Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Storehacks may earn a commission if you click a link to an external source.
The “How to optimize your print on demand Etsy listings” is a question that's always raised at the beginning of the Etsy journey. Refining this process has taken some time and the results truly speak for themselves.
Without much effort, I have managed to add an additional $78,000+ to my revenue and for the most part, it is hands-off. Sure, I have team members that load the products into the Etsy store and process the orders (on the said store) but as far as marketing is concerned there really isn’t much to do after the initial optimization.
If you're looking for a more craft business-based article then another of our articles may be more beneficial for you. This article is going to be about Etsy Print on Demand.
I will take you through how to optimize your Etsy listings to ensure you are 99% following the best practices, a few others tricks I have learned in order to get sales consistently, and the partners I choose to use to fulfill our Print on Demand products.
For a full video guide, my course “POD Etsy Evolution” is out now.
What you’re about to learn;
- What is Shopify?
- So Why Shopify?
- What is Etsy?
- Do you need a Shopify store to sell on Etsy?
- Is selling on Etsy worth it?
- Print on demand companies that integrate with Etsy
- How to open an Etsy Shop
- How to be successful on Etsy
- How to do Etsy Keyword Research
- Selecting the right keyword
- The Best Print on Demand for Etsy Products
- Teelaunch + Etsy Tutorial
- How to Integrate Teelaunch + Etsy
- Finding a Print on Demand Idea Worthy of Testing
- Creating a Print on Demand Design for Etsy
- Uploading Your Design to Teelaunch
- How to Optimize Your Print on Demand Etsy Listings
- Image Optimization
- Title Optimization
- Description Optimization
- Tags for Listing Optimization
What is Shopify?
If you haven’t heard of Shopify one of two things has happened…either you’re extremely new to print on demand or you’ve been living under a rock.
Shopify is an internet marketer's dream platform. It makes running your web store extremely easy. It has everything you need in order to not only host your customer-facing store, but it's also got the backend user management & 1000’s of apps, and integrations to make your online life much easier.
The only negative, as opposed to say WordPress/WooCommerce, is that it can become very expensive if you’re just starting out or are prone to app bloat. App bloat being that you have far too many apps on your store slowing it down and costing you a fortune in the process.
I for one still suffer from app bloat and find myself going in (nowhere near regularly enough) to remove the ones I don't need. Either that or I get a message from Suhail along the lines of “Are you still using this?”…
I say this as more of a warning. Currently, we have 3 Shopify stores and the ease of use far outweighs the cost so we continue to use the platform.
So why Shopify?
Shopify saves us a lot of time. As marketers, the last thing we should be doing is focusing on areas of our business that really do not move our income needle. Shopify streamlines the setup process, and out of the box gives us free themes that with a bit of effort are as trustworthy as you need them in order to start bringing in sales.
If you want a full-on tutorial on how to set it up, make sure you check out my step-by-step article that'll have you set up and selling in no time.
What is Esty?
Etsy was originally a platform for handmade and vintage products as well as craft supplies. Over the years more product types have been added including digital files and print-on-demand products.
Etsy as a platform is made up of thousands of different sellers and it allows you to create your own store to sell your own products.
With Etsy print on demand, you no longer have to have any products to sell. All you need to do is set up an account with or without Shopify depending on your choice. Some suppliers allow you to create an account and integrate directly into Etsy without the necessity or cost of a traditional store.
Do you need a Shopify Store to sell on Etsy?
The answer is 100% no. There are more and more options becoming available for marketers to use and if you're new to the game, and don't have a brand presence then I would not be concerned with creating a Shopify store before setting up your Etsy Store.
What I do, is use Etsy as a catalog of all the products that we test on Shopify. When we publish them to our store we run Facebook ads to the newly published products and upload them to Etsy as well. What may or may not sell on Facebook might sell on Etsy.
As with anything, having successful products on Etsy comes down to launching consistently, optimizing your listings, and scaling your winners by introducing that phrase onto new products.
The internet marketers' choice of suppliers for selling POD items on Etsy is growing by the week;
- GearBubble (Paid)
- AOP+ (Great for the UK & Europe)
If you're not an internet marketer;
Is selling on Etsy worth it?
In one word… absofreakinglutelyitis! Etsy is a fantastic place to sell your products. Etsy is absolutely massive and one of the biggest marketplaces on the interwebs. With so many buyers stuck at home searching for unique items, it is a no-brainer whether or not you should get started.
In order to list a product on Etsy, it'll cost you a rather tiny 20 cents (for 4 months + 5% of your sale, which when comparing to Facebook ads is rather cheap. So on a $50 sale, you'd be out of pocket $2.50! Rather cheap don't you think.
The other thing that you must use is Etsy ads. It obviously eats a little more into your profit, but it can certainly help get eyeballs on your products and ultimately sales. You can set a budget of $1 all the way up to $150…but it does depend on sales volume and how much you have previously been spending.
My average profit margin sits at around 20% on stainless steel tumblers but up to 45% on laser-cut metal art. Considering, for the most part, these listings just sit there and we don't do anything with them (i.e. no maintenance) it's a pretty cost-effective way to create a passive income!
Print on Demand Companies That Integrate with Etsy
The two go-to companies that I go-to to integrate with Etsy are Teelaunch and CustomCat. Wow, what a mouthful. Both these guys are installed on our Shopify stores and automatically publish products and fulfill any orders that come in from the Etsy store.
Teelaunch has quickly become one of my favorites in terms of companies for internet marketers. The product offering is top-notch (can anyone say Stainless Steel tumblers), the user interface, the ease of use etc are all very, very good.
The only downside to Teelaunch that I've found is some stuff is a little more expensive…but alas, it's the same pricing on any platform for some of these items so I can't complain too much. Below is a selection of some of the killer products available on Teelaunch that will integrate with your Etsy account.
Both Teelaunch & CustomCat have standalone platforms that allow you to integrate with Etsy without a Shopify account. This is great news for new marketers as this simplifies your learning process even more than when I started…which was pretty simple.
By signing up directly with a platform that integrates with Etsy it allows you to focus on the #1 aspect of being successful in print on demand… That is phrase/design creation.
How to open an Etsy shop
Thankfully, Etsy makes it as easy as possible to start your store. Go here and follow the step-by-step instructions. You will need a product in order to proceed through the initial onboarding.
Just get an image or two (doesn't matter what it is) and step through the product listing to publish your first draft product.
As soon as the store is set up you need to go back through and delete the product you used to open the store. Your ultimate success comes down to how well you can optimize your print on demand Etsy listings and ensuring you're creating products people want to buy.
If you're looking for an in-depth guide on how to get set up and selling I have created the
POD Etsy Evolution course that shows you the exact steps to how we did $58,175.11 in 2 months. In the course, I take you through how to find the keywords people are using, how to build a brand, how to create products people NEED to buy, how to optimize your listings and so much more.
Just be aware that you should fill in as much as possible to not only build trust with Etsy but to create the necessary trust a customer needs in order to make a purchase from your store.
Thankfully, the powers that be have made how to open an Etsy shop as easy as possible.
How to be successful on Etsy
Being successful on Etsy with Print on Demand is exactly the same as being successful anywhere else. Consistency is key. Continually learning how to be better, get better, and do better is how we get to be good at anything.
I have had several students immediately put into action the keyword research and optimization that I teach with immediate success. Further on in this article, I will show you how to do the keyword research that will help you spot the opportunities.
By spotting opportunities that have low competition, and high search volume and combining them with consistent launches you explode your chances of success.
Knowing the types of products that sell is integral to ensuring that the products you're testing have the best chance of success. The fundamentals of design for Print on Demand have always been the same. In the YouTube video below I explain the importance of having the phrase easily readable by the potential customers.
How to Do Etsy Keyword Research
My go-to tool for doing keyword research for Etsy is eRank. There are a couple of others I have learned do exist; Marmalead and Sale Samurai.
Firstly, if you haven't got a niche make sure you download my Free eBook “1000+ Untapped & Profitable Niche List & How to Crack Them”. Once you have a niche start by using eRank and typing in your keyword.
For this example, I am going to use “Mechanic” as the niche. My criteria for creating something for a particular niche is that it must have >100 searches per month.
I have highlighted the opportunities that are worth creating products for. Mechanic gifts, mechanic dad, mechanic gifts for him (too long for a tag as we can only have 20 characters) mechanic tumbler, and mechanic baby.
Selecting the Right Keyword
Now that we know what keywords are worth hitting let's start with the biggest opportunity there is “Mechanic Gifts”. It shows that there is a high search volume of 828 average searches a month and has relatively low competition.
NOTE: The trend graph shows that this is predominantly a Father's Day product, finding a trend graph with a consistent graph profile is going to give you more success.
In saying that, these items will also sell at Christmas time and should not be discounted as a quality catalog item. It may not be the year-round, consistent seller you want, but it all adds up.
Knowing that people are also searching for “Mechanic Dad” products the next step is to choose the product we want to sell. In this case, it looks like a “Mechanic Dad, Mechanic Tumbler” is going to get some decent results…with the correct image.
😂 I couldn't have planned this keyword any bloody better. If only that trend graph was consistent the whole year haha.
The Best Print on Demand for Etsy Products
This is not an affiliate play and I get no kickback from Teelaunch as the go-to platform for print on demand Etsy integrations. It should be, the amount of time I spend promoting the company purely because of how good it is should gimme something…Chris? CHRIS?! But alas, this is all for you, the reader haha.
Why I like Teelaunch so much is down to their product range. It is huge. Now, a great product lineup is one thing. But what makes Teelaunch stand out above the rest? Here are my reasons;
- It's built by an internet marketer that's been selling since way back…This is hugely important. WE HAVE NEEDS! WE ARE NEEDY!
- It has an amazing user experience from uploading designs to publishing them on Etsy
- It integrates with Etsy
- You don't need a Shopify account to get started. You can sign up directly to the Teelaunch platform and start designing products…Below I'll show you how easy that is.
Teelaunch + Etsy Tutorial
If you're just starting out I suggest signing up for a Canva account. You will need to get the pro account in order to download the transparent PNG's.
How to Integrate Teelaunch and Etsy
- Step 1 – You're going to want to sign up for a Teelaunch account here.
- Step 2 – Integrate your Teelaunch account to Etsy.
- Step 3 – Create a product. Keeping in with the theme of this article I am going to create a mechanic tumbler.
Finding a Print on Demand Idea Worthy of Testing
I wanted to create something that has a chance of selling. For no other reason than showing you how easy it is to do. The tool I used in this example is SpyPro and it allows us to see what has the most engagements on a variety of platforms.
To filter out the noise I filtered by restricting the date range to the past 30 days to make it as relevant as possible, indicating I wanted >500 reactions from Facebook with the key phrase “funny”…SEARCH.
The phrase that stood out to me here was “Piss me Off Again and We Play a Game of Duct, Duct, Tape”. That actually made me chuckle and I hadn't seen anything like it before. With the mechanic angle in mind, I started playing around with the phrasing for a new design targeted towards my niche.
And this is what I came up with…”Touch my tools and we're going to play a game of duct, duct, tape.”
Creating a Print on Demand Design for Etsy
Canva makes it incredibly easy to do designs and is incredibly cheap. Below is what I came up with. For the stainless steel tumbler the design dimensions are 1050px x 750px.
I don't know about you but I think that looks very good (I've since added the comma's so chill). There are key elements of this design that you MUST adhere to in creating your own;
- The phrase is unique
- The design is unique
- The phrase is easy to read
Uploading Your Design to Teelaunch
From the side menu, click “drinkware”>Select the 30oz Stainless Steel Tumbler
Upload design and select a maximum of 3 colors. I have chosen the most popular, black, navy & blue. Too many color options reduce conversion rates. Click “Next”.
Step 3. Give your tumbler a title. “Hilarious Mechanic Dad – Duct, Duct, Tape – Stainless Steel Tumbler – Great Mechanic Gift” is what I have chosen for this example. I explain why I've used this structure further on.
Next, you will need to copy and paste your title into the first line of the description. Update sell prices to $39.99. Click “Create”.
NOTE: As these products are $15+$8.50 ($23.50) shipping we need to make sure there is enough margin to warrant the work.
- $39.99 – 5% (Etsy Transaction Fee) = $37.99
- $37.99 – $23.50 = $14.49
After you click create it will take a few moments before it shows up in your Etsy store, where it'll be visible in your “Drafts” folder. Before publishing keep reading.
How to optimize your Print on Demand Etsy Listings
Success with Etsy print on demand comes down to the optimization of the products you're uploading. The following 4 keys will have each of your listings showing up exactly where you want them to…given that the design you have created for that particular keyword is a hit.
The 4 Keys to Optimization are as follows;
Etsy Image Optimization
Once you've listed a product on Etsy download & remove all images from the listing. Once you've downloaded them rename them all with the keyword/s you're targeting, i.e. “Mechanic Dad, Mechanic Gift” and give them consecutive numbers, i.e. “Mechanic Dad, Mechanic Gift 1”, “Mechanic Dad, Mechanic Gift 2”.
Once they've been renamed, reupload them and you'll now have optimized images. Now that's that taken care of we move on.
NOTE: It's always good to include as many images that are offered. It's not a necessity, however, if you can provide a photo of the product in real-life situations, real-life finishes, etc it is highly encouraged.
Etsy Title Optimization
The closer to the beginning of the title you can use the keyword the better. For this example, our main keyword is “Mechanic Gift”, however, “Mechanic Dad” is a great keyword that makes meaningful sense to include.
Your Etsy title should be something like, “Hilarious Mechanic Dad Stainless Steel Tumbler – Great Mechanic Gift”. As noted earlier, the trend graph suggests it's typically a Father's Day purchase so adding “Father's Day” to the end is not going to hurt either.
Optimizing for Etsy is very similar to optimizing for any SEO. For this particular article I am optimizing for the keyword “Print on Demand Etsy”, and as such you will see it throughout this piece. In titles, in the body, in image alt tags, and so on.
This part is easy. Just copy and paste your title into the first line of your description.
Tags for Listing Optimization
Etsy gives us 13 to choose and it is important that you use all relevant tags possible. Earlier I showed you an example of how to do keyword research. From the keywords I found these are the 13 that I will add to the listing + a couple of others that may or may not have relevance;
- Mechanic Tumbler
- Mechanic Dad
- Mechanic Gifts
- Father's Day Gift
- Mechanic Gift
- Mechanic Tumblers
- Mechanic Coffee Mug
- Mechanic Shop
- Mechanic Shirt
- Mechanic Christmas
- Mechanic Baby
The last 4 a loosely related, however, if you run out of tags you can think of it's better to have something than nothing.
Print on demand and Etsy is the best starters opportunity in the industry. Out of all side hustles, out of any business idea, the low barrier to entry and the massive upside potential is incredibly attractive.
By following this guide and implementing the fundamentals of optimizing your listings you will be taking the necessary steps to get closer to that next income bracket you're chasing.
For those that have been established in the industry for some time, using Etsy as another store of your designs is a fantastic way of creating an additional revenue stream and removing the reliance on big blue.
Have I left anything out of this article that SHOULD be added? If you have any questions or comments please ask below. I get back to absolutely everybody!