Why I use Etsy to sell my digital downloads (+ free Etsy how-to guide)


There’s no doubt digital products are on the rise, and a common question among newbies looking to break into this billion dollar industry, is where the heck do you sell them? That question elicits tons of answers, and it all depends on your personal preference, your product type, and your selling style as to which one you should host your products on. When most online entrepreneurs list off the best digital product websites, there’s one that doesn’t get included very often but deserves a spot on the list – Etsy. Etsy is typically known for it’s large community of handmade artists – which implies that it’s physical products only. But in recent years, Etsy has expanded to include digital product delivery as well, and their system is pretty slick. Combine their trusted platform, seamless checkout process, with the pool of customers coming to Etsy to search for products of all kinds, and Etsy becomes a huge contender for selling digital downloads.

Let’s dive into the reasons I love selling digital downloads on Etsy, and a few other options that are out there as well that warrant some recognition.


Why I love selling digital downloads on Etsy


1. Etsy is established + has an existing search engine.

Etsy offers an established platform with an optimized search engine that, when correctly maximized, leads to higher rankings and more eyes on your product. Etsy does much of the marketing work for you, before you even make your first sale. In addition to this, Etsy has been around for years, making it established enough for customers to rest assured that they’re going to have a positive buying experience.


2. Etsy is trusted + secure.

Their existing shopping cart system streamlines the customer experience so customers can buy with ease and simplicity. With a trusted, secure payment system, you can be sure your customers information is protected and the checkout process is up to par and easy to navigate. And with the addition of Etsy’s digital product delivery system that was implemented a few years ago, when a customer makes a purchases, their digital files are instantly available to download, automatically completing the transaction without any extra work on your end.


3. Etsy has an existing pool of customers.

Probably my favorite reason for selling digital products on Etsy – they have an existing database of customers coming to their site, searching for products. When a potential customer searches for your type of product in a regular search engine like Google, they could get bombarded with millions of results. But when they come to Etsy to search, the results are much more narrow and targeted – giving your product a chance to rise to the top and get noticed. With this advantage, you can kick off your shop with a real audience that’s already searching for what you have to offer.


4. Etsy has a low barrier for entry.

This phrase “low barrier for entry” can sound a little nerdy + businessy, but it basically just means Etsy is cheap and simple to get started on. There are no monthly fees for starting your shop on Etsy, the only costs are these few, minimal fees:

  • Etsy charges 20¢ to list one product in your shop

  • Etsy takes 5% of your sale price when a product sells in your shop

  • Etsy charges a fee for payment processing, but it varies by country of the seller. For the United States, the fee is 3% + 25¢.

  • Example: When I list a $20 product, it costs me 20¢ first. When that product sells, Etsy takes $1 of the sale price, plus charges me 85¢ to process the payment from the customer. So from a $20 product, I make $17.95. Not bad, right?

  • In recent months, Etsy has also switched to a direct checkout payment system, so they don’t use third party payment processors like Paypal or Stripe, which incur their own fees. So this means, more money in your pocket, as the shop owner!


While I’m obviously a big advocate of Etsy, it’s also important to not put all your eggs in one basket. You can read this post to hear more about my stance on that. Plus, know that my latest online course, Etsy on Autopilot, teaches you how to market your digital products both on and off Etsy, so you can reach a wider audience, and  ensure that your customers know your products are coming from YOUR shop and not just Etsy in general. Etsy on Autopilot is going to take you through every step of my process for creating + selling digital products on Etsy – from research + development, to publishing + promotion, plus my strategies for setting up your shop to run on autopilot and serve as an additional stream of passive income for your business.

Want to learn how to sell digital downloads on Etsy?

My quick-start guide, Etsy on Autopilot, is your beginner’s step-by-step plan to turning your passion and skill set into a profitable, automated online shop, harnessing the existing audience on Etsy. Whether you’re new to Etsy or new to digital products, Etsy on Autopilot gives you the tools, resources, and know-how to confidently create + sell a digital product that your audience can’t help but love and buy – on a platform they already trust.

If you're curious about selling digital products on Etsy, this PDF guide is your ticket to getting there. It’s normally $79, but I’d love to send you all of Lesson 1 for FREE (12 pages), is that cool? It gives you good an introduction to selling digital products in general (including a list of 50 digital product ideas!), as well as an introduction and tour of the Etsy platform.

Lesson 1 is one me, friend, just drop in your email below and I’ll send it to you!


Kelsey Baldwin

Graphic designer + blogger providing design resources to help creative entrepreneurs navigate the world of design + branding for digital products so they can share what they know.

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