Selling Printables: What Successful Sellers Want You to Know

You see them all of the time. People selling printables online, heck you’re one of their customers. You buy educational worksheets from Teachers Pay Teachers or from your favorite education bloggers.

You’re always on the lookout for printables that will help your kids learn. You have a wide age group and it’s a lot harder to find materials for older grades.

You couldn’t find what you were looking for so you decided to make it yourself.

How many other parents or teachers are looking for the same thing you created, how many people could you help?

Did you know you could sell your own printables AND make money from it?

How much money can you make selling printables?

When I first started it was a few dollars every month but then when I started to actively create products and then had a membership for them, it was more than a few hundred dollars a month.

The amount of growth is proportional to the amount of work you’re willing to put into it.

It’s not a get rich scheme. But if you have the willingness to learn and work hard.

It could really pay off.

Selling printables: what successful sellers want you to know

I’d like to introduce you to these amazing ladies who are doing amazing work with the printables they sell.

Listen to their stories and get inspiration, this is something that might be for you.

Can you tell us more about your shop and why you started it?

I started my shop kind of by accident, I decided to make a series of blog posts into a product and it sold. Then it grew from there. I’ve generally made my products very specific to my niche audience which makes them appealing. I have about 10 products of my own that I sell.

My printables shop is one of the main spines of my total income as it is a generally steady monthly base.

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

I wish I had started sooner. I waited for a few YEARS until I put my first product for sale. I should have done it much earlier. 

What would you avoid or not focus on in the beginning as you build up your shop?

  • Don’t give too much away for free. 
  • Don’t undervalue yourself. It’s a lot harder to increase your prices than it is to lower them if you need to.
  • Don’t get caught up in perfection – get things done and get them out there. You can always

How do you decide which product to create next?

Usually, it’s one of three reasons: 

  1. It’s something I personally need
  2. It’s for a blog post I’m working on
  3. Someone has requested it

What is one thing you should focus on to get people to your online store?

For me, it’s been connecting with people on Facebook through my own page and group as well as through other groups. It’s being in their face, without always promoting myself or my stuff. It’s about building relationships. 

Focusing on a specific niche has been really important for me because then my audience is exactly who I want and need to promote to. The things I make that aren’t niche specific don’t tend to sell as well for me.

What does having a successful shop mean to you and what has been possible because of it?

I’ve been able to build a very specific audience that are interested in my voice and how I can help them. That means that they trust me when I promote things, they read my blog, they ask questions, and we’ve been building relationships. Having my online store and blog has meant that I’m able to stay home with my family to homeschool while still helping our family afford food and extras.

Samantha from Learn in Color

Can you tell us more about your shop and why you started it?

My site/store is called Learn in Color LLC. My blog originally started in June 2013, when I was only 14 years old. A few years later, I began to become serious with my blog and knew I wanted to become a professional, full-time entrepreneur.

I realized that all of the bloggers I saw that almost all of the bloggers who were making six figures had a digital product. In my first year of college, I created my first two products and my store has taken off from there. These products were “Cheat Sheets” – compressed resources for middle schoolers. From there, I’ve extended to movie studies which turn my favorite historical movies (think The Sound of Music or Unbroken) into a history lesson.

Currently, about 3 years later, I have about 75 products. Most of my products are $5 and all are under $20. I sell on my own site and on Teachers Pay Teachers. Graphic design work paid for my college, but I’m slowly starting to become completely reliant on my blog and store income. I have been financially independent since the age of 18. I turned 21 a few weeks ago and am proud to say this is my full-time job!

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

Create a cohesive brand. I’ve rebranded twice which is by far the worst thing I’ve done. My first blog name was unpronounceable (it was in Hebrew) and the second was way too long and unmemorable. Learn in Color is simple and memorable. Make your name simple, memorable, and imagine yourself saying it aloud. Get a simple, memorable domain and make sure you’re consistent over social media. Don’t be @samsjewelry on Instagram, @jewelrybysam on Facebook and @iloveprettyjewelry on Twitter.

I am naturally very analytical and if something isn’t working, I change courses quickly. Also, everyone’s success looks different. One blogger says 2:3 ratio is great for Pinterest, another swears by a 1:2 ratio. Find what works for you.

What would you avoid or not focus on in the beginning as you build up your shop?

Don’t focus on other people’s advice who are not in your niche. Listen to your customers. Be careful where you get your advice. I tend not to buy courses or read books by people who promise something (“How to make a million dollars!”) who have not actually done what they’re promising.

I’m very frugal, but sometimes focusing too much on being cheap comes across badly. For example, if you’re wanting to become a web designer and your website is built on Wix, I cannot take you seriously. If you want to be seen as an authority figure in your niche, treat yourself like it and build a brand you can be proud of.

How do you decide which product to create next?

I have a list of products I want to create. Some of it has been recommendations from current customers, some of the movie studies are based on new movies or my favorites. For each product I create, it is 100% something I would’ve liked to have used as a kid.

What is one thing you should focus on to get people to your online store?

Who is your target audience? Now, narrow it down even further. In business courses, they tell you to narrow it down to a single person. What is their gender? How many kids do they have? Where do they live? The more detailed, the better!

Secondly, good design is so important. If your site is clunky or hard to navigate, people are not going to come back. I started off with Woocommerce and WordPress eStore and have since switched to Shopify. It was the best decision I ever made and the checkout process is seamless. Also, a mobile-friendly (responsive) website is a must. The majority of my blog traffic comes from mobile phones or tablets. You’ve got to make it easy to navigate from mobile devices.

What does having a successful shop mean to you and what has been possible because of it?

I’ve been able to finish my undergraduate debt-free! I’m currently taking graduate courses in gifted and talented education. With the flexibility of everything online, I’m hoping to travel more.

Can you tell us more about your shop and why you started it?

I’ve been on TPT since April 1st, 2013. I started on TPT right away and in the first month I made nothing and then the second month I made 85 cents. My first major month was February of 2015, so two years later, where I was making several hundred dollars a month.

Then I was making enough to cover the mortgage, but other months, it would be a small family’s grocery bill for the month.

I have 172 products in my shop right now.

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

Everyone says to capture emails but if you’re attracting freebie lovers they won’t buy if I was to do over again. I’d really focus on figuring out how sell and do less freebies. Not creating for the sake of creating but creating something that someone wants to buy.

What would you avoid or not focus on in the beginning as you build up your shop?

I don’t even do social media now, I would say social media numbers just make you look good, but if they’re not buying from you it doesn’t matter anyway.

I would just focus on creating something someone would want to buy. If you’re creating something that they would want to buy, you’ll find buyers.

How do you decide which product to create next?

I might lurk in Facebook groups to see what people are trying to find, that might give me inspiration. Just trying to figure out what questions people have or what they might be looking for answers for so that you may provide an answer to it.

What is one thing you should focus on to get people to your online store?

I would try to focus on creating as many quality products as possible, at least on TPT, the more product you have the more likely people will find your products. Like they say, the more you have for sale, the more likely someone’s going to buy something.

I would just keep creating products.

On the other side, somehow you have to figure out how to get eyes on the things you create so I’d want to at least have a blog or a Pinterest account to market my products.

What does having a successful shop mean to you and what has been possible because of it?

Having a successful shop allows me to create things. It gives me a break from my 6 children to do something just for me. I am able to sell things, which gives me income to grow my income and create something even bigger than I ever thought I could do. Having a successful shop allows me to dream of future income potential and allows me to splurge on myself and others. Having a successful shop gives me so many different options and opportunities

Can you tell us more about your shop and why you started it?

I started out in 2012 with just one shop on one blog. The goal was to provide quality resources to homeschooling moms. I started out by focusing on growing an effective email list and therefore filled my shop with free and low-cost items {while not sacrificing quality}. From there, I did add in some larger more expensive products which continue to be a significant source of income for me to this day.

Since then, I have branched out into two additional websites, one for homeschool bloggers/online entrepreneurs in which I have a shop of resources and courses for bloggers/entrepreneurs and also a third-platform called Conferences for Moms in which I host paid online conferences for moms on a variety of topics throughout the year.

All of these endeavors have afforded me the opportunity to bring in a full-time income that is more than 4x what my husband and I brought in when we were both employed full-time outside the home. 

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

I wish I would have focused more on promoting a few super high-quality products than creating smaller products to just “fill the shelves” of my store. 

What would you avoid or not focus on in the beginning as you build up your shop?

Don’t focus so much on the number of products that you have. Of course, I would recommend more than one or two products if you’re going to have a shop, but I would focus more on the quality of your products than the quantity of products. 

I would also recommend staying true to yourself and your vision. Don’t worry so much about what other bloggers are doing. What is successful for them may not be a success for you and it’s easier {and far more lucrative} to realize this in the beginning than it is to realize it after you’ve spent a good deal of time and money on it. 

How do you decide which product to create next?

I keep a long list of product ideas and typically I will narrow my ideas down to three and then ask my audience which they would like to see released next.

What is one thing you should focus on to get people to your online store?

Promotion, promotion, promotion! People can’t purchase your products if they don’t know they are there. I also highly suggest building an effective and highly engaged email list. Do this by offering them high quality “freebies” when they come to know and trust your quality through these products they will naturally turn into a paying customer. 

What does having a successful shop mean to you and what has been possible because of it?

Any successful online entrepreneur will tell you that in order to be successful you must diversify your income. More or less, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. Creating a successful shop has allowed me to have several new sources of income. It ensures that I’m always promoting a different product year-round which also ensures that my income stays consistent year-round. Throughout my endeavors as an online entrepreneur, I have been able to leave my nursing profession behind and we have also been able to bring my husband home full time.

Can you tell us more about your shop and why you started it?

My name is Jenny and I run The Relaxed Homeschool shop on Teachers Pay Teachers. I started selling printables as a way to earn some extra money for our household. I’m a homeschoooling mother and was looking to stay home while earning an income. Selling printables was a great way to do that. I bring in enough to cover the groceries and also travel a few times per year. This has been a huge financial relief for our family.

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

When I first started I was so quick to just get things listed as quickly as possible. I wish I would have known to take my time and create proper listings. My images were horrible as well. Once I fixed my search engine optimization and my cover images for my products, sales started rolling in. 

What would you avoid or not focus on in the beginning as you build up your shop?

I would definitely avoid comparing yourself to other shops. It’s hard not to compare, but it can steal away the joy of your creative process. Do your own thing and have fun with it!

How do you decide which product to create next?

I always try and think of things I learned in school when I’m stuck on ideas of what to create. I also like to scan through my favorite clip artists shops for inspiration and ideas. 

What is one thing you should focus on to get people to your online store?

To get people to your shop you should focus on quality over quantity and making sure your images are crisp and clear.

What does having a successful shop mean to you and what has been possible because of it?

Being able to work from home creating my own business has been a game-changer for our family. We are able to buy more expensive organic foods now and take family vacations. We are hoping to start working on paying off our mortgage soon too.

What if you could earn enough to cover a few bills? The mortgage?

Or even bring your spouse home from his unhappy job?

How different would your life be if you decided to sell your own printables?

Want to learn how to set up your own shop or sell on Teachers Pay Teachers? Join Profit Through Printables.

Profit Through Printables

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