How to Create a Digital Planner to Sell on Etsy: Step-by-Step

Reading Time: 12 minutes

If you’re looking for a way to make passive income while showcasing your creative skills, creating and selling digital planners on Etsy might just be the perfect opportunity for you.

In this article, we’ll dive into how to create a digital planner to sell on Etsy and run through the processes of designing, creating, and marketing your digital planners to help you start your own successful business on the popular e-commerce platform.

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Niche Selection:
    • Research and determine your niche based on Etsy market trends, identifying underserved areas or growing demand.
  2. Software and Tools:
    • Use user-friendly tools like Canva for designing digital planners, offering a range of templates, fonts, and design elements.
  3. Designing Process:
    • Plan your digital planner with a focus on functionality and aesthetics, considering your target audience’s needs and preferences.
  4. Etsy Shop Setup:
    • Customize your Etsy shop with brand colors, logo, and appealing images to attract potential buyers.
  5. Listing Optimization:
    • Craft clear, concise, and descriptive listings, including relevant information such as price, description, and images.
  6. Pricing Strategy:
    • Determine a competitive price by researching similar products on Etsy, finding a balance between generating sales and desired revenue.
  7. SEO Optimization:
    • Focus on Etsy SEO by incorporating relevant keywords in your title, description, and tags to improve visibility in search results.
  8. Marketing Strategies:
    • Leverage social media platforms, collaborate with influencers, and explore other marketplaces to promote your digital planner effectively.
  9. Product Quality and User Experience:
    • Create high-quality images for your digital planner, ensuring a cohesive design and a user-friendly experience for customers.
  10. Diversification and Expansion:
    • Diversify your product offerings beyond digital planners, stay updated on design trends, and consider expanding your business beyond Etsy.

How to Create a Digital Planner – The Preparation Stage

Select a Niche

Before creating your digital planner, it’s essential to research and determine your niche. Think about who your target audience is, their interests, and their needs. This will help you tailor your product to them and make it more appealing.

Start by checking the Etsy digital planner market. Look for patterns and identify niches that are underserved or those with growing demand. This research will guide all aspects of your planner, from design to marketing.

You can also use a tool such as eRank or Everbee to make this process much easier and get up to date useful information about best selling products on Etsy.

screenshot of everbee landing page

Choose Software and Tools

To create a high-quality digital planner, you’ll need software and tools to help you design and customize your product. Canva is an excellent choice for beginners, as it offers a wide range of templates, fonts, and other design resources. It’s also user-friendly and affordable.

  1. templates: Start by selecting a template that fits your niche and product vision. Canva has various digital planner templates, making it easy to find one that suits your style and target audience. You can customize these templates by changing the colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more.
  2. Fonts: Choose fonts that are easy to read and match your planner’s overall aesthetic. Canva offers a selection of popular and trendy fonts, giving you plenty of options to match your brand and design.
  3. Design Elements: Add elements such as illustrations, icons, and shapes to enhance your digital planner’s functionality and visual appeal. Canva provides a vast library of these elements, so you’re sure to find something that fits your theme and audience.

Remember to test your digital planner on various devices to ensure its compatibility and ease of use.

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How to Create a Digital Planner – The Design Stage

Planning Your Planner

Before designing your digital planner, brainstorm ideas, and decide on the key elements you want to include. Consider the planner’s main purpose (such as for daily tasks, goals, or financial planning) and determine its style and color theme.

Be aware of your target audience needs and preferences to create a helpful and appealing tool for them.

Setting Up the Document

When you’re ready to design your planner, choose the software that works best for you, such as Canva or Adobe Illustrator. Open a new file and set its dimensions according to your preferences and the common digital planner sizes (e.g., A4 or US Letter).

To maintain the planner’s quality when printed or viewed on different devices, use a high resolution (around 300 dpi).

Building Your Planner Pages

Design your planner pages with a mix of functionality and aesthetics.

Start with basic layouts like a monthly or weekly overview, task lists, goal setting, and budget tracking. Ensure you stay consistent with your chosen color theme and style. Use helpful design elements like checkboxes, icons, and dividers to make the planner user-friendly.

To make your digital planner interactive, create hyperlinks for easier navigation between pages and sections.

You can add clickable text, buttons, or tabs on each page. To create hyperlinks, use the hyperlinking feature provided by your design software or manually insert links during the PDF export process.

Duplicate Pages

Save time and maintain consistency by duplicating pages with similar designs or content.

Once you have finished designing a page, copy and paste it to create new pages, making any necessary modifications such as changing dates, headings, or formatting. This will help you streamline the design process and ensure a cohesive look throughout your planner.

Using a Digital Planner Template

If you’re short on time or don’t feel confident in your design skills, consider using a digital planner template. Several resources offer customizable templates that you can easily modify to fit your unique style and content. Remember to give credit to the original template creator if required.

Outsource the Process

If you love the idea of selling planners on Etsy, but don’t have the creative chops (or desire), to design your planners yourself, use Upwork or Fiverr to find someone to design the planner for you.

Designing planners is big business on Fiverr, so you won’t have any problems finding a designer to do the job for you. It’s all down to your budget and how much you have to spend on the creation and design phase.

My advice would be to keep your costs low until you’ve proven the planner can sell, then improve and spend more as you grow.

screenshot of digital planners listed on Etsy

How to Create a Digital Planner – The Etsy Optimization Stage

Set Up Your Etsy Shop

Before you begin selling digital planners, you need to set up your Etsy shop.

Customize it with your brand colors, logo, and images to showcase your unique style. Make sure your shop is user-friendly and appealing to your target audience, as this will help attract potential buyers.

Craft the Perfect Listing

When listing your Etsy journals or digital planners, include all relevant information such as price, description, and images.

Your title should be clear, concise, and descriptive. Provide a hyperlink if your digital planner requires a specific app or platform to use. Be transparent about what purchasers can expect from your digital product and any necessary instructions for use.

Price Your Planner

Determining the right price for your digital planner is essential.

Research similar eprintables on Etsy to gauge a competitive price. Keep in mind that lower-priced planners may generate more sales, but they might not produce the desired revenue. You need to find a balance that leads to passive income without underpricing your work.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To increase the visibility of your digital planner, focus on Etsy SEO.

Etsy uses an algorithm based on keywords, reviews, and other factors to rank sellers. Make sure your title, description, and tags include relevant keywords to help potential buyers find your digital products. Create high-quality listings and encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to improve your ranking on Etsy search results.

Utilizing Keywords

Keywords are essential for attracting the right buyers. Identify the most relevant and popular search terms related to your digital planner, using tools such as eRank or Everbee.

Incorporate these keywords into your listing’s title, description, and tags to increase the likelihood of appearing in Etsy search results. Be strategic with your keywords—using too many may dilute your message, while too few may limit your visibility.

How to Create a Digital Planner – The Promotion Stage

Using Social Media

Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest can greatly help in promoting your digital planner.

Share images and stories showcasing your planner’s unique features to engage with your followers and build a community around your brand. Set goals to track your progress, such as increasing followers or generating more sales.

To create eye-catching promotional graphics, use Canva, which offers a wide range of templates for different social media platforms.

Collaborating with Influencers

Partnering with influencers in your niche can provide an effective way to reach a new audience.

Offer commercial use rights to your digital planner as a form of payment, or use a revenue-sharing model to incentivize effective promotion by the influencer. Be proactive in seeking out collaborations and setting up appointments to discuss potential partnerships.

Remember to provide excellent customer service and be open to feedback from your collaborator. Their input can help refine your product and promotions.

Leveraging Creative Markets

Take advantage of other marketplaces like Creative Market or Creative Fabrica to cross-promote your digital planner. These platforms can help increase your visibility and attract potential customers. Be sure to optimize your listings with clear, descriptive titles and tags to attract the most relevant audience.

While promoting your digital planner, be consistent and persistent in your efforts. Regularly track your promotional performance and adjust your strategies accordingly to reach your goals.

Tips for Success

Create High-Quality Images

To stand out in the online marketplace, invest time in creating high-quality images for your digital planner.

Ensure your cover page and interior pages have a cohesive design that appeals to your target audience. Utilize graphic elements, such as digital stickers, to enhance the visual appeal. When creating images, consider the different sizes, such as A4 and A5, to cater to various preferences.

Ensure a User-Friendly Experience

Simplicity is key when designing your digital planner.

Focus on creating a user-friendly experience for your customers, ensuring that navigation between sections is easy and intuitive. Since your product caters to people of various skill levels, make sure its format is compatible with popular digital planning applications.

Test your planner and address any pain points to guarantee a seamless experience for your users.

Understand Competitor Strategies

Research your competitors in the digital planner niche.

Observe their most successful products, identifying what sets them apart. Pay attention to the vintage, physical planners and the printable planner styles they offer. Understanding competitor strategies can inspire your designs, helping you prioritize your product features and innovate in areas where there is a gap in the market.

Offer Variations and Add-ons

By offering a range of product variations and add-ons, such as different planner themes, page layouts, and digital stickers, you cater to diverse customer preferences.

This versatility gives your Etsy shop a competitive edge, attracting a broader audience. Additionally, consider creating bundles of related products for an all-in-one solution to entice potential customers.

Remember to manage the logistical aspects of your business, such as setting up a bank account for your Etsy shop, as well as tracking expenses and revenue.

Developing a strong brand identity, through a unique logo and consistent visual elements, solidifies your presence in the market and aids in customer recall. Dedicate time to perfecting your product presentation and digital planning expertise to foster a successful Etsy shop.

Building a Successful Etsy Business

Diversifying Digital Products

One of the keys to building a successful digital planner business is to diversify your product offerings.

This includes creating a variety of digital planner designs, printable worksheets, digital stickers, and digital invitations. By offering a wide range of items, you’ll have a better chance of attracting a broader audience and increasing your sales.

Stay updated with the latest design trends and invest in learning new design skills, such as Adobe InDesign or Google Slides, to create eye-catching digital products. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and themes, like vintage items or productivity-focused layouts.

To make your products more attractive, provide clear instructions on how to use them on various devices, such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. You can even create tutorial videos or step-by-step guides to help your customers get the most out of your digital planners.

Expanding Beyond Etsy

Although Etsy is an excellent platform to start your side hustle and sell your digital planners, it’s also vital to explore other sales channels to grow your business.

Setting up your own website or Shopify store allows you to have full control over your branding, product listings, and customer interactions. Additionally, having your own website makes it easier for you to apply marketing strategies, such as offering discounts or promotional deals.

Perform market research to find potential platforms and communities where your target audience hangs out.

You might find forums, Facebook groups, or other social media platforms where people are interested in digital productivity tools like GoodNotes, digital planners, and other printables.

Remember to share expert tips and tricks, provide useful content, and showcase your products to help attract potential customers. Developing a strong online presence by sharing your expertise is crucial in making your digital planner business more visible and successful.

Pros and Cons of Creating Digital Planner

Pros:

  1. Lucrative E-commerce Opportunity:
    • It provides a lucrative opportunity to tap into the growing demand for digital planners and create a passive income stream through Etsy.
  2. Targeted Niche Selection:
    • By researching and identifying a niche, you can tailor your product to meet the specific needs and interests of your target audience, enhancing the appeal of your digital planners to sell.
  3. User-Friendly Design Tools:
    • Utilizing user-friendly tools like Canva for designing your own digital planner allows even beginners to create high-quality and visually appealing products.
  4. Customization Options:
    • With the option to create your own planner, you can easily customize templates, fonts, and design elements, ensuring your digital planner aligns with your brand and audience preferences.
  5. Etsy SEO Benefits:
    • Leveraging Etsy’s algorithm through Etsy integration allows your digital planners to be more visible, increasing the likelihood of attracting potential buyers and becoming a successful Etsy seller.
  6. Diversification of Products:
    • Beyond digital planners, you can diversify your offerings, including printable worksheets and digital stickers, catering to a broader audience and expanding your online business.

Cons:

  1. Time-Consuming Design Process:
    • The process of designing your own digital planner can be time-consuming, especially for those without prior design experience, potentially delaying the product launch.
  2. Initial Learning Curve:
    • While tools like Canva are user-friendly, there might be an initial learning curve for individuals new to digital design and the intricacies of Etsy-approved product creation.
  3. Market Saturation:
    • The popularity of digital planners on Etsy means there is significant competition, making it essential to stand out amidst the crowd when aiming to sell digital planners.
  4. Ongoing SEO Efforts:
    • Maintaining and optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO requires ongoing effort, as trends and keywords evolve in the competitive Etsy planner market.
  5. Balancing Price Points:
    • Determining the right price for your digital planner involves finding a balance between generating sales and achieving the desired revenue, as pricing too low may impact profitability.
  6. Platform Dependency:
    • Relying solely on Etsy for sales means your ecommerce business is somewhat dependent on the platform’s policies, which can change and affect your business.

How to Create a Digital Planner – Wrap Up

So there you have it. With a dash of creativity and some smart moves, creating a digital planner to sell on Etsy is both a doable and rewarding adventure.

The key takeaways are:

  1. Focus on a niche
  2. Add value with unique features
  3. Keep the design polished
  4. Know the ins and outs of Etsy

Master these and you’re well on your way to Etsy stardom.

If you want to delve deeper into the world of Etsy selling don’t miss our posts;

Also before you head off, check out our 90-day Goal Planner Journal, specially crafted for lifestyle entrepreneurs. It might just be the secret sauce you need to get your dreams rolling. You can find it right here.

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If you're looking for the perfect side hustle to tap into your creativity, selling printables on Etsy could be your golden ticket! 

This is for you, even if you have minimal time, experience or money. Join students who collectively have generated over $500,000 in selling printables on Etsy in the last year alone.

Join this FREE workshop and learn how to get started today!

How to Create a Digital Planner – FAQs

How do I design a digital planner for Etsy using Canva?

To design a digital planner for Etsy using Canva, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for a free Canva account or log in if you already have one.
  2. Choose a template size (e.g., A4, A5, or Letter) or create a custom size.
  3. Browse through the available templates and choose one that suits your planner concept.
  4. Customize the template by adding your own text, images, and colors.
  5. Continue to design as many pages as needed for your planner.
  6. Save each page as a PDF and combine them into a single PDF file.
  7. Finally, export your digital planner as a high-quality PDF or JPEG.

What is the process for listing my digital planner on Etsy?

To list your digital planner on Etsy, follow these steps:

  1. Create an Etsy account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Set up your Etsy shop by providing your shop name, profile, and payment details.
  3. Click “Add a Listing” and choose “Digital item” for the product type.
  4. Add a title, description, and relevant tags for your digital planner.
  5. Upload preview images of your planner. You can create mock-ups using Canva or other design tools.
  6. Define the price and any instant download options.
  7. Review and publish your listing. Now your digital planner is available for sale on Etsy!

Which apps can I use to create digital planners to sell?

There are several apps that you can use to create digital planners to sell on Etsy. Some popular ones include Canva, Adobe InDesign, Procreate, GoodNotes, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

How can I create a digital planner template kit?

A digital planner template kit typically includes multiple layouts and elements that buyers can mix and match to create their own custom planners. To create a digital planner template kit:

  1. Design multiple planner pages/layouts in your preferred design tool (e.g., Canva, Adobe InDesign).
  2. Include various elements such as calendars, to-do lists, and daily/weekly/monthly planners.
  3. Save each page/layout as a separate file in a universally accessible format like PDF or JPEG.
  4. Organize the files neatly in folders and compress them into a ZIP archive.

Is there potential to make money selling digital planners on Etsy?

Yes, there is potential to make money selling digital planners on Etsy.

With the increasing demand for digital planning tools, many Etsy sellers have reported earning decent income by selling digital planners. However, your success depends on factors like the quality of your designs, marketing efforts, and customer satisfaction.

Where can I find free digital planners that I can sell on Etsy?

Using free digital planners to sell on Etsy may result in copyright issues, so it is best to create your own original content or purchase commercial use templates. By creating unique and appealing designs, you can differentiate your products and avoid potential legal issues.

What is the best program to create a digital planner?

Canva stands out as an excellent choice for beginners. Its user-friendly interface, diverse templates, and customizable design elements make it a top pick for designing high-quality digital planners for Etsy Digital Planner shops.

How do I make my own digital planner?

To create your own planner, start by selecting a niche and using design tools like Canva. Plan your digital planner’s layout, set up the document with the right dimensions, and incorporate elements like hyperlinks for navigation. Ensure a user-friendly experience for buyers.

Can you make money making digital planners?

Absolutely. Selling digital planners, especially on platforms like Etsy, has proven to be a lucrative venture for many. By focusing on niche selection, product quality, and effective Etsy optimization, individuals can generate significant revenue with their online business.

How do I make my own planner to sell?

To sell digital planner, begin by setting up your Etsy shop and customizing it with brand elements. List your digital planner with clear titles, descriptions, and competitive prices. Leverage Etsy SEO strategies, such as keyword optimization, to enhance your visibility and attract potential buyers.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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