Super Income Evolution

Successfully Selling
Printables on Etsy:
How to Make and
Market Downloadable
Art Even if You’re Not
a Pro
Monique Chandler
INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
My Personal Passive Income Goldmine on Etsy ………………………………………………………………………………. 3
The Secret to Your Success Rests in These Two Rules ………………………………………………………………………. 6
Sell This = Make Steady Passive Income …………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
How to Come Up With 100 Printable Ideas in 60 Minutes or Less ……………………………………………………. 12
Do This, Not That: 5 Artistic Guidelines That’ll Keep You Sane and Constantly Selling ………………………… 17
How to Set Up Illustrator for Creating Printables …………………………………………………………………………… 24
How to Create Complicated Art Easily ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27
One More Thing About Clipping Masks… ……………………………………………………………………………………… 51
Creating a Quote Print ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52
Listing Your Images on Etsy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 63
9 Things You Must Include in Your Etsy Description ……………………………………………………………………….. 66
Marketing Your Printables on Etsy ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 68
Must See Tutorials …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73
I‟m a strong believer in passive income.
I‟m an even stronger believer in having multiple sources of passive income. And while
many internet marketers take the ebook or membership site route for generating passive
income, I‟ve fallen head-over-heels in love with Etsy.
Etsy has 54 million registered users. From that you have 19.8 million active buyers and
1.4 million active sellers. And while most of those sellers specialize in handcrafted oneof-
a-kind goodies, there are ways to build a passive income empire on Etsy without the
one-of-a-kind goodies.
Yes, Etsy and passive income do go hand-in-hand, if you know exactly what to sell. And
that‟s what this report is all about.
Over the past seven years, I‟ve launched 7 different Etsy stores. I currently run two Etsy
shops, both based on very specific formulas that give me as much passive income as
In this report I‟ll talk about the easiest one to start. In an upcoming report I‟ll explain a
second method I use which involves a little bit creating, but requires less creative ability.
(This upcoming report has nothing to do with art.) Stay tuned for that one!
My Personal Passive Income Goldmine on Etsy
I started selling art on Etsy 6 years ago. I believe it was the second shop I launched.
I didn‟t consider myself an artist at the time. I am (and always have been) a hungry
entrepreneur. If there was easy money to be made, I was always ready to learn how to do
it, even if it meant stepping outside my comfort zone.
Art was a good fit for me because most artists don‟t have the greatest marketing and
business sense. I already had the business wisdom lined up, so it was just a matter of
getting good enough to create salable art. My intent was never to become the next
Picasso. I just wanted to learn enough to get people to buy the art I created.
Instead of taking the traditional artist‟s route with pencils and paints and canvases and
pricey boars hair paint brushes, I learned my way around Adobe Illustrator.
Illustrator is a software program that‟s similar to Photoshop, except it‟s better for
creating illustrations. You don‟t need to know every nook and cranny of Illustrator in
order to create art with it. (Later in this report, I‟ll talk about what you need to learn and
why you need to learn it. I‟ll even show you how to create what appears to be a complex
piece of art.)
With Illustrator in hand, you can create as much digital art as you want without having
to pay for materials.
Mistakes? No problem. Delete the problem area and start over.
Need a color change? No problem. You‟ve got a gazillion colors at your fingertips.
And at only $20-$30 a month, the price for Illustrator is definitely right. Once you‟ve
got a system going, you can crank out 3-10+ pieces of art every day until your store is
full enough.
Now back when I first started, I had a great big Epsom printer and I would print out my
artwork and ship it to my customers. Today I don‟t do that. Today, I create the art on
Illustrator and sell it as printable artwork on Etsy.
This means the customer is buying a digital file and they will print the art out
And while this printable artwork method means I earn $8 less in profits, it also means:
 I don’t have to print anything. Premium archival paper and ink costs could
get pretty hefty, especially when you‟re just learning your way around Illustrator
and you want to see your work printed out.
 I don’t need cardboard sleeves, plastic bags and rigid envelopes to
ship the art work.
 I don’t have to go package everything up and take it to the post office.
 I can be ANYWHERE in the world, create my printable art and sell it
within minutes of deciding that it looks great. I don‟t need a printer and
all the extra material to make a few bucks.
I think of my printable artwork as an ebook. Create it once, profit from it forever and
ever. It‟s a great passive income generator, with far less competition than traditional
So now that you know the secret, let me tell you how I create art without any formal
training as an artist.
The Secret to Your Success Rests in These Two Rules
I have a theory about selling printable art on Etsy, and you‟ll see me repeat it several
times throughout this report. My theory is only two words long, but it‟s going to save
you a lot of time in this new venture.
Those two words?
RULE #1 – Simplicity sells.
No matter what type of printable art you choose to make, the best thing you can do for
yourself is to keep it simple and clean.
Yes, you‟ll be competing against seasoned artists and graphic designers who have all
kinds of drawing and artistic skills. Yes, their pieces will appear more technically
complex when compared to yours. But don‟t allow that to scare you out of this venture.
There‟s actually a pretty huge market for simple artwork.
For example, when Brianna buys art on Etsy, you can be assured it‟s probably not the
only piece on her wall. Brianna might have several paintings and prints on her wall. She
might have some big wall collage of varying sized pieces – (an idea she got from
Pinterest). Some of the artwork occupying her wall space will be stuff she‟s collected
from serious artists. And some of it will be simple and clean… the exact type I‟ll be
teaching you how to create.
Josephine just moved from Georgia to the concrete jungle known as New York City. Her
600 square foot studio screams, “MODERN!” Josephine is looking for simple, clean
artwork. Yup… the exact type I‟ll be teaching you how to make.
Flora just relocated to a condo in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Big windows, white leather
sofa, and yes, simple artwork.
I can tell you these stories because they were all customers of mine. They loved art… all
kinds of art. If you create what people want, they‟ll buy it.
Art buyers want watercolors. They want acrylic and oil paintings. They want pencil
drawings. They want big. They want little. They want detailed and they want clean lines.
Abstract and realistic. You name it, there‟s probably a market for it.
Because you‟re probably not in the art field, it‟s best that you take the path of least
resistance and keep it simple.
Now let‟s dig a little deeper, because it‟s not just a matter of putting up a quote print
made from a basic font and waiting for the sales to pour in.
If you want to start making money right away, you need to make sure your simple
designs look modern.
RULE #2 – The Trend IS Your Friend
I once had the option of buying a condo that had an ancient looking baby blue bathtub
with matching tile throughout the entire bathroom, or one that had a marble tiled
bathroom, with a brand new extra long bathtub.
Even though the unit with ancient looking bathroom had one more bedroom, I opted for
the unit with the better looking bathroom.
The trend is your friend when you want to rent out a unit immediately and for the
highest amount possible. In this case, I was able to get $300 more a month than I would
have if I‟d purchased the unit with the dated looking bathroom.
Trends win. Not always. But most of the time… especially when it comes to printable art.
I‟m going to show you an example of the trend being a friend so that you‟ll understand
the profit power of modern looking art.
First have a look at Baby Art Prints. They sell $5-$20 printable artwork and average 5-
10 sales a day with 1,110+ listings. Their stuff is cute, but I wouldn‟t call it trendy.
Now have a look at Melime Baby Art. They sell $5-$8 printable artwork and average 3-5
sales a day with 125 listings. Their work is more definitely more trendy.
The geographic triangles – trendy. The gold foil look in some of the design elements –
trendy. The quote, “Wild and Free” – trendy.
On average, Melime sells fewer prints than Baby Art Prints. But at the end of the day,
Melime put in FAR less work and they only spent $25 to list their inventory versus $220
with Baby Art Prints.
Now let‟s take it a step further and compare those two stores to Mini Learners.
They sell their printables for $5.83. They have 215+ listings and average 6-10 sales a
Mini Learners embraced my two favorite rules. They keep their designs simple. And they
use on trend elements in their work.
Plus they also use two other tips I‟ll be sharing in the next section. Their color scheme is
very small (mainly black and white), and they‟ve limited their font selection to what
looks like two different styles.
So how do you know what‟s on trend?
Start here to get your feet wet: 9 Graphic Design Trends for 2015
Next, proceed to your local library and scan through the latest home decorating
magazines – especially the DIY decorating mags. I‟ve „borrowed‟ plenty of font and color
ideas from stuff I‟ve seen in other publications. And customers love it because they‟re
getting similar designs they‟ve seen elsewhere at a significantly lower price.
Then, I use the following graphic design element sites as my ongoing barometer for
what‟s hot:
Creative Market Popular Fonts
If you‟re going to do quotes, this is a great place to see what fonts are popular right now.
However (and this is important) please keep in mind that Creative Market has a Simple
License that forbids using their fonts in printable artwork. It states, “Cannot be used in
a product offered for sale where the item contributes to the core value of the product
being sold.”
Bummer, I know. But, you can use Creative Market as a point of reference to see what‟s
hot, and then you can go to other font sites (listed on page 19) that permit commercial
Hype for Type Bestsellers
They have a Merchandise License for each font selection. This means you may use these
fonts in your printable artwork.
Creative Market Popular Add-Ons
They have the popular gold foil look here. They have a letterpress style library which
gives your text that retro/vintage look. There are tons of watercolor brushes. This page
will give you a general idea of what‟s hot as far as design elements. But again, their
Simple License forbids using these add-ons in printable artwork. Only use it as a pointof-
reference. I will show you where to find graphic design elements in the next section.
Sell This = Make Steady Passive Income
Simple and trendy. Trendy and simple. Those are the basic rules.
Now the next question is: what should you sell that falls within the parameters of those
two rules? Well as an old timer here, I can tell you that the rotation rarely changes
outside of the items you see below. People buy these types of prints year after year,
without fail.
As long as you change the look of your work to match with the trends, you‟ll do just fine.
(Please re-read that last sentence when sales get slow.)
1) Quotes, quotes and more quotes
We‟re talking Bible verses, quotes about cities, inspirational messages, quotes you make
up, words and even numbers.
If you‟re going to do quotes and word prints, I suggest you come up with a theme. Don‟t
do Bible verses and sports quotes in one Etsy shop… either do one or the other. Then
when you make the categories in your Etsy store, you can further segment the theme.
Going back to the sports quotes example (which is great idea that really hasn‟t been
done-to-death on Etsy), you can have baseball quotes, basketball quotes, soccer quotes
(or football, depending on what side of the pond you‟re on), tennis quotes and so on.
For Bible verses, you can break it down by verses for family unity, verses for strength,
verses for marriage, verses for healing, etc.
Here are several more theme quote ideas you can build your shop around:
 Quotes about specific occupations (nurse quotes, teacher quotes)
 Quotes about friendship
 Quotes for parents/grandparents
 Holiday quotes
 Hobby quotes (gardening, golf)
 Foodie quotes
 Fitness quotes
 Spiritual quotes
 Lines from popular songs
 Lines from popular television shows
2) Animals
Dog and cat prints tend to do well on Etsy, especially if you have a separate print for
each breed. If you can combine an image of a dog breed with a cute quote, even better.
For instance, a silhouette of a poodle and a quote like, “Home is where my poodle is.”
And then you can have a silhouette of shih tzu and the same quote, “Home is where my
shih tzu is.”
Other animals that do well on Etsy include: deer (with or without antlers), birds, koalas,
horses, foxes, whales and butterflies.
The animals that you include in your print don‟t have to look realistic (as in hand
drawn). If you know your way around the Adobe Illustrator pen tool, you‟ll be able to
create a silhouette of a specific animal. This is even better than clip art, because now you
have something that is YOUR OWN personal image. Using the pen tool means you‟ll
even be able to add in small details, like color on a tummy.
(In a later section I‟ll be showing you a print I did several years ago where I used the pen
tool to create two different silhouettes.)
3) Nursery/Children’s Art
This is where I got my feet wet when I first started selling prints online. It‟s a very
lucrative market because your potential customer base is always expanding. (Hurray for
baby making and tons of Etsy-shopping moms!)
When it comes to children‟s art work, you‟ll usually see more images– versus quote
prints. Things like:
 birds
 bunny rabbits
 bears
 elephants
 giraffes
 zebras
 pandas
 flowers
 hearts
 rainbows
 clouds
 balloons
 robots
 rocket ships
 airplanes
 sailboats
 lighthouses
 tents and campfires
 bicycles
 dump trucks
 hot air balloons
 cute sea creatures (dolphins, whales, lobsters, octopus, seahorse)
 unicorns and dragons
 dinosaurs
Outside of pictures, buyers also like decorated monogram letters, short quotes
(“Adventure Awaits Little One”), the alphabet and numbers.
4) Location Pride
The most basic print idea is the silhouette of a state. Several sellers are making the trend
their friend, by making the silhouette appear like it‟s been painted with gold leaf. (You
can easily do this with a gold foil texture and Illustrator‟s clipping mask, which I‟ll talk
about in the next section.)
You can do silhouettes of skylines. Or even the silhouette of a major landmark with a
You may opt to do just quote prints about cities – “New York, New York, What a
wonderful town.”
Maps made into prints for a specific city have also done well, especially if you can find a
few in the public domain.
For location loving geeks, how about latitude and longitude incorporated into your
For the sports lovers with locational pride, you can offer a quote about local teams.
Obviously there are lots of ways to tackle this niche.
How to Come Up With 100 Printable Ideas in 60
Minutes or Less
You will need at least 100 printables in your shop to get orders on a regular basis. I say
“at least,” because the more, the better. Once you reach 200, and follow my marketing
tactics (presented later) you should be getting at least a few orders a day.
Many printable super sellers have 200-700 listings, but not all of those prints are
different. In some shops you‟ll notice that a seller will have the same print listed
multiple times with a different color scheme. This is perfectly acceptable, though I‟m old
school in that I like having an excess of ideas ready to go at any given time.
In your Etsy storefront, you‟re encouraged to come up with Shop Sections for your
products. If you can come up with 10 Shop Sections, and develop 10 printable ideas for
each category, you‟ve got 100 ideas to start with.
Likewise, you can develop 5 Shop Sections to start, with 20 printable ideas in each one.
Later on when you start seeing which printables sell best, you can add Shop Sections
based on your bestsellers.
For instance, if you have an Outdoor Sports section, and you notice that you‟re selling a
ton of soccer printables, you can add a different section just for soccer quotes. This is
always a good search engine optimization strategy.
Okay, so suppose you want to do quote prints for children. You decide to make „the great
outdoors‟ the focus of your shop. Maybe you name your shop something like, Get
Outside Child.
First, you‟ll come up with 5-10 different categories that relate to the great outdoors. (I‟m
literally just pulling these out of thin air as I type this… you can probably do better.)
1. Camping
2. Nature
3. Fishing
4. Seasons
5. Mountains
6. Adventure
7. Biking
8. Play
9. Swimming
10. Outdoor Sports
Then for each category, you‟re going to do the following Google searches:
“camping words”
“camping quotes”
As you look through the different words and quotes, just start writing down short
phrases that pop into your mind. They don‟t have to be super poetic. It‟s usually the
quirkiest little saying that sells the most, so don‟t judge yourself while doing this.
(Besides that, you‟re not printing anything, so you can afford to let your imagination go
You may also want to borrow my little cheat sheet of universal quote phrases. Insert a
word/phrase into the blank line and you have a ready-to-go quote. You‟ll notice that I‟ve
used some of these in the Get Outside Child brainstorm session.
o I believe in __________
o I love __________
o Future __________
o __________+__________= Yay!
o __________ Here I Come
o Life is always better with__________
o All you need is __________
o __________ and smile
o Happiness is __________
o Sometimes you just have to __________
o You can‟t __________ if you keep on __________
o I always find my smile at/when __________
o You are __________
o Have __________, will __________
o __________ makes everything better
o Life begins when __________
o It‟s a good day to __________
o You‟ll never __________ if you don‟t __________
o Hurray for __________!
o Long live __________
o Find your soul at __________
o True Story: __________
Even though you might only be doing quotes for this store, it‟s also a good idea to come
up with a quick image idea for at least some of your printables, just in case you want to
alternate between quotes and images.
Based on what I just told you, here‟s what I came up with for Get Outside Child.
I love camping (Image: tent)
I love sleeping under the stars (Image: stars)
I love tents (Image: tent)
I love campfires (Image: campfire)
I love campfire s‟mores (Image: s‟more on a stick)
Marshmallows + Campfire = Yay! (Image: campfire and marshmallow on a stick)
Have backpack, will hike (Image: backpack)
Squirrel Whisperer (Image: squirrel)
Future Ranger
Future Rangerette
I love nature
Nature Lover (Image: heart over nature background)
I love trees (Image: tree)
Tree Hugger (Image: tree)
I love butterflies (Image: butterfly)
Love Mother Earth
Daughter of Mother Nature
Son of Mother Nature
I Believe in Mother Nature
Roll in the Grass (Image: grass)
Smell a Flower (Image: flower)
Wild Flower
I love fishing
Baby Angler Coming Through
The fish are calling
I dream of fishing
Future Bassmaster
Daddy + Fishing = Love
I‟d Rather be Fishing with Dad
Salmon Whisperer
Bass Whisperer
Catfish Whisperer
I love the sun
I love the moon
Moon Baby
I love the stars
Wish upon a star…
I love the clouds
I love snow
I love sledding
Tropical baby
I love mountains
Mt. Everest Here I Come!
Mountains are Calling Little One
Climb Every Mountain
Climb Into the Clouds
Climb High
Never Be Afraid to Go Higher
Take a Hike, Kid!
We Climb
Adventure Awaits Wee One
Explore Far and Wide
Outdoorsy Baby
I love a good adventure
Life is a Grand Adventure
Live Learn Explore
I was born to explore
Adventure Girl
Adventure Boy
I love my bike
Backseat Rider
Tricycles Rock!
Epic Bike Baby
Have Helmet, Will Ride
Happiness is Riding My Bike
I Want to Ride My Bicycle
My Other Stroller is a Mountain Bike
I love playgrounds
I love swings
I love sliding boards
Teeter-totters rock!
Play all day, sleep all night
Play everyday
Outside – Everyday – Let‟s Go
Let‟s Play
Did someone say, “Playground?”
The sandbox is calling
Beach baby
Bikini Baby
I love the beach
Builder of Sand Castles
Swimming, Swimming
Water Baby
The ocean awaits little one
Sea – Sand – Swimming
Let‟s go swimming
There‟s never a bad day to feel the sand between your toes
Outdoor Sports
I love baseball
I love football
I love soccer
I love golf
I love tennis
Future baseball pro
Future quarterback
Take me out to the ball game
Soccer Baby
Daddy‟s Little Soccer Star
Do This, Not That: 5 Artistic Guidelines That’ll Keep You
Sane and Constantly Selling
I‟m not going to make you an Adobe Illustrator expert in this short report. Illustrator is
a meaty program with lots of doo-dads to go through.
What I am going to do is show you just enough about Adobe Illustrator so that even if
you‟ve never seen it before you‟ll be able to go in, create printable art, and make it look
like a fairly skilled professional did it. You‟ll see exactly which toolbars, windows and
palettes to use.
If you stick with what I‟m going to tell you, and learn about the specific tools I talk
about, you‟ll be fine. I‟m including links to lots of tutorials that have helped me master
these tools over the years.
1) Keep your color schemes simple
Why? Because simplicity sells, of course.
If you check out the catalogs of Etsy‟s printable art super sellers, you‟ll notice that many
of their works are 2-3 colors at the most. Earning a decent profit is sometimes as simple
as black and white (pun intended!).
For example, a pink background with white lettering, a white background with gold
lettering, or a navy blue background with a white image.
If you want to have more than one color for single piece of art, you can always add color
options to your listing. For example, if you‟re selling a quote print, you can have a black
background, blue background, pink background, orange background, etc. You can
provide all the color options under a single 20 cent listing and your customer can choose
the colored background they want.
If you want to have more than two colors, and you‟re not exactly a color matching
expert, have a look at the Material Palette. You choose two colors from the 19 listed and
the app automatically creates a color palette for you. It‟s a very simple way to create a
quick color scheme.
There‟s also a wide variety of palettes at I also love Design Seeds
search, which allows you to search by season, flora, edible hues, creatures, rustic,
market hues and so on.
As a non-artist, I don‟t do any type of shading. If I have a ball on a page, that ball is a
single color. Don‟t ever feel like you have to go overboard with how you color the
objects. You‟ll lose your mind if you try too hard.
Keep your work simple and it‟ll sell. Many Etsy shops have successfully proven this
point, time and time again.
2) Build a small font library
While there are thousands of fonts to choose from, it‟s important (for time‟s sake) that
you find several you really love and stick to those.
I like to have 2-3 sans serif fonts, 2-3 cursive fonts, 2-3 serif fonts, 2-3 handwritten
fonts, and an outline font.
From that selection, I have at least one group that matches — like a serif font and a sans
serif font. Or a cursive font and a sans serif font.
Everybody has their favorite fonts, but I do suggest you keep trendy looking fonts in
your arsenal. If the fonts you use are modern looking, you‟ll bump up your trendy points
and have a greater opportunity to make more sales.
DO NOT pick commonly used fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or Comic Sans (which
is the WORST possible font you can ever pick in your entire life).
While the average person may not be able to look at a print and say, “Ewwww, why are
they using Arial???” something will register in their sub-conscious that it looks too
normal. You want simple, but not normal. You don‟t get paid well for normal. You get
paid when you make the trend your friend.
I‟ve included several font pairing examples below. Many can be used for commercial
projects, but you‟ll always want to double check to make sure. It‟s no fun paying for a
font only to realize that the license forbids commercial use.
Fontaholic – Beautiful Font Combos
10 Favorite Handwritten Font Combos
14 Fresh Fonts for Spring
Font designer Kimberly Geswein has an excellent group of tutorials to help match fonts
quickly and easily.
Font Pairing Guide #1
Font Pairing Guide #2
Font Pairing Guide #3
Font Pairing Guide #4
Font Pairing Guide #5
Font Pairing Guide #6
Font Pairing Guide #7
Canva also has a great tutorial for budding font pairers:
The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing – Part 1
The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing – Part 2
Plus, as I promised, here are several font sellers that allow commercial usage.
Inky Deals
All of their deals typically come with commercial usage licenses. You‟ll definitely have to
search through the deals to find the fonts that‟ll work for your project.
Hype for Type
100+ free fonts that can be used for commercial projects.
These are great for quote prints.
12 Free Script Fonts
Also great for quote prints.
Font Squirrel
All of the fonts listed here are free and have commercial usage licenses which permit you
to use them in your printable artwork.
3) Make friends with the pen.
As a non-artist, one of the best things you can do to ramp up your design skills super
fast is to learn how to use the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator.
With the pen tool, you can take any image, trace an outline of it, color the outline in (or
use the silhouette), and place the new image in your artwork. This is how I create my
own personal clipart library.
I won‟t go over all the logistics of using the pen tool in this report, as there are entire
books written about it. But there are several great tutorials, including:
Become a Master of the Pen Tool in Under 30 Minutes
Day 5: Drawing with Pen Tool
VIDEO: Tracing with the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator
VIDEO: How To Use The Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign CS6
4) When in doubt, use SCI to lay it out.
Don‟t ever feel compelled to fill every centimeter of space on your page. Plenty of sellers
have nothing but a single image in the center of the page, and they do perfectly fine.
I call these prints Single Centered Images or SCI for short.
Take Fancy Digitals, for example. They have 265+ printables in their store. The majority
are an image in the center of the page. They sell each printable for $5 and they average
2-4 sales a day.
And then there‟s LineLight. They have 190+ printables they sell for $5, and they also
average 2-4 sales a day. Many of their prints are SCI.
Best of all, SCI isn‟t just for images. You can lay your quotes out in SCI fashion as well.
Inspirational Quote has an obvious (and profitable) love for SCI. They‟ve got 775+
printable quote posters for $5. As far as I can see, they‟re all done in SCI. They average
4-8 sales a day.
Obviously they‟re not getting rich selling these single images. But once those single
images are created, it‟s all passive income. Hit the relist button and go spend your gas
money, type of thing.
5) Use elements as the secret sauce.
Striped lines.
Wood texture.
Clip art.
These items are all in the realm of graphic design elements, and they‟re an easy way to
add some trend to your printables. In most cases it‟s just a matter of opening the file in
Illustrator and adding the element to your printable design. No drawing skills necessary.
Nor will you have to use the pen tool.
I‟m going to show you how other artists have used graphic design elements in their work
so you‟ll understand how to use them in your own printable art.
 You Are My Sunshine has a decorative element above and below the text.
(Similar elements can be found at
 The Love print is centered on the page against a chevron background.
(A similar chevron background can be found at the Rustic Digital Paper shop.)
 Love Lives Here is centered in between a laurel wreath.
(A similar laurel wreath can be found at Vecteezy, where a premium membership
is only $14 a month… and it‟s royalty free.)
 This Jane Austen Quote is centered on an ink splotch.
(A similar ink splotch can be found at Vecteezy. The premium membership is $14
a month and you get royalty free downloads.)
 Life is a Beautiful Ride has a bike.
(Pixaby is a search engine for royalty free images, including vector graphics and
illustrations that can be used with Adobe Illustrator. Here are a bunch of bikes I
found there.)
Below, I‟ve listed several shops that feature graphic design elements you can use within
your printables. For the Etsy shops, I‟ve linked directly to the listing for the commercial
license. A commercial license basically gives you the right to use someone else‟s
elements in work you sell.
While there are many more sellers on Etsy that offer commercial licenses, not all of
them allow you to include their work in digital form. I‟ve gone through dozens of shops
to find the ones that do. However, keep in mind that sellers can (and do) change their
minds. So while the information listed is accurate as of the time I‟m writing this, always
make sure you check the terms of their commercial license before you buy it.
Click Designs Commercial License
You may use their digital papers in your printable artwork if you sell 250 copies or less.
Once you hit 250 sales, you‟ll need to purchase a commercial license for $20.
Rustic Digital Paper Commercial License
They have a $20 extended commercial license for using their clipart and digital paper.
Pixel Garden Mini Commercial License
This $14 commercial license allows you to use Pixel Garden‟s digital paper and clip art
in products up to 300 sales.
Grepic Extended License for Commercial Use
This $20 extended license permits you to use Grepic‟s digital paper and clip art on
merchandise for sale.
My Dear Memories Extended License
You may use their clip art and digital paper in up to 100 sales without the extended
license. Once you hit 100 sales, you must purchase the $20 extended license.
Studio Nine Digital Art Commercial Use License
This $15.52 license can be used for both digital and physical products.
Pixeled Paper Designs
You may use any of her clip art or digital paper for commercial use IF it contributes to
less than 60% of the total project. See the policies page for more details.
They have a variety of graphic design elements that can be used in commercial projects.
These are 100% free!
They‟ve always got deals for vector files, illustrations, fonts, backgrounds and textures
that come with commercial (also known as extended) licenses.
Deal Jumbo
To me they‟re slightly more on trend than InkyDeals. They‟ve always got some good stuff
here with commercial licenses.
Spoon Graphics Freebies
He has some great backgrounds and textures here. He also has a $10 a month section
with hundreds more textures and graphics.
They have a free 7 day download period for new members, and all of their images are
royalty free.
How to Set Up Illustrator for Creating Printables
I personally use Adobe Illustrator CS4, which came on a CD. Adobe no longer sells the
actual software.
Now they have the Creative Cloud (CC) version. You download the basic program onto
your computer, and all the licensed stuff is in the cloud (online). This means you‟ll need
a paid subscription to use anything beyond Illustrator CS6.
It‟s actually cheaper to get the CC subscription than it is to buy an old software copy of
Illustrator. Plus you automatically get all the updates with the CC subscription.
However the downside of a subscription is the monthly cost. It‟s $19.99 a month, if you
choose to go month-t0-month for a year, $239.88 if you pay for a year up front, or
$29.99 a month if you don‟t want to lock yourself in for a year.
If you‟re a student or a teacher, that price goes down to $19.99 a month, without a yearly
contract, or $239.88 a year paid up front.
You could get out your initial 100-150 printables out within the first month (or within
the first week, depending on how well you work your way around Illustrator) — if you
have a list of 100-150 print ideas in a ready-to-go list. Within two months you should
plan on having at least 150-200 printables in your shop.
Setting Up a Printable Document
When you fire up Illustrator, you‟ll see a “Create New” window. Always choose “Print
After you click on “Print Document” you‟ll be taken to a second window that allows you
to choose your artboard (otherwise known as a canvas) options.
The four most important options are:
 Width and height – This is where you type in the size of the artboard you want to
create your printable on.
 Units – I‟m in the USA, so I go with inches. If you‟re in A4 land, you may want to
go with centimeters.
 Orientation – Are you going to make your design vertical or horizontal?
 Raster Effect – Choose the highest resolution, which is 300 dpi.
Printable sizes and file types
If you‟re only going to offer one default size, let that be 8×10 (inches). This is the most
commonly offered size among printable sellers. 11×14 and 16×20 are second and third in
the lineup.
A4 (8.27 x 11.70) and A3 (11.70 x 16.55) are popular sizes for those outside of the United
If you‟re going to offer two different sizes, I‟d say 8×10 and 11×14. You can also set up a
separate listing for resizing your prints if a customer needs a different option. Sellers
charge $2-$5 for this extra.
Prints are typically formatted as JPEG files of the highest quality, which is 300 dpi.
So when you save your file, first you‟ll save it as an AI file (Adobe Illustrator). This will
allow you to go back in and easily change all the colors, text, pictures, etc. To do this, go
to the “File” menu at the top of the program and go down to “Save.” By default, your file
will save as an .AI file.
Next, you‟ll save it as a JPEG file. To do this, go to the “File” menu at the top of the
program and go down to “Save for Web & Devices.” (This part may be different
depending on your version of Illustrator, but it‟s always something similar.) Be sure to
change the file format to JPEG… Maximum… with the highest quality, as shown in the
screenshot below.
How to Create Complicated Art Easily
Whenever you‟re trying to duplicate what looks to be like a complex piece of art,
remember that everything you see is just a layer. The only thing you have to do is create
each layer separately and then piece it all together.
This is great because it allows you to change colors, resize images and move layers at
will. If you don‟t like a particular layer, you can easily move it out of the artboard area
and put something else in. Nothing is set in stone with Illustrator.
Remember, as long as you save your basic print as an .AI file, you‟ll be able to go back in
and change anything. Once you‟ve made your final adjustments, you save it as a JPEG
file. If you only save a printable as a JPEG, you‟re basically screwed because you won‟t
be able to change anything. All the layers will be flattened together. (I know I mentioned
this a couple pages back, but it‟s really important that you save the files two different
Okay, so this is a print I did five years ago. (It sold very well.) It has a total of five layers.
I chose this one to demo because it shows how to create and add in images, color and
texture (over the brown deer). These are simple techniques that can be used on a variety
of printable pieces. If you can do this, you can have a thriving printables store.
BOTTOM LAYER: Blue background – I just made a blue box (from the shapes toolbar)
on the canvas.
To do this, simply click on the “Shapes” toolbar on the far left hand side of the screen. If
you click on it, hold the click, and pull the mouse a little to the right, you‟ll see a square,
circle, rounded rectangle, polygon, star, etc. Obviously this is the toolbar you‟ll use to
easily create different shapes.
Now go over to your artboard, left click on the mouse, hold it and draw out the rectangle
background to fill the artboard. It should now look like white on white.
To add the blue color to the rectangle shape you just created, click on the “Selection”
tool, which is the dark colored arrow. (You‟ll see me refer to this one constantly.) The
Selection tool does exactly as the name implies… it selects whatever image, shape or text
you want. Once an object is selected, you can color it, move it, or resize it.
After you‟ve click on that Selection tool, click on the rectangle you just created. If you‟ve
selected it correctly, you should see a blue outline appear around the rectangle, as in the
screenshot below.
You‟ll notice that my rectangle is slightly bigger than the artboard. This is perfectly okay.
When you save the file, it will only save the objects on the artboard. I like this feature
because it allows you to experiment with all kinds of stuff off the artboard, then you can
add what you want. When you print the document, none of the fluff outside of the
artboard will appear.
With the rectangle selected, you can change the color by double clicking on the color
palette on the far right hand side of the screen. If you double click on that little square
I‟ve circled, the “Color Picker” will appear on the screen. You can use the Color Picker to
choose any color you want for your objects or even text.
SECOND BOTTOM LAYER: Yellow sun – Half circle (also from the shapes toolbar)
colored the desired yellow color. (Here‟s a video tutorial on how to do the half-circle in
To color it yellow, click on the “Select” tool, then click on the image of the circle. Now
choose the desired color from the color panel on the far right hand side of the screen.
THIRD BOTTOM LAYER: Outline of a tree – I used the pen tool to outline a tree
from a random picture I found online. (There are tutorials for using the pen tool on page
You see how some of the tree is missing on the artboard? Initially the entire tree was
there, but I thought it looked better with some of it missing. Kind of like a photograph.
To achieve this look, I made a clipping mask over the artboard. This technique allowed
me to cut away anything that‟s outside of the artboard, to make it look like the missing
portions of the tree.
Let me show you how you‟d do it with this oval hanging over the artboard. See how it‟s
dangling out of the right and left of the artboard? We‟re going to mask the dangling
First, you‟ll click on the “Shapes” toolbar and get the “Rectangle Tool.”
Now create a rectangle that fits exactly on the edges of the artboard. (Or as close as you
can get.) To resize the rectangle, click on the “Select” tool and move the edges till you‟re
happy. Keep in mind, everything outside of that new rectangle will get clipped off.
You‟ll need to select everything on the artboard that you want to clip. To do this, click on
the “Select” tool. Now hold down the Shift key as you select all the objects you wish to
Since I want to get rid of the excess yellow box and the black oval, I click on both of
these objects. Make sure the top rectangle stays selected as well.
Now go to the “Object” menu at the top of the program, go down to “Clipping Mask” and
select “Make.”
You should now see that the edges underneath the white rectangle have all been clipped
away, as in the screenshot below.
If you need to select any of the objects caught in the clipping mask, you‟ll now need to
use the “Direct Selection” tool, which is the white arrow.
That Direct Selection tool allows you to move either the black oval or the yellow
background and still have the clipping mask cover the excess over the edges of the
Neat, huh? Well that‟s exactly how I did the tree in the deer print.
FOURTH BOTTOM LAYER: White shadow of a deer – I used the pen tool to outline a
deer from a random picture I found online.
FIFTH BOTTOM LAYER: Brown silhouette of a deer – This is a replica of the white
shadow deer, except it‟s colored brown and it has a watercolor looking overlay. I moved
it slightly to the right to give the illusion of a shadow.
First, to make a copy of an image, use the “Selection” tool to highlight the image.
Now go the “Edit” window at the top of the page, and scroll down to “Copy.”
Once it has been copied, click outside of the canvas area to deselect the image. (Where
the ugly red star is.)
Now go the “Edit” window again at the top of the page, and go down to “Paste in Front.”
The copied image will now appear close to original image.
Now for the watercolor overlay on the deer.
First, we‟ll find a watercolor texture that can be used specifically with Illustrator. Hello
Geri has a nice looking freebie pack. (This isn‟t the one I used for the deer, but if you
Google, “watercolor texture for Illustrator” you‟ll find many more available.)
Once the texture file has been downloaded onto your hard drive, unzip it.
Go to the “File” menu at the top of the program, and go down to “Place.”
It will open a file window, and you‟ll look for the watercolor texture (the same one you
just downloaded and unzipped) that you want to use in your artwork. Once you see the
one you want to use, double click it and it will appear in your Illustrator workspace.
Okay, right now that copied deer is underneath the watercolor texture. You need it to be
over top of the watercolor texture.
To do this, click on that “Selection” tool again and then click on the copied image of the
deer. (You may have to click on the watercolor texture first to move it out the way a bit.)
Now right click on the deer you just selected. A window will pop up. You want to go
down to “Arrange,” then “Bring to Front.” This will put the copied deer in front of the
watercolor texture. (Make sure the deer is completely on the watercolor texture.)
With the deer image still selected, you‟re going to hold the shift key while also clicking
on the watercolor texture. This allows you to have both the watercolor texture and the
deer image both selected at the same time. (Notice there are blue outlines around both
Go to the “Object” menu at the top of the program, click on it, go down to “Clipping
Mask,” and click on “Make.”
The watercolor texture should have meshed with the image of the deer.
To add the brown color to the deer, keep it selected and click on the desired brown in
the “Swatch” palette on the far left hand side of the screen. (If you don‟t see the swatch
palette, click on the “Window” menu at the top of the program, and click on “Swatches.”
It will then appear on the far left hand side of the screen.)
You can also use the Color Picker (as described in the BOTTOM LAYER) to choose a
color. The “Swatch” palette is just an alternative way to choose a color.
Move the brown deer over top of the white silhouette. Position it the way you want, and
you‟re done!
One More Thing About Clipping Masks…
The clipping mask technique can be used on both vector images and text. This means if
you want to use glitter or gold foil texture on your text, you‟d use the exact same
technique that I showed you for the brown deer.
Place the text or the image over the texture… Select both the object and the texture with
the “Select” tool… Go to the “Object” window at the top of the program, go down to
“Clipping Mask” and click “Make.”
If you need to undo the clipping mask at any time, use your mouse to right click on the
image or text… a pop up window will appear… click on “Release Clipping Mask”… the
mask will undo itself… the image/text and the texture will appear separately again.
Creating a Quote Print
I‟ve got a really easy print quote formula that I follow and it‟s based on all the rules and
guidelines I already provided you with.
For this demonstration I‟m going to use a song called, Try Jah Love by Third World.
(It‟s a reggae song from the early 80‟s, and Jah means God.)
STEP 1: Create each word separately
Select the “Type” tool in, and type in each word for your quote on a separate line. As you
see in the screenshot here, I typed in „Try.‟
To enlarge the text, you‟ll click the “Select” tool (remember, it‟s that top black arrow at
the top of the tools there). Now position your mouse over one of the corner anchor
points… hold down your shift key… and drag it out. This technique maintains the sizing
proportion of the word.
Do the same thing for each word. The sizes don‟t have to match perfectly right now.
STEP 2: Choose your font
To select a group of words, you‟ll click the “Select” tool and then while holding down the
Shift key, click on each word.
Once all the words are selected, click on the “Type” menu at the top of the program, then
go down to “Font” and hover your mouse over it.
A list of fonts will appear for you to choose from. Pick the one you want and the words
you‟ve chosen will change to that font selection.
I really like the Bebas font for typographic prints. It‟s clean, clear and simple. Right up
my alley!
STEP 3: Re-size and adjust the words
Now, I‟ll play with the sizing and the coloring of the words to see what I like. (I talked
about re-sizing and coloring in the previous tutorial.) Since this is a reggae song, and the
album cover has red, gold and green, I‟m going to use those colors for the words.
In this first version I used kerning to push the letters closer together in Try and Jah.
This is something you‟ll be doing on a regular basis since the default setting for the
character spacing may not give you the look you want.
Go up to the “Window” menu at the top of the screen and go down to “Type,” then click
on “Character.” The Character panel will pop up on the screen. The spot on the
Character panel with the AV and the arrow underneath it is the kerning selector.
Now using the “Select” tool, you‟ll click on the text that you want to push together (or
move apart). For Try and Jah, I set the kerning to -75. For Love, I set it to -10. The
higher the negative kerning, the less space in between each letter. For more space
between each character, set it to a positive number. Easy.
In this second version, I set the kerning for Try and Jah at 200. (You can go higher than
200 if you use the up arrow.) I left love at -10.
In this third version, I set the kerning to 300 for Try and Jah. Still at -10 for Love, except
I did enlarge Love. I also separated the space in between the words.
As you can see, it‟s all about playing with the text to see what you like.
I like to run through a list of typographic options including:
 Making each word a different color/Making one word a different color
 Change the background color
 Increase/decrease kerning
 Increase/decrease space in between lines
 Make a word bold, italic, a different font
 Add a texture to a font
 Make a word smaller or bigger than the rest
 Make all the letters uppercase/lowercase
 Slant a word/Turn a word upside down
STEP 4: Put in a background or elements (optional)
As you can see outside the artboard, I have a few handmade elements to play around
with, but I didn‟t like the way any of them looked. Instead, I changed the background
And then I changed the font color for Jah.
Now perhaps you would‟ve stopped by now. Or maybe you might‟ve kept going. It
depends on the style you were working towards.
There is no right or wrong answer here. It just depends on what you like. My guess is
that if you liked the colored letters, most of your printables would consist of colored
letters. Likewise if you liked the colored background, you‟d have a bunch of printables
with striped, colored backgrounds.
Typically once you find a style that you like, it‟s good to create a full line around that
particular style. Make it your signature. Own it.
Listing Your Images on Etsy
Getting 100 pieces of printable artwork done may seem like a big task, but it‟s just one
half of setting up your shop. The second part comes with the listing process.
Normally the listing part is a bit daunting. I run an earring shop on Etsy with 200+
listings and it was no easy feat getting all those pictures and descriptions done. I hated
But with printables your job is MUCH easier because you don‟t have to take pictures of
your work. Whoops… let me restate that. You have to take one picture — total.
That‟s one picture whether you have 100 listings or 1,000. This picture is going to be a
demo to show how your work looks framed in real life — just like I did with the deer
print on page 28.
Put your favorite print in a nice frame, with a matte. Notice how I photographed the
deer print against a window background? Nothing fancy. The natural light was great
because it really made the colors pop. Just do one demo picture like this and you‟ll be
good to go.
For all the others, you‟re going to use mockup scenes to display your work.
What is a mockup scene, you ask?
It‟s a pre-created image, like a desk, a table, wall space or a mantle. The mockup scene
has a frame and all you have to do is insert your printable into the frame. You can then
use this imagery in your Etsy shop listings, with no picture taking required.
I love this one by Shop Lemony Fresh on Etsy.
Mockup scenes do require Photoshop. And if you have Photoshop, each mockup maker
has a tutorial for usage.
However if you‟re not Photoshop proficient, do not despair. Since this is a one shot deal,
you can always outsource this task to someone on Odesk or Elance. A friend of mine had
100 images done for less than $30.
Here are several more mockup scenes for your listing pleasure. As usual, do check the
licensing to make sure that you can use these in your Etsy shop. As of right now, they‟re
valid… but it‟s better to be safe than sorry.
Creative Mockups
They have several frame-on-desk mockups, plus a few larger frames.
Shop Lemon Fresh
Pretty, girly framed mockups.
KL Styled Photographs
If you‟re looking for a nursery scene, KL has a few to choose from. I also like the various
sizes of the wall posters. Well worth a peek.
Tany Di Design Studio
I like the hanging mockups here. Very simple and uncluttered.
Mockup Scene Creator Desk Edition
Showcase your printable artwork in a poster frame on a desk scene that you create from
a variety of elements. They have feminine items you can add, Christmas decorations,
various types of chairs, plants, background images and so on.
Create Your Own Mockups Extended License
There are more than 200 elements you can include in the scene, like a laptop, watch,
camera, sunglasses, etc.
Gold Frame Desk Mockup
This one has a gold frame against a pink and white wallpaper background. Nice and
White Vertical Frame Mockup
Clean white frame with a plant in a can on a wooden floor.
White Hart Design Studio
They carry several frame mockup scenes that are clean and quite chic.
9 Things You Must Include in Your Etsy Description
The beauty of selling printable art is that what your customers sees is what they get. This
means no creative descriptions are necessary, unless you just want to go above and
beyond the call of duty.
In general, there are 9 mentionables your Etsy descriptions should have. You can
basically write one description and include it will all of your prints. The only thing you
might want to customize at the beginning is the name of the print and the colors used.
This allows you to get more SEO points.
1) Keywords in the title
There are three parts to the title of your listing. How you choose to incorporate these
three parts is totally up to you. Just make sure they‟re all there for SEO purposes.
The words “printable art” are a must. Mention the type of art it is – for example, kitchen
art, nursery art, modern art, minimalist art, etc. And then tell what it is – motivational
quote, Bible verse, clouds, butterflies, a deer.
Here‟s an example: Deer in the Woods Printable Art, modern art, nursery art
2) Tags
Etsy permits a total of 13 tags. These are descriptive keywords/phrases based around the
product you‟re selling.
I always use the following 6 tags to start with: printable art, printable wall art, art print,
digital art, digital print, instant download
The remaining tags are devoted to colors, type of art – (nursery art, geometric art) and
what‟s featured in the print (butterfly, light bulb). If I have the print listed as a set, I also
like to use the term: art print set.
3) Attention, attention… this is digital file.
Somewhere in your description, clearly mention that customers will receive a digital
download, NOT a print in the mail. Even though you say „printable,‟ you never want
there to be any type of misunderstanding.
4) Sizing details about the print
Mention the size of the jpegs they‟ll receive. Several sellers include more than one size
(8×10 and 11×14) within a single listing. If you‟re willing to do this, it could be a
noticeable selling point.
5) A list of other prints in your inventory that would match as a set
If you have a group of 2-4 prints that would look good together, do cross-sell them
(include links to them) in your description. Even in my earring shop, my biggest sellers
are the groups I put together.
6) How and where to print
Most prints will look the best when printed through digital photo sites like Snapfish or
Shutterfly. I‟ve also used FedEx Kinko‟s, which is good because customers can choose
the paper type they want. I find that a crisp white cardstock usually works best.
7) Colors vary according to monitor
Every monitor is calibrated differently, so colors that appear one way on my system may
look slightly different on yours. You can keep your customers expectations in check by
saying something like, “Please be aware that every monitor is different, so the color you
see on the screen may look slightly different when printed out.”
8) Where’s the link?
Minutes after your customer orders, they‟ll receive an email with a link to the printable.
Mention this in the description so they know what to expect.
9) Terms of use
You may use this in your listing: “STORE NAME prints are for personal use only. They
cannot be resold or redistributed either in print or electronically. They cannot be used
for commercial or promotional ventures.”
Marketing Your Printables on Etsy
I don‟t do marketing outside of Etsy.
That‟s not to say that my work isn‟t promoted outside of Etsy. It just means that I don‟t
do the leg work. If your art is worth sharing, trust and believe that people will spread the
word on their blogs and sites like Pinterest.
But that‟s just it. It has to be share-worthy. It needs to have a defined audience and the
design work has to be decent.
I made up a store idea on page 12 called Get Outside Child. This is the kind of shop that
would get some decent off-of-Etsy attention. Why? Because there are a lot of parents
who think kids spend too much time playing video games and watching television.
A shop like Get Outside Child would appeal to many mom bloggers with this philosophy.
Best of all, they‟re ALWAYS looking for cute stuff like this to feature.
Years ago I ran a blog where I reviewed hipster type products on Etsy. I counted the
clicks that went out to the products I reviewed and the numbers were quite astounding.
I don‟t know the exact sales figures, but I did notice that often a product would show up
as „sold‟ after it appeared on my blog.
To get other people to market your printables, you have to focus on doing awesome
design work and selling to a defined audience. If you do those two things, the sales often
fall into place.
Here‟s a list of marketing tasks I do. Though Etsy changes its search algorithms
periodically, these are the things that have consistently kept me in front of potential
buyers no matter what else is going on.
Relist at least 3-5 items EVERY DAY
It‟ll cost you 20¢ each time, but this is probably the most important on-site marketing
task you can do.
When you re-list an item it pushes it to the front of the category results. This means
potential buyers are more apt to see your item if they‟re browsing through the art
category at the time you re-list.
I suggest you try re-listing at different times during the day to see when you get the most
eyeballs. For me, it‟s usually after 2pm EST, but results may vary for you.
Create a Treasury 4 times a week
The Treasury is a huge set of member-curated galleries consisting of items on Etsy. You
can include a maximum of 16 items in each Treasury, and you can create as many
Treasuries as you want. (Etsy suggests you choose items from different shops, versus
listing several items from a single shop.)
If you happen to curate a really good Treasury, the number of views can be astounding.
It‟s possible to get 5-8K+ views in an eight hour period. This isn‟t the norm, but it is
possible. Most Treasuries get about 30-100 views on the first day, and then the views
trickle in from there. Of course, the more Treasuries you build, the better your chances
for hitting the big time.
When you curate a Treasury, you can include a list of tags in submission. Always make
sure to include tags listed in the “Today‟s Trending Tags” section of the Treasury page.
In fact, if you click on any of the tags in the “Today‟s Trending Tags” section, you‟ll be
shown several more related tags. This is an easy way to get in on the most trafficked
terms for the day.
But don‟t limit yourself to just these tags. Right now “may shopping” is trending, but you
can also try “spring 2015” and “spring shopping” as tags.
Also, the first 4 items of every Treasury is shown on the Treasury page. So be sure your
printable is within that rotation, plus 3 other stunning items. You want the best of the
best within those first 4.
Re-color and list 5-10 items a week
Even though I‟ve been at this for several years, I‟m often a bit amazed at what people
end up buying.
Sometimes the things I think will sell like crazy, only do okay, while the stuff I really
don‟t like ends up doing seriously well. And then you have situations where people will
„like‟ something to death, but nobody buys it. But the items that nobody „likes,‟ ends up
selling like crazy.
That seems to be the case with colors.
I learned a long time ago that it‟s best to offer a printable in a variety of colors and let
the customers decide, versus trying to figure out what‟s going to sell. (This is the beauty
of a 20¢ listing selling a printable. You can afford to test on a serious shoestring because
you‟re not printing anything out and there are no pictures to take.)
Although Etsy allows you to have multiple color options within a single 20¢ listing, I
prefer to have separate listings for each color.
It‟s better for SEO purposes if you can devote all of your tags to a single focus. Plus, it
makes your shop appear bigger, which definitely encourages deep browsing.
Earlier I mentioned that I go to the library and scan through the home decorating
magazines to see what‟s new with wall ware. Well I also use those magazines to see what
colors are hot.
Promoted listings
I have been using promoted listings for all of my Etsy shops, and yes, I do see a good
return on my investment.
A promoted listing is an ad that appears above the rest of the listings in a category AND
within the search results. They appear on each category or search page, not just the first
As you can see from the screenshot below, there is a small tag marked “Ad” on the
promoted listings.
Promoted listings work just like a pay per click ads in that you only pay for the click
throughs to your Etsy shop. You decide on how much you want to pay per click.
You can choose which printables to feature as a promoted listing, or new items will
automatically be put into the promoted listing rotation.
Etsy has a basic analytics setup, allowing you to see:
 Number of impressions
 Number of clicks
 Cost for clicks received
 Direct sales revenue (customer ordered the product featured in the promoted
 Indirect sales revenue (customer ordered a different product than the one
featured in the promoted listing)
For my smaller shops, I‟ve always chosen to feature the listings that have received the
most orders.
But with a bigger shop (over 100 items to start) it‟s best to let all of the items rotate until
you see which ones receive the most likes or sales.
And if you have printables that match with specific holiday seasons (like hearts for
Valentine‟s Day), you‟ll definitely want to pause the others, and push the seasonal items.
3 Ways to Make the Most of Promoted Listings has some additional bidding tips to help
Etsy Promoted Listings: How I Turned $600 into $3000 shows you why you must think
long-term with promoted listings.
Must See Tutorials
While I‟ve given you the bare minimum basics to help you get your store up and
running, these tutorials will guide you into the intermediate zone.
Illustrator CC tutorials from novice to expert
These are presented directly from Adobe. You can start off learning the basics with short
videos, and then move on to more advanced techniques. This is a great collection for
filling in the gaps.
Creators Couture YouTube Channel
Jessica will show you how to add some serious glam (gold, shimmering goodness) to
your fonts and images.
How To Create Typography Illustrations the Easy Way
This one shows you how to use the pen tool, a photographic background and typography
in one sitting. Definitely one of my favorites.
How to Create a Simple Typographic Poster Design
All kinds of font changing ideas here.
How to Create a Line Art Minimal Designer‟s Stamp in Adobe Illustrator
This tutorial will show you how to use many of Illustrators features to create a simple
piece of art.
Case study: How a 22-year old made $28,139 on Etsy
While this guy doesn‟t sell printables, he does sell posters. And even better, he co-signs
on the concept of cross-selling.
10 Printables Critique Voucher
Submit up to 10 of your printables for a full critique
Submit all 10 at once, or one at a time.
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