How Writers Can Make Money on Etsy

How Writers Can Make Money on 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

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 “,” soon followed by a series of “money planners,” and I built my business from there. Over 200 sales later, 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. ().

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; there’s also a nonfiction version. Other shops offer inspiring quotes for writers in the form of artwork, such as a “” print, as well as beautiful notebooks that make you want to curl up and jot down all your ideas.

2.  Make writing-related accessories

, , and 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

Featured resource

In this eguide, Emilie Wapnick will teach you to turn all your interests into one business and use your multipotentiality to become fuel for income.

52 comments

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  • Tim Vandehey says:

    This is a brilliant idea. I was just musing this morning about new ways to market my work. Thank you for opening my eyes. Now my creative juices are slamming!

  • TraciB says:

    Thanks for this post! I had an Etsy shop selling handmade and vintage jewelry, but after a year of anemic sales I closed it. Now I’m inspired to open up again with a more diversified product line, as soon as I figure out what said products might be.

  • To use my writing skills in my Etsy shop, I offer some printables with handwritten quotes or poetry 🙂

    -Sarah

  • Craig says:

    Great post! Can you address how you design your work? Do you do it yourself or outsource? Thanks!

  • Joy says:

    I love your story of filling a niche by doing something you enjoy and using your talents. I have an Etsy shop, Joyful Linens, but I also love to write, so writing the item descriptions and other material for the shop is as much fun as making my products.

  • Thanks! Great info and good reminders for writers and the writers-inside all of us!

  • Anna says:

    I came here while researching selling e-books on Etsy and discovered some other interesting ideas. Thanks. 🙂

  • Trish says:

    Although my editing business, Epiclesis Consulting LLC, is a couple of years old, I just opened my Etsy shop last week, EpiclesisConsulting. I had to do some thinking to come up with things I could sell that are a “product” rather than a “service,” but I did, and I think over time, I will be able to add more and more things that would be useful to writers. Of course, my own website, epiclesisconsulting.com, is generally the best place to go if you want to learn about my business or request an estimate for editorial services, but on Etsy, I have some basic critique packages and creative writing aids. Pay my shop a visit! etsy.com/EpiclesisConsulting

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Trish!

      Heather
      TWL Assistant Editor

    • The Etsy link is not correct. Error page. :o(

      • Hi, Patrice! When I posted this last year, I made an error, and can’t edit the post. I gave a valid link below. This one works, too:

        epiclesisconsulting.etsy.com

        Eventually, I will probably set up a shop on my main website, but over the last year, Etsy has been a useful venue and a great learning experience. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year already!

        Trish O’Connor
        Epiclesis Consulting LLC
        Freelance Editorial Services and Writer’s Resources
        epiclesisconsulting.com
        epiclesisconsulting.etsy.com

  • Trish says:

    You’re welcome, Heather! Unfortunately, being new to Etsy, I was incorrect about how to form the url that goes directly to my shop. Try this instead:

    etsy.com/shop/epiclesisconsulting

  • Just opened up my bookshop today on Etsy. Shop Name: PatriceWilliamsMarks

    Excited about connecting with a new audience.

    PS Have favorited your shop!

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