2022 Guide to Selling Digital Printables Online

Who doesn’t like an easy income? If you can design a digital printable, you can create something that keeps making money without much work on your end. 

Printables aren’t even that tough to make, and the upfront cost of starting a printable business is next to nothing. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make printables and how to make printables profitable.

What Is a Digital Printable?

Rather than going to the store to buy planners, calendars, or any other design that works on a sheet of paper, printables give people the ability to print out any of these items at home. 

Digital file formats, like JPGs and PDFs, can be downloaded and printed repeatedly, which means that once someone buys a design, they don’t have to buy it more than once. This gives consumers an economical way to reuse a design they like, and designers profit from a single file selling multiple times.

Why Are Digital Printables Popular?

Making a traditional calendar or planner involves suppliers, retail shops, shipping, and restocking fast-selling items. If an artist or business wants to make printable designs, they simply upload files to an online store like Etsy for consumers to download and print themselves. 

Types of Digital Printables

Thankfully, artists can choose from dozens of digital printable types to design. Some are meant to be used and consumed. Others fall more into the category of artwork. These include the following:

  • Planners 
  • Calendars
  • Coloring sheets
  • Journals
  • Stationery
  • Templates
  • Decor 
  • Art
  • Posters
  • Famous paintings
  • Photographs
  • Lesson plans
  • Checklists
  • Invitations

Essentially, anything can be a digital printable if someone could conceivably want to print it and use it.

Pros of Selling Digital Printables

If you’re looking to jump headfirst into the world of digital printables, here are some great reasons to do so:

  •  Create one printable that can continue to make you money.
  •  There are dozens of programs that you can use to design them for free.
  •  You don’t have to be a graphic designer.

Lastly, the market for them is huge.

Cons of Selling Digital Printables

But don’t think it’s all sunshine and rainbows. There are some obstacles you’ll have to overcome if you want to make printables a viable income stream:

  •  A huge market means loads of competition.
  •  Requires customers to have a high-quality printer with good paper.
  •  You’ll have to keep designing new printables to satisfy demand.

Additionally, you’ll likely have to do a lot of marketing.

How to Sell Digital Printables Online

The hurdles for starting your own printable business aren’t impossible to overcome, but you will have to put in a little elbow grease to make money.

Step 1: Decide Your Target Market

Don’t try to be a jack of all trades! Figure out what type of printables you do best and who your designs would appeal to the most. Keep in mind the technical ability of your target market. Someone who isn’t likely to know how a computer works will have a tough time printing Etsy printables on their own.

Step 2: Design and Create Digital Printable

You can make printables in programs as simple as Microsoft Word and even spreadsheet software like Excel! Use software such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for more intricate designs. You can even opt for an in-browser design tool like Canva if you don’t want to install new software.

Step 3: Test Print Your Digital Printable

When your customers print your designs, the finished product needs to look amazing. Your customers likely won’t have high-end printers. Test, test, then test some more to ensure your design will look its best when printed. 

Step 4: Price Your Digital Printable

While we’d love to tell you to ask for a certain amount of money per printable, it’s not that easy. You’ll need to head to online printable stores like Etsy to see what comparable designs are selling for. 

You don’t want to short-change yourself and charge too little, nor do you want to charge more than the competition. Also, make sure your prices cover your costs.

Step 5: Set Up Your Printable Store

You can set up a website to sell your printables, but remember, you’ll have to design it yourself or pay someone else to do it. Most people who sell printables head to a known digital storefront like Etsy, Shopify, or Fiverr. 

They’ll charge you a commission, but it may be worth it to avoid headaches like hiring a webmaster and dealing with servers going down. You’ll need enough designs to fill a storefront since you want it to look full and ready for business.

Step 6: Market Your Business

Social media is a great place to get people interested in your printables. Paying for ads is excellent, but don’t discount word-of-mouth connections. As you post designs and gain more followers, people will become more interested in purchasing your items. 

Make sure your search engine optimization (SEO) is up to snuff. You may want to consider starting a blog, too. 

Giveaways, discount coupons, and bundles attract attention and net new customers. You may also consider email marketing and a newsletter depending on your demographic. 

When It’s Time to Print Printables, Turn to Print Bind Ship

The reason people love printables so much is that, with one download, they can make as many copies of a design as they want. Of course, not everyone has a printer that can truly make a design pop. 

If you’re looking for your designs to be as gorgeous in real life as they are on your screen, turn to Print Bind Ship. 

Print Bind Ship will craft your prints, store them, and ship them to you and your customers. We’ve got the experience you need in a printing partner, and we work with artists every day to help make their visions come to fruition. 

Contact Print Bind Ship, and find out what we can do for you!


How Much Money Can You Make Selling Printables?

Depending on how much effort is put into the business, you can make anywhere from a few hundred dollars per year to a thousand dollars per month.

Where Can I Sell Digital Printables Other than Etsy?

Most digital storefronts will allow printables, such as Shopify, Etsy, and Amazon.

Can I Use Canva to Sell Printables on Etsy?

Yes, as long as the design you’re selling is one you created. Canva frowns on selling existing designs and passing them off as original.