How to sell printables for extra money

sell printables

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I remember hearing about printables and learning about people selling printables online several years ago. The idea is that a creative will develop this printable which is like a worksheet that you literally print out with your home printer and that’s their business. So, I will talk about that in this blog post, how to sell printables for extra money.

You’ll read about how the printable industry works, how you can start selling printables, how much you can make if you sell printables, and a lot more.

Let’s get started!

What are printables?

sell printables

Printables are digital files, typically in the form of PDFs, that are designed to be printed out on paper by the end user. Printables can include a wide variety of items, such as:

  • Planners
  • Calendars
  • To-do lists
  • Worksheets
  • Coloring pages
  • Greeting cards
  • Invitations and more

Printables are often sold or distributed online by creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses as a convenient and affordable way for people to access and use high-quality, customizable templates and designs for their personal or professional needs.

Printables can be easily downloaded, printed out, and used as many times as the user wants, making them a popular choice for people who want to save time and money on creating their own materials from scratch.

Overall, printables can be a useful and practical resource for people looking to enhance their productivity, organization, creativity, or simply to have fun with various printable activities.

How to sell printables for extra money?

This is how you sell printables for extra money

Step 1: Choose a niche

The first thing you need to do is choose a niche for your printable business. This can be anything from wedding invitations, wall art, planner pages, or even party decorations. Think about your interests and skills and choose something you are passionate about.

Step 2: Create your designs

Once you have your niche, it’s time to create your designs. You can use software like Adobe Illustrator, Canva, or PicMonkey to create your designs. Make sure they are high-quality and eye-catching.

Step 3: Set up your online store

Next, you need to set up your online store. You can use platforms like Etsy, Shopify, or Squarespace to create your store. Make sure to include high-quality product photos and detailed descriptions of each printable.

Step 4: Promote your business

Now that you have your store set up, it’s time to promote your business. You can use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your designs and attract potential customers.

Step 5: Fulfill orders and provide customer service

Once you start getting orders, it’s important to fulfill them in a timely manner and provide excellent customer service. Make sure to communicate with your customers throughout the process and address any issues that arise.

What are examples of printables to sell for money?

There are many examples of printables available, and the following is a list of some popular ones:

  • Planners: Daily, weekly, monthly or yearly planners that help you stay organized and manage your time efficiently.
  • Calendars: Printable calendars that show all the months and days of the year. They can be used to mark important dates and events.
  • Worksheets: Educational and informative worksheets that cover topics such as math, reading, writing, and science.
  • Coloring Pages: Fun and creative coloring pages for kids and adults that can be printed and colored in with pencils, markers, or crayons.
  • Greeting Cards: Printable cards for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions that can be personalized with your own messages and designs.
  • Labels: Printable labels that can be used for organizing and identifying items in your home or office.
  • Invitations: Printable invitations for parties, weddings, and other events that can be customized with your own information.
  • Wall Art: Printable posters and art prints that can be framed and hung on walls to add decoration to your home or office.
  • To-Do Lists: Printable to-do lists that help you stay on top of your tasks and goals.
  • Games: Printable board games, puzzles, and other activities that can be played and enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Honestly, this is just scratching the surface. Go to Etsy and search printables to see the tons of live examples that printable sellers are offering.

sell printables

If you want to get inspired, head to Etsy, Creative Market, or similar sites to see what other printable sellers are doing. This can help generate some ideas for yourself.

Printable Niches

Some examples of niches you can sell printables in can include:

  • Real estate
  • Wedding
  • Business

Here are niches and printable examples that go along with the niche:

There are many niches that you can sell printables in. Here are some popular niches to consider:

  • Planner printables: These can include daily, weekly, or monthly planner pages, goal trackers, habit trackers, and to-do lists, perfect for entrepreneurs or business owners.
  • Wall art printables: These can include printable posters, art prints, inspirational quotes, and illustrations for new moms or parents.
  • Wedding printables: These can include wedding invitations, save the date cards, place cards, seating charts, and wedding programs for people who will be getting married soon.
  • Party printables: These can include printable decorations like banners, cupcake toppers, invitations, and favor tags for parents of young children who plan birthday parties
  • Baby shower printables: These can include printable games, invitations, decorations, and thank-you cards for expectant parents who are planning a baby shower.
  • Home organization printables: These can include printable cleaning checklists, home inventory sheets, and meal planning templates for stay-at-home moms who love organizing.
  • Educational printables: These can include printable flashcards, worksheets, and activities for kids for teachers.
  • Holiday printables: These can include printable gift tags, holiday cards, and decorations for DIY and home decor-loving parents.
  • Business printables: These can include printable invoices, contracts, and business cards for entrepreneurs and business owners.

These are just a few examples of niches that you can sell printables in. The possibilities are endless, so choose a niche that you are passionate about and that has a demand in the market.

What tools do you need to sell printables?

To sell printables, you don’t need a lot of tools. Here are some of the essential tools you’ll need:

  • Computer: You’ll need a computer to create your designs, manage your online store, and communicate with customers.
  • Design software: You can use design software like Adobe Illustrator, Canva, or PicMonkey to create your printables.
  • Online store: You’ll need an online store to sell your printables. You can use platforms like Etsy, Shopify, or Squarespace to set up your store.
  • Printer: You’ll need a printer to print your designs. A high-quality inkjet printer is recommended for best results.
  • Paper: You’ll need high-quality paper to print your designs on. Choose paper that is appropriate for your niche and designs.
  • Packaging materials: You’ll need packaging materials like envelopes, boxes, and mailing labels to ship your printables to customers.
  • Payment processor: You’ll need a payment processor to accept payments from customers. Platforms like Etsy and Shopify have built-in payment processing systems, or you can use a third-party processor like PayPal.
  • Marketing tools: You’ll need marketing tools like social media platforms, email marketing software, and advertising tools to promote your printables and attract customers.

I think, at the bare minimum, you need design software and a computer. When I tried selling printables online, I used Canva on my laptop and signed up to Etsy and I had a printable business!

Overall, starting a printable business doesn’t require a lot of tools, but investing in high-quality software, hardware, and marketing tools can help you create a successful and profitable business.

My personal experience selling printables online

I tried selling printables online! I decided to go for selling printables because I knew it was a source of passive income that could be very lucrative. I liked the idea of selling digital products online and using a platform like Etsy could help me build a profitable, successful business.

How’d I do it?

First, I came up with an idea. I decided to sell digital artwork that catered to an audience of women entrepreneurs. The digital art were simple sayings that were inspiring that customers could buy, print out and frame in their home office. Sayings like “the future is female,” “female boss,” “you are beautiful,” “girl boss,” etc.

These were black and white prints and once I came up with a template, it took seconds to swap out the verbiage with another saying. Then, I’d just upload it to Etsy.

I paid a flat fee per Etsy listing but, it was super cheap, under $1 per listing.

In all, my printable business was unsuccessful. I’ll talk about why down below.

I kept the store up for several months. I added new listings periodically to keep things fresh. I got a few customer messages throughout the time I had the store and I responded promptly.

I’d also login to the store often. A lot of platforms like Etsy reward consistency so if you’re in your dashboard often, it kind of tells them that you’re active, you haven’t forgotten about your store, etc. And, you’re rewarded with more views. This isn’t guaranteed but, it’s just something I’ve noticed with platforms, marketplaces, and social media networks.

Why the printable business failed

I think it failed because it wasn’t unique enough. There were dozens, if not hundreds of other Etsy sellers doing the exact same things as me. And, they had been doing it longer. Which means, they probably know what they’re doing at this point, they’re more Etsy-friendly, in my opinion which means Etsy shows their listings because they have sold a lot of products and have strong feedback.

Depending on the category you’re selling in, I think Etsy can be saturated.

I’ve seen new sellers thrive and do extremely well on the platform but, the key to their success is their uniqueness. You don’t have to be the only one selling what you’re selling but, if you are a seller creating and selling products in a sea of 100 other products that are similar, it’d more challenging to do well, I think.

Just my personal opinion.

I did make sales on Etsy in my printable business but, very little, under $500, probably under $100, honestly. The printables were priced at around $3 to $5 each so, I’d need at least 100 or so sales to hit the three-figure mark. And, that was my personal experience in the printable business.

Can you make a full-time income selling printables?

Yes, it’s possible to make a full-time income selling printables.

Here are some seller testimonials we found from the internet:

You can see that the income from printables can vary a lot, ranging from side hustle income to a full-time lucrative salary.

Can you sell printables for passive income?

Yes, you can sell printables for passive income. I think it’s one of the top reasons to get into this business. Printables are digital products so you create them, upload them to a platform like Etsy and when a customer buys, the platform handles the delivery. They deliver the goods to customers digitally, they collect payment from them and they pay you

Where can you sell printables?

There are several platforms you can use to sell printables. Here are some popular options:

  1. Etsy: Etsy is a popular marketplace for handmade goods, including printables. It’s easy to set up a shop on Etsy and start selling your printables.
  2. Shopify: Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that allows you to create your own online store to sell your printables. It has a variety of features, including payment processing and shipping integrations.
  3. Gumroad: Gumroad is a platform that allows you to sell digital products, including printables. It’s easy to set up and offers a variety of customization options.
  4. Creative Market: Creative Market is a platform that allows you to sell a variety of digital products, including printables. It has a large audience of creative professionals and offers a variety of marketing tools.
  5. Redbubble: Redbubble is a marketplace that allows you to sell your designs as print-on-demand products, including printables. It handles the printing and shipping for you, so you don’t need to worry about inventory management.
  6. Society6: Society6 is another print-on-demand marketplace that allows you to sell your designs as a variety of products, including printables. It offers a range of marketing tools and handles the printing and shipping for you.

These are just a few examples of platforms to sell printables. Each platform has its own features and benefits, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your business goals and target audience.

Bottom line

You want to sell printables and now you have more information on how to do just that. The printable business is an exciting one. You get a chance to express your creativity and create and sell products that others appreciate.

This is a side hustle for teachers or a side hustle for retirees. Or, a business idea anybody could pursue.

Does this sound like a business you’d start for yourself?

What kind of printables are you thinking about selling?

How to make money selling printables (1) How to sell printables to make money

Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at

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