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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / How to Sell Prints on Etsy: An 8-Step Guide for 2024

Ecommerce platform guide

How to Sell Prints on Etsy in 8 Steps (2024 guide)

How to Sell Prints on Etsy in 8 Steps (2024 guide)
Lilija Karpjaka

By Lilija Karpjaka

15 min read

This guide will help you do what you love—make more art. A financial breathing room will be the key, and Etsy is an excellent choice for selling art prints. With over 97M+ potential buyers, it’s one of the largest marketplaces in the world.

Etsy’s also easy to work with. You can integrate your print-on-demand store with it in a few easy steps. Plus, you get a secure, customizable storefront, statistics, payment processing, and built-in traffic. The beauty of Etsy is that your work is right in the middle of a bustling digital artist marketplace, ready to be visited by your target audience.

So, half of the work is syncing your Printful account with Etsy and adding prints to your store, but some effort is required to get the sales rolling.

Follow this beginner-friendly guide to kickstart your online business and get valuable tips for your first sales.

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How to sell prints on Etsy in 8 steps

With over 7.3M active sellers, mastering your market is key to standing out. Here’s how you can define, understand, and cater to your ideal customer base.

  1. Hone in on a specific niche or narrow down your focus. A niche refers to a focused, targetable portion of a market. It’s about serving a specific group of people with particular interests. This will streamline your product line and make your marketing efforts more direct.

  2. Determine your unique selling point (USP). This acronym asks: “How are you different from every other store?” Consider what will set your store apart and what makes it better than your competitors.

  3. Know your audience. Understand who your ideal customers are within your niche and what they desire. This insight will guide your product development and promotional strategies.

  4. Choose a cohesive theme that resonates with your target market.

For example, SoCal Chic Photography offers artistically edited photo prints of California. While it might seem like a narrow niche, it’s not limiting. The seller displays the region’s beauty, from beach sceneries to cityscapes that evoke nostalgia or longing.

a collage of pictures on a wallSource: SoCalChicPhotography

These products might appeal to a diverse yet specific target audience of adults aged 25–45 who enjoy traveling, especially to iconic locations. This group likely has disposable income for decor that inspires wanderlust or reminds them of past travels.

As you browse the store, the products take you on a visual journey, not just geographical but also emotional. It’s relaxed yet vibrant, laid-back yet full of possibilities. That’s what art is all about, right?

So, here’s the breakdown of SoCal Chic Photography according to niche and audience-defining steps:

  1. Niche. Artistically edited photo prints of California. It’s a specialized area within the broader photography market, appealing to those with a particular affinity for California and its diverse landscapes.

  2. USP. The artistic editing of the photo prints sets them apart from other photography businesses. This elevates the standard photo print to something more vibrant and artful, potentially evoking nostalgia or longing in the viewer.

  3. Audience. Adults aged 25–45 with an interest in travel and a disposable income for decor. 

  4. Theme. Warm and inviting. It captures a modern yet cozy interior design with a primarily harmonious earth-toned color scheme.

Pro tip: If your chosen niche allows it, consider marketing your art for “expensive taste.” Once you focus on a customer first, product second principle, you will catch the attention of customers ready to spend money.

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2. Decide on products 

You can find many more products that can serve as a canvas for your art in Printful’s product catalog

Here are our top custom product picks for selling prints on Etsy. 

Canvas

Custom canvas prints serve as statement pieces and artworks, adding a luxurious touch to any space.

a white canvas with a leaf on itSource: Printful

Enhanced Matte Paper Poster

This poster offers a sophisticated matte finish, ideal for art prints that demand attention without the shine. Our customers love it for its museum-worthy print quality.

a table with a painting on the wallSource: Printful

Enhanced Matte Paper Framed Poster

Combining the elegance of matte paper with a sleek frame elevates any piece of art. It’s ready to hang upon arrival!

a plant in a pot next to a picture frameSource: Printful

Premium Luster Photo Paper Poster

These posters, designed specifically for photography, advance any photo to an art gallery standard. The giclée printing process ensures each piece is produced with outstanding clarity, vibrant colors, and exceptional detail, closely mirroring the original artwork. 

a chair and a plant in a roomSource: Printful

All-Over Print Flag

Reinvent wall decor with all-over print flags that infuse any space with energy and color. These flags offer a dynamic alternative to traditional art forms, ideal for customers looking to add a spirited touch to their interiors or events.

a man standing by a mapSource: Printful

Glossy Metal Print 

Metal prints offer a modern look with a glossy finish and durability, which is fantastic for a contemporary art lover.

a painting of a flower on a black surfaceSource: Printful

White Glossy Mug

These mugs can turn art into a functional morning staple.

a person holding a white mugSource: Printful

All-Over Print Premium Pillow

Pillows offer comfort and style, allowing customers to decorate their homes with art that’s also cozy and practical.

a pillow on a couchSource: Printful

Stickers

Stickers are a popular product on Etsy, contributing around 20% of total sales. They’re lightweight and cheap to ship, and they make perfect little gifts for birthdays and special occasions like weddings. 

a paper with stickers on itSource: Printful

Placemat Sets

These functional art pieces protect surfaces and serve as conversation starters, making every meal a special occasion.

a basket of lemons on a tableSource: Printful

Postcards

Postcards are a nostalgic and personal way to share art, ideal for special messages or as collectibles.

a envelope with confetti and cardsSource: Printful

While traditional products like framed prints and canvases are charming, diversifying your range on Etsy can significantly boost your store’s appeal.

Expand beyond posters

Integrating your artwork into functional items like personalized mugs, stationery, and home decor. does more than just diversify your product line—it breathes life into your art, making it a part of your customers’ daily experiences. 

This strategy will raise the appeal of your creations and open up new avenues for engagement and sales. By transforming everyday objects into canvases for your art, you invite a broader audience to enjoy and interact with your work in a more personal, practical way. 

a pillow with birds on itSource: OyzShop

This approach could dramatically shift your sales trajectory, potentially turning a modest monthly sales figure into hundreds as your art becomes a cherished part of people’s lives.

Offer digital products

Offering digital downloads alongside physical prints can also attract customers seeking instant options. Digital products, like downloadable images or illustrations, mean no worries about inventory or shipping. It’s straightforward and quick for both you and your customers.

Digital prints account for 50% of the top-selling items on Etsy.

Expanding your product lineup to encompass these diverse items enables you to cater to a broad spectrum of customer preferences and needs. This strategic diversity not only has the potential to significantly increase your revenue but also accelerates the growth of your Etsy store by improving its visibility and sales prospects.

Explore: 21 Trending Products to Sell Online in 2024

As mentioned, your designs should reflect your brand’s values and aesthetics. This consistency helps to build a loyal customer base. While it’s important to be aware of trends, original artwork on Etsy performs better.

Etsy shoppers are typically in search of pieces that carry a personal touch, authenticity, and a story behind them—qualities that original art delivers in abundance. As a result, sellers offering original artwork can not only engage a more dedicated clientele but also have the opportunity to price their creations at a premium, reflecting the originality and creative effort involved.

 

If you’re creating original art, you can use your designs to tell a story about your brand or the inspiration behind your products, making them more meaningful to your customers.

However, if you’re new to art or selling prints, that’s fine. You can still create original works of art, but you’ll have to start exploring design tools.

Learn a design software

Tools like Printful’s Design Maker, Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, or the Procreate app can help you create professional-looking designs. Invest time in learning them or use templates or design elements they offer.

If you’re new to design—you can create high-quality prints with our intuitive Design Maker. In it, you’ll find:

  • 600+ colors

  • Pattern tool

  • 700+ fonts

  • Millions of premium images

  • Clipart

  • And more

a screenshot of a computerSource: Printful’s Design Maker

If design isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a professional designer. They can bring expertise and an outside perspective that will elevate your product. You can get 10% off on Fiverr’s freelance services through Printful. 

Keep an eye on the quality 

Follow Printful guidelines, which you’ll find in the description of your chosen product. When you select a product, for example, the Enhanced Matte Paper Poster, scroll down a little and click File guidelines. You will find a downloadable file with instructions for creating design files.

a screenshot of a computerSource: Printful’sProduct Catalog

Remember that when selecting multiple poster sizes for your customers to choose from, you need to adjust your design for each option accordingly.

a screenshot of a screenSource: Printful’s Design Maker

And pay attention to the resolution. Ensure all your images are high-resolution to avoid any loss of quality, especially when printed on larger surfaces. If your print quality is bad, your mockups won’t be appealing either, plus you’ll get disappointed customers.

Follow Etsy requirements. Creating great product images is one of the most important steps to selling online. When uploading images to your Etsy shop, follow these guidelines. The recommended size for listing images is 2000px for the shortest side of the image and a resolution of 72PPI. 

You can download high-quality mockups right after creating your design in Printful’s Design Maker.

a screenshot of a computer screenSource: Printful’s Mockups

If you’re short on inspiration, you can always browse Etsy. It’s packed with original artwork. Plus, you get to see what your competitors are up to. 

You can also fuel up on Pinterest. With millions of art print examples, you’ll fill a board with pins you love in no time.

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If you don’t already have an Etsy account, you need to create one. 

Open the Etsy homepage, click Sign in in the top right corner, and then Register in the pop-up window. Then, enter your info or connect with Google, Facebook, or Apple. That’s it! You’ve created your Etsy account.

To launch your online store, click on your profile picture in the top right corner. In the menu, choose Sell on Etsy.

Etsy will then guide you through the entire store-creating process.

a woman holding a bagSource: Etsy registry page

You even get personalized learning resources to help you grow your business. 

a man and woman standing togetherSource: Etsy registry page

Add your shop preferences, and name your shop.

When you get to the listing part, create a mock listing for now. You’ll need it to connect your Printful account to your Etsy store.

a screenshot of a computer

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Once you create your Printful account, go to your Dashboard and click Stores > Choose platform.

a screenshot of a computer

Then click on Etsy and follow the instructions. Once you click on the Connect to Etsy button, you’ll be redirected to Etsy, where you’ll have to allow access to Printful. 

a screenshot of a website

That’s all! Congratulations, your Etsy is now connected to your Printful account. 

Now that your accounts are up and running, you may create your first product listing. For every new product you upload, you’ll need to create a new Etsy listing.

In your Printful Dashboard, click Stores and Add product button.

a screenshot of a computerSource: Printful dashboard

Once you add a design to your custom product and choose your mockups, you’ll get to the description part, which will look something like this by default.

a screenshot of a product pageSource: Printful

You can edit the product information here or proceed to Pricing and add it to your Etsy store, where you can polish your listing. It’ll be in your drafts and won’t be “active” until you publish it.

a screenshot of a computerSource: Etsy Shop Manager

Click on the product you created. This will take you to the product information page.

Compelling product titles

a screenshot of a web pageSource: Etsy Shop Manager

Choose Etsy SEO (search engine optimization) keywords carefully. The core of enhancing your Etsy shop’s visibility lies in the effective use of keywords. Etsy’s algorithm favors listings that align with the exact search terms used by customers. So think like a customer.

1. Lead with your main keyword. Pinpoint the key term a shopper will likely use when looking for your item and position this term at the start of your title. For example, if your product is a framed poster featuring poppy print, “Framed Poppy Print” might be your main keyword.

a picture of flowers on a tableSource: BohemeStudioAVL

2. Then detail your product. Add specific descriptors that convey what your product is. Reference the color, the type of material, or any distinctive characteristics. Here’s an example.

a poster on a tableSource: ArtAndBae

This listing’s full title is: “Picasso Exhibition Wall Art Print, Neutral Beige Abstract Vintage Minimalist Gift Idea, Famous Artist Print, Blue Gallery Wall Home Decor.”

This might seem excessive, but it’s a smart strategy. Etsy wants to highlight shops that include direct matches with shoppers’ keywords. So the more you add, the better. However, they have to be accurate.

You can quickly gather ideas for your listing title from your competitors. Pay attention to those that have a high sales count.

Listing descriptions

The search function on Etsy considers the terms used in your product titles, descriptions, tags, categories, and attributes. These are all crucial for query matching, which is an initial step in Etsy’s search ranking process.

  1. Strive to weave in relevant keywords naturally within the opening lines of your product descriptions.

  2. Refrain from repeating your title word-for-word or merely enumerating keywords. Your goal should be to integrate several of your primary keywords into one or two sentences that read naturally and reflect your brand’s tone.

  3. Provide essential details that assist customers in fully understanding what your product offers.

Once you’re done, look at the description and see if customers can buy without asking any questions. 

Product images

According to Etsy, product photos are more important than the price, shipping cost, and customer reviews. 

a group of orange and white stripesSource: Etsy

Since the customers can’t touch the product, they’ll be captivated by the images, but only if they’re high quality. Customers will associate your product images with the value of your product. 

You can get your product’s sample order with a 20% discount from Printful and take your photos, or you can download high-quality mockups. 

a plant in a pot

To stand out, you can also add a product video. 

a screenshot of a videoSource: Etsy

Listing tags

Once you scroll down, you can add tags. Tags on Etsy are like keywords or labels attached to your product listings to help shoppers find your items. When someone searches for something on Etsy, if the words they use match your tags, your items are more likely to appear in the search results. 

Each tag can be up to 20 characters long, and you can use up to 13 tags for each item. So, consider tags as helpful hints that guide customers to your products when searching for something specific.

a screenshot of a search boxSource: Etsy

New Etsy sellers should upload around 10 listings when starting.

7. Brand your storefront

It looks like this when your storefront is blank with images and text information. Not very impressive, is it?

a white and orange rectangle with a blue border

Go to Shop Manager and click the pencil icon.a screenshot of a phone

To make your Etsy shop stand out, ensure everything looks unified. Use a consistent style for your logo and banner and how you present your products. This makes your shop more professional and easier to recognize.

Take VintaPrints store, for example.

a group of posters on a wallSource: VintaPrints

It boasts a slideshow of their products, a nice logo, the seller’s picture, and three badges telling the customers that the store is trustworthy. 

Also, share your brand’s story. Tell customers why you started, what your products mean to you, and what makes them special. This personal touch can turn visitors into fans and buyers. Keep it straightforward and memorable for the best impact.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: VintaPrints

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8. Market your store

Now that your store is up and running, it’s time to spread the word. Hit the ground running with these sharp strategies to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.

  • Social media. Post daily stories on Instagram. At least three times a week share posts or reels that showcase your products and the story behind them. Use Pinterest and Facebook to expand your reach, and consider collaborating with influencers who resonate with your brand.

  • Etsy advertising. Invest in Etsy’s own advertising system to put your products in the spotlight.

  • Email lists. Build an email list for direct marketing, offering exclusive deals and previews to keep your audience engaged and coming back.

  • Free shipping. It’s a deal-sealer. Offering free shipping can greatly reduce cart abandonment. Fold shipping costs into your product pricing, keeping the checkout process transparent and avoiding any unwelcome surprises for your customers. Remember, when the extra fees disappear, sales often appear. Keep it clean and simple.

  • Listing optimization. Regularly check your listing stats and improve them based on that data. Better-optimized listings can draw more traffic.

  • Analytics. Regularly check your shop’s analytics to understand where your traffic comes from and which products are your best sellers. Use this data to adjust your marketing strategies and product offerings.

Learn more: 21 Tips for How to Get More Sales On Etsy

Ready to sell art online and make money?

Embarking on your Etsy journey with print-on-demand products opens up a world of opportunity to monetize your creativity and reach a global audience. From defining your niche to optimizing your listings for Etsy’s search engine, the steps outlined in this guide are designed to set you on a path to success. Remember, the essence of success on Etsy lies not just in the beauty of your creations but in understanding the marketplace, connecting with your audience, and continuously adapting your strategy.

As you move forward, keep exploring, creating, and, most importantly, sharing your art with the world. The journey from crafting your first print to celebrating your first sale is just the beginning. Here’s to your success on Etsy—may your store flourish and your art find its way into the hearts and homes of buyers around the globe.

Learn more: How to Sell Art on Etsy: Tips and Tricks for Success

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By Lilija Karpjaka on Mar 28, 2024

Lilija Karpjaka

SEO Content Writer

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.

Lilija is an SEO content writer at Printful. She's passionate about ecommerce, and in her spare time, she's an avid reader of various book genres.