Digital product is one of the hottest categories on Etsy right now. Etsy shoppers look for them every day for easy DIY projects.
And for sellers, digital downloads are a great way to start earning passive income. It also has low upfront costs. You can start designing and selling in days.
But which one should you choose?
In this article, you will go through 30 of the most popular digital products on Etsy, and what to consider when choosing one to sell.
If you love to get some inspirations to get into selling digital products, you will love this article.
One of the biggest reasons why sellers are interested in digital product is its potential for passive income. “Make once, sell forever”. Once you created the product, technically can sell forever without you having to make it again.
Etsy is one of the biggest online retailers behind Amazon and eBay. A large group of shoppers look for digital products on Etsy every day, either for their own project or businesses. With the built-in traffic, there is big potential to find success on Etsy if you know how to choose the right product to sell.
It’s relatively cheap to start selling digital downloads on Etsy. Listing fee is $0.2 per listing, and transaction fee is 5% when you make a sale. A lot of the design softwares that you can use are also very reasonably priced. We will go through some of the options later.
One of the reasons why digital downloads are popular is that it saves time and money for customers. Compared to finding a designer to come up with a custom design, a DIY digital product is much more convenient and hassle-free for the buyer.
Etsy is a great place to potentially create passive income by selling digital products. One of the main reasons is that you can automate the delivery of the digital products.
Etsy allows you to upload up to 5 digital files (each with a limit of 20mb) in your product listings. For example, the file can be a printable planner, digital birthday card or a children learning workbook. We will go through the more examples later in this guide.
Etsy then will help deliver your file to your customers once they purchased the product listing. The files are delivered immediately to customers after purchase. Also, they will be able to go to their purchases afterwards and download the file without involving you. This greatly reduce the work needed on your part.
Some design platforms like Corjl and Templett can help you deliver editable templates to your customers. Those designs (like the text and colours) can be edited by customers before they download the files themselves. Examples include editable business cards and editable wedding invitations.
It means that once you made your digital designs, you can sell them again and again without you having to send customers anything.
The major key to succeed with a passive income digital product shop is to find products that actually sell - Follow the demand!
I have written the Etsy Passive Income Playbook which you will discover all the steps to a successful shop that brings you income even when you sleep.
For now, let’s look at some of the popular categories of digital products on Etsy to inspire you:
Small business owners who want to start a handmade business look for labels for their products. Jar labels, dropper bottle labels, soap labels, and so many more. This is also the niche where we decided to make the process easier for small handmade businesses.
Etsy sellers attach a thank you card with their order to showcase the handmade quality of their products. Downloading a design and printing it at home is a quick solution for them.
Planner is a great way to help sellers stay organised and focused in their goals. It’s a slightly seasonal product with it being more popular in the beginning of the year. Buyers download and print out the planner at home to use them immediately.
Digital planner on iPad is also very popular. Notability and Goodnotes are two of the most popular apps that people use them on.
Every business should have a professional logo. It gives a professional first impression to customers. Logo design is a big category on Etsy where there are tough competition but also a lot of demand.
Business card is important to showcase your brand and its information. Business card design is a hot and competitive niche.
What better to sell on Etsy than something made for Etsy sellers? Banner, Shop Icon, etc are needed for almost all sellers on Etsy and some sellers find a lot of success selling them.
Most businesses have social accounts like Instagram and Facebook. Selling post templates can save shop owners a lot of time to create professional looking social accounts.
Ever hosted a party and needed to buy a bunch of invitation cards? Me too! You can sell card designs like that and have customers print at home themselves and save them the hassle.
Printables like fitness planner and diet planner aim to improve the wellbeing of buyers.
After getting 5,000 sales in a year for my digital download Etsy shop, I have documented everything I know in Etsy Passive Income Playbook course to help sellers like you.
One of the features I've created is this Digital Product Idea Generator which gives you over 346,000 unique product ideas with a mix of digital product type, design style, and target customers.
You will also gain access to our Canva template library to help you start selling in (almost) no time.
Wedding printable is a huge niche on Etsy. Everything you can think of that is related to a wedding can be found on Etsy. Invitation, table menu, baby shower games and so many more!
These make organising an even so much easier. You can design printables like birthday banner, decor, invites and selfie frame to help buyers save time and money.
Opening a restaurant or a cafe requires a lot of time and effort. Why not help their branding by making designs of menu, cafe art, loyalty card and signages?
Many sellers make learning materials and toys aim towards babies and young children. Cards on alphabets and numbers, toys about shapes, etc. And keep in mind to make them cute for the younger audience.
Have experience that you can teach others? It could be a good idea to write a guide about it and sell it on Etsy.
Similar to planners and other printables, workbook is usually aim towards a self-care and self-improvement buyers. They purchase, download and print the material to use instantly.
Lightroom is a popular photo editing app, and presets is a quick way for people to edit photos on the app.
If you are a digital artist, selling wallpaper arts is a great way for buyers to customise their phone screens.
Ever since iOS 14, iPhone users can edit the icons of their apps on the phone. It’s grown to be a very popular niche in 2020 when iOS 14 was first released.
Create digital version of your art by scanning your artwork or creating digitally with apps like photoshop or Procreate. People look for wall art to print themselves to save cost and time.
Many people look on Etsy for professional looking resume templates for their job hunting efforts. They are usually created to be compatible with Microsoft Word and Google Doc.
Etsy is a great place to sell these patterns if you have the skills and passion to create them.
Home cooks and chef always create new recipe, and they want to mark down any good ones they have come up with. Recipe card is an easy way for them to print out the blank card and write down the recipe for future inspirations.
These cards are an effective way for shoppers who are looking to lose weight and gain muscles to stay on track.
For kids, colouring book is a creative outlet. But adult colouring books have gained traction in recent years as a way to be creative and de-stress.
Artists create digital art and sell them as clip arts. Usually these are small elements that shoppers buy a big collections of them to either use in their own projects or print them out to personalise their items.
Usually pattern paper designs that buyers print out for scrapbooking and crafting.
Another recently trendy item, zoom and other online meeting programs have taken off during the times of the pandemic. Customised background can show personality or just simply hide a messy bedroom.
Accounting and profit calculator are two popular templates using Microsoft excel. They are targeted for shop owners that want to get on top of their revenues and expenses.
For buyers who are looking to build their own website, website templates and themes are a quick way to get started. Some popular website building platforms are Wordpress, Wix, and Shopify.
The most common and widely used file types are JPG, PNG and PDF. Which one is the best to use depends on your product.
For example, if you sell a graphic with transparent background, you would need a file type like PNG or SVG. If you are selling an ebook, PDF is probably the way to go.
Etsy supports these additional file types:
While it’s not always the best approach, choosing what to sell based on your passion and skills could be a good starting point. The key point to success is to match your passion and skills to what people online are looking for.
In the best case scenario, you would want to sell a product with high demand and low competition. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your choice is as good as possible.
Etsy search bar has a function where it automatically lists the top keywords by using what you have typed in. If you type “silver”, then terms like “silver jewelry” and “silver dresses” may come up.
These keywords actually comes from Etsy shoppers and what they are looking for. In general, the keywords that appear as a suggestion in the search bar are likely to have some demand.
You can also do this in other marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
For competition, looking at the number of products listed in a particular keyword is a good starting point. The more products, the harder it is to rank and show up in search results.
To analyse more, you can looking at the number of major competitors in a particular niche. Those are sellers with 5000+ sales or 1000+ reviews. The more of those competitors, the tougher it is for a small seller to break in that market.
For the exact way to find high demand, low competition digital product ideas, check out the Etsy Passive Income Playbook.
Evergreen item is one that have constant demand throughout the year. Products like business card have more and less the same amount of people looking to buy no matter what month it is.
On the other hand, seasonal products like Christmas card has a spike in demand in only a particular time in a year.
To start with, consider selling evergreen items to ensure your revenue is consistent. Once your shop is established, you can add seasonal items to catch the increase in demand in certain times of year.
Etsy is a great platform to sell your digital downloads because they can handle the delivery of the products for you. Once you created the product, you can upload the file to Etsy when you create a product listing. You can upload many files type including PDF, JPG and zip, with a 20mb file size limit for each file.
When a customer places an order for that product listing, Etsy will immediately send them the link to download the file. They can also access the download page at a later time in their ‘Purchases and Reviews’ page.
No matter how great your product is, there are bound to be unhappy customers. As digital products are lower priced items usually and creating one doesn’t cost extra, most of the time I would recommend fully refunding customers who are not satisfied. Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle to fix a problem for items that costs only a few dollars. It’s also a good way to avoid negative reviews on your Etsy shop.