Can you make money selling digital planners? YES
Is selling digital products easy? NO, IT IS NOT.
I found that it is more fun to sell digital format planners than physical planners.
It would be really cool to make money online while we sleep, wouldn’t it?
Imagine being able to work from anywhere in the world, and getting paid for it! There are a lot of different ways to make money online, and I’m sure you can find one that fits your skills and interests.
In this post, I’m going to talk about the one way I found and loved: to sell digital planners online.
What is a digital planner?
Digital planners are note-taking pre-made templates (PDF files format) that helps you stay on top of your schedule. You can use the planner pages to manage your to-do list, write meeting notes, track your expenses, braindump ideas for your social media pages or create a weekly plan of actions.
The ideal digital planning experience is on the iPad, despite the fact that most digital planners are intended to be used on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. So, to get started grab your iPad with an Apple Pencil, install Goodnotes 5, Noteshelf or Notability app and import a digital planner template. To learn more, watch my digital planner course on youtube.
When you’re looking for digital templates, there is a variety of websites that offer digital planners or digital bullet templates, but many people prefer to buy from Etsy.
Sell planners for Goodnotes where your clients are … on Etsy
Etsy is a popular marketplace for people looking to buy handmade and vintage items. It’s also a great place to sell digital products for personal use or digital planners for resale. When you sell digital planners on Etsy, you’ll have access to a large audience of potential buyers. Additionally, Etsy offers a number of features that can help you promote and sell your products, such as:
-The ability to offer discounts and coupons that drive sales
-Detailed product descriptions and multiple photos that will pay off
-A built-in blog that you can use to share information about your products and sell planners
-Tools to help you manage your inventory and orders when selling planners
How I sold €80,500 worth of digital planners exclusively on Etsy
It’s 2 years since I started the digital planners creation and I just reached €80,500+ in sales. I got asked about it multiple times, so here it is! I have created this behind the scenes video on how the idea to sell digital products started as a test, and became my (almost) full-time job that I LOVE.
However, IT WAS NOT EASY…
Before you watch the video you should know that…
I started my Etsy shop with an €499 initial investment
I started this project with €499 initial investment (I bought my iPad and the Apple Pencil), and dedicated 4-6 hours every night in the first 12 months. So it was not easy to work on my day job and then spend the rest of the evenings (and some nights) to work on the digital planners! But I am glad I did!
From November 2018 until October 2020, I sold my digital planners for Goodnotes 5 exclusively through my Etsy shop.
I had no followers, no brand, no name, and only €499 to invest in an iPad and an Apple Pencil.
So here’s why selling through an Etsy shop (to millions of potential customers) was an inspired start …
3 Reasons to Sell Digital Planners on Etsy
- There is a large pool of digital planners fans on Etsy – these are people who are looking for a digital planner to take notes on the iPad! So you don’t have to educate them about what a digital planner is and how to use the planner pages! That is huge, when you start selling digital products and you don’t have the time to create online courses to teach your audience.
- Etsy platform is taking care of almost every essential matter so you can run your idea to growing a business – from payment processing, invoices, client communication, digital VAT, basic stats, and more.
- If you’re looking for passive income streams, sell a set of best digital products and get paid even when you sleep – just upload the PDF files with hyperlinks, add a description, the price for your digital downloads and you’re done! The buyer can download anytime after the order is marked as paid, with no input from your side!!
So YES! Selling digital planners and digital resources on Etsy IS A GOOD STARTING POINT.
But there is room for improvements…
5 things I find challenging on Etsy
I would love more stats about my customers – demographics, location, behavior
When you sell digital planners on Etsy, it’s important to have access to detailed information about your customers. This information can help you better understand your target audience and create products that appeal to them.
Etsy provides some basic stats about your customers, such as their location and the type of product they purchased. However, this data is limited and does not give you a complete picture of your customer base.
It would be helpful if Etsy provided more detailed information about customers, such as their age, gender, and interests. Additionally, it would be useful to know how often they purchase products on Etsy and what other types of products they are interested in.
There is no way to offer subscription-based products
If you sell on Etsy, you are limited to selling one-time products. There is no way to create subscription-based products, such as selling a monthly or yearly digital planner subscription. This means that you miss out on the recurring revenue that subscriptions can provide.
It can be difficult to stand out from the competition
There are many sellers offering digital planners on Etsy, which can make it difficult to stand out from the crowd. To be successful, you need to have a unique selling proposition and offer products that are in demand. Additionally, it is important to invest in marketing and promotion to ensure that your products are seen by potential customers.
What I have noticed that, over the year, the competition has increased dramatically, and that also increased my marketing costs.
I can’t notify my clients about more products added in the shop, unless I email them individually
Yes, you can email your customers directly about new products in your shop. This will ensure that they are aware of what you have to offer and can make a purchase if they are interested. However this also takes a lot of time.
Can’t send recommendations to customers
It’s important to send product recommendations to your existing buyers because it helps keep them engaged with your shop and reminds them of the great products you offer. It also encourages them to visit your shop again in the future.
Unsolved technical issues
There are still unsolved technical issues with the link for files download (for guest buyers), and Etsy seems to turn a blind eye to this.
This is why since October 2020 I launched my planner on my website and I am really happy I found the courage to take this step.
Also, in April 2021 I have launched a membership space for my loyal customers to get access to my entire digital product collection.
OK, now jump to the lessons I learned and my future steps.
5 things that helped me sell digital planners business from no experience (and with just an €499 investment)
- CONSTANT CONTACT with people and gathering feedback from new digital planners users. And when I say constant I mean ALL THE TIME
- QUICK & OFTEN CHANGES on my digital planner, based on customers’ suggestions. This is not an easy job, but I was improving the digital product almost weekly
- TESTING THE PLANNER – Selling planners is not the only part of the puzzle. I was constantly giving away my planner pages to existing customers. I found that their feedback is more legit than anyone else since they are already my ideal clients
- Share FREEBIES and SAMPLES on my website did help, but need to be careful with that!
- MARKETING on Etsy was essential to bring people on my shop with digital products. In 2 years, around 40K sales are from marketing my products on Etsy, and that’s a little under HALF of my total sales. That’s really huge!
5 things that could speed up the process (and I’ll focus on it next)
- Create digital products for one niche only, so I can focus more on promoting them
- Make more videos for my YouTube channel showing people how to use digital planners and what they’re missing by not using them already!
- Do live-streams on social media with useful content, engaging followers, and communicate with my community
- Offer a free plan, so potential customers can test my products before buying
- Approaching companies, selling planners to employees – this is a BRAVE step, but I trust the Outline Digital Planner is a very powerful product to boost employees’ mental health and productivity. Happy employees = successful businesses
- Affiliate marketing – well, will I do this? Still not sure! But I have seen many digital planning sellers doing this very well. So I may consider it.
That’s behind the scenes of creating digital planners, a side project turned into a full-time job.
New to digital planning?
Here’s how you get started
To get started with digital note-taking:
(1) have an iPad + paperlike screen protector
(2) have an Apple Pencil, and
(3) an annotations app — I recommend the Noteshelf app.
Eager to find out which app is best for you? Grab a coffee and discover:
Once you are all set-up, download a bestseller digital notebook and get started today.
If you need more time to test digital planners I invite you to download as many freebies and demos as you can get and become more familiar with digital planning.
And if you stumble during the process, that’s OK! Watch my online courses on how to use digital planners in Goodnotes 5, Noteshelf and Notability; or drop me a comment below. I know how frustrating it is to learn new apps, so I am happy to assist.
Tips to sell digital planners on Etsy
If you want to sell digital planners on Etsy, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Quality products only
First, make sure your products are high-quality and easy to use, so don’t skip the design process.
Use Etsy marketing tools
Secondly, take advantage of Etsy’s marketing tools to promote your products.
Offer a stellar customer care
Finally, provide excellent customer service to encourage repeat buyers.
Selling digital planners on Etsy can be a great way of making money, but it takes time and effort to build a successful business. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success.
Do you have any experience selling digital planners on Etsy? Share your tips in the comments below!