Hello! I’m assuming that you are reading this because you want to enter the world of digital download sales on Etsy! This is a great place to start!
Digital downloads are all the rage on Etsy! From website design, to sublimation and clip art files, and even DIY party printables, Etsy is where it’s at.
When I started my first Etsy shop, I originally sold sewn goods. I also sold them on Facebook, as well as cricut creations and sublimation projects. I did alright in sales, but purchasing all of the materials and the amount of time and money it took to make/sell/ship goods made it hard to make any profit. After I became a mama, my time became more valuable and I had to find a different creative avenue to make an income (I unexpectedly became a stay at home mom). This is where digital downloads came in!
I transitioned from constantly buying digital files to make my merchandise, to becoming a seller. Business boomed overnight and I hit 1000 sales within 3 months without EVER having to ship a package or leave my couch.
This tutorial is here to help you to do the same. Whether you just really need the income or love design in general, digital download sales are the perfect method of passive income! Once your shop is built, you get to sit back and occasionally answer messages from customers.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Create your file.
Using the software of your choice, create the download that you’re wanting to sell. For this step, I often use Canva. It’s free! You can download it here. You can also download a free program, such as GIMP, to design your image.
For this tutorial, I’ll be using this simple graphic I created in Canva.
Step 2: Save in desired format
Personally, I don’t sell SVG files, I mostly make PNG tumbler wraps. You can exporti your files on Canva as an SVG, but I haven’t had much success with it.
Important to note: If I’m selling tumbler wraps, or something similar, I always include a PNG file and a PDF file. Why? Because the PNG is great to purchase and open in your own software and the PDF is best if the customer wants to print and use without editing. With Canva, the PNG proportions are commonly a little wonky, so if you intend for your customer to download and print, I would include a PDF document.
Because I am using simple image for this tutorial, I’ll just save as a PNG with transparent background. Easy peasy!
It is important to note that Etsy does have limits on how big and how many file uploads you can have per listing. You cannot upload a file over 20mb and you cannot upload more than 5 files. If your Listing has files larger than allowed, look into using Google Drive to host your files. For the sake of this tutorial, I’m using a small and simple file.
Step 3: Design your mock-up/Listing Images
For more complicated Mock-ups, check out my tutorial here.
For simple listings, I create an image that is 2000x1500px. This is my go-to size for my listing images. Etsy recommends images that are 2000px and up. You’re welcome to use whatever size you would like, but I’ll be sticking with 2000x1500px for this tutorial.
First, I add a background. This can be a simple color or even an image with ja quiet background. You want your download to be the focal point of the image, so try not to be too busy. My favorite is using a simple wood background from Canva. It’s free!
Second, I import my graphic that I want displayed. I always center it and make sure that it’s big enough for a customer to clearly see while scrolling through their search results.
Lastly, I add a simple text element to it with a box behind it. This is optional, but I like to make it clear to the customer what type of file it is and that it’s a digital download. Before doing this, I found that customers didn’t read the description or title close enough and would ask for a refund because they wanted an SVG and not a PNG. Now, I list it in the title, the description, and on the listing image. People still sometimes manage to miss it, BUT not as often as before.
When I feel satisfied by my image, I save it as a PNG and head on over to Etsy to create my listing!
Step 4: Create your listing
I have so many tips and tricks for creating the best listings for Etsy. To keep this tutorial beginner friendly, I’ll attempt to be both thorough and concise. I’ll be taking screen shots from the mobile version in my safari browser. You can do this via desktop, but for screen shot purposes, I’ll do it via mobile.
1. Version. for digital downloads, I prefer to use the “old version” over the “streamlined listing experience”. You can use either! For this tutorial, I’ll be using the old version. To switch yours, open your “listings” tab and look for the blue box at the top of the screen. Select “switch to old version”.
2. Photos. Open up your mock-up and upload it. If you have any cute “thank you” or “follow me on social media” graphics, you can add that as well.
3. Video. Listing with video tend to have more views. If I don’t have a video of my item, I upload a video I made in Canva that explains how to download your digital files. It significantly cut back on the messages I received from customers asking how to download.
4. Title. This is important. I always include the following important information: the size, what it is, where it can be used, and then I add some keywords like “for sublimation” or “print at home”.
5. About this listing. Because this is digital, I always select the same things. “Made it myself”, “a finished product”, and “2020-2023”. If your listing is for something you need to personalized or custom make, I would list “made to order”.
6. Category. This is a little tricky. You want to list “digital” and be specific, but sometimes there isn’t a result that works the best. I often have to list as a drawing/illustration >> Digital
7. Optional Information. These are all details that you are welcome to fill in to help customers find your product better. These are optional and I often skip over some of them.
8. Renewal options. If you want to renew your listing right away after the current one sells, select “automatic”. If you want to manually renew, select “manual”.
9. Type. I always select “digital” because my store doesn’t tend to have physical products. But if you intend on physically shipping an item, go ahead and select “physical”.
10. Description. I could write a whole tutorial on this. For now, I would encourage you to write the size of your item, what it is intended for, and what is included in the download.
11. Section. Etsy Shops can have “sections” for customers to search for items easier. I usually sort my listing my size and/or purpose. This is clip art, so I’ll list it under “clip art”.
12. Tags. Also known as “keywords”. This is one of the most important parts of your listing. Keywords make or break your item. I will write a tutorial later on how to make tags that will drive more traffic to your item, but for today, list specifics of your item. Size, theme, purpose, file type, etc. my favorites are: tumbler wrap, sublimation, Canva, png, pdf, digital download. And for this listing: mom humor, straight outta, energy, digital download, png, etc.
13. Materials. I recently started to put “digital download”, or “graphic.”
14. Price. Pricing can be tricky. I personally have a pretty flat rate for most of my items. Take in consideration how new your shop is, how much similar listings are going for, if you’re going to be listing the item on sale often, etc.
15. Quantity. Personally, I always list “100”, unless it’s actually a limited number. Why? Because I want to quickly look at the listing in My dashboard and when I see how many I have left in stock, I can do simple math to see how many have sold without opening each listing and looking at the data. But you do you!
16. Personalization. I don’t offer this. You are welcome to, but I perfect to be messaged and asked before I commit to personalizing. I’d rather say, “I can’t do that” than authorize a refund.
17. Digital files. Upload your files!
18. Publish. Yay! It’s done! Good work! You’ve listed your first digital file!
Did this tutorial help? I’d love to hear from you! Please share your results and even your store in my comments! Thank you. ♥️