inStarting Etsy Shop
With all the economic instability, now it’s the best time to diversify your finances with passive income.
Selling templates is a great passive income option because it’s ‘make once, sell forever’ type of product. Once you created a design, you can sell the same design unlimited times without doing much extra.
One of the best ways to do that is by selling Canva templates on Etsy. Etsy is full of opportunities and many shops are making thousands of dollars extra per month.
But I understand starting your own business comes with its challenges. In this guide, I’ll walk you through every step of opening your own Etsy shop selling Canva templates:
According to Statista, Etsy has a staggering 96.34 million of active buyers in 2021.
Shoppers go to Etsy to look for DIY templates to save time and costs. Buying a high quality template means they don’t need to hire a designer, which saves them possibly hundreds of dollars.
For example, local cafes may look for menu templates that they can change the text and print themselves. Bloggers look for Instagram templates so they can promote their site. Businesses look for logo designs to improve their branding.
Because of the high demand in many different niches, sellers who create Canva templates are making good amount of passive income on Etsy.
Canva is an online graphic design tool that’s easy to use and has lots of powerful (yet approachable) features. Compared to other tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, Canva is more beginner-friendly and fun to use.
You’ll get access to over a million graphic elements even with the free plan of Canva, allowing you to make basically everything that you can think of. Start your Canva free trial with this link.
Canva also allows you to create editable templates that customers can edit after they purchase. I’ll go through how to deliver your template design to your customers later in this guide.
Many Canva template categories sell well on Etsy. Here are some popular template ideas to get you started:
For more inspirations, click here to see 30 most popular digital product ideas.
Successful Canva templates shops can make about $1-2k/month. And top selling template shops can earn $20-30k+ per month!
In my template shop, some of the listings that I made in an afternoon that have made me over $1,000 each:
There are a few factors that can greatly increase your chance of having a successful template shop:
Contrary to many Canva template guides online, you don’t need a Canva Pro account to sell templates on Etsy. You are able to get the ‘template links’ even with a free account.
As mentioned above, you can make beautiful and sellable templates with just free graphics and free fonts.
That being said, there are some benefits for Canva Pro if you decide to have a template shop:
After signing up, you will be taken to the dashboard where you can access everything you need. Before we design any templates, let’s head back to Etsy and do some market research of what we should create.
This is an important step that a lot of Etsy shops don't pay enough attention to. It’s dangerous to skip this step because you’d possibly waste your time creating templates that not enough people want.
To determine the demand of a template, we’ll open Etsy and use the search bar. When you start typing in the search bar, there will be autocomplete suggestions of different keywords. Those come from the data of real Etsy shoppers. That means if the keywords appear in the autocomplete suggestion, there are quite a lot of Etsy shoppers searching for that product, which indicates good demand:
Another way is using Etsy market research tools like Alura. It gives you sale number estimates which reveals the best selling items/ideas under a product category. It also helps you analyse whether the level of competition is high or low.
For more tips of finding your perfect niche on Etsy, this free guide is for you.
Now let’s head back to Canva and design our first template! You can start by clicking the ‘Create a design’ button at the top right of your dashboard. Search the template that you want to create. In this example, we will start with a square product label.
Or if you want to speed up the process, simply copy templates from our GYC Canva Template Library to customise colour, fonts, and other elements. You’ll be able to have a collection of Canva templates ready in an afternoon.
Once you're in the Canva designer, rename your template design at the top of the designer. It’s good practice to keep your designs organised.
Add text by clicking the ‘Text’ on the left and ‘Add a text box’:
You can then change the font by clicking here:
You can change the background colour of your template by click the white area of your template, then the rainbow colour box at the top left above your design.
After changing the background colour and adding some extra text, here's what the template looks like:
Now let’s add some graphics to your template to make it stand out even more. On the left hand side menu, click ‘Element’ and search the graphic elements that you want to add to your design. Here I added abstract waves to put behind the text:
Repeat the process to create more templates on Canva. Once you’ve made a few beautiful designs, we can move on to open your Etsy account and shop.
Click here to open your Etsy account and get your first 40 listings for free. Follow the steps on Etsy to set up your shop.
Because customers need to edit the Canva templates themselves, we can’t just attach the finished file to the Etsy listing.
Instead, we need to give them a link so they can access and edit the design in their own Canva account.
Canva allows you to share a ‘template link’, which allows customers to click the link to make a copy of the design to their own Canva account.
To get the link, click ‘Share’ on the top right and then ’Template link’ to copy the link:
As you can’t attach the template link directly on Etsy, you need to put the link in a file to upload to your Etsy listing. You can create a PDF file which includes the template link and other details like your shop name, how to use the template, links to printing services, etc. You can then attach the PDF to your Etsy listing.
At the bottom of your Etsy listing, you can add your attach your PDF file in this section:
I’d recommend having at least 20 listings to start. More listings mean that you can reach more Etsy shoppers by having a greater variety of target keywords.
The 20 listings don’t have to be 20 completely different products in different categories. Instead, they can be 5 products with 4 designs each, with each design changing the layout, colour, and font.
Congratulations on finishing this Canva guide! Thank you for investing your time and energy. I hope you've gained some valuable tips and strategies from this guide.
While I've covered a lot of topics, there are still a lot to learn if you'd like to open your own digital product shop selling Canva templates.
Here are 2 ways I can help:
In just 5 days, I can show you every step of building a successful digital product Etsy shop.
My Etsy Digital Product Launch: 5-Day Masterclass is a practical 5-day course to build your digital product Etsy shop from scratch, even if you don’t have graphic design skills or you're not tech-savvy. Click here to join and start your shop today.
If you want to go more in-depth in setting up your shop for success, consider joining GYC Etsy Academy which includes my full digital product course - Passive Income Playbook. You’ll get insights like:
As long as you create your own original design using Canva’s free graphics and content (fonts, elements photos, etc), then you can sell your template for both commercial and non-commercial use. You are not allow to copy and resell templates you find on Canva.
Be extra careful of images that you get from stock photos site. Because even though they are free for you to use, the licenses may not allow you to upload the images to a platform like Canva.
You can include Canva Pro elements as long as the template you sell bring customers back to Canva. However, if your customers don’t have a Canva Pro account, they will need to pay $1 to unlock each of the Pro elements. This unexpected fee may cause dissatisfaction in customers. That’s why I recommend using only free Canva elements in most cases.
To sell a product using Canva Content, you must create an original design by combining the content with other design elements. You cannot sell Canva Content on a standalone basis, such as using a single element from the Canva library with minimal changes. And that applies to stock content like clipart where the graphic is taken directly from Canva.
Yes, you can use Canva graphics for print-on-demand (POD) designs as long as you have the right to use them. While you don't own the copyrights to the graphics and fonts used in Canva, print-on-demand services like Printify and Printful allow you to upload Canva designs as you have the right to use it (you designed and made meaningful changes to it).