How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money

How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money

How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business and Make Money


Print-on-demand (POD) is an increasingly popular business model that allows entrepreneurs to create and sell custom-designed products without the need for inventory.

With POD, you can sell t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other products featuring your unique designs, with no upfront costs or minimum order requirements. This makes it an attractive option for anyone looking to start an online business without a large investment.

If you’re interested in starting a POD business, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take. First, you’ll need to choose a niche or product category to focus on, such as fitness apparel, funny coffee mugs, or pet accessories.

Once you have a niche in mind, you can start designing your products using free tools like Canva or paid software like Adobe Creative Suite.

Next, you’ll need to choose a POD platform to sell your products on. Some popular options include Shopify, Printful, and Teespring, each with its own set of features and pricing.

These platforms will handle the printing, shipping, and customer service for you, so you can focus on creating and marketing your products.

To make money with a POD business, you’ll need to attract customers to your store through social media, advertising, or other marketing channels.

You can also try partnering with influencers or running promotions to incentivize customers to make a purchase.

As your business grows, you may want to consider expanding your product line or building your website to increase your profits.

Starting a POD business can be a great way to turn your creative ideas into a profitable venture. By following these steps and staying committed to your goals, you can build a successful business and make money selling your unique products.

What is Print-on-Demand Business?

A print-on-demand (POD) business is a type of e-commerce business that allows entrepreneurs to sell custom-designed products without the need for inventory.

With POD, products are only printed and shipped after a customer places an order, rather than being pre-manufactured and stored in a warehouse.

The process typically involves a POD platform that handles the printing, packaging, and shipping of the products, while the entrepreneur designs and markets the products.

This means that the entrepreneur does not need to invest in inventory or deal with the logistics of shipping and storage, making it a low-risk and low-cost way to start an online business.

Some popular products that can be sold through a POD business include t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, mugs, and posters.

Entrepreneurs can design their products using free tools like Canva or paid software like Adobe Creative Suite and upload them to a POD platform like Printful, Teespring, or Shopify.

The platform then handles the printing and shipping of the products, while the entrepreneur earns a profit on each sale.

Overall, a print-on-demand business is a flexible and scalable way to start an e-commerce business that allows entrepreneurs to sell their unique designs without the need for inventory or upfront costs.

Why Should I start a Print-on-Demand Business?

The world of e-commerce has exploded in recent years, with more and more people turning to online shopping for their everyday needs.

This has created a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start an online business, and one option that is gaining popularity is the print-on-demand (POD) business model.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of starting a print-on-demand business and why it may be a great option for you.

1. Low start-up costs.

One of the most significant advantages of starting a print-on-demand business is the low start-up costs.

Unlike traditional businesses that require a significant investment in inventory, equipment, and storage space, a POD business allows you to start with minimal capital.

All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and design software to create your products. The POD platform will take care of the rest, from printing and shipping to customer service.

2. No inventory.

Another advantage of the POD business model is that you do not need to keep inventory. The products are printed only when the customer places an order, so you don’t have to worry about the risk of carrying unsold inventory or the cost of storing it.

This frees up your cash flow and allows you to focus on creating new designs and marketing your products.

3. Wide range of products.

A POD business allows you to sell a wide range of products, from t-shirts, hoodies, and leggings to phone cases, mugs, and tote bags.

This gives you the flexibility to cater to different niches and audiences, and also to experiment with different products to see what works best for your business.

4. Customizable products.

The POD business model also allows you to create customizable products that can be tailored to your customers’ needs.

This means that you can create designs that reflect your customers’ interests, hobbies, and personalities, making your products more personal and engaging.

Customizable products also allow you to charge a premium price, as customers are willing to pay more for a product that is uniquely theirs.

5. Scalability.

Finally, a POD business is highly scalable, meaning that you can grow your business as much or as little as you want.

You can start small, with just a few designs, and gradually expand your product range and marketing efforts as you gain more experience and traction.

The POD platform will handle the printing and shipping for you, so you can focus on growing your business without worrying about the logistics.

6. You can work from anywhere.

Running a Print-on-demand business does not require you to be in a particular, your interactions are going to be made online using a service made by the Print-on-demand supplier.

Since you can run your POD business from anywhere in the world, it’s a great option if you want to be location-independent. You can run your business while travelling or living in another country.

7. Print-on-Demand Business can be run either part-time or full-time.

Print-on-demand businesses can be run part-time or full-time, depending on your goals. All you need do is interact with the supplier’s websites and that settles it. If you’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your income, this is a great option.

8. Creative work can be outsourced.

Maybe you dont want to implement the graphical work yourself, such can be outsourced – Print-on-demand businesses typically involve some design or creativity to create the products you’ll be selling.

However, you don’t have to do the graphic design work yourself. If you want to sell t-shirts or other print-on-demand products, you could hire a designer to do the work for you.

9. You Get to build Passive income.

A successful print-on-demand business generates passive income, as you could create the next trendy design that would attract Millions of buyers across the world.

The products that you design today will (hopefully) continue to generate sales for months and even years to come.

How do I start a Print-on-Demand Business and Make Money?

The print-on-demand industry grew by 12% from 2017 to 2020. While other industries stumbled during the pandemic, print-on-demand grew massively because of several reasons.

one of which includes the growing demand for personalized and one-of-a-kind products and the shift from traditional retail to eCommerce.

1. Understand how Print-on-demand works.

The first thing needed to be settled before starting a print-on-demand business is to understand how it works.

Print-on-demand is a type of dropshipping model, however, the process is different from traditional dropshipping methods.

Print-on-demand allows you to add your label or customized design to an array of products but ensures you only have to purchase a product when a customer has placed an order.

The print-on-demand process is simple, and this is how they are listed.

  • Set up your online store on your own or the print-on-demand providers’ platform.
  • Choose a print-on-demand supplier and connect this to your online store.
  • List the products you wish to sell on your online store.
  • A customer visits your eCommerce site and places an order.
  • This order is automatically passed to your chosen print-on-demand supplier.
  • Your supplier prints the specified design onto the chosen product.
  • The order is packaged and shipped directly to the customer by your print-on-demand supplier.
  • Profit is split between the print-on-demand supplier and your business.

2. Choose a niche.

The first step in starting a successful POD business is to choose a niche. This involves identifying a specific market segment or audience that you want to target.

By selecting a niche, you can tailor your designs to the specific interests and needs of your audience, making your products more appealing and engaging.

Some popular niches for POD businesses include sports, hobbies, and pop culture.

3. Build an audience.

Building relationships is an essential part of marketing your business. Running a successful print-on-demand business requires you to build a relationship with your audience.

Many business owners leverage tools like social media to gain a following, share their experiences, and generate warm leads for their products or services.

Social media followers are just one example of a rented or borrowed audience. With a borrowed audience, businesses use a platform to communicate with their followers.

However, if that platform disables your account or experiences downtime, users instantly lose contact with their followers.

Since platforms evolve and change all the time, a borrowed audience is always at risk, so business owners need to rely less on borrowed audiences and more on their audience.

4. Decide what to sell.

The next step to take to bring your Print-on-demand business into reality is to decide what to sell.

Most Print-on-demand businesses are centred around the sales of shirts, but other things can be customized too.

It is not only limited to t-shirts, hoodies, or coffee mugs. As popular as these items are, today you can customize and sell them.

5. Create Designs.

Print-on-demand relies heavily on unique designs, artistic skills are not a prerequisite for success. You don’t have to be an experienced designer to come up with design ideas. Anyone can do it.

Doing your research and extracting the best ideas from the internet and your social network is a key step in creating a profitable design.

You can draw inspiration from your brand, or trends across the internet and many more. Research should be a starting point to create your original designs. Never steal someone else design you find somewhere or claim the work as your own.

If you don’t want to spend your time creating designs, you can always hire a professional designer. One place to get started is Fiverr.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to utilize Fiverr as a means to grow your business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

6. Set up an Online store.

Becoming successful in your Print-on-demand business requires that your business is built around tech.

Owning an eCommerce website is an essential business tool when it comes to scaling your Print-on-demand business.

Whether you have a new business that you want to launch online or a traditional shop that you’re looking to expand, an online store is now one of the most important elements for many companies.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can build your eCommerce websites courtesy of the use of website builders. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

7. Choose Your Print-on-Demand company.

After creating your designs, the next step is to choose a POD platform. Some popular POD platforms include Printful, Teespring, and Shopify.

These platforms handle the printing, packaging, and shipping of your products, as well as customer service.

It’s important to choose a platform that aligns with your business goals and offers the products and services that you need to succeed.

1. Printful.

Printful is a popular choice among print-on-demand sites because of its wide selection of high-quality products and brands (Gildan, American Apparel, etc.), easy-to-use mockup generators, and options for adding your branding to the unboxing experience.

For apparel products, in particular, Printful offers several printing techniques you’ll want to be aware of.

While the base costs may be higher, this lets you create a more premium product that could sell for more.

You should also be mindful of how additional customizations affect the price. Printing on the sleeve or inside label, for example, will usually mean paying a nominal fee on top of the base cost.

Besides apparel, Printful also offers mugs, bedding, pillows, framed posters, beach towels, aprons, and more.


2. Lulu Direct

Lulu Direct is its print-on-demand offering and lets you choose from a wide selection of book sizes, binding types, and page/print quality to build your book product.

While there is no built-in editor to design your book, Lulu Xpress does offer downloadable templates to get you started.

It even has a transparent pricing calculator to help you cost out your project, including various shipping options.


3. Printify.

Printify is another print-on-demand service that features the usual selection of t-shirts and hoodies.

While Printify is free to use, a premium subscription is available that gives you 20% off of all products for $29 a month, which is a solid option if you’re looking to scale up later and improve your profit margins.


8. Promote Your Print-on-demand Business.

The most important purpose that a promotion serves is that it sets a business apart from its competitors. You have to stay ahead of your competitors for customers to keep doing business with you.

Promotions also allow you to make use of your available data and create more useful data from it.

Promotion is also applicable when it comes to your Print-on-demand business also, you should invest heavily in promotion for your print-on-demand business.

1. Start a YouTube Channel.

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. That means that your potential customers are out there searching on YouTube for ways to fix their problems — problems that your business solves.

By using YouTube, you’re allowing your customers to find you, get to know your brand, and eventually subscribe to your business.

Think of YouTube search engine optimization (SEO) similar to how you would think of Google SEO.

If you optimize your channel for SEO, you will land higher up on the results when someone is searching for a video.

Once you build a genuine audience via YouTube, you can promote your Print-on-demand business with it.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on this blog on how to start a YouTube channel and make money. Check out the link to the article below to learn more.

2. Grow an audience on Facebook.

Facebook offers advertisers one of the largest user bases. As of July 2020, according to Statista, Facebook had more than 2.6 billion users worldwide.

That is more than any other social media platform and second to perhaps only Google’s search users.

Have you heard that Facebook advertising is only for B2C businesses? Prepare to be surprised at how B2B businesses can also run successful campaigns on Facebook.

The audience on Facebook spans many demographics. No matter to whom your business caters, you should be able to find your desired audience profile on Facebook.

Marketing your Print-on-demand business on Facebook is a good idea because it has a huge ROI when you can build a huge audience on Facebook.

I wrote a comprehensive guide in this blog on how to utilize your Facebook account to grow your business. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

3. Do not negelect Twitter.

Growing a well-targeted Twitter following can boost your business, there are tons of great ways to increase the number of Twitter followers. One of the best ways is just to be more active on Twitter.

Follow other users posting similar content, then engage with them regularly. Also, make sure to post niche-based content, and as your followers increase, you’ll also get more engagement and clicks through to your website.

I wrote a comprehensive guide on how you can grow your business on Twitter. Check out the link to the article to learn more.

How To Make Money From Your POD Business

To make money from your POD business, you need to sell your products at a profit. The key to achieving this is to price your products competitively while ensuring that you still make a profit on each sale.

You can also increase your revenue by offering customization options, upselling, and cross-selling products.

Another way to make money from your POD business is to create a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience and inspires customer loyalty.


A print-on-demand business is a low-cost, low-risk way to start an online business that allows you to sell custom-designed products without the need for inventory or upfront costs.

With the flexibility to create a wide range of products, offer customization, and scale your business as you see fit, a POD business is a great option for entrepreneurs looking to tap into the world of e-commerce.

Finally, starting a print-on-demand business can be a great way to break into the world of e-commerce and make money from your designs.

By selecting a niche, creating high-quality designs, choosing a reliable POD platform, and marketing your products effectively, you can build a successful and profitable business that stands out in a crowded market.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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