6 Easy Steps To Start A Print On Demand Business
Wondering what all the fuss is about making money with a print-on-demand business that it has motivated you to start your own venture? The only obstacle is that you don’t know where to start? You’ve found yourself at the right place, as we are going to share with you six essential steps to start your own successful print-on-demand business!
If you are in a rush, here are the 6 easy steps to start a print-on-demand store below:
- Choose a profitable niche
- Create designs for your products
- Get feedback on your designs
- Set up your website
- Choose your print-on-demand platform
- Promote your print-on-demand store
Let’s start, shall we?
Step 1: Choose a profitable niche
One of the most important steps to start your print-on-demand business is to find a profitable niche. After all, you don’t want to get in this business with no direction - you want to succeed. Many people starting a print-on-demand business don’t analyze the profitability of their product and end up failing.
When searching for a niche, you can take the product-niche or subject-niche approach, which we will explain below.
What is a product-niche?
If aiming at a product-niche for your custom products, you will need to decide what kind of products you will sell. For instance, maybe you want to sell comic book-inspired T-shirts or inspirational quote mugs.
The most important thing to have in mind is that a product-niche considers going deep with fewer products. Your goal should be to stick to just a handful of product categories, and provide different designs on such products.
Some good examples of product-niches are:
- Socks with animal graphics
- T-shirts with country graphics
- Water bottles with inspirational quotes
Keep in mind when you decide on a product-niche approach that you stick with the products you choose, but provide many different designs of them.
What is a subject-niche?
A subject niche involves finding a niche or trendy subject and tailoring your product line to that specific subject. For instance, you find a profitable topic “think green”. Guided by the subject-niche principle, you will create a different range of products that reflect the “think green” subject niche.
Some good examples of subject niches are:
- Green T-shirts, water bottles, and tote bags with “Think Green” quote on them
- T-shirts, mugs, and tote bags with cat graphics on them
With the two examples above, you probably can grasp what is a subject niche. The most important thing is to find a trendy or relevant topic, and revolve your product lineup around that specific topic.
Where to get profitable print-on-demand niche ideas?
Make sure that your niche is specific enough. Also, ensure that there is an extensive discussion on the topic you are going to target. That way, you can determine that there is interest in a particular niche.
But how to find a niche that could be profitable? Well, you have numerous ways of research at your disposal, such as:
- Google Trends. It allows you to analyze the popularity of a chosen keyword quickly. Just type in the keyword and analyze!
- Reddit. This is one of the most popular discussion websites in the world, and finding a profitable niche shouldn’t be a problem. Just check out the numbers backing up the particular niche, and you will find the right topic in no time!
- Amazon Best Sellers. Find best-selling products that can inspire you to get into a particularly profitable niche.
- Internal jokes you have with your friends.
- Facebook groups can be a gold mine for printing merchandise.
- Dogs, cats, kids, sayings, anything you feel passionate about, chances are there's some other people out there who think the same thing.
For more about niches and niche ideas, check out this great post from Shopify!
Using tools such as Semrush can help you to find what people are searching for, allowing you to identify profitable niches.
Step 2: Create designs for your products
Once you decide on your niche and what products you want to sell, it’s time to jump at the backbone of your future printing business - designing your products.
If you are a designer yourself, you shouldn’t have a hard time creating your own designs using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. But, if you are not skilled in design, don’t worry! You can easily outsource design tasks to a professional designer or modify existing designs yourself using websites such as Fiverr or Upwork. Just make sure that you don’t breach copyright laws, and have fun!
Want to learn how to design print-on-demand products? Check out this awesome guide on Canva product design.
Step 3: Get feedback on your designs
Once you’ve created designs for a particular niche, make sure that you get some constructive feedback. After all, what looks incredible in your mind may be totally misunderstood by others.
So, make sure to share your design on social media networks, forums, and with your loved ones. Keep in mind that most people on Facebook will be your friends and family, who will most likely provide you with sugar-coated feedback. Try out platforms like Reddit, where strangers will provide you with genuine feedback. These strangers are a representation of your target audience, after all.
Once you get feedback on your design, adjust it accordingly and prepare for the following steps to start your print-on-demand business!
Subreddits such as Graphic Design are great for getting feedback on your work!
Step 4: Set up your website
First of all, you will need to register a domain name for your website. Choose a domain name that reflects your brand. Make it catchy. Then, go to a domain name marketplace like GoDaddy and register your domain.
Afterward, choose a platform on which you will build your website. As your print-on-demand website will be focused on e-commerce, the simplest platforms to create such a website are Shopify or WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin.
Both platforms are noob-friendly, so building a site will be done in a drag-and-drop manner. You can even choose from various templates and customize them to fit your branding if you want to save more time.
Note: create a logo for your website that accurately depicts your branding. Also, make sure to include some online product design functionality on your website. Thankfully, numerous plugins allow just that, with no need to know anything about coding.
Step 5: Choose your print-on-demand platform
Assuming that you don’t have your own print-on-demand facility, it’s time to choose a print-on-demand platform. Make sure that the platform of your choice is tailored to a large audience and that it supports a wide range of products. Also, keep in mind that different platforms offer different profit margins, so keep that in mind when choosing a print-on-demand platform too.
Step 6: Promote your print-on-demand store
After you have done the previous steps to start your print-on-demand business, we have come to the final step that is continuous in nature (like designing your products, too!). When you start your print-on-demand business, it will likely be unknown to many. That’s why promoting your store is essential - you don’t want your store to be just another drop in the ocean. You want it to stand out.
Down below are some of the most popular print-on-demand store promotion techniques.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are some of the best ways to promote your store to a relevant audience.
Without going too deep in the specifics, you want to join as many groups relevant to your niche and post frequently.
You also want to target your specific audience with different posts that include images or videos of your printed products. Don’t forget to use hashtags to segment particular interests!
Also, reach out to influencers in your niche who can try out your product and promote it to their audience.
Searching relevant hashtags for your business on Instagram is a great way to find influencers to work with
When it comes to social media marketing, consistency and creativity are most important.
Search Engine Optimization
Without going too deep in its theory, SEO is a great way to optimize your brand for a chosen keyword and make it pop up on the top of the search results. It’s continuous work that pays off more than paid ads in the long run, as more people are attracted to inbound marketing rather than paid marketing.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials
If you can manage to get honest reviews and testimonials of real people who used your products, you can build positive rapport, resulting in more exposure and sales.
Many print-on-demand stores utilize content marketing to create fun and informative content that spreads the word of their products and services. It is a great way to build rapport with your target customers, as you help them out with specific problems and concerns.
Now that you know what the critical steps to start your own print-on-demand business are, it’s time to get to work! Creating and managing such a business venture is not easy, but it is low-risk and has the potential for substantial rewards. We wish you good luck on this journey!
We're M.i.A, a growing international print-on-demand service with a huge product range, including items you haven't even thought about.
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Check out our Youtube video here to see how simple print on demand is with our Shopify app!