I had NO CLUE what that simple whim would lead to for me and my blog.
Within my first month opening my store, I made $52,060. Suddenly, I knew I was onto something. Something massively cool! I started devoting all my time in the store and I watched it grow and grow and grow.
In my fourth month of having my Shopify store, I hit a quarter of a million dollars. The total that month came to $251,276 in revenue. Since then, very consistently, I’ve been making fantastic money in my digital products store.
My income is going up and up each year like crazy. So far for this year, I’ve made $6,960,620 in revenue as of today (1/1/20-10/30/20). That brings me to a grand total of $14,654,853 on Shopify since I started!
What started as a whim, took off very quickly, the likes of which I wasn’t prepared for, but after thoroughly testing my system, with a secondary store in a saturated niche that my current audience was not interested in and testing all my theories and systems on coaching clients and friends, I can confidently say, this WORKS! I’ve been in e-commerce a LONG, LONG time (23 years!) and I have it down pat everything you need to do to make a thriving printables business from home!
I bet you’re wondering at this point if selling printables online could be for YOU. Could this be the right path for you and your family?
I’m going to be completely honest. While selling digital products is a highly lucrative business model, it is NOT right for everyone.
What if your printables suck? What if you set everything up and no one buys? What if…what if…what if.
It’s my hopes that after reading this series, you’ll know exactly if it’s right for you and how to go about starting down the path of selling digital products.
But first…you may be asking yourself, “So what’s a printable anyway? What’s all the buzz about?”
Printables are anything that you print on a piece of paper. Usually it’s things like chore charts you hang on the fridge for your kids, or a binder that you create to help organize yourself. But printables can be checklists, wall art you hang in your home, calendars you keep at your desk, planners you organize your day with.
Ebooks are also considered printables because you can print them. Worksheets like budgeting worksheets are popular printables too.
Even things like bulletins at church and paper crafts for the kids at VBS are printables.
Printables are everywhere!
Let’s dig deeper…
30 Days to Creating a Thriving Printables Business
Days 1-5 are all about setting up a solid foundation:
Day 1: What are printable stickers and how do you print them?
Printable stickers are a great accessory to other printable products you have in your shop, or as stand alone items!
Let’s look at some examples of different types of printable stickers:
- Planner stickers – cleaning, meal planning, appointments, cute symbols, block stickers, etc
- Kids stickers – chore charts, fun designs, etc
- Motivational/Inspirational stickers
- Encouragement stickers
- Learning stickers – ABCs, 123s, weather, other learning tools for kids
- Holiday stickers
- Envelope seals
- And so much more!
Like I mentioned, these types of printable products are great to sell alone and as accessories to other products. For example, if you are selling a printable planner set in your online store, it would be a great idea to make different planner sticker accessory sets! You can show people that they would go great together and give them options to work with.
Now, how in the world do you print stickers??
You don’t have to buy some fancy pants printer, but you will need to know a couple of things in order to print stickers effectively and not unnecessarily waste ink.
First, you need quality inkjet sticker paper (letter size) for regular stickers. You can either order online or get it from any office supply store.
Another option, if you have a crafting machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette, you can easily design and print stickers from there as well. You can consider special sticker paper for printing vinyl stickers at home.
Make sure to let your customers know what type of paper they will be needing for this, so they are prepared once purchasing your digital stickers!
Day 2: What is printable wall art?
Printable wall art is just what it sounds like… art that your customers would print out and place on their walls! These are a lot of fun to make, especially if you have a creative/artistic side you need to let loose. You can gather inspiration from places that sell cute wall decor like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.
There are so many options when it comes to selling printable wall art. Just to name a few:
- Holiday sayings
- Inspirational/Motivational phrases
- Bible Verses
The great thing about printable wall art is people can buy a beautiful piece of art cheaper, and just frame it themselves. People would much rather save some money and even get to pick out whatever color frame for a printed paper of wall art, rather than spend $50 on a premade sign at Hobby Lobby.
Day 3: What are binders?
Binders are my absolute FAVORITE thing to make. Not only do I enjoy making them because they’ve helped me so much in my own life, but they are also one of my best selling products in the store.
Binders are simply a large collection of printables. If something is around 20-ish pages, I tend to call it a “planner”, but if it’s 100 pages or more, I call it a binder.
I just grab a 3-ring binder I get from any store (I love to use color ones like blue, pink, or lime green) and use the covers and spines and hole punch all my printables and insert them in the binder.
What I love most about this is that I can easily set up my binder however I want. I have a bunch of different binders and then I create a binder just for work and stuff so I put all my stuff in there that I need quick access to.
The biggest draw about a PDF binder like the ones I make is that you can print them over and over if you want. When you purchase something in the store, it’s usually very generic to appeal to most people. I can make things UBER cute because I’m not trying to appeal to the majority of people, but just the ones that like my style.
Likewise, they can print out specific pages as many times as they want and they never have to print out the whole thing if they won’t use every page. Just because there are 730 pages for example, doesn’t mean you need to go out and print all 730 pages. You just pick and choose the pages that work for you.
The reason there are so many pages is because I want to have a page for every type of person, and people organize differently. Our brains all work differently and so there are set ups for each type of person. So however it works best for you, this product WILL work for you. It’ll solve your problem and get you organized. You’ll love getting organized and so you’ll buy more. And that’s how it works.
While you CAN only buy ONE binder and have your life organized (if you purchase say a Household Binder or Daily Planner), there are other areas of our lives that need organized too. Maybe work. Maybe blogging. Maybe you just want a bunch of coloring sheets to relax and have some “you” time.
So most people don’t just buy ONE binder, they get hooked, like I did when I first started my life on binders, and then they buy more.
Some of my customers buy every single binder I put out, some pick and choose what they want, but most all my customers buy more than one. So even if you start them with a freebie binder, they are gonna want more. It’s an “addicting” thing. I really LOVE binders!
Lastly, I care about the environment and so if you buy a planner or book in the store, you have all these pages that you don’t need. Happy planner has a ring binder that you can adjust the pages you need, and that’s cool, but it’s not as fast as adjusting a 3-ring binder. The pages can be a pain to take in and out with the Happy Planner and they give you all these extra pages you don’t end up needing.
For example, if you’re looking at a Daily Planner, and you write down your to-do’s for the day, what if you don’t get to all of them? If you don’t, with a store-bought planner, you have to adjust the pages or re-write it. That’s time consuming. With my binders, you can just still use the same page till you get the to do list done.
This saves YOU time being organized AND it saves the environment with unnecessary printing. It saves you ink and paper too.
So the binders just work really well and everyone really loves them. Some people want them printed for them and mailed but I feel like having an autopilot business that makes millions is worth it to me. I worked hard to get to where I am and shipping would mean more time away from family and it’s just not something I want to do at this point.
I’ve also been told to create a physical store, and again, I just love it how it is being digital and that’s what I teach. I want that mom out there to be able to make great income from home, not a physical store leaving her kids, or worrying about shipping and all that. I want her to have a simple making-money option and that’s what this is.
Day 4: What are bullet journals and why do people use them?
Bullet journaling may not be something you have heard of before, but it is definitely a hot trend in the planner and organizing world online. If you are wanting to create organizational type printables – think to do lists, check lists, etc – then bullet journals are going to be a great product for your store.
Bullet journaling is a simple system that people can use to help them keep track of all the things and tasks on their minds. We all have different daily tasks, appointments, kid’s sports, bills due, and lots of other things to remember. It can get exhausting. You can help people eliminate trying to remember all of this “stuff” with ONE notebook.
You’ll create one notebook usually with three different parts, which we’ll break down real quick:
- Index and key – this will be the first two pages of the journal and it helps with staying on track with what is where and how the journal works
- Monthly log or calendar, and then running daily entries such as appointments, anniversaries, etc.
- Collections/lists – these are pretty self explanatory, they are lists of things you want to keep track of. For example, books you want to read, workouts to do, or a list of clients for your business.
This is a great product to create if your audience LOVES to-do lists. They probably have one right now sitting at their desk or kitchen counter. The goal is to help them organize their long and seemingly never ending to do list into one space – appointments, grocery store lists and the likes. They will no longer be searching for multiple lists because it will all be in one place.
These journals are also great for creative people! As they sit down to plan their day, they can doodle and draw, and this even gives you the opportunity to sell accessories FOR the bullet journals. Win-win!
Day 5: Why would you buy a printable planner over a store bought planner?
This is a question I get asked more often than not and I wanted to dedicate a section to addressing this. Here are four main reasons people would want to buy a printable planner over a store bought one:
- They are cheaper – In general, digital products are cheaper. Why is that? Because there isn’t any overhead cost! No labeling, shipping, printing materials, etc., it’s purely creating a product and selling it to people who have immediate access to download.
This is great for you as the creator/seller as far as saving costs that way. It’s also a great way to get people interested in your products because the fact that they are cheaper will grab their attention.
- Customizable – When people buy planners from the store, they are mostly limited to what that specific planner has to offer. They may like one aspect of this planner, one from another and another, but not one that functions specifically for THEM.
What works for one doesn’t work for all. Let them know that with your planner, they can mix and match and create the planner of their dreams! They may need a more detailed daily planner, or want one with just a basic overview of each month. And as their lives change and needs change, they still have access to all parts of it.
It would even be a good idea to offer planner sticker accessories in your store as well, if you do decide to sell printable planners.
Enter in, your printable planner. Let’s say you have a full planner set that includes, months, daily schedules, weekly outlooks, grocery lists, meal planning, to do list, notes, etc.
- Undated/Can be used repeatedly – Another great thing about printable planner templates is they are evergreen, meaning they can be used at any time of the year and over and over each year. I would definitely suggest selling undated planner printables so people can start and stop when they need to, and not feel like they wasted a whole planner or don’t want to buy for fear of not getting enough use out of it.
- More convenient – Not only are digital planners cheaper, but WAY more convenient! And in case you haven’t noticed, we live in a very “fast food” type of environment. People want to place their order and get it NOW. That’s why digital products have been doing so well in recent years, and more people are drawn to them. They can literally buy your product, download immediately and start using.
And for the people who maybe aren’t as crazy about digital products and prefer physical ones, you can still encourage them to buy your product and then print out and create their own “physical planner.”
Make sure to make these four things clear to your audience! Share with them why they need a printable planner, and better yet, why they need YOUR printable planner over other ones on the market.
Days 6-21 are all about determining if selling printables is right for you and your family:
Day 6: How do I make money selling printables?
Now we get to the “good” part right? Where does the money part play a factor in deciding whether selling printables is right for your and your family?
Let’s look at an overhead view of how exactly I make money selling printables:
- First, I create a printable and give it to my newsletter (email list) for free. I’m all about giving and adding value to my audiences’ lives. This is important because it helps build that relationship of how I can serve them and their needs. If you don’t have an email list, then you would want to start there first when opening up your shop.
- After giving my email list fantastic printables, those people start coming to my shop. Then they start looking at my products and buy them! Not only do they buy them, but that leads to #3.
- Reviews, reviews, reviews! Reviews are one of the BIGGEST factors when trying to grow a business and sell products. How many times have you purchased something or eaten at a new restaurant, because someone told you how GREAT it was?? It’s the same with your online store selling printables. And by offering your printables for free like in step 1, you will get tons more reviews right out of the gate. So not only do you have those people coming to your shop but their friends and their friends!
- People come from other places. Google searches, my blog, I started Facebook ads a couple weeks ago so they are now coming from there too, from Facebook groups, word of mouth, just all over and they come and see the reviews are good, it’s a solid product and they buy (usually at full price!) $57 for a binder for example, adds up pretty quickly! 🙂
This is a great way to start making money selling printables. Eventually, you will want to start running Facebook ads – this has been something, again, I just recently started doing and my sales have gone up nicely without me doing a thing! I started running Facebook ads on October 6, 2020 and in my very first month of doing so (10/6/20-11/5/20), I’ve made $26,410.
*I go more into my revenue vs. profits and screenshots in my Million Dollar Shop® course. 🙂
This is NOT counting them coming in and purchasing anything else in my store (which is not something we can really calculate). This is just SOLELY how much I’ve made on the two products through Facebook ads that I have the ads running for.
It’s all on autopilot, which means money coming in with no effort put in (I have a Facebook manager I pay who sets them up for me). This is something you can do too whether you have an email list/following or not. It takes going through those first few steps to get there but once you do, you’ll never want to go back!
Day 7: Is the printables market too saturated and competitive to start selling them?
Yes and no. In one way it is, but there are billions of paperback and hardback books in the world and yet, authors are still being published. Does “competition” scare them? Maybe, but they do it anyway. They get their book published, get in the arena and fight to stay IN the arena.
It’s also, at the same time, NOT too saturated. Most people, frankly, are doing it wrong. They use crummy software that produces crummy results. The printables are pixelated and over time, as technology just keeps getting better and better (we are at 8K TV’s now!!) those printables they’ve made are not up to par.
Pair that with many people selling on the wrong platform, or if they sell on the right platform (Shopify), they are not understanding how the platform works, how to set it up in a way to get people to trust the site to hand over their highly-valued debit card info. They don’t know what things to focus on and what not to, so they spin their wheels and fail. All things I teach about in my Million Dollar Shop® course.
It’s not about being too saturated or competing with anyone (I never compete with anyone but myself), it’s about taking the RIGHT steps and staying on the path you’ve decided to take no matter what happens!
Day 8: How long will it take to make my first $1k? How much money can you make selling printables?
It really all depends on what you already have going on. For example, someone I know made $23k their first month on Shopify with my Million Dollar Shop® training. BUT…she ALREADY had an established blog and newsletter list AND she was already paying for Facebook ads and some of that income came from Facebook ads.
My entire first three years, I didn’t pay a lick on ads. In my fourth year on Shopify, I started up Facebook ads. Why did I wait so long? I wanted to set up a rock solid foundation first and I knew if I started selling to MORE people, then I’d be knee deep in customer service emails and more support. I wanted to have a solid system set up first so that I could handle it. It was the best choice for me personally. But it may not be for you and that’s okay.
I know one girl I mentored started making $10k her first few months on Shopify with no email list and no blog because of Facebook ads.
I know a lot of people who don’t run ads and they make anywhere from $1k-$5k/month their first few months. I know people who have made $300 their first month. Even some that didn’t make a whole lot.
Again, it all depends what you already have set up. Do you have a blog? A social media following anywhere? Run Facebook ads? If so, you’ll make more.
If not, you can still start and that’s the beauty of it. Your journey may take a little longer, but who cares! This is your DREAM! Go for it. Who cares if it takes 5 years to get your dream. It’s your dream. Make it happen!!!
Day 9: Why printables sell
When done correctly, digital printables are the BEST thing you can sell online.
Think about it, how many times have you seen posts, stores, or ads with some sort of printable for sale? You have probably clicked on quite a few and bought some for yourself!
From a seller’s standpoint, it’s sort of a set it and forget it type of thing, completely passive income! Isn’t that the goal?
The main effort goes into creating an awesome printable to sell and making sure it solves a NEED. You don’t want to create crummy products that don’t help anyone.
Then, I just set up an ad in my Shopify store or Facebook ads, and watching it sell over and over. There are no overhead costs, no shipping costs, customers can print out just the pages they want. This is also a great way to market to them!
For example, if you decide to sell printable planner plages, let your audience know they will save money by printing ONLY what they need. It saves money on ink and paper, you can put the pages in whatever order you want, whereas something like a store-bought planner, you can’t rearrange the pages! In a planner, there’s no room for people to customize to their own specifications. But with YOUR product, they can. See?
Also, the sheer amount of different TYPES of printables you can create is ENDLESS!
I mean, you can make absolutely anything and everything. People want something quick and convenient – aka something sent straight to them that they don’t have to go out of their way to get. They get their need solved in less than 2 minutes, or however long it takes for them to purchase and download!
Digital printables are the easiest, fastest, and depending on your skill level, the best thing to sell in your Shopify store because the amount of money you can make is literally limitless! People just love them!
Day 10: How to know if your digital products will succeed or fail before you start?
BETA. BETA. BETA. BETA.
You have to ask your friends, your family, post it on social media. Start asking people if they like your designs. Be prepared to grow and learn and change things. You want to be the best at what you do and you want to do a good job. So get out there and ask people.
Create them and find out what they think. If they are begging for more, you know you’re good. If they don’t care, you know you need to step up your game. But the best way to find out if it’ll succeed or fail is to ask first before you create it!
I BETA absolutely EVERYTHING. In fact, this post you are reading right now started out as a post. IF it does a good job and is popular, I’ll expand on it and turn it into a bundle. I may sell it or give it away for free. Idk. Point is, this post is BETA to see if it does well. I want to see how many people like it. Do they like it? Do they need it? Want the information? Will it be popular. I’m not going to try to sell something that I don’t know if people even like it yet, you know. That would be crazy.
So show people what you got. Ask questions. Be prepared to listen and make your stuff better and better and better, but it starts with getting eyeballs on it!
Day 11: How to make the leap from free content to paid content?
For this one, it’s an easy answer but it seems so complicated to someone who’s new and I get that. So I wanted to take some time to really walk you through the STRATEGY behind what I do and why it works.
I want to plant in your head first, the most IMPORTANT thing in my shop.
It’s not my products. It’s not my designs. It’s actually the reviews.
Reviews, hands down, sell your stuff, period.
Without reviews. Without social proof. You’re dead.
Read that again. Without reviews. Without social proof. You’re dead.
You cannot sell printables online without reviews. It just won’t work.
So if you’re wanting to sell and make some real money, you need to focus on the reviews. That is the top of the priority for you if you have a Shopify store.
Now HOW you get reviews is different for each and every store.
You can give products free to friends to get them, but it’s a lot of back/forth. It IS a higher rate of getting reviews when you manually ask people and follow up though. When I was doing it that way (in my early years), I was seeing a 30% conversion rate. So out of 100% of the products given to people, about 30% of them would be leaving a review, but again, it’s a LOT of work.
I found a more systemized, streamlined way of getting reviews.
I give a new binder each month away in my newsletter. Because I do this, more people get on my list. Who wouldn’t want free binder printables?! So more come, more get the free product and they leave a review.
Once I get a ton of people downloading the product, loving it, and leaving the review, the reviews add up and when I’m looking at 100 reviews on a single product, I KNOW that product is gonna sell.
So then other people come along after the freebie period of time is over and they buy it. They pay the money and that’s how I make the money. Or, when I give the freebie away to my email newsletter list, they come to the shop to get the freebie, see a sale or other items and also buy.
Now that I started running Facebook ads, I’m running them on my most popular bundles. Bundles that I gave away free initially to build up the reviews. For example, right now I have a Yearly Holiday Bundle that I’m giving away this Christmas season and everyone is loving it.
So far, I have 2,984 free downloads on that bundle within 41 days and 108 reviews. Since it’s already hit over 100 reviews, I know that it’s a product that I can easily sell with Facebook ads. I won’t start them up this year. This year I’m still building reviews, but come September of next year, I can start selling this bundle.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, that’s a whole year to wait to get paid to sell a product!” Yes. Yes it is. But remember. I started this empire years ago. I’m in my 4th year selling on Shopify and it takes a while to really rev up, but the profits that I’m making are phenomenal. I’ve made 8-figures in my Shopify store in those 4 years too.
Am I willing to wait a year to sell one product? You bet-chore-bottom-dollar I am!
Not all products I’ve had to wait a year, but it DOES take time to build an empire and I wish more people understood that. If you invest the time into this, it’s a great opportunity, but it’s not about making a quick buck. It’s about building something that you can enjoy and provide monetary compensation on nearly autopilot (once things are set up) for years to come.
It’s a completely stable business. A business that has NOT been affected by COVID. It’s stable!
So the answer to the question of how to move from free to paid, is to just give the product free to build reviews and once it’s hit a certain number you’ve pre-determined is good for reviews, start selling it and it’ll sell. Problem is, most people are NOT willing to wait it out and build the reviews and do the work. They want instant money. Instant success and that’s folly.
I didn’t get here overnight and you won’t either. Remember when I said I’ve been doing this over 20 years. Think about it. 20 YEARS I’ve been doing something. How many people do ONE THING for that long? Not many. But it’s how you get to the top. The longer you do something, the more advanced and better you become.
No one in the world picks up a flute and plays it perfectly without any practice. It takes practice, time, investing into it. That’s what a Shopify empire is. You invest the time into it. You do what no one else is WILLING to do and that’s how you make it!!!
Day 12: Can I make money giving free printables online?
Next, we will tackle how I use opt-ins, such as printables, to build my email list. But first, let’s talk about why and how it even works. Can you make money SELLING printables if you give printables away free?
For me I always look at it like samples in the store.
You get a sample, you love it, you get a coupon with the sample, you buy.
Giving my future audience printables, helps them realize that my printables not only work, but they are quality.
Giving my current audience printables, not only keeps them on my list, thus leading to more sales in the long-term, but it leads to me getting more reviews and reviews are EVERYTHING in a shop.
All in all, when you give away free printables, you end up making more money. 🙂
Day 13: How to build an email list fast without paying for ads?
Since I started blogging, I’ve always been able to grow my list really fast. I remember one of my first freebies I gave out was a little ebook about how to quit your day job and stay home. The intention of the little booklet was to get people to think about things differently. My audience at the time, didn’t see why it was more cost-effective to stay home with their kids over working outside the home.
But honestly, once you factor in gas, clothing, food, babysitting costs, etc. it becomes very apparent that making money from home is a lot easier and you make more.
Getting my audience over that initial mindset hurdle was important if I was going to be able to teach them how to make money from home, and how to save money so that the money they WERE making didn’t just fly out the window.
If there are any blocks or things that need to be taken care of in a person’s mind BEFORE you’re able to teach them the stuff on your blog, that’s a great freebie to do.
At one point, I was taking like 5-7 mindsets in one freebie drip and helping them overcome that.
After I geared my blog more toward printables, my opt-ins became very apparent to be printables. Now, I usually give a large bundle away for free. In my shop, I have it at the top of the homepage as well as on my blog. Here’s how it looks in my shop:
I don’t promote the freebie anywhere else in my shop. I’m not TRYING to get people to join my newsletter in my shop. The main deal of a shop is to make money. So my goal for my shop is to make money, not to give something free. However, I do feel like it’s good to have one opt-in on your shop so that it shows you care about them.
It’s a nice thing to do and we always want to be found doing nice things. 🙂 Since I have it on my blog, it’s very easy for me to have it in my shop. I recommend changing out your opt-in every quarter.
Each opt-in you have will attract different people and you can get ALL the people by giving various things out.
Don’t overthink this. What you give should be the most popular thing in your shop that you want to build reviews for. Giving it for a specific period of time with the intent to build reviews will help your shop get reviews and thus make you more money! 🙂
Right now, at this time, I get between 4,600-5,200 new email subscribers a month (these stats are BEFORE I started running Facebook ads for the first time on October 6).
Each month, it is absolutely normal for some to drop off.
In August, I had 5,238 people sign up and 1,440 people drop off, leaving me a grand total of 3,798 new (net) people on my email list.
In September, I had 4,616 new sign ups and 1,540 people drop off, leaving me with 3,076 new (net) subscribers for the month.
The biggest thing about growing your email list fast is that you want to have a solid opt-in that makes sense and helps people, something that sets you apart from your peers and is MORE value than they deliver, and you want to go through and check all your conversions.
If you have the opt-in go to a lead page, what’s that like? Are they seeing the lead page and not signing up? Are they signing up really well? What’s the conversion on that? How many are dropping off after they sign up?
As you go through the steps, you can see how to improve. For example, if your lead page is not converting, you want to change it. I’m constantly trying to perfect each step on my opt-in to make it better. Test things, don’t be afraid to take chances!
After you perfect it, it’s just about getting eye balls on your opt-in and once you do that, your email list will fly! 🙂
Day 14: Should I start a blog first or a Shopify store first?
Whether you start a Shopify store or a blog first really depends on your goals.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you WANT to be a blogger?
- Can you put a blog on your shop or do you need to have a WordPress hosted blog?
- Do you want to build a brand and a following or do you just want to get sales?
There are no right and wrong answers here and I can’t tell you what’s best for you. You’ll want to really think about your end goals and then decide from there.
The one thing I WOULD say is that you shouldn’t start a separate WordPress hosted blog AND a Shopify store at the same time.
If you DO want to blog, you need to build up your blog and after a good solid year or so when you have a good amount of traffic and newsletter list, see if they want digital products from you and if they do, then that’s the time to go for a store.
If you don’t want to blog, you don’t have to. It’s just one option (a tougher option) to get traffic to your shop. There are many OTHER ways you can get traffic to your blog or you can just put a blog on your shop too. Shopify has that option. So it’s really up to you what you do, just consider all your options and choose the right path for you. 🙂
Day 15: How passive is selling printables really?
I love this question. It’s different for everyone really. I started out working a lot on my printables shop and I’d do my blogging work and hop over to create some printables. I loved it. I was obsessed so it didn’t FEEL like WORK to me. It’s a hobby that I get paid for!
With that said, there IS a lot to set up. Your shop (with the Million Dollar Shop® course) can take about a week to set up, maybe a couple of days if you work at it all day with little interruptions.
Then there’s the bit about printables and that’s a horse of a different color. Everyone is at a different stage of learning. For me, one printable can take 10 minutes to an hour, depending on what it is. I can also bust out about 26 printables in 15 minutes (monograms). So it depends on what you’re doing and how fast you are. There’s no way for me to know how fast you are, so that’s something you’ll need to figure out on your own.
Just keep in mind that you are building an empire. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your shop. Creating QUALITY printables is more important than rushing the job because your customers WILL notice!!!!!! You need to be a perfectionist when it comes to printables. No sloppy work! They won’t come back for sloppy work.
I suggest working on one printable at a time and one category at a time. Maybe build your 1 sheet printables that will be $1 first. Make like 5-10 of them. Then start your wall art. Then start your gift tags or whatever. But work on one thing at a time because it’ll help you go faster. 🙂
Day 16: 5 ways printables help you sell more
There are a lot of ways that printables help you sell more but my favorite ways are…
- Giving away free printables helps build reviews and social proof. THAT is really what sells your printables in your shop.
- Printables attract your right audience, allowing you to sell to the right people and build up your die-hard fans. Let’s say you teach blogging, create free blogging printables. Let’s say you want to attract stay at home moms, create household printables or recipe printables. Printables are so versatile, they literally can apply to anything.
- Printables build trust. When you give something to someone with no strings attached, it builds trust and people buy from people they trust.
- Printables serve your audience. Do YOU want to go out and scour the internet for hours to make a household binder? Probably not. All the designs will be different, qualities will be different, you’ll have to search and sign up for and pay for a bunch of different templates. But if YOU are the source for one thing (think: one stop shop), your customers and audience will automatically just remember and come to you for all their needs knowing they can save time by just going to the source, someone who has everything and is high-quality. You want to be known as THAT person! They come back = they are willing to pay a little bit just to not HAVE TO go around searching for hours on end.
- Printables work. Period. They help people accomplish their goals and if you can help someone accomplish their goals, you have them as a fan for life. They will surely remember how their life was scattered and crazy before you and now it’s so much better and streamlined. They will remember WHO helped them. They will tell their friends. You’ll end up making more sales when you just focus on meeting needs and helping people than you will trying to shove something in someone’s face to buy something.
Day 17: The ugly truth why your printables aren’t selling
There’s a few major missteps I see all the time and I wanted to take a minute to really go over them and help make sure you don’t make them!!!
- They use junk software (see Day 23 for reference).
- Their designs are just not that good. You’re still learning and so your designs won’t be as good as someone who’s further along in the game. Keep trying, keep practicing, keep going! Don’t give up. You’ll get there. You just have to love it and be passionate about it and keep making them better. My printables have grown SOOO much over the past 3 years. My skills have grown and I just LOVE creating printables! The longer you do something, the better you get.
- They haven’t BETA tested. Have you showed your printables to your friends, family, Facebook groups, anyone willing to look at them? Have you gotten proper feedback on them? You have GOT to show people your designs and see if they like them.
- They’re not marketing. I see some people go through all the trouble of creating printables, setting up a shop, and then they fail because they never marketed. They think that people will just come from the very beginning and that’s not how it works. You have to market. I have a whole marketing section in the Million Dollar Shop® course. DOOOOO all those things in that section before you just give up and walk away from your dreams! Seriously!
- They give up too soon. I have seen in just about every business model that you always strike it super big AFTER you go through the worst of the worst of storms. But in those storms, people quit and they can’t make it if they do that. It’s that simple.
Day 18: How do you make so much money when you give so much away?
I get this question a LOT! How do I make money when I give so much away…
That’s how. Right there. I give it all away. Lemme ask you something. Who do you trust more? A person handing you a bag of chips with their hand out asking you to pay for it, or the person handing you a bag of chips saying, “I’m glad you’re here.” The second one, right?! You feel at ease with them. You feel like they’re not just out to scam you. You trust them. In the long-run, you get more money doing that. BECAUSE people realize that you’re not in this for the money.
It doesn’t make sense to our brains, right. If I give so much away, instead of selling, how can I monetize on those people that I just gave a boatload of stuff to? And I get that. But here’s the thing…when I DO sell to those same people, other things, they buy it, because they trust me. I told a friend about a $2k product. She purchased immediately. Said she trusted my opinions. Right off the bat, I made $800 from that sale as an affiliate. Why? Because of all the OTHER times I had given her FREE advice. She knows I love her, genuinely, with my whole heart. She knows I care about HER best interest, NOT mine.
When you build that kind of trust with people, you have to make sure you do nothing to destroy it. And it’s a great place to be in. My first year selling in my Shopify store, I made $1.7 million dollars in revenue. Those are really fancy numbers that simply say this: I have a lot of people who I’ve cultivated a long term relationship with to trust me. To know I’m honorable and godly. To know that I care about them, not just what’s in their wallets. The more you give away for free, the more you cultivate that relationship and build trust. You show them your love for them. What you sow, you reap. I love others, they love me right back.
Everyone has their hand out…be different. Give consistently and generously instead, and watch the beautiful thing that happens when you do.
Day 19: What’s the best thing a new store owner can do?
Market. I don’t care if you have two printables in your shop or 82. You have GOT…TO… MARKET!!! I see a lot of shops fail because they don’t market. They think that people will just show up randomly and some do, I admit, some do, but most of it will be marketing. There’s a whole section in the Million Dollar Shop® course all about how to market, that goes super in depth so I’ve got you covered there, you just have to do it. 🙂
But here are some super easy ways to market to get you started:
- Run Facebook ads. Again I just started this two weeks ago and I’ve had my shop over 3 years. It’s a great way to market, but everything I teach in the course is how to get FREE eyes on your stuff. 🙂
- Use an affiliate program. I haven’t really found a good app for this with Shopify, but if you’re just starting out, you can use affiliates to help promote your stuff.
- Give freebies away to attract your ideal customer.
- Talk about your products in Facebook groups (where appropriate and according to rules).
- Share your stuff with people OFFLINE. Your friends, family, people you meet. Network it up!
- Use social media like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to promote your shop. You can make videos for your printables. People like that. 🙂
Promote your shop anywhere you can. If you have a blog, put a link to it in the navigation bar. If you have a YouTube account already set up, fit in the printables. Just use whatever you already have going.
Maybe you’re a teacher, give printables away with your watermark/logo on them to other teachers. Give them to your students to use. Eventually your name gets out there and you’ll get questions and customers! Have business cards ready for people who ask you questions about it.
There are so many opportunities, you have to get the word out. I remember learning in network marketing that one girl used to put a free small printable in books she’d check out at the library. Someone else checks out the book, sees your free printable bookmark with your logo on it, maybe they get curious and Google you.
Really, you can promote your shop in any way you want!!!
Day 20: Do you launch every time you create a new printable?
Some I have and some I haven’t. I’ve found that when I launch EVERY product, I get a lot more sales. Again, it’s just about telling people what you’ve got to offer.
But I like to mix it up. I’m not just always launching a binder or a bundle, I launch $1 one page printables too. What I do for those is every few months, I’ll create like 5-10 $1 products and put them all in a list to my newsletter (here’s how I do it):
Some people want to pay little bits, like $1. Some people want to pay more. You want to serve all the people and what THEY want to buy, so I have small dollar amounts and large dollar amounts in the shop.
Day 21: What do you do when you have little desire to create your own products?
Everyone goes through bouts of not wanting to create anything. Even me! There will be times when I just don’t feel creative or I’m not in a creative mood. Luckily for me, I have a ton of different options I can do.
Like right now, I’m not in a creative mood so creating printables isn’t what I need to do. But I AM in a writing mood, so I’m busting out all these questions and getting them answered.
Because my businesses are so different and have different complexities and topics, I can really always be working on SOMEthing. And when there’s nothing I can work on, nothing I’m inspired by, or it’s summer and it’s just deader than a dead mouse online for blogging, I sell stuff on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
So I’m always working on the sidelines on something and growing. I’m not stopping for long periods of time. I’ve learned to rest in between major projects and I’ve learned to work a little slower so that I can rest. I take a lot of time off too. Like weekends I usually am not working at all. I tend to like to work Monday through Wednesday, do my 8 hours for the week and be done, then the other days, I’m just taking care of some emails and supportive things like that.
However your schedule works out for you and your family is great, but you just want to work at a pace where you’re growing toward your dreams and goals but not burning yourself out. If you don’t feel creative, don’t push it. Don’t force it. Just work on something else or take a break altogether.
It’s better to make consistent steps than to stop/go all the time, so just find something in your business you CAN do. 🙂
Days 22-30 are all about how to make printables:
Day 22: What are the best printables to give for free?
I think there’s no hard and fast rule about what is best. You really need to determine that based on your audience. Who are you attracting? Who are you wanting to serve?
For example, let’s say my audience is bloggers (it’s not, but for arguments sake, let’s say it is). For bloggers, I would provide them a blogging binder, blogging printables, business printables, marketing printables.
But let’s say I am attracting stay at home moms. Then I would provide something like cleaning printables. Printables that are for the home. Recipe printables. Things of that nature. Whatever it is that is important to the people I want to attract and serve.
For bloggers, it could be that worksheets work better. For stay at home moms, maybe charts work better (think: chore charts). So it’s just different, based on who you serve and what you’re trying to accomplish.
With that said, what I CAN say is that binders and planners do well for me. Bundles do well for me. Larger packets of printables seem to do very well. But then the smaller one page printables do well too if they are priced at $1.
I would encourage you to check out a few Shopify stores and just kinda look around at what is most popular. Do some research. Like you can see what is most popular on a Shopify site. Just go to a site and click to sort by “Best Selling” here:
Couple stores you might like to check out:
- My shop
- The Savvy Couple
- Janice Designs
- Paper Hearts
- My Nerdy Teacher
- A Divine Encounter
- Journals to Freedom
- Smart Mom Life
- Freebie Finding Mom
- Mom Beach
Day 23: Can I sell my Canva designs? Can’t I just use any software program to create printables in?
Canva is tricky because you don’t own it. The licensing is very different from professional products such as Photoshop Elements, Illustrator, and InDesign. Within those programs, they have graphics you can use for commercial products and you’re just fine. However, with Canva, I’ve heard that it is against their rules to sell digital items using their graphics and templates. You definitely might want to look into this for yourself, because the rules change over time.
The main problem I see with creating printables in Canva is that it’s NOT professional software, as those mentioned above are. You’ll run into a lot of problems because of that.
Things like the printables aren’t good enough quality. They are for giving away free in an opt-in, let’s say, but NOT for selling. They just won’t print well enough on some people’s printers and you’ll make them mad. You’ll deal with more customer service problems, people wanting their money back, and people not coming back to your store, which hurts your free word of mouth marketing (them telling their friends your stuff ROCKS!)
The limitations of using software like that is also huge (for example, in Illustrator, they have a spell check in there, which can save you hours of proofing!) When you use professional software, you can do SOOOOOO much more. There are so many more options and things you never even knew possible. Therefore, your printables will come out BETTER than if you would have used Canva. They will be more advanced, which is what sets you apart and ultimately gets you the sale over something else.
I never recommend Canva for printables that you sell. Now you CAN absolutely use Canva for free printables as opt-ins like a blog thing, but not for a shop. You can also absolutely use Canva for pictures and things like Pinterest pins that you create. It’s totally fine for graphics for your blog, pins, stuff like that. But the line is when you want to sell printables. You don’t want to be using unprofessional software like Canva, MS Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.
Day 24: Can I set up a successful store with only a few products?
Yes, you absolutely can! When I started, I started with one product and then in my first month, I started adding more products as I saw the first one was doing so well. I know of other shop owners who start with one product as well, so you can start with one, two, three, or fifty.
The more you have, the better obviously, but it’s totally fine to start with just one. 🙂
Day 25: How do you know what printables to sell? What are the top printable ideas to sell?
Again, building on day 22, where I talked about what the best printables to give away for free were, the same thing is true for selling, if not MORE!
You want to sell things that YOUR audience wants to buy.
Don’t have an audience? No problem. Get one. Market your stuff. Go in Facebook groups and share your stuff (follow the rules obviously but some groups allow you to share stuff).
Listen, no matter where you sell, whether it’s eBay, Etsy, Creative Market or somewhere else, you’re going to have to get eyeballs on your stuff. It is NOT the platform’s responsibility to get you traffic, it’s yours.
All those years I sold on eBay, I didn’t rely on THEM to get me traffic. It was a boost yes, but I was pro-active. I went out there and got traffic myself. I created a website that had free stuff my target audience was looking for. Since I sold Littlest Pet Shops, I made a site about Hasbro toys and shared coloring pages, screen backgrounds, games, and more.
I had a Pinterest account to attract Littlest Pet Shop collectors to my Pinterest account and linked my eBay ads to Pinterest. You can still to this day, look around and see my pictures that I took are still some of the most popular on Pinterest.
Mine (first row of a search for Littlest Pet Shop):
After you have an audience (even of 100 people), start creating what they want. It’s that simple. Just serve your audience. Give them exactly what they want and you’ll do just fine. 🙂 It’s not rocket science. It’s all about meeting needs and helping people.
Speaking of helpful, here’s a little bit of info from my store that will help you… 🙂
My TOP 5 product types that make me the MOST profits in my shop are (these are all PDFs):
- Coloring Sheets
- Planner Pages
- Wall Art
My LEAST FAVORITE 5 product types that make me the LEAST profits in my shop are:
- Greeting Cards
- System Packs
Day 26: What are better, digital products or physical products?
This answer will depend on your personality. For example, my teen daughter LOVES to ship. She just loves it. Me, on the other hand, I love digital products. Things I can sell over and over and over again and make money on a more autopilot path.
Neither way is right or wrong, it’s just personal preference.
However, I will say though that on SHOPIFY itself, it’s far better to sell digital products. Physical products are like dropshipping and most all of those are scams. I see so many bloggers put their stores as physical products AND digital products to try it all out, thinking they will make good money and they are just completely wasting their time.
I would not even spend a second thinking about dropshipping. Who the heck cares to buy a mug with your blog’s name on it? Other than your mom. Like really? It’s crazy. Even selling things like T-shirts and stuff like that. Just so lame. Don’t do it okay. Just save yourself all the hassle and time. They don’t make good money on that stuff. I promise you.
But again, if you’re selling something like say essential oils, or products like private label beauty supplies, or even toys in a Shopify store. That stuff can work. I definitely don’t teach physical products. I’ve sold on eBay for 20+ years and shipping is just not something I want to touch anymore. So over it and I love digital products 🙂 but again, it CAN work and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it if that’s the way you want to go. My daughter will most likely start up a Shopify store for physical products in the next few years and that’s totally fine. 🙂
Day 27: How do you balance creating products when you have young kids at home?
The cool thing about having your own store is that UNLIKE a blog or even social media, you do NOT have to be on a certain schedule. You don’t have to have a routine or post every certain number of days. You can start with one product and add them as you are able.
Work on your printables while your kids are napping, or at school. Work on them while you’re driving. Just kidding. Just making sure you’re awake there. 😉 You can work on them after your kids go to bed.
When my kids were little and too big for naps, they’d have an hour of “quiet-time” instead of naptime. You could have your husband take the kids for one day a week to go do something fun and during that time, you can work on your printables.
One thing I also did was put the kids to bed earlier when they were younger. So instead of say 9 pm bedtime, move it to 8 pm bedtime. You can even tell them they don’t have to go to sleep, but be in their rooms quietly for that extra hour.
There are a lot of little windows of time you can “steal” throughout the day, you just have to get creative about it sometimes and that’s okay. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re building an empire. It’ll happen slowly over time. Just do all that you can and what you can.
Day 28: How much time does it take to create printables?
I mentioned this earlier, but everyone is at a different stage of learning. For me, one printable can take 10 minutes to an hour, depending on what it is. I can also bust out about 26 printables in 15 minutes (monograms).
When I first started, it took me all day to create one printable. I got faster and better over time. In my How to Create Printables course, I have a ton of ready-to-use templates in there and I highly suggest using those for your printables because they will save a ton of time! 🙂
So it depends on what you’re doing and how fast you are. There’s no way for me to know how fast you are, so that’s something you’ll need to figure out on your own.
Just keep in mind that you are building an empire. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your shop. Creating QUALITY printables is more important than rushing the job because your customers WILL notice!!!!!! You need to be a perfectionist when it comes to printables. No sloppy work! They won’t come back for sloppy work.
Day 29: Do I have to be creative to create printables?
You don’t have to be creative but you have to learn to be creative. Graphic design, printables, that kind of stuff is all in the creativity realm so if you’re not creative, you’ll have to learn it.
When I first started, I didn’t feel like I was creative. My blog was about saving money and teaching bloggers how to make money with their blogs. It wasn’t a creative blog and I transitioned over slowly.
Now, I’m super creative, but it’s something I learned over time. It wasn’t an instant thing. I had to start looking at the world differently. 🙂
Day 30: Where do you get your printables printed at? Do you use a home printer or a service?
There are really only two options for where to get your printables printed. At home or an online service/office store. Home is best!
Printing at home is best because it’s essentially free. The reason I say essentially is because you would have to buy a printer (if you don’t have one) and ink which can be costly. However it is still the cheapest and easiest option to print from home. You don’t have to place an order, worry about printing mistakes, or redoing things. You can print whenever you want no matter the day or time because you aren’t limited to store hours or have to waste gas money plus loading up the kids just to pick up an order.
Some places that offer printing services are:
- Office Depot – you can either send it in online and pick up at the store, or go to the store to do both parts. For full color, you’re looking at about 49 cents a page, but usually the more you print, there may be some sort of discount. Always check for coupon codes first!
- FedEx Office Center – You can expect to pay anywhere from 10 cents to 30 cents per page.
- UPS Store – Did you know you can print at the UPS store?? It’ll probably cost you around 60 cents per page, so this option may be more of a last resort since it’s so pricey.
- Staples – You can print for 12 cents to 41 cents per page, depending on paper style and if it’s color or black & white. The more pages you print, the lower the price goes per page so this is a good mass printing option if you need it.
- Order from an online printing service – think Vistaprint, UPrint, Print Runner, etc. Let’s take Vistaprint, they have a print calculator so you can see how much it would be to print for whatever project you need, without going through the entire process first.
- Public and university libraries – most libraries have very cheap printing services, anywhere from 10 cents to 30 cents, but make sure you check the limit for how much you can print. This may not be ideal for large printing jobs. You will also probably need a library card!
These are just some of the options you have to print if you don’t have a home printer. These will vary by location depending on where you live, but it gives you a general idea of how much you will be spending over time printing at stores or online! If this is the route you choose to go, make sure you order at times when they are offering discounts and promotions.
But in the long run investing in a decent home printer will be worth it for you, especially if you are mass printing multiple pages. You can find printers anywhere from as low as $40 to upwards of $100. Most printers have scanning, copying and faxing capabilities so that is an extra bonus you get by printing at home! Ink cartridges can range from $20 all the way up to $100, depending on the type of printer you have. How long they last will depend on how often you print and how much!
Now that you know all about printables, you’ll need to determine WHERE to sell your printables.
What’s the best place to sell printables?
I have personally tested several platforms as well as had coaching clients test them as well. Here’s what I’ve discovered after multiple tests and across multiple shops.
Shopify, hands down, gets the most sales.
Let’s break it down:
Why Shopify is better than Woocommerce
So now that we have established why Shopify is the BEST option for you to start your online store (and sell printables), let’s compare it to some of it’s competitors.
First up is WooCommerce. If you have been in the blogging or online world long enough, chances are you have probably heard of this e-commerce platform.
WooCommerce is a plugin to convert your WordPress site into an e-commerce store like amazon, eBay, etc. It is designed for both small and large online stores, BUT only for those using WordPress. When you install it you can run your site as a shop/store only OR blog plus shop/store.
The good thing about Shopify that we already know? You aren’t dependent on plugins and having a self hosted WordPress suite to run your store – Shopify DOES that for you. Now, say you have a blog or WordPress site already, you can still integrate Shopify easily with it. Let’s look at some cons of Woocommerce when comparing it to Shopify.
Cons to Woocommerce over Shopify:
- You have more chances of being hacked
WordPress accounts get hacked all the time, and there’s not really any one-on-one support unless you decide to pay lots of money. So, one thing to consider is your blog getting hacked. But, can you imagine having your store be a part of that hacking? Your customer lists, emails, orders, they can get in there, see it all, and do some REAL damage to not only YOUR stuff, but your entire customer base as well as all your products you’ve set up in your store.
With Shopify, you are paying for a SERVICE and they will take care of those stressing needs. I sleep in peace every day, knowing that my customers’ information is very WELL protected. I don’t have to worry about a security breach, hackers or anything like that. With WooCommerce, I wouldn’t be able to feel that peace.
- It will slow down your site speed
Now, let’s talk about plugins! Not only are they a pain with every update that WordPress does, but they also make your website run VERY sluggish because of the number of plugins you have to install to make WooCommerce work. And what customer service are you really going to have with a slow site?
People expect FAST service, so you want to have a fast website. Otherwise people are going to leave and there goes your revenue, walking right out the door. Every plugin you add to your blog adds a weight on how fast your blog will display and load content. Imagine adding another 30-40 plugins just to have a decent looking WooCommerce store! Seriously, don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
An incredibly popular web technician who helps blogs with technical stuff said this after reading this module, “I read the Woocommerce/Shopify preview and agree 100%. When people are asking us why their site is slow, I tell them to get rid of Woocommerce and go to Shopify. That usually gets rid of the bloat immediately.”
- WordPress updates can crash your site
Along with having those plugins slow down your site, they also don’t always play well together. One person I know, had over 65 plugins, and 45 of them were for WooCommerce.
Whenever WordPress sent out an update, their whole blog broke.
Come to find out, after going through and uninstalling one plugin at a time to see which one it was that broke their blog (which took them days!), it was a WooCommerce plugin. The plugins don’t always play nice with each other. Sometimes there are glitches and with so many plugins, you’re asking for trouble.
Now let’s say they didn’t know how to fix their own problem? Most people don’t! If you don’t, you will be spending a long week with your technician to find and solve the problem, and a technician at their cheapest rate is like $60/hour. It’ll take a good 3-4 hours to find the problem. You’re looking at $240. Shopify is $30/month and doesn’t slow down your site, have glitchy plugins to deal with or anything like that.
As a general rule for your blog, whether you use WooCommerce or not, keep your number of plugins as low as you possibly can. Every 6 months, I go into my plugins and make sure I have ONLY what I need and what I’m using.
- Outside forces could cause your blog to crash
Let’s talk about blog crashes, outside of WooCommerce.
Let’s face it. It happens to everyone, because things fail from time to time.
This month, my whole blog crashed! It was down for several hours before getting it back up and running again. Had my store been on WooCommerce, I would have been without not only revenue from my blog (ads, affiliate income, etc.), but also from my store!
Having my store on Shopify, didn’t cut that portion of my income at all. It goes without saying, we should never have all our eggs in one basket.
- You won’t see as much success
To be completely transparent, I don’t know why.
Maybe it’s because Shopify is a more professional platform with a more professional checkout system.
Maybe it’s because it’s a separate site.
Maybe it’s just trusted more or customers like the set up better.
I’m not really sure, but across the board, all those I’ve coached have made more sales with Shopify over WooCommerce, many seeing immediate results without changing anything else, EXCEPT the platform.
At the end of the day, I want you to succeed. And that’s why I highly recommend that if you’re going to open a store, you do it right! Go with a platform like Shopify over WooCommerce.
Why Shopify is better than Etsy – and you don’t control your business – they do. You’re playing by someone else’s rules.
Etsy is a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items. It’s basically another platform you can use to sell, but there are a few disadvantages when comparing it to running your own store through Shopify.
Here are a few reasons you may want to stick with Shopify over Etsy.
- There are a lot of fees
There is a $0.20 listing fee, plus a 5% transaction fee on products you sell through Etsy. This is also on top of a standard 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee when an item is sold if you use Etsy payments.
I don’t know about you but that’s a lot of fees. That adds more stress to pricing your products because you want to make sure you are making a good profit off of your products once all the fees are taken out. Then you could run into the issue of OVERpricing and turning people off towards it, but you can’t lower it because you have to account for all the fees. Not a fun situation to be in.
These fees can really start to make an impact as you start selling higher priced products. For example, say you start out selling a handful of printables, let’s say you want to sell planner pages, such as a weekly or daily to do list. You sell a planner printables set for $10 with zero shipping (because it’s a digital product). After all the fees you are making
Let’s look at that math:
$10 x 0.05 = $0.50 so we’re down to $9.50
$9.50 – $0.20 listing fee = $9.30
So $9.30 doesn’t sound too bad on a $10 product right? You would then have another $0.55 taken off, bringing your grand total of profit to only $8.75.
Still not TOO terrible on cheaper products right?? But can you imagine selling $80 bundles of products? I’ll save you the math this time, but your profit on those would only be $73.15. Say you sell 100 of those, you’d be losing $700! No way!
Shopify doesn’t have those hidden fees for your products because YOU own your own store, rather than listing it through another provider.
- Products restrictions
There are certain rules that Etsy has on what you can and cannot sell through their marketplace. It is mainly for handmade goods, craft supplies, vintage items and digital products. Shopify isn’t as limited to what you can sell (legally and within reason obviously).
- Creativity & Page Design
With Etsy’s format, whether shopping on the app, mobile or desktop, you don’t have any creative freedom over how your page looks. You can’t change the layout or color scheme to fit your brand/logos, making it harder to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there, especially in your target market. You can upload your own picture or logo, but other than that, there isn’t anything about your page that can set your business apart.
Another BIG thing to remember, Etsy doesn’t keep a newsletter list of your customers, which is SO important when running an online store. You want to be able to reach back out to those people in a simple way.
No matter what you are selling, even if it’s more tailored to an “Etsy” style, you will see much more success in the long run with Shopify and not lose as much money due to unnecessary fees.
How does Shopify work?
So let’s talk about paying for the actual Shopify platform.
Shopify Lite is the cheapest plan at only $9. This is where I first started when I wanted to open up a store and it took me several days to really figure out if it would work for me.
Once in there, I realized very quickly that it WASN’T for me. For the Shopify Lite, it’s basically for people who want to add buttons to their own pre-existing sites. You can also sell on Facebook in there, but if you’re something like a coach, you can get FREE buttons from Paypal! At $9, you can cut out a couple of things from the grocery store and easily cover that.
However, if you have a couple things you just want to add to your site, this is a good way to go.
Shopify’s Basic Plan, the $29/month plan is just fine to start with. I had that plan for a VERY long time in my printables store. I would always suggest going with that plan. You will get a lot of the features and at $30 it can be done – eat at home instead of out, and you can save around $30 monthly very easily.
Then, WHEN you are making enough money to justify the Shopify plan ($79/month), I would upgrade. When you start bringing in $100-$200/month in profits from your store, it’s a great time to upgrade and easy on your budget because your profits are now covering your expenses!
How to start a Shopify store on a budget
Maybe the number one thing I hear when telling people about opening up their own Shopify store is, “But I don’t have the money to start.”
Listen, I am all about budgeting and spending money wisely. And that is why I believe that if you are passionate, driven, and motivated, then you have to make the investment to gain more in the long run. So it may seem like a lot up front but the potential to make that back 10 fold is so strong.
Another question I get asked a lot is, “can I set up a successful store with only a few products?”
Absolutely. I started with one product and know others who have started with only 1-3 as well and have still made a killing! One of my friends started with 2 products and made a total of $24,337.16 in her first 30 days on Shopify, and one of my other friends made $10k in a weekend off one product.
So let’s talk about budgeting, because it’s important to know what your options are! Currently I pay for ONE app (the rest are free), which is $15/month and my Shopify store fee. You only need $9 to start at Shopify Lite, which is equivalent to eating at home one night and you’re all set! As you start making more you can work your way up to the other plans we talked about in Chapter 9.
I’m at the $79/month plan, yes, however, everyone should start at the $29/month plan until they have a good 5-10 products. Once you have a good 5-10 products and are making about $500-$1k/month, then upgrade to the $79/month plan with Shopify, because of the better analytics. There’s not a lot of fees and you can use their affiliate program to pay back your costs. It’s really not that big of a deal, considering fees with other solutions. I’ve been in e-commerce 22 years and have used a lot of different platforms. Shopify’s fees are the lowest from what I’ve seen. They have other payment options too, so for me, I paid for two years of fees upfront to save hundreds of dollars, because I know I’ll be with them a long time. So, as you scale your business and are making great money, that option is available as well. Just talk to customer support to see all those options when you get there. All of these options will definitely help keep you comfortable with your budget!
Once you have a Shopify store up and running, you’ll want to know how to set it up in a way that ACTUALLY gets sales. I mean, imagine going through all that work and no one buys. It’s what happens ALL. THE. TIME! Why?
Quite frankly, it’s because Shopify has to be set up in a certain way. You think getting someone to trust you enough to give you their email address is hard, try collecting someone’s debit card information!!!!
Here’s the thing. I been doing e-commerce for 23 years now! I know absolutely everything it takes to rock a million dollar shop. My Shopify store currently generates over $7 MILLION dollars in revenue a year and by this time next year, I have no doubt it’ll hit $12 million/year.
You don’t need all those fancy numbers to start. I’ve got 20 years in the biz, so of course, I’m gonna make the big bucks.
If you’re just getting started, pick a first goal that’s fairly easy to win at. Say $1,000! Then pick a date. Like…I want to make $1,000 on Shopify within 3 months. Some people just starting out do that within a month. Some make $23k their first month. It really all depends on what you already have going on. Mrs. $23k her first month, already had a nice sized email list and a blog.
Just remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint and it’s like a snowball, you’ll make more and more and more over time as you get bigger and bigger. 🙂
After you have your goals down, you’re going to want to purchase my course on how to set up a shop in a way that people will actually buy.
It’s all time-tested information and it’s all incredibly detailed. There’s no guessing. It’s a lot of do this, here’s how. Set this up, here’s how. That type of stuff.
DON’T deviate from how to set it all up. You can show your flair and style in your printables, not in the set up, which leads me to the second thing you need.
If you don’t already create printables in PROFESSIONAL software (again, that’s Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop Elements), you need to if you’re going to sell printables. I have a video course all about how to create printables in Photoshop Elements.
It’s a program that someone like me (who has trouble with technology) can figure out, so it’s perfect for beginners. If you’re more advanced or really good at technology, I suggest Illustrator and I have a course coming up on that too (look for it soon). 🙂
If you want to save a little money and get BOTH, Million Dollar Shop® and How to Create Printables (in Photoshop Elements), you can score them both at a major discount here.
Creating and selling printables has seriously changed my entire life. I went from working 80-120 hours a week to now only having to work 9-10 hours a week to maintain things. My team works an additional 7-10 hours/week on average. Total you’re looking at a part-time thing and I also run a blog and a courses site too, not JUST the shop. The time counted in there is for everything. 🙂
It’s really been such a massive honor and blessing. I still can’t believe that so many people love and are obsessed with something I create. It’s just so fantastic and makes me so proud to serve others and help them organize their busy lives. It’s super rewarding!!!
Hopefully by now, you’re armed with a ton of information and ready to either walk away or jump into creating printables. Either way, I wish you nothing but the best of success whatever you decide is right for you and your family. <3
If you would like even MORE questions answered, I have a bunch more answered on Instagram!
- “What do you do when you have little to no desire to create your own products?”
- “What’s the biggest risk to financial success that no one talks about?”
- “Is there a reason you attribute much of your success to using Shopify? I used their platform for physical products in the past, while I was semi-successful it wasn’t as successful as what you’re doing!”
- “What’s the best way to do marketing for my store if I can’t afford a lot in promotions?”
- “How do you source your products?”
- “I can’t even wrap my head around your success! How have you been able to handle it all?”
- “I recently got your Blogging Binder and love all the pages you include. How did you start selling printables? I mean, in a world of tons of ways to monetize your blog, what made you choose to create and sell printables? Do you enjoy the creative part? Did you see a big need?”
- “Is it worth opening a Shopify store with just 100 pageviews a day to my site?”
- “How do you get people to buy your products? I am struggling getting my printables to convert.”
- “What’s the one thing that you feel helped to make your business successful?”
- …and more!!!
Check out all the answers to these questions and more on my Instagram page.