I made $34,400 this year selling digital products on Etsy. I only spend an hour a month on it – here’s how.

  • Desiree Sandison, a stay-at-home mom, started an Etsy shop to make extra money for her family.
  • She found selling digital products to businesses was a low-lift, passive income.
  • Sandison shared how grouping her products into bundles turned around her sales.

This essay is based on an interview with Desiree Sandison, a 30-year-old Etsy seller from Vancouver, Canada. Insider has confirmed her store’s earnings. The following has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

On Etsy, I sell digital products. It’s the ideal lifestyle business for me because I don’t have to print products or send out orders.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for nearly six years. When my first child was born, I wanted to find a way to supplement my income from home. I experimented with working as a social media manager and a virtual assistant.

But I realized I needed to sell my time. With a baby at home, that wasn’t a good fit for me.

I made templates for businesses on Canva

When I was working as a social media manager and virtual assistant, I used Canva to create templates for their businesses.

I said to myself: “If I started a business, I wouldn’t want to hire a designer to brand everything I needed to start off with.” I reasoned that I could create templates for everything a company needed, including onboarding documents, a client intake form, and a digital business card. They download the template and can customize it by changing the color or fonts.

Canva offers some free templates, but not all of them work together. I noticed a market gap for templates that are branded consistently across different types of products, from Instagram posts to service pricing guides.

I’m an introvert and I didn’t want to become a creator

I reasoned that I could sell templates to other companies. Apart from being an influencer, I wasn’t sure how else I could sell them.

However, I am an introvert. I don’t have a large following on social media. I couldn’t possibly be an influencer.

I discovered that people were making money on Etsy by selling online templates.

I opened my own Etsy shop just before having my second child in May 2022. I hoped to earn $500 Canadian dollars per month.

I didn’t make much money until I grouped my products into bundles

I took a break from my shop after I had my baby. In June and July, it began to see some sales.

I noticed people selling templates for CA$5. I couldn’t compete on price with that. But it wasn’t until August, when I decided to sell my digital products in bundles, that I began to really make money.

I’d bundle my products so that businesses could download a variety of digital templates for a fixed price. I created a bundle of products for employee onboarding, a social-media bundle, and a marketing bundle. I also created bundles for specific types of businesses, such as wedding planners and virtual assistants.

Initially, I priced the bundles at CA$172. My sales increased dramatically, from CA$101 in June to CA$2,300 in September.

I changed my market research

I made bundle prices available for purchase. It always informs the customer that they are 75% off for the next 24 hours and includes a countdown clock. This increases their desire to purchase it. They are now priced between CA$25 and CA$45.

I occasionally add new products, but the majority are the same ones I started with.

Now I’ve altered my procedure. I use eRank, a platform that assists Etsy sellers in finding products with high search volume but low competition. I look for products with at least 300 monthly searches but fewer than 10,000 listings.

I add bonuses to my templates that clients aren’t getting from competitors

When I find a product that works for me, I look at what works for other sellers and look for ways to improve the product. It’s pointless to try to sell a product that isn’t already selling.

I’d include more trendy branding and customer incentives.

I’ve recently begun adding more written content to the templates and selling different versions tailored to specific industries. For example, if I was creating a client intake form for a social media manager, I would include some questions that they might ask new clients.

It took me a long time to write that content. Each one would take me about ten hours to write.

Businesses are not currently spending money on frivolous items. They require a solution that will save them both time and money.

I’ve made about $34,400 this year

This year, my shop brought in CA$39,300 (approximately $28,500). In September 2022, I opened a new shop focused on digital products for wedding coordinators. This year, I earned CA$8,200 (approximately $5,900) from that shop.

Both are quite passive. Except for when I add new products, I spend about an hour a month on my shops.

One shop has 11 items, while the other has 23. It is not necessary to have 100 listings in your shop to make a lot of money. However, the more you have, the more frequently you will appear in searches.

It’s helped my family save for trips

It was critical that I find a way to contribute to our household while remaining at home with my children.

Because of my income, we can do more fun things and save more money. We’ll be in Paris next year and at Disneyland in December. We’ve also been able to assist people close to us who were experiencing financial difficulties. That has been fantastic.

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