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You might be thinking…
“Sell digital products on Etsy?? I thought Etsy was for handmade goods!”
And you’d be right. It is.
For the artistically inclined, Etsy can be a gold mine. You can sell paintings, candles, bound journals, and everything in between.
But even if you weren’t cosmically gifted with arts and crafts skills, you can still make a pretty penny running an Etsy shop.
Nowadays, digital products make up a significant portion of sales on Etsy. And they’re only getting more popular.
To help you avoid getting overwhelmed with options, here are 15 of the best digital products to sell on Etsy in 2023.
Table of Contents
- Where To Learn To Make Etsy Digital Products
- Crazy Popular Digital Products to Sell on Etsy
- #1 – Business Cards
- #2- Personal Planner Templates
- #3 – Calendars
- #4- Ebooks
- #5- Educational Instructables
- #6 – Wedding Invitations
- #7 – Resume Templates
- #8 – Photography
- #9 – Lightroom Presets
- #10 – Menus
- #11 – Logos
- #12 – Social media templates
- #13 – Digital paper
- #14 – Zoom backgrounds
- #15 – Etsy shop graphics
- Bonus: Digital sticker packs
- Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy FAQs
Where To Learn To Make Etsy Digital Products
Before we get into the most popular Etsy digital products, you might be wondering how to actually create them.
Fortunately, learning how to make the digital items on this list isn’t as hard as it looks. There are many different apps and websites that can help you make digital templates lickety-split.
Adobe Illustrator is, of course, the most widely known, but there is a steep learning curve (and it costs money).
A free, easy-to-learn alternative is Canva. It’s made with the beginner graphic designer in mind, but it can produce work that looks like it came from an expert.
That said, if you’re serious about selling digital products on Etsy, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your skills. There are plenty of free courses where you can learn all the graphic design and tech skills you need to thrive on Etsy.
Keep in mind, designing printables is just one piece of the puzzle. To learn the entire process for creating a passive income business with Etsy, check out these paid and free Etsy printables courses (also check out my favorite E-printables course review).
If you’re new to printables, another super helpful resource is this free seasonal printables eBook.
Crazy Popular Digital Products to Sell on Etsy
Whether you need a work-from-home side hustle or you’re looking for a travel-friendly job to earn on the road — selling digital downloads on Etsy can become a healthy extra income stream.
#1 – Business Cards
These days, everyone is an entrepreneur. Well, maybe not everyone, but enough people that the business card industry is booming.
With good reason too.
A business that no one knows how to find is a failed business.
People are always seeking out avenues to get sleek, one-of-a-kind business cards to advertise their business. If you can deliver that, you’ll do very well for yourself.
You’ll also be one step ahead when it comes time to advertise your business card business.
The best part is, you can use Canva’s business card maker to design them in minutes.
#2- Personal Planner Templates
For many people, personal planners are the only thing keeping their lives running smoothly.
Without them, they would descend into complete archaic anarchy, running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Etsy sellers know this. Scratch that, they bank on the chaos that would ensue in their absence, and they work hard to provide patrons with beautifully-designed digital and printable planner templates.
Personal planner templates are some of the best-selling printables on Etsy.
After purchase, customers download the pages separately and print them off on their own. They’ll then punch holes in them, and assemble them into the binder of their choosing.
#3 – Calendars
Parents always say, “Enter an industry that’s always in demand, and you’ll never be out of work.”
Well, they weren’t just talking about doctors and pilots — this also applies to calendar-makers.
For as long as we exist on this planet, we’ll need to be able to keep track of the passing days and years.
Sure, you can use the calendar on your phone. But millions of people still like to write things out old school.
If you’re good at digital art — or using Photoshop — you can sell cool, unique calendar templates that people won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Before the internet evolved into what it is today, the only way to become a published author was to land an agent and get contracted with a major publishing house.
Today, that’s not the case. With the invention of ebooks came the ability for writers to self-publish their own work. One such platform that makes this possible is Etsy.
So, whether you’ve written the great next America novel or a new self-help book overflowing with juicy tips — consider throwing it up for sale on Etsy.
The process is largely the same as selling on Amazon. Simply complete and format your manuscript, insert any title covers or internal imagery, then upload the files into your store.
Once a customer purchases, they can download the files and enjoy them forever.
#5- Educational Instructables
With the pesky pandemic still lingering around, homeschooling is still pretty hot.
And while each state requires parents to teach a base curriculum, many parents supplement their teachings with outside educational resources. Resources like flashcards, trivia sheets, number worksheets, and more.
Long story short: If you have a passion for instilling little heads with knowledge and a knack for putting together lesson plans, you can sell your materials right on Etsy.
#6 – Wedding Invitations
Fun fact: Getting married is expensive.
The wedding industry is a billion-dollar a year industry that eagerly inflates prices on anything it can label as “wedding goods”.
And while we won’t hate on its hustle, not everyone can afford the ridiculous price tag that comes along with wedding necessities.
This includes wedding invitations, which is one reason why digital invitations are so popular.
Instead of spending an arm and a leg on beautiful invitations printed on flamingo skin paper (apparently that’s a thing?), buyers can download designs that are just as visually appealing, while opting to have them printed on more affordable, non-flamingo paper.
Card stock might not be fancy, but it gets the job done.
#7 – Resume Templates
With unemployment creeping up thanks to the pandemic (among other factors), the future holds a lot of job interviews. And these millions of interviews require millions of perfectly formatted resumes.
If you know a thing or two about how to arrange job history and skills into something that will catch a potential employer’s eye, you can make money by selling resume templates.
People like me, with zero graphic design skills whatsoever, will eat those templates up. Take my money!
#8 – Photography
A picture might be worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean the average person wants to shell out thousands of dollars for one-of-a-kind, original photography.
Thankfully, Etsy is full of the work from both new and professional photographers who’ve poured their blood, sweat, and tears into perfecting their craft.
Turns out, many indie photographers (who aren’t signed with big agencies) make a decent living selling their prints on Etsy.
If you know your way around a Canon camera, you can do the same.
One weird photography niche on Etsy is feet pics. That’s right, people are making money on Etsy selling pictures of their feet. I was as surprised as you are. This strange niche deserves an article of its own, so if you’re curious, here’s the ultimate guide to selling feet pics online.
#9 – Lightroom Presets
Adobe Lightroom is hands down the most popular photo editing software on the market. And while there is a steep learning curve, it gets easier the more you use it.
Those that want to save more time use Lightroom presets. As in, preset configurations or filters that can quickly be applied to a group of photos to make them pop.
People are always looking to get their hands on new presets to take their photos to the next level, so if you have the technical knowledge to create your own, you can make good money selling them on the platform.
#10 – Menus
Be it an anniversary dinner, graduation celebration, or even a private dinner party, every sit-down dinner needs a menu.
But restaurants aren’t the only ones using fancy menus. More and more people are starting to incorporate printed menus into their celebrations.
If you’re good at formatting menus, there’s a place for you on Etsy. Like most of the other entries, all you need to create is an eye-catching digital template that buyers can edit and print out.
#11 – Logos
In 2021, there were 5.4 million new business applications in the United States.
That is a LOT of logos that need to be made.
Many of those new business owners are going to hop on Etsy to find logo designs. And that’s where you come in.
The kicker is, while some logo sellers on Etsy are legit graphic designers, many are not.
Nowadays, there are many free AI programs that can generate tons of logo ideas instantly. So you technically don’t even need any skills. (At least until your client asks for something super specific).
#12 – Social media templates
Social media can be super important for businesses. But it’s also a time suck.
That’s why social media templates are one of the best digital products to sell on Etsy.
You can choose a platform like Instagram and create packages that save time for business owners.
These could include pre-written captions, a content scheduling calendar, copy-and-paste hashtags, and even day-by-day action plans.
That way, business owners don’t have to waste neurons trying to master Instagram’s latest algorithm. They just follow your instructions and fill-in-the-blank templates and get on with their lives.
This works for other platforms as well. And you can even niche down further to capture a smaller corner of the market. Like an Instagram playbook for real estate agents, for example.
#13 – Digital paper
Digital paper designs are a crafter’s best friend.
They are basically pretty patterns that can be used for scrapbooking, planner-making, journal-decorating, or any other paper-related DIY endeavor.
As an Etsy seller, all you have to do is create a bunch of these digital paper design templates, upload them to the platform, and (if people like them), watch the passive income roll in.
#14 – Zoom backgrounds
Evergreen products are a safe bet on Etsy. But it’s also not a bad idea to ride the trends.
During the pandemic, everyone worked from home. Millions of people will continue working remotely — at home or as digital nomads — forever.
Zoom calls exploded in popularity. And not everyone has a pretty background at home to make video calls. If you’re like me, it’s full of semi-dirty clothes hanging around that are too clean to wash, but too dirty to mix with the cleans.
Custom Zoom backgrounds solve all these problems. Instead of a background full of your dirty dishes, you can pretend to be in a New York penthouse, a perfectly manicured library study, or a patio overlooking the ocean.
#15 – Etsy shop graphics
We’ll top off the list with a “meta” digital product to sell on Etsy.
See, every day, new sellers join Etsy (like you). And every day, those sellers need to create a professional-looking shop.
Not all Etsy sellers are tech-savvy (remember, a big portion of Etsy is handmade goods), and they don’t know how to design banners and branding kits for their shop.
That’s where you come in — the Etsy seller for Etsy sellers.
Bonus: Digital sticker packs
Many people have switched from taking notes in a physical notebook to using notetaking apps like GoodNotes.
Digital sticker packs are full of stickers that can be used in digital planners and notebooks.
Some of the most popular digital products on Etsy — including digital stickers — are editable.
That means buyers can easily edit the files (ex. changing the color of a sticker) after they buy them.
Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy FAQs
Yes, the market for digital items on Etsy is large and growing every day. Compared to physical products, the startup costs involved are minimal. Most expenses will revolve around licensing the products needed to create your digital files and paying Etsy fees. After that, it’s pure profit.
Digital products sell like hotcakes on Etsy. Etsy shoppers aren’t just there for handmade goods. They’re also looking for reading material, design templates, and much more. If you create a high-quality in-demand product, the odds will be ever in your favor.
Creating a digital selling item on Etsy is similar to listing a physical product. The only difference is that you’re not going to physically mail it to the customer’s house. Instead, you upload your file that the customer can access once they’ve paid.
The digital market on Etsy is large and expanding every day, but the digital materials that sell the most are those that solve a problem for the consumer. Educational materials, resume templates, instructables—anything the customer can use to enhance their lives.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered — where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
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Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).