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If you’ve been selling on Etsy for a while, you know that your sales can vary greatly based on the time of year. If you depend on your shop for your livelihood, you need to plan accordingly to make sure there is always money available when you need it.
Creating other ways to generate income is a great way to lessen the risk that comes with selling solely on Etsy (or any job for that matter). There are many ways to create more income streams for yourself. Some will require more work than others. Before we dive into some ideas, let’s look at the difference between active and passive income.
This type of income accounts for the majority of what we do to earn money. You can think of the money you earn running your Etsy shop as active income because you are actively working to earn it. Active income requires constant time and attention.
Passive income is income that continues to flow in after the initial setup or investment is made. Some examples of a passive income stream include selling digital products or renting your home out on Airbnb. While there is initial work or financial investments needed to get these things going, there is typically a residual stream of income coming from them with minimal attention.
A Few Income Stream Ideas
Now that we have defined the difference between active and passive income types, let’s look at some ideas to add more income sources to your tool belt. Keep in mind that this is a non-exhaustive list and that some of these require more time than others. Use this list as inspiration to expand your income generation potential.
Selling digital products can come in various forms. There are a lot of great shops on Etsy successfully selling digital products such as graphics, templates, and more. If you have something that you’ve designed that might be valuable or helpful to others, then maybe offering it as a digital product on Etsy or other platforms could be a way for you to make some extra money.
Sell Your Products Locally
Do you frequent a local coffee shop or other business that often has pieces from local artists for sale? Maybe this is the time to approach that business and see if your products fit into their business.
Another way to sell your products locally is to find local art and craft fairs. Selling at these events can be a lot of work. Despite the work required, they can earn you some good extra money and are great for networking with fellow local creatives.
Create Products or Supplies for Others
Does your workshop have a diverse set of tools that allow you to make various things? Maybe you are a woodshop that sells a specific product, but you have the capability to make many other items. One potential source of income would be to reach out to other sellers and see if they have a need for help in the production of their products. This can be a great source of income that doesn’t require constant shipping. Just batch out the requested parts or products and send them to the client.
As an example, let’s say you are a shop that works with a laser engraver for your products. Maybe there are other sellers or even local businesses that could benefit from you providing the service of engraving their products.
As small business owners, it’s hard to be able to produce everything on your own. Regardless of your tools and skillsets, there is likely someone willing to pay for your services.
Sell DIY Kits In Your Shop
Do you have products you sell that could be easily turned into a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit that shoppers could buy and make themselves? Some people love the flexibility and excitement that comes with making something for themselves, but may not have the resources to do the entire process.
Take a look at what you sell in your shop and think about how you could provide an option that takes care of the difficult parts, but still allows those interested the flexibility to put it together themselves and make it their own.
Sell Your Digital Marketing Skills
Outside of the Etsy seller world, you could offer your production services to local vendors and businesses. As Etsy sellers, we not only design products, but we also wear many hats like marketer and content creator. These can be skills you can break out and offer to other local businesses that may not be as savvy as you are.
Teach Your Craft
This one will depend on your personality and comfort level, but perhaps you have a craft that you are willing to share the process for. You could organize a teaching session at your workshop and offer a limited number of spaces to learn your craft.
If having people in your workshop isn’t possible, or you aren’t willing to do that, you could also consider creating a video class. There are several learning platforms like Udemy or Skillshare that you can apply to. Building a lesson and adding it to one of these platforms would turn this into a passive income because once the video is created, you could continue to receive income from it.
Print-on-Demand is the concept of taking your digital designs and applying them to any number of products like t-shirts and mugs. There are several ecommerce platforms that specialize in print-on-demand. On these platforms, sellers simply upload their designs and select the products they want to sell. The site then fulfills the orders placed by customers and provides the seller with a percentage of the sale.
If you already have a library of design work, Print-on-demand can be an excellent opportunity to create some passive income if you are willing to set it up and do some marketing.
Start A Second Etsy Shop
Maybe you have been considering trying to sell new handmade products that just don’t seem to fit into your main shop’s niche. Opening another shop can be a way to experiment with new product ideas or a new niche altogether.
Some Additional Ideas
Are you already doing some of the things above? Perhaps you are looking for a change of pace in your pursuit of additional income. Fortunately, there are lots of ideas outside of Etsy and the ecommerce world that you can try your hand at. A lot of the following ideas can be flexible which is perfect for those sellers who find themselves looking to take advantage of their slower season.
While we aren’t going to go into detail on these, here is a list of just a few ideas. Keep in mind that not all of these will be right for everyone.
- Become a pet sitter or dog walker
- Sell your old stuff on eBay or Facebook Marketplace
- Rent your car on Turo
- Drive for Uber or Lyft
- Deliver food through DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats
- Deliver groceries with Instacart
- Look for writing opportunities in your area of expertise
- Offer services on a platform like Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.com
- Test websites and provide feedback on usertesting.com
- Offer a spare room or space on Airbnb
- Look for seasonal gigs (Lifeguard, ski resort employee, etc)
This quick list is just a few ideas of the odd jobs you can take on to put a little extra cash in your pocket, and in some cases have a little fun too. Odds are, if there is something that needs to be done, there is someone willing to pay to have it done. Use your imagination and get to work!
The Bottom Line
With a little effort, some creativity, and a little research, you can create some new and exciting ways to earn some extra cash for yourself or your business. The important thing is to experiment and have some fun.
Remember not to lose sight of your primary income source though, and don’t take on more than you can handle. Making extra money is great, but don’t let yourself get worn out.
Do you have an idea for earning extra income you’d like to share? Let the community know over in our Facebook Group.