Creating Printables as a Side Hustle

It’s hard to believe September is half over. Kids are back in school, and we’re once again faced with restrictions. I’m really hoping life can get back to some sort of normal soon.

Being unable to go a lot of places has not been all bad, however. I have been able to work on both of my Etsy Shops and have even made some sales. I know I could do more in terms of sales, but I’ve been concentrating more on creating than marketing.

Creating printables for my TOLA50Printables shop has been fun. I have purchased some templates with PLR Rights, which means I can modify and sell the content; as long as I export as a PDF.

Using templates with PLR Rights is easier than creating from scratch, but it’s not just a matter of adding your name to the template and calling it yours. You have to take the time to use your brand’s colours, fonts, and content.

What I like about printables is I can spend a few hours creating one, then list it. Once listed I don’t have to worry about filling orders because they’re all digital downloads. I can then take the time not spent filling orders and create more, or work on my pattern designs and physical products. My eyes get a little buggy from spending too many hours in front of my computer, so it’s nice to have another creative outlet.

Designing crochet patterns has led me to creating printables for crochet artists. I know which steps are needed when it comes to pattern design, as well as what is needed when selling those items at a craft fair or online. By utilizing my own knowledge I can help others who are perhaps just getting started in the crafting business.

The learning curve can sometimes be steep, so creating products to make a small business get off the ground faster is important to me. I know I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but without those mistakes I wouldn’t be able to help others.

Now that I’m becoming more familiar with Affinity Publisher and utilizing Power Point a little more, I can take my first Crochet Business printables and revamp them to better suit my customers. The one I currently have listed in my NotJustAlpacaDesigns Etsy Shop was designed in Canva but I know I can improve it in Affinity Publisher.

I tend to try to make things perfect in the beginning, but I have come to realize the main thing is to get the products out there. If it’s never listed or shown to anyone, how can improvements be made? Customer feedback is important, and you should always try to find the positive; even when the customer is less than polite. (I have never had anyone downright rude, but I have seen it happen to others.)

If you’re considering starting a printables business as a side hustle, you have a lot of options for both products and platforms.

You can create and sell items such as:

  • planners
  • journals
  • cards (birthday, anniversary, sympathy, graduation, wedding, etc.)
  • wine labels
  • trackers
  • charts
  • vehicle maintenance logs
  • plant care records
  • babysitter’s list
  • petsitter’s list
  • housesitter’s list
  • garden planners
  • …and so much more.

There is a bigger variety of printable to create than places to sell them but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. As mentioned, I’m and Etsy Shop owner and I like the fact I don’t have to spend countless hours putting myself out there. Etsy takes care of the listings, transactions, and downloads. Its built-in search engine helps point customers in the direction of your products, provided you have utilized keywords, descriptions, and tags.

Another way of getting my printables out there is by having them available directly through my website. I have to admit, I haven’t taken full advantage of this feature yet but have dabbled a little. I do have my latest ebook available via clicking the picture of it.

Another platform for selling digital products is Shopify. I do have to say I’m not familiar with how the platform works, but a quick Google Search did let me know it does have options of digital or physical products.

Amazon is another platform if you’re interested in creating ebooks. As an author I have used it for years to sell my fiction and nonfiction titles, but not for anything that’s only a few pages.

In conclusion, I do have to say Etsy is my first choice for selling printables. It’s easy to upload a file, and adding the description, title, and tags is straightforward. The listing fees are low which is perfect for anyone on a budget, and the automatic renewal feature is fantastic.

Now that I’m taking charge of my wellbeing again (grief can sure kick the crap out of a person) I’m focusing on the things I want to do, and the things I enjoy doing. I foresee my experiences playing a huge part in what I’m capable of doing, and becoming. And I have these cards to thank for the positive outlook, no matter how my day begins.

Daily Affirmations

Have you thought about starting a printables business? If so, what will your first product be?

Etsy Shop #2: My New Side Hustle

I did it! I opened a second Etsy Shop!

Why would I open another you ask?

Well, so I can branch out a little more without my existing shop looking like it’s a mish-mosh of stuff. (And I hate to say it, but right now that’s how it looks to me.)

I’m a creator, and I think it’s time to get back into creating patterns and small physical items for sale. There are so many neat things to be made from yarn, alpaca fiber, and macrame cord. And I have all three in abundance.

I’m looking forward to adding more products to both of my shops and seeing which one does better: physical products or digital products. It’s going to be an interesting experiment, and preferably a profitable one.

According to the experts a successful Etsy Shop can be attributed to SEO, lots of photos of the products, and competitive pricing. Something else that seems to be a contributing factor is free shipping for physical products.

Digital products are automatically delivered to your customers as soon as payment has been made, so there’s no need to charge any shipping on them. That’s one of the perks of offering digital products. Another is they can be bought by anyone in the world at any time of day, so you can even earn money while you sleep.

With the holiday season coming up I foresee Etsy being the place to shop for many gifts. And with the COVID-19 restrictions coming back into play (at least here in Alberta) online shopping is going to continue to be the way to go. I know I’ll be doing some of my gift shopping through Etsy.

If you are considering opening an Etsy Shop, there’s no better time to do it than now. Listing fees work are low, and you can easily work in the cost of any additional fees into your prices. I have items in both shops advertised, but only have the stats for my first one. The second is in its very early stages, so I won’t be able to see any stats for at least a month or more.

It can be frustrating to a new shop owner when the sales don’t come pouring in right away. My advice is to be patient, utilize SEO in your product descriptions, and use Etsy Ads if your budget allows. I currently have a few of my products advertised, with a budget of $1.00/day. That’s not a lot, but it’s what I’m comfortable paying for advertising at this point in time.

If you don’t have an advertising budget, Pinterest is a good place to place your products. It’s good karma to pin the products of others in addition to your own. Pinterest likes to see pins from a variety of sites/businesses. This practice makes you appear less spammy as well. Group like things on your boards, even if they are similar to yours.

Now that my new shop is open and I have a few products added to it, I’m going to go out and enjoy the afternoon by cutting up some trees for firewood. Last night was a beautiful evening, and I’m hoping tonight will be the same. Harvest is well underway, which means the smell of grain dust in the air. (One of my favourite smells).

Have a wonderful long weekend, and I’ll keep you posted on what is working for me and my Etsy Shops. I’m excited to see when the first sale will be!