How to start your print-on-demand business.

Colorful polo shirts for your print-on-demand business.

Quick Summary

If you want to build a print-on-demand website that thrives, is visually appealing to users, and drives sales, then there are a few subtle things you must do to achieve this. Unfortunately, most guides out there arent focusing on what matters.
Table of Contents

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Most of the other guides fail to tell you all the nitty-gritty details that would help your print-on-demand business stand out; this is why I want to share with you how to start your print-on-demand store that thrives, is visually appealing, and drive sales.

What is Print on Demand, and how does it work?

Print on demand is a third-party business model that allows entrepreneurs to sell customized products to their customers as they place orders. Usually, print on demand isn’t the first choice for new entrepreneurs and small business owners. However, POD has a lot of benefits for new entrepreneurs if integrated into their websites.

You’ve probably heard of it before, but what is print on demand? POD is, as it sounds, selling items online that are printed and shipped based on demand as customers place an order.

If you’re looking to start an online business or eCommerce site or want to add merch to your business, POD is the way to go, and for obvious reasons, which will get into later. In this article, I’ll cover any questions you might have about what is print on demand and guide you on getting started.

How much money can you make with print on demand?

The print-on-demand company handles inventory, works, and shipping for you, so all you have to do is create your design and promote your products. 

The POD company charges you the base price for each, and you can create your own prices for the item once the cost of the item is covered. The rest is all profit directly into your pocket, making your earning potential endless.

Pros and Cons of Print on Demand.

Pro

  1. Low starting cost.
  2. Option of selling various products.
  3. Branding.
  4. An excellent way to create passive income.
  5. Stress-free.

Con

  1. Less control.
  2. Limited print areas.
  3. Lost on returned items.

Tips On Building A Great Print-On-Demand Business

The most important part of print on demand is your design, which is why most new entrepreneurs find this business model difficult. 

If you know how to draw, this isn’t a problem, but drawing isn’t our best skill if you’re like me. Thankfully technology has come a long way. Photoshop, Procreate, and even Canava make it a lot easier to create a design that captures attention. 

Another option I recommend if you are not artistic is outsourcing your designs to someone who can create what you’re looking for. The critical part of doing this is being able to voice your idea in words. I generally have found that Fiverr is the best option, but you can also find great talent elsewhere, such as dribble and social media. Make sure it’s okay with the artist to use their design for POD.

Build Your Own Website

The first thing you should do is to ensure that you purchase a domain name and hosting. These are two crucial steps recommended for all print-on-demand stores. Do not settle for any free domain or hosting offered by just any website builder– ensure to purchase your own!

For those of you who might be wondering, a domain name is essentially the address of your print of demand store. While hosting is the server where all your website’s data is stored.

How To Build Your Own Website For Print On Demand

Having a domain is important because this is how people find your online store and also gives your store a unique identity from other stores.

A unique domain also gives your business a professional look, making it more trustworthy.

For example, compare these two domain names: www.mypodstore.wordpress.com and www.mypodstore.store; which looks more professional? The second domain name looks more professional.

Your domain also affects SEO, aka Search-Engine-Optimization; therefore, you want to ensure that you have a premium domain to boost your print-on-demand website’s ranking. For example, the “.store” domain extension is great for boosting SEO ranking for online stores.

In the free website building guide, you’ll learn how to purchase a domain directly from your hosting provider, but you can also buy a domain from a third-party domain registrar.

Site speed is the number-one most important feature for every eCommerce and print-on-demand store, and your hosting determines it. If your website is built on a poor or free server (website building platforms), then you will be sharing that server’s resources with many other websites.

This can cause your online store to be sluggish whenever a user tries to visit the site, and this causes the potential customer to close off of your site, which affects your conversion rate. Therefore, it’s recommended that each webpage on your site loads within 2-3 seconds.

Not only does having a slow website cause your visitors to leave, but it can also affect SEO negatively.

If your site is slow and customers are constantly leaving because of this, it will increase your bounce rate, and when this happens, Google will demote your website’s ranking, causing you to lose exposure to more organic traffic.

Another vital role your hosting plays is in your site’s security. With a premium hosting service, you have additional security options, such as an SSL certificate.

An SSL certificate indicates that your business is authentic, and web browsers won’t flag it as a risky site since it ensures an encrypted connection.

So, don’t be scared or frugal when purchasing your domain and hosting while building your website; I strongly recommend you follow my suggestion in the free website building guide when purchasing a hosting provider. Trust me, the investment will be worth it!

Decide What Products You Want To Offer.

Deciding the POD company to work with is essential, depending on the products you plan on selling. Companies like Printify source products from other suppliers making their prices a little higher, but it also offers you a wider variety of products.

This is the opposite of POD companies such as Printful, which keep their products in-house, lowering the cost; the drawback is a smaller variety of products and more printing restrictions.

Choose The Right Fonts And Desing For Your Products

Most eCommerce stores overlook fonts; however, the truth is that fonts are a crucial part of your store’s branding, and they subtly speak volumes to visitors on your print-on-demand site.

There are tons of fonts available, but how do you select the right font? Well, let’s go over three tips to help you make an informed decision:

Serifs vs. San Serifs:
Fonts may come in one of two of these designs. Serif fonts taper at the end of their stroke, while San Serifs do not taper. Generally, I recommend you go with San Serif fonts since they are crisp, easy to read, and more appealing.

Readability:
Ensure that the fonts you choose are easy to read. You do not want your user struggling to read texts on your website. For better readability, keep the font size of your font’s body to 12 points.

Limit The Number of Color Variations Of Your Designs.

I know as a beginner, you want to show the world all the beautiful colors of your listing. However, providing various color options of a particular listing to your customers causes analysis paralysis.

Analysis paralysis is when a user gets overwhelmed and over-analyzes a situation, causing them never to take action.

So, by giving the customers numerous color options to choose from, you are confusing them as opposed to showcasing the various color options you have, and this causes them to click off your site without making a purchase.

Also, having too many color options can make your listing appear too congested; however, with just a few colors, you would look simple, making it easier for the visitor to purchase the shirt or dress they want.

Therefore, I recommend you limit the color options of any of your listings to just five colors.

Set The Right Price For Your Items.

It doesn’t matter how great-looking your website or your shirt designs are.

If your price isn’t competitive, you might end up losing a lot of prospects, leading to no sales. Price your products too high, and you’ll shy away customers, price your product too low, and your store would be unprofitable.

A quick way to determine the right price for your print-on-demand store is to remember that people use a phenomenon known as price anchorage to make a purchase decision.

This means most customers will search for similar products to ensure that they are making the right decision.

If they find other products similar to yours at a relatively lower price, they would probably purchase from that store;

However, if your products are unique and they can’t find any similar products, then chances are they will end up purchasing from you. since they won’t be able to find others to compare with.

So, you want to leverage this psychology of price anchorage to set the price of your products.

What I mean by this is that if your products are similar to other designs, compare your pricing to other online stores similar to yours to help you choose a competitive price.

I recommend setting your price to a dollar cheaper than your competitors to help you gain traction, and once you gain traction, you can shoot up the price to the industry’s pricing.

However, if your design is very distinct from other designs, you can determine the price you want it to sell for.

Top 10 best print-on-demand companies.

What is Print on demand

Although POD is the same for most companies, there are other things to consider when choosing a POD supplier, such as their products, prices, and integrations. These are the top 10 print-on-demand companies I would recommend.

  1. Printful
  2. Redbubble
  3. Printify
  4. Teeluanch
  5. Spod
  6. Lulu Xpress
  7. Jet print
  8. Tpop
  9. AOP +
  10. Custom Cat

Final Thoughts

If you have a print-on-demand site, the website you build must communicate your brand whenever someone visits your website, and I hope this post helped you with that. That being said, if you are looking for tips on building a website from scratch, then I have an in-depth guide on that; make sure to check it out!

Quick Summary

If you want to build a print-on-demand website that thrives, is visually appealing to users, and drives sales, then there are a few subtle things you must do to achieve this. Unfortunately, most guides out there arent focusing on what matters.

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