Start a Print-on-Demand Business and Side Hustle

Starting a print-on-demand business offers a lucrative opportunity to monetize your creativity and design skills with minimal upfront investment, lower risk, and no inventory.

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What is a Print-on-Demand Business?

Print on demand (POD) is a business model where products, such as apparel, accessories, or home decor items, are produced and customized only after an order is received. This eliminates the need for holding inventory and allows for greater flexibility in design and customization.

Read Best Print-on-Demand Platforms to Earn Passively

How to Make Money with Print-on-Demand Side Hustle

  • Product Sales: Sell custom-designed products through your online store or e-commerce site. The difference between the product’s selling price and production cost determines the profit margins.
  • Licensing: License your designs to other print-on-demand platforms or manufacturers in exchange for royalties or licensing fees.

Who is it Best For?

Print-on-demand is best for artists and designers looking to monetize their artwork and entrepreneurs seeking a low-risk e-commerce business model. It’s also a great opportunity for creators with an audience to diversify their income by offering merch.

Side Hustle and Business Potential

Starting a print-on-demand business offers:

  • Low Startup Costs: There’s no need to invest in inventory upfront, reducing initial expenses and risk.
  • Flexibility: Easily test different product designs and niches without the commitment of bulk orders.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, you can expand your product offerings and reach new markets with minimal additional investment.

What Items Can Be Sold

With POD, you can sell pretty much any item that’s offered by the POD platform. This includes:

  • Apparel
  • Sports Gear
  • Bags
  • Mugs
  • Tumblers
  • And more

Steps to Start a Print-on-Demand Business

You can launch a successful print-on-demand side hustle by following these steps and leveraging the right tools and platforms.

Step 1: Choose Your Niche

Identify a niche market or target audience for your print-on-demand products, considering factors such as interests, demographics, and trends.

Step 2: Create Designs

Develop custom designs or artwork for your products using graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator or Canva. Ensure your designs are high-quality and resonate with your target audience.

Step 3: Select Products

Based on your niche and target audience preferences, choose the products you want to offer, such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, or phone cases.

Step 4: Set Up Your Store

Create an online store or website using an e-commerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy. Customize your store’s design, layout, and branding to reflect your brand identity.

Step 5: Integrate Print-on-Demand

Connect your chosen print-on-demand platform to your online store using integration plugins or apps provided by the platform. This allows for seamless order processing and fulfillment.

Step 6: Upload Designs

Upload your custom designs to your print-on-demand platform, specifying product options such as colors, sizes, and placement.

Step 7: Market Your Products

Promote your print-on-demand products on social media, email, influencer partnerships, and paid advertising to attract customers and drive sales.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Graphic Design Software: Use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or Canva to create custom designs and artwork for your print-on-demand products.
  • E-commerce Platform: Choose an e-commerce platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy to set up and manage your online store.
  • Print-on-Demand Platform: Use print-on-demand platforms like Printful, Zazzle, or Teespring to produce and fulfill your custom-designed products.

Print-on-Demand Platforms to Use

  • Printful and Zazzle offer a wide range of print-on-demand products, including apparel, accessories, and home decor. They integrate seamlessly with major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy.
  • Teespring specializes in print-on-demand apparel, offering custom-designed t-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel items. It provides a user-friendly platform for designing, pricing, and selling products online.

Additional information

Personal Interests

designing, print-on-demand, selling items


Graphic design, Marketing, Sales

Work Type

flexible hours, sell goods

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