Tuesday, April 10, 2018

10 Best Practices For Selling Your Artwork On Print On Demand Sites

Welcome to part four of my series on learning about print on demand sites. In my last post I talked about how to sell your artwork on print on demand sites and I shared with you some of the basic tools that you need to get started.

But once you open up your POD shop and get started, your designs won’t sell themselves, they need your help! There’s certain things that you can do to help your art be seen and for your POD shop to get more sales. These things are called your best practices. Today we’re going to talk about some of the best practices for selling POD. 

In no particular order, here are 10 best practices for selling Print On Demand:

Read the POD site’s policies and adhere to them. This includes following guidelines such as using the correct size images required for each product, as well as following legal policies such as not infringing on anyone else’s copyright. You’d be surprised how many people replicate copyrighted logos and characters. They eventually get in trouble for it and ultimately can lose their accounts by violating copyright laws. Know what is legal to do and what isn’t. Don’t just guess or assume anything. Do your research! If it isn’t 100% yours then you can’t use it. In a nutshell: Make sure you know the rules.

Promote yourself from within the site. Your success on a print on demand site is largely determined by how you promote yourself and your work within the site. When a shopper visits a POD site, they have tons of designs to pick from. How will you make yours stand out? One way is to make sure you use all the right tags and keywords in your artwork’s description. By doing this you are promoting your artwork within the site. I’m always miffed when I come across a design where the artist didn’t bother to type in a description of the artwork, or any keywords, which is what helps your item get found in search. Read: fill in all the blanks! You are only shortchanging yourself if you don’t.

Promote your artwork and your POD shop externally through your social media accounts. If you don’t already have social media accounts and you plan to sell your artwork, you really should set them up. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are the main social media spots where you should open up accounts to promote your work. You can share pictures of your POD mock-ups with your designs on them. You can share photos and links when you put up new artwork. You can also share other peoples artwork that you like. Remember: Closed mouths don’t get fed!

Promote and follow other artists on the POD site. Your success on some POD sites depends on artists promoting each other. On some POD sites, when an artwork is “liked“ it is moved to the top of the heap therefore getting more views and attention. It’s kind of like an “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” system. Promote other artists, and they will likely promote you back! Follow another artist, and they will likely follow you back.

Understand that POD is passive income. It’s not a way to get rich, but it can be a nice little supplemental side income after you’ve been doing it for a while. The amount of royalties you earn from your sales differs from site to site. Some POD sites have a fixed royalties percentage. Other sites allow you to choose your own royalty percentage. (more about this in a future post!)

Have patience. Don’t expect instant success. Understand that it takes a while for your shop to gain traction. I think in my first month I only made about three dollars in royalties! A year later I am making much more than that per month, but it is continually growing and it does take a long time. You have to have patience and you have to keep putting up new artwork and promoting yourself. I read somewhere that it usually takes a year or two for your shop to really get moving, and I have found that to be true. That might seem like a long time but before you know it, a year has gone by. It’s like the old weight loss adage: if you think losing half a pound a week isn’t much… a year from now you’re 27 pounds lighter! Baby steps.


Don’t limit yourself to being on just one single POD site. You can list the same piece of artwork on different POD sites! Once you create those high-res quality files of your artwork and upload them to your POD site, don’t delete them! Store them on your computer or on an external hard drive because you might use them again.

Know that some POD sites you have to be juried into. This means they want to see your artwork ahead of time before you can join, or they want to know that you are at least semi-professional at what you do. DesignByHumans requires this. It keeps their site offerings high-quality and their site looking sharp.

Check out POD site DesignByHumans

Only put your best work on POD sites. Of course, not everything we create is perfect or turns out exactly the way we’d like it to turn out, but when you’re going to offer that design to the public you want to look its best. I often see people uploading massive amounts of designs, some of which look unfinished. This just clutters up your shop and makes it look messy. Make sure that every design you put up in your shop looks its best. Quality, not quantity! No chicken scratch!

Be professional. When you open up a POD shop you get to choose a shop name and most sites also allow you to upload an avatar and/or a cover image of you or your logo to display on your shop’s homepage. There usually also is a place for you to write a short bio about yourself and your work. Keep it neat, clean, and professional! 

Follow these guidelines and you will be off to a great start! 

So to wrap things up, in Post #1 I talked about and explained what POD/print on demand is, in Post #2 on the subject I talked about why you should be selling your art on POD websites, in Post #3 we discussed the basic tools that you need to start putting your artwork on print on demand websites, and now you know some of the best practices for selling your art on POD sites!

Join me again for part #5 of this series, where we will delve into things a little bit deeper when we discuss the differences in royalties in print on demand sites.

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Just joining us now? Then be sure to check out the other parts of this blog series about print on demand:

Part 1 of this series:

Part 2 of this series:

Part #3 of this series:

What do you think?
Do you sell your artwork on a POD site?

Have a great week!

Article, images, and designs copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
all rights reserved