Been in the self-publishing game for a while and feeling more than a little burned out?
Researching, writing, editing and getting your manuscript ready for release, while very rewarding, takes up a lot of time, energy and resources. To go from your initial idea to a finished book could require weeks, months or even years out of your life.
So, what’s a self-publisher to do if you want to create, make sales and earn money without having to go through a lengthy and painstaking process each time?
Printables are simple pieces of graphics, artwork, drawings and other unique designs that you can create and make available for download online, which a buyer can then print and utilize offline.
Compared to a novel or information product, printables are relatively fast and easy to create. And the best part is, while you only have to create each printable once, you can sell the digital download over and over and over again.
How to Earn Well with Printables
Selling one or two printables won’t make you a millionaire. However, imagine having an entire catalog of fast and easy to create designs that are online and earning you money every single day, even while you sleep?
That could translate into a few extra dollars every month, of if you are really serious, could mean a substantial addition to your monthly self-publishing income.
Where do you go to sell your digital wares online?
Esty, of course.
You can think of it as the “Amazon” for artsy and creative people.
There, you can create your design concepts and market your offers to consumers all across the globe. And as an added bonus, producing digital downloads means you don’t have to worry about packaging, shipping and handling.
Simply publish, promote and profit.
Setting Up an Etsy Account
Creating an account on Etsy is the first step to getting started on the platform. It’s a simple process that won’t take you more than a few minutes. Once that is complete, your next step will be populating your virtual storefront with unique offers.
By joining Etsy, which is a well-established and highly trafficked buyer destination, you can go from unknown to earning well in much less time than you would starting from scratch on your own.
Instead of going through the hassle of self-hosting your printables, setting up your own payment options and working to drive traffic to your sales pages, do yourself a favor and tap into what the team at Etsy already has going.
In exchange for a place to house and transact your business along with access to millions of eager shoppers, Esty charges a nominal fee for each listing you create and only takes a modest 3.5% of each sale made through the platform.
That’s one a heck of a bargain!
What Kind of Printables Can you Sell on Etsy?
Perhaps the most important decision you will have to make for your printable business is deciding on what kind of printables to make.
To find ideas that are worth pursuing and know which ones are best left alone, look no further than the Etsy search bar. Using predictive text technology, you can begin to look for niche ideas based on what actual Etsy users have searched for on the platform.
For example, if you type the word “printable” into the Etsy search bar, the names of some of the most currently popular printable sub-niches instantly pop up:
- Printable wall art
- Printable art
- Printable wedding invitation
- Printable planner stickers
- Printable planner
- Printable quotes
- Printable baby shower invitation
You can dive deep into any of these broader sub-niches by dropping each of the search terms back into the search bar to see what comes up.
For example, let’s take a closer look at the niche “printable wall art”.
After you type “printable wall art” in the search bar you need to add a space followed by the first letter of the alphabet:
- “Printable wall art a”
Suggestions will pop up indicating the niches related to the searches Etsy customers have done that start with the letter a, such as:
- Printable wall art abstract
- Printable wall art alphabet
- Printable wall art animals
- Printable wall art airplane
If you typed in the letter “b”, you would get the following results:
- Printable wall art bedroom
- Printable wall art bathroom
- Printable wall art black and white
- Printable wall art blue
If you continue through the alphabet, you will quickly gather a long list of potential niches for you to target with your creations.
Why is Having a Niche Important?
Targeting a niche is important because it allows you to serve a very specific type of customer that uses the Etsy platform.
Instead of hoping for a handful of people to purchase your printables randomly, your goal should be to build a relationship with a target audience.
This makes creating in-demand printables a more intuitive process. It also makes crafting your marketing materials and establishing a following easier by making it possible to stand out in a sea of ‘me too’ digital art creators.
Find your ideal niche by asking yourself the following questions:
- What kind of printable can I make that will appeal to a very specific type of person?
- What niche would I be happy to make many different kinds of printables in?
- How many ways can I diversify my main printable niche to create more offers (e.g. occasion, color, shape or theme).
Sizing Up the Competition
Once you decide on a niche you want to target on Etsy, it’s important to do some research on your competition to determine whether or not you actually want to spend your time and energy creating several printable products in that niche.
Start by clicking through to the storefronts of some of the top sellers that come up for each keyword you have an interest in and take a closer look at what your competition has to offer.
This will help you to get a better idea of the types of printables that do well in that niche and stimulate ideas for creating your own unique designs.
Make note of things such as designs used, listing wording and price points that the printables are sold for. You can also check to see if a niche is just too competitive. If that’s the case you can scrap the idea and move on to a niche that has decent demand but much less competition.
On Etsy, standing out and being different is what separates self-publishers who earn modestly and artists that earn a significant sum from producing their creations.
Etsy Is a Numbers Game
When it comes to doing well and making a decent income from Etsy, it’s important to remember that it’s essentially a numbers game.
While not impossible, it is very unlikely that you’ll end up making a ton money from one printable design.
Instead, aim to diversify your Etsy portfolio by creating several designs in a single niche and, over time, growing your portfolio to include several different designs that span across several other niches. That way, you stand a better chance of earning some money from each design that you put out.
Create enough of these designs that each sell a few downloads each day and within no time you could be commanding a substantial income from your printables catalog as a collective.
Want to learn more about profiting from printables? Check out my course, Printable Profits Empire. With step-by-step instruction and a behind-the-scenes look at how printable marketplaces work, you’ll be well on your way to dominating your chosen printable niche. CLICK HERE to get started.