How to Make Printables to Sell
You’ve seen it before, on Teachers Pay Teachers or from your favorite blogger. They’re selling printables online and you want to know how to make printables to sell.
You’ve probably made them for your home or school so you’re not a complete beginner. You bet if you knew how you could get started with your own shop so that you can started on earning an income from home.
How wonderful would it be to pay for your grocery bills with your printables?
How wonderful would it be to treat yourself to something nice with the money you earned from making printables?
How awesome would it be if you could be earning money while you’re at home cooking dinner or busy doing school with your kids?
Clip art licenses
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, if you’re unsure about whether or not you can use graphics or fonts in your product that you will be selling, it is best to ask the artist first for clarification.
When in doubt, you’ll need to contact the clip art artist to see that you can use their graphics to create printables that can be sold to other clients. When you’re in doubt if their license covers this, it is best to ask and keep a record of that conversation to protect yourself.
For any printables that you create and pass along to clients, you will need to include a copyright page as well as secure your pdf so that graphics cannot be extracted from your PDF.
To do this, the program that you use to create your printable will have that feature when you go to save it, programs like Indesign, PowerPoint or Publisher.
If you’re not using one of these programs, you’ll need to find a program that does so such as Adobe Acrobat Pro or PDFescape.
With any of the printables you create, you’ll need to add a copyright page. This is where you have a blurb about not stealing or copying the content and then you’ll want to attribute graphics that you used to the graphics artists. Depending on the artist they may require attribution for commercial products.
If you’re selling the printable or using the printable on your website and it earns ad revenue or other income, you’re using them in a commercial vs. personal capacity.
I don’t buy single fonts but prefer to buy font bundles and graphics from Hungry Jpeg. They have a very easy to understand license with visual examples of what you can or can’t do with their graphics. See the Hungry Jpeg license here.
You cannot slap an image on a page, call it a coloring page and be done. Most if not all of the artists I work with have terms against using their graphics alone without any modifications.
This includes graphics from Deposit Photos, a popular stock photo site, where you cannot use their graphics if the graphic plays a major role or adds value to it, you would need the extended license for that.
Hence, you can’t use it in your printables for educational worksheets or printables because if you were to remove that graphic, your work would be useless.
You can take graphics to add design elements to your planner, for example, because it enhances your work and is not the sole focus. It plays a minor role.
If you’re not sure, always ask. And keep it for your records.
You can also use this page to include how your printables can and cannot be used. Make the most of this real estate and add in how they can find you on your blog or social media handles or links to other products as well.
Watermark Your Pages
To protect my printables from being outright stolen, I also add my URL to the bottom of each page in the lower right-hand corner with the copyright symbol. I do this in a light grey so it’s not the primary focus on the design but at the same time, you knot it’s yours if you ever see it.
I use to include the year, but I feel like that dates the product when it is actually evergreen.
If I’m creating printables for clients, I offer to add their URL to the bottom of each page. This is when master pages come in handy so you don’t have to do this manually for each page particularly on longer projects.
Pricing Your Work
This is a popular question I always get when deciding to sell your printables, what should you charge?
There’s no fast and easy rule to this.
You need to research competitors to see what others are charging for them.
Some would say 10-25 cents a page if there’s not a lot of text and it was super quick to create.
But if you put together a 10-page unit study with complete lessons with book and video suggestions, that would go for more because more work and thought had to go into creating the product and it’s saving a ton of time for your customer.
If you’re pricing your printable to sell to another blogger or business owner, you can charge more. I’ve seen the minimum be $15 and up depending on how many pages are in the printable and the quality of the mockups or graphics provided along with it.
Type your product into Teachers Pay Teachers or Etsy and see what you get, how long are their products? How does yours compare?
Don’t undervalue your work either.
People always undervalue their work and then price their product at $1-3. Well once you account for Paypal fees, it’s not much leftover for you.
There are times when products may warrant that price tag but most of the time, you can do better than that.
People don’t purchase based on price alone, they want quality as well.
Amazing printable design
If you’re just learning to create printables, these should not ever be sold.
Take the time to really hone your printable design skills. You can’t get good at it, unless you do it again and again.
I can spot a printable that was created by someone who is just starting out.
You need a coherent color scheme. If you chose colors by eye and picked random colors, you can see how their tones may not work together.
See my early work:
The placement of the graphic is off and leaves too much white space on the left. The yellow in the graphic doesn’t match the yellow in the background.
There’s a lot going on.
At the time I thought this was the greatest thing ever. But this will always happen.
You will look back on your previous work and cringe.
So practice practice practice.
Use Design Seeds for color inspiration or even go to Pinterest to find color swatches. Be mindful of those who are printing out the printables. Stay away from yellow for things you need to read. Stay away from neon colors or huge amounts of black.
People are aware of how much ink is needed and some don’t have good quality printers. Think of how it would be printed in color and in greyscale.
Graphics and Clip Art
Find a good source of clip art or graphics, to create printables you need to stand out and if you’re using things people can get for free, it’s going to be difficult to look like a pro.
Try Creative Market, Hungry Jpeg, Etsy or Deposit Photos for amazing graphics.
Ensure that you’re using commercial use fonts for all of your projects. I didn’t bother to download free fonts for personal use on the computer at all. That way I wouldn’t have to remember if the font was personal or commercial use.
Grab great fonts on Google Fonts, Font Squirrel, Creative Market or Hungry Jpeg. If I want to purchase new fonts, I prefer to look for bundles that have greater value.
Stick to 2 or 3 fonts in your printable and make sure that they are legible.
If this is all making your head spin, I have a course on how to create printables using PowerPoint – DIY Printables for Teachers and Homeschoolers and DIY Printables for Bloggers.
If you’re creating a planner or party favors that may need to be assembled, be sure to include instructions on how to print and assemble the printables so that no one is left with any questions to ask.
Did that help you get started with selling printables online? People always get hung up with the details but you just have to make the leap and get started.
Not sure how to set up your own shop? Go through Profit Through Printable and get step by step info on how to set up a Teachers Pay Teachers and/or Woocommerce shop.
Great article! Thank you. Learned so much. I am just starting out and reading your blog was a blessing. Keep it yup!🙂
You’re welcome! Glad to help.
Thank you so much for your help and tips in this! I’ve been looking for someone to explain this to an and you did it so well.