Fascinated by the idea of selling digital downloads for a living?
Hey! I’m Bethany Archer – that’s exactly what I do, and in 2020 I made a little over $164k in sales.
Here’s how I got started.
My story is both unlike and alike many other people’s stories.
The truth is, I think many of us are in similar boats when it comes to the “hamster wheel of life” as I like to put it.
Also – I’m WORDY.
I can’t help myself.
So just a heads up – it is what it is 😂
ANYWAY – so tell me if this sounds familiar to you:
You get up super early, get yourself ready, and then go wake up your kids to get them ready.
After feeding everyone, you get them all out the door, drop the kids off at school and/or daycare, then head to work.
You then spend the biggest portion of your day working in a job where you’re both underpaid for what you do and under appreciated.
Bills have to be paid, right?
So then work is done. You go pick up the kids from wherever they are at, then you head home and figure out whatever semi-nutritious dinner you can put on the table within a reasonable amount of time while juggling homework help, breaking up arguments, and feeding the dog.
You eat dinner, spend maybe a few hours with your kids (or in their proximity while you try to get caught up on all the mess – let’s be real), put them to bed, and finally have some time to yourself.
But you end up spend it thinking guilty thoughts about how little time you spend with your family or how you should be working out/cleaning/doing laundry/etc but you just don’t have the energy.
Then you crash, only to wake up the next morning to do it all over again.
That is the hamster wheel of modern life, my friend. And it sucks.
But seriously – it doesn’t have to be like that.
There was a time when it was like that for me, and it isn’t anymore.
Here’s how I got out of it.
Back in 2016 I found myself newly divorced, former work-at-home mom with a stupid day job.
Okay actually – I LIKED the job itself but I was overqualified, underpaid, and to be honest my employer was a pretty difficult person to work for.
I also had an Etsy business at the time selling decals, coffee mugs and a few other items.
Unfortunately, because my internet was so poor and my power situation unreliable for running equipment I couldn’t run the business efficiently enough to make a living with it.
I mean – it’s kinda hard to be profitable when I spend all of my time troubleshooting a generator so I can finish an order…
…and then it takes me an hour to get the shipping label generated because my internet is garbage…
Hence the “Day Job of Misery.”
Honestly – the quality of life was really awful.
Oh also – it’s probably relevant that I was living completely off grid in an unfinished house.
I was finishing it myself as I had the cash but didn’t have fancy things like electricity, a septic system, kitchen cabinets, counters, or even drywall or doors for the bathroom & bedrooms.
Regardless of how crappy my job was or the realities of living in an unfinished house…
I hated the morning rush routine of my life the most.
Getting up early, packing up my kids, dropping off the older ones at the bus, taking the younger one to daycare, going to my job, being there all day, coming home, managing snacks and dinner and homework and bedtimes and laundry and just being so exhausted constantly.
(I feel exhausted just writing that!)
I never had time to even really breathe.
OH MY GOSH it was just such a tense, soul-sucking nightmare.
Oh and did I mention I was trying to still run my Etsy business? Burnout city!
I’m a bit of a free spirit, you see.
I hate having my day structured by other people or requirements. I honestly don’t know how some people can live their entire lives like that.
Right around that time, my mom started talking to me about selling my designs digitally. I didn’t think I was NEARLY good enough (newsflash, I actually wasn’t!) and I kinda just dismissed the thought.
But the idea stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.
So, I started Board & Batten Design Co. in January of 2017 selling SVG cut files, since that’s basically what I knew.
I threw up a couple designs, and HOLY COW someone actually bought one!
So naturally I started thinking about how I could set myself apart in a sea of SVG designers, and started adding new designs as I had energy and momentum for.
I started with simpler designs, and began to teach myself the more complex parts of design as I went along.
A month later, I got laid off from my job.
Normally bad, right?
Not this time!! I won’t lie – I literally went home and opened a bottle of wine to celebrate.
The timing seemed right and this seemed like my opportunity to make a big change.
I was laid off on a Friday, that next Monday I still went to work.
Only this time, I went to work on my OWN business at the local business center in town. They have super fast internet and it’s just a place where folks like me with slow rural internet could come work.
I packed my lunch, dropped off the kids, and then went to work, every day.
I spent my day creating new designs, working on my marketing, and spending countless hours going deeper learning online business in general.
And guess what? I replaced my job income within three months.
You see, my friend, this this is all just a numbers game.
The more time you can spend, the more you will make. The key here is to realize that this is all cumulative.
In a physical product business, you first make a sale and then have to spend your time physically creating, packing & shipping the order.
No – with digital, you make it ONCE, then put it up for sale and then the website does literally all the rest of the work.
It just sells over and over and over.
As of right now, I have several designs I have made FIVE figures on over the years.
I mean – don’t get me wrong, they definitely aren’t ALL like that. But it sure is nice when they are.
The point is – it is SO scale-able.
You make it once and just keep selling it over and over and over for years to come, all the while creating more and more designs and before you know it, you have enough designs making money on a consistent basis that you find yourself in a very comfortable position.
Even if you only have a few hours a week you can spend growing your business, just remember one thing:
Each product or design you put out there will STAY there and it will keep making you money and eventually you will hit that point where you can make it a full time deal.
And then – watch out, world!!
Click here to read Part 2 of my story! (AKA the part where I started making 6-figure sales)