SIDE HUSTLE SHOWDOWN: Etsy Digital Download Store



As promised, albeit a while ago, I had discussed doing a special project about side hustles. Here we are!




What is a side hustle?


Some people call it a gig, some people call it a passion project, others call it beer money. It’s a side project that people take on for various reasons. Perhaps you need more income to go on vacation, pay the bills, or invest in your retirement. Others are motivated by boredom. Either way you look at it, a side hustle is when you offer goods and/or services for money and it’s not your regular job.

There are so many examples of a side hustle. Here’s a few for fun:

  • Lawn cutting
  • Delivering papers
  • Writing a blog for income
  • Creating an online store, like Etsy, and selling handmade items or vintage goods
  • Signing up for odd jobs
  • Dog walking
  • Virtual Assistant






In May, 2018, I started my Etsy store with two listings. I offered social media digital designs, and announcement digital designs. Neither of them were true digital downloads, as they would be customized to the customer.

I wanted something passive, so I created a few more listings:

I wrote a 30 day guide for MLM and direct sellers based on my previous experience as an Avon representative.

I created a Freezer Stock Inventory form.

I made a Babysitter’s/Nanny’s Emergency Contact form to record important information that someone caring for your children should know.

I designed a CYA Acknowledgment regarding Smoke Detectors and C02 Detectors to protect landlords.

Finally, I also created 24-hour entry notices from the landlord or agent to the tenant.


Review so far:


Etsy makes it super easy to set up a store quickly. It also has amazing resources, and sadly, I must admit I have not taken the time to review them in detail.

Each listing costs $0.20 USD. This listing is active until you run out of stock, or four months’ time. Etsy collects a commission on each sale. They have recently increased it to 5% of the purchase price, to my understanding.

The interface is super easy to use, and you can also see stats like how many people have visited each listing, where your traffic is coming from, and more. It’s amazing how far these sites have come since the simple eBay days!

While I have had no sales to date, I have read that you should have 20+ to be featured more prominently on Etsy. I know my offerings are pretty simple in nature, but I was hoping for some traffic.

I have found that it’s a great way to advertise for my blog, however. I have seen some traffic directed from my social media offering, so that’s a highlight.

My intentions are to continue creating digital downloads until I have at least 20 listings. I will continue to advertise my listings through social media and any other outlet that I can use.

Once the store has 20+ listings, I will let the listings continue for at least 3-4 months and see if I can recuperate my initial investment. If there’s no growth, sadly, I may shut it down. If there is movement, I will continue for a while longer.

I have also signed up to be an affiliate member of Etsy, and hopefully that may help the side hustle biz! Note: Signing up to be an affiliate member requires a credit card and a cost of $5 without guaranteed approval.




Do you have suggestions on how to master this side hustle?
Send me a comment below!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to and affiliated sites. 

5 Hard Truths about Blogging & The Best Advice

Blogging Truths


April marks the 6-month point since I started blogging. I originally started with a different site, and changed it over two months ago to this one, and changed everything to SiteGround. That was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Like so many other bloggers, I started out reading a couple blogs, hearing about blogging on podcasts, and saw the income reports that people posted. I fell in love with blogging. It felt so good to write in a public forum! At the same time, there were some hard truths to learn, and for anyone thinking of starting a blog, here’s what I’ve learned over the last six months.


5 of the hardest lessons to learn about blogging:

1. Bloggers are everywhere.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of bloggers in each niche. If you have dreamt it, chances are that someone has blogged about it somewhere. There are bloggers from every part of the world and no matter what niche you are in, it’s doubtful you will ever be alone.

2. Profits are not instant.

If you are part time like me, it can take years of effort to be noticed and read, and to start turning a profit. Do not ever go into blogging and think you can start bringing in money immediately… and if there is, share it with me!

3. Information is expensive but worth it.

There are two ways to go about blogging: one way is to reinvent the wheel, and the second is to learn from those who have reinvented the wheel and learned what works. One takes time, persistence, patience, and there’s no guarantee to find the best way. The second takes money and the willingness to learn from others.

Don’t discount the courses out there. There are some amazing teachers that can show you the foundations and the basics, but be ready to invest heavily in yourself if you do not have a background or foundation that supports blogging already.


4. Monetizing via affiliate marketing still takes time.

Affiliate marketing does not equal overnight income. Need I say more? Many bloggers make a lot of money from affiliate marketing, but it requires traffic to your site. As a newbie, chances are you are not getting a ton of traffic yet, and that’s ok. I’ve been told that the time you invest today and tomorrow sometimes takes a year to come back around.

5. Negative people still exist online.

There will always be nay-sayers and haters. So what? Ignore them. Everywhere you go, you will always find people who put others down, who challenge the best intentions, and blogging is like any other field.

Why blog, then?

It’s a question a lot of us ask sometimes – why bother? Because we have things to say, and we want to help others. At least, that’s why I do. I started this blog after hearing a podcast talk about other personal finance bloggers, and how there were few bloggers in Canada in the personal finance realm. What a surprise to me when I find more and more every day! However….


Here’s the amazing parts of blogging:

I have discovered a community of people who are truly well-spoken, well-educated, and interested in sharing financial woes and successes in order to help others. Bloggers are dedicated, and usually offer incredible support, positivity in spades, and while we are all running a business, it’s not competitive in a negative way. There are a few rules, and no right or wrong way to share your own stories.

One resounding piece of advice:

I am a nerd about learning: I listen to podcasts about blogging, finance, running businesses and side hustles, and even real estate. Continuously, I am reading as much as I can, and anything else I can get my hands, eyes and ears on. One question I hear time and time again is: What piece of advice would you give bloggers?

Be genuine. Tell your stories and share your information in your own words and your own voice. No one writes exactly as you do, and no one experiences everything exactly as you do. Don’t try to emulate someone else. Just be you.

Be genuine. Tell your stories in your own words. Don't try to emulate someone else. Just be you. Click To Tweet

On that note, I enter my 7th month of blogging, and ask you to sign up to my email list so you don’t miss anything coming up! I have some great interviews with home inspectors to share, and I will be starting a Spotlight Side Hustle series shortly. If there’s anything you want to read or know more about, send me a comment! I love question and answer posts!

As always, join me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and have a fabulous day!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to and affiliated sites.