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Can You Make Money Selling Printables on Etsy?

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Can You Make Money Selling Printables on Etsy?

In 2018 we paid off almost $19,000 of debt in 10 months. Typing that still blows my mind. And while I’ve always been quite good at being intentional with our money, the truth is there was no way we could have accomplished that without earning more. No matter how frugal we could have become, there was never going to be an extra $19,000.

So I want to show you ways to earn more money! We started earning more through my husband pushing for promotions at work and my blog. But there are so many other ways to earn money.

I’ve got a special series of blog posts lined up for you that will show you ways to make money online that you maybe didn’t realize were options.

Earning more money has opened so many doors for us! Not only did we pay off debt, we’ve also been able to move across the country to improve our lifestyle. We adopted a second pup. We’ve paid out of pocket for some major healthcare expenses… And so much more!

So first up, I’ve got an interview with Julie who has earned extra money by selling printables on Etsy. And before you think that you’re not creative enough or tech-savvy enough, read what she has to say!

Don’t miss Julie’s free ebook!

Julie was so kind to offer you a free ebook if you want to dive into the world of printables. It’s called The Seasonal Products Secret and shares 12 months of seasonal printable ideas. (Seasonal printables do really well on Etsy). Grab it here!

Hi Julie! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the world of selling printables on Etsy. 

Hi! I’m Julie Berninger and I live in Seattle, Washington. I grew up on the East Coast but moved to the West Coast for work and love it here! I have an 11 month old baby and love all things side hustling and making money online. My absolute favorite side hustle is selling on Etsy!

I started selling printables in 2018 after attending a conference for women in blogging and meeting an inspiring blogger who has a six figure planner printable business. I was in awe of her accomplishments and intrigued about the idea. I had a small Etsy shop where I sold temporary tattoos for bachelorette parties.

I added a few bachelorette party scavenger hunt printables in early 2018 and have been making printables to sell on Etsy since.

What are printables? And why is selling them preferable to selling other kinds of products online?

Printables are digital files that you make on your computer and list online for other people to buy and download. Examples could be digital planner pages, labels for your spice rack, seasonal printable wall art, printable games, and more!

I choose to sell my printables on Etsy because they have millions of customers and have a large market for printables.

I find selling digital products easier than physical products because I don’t have to worry about sourcing the product from a manufacturer, committing to inventory, shipping the product, and worrying about unsold inventory.

Printables are basically free to make and only cost twenty cents each to list on Etsy. The only cost is the investment of my time basically. If 1,000 customers buy my printable, it is very little additional work for me with each customer, if any work. Mostly I just answer questions if a customer happens to have one – most don’t! 

I actually stopped selling temporary tattoos in my Etsy shop this year because I prefer selling digital products so much more. Being a busy mom, it’s really hard for me to find time and selling digital products for near-passive income is the only side hustles I really have time for anymore.

Are printables profitable? How much money can you earn selling printables? 

I think you can expect to earn a few hundred dollars per month at first if you find the right product. I used my printables money for groceries and eating out when I first started.

If you really want to double down and invest in this side hustle, the potential is limitless. I know someone making six and even seven figures selling printables! Personally, I only have time to make a few designs each year and love that I can have a huge return on my time. 

How much time goes into making and selling printables? Would it be a good side hustle? Can it replace a full time income?

It depends how comfortable you are making things on your computer. Some people have used the tools like Canva to make printables before and it’s a breeze for them. Personally, I had to learn those tools but it wasn’t too hard of a learning curve. You can watch video tutorials to learn how to make the printables you want to sell and also get ideas on Pinterest.

I recommend starting with the goal of selling printables as a side hustle. If you find out you love it, you can upgrade your goal to replace your full-time income. I have become friends with many Etsy sellers that do this full-time. Personally, I enjoy putting a little time into this side hustle and seeing the residual income come in each month!

Etsy sends you a “cha-ching” sound notification on your phone everytime you make a sale. When I hear that, I smile!

Is selling on Etsy hard? It seems like with all of the other makers out there, it would be hard to get your products seen. 

Etsy is really simple to get started selling and they have an Etsy seller handbook with tons of information if you need help. There are also great YouTube videos out there about starting an Etsy shop.

Even though there are plenty of sellers already on Etsy, there is always room for more. Sometimes I tell myself “well there are already so many people doing this idea” as a way to talk myself out of starting something new because I’m nervous about it. Don’t let this fear stop you from achieving your goals! I try to not do that anymore and tell myself I can do something.

Do you need to be ultra creative and tech savvy to make and sell printables? Basically I’m picturing a graphic designer. 

No, and the trick is to pick a niche where you don’t have to worry as much about your graphic design. For example, I don’t design wedding invitations because that product has high expectations from the bride. People are way more relaxed about bachelorette parties and printables for that event are typically one-time use casual things.

Another example – labels for things in your kitchen or wine labels you could give to someone when celebrating a birthday with a bottle of wine – those things are easier to make and less high standards than wedding invitations. Or, start with a baby shower sign or seasonal wall art that is inexpensive. 

You’ll get better with every printable you make and you’ll be surprised. I am not a graphic designer yet my best selling scavenger hunt design made me $1,700 in revenue!

What are your favorite kinds of printables to create?

I love making party-related items like printable games, table signs, wine labels, etc. That is my favorite niche and I’ve niched down further into bachelorette parties. I do sell other things though.

I once made some templates for bloggers and those did well. They aren’t printable but they are digital files that someone could use in Canva for Pinterest pins and for a press kit for media. You can actually charge more making things for entrepreneurs which is another tip when picking a niche.

If you are curious about what printables you could sell on Etsy, I actually have an ebook I will share with you for free that gives 12 months of printable ideas. Seasonal products do really well on Etsy so depending on what month it is now, get an idea of what to sell using this E-book, The Seasonal Products Secret.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone curious about starting this kind of side hustle?

Don’t talk yourself out of it!

There are so many ideas that I have swirling in my head and then I end up intimidating myself out of doing it. There is no harm in giving it a try and since it’s only 20 cents to list on Etsy, if you don’t get buyers it’s OK! I think you will surprise yourself though. I know when I made my first sale I jumped for joy I was so excited!

I typically sell my printables for $7 each but with the volume it adds up! If you make bundles of items you can sell them for $15-20 and that is where the big money is!

Ok, tell us all about your E-Printables Side Hustle Course. Can someone go from a total beginner to a money making side hustler with this course? Do students need any special tech or software?

I had so many readers and people who listen to my podcast email me about starting a printables business I decided to put everything I knew into any online course where people could watch my video tutorials and start their own shop.

Since becoming a mom, I realize how important “done-for-you” templates are to help people create their printables faster so I now have 12 in the course that you can just swap out with your own font and colors and list on Etsy – things like calendar templates, social media templates, journal pages, banners, and more!

There is also a Facebook group that you get free access to for 30 days where I have a staff of printable sellers answering your questions 7 days a week, we do Live Q&As, hold graphic design office hours where you can get feedback on your individual products, and also do prize giveaways. Once you reach 100 sales, we send you a gift and you get free membership to the group!

If you’d like to check out the course, check out E-printables here.


(Christine again…) So cool, right?! I really enjoy making printables and Julie’s interview has made me want to do even more and possibly start selling on Etsy.

I love that selling printables can be such a passive way to make money. You just create a printable once and it can keep being sold and making you money forever.

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