How to Sell Digital Products On Etsy 

Digital downloads are built for the digital age. This type of product allows eager entrepreneurs to sell entirely online products from anywhere in the world. 

But when tags, descriptions, and other marketing tactics are thrown into the mix, selling digital products on Etsy can seem complicated. Luckily, we know just how to sell digital products on Etsy, and we’ve created a step-by-step guide for hopeful creators. 

what are digital downloads? 

Digital downloads are electronic files that you can download from the internet. 

Here are the types of digital downloads you can sell online. 

  • Digital downloads for printing. Create printable digital downloads for people who prefer manual note-taking.
  • Digital downloads for use online. You can create digital notebooks, revision sheets, planners, and more. 
  • Digital downloads for print-on-demand products. Create a graphic and connect with a third-party print-on-demand company to transform your digital download into a physical product. 
  • Digital downloads for NFTs. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a great way to diversify your digital download business. 

There is no end to the amount of ways you can use digital downloads on Etsy. 

why choose Etsy?

Etsy is an online marketplace that allows independent sellers to build communities, establish side hustles, and grow their businesses. There are lots of alternatives, such as Shopify, IndieMade, and Big Cartel, but none of these platforms is quite like Etsy. 

  • Passive income. Once your listings are live, you can watch the orders roll in. And because you’re selling digital downloads, you only need to make the product once! 
  • Low seller fees. Etsy only charges $0.20 per listing and 6.5% per sale.
  • Customer base. Everyone knows that Etsy is the place to go for digital downloads, so your ideal customer is already on the platform! You just have to use the right marketing tactics to find them. 

To really make your mark, you need to understand the basics of how to sell digital products on Etsy. 

Screenshot of digital planners on Etsy.

3 steps to start selling digital products on Etsy 

Even the best artists and ebook creators feel intimidated when they first start using Etsy. But don’t worry, with our help you can start selling digital downloads on Etsy in just three steps. 

choose a design platform – #1

First, you need to choose a tool to design your digital downloads. Adobe Creative Suite is a good option for very experienced, skilled graphic designers and illustrators, but if you’re looking for something with an easier learning curve, Canva is your best bet. 

You can use Canva to create digital planners, logos, revision sheets, and more. It has plenty of preset graphics, templates, and fonts for entry-level designers who want to create digital downloads without learning an entirely new discipline. 

Tip: If you are not confident in your abilities as a designer, you can hire one. Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork are full of adept designers who can create whatever you have in mind. And remember, once you have the digital download, you can sell the same file thousands of times. You only have to pay your designer once. 

Image from Canva

find your niche – #2

If you’re intent on selling digital products on Etsy, you need to find your niche. Niches help you stand apart from the competition, and it is this competitive edge that drives engagement and purchases. 

The easiest way to find your niche is to search for similar products on Etsy. If you want to sell digital planners that center around spirituality, you might want to search for keywords such as ‘spiritual digital planner 2024’ or ‘meditation guide and digital planner.’ 

There are plenty of Etsy keyword tools that will do the work for you. Sale Samurai, eRank, and KeySearch search the web to find keywords that relate to your product. 

Tip: The keyword ‘digital’ should always be in the title of your product. Otherwise, customers might think they are getting a physical product and leave negative reviews on your shop.  

create an Etsy shop – #3

We can’t talk about how to sell digital products on Etsy without mentioning the most important part: creating an Etsy shop. 

Luckily, the process is pretty user-friendly. 

  1. Register for an account on Etsy
  2. Click on your profile picture and scroll down to ‘Sell on Etsy’ 
  3. Click the button that says ‘Open your Etsy shop’ 
  4. Fill in your shop preferences, including the language, country, and currency
  5. Name your shop in 20 characters or less 
  6. Create your first listing 
  7. Input your bank details to cover Etsy’s fees
  8. Open your shop

Your Etsy shop is now open! 

Tip: You have to create your first listing to complete your shop, so make sure you do market research before you start the process.  

Image from Growing Your Craft

Creating digital products on your iPad? Get the most realistic pen-on-paper feel with Rock Paper Pencil – a reusable, paper-feel screen protector + ballpoint Apple Pencil tips.

tips for successfully selling digital downloads on Etsy

To start selling digital products on Etsy, you need to create a listing. And before that, you need to do your research. 

Etsy is flush with digital downloads. The low barrier of entry means that hundreds of thousands of people have tried their luck selling digital downloads on Etsy, but very few have succeeded. 

Here are our essential marketing tips for how to sell digital products on Etsy. 

check the rules 

Before you sink lots of time and effort into creating digital downloads, you should check the rules. 

One of the most important things to remember is that you can’t sell premade Canva templates that haven’t been altered. You have to transform the template before you can sell it as a digital download.  

Next, you need to think about the file format. Etsy supports these formats: .bmp, .doc, ePUB, .gif, .iBook, .jpeg, .jpg, .mobi, .mov, .mp3, .mpeg, .pdf, .png, .psp, .rtf, .stl, .txt, 

From January 1st, shop owners who sell digital goods and deliver them for automatic download to customers in European Union member countries are required to collect and pay VAT based on the VAT rates of the country where the customer is located.  

add keywords to titles

You may have noticed that Etsy product titles tend to be on the longer side. The title of the product is one of the best SEO tools in your arsenal. By inputting the right keywords, you can improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and attract more customers to your shop. 

Here are a few more SEO tips for selling digital products on Etsy. 

  • Titles should be between 70-120 characters
  • Words at the beginning of the title are the most important, they are known as primary keywords
  • Avoid repeating the same keywords 

Etsy explains that if the keyword “banana backpack” is searched, listings won’t appear unless they contain both keywords. Listings that contain the entire phrase in the correct order will appear higher, and listings that contain the phrase in the title and the tags will also rank higher. 

Image from Printify

utilize tags 

Another essential part of selling digital downloads on Etsy is the tags. A tag is a short word or phrase that describes your product. You can add 13 tags, and we advise you to use them all. 

  • Use long-tail keywords to tap into more niche markets, e.g. “pink backpack” instead of just “backpack” 
  • Avoid repeating tags
  • Use a mixture of purpose-focused and descriptive tags, including key phrases like “gifts for mom” and “spiritual planner” 
  • Regularly review your shop stats and replace tags that don’t perform well 
  • Do not waste tags on plural terms; Etsy recognizes root words, so there is no need for plural forms

Not sure which tags to use? Use SEO tools such as SEMRush, Google Trends, and Ahrefs to see what your ideal customers are searching for on Google. 

write a detailed description 

Your description needs to be detailed, but scannable. It also helps to organically embed lots of keywords throughout.

Here are our best practices for Etsy descriptions. 

  • Describe your USP (Unique Selling Point)
  • Use bullet points to convey the main benefits of your product 
  • Establish a brand voice 
  • Use “I” instead of “we” 
  • Use “you” to address your audience
  • Embed a link to promote other, similar products at the end of the description 

Always, always, always check your spelling and grammar. Even one misspelled word can stop customers from trusting your brand. 

Tip: Digital downloads can be confusing, so it’s worth reminding customers that you are selling a digital (not physical) product. 

Rock Paper Pencil: A Pen-On-Paper Experience for iPad

A lot of digital products like planners and notebooks work best on iPad. Rock Paper Pencil is the perfect accessory for those looking to ditch their slippery glass screen and get a realistic pen-on-paper feel for iPad. 

Rock Paper Pencil – Draw and write on iPad like ballpoint pen on paper

This product includes a reusable, paper-feel iPad screen protector and two ballpoint Apple Pencil tips. Built with nano-texture technology, Rock Paper Pencil adds subtle friction between your screen and Pencil, giving you more control while drawing or writing.

  • NanoCling Screen Protector: Securely bond your screen protector to your iPad using static cling. Easy application, non-adhesive, removable and reusable.
  • Matte Texture: Subtle friction mimics the feel of paper (no more slippery glass!)
  • Precision Apple Pencil Tips: Smoother, more controlled strokes