How to make money with Print on Demand while travelling

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How to earn a passive income with Print on Demand

Do you have a ton of photos you’ve taken while travelling and left sitting on your laptop? Or phone, hard drive, drop box, hidden album on Facebook?

I have over 6,000 photos that have barely seen the light of day. And they are just from travels – not even the ones I take of interesting things I see when I’m living my normal (non-travelling) life!

About a year ago I started looking into side hustle options and came across Print on Demand. A simple, minimal fuss way of selling designs and images to the world without having to own, create or even ship out the actual items.

What is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand sites allow you to upload your designs onto their items and take care of literally everything else in the process. Once an item sells with your image on it, you earn a commission.

Every item will have a recommended retail price allocated to it, along with how much you will earn if the item sells. Some sites will allow you to increase the percentage of mark-up, but I don’t recommend playing with those until you have established yourself on those platforms.

The full process looks a bit like this:

  1. You create your design
  2. Upload the image onto the platform (in different sizes or variations)
  3. Add your design name and keywords
  4. Choose which items you want the image to be available on
  5. Edit the layout, size etc on different items
  6. Save and submit
  7. Someone buys an item with your design on it
  8. Platform then prints, packages, and sends the item to the customer
  9. You get paid your commission

Your next step is to promote individual items across your social media accounts, with links back to your designs.

Printful Print on Demand Flatlay

How do you create designs?

The great thing about Print-On-Demand is that you don’t need to be an fully fledged artist to create something.

The designs can be anything from hand drawn, to cartoon images, graphics, and photos. You can put your image on every item available or limit it to certain items to create a more niche feel to your store.

You can use photos that you have taken. Use Canva, Photoshop or even PowerPoint to create designs, funny slogans or quotes. You can paint or draw your design and scan the image.

You can also use designs and images made by other people – though I will be very clear here that you must check that you have permission to use the image and are allowed to sell it for commercial purposes. If you are going to go that way, I strongly recommend editing the image and adding your personal touch to it, so it is not a straight copy of someone else’s work.

The other option is to go onto sites like Creative Market and purchase designs already made – but again, make sure to check the licence rights and purchase the design under the commercial license so you can resell it.

There is absolutely no limit to the number of designs you can upload, and there are no fees for selling on these sites.

Print on Demand Face Masks on Redbubble

How do you earn money with Print On Demand?

Your one job after creating and uploading the design is to promote it.

You can create a blog to drive traffic to your store on their platforms or set up social media accounts with links to your designs. Items on these sites range from t-shirts to home furnishings, clothing, bags, face masks and even furniture.

Some of the sites also have flat-lay templates you can use to put the image of your design onto, which helps with advertising on sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

The best part about print-on-demand is that it is scalable, and essentially becomes passive income. You can upload the same image to every platform, simply because each platform tends to have a different audience. The more effort you put into the process, and the more you promote your products, the more successful you can be.

You don’t need to create a blog or eCommerce store to promote your different stores, though I have seen a few creators with their own portfolio websites. What is common though, is seeing creators advertise through Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. It is a very simple and easy way to generate passive income with minimal cost to you.

There are a number of different platforms available, and each caters to a different audience. So keep that in mind when deciding which platform or platforms are for you.

Stickers made by Print on Demand site Design by Humans

How do you pick the right platform for you?

Print on Demand is not a get rich quick scheme, it does take time to build an audience and consistent sales. However, you can certainly make a

Most of these platforms provide guidance and training on what designs and products are the most popular, and you should certainly take the time to look through the sites to see which one resonates the best with you.

What I have found, through my experience selling on Redbubble and Society6 is that you need to have a niche focus. When I say that, I mean a consistent style or theme throughout. It is also important to take the time to get your design right.

There are minimal overall costs involved, besides whatever programs or tools you use to create the designs, so take the time to really perfect your design because it will maximise the sale potential.

To help you choose the right print on demand platform for you, I have listed my top 8 recommendations that don’t require an eCommerce platform and can be easily managed from absolutely anywhere.

What are the Best Print On Demand sites to sell on?

Here are the top 8 Print on Demand sites for you to consider:

Redbubble Logo

1. REDBUBBLE

Redbubble is a popular print-on-demand site that has a significant online presence, and a large and loyal following.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased on their online marketplace. You can also set your own margins and prices for different products.

You can upload your image onto over 60 different products ranging from clothing, prints, stickers, stationary, phone cases, home wares, and bags.

I have an account that I sell through on Redbubble, and I can say it is very easy to use, and has generated a small but steady profit for me since I set it up a year ago. The key has been using social media to promote my designs.

Click here to get started with Redbubble 

2. SOCIETY6

Society6 is a global site and ship everywhere. Like Redbubble, Society6 have a large and varied customer base.

There are over 70 products to choose from, and interestingly, Society6 includes furniture and furnishings as part of their range of products.

Society6 is a bit trickier to upload onto, but that is because each item has its own image specifications. So it is necessary to have a few different sized variations of your image to really maximise the number of products your image can be printed onto.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased in their online marketplace. You can also set your own margins and prices for different products.

Click here to get started with Society6 

3. PRINTFUL

Printful have been established since 2013 and have over 250 products you can put your creations on to.

This includes products ranging from clothes, wall art, bags, phone cases, pillow covers and towels. You can even order samples of products with 20% off the price if you want to see how it looks (or just want something with your design on it!).

Printful is designed to be linked to your own online store (such as Shopify), on Printful itself or through Etsy. As a bonus, you can even add a personal short message on the packing slips or a custom sticker with your logo on the packages.

Click here to get started with Printful 

4. ZAZZLE

Zazzle is a very popular site with over 1,300 products to choose from. It even lets customers upload their own images onto products to really personalise their purchases.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased in their online marketplace. You can also set your own margins and prices for different products

Products on Zazzle range from clothing, accessories, office supplies, baby products, art, sports and even things for pets.

There are two ways to use Zazzle – upload your designs for others to print onto products. Or use designs made by other artists on Zazzle and print onto your products.

Click here to get started with Zazzle

CafePress Logo

5. CAFEPRESS

CafePress is one of the older players in the Print-on-demand market and has several unique selling points.

You can easily set up a storefront on CafePress to sell your designs through, however, unlike the others, there is a small monthly fee to be able to sell through the platform. Option 1: 10% of your monthly earnings capped at $10, or a flat rate of $6.95 regardless of whether you sell anything.

It is also not possible to link to an eCommerce platform, so your options for promoting products is solely through social media.

There is a very large range of products available, with further customisation for buyers and a Fan Portal. The Fan Portal is a very cool feature that allows you to create designs with pre-negotiated copyright agreements. There are strict rules to follow though, so make sure to read the fine print before using the Fan Portal images.

Click here to get started with CafePress

Design by humans logo

6. DESIGN BY HUMANS

Design by Humans is different to the other platforms in that they focus on being a community that empowers and supports other artists.

Creators here range from artists, to gamers and content creators. Design by Humans even has a Fandome section with exclusive licensed designs.

There are regular shirt competitions and the winning designs are promoted and sold at discounted prices.

Products do focus heavily on clothing, however there is also a large range of art, accessories, and household items.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased in their online marketplace. Just make sure to promote through your social media platforms.

Click here to get started with Design By Humans

TeePublic Logo

7. TEEPUBLIC

TeePublic is a smaller but no less successful platform targeted more towards indie designers with unique creations. TeePublic has a similar range of products as Redbubble but with more of a focus on apparel.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased in their online marketplace. Just make sure to promote through your social media platforms.

Click here to get started with TeePublic

SunFrog Logo

8. SUNFROG

SunFrog is a smaller platform which specialises in shirts, hoodies, tanks and t-shirts, with a wide range of genres and styles to choose from.

There is no need to set up a separate eCommerce platform, as the designs are showcased in their online marketplace. Just make sure to promote through your social media platforms.

Click here to get started with SunFrog

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the ones that I believe are the easiest to use with minimal cost to use (mainly that you do not need to set up your own e-commerce store to run it).

Have you used any of these Print on Demand services? What did you think? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Krissy

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