• Kyrstyn Hokey

How I Passively Made $45,000 (So Far) This Year on Etsy

I'm so excited to share my first Etsy story with you all. I haven't written about my business on Evermore yet, and this post is the official start of that!

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It feels really weird to come out and blurt my revenue for this year, but I really felt like it was necessary to give people the idea of what can be reasonably attained by doing something similar. I, by no means, think that I'm hot stuff because of that. I actually feel self-conscious about displaying that information because of how little it probably seems to some of my readers.


So, there was my disclaimer! Let's move on...


Here's the quick story about what I do and how it started.


I've been selling on Etsy since 2017 (I was 21 years old), and I've had so many questions from family and friends asking what I do, how I do it, and if it's actually working out for me. Between you and me, I think they just wanted to make sure I was still sane because no one makes a full time passive income on Etsy, right?


First off, let me define the word "passive" as I use it. Doesn't Passive income describe this elusive idea that you make money while sleeping without any effort whatsoever? Ehhhhhh kind of, also not really. Because the work has to be put in at some point - somewhere - for the benefits to be reaped. I put in a LOT of work the past 2 years to have made $45,000 this year passively.


Like a LOT of work. I probably used the excuse "I can't, I have work and stuff" far too often for it to be believable anymore...


And that's not even close to the amount of money I'd like to be making by the time I'm 26. So I'll work at it more and more until I'm seeing those figures.


ALSO, I feel morally obligated to explain further what "Passive" means in the way I'm using it. Even though I stocked my Etsy shop with items that sell passively, I still have the occasional custom order/message I have to address. So it does require some work to make what I'm making, just not very much for the income involved.


Now, I spend roughly 30 minutes daily responding to messages about my products to stay on top of customer service. And if I want my income to grow, I need to spend about another 30 minutes creating new content and updating old.


I spend roughly 30 minutes daily responding to messages about my products to stay on top of customer service. And if I want my income to grow, I need to spend about another 30 minutes creating new content and updating old.

So, in order to make that money and to turn it into even more money, I do spend about an hour everyday at my computer - in customer service and designing more products.


BUT I stay home and do what I want 90% of the time. I have no "real job" that takes up 8 to 9 hours of my day. My whole day begins and ends at home with no middle man vying for my attention.


I stay home and do what I want 90% of the time. I have no "real job" that takes up 8 to 9 hours of my day. My whole day begins and ends at home with no middle man vying for my attention.

I'm not saying all this to brag - far from it. Because there are waaaaay more inspiring stories and income amounts you could be impressed by than my little explanation here. Again, this is JUST what worked for me. Roll your eyes and move on by all means if it's not for you.


What I Actually Design and Sell


I design and sell digital templates. Specifically wedding-related templates. Specifically for dark-toned weddings. My shop slogan is "Elegantly Dark Invitation & Stationery Design".


What are templates? Templates are digital items that you can buy and edit on your own to include your own wording, information, etc... and then print off yourself. Whether printing at home or with a local or online printer of your choice. I even sell templates that don't require any editing at all and that you can purchase and print right away. Like signs for your house, display prints, etc...


So, a wedding invitation template package would include all the cards you need for a wedding invitation suite. You'd buy the invitation design you like, edit the wording yourself through the platform you're directed to, and have those cards printed anywhere you want. It tends to be way cheaper to print your own products (locally or online) than to pay an invitation supplier (like me) to do it for you.


I do offer printing in my shop as well, but it's not as common. The majority of my income is based on template sales rather than printing sales.


The cool thing is I design a template once and it can sell an infinite number of times - all sales not requiring any attention from me (unless a buyer happens to have a question about it). My revenue then gets transferred to my bank account directly. So, if it's popular, I'll always get income from that template. Multiply that by thousands of templates and that's the answer to the question "So how does this translate to a full-time income?"


Do You Have to Have Some Kind of Art/Business Degree to Do This?


No. Not even close. But it also wouldn't hurt if you happened to have that kind of training/experience.


I started with no proper training, and quickly found that any problem I ran into I could figure out with the endless training opportunities the internet provides. I've always been good at figuring things out that I wanted to do, so this business wasn't really hard to start and maintain.


I simply figured out the issues as they arose.


How Long Does it Take To Make a Full Time Income Selling Templates?


I don't know. I know how long it took me, but if you avoid some of the mistakes I made then I'm sure someone could do it way faster. I probably did it the slowest way possible knowing myself.


If you're tech savvy and know a lot about SEO up front, then you've got a good chance at being successful at it more quickly. I had to teach myself all about that stuff. Here's my revenue as I went along:


- In 2017, I made $575 (funny, huh!).

- In 2018 I made roughly $18,500.

- Fast forward to 2021 and that amount is currently around $45,000


If you really want to be inspired, go read the posts elsewhere entitled "How I made $500,000 this year selling rubber bands" or something stupid-crazy like that. What I did is nothing special, it's just a watered down version of what other people have accomplished.


It's definitely not gimmicky either. If I was trying to fool people I'd be trying to sell them something also. And I'm not doing that. I'd just like to see more people doing something they love rather than working for someone else.


I Want to Start Selling Digital Wares Online, Too. Should I and How Do I Start?


If you're looking to start something similar for yourself, then I hope this post was inspiring and helpful for you to get started.


I'm not saying that you can go sell dark-toned wedding and event stationery templates on Etsy (like mine) and see the same results. You've got to start your own thing and grow it from there. Preferably, you would see a niche that no one else is filling and jump on that.


Don't be surprised if you dish out the same exact products that 50 other well-established shops are selling and the crowd goes for those and not yours.


Don't be surprised if you dish out the same exact products that 50 other well-established shops are selling and the crowd goes for those and not yours.

Create something you see a need for.


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For example, when I was searching for my own wedding invitations, I couldn't find the design I wanted. That's how I discovered the lack of tone-saturated and bold invitation design out there. I created what I was looking for and now sell it to other people who want the same thing.


Now I actually find shops copying what I have done, and though their products are beautiful (and sometimes shockingly identical to my own), they might not necessarily see the same success because now they're going for something someone else is already doing well in.


Most of my clients who message me often start out their messages with something like "Hi, I absolutely am in love with your designs and this is the only place I can find something like this..."


Find what it is that you can provide that others aren't. Then sell it.


I chose to go with Etsy when I was first contemplating this journey. There are other sites out there that you can use to do the same thing, so I'm not saying Etsy is your only choice. In fact, there are many people who say that other platforms such as Zazzle and Shopify have worked better for them. It mainly depends on what you want to sell.


Summary


If you feel like you have a niche you could fill, I would totally suggest you go for it. Be smart about it, don't risk your life's savings on a venture you're not sure of. I would suggest to start out small and build from there.


Also, don't get discouraged because you don't make $1,000 your first month. It took me months to even see traffic start to flow in. Keep at it, and if you decide it's not for you, you've not lost anything.


I also want to say that I don't think any woman is defined by how much money she makes. It's so easy to fall into the "I need to make money so I'm worth something" trap. You are defined by being a child of God, not your salary. I know of a few women who think they're pretty hot stuff because they make x amount of dollars a year, and they're some of the least attractive women I know. If I can be happy and content making zero dollars a year, then I would absolutely take that over making $200,000 a year and being so arrogant and rotten about it that I couldn't walk straight.


Ecclesiastes 5:10 - "Whoever loves money never has enough. Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income."

I'd love to hear from anyone who has questions about this post! Don 't hesitate to send me a message through my about section, I'd love to hear from you and respond as best as I can!


xoxo, Kyrstyn

 
etsy how to, etsy income, passive income, how i made $45,000 on etsy this year
etsy how to, etsy income, passive income, how i made $45,000 on etsy this year