How to Sell Journals on Etsy With Print on Demand

How to Sell Journals on Etsy With Print on Demand

Have you crafted beautiful, eye-catching journals and notebooks that you’re itching to share with the world? 

Etsy could be the perfect platform to turn your passion into profit. But with so many talented creators, learning to sell journals on Etsy might seem daunting. 

This guide will make it easy by walking you through each step, from setting up your shop to creating product listings that convert. Let’s explore the magic of Print on Demand (POD), where you can offer stunning journals without the burden of managing inventory.

Key Takeaways

  • Print on Demand is a game-changer. Eliminate upfront inventory costs, minimize risk, and experiment with diverse designs. Printify seamlessly integrates with Etsy for free, providing streamlined fulfillment, beginner-friendly design tools, and the opportunity to make generous profits. 
  • Embrace the power of niche markets. Identify your target audience and cater to their specific needs and preferences with unique journal designs.
  • Content is king (or queen). Craft compelling, search-engine-optimized (SEO) product descriptions highlighting your journals’ features and benefits. Utilize the most relevant keywords to attract customers via organic traffic.
  • Marketing goes beyond Etsy. Leverage social media platforms, collaborate with influencers, and run targeted Etsy Advertising to reach a wider audience.
  • Customer service is your secret weapon. Respond promptly to inquiries, address concerns professionally, and encourage feedback to continuously improve your products and service.
  • Embrace growth. Expand your product line with new designs, offer complementary items, and consider selling on additional platforms as your business flourishes.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Is Selling Journals on Etsy Profitable?

Two blue and pink pastel notebooks with two pencils placed on them.

Etsy’s profit prospects are looking very promising for 2024.

With 7 million active sellers and 92 million active buyers as of December 31, 2023, the marketplace experienced a revenue growth of 7.1%.

Journals are a popular item on Etsy, consistently ranking among top-selling categories. The beauty of the platform lies in its vast audience with diverse interests. 


Consider selling printables like planners and digital downloads to cater to similar niches. These items are also highly successful on Etsy and may generate a source of passive income. Explore how to sell printables on Etsy on our blog.

How to Sell Notebooks on Etsy From Home?

A table with a laptop and several light pink notebooks on it.

Getting Started With Print on Demand

POD is a game-changer for aspiring Etsy sellers. The business model lets you sell products without keeping them in stock, so you’ll be the product designer and middle-person between final customers and Print Providers. 

The process is easy: 

  1. Create your Etsy store.
  2. Find a trusted POD partner and integrate with Etsy.
  3. Design and publish your journals.
  4. Customers purchase your products from Etsy.
  5. Etsy automatically sends the order to your POD partner, who applies your designs to the chosen journal and completes the fulfillment process – this includes shipping.
  6. Enjoy your profits. As your POD partner does the hard work, the supplier’s costs are taken from the purchase amount, leaving you to profit from the rest.


Printify is the trusted POD partner you need. Here’s why:

  • Wide range of journal options. Explore our Catalog’s Journals and Notebooks section and choose from various sizes, paper types, and binding styles.
  • Easy-to-use design tool. Our Product Creator is beginner-friendly and packed with awesome features. Simply apply your designs to different journals and choose your favorites by viewing realistic mockups.
  • Competitive pricing and high-quality printing. Rest assured that your customers will receive beautifully crafted journals.

Determining a Niche

A light blue notebook with a pattern of stylized cacti.

A niche is a narrowed market segment within a wide category. Focusing on a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted designs and marketing strategies. 

Why is this important?

  • Targeted designs. Understanding your niche’s preferences allows you to create journals that resonate with them. For example, try gratitude journals for self-improvement enthusiasts or bullet journals for organization geeks.
  • Standing out. In a crowded marketplace, a well-defined niche helps your journals stand out and attract a loyal following.

Here are some notebook niche examples:

  • Travel journals.
  • Food and recipe journals.
  • Art sketchbooks.
  • Journals for daily thoughts.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Gratitude and mindfulness journals.
  • Notebooks with religious quotes and verses.
  • Bullet journals and planners – which can also be paired with digital planners.


Find more inspiration for expanding your line with our piece on 25 Things to Sell On Etsy.

Creating Journal Designs

Crafting sought-after journals requires understanding your target audience and creating designs that appeal to their preferences.

Here are some brainstorming tips:

  • Identify your potential customers. What are the interests and pain points of your target customers? Design journals to cater to those specific needs.
  • Explore trends. Look at popular journals and handmade notebooks on Etsy and social media to understand current design preferences.
  • Brainstorm visually. Create mood boards and sketches to solidify your ideas.

If you already use Adobe Creative Cloud and paid tools, you can create stunning personalized covers out of pre-made graphic elements and premium images. You can also create high-quality designs without breaking the bank.

Creative Market homepage.
Creative Market offers free graphic assets.
  • Free resources and design programs include: Canva, GIMP, Printify’s Product Creator.
  • Paid options: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator.


Consider hiring a graphic designer from our Printify Experts Program to create top-notch designs.

Making Journals With Printify's Product Creator

Making journals with Printify is effortless, thanks to our beginner-friendly Product Creator design tool. Packed with features, here’s what makes it stand out:

  • Intuitive text editor. Easily add custom text, titles, and quotes to your covers with a wide selection of fonts, languages, and emojis.
  • AI-powered design tool. Experiment with different layouts and design elements using the AI Image Generator.
  • Mockup tool. Preview your design on different journals before publishing your product.


Find inspiration and explore how to create custom Print on Demand products with Printify on our YouTube channel.

Setting up Your Etsy Shop

If you’re new to Etsy, creating a seller account is the first step. 

Here’s a quick guide:

  • Sign up. Create an Etsy account with your email or existing login, and don’t forget to verify your email address.
  • Start selling. Find the Sell on Etsy option in the top right corner – click on it to create a store. Agree to Etsy’s terms, choose why you’re selling, and select any learning topics that interest you.
  • Confirm location. Select your shop’s language, country, and currency.
  • Pick the perfect name. Choose a clear, catchy shop name between four and 20 characters. Make sure it reflects your products and includes keywords.
    Check its availability online, in case you decide to purchase a domain later. Also, look into trademarking it.
  • Add your products. Create a mockup listing now and fill in the detailed descriptions later, or come back to this step when you’re ready.
  • Set up shipping options. Select either fixed or calculated shipping costs – this step is mostly automated when you integrate with Printify. Consider offering upgrades and free shipping to attract customers.
  • Adjust payment and billing options. Add a bank account, connect Etsy Payments, choose a payment method for your sales, verify your ID, and enable two-factor authentication to ensure a secure experience.
  • Review your shop settings. Customize the look (optional), and launch your store.
  • Integrate with Printify. Streamline the product design, listing creation, and fulfillment process.

Turn your Beautiful Journals Into a Thriving Etsy Business With Printify

Showcase your designs today. Sign up for your free Printify account and open the door to new profit opportunities.

Pricing Your Notebooks

A calculator on top of a pink notebook.

Encourage customers to purchase with competitive pricing while also ensuring profitability. Consider these factors when setting your price:

  • Production costs. Factor in the costs associated with printing and shipping.
  • Market research. Analyze the prices of similar journals on Etsy.
  • Profit margin. Determine a healthy profit margin to remain competitive and ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Additional expenses. Like advertising and fees.

Note: Get more expert tips for selling on Etsy on our blog.

Marketing Your Journals

An open notebook in front of a laptop.

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

  • Use optimized product descriptions:
    • Highlight unique features. Focus on what sets your journals apart. Do they have unique layouts, premium paper quality, or inspirational quotes?
    • Target your audience. Use keywords relevant to your niche and target audience. Research popular search terms on Etsy using their search bar and tools like eRank.
    • Benefit-driven language. Don’t just describe the features – explain how your journals will benefit the user. Will they inspire creativity, boost productivity, or spark gratitude?
    • Clear and concise text. Keep your descriptions informative and easy to read. Use bullet points and strong verbs to grab attention.
    • High-quality images. Showcase your journals with professional-quality graphics that capture their beauty and functionality. Use simple backgrounds and different angles to showcase details.
  • Promoting on Etsy:
    • SEO. Integrate relevant keywords throughout your shop title, bio, and individual product listings. Utilize Etsy’s listing tools to optimize your titles, tags, and categories and make them visible in search engines. 
    • Email marketing. Build an email list of potential customers interested in your journals. Offer exclusive discounts, sneak peeks at new designs, and personalized recommendations through email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing tools like Mailchimp can be a game changer.

  • Etsy Ads. Consider running targeted Etsy Ads to reach a wider audience. Define your target demographics and interests to ensure your ads appear for those actively searching for notebooks in your niche.
  • Etsy Teams and social media. Join relevant Etsy Teams and participate in conversations. 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.
  • Collaborations. 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. This can leverage their established audience to reach new customers.

Offering Discounts and Promotions

A collection of red tags with the word "Sale" on them.

Strategic use of discounts and promotions can attract new customers and increase customer loyalty. 

Here are some ideas:

  • New customer discount. Provide a discount code to encourage first-time customers to make their initial purchase.
  • Seasonal sales. Run special promotions during holidays or back-to-school season to capitalize on peak shopping months.
  • Bulk order discounts. Offer reduced prices for customers purchasing multiple journals.
  • Flash sales or free shipping promotions. Create a sense of urgency and excitement with limited-time offers, attracting bargain hunters and boosting short-term sales.

Managing Orders

A woman managing her Etsy orders.

A smooth and efficient order fulfillment process is crucial for customer satisfaction.

  • Order fulfillment with Printify. Once a customer purchases your journal on Etsy, our Print Partners take care of printing, packaging, and shipping directly to your customer.
  • Order approval types. Printify offers different order approval types. Automatic approves orders by default, while Manual allows you to review each order before it goes into production, offering more control over customization.
  • Order routing. Printify automatically routes orders to the nearest production facility, ensuring faster delivery times for your customers.
  • Shipping methods. Offer various shipping options through Etsy, such as standard, expedited, or international shipping. Ensure you’ve published clear communication about shipping costs and estimated delivery times.

Printify offers two special shipping options: 

Experiment with both and find the sweet spot for your niche.

Providing Customer Service and Gathering Feedback

A man wearing a headset and speaking with his Etsy customers.

Excellent customer service builds trust and encourages repeat business. Follow these tips to ensure customer satisfaction: 

  • Fast response times. Reply to customer inquiries promptly and professionally, ideally within 24 hours.
  • Address concerns. Actively listen to customer feedback and address issues with empathy. Offer solutions and replacements if necessary.
  • Positive reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Etsy store. This will help build trust and attract new customers.

Feedback is gold:

  • Solicit feedback. Actively request feedback from customers through surveys or follow-up emails. Ask about their experience with your journals and identify areas for improvement.
  • Product improvement. Use customer feedback to refine your designs, material choices, or even explore new product lines based on customer needs and preferences.

Scaling Your Business and Expanding Your Product Line

A woman learning how to sell journals on Etsy.

As your business grows, consider these strategies to maintain momentum and increase your shop’s performance:

  • Expanding your product line. Add new journal designs to cater to a broader audience. You could offer themed designs for specific occasions or hobbies.
  • Complementary products. Expand your product offerings with complementary items like stickers, bookmarks, or pen holders, and enhance the customer experience with bundle purchases. 
  • Sell printables and digital products. A digital download may also boost your reach. For example, consider selling high-quality images, like photography snaps, as printables.


Enable the automatic listing renewal feature for a stress-free source of passive income. This way, you won’t need to renew the listing every time someone makes a purchase.

  • Explore new platforms. Consider selling on additional platforms like your own website or social media marketplaces. This can diversify your customer base and reach a wider audience.

FAQ: Selling Journals on Etsy

Absolutely. Journals are consistently a top-selling category on Etsy. The platform caters to a wide range of creative interests, and beautifully designed journals are always in demand. Whether they’re for personal use, gifting, or journaling inspiration, there’s a thriving market for unique and functional notebooks.

While trends can evolve, some consistent best-sellers on Etsy include:

  • Niche-specific journals. Popular choices include travel journals, gratitude journals, bullet journals, and planner inserts.
  • Personalized journals and custom notebooks. Personalizing journals with names, initials, or quotes adds a special touch and attracts buyers.
  • High-quality materials. Journals made with premium paper and sturdy bindings are valued by customers who appreciate a luxurious writing experience.
  • Visually appealing designs. Eye-catching covers and creative layouts grab attention and entice potential buyers.

The profit margin on your journals depends on several factors, including:

  • Production costs. The overall prices of printing and shipping your journals.
  • Pricing strategy. Competitively priced journals with a healthy profit margin ensure business sustainability.
  • Sales volume. The more journals you sell, the higher your overall profit.

By effectively marketing your journals and offering unique designs at competitive prices, you can build a successful Etsy shop and generate income through sales.

The ideal paper quality depends on the intended use of your journals. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Lined or dot-grid journals. Quality paper should be 90gsm or higher with minimal bleed-through, which is ideal for writing with pens without ink feathering.
  • Sketchbooks or art journals. A thicker, heavier paper around 120gsm or higher is better suited for mediums like pencils, markers, or light watercolors.
  • Travel journals. Consider a balance between weight and functionality. A lighter paper (around 80gsm) is more portable, while a slightly heavier weight might offer better durability for frequent use.

Ultimately, the best approach is to research what your target audience values most and choose a paper quality that aligns with their needs. You can even enhance your appeal to diverse preferences by providing multiple options within your journal variations.

Wrapping Up

You’re now ready to turn your passion for journals into a thriving Etsy business. 

By implementing these key strategies – from leveraging POD and Printify tools to catering to niche markets, crafting SEO-rich descriptions, and extending your reach beyond Etsy – you’ll be well on your way to journal sales success

Remember, prioritize exceptional customer service and embrace growth to solidify your brand and cultivate a loyal customer base. Happy selling!

Make It Happen Today!

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