How to make your Print On Demand Business a Succes

In this article we talk with experts in the field on the Print on Demand domain. Listen to the great advice that Christian Heidorn, Curtis Blackmore, Ryan Hogue and Daniel Gaiswinkler have to start with print on demand or to grow your active print on demand activities and increase your revenue. Learn how to make your print on demand business a success!

Top-Tips from the experts

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Don’t keep calm – Go change the world!

We live in uncertain times. And yet one thing is unlikely to change: People are spending an increasing amount of time online, be it on their mobile devices, laptops or smartwatches.

While the pandemic may have escalated this trend, the digitalization of our lives and the corresponding growth of online businesses was already in full swing before we ever heard the “C”-word.

The good news is that even in these economically unstable times, the market for Print on Demand is growing. After all, people stuck at home have a lot of time for online shopping.

On the other hand, there is also an increase in competition: More and more businesses are moving their operations online and there is an increasing number of people trying to make a quick buck online.

Start selling with print on demand
image source:

If you are already in the POD business, you probably know that making enough sales to turn a good profit requires a lot of hard work and determination. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

But what are the key things to keep in mind? 

To help you navigate the rest of this year, we have asked some of our favourite experts from the Print on Demand field about their TOP ADVICE for Print on Demand businesses.

Build your own audience

Beyonce I am... Tour 2009 Live in Berlin
Beyonce I am… Tour 2009 Live in Berlin. // gillyberlin, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to POD expert Christian Heidorn (, Threadbasket, Heidorn Report) there is a little something we can learn from musicians like Beyonce.

Establishing credibility in a specific niche and building your own audience is absolutely critical and you should start doing it right now. The future of the digital economy is bright, democratic and decentralised.

Reach will allow you to monetize in ways you can’t even imagine right now. However, audience building is a slow and lengthy process (i.e. 3-4 years) so you’ve got to start as soon as you can.“

Focus on a few niches with consistent sales volume

Curtis Blackmore, founder of Merchtitans, highlights the importance of focus.

Niche Market
Niche Market – by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

“Spend time researching markets and ideas until you find a few good evergreen niches with consistent sales volume. Choose a few good niches to focus on and create high quality designs for these niches. 

Upload these designs to the popular Print on Demand marketplaces with optimized keywords in the titles and tags.

This is a solid method that will bring in consistent, organic sales for years to come.”

Know you market

According to Ryan Hogue (read our interview with Ryan Hogue), it is of crucial importance to understand your market from the perspective of the buyer, the seller and the algorithm.

Print on demand marketing
Print on demand marketing strategy

“Print on demand presents a huge opportunity to make supplemental, or even full-time income in 2021. My top advice to new anyone starting a print on demand business this year would be to learn to see the markets from the perspective of a seller, while also maintaining an understanding of how buyers see the same market. Study your competition, understand what’s working and what does not work.

Design to stand out in search results and study each marketplaces search algorithms so that you can optimize for good SEO. I am still strongly in the camp that advertising is not required to be successful, but am willing to advertise listings if it can be done at scale with relative ease. In closing, my formula for POD success can be summed up simply as: “Occupy as much online real estate as possible!

Check out Ryan’s extensive course on selling Print on Demand Products.

YouTube video
Ryan offers a great range of excellent courses to teach you all about earning money with Print on Demand.

Focus on one print on demand business model

The German entrepreneur and POD-coach Daniel Gaiswinkler (check out the T-Money Academy) also highlights the importance of putting your energy in one place instead of spreading it all over.

Amazon's one million square-foot fulfilment centre in Fife
Amazon’s one million square-foot fulfilment centre in Fife. Picture by Chris Watt – Scottish Government – CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“If you want to build a successful POD business in 2021, my advice is to focus on one print on demand business model:

For beginners, the marketplace model with Amazon as a Print on Demand partner is best: Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world with over 2 billion people visiting per month. It is the easiest way to get started in selling T-Shirts, mugs and other POD memorabilia.

Persons who are already experienced in online marketing may consider the Print on Demand shop model: This model requires a strong starting idea for a particular niche and consistently good marketing offers to promote your brand. Your designs should fit your niche and your customers.”

Usefull Print on Demand resources

Where to sell your print on demand designs?

WebsiteTypeEase of use
Teepublicprint on demand marketplace⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Spreadshirtprint on demand marketplace & create own store⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Redbubbleprint on demand marketplace⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Merch by Amazonprint on demand marketplace⭐⭐⭐⭐
Society 6print on demand marketplace⭐⭐⭐⭐
Printfulprint on demand printing service⭐⭐⭐
Zazzleprint on demand marketplace⭐⭐
Cafepressprint on demand⭐⭐
Etsycreate own store⭐⭐
Printifyprint on demand printing service⭐⭐⭐

This list shows a few good places to start selling your print on demand designs. At a print on demand marketplace you can upload your designs and you make a commission on each product sold with your design. Advantage of these websites is that they have a huge audience. With solid keywords and descriptions you can create decent earnings.

If you are wondering where to get buy quality designs for Print on Demand make sure you read our article where we cover a few great resources!

Create your own store means that you can either create your own store with print on demand products. It’s perfect if you want to create your own brand, but don’t want to have the hassle with buying stock or deal with product returns.

The print on demand printing services offer products and do the printing for you. You can connect the created products to your Etsy store, Woocommerce shop or Shopify store.

Useful Print on Demand Tools and Resources

The list below gives an overview of tools that help you research niches, help you to automate your POD uploading process or help you to find new and fresh designs to scale up.

Merch Titans Automation Automate your design uploads to several
Print on Demand Marketplaces with ease and increase sales
Merch Titans ToolsHuge collection of tools useful for product research, KDP research, Keyword research, ASIN finder, Trademark checker and Image research.
The Heidorn ReportSubscribers receive a Research or Strategy Guide approximately 2-3 times per month. Every guide is jam-packed with tons of research data and strategies that will help you with your everyday work. Read our Heidorn Report review.
Free NichelistThe Heidorn 1000 is not just a list with over 1100 niches. It’s jam-packed with Amazon-specific search volume data that’s relevant for merch and print-on-demand.
ThreadbasketWorlds only Bring your ideas to life with our stock design subscriptions for print-on-demand and Merch sellers. Read our Threadbasket review here.
ProductorA great (free) tool to help you grow your Merch by Amazon empire with research tools, keyword suggestions, relisting and re-activating designs, translation, copyright infringement detection, BSR research, Excel bulk import and so much more.
BuyTshirtDesignsBuy high quality individual t-shirt designs and t-shirt bundles that are perfect for Print on Demand.
TshirtBundlesThousands of high quality editable designs for print on demand use.
POD Frenzy Large collection of unique print on demand designs for your use.
Niche Calendar Finder Over 4000+ events. Prepare and inspire yourself!
Niche Rank Analyzer Niche analyzer with over 1100+ niches and sub-niches, search volume and rating system
Creativefabrica Huge and rapid growing collection of designs that come with a POD license. Use these designs to create a huge collection of new designs!
DesigniousOver 29K of print on demand designs for you to use.
Designbundles A huge marketplace where you can buy graphics designs, design elements, templates and much more. It is kind of similar to Creativefabrica.
Graphicloot Offers a little over hundred t-shirt design bundles. Most bundles contain at least 100 designs or more and are of a good quality.
ShutterstockOne of the leading top microstock agencies where you can find millions of photos, vectors and illustrations that you can use for print on demand.
FiverrDo you want new and fresh designs and hire your own designer? Make sure to check out Fiverr.
99DesignsAn alternative to Fiverr. They are fully focused on graphic design where Fiverr offers a much wider range of services.
Adobe PhotoshopPerfect to create or edit your next level bitmap (photo oriented) designs for Print on Demand.
Adobe IllustratorPerfect to create end edit vector designs.
POD earnings calculatorCalculate the potential earnings with our Print on Demand earnings calculator.

Useful Print on Demand Courses

A perfect way to learn the tips and tricks of the trade is to follow courses. Why not check some of these out. They come and go from $0 to $999 (as a figure of speach), but in the end you should have a good feeling with it. Make sure to read the descriptions, the reviews and the experiences of the people who’ve done a course to see if it matches your style and wishes.

Teemoney AcademyGerman only. Turn your passion into your job and build a successful print-on-demand business step by step with the Teemoney Academy!
How to build a Shopify StoreLearn how to build your own print on demand store with Shopify.
Merch by Amazon Masterclass: The Complete Beginner’s GuideStart your own print on demand business for free with zero startup costs, and learn from me every step of the way.
Advanced: Make and Sell Custom Shirts Using Merch by AmazonLearn the easiest method to start a print on demand t-shirt business at Merch by Amazon, Teespring, Redbubble and more. Niche research and strategies included.
Merch by Amazon CourseIt has over 881 recommendations, but is has a primary focus at Merch by Amazon.
Ryan’s course on Selling Print on Demand ProductsIncludes an introduction to Print on Demand, meet your production partners, learn how to find profitable niches, learn about winning designs, sell on Merch by Amazon, Redbubble, Etsy and more, learn how to automate the upload process and more.

Feel inspired?

We hope this advice was helpful to you and would love to hear your thoughts: What is YOUR top tip for POD in 2021, do you miss any tools? Let us know in the comments below.

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