By allowing me to show you how to make printables, you can create an income doing something you love! Plus, you’ll get to be creative and have fun in the process! Keep reading for ways to make money creating your own printables.
Before I started my blog, I used to design websites and logos for clients. While I am grateful for that experience, it burned me out, and I didn’t feel like I was as creative as I could be. It was entirely my fault for not charging enough and not setting boundaries and trying too hard to please clients…but that’s a whole different story. When I started designing printables, it was a huge sigh of relief, and I thought it was incredible that I could design whatever I wanted (within reason) and make money doing it!
Before I get into this, let me start out by saying that learning how to make printables is NOT a get rich plan. In fact, I have yet to get rich off of designing printables, but I make enough money for fun things like clothes and vacation…and sometimes food because food is fun for me.
While I taught myself how to design in Adobe Illustrator, I’m happy to report that YOU DON’T HAVE TO…
because I have an online course called Printable Design for Beginners that is specifically catered for learning how to create printables and digital products.
Once you learn how to design in Illustrator, you can create numerous revenue streams with digital products!
3 Ways to Make Money Selling Printables
1. SELL PRINTABLE SETS IN AN ONLINE SHOP
Before I took up blogging full-time (okay, part-time because I’m a mom, and I can’t blog 40 hours a week), I designed party printable sets. I loved it because I would create a set, take party pictures, and add them to my Etsy shop. Most people wanted the invites customized, so it wasn’t completely passive, but it was a steady income for a while.
Now, I sell Printable Planners, SVG Files, Printable Sets, and even my online courses in my Shopify Store…but I want to give you some options, so read on about these different platforms:
My Etsy shop always did really well, but once Etsy changed its policies, my sales TANKED. Like, I went from making $500 plus a month on those 14 sets (mostly my 3 most popular sets) to $0.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t start an Etsy store. You should definitely try it. It’s a minimum investment at 20 cents per listing, and you don’t pay fees until you make sales. Read up on Etsy SEO, add multiple listings to your shop (a lot more than my 14…another one of my mistakes), and be patient. It may take a while to gain some traction on Etsy. I’m considering opening another Etsy shop as soon as I have enough digital products created.
I used Woocommerce for my site, and I like it for a while. It has automatic downloads, which I need because I do not have time to email my files to every customer (although it was quite glitchy and I had to send emails personally to a lot of customers). It’s a great free option if you’re looking to save money and keep visitors on your site.
But my FAVORITE online platform is SHOPIFY-
I have a whole slew of reasons why Shopify is my favorite, and you can find them all in my post, How to Sell Printables on Shopify.
Hands down, it’s the best platform for selling anything online, but I especially love it for digital products.
2. WHOLESALE OR FREELANCE DESIGN
Freelance design is a lot like doing logo design, only sometimes it’s not quite as much work. There’s not as much pressure for a perfect design with printables – logos have to have a lot more thought go into them. But printables are usually not so abstract.
I have done work for some big name bloggers, so it’s cool to have my work on large sites. If you are looking to do freelance work, it’s best to work with people that you know and trust and have a set price for your designs. I charge hourly and that works well for my clients and me.
The biggest drawback to freelance work is that you won’t make residual income on that design unless you state that in your contract. That also means that you may not receive credit for the work on that site. They paid for it, so they are under no obligation to do so. Sometimes the money is good enough for those drawbacks not to matter! And, once you know how to make printables you can work for endless clients.
3. BLOG ABOUT FREE PRINTABLES
This sounds like an oxymoron, right? How do you make money designing free printables? There are actually a couple of ways I do this, and these are my favorite ways to make money with printables. It took me about a year of serious blogging before I made money this way. That can be a whole blog post in and of itself, but just know you need to be patient and do your research!
Sponsored Posts –
Brands freaking LOVE free printables! Not only will you provide great content, but free printables will also give readers and incentive to visit your site. Printables are different from other content because readers leave with something tangible (digital, but still tangible once they’re printed out!) Be sure to take my course on how to make printables, otherwise, you may not be able to deliver on your contract.
You can see a couple of examples HERE and HERE of two fun printable sponsored posts. I created printables, made a tutorial for practical ways to use these printables and promoted the products all in one post.
Before you can start doing sponsored posts, you will need to have at least 5,000 page views a month. Just make sure you post consistently (once or twice a week), join some blogger support groups on Facebook (especially look for local groups), and start your social media pages and EMAIL LIST (seriously, do it now)!!!! It sounds daunting, but if you want to make money this way, just create quality content and shout it from the rooftops!
Ad Income –
I love ad income because it really is passive income.
You probably hear a lot of negativity about ads, and it’s not for everyone…but if you’re going to create all the free content, people can deal with scrolling past a couple of ads. The biggest reason I didn’t want ads on my site was that they weren’t pretty. As a graphic designer, that was super important to me. However, once I started making money with ads, I changed my tune. Most ads are created by a skilled designer, so they’re visually appealing.
The second drawback is the type of ads you could get on your blog. I went through an ad agency, and I turned off all ads for porn (yikes!), politics, and religion.
I’m not a whiz at ads, I just hand it over to my ad agency and let them do all the work. If you’re just starting out, you may not have that option since you have to apply for some agencies (meaning, you have to show that advertisers will get noticed on your site). Start out with google ads and when you’re ready, apply at an ad agency (I recommend MediaVine or Adthrive – depending on how many page views you have).
My guess is you’ll be doing a little bit of everything like I am, but for now, focus on one thing. Work hard and be efficient and you can start making money designing printables!
Want more Printable Design Resources? Check out these posts:
- Printable Design for Beginners Course – we’ve already gone over this, but if you currently aren’t using Illustrator for designing printables, or if you have illustrator but want to get to know it a little (okay, A LOT) better, this course will be perfect for you!
- How I Got Started in the Printable Business – did you know I am self-taught? I learned by trial and error (but luckily you don’t have to!) Check out the story on how I started in the Printable Design biz.
- The Printable Design Resource Guide – ALL my posts that have to do with running an online business!
- How to Sell Printables on Shopify – And one of those ways is to sell them in a shop…I heart Shopify so much (go see why!)
- How to Get Bright White Photos and Other Photography Tips – You’re going to need some awesome photos of those printables once your done. Check out my photography tips for getting bright and cheery photos.
- How to use Mock up Photos to Promote Printables – Sometimes mock ups are easier than pictures…plus they look great!
Chantal Steele says
This post is much appreciated! I am planning on making more printables for my readers and design is my biggest downfall. I’m definitely going to check your resources out! Thanks!
So glad you like it!
Found you on Pinterest, I love designing printable products for my readers as well! I’d love to collaborate with you. Feel free to stop by my blog anytime, I’m a new follower 😉
This post is great! I have been blogging and creating printables from the start. I’ve utilized Google ads for 2 tears with decent profit. I love and agree with all of this and I’m definitely going to work hard on my Etsy shop I just opened. I’d love for you to stop by and check out my printables. You can definitely see how far I’ve come!
Hi, I was wondering if you could explain about the policies Etsy changed that hurt your earnings. I have purchased on Etsy for years and have been contemplating selling, but now I’m wondering if it’s worth my time if it’s too difficult to do now.
P.S. I enjoyed reading this post!
Hi Katrina- They started letting companies that didn’t sell hand made items and changed some things with the search engine. You should definitely try selling on Etsy, since many people make a good living on it! Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you so much for this post. It’s been a real enlightenment. I’ve been wanting to add this to my website for a while now… I just have one question: who do I contact/where do I go to have my prints printed on partyware?
I started my own Etsy shop, a couple of days ago, because of this post! You inspired me, thank you 🙂
I am SO happy you decided to follow your dreams! Congrats!!!
So glad I found this! i just started my Etsy shop and wondered about selling digital prints. This inspires me to keep going.
You can do this!