Ecommerce How to Make Money with Shopify Print-on-Demand
How to Make Money With Shopify Print on Demand

How to Make Money with Shopify Print-on-Demand

During this guide we’ll be looking at how you can make money with Shopify using the Print on Demand business model.

What is Print on Demand

Print on Demand (PoD) is an order fulfilment process where products for sale are printed and shipped as soon as order is placed.

You don’t need to hold any stock yourself. Instead you work with a supplier who holds the inventory and dispatches all orders.

To get started with Print on Demand, first you choose a product from your suppliers catalogue. Then you customize the product and add it to your online store with a retail price.

For this guide we’ll be using Shopify for our online store, since it’s the easiest and most cost effective way to get started. You can sign up for a free Shopify trial here and follow along with this guide.

If you’re familiar with dropshipping, you may have noticed its similarities to the print-on-demand business model.

Print on Demand is similar to dropshipping in many ways:

  • You don’t have to buy or hold any inventory
  • Your selling price is higher than the base price of the product
  • Your supplier ships your orders and handles returns
  • Your supplier never reveals themselves to the customer

Print on Demand is different to dropshipping in the following ways:

  • You can customize any product you want to sell
  • You’re more likely to find suppliers across North America and Europe
  • Standard delivery times are much faster

Now that you have a brief understanding of how Print on Demand works, let’s look at why Print on Demand is a great way to run your online business.

Why Should You Print on Demand?

Print on Demands biggest benefit is being able to test and sell products without buying any inventory. This greatly reduces your business costs.

Since you don’t have any upfront costs, you will have more money to spend on product and advert testing. 

This way you can quickly learn which products and adverts perform the best.

Print on Demand is also a lower risk business model. Your supplier holds all the inventory and the product is only made after a customer places an order.

This allows you to easily test new ideas and pivot your business strategy when needed.

Print on Demand is great business model for the following reasons:

  • You can test a business idea before committing to it full time
  • You can test new products for an existing business
  • You can monetize an existing audience or community you have built
  • It’s great for YouTubers, influencers and artists since it allows you to focus on doing what you love, whilst your supplier takes care of fulfilling your orders.
  • You can easily create original products for a niche of customers. For example gaming, memes, sports or genres.
  • You can quickly jump on the latest trends and create products based on what’s currently in high demand.

Print on Demand is one of the most accessible ways to source products or start an online business. 

However you should know that there are both advantages and limitations to this business model.

Pros of Print on Demand

  • PoD can be used to build an online business based on the dropshipping model, where products and shipping are all handled by a third party.
  • It’s one of the most accessible ways to source products or start an online business.
  • Easily create designs for t-shirts, phone cases, mugs, bags, pillow cases and more.
  • Great for creating new products quickly. 
  • Once you have a design, you can create and sell products in a few minutes. 
  • It’s easier to capitalize on the latest trends.
  • Great for testing new product ideas
  • Shipping and order fulfilment are taken care of by your print on demand supplier. 
  • You are only responsible for marketing and customer service after the sale.
  • You can create designs using tools like Placeit or Canva.
  • You don’t have to create designs yourself. You can hire someone off Fiverr to create the design for you.
  • Since you don’t need to buy or store inventory, business running costs are much lower.

Cons of Print on Demand

  • Cost per item is higher than buying in bulk, so you will have lower profit margins. For example a t-shirt you sell for $30 might cost you $15. With Print on Demand, high sales volume will help you make the most money.
  • Less control over shipping costs and shipping options.
  • Limited product customization. Ability to customize a product will depend on the supplier and the product itself.

Choose Your Niche, Product and Suppliers

Before you get started you need to choose a niche for your Print on Demand business.

A niche (or niche market) is a market segment which only appeals to a select group of people. 

Shopify has a great guide on how to find a niche for your online business.

Monetize an existing community

Some of you may already have a niche of customers you can sell to. 

For example, if you run a YouTube channel you can sell merchandise related to your brand or the type of content you create.

You can also use Print on Demand to monetize your Instagram or TikTok account in the same way. 

If you create content based around fitness, sell fitness clothing or activewear. 

You can use some of your popular quotes as designs or hire a designer to create designs for your clothing brand.

Choose a niche based on your interests

If you don’t already have a niche you can market too, you can discover a niche in a few ways.

The first way is to look at your own interests and the interests of the people you know. 

What are your favourite brands? What was it about those brands that made you pick them over other brands?

For example, if you like to travel (or like the idea of it) you can sell custom travel mugs and backpacks using Printify.

If you want to create an eco-friendly brand, you can sell biodegradable phone cases and stainless steel water bottles. 

You can also take it a step further and sell hoodies made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester. 

These are a few niche ideas you can easily start using Printify alone. In the “Choose a Print on Demand Supplier” section we’ll go in-depth and look at two more Print on Demand suppliers.

Use Google Trends to discover popular niche opportunities

Google Trends is a great way to discover new product niches for your print on demand store.

This can prove to be a powerful product research strategy if you pull it off correctly.

First, before you search for anything, scroll down and go through the examples to see what’s trending. 

You are going to create a list of niches and interests that you can use for design inspiration.

As you can see from the below screenshot “American Football” and “Fortnite” are both trending.

google trends american football and fortnite

Make a note of those two interests and look for more examples. 

If you decide to create products based on these interests, be careful not to create products using any copyrighted properties. 

For example, don’t create any products using the name of a football team, the word “Fortnite” or any characters that appear in the game.

Instead you want to create products based around the theme that relates to these interests. 

For example you could create mugs and t-shirts related to American Football itself, just google “American Football mugs” for inspiration.

A great idea would be mugs, travel mugs or wattle bottles with meme style quotes.

You can also search “Football mugs” on Pinterest for more design inspiration.

With the Fortnite idea, you can use that as validation that online gaming is a good niche to start with. 

You can create t-shirts, mugs, pillows and large art prints with cool gaming inspired graphics.

For more product ideas, scroll down to the “Recently Trending” section of Google Trends and have a look. 

In the screenshot below you can see that both “Buffalo Bills” and “XRP” are currently trending.

google trends xrp and american football

You can use this as validation that both American Football and Cryptocurrency are popular niches to build products around. 

Don’t forget to add these interest ideas to your list and note down the actual niche or theme:

  • American Football (instead of the football teams name)
  • Cryptocurrency (instead of the cryptocurrencies name)
  • Online Gaming (instead of the game’s name)

Focusing on the actual niche behind the interest will broaden your market and help you to avoid copyright penalties.

Click on “More Trending Searches” to see additional trending interests.

Finally once you have a list of interests, go back to the Google Trends home page and compare each one to see it’s popularity and related search terms.

To start comparing interests, type the name of your first interest into the search bar.

google trends search bar

Next, you just need to enter in the remaining topics you have noted down. You can compare up to five topics at a time using Google Trends.

Choose a Print-on-Demand Supplier

Now that you have a few ideas for a niche or product, the next step is to find a supplier.

You should choose a Print on Demand supplier based on:

  • What type of products you want to create
  • Where you want to ship your products to
  • Retail prices you plan to sell the products for

Below are some Print on Demand suppliers you can work with. All of these PoD services are free to use, you only pay once a customer places an order for one of your products.

They also integrate with Shopify.

Printful

Printful is a popular Print on Demand supplier due to its wide selection of products to choose from. You can easily create new designs using their built-in mockup generator.

You can add your own logos, custom stickers, business cards and other inserts for a more customized unboxing experience.

When it comes to clothing and apparel, Printful offers a number of different printing techniques:

  • Direct to Garment (DTG Printing) — Designs are printed directly onto the material. Best for simple designs and text based designs.
  • All-Over Printing — Also known as sublimation. This is a printing process where your design is printed on paper with dye ink and then transferred directly onto the fabric with heat. Sublimation lets you cover all of the garment with your design, whilst DTG printing that has a smaller area to work with.
  • Embroidery — Designs are threaded through the product. Best for simple designs with few colors, text based designs and accessories like hats or beanies, which traditionally use embroidered designs.

Additional customizations will have an effect on the price. Printful also offers mugs, pillows, jewellery, beach towels, framed posters and more.

Lulu

Lulu is a self-publishing print on demand service for books. 

With the Lulu xPress Shopify app, you can choose from a wide selection of book sizes, binding types, paper types and cover finishes for your books.

With Lulu you can create the following types of books:

  • Print books
  • Photo books
  • Comic books
  • Magazines
  • Year books
  • Calendars
  • Ebooks

You can’t design your books within Lulu xPress, but they do offer downloadable book templates you can use. It even has a pricing calculator so you can compare the costs for a variety of different product combinations.

You also get discounts for bulk orders.

Printify

Printify is another Shopify print on demand supplier that features a collection of t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, travel mugs, leggings and hats.

The great thing about Printify is that it has an international vendor network, with a wide range of unique white label products that are unlikely to be found anywhere else.

Printify has over 200 products you can customize and sell including:

  • Men and womens clothing and underwear
  • Jewellry
  • Shoes
  • Face Masks
  • Clocks, calendars, stickers and magnets
  • Pin buttons, watch bands, aprons, bag tags, dog tags and scarfs
  • Shower curtains, bath mats and towels
  • Lamps, bowls, rugs, Christmas tree skirts and Christmas stockings

Printify is free to use but you can also choose a monthly payment plan that gives you access to 20% off all of their products, plus the ability to create more than 5 stores.

Printify’s free plan lets you have 5 stores on your account and unlimited product designs.

Printify Premium is their $29 per month plan that allows you to have 10 stores on your account and a discount of up to 20% on all products.

This plan is best for those of you who plan to grow your print on demand business, especially due to the discounts.

Print on Demand Supplier Tips

Whenever you choose a print on demand supplier, make sure to order samples.

Ordering samples offers the following benefits:

  • See the quality of the materials first hand
  • Experience the delivery times and order process yourself
  • See if your design came out the way you intended it to
  • You can take your own product photos
  • You can give away samples for free once you are done with them

If you have any issues regarding the design quality you can always reach out to your supplier’s customer support team for advice on how to fix any issues.

Below are some guides for ordering samples from print on demand suppliers:

Lulu xPress don’t offer any book samples at this time, but you can always contact their customer service team for more information.

Setup your Shopify Store

Go to Shopify, enter your email address and click Start free trial. Next, complete the following Shopify setup steps:

  • Create a password
  • Create a store name
  • Click Create your store
  • After the initial setup, answer or skip the optional questions that appear.
  • Add your personal details so you can get paid
  • Scroll down and click Enter my store.

You should be inside your Shopify account by now. You will see a banner showing you that your account is on a free trial.

select a shopify plan

The next step is to choose a Shopify plan.

Note: You only get charged for a Shopify plan after your 14 day free trial has expired.

Click on the Select a Plan button to view the Shopify plans. On the next page you’ll see three plans:

  • Basic Shopify — $29 per month
  • Shopify — $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per month

Most of you will need the $29 per month Basic Shopify plan at this stage.

The Basic Shopify plan covers everything you need to sell online and $29 is a small investment for the ability to run your online shop and get paid every day.

Choose your Shopify plan and choose if you would like to make monthly or yearly payments. 

Finally you need to choose a payment method (PayPal or Credit/Debit Card) and enter your payment details.

If you have both a PayPal account and credit card, you can choose both methods so you never miss a payment. 

You only get charged once, even if you have two payment methods available. Your second payment method can act as a backup if the first one fails.

Now your Shopify account is fully setup and ready to start selling. The next step is integrating your print on demand supplier app with your Shopify store.

Connect your Print on Demand App to Shopify 

We mentioned three print on demand suppliers in this guide:

Thankfully all three of these integrate with Shopify and I’ll show you how to do so below.

How to connect Printful to your Shopify account

To connect Printful with your Shopify account, follow these steps:

  1. On your Shopify dashboard go to “Apps” on the left side menu.
  2. On the next page click “Visit the Shopify App Store”.
  3. Search for “Printful”.
  4. Select the Printful app.
  5. On the next page click “Add app”
  6. On the confirmation page, click “Install app”.
  7. On the next page, register or login to your Printful account.
  8. Click “Connect store” to confirm the Printful to Shopify connection

You can learn more about Printful and Shopify here: Printful and Shopify | How to Start a Print-On-Demand Business

How to connect Lulu to your Shopify account

To connect Lulu xPress with your Shopify account, follow these steps:

  1. On your Shopify dashboard go to “Apps” on the left side menu.
  2. On the next page click “Visit the Shopify App Store”.
  3. Search for “Lulu xPress”.
  4. Select the Lulu xPress app.
  5. On the next page click “Add app”
  6. On the confirmation page, click “Install app”.
  7. On the next page, register or login to your Lulu xPress account.

How to connect Printify to your Shopify account

To connect Printify with your Shopify account, follow these steps:

  1. On your Shopify dashboard go to “Apps” on the left side menu.
  2. On the next page click “Visit the Shopify App Store”.
  3. Search for “Printify”.
  4. Select the Printify app.
  5. On the next page click “Add app”
  6. On the confirmation page, click “Install app”.
  7. On the next page, register or login to your Printify account.

As you can see, connecting your print on demand app to Shopify is very easy. 

Once your store is fully setup and connected, you can start looking for designers. 

Later in this guide, I’ll show how to quickly customize your Shopify store.

Find Designers

You don’t have to be a full time designer to start a successful print on demand business.

You can create designs yourself or outsource the design work to a friend or professional.

You can find designers for your products on the following sites:

  • Fiverr
  • Behance
  • 99Designs
  • Upwork

I personally recommend Fiverr, since it’s the easiest method of finding designers. Just search for phrases like “t-shirt designs” or “mug designs”. 

It doesn’t matter if you need a designer for something else, those two phrases will lead you straight to print on demand designers.

Below are some search results to give you a head start:

When outsourcing your design work, you need to provide clear and precise instructions to your designers. 

Let your designers know what niche you are targeting and tell them about your audience’s interests.

Be precise with what you are looking for, do you want a text based catchphrase? Or do you want bright and eye catching graphics?

For example, if you’re designing t-shirts and targeting the gaming niche, you could start with the following ideas:

  • Text and Graphic — A PlayStation or Xbox controller silhouette with a short quote above, below or behind the controller. The outline for the controller could be blue or green, or a mixture of both.
  • Graphic only — A large Gameboy in a spray paint or graffiti style.
  • Text only — A short quote written in the same font as a popular game such as Tetris or Alien Invaders.

If you have any designs that inspired you, send these to your designer to help them understand what you are looking for.

You can send your designer pictures of the product, font, game or styles you want incorporated into your design.

When working with designers, your job is to give them as much information as you can, so they can bring your idea to life. The more information you give your designer, the better.

You should also choose a designer that includes revisions as part of their work.

For example, on Fiverr, designers usually list the number of revisions they’re willing to make to your finished design. 

You could have two revisions (enough for most people), five revisions or unlimited revisions.

Below is some additional information you should pass onto your designer:

  • Specify that your designs are for printing
  • Designs should have a transparent background
  • Designs should be at least 300dpi (digital pixels per inch)

If you want to create your own designs read the next step, if not you can skip ahead.

Create your own designs

For those of you that are feeling really creative, you can create your own designs from scratch or create one using a template.

How to create designs

If you have graphic design skills you can use professional design software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or a free alternative like Inkscape.

You don’t need to be a professional designer to create your own print on demand designs however. 

You can use design tools like Canva and Placeit to easily create designs using pre-made templates.

Canva

Canva is an online graphic design platform and app that lets you create designs including logos, posters, T-shirt designs, stickers, Infographics and more.

To get started, go to Canva. In the search bar type in a word related to your niche or product. 

For example you can type “t-shirt”, “mug”, “phone case” or “sticker”.

Choose a template that you like the look of, customize it and download it. 

The great thing about Canva is that you can easily mix and match different templates into one unique design. 

Canva has a free plan and a premium Canva Pro plan at $12.99 per month or $119.99 per year.

The premium plan includes all the features from the free version plus the following:

  • Download your images with a transparent background
  • 420,000+ free templates with new designs daily
  • 75+ million premium stock photos, videos, audio and graphics free-to-use
  • One-click design Magic Resize
  • Create 1 Brand Kit and upload your own fonts and logos
  • 100GB of cloud storage
  • Schedule social media content to 7 platforms
  • Save designs as templates for your team to use

I recommend the Canva Pro plan mainly for the fact that you can download all of your images with a transparent background. 

You also get access to so many premium templates and designs for only $12.99 per month. This tool will really come in handy for any regular design creator.

Placeit

Placeit is another online design platform that lets you create your own designs including logos, book covers, T-shirt designs, posters, business cards etc. 

The main difference with this tool is that you can also create custom mockups (product images) for your online store.

To get started go to Placeit, then click on Designs. In the search bar, type in a keyword related to your niche, for example “gaming”. 

You can also search by product type, for example “t-shirt”, “book” or “phone case”.

Choose a design that you like the look of, then customize and download it.

How to find Print on Demand design ideas

If you need inspiration when creating your own ideas, browse the templates found inside the tools mentioned above or use Google.

Google is a great way to get design ideas for your print on demand business, just search for your niche + product name. For example “football mugs” or “gaming t-shirts”.

If you find any designs that interest you, create your own designs in a similar style, but make sure your design is still unique and different to the one you found.

Create Mockups 

Mockups are a great way to showcase your products, especially if you don’t have the tools or time for good product photography.

Most print on demand suppliers will let you create a mockup of your product, letting you showcase it on a person or with a themed background.

If you want a lot more freedom and creativity however, you can use a service like Placeit to create mockups, with thousands of different mockups styles to choose.

Placeit is an easy to use mockup generator that lets you create photo and video mockups for $8 each.

Placeit mockup styles include:

  • Male and Female models in different settings and poses (outside, indoors, sitting, exercising, working etc.)
  • You can choose a transparent background for mockups or you can set a background color.
  • Mockups of your product on a desk, being held or laid out with other similar products.
  • Some mockups are even free to use

If you’re good with photoshop, checkout Mockupworld or Behance for photoshop templates you can edit manually.

Print-on-Demand Shipping Times and Costs

Create a shipping page outlining the shipping times for your products. When listing your shipping times, make sure you include the product time too. 

To make things easier you can take the average shipping times from your print on demand supplier:

Printful shipping time: 2–5 business days for non-apparel products and 2–7 business days for apparel products.

Printify shipping time: 2–7 business days from the order submission date.

Lulu xPress shipping time: 3–5 business days.

Shipping costs is another important thing to remember when setting up your print on demand store. 

If you can, try to add the shipping costs to the retail price of your product. If you can’t add the full shipping costs, try and add half of it to your price.

Studies have shown that surprise shipping costs can be a deterrent to some buyers when checking out. A great way around this is to include the shipping cost in your retail price and offer free shipping.

For example a t-shirt could carry a base cost of $15 and shipping could be $3.99. Your total cost would be $18.99, so you can offer free shipping and sell the t-shirt at $29.99 for $11 profit.

If you want to go for higher volume and lower margins, you can sell the t-shirt at $24.99 for $6 profit with free shipping.

The customer still pays for shipping but it’s included in the price, this way your customer doesn’t see a last minute shipping charge when ordering.

The customer always pays the shipping cost regardless, the only difference is how the shipping cost is presented to them.

If you don’t plan on offering free shipping by default, you can use free shipping promotions instead. For example you can create a discount code that applies free shipping for orders over $40.

This will encourage customers to make additional purchases so they can reach the free shipping threshold. It works really well when the threshold price isn’t too high.

For example if you’re selling shirts for $29.99 or $30, you can encourage customers to spend more by offering free shipping when they spend $40.

Since $40 isn’t far off from $30, customers will feel like they’re close to receiving the discount anyway. This can lead to them making an impulse purchase just to meet the threshold.

This works in two ways:

  • Once the customer meets the threshold, they receive a benefit (free shipping)
  • The threshold is just slightly out of reach, ($10 difference from average product price) this will further motivate customers to try and reach the threshold

Add a Custom Domain Name to Your Shopify Store

When you sign up for a Shopify account, every store gets a default, free “myshopify.com” domain (for example “wickedtees.myshopify.com”).

The “myshopify.com” domain is free, but it’s unbranded and looks less professional than a custom version.

Branded domain names increase customer trust and give your store a more professional look. 

Examples of custom domains include “wickedtees.com” or “shopwickedtees.com” instead of “wickedtees.myshopify.com.”

In this section I’ll show you how to add your own custom domain to your Shopify store.

Buying a custom domain for your Shopify store is easy:

  • Go to Online Store > Domains on the left menu
  • On the Domains page, click “Buy new domain”.
  • Type your store name and see if a domain name is available
  • If your domain isn’t available, add words like “shop”, “store” or “online” and search again.
  • Once you find a domain name that’s available click Buy.
  • Add a payment method (if you haven’t already)
  • On the summary page, scroll down and click Buy domain.

Change your primary domain on Shopify

To change your primary domain on Shopify, go to Online Store > Domains and click “Change primary domain”.

On the popup screen, select your custom domain and click Save.

Customize Your Shopify Store

Customizing your Shopify store is simple. You can choose either a free or premium theme from their theme store to get started.

Install a theme for your Shopify store

If you want to use a free theme, I recommend choosing the “Minimal” or “Debut” themes by Shopify.

To add a theme to your Shopify store, go to Online Store > Themes. Next, scroll down and click Explore Free Themes.

This will open Shopify’s free theme collection. Choose the theme you want, select a style, then click Add to theme library.

Once you’re done, click on Actions then click Publish. Shopify will ask you to confirm this action so click on the blue Publish button to confirm.

Customizing your Shopify store

Once your theme is installed, scroll up and click Customize.

Every Shopify theme is broken down into Sections, making theme customization easy.

I’ve outlined the main sections you need to customize below:

  • Add your logo to the Header section
  • Add your own images to any Image sections.
  • Edit any Images with text sections, adding your own text and photos.
  • Since you are using the Print-on-Demand business model, delete the Our Store section.
  • If you don’t have a Newsletter, click on the Footer section and delete the Newsletter sign up module.

If you need product images, banners and marketing images use Placeit or Canva to create eye catching images.

Finish customizing your Shopify and you’re ready to start selling.

If you need help you can read our detailed Shopify customization guide here.

You can also hire us to build your Shopify store for you.

When you’re ready to launch your store, click the Disable password, so customers can view your store.

How to Market and Promote Your Print-on-Demand Store

Now that your store is live, you need to promote your print on demand business and start getting sales.

The great thing about running a print-on-demand business is the low operating costs. You’re only spending $29 per month for your Shopify store, everything else is free.

This allows you to spend more money on marketing that will bring paying customers to your online store.

Below are some strategies you can use to promote your business.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are a great way to promote your new print on demand business. 

To get started, first you need to set up a Facebook page for your business. 

You can do this easily by going to facebook.com/pages/create and filling in the required business information.

Once you’ve created a Facebook page for your business, the next step is creating your first ad campaign. 

I recommend creating two Facebook Ad campaigns, one to promote your Facebook page and another that will link to your store or product.

For your ad campaigns, target customers based on the following criteria:

  • Location – Ideally your target country, city, state or town.
  • Interests – Choose interests similar to your niche or product.
  • Purchase Behaviour – Choose customers who purchase products in a niche that is similar or complementary to yours.

You can find a complete list of Facebook’s targeting options here: Facebook advertising targeting options.

When creating your ads I recommend using videos whenever possible, for example you send free samples to an influencer or you can create video mockups.

Video mockups created with Placeit are the easiest and least expensive option when it comes to creating product videos for your print on demand business. 

However using influencers is also a great strategy since you can attach your brand to a familiar face. Try both methods when creating video ads.

You can also create image based ads. You create Placeit mockups, model the clothes yourself or use an influencer.

Budgeting your Facebook ads + Complete Facebook ads guide

Every advert you create will need a daily budget and a total budget. 

Set your daily budget at $5 – $10 a day, and set a maximum budget of $50 – $100.

The key here is testing, you want to create and test different ads to see which one gives you the highest return on investment.

Once you start making sales, increase your budget on the successful adverts and disable the underperforming ones.

If you are new to Facebook Ads I highly recommend reading this Facebook Ads Guide by Shopify. 

It covers all the steps you need to know, from setting up campaigns to campaign optimization strategies.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing, where you pay influencers to promote your product or business.

Just in case you’re wondering, an influencer is anyone who has a large online reputation or following. 

Influencers can be found on any social media platform, including the following:

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Clubhouse
  • Snapchat

If you’re new to influencer marketing I recommend that you start with Instagram and YouTube influencers. It’s a lot easier to contact influencers through these platforms.

Finding an influencer is simple but it can be time consuming. You can either look for influencers related to your niche or look for influencers based only on popularity.

Find Influencers on Instagram

If you’re using Instagram, aim for influencers with 100,000 followers or more. You can expect to pay anywhere from $25 – $50+ for promotion, depending on what you need.

You can also contact influencers with a following lower than this (50,000+) but I prefer a higher follower count.

You can pay for a story feature or a sponsored post. I recommend choosing a 24 hour story feature for most of you. If you have extra money spare, add a sponsored post on top as well. 

Don’t forget to ask for analytics data before paying. This will let you know how many people are engaging with your ad, visiting your store or making purchases.

Once you have found an influencer you would like to collaborate with, send them a direct message (DM) and talk business!

Find Influencers on YouTube

Influencer marketing is done differently on YouTube since it’s a video based platform. 

Here influencers will promote your product or business in the following ways:

  • Product reviews
  • Sponsored videos
  • Multi-brand product roundups
  • Single brand product roundups or hauls

I recommend using sponsored videos and single brand product roundups for print on demand businesses.

You want to have all the attention on your product and business, at the same time you want the video to have a lot of viewers.

More viewers means more potential customers, and from what I have seen sponsored videos and product roundups are the best performers.

Sponsored Videos

Sponsored videos are branded videos where your brand or product is mentioned multiple times. 

Usually your brand or product will be mentioned at the start, in the middle and at the end of the video.

You will also get a link in the description for the viewers to click on.

The great thing about sponsored videos is that you can sponsor literally any video. Since it’s basically an advert, the video itself doesn’t need to be relevant.

This allows you to sponsor potentially viral video topics.

Product Roundups

Product roundups are videos which feature multiple products from your business. Since product roundups are focused on your brand only, they may receive less views than sponsored videos.

Look for YouTubers who generate at least over 100,000 views on a sponsored video and at least 20,000 on a product roundup.

You can expect to pay $100 – $2,000 depending on your needs and the influencer involved.

To contact a YouTuber, click on their channel, go to the “About” page and look for an email. 

This is usually hidden behind a “View Email Address” button. Click it to view the email address.

If no email address is visible, google the YouTubers name and try to see if you can contact them through another social media platform.

Print-on-Demand Money Making Tips

Below are some tips to help you build a profitable print on demand business.

Focus on a niche for easier marketing

It’s very important to choose a specific niche to market your store to. Having a clearly defined audience, like specifically targeting dog owners for example, can actually help you create products that are in demand.

It lowers the cost to acquire customers and maximises your potential profits. 

Often people think that if they niche in, they’re going to lose potential customers, but the opposite is actually true.

If your audience is too broad, you’ll appeal to no one and you’ll lose potential customers in that regard.

There are countless possibilities for acquiring a niche audience with marketing, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Create an Instagram account and create or curate content for your target audience. Get followers and build relationships among your prospective customers.

Next, try running Facebook ads, targeting the interests of your target customers. 

You can also use Facebook ads to test out your designs for as little as $10 to see which ones resonate with your audience.

A great strategy is collecting emails from visitors when you start to pick up some steam so that you can continue to market to them for free.

Finally, get your products into the hands of influencers who can introduce your products to their audience and help you make sales.

Monetize your YouTube Channel, Instagram Page or Blog

Print on Demand is a simple and cost effective way to monetize your YouTube channel, Instagram page, blog, interests and ideas.

If you have built up a fan base, sell customized T-shirts, phone cases, bags, pin buttons, calendars or stickers. 

YouTubers especially can benefit from having a merchandise store related to their channel.

Smosh for example, are a team of YouTubers who upload comedy sketches to their channel. 

They have a merchandise store (smosh.com) where fans can buy Smosh branded clothing. 

Their product collection includes t-shirts, hoodies, joggers and accessories like hats and socks.

If you run a YouTube channel, print-on-demand products you can sell include:

  • Entertainment — Pin buttons, phone cases, stickers and hats.
  • Food — Aprons, coffee mugs and pin buttons.
  • Gaming — Stickers, hoodies, hats and t-shirts.
  • Beauty & Fashion — Swimwear, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
  • Music — Stickers, hoodies, hats and t-shirts.
  • Sports — Water bottles, hoodies, joggers, leggings and tank tops.
  • Travel — Travel mugs, steel water bottles and backpacks.
  • Podcast — Hats, hoodies, t-shirts, mugs and phone cases.

Create original products based on popular themes

You can create products centred around gaming, memes, or even a certain theme from popular media. 

For example you can create cyberpunk themed phone cases and t-shirts if you’re a fan of Cyberpunk 2077, or you can create cowboy themed products with a similar art style to Red Dead Redemption. 

If you do choose to do this, be careful no to infringe on any copyrights and make it clear that you are simply creating products with an inspired theme, instead of just ripping off a franchise completely.

Conclusion

Print on demand services offer an accessible source of inventory for new entrepreneurs or anyone who wants to test out a new product idea before they invest in it.

It’s also a great way to publish your own books, start your own merchandise shop, clothing store or art business. 

Are you starting your own print on demand business? Leave a comment below and let us know how you’re finding it. If you have any questions feel free to ask away.

Finally don’t forget to subscribe to the HomeGrown Income newsletter for more tutorials and business tips sent straight to your inbox.

Founder @ HomeGrown Income. I create educational resources and provide startup services for business owners.

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