How To Start A Profitable Print On Demand Business In 2023

Print on demand is a great business model that allows you to set up an online store, upload your designs and sell them without worrying about inventory or shipping. You don’t even have to buy the products upfront. Your customers will place their orders online, which are then automatically sent to a print vendor to be produced. 

The only thing you have to pay for is the price of the products and the shipping costs, which means that you can avoid the risk of holding inventory and the cost of buying it upfront.

With print on demand, you can turn your designs into actual products and sell them online without investing in inventory or managing the shipping process. You need to upload your design ideas and let the site take them from there. 

These businesses are great for those who want to be our bosses and have a creative streak but aren’t sure how to get our foot in the door. In this article, I will show you how to make money from print on demand with no upfront investment.

What Is Print On Demand?

Print on demand is a model allowing creators to publish their designs (prints, artwork, photos) on products without carrying inventory or shipping the products themselves. The print-on-demand supplier holds the product in the warehouse, prints your designs on the blank shirts or mugs, and then ships it to your buyers.

You only create a product when someone orders it; this allows you to save costs on production, inventory, warehousing, and shipping, just like an Amazon FBA business

This turns out to be a great solution for artists and bloggers who want to monetize their platform with physical products. It’s a way of making money by selling custom merchandise without maintaining any inventory.

You create a design, upload it to a third-party website, and get paid for each sale item. All the printing and shipping are done for you. You have no physical contact with the products.

How To Start A Print On Demand Business?

Starting a Print on Demand business can be pretty straightforward. You can take a few steps to get started with your own! You’ll find this business interesting if you have a thing for designing. 

You will be able to create designs or choose from ones already made and then sell them on different products made through print-on-demand. The best part about this is that there’s no upfront cost for inventory, so it’s risk-free!

Here are some steps for creating your print on demand business:

1. Choose A Platform To Host Your Business

There are several platforms available for starting your own printing company. Some are free, while others have a monthly subscription fee. If you’re just getting started with your business, I recommend using a free platform like Shopify or Etsy. Once you’ve built up some sales history and a following for your products, you can always upgrade later.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that offers tools for creating, selling, and managing online stores. It also offers several apps that allow you to easily integrate additional features into your stores, such as payment processing and shipping management.

Etsy is an e-commerce platform for creative entrepreneurs who want to sell their handmade goods directly to consumers through an online marketplace where buyers can easily connect with sellers from around the world.

Many different platforms are available online, but the two most popular are Shopify and Etsy. Both offer similar services, but they have different features and cost structures.

2. Decide On What To Sell

Print-on-demand, or POD, means that you only produce the items people order from you.

The first thing you want to do is decide what products to sell. The original products are blanks; they could be t-shirts, mugs, or toys. You have to choose which of these you want to create designs for. I’d recommend you go for products in high demand that way you’ll get more orders and make more profit.

If you love movies or music, selling apparel related to that topic would be an excellent choice. While many people would like to start with a completely original product, starting with something more common first may be better. This will help you learn how everything works and give you time to learn about how customers respond to your products before investing too much time or capital into developing unique products.

3. Find A Niche Market That Interests You

You cannot target the whole market. You’re not the only one doing print on demand. So, you must find a niche market. Let’s assume you want to sell t-shirts. A niche market could be t-shirts for teenagers. Your market, therefore, becomes kids between 13 to 19. If you are interested in this niche, creating designs for them will happen naturally.

The best place to start looking for ideas would be online. You can check out sites such as Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration on what type of designs people are looking for in their everyday lives. Another great tool for finding ideas would be Google Trends which shows what search terms are popular in any given month or year to see what people are looking for online at any given time.

4. Find Suppliers For The Product

Once you’ve decided what type of product you want to sell, it’s time to find suppliers for this product.

You may need to look around for suppliers in your area or online if there aren’t any available locally. Make sure that the supplier has good prices and a good reputation so that people will trust buying from them again in the future.

5. Create The Designs

This is the part you have to get creative. Keep in mind that what you’re selling is the custom designs. The design attracts your buyers and not the blanks, so put in the work. You can use apps like Canva or Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop to create your designs on a computer. 

However, there are plenty of design apps available for mobile devices if you’d instead work from your phone or tablet! You can create beautiful designs with them.

The best part is that Canva has a free plan, so paying for a plan is optional. The paid plan has special features such as background remover and transparency tool, which could come in handy in your design. While you’re at it, pay attention to the resolution. Make it as high as possible.

If you’re not cut out for graphics design, save yourself the stress and higher a freelance designer, but that would cost you.

6. Upload The Mockup Designs

When you’re done creating the design, you have to upload them onto your products. You’ll need to create mockups of each product you want to sell to show it off to your customer.

Thankfully, websites like Printful, RedBubble, and Printify have built-in mockup generators that would allow you to create real-life mockups for your designs even if you have no graphic design skills. You just have to upload your design, and a mockup will be generated for it.

You can use Photoshop or another image editor program for this or hire someone else to do it for you at sites like Fiverr or Freelancer.

7. List Them For Sale

After you have uploaded your mockups, you need to list them for sale. The best way to do this is by using an online platform like Etsy, Instagram, TikTok, or RedBubble, where there are millions of customers looking for products like yours.

Promoting your products is the most important and often the most overlooked step of selling print-on-demand products. Sure, you have an amazing store and beautiful products, but people have to know about it to buy. 

And since you’re probably not a marketing or advertising expert, it’s easy to get stuck trying to figure out the best way to promote your store. We’re here to help!

There are many ways you can sell your POD products. You could go with a marketplace like Printful or Etsy or create your website free with Shopify. Another option is to use a website builder such as Squarespace or Wix.

After setting up your store, the next step is marketing your products. Marketing can include social media ads, influencer marketing campaigns, and video content creation.

If you’re new to digital marketing, I recommend hiring an agency or consultant who specializes in this area so they can help guide you through the process without wasting too much time on things that aren’t relevant to your business model (and don’t forget about SEO).

You’ll also need to think about how much inventory you need and when it should be shipped out and how returns will be handled if necessary, to avoid shipping delays due to high demand during peaks.

Next, start thinking about what kind of content you can create around your store. If you’ve got a niche that people are interested in learning about (like collectible Pokemon cards or 3D printing), start writing short blog posts and tweeting about it. That’ll give people something to engage with.

Is Print On Demand Profitable?

The answer is Yes! You can make money from print on demand. It’s a growing industry, and the business model is easy to implement, making it very attractive to entrepreneurs and individuals who want extra income. 

The best part about the print-on-demand business is that it requires very little upfront investment compared to other eCommerce businesses. All you need are some good designs for your products and a website where you can sell them. That’s pretty much it! Here are our top five reasons why we think it’s a good idea:

  • It’s profitable
  • It’s low-risk
  • You’re selling something that people want
  • The design process is easy and fun
  • You don’t have to spend a fortune to start

How Much Can You Make From Print On Demand?

You can make up to $500 to $2,400 monthly from print on demand. Many people have achieved a steady income or even a thriving business by offering their designs for print-on-demand products and selling them online through an online marketplace, print provider, or eCommerce platform. They may also sell at craft fairs and local markets.

Selling custom-designed products is particularly popular because it allows for plenty of creativity and flexibility. You can design whatever you want, whenever you want! There are many different products to choose from, with the t-shirt being one of the most popular options. 

People often start with t-shirts because they’re easy to design and make great gifts for friends and family who share similar interests or hobbies. The possibilities are endless!

What Are The Best Websites For Print On Demand?

Several websites are recommended for starting a print-on-demand business. Many of these websites will let you create an account and start selling your products right away, while others may require more work.

Before setting up your shop, you’ll want to research which one best fits you and your business.

These platforms have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to find the one that will work best with your specific needs. In no particular order, here are some of the most popular print-on-demand options you can try out:

1. Printful

Printful is a Print on Demand (POD) platform that allows you to create and sell custom apparel, such as t-shirts, hoodies, etc. Printful offers a wide variety of products for you to choose from, including popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and Disney. 

It is one of the best sources of print-on-demand supplies. They not only connect you with suppliers but offer packaging, printing, and shipping all in one place. Although they have limited products, those interested in clothing, home and living will find Printful quite useful for their POD business. 

Once you create an account with them, you can go ahead and find the products and then create mockups for your designs.

2. Printify

Printify is one of the most popular print-on-demand services, and it offers an easy way to get your designs out there. The platform allows you to create a store where you can sell your products without worrying about shipping or fulfillment. 

Printify is a fantastic platform for print-on-demand supplies. They have products from all over the world, so you’ll find pretty much everything you want. Plus, their website is easy to navigate.

Printify has thousands of templates, so you don’t have to worry about creating customized designs for every product you want to sell. You also don’t have to worry about fulfilling orders, as Printify will handle everything for you.

Once you sign up, you can browse through and find the categories you’re interested in. Select a supplier and then start designing. Although you can sign up for free, getting a paid premium plan ($29/month) offers many benefits, especially if you’re serious about your print-on-demand business.

3. Shopify 

Shopify is a very popular eCommerce platform that’s easy to use and can be integrated with other third-party apps. It has an easy drag-and-drop interface that makes it possible to customize your website in minutes, and it’s also free to set up an account, so you don’t have to pay anything right away. 

The most significant advantage of using this platform is its easy-to-use interface, ideal for new businesses.

Shopify has apps for everything you could need to run your business, including inventory management and order processing. You can also use Shopify’s integration with third-party software like Quickbooks Online and Square POS to get even more out of your Shopify store.

4. WordPress + WooCommerce

WordPress + WooCommerce is one of the best websites for print on demand. It is one of the most popular platforms for e-commerce businesses, and it has a big community of developers and designers.

This is the best option for people who want to run a blog and an e-commerce website.

WooCommerce has many powerful features that make it easy to sell digital downloads or physical goods in an online store. You can also use these two tools to create an online storefront without starting from scratch.

Plenty of themes is available that allow you to integrate your shop with your existing website design.

5. CafePress

CafePress has a wide range of products for sale, including shirts, mugs, posters, and calendars. The site also allows you to sell your designs through its Customizer tool.

The best part about CafePress is that the service is free for both the buyer and seller. The site takes care of all the printing, packaging, and shipping costs for you to focus on making money instead of worrying about running an online store.

In addition to selling products, CafePress also offers other services such as custom websites and email marketing campaigns. The company even offers a free analytics tool that lets you see how many people visit your store each day and other useful data such as which products sell best and how much revenue each product generates per month or year.

6. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is the top choice for online retailers who need to increase sales fast. BigCommerce has everything you need to quickly and easily set up a professional online store, including thousands of pre-designed templates, world-class marketing tools, and even a free mobile app. 

If you like the idea of being able to add and change content on your store easily? BigCommerce offers a way for you to create a dynamic website. It also has monitoring tools to keep track of the products that are selling best and the ones that aren’t selling.

If you’re looking for a great place to start your own print-on-demand business, BigCommerce is an excellent platform for you.

7. RedBubble

RedBubble is a print-on-demand website, meaning they don’t keep any inventory of your products. Instead, they print one at a time as orders come in. The website is easy to use and has a lot of great features. The best part is that all the products are customizable, so you can create your design or choose from an existing template.

They offer a wide variety of products, including apparel, phone cases, home decor, etc. They also have an excellent community that can help you market your designs or get feedback before publishing them.

This helps keep prices low and makes it easy for you to get started selling on RedBubble.

8. Spreadshirt

Spreadshirt is one of the best-known POD platforms. It offers a wide range of products, including apparel, accessories, home decor, etc. The site’s design is clean and simple, making it easy to quickly upload your designs and get them out to customers.

Spreadshirt also allows you to use its printing services to make your products. So if you’re looking for something more than just a custom t-shirt website, this is the place to go.

Spreadshirt offers many different options for customizing products, including templates and designs that you can use to create your clothing items or accessories (like phone cases). You can also upload your images or photos from social media sites like Instagram or Facebook.

9. TeeSpring

TeeSpring is one of the largest custom apparel platforms for entrepreneurs and businesses.

TeeSpring is a global marketplace for custom apparel, empowering entrepreneurs to start and grow their own t-shirt companies. Established in 2013, TeeSpring has grown to become the largest platform, with over 1 million creators and over 1 billion impressions sold each week.

The main advantage of this website is that it allows you to sell your designs without any upfront costs or monthly fees. You only pay a small fee every time someone buys a design from you. This means that if no one buys your design, you don’t have to pay anything!

10. Zazzle

Zazzle also has its marketplace where independent artists can sell their designs to the public. There are thousands of artists selling their work on Zazzle, so you have plenty of options for finding something you like.

With Zazzle Custom Shop, you’ll be able to upload your photos or artwork and then choose from thousands of products in different colors, sizes, and styles. You’ll have total control over every aspect of your design from start to finish, including how many items will be printed and how much they cost.

So, now you know the basics of what it takes to start and run a print-on-demand business. You can get started by taking a few of these critical steps to help establish your launch. Keep in mind that doing a lot of research and planning will help you avoid pitfalls like pricing mistakes and not offering enough products for sale. 

So develop a plan, take the time needed to start slowly, and never look back. Printing on demand has never been easier. Your print-on-demand business will bloom if you have the right mindset.