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How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy

Written by Khalid Farhan

Last Updated: 

You can earn money even while sleeping – interesting enough? No, it wasn’t just to grab your attention, I mean it! Today I’m going to talk about a very cool marketplace, Etsy. If you are a small business owner or creator, Etsy is what you must need! Well, you have to make sure to practically apply all the things I’m about to say.

Among all the categories, selling digital downloads on Etsy is the easiest way to passive income. I’m about to cover how to sell digital downloads on Etsy and everything you need to know about it. Read & apply, you’ll keep making money even while sleeping.

How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy

What is Etsy Exactly?

Know about Etsy already? Good!

But to the people who don’t, Etsy is an American e-commerce company or an online business marketplace acting globally. Unlike Amazon, this marketplace is the perfect place for selling products having fewer production numbers. If you have a small business like customized Jewellery, vintage goods, art pieces, or anything, You’ll have a higher rate of success in your business here than trying to sell them on big platforms. None will even notice your product in a crowd of companies having a big popular name, let alone buy something from you.

This is exactly where Etsy comes in and be your savior! No big brand-name drama here! Just list and sell.

What Are Digital Downloads?

Before selling, you sure have to have a clear idea of what digital downloads are. Simply, it’s any product that is digital!

There are two kinds of products you can sell on Etsy – Physical products that you have to create and ship to that buyer and Digital products that they can just download after payment. So apparently, a printed wallpaper for shipping is a physical product and the wallpaper’s design for downloading is a digital download. Transparent as water! They are far easier to create and distribute than physical products. So selling digital downloads on Etsy is definitely something you should give a shot at.

Why Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy?

First thing first, before selling, you need to know if it is worth it to try selling digital products on Etsy in the first place. Etsy is mostly known as the marketplace of handmade crafts or customized products, but digital product selling is the easiest on this sales Platform. You can just design anything, list it easily, and sell that same design again and again. They are never out of stock. No hustle, no inventory cost, piece of cake! 

Etsy Digital product design sample

See what I mean by you can design anything? You don’t have to be an artist to be a star seller on Etsy!

Best Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy 2023

I’m sure you already feel the urge to open an Etsy right away. But before that, let me give you some idea of some best digital products to sell on Etsy over the recent years. Just see if your interest matches with any!

  1.   Digital wall art
  2.   Lightroom presets
  3.   Fonts
  4.   Video intros
  5.   Logos
  6.   Photography
  7.   Custom portraits
  8.   Resume templates
  9.   Clipart
  10.  Digital planner
  11.  Website template
  12.  Digital mock-up
  13.  Custome invitation card
  14.  Digital flashcard
  15.  E-books
  16.  Music and Audio
  17.  Crochet – sewing   patterns
  18.  Custom quote design


Picked one already? Good.

How to Create Digital Downloads?

Let’s suppose, you chose digital wall art to sell on your Etsy shop. But to sell, you need digital wall art to list, don’t you?

So let’s create one first! 

1.    Use Adobe Illustrator

 Adobe Illustrator is probably one of the coolest designing tools able to create any magic. You are able to design any kind of digital art here without costing a single penny. But you need to be an expert in designing here, right? what if you are quite not an expert in that? Not a concern, got your back!

2.    Use Canva

You must have heard about Canva, the most widely used cloud-based graphic design tool. Perfect for people with not-so-good Illustrator skills, but a good sense of designing. Here, You’ll get a wide range of various built-in elements and fonts. You are the boss here – you can change the colour and size of anything and can add any element wherever you like. But as the cherry on top, you’ll get built-in templates of nearly any kind of digital art here. As I’m an animal lover, Let’s say, you want to create cat-themed digital wall art. Just search that on Canva, and among its thousands of designs, it’ll suggest you some templates which you can edit and customize as your wish and download in PNG, JPG, PDF, and also SVG format in Canva pro. How cool is that!

Maklu etsy design sample

This piece took me a few minutes only. Too easy – Just use your imagination!

But what if you are not good at that too? Still not a concern, Hire someone who is!

3.    Hire a designer

 There are a lot of people who are good at making digital downloads. You’ll find them in various marketplaces, or around you if you are lucky. They don’t charge much, hire one according to your budget and consider it a good investment in your Etsy shop.

How to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy?

Selling digital product online was never been this easier before this marketplace. Now that our first product is ready, time to sell the digital art on Etsy!

1. Choose a niche

This you have to do before your first listing. I’ll tell you to go to the search bar of Etsy and type ‘Digital’, within seconds many other words after Digital will populate your screen and you’ll get to know which digital product people are buying more. With some more market research, you’ll pick a niche that is also popular and profitable, also something of your interest. Then open your Etsy digital download shop according to that.

2. Open an Etsy shop

Creating an Etsy shop

For selling digital products online, the next step you have to take is to set up an Etsy shop. If you have the ability to read basic English instructions which I know you have judging by your reading this blog, opening a shop on Etsy is really child’s play! After opening an Etsy account which is by the way free of cost, you need to go through a step-by-step process of things like choosing a shop country, currency, shop name, payment method, billing method, etc.

3. List digital downloads on Etsy

Creating an Etsy shop

 Now that your shop is almost ready, you’ll have to list atleast one Etsy digital downloads you want to sell to complete opening the shop. Your sales success is mostly dependent on how you list your Digital downloads. First, add the digital product files, Then add your primary picture wisely, put yourself in the shoppers’ shoes, and add something that you would feel attracted to and buy. Then there are some listing details you’ll have to add.


Finally, we reached the most important step toward our Etsy sale – describing the digital product! Selling digital products on Etsy successfully will largely be dependent on this. Because now it is time to use your SEO knowledge to take over the control, if you are not quite an SEO expert, again – hire one! Make your product description written by someone with good enough SEO knowledge. Add your inventory and pricing later on. Set up shipping and you are ready to sell your Etsy digital downloads.

Creating an ETSY shop

4. Create several listings on your Etsy shop

Don’t just list 1-2 digital Etsy products and be done with it. Fewer products in your shop make you look unprofessional and not so passionate about your work. Psychologically, this creates a bad impression of your product that might not be created well enough. There’s an unwritten rule of 10. You have to add a minimum of 10 listings just after opening an Etsy shop. My personal recommendation will be to list the 20 best of your digital download products – Remember “seeing is believing!”

Good news – You can list your 40 digital products completely free of listing fee just by using a referral code of an Etsy user. But It’ll only work if you don’t have any prior Etsy account – very very important point! You have to use the referral link as an invitation to join the Etsy community in the first place. Then you’ll get 40 free listings on Etsy and the other person will get listing credit. 

5. Market your digital downloads on Etsy

As a new seller, don’t wait for Etsy to bring your first buyer. Advertise about it on your social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok whatever you got. Let people see what product you have to offer, you never know you may get your first buyer from your social media audience. You can also try out Etsy ads to reach more buyers if you are determined to make sales in a short time. 

6. Make easy digital downloads bundle 

This one is proved to be a very helpful trick to boost selling digital products on Etsy. All you have to do is make an easy-to-fit Etsy digital downloads bundle where you’ll offer to sell the products at a cheaper rate if they are bought together as a bundle instead of a separate purchase.

7. Give discounts on your digital products 

Who can resist the temptation of a discount, right? Use this to skyrocket your sales on special occasions. People love to buy at a lower price than usual, so give a good amount of discount on various special days like Christmas sale, new year sale, valentines sale, black Friday sale and so on. Keeping less profit. More buyers will come, and more sales you’ll make, thus the profit will initially be on an upward slope. It’s a win-win situation!

Feeling too much work? Trust me It’ll be worth it. Just make sure to do everything in your possession before resting it all on the algorithm and demand of your digital product.

How Much Can You Earn Selling Digital Downloads on Etsy?

If you can’t make good money, no reason to go through it all.

I know what the big question is! – How much money? 

Now, this is a tough one to answer, because I don’t have any idea of exactly what digital products you’ll be selling and what will be their price. So I’ll be answering from the bigger picture. At the very beginning, if you followed all the tips I’ve given you and created some quality products, making your first sale wouldn’t take much time. You would be able to make $10-$100 in the early weeks. With time and increased product quality, I won’t be surprised if your sales reach $1000 soon. And on top of that, this money may come from the downloads of a single product over and over till it’s validated.

Oh! Did I mention all your listings on Etsy is validated for four months? During this period, the digital product can be downloaded several times by different clients. After four months, you can list the same product again with a very little listing fee. You can renew it manually or automatically, costing a few cents either way.

How Does Etsy Pay You? 

Now that you know all the tricks of selling digital downloads on Etsy, you must be flooded with sales numbers and a lot of payment that needs to be in your hands. Etsy pays through direct bank deposits and Paypal for now. I see it as the biggest upper hand or privilege of Etsy that they have bank transfer and you’ll get the money on your bank converted to your own currency, no matter how the buyer has paid it. Not all countries have PayPal, so what better news there could be for a creative entrepreneur with a small business from a country like that? 

How Much Does It Cost to Sell Digital Downloads on Etsy?

Though opening an Etsy shop is free, a little USD 0.20 is charged for publishing a single listing on Etsy. If your bank currency is not USD, the listing fee may vary according to the exchange rate of the listing date. If one digital download is sold, Etsy will take a 6.5% transaction fee from the sales price. If you take money in PayPal, there will be an additional payment processing fee. Still, Etsy is cheaper than Shopify, eBay, or any other marketplace.

Etsy Seller page

Besides covering how to sell digital downloads on Etsy, I’ve tried to include everything you should know before opening your own Etsy shop. Now go, get started, and make me proud by creating more success stories!



Hey, I am Khalid, a content creator & digital marketer who practices what he preaches. Over the last 6 years, I have built my own persona online with nearly 1m+ subscribers & followers on YouTube & social – along with 100s of happy clients for my agency. I blog about my journey here.