November 9


Does it Cost to Make Printables to Sell

By Penny

November 9, 2020

Creating printables can be a free or low cost way to start earning money. How much it’s going to cost you will depend on what resources you use to get started. But do you want to be spending money to make printables to sell? 


When you make printables, you need to make them, have somewhere that people can buy them from, and let people know that they are there. So if you want to make printables to sell you need to do these 3 things.

  • Create them.
  • Sell them.
  • Let them be found.

It is difficult to do these 3 things without spending any money. However, you can certainly reduce what you spend.

Software to Create Printables

If you check out my post on what you need to make printables, you will see that you need software to create a printable. Some of these you may already have so they will not cost you anything more.

Depending what style of printable you want to create, you can use the free version of Canva or google docs or slides. You should also be able to find some free graphic design software like Inkscape although Canva will probably give you all you need.

There are plenty of free things you can use, so it doesn’t have to cost you anything.

Where to Sell Printables

3rd Party Site

The easiest way to sell products is to upload them to a platform that specialises in selling these types of products. Sites like Etsy or Teachers Pay Teachers for educational printables.

Of course these platforms don't do it for free so you will either pay an upfront fee like Etsy, or pay a percentage of your sales.

However, the benefit is that you don't have to do much technical wizardry and these sites get lots of visitors. If your designs and products are good, lots of people will be seeing them.

Your Own Site

You can have your own site and then either link it to a Shopify storefront, or use plugins to sell directly from your blog.

It will more than likely be a lower cost, but you will have to do all the work yourself. Including all the technical stuff.

Getting Eyes on Your Printables

However you create an store your printables, you need to get eyes on your printables. You need traffic.


You can rely on the frequency of posts across your platforms to help build awareness and get eyes on your products. You can also rely on content. Good content is going to create audience interest regardless of the platform.

This works really well if the theme of your blog and your type of printables are similar. For example, if you blog about gardening why not create gardening themed printables. Things like garden planners, garden themed designs and pretty plant wall art would link nicely.

Social Media

There are plenty of places where you can market your printables and work to drive traffic. Many people find success this way. Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook work particularly well here.

Start Free But Aim Up

If you are serious about starting to make printables to sell, then trying to make money without spending money doesn’t have to be a long term option. If you start out with the freebie resources to create your designs, these will be limited, and you won’t be able to grow or branch out into better designs.

You don’t want to limit the potential you can have with printables. The money that you spend is an investment into your business. If your goal is to grow creating printables into a business, then you want to have the tools that that you need.

You can know what you need by looking at how spending money on an item or software will increase your productivity or make the creation process easier. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

A lot of people bootstrap a business and there’s nothing wrong with that. But as it starts to grow, you might want to consider using paid methods such as advertising to increase your traffic and income.

Does it Pay to Advertise?

If you’re undecided about spending money on advertising, then there are some things to consider. Ask yourself if putting money into ads will help you make money. If you don’t know what you’re doing with ads, take the time to learn, because you can lose money if you don’t understand how they work.

Others do use advertising as their business builds.

They do that to increase awareness for their brand, increase visibility and to bring in more money. Whether or not you choose to use advertising depends on where you’re at currently with your business, what you can afford and what your game plan is for growing your income with printables.

Advertise on Etsy

There are several ways to take advantage of advertising. You can advertise on Etsy if you have a shop there. You just go to the marketing section, click on advertising and then choose what you want your daily budget to be.

Be aware that there is a minimum daily amount already preset that you can’t lower. Once you set your budget, Etsy will then promote and put your product across their platform - including on their app so that it gets in front of a targeted audience.

When you set up your advertising, you will need to decide which listing you’re going to have Etsy promote. They do them individually, so the more listings you want promoted, the more you’ll need to pay.

Advertise on Pinterest

You can also advertise on Pinterest. You go into your Ads Manager to create the ad. Their setup allows users to decide what they want the goal of the ad to be. You can then input who you want your ad to target.

You’ll use things like keywords and consumer interest to target the audience. Pinterest will assist you by suggesting more data that you can use to improve the ad. You then pick when you want the advertising to begin and what you want your advertising limit to be.

Then you’ll decide which one of your Pins you would like Pinterest to promote with the ad. Instagram also allows advertising for products, though it can be a little more expensive to advertise here than on other platforms.

Advertise on Instagram

By using sponsored content, you can get more traffic to your printables. On Instagram, you go into ad manager, choose your ad goal, your audience and where you want your ads to appear - like in stories or feed.

Instagram will give you a selection of ad formats to choose from. Once you do that, then you set your budget and schedule. Leveling up in all areas of your printables business should be something you plan for eventually, but don’t let it stress you unnecessarily until you have the funds to reinvest.

Can You Make Printables to Sell Without Spending?

As you can see, you will probably not be able to make printables to sell without spending any money at all. But you can certainly reduce your expenses if you want to just dangle your toe in the water first.

If you have a little bit of money, then be careful where you spend it.

You can produce printables for free and you could get them found for free. The cost will be around where you sell them. If you really can't afford anything, then put your products for sale where you only pay when they sell rather than paying up front. At least then you will have some money coming in to pay the cost of selling your product.

But once you start making money, re-evaluate your plan. Don't try and do it for free for too long as you will not be able to scale up your business.

Penny xx


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About the author

Designed and published over 100 books. Teacher. Designer. Tea drinker.

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