How to Sell Journals on Etsy With Print-on-Demand

Have you created stunning, eye-catching journals and notebooks that you’re eager to share with the world? Etsy could be the ideal platform to turn your passion into profit. With so many talented creators, selling journals on Etsy might seem overwhelming. 

This guide simplifies the process, walking you through each step from setting up your shop to crafting product listings that convert. Discover the magic of Print on Demand (POD), enabling you to offer beautiful journals without the hassle of managing inventory.

Is Selling Journals on Etsy Profitable?

Is Selling Journals on Etsy Profitable?

Selling journals on Etsy can indeed be a profitable venture, especially given the platform’s current growth and expansive user base. As of December 31, 2023, Etsy boasted an impressive 7 million active sellers and 92 million active buyers, reflecting the marketplace’s substantial reach and popularity. This robust user engagement contributed to a notable revenue growth of 7.1%, signalling a thriving e-commerce environment.

Journals consistently rank among the top-selling categories on Etsy. Their popularity is driven by the platform’s appeal to a diverse audience with varied interests, from personalized and handcrafted journals to themed and artistic designs. This diversity allows sellers to cater to niche markets and capitalize on specific trends.

Moreover, Etsy’s supportive ecosystem for creative entrepreneurs enhances the profitability of selling journals. The marketplace offers various tools and resources to help sellers optimize their listings, manage their shops, and engage with customers effectively. With the right strategies, such as high-quality product photography, compelling descriptions, and excellent customer service, sellers can stand out in the competitive market and attract a loyal customer base.

In 2024, the prospects for profit on Etsy are promising. The continuous influx of new buyers and the platform’s ability to adapt to market demands suggest sustained growth and opportunities for sellers. By leveraging Etsy’s expansive audience and focusing on quality and creativity, journal sellers can maximize their potential for success and profitability on the platform.

How to Sell Journals on Etsy From Home?

How to Sell Journals on Etsy From Home?

Getting Started With Print-on-Demand – Selling Journals on Etsy

Print on Demand (POD) is a transformative business model for aspiring Etsy sellers, allowing you to sell custom-designed products without the need to maintain inventory. By acting as both the product designer and intermediary between the final customers and print providers, you can efficiently run a creative business with minimal overhead.

Here’s how the POD process works:

  1. Create Your Etsy Store: Firstly, set up your online shop on Etsy. You need to ensure your branding and shop policies are clear and attractive to potential customers.
  2. Choose a Trusted POD Partner: Then, find a reliable POD partner and integrate their services with your Etsy store. This step is crucial for ensuring a smooth workflow and high-quality products.
  3. Design and Publish Your Journals: You can use design software to create unique journal designs. Once you’re satisfied, publish these designs on your Etsy store.
  4. Customer Purchases: When a customer orders a journal from your Etsy store, the order details are automatically forwarded to your POD partner.
  5. Order Fulfillment: Your POD partner prints the journal with your design and handles the fulfillment process, including packaging and shipping the product directly to the customer.
  6. Enjoy Your Profits: After deducting the supplier’s costs from the sale price, the remaining profit is yours. This model allows you to focus on designing while your POD partner manages production and logistics.

Why Printify is the Ideal POD Partner for Your Etsy Business

  • Extensive Range of Journal Options: Printify offers a diverse selection of journals and notebooks. You can browse it’s catalog to find various sizes, paper types, and binding styles that suit your brand’s aesthetic and your customers’ needs.
  • User-Friendly Design Tool: Printify’s Product Creator tool is designed with beginners in mind. It’s equipped with powerful features that allow you to effortlessly apply your designs to different journal types and preview them with realistic mockups.
  • Competitive Pricing and Superior Quality: Printify provides high-quality printing services at competitive prices, ensuring that your customers receive beautifully crafted journals that they’ll love and that reflect well on your brand.
Printify Journals and notebooks catalog

By partnering with Printify, you can streamline your business operations, offering unique, high-quality journals to your customers while focusing on what you do best – designing.

Determining a Niche – Selling Journals on Etsy

A niche is a specific, focused segment within a broader market category. Focus on a niche allows you to tailor your products and marketing efforts to meet the distinct needs and preferences of a particular audience.

Why is Focusing on a Niche Important?

1. Targeted Designs: Understanding the preferences and interests of your niche enables you to create products that resonate deeply with them. For example, gratitude journals might appeal to self-improvement enthusiasts, while bullet journals are perfect for those who love organization and productivity.

2. Standing Out: In a crowded marketplace, a well-defined niche helps your products stand out. By catering to a specific group, you can attract a dedicated and loyal following, distinguishing your brand from competitors.

Examples of Notebook Niches:

  1. Travel Journals: Ideal for adventurers and travellers who want to document their journeys.
  2. Food and Recipe Journals: Perfect for food enthusiasts and home cooks looking to organize their recipes and culinary experiences.
  3. Art Sketchbooks: Tailored for artists and creatives who need a space to sketch and brainstorm.
  4. Journals for Daily Thoughts: Suitable for those who enjoy reflective writing and daily journaling.
  5. Scrapbooks: Great for scrapbookers who love to preserve memories creatively.
  6. Gratitude and Mindfulness Journals: Designed for individuals focused on self-improvement and mental well-being.
  7. Notebooks with Religious Quotes and Verses: Catering to a religious audience who find inspiration in their faith.
  8. Bullet Journals and Planners: Perfect for organization enthusiasts; these can also be paired with digital planners for a comprehensive planning system.

By focusing on these niches, you can create targeted designs and marketing strategies that appeal directly to the specific needs and interests of your chosen audience. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also helps build a strong, loyal customer base.

Creating Journal Designs – Selling Journals on Etsy

Understanding your potential customers is crucial to designing journals that resonate with them. Begin by identifying their interests and pain points. Consider what your target audience is passionate about or what challenges they face. For example, some might be seeking organization tools to streamline their daily tasks, while others might be looking for a way to document their travel adventures or practice mindfulness. 

By catering to these specific needs, you can create journals that truly connect with your audience. Craft gratitude journals for those focused on self-improvement or bullet journals for individuals who thrive on staying organized. Tailoring your designs to meet the unique needs of your customers will help you create products that are both meaningful and desirable.

Explore Trends

Besides, staying abreast of current trends is essential for creating appealing journal designs. You can conduct thorough research on popular designs by exploring platforms like Etsy and social media. Pay attention to the styles, themes, and features that are trending in the market. 

By understanding what is popular, you can ensure your designs are relevant and in demand. Regularly updating yourself with market trends allows you to innovate and incorporate fresh ideas into your products. This proactive approach not only keeps your designs current but also helps you anticipate the preferences of your target audience, ensuring your journals stand out in a competitive marketplace.


Visual brainstorming is a powerful tool for solidifying your design ideas. Start by creating mood boards that compile visual inspiration, including images, colours, patterns, and typography that reflect your vision. This collection of visual elements can help guide your design process and ensure a cohesive aesthetic. 

Additionally, sketching your ideas can be incredibly beneficial. Rough sketches allow you to visualize how your journal designs might look in real life, helping you refine your concepts before transitioning to digital design tools. By combining mood boards and sketches, you can effectively develop and communicate your design ideas, laying a strong foundation for creating visually appealing and well-crafted journals.

Utilize Design Tools:

Free Resources and Programs:

  • Canva: User-friendly for creating beautiful designs with a wide range of templates and elements.
  • GIMP: A free and powerful image editing software.
  • Printify’s Product Creator: Specifically designed for creating products for POD, making it easy to apply your designs to journals and other products.

Paid Options:

  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator: These industry-standard tools offer extensive features for creating high-quality, professional designs.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud: If you already use Adobe tools, you can access a wide array of pre-made graphic elements and premium images to craft personalized covers.

Making Journals With Printify’s Product Creator – Selling Journals on Etsy

Creating journals with Printify is a seamless process, especially with the help of it’s beginner-friendly Product Creator design tool. This tool is packed with features that make it stand out and simplify the design process for users of all skill levels.

  • Intuitive Text Editor: Easily personalize your journal covers by adding custom text, titles, and quotes. With a wide selection of fonts, languages, and emojis, you can create designs that are unique and tailored to your target audience.
  • AI-Powered Design Tool: Experiment with various layouts and design elements using the AI Image Generator. This powerful tool allows you to explore different creative options, ensuring your journals are visually appealing and engaging.
  • Mockup Tool: Before finalizing and publishing your product, use the mockup tool to preview your designs on different journal formats. This feature helps you visualize how your final product will look, ensuring it meets your expectations and appeals to your customers.

With these features, Printify’s Product Creator makes the process of designing and producing custom journals both efficient and enjoyable.

Setting up Your Etsy Shop – Selling Journals on Etsy

If you’re new to Etsy, creating a seller account is the first essential step. Here’s a detailed guide to help you set up your Etsy shop:

Sign Up for Etsy

Begin by creating an Etsy account, which can be done using your email address or an existing login. This process is straightforward and user-friendly, designed to get you started quickly. An important step in this process is verifying your email address, which ensures that your account is active and secure. Without this verification, you won’t be able to fully utilize Etsy’s features or set up your shop.

Start Etsy Shop

Start Selling

To start selling, locate the “Sell on Etsy” option in the top right corner of the homepage and click on it to begin creating your store. This step involves agreeing to Etsy’s terms and conditions, which outline the rules and guidelines for using the platform. You will also select your reasons for selling, whether it’s a hobby, a side hustle, or a full-time business, and choose any learning topics that interest you. These selections help Etsy tailor resources and tips to your specific needs, providing a more personalized experience.

Confirm Your Location

Next, you will need to confirm your shop’s primary language, country, and preferred currency. This information is crucial as it helps Etsy customize your selling experience to comply with local regulations and provide appropriate support. It also ensures that your shop details are correctly displayed to potential customers, making it easier for them to understand your offerings and make purchases.

Pick the Perfect Shop Name

Choosing a name for your shop is an exciting but important step. Your shop name should be clear, catchy, and between four and 20 characters. It should reflect your products and include relevant keywords that potential customers might use when searching for items like yours. Before finalizing your shop name, check its availability online, especially if you plan to purchase a domain later. Additionally, consider trademarking your shop name to protect your brand and prevent others from using it.

Add Your Products

Start by creating a mockup listing. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the listing process without the pressure of having to complete everything immediately. You can fill in detailed descriptions, upload high-quality photos, and set pricing at a later stage. Taking the time to create detailed and appealing product listings is crucial as it significantly impacts your shop’s attractiveness to potential buyers.

Etsy new listing setup

Set Up Shipping Options

Deciding on shipping options is a critical aspect of setting up your Etsy shop. You can choose between fixed or calculated shipping costs. If you integrate your shop with services like Printify, much of this process can be automated, saving you time and effort. Offering shipping upgrades and free shipping options can make your shop more appealing to customers, as these options often influence buying decisions.

Adjust Payment and Billing Options

To ensure you can receive payments, you’ll need to add a bank account and connect to Etsy Payments, Etsy’s secure payment system. You will also need to select a payment method for your sales, verify your identity, and enable two-factor authentication. These steps are vital for ensuring a secure and smooth transaction process, both for you and your customers.

Review Your Shop Settings

Before launching your store, take some time to review and customize your shop settings. This includes adjusting the look and feel of your shop to reflect your brand. While this step is optional, it can significantly impact how customers perceive your shop. A well-presented shop can attract more visitors and convert them into buyers. Once you are satisfied with your settings, you can launch your store and start selling.

Integrate with Printify

For a more efficient selling experience, consider integrating your shop with Printify. This integration streamlines the product design, listing creation, and fulfillment process. Printify handles many aspects of your business automatically, such as printing and shipping, which allows you to focus more on marketing and expanding your product range. This can be especially useful if you plan to offer custom or print-on-demand products.

Printify integration to different sales channel

Pricing Your Notebooks – Selling Journals on Etsy

Encouraging customers to purchase from your Etsy shop requires a delicate balance between competitive pricing and ensuring profitability. Here are key factors to consider when setting your prices:

Production Costs – Begin by thoroughly calculating your production costs. This includes the expenses related to printing, materials, and shipping. Understanding these costs is crucial as they form the baseline for your pricing strategy. Make sure to account for all aspects of production to avoid underpricing your products, which can erode your profits.

Market Research – Conducting market research is essential for setting competitive prices. Analyze the prices of similar products, such as journals, on Etsy. This will give you an idea of the current market rates and help you position your products appropriately. Consider the quality, design, and unique features of your journals compared to competitors to justify your pricing.

Profit Margin – Determine a healthy profit margin that ensures your business remains competitive and sustainable in the long term. A good profit margin covers your costs and provides enough profit to reinvest in your business, such as in new designs, marketing efforts, and improving your operations. Finding the right balance is key to maintaining profitability while attracting customers.

Additional Expenses – Don’t forget to factor in additional expenses such as advertising, Etsy fees, and other overhead costs. Advertising can significantly increase your shop’s visibility and sales, but it needs to be included in your pricing strategy to ensure it’s cost-effective. Similarly, Etsy’s listing and transaction fees can add up, so it’s important to incorporate these into your overall pricing model.

By considering these factors—production costs, market research, profit margins, and additional expenses—you can set prices that attract customers while ensuring your business remains profitable. This strategic approach helps you compete effectively on Etsy and sustain your business growth over the long term.

Marketing Your Journals – Selling Journals on Etsy

Marketing Your Journals - Selling Journals on Etsy

Once you’ve crafted beautiful journals and established your Etsy store, it’s time to spread the word and attract potential customers. Here’s how to effectively market your journals:

Use Optimized Product Descriptions

Highlight Unique Features – Focus on what sets your journals apart from the competition. Do they have unique layouts, premium paper quality, or inspirational quotes? Highlight these special characteristics to catch the eye of potential buyers. For example, if your journals feature eco-friendly materials or custom designs, make sure these aspects are prominently displayed in your product descriptions.

Target Your Audience – Use keywords that are relevant to your niche and target audience. Research popular search terms on Etsy using their search bar and tools like eRank. This will help your listings appear in search results when potential customers are looking for products like yours. Tailoring your descriptions with specific keywords ensures that your journals reach the right audience.

Benefit-Driven Language – Don’t just describe the features of your journals; explain how they will benefit the user. Will they inspire creativity, boost productivity, or spark gratitude? Use language that emphasizes the positive impact your journals can have on the buyer’s life. For instance, “Our journals are designed to help you organize your thoughts and achieve your goals with clarity and focus.”

Clear and Concise Text – Keep your descriptions informative and easy to read. Use bullet points and strong verbs to grab attention and make it simple for potential buyers to understand the value of your journals. Concise, well-organized descriptions can significantly enhance the shopping experience and increase the likelihood of a purchase.

High-Quality Images – Showcase your journals with professional-quality graphics that capture their beauty and functionality. Use simple backgrounds and take photos from different angles to highlight the details. High-quality images are crucial as they are often the first thing that catches a buyer’s eye and can greatly influence their decision to purchase.

Promoting on Etsy

Promoting on Etsy

Integrate relevant keywords throughout your shop title, bio, and individual product listings. Utilize Etsy’s listing tools to optimize your titles, tags, and categories to make them more visible in search engines. Proper SEO practices ensure that your shop and products are easily found by those searching for journals on Etsy.

Email Marketing
Build an email list of potential customers who are interested in your journals. Offer exclusive discounts, sneak peeks at new designs, and personalized recommendations through email marketing campaigns. Tools like Mailchimp can help you manage and execute these campaigns effectively, keeping your audience engaged and informed about your latest products and offers.

Etsy Ads
Consider running targeted Etsy Ads to reach a wider audience. Define your target demographics and interests to ensure your ads appear to those actively searching for journals in your niche. Etsy Ads can significantly increase your shop’s visibility and drive more traffic to your listings.

Etsy Teams and Social Media
Join relevant Etsy Teams and participate in conversations to connect with other sellers and potential buyers. Promote your journals on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Create high-quality content and visually appealing posts that showcase your journals in use and highlight their benefits. Engaging with your audience on social media can drive traffic to your Etsy shop and increase sales.

Partner with influencers or bloggers who resonate with your potential buyers. Offer them a complimentary journal in exchange for a review or social media promotion. Collaborations can leverage their established audience to reach new customers and build credibility for your brand. Influencer endorsements can be particularly powerful in driving sales and expanding your customer base.

By employing these strategies, you can effectively market your journals on Etsy, attract more customers, and grow your business.

Offering Discounts and Promotions

Offering Discounts and Promotions

Strategic use of discounts and promotions can attract new customers and increase customer loyalty. Here are some ideas to consider for your Etsy shop:

New Customer Discount

Provide a discount code to encourage first-time customers to make their initial purchase. This can be a percentage off their first order or a set amount discount. Offering an incentive to new customers can help reduce the barrier to entry and make them more likely to try your products. For example, “Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase!” can be an effective way to capture email addresses while driving sales.

Seasonal Sales

Run special promotions during holidays or back-to-school season to capitalize on peak shopping periods. Plan your sales around major holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day, as well as specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Offering themed discounts or limited-edition products during these times can attract seasonal shoppers and increase sales. Additionally, back-to-school sales can target students and teachers looking for new journals for the academic year.

Bulk Order Discounts

Offer reduced prices for customers purchasing multiple journals. This not only increases the average order value but also encourages customers to buy more at once. For instance, you could offer a “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” deal or a tiered discount system like “Buy 2, get 10% off; Buy 4, get 20% off.” Bulk order discounts can be particularly appealing for gift-giving occasions or for customers who want to stock up on journals.

Flash Sales or Free Shipping Promotions

Create a sense of urgency and excitement with limited-time offers, such as flash sales or free shipping promotions. These can attract bargain hunters and boost short-term sales. Promote these deals through your social media channels, email list, and Etsy announcements to maximize visibility. For example, “24-Hour Flash Sale: 20% off all journals!” or “Free Shipping on all orders this weekend!” can drive traffic to your shop and encourage quick purchases.

By incorporating these discount and promotion strategies into your marketing plan, you can attract new customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty. These tactics can help create a dynamic shopping experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

Managing Orders

Managing Orders

A smooth and efficient order fulfillment process is crucial for customer satisfaction. Once a customer purchases your journal on Etsy, Printify’s Print Partners handle the entire fulfillment process. This includes printing, packaging, and shipping the journal directly to your customer. This seamless integration with Printify allows you to focus on designing and marketing your products, knowing that the logistics are taken care of efficiently.

Besides, Printify offers different order approval types to suit your level of control over the fulfillment process. The Automatic approval type processes orders by default, streamlining the workflow and reducing delays. However, if you prefer more control, the Manual approval type allows you to review each order before it goes into production. This option is beneficial for ensuring customizations are correct and for handling any special requests from customers.

On the other hand, to ensure faster delivery times for your customers, Printify automatically routes orders to the nearest production facility. This system minimizes shipping distances and times, improving overall customer satisfaction. By leveraging Printify’s network of production partners, you can provide a more efficient and reliable delivery service, enhancing the shopping experience for your customers.

In addition, offering various shipping options through Etsy can cater to different customer needs. You can provide options such as standard, expedited, or international shipping to give your customers flexibility. Clear communication about shipping costs and estimated delivery times is essential. Ensure that your Etsy shop’s shipping policies are up-to-date and detailed, so customers know what to expect when they place an order. This transparency helps build trust and can lead to higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Providing Customer Service and Gathering Feedback

Providing Customer Service and Gathering Feedback

Providing excellent customer service is essential for building trust and encouraging repeat business. Here are some tips to ensure customer satisfaction:

Fast Response Times

Responding promptly and professionally to customer inquiries is crucial. Aim to reply within 24 hours to show customers that their concerns are important to you. Quick responses not only solve problems efficiently but also demonstrate your commitment to excellent service. This timely communication helps build a positive relationship with your customers, making them more likely to return.

Address Concerns with Empathy

Actively listen to customer feedback and address any issues with empathy and understanding. When a customer raises a concern, acknowledge their feelings and offer practical solutions or replacements if necessary. Handling problems with care and professionalism can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, reinforcing customer loyalty.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Positive reviews are invaluable for building trust and attracting new customers. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive feedback on your Etsy store. A simple follow-up message thanking them for their purchase and requesting a review can go a long way. Positive reviews not only enhance your shop’s credibility but also provide social proof that can influence potential buyers.

Feedback is Gold

Actively solicit feedback from your customers through surveys or follow-up emails. Specifically, ask them about their experience with your journals and what improvements they would like to see. Consequently, this feedback becomes a treasure trove of insights, helping you understand customer preferences and identify areas for improvement.

Product Improvement Based on Feedback

Use the feedback you receive to refine your designs, material choices, and overall product offerings. Customer insights can guide you in making adjustments that enhance the quality and appeal of your journals. Additionally, feedback can inspire new product lines that meet evolving customer needs and preferences, helping you stay competitive and innovative.

By focusing on these customer service strategies, you can build a strong, loyal customer base that trusts your brand and returns for future purchases. Excellent customer service not only addresses immediate concerns but also fosters a long-term relationship that benefits both your customers and your business.

Scaling Your Business and Expanding Your Product Line

As your business grows, it’s essential to implement strategies that maintain momentum and increase your shop’s performance. Firstly, you can add new journal designs to attract a broader audience and keep your existing customers engaged. You may consider creating themed designs for specific occasions such as holidays, birthdays, or special events. Additionally, journals tailored to particular hobbies or interests, like travel, cooking, or fitness, can appeal to niche markets. Regularly introducing new designs keeps your inventory fresh and exciting, encouraging repeat purchases.

On the other hand, expanding your product offerings with complementary items can enhance the customer experience and increase your average order value. Consider adding products like stickers, bookmarks, or pen holders that pair well with your journals. Creating bundle deals with these complementary items can make purchases more appealing and provide added value to your customers.

In addition, you can introduce digital downloads to boost your reach and offer customers additional value. High-quality printable products, such as photography snaps, artwork, or digital planners, can be a convenient option for customers who prefer instant access. These digital products often require less overhead and can be sold to a global audience, expanding your market potential. Offering a mix of physical and digital products can diversify your revenue streams and cater to different customer preferences.

Expanding your presence beyond Etsy can help diversify your customer base and reach a wider audience. Consider setting up your own website to establish a more personalized brand presence. Social media marketplaces like Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest can also be effective channels for selling your products. Each platform has its own unique audience and advantages, so exploring multiple platforms can enhance your visibility and sales opportunities. Additionally, using these platforms for marketing and direct sales can drive traffic back to your Etsy shop.

Final Thoughts: How to Sell Journals on Etsy With Print on Demand

You’re now poised to transform your passion for journals into a flourishing Etsy business. By adopting essential strategies such as utilizing POD and Printify tools, targeting niche markets, creating SEO-optimized descriptions, and expanding your presence beyond Etsy, you’ll be on the path to successful journal sales. 

Always prioritize outstanding customer service and embrace opportunities for growth to strengthen your brand and build a loyal customer base. 

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