How to make and sell digital printables online

By Ritvars Lauza read
31 Oct, 2023
How to make and sell digital printables online

Looking to turn your design skills into passive income? Selling printables online is the answer.

With Sellfy, you can set up your store quickly and easily, and protect your work with PDF stamping, limit downloads, and use built-in email marketing to boost sales. Start monetizing your designs effortlessly with Sellfy today.

Are you ready to jumpstart your online business? Let’s go through the basics on how to make and sell printables!

What are digital printables?

Digital printables are documents that are created with the intent to be printed out and solve a problem. For example, one can look for a workout plan that would solve their problem of being disorganized with their workout schedule.

Types of digital printables

Almost any passion or interest can be the inspiration for a digital printable. But before you start brainstorming ideas, picture the final product.

How can you sell your love for cats? What printables are there to create, even? 

To guide you through the jungle of digital printables, here’s our list of the most common ones sold online:

1: Planner printables

  • Calendars
  • Meal planners
  • Diet planners
  • Workout planners
  • Budget planners
  • Cooking planners
  • Marketing content planners

2: Decor printables

  • Quotes: inspirational, motivational, funny
  • Artwork: nursery, bathroom, kitchen, living room

3: Coloring printables

  • Coloring sheets/pages
  • Mandalas
  • Templates

4: Stationery printables

  • Stickers
  • Journals
  • Workbooks
  • Letter papers

5: Productivity & work printables

  • Lesson plans
  • Checklists: shopping, to-dos, goals, travel
  • Project planners
  • Worksheets
  • Financial planners
  • Spreadsheets

6: Event & party printables

  • Decorations: Halloween, baby shower, birthday
  • Invitations: wedding, themed party
  • Seating cards

Use our list as a starting point for choosing the types of printables you’re interested in creating yourself.

Best selling printables

Some types of printables tend to sell better than others. To create a bestseller, focus on evergreen rather than seasonal downloads.

For example:

Too many people need help planning different aspects of their life—from creating to-do lists to organizing projects. A planner is a great example of an evergreen product that can match all purposes and personalities.

printable party decor sellfy store

Another thing to note with printables is the demand for them. To check what kind of printables people are interested in, use Google Trends. Just type in the search keyword you want to explore, like printable or printables, and hit Enter. Scroll down to the Related queries block and see what people are searching for in relation to your search keyword.

Here’s what we got for the search keyword printables:

Printables Google Trends

As you can see, coloring printables, kids printables, and 3D printables are the most searched. So if you’re looking to create a best-selling digital download, keep your eyes peeled for what people actually want to buy.

How to create printables?

You already know what a printable is and how many types of them are out there, now we can go over creating your own digital goods!

Making a printable is easy and you can do that in four steps. Let’s go over them one by one.

1. Decide on your niche market

First off, what’s a niche market? It’s a part of a larger market that has its own specific needs, which differ from the larger market in a way. For example, the market for planners is huge but there are niche markets for houseplant planners and keto meal planners, which include different types of content and visuals specific to consumer interests.

Choose your own niche for printables as it’ll be easier to market your digital products for a narrowed-down audience. Plus, it’ll be more effortless for you to make more printables related to your niche. For example, if you focus on keto health nuts, you can make a keto diet menu planner, a list of keto-friendly snacks, a weight loss tracker, and more.

2. List your printable ideas

It’s good to have at least 6-8 products available in your online store when you launch. Not only will your store look fuller, but it’ll also up your chances to sell printables as there will be more to choose from.

 Don’t overfill your store with 50+ printables from the get go. Columbia University did an experiment to see how multiple choices impact the decision making process. The first group of people were offered a choice of 6 different jam flavors, the other group was presented with 24 flavors. Only 3% of customers were ready to make a decision between the 24 flavors of jam, in comparison to 40% of customers who were offered only 6 flavor choices. 

So before you get your hands digitally dirty with designing, list at least 6 printable types you’ll focus on. This will also help you keep track of your progress!

3. Design your digital printables

Now that you already have a list of digital goods you plan on creating, think about the end result and the customer behind it.

Mind the size of the printables you’re creating. For example, if you’re designing a planner, consider the variety of sizes to fit the most common planners. Another thing to note: the quality and colors of your digital file. If you create something that needs to be printed in high resolution or requires a lot of color ink to print, you could have a harder time selling your goods.

As for the tools to design digital printables, there are plenty (and a lot of them free to use!).

The tools for creating printables depend on what you plan to create. We’ll share a list of free tools that work for creating most types of printables:

Good for making monograms, labels, and banners.

Good for making checklists and other printables that have content listed in rows or columns, like calendars and planners.

Suitable for making more intricate printable designs, like for prints, stickers, and coloring pages.

Vectr software
Source: Vectr

Good for creating more complicated designs and intricate design formatting that isn’t offered by word processors or online design software.

When you’re finishing up your work and exporting your digital printables, stick to the .pdf file format. The .pdf format is easier to print and ensures that no one can make changes to your product.

Sellfy Tip
Brand all your printables with your logo, social media handles, and a link to your site. This makes it easier for your customers to find you and place another order for your goods!

4. Test-print your printables

This is a no-brainer—you have to test your printables before you list them for sale.

Check if your printable appears correctly on the printed page and looks nice. If you’re crafting a printable that’ll need some cutting or hole punching, make sure you’ve left enough space for them.

Nobody wants to ruin the design on their prints just because it needs adjustments.

Once you create your printables and love how they turned out, you can move on to the next step—selling printables online!

How to start selling printables online?

Essentially, there are two ways to sell printables. You can sell them on your own online store created on an eCommerce platform, like Sellfy, or an existing marketplace, like an Etsy store or Creative Market.

You might think that the fastest way to start selling your printables is to do it on a marketplace, but you’re wrong. You can create a beautiful store on Sellfy in 5 minutes.

Now you might be thinking that there’s a larger audience for you with an Etsy shop, and you’re right. Here’s the kicker—while a marketplace usually does attract more customers, it means there’s more competition amongst sellers.

If you sell printables on your own store, you can freely build your brand identity and allow your printables to be in the center of attention. Still not convinced? Go over some more benefits of selling printables on Sellfy rather than marketplaces.

Deep breath everyone! Opening an online store with Sellfy is easy-peasy and here’s how to do it in 4 steps:

Step 1: Create your Sellfy account

All you need to create an account with Sellfy is a valid email address. Start with a 14-day free trial to give it a test run before settling for a suitable subscription plan.

The best part is that you can also upgrade your account at any time. With an upgrade, you’ll get access to additional features, like product upselling, cart abandonment, white labeling, and many more.

Step 2: Upload your digital products

You can upload as many products as you wish—Sellfy has unlimited bandwidth and large file support. Just go to the Products section on your Dashboard, choose Digital products, and click on Add new product.  

Sellfy dashboard — add new product

Upload your printable planners, workout plans, lesson plans, teaching materials, workbooks, spreadsheets, or any other printables you want to sell. Then add product images and some info in the Product description section, hit Save product and your printables will be instantly added to your store!

Step 3: Customize your online store

The great thing about having a Sellfy store is that it’s completely customizable—from product pages to navigation and the shape of the Buy now button.

Sellfy dashboard — Customize store

You can effortlessly make your Sellfy store match your brand and make it look exactly the way you want.

Step 4: Add payment options. 

With PayPal and Stripe (for card payments), you’ll be able to accept payments from users all over the world and in different currencies. 

connect payment methods sellfy

  • To accept payments through PayPal, just go to Payment options and type in your PayPal email address.
  • To accept card payments, you’ll need to have a Stripe account first, and then connect it to your Sellfy store. Find out how to create a Stripe account and get API keys for your Sellfy store here.

Want to go over setting up your Sellfy store in more detail? Head over to this blog to learn everything about store setup with Sellfy.

How to market your printables?

Never ever assume that you don’t need marketing even if you’re selling Etsy printables. Marketing is key regardless of where you’re selling—whether that’s selling on Instagram with PayPal or someplace else. Your customers will always have a plethora of options for buying printables.

We won’t go deep into marketing because there’s a lot of ground to cover. However, we will share a few helpful tips and tricks to help you get started:

  • Social media. Announce that you have new printables available for purchase. Use Instagram Stories and highlights to feature your products, add your link in Bio, and take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Freebies. When you’re product listing your printables, try giving a similar product away for free! It’ll be a good way to showcase your work and attract more prospects.
  • SEO. Use keyword optimization to help your online store and products rank better in Google.
  • Cross-selling and upselling. With Sellfy’s upselling feature, you can offer an additional (discounted) printable product to buyers who add one of your products to the cart.
  • Email marketing. You can easily run email campaigns with Sellfy’s built-in email marketing tool and target specific audiences. Use this tool to notify your customers of new product launches, deals, updates, giveaways, etc. Sellfy also makes sure that your email list complies with GDPR.
  • Analytics and discounts. To understand how your printable business is performing, you should look into Instagram Insights, Google Analytics, or Sellfy Analytics. Another great tool is Sellfy’s Discount Manager for creating discounts, sales, and coupon codes.
  • Pay-what-you-want pricing. Letting your customers decide the price for your product can increase potential customer engagement and maximize your revenue.

Now put your creativity cap on, go create some fun printables, and then get back to launch your printables store with Sellfy! Don’t tell anyone but you’ll get a free 14-day trial to fully explore what Sellfy has to offer.

FAQ: how to sell printables online

Can I make money selling printables?

Yes, selling printables can be a profitable business venture. Many people are willing to pay for well-designed and useful printables, such as planners, calendars, wall art, clip art, etc. With platforms like Sellfy, you can easily set up an online store and reach a wider audience, increasing your chances of generating passive income.

How can I start selling printables online?

To start selling printables online, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create high-quality and visually appealing designs using graphic design software.
  2. Sign up for a platform like Sellfy to set up your online store.
  3. Upload your printable files and set prices for each product.
  4. Promote your printables through social media, email marketing, and other channels to attract customers.

What printables should I sell?

The best printables to sell are those that cater to a specific audience’s needs or interests. Consider popular categories like planners, calendars, budget trackers, and motivational quotes. You can also create niche-specific printables for hobbies, events, or special occasions. It’s essential to research your target market and offer printables that they would find valuable and helpful.

Related topics

Digital products
Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy. With over 6 years of experience in online marketing & eCommerce, Ritvars shares his knowledge in Sellfy blog. He is inspired by the success of Sellfy creators and is passionate about finding new ways how he can help them succeed.