Can you make money with print on demand?

Starting your own shirt business or anything related to printing can be quite tricky. If you’ll do it the traditional way, you will have to print before you sell to your audience making things risky especially for entrepreneurs that don’t really have a large capital. The good news is that there are print-on-demand businesses that can help you generate profits without investing heavily in labor, materials, and on equipment.

The good thing about print-on-demand businesses is that you don’t just rely on t-shirt printing. You can also offer other products such as mugs, skateboards, even hoodies.

So how exactly do you do start this type of business from scratch? Here are strategies that can come in handy.


Build a Brand

The very first thing that you will have to do is to build your own brand. This way, you will be able to get the attention of people within your market. Do you plan on selling your shirts and mugs to anime enthusiasts? Or perhaps, you plan on selling your shirts to people who love cool art?

You need to establish an online brand in order to be recognized easily. You can sell your products by having your own website. Other than having your own website, you can also choose to just operate using social media. Among the most commonly used tools that can help you build your brand are Facebook and Instagram. You can combine both organic and paid advertisement in order to increase your reach on your target market.

Also, you will need to have your own logo and name. This way, it becomes easier for your brand to be recognized by the market.

Curate Designs and Brands That You Like to Follow

Now that you have a brand, you want to figure out what type of designs should your brand be known for. And for this reason, you will need to do a lot of research. You want to follow similar brands just to have a good idea what kind of style you bring to the table. You can also decide at this point the type of products that you are going to provide to your niche.

Find a Good Artist

Next, now that you have an idea what type of style you are looking for, it’s time to find an artist who can bring your vision into reality. But of course, finding a good artist that meets your style can be quite a challenge.

There are a lot of things that you need to consider. For instance, you will have to check his or her portfolio and even ask about his or her availability. Also, you will need to know the price of their service. You will also need to make sure that you won’t go overboard with your budget when hiring an artist. In fact, one great way to reduce the cost of designing a shirt is to hire artists from outside North America.  You can make use of platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer in order to get access to a large number of freelancers from different parts of the globe.

printing shirts

Choosing a Print-On-Demand Platform

There are a growing number of print-on-demand platforms online. Each offers different things. Here are some of the options that you can go for.

  1. Zazzle

Zazzle is a great platform that allows you to print on t-shirts, mugs, hoodies, and even on items for pets. Zazzle has been able to cater to both custom on-demand printing for shirts and apparel while also offering non-apparel items ranging from mugs, to magnets, to even skateboard decks.

Just how popular is Zazzle as a platform? Zazzle has been able to create around 19.5 billion items worldwide. As for its website, it is quite easy to design for its users allowing you to customize the products that you are going to sell to your customers.



  1. Spreadshirt

Spreadshirt is a place where you can buy or even create your own creative shirts. Spreadshirt is a great option mainly because it offers a 30-day return policy. In addition to this, it is a bit cheaper than Zazzle in terms of creating shirts. If you don’t have a design yet, you can make use of their readily available fonts and designs. You simply just buy the design for a few bucks. You can also select popular shirts and even edit it as you like. Whether you want to add some texts or not, Spreadshirt offers this flexibility to its clients.

  1. Teespring

Teespring is another popular platform used for custom apparel. Founded in 2011, it has been effective in simplifying the process of customizing shirts. The platform is easy to use, not to mention you have the ability to format how you want the shirts to be sold. In addition to this, you can upload any photo and you get the rights to this particular design, something that you might also consider if you are running your own business.

Unfortunately, there are mixed reviews regarding the quality of prints that they produce. There are instances as well when customers find the smell of chemical to be a bit too strong that it requires a couple of washes before it is ready to use.

  1. Spoonflower

Not exactly a t-shirt printing company, but this is another platform that some businesses can use. For starters, Spoonflower is a print-on-demand fabric seller that allows you to create and sell printed fabrics. Regardless if it is going to be used for upholstery or for a grand dress, price starts at $18 per yard.

  1. ImageKind

Who says that you should be limited to selling shirts? Why not sell prints, cards, and even photos? ImageKind offers a variety of different framing options not to mention materials and size. This is a great way for photographers and digital artists to market their work to a broader audience.


Starting your print-on-demand business can be a bit tricky, but you now have a variety of tools that can help you every step of the way. You can sell different items ranging from clothes to mugs and other accessories. You simply need to be creative what you want to offer to your market.


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