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In 2019 I began looking for side hustle opportunities to pay off debt, student loans, and to setup a passive income stream. I had a 9-5 job as an office specialist with my local county.
The job paid well and I loved my co-workers but, I was bored and unfulfilled. My days were filled with boring and monotonous tasks that had me watching the clock until it hit 5pm.
There were nights I stayed up late just to have more “me” time because I hated the thought of going to sleep and waking up to do it all over again. I thought– there had to be a better way.
I decided to build a Etsy side hustle and see where it would lead me. Everyday I am so grateful I did! Read on to see if I quit my job…
How did you build your Etsy sIDE HUSTLE?
I built my shop slowly and incrementally at first. I would find time here and there to create a product or list an item. I would say in the beginning, I spent a few hours on my side hustle every week.
Every week I felt like I got a little better and completed my tasks quicker. I chose the wedding niche because I was a newlywed and still loving all things wedding. Eventually I branched out to other things– seasonal items, graduation, bridal shower, baby shower, etc.
When building your Etsy shop I think it’s important to make yourself a list of tasks and space them out throughout the week. It helped to make sure I got everything done to keep my shop moving forward.
Did you have any previous design or business experience before starting your Etsy shop?
No, not really. Any design experience I have was self-taught. I don’t have any formal design training. I didn’t have any business experience either.
I did take a course before starting my Etsy shop and it was helpful. It was great for things like– what kind of printables to create, SEO and keyword research, marketing your printables, etc.
I’ve also picked up things over the years. You learn more as you go.
What is the most you’ve ever made in a month on Etsy?
At this point in time, the most I’ve made in sales is $13,585. I believe the SEO and keyword research really helped me reach that goal.
After I started implementing SEO and keyword research my shop took off. Wish I had done that from the beginning! I also took a printables course which helped to teach me the concepts of keyword reach and SEO.
Below is a screenshot of my very first month of Etsy revenue compared to my most recent. My shop has come a long way!
Did you quit your job?
Yes! I quit my job about 8 months after starting my Etsy side hustle. I was making a part-time income at that time. My husband and I decided we could live on his income plus my part time income.
We had to cut back our expenses but, it was so worth it! In early 2020, I quit my job to focus on making my Etsy shop a full-time business. It was an amazing feeling to wake up in the morning knowing I was working for myself.
What did you do before you started your ETSY SHOP?
I bounced around from job to job and college major to college major. I really was looking to find fulfillment in my work, but I just never found it.
I ended up working for my local county from 2013-2020—first in the property tax department then in the HR department. I would create flyers & course catalogs for our training offerings.
I created these things using basic design skills; I’ve never had any formal design training.
When I decided to open my Etsy shop, I thought it was neat that I’d be able to put my skills to use to make money for myself.
How much time do you spend on your Etsy shop daily/weekly?
In the beginning, I had a full-time job so it was just a few hours a week. I did that consistently then gradually found a little more time each week.
Now I spend a couple hours a day, sometimes more. It just depends on what my goals are that month.
My shop is the product of years of hard work and consistent effort. It was by no means an overnight success. A little bit of effort per day can add up to a lot in the long run.
WhICH printables perform the best on Etsy?
Seasonal products! I’ve found that holiday and/or seasonal products are very popular on Etsy. I began my shop in the wedding niche and slowly began adding seasonal items to carry my shop when it’s not wedding season.
I would say people are more likely to come to Etsy for something fun like a Christmas letter from Santa than for something more serious like a wedding invite. My wedding items have done well but, I think my seasonal items have done better.
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Why an Etsy printables side hustle v. other side hustles?
I think the biggest benefit to a digital Etsy side hustle is the low overhead. The minimum needed to create printables is access to a computer.
Depending on what kind of printables you’re creating, you’ll probably need some sort of subscription to Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, etc. Other side hustles can come with hefty startup costs & storage needs— like selling on Amazon.
All of my inventory is digital, so it doesn’t take up space.
I love that hosting my business on Etsy supplies me with a customer base. I don’t have to spend a ton on advertising to drive people to my website.
And, unlike other Etsy businesses that sell a physical product, I don’t have to ship anything since it’s all digital!
What is your best advice for future Etsy printable sellers?
My best advice is always to just get started. Your first printable isn’t going to be as good as the one you’ll create 3 years from now.
In my experience, patience and consistency is what will get you results. Your first sale might not come right away and that’s okay. It takes time for the Etsy algorithm to pick it up.
Some people will say that Etsy is oversaturated but, I believe if you build it, your people will come. Good customer service is also so important. It’s such a lost art and, unfortunately, not offered by every seller. Good customer service from the beginning can really make your shop standout.
Honestly, what do you have to lose by trying it out? The overhead for a printable shop is so low I think you’d be missing out by not trying at all.
Think about what an extra $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 a month could do for you and your family.
I’d also recommend taking a course if it’s within your budget. I took the Gold City Ventures E-Printables Side Hustle Course. I made my investment back in my first month and it saved me a lot of headaches when starting my Etsy shop. And, honestly, I have no doubt it jumpstarted my success on Etsy.
What’s next for you?
My plan is to keep plugging away at my Etsy shop and growing my income every month. I may branch out in the future to something like a Zazzle shop or adding a Shopify store to my site.
I’ll be continuing to use my passive income to pay down debt & save. My husband and I are hoping to start a family soon and I’m excited about being able to stay at home with my kids.
To get more information on how the E-Printables Course can help you start a successful side hustle, check out this free side hustle workshop! In the workshop, you’ll learn the how to identify which printables to sell, how to maximize your revenue, and strategy for selling seasonal products on Etsy.