How a Woman Makes $900 a Month Selling Canva Signs for Airbnbs on Etsy - Business Insider

Summary

Mary Dailey created a simple Canva template for Airbnb hosts to use to make their own welcome signs.

Dailey has sold a single $4 template over 650 times on Etsy.

Mary Dailey created a simple Canva template for Airbnb hosts to use to make their own welcome signs.

Dailey has sold a single $4 template over 650 times on Etsy.

She had no design experience before and it takes her only an hour a day to tend to her Etsy shop.

Mary Dailey doesn't have any graphic-design training. But her digital handiwork is on display in hundreds of Airbnbs around the world.

Dailey — a mother of two and part-time human-resources professional in Boone, North Carolina — runs an Etsy shop that specializes in "printables" for short-term rentals.

Dailey uses the graphic-design platform Canva to create welcome-sign templates that include all the information an Airbnb guest might need during their stay, from Wi-Fi passwords and checkout instructions to house rules and recommendations for local restaurants.

It took just 90 minutes of work for Dailey to create one Canva template, for example, that has sold over 650 times for about $4 each.

"I make it once and then it just keeps selling," Dailey, 42, told Insider. "It's like, too good to be true."

Dailey said she made $900 selling templates on Etsy last month alone. Her costs, which include Etsy taking an approximate 9.5% cut of all her sales, are relatively low. The best part is that it's a low-lift side hustle that she can maintain in less than a few hours a night after her kids are in bed.

Dailey's Etsy store, NewRiverDesignCo, contains multiple Airbnb printables and even resources for teachers. Etsy

Dailey started her Etsy shop in 2021

Dailey's goal in launching her Etsy shop was to bring in extra income and flex her creative muscles. Typically, she's done with her day job by 2 p.m. so she can pick up her kids from school. She spends her evening hours attending to the store.

She first started with T-shirts, but didn't find much traction. Dailey then noticed other shops selling printables and thought it was worth a shot.

A quick search for "Airbnb" on Etsy returns nearly 17,000 item results — and Etsy actively tries to steer hosts to relevant products for sale. In January 2022, Airbnb and Etsy partnered up for an "Art of Hosting" collection of home items sold on the platform designed to spruce up rental properties.

At the start of 2022, Dailey used YouTube to find tips and tricks for the free-to-use Canva. With no experience, she spent an hour and a half coming up with a unique way to present all the information she imagined a guest would need when checking into an Airbnb. She set a low price — $3.85 — and had equally low expectations.

"If I can sell five of these a week, I'd be happy," she said. Now she sells between 20 and 25 templates a day.

Dailey adds keywords to the items she sells to help Airbnb hosts find them

Dailey credits some of her success to hitting a "black hole" in the Etsy search algorithm. She said Etsy prioritizes products with long titles that contain lots of keywords, so she sometimes adds phrases like "beach house" and "mountain house" in case hosts are looking for specific aesthetics.

Maintaining the storefront is simple. She pays 20 cents a day to "renew" her listing, and will sometimes splurge on a $2-a-day extra fee for additional advertising on Etsy.

Dailey thinks the products resonate with new Airbnb hosts who might feel like they are in over their heads when they're setting up a listing. The signs are a cheap and simple way to present necessary information to guests.

"People when they get into it, they're like, 'What do I need to know? What do I do? What am I supposed to be doing here?'" she said.

Dailey thinks it helps that her hometown of Boone, nestled in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, is a small hub for short-term rentals. There's both a ski town and a college town in the area. Two Boone-area listings for treehouses even made a list of the country's top 10 most-desired Airbnbs, according to the Charlotte Observer.

She understands when local friends with Airbnb listings buy her signs, but the international reach of her simple design is most shocking. She's woken up to orders overnight from customers in Australia, Italy, Nigeria, and Brazil.

"I forget the scale of Airbnb," she said. "People all over the world are doing it."

How a Woman Makes $900 a Month Selling Canva Signs for Airbnbs on Etsy - Business Insider
Photo Credit: Business Insider

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