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Digital Goods You Could Be Selling On Etsy!

Updated on January 16, 2017
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Etsy is a massive marketplace where artists can sell what they love to create. Most of the items sold on Etsy are handmade arts and crafts, but print outs and digital downloads are also available.



Quick Points:

  • Etsy sellers fear selling artwork or photography digitally
  • Digital or not your work can still be copied
  • Let's brainstorm some cool ways to sell digitally!

Today we're going to be discussing different ways to sell digital items (goods) on Etsy for digital download!


A lot of Artists are discouraged when it comes to selling digital downloads on Etsy.

Some fear their artwork could be copied, pasted, and then resold.

Some fear their photography will be hosted all over the web without their consent, and think that if they wanted to do that they might as well just sell it at a stock photography site like istockphoto or shutterstock.


Believe it or not you can take the most precautions in the world, and your artwork can still be copied or imitated.



The fact of the matter is that there is always a way, and that is the struggle of an artist's life (writers included).


In fact many Handmade sellers on Etsy go through this problem every other day, and even their work isn't available for digital download (see it doesn't have to be digital in order to be copied). There are dozens of Etsy horror stories on the matter.


So What Do You Have In Mind?


To decrease the fear of selling your items digitally we'll brainstorm some ideas on the types of digital downloads you could be selling on Etsy.


Instead of selling your pure artwork, and photography digitally you could consider selling other digital goods on Etsy.

Below are a few ideas to inspire, and nurture your thoughts:

Example of a photoshop email newsletter template in phone
Example of a photoshop email newsletter template in phone

Try Photoshop Templates

If you have Photoshop (or gimp), and know how to use it well you can create nice reusable Photoshop templates.


Quick Points:

  • You can consider making Photoshop templates
  • These can involve websites, flyers, posters and more
  • You can provide these in an original .psd file or. JPEG file.

Time Saving Guide

  • If you are a bit iffy about your work being copied go straight to the tips section below.

Types of Photoshop Templates you can sell:

Custom Website Template Design

You can pre-make a series of website template designs, and sell them at a limited quantity (maybe one pre-made design per buyer?) to prevent redistribution.


Product Mock ups

You can sell product mock up templates of how something would look like in real life such as:


  • Business cards
  • Tablets
  • Book Mock Ups
  • Ebook Tablet Mock ups Etc...


Newsletter Templates

You can design Newsletter templates that websites can use for their newsletters.


Flyer/Poster Template

You can alternatively sell Flyer/Poster templates with beautiful free to use fonts.


To Heighten Sales


To heighten sales of flyer/poster templates you can use an image to display how the flyer or poster would look, but make sure to tell the buyer that the images are not included in the downloadable .psd file so they would have to use their own image (that way you won't be worrying about your photography being posted all over the web or being resold). If you want to provide the buyer with an image you can do so if you want.

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Tips if you're Iffy

If you choose to provide a picture:

  • Keep the control of edits in your hands
  • Make sure to ask the buyer what text they would like it to be changed to since only you can edit it
  • Only provide JPEG or PNG files so they cannot easily separate your image from the text

The above is only necessary if you are a bit paranoid about your image being copied. If you are not so on edge about customers reusing your work then you don't have to do this.

Offering Ebook/Book Design Services:

You can offer a custom book cover design service for $200.00, and up. You can choose to use your own photography (at an extra cost) or a mixture of stock photography in your book cover design service.

Alternatively you can require that they provide the image that you would need to edit.


You can also sell pre-made ebook/full jacket covers at around $25.00 and up (I recommend $50.00 though). For full jackets you should charge a little extra.


I recommend only selling one copy of each pre-made book cover as selling multiple copies can ruin your reputation, and credibility as an artist (you wouldn't like to see two authors with the same book cover now would you?).

Tips:

When designing book covers it is best to send the images in a JPEG or PDF file.

Speaking of PDF Files...

  • Writing is also art
  • You can write PDF tutorials on what you do

You Can Write PDF tutorials!

You can offer step by step tutorials on how to create items that you've made or are good at making or just regular tutorials on stuff. Save it as a PDF file and sell.

Other Cool Mentionables:

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PowerPoint Templates

If you know how to design awesome powerpoints then why not sell it at Etsy? Most powerpoint templates that sell the most consist of 5 - 10 slides.

Social Media Icons for blogs, and websites

A lot of people who design websites like to buy custom social media icons to give their websites a more unique look. You can make a profit from this by offering JPEG social media icons at Etsy.

LOGO Designs

Make Vector Illustrations

Digital Printouts

Website banners

Got some more ideas on what digital downloads artists could be selling on Etsy? Write them in the comments below!

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    • The-skyelight profile image
      Author

      Kernia Belizaire 12 months ago from New Jersey

      No, that actually depends on your preference, and what you are personally comfortable with.

      I only recommend illustrator for high quality vectors, digital painting or logo designs so that it can scale to any format (which I didn't include under the photoshop section for a reason only in the "cool mentionables" at the bottom so I honestly don't know where you got that from). For me illustrator is only useful for its scalable vector quality which for web isn't necessary unless your going to be doing massive resizing on multiple platforms or custom work. These are general website template designs (uncoded) which by General standard are usually photoshop files.

      Indesign is more restrictive than photoshop for image manipulation (I only recommend it for print layout--but we are talking digital here in this etsy themed article), and most of what I mentioned are digital not print so Photoshop is actually the right tool for use.

      A website template has nothing to do with print as it is used for web (online) and neither do online product mockups--yes, I stated product mockups which means a real life example of how a product looks like (not the actual printed thing). Basically if you created an actual business card or simple book cover in indesign you take it and create a mockup In Photoshop, and sell them as photoshop actions (these are for online promotional use on social media or websites as indesign is for mostly for print use. You can go online and Google product mockup examples for more details) so I do not know why indesign would be used for them really. A Mockup can be created with almost any image as an example so indesign is not required in digital mockups for promotion or marketing.

      Flyers, and poster templates can be layed out in indesign if someone wants but the graphics have to be manipulated in Photoshop as indesign is not a great photo manipulation software to get creative with. Honestly using photoshop to lay these two out is not a problem at all and can in fact be used, if you want to be super technical then you can take the extra mile and lay them out in indesign (though not necessary).

      Overall photoshop is a tool that can handle all that I covered in its section in this post, but other tools can be used if you are more comfortable with them.

    • profile image

      Tiff 12 months ago

      Wrong about photoshop. That is not the correct program to use. Indesign or Illustrator is what you would use to create marketing materials.

    • The-skyelight profile image
      Author

      Kernia Belizaire 2 years ago from New Jersey

      You're welcome, and thank you for your encouraging comment :)

    • craftybegonia profile image

      craftybegonia 2 years ago from Southwestern, United States

      Great ideas, thanks!