Do you know you can earn passive income from selling printables on Etsy?
I’ve purchased printables in the past, made a few daily planners and fitness trackers for my personal use, but I had no idea this was a viable way to earn passive income.
When I looked into it more, I discovered that selling printables on Etsy is a lucrative side hustle, and many people are making a healthy passive income from it.
… and Jenny is one of them.
In this post, I had the pleasure to interview another UK based 9 to 5 escaper – Jenny Marchal, who is going to share with us her journey in selling printables on Etsy.
Let’s jump to our chat…
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Hiya Jenny, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a traveller at heart and love being in different places and cultures and to date I’ve visited 40 different countries. My love of travelling means I’ve come to value the importance of life being as flexible as possible so we can concentrate on what’s most important (whatever that may be!)
I’ve been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2015 but believe in the beauty of multiple sources of income because life is all about variety!
This is why in 2018, I opened my Etsy shop Hello Lovely Planners selling all different types of printable and digital planners.
My favourite things to do are going on early morning walks with my dog Daisy, swimming, yoga, drinking coffee, binge-watching good TV shows and reading a good book!
What is a printable?
It’s essentially an instant digital download in the form of a PDF that people can print out either at home or with a printing company.
There are many different types of printable products from planners and journals, to greetings cards and even wine labels! People will purchase the item and be able to instantly download it to their computer in seconds.
How did you get started in selling printables on Etsy?
I had just moved back to the UK after living in Norway for a few years and I think it was a turning point in my life where I started to re-evaluate my way of living.
I was sick of the 9-5 and commuting to jobs I didn’t feel passionate about and I wanted to do something that helped me embrace my creative side and allow me to have a more flexible lifestyle.
This is when the idea of creating and selling printable planners really intrigued me so I decided to see what it was all about!
What do you enjoy about selling printables on Etsy?
I love creating them!
Most of my products are centred around self-care, happiness, even moon rituals and manifestation planners. I love the feeling of making something that could potentially help people and bring them a little joy.
I also love the passive side.
Once you list your product on Etsy, you don’t have to think about it again so you don’t have to think about shipping it out and all the costs that come with that.
You can just enjoy the sales without needing to do anything!
Can you make money selling printables on Etsy? And how much money can you make?
There are people on Etsy making a 6-figure income selling printable products so there’s lots of potential.
In the last year I’ve made an additional £14,000 from selling printables which has been a nice boost to my income.
What are the best selling Printables on Etsy?
There are many popular niches you could go into with printables.
People tend to find the most success with seasonal items so this could be Mother’s Day cards, kids’ Christmas games, or Valentine’s Day love coupons.
The best would be a mix of evergreen (products that can sell all year round like journals and planners) and seasonal specific items. I’m an advocate for creating what you’re passionate about but being strategic about what you sell can be extremely profitable!
Do I need to be creative?
I’m quite creative but I’m also lazy 🙈 . There are tons of sites like Creative Market that are full of clipart and elements made by artists that you can purchase with a commercial license and add into your printables to make them look pretty.
You can literally find anything you need. In fact it can be quite addictive and I have to stop myself from buying too much!
You can also buy premade templates for things like planners so all the work is done for you, you just have to add a fancy font or add any of the clipart you’ve purchased to make it your own.
What tools do I need to make and sell printables on Etsy?
All you need is a free program like Microsoft Word or the free Mac programs Pages or Keynote.
You can use paid programs like Adobe Indesign and Affinity if you’re already familiar with these. It really depends on what type of product you decide to make. But Canva Pro is the most popular and has a huge amount of functions to help you make beautiful printables. It has a pretty easy learning curve too!
That’s really all you need to create your products which makes it even more of an easy path to passive income.
Did you take any course in selling printables on Etsy?
I initially took Michelle Rohr’s Passive Income with Planners course (renamed Passive Income Planner Girl), which is now geared towards creating digital planners. Their Digital Template Kit course is a great way to get creating and earning FAST.
I’ve now turned all my printable planners into digital planners for people to use on their tablets which has been extremely lucrative and is a growing and thriving niche to get into.
I also work closely with Julie and Cody from Gold City Ventures who run their E-Printables course. This is catered for people who want to get into the different printable niches on Etsy. It’s very in-depth and walks you step-by-step into all the different avenues you could go down with printables.
Does selling printables on Etsy work for those of us who live in the UK, or anywhere outside of the US?
When I first mentioned to my friends that I’d started selling printables on Etsy I got some funny looks!
Admittedly, printables aren’t as popular here in the UK or Europe but they are hugely popular in the US.
I’d say 95% of my customers are US-based which is great because obviously, I don’t have to worry about shipping costs. I would say that creating universal products and not UK-specific will help more with sales of your printables on Etsy.
Who is this side hustle best for?
Anyone who’s looking to create some long-term passive income and be more flexible with their time.
Like with all passive income, there’s some upfront work in learning, and creating the products. But once you’ve filled your shop up it will just make money for you without you having to think about it.
It’s a really nice feeling when you’re going about your day looking after the kids or doing errands, and your phone makes the Etsy cha-ching sound 🎶 🤑
Related Reads: 7 Proven Ways to Earn Passive Income 
Any advice/tips for beginners who want to be successful at selling printables on Etsy?
Do research on the types of printables you could make. I chose planners because I love organising and there are so many different types of planners I could make.
So pick something you enjoy creating because that will keep you motivated to keep going. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make money straight away but you’ll see it grow over time. Before you know it you’ll have created a passive income machine!
What’s the best way to get started to sell printables on Etsy?
Definitely invest in a course.
I learnt so much from the course I took and it made it less of a learning curve. Not to mention these courses come with a great community of people especially the two courses I mentioned above.
It makes all the difference starting your printables journey with a support network that will answer your questions and give you tips and feedback.