How To Sell Digital Products Online

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Building a Buzz: How to Expand Your Etsy Shop's Reach with External Audiences

December 06, 20234 min read

Embarking on the Etsy journey reveals a transformative world where creativity intertwines with commerce. However, Etsy success transcends mere listings. Keep reading to unravel the impact of external audience building on your Etsy triumphs.

Join us on this exploration of the significant role that cultivating an audience beyond Etsy plays in enhancing brand visibility, expanding your customer base, and establishing stability beyond the confines of Etsy algorithms.

The insights shared in this blog were also shared in the episode of "Digitally Purposed: The Podcast" on External Audience Building for Etsy Success. Whether you opt for the details presented in the blog format or prefer the engaging discussion on the podcast (where we go deeper into personal experiences), both avenues unravel the significance and strategies of cultivating an external audience for triumph on Etsy. The choice is yours; select the medium that resonates with your preferences and convenience.

(This post contains affiliate links and you can read the full disclosure here)

Why External Audience Building is Important?

Imagine having a loyal audience to lean on during algorithm changes or increased competition. The impact of a substantial external audience on your digital product shop can be monumental.

Your foray into external audience building can begin strategically with the establishment of a Facebook group and an email list. This strategic move acts as a safety net, ensuring you can reach customers in case of unforeseen Etsy platform issues. Although you may never face such challenges, having this backup plan early on can be invaluable.

While you might initially wait for months before building your external audience, you will probably find the lost opportunities during that period. For new digital product shop owners, deciding early on where to grow their external audience is crucial. Whether through social media or an email list, establishing this foundation is non-negotiable.

Unveiling the Benefits: External Audience Building's Power

Beyond Etsy Borders: Amplifying Brand Visibility

External audience building extends beyond Etsy borders, significantly amplifying your brand's visibility. Surprisingly, a portion of your customers may discover you through platforms like Facebook, avoiding Etsy altogether. This approach expands your reach to those who may never engage with Etsy, creating a diverse customer base that contributes to sustained success.

Independent Ventures: Launching Your Own Website

The benefits extend to the establishment of your own website, operating with a membership model. This move creates stable, recurring income and offers customers discounts, providing a unique business avenue. The liberation from Etsy algorithms becomes one of the most rewarding aspects of cultivating an external audience.

Freedom from Algorithmic Constraints

Having an external audience liberates you from the constraints of the Etsy algorithm. Instead of solely relying on algorithm-driven visibility, you can leverage your audience to immediately share new designs, accelerating sales and triggering Etsy's algorithm to recognize popular items.

Positive Ripple Effect

Sending your external audience to new listings not only boosts those specific sales but also initiates a positive ripple effect. Many customers, in addition to purchasing new listings, often buy multiple other items. This not only bolsters sales but also re-ranks older listings, creating a cyclical pattern of sustained success.

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Best Practices for Building an External Audience

Navigating the External Audience Landscape

While various approaches exist, focusing efforts on one or two platforms is most effective. Building an email list, given its ease of growth and high conversion rates, often takes precedence. Platforms like Everbee, seamlessly integrated with Etsy, provide a beginner-friendly avenue for this strategy.

Choosing the Right Platform

Understanding your audience is pivotal when deciding on a platform. For instance, a target audience of sublimation crafters and small business owners might thrive on Facebook groups. Opting for the right platform ensures quicker success than spreading efforts across multiple avenues.

Enticing Your Audience: Lead Magnets

To entice your audience to join your email list or social media, offer a lead magnet related to your products. Providing something of value increases engagement. In addition, continuously creating engaging content is essential to maintaining the vitality of your audience.

Email List vs. Social Media

Building an email list often surpasses social media efforts in terms of ease and conversion rates. Email provides a direct channel to your audience without the algorithmic challenges of social media. Whether through weekly newsletters or exclusive promotions, email remains a reliable tool for direct communication.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, strategically cultivating an external audience is key to your successful Etsy journey. From understanding the profound impact of external audience building to exploring strategies for brand visibility, diversification, and reduced reliance on Etsy algorithms, hopefully this guide provides you a roadmap on how to sell on Etsy organically and reach digital shop success.


The insights here can set you on the right path, but for diving into the technical aspects of launching and marketing your digital products business. Our community, Digitally Purposed, is different from anything out there. Not only does it lay out a step-by-step guide to launching and marketing your digital products business and helping you overcome common misconceptions, it also has one of the best private support communities dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

Plus, we have weekly training on the most requested topics like marketing, design tutorials, niche research, along with live Q&A calls and new PLR products!

Just need some feedback? Personalized shop audits are also included!

Selling digital products online requires constant learning and we'd love to support you!

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