You can quite easily create printables for yourself to use at home. But if you want to make some money too, you need to learn how to create printables to sell.
How do you make it easy for yourself, so it can actually be profitable?
Time is an investment that you’ll have to make when you start creating printables. It doesn’t matter if you have skills or not - if you’re new to printables, you’ll need time to learn the ropes.
Plus, setting them up on the platform is also going to take a little time. Since time is money, you have to find the easiest and fastest way to deal with making and selling printables.
Don't Start From Scratch With Each New Product
Not only is this time consuming, but it’s not necessary. You can make a template that you use for each of your items. This works by you simply inputting the changes to the template when you need to use it.
For example, if you have a calendar page for each individual month, you could simple remove the text for the month and insert the new month. To get around having to change the design so that you create more dates for longer months or take away slots for shorter months, just have extra spaces and label those as notes.
That way, your formatting never has to change.
In my ebooks about creating low content books using Affinity Publisher, I bang on about using Masters and Global elements. It is absolutely the same with printables.
If you create a pink planner with 2 different text styles, you want to make it easy for yourself to produce the same planner in grey with business style text.
As always, plan plan plan first.
Don't Sell Once, Sell Twice
Try and make sure that your printables perform multiple jobs. You can create a single page for your printable product. This will sell individually. But you also want to put the same printable inside a packet or bundle. This way, you create once, but sell twice.
The reason that you want to create bundles is because some people like to get everything they need in a category at once without feeling like they’re spending too much or too often.
If they see them all priced individually, they may hesitate if it feels like they’re buying a bunch of stuff. But a bundle makes them feel they get everything they need for just one cost – and at a discount.
And it's also easier for them to use. If they buy multiple pages in different styles, there is work involved in giving them the same look and feel. But if you sell multiple pages in a bundle with the same style, they would prefer to buy that.
Ensure Your Products Don't Become Dated
If you can help it, don’t put an expiration date on any of your products. Having an expiration date ensures the product has a short shelf life. At the close of each year, all of the printable projects that you dated for the current year or targeted for a specific event and date will become outdated.
No one wants to buy last year’s calendar or planner or worksheets. So for those, you’ll have to go in and change every place across all the printables where you have the year, the month or the event that’s now out of date.
But for some things, like home school planners, you can leave the date off and let it stay viable year after year. Unless the date is important to the printable, leave it off.
Don't Limit Yourself to One Platform
Many sellers put their printables on Etsy because Etsy is such a well-known place to sell printables. It’s developed the reputation as being the go-to platform. But when you only sell your stuff on one site, you’re leaving a lot of untapped profit potential behind.
You might think that putting printables up across several platforms is going to take you a lot of time. It will. But only in the beginning. Once they’re all uploaded, you don’t have to keep doing that step.
By putting your printables up on different platforms, you can link from one to the next to create better traffic. Plus, shoppers like having choices about where they’re going to buy products from.
Don't Continually Chase the New Products
This might sound like bad advice, but the idea here is that you finish one before you start the next.
You might start out working on a printable and you’re full of hope and good intentions. But before you get that done, another idea hits. You think that one sounds great, too. So you stop what you’re working on and start another project.
Then, you get more ideas and you’re busy leaving half-finished projects all over the place. If you spend too much time flitting from one unfinished project to the next, you won’t be able to get the printables done successfully.
Focus on finishing one project before moving on to the next. You won’t make any money with good intentions. Always look at the big picture.
Remember that it might not sell if you upload it to your selling platform. But it definitely won't sell if it's not there to be bought!
Plan Plan Plan!
Do not start without a plan. A launch plan can help you successfully complete and sell your printables. This helps gives you a strategy to follow to get things done when they need to be completed.
Your launch plan should include a brief listing description of the product. You’ll also find this step useful later when you need to create descriptions to upload. The plan should have a marketing component with a targeted audience in mind.
Know the demographic for each of the platforms where you plan to list your product. This information will come in handy later, too if you decide to use advertising. You also need to know the launch date.
This helps you to be able to break down each crucial step that needs to happen for each day or week in order to get the product completed on time.
Even if you are starting this as a fun hobby, keep it professional. You might decide that making money with printables is just something that you want to do for fun to earn a little extra cash. You have no intention of doing anything more than that.
But you might find that the printables you’ve created are selling so well you could end up making it your full time career. If that’s something you want to do, that’d be great for you.
However, if you have been going about it half heartedly it may not be as easy to turn it into a business. You may have inadvertently annoyed customers by slow response times if you only check once a week. You may not know the costs involved with making printables, so you have no way of accounting for what you’ve spent versus what you’ve earned.
Start accurate record keeping right from the beginning. And have regular hours even if it's just an hour a day to check emails and your listed products.
Don't Blindly Follow the Trend
If you research what’s selling under printables, you’ll find that some sellers will create products that are a flash in the pan because they’re following whatever comes along that spikes in popularity.
It can be tempting to decide to put everything on hold and go after these trendy, popular printables, just like those sellers. These products appear to sell well, and it looks like the sellers are making serious money, so why shouldn’t you?
You put a lot of effort into creating a lot of them and get the listings up. But by the time you do that, the current has already shifted. You discover that just as quickly as these products sold, now they’ve all but dried up and none of your products in that category are moving.
That’s what happens when you chase a fad. Those things are here, then they’re gone. If you created multiple products chasing that money, then you have a lot of wasted product on your hands.
It’s always best to save your energy and protect your income by creating the things that are evergreen rather than putting all your efforts into something that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Research to find your own printable ideas to sell.
But if you really want to try your hand at following the trend, make sure you have templates ready to be customized with elements of the fad and be on the lookout early for trends so you can scoop up sales right away.
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.
But learning how to create printables to sell is key. So it is definitely worth giving it a go. But make sure you follow these tips, and try to save yourself time and effort.