Print On Demand Side Hustle – How To Get Started

By Mike •  Updated: 01/23/23 •  4 min read

Print on demand (POD) is a popular and a quick way to start a side hustle. It allows anyone to create and sell custom products, such as clothing, accessories, and home decor, without having to invest in inventory or handle shipping and fulfillment. In this article, we will explore the basics of getting started with a print on demand side hustle.

Step 1: Where do you want to sell?

There are many different platforms to sell print on demand items. Some platforms provide end-to-end order fulfillment along with customer service, which is great for passive income. A few examples are Amazon Merch on Demand (Merch by Amazon), Redbubble, Spreadshirt, and TeePublic. A drawback to these platforms is that you cannot grow and target your audience within the platform.

Another route is to use Etsy or Shopify for your items. This gives you full control over your customers and gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd by using custom mock-ups, but you also have to provide customer service and pay a fulfillment company to produce your item (i.e. Printify & Printful) . This option generally produces more revenue per sale. This is less passive income and requires more legwork, but it also gives you more control over your business.

Each platform has its own set of rules and fees, so it’s important to research and compare them to find the best fit for your business.

Step 2: General Store or Niche Store?

You may choose to open a general store or a store based on a niche:

General Stores

General stores with many various niche designs can do extremely well. I have two Etsy stores which are very successful. The drawback is this requires many designs to be uploaded and it’s difficult to focus on a specific audience. My recommendation with general stores is to rely on advertising and SEO to make sales since it is difficult to build a dedicated audience.

Niche Stores

Niche stores are dedicated to a specific hobby or interest to a particular style or trend. It’d be easiest to choose a niche that you know well, as this will make it easier for you to create designs that resonate with your target audience. While it is helpful to already be passionate about the niche, it is important to do research before committing to one. You have to make sure there’s a big audience who would purchase items related to your specific niche.

Step 3: Create designs

The next step is to create designs for your products. You can use a variety of software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Canva, to create your designs. If you aren’t a designer, there are many courses out there you can use for training. Be sure to do research on what types of designs sell. Hiring good designer(s) may be a good idea to get started, but keep in mind that this may not be cheap.

Step 4: Set up your store

Once you have your designs ready, it’s time to set up your store. This will involve creating product listings, setting up shipping and fulfillment options, and setting prices. You will also need to create a branding strategy, including a logo and a website.

Step 5: Promote your store

The final step is to promote your store and attract customers, especially if you chose to create an Etsy or Shopify store. This can be done through social media marketing, influencer partnerships, and email marketing. It’s also important to keep an eye on your competition and stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices in your niche.

Starting a print on demand side hustle can be a fun and profitable way to earn extra income. By following these steps and staying organized, you can turn your passion into a successful business. Remember to always keep learning and adapt to the market.


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