One of the many ways you can make money off of your artwork online is through using the various print on demand sites for artists.
Print on demand is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to put your artwork on various different product offerings. Enabling you to sell a wide variety of products with your artwork on them.
When your store gets an order, the order goes over to the print on demand company. They then make it and fulfill the order. For the most part its all automated too once you set it up!
The only thing you really need to do is focus on creating awesome designs that sell!
This is a very exciting opportunity for artists to diversify their product offerings and get more out of one piece of artwork! They allow you to sell things like prints, mugs, shirts, hoodies, pillows, curtains, stickers, and more! Pretty much all kinds of merchandise you might be interested in!
There are sites like Society6 and Redbubble which cater specifically to artists. I’ll more into these types in a moment.
Once I discovered these sites it opened up my eyes to this world of potential product possibilities.
Especially as an ambitious webmaster myself, when I realized there are other web hustlers out there like me making boatloads of money doing this AND they aren’t even artists, well I couldn’t contain my excitement to give it a try myself!
I eventually discovered that this is called print on demand and found there are a whole ton of options for us to choose from.
I got very excited by the idea of getting more out of my artwork and setting it up in such a way so that I do not have to stock products. I don’t know about you but I’m all about setting up multiple streams of passive income!
Plus, the thought of there being things out there with my artwork on it is pretty cool too!
So now I have to know everything there is to know about all the various print on demand services out there.
I’m going to be running a number of experiments over the course of the weeks and months to come so that I can equip myself with the best information and experience to help you achieve a full time income online as an artist!
So if you’re a beginner artist trying to figure out where you might want to go with your development or a more seasoned artist looking for new ways to earn money with your work, let’s figure out how this whole print on demand game is played!
Print On Demand For Artists
There are so many options for an artist to go with that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. It is part of the reason I am compelled to write this.
I must organize it and make sense of it all! There is valuable information to be mined here!
Let’s start by discussing the various print on demand services for artists. These platforms are a great way to get your toes wet with how print on demand works.
First off, what makes print on demand for artists different than other print on demand options? The key feature of a print on demand service for artists is that it hosts your storefront as well as offers a variety of products for you to put your artwork onto.
These are sites like Society6, Redbubble, Zazzle, and Teespring just to name a few. Sites like these make it easy for an artist to sign up and start applying their artwork to various products.
Each of these sites that cater specifically to creators like us has its various pros and cons. They vary in differences from what products they enable you to put your artwork on to how much you can potentially make.
Rebubble as an example has a great program specifically so you can legally sell fan merch. So far you can sign up to make fan art for things like Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, and Back to the Future.
Without this special permission, if you are producing fan artwork of any kind and selling it you may be leaving yourself legally liable.
When you do step into the world of selling your artwork it is wise to understand copyright and trademark laws. This program by Redbubble is a good way to make and sell the fan art you like without the worry of legal repercussions.
Using print on demand sites for artists is an opportunity to get your artwork out there and experiment with different products without having to come out of pocket on your end. Unless you want to order one for yourself that is!
Then with Zazzle, they allow you to set the percentage of royalty you want to get. Anywhere from 5%, all the way up to 99%.
I’m not sure how wise it is to mark it up 99% but they do also offer an affiliate marketing program as well. This way when you send a link to someone for them to buy your product you can get an additional 15% on top of whatever you decide to set your royalty to.
The bonus to this is that the cookie lasts for up to 45 days. So if they don’t buy your product and instead find something else on the site to buy, you can still get 15% whether they buy it that day or come back a week later to buy it.
Another thing to think about is the potential market reach.
It is definitely something you should consider though when trying to decide where to start. The website SimilarWeb.com is a great place to check out the stats of a website so you can get an idea of how much traffic they have each month.
You hear a lot of artists talk about Society6 but in way of how they compare in traffic to some of the others, they are one of the lowest! They had 5 million visitors in December at peak shopping season.
To put that in perspective, Zazzle had over 15 million visitors in December while Redbubble had almost 25 million!
These are definitely factors to consider too when choosing which one you want to go with. Society6 being the worst in way of how much control over commission rates you have as well as potential customers to sell to.
All that aside, they are an excellent opportunity to get yourself in the mindset of designing art that looks good on products!
It is really exciting and motivating to see what your artwork might look like on something like a pillow or a curtain.
Once you do, or perhaps now that you’re merely aware that it is possible, you will get really excited to give it a try yourself!
Make More with Printful or Printify by Opening Your Own Storefront
Once I did some research I became convinced I was better off opening up my own storefront through something like Shopify rather than go through one of those sites.
There are a number of reasons for this.
First off, on each of those platforms, you are competing in a more direct way with a ton of other artists. On some of them, it is very difficult to link someone directly to your store or product.
Then once someone is actually on your product page they can easily be enticed by other product offerings that aren’t yours and click away.
Through using a storefront like this you can retain the sale by making sure it’s one of your products they are seeing being suggested.
Second, the meager profit margins. As a talented artist, especially one that has a following, you can make A LOT more money opening up your own storefront.
As an example, lets say you want to sell a mug with your artwork on it on Society6. They automatically will price that mug at $16.99.
You have no control over that price point.
Then when and if you do make a sale you only get 10%. Leaving you with $1.70. Now, if you are also an affiliate member of Society6 and you get one of your followers to click through a link to your product and THEN buy, then you can make an additional 10%.
Bringing your total profit to 20% resulting in $3.40 earnings per mug sold.
The good news is there are other print on demand options to choose from that offer you far more control of things in regards to prices and profit margins.
The two main ones I have found are Printful and Printify.
Through using these sites and going with something like Shopify for your storefront you can leverage more control over your sales. You do need to have your own website for this as well but that’s super cheap and easy to set up a website.
If you don’t want to go through setting up your own site then I’d recommend setting up an Etsy storefront instead!
To continue with our example, let’s say you have the same mug for sale in your very own storefront at the same price of $16.99. Through partnering with Printful you can make about $9 per sale!!!
It might be a little bit of extra work to put it all together but once you get it going it as just as effortless in the long run!
While I certainly will have a Shopify storefront for this website soon I’m currently running a side experiment on Etsy to see what ways an artist might be able to utilize an Etsy storefront with a print on demand service like Printful.
Printful is the company I went with for this particular experiment mostly because Printify has some options within it I just don’t understand yet.
Be sure to come back soon to see what details I come up with on how to sell art on Etsy!
While researching anything new lately I have been finding myself going to Skillshare more and more. Not just because they’re one of my partners and I want to sell you on their service, which I am and I do, but also because I LOVE their service and the variety of classes they have to offer.
If you are interested in learning more about how to setup an Etsy storefront with a Printful account I actually used a class they offer by a guy named Profit Steve called “How to Quickly Start a Print on Demand Merchandise Business with Zero Experience.”
I’m not even totally finished with it yet and it has been incredibly useful in getting my storefront set up quickly.
He also goes through a number of easy product design techniques you can try. From how to research products for what’s selling to how to abide by trademarks and copyrights.
I really do think you will find it useful if you are interested in giving this a try and you don’t want to go through the hassle of figuring out how to setup your own website and storefront.
I will definitely be unveiling whatever I figure out on how to sell your art on Etsy once I’m finished conducting my experiment!