Today we’re going to talk about print on demand. There are many aspects of printing on demand that’s similar to drop shipping.
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In almost all instances, you don’t ever have to touch the product. You do have to design the product, but the printing company does the rest. They even ship the product to your customers. The only things you have to do are create the design and get customers. The company does everything else, and that’s why print on demand is so popular.
We’re going to assume for the sake of convenience that you already know of at least a few companies that do print on demand. RedBubble, TeeSpring, and Spreadshirt are the most popular companies that can print your products. You will need to read over each site carefully to see which one is best suited for your business. Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact any of these companies if you have questions. You want to deal with a company who is responsive to your needs and views you as a valued partner.
There are many things you can promote other than T-shirts
We are going to talk about T-shirts as they are the most important part of print on demand. The vast majority of people who go into this business start out selling T-shirts. We will talk about some of the other products that you can have printed. The T-shirt talk will be last.
Some will argue and say that hoodies aren’t seasonal items. You may have better success promoting hoodies during the colder months of the year.
If you’re buying advertising, then you probably want to focus in on colder areas. Do market research and find out the current temperature of where it is your marketing the hoodies. People who are in the blazing sun of the desert do not need a hoodie. A little common sense goes a long way when it comes to stretching your advertising budget.
Everyone these days has a smartphone in their pocket. You can design catchy exciting phone covers that people will love. Quite a few people like to separate themselves from the pack. That’s kind of hard to do when you’re using a smartphone that looks exactly like the one everyone else has. The way people prove their individuality is by having a phone cover that is as unique as they are.
Mugs are a popular item to customize. If you’re the type who enjoys hot drinks, then you know how important a mug is. Mugs are also a great way to show off your personality.
Witty and hilarious sayings tend to work best on mugs. Keep it short and simple, and the customer will buy it. Don’t try to be too complicated or the mug won’t be fun, and the customer is less likely to buy it.
It may be surprising to some to learn that you can have custom printed towels for your customers. This is another one of those products that you’ve got to pay attention to the season. Why? If you’re selling bath towels, then you don’t need to worry about the weather outside. However, if you’re selling beach towels, you’ll want to sell them when people are having fun in the sun. You’re not going to sell too many beach towels in the middle of winter. You should also consider marketing your towels in certain areas. Learn what people like in California, for example and customize the design of your towels to be trendy in that area.
Now let’s talk about T-shirts. All of these other items are good, but what you’re more than likely are going to sell are T-shirts. The exception may be hoodies as they too are a popular item. But, by far T-shirts are the most popular thing item sold in the print on demand niche. There are far more customers for T-shirts, and it’s in a sense easier to sell them than let’s say towels. That may not be the case, and we’ll talk about that as well.
The print on demand T-shirt niche exploded a few years ago
It’s still going strong, and people to this day are making money selling T-shirts with custom prints. Print on demand because super popular because of the low amount of money needed to enter it. You can start selling your T-shirts for free if you’re able to design them yourself. If you can do everything yourself, then there’s no cost at all to make money selling T-shirts. Sure, you may have to buy web hosting and pay for advertising. But, it’s entirely possible to promote your T-shirts without a website or using paid methods. Now you can see why this niche has become so popular and overcrowded.
Is print on demand for T-shirts dead?
Selling shirts online isn’t dead, but it’s highly competitive. If you’re the type who loves a good fight, then this is the niche for you. It’s going to be extremely difficult to get noticed when there are thousands of other people selling shirts. You’ll need to be extra smart and have great designs. It’s vital that you tap into a particular niche and market directly to them. If you want to make shirts for the general public, then you’re going to end up failing.
Be super specific when it comes to the people you’re targeting. Consider every single thing about your customer before you design your shirt. Is your ideal customer male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? From there, you break it down even further. How much money do they make? What types of hobbies do they have? You need to get into the mind of your ideal customer, and that’s quite difficult to do.
Niche products with smaller audiences may be more profitable
Let’s talk about towels again. Let’s say that you want to target people who live near the beach which are also tennis players. You should be able to see where this is going. You want to target a very specific audience with your towels. Why towels? It’s because people aren’t promoting towels as much and the market is much less saturated. Sure, some fewer people want to buy towels compared to T-shirts. But, you may have an easier time selling towels than T-shirts.
How to market your print on demand products
Everyone these days is turning to Facebook Ads to promote their shirts or whatever. It’s a great way to get people to see your product, but it may not be cost effective in the future. The price of Facebook Ads appears to be going up since marketers are catching onto them. Many people use Facebook Ads since you can run a very low amount of ads per day. Most experts say that you should test your ads spending only five dollars per day. Your ad will need to be tweaked until it performs well enough to scale it up.
Pinterest is gaining in popularity with marketers
Yes, Pinterest. It’s that social networking site that you can’t ever seem to wrap your head around. They too have ads, and you will find they’re cheaper than Facebook. If you’re on a tight budget or are looking for an additional source of traffic, then check out Pinterest. The social networking site has a very loyal following, and you can turn that into cash. Just make sure that you thoroughly study your niche at Pinterest before creating your design and advertisements. You’ll need to fully understand what Pinterest users in your niche like to be able to maximize your profits.
There are other sources of paid traffic as well
Bing, Plenty of Fish, and even Reddit all offer sources of paid traffic. While these are less popular platforms, there are deals to be had at them. Bing is an excellent source of affordable traffic if you’re able to convert it. Keep in mind that many of these other sources of traffic deliver in much smaller numbers. That’s not always a bad thing if you can get a decent conversion rate with a steady flow of customers.
Free traffic methods take quite a bit of time and effort
Many marketers don’t go the free route because they want to skip all the hard work. Yes, it’s a lot of hard work to get traffic for free. You can build up tens of thousands of followers on social media that won’t buy a single thing from you. SEO takes a long time, and you’re looking at months, if not years, to see a profit. If you’re the type who likes to work hard and see the results later, then the free route is the best way to go. If you don’t have the money to market your products, then there’s not much choice. Just be aware that any free traffic method won’t produce results overnight.
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The low barrier of entry assures lots of competition
Print on demand is a great niche for those who are full of competitive spirit. If you aren’t, then it’s probably not best for you. As long as it costs nothing or next to nothing to get into this business, then it will be highly competitive. The way you separate yourself from the rest is through your creativity. Do lots of research for what people in your niche want. You have to zero in on a very specific group of people. Success or failure is determined by your ability to deliver exactly what a narrow subset of society wants. It’s not an easy task, but it can be extremely lucrative.