etsy print on demand

One of the most common strategies that you’ll hear when getting started, is to pick a niche. And with so many different directions you can go, it can often feel overwhelming. Where do you even start?


The Power of Picking a Niche

The first step to success on Etsy is selecting the right niche. A niche is a specialized segment of the market focused on a particular kind of product or service. This strategy helps in targeting a specific group of customers with unique interests, needs, and preferences. By zoning in on a niche, you can reduce competition and boost your shop's visibility with precise, niche-related keywords.


I often get asked if you can have multiple niches in one shop (often called a "general shop"), and you certainly can. In fact, that's how I built my initial shop that reached $100k in less than 12 months. That being said, I do recommend that you incorporate elements of cohesion within the niches that you choose. Whether it's a popular aesthetic like boho or cottagecore styles, or similar fonts used throughout your shop - find ways to bring it all together so that it doesn't look like a jumble when shoppers visit.


You can also create cohesion by building your shop around broad niche TYPES, which can then give you multiple avenues to explore while still have some core design styles.


Nowadays Etsy is a crowded marketplace with a vast array of products, sellers, and customers. By focusing on niches, you can reduce the direct competition you face, as you're not trying to appeal to everyone, but rather focusing on a specific segment. The added benefit of identifying one or more niches that you can target also means you can optimize your Etsy shop and listings with specific keywords that are relevant to your target audience. This can improve your visibility in search results both on Etsy and in other search engines like Google or Bing.


Let’s dive in to the 5 most profitable (and scalable) types of niches that I recommend digging into for Etsy print on demand. While you’re reviewing, see if you can figure out what these niches all have in common and then make sure you keep scrolling, because I’ll also be sharing how to scale niches effectively, along with a list of niches that I would NOT be using in my shop.


Top 5 Niches for 2024

Based on extensive research and experience, here are five of the most profitable and scalable niches for Etsy print on demand: 


This includes pastimes like knitting, fishing, and books, which can be diversified into sub-niches like different book genres or sports, including newer trends like pickleball or disc golf. Think about ways that you can cross-niche these with other related interests like coffee or specific locations, or you can even leverage group possibilities - for example, designs for a pickleball TEAM, or a book club, or utilizing trendy design styles like sleeve prints for a dance mom sweatshirt with custom names. So many possibilities!

Hobby niches and sub-niches

Cater to professionals in fields like medicine, mental health, and education. Much like with other niches, this is another one where it will be very important to combine these niches with unique design elements and incorporate personalization. Don’t just try and create a shirt that says teacher with an apple and a rainbow and think it’s going to sell.

It won’t.

You need to get creative and dig deeper into sub-niches within different professions as well as unique designs. Professions in particular are great niches to utilize ChatGPT and prompt it for funny phrases that resonate specifically with someone in a particular field. If you haven’t seen my ChatGPT design hack video it's worth a watch, and you can even grab my ChatGPT freebie for the prompts that I use!

Pet Ownership:

A massive market on Etsy, targeting pet owners with personalized products for dogs, cats, chickens, and horses can be a goldmine. Again, specificity and targeting sub-niches, like different breeds or related hobbies, are crucial. Remember - you’re targeting a customer identity. 

Personal Passions: 

Focus on areas that evoke strong emotional connections like faith-based themes, social causes, mental health awareness, or wellness topics. These niches can create loyal customer bases due to their deep emotional resonance.

Life Milestones: 

Cater to significant life events such as engagements, weddings, pregnancies, and anniversaries. These are HUGE opportunities to leverage personalization, his/her couples shirts, as well as the ability to cross-niche with a variety of different themes or aesthetics to further differentiate from what’s on the market. Not only can you scale a shop in a lot of different directions with this over time, but as you build a shop around these concepts you can continue to serve customers for years and throughout a variety of special moments in their life.


The Common Thread

So did you figure out what all of these niches have in common? 

They have the ability to identify with a specific customer identity and create an emotional connection.  And that is the key in creating products that buyers want, will purchase in a large marketplace like Etsy, and will keep similar customers coming back for more. 

Now you may be thinking - but what if I want to design for something broader like nature lovers or people who are into mystical themes. To which I say - great! But connect them to a more specific identity. Nature lovers and…what? Connect it with perhaps different destinations or hobbies that are specific to nature lovers - maybe camping or foraging. Or what other specific interests do people who like mystical themes like? Maybe it’s crystals, or tarot cars, or dark romance books. 

The benefit of the types of niches on my list is that they are also scalable, which means you can continue to branch out in your shop with a strategy that not only supports growth, but also elements of cohesion. 


Niches to Avoid

On the flip side of this - there are some different niche strategies that I do not recommend and would not do, especially if I were building a new shop.

#1 - a Holiday-only strategy

Some sellers will simply keep chasing after the next holiday, look at the top trendy designs out on Etsy, and try to recreate general holiday versions in their shop.  To be clear, there is nothing wrong with designing for holidays, but the better and more successful strategy is to connect it to a niche or sub-niche that you are already developing in your shop so that you can appeal to customers that are already related to your shop. This reinforces your existing strategy and ensure that you have a much better chance of getting your listing seen instead of getting buried behind thousands of other non-specific holiday listings.

Similarly is #2 - an Aesthetic-only approach

And by this I mean trying to create general designs based around trendy aesthetics like retro or vintage or cottage core. 

Much like with holidays, there’s nothing wrong with any of these, but the problem is that if you are not somehow connecting it with a customer identity so that it speaks to a buyer as they’re scrolling through Etsy - odds are, your listing is just going to blend in with everything else.

The next niche I would not create a shop around...

#3 - Non-specific AI -generated artwork

With the rise of utilizing AI, it’s opened the door for A LOT of sellers to quickly make tons of artwork, that is arguably very pretty in many cases, but offers no real way of standing out in terms of connecting with a buyer or even being able to incorporate a strong SEO strategy.  Wall art and shirts and other products are competitive all on their own, so without any way of differentiating yourself it will be an uphill battle and one that would likely end in a lot of frustration.


And of course, we can't talk about niches and design without bringing up the favorite topic that we all love to hate:

#4 - Disney (and other niches that infringe on the trademarks and copyrights of others)

The allure of a fast sale is enticing to many sellers, but the reality is that it’s just not worth the risk of getting shut down, or even worse - sued. Yes, you’ll see a lot of them out there, but they are not your competition and they are not the sellers that you should be striving to learn from or emulate going into 2024 (or any other year!).

Join the Community

Speaking of 2024 strategies, If you’re looking for a little extra encouragement and support going into the new year and want to be surrounded by fellow print on demand entrepreneurs on the same journey, I would love to have you be a part of our growing membership community in the SimplyThrive Club. In addition to resources, templates, community chats, monthly challenges, and more - starting in 2024 each month there will be an additional new live group masterclasses on the important topics related to growing a successful Etsy print on demand shop. I have a whole year of topics planned out, from Niches and SEO to Etsy Ads and External Traffic strategies and scaling efficiently.

Cheering you on and wishing you a prosperous 2024 in the world of Etsy print on demand!