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How to Make Printables to Sell and Make Money

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If you’re looking for ways to make money online, one particular way is by selling what’s known as printables.  

And, if you’re wondering what they are, it’s exactly what it sounds like it is.

These are documents people purchase online through someone like you and then print them out at home.  It’s a great opportunity for someone if you’re looking for a way to earn a passive income.  It’s as easy as creating a document (I’ll get into this next) and then listing it once done.  When it’s up for sale, you can then continue to sell it as many times as you’d like.  It takes little work and once your printables are up, you’re set.

If you’re the creative type who likes passive income and playing around with graphics, then this guide is for you.

In today’s post, I will talk about what kind of printables you can make, how you can sell them as well as what you can expect.  As always, all of my guides are 100% and honest.  You will never find me peddling a garbage product nor will you find me misleading you in any way.  I just don’t work that way.

With that out of the way, let’s jump in and see how you can make money selling printables online.

What Kind of Printables Are There?

As long as you can print it out on paper, then it can technically be a printable.  Of course, there has to be demand for what you’re creating, but I can show you how to find what’s hot at the moment.  From helping people plan to organizing, there are a ton of ideas.

To help you brainstorm some ideas, these are some of the more popular topics online at the moment:

  • Calendars
  • Checklist
  • Coloring Pages
  • Dieting Plans
  • Financial Plans (it would help if you have credentials, but it’s not required)
  • Journals
  • Meal Plans
  • Spreadsheets
  • Stationary
  • Stickers
  • Templates
  • Workbooks

Of course, there’s much more, but I’m hoping the following ideas can at least get your creative juices flowing.  Out of the many mentioned, there has to be a few that you would enjoy creating from scratch.

How To Create These Printables

The nice thing about printables is that you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer nor do you have to have any programming skills.  All that you will need are a few tools, many of which are free online.

First, I would recommend you have a word processor.  You can either use Microsoft Word or free Google Docs.  Google Docs is a fantastic free option and all you need to do to use it is connect your Google account. You will use your word processor to type out anything that belongs on your printable.

Secondly, if you’re interested in creating spreadsheets, then Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is a must.  This spreadsheet software makes it easy to create checklists or any items that need a column/row.  If you go the Google Doc route, then you will have access to the Google Sheets portion as well.

Third, a design/graphics software tool is highly recommended, however, it isn’t necessary as word processing tools can insert basic photos., for example, is an awesome 100% tool that allows you to create any sort of design.  Best of all, they provide you with so many templates to help your designs come to life.  If you want something more advanced, however, then Adobe Photoshop, MS Publisher or Adobe InDesign can all make design that much easier.  If you’re on a budget, will be more than enough.

Lastly, I highly recommend you bookmark a free PDF editor.  That way, when your finished product is done, you can convert it to a PDF, the file type that most sellers use.  I personally like, but there are many more out there.  Converting to a PDF is a must.

Starting the Process

Now that you have the tools, it’s no time to start the research process.  The question here is what do you want to do?

If you don’t have the slightest clue, I would recommend searching Pinterest, Etsy or Google Images and just type in a topic you’re interested in, followed by the word “printable.”  In doing so, you should get a few ideas.  I’m not saying that you have to copy what people are doing, but it’s going to get your creative juices flowing.

To get you going, here’s what I recommend you do —

Create a list – Start by browsing Etsy, Pinterest and using Google to see how people are earning money.  The nice thing about Etsy is that you can see how many sales a particular storefront has.  Generally, when you search, pay close attention to the top results as these are the top sellers. And, again if you don’t know where to start, use the autosuggest feature all of these search engines have.  Start with “printables, followed by a letter.”  So, for example, “printables a” would show “address book,” “activities,” “appreciation card” and the list goes on.  This can give you thousands of ideas.

Create a brand – If you plan on creating more than one printable (which I’m sure you will), you will want to make sure you create a business theme of sorts.  This will include a logo, name and a color scheme.  This logo is what you will place on your printables to gain some brand awareness.  This process can take some time, but if you need some help, there are hundreds of providers on Fiverr who can create a business design package for less than $20.

Start creating – Once you have a few ideas and create your brand, it’s then your duty to see what’s out there.  Again, don’t copy their design, but start sketching to create something of your own.  What you will want to do here is take what they have but make yours much better.   Create some rough drafts and then convert it to a PDF to see how it prints at home.  Act like the customer and see how happy you would be with the results.  Like creating your brand, if you need help with designs, there are a lot of talented designers on Fiverr who will be more than willing to help.

Price it – When you finally create a printable and you’re happy with the outcome, it’s then time to price it, and how much you charge greatly depends on your competitors.  By now, you have done enough research, so I would take the prices you find and often undercut them by 5% or so.  There are a lot of prices out there, so it may take some tweaking to find that sweet spot to see what works for your sales.  Researching is 100% your best bet here.

Where to Sell Your Printables

Now that you have your printables in order, it’s now time to sell it, but the question is where?

Well, thankfully, there are a few opportunities you can consider, most of which I will mention here:

#1 Etsy

Hands down, Etsy is one of my favorite options, and it’s probably the most popular marketplace to sell printables.  They have millions of customers and there will be a few who will want to purchase from you, trust me.  Best of all, you can keep your listing up for an eternity as you will always have printables for sale.  Etsy will charge a $0.20 listing fee every four months and a 5% transaction fee.  Be sure to price your printables accordingly.

#2 eBay

Believe it or not but eBay can be an option to consider.  It’s not as popular as Etsy, but it’s one to at least consider, seeing you can create a storefront with a permanent listing if that’s what you choose to do.

#3 Fiverr

Fiverr focuses on services, but you can sell printables here. In fact, when I searched, I found people offering anything from coloring pages to planners.  Now, here’s the thing with Fiverr.  You can be generic and offer the same printable each time or you can be creative and offer a unique item to each buyer.  This is completely up to you.  If you do go the creative route, you could make much more than just selling the same printable over and over again.

#4 Creative Market

Creative Market is unique in that you can sell “ready-to-use” products.  It’s much different than the rest as everything is digital, from fonts to business cards, etc.  It has a ton.  If you were to open a shop, they don’t charge a listing fee, but there’s a very high 40% transaction fee, which can eat into your profits.  Again, it’s important to adjust your rates accordingly.  It’s not my favorite due to these higher prices, but it does draw in traffic to printable-like items.

#5 Create a Shopify Store

Finally, you can always consider creating your own website storefront using any domain you choose on top of what’s mentioned above.   And, the great thing about this is that you don’t have any programming knowledge if you want to start your own store as Shopify can do the dirty work for you.  There are no setup fees, just a monthly fee starting at $29 per month.  So, no matter how much you sell, you won’t have to worry about pesky transaction fees.  Just set up your store and then promote your store through social media, a YouTube channel and/or through blog posts.  There are a ton of ways to do so.  The only downside is that this option will take a lot more work than the marketplaces mentioned prior.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printables?

This is the question, and it’s a tough one to answer, but I can do my best to do so.

As an estimate, it can be anywhere from $0 to more than $10,000 per month.  It will depend on how many printables you’re selling, where you’re selling and what kind of printables you’re selling.  There are a lot of factors, as you can imagine.

If we were to look at some of the top sellers on Etsy, for example, I found one budget printable seller who had 27,000 sales and charged an average of $5 per printable.  When I clicked on the store, she only started in 2019, about 2 years ago.

So, let’s do the math.  That’s about 13,500 sales in a year at $5 on average.  This is about $67,500 gross.  Factor in the 5% and the $0.20 listing fees on Etsy and you’re at $63,000 for the year or $5,000 for the month.  That’s just one store.

You can definitely make a living, but it will take some work.  Just make sure you research, create something of interest and use the right platforms.  In doing so, you should see some great success.

Final Thoughts

The printables market is strong and there’s always room for more.  The hardest part is probably brainstorming what you want to do.  From there, it can get easier as you post your work on the many marketplaces listed.  As long as there’s a demand and you create a decent product, then sales should start flowing in.  Pay attention to your analytics to make sure what you’re creating is what people want.  Reviews matter.

That’s going to wrap it up for now.

As always, if you want to comment on what I have written or maybe you want to add to how you have succeeded in the printables world, you’re more than welcome to comment below.  Thanks for stopping by.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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