More trouble than it was worth

I started this website because I wanted to have a place to document the many different side hustles, that I have tried over the past years. 

Until now, I’ve neglected that idea and mostly talked about current projects, but today I want to share how it went when I tried selling on Etsy. 

You can probably guess by reading the title of this newsletter that it didn’t go well. 

Did I make any money from it? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell no. 

I was mindlessly scrolling on TikTok one day last year and I kept seeing all these side hustle “gurus” who claimed that you could easily earn $10k/month selling digital products on Etsy. 

My bullshit radar was beeping like crazy and I didn’t think much of it, but after a few weeks of seeing all these videos, I became intrigued. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t have, but I figured, why not give it a try? 

I started my Etsy shop and listed a few digital products. A few mockups and digital posters I had lying around on my computer. 

Nothing happened for the first couple of days. I then added more products, thinking that it would help. 

It didn’t. 

After a few weeks of designing products, posting them and still getting no views, I started to research how to get traffic on Etsy. 

I spent hours watching YouTube videos about it and even purchased subscriptions to several Etsy keyword tools, thinking it would help, but it didn’t. 

I was tired of creating products to no views. It took a long time and it felt like a waste of time. 

I came across a few videos talking about PLR products. PLR products are ready made products that you are licensed to sell as your own creations. People claimed to earn thousands each month selling these things and once again I fell victim to hype. I’m not proud of this, but I did. 

It was only 5-10$ per product, so I thought it was worth a shot. 

It didn’t help. No sales even though I had spent hours researching keywords and make good product descriptions, marketing images etc. 

At this time, Midjourney had just released their V4 which generated great results over V3, so all the side hustles gurus were again talking about how to sell midjourney images on Etsy. 

Etsy had a popular category where people sell watercolour clipart of animals etc. I don’t know why people buy these, but hey, if it’s popular, let’s try it. 

These are super easy to create in Midjourney, so I created a pack of cute watercolored pandas and put it up for sale. Nothing happened for a few days, but then I finally got my first sale for $1! 

I considered creating more of these packs, but using Midjourney to pump out watercolored animals felt wrong somehow, so I stopped. 

In the end I shut down my Etsy store. I had lost all interest in it and I had already spent way too much time and money on it, so I closed it and went on to other things. 

Over a period of 5 months, I sold 1 item for $1. Yes, you read that right. 1$. 

But I paid a lot more in fees and subscriptions for various Etsy tools. 

It was fun while it lasted but not worth it. I’m not sure I would have continued even if I had made some money from it as I had no real interest in it. 

I’ve found that I do my best work when I’m passionate about it. If not, it just becomes another job that I don’t want to do. 

So there you have it, my adventures with Etsy. It was fun, but a waste of time. 

I’d rather creating products that I enjoy doing and that actually sell. Then it doesn’t feel like just another job. 

Thank you for reading! I’ll see you next week!