How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printables On Etsy | Beginner And Expert Printable Sellers Share How Much They Earn

March 21, 2024

You can make $10 to $100 per week selling printables on Etsy. This is the average figure, although earnings generally vary from seller to seller. For example, Julie Berninger of The Swag Elephant earns $1,000 per month while Printables By Number founder Suzi Whitford claims course students can earn as much as $10,000 per month.     

Selling printables has become a popular way to make money on Etsy. In fact, the online marketplace now has over 5 million printable listings. That said, there’s plenty of competition on the site. And the number of listings and sellers continue to grow each year because of how technology has made it easy for anyone to create printables. 

So is this business model worth pursuing? In this feature, we define what printables are and how much money you can make selling them. We also discuss ways to increase your earnings plus the common obstacles that can make it hard to make money selling printables on Etsy. Finally, we introduce you to a better business model that can help you earn passive income with less work and lower competition than creating and selling printables.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printables On Etsy?

You can make $10 to $100 a week selling printables on Etsy, according to Growing Your Craft. Some of the factors that will determine how much money you can make usually include the niche you focus on, your pricing strategy, the quality and quantity of your printable offerings, your marketing approach, and the overall total of your monthly sales.

As an example, Kiana Bonollo of KianaBonolloDesigns sells printable sewing patterns on Etsy. She sells various printable products ranging from $2 mask patterns to $15 flounce tiered dress patterns. So far, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based seller has made over 58,000 sales and has earned over $15,000 via Etsy.

How Much Money Can Beginners Make Selling Printables On Etsy?

Beginners can make $100 to $1,000 per month selling on Etsy. In her Millenial Boss website, Etsy seller and printables course creator Julie Berninger shares that earnings can range from $0 to “literally millions.” She tells beginners exploring Etsy printables as a side hustle to be realistic in their goals. “Aim for $500-$1000 per month,” she writes in her blog. “You have to put in a lot more time and be really sure this is what you are passionate about before you invest enough time to replace your full-time job or get rich selling printables.”

On the other hand, Emily McDermott shares she made $700 in her first month selling digital printable products on Etsy.  “This was from printable planners and templates,” she specifies. “At the time, I had about 30 different products listed.” After expanding to over 90 printable items, offering other products, and offering them as bundled packages, she immediately started making “at least $7,000 per month.” 

How Much Money Can Experts Make Selling Printables On Etsy?

Experts can make an average of $1,000 to $9,500 per month selling printables on Etsy. Kay Zane sells printable party games on the platform and made over $40,000 in 2021 alone. In a YouTube video, she shares how her Etsy printables business had a “good month” in January, earning $4,370.85. Based on her analytics, her lowest month was $1,095.44 (August). Earnings began picking up by October, leading to her highest month (December) where she earned $6,685.79. 

As a piece of advice, she encourages Etsy store owners to have both seasonal printables (Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and evergreen products (baby shower, birthday party)..  “You should be making products that people buy month by month as well as year round because that will maximize your sales potential,” says Kay. “You can also follow pop culture trends but be sure not to use any copyrighted material in your designs.” Doing so can put your shop “at risk of getting shut down.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Jimenez earns an average of $9,500 per month - a big leap compared with her $42 a month earning when she was just starting out.

According to her, thinking like a customer changed her perspective, creative process, and monthly income. Sales started coming in as she did her best to design printables that help customers solve their problems. “I've helped busy parents make holidays more magical with scavenger hunts.” Rachel tells Business Insider. “I've helped employers make virtual holiday parties fun with virtual games. I've helped business owners market their businesses with flyer templates.”

How Much Money Do You Need To Start Selling Printables On Etsy?

You will need $0.20 to start selling printables on Etsy. Creating an Etsy store is free and you’ll only have to pay the $0.20 listing fee for listing one printable product. Etsy will only charge you other fees as you make a sale or use their advertising services. So if you can design your own original printable design using free software, you should be able to launch your own shop and make money online from the platform.

However, you will need a bigger startup cost than that if you sign up for paid training, subscribe to a software service, and/or hire a professional graphic designer to create printables for your business.

Optional: Training ($197)

Printable courses vary in price but, as an example, Suzi Whitford’s Printables By Number course costs $197. The step-by-step program teaches students how to earn passive income by selling printable products online.

Optional: Software subscription ($14.99 to $31.49 per month)

A Canva Pro subscription costs $14.99 per month (or $119.99 per year). Meanwhile, the standalone Adobe Photoshop app costs $22.99 per month (or $263.88 per year) while the Adobe Illustrator app costs $31.49 per month( or $239.88 per year).

Optional: Freelance graphic designer services ($15 to 150 per hour)

On Upwork, graphic designer rates range anywhere from $15 to $150 per hour, depending on the freelancer’s skill level and the project’s complexity. On average, rates are at around $25 per hour.

How Much To Charge For Your Printables On Etsy?

You can charge $5 to $10 for your printables on Etsy. This is the average cost for printables on the platform, although others usually charge higher for handknitting patterns, woodworking plans, and other similar products. Consider the following factors when pricing your printables: 

  • The effort, time, and money you spent on designing and creating your printable
  • The quality of your work
  • The general market value and niche demand of your product
  • Your target audience’s spending capability
  • The required Etsy fees and advertising expenses

How To Make Printables To Sell On Etsy To Start Making Money?

1. Create your own printable designs.

You can create your own printable designs, even without any professional design experience. You can check out Canva to access their available templates. With this free browser-based graphic design tool, you can create banners, booklets, invitations, posters, and more. To take your creations to the next level, you can also go for paid Canva Pro to access advanced features.

Meanwhile, you can use Microsoft Word or Google Docs if you need to make worksheets. For spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can be the ideal software for the job. To level up your skills, you can also consider looking up video tutorials on YouTube.

2. Hire a professional designer.

Alternatively, you can also hire a professional designer to create printables for you. You can find freelancers on platforms, such as 99designs, Fiverr, Freelancer, People Per Hour, and Upwork.

As an example, graphic designer Nuprur Bansal who creates printables, journal designs, and digital planners for her Fiverr customers charges $45 to $125 per project.

When taking this route, be sure to provide your graphic designer with clear, detailed instructions. That way, you can get the best results and prevent cases of miscommunications.

5 Tips To Increase Money You Can Make Selling Printables On Etsy

1. Determine Your Target Audience

Determining your target audience will help you make more money as you sell printables on Etsy. Being specific will help you avoid overwhelming competition since you’re not selling your products to a broad market. To illustrate, a quick Etsy search on “printable calendar” brings you over 339,000 results. On the other hand, typing “printable calendar for entrepreneurs” only generates over 1,100 listings.

2. Optimize Every Piece Of Content

You will need to optimize every piece of content on your Etsy shop. As much as possible, you want to make it easy for your potential customers to find your printables in the Etsy marketplace. Be specific and use targeted keywords when writing your titles, descriptions, and tags. Also, upload quality photos of your products, including mockups (lifestyle photos of how your printables will look like when printed) to complete your listing. Study and apply proven Google and Etsy SEO practices for best results.

3. Market Your Etsy Shop On Social Media

Marketing your Etsy shop on social media helps you reach more of your target market. Promote your printables on your page. Join groups. Post regularly. Respond to customer messages and comments. Repost reviews. Focus your efforts on social media channels your target market uses, whether its Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or X (Twitter). Some sellers even maintain an active YouTube channel and upload video tutorials in their niche. In addition to marketing, this can help in establishing their brand and boosting their reputation as an authority.

4. Use Email Marketing

Using email marketing is another way to boost your earnings as you sell printables on Etsy. According to Etsy’s Seller Handbook, email marketing allows you to build your brand and your relationship with customers. As you maintain an email list and send newsletters regularly, you get to deliver “rich content and enticing updates in an efficient, scalable form.”

5. Offer Promotions Or Bundles

Offering promotions or bundles can also help increase the money you can make selling Etsy printables. Customers feel good when they find good deals and discounts. It’s the same with digital products. Promos and bundles will entice people to buy multiple printables from your Etsy store.

3 Reasons Making Money By Selling Printables On Etsy is Hard

1. Etsy Has 7.5 Million Active Sellers

Etsy currently has 7.5 million active sellers on its platform. The low barrier to entry makes the printable business an attractive one for aspiring entrepreneurs. As a new printables seller on Etsy, the massive competition can make it difficult for you to stand out and attract sales.  

2. Etsy Already Has 5.8 Million Printables Listings

Today, Etsy has over 5.8 million printable listings online. While the website gets 96 million buyers per year, reaching your target buyers can be a challenge, especially if you’re not investing in paid ads. Don’t believe YouTube videos claiming it’s easy to sell printables on Etsy.

3. Etsy Charges Printable Sellers With 2 to 4 Fees

Running an Etsy printables business means paying certain fees for using the marketplace, such as:

Listing fee

Etsy will charge you a fee of $0.20 for each digital product you list in their online marketplace.

Transaction fee

Etsy will charge you a fee of 6.5% for every sale you make on their website.

Payment processing fee (optional)

If you accept payments through Etsy Payments, Etsy will charge you with additional 3% + $0.20 as payment processing fees. This usually includes credit card fees and other costs.

Advertising and promotional fees (optional)

Etsy will charge you additional fees when you use services such as Etsy Ads and Offsite Ads. Etsy Ads allows you to set a maximum budget per day while Offsite Ads only charge you after the advertisement brings you a sale through social media and search engines. On average, Etsy sellers spend $0.20 to 0.50 per click for an Etsy onsite ad. Meanwhile, Etsy charges 12% to 15% for Offsite Ads.

Needless to say, all these fees can cut into your earnings, which can be hard if you oiwn a new Etsy business and aren’t making many  sales with your printables yet.

Why Local Lead Gen Is Better Money-Making Business Model Than Selling Printables On Etsy

Selling printables on Etsy can help you earn money but can be a challenging business model for beginners. There is plenty of competition, so it won’t be easy making extra money each month selling digital products on Etsy. Established sellers can easily make thousands but newbies may find it difficult to even get consistent monthly sales. As such, earnings can be unpredictable and you’ll have to put in extra hours to improve your visibility and income on the platform.

Starting a local lead generation business is a better way of making money online. With lead gen, your earnings aren’t reliant on the number of printables you can sell each month. As a printables seller, you can only earn around $3 per customer while one lead gen client can pay you anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month. There's a lot less customers to deal with to achieve your target income when it comes to local lead gen. Since you're selling a higher ticket product that solves a much bigger problem in the marketplace (small business owners need leads), this business model puts you in a better position to earn bigger income each month.

Also, you're not competing with millions of sellers selling digital products but are instead renting out digital real estate to local businesses that need leads and traffic for their companies. Basically, you are a digital landlord who makes passive income from your lead gen website.

Local lead generation

As you build a geographically-specific, keyword-focused business website - such as this Grand Rapids tree care website - your goal is to compete with 10 to 15 local businesses, dominate search engine results, and then direct the traffic to a paying business owner. I built this site back in 2015 and I do very little to maintain the site since ranking it online. Today, it still makes me $2,000 per month in passive income. Overall, I earn about $52,000 per month because I now own multiple lead gen sites. You, too, can start your own local lead gen business by signing up with our coaching program.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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