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Making Passive Income With Printables: Tips from Successful Sellers

Printables have become a popular digital product crafting niche, allowing creatives to earn passive income selling templates, planners, wall art, games, party packs, learning tools and more to customers worldwide.

Leveraging sites like Etsy, Creative Market and standalone stores, printable entrepreneurs design attractive resources then sell unlimited digital downloads. This scalable model enables reaching mass audiences with minimal overhead.

But launching and growing a successful printable side business or full-time venture takes research, strategizing and tenacious marketing. This guide pulls tips directly from top sellers on optimizing every aspect, from design to automation to search ranking. Let’s dig in!

Design Trends to Focus On

Creating printables aligned to current demand ensures you’re giving customers materials they’ll love in formats they prefer.

Digital Planners

Well-designed dated, weekly, monthly planners continue strong popularity as customers embrace digital organization. Offer templates across planning styles.

Seasonal Printables

Holiday and event themed packs see major traffic spikes during corresponding times of year. Ensure your catalog has robust Christmas, Valentine’s Day and back-to-school options.

Educational Printables

Resources for homeschooling and supplementary learning are in high demand by parents. Include worksheets, activity packs, reference posters and more across academic subjects.

Wall Art Collections

From motivational quotes to boho prints, wall art remains a top seller. Provide a diverse gallery of themes and design styles.

Party Printables

Help customers plan memorable events with ready-made party kits including invitations, banners, decorations, games, food labels and more for various themes and ages.

Recipe/Menu Templates

Offer templates for recipe pages, cookbooks, meal planners and menus for custom menu creation. Cater to diet themes like keto, vegetarian, etc.

Budgeting/Finance Tools

Help people get their finances in order with budget trackers, bill organizers, saving goals, expense formulas and more. Timeless niche.

Production Tips and Tools

Creating diverse, quality printable content at scale requires smart workflows. Adopt these pro tips:

Batch Similar Designs

Group similar templates like planners or worksheets and design batches simultaneously on a consistent schedule to maximize efficiency.

Establish Stylistic Branding

Create visual branding guidelines regarding color palettes, fonts, graphic elements, etc to quickly apply across new templates for recognizable cohesive style.

Leverage Design Automations

Use tools like Placeit and Creative Market’s Agenda to auto-generate branded templated content rapidly. Automate what’s predictable.

Take Advantage of Mockups

Use photorealistic mockup templates to showcase designs in lifestyle contexts quickly rather than elaborate photo shoots. Sets proper customer expectations.

Validate Demand First

Before getting too far down design path, survey your audience to validate interest and dial in specifics. Listen to customer requests.

Give Files Printer-Friendly Settings

Optimize pages for home printing by using bleed space, crop marks, CMYK colors, and proper DPI resolution like 300.

Make Pages Modular

Design components like calendars, photo templates and design assets as individual .PNG files for mix-and-match flexibility. Enables easy bundling.

Top Print and Design Software

These programs provide professional print and graphic capabilities:

  • Adobe InDesign – Page layout and typography
  • Adobe Photoshop – Raster imagery and effects
  • Adobe Illustrator – Logos, icons and vector art
  • Affinity Publisher – InDesign alternative
  • Affinity Designer – Vector design and illustration
  • Procreate – iPad illustration and sketching
  • Canva – Simple graphic design online

And these add key functionality:

  • PicMonkey – Image editing and templates
  • Creative Market – Assets and bundles
  • Iconscout – Icons and illustrations
  • Design Cuts – Graphics packs and bundles
  • Mixkit – Stock video clips and templates

Maximizing Passive Sales Channels

The key to passive income is leveraging platforms that handle marketing and delivery at scale for you. These should be cornerstones:

Etsy Shop

your primary hub with complete portfolio. Drive traffic through Etsy search. Offsite ads expand reach. Provide excellent customer support.

Creative Market

Largest marketplace for creative digital assets. Opportunity to sell templates passively to their global user base. Resources help you succeed.

Passive Income Printables on Etsy

Top performing printable shop on Etsy with immense buyer traffic. Apply to join this exclusive cooperative for instant exposure.

Design Bundles

Bundles expand reach to niche blogger and influencer partners. Design Bundles distributes assets as bundles they promote to owned audiences.

Deal Sites

Upload products to deal sites like Creative Fabrica where items get promoted to large opt-in user bases through discounted deals. Recurring passive sales.

Drive External Traffic Through SEO and Marketing

Beyond passive platforms, drive targeted traffic to your own site and listings through intentional promotions:

Keyword Target Etsy Tags

Include keyword-rich descriptions, titles and tags to rank highly in Etsy search results for relevant buyer queries.

Create Compelling Listing Copy

Write clever, benefit-focused descriptions highlighting the exact value purchasers gain from each printable. Boost conversion rates.

Blog About Your Niche

Publish blog content and tutorials around your printable niche and products. Link to your store. This SEO and social strategy builds authority.

Engage Social Media Followers

Share your new creations and promotions on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and other visual social networks. Use relevant hashtags.

Run Retargeting Ads

Remarket to site visitors through Facebook/Google ads across the web to re-engage those who left without purchasing.

Send Email Newsletters

Collect email addresses to send update newsletters with new releases, deals and valuable educational content.

Pitch to Influencers

Have micro-influencers related to your niche feature and review your printables for exposure to their targeted follower base.

Automating Operational Processes

Look for ways to automate repetitive tasks to focus effort on high-value design activities:

Automate Social Sharing

Schedule auto posts of new products across social channels using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Later.

Email Marketing Platforms

Email service providers like MailChimp, ConvertKit and Klaviyo can help segment subscribers, create templates and auto-trigger campaigns.

Payment Processing

Secure instant downloads by integrating payment platforms like PayPal, Square or Gumroad with your site to fulfill orders automatically.

File Delivery Systems

Tools like SendOwl and FetchApp can instantly deliver files to buyers while protecting access. Speeds fulfillment.

Print-on-Demand Partnerships

Drop shipping partners like Printify, GearBubble and Printful allow passive merchandise sales without you personally printing or shipping.

Customer Service and User Testing

Providing exceptional support and continually testing with real users separates successful sellers:

Respond Quickly

Answer convos and questions ASAP at all hours. Hire team members in different timezones if necessary to manage the volume.

Be Extremely Helpful

Go above and beyond resolving issues to create delighted customers. This earns word-of-mouth referrals and organic brand growth.

Request Feedback

Solicit ratings and reviews across channels. Send follow-up surveys to get candid input on improvements needed and product ideas.

Join User Groups

Have your templates tested and critiqued by real members of your audience. Facebook groups related to your niche are ideal for this.

Monitor Bestsellers

Keep tabs on which specific templates perform best over time across the various platforms. Double down on those styles and topics in future releases.

Selling printables leverages the power of passive income but still requires continuous effort optimizing your catalog, marketing, operations and customer experience. Follow tips from fellow successful sellers as blueprints for your own shop’s growth and profitability.

By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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