How To Sell Digital Downloads On Etsy In 6 Steps, With Photos

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How To Sell Digital Downloads On Etsy In 6 Steps, With Photos

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.

Sign into Canva.com.
Sign into your Canva account from a PC.


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.

Click "Create a Design."
Create a design is at the top right next to your profile icon.


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.

Select a Digital Download Option for Etsy.
You can create posters, logo, flyers, infographics, and more.


Step 4: Create Your Design

Now, use Canva to create your design. Use the menu to the left to find templates, texts, colors, etc.

Create your design.
You can add images to your digital products.


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.

Download your digital product.
You can download the product file as PNG or other formats.


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.

Go to Etsy Sell website.
Sign into your Etsy shop online.


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.

Answer questions about your Etsy shop.
You can answer the basic questions, but it’s optional.


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.

Add your digital downloads to Etsy.
Upload your digital products to your Etsy shop.


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).

Input information.
Name your digital product and add a description.


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.

Mark item as a digital download.
Select the Digital file option to allow downloads.


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 Upload.
Upload the downloadable file.


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.

Finish setting up your Etsy shop.
Click save and continue to complete the Etsy store setup.


How to Upload Digital Designs to Etsy – Existing Shops

If you’ve already completed the steps to get your Etsy shop up and running, you can start uploading your digital downloads pretty easily. Launch the Etsy Seller’s site, and follow these steps:

Step 1: Click Listings

After launching your Etsy shop, you can click Listings in the menu to the left.

Click Listings.


Step 2: Click Add Listing

Now, look to the top right corner. Click Add Listing.

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.

Fill out the form.


Step 4: Check Digital Download

Scroll down the page just a bit and click the bubble next to Digital Download.

Check 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.

Click Upload.


Step 6: Click Publish

After you upload your digital download to Etsy, tap Publish to make your listing go Live.

Click Publish button.
Hit the Publish button.


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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my Etsy shop disappear?

If you don’t complete the setup process, your Etsy shop will disappear, and you’ll have to start all over again. However, if you violated Etsy’s T&Cs, the company may have closed your account. Check your emails for any communications from Etsy.

Lastly, ensure you log into your Etsy account with the appropriate credentials. Check your emails for communications about your Etsy shop, and try logging in with that email address.

How will I know if someone purchases one of my digital downloads on Etsy?

If someone purchases one of your creations, you’ll see it on your Etsy seller’s profile. Click the Orders & Shipping tab. Then, browse your Etsy orders.

Can I still get the Star Seller badge if I only sell digital downloads on Etsy?

Yes! Even if you sell nothing but digital downloads, you can still get the Star Seller badge.

How do I sell Made to Order digital downloads?

If you’re making custom digital downloads, select the When did you make this? dropdown in the About this listing section. Then, select Made to Order.

Can I edit an existing digital download listing?

Absolutely! Follow the steps outlined above to access the listing. Then, click Listing Tools and Edit. Make any necessary changes and save them.

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