How Writers Can Make Money on Etsy

How Writers Can Make Money on Etsy

Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade goods, is known for its multitude of crafty creations. You can find handwoven scarves, crocheted hats, one-of-a-kind paintings — it’s a haven for anyone who loves custom-made goods, and anyone skilled enough to make and sell them.

While I’ve long-admired Etsy from afar and shopped there for personal gifts for my sisters and friends, as a writer, I never thought that I had anything to offer as a seller. But a chance encounter with an out-of-work architect who figured out a way to earn her living on the site opened my eyes to the opportunities for writers on Etsy — and there are a lot of them.

A surprise hit craft inspires a career change

Amy Stringer-Mowat started selling cutting boards in the shape of states on Etsy after she shared a few that she had made for her wedding. She soon found a huge demand for her invention, and began selling so many cutting boards that she had to enlist the help of her husband and others to fulfill the orders. Instead of looking for a new job in architecture, she settled into life as an entrepreneur and full-time Etsy-seller.

Amy’s story inspired me to take a closer look at how I, as a writer, could also figure out a way to earn some cash and build a business on the site.

Etsy includes more than just crafts

I quickly found a category called “paper goods,” which includes subcategories such as bookmarks, calendars, cards, and notebooks. These sounded closer to the kinds of items a writer could tackle. Further investigation revealed a “planner” category, and as soon as I saw the types of products listed there — digital guides, detailed calendars — I knew I had found my new virtual home.

Within two weeks, I created my “baby planner,” soon followed by a series of “money planners,” and I built my business from there. Over 200 sales later, my Etsy shop is one of my greatest sources of professional satisfaction. I make products with my words that help people, and people buy them – it’s hard to find better validation than that. (Click to tweet this idea).

Writers interested in supplementing their income with an Etsy shop should consider these three options.

1. Create products for fellow writers

Since you’re a writer, you already know what helps you write, and you can make things that do the same for others.

One of my favorite products currently listed is a novel-writing brainstorming template; there’s also a nonfiction version. Other shops offer inspiring quotes for writers in the form of artwork, such as a “just write one page” print, as well as beautiful notebooks that make you want to curl up and jot down all your ideas.

2.  Make writing-related accessories

Mugs with Jane Austen quotes, necklaces made from typewriter keys, and scarves decorated with text are just a few of the writing-related accessories that people sell on Etsy. It might not be directly related to your craft, but creating these kinds of goods allows you play with words and take your passion for writing onto the site.

There’s also endless possibility here; almost every category listed, from home goods to bath and beauty, includes writing-related options. Bed sheets decorated with poetry, anyone?

3. Design digital products

Etsy recently changed its policy to allow for automatic downloads at purchase for buyers. That makes it easier than ever to create digital products and sell them on Etsy. Indeed, ebooks are a growing category on the site. Currently listed ebooks range from crafting-related instructions to instructional guides.

While the site wasn’t designed with writers in mind, Etsy can help us earn extra money – and that’s always a good thing.

Would you ever consider selling on Etsy? If you already have, please share your strategy and shop name below!

Filed Under: Freelancing


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  • Alex Wolf says:

    These are great ideas! I’ve been wanting to put together a writing template that helps fanfic writers on tumblr, but I have no idea where to start. Can anyone give me some tips on this, like how to make the notebook and the template?

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  • Wow, never would have thought of that. This is cool. Will definitely consider this.

  • Susan Barker says:

    Great article, i have been having thoughts along similar lines, i think you may have given me the push i have been inneed of!

  • Lara says:

    What a great idea! I have always dreamed about doing different types of planners and selling them on esty. I’m just not sure where to start! There are so many things that go into making planners. I’ll definitely try to start putting together a few planners and see how they do on etsy. Thanks for sharing!


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  • CJ says:

    These are wonderful ideas Kimberly. I too, have thought over the years about how to further monetize my poems, writer quotes, and resources for writers versus just in an ebook. Getting them on Etsy seems like a clever route to go 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Hmm. My Etsy shop, StitchWits, has been full from its start of wordy graphics executed in counted cross stitch. The problem has been customization and the need to design and execute a sample to offer. I’ve sold exactly one PDF pattern for a project without an actual sample to show. You gave me the idea of executing some of these ideas as simple graphics to print and frame, with options to convert them to patterns and execute them. Thanks!

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for such a great tip, I’ve been thinking about some items for children and this site would be a way in……thanks again.

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  • Shashee says:

    I think this is great! I love to write and have dreamed of putting planners and fun creative stuff together for women. Can you recommend any resource that assists with creating the printables?

    • Hi Shashee!
      I like to keep it simple- I just use MS Word and then “save as a PDF,” and presto, my printable is created. Some people get fancier with design programs but I haven’t tried that yet. Good luck!

  • This is a seriously great idea! I’ve long thought about creating a writing-related knitting pattern to sell, but your idea of creating helpful writing templates is pure genius. Can’t wait to share this gem of a post!

  • So glad you like these ideas, and I love the idea of an organizational journal or notebook for writers! Keep us posted!

  • Elke Feuer says:

    Interesting! I have ideas for journals and binders specific to writers and getting organized. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing, Kimberly!

  • Emelia says:

    Great ideas Kimberly! I’ve always thought of creating journals, diaries, mugs and grocery list pads. In fact, I would like to own a gifts and stationery store one day and design stationery. Thanks for sharing.

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