You know you want to sell printables because they are relatively fast and simple to make along with being a hot commodity online. However, “printables” as a niche is about as big as the size of Texas.
The most important step you can take after opening your new Etsy account is doing some thorough research to decide which of the countless sub-niche opportunities within the wider “printables” space you want to pursue.
If you want to increase your chances of creating products that stand out, get found and get bought, your best strategy is taking the time to narrow down to a sub-niche where you can really deliver value to customers looking for very specific types of printables while also becoming well known for your unique offers.
What are Esty Searchers Looking for?
Before you decide what you want to create, you should first explore the kinds of printables Etsy users are already searching for and buying.
When it comes to getting sales on Etsy, keywords are king.
Searchers enter keywords into the search bar in order to find the items that they want to purchase. These keywords also serve as the basis for optimizing your listings so that your printables are easier to find on the Etsy platform as well as in major search engines like Google when prospects look for specific items online.
This means that the more closely you are able to match the item you are selling to the keyword or item that the searcher is looking for, the higher your chances are of getting the click and making a sale.
Along with looking for specific target keywords, it helps to find out what kind of search volume specific niches are getting on Etsy.
While not every person that searches for an item ends up buying something, it stands to reason that if more people are searching for a specific niche item, your chances of someone actually buying your designs goes way up.
For best results, target niches where there are a significant number of searches per month.
Investigate the Competition
Once you’ve established the kinds of printables that Etsy users are looking for and you’ve identified a niche you’re interested in, the next best step to take is to conduct a little investigation into the competition and what they are doing.
Over the years, Etsy has become an extremely competitive marketplace and you want to make sure that you pursue a niche where your chances of being found and developing a target audience are best.
It makes much more sense to go into an underserved niche than to battle it out for attention in a space that is already oversaturated.
While too much competition is no good and should definitely be avoided, too little competition can be just as bad.
If you come across a niche that has very zero to very few sellers, who each have little to no feedback on their listings, chances are that Esty visitors are not showing enough interest in that niche for it to be profitable.
Ideally you want to at least see a handful of listings and a few sellers who are making sales and getting feedback to ensure that the niche in question is a viable opportunity.
Focus on Best Selling Products
When you start drilling down into Etsy’s extensive catalog to find opportunities you will come across many listings that show potential. However, when the time comes to actually decide how to create your printable product, you can learn a lot about what will or will not sell well by looking at individual products and how popular they are.
One great thing about Etsy is that the platform provides valuable metrics on each listing such as feedback left by previous purchasers as well as the number of browsers and buyers who have “favorited” a particular item.
This level of transparency makes it very easy for you to figure out which designs are doing better than others.
When you do start to notice trends and popular items, it’s important to remember that it’s not ok to plagiarize. However, it’s also important to remember that you don’t need to completely reinvent the wheel or waste time trying to figure out which kinds of designs work to attract sales and downloads.
Simply look for the most popular items and use them for creative inspiration once you get into the process of making your own printables. This exponentially increases the likelihood of your listings producing sales.
How can you Differentiate?
Another important thing that you should keep your eyes open for when you do your research is gaps in the marketplace.
As you scour through the listings in a specific niche, ask yourself if there are any angles you could explore that other vendors in the niche have not yet touched on.
For example, in the wedding invitation printables niche, check to see if current offers include items like rsvp cards to go along with the invitation or coordinating thank you notes that the bride and groom can send out after their special day.
More often than not, by shifting your focus ever so slightly, you can reap the benefits of multiple sales in a potentially popular sub-niche.
What Else Could You Offer?
Another consideration to keep in mind as you research niches is whether or not you can offer any additional products that compliment your main offers.
For example, let’s say that you have created a printable unicorn sticker for a teen’s daily planner.
What other closely related printables can you think of to offer alongside it?
Chances are, the person who is interested in a sticker shaped like a unicorn would also interest in a bookmark or decal that features a unicorn themed design.
Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to sell additional products that fall under the same theme as the product you discovered to create highly complementary bundles. This increases your chances of making more per sale.
What is Driving Sales?
Speaking of sales, your research into viable niches and specific printable products to sell on Etsy should not begin and end on the platform.
Another essential factor to consider before choosing and pursing a niche is figuring out what drives sales for that particular niche or toward a specific storefront.
Many Etsy sellers have Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts as well as their own blogs or Facebook fan pages that allow them to cultivate an audience and then drive them to their Etsy listings in order to rack up sales.
As tempted as you may be, it is never a good idea to simply rely on the popularity of Etsy’s platform as your only means of marketing and gaining exposure.
A better strategy is to figure out what the competition is doing to drive traffic and sales to their listings outside of organic search results on Etsy and search engines like Google.
That way you can tap into the flow of customers searching for specific items and steer them towards your own listings after you create your own printables and put them up for sale.
In many cases, simply optimizing your listing and getting a few initial sales is enough to get it boosted to the first page of Etsy results, which leads to significantly more sales.
There are many opportunities waiting for self-publishers in the realm of digital printable items for sale on Etsy.
The key to creating the success you want is taking the time to do the research upfront to ensure that you pick the best niche to start and grow in, while avoiding excessive competition, creating new and unique products and simultaneously delivering the value that your prospects want.
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