How to Sell Digital Printables Online

Make Passive Income with Digital Printables

Looking for a way to make passive income on the Internet? Consider creating and selling digital printables online. Below you’ll learn all there is to know on how to make printables to sell on the Internet.

What Are Printables?

Printables are exactly like they sound; documents that can be printed and used by consumers. Today, people need help organizing, planning, and more, and they’re buying printables to make these tasks easier. Examples of printables you can make include:

  • Calendar Planners
  • Project Planners (i.e. DIY home repair or business social media planning)
  • Meal Planners
  • Financial Planners
  • Diet and/or fitness planners
  • Trackers (i.e. weight loss, debt repayment, etc)
  • Coloring sheets (for kids and adults)
  • Stickers
  • Journals
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Spreadsheets
  • Workbooks
  • Templates
  • Stationary

If you make lists or create your own system for organizing projects, ideas, and to-dos, chances are you can create a printable and sell it online.

How to Make Printables to Sell

Three things that make selling printables a great home business idea or addition to your existing business are that:

  1. You don’t need to be a graphic or desktop design wiz to create them.
  2. The tools you need to create and sell your printables are affordable, with many of them being free.
  3. It is a passive income option in that you create it once, and make money from it over and over.

The tools and resources you’ll need depend in part by what you plan to create, but here is a list of common needs:

  • Word processor (i.e. Word or Google Docs)
  • Spreadsheet (i.e. Excel or Google Sheets) A spreadsheet is an easy way to make checklists and other items that are listed in row or column.
  • Desktop Design Software This isn’t required, but if you already have one such as MS Publisher or Adobe InDesign, it can make printable creation easier if you need more intricate design and formatting that isn’t offered through a word processing software.
  • PDF Creator You can usually save documents as a PDF or you can find free PDF makers online. If you want your printable to be fillable online, you can use PDFescape to create the fill boxes in your PDF.
  • Graphics There are many free and low-cost graphic resources, but make sure that they are licensed for commercial use before using them.
  • Graphic Design Software Canva is a great resource for creating printables themselves, or logos and other graphics you may need. Another option is PicMonkey.
  • Cutting Machine Software This is particularly helpful if you’re creating stickers or die-cut printable and want to add the registration marks so your customers can easily use their cutting machine to cut them out. If you’re not making something that would need to be cut, you don’t need this.


Creating Your Printable

If you’re not a graphically savvy person, research how others design their printables for ideas on how to format your printable. Good places to find sample printables are on Pinterest, Google Images, and/or Etsy.

You don’t want to copy what others are doing, but checking out other printables can help you understand how people use color, font, and design to make their printables attractive and useful.

Here are other steps on how to make printables to sell:

  1. Make a list of printable ideas. You’re unlikely to make a living on single printable unless it’s a fancy planner. It’s faster and easier to make single-page printables that you can sell individually or as a bundle. If possible, make them related. For example, you can have a keto diet menu planner, list of keto-friendly snacks, a food tracker, and weight loss tracker.
  2. Sketch out your design idea on a piece of paper. This can help you get your idea down, and make adjustments quickly.
  3. Decide on your color scheme, logo, and other brandable features. Keep it related to your business and business name, if you’re adding to your existing business. Your business name needs to be included on your printable so your customers can easily find and buy from you again
  4. Design your printable. Plan the size of your printable in advance. If you’re using a spreadsheet for an 8 ½ X 11 printable, be sure to stay within the columns and rows for that size. If you’re designing a planner, you may want to make a variety of sizes to fit the most common planners such as A-5 (5.8” X 8.3”), classic (5.5” X 8.5”), personal (4.25” X 6.75”). If you’re designing for a specific planner, such as Filofax or Happy Planner, check the sizes to make sure you’re creating something that will fit.
  5. Test print your printable to make sure it appears correctly on the printed page. If you’re creating something that people will punch holes in to put in a planner, make sure you’ve left enough room for the holes without cutting the design.
  6. Price your printable. You may need to test different prices to find the sweet spot price that generates a lot of sales. You can get an idea of a start price from what others are charging for a similar product. You’ll also need to account for your overhead costs, such as Etsy membership or web hosting fees. A benefit to digital printables is that once created, they can be sold over and over without more work or materials, so your overhead is low.

Selling Your Printable Online

The fastest and easiest way to start selling your printable is to create an Etsy store, a go-to site for many types of printables. 

Other online options for selling your printable include Fiverr and Creative Market.

If you’d like more control over your printable business, you can build your own online store. Shopify is a popular resource for printable business owners, but there are other e-commerce options you can use to build an online store affordably.

Finally, you can build your own website to sell your printable. This gives you the most control over your business but requires a little more tech-know how to build. You can create a WordPress site and add an e-commerce plugin, or use a template and e-commerce options provided through a web host.

Marketing Your Printable Business

Even if your printable is on a popular site like Etsy, you’ll need to market your product. Consumers have tons of options for downloading and printing resources. Here are tips to help you stand out:

  • If you have an existing business, reach out to your current customers or clients through email and social media letting them know of your printable.
  • Give one printable away for free as a lead generator or content upgrade for your email list sign-up. This gives you the chance to sell paid printables to the list.
  • Research and use keywords to help search engines and your sale platform (i.e. Etsy) best rank your product.
  • Write and distribute articles related to your printable and have your bio lead to your sales page or lead magnet.
  • Start a blog or a YouTube channel related to your printable topic.
  • Run Facebook ads targeting the most likely buyer for your printable.