How to Start a Successful Print on Demand Business

Print on demand business


If you are willing to start an E-commerce business in 2024, then print on demand will be the best option. In this blog, we will explore what print on demand is and how it work? And  also I will share a step by step guide to successfully launch a print on demand business from scratch in 2024.

In this article, I will cover everything that I personally do and its literally going to take you from idea of wanting to start print on demand to getting your first sale, and cover everything in between step by step.

What is Print on Demand Business?

Print on demand (POD) is the method where you design products on the basis on customer’s demand and your POD partner company prints and ships the product on your behalf. In this method, you don’t need to have inventory. All the credits will go to you, the name of manufacturer’s company will not be mentioned on the product.

10 Things to Do before you start Print on Demand Business

1. Research Your Niche  

The very first thing you have to do is research the niches that you are interested in going into for print on demand. You should not be limited to just one niche for print on demand, you can go into multiple different niches and that’s exactly what I recommend doing.

Just make sure that the niches that you’re going into have a passionate audience within them, not something that’s very vague or very surface level. Make sure that you get down into these sub-niches where people are committed and people have an opinion about them.

Not only that but if you go too general with your niches, you are going to have a lot of competitors. Typically, people starting out in print on demand go into these very big popular niches so there are tons of different designs you’ll be competing with.

2. Understanding Your Target Audience

What most people don’t do as print on demand sellers is think about who is in this target audience or this niche or sub-niche that you’re going into? What are their interests beyond that general niche and even what kind of problems do these people face?

This seems like so much extra to be thinking but it allows you to create designs that really resonate with people on a personal level and that’s why they are going to buy your design over someone else’s.

So, once you dig into this and you figure out all of this information, include and integrate all of those things into the phrases and the graphics that are in your designs.

3. Choose the right Platform 

Choosing the right platform to list and sell your print on demand designs on, is probably the most crucial thing that you can do in print on demand. Not many new print on demand sellers know that you can actually list your exact same designs on multiple different print on demand websites and that why you’re going to get the organic traffic from all of these different sites and you’re not limited to just one.

Now, in addition to that, there’s actually a huge difference between active print on demand and passive print on demand.

What is Active and Passive print on demand?

Active Print on demand 

Active print on demand websites like Printful, Printify, these are the websites where you have to drive your own traffic. They’re basically just giving you the ability to create your website, where you can sell your designs on.

Passive Print on Demand 

Passive print on demand websites, like Amazon merch on demand, TeePublic and Redbubble. They do everything for you. They bring their own traffic, so people are going to see your listings without you doing anything.

They handle the customer service. They print and ship the products. In short, they do everything.

4. Create High Quality Designs 

This is the super important tip because your designs essentially are the backbone of your print on demand business. So, I highly recommend investing in a T-Shirt design tool, that allows you to customize T-shirt design templates.

Now, the big thing that you have to understand on this one. Now the big thing that you to understand on this one is that not all design tools are commercially usable and copyright free. So, be very sure that you pick that is both copyright free and commercially usable.

If you’re interested in using the one, that I personally use myself is

5. Setting up your store

Before you can start selling your designs online, you have to create a store or a storefront. This is something you’ll have to do on pretty much all print on demand websites. Now when you’re doing this, you have to name your store.

Then you have to name your store. The big thing is that you have to make sure that the name of the store is not trademarked. Here I will give you a rough idea on this, some examples of trademarks are brand names, product names and company slogans.

6. Optimize Product Listing 

Make sure that your product listing are optimized with clear titles, descriptions and tags. Now, this took me several years to learn from the beginning when I started out.

So a quick tip that I can pass on to you to help you save time is do research on finding low competition niches or sub-niches and when you find out what those are, use the name of that sub-niches  as keywords throughout your title and your description of your listing.

This one tip is going to help your products rank higher in search results and make it easier for potential customers to find your designs.

7. Plan your Marketing Strategy

Now, this is a big one to understand correctly. If you are using active print on demand websites, then you will be responsible to do all of your own marketing and bring in your buyers. If you are using the passive print on demand websites, they will do all of the marketing for you.

However, either way, doing your marketing will only bring you buyers. So, it maybe smart to start thinking about what social media websites would fit your target audience best? Which ones they area actively using? Then consider posting product mockups to get them in front of your potential buyers just with organic traffic on those social media websites.

8. Pricing

When it comes to print on demand, setting a price that guarantees a profit is very easy to do because all of the cost associated with printing and shipping the product, they are all laid out at the beginning when you’re uploading and creating your listing.

Additionally, if you’re you are using the passive websites we talked about, you won’t be charged for anything. So the  cost of the actual product to be made is covered by the customer when they make the purchase. You simply just get your split of the profit.

However, with that being said, you get to choose how much the product is sold for so you essentially get to pick how big of a profit margin you have. I spent a lot of time testing with this with high prices or low prices to try to see what would yield the most profit and setting it within a couple dollars of the suggested price always the yielded the most profit in the end.

Now, I know that seems like a very simple tip but that took me a long time to learn so hopefully that saves you a lot of time.

9. Order Samples

Before you start selling, consider ordering samples from these different print on demand websites just to ensure the print quality and make sure that the T-shirt materials that you’re choosing meet your expectations. Most print on demand websites let you choose the quality of the actual T-shirt that your design gets printed on.

So, if you plan on selling your products at a higher price point, I highly recommended making sure you’re picking a higher quality T-shirt just so your customers aren’t surprised where they paid extra for a T-shirt and the quality of the shirt really isn’t that good.

10. Prepare for Customer Support

This is one that applies to those active print on demand websites like Printful, Printify and Etsy. Those who are using the passive print on demand websites that I mentioned before, all of the customer service will be done for you. This includes refunds, returns, exchanges and everything.