers might look good when it comes to low competition, it can be harder to break through in the specific searches because Etsy already knows these large shops convert and keep the customers happy. That makes them less likely to test you in the algorithm.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed in these types of markets, but it does mean it’s not always as easy as you think it’s going to be.

Best Selling Digital Products on Etsy

Some of the most popular digital downloads on Etsy include digital planners, art, posters, stickers, and paper.

Most popular digital downloads on Etsy

Remember when choosing a niche, however, that competition is just as important as demand. Digital planners have 670,000 results for competition in a very seasonal category. Digital art has over 11.5 million search results for competition on Etsy.

I want to stress that this doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in these categories, but to sell digital downloads in these super-saturated niches might mean you need a lot more listings than you would if you were selling in a less saturated niche.

If you love making digital art, then by all means, choose that as a niche despite how saturated it can be. You can always stand out by narrowing your niche further or by creating really unique products that buyers can’t get elsewhere.

Selling digital products is a lot more fun when you love what you’re making.

How to Make Digital Downloads to Sell on Etsy

You can’t sell just anything on Etsy. Product listings need to be handmade, vintage, or craft supplies to qualify to be sold on the platform.

Digital products are considered handmade on the platform, but they do need to be made by you. It’s against Etsy Terms of Service to sell digital downloads that are made by someone on Fiverr or Upwork.

Products outsourced like this also aren’t likely to be very unique, which means they’re less likely to convert well for you.

If you don’t have a lot of experience making digital products, there are plenty of platforms out there you can learn easily. Canva is growing in popularity and is quite easy to use.

You can also learn how to use Adobe products, like Photoshop or Illustrator through free YouTube tutorials.

Most Etsy sellers are self-taught when it comes to these platforms so don’t sweat the learning curve. Just get out there and find a platform you enjoy.

101 Digital Product Ideas

Social media templates, mockups for product photos, custom website themes, Lightroom presets, and editable templates are all thriving product niches on Etsy. But to sell digital products, it’s best to think even more outside the box.

Click here to get my free list of 101 digital products you can sell on Etsy.

I’ve even included competition and demand numbers for each keyword to help make your decision of what to sell easier.

How to get sales quickly

After you’ve decided on a niche, you want to make a plan for getting sales quickly. Here are the three things you must do to get traffic and sales for your Etsy Shop.

Fill your product line

A product line on Etsy is a group of similar listings for a specific target audience. Click here to learn more about what a product line is.

While there is no magic number of listings, you need to make a product line full, most sellers need anywhere from 25 to 40 listings in a product line to start making consistent sales. This number will change dramatically when you factor in the competition and demand for your specific search terms.

If you are in a low-competition niche, you might need fewer listings to start getting found. If you are in a super-saturated niche, you will need more than 40 most likely. Many Etsy digital downloads are in very saturated niches. Focus on creating digital downloads that stand out and provide a lot of value for your customers.

You might consider doing some market research with your target market at this stage. Ask friends and family who would be interested in your products about what they’re looking for.

I caution you against asking other Etsy sellers in Etsy Facebook groups or in the Etsy forums, however. Other sellers are not your target market because they are more likely to make what you make than they are to purchase it.

Make sure to use high-quality images for your digital printables as well. It helps buyers trust you prior to purchasing.

Format your Etsy SEO properly

Your next step is proper search engine optimization formatting. This starts with Etsy keyword research to find the most relevant keywords for your products. Make sure to use keywords that your buyers are using to search for the products that you’re making. A lot of times, buyers will type things into the search bar differently than sellers do on Etsy.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that your Etsy shop sells digital invitation templates. You might be using a program like Corjl or Templett to let your buyers personalize their products, but most of your buyers haven’t heard of these programs. So you won’t want to include those in your tags and titles unless your keyword research shows your buyers are actually using those words.

Send a little bonus traffic through your marketing efforts

While you don’t need a complicated social media, marketing plan to succeed on Etsy, it can help to sand some bonus traffic through your marketing efforts.

I recommend picking one social media platform that you want to focus on. Get good at building an audience and creating a community on that platform. Brainstorm a few ideas for standing out on your chosen platform and test them. Then as your business grows, you can spend more time on additional social media channels as desired.

I also recommend starting an email list. This is a great way to easily increase your return customer rate.

FAQ:

Is selling digital downloads on Etsy worth it?

While selling digital downloads in an Etsy shop isn’t easy or passive, it can be worth it if you sat your shop up correctly. This means you will want to choose a niche you enjoy, and then take steps to get your products seen by Etsy’s 95 million annual buyers. Do this through full product lines and SEO.

How do digital orders work on Etsy?

Etsy makes selling digital downloads easy by taking care of the product delivery after each sale. All you need to do is upload your digital files to the appropriate listing and let Etsy take care of the rest after each sale.

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

Etsy has some of the lowest fees out there for such a thriving marketplace full of buyers. You can generally count on fees of around 10% per sale, but click here to learn more about Etsy fees.

How do you make money from digital downloads on Etsy?

Digital products can be profitable if you set yourself up correctly.

First, you want to make sure that you aren’t solely competing on price. Digital products, like every other niche on Etsy, can be very saturated. So if you are trying to get sales by being the lowest-priced product, you’re going to have a harder time being profitable. Set yourself up for profit by selling unique digital products that can be priced appropriately.

Will Etsy ads help my sales?

Etsy ads are best for sellers offering digital downloads who already have a great conversion rate on the platform. Learn more about Etsy ads here.

Conclusion

If you want to sell digital products on Etsy, you’ll need a plan that’s more than just throwing up a few random listings and hoping for the best.

True passive income from Etsy digital downloads comes from full product lines and getting a lot of traffic from the Etsy search bar.

Picking your niche is the first step to an online business that you love.

Need more help to start selling digital products? Click here to sign up for my free list of 101 digital products you can sell on Etsy. You’ll get a list of 101 Etsy digital products with their competition and demand stats to get your keyword research off to a good start.

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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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