How To Sell Digital Files On Etsy

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Etsy is a huge website where anyone can list products for sale and start making money. They had 39 million buyers in 2019!

Digital files are something you can sell on Etsy and you don’t need to be an expert to make them.

There are people making money selling digital products on Etsy and that’s what we will cover today.

How Does It Work?

A digital file is anything that can be downloaded on your phone or computer. Typically the file is something helpful like an ebook, a budgeting template, a recipe and so on.

You can make files like these, upload it to Etsy, and start selling them!

Digital files are free to make if you have a computer. You also don’t deal with inventory, packaging and shipping. This makes an awesome business model with high margins.

Examples of digital files you can make then sell are:

  • Printable posters / wall art
  • Food recipes
  • Weekly planners
  • Wedding cards & wedding games Resume & cover letter templates
  • Excel financial/budget templates
  • Bookkeeping spreadsheets
  • And so much more

Who Is It For?

This business can be started with no money. It only costs R3/$0.20 to post an item for sale on Etsy. You just need to invest your time to make your digital files.

This is best for people who like creativity and making designs.

You should also be comfortable using a computer but you don’t need to be a computer master or a design expert by any means.

How Much Can You Make?

When done right, you can make R15000/$1000’s per month selling digital files on Etsy. It can be turned into a full time gig or great side hustle.

Digital files sell anywhere from R74/$5 to R15000/$1000. A special cookie recipe might sell for R74/$5. But a small business package might sell for R15000/$1000. How much you charge entirely depends on your product.

Digital files are also cheap or free to make. So whatever you sell for will be mostly profit. These are the fees:

  • R3/$0.20 to list an item on Etsy
  • Etsy keeps 5%
  • PayPal fees 3%
  • Plus costs for making your file (if any)


  • Only R3/$0.20 startup costs!
  • Passive income when done right
  • Minimal expenses – Almost 100% profit
  • You can build a library of files to sell
  • Don’t need to be a design expert
  • Etsy already has millions of visitors and traffic


  • Lots of effort to make good files that people want
  • No guarantee they will sell
  • Need to build reviews and learn how to do ranking on Etsy
  • Takes time to build a library and get consistent sales.

How To Get Started

Start by browsing Etsy and see what digital files other people are selling. Pay attention to bestsellers, products with good reviews and stuff that people are actually purchasing.

Then use your research to decide what you want to create that people will love.

List your product and be persistent. Your first sales probably won’t come very quickly. So create more products after that and keep improving and learning.

The Bottom Line

Selling digital files on Etsy can be a good way to make passive income. The costs are very low, anyone can do it, and Etsy has lots of traffic you can get in front of.

If you’re willing to invest time, be patient, and create quality files that people would actually use, then this can be a great income stream for you one day.

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