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A Guide to Selling Photos on Etsy

Updated on May 30th, 2024
etsy photo selling

Perhaps you’re an amateur photographer wanting to turn your hobby into a business, or you’re a professional looking to earn an extra bit of cash. Either way, you’ve got the perfect photograph to turn into a beautiful print, and you want to share it with the world, so you’re wondering how to become a seller on Etsy.

Etsy is brimming with talented, independent creators and small businesses like yourself who are selling unique crafts, and as more of us are searching for authentic, one-of-a-kind products, the store is becoming ever more successful. Selling photos on Etsy is an amazing way to share your work with fellow photography fanatics and become a viable business if you know how to get going.

So, for everything you need to know about selling photos on Etsy, keep reading!

Start With The Basics

If you’re wondering how to sell photos on Etsy, you first need to get back down to basics. Preparation and a clear business plan are paramount for a successful Etsy shop, so decide on the brand image which you want to convey to customers by choosing a catchy name and theme. Your name should clearly describe what products you’re selling, so including a word such as ‘photos’ or ‘prints’ is a good place to start if you’re having trouble deciding.

Select a name and theme which reflect your values as a creative and consider if you have a specific audience which you want to appeal to – perhaps you want to sell images to be used as computer wallpaper, or you’re sharing your best pet photos for animal lovers to frame and admire. By putting yourself in the shoes of your target demographic, you can then choose an appropriate theme for your brand which embodies your goal as a seller.

Imagine your Etsy shop like a social media account. If you’re considering how to sell photos online, think of your Instagram – you have a curated bio that encapsulates all there is to know, and then you select your best photos to share.

Create a short description for your Etsy store, and feature your favorite photos. Once you’ve consolidated your brand image, you can even create a banner for your store to represent your work and demonstrate to potential customers the amazing services which you can provide.

Consider What Products You’re Selling

woman on laptop writing in notepad

Now you’ve sorted out the basics of your brand, it’s time to consider the products themselves. There are a few options if you want to sell your photography on Etsy, all of which have pros and cons. Many marketplace sellers offer physical prints of their photographs for customers to hang on their walls as beautiful decor. These prints are hugely popular on Etsy so it’s a guaranteed way to see the customers pour in.

Selling Physical Photos on Etsy

Selling physical prints requires a considerable amount of preparation. First, you need to check out shipping costs to ensure they won’t leave you out of pocket – if necessary, you can limit the countries to which you sell to so you’re not having to ship internationally. Afterward, you need to find a reliable printing and framing company that can create high-quality images in a suitable amount of time.

The logistical challenges of selling prints can be off-putting, but if you’re dedicated enough, you can put in the groundwork and start selling stunning prints that buyers are bound to love.

Selling Digital Photos on Etsy

Another viable option is selling digital prints, where buyers will receive a download link for your photograph after purchasing.

Before selling digital prints, make it clear in your description what buyers are authorized to use your image for – if you don’t wish your work to be used for commercial purposes, ensure that customers are aware of this. You can also negotiate with commercial buyers and request they credit your art or pay an additional fee if they wish to use your photograph.

Other Forms to Sell Your Photos on Etsy

While digital and print photographs are the primary formats that Etsy sellers gravitate towards due to their popularity, it doesn’t stop there. You can print your photography on a range of products such as mugs and blankets, or you can create photography books, whether they be ebooks or physical copies. Whatever your vision for your photography, you can make it become a reality with a little hard work and preparation.

Setting Up Your Etsy Account

Learning how to set up an Etsy account is as easy as can be – simply head to the website to register, and then you’ll be ready to add your first listing. Each listing costs $0.20 to set up, so make sure it’s the best that it can be by including high-quality images and appropriate keywords to ensure your product pops up regularly in searches.

For keyword inspiration, start typing a few words about your product into the Etsy search bar (for example, nature print) to see which terms appear first. It’s also essential to write an informative description that is brimming with personality and details about your product. Etsy customers often favor brands with a real face behind them, so address your customers as friends.

Etsy also offers a list of product description options where you can add detailed tags for your products, after which all you have to do is decide a suitable price. Check out similar sellers for pricing inspiration and take into account how much it costs you to produce your print. Finally, set up a payment method such as Etsy Payments or PayPal, and you’re ready to publish your first listing!

Start Selling!

Violà, you have your first sale! Once you’ve consolidated your brand and figured out the logistics of producing and marketing your products, selling your photography on Etsy is a breeze. It can be difficult to get going, but once you have your business plans in place, you’ll be ready to start selling on Etsy in no time.

Millions now use Etsy to find unique and quality creations which you wouldn’t find on the high street, and by investing some time and energy into your business venture, you’re sure to see real results. So, get ready to start sharing your fantastic photography and reap the benefits of being a successful Etsy seller!

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