Etsy is a great place to sell your crafts or antiques. But do you also know you can sell digital products and earn passive income? Simply create visually-appealing digital downloads and upload them to your shop. If all this sounds like science fiction, or you just can’t wrap your head around it, don’t worry. We’ll help you actually set up a Digital Download shop in a moment with a simple step-by-step guide, complete with photos. Let’s jump in, shall we?
How to Sell Digitial Downloads on Etsy
First things first, it’s crucial to know how Etsy works and the rules of the service before you get started. Surprisingly, Etsy regulates a lot of aspects regarding what you can sell, how, and when. Let’s go over the rules, T&Cs, and more below.
Etsy’s Sellers Terms and Conditions for Digital Downloads
While digital downloads are no different from other products on Etsy, some rules apply, and it’s good to know them before launching your Etsy shop. You can view all of Etsy’s T&Cs here. Below are the more important ones:
- Under 18’s aren’t eligible to open an Etsy shop (sorry, youngsters, you’ll have to ask a parent for help).
- You must be honest with Etsy on all forms (they will catch you and close your account).
- Your digital downloads must be labeled properly (don’t try to pass off a digital download as an actual product).
- Be nice (don’t upload anything that can be construed as hateful).
- Don’t break the law (ensure you’re selling digital downloads that abide by copyright laws in your country and state).
If you violate Etsy’s T&Cs, the company won’t hesitate to terminate your account. But Etsy also reserves the right to sue you if your conduct is bad enough.
What Digital Downloads Can You Sell on Etsy?
It’s a good idea to search Etsy for ideas from other sellers (but don’t duplicate them). A quick search will reveal the best-selling items. You can upload calendars, bumper stickers, shirt prints, and more.
But Etsy heavily monitors the content. So, you want to avoid uploading these things:
- Anything glorifying tobacco, drugs, medical information, etc.
- Anything that incites violence or hate.
- Anything that promotes a crime.
- Nudity and NSFW (Not Safe for Work) content.
Well, this is self-explanatory. Be sure to check prohibited Etsy items before setting up your shop.
Etsy Digital Downloads
Lastly, you’ll want to ensure your digital download will work with Etsy. Ensure you save your designs as a JPG or PNG file. Then, check that it doesn’t exceed 20 MB in size. Finally, you can choose various sizes (16X20, 4X8, etc.).
These parameters need to be set when you follow the steps in the next section.
How to Create Digital Downloads for Etsy
Moving away from the basics, let’s create some digital downloads. If you’ve already done this, move forward. But for those of you brand new to Etsy, this is the fun part.
Note: We’re using Canva because it’s reliable, affordable, and perfect for creating digital downloads to sell on Etsy. But you can use any other digital creation software you like.
Step 1: Sign Into Canva
Head over to the Canva website and sign into your account.
Note: If you still need to create a Canva account, click that option. Set up your Canva account. Then, move to the next step.
Step 2: Click Create a Design
You’ll see a broad array of options on the Canva home page. You can use the search bar to use a template or click Create a Design in the top right to start a custom design.
Note: Etsy only lets you upload 20 MB or less images. But you can use various sizes depending on what you’re selling.
Step 3: Select a Digital Download Option for Etsy
You’ll see a dropdown menu giving you several selections. Click the option that best fits your Etsy digital download.
Step 4: Create Your Design
Now, use Canva to create your design. Use the menu to the left to find templates, texts, colors, etc.
Note: Some features are unavailable to free users. However, there are still great options regardless of whether you choose to pay for a Canva subscription.
Step 5: Download Your Digital Product
After creating your digital product, you can download it to your computer. Click the Share option in the top right corner. Then, select JPG or PNG. Finally, click Download at the bottom of the dropdown menu.
Note: You can use Canva to create an Etsy shop banner and logo to make your storefront more appealing to shoppers.
How to Upload Your Digital Downloads to Etsy – New Shops
Now that you’ve created the digital design you’d like to sell on Etsy, it’s time to open your shop and upload it. The steps are a bit tedious, but they aren’t too bad if you want to start earning passive income.
We’ll also mention that you must connect your bank account to Plaid (step 6 in the tutorial below). So have your bank login information ready to complete the setup process.
Note: If you already have an Etsy shop, skip to the next section.
Step 1: Go to the Etsy Sell Website
You won’t find the option to create an Etsy shop on the Etsy website. Instead, click this link. If you’re signed into Etsy on the web browser already, it’ll automatically log you into your account.
Then, click Get Started.
Step 2: Answer the Questions About Your New Etsy Shop
Now, you’ll see a series of questions. Answer them accordingly.
Note: Name your shop something fun, creative, and eye-catching.
Step 3: Add Your Digital Downloads to Etsy
After you answer the questionnaires and name your shop, you can upload your digital designs to Etsy. Click the + sign to the left.
Note: If you already started a shop and your digital downloads appear, click Delete to remove them. Or, click Save and Continue to move forward with them.
Step 4: Input Information About Your Digital Download
Scroll down to the About this Listing section and give your digital download a name; select who made it, what it is, and when you made it from the dropdown menus (you can’t publish a listing without this information).
Fill out the rest of the form, upload images, and make a video if you’d like. The more information, the better.
Step 5: Mark the Item as a Digital Download
It’s imperative that you select the Digital option to the right of Type. If you fail to check that box, your listing won’t reflect that this is a digital download.
Step 6: Click Upload
As long as you’ve clicked Digital Download and you finished the About this Listing section, you’ll see the Upload option near the bottom of the page. Click it and choose your digital download from your computer, then click open to upload it to Etsy.
Click Save and Continue when you’re finished.
Step 7: Finish Setting Up Your Etsy Shop
After you upload your digital downloads, you can proceed through the following pages to input payment information and set up shop security.
How to Upload Digital Designs to Etsy – Existing Shops
Step 1: Click Listings
After launching your Etsy shop, you can click Listings in the menu to the left.
Step 2: Click Add Listing
Now, look to the top right corner. Click Add Listing.
Step 3: Fill Out the Form
Add pictures, videos, and any other descriptions or details you want. But most importantly, choose the appropriate options from the dropdown menus next to About this Listing.
Step 4: Check Digital Download
Scroll down the page just a bit and click the bubble next to Digital Download.
Step 5: Click Upload
After inputting the data in step 3 (the About listing section) and selecting Digital Download, the Upload option will appear. Choose your digital download from your computer.
Step 6: Click Publish
After you upload your digital download to Etsy, tap Publish to make your listing go Live.
Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:
Etsy Shops Digital Downloads
As you can see, passive income is great, but it takes about an hour to get the entire thing set up. If you follow our tutorial from top to bottom, you’ll have your own Etsy shop full of wonderful digital downloads in no time!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©rblfmr/Shutterstock.com.