How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy

Do you want to learn how to sell printables on Etsy? Looking to make money selling printables on Etsy? Yes, you can sell something like printables on Etsy – and never have to ship a thing! Creating printables on Etsy can be a great side hustle because you just need to create them once, and…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: October 20, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Do you want to learn how to sell printables on Etsy?

Looking to make money selling printables on Etsy?

Yes, you can sell something like printables on Etsy – and never have to ship a thing!

Creating printables on Etsy can be a great side hustle because you just need to create them once, and you can sell them an unlimited amount of times.

You can make printables for all sorts of things, such as holidays (such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas), baby showers, bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, grocery shopping, digital planners, invitations, jar labels, gifts, and more.

The printable business is very popular right now, and many people use printables every day.

Today, I have a fun interview to share with you. I interviewed my friend Cody on how to sell printables on Etsy. I’ve met him in person a couple of times, and he is full of knowledge, especially when it comes to side hustling!

Cody started with zero graphic design skills and didn’t know how to create printables when he first started. It’s something he learned as he went along.

Are you wondering questions such as:

  • How much money you can make selling printables? Are printables profitable?
  • How do I sell printables on Etsy?
  • How do I start selling Printables on Etsy?

Today’s interview will help you get started and perhaps even introduce you to a new way to make extra money.

Also, you can sign up for Cody’s free ebook that helps you figure out where to start when it comes to selling printables on Etsy. This can be a great way to get started and learn how to sell digital downloads on Etsy.

Free Training: Earn Money Selling Printables

Do you want to make money selling printables online? This free training will give you great ideas on what you can sell, how to get started, the costs, and how to make sales.

How to sell printables on Etsy.

How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy1. Please give us a little background on yourself and how you got started selling on Etsy.

Hey! I’m Cody – the co-founder of Gold City Ventures and a 20-something digital nomad and side hustler. I’m always looking for fun, new ways to make money and that’s how I stumbled into printables.

If you knew me at all, I’d be the last person you’d expect to be selling printables on Etsy. I’m not artistic, I’m definitely not creative when it comes to crafts, and I had never even used Etsy before I started selling on the platform!

In early 2019, my friend Julie casually mentioned that she was selling printables on Etsy and that she had made over $6,000 after only about 50 hours of work.

Intrigued by the $120/hour side hustle, I decided to give it a shot. The rest is history!

2. How much do you earn monthly from Etsy?

Since I mainly target seasonal printables (e.g. Valentine’s Day, Graduation, Christmas), my Etsy income is somewhat sporadic. I’ve had $800 weeks and $50 weeks. It totally depends!

3. What exactly is a printable?

Printables are digital products that customers can download and print at home.

Examples include grocery shopping checklists, gift tags, candy bar wrappers, printable quotes for wall art, and patterns.

4. What do you like about selling on Etsy? Is it worth selling printables on Etsy?

The best part about selling printables on Etsy is that once you create the design, you can sell an unlimited number of copies with no additional overhead. With a physical item, you have to create or design each unit individually, then package it, then ship it out.

With printables, you create the design once, list it in your Etsy shop, and there’s no difference in workload whether you sell 1 or 1,000.

One of my best weeks on Etsy was during Valentine’s week while I was skiing out in Lake Tahoe with my girlfriend. I earned almost $720 in one week without touching my Etsy shop once.

5. How much money can you make selling printables? Can you make money selling printables on Etsy?

Believe it or not, some people actually make millions selling printables on Etsy. Now that’s certainly not realistic for everyone, but it’s possible.

To give more realistic examples, we’ve had students in our E-Printables course who have earned over $10,000 in revenue within 9 months.

While this might not be “quit your job” money, don’t forget what I just mentioned about printables. By listing a printable in your Etsy shop, you’re essentially setting up a recurring revenue stream.

The same seller who earned the $10,000 in her first 9 months is now earning $2,000 to $3,000 per month in nearly passive income. As you continue to add listings to your shop, you’re exponentially increasing your monthly revenue.

How much can you make selling Printables on Etsy?

6. Do I need to already have a following to make money selling printables?

Absolutely not. Some of the best ways to drive serious traffic to your Etsy shop is through SEO (search engine optimization) and Pinterest — neither of which require a following.

We teach both of these strategies in-depth in our E-Printables course.

Some of our most successful students (including the one I mentioned above) did not have any type of following before opening their Etsy shop.

7. How do I come up with new ideas for printables?

Coming up with new ideas is one of the hardest parts of making printables. In the E-Printables course, we give you 55+ printable ideas right in the first module to get you started.

Pinterest and Etsy are also great ways to research which printables are selling.

For example, if you’re interested in creating a planner, you could type “planner” into Pinterest or Etsy and see which types of planners pop up. Then you can create your printable based on what’s trending!

Is selling Printables on Etsy profitable?

8. Can someone with no tech skills make a printable? Is it hard to make printables that sell on Etsy?

Absolutely.

The main tech skill needed in order to make a printable is a basic understanding of any design software. I personally like Canva and Adobe Illustrator.

As someone with almost no graphic design skills (like I mentioned earlier), I still managed to learn how to create printables fairly quickly.

It does take a bit of practice and guidance, but once you understand the design process, you’ll follow the same steps every time.

9. Can you list the steps needed to get started selling printables on Etsy?

First, you need to think of an idea. The reason for this is because you cannot open an Etsy shop without having a design ready to sell.

Next, you will need to create your printable. This could be in any design program like Canva or Adobe Illustrator.

Then, you’ll have to create your listing and optimize for things like tags, keywords, listing description, product images, title, and other search engine optimization factors. If all of these words sound like mumbo jumbo to you, we break down this whole process step by step within the course.

After you list your product, you’re ready to promote! In addition to Etsy’s own search engine, you can drive traffic to your shop via Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform.

Is it worth selling Printables on Etsy?

10. Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to try to sell on Etsy?

Don’t let fear stop you. If you think you lack the tech skills, creativity, or time, give it a try anyway! Just 30 minutes per day could help you build this new side hustle into a consistent monthly income stream.

Plus, if you commit to working on your Etsy shop, you’ll gain valuable skills like graphic design, marketing, and SEO!

11. Can you tell me more about the training that you offer?

Back in 2019, my friend Julie and I launched our E-Printables course, where we teach students the step-by-step process of creating a profitable Etsy printables shop.

Since then, we’ve had over 800 students join the course and are constantly improving and refining the course material. We have 13 full modules, each filled with video and text lessons. We also have 3 bonus sections packed with additional resources and tutorials.

The first few modules of the course focus on idea generation and how to find successful products. This is where we give you the 55+ printable ideas that I mentioned earlier.

Then, we walk you through the design process by giving you 12 pre-made templates (calendars, gift tags, Snapchat filters, trackers, greeting cards, etc.) to help you get your first products up.

You can literally just download our templates, add your own fonts and elements, and list the products in your Etsy shop! It’s that simple.

Next, we focus on how to package and list your products. This piece is extremely important and what sets apart successful Etsy sellers from the rest. Your listings should be optimized based on the buyer’s intent and keyword searches. If they’re not, you could have beautiful designs just sitting idle in your Etsy shop.

After the product is listed, we teach you how our full marketing strategy. We focus a lot on Pinterest due to its high conversion rate, but also mention other social media platforms.

The last modules in the regular course focus on statistics and data — how to maximize conversions, Etsy Ads and offsite marketing, and shop analytics. If you’re serious about making money with this side hustle, you’ll want to dig into the numbers and figure out how your shop can improve.

Finally, the course ends with three massive bonus sections where we have dozens of videos contributed by Etsy experts on a whole slew of topics — Adobe Indesign, Procreate, Selling off Etsy (Shopify, Teachers Pay Teachers, Email Lists), and other helpful software and resources.

Alongside the course, we run a VIP E-Printables Facebook Group. Anyone who purchases the course has free access to this group for 30 days, but after that, we charge a small monthly fee.

In this private Facebook Group, we offer 7-day full support from our paid experts. You can ask us any question and receive a response within only a few hours. We also host weekly Live videos such as Q&A, bonus training, and expert guests.

One of my favorite parts of this group is actually our challenges and prize giveaways!

You can learn more about the Etsy printables course here.

If you have any questions about the course, feel free to email me at team@goldcityventures.com.

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

How to sell printables on Etsy

This is Michelle again – I hope you enjoyed today’s interview with Cody all about how to sell printables on Etsy. As you can see, it can be a great way to make extra money online, or even a full-time income.

There are many different types of printable products that you may be able to sell online, such as for a wedding, a worksheet for a classroom, printables for commercial use, a chores list or chore charts, budget planners, a meal planner, a vacation packing checklist, and so much more.

As you can see, there are many different niche markets that you can get into.

If you decide to sell on marketplaces such as Etsy, there is a small cost. For example, you can list your first printable on Etsy for only $0.20 (this is the Etsy listing fee), and you only pay the transaction fee and payment processing fees (6.5 % transaction fee, 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee) when you make a sale.

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to sell printables on Etsy, I highly recommend taking a look at this Etsy printables course.

In this course, you learn how to sell printables on Etsy and how to:

  • Create printable designs from scratch
  • Research the best-selling digital printable ideas for Etsy using eRank
  • Drive sales with their keyword research (Etsy SEO) and seasonal product strategy

The course also includes a series of over-the-shoulder videos to teach you the step-by-step process for setting up an Etsy shop and filling it with money-making printables.

They have had students who are complete beginners and students with over 1,000 sales on Etsy who have seen results with this course, and that is amazing.

The course even includes 30+ done-for-you product templates so that you can start your Etsy store even faster and start making sales. Some of the printable templates included in the course are:

  • Wellness Planner
  • Greeting Cards/ Envelopes
  • Calendar Templates
  • Home Seller Checklist
  • Valentine’s Day Bundle
  • Certificate Bundle 10-pack
  • Ebook Template
  • Party Planner
  • Habit Tracker
  • Spring Cleaning Checklists
  • Weekly Checklist
  • Date Night Cards
  • Holiday Gift Tags 
  • Chore Chart
  • Savings Tracker

These are some of the best selling printables on Etsy and the course helps you get started with them.

The course is packed with a lot of value so that you can get started with your own Etsy printables business as easy as possible.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on how to sell printables on Etsy. Have fun with your new business!

Are you interested in selling printables on Etsy?

Related: I have a part two to this interview at How To Sell Printables Online And Make Money As A Beginner.

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. This is iron-clad proof that anyone who starts a side hustle has to have entrepreneurial ambition and a long term vision where they desire to be. Doing the work is only 1/2 the journey already walked because if you do what you do as a labor of love, you’ll keep going with your side hustle even on days you don’t make money.

  2. Rossveth Lopez

    I’ve done a little bit of e-commerce and know about selling courses. But it never crossed my mind to sell printables! This is such a revelation. Thank you for sharing. Now, my mind is already racing about jumping into this also. Too many opportunities, not enough time yet.

  3. I’ve never thought about selling printables before. It seems like its a legit way to make some extra money. I may need to try it out.

  4. I’ve been testing out selling printables on one of my websites and it has made some money but I’m not focused on it properly because of so many other things to do. This is making me want to move it a bit up my priority list :).

  5. MICHELLE VANDERLAAN

    Is this something I can do on my Shopify site? I’m not an Etsy fan, their high fees and need to spend so much more now on advertising and their lack of support for their sellers is a big turn off for me. I would prefer to sell on my existing Shopify site vs returning to Etsy, is that a possibility with this course?

    1. Hey Michelle! Our course teaches you how to make 12 different types of printables using Canva and Adobe Illustrator. We also teach you how to make them editable using a few different tools. You could list the designs on Shopify after you make your designs but we don’t have any content in the course specifically about listing designs on Shopify. We’ve heard great things about Shopify as well! We are not concerned about the Etsy fees because the profit margin on printables is so huge. Maybe a handmade seller has to account for her materials cost and is concerned about the advertising fee eating into profits. With printables it is mostly just about time and the seller captures the majority of the profits. Hope that helps!

  6. It’s really a great business knowing you can sell the same print multiples times. I love it this kind of business model. Thanks for sharing!
    -Andrew

  7. Becca Whitestone

    I’m so interested in this because I love that it can become a stream of (almost) passive income. Obviously you will see better results if you spend time on promotion as Cory mentions, but I love that you can get paid over and over again for something you only had to create once.

    It reminds me of selling T-shirts on print on demand sites which I’ve been working on for a while – you just upload the design and then the site prints it out and sells it, so it’s all hands free.

    I would love to give printables a go to add an extra income stream to my portfolio! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  8. Sarah Griesbach

    Hi! Do I need a commercial license for InDesign fonts in order to sell my designs on Etsy?

  9. Bri Ellis

    I love this! Thanks so much for sharing! Does etsy take care of filing taxes? Or how do you go about doing the legal side of etsy? Thank you!

  10. Rose

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been creating some free printables for my blog but am now looking into selling some on Etsy. How do you know what to price each printable(s)?

  11. This was a great interview with Cody!

    Nice job here! I think it is awesome the vision they have for printable courses!

  12. Ruchi

    I love selling printables too. My only regret is why I started so late! Anyways that was a nice interview:).

  13. Davida

    The link for the E Course doesn’t work when I click on it🤔

    1. Hmmm it works for me. What happens when you click?

  14. I just started selling printables. Thank you so much

  15. Ipsita

    The above article was very helpful.
    I got a lot of informations from “interview with cody”

    I want to start my Etsy printable shop, but I am still unclear with the process of starting it…like how I’ll sell my printables and how will I proceed further!!