Back in 2019 I needed to make extra income since my full time job just wasn’t cutting it. Me and my husband had just moved to Chicago and if you know anything about the city, you know how expensive housing is downtown. I didn’t want to get an extra job somewhere so I got on Google to figure out what I could do from home that didn’t require much time from me; I needed a passive income stream. So, I started a side hustle!
After a few days of research, I stumbled across the idea of selling digital products on Etsy and from that moment, my life was completely changed.
At that time, my goal was to make just a few hundred bucks per month to help with the bills. What I didn’t realize was that in just 2 months I would be making MORE money per month with this passive income than my full time job was paying me.
In the first month, I made over $800 selling an $8 digital download product.
Then in the second month made over $2,900!
And in the first full year of starting my side hustle, I made a crazy $37K in addition to my full time job working just a few hours per week.
So how did I do it?
Step 1: Figure Out What You Want to Sell
This is probably the biggest question I get over on my Instagram page. “How do I know what to sell?” Well the answer is pretty simple. It’s a mixture between figuring out what you’re good at (your skills), what you’re passionate about and what the market is looking for. Think about it. If you sold something that you were good at and passionate about but didn’t provide a product that the market was searching for, then you wouldn’t make any sales because zero people would be searching for that product. Another scenario is if you had a skill creating something and found something people were buying but you weren’t passionate about it, then eventually you would quit because you don’t actually like creating those products. The best business idea is a having a combination of all 3.
Step 2: Do Research to See if People Want to Buy That Product
Once you have figured out what you want to sell, you will want to do some in depth market research to see if your digital product idea is a profitable one. This is the most important step in this entire process so make sure you don’t skip it. A lot of people will skip this step entirely because it’s the part that takes the most time but is the most crucial. I highly suggest using Etsy to do your research and a mixture of two of my favorite online Etsy research tools, Marmalead and Alura. If you’re stuck on this step, check out my course, Digital Shop From Scratch where you will learn exactly how to do this step by step.
Step 3: Create the Product
Now that you have an idea of what you want to sell and have done your research you’ll want to start creating your products. If you decided to sell templates, you can use my favorite (free) online software called Canva to create them. I suggest having at least 5-10 products inside your shop to start off with and creating 4-5 new templates (depending on your niche) per month to keep your shop up to date. This is just a suggestion though so don’t think you need to create this many products to be successful. I’ve seen shops with only 10 items in their shop making $10K months! Not sure where to start when it comes to creating templates or perhaps you’re not the “creative” kind. No worries! Check out The Sellable Template Bundle to get 8 Canva template you can resell as your own or edit however you choose.
Step 4: Open Your Etsy Shop
The next step is opening up your Etsy shop. This part is pretty set explanatory and all you really need to do here is follow the Etsy prompts when opening your shop. I will say that it’s important to fill out ALL the sections inside your Etsy shop otherwise you run the risk of Etsy seeing your shop as a bot account and potentially get it shut down before you even start. Make sure you fill out sections like your policies, about me, shop announcement, etc.
Step 5: Get Found With the Correct Etsy SEO
You’re almost done! Now it’s time to set your shop up for success and get your listings found in the Etsy search algorithm. You’ll want to do Etsy SEO research to see what keywords you need to be using in your tags and titles. Using the correct keywords will help your shop get found when a customer searches for that specific keyword. So let’s say a customer is searching for “resume template” in the search bar.
If you use the keyword “resume template” in your tags and titles, then your listing will show up for that customer. You’ll want to use a tool like Marmalead to compile a list of keywords to use that match the description of what your product is. When using Marmalead, you’ll want to look for keywords that have high search, high engagement and low competition. If this sounds confusing to you, I teach you how to find the right keywords here.
I hope these steps have inspired you to think about potentially starting a digital product shop on Etsy so you can make extra income per month like I did!