I had no idea how easily I could make my first profit online, let alone through a passive income strategy. I almost cried when it happened. At the time, my website was still under construction, and I had been working on it for way too long. #JustDoIt
I had invested my time, my hard earned money from my 9-5, and a whole lot of effort, but because I wasn’t in the right mindset, my website was just hanging out in a very small corner of the digital world… all alone. *sad tears*
I hadn’t reached a point where I believed I could actually be capable of making money from my “hobby”, so I didn’t. It wasn’t until I opened up to new ideas (like passive income strategies), and allowed myself to possibly fail that I finally made my first $120 online. The best part was I invested less than $5.
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That’s right. I made my first $120 in passive income with Etsy.com.
Now, before I continue I want to share that this is in no way a get “rich” quick scheme, it is more of a get “something” with minimal labor strategy.
For full transparency, I spent about 4-5 hours working on designs and another 3-4 hours setting up shop before launching my Etsy. Since the start of my shop, I have only added new designs once. For the past two months, I have been able to sit back, relax, and watch the sales start rolling in. That is what passive income is all about!
Here is how it works:
I registered an account with a site called Printful.com. This company prints designs (I’ll show you how to do this in a minute) onto cups, shirts, hats, bags, socks, phone cases, bathing suits, and even aprons! They are consistently adding new products each month which will help to continue to create more products down the road.
Once a Printful account is created, it is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Choose a product
2. Once your product is chosen, upload your design
3. After your item is created, sync it with your Etsy shop!
Printful has a configured integration with Etsy that is incredibly easy to use. With a click of a button, what you have made in your Printful store, is what will appear on your Etsy shop. Setup is relatively easy, and Printful has many video tutorials to walk you through this entire process!
All products are made to order, so there are no upfront costs. The $5 I invested were due to the $0.20 listing fees on each item for Etsy. Once an order has come through your Etsy shop, Printful will automatically start fulfilling your order and ship it to your customer for you.
Now, of course, Printful charges a flat fee for the items that are used to create the product shipped to your customer, but they are so darn helpful, when you create the design and upload it to your Etsy shop, they have already given you a suggested selling point to ensure that you are making a profit!
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How To Create Your Designs
Hands down, my favorite website to use for creating designs is Canva.com. I love how easy the user interface is, and they have thousands of free photos, icons, layouts, and illustrations.
Related: How To Get Creative With Canva 2.0
Since I use this website for all of my online activity, I had already invested in their Canva for Work subscription for $9.95 a month. This subscription allows me to download my images with a transparent background which is so important for shirt designs!
The key to remember when using Canva for your Etsy designs is to use the custom dimension option on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This will make uploading your designs for Printful incredibly easy.
The dimensions (in inches) needed for the specific shirt, cup, jacket etc. can be found on the Printful website when you are viewing your products details.
Add these dimension numbers into the boxes and start designing!
Tip: Create your online designs twice as large as they need to be. It is easier to shrink them down than to stretch them out. Enlarging images may lessen the quality.
When I first started creating my shop I was so excited to share my work with everyone. I had so many ideas! I wanted to focus on giving back, creating a voice, and letting my imagination thrive.
Once I had about 10 designs uploaded to Printful and Etsy, I posted once on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to let my friends and family know that my shop was open for business. Other than these three social media platforms I did no other promotion or marketing, but here’s a post about what I did do.
I had more projects I was working on which is why I left my shop alone for a while. In just one week I had my first sale, and you know what? It wasn’t from my mom.
In fact, it wasn’t anyone I knew.
I was shocked! I could not believe that someone across the country found my store simply through keywords and bought my shirt! “Wow, I had no sales, no reviews, and he still bought my shirt?” At this point, I realized that I had been the only person dragging myself down, and I needed to stand up nice and tall.
Say it with me: “I am capable of reaching my goals if I truly put my mind to it. I believe wholeheartedly that what I am aiming for is possible, and I am going to do it!”
Those fears and doubts are your biggest obstacle to break through the barrier of your goals. Don’t let it get the best of you!