Earn money by creating & selling printables

One of the lesser known methods of earning money online is creating and selling printables. There are people who are making good amount of money on the internet by doing this.


What are printables?

Printables are graphically designed digital documents that are downloaded online on computers and then printed on paper using printer and used as physical copies by the users. Printables are also known as digital printables. Most of the printables are in PDF format and some in image formats such as jpg. Printables are very brief and short. They are mostly one-page documents but can also be of multiple pages depending on the type of printable. If it can be downloaded and printed then it is a printable.

Why printables?

You should consider creating and selling printables for the following reasons:-

(1) You get passive income. Once you create the printables, you do not need to do anything else other than promoting them.

(2) They are easy and fast to make. You do not necessarily need to be a graphic designer. You can create simple printables and people would buy them if they find them useful.

(3) They are fun and enjoyable to create especially if you are an artistic or creative person.

How you can earn money with printables:-

You earn money by creating and selling various types of printables. You sell digital version of the printable to the buyers online. The buyers would download it on their computers after buying and print it using their printers to use it as a physical copy. A single printable generally sells for a small price so you need to make lots of different printables to earn substantial amount of income from them.

What you need for creating printables:-

There are various tools which you can use for creating printables such as:-

Microsoft Word

Microsoft PowerPoint

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe InDesign

Online design tools such as canva, fotor, picmonkey

Microsoft Word and PowerPoint are more useful for creating simple printables. For advanced and graphic heavy printables, you need to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign depending on the type of printable. If you do not know how to use any of these software, then you can use online design tools mentioned above which are easier to use than Photoshop and illustrator.

Types of printables:-

Following are some of the most common and popular types of printables that are created and sold:-

Planners, which help people in planning things such as party plan, travel plan, weekly meal plan, monthly and yearly to-do lists/checklists, etc.

Resume templates, which the users can edit and fill with their own information in Ms Word and then print them as a resume.

Coloring pages or books. They contain the drawings, which the people can color after printing them. They work well for kids but nowadays there are also coloring books specially made for adults, which are called adult coloring books. They are sold as individual coloring pages or as coloring books if they contain many pages.

Greeting cards such as birthday cards, new year cards, anniversary cards, diwali cards, etc. which are used for wishing people on the occasion. People can print these greeting cards and write the name of the persons on it to whom they want to send the greeting cards.

Invitation cards such as birthday invitation, anniversary invitation, party invitation, wedding invitation, etc. which are used for inviting people on the occasion. People can print these invitations and write the name of the persons on it to whom them they want to send the invitations.

Calendars such as 1-page yearly calendars, 4 page quarterly calendars, 12 page monthly calendars, etc. The calendars can be just text calendars having only dates or photo calendars having some photo or design on it along with the dates. People can print the calendars and hang or stick them on their walls.

Worksheets or workbooks in which the people have to write down something or solve something for e.g. educational worksheets having math problems. People can print these worksheets and solve them on paper. They work well for kids.

Quotes such as inspirational quotes, motivational quotes, funny quotes, etc. People can print these quotes and stick them on their walls or some other place.

Puzzles such as crossword puzzles, word search, etc. People can print these puzzles and solve them on paper. They work well for kids as well as adults.

Stationary items such as blank notebook page or diary page with different layouts and creative designs and things, which the normal standard notebooks or diaries available in the market do not have. People can print as many copies of the page as they want and bind the pages together to create a notebook or diary and write on it. You can also create notebook cover pages with some design or picture on it along with the blank writing pages.

In addition to the above, you can create many other types of printables and sell them. You can search in Google for more printable ideas.

Where to sell printables:-

You have three options:-

(1) Etsy:-
You can sell the printables on Etsy, which is a site for selling arts and crafts and other handmade items. You can create your printables store/shop on Etsy. It will cost you 20 cents listing fee for each printable that you list there. Etsy also charges 3.5% transaction fees on each sale. There is also 3% + 0.25$ payment processing fee for each sale. So the total fees would be 6.5% + 0.45$ per sale. Etsy gets good amount of traffic and already has many clients who regularly buy from there.

(2) Teacherspayteachers:
Teacherspayteachers site is for educational printables. Educational printables have good demand from the teachers and parents. They also charge a certain percentage as commission from each sale of printable and 30 cents as transaction fees. They also a have a premium plan for sellers which has some benefits such as less commission, bigger file size upload, less transaction fees, video uploads, etc. the premium plan costs about 60$ per year.

(3) Own website:-
You can create your own website and sell printables on that. You need a way to accept payment on your site. You need to manage things such as maintaining the site, accepting payments, SEO and promotion, etc.

Some tips for printables:-

Finally some useful tips if you intend to create and sell printables:-

Make printables which are useful to people and helps them in organizing or managing their lives in some ways.

Keep the printables as simple as possible. Do not over-design. Give importance to the functionality of the printable. You do not need to create very complicated or extraordinary designs. Use the colors sparingly and in right places. Do not use too many colors just to make it look colorful and attractive. Remember that the users have to actually print them out. So make sure that they would look good after being printed.

Be creative and unique in creating the printables. Spend some time on Etsy and look at the different types of printables that people are selling. You will get some ideas for your own printables. Just use them for inspiration. Do not copy any designs or quotes of others. Add your own creative and unique touch to the printables.

Use stock images in the printables where relevant.

Use unique text fonts to make your printables stand out. There are many sites where you can download free fonts for commercial use.

If you have a printer at home then print out each printable yourself to see how they actually look on paper after printing. You can then make necessary changes to it, if required. Many times, the colors look different when printed as compared to colors on screen.

Keep in mind that most of the printables are sold for very low price from 1$ to 10$ especially the one-page printables. You can charge more if there are more pages for e.g. coloring books. You can also charge more by putting together similar or related printables and offering them as a bundle.

If your printable has spaces where the user is expected to write something, then make sure that there is enough blank space for the user to write comfortably.  

While designing, keep adequate margin on the left side of the document and some margin on the right side too. Users may staple the pages or bind them so the content on the left side may not be visible properly after stapling or binding. So always, keep some empty space especially on the left side of document and make sure that the content of printable does not get too close to the edges of paper.

Include instructions along with every printable regarding how that particular printable is supposed to be used by the users.

Include copyright notice along with every printable so that no one copies or steals your design or artwork.

Majority of people who buy and sell printables are women. Women are the ones who are most interested in printable business but that does not mean that there are no men at all. There are many men too who buy and sell printables but they are less in comparison to women. Therefore, this is an important point to note while designing and selling printables.

The best place for promoting printables is Pinterest site. This is because Pinterest has high amount of female users and as said earlier most of the users and creators of printables are women. Instagram is also good place for promotion in addition to Pinterest.

Make sure that you clearly state in the sales listing description of every printable that you are selling a printable which people have to download on their computers and print it out and they would not get any physical products shipped to them.

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