15 amazing reasons to design your own printables
There’s never been a better time to design your own printables. Thanks to ease of selling online over the internet, printables (also called digital downloads) have become a popular way for entrepreneurs and creatives to make money from their talents.
There are many different types of digital download, including eBooks, planners and diaries, original music, computer programs, artwork and niche-specific printables such as card making downloads.
It is the latter that I’m going to be talking about today.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you).
Why you should design your own printables
1. Earn money from your hobby
Well, that had to be the Number One reason, didn’t it? Whether you’re looking for some part-time income or something more serious to help you support your family, if you love graphic design then the benefits of becoming a digital designer are clear.
That’s not to say that you will become wealthy overnight – it doesn’t work that way. It takes time to become established and build up a regular customer base. In the beginning, the number of sales you make will be affected by the number of hours you put in to both your designing and your market.
However, if you work hard enough, for long enough, there is every chance that you can turn designing printables into your full-time job.
I know some designers who make under £100/month and some that earn thousands and one that earns six-figures every month. The difference is the hours they put in, the amount of quality designs they produce and how they interact with their customers and promote their products.
2. Make money whilst you sleep
Part of the beauty of selling digital downloads is that your storefront is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can sell to people all over the world, regardless of their country or time zone.
That means that you can even sell products whilst you’re sleeping.
If your website or selling platform is set up to send the downloads out automatically upon receipt of payment, then the entire sales process can be completed without your direct input.
3. Embrace your creativity
If you have creativity in your soul, then it’s got to manifest itself somehow – it may as well make you some money in the process!
Crafting hobbies such as card making can be expensive. First you must purchase all the materials – card blanks, papers, scissors, double-sided tape, envelopes, cello bags, toppers, gemstones, ribbons – the list is endless. You then have the problem of storing it, especially once your stash gets sizeable. And then… what do you do with all the cards once you’ve made them?
True, you can sell them, but you run the risk of barely covering your costs or have large amounts of stock that you can’t shift.
With digital products, you only need a computer or a laptop. No more cupboards of card carefully sorted into colours or spending a small fortune every time you walk past a craft shop.
Instead, you get to embrace your creative nature in a simpler, more affordable way.
4. Join a friendly, thriving community
One thing that I love about the blogging and printable industry is that everyone is so friendly! If you want to “meet” new people over the internet, then this is certainly one way to do that.
There are many active forums where digital product creators share their stories and photographs of their work. If you use Facebook, try searching for blogging or graphic design groups to join.
Online communities are wonderful ways to meet both fellow designers and your customers. The more people you become friendly with, the more people will know about your work.
That sort of exposure is vital for getting your name “out there” and driving more sales for your products. Plus, it’s fun!
5. Choose your own working hours
Many of the digital designers that I know are mums who fit designing in around looking after their children. Whether you’ve got half an hour to design something new or a whole afternoon, that doesn’t matter – just sit in front of your computer and let your creativeness flow!
There are no upload requirements on most websites that let you sell your designs, so if life gets in the way and you are not able to design any new products for weeks (or longer!) then you won’t get penalised.
6. Monetise your blog
If you are a blogger then you’ve probably heard that creating your own products is one of the best ways to grow sustainable income from your blog.
Selling printable products in your blog’s niche is a great way to make money because you can tailor your products to your specific audience.
For example, a fitness blogger may release some printable exercise workout trackers, a mom blogger could release printable activities for children, or craft bloggers (like me!) could sell card making printables.
7. Grow your email list
Hey, nobody says you have to sell your printables. You could just give them away for free!
Designing printables for your blog is a great way to build your email list.
All you need to do is come up with an idea for a printable that your target audience would enjoy, then integrate it with your email software (e.g. ConvertKit) to put it on your blog as a free download.
Visitors need to give you their email address in order to download the file, which means you grow your email list at the same time.
Using printables to grow your blog is a highly effective technique. I use this on my craft blog and add new subscribers to my email list every day.
8. Learn new skills
If you’re looking to move into a new career or progress in your existing one then creating printables is a great way to learn new skills.
Graphic design, selling skills, copy writing, social media, marketing and SEO are all skills that you’ll naturally pick up as you start designing and selling printables.
You might find that you enjoy a part of the process so much that you decide to choose it as a career!
9. Large existing customer bases
If you choose to sell your printables on a marketplace website such as Etsy or Craftsuprint then this will make it easier to get customers as you can tap into their existing customer base.
This makes it much easier to start earning money from your downloads, especially as a new designer.
10. Free-to-use sales tools
These options depend on where you decide to sell your products. The best example of this is without a doubt CraftsUPrint who have invested heavily in creating free-to-use sales tools for their designers.
For example, you can get your designs featured in their weekly newsletter which gets sent out to thousands of subscribers, offer a weekly freebie to entice people into purchasing your other designs, personalise your profile to draw attention to your most popular designs, run monthly sales, promote weekly special offers and so much more.
11. Recurring income, even if you stop designing
After I graduated university and started working full-time, I took a break from designing and hardly uploaded any new printable products for about two whole years.
However, I still made a four-figure income during that time from downloads that I already had available for sale.
Once your downloads are available for sale, unless you take them down again they will always be there for whoever wants to buy them.
12. Unlimited sales on every product
With digital products you don’t need to worry about replenishing stock or purchasing materials. All you need to do is make a product once and you can sell it an unlimited number of times. Each item you make could sell ten times; a hundred times; a thousand times – or more!
If you spend 3 hours on a design and sell it 150 times at £1 per download, then you’ve racked up an impressive hourly rate of £50/hour!
13. Sell products worldwide
Most e-commerce software gives your customers the option to choose their own currency which makes it even easier for them to place their orders.
If you decide to sell outside of your own country, you should familiarise yourself with how different countries class digital downloads in terms of taxes – for example, VAT MOSS applies if you sell within the EU.
14. Improve your graphic design skills
The more time you invest in creating your products, the better your graphic design skills will become. After all, practice makes perfect! There is always something new to learn in any graphics software – whether it’s a new way to use one of the tools or a different technique to enhance your designs.
If you’re never used a professional graphics software before then check out my free ‘Photoshop Made Simple’ mini-course which guides you through all the basics of using Photoshop.
I also release weekly Photoshop tutorials right here on this blog, all of which can be used to help you design printable products.
15. It’s easy (and affordable!) to start
Assuming you have access to a computer or laptop, there is a fairly low barrier to entry to becoming a card making download designer. You will need some sort of graphics software – Photoshop is the preferred choice for many printable designers.
A few years ago, purchasing Photoshop meant spending a large amount of money on the latest version, however now there is a much more affordable solution – Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s a monthly subscription where you pay less than £10/month for full access to Photoshop.
If you aren’t a graphics artist, you may also want to purchase some designer resources to use in your designs. These can be templates, clip art, graphics, borders, fonts or more.
A great place to start is The Hungry Jpeg’s $1 deals section. Here, you can browse hundreds of different designs, all of which can be used in your downloads, and purchase them for just $1 each.
Are you ready to start making printables?
Whether you’re a seasoned Photoshop Pro or you’ve never dabbled in graphics programmes before, there’s never been a better time to set yourself up as a digital download designer.
If you’re unsure about how to get started or if you need a helping hand learning all there is to know about designing printables, enter your email address in the box below to get my weekly design tips.
I’ll send you regular information on how to succeed as a digital download designer, including where to sell printable products and how to find fabulous source imagery to use in your designs.
PLUS, you’ll get access to my free Photoshop training course AND my free stock photo library. I’ll even throw in some product templates and video tutorials too. 🙂