I’ve been intrigued by others who have launched successful businesses selling printables online and have been studying them for some time now. I’m not yet ready to launch a printable store myself, but I will say that it is on my radar, similar to launching my own PLR store.
This post will outline how you can get started with a printables business if you’re looking for a way to make money online and earn passive income as a side hustle or full-time income. I have purchased several courses, templates and resources that I will share with you as I feel they’re very good and helps cut down some of the time it may take to launch your printables store.
This post title says you can make 5 figures but of course how much you earn is up to you and the work you put in. I’ve just been amazed at how much people are making in this business so much so that I did all this research and now I’m sharing it with you.
One of the good things about this business is that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to get started. That was one of my apprehensions but I have found some amazing resources. You simply need a few free (or paid) tools and the desire to get into this niche to be profitable. Selling these products doesn’t even require you to have your own site, so the costs are low to get started.
Make money online selling printables by providing valuable digital products designed beautifully for people who are looking for these info products. It’s important that your printable is not only beautiful and useful, but that you find the market of people looking for your product and are priced well.
This printables course will teach you all the basics to get set up if you’re ready to start your printables shop.
In this post you will find
What Are Printables?
Printables are digital files like documents, spreadsheets, ebooks, planners, or a creative design that people can use to enhance various areas of their lives. They can be for professional or personal use. A simple and popular example is a daily planner. This is a form of printable that you can design and sell the digital file for someone else to print.
Printables can be made in a variety of niches. If you’re like me, you have a few planners for various needs. You might have a household planner, a work planner, one for kids activities and schedules, one for meal planning and prepping, etc. You might have event-specific planners too like Christmas planners, wedding planners, baby shower planners, renovation project planners, etc to keep everything for one activity organized and in one place.
Here are some popular type of printables to consider:
- design templates
- lesson plans
- coloring pages
- activity pages
- recipe cards
Why Creating and Selling Printables is a Great Online Business to Start
A printables store is a great passive income avenue. If you’ve heard all the buzz that passive income is the way to go, this is a great way to get your feet wet.
It’s one of the fastest growing income streams on the internet today, which is why a lot of people are getting on board. Having a passive income means that once you’ve created the product, you won’t be spending much time or energy on taking care of them so that they make money for you.
These are products that, once created, can continue to bring in money over and over again while you’re free to move on to something else. This will enable you to either create more printables or have time to devote to whatever your other income streams are.
Or, you can build it into something that can help you become your own boss and leave behind the daily office grind. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a quick or super-easy way to make money but once you get started, it can snowball into something massive.
The best part about making money online with printables is the hassle-free perk of selling digital products. You don’t have to ship anything to your house or ship something to someone else’s house.
There won’t be a backlog of tangible products and shipping envelopes or boxes cluttering your home waiting to be sent or stored in your garage hogging all the space.
There’s very little hassle whatsoever involved when you get into making printable items. Plus, this is a great creative outlet as well as being a money maker. Another good point is that you’re not going to have to empty out your life savings to get started in this business.
You’ll barely have to have any overhead. Shoppers choose the printable they want, they pay for it and click on download.
It’s that simple for them – and for you!
Printable Ideas to Sell
If you have no idea at all what you’d like to create, all you need to do is look at your own life or the lives of your friends. Look at what you or they find helpful, what you need, enjoy, or what you wish you had that could make your life easier.
Then create it!
Think about the paper products you use in order to maintain your life and schedule. Everything from recipes to decor in the form of uplifting quotes and images, to your monthly budget planner and more.
When all else fails, spy on your competition! Printables are a taste thing so even though you’ll probably be making the same things others are making, you’ll want to ensure your designs are unique and fit your design aesthetic and that of your target consumer.
Take a look at what’s selling a lot on sites like Etsy and Creative Market in the printables department. Everyone uses a form of printable in their life. It’s up to you to give them a prettier and handier design they can’t live without.
I go more in depth about the types of printables to sell here.
Choosing a Profitable Printables Niche
If you’re brand new to printables, there’s one important step that you have to take first. That’s deciding what niche your printables will be in. Remember that each niche can have dozens of different types of printables you can create, so don’t worry that you’re limiting your designs.
If you’re someone who already has an established blog, social media platform, or another type of online business, then it makes sense that you begin to create printables that complement that. If you’re in the new mom or pregnancy space for example, then one niche idea for you to break into with printables might be designing pregnancy planners, baby bump albums, baby wall art or even baby clothing patterns that moms can print off.
For those who work online and who already have a niche, this step might be a little easier for you. You can simply connect the kind of work you already do with the type of printable you want to create and sell.
If you’re into fitness, it makes sense that your printable endeavor would focus on all things related to fitness. It can be easiest to branch out into a printable area where you already have some knowledge of the market.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start from scratch and pick a new direction to take. Some people choose a niche for their printables and then branch out and add other niches over time. You can start with whatever you want to do and even change direction if you find that you don’t enjoy that niche. There’s no right or wrong way to jump into making money with printables.
Instead of picking a specific niche to target, you might select a type of printable to start with – like invitations for all occasions or journals. This way, you won’t have to narrow down your niche topic just yet. Do your research before you start uploading random printables. The reason that you want to do this is that you want to make sure that you’re choosing printables that are already selling for your topic or niche.
If there’s no market for it, then your printables won’t sell. If you’re at a loss as to what you might enjoy selling or what might actually sell, look at your own life. If you’ve been tracking your sleep for your own health or fitness, then you know that’s something that other people are also probably doing.
It makes sense then that health trackers would be a good printable to start making.
Keyword Research for Printables
To start your research, you want to use keywords, similar to blog SEO. Head over to Etsy.com to get some idea of what’s selling.
In the Etsy search bar, type in the word printable or printables. You’ll notice that it will auto-suggest a ton of different types of printables. You’ll get ones for calendars, for wall art and more. This will give you an idea of what’s popular in printables on the site.
Continue your research to get a feel for the items in these popular listings that are selling. These will not be your jumping off keywords as the main keywords can be too broad. They are just the start of your research. Next, you’ll want to utilize the database of an accurate tool.
I use and LOVE Keysearch, an affordable keyword analysis tool that shows which keywords have the highest search volume and lowest competition in your printable niche. You’ll want to use those keywords and phrases that are of low competition when entering the printables market.
One of the best ways to make sure your printables are in demand is to look at who’s selling what on the platform that you’ve chosen to host your printables. If someone else is selling it, even if it’s in the exact same niche, you can bet that it means the market is open for that printable. There’s a customer base there ripe and ready for your spin on the product.
When you do your research and discover what kind of printable you’d like to do, make sure that it sells well. Competition is healthy in online business. It means the topic has been proven to sell to a willing audience. Don’t veer off to something unheard of if you want to increase your odds of success. You can develop something unique when the market is primed and ready for your innovation.
It can be daunting to think that if there are dozens of sellers with listings for journal page printables, there won’t be room for yours. But there is. Taste is subjective. Some consumers will buy plain journal pages, while others want ones that are more decorative.
You can always tap into a niche, even if it’s crowded, and do well if your product is good. When doing your Etsy research in your niche, look under the seller’s name. This will show you how many sales that person has made. You’ll also be able to see their star rating. Study the sellers who have plenty of sales and who have ample stars. These are the ones doing it right.
Their product is getting noticed and the quality is good. By seeing what the comments are, you can also glean information about what customers are looking for. For example, if a seller is creating journal pages, someone might leave a comment saying they wish there was a space for the date at the top of the page.
You can use that information to make sure that if you create a journal page, that some of your designs have a space for the date. Just remember where there’s interaction from consumers, there’s interest.
When you start doing your research on your printable niche, you’re going to find seller after seller across various platforms. Don’t waste your time checking out sellers that aren’t creating popular designs. Emulate the ones that do have the popular designs. For example, if you see that budgeting printables featuring positive phrases are selling well, it’s okay to create a budgeting printable that features phrases, too.
You just want to make sure that you’re not copying that other person’s work because not only is that unethical, but if you use something someone else designed, you could violate a copyright.
Look for inspiration when you do your research, not underhanded shortcuts based on someone else’s work. Seeing so many of the same kinds of printables within a niche might make you feel like there’s nothing new under the sun.
But a seller, even dozens of sellers, will not meet every single need or desire a consumer has for a product. Keep an eye out for what’s missing. Find that unique selling point within every printable niche that will help consumers choose you over the competition.
How to Make Printables to Sell
In today’s modern world of apps and affordable software, it’s actually quite easy to make beautiful printables to sell, even if you’re not an artist. Many of the tools used to create printables will have templates that you can start from. Simply change the fonts, colors and design elements in these templates to make them your own and you’re well on your way.
Some of the tools used to create printables include:
These will vary in degree of difficulty. For myself, I use Canva to create most of my graphics and for printables, I start in Google Docs then bring them into Canva to complete their designs. Even my eBooks are done in Canva because it’s just so easy to use.
Canva is free but I subscribe to their paid plan because it gives me more features that I use often, like the ability to save my brand colors and fonts, a folder to store all my logos and design elements plus access to a wide variety of paid stock images and graphics that are beautiful and licensed for commercial use.
If you’re really committed to creating a printables store, it is a good idea to invest in your craft and take a course that teaches you everything you need to know about designing printables and setting up the store for success. Kate Riley has put together a comprehensive resource that takes you through setting up Etsy, designing printables, getting traffic to your store, and making sales outside of printables. Check out the course here. She’s even thrown in a pack of printables that you can customize and sell as your own to get started.
Tips for Creating Digital Downloads to Sell
Once you’ve decided on your niche and created your designs, you’ll need a way to sell them.
Because they’re a simple digital download, you can sell printables in a variety of virtual places. Some sites, such as Etsy, already have a huge platform for this along with many sellers that are doing very well. Etsy is not a free platform, so you’ll want to make sure you have everything ready to go before you set your shop live. Make sure all your designs are created and are in their final form, ready to be downloaded and printed. Digital files that are meant to be printed are mostly sold as PDFs unless you’re selling spreadsheets or templates.
Not every customer will have a printer at home so they’re going to need to download the PDF and get it printed elsewhere. Make sure you have some kind of disclaimer giving the customer the okay to have your product printed elsewhere as well as very clear instructions for printing. Make this process as easy as possible. Don’t assume that everyone who buys your product is familiar with buying printable products online.
Help make your product easy to use. While it might seem like common sense and easy to you, not every customer will understand how to put your product together or how to use it. It’s a good idea to detail the instructions in a separate file so that they’re part of the download for each printable you sell.
Selling Printables on Amazon and eBay
Amazon is another platform where you can sell printables. What works best on this site is to create your printable in a bigger form. Instead of selling a printable page for a journal, you’ll want to sell the whole journal.
Instead of selling a teaching worksheet, you’ll want to sell a package of worksheets in a bundle. Amazon has strict rules on what it will and won’t allow in this category so you’ll have to be sure you’re following the TOS correctly.
We know eBay as a huge auction site so you’ve probably never considered that it’s also a popular site for digital goods. There’s been some confusion about the ability to sell digitally on eBay that led some to believe that it was a problem on the site, but that’s not true.
You just have to get it in the right category when you list. When you submit your printable for approval, you’ll need to list it under an information product as the category. However, eBay does also have rules that must be followed when it comes to this category. For instance, you must be an approved seller on the site. If your product violates any kind of copyright, such as you using artwork that’s not for commercial use, then you can’t sell it on the platform. Once eBay approves your listing, you’re good to go. This is why you might want to check out Creative Market, one of my favorite places to pick up graphics for commercial use on printables.
Another option is to sell your printables directly on your website. You can set up your own WordPress website and connect it to a plugin like Woocommerce or SendOwl to get started with this. Or you can set up a storefront on Shopify or Bigcommerce.
Sometimes, printables can be sold within a certain industry on like-minded sites. For example, you might be someone who wants to create educational printables. These sell well on many platforms, including teaching platforms such as Teachers Pay Teachers.
One of the best ways to research where to sell your printables is to use whatever niche you’re in to find platforms. If you’re into creating weight loss printables, then look for platforms catering to a weight-loss audience.
The same with things like planners, worksheets, etc. To find out where to sell printables, target your competition. Find out where they’re selling and to which audience. You can find this information out just by doing a search online for printables. To narrow it down, search for your specific printable.
For more detailed information on selling printables, be sure to check out the Printable Profit Mastery course.
Where to Buy Printables to Sell
There are several printable creators that will sell their designs to you in raw format so you can make them your own and resell them for profit. These will come in very handy if you want to get started quickly and you’re not very experienced with creating your own designs.
I love the Printable Vault that comes with a huge bundle of printables in different categories. You can easily switch up the colors, the fonts, change the themes a bit and create several multiples of these to sell in your shop.
If you’d like to dip your toes in one niche only, here are some great printables with commercial use license that you can resell:
- wedding planner
- homeschool activities
- 2021 printable calendar planner pack
- social media management journal
- gratitude journal
- self care journal
- mental health journal
- family camping planner
- teacher planner
And a whole bunch more. Check out the main shop with weight loss planners, fitness trackers, holiday planners, pregnancy journey planners and a whole bunch more added monthly.
Another printable retailer I love is PLRBeach. They came out with an emergency medical planner that I think should be a must have for all families. You just never know when you’ll need this information and it’s good to have it in one place for all your immediate and maybe even extended family members.
They have other great printables that you can resell, including Dear Santa letters, Christmas planners, Thanksgiving planners, small business planners, fitness planners, budget planners and coloring pages. Check out their shop here.
Speaking of coloring pages, this is a hot niche and Color Monthly is my go-to for these kinds of printables to resell. They’ve got coloring pages, planners, journals and lots of cute designs that you can resell in your new printable shop.
Starting your own printables business isn’t difficult or expensive. There’s a short learning curve and a limited amount of time required to create these low content items before you can start enjoying the profits from your efforts.
I hope these tips inspired you to set-up your online shop to create a side-income or a fulltime income for yourself.