Is Print On Demand Really Worth It?

I tried it, and this is what I found out

Advait Adhira
5 min readJan 25, 2021
Photo by emarts emarts on Unsplash

Let’s cut to the meat.

In this article, I’m gonna talk about the print-on-demand sites and platforms, where an artist (or anyone) only needs to upload his/her designs, and the rest of the things, the platform will do by itself.

There are many out there, like RedBubble, Teespring, Teepublic, Zazzle, Society6, and Spreadshirt. But today the one I’m gonna talk about is, RedBubble.

It was August’s end when I created my RedBubble profile.

Before creating it, I spent plenty of days in research. Like, Is it really free of cost? What if there’s a hidden charge, how would I tackle it? Is Print-on-Demand a real thing? What kind of platform is RedBubble? What are the pros and cons of it? Is there any other platform better than RedBubble? What kind of designs does Redbubble accept? Which is the most profitable niche on RedBubble?

I had all such questions, which I asked Youtube. Many got answered, but not all. As the act of actually coming on the platform, and using it, was yet to be done.

I remember it was August 28, 2020, when I uploaded my first design and was wishing for it to go viral. So that I could make thousands of dollars from the very first design.

What a story it should’ve been?

But, like usual, it didn’t happen.

Going viral was way beyond the horizon, as I wasn’t even getting any views, not even after ten designs, or twenty designs, or forty designs.

It was my 43rd design, upon which I got five views and one heart, and it was October. Means a whole month was gone. Means my realistic dream of earning $5000-$7000 a month on RedBubble, was appearing unrealistic.

I uploaded the best which I could, and even after all those designs and that hard work, I wasn’t getting any results. I thought that maybe I wasn’t good enough, good enough to make money online.

I remember that I was even about to abandon RedBubble, but before I could do that, a doubt came into my mind.

Why did only that one design get views?

If it would’ve been my 50th design, that doubt wouldn’t have come. As the human brain finds balance in the round off digits. It finds them both logical and reasonable. This means if any event happens on 5th, 10th, 15th, 25th, 50th, 100th, most probably we all would find it logical and would foregrant it. But if anything happens on 17th, or 39th, or 43rd. Our brain cells go crazy, that how something like that is possible. As there isn’t any logical reasoning behind it.

I too would’ve taken it for granted, if it would’ve been a balanced digit, but I was lucky, as it wasn’t. The next one or two weeks of October, I spent understanding the game, and it was then when it all changed.

In the last ten days of October, I not only managed to get 92 engagements, but also a sale of $6.43, which is indeed small, but for a boy who has never earned a penny online, it meant a lot.

The secret with which I managed to do that was SEO aka Search Engine Optimization.

For those who don’t know, I know you must be thinking that SEO only exists on Google.

But no.

Each big website or eCommerce site or any site from where you could consume goods, for instance like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, uses SEO. It’s just that Google’s and Youtube’s SEO is the most popular one. Because the SEO algorithm which they work upon is much more complex than others.

So in my case, it was the keywords that I used, the tags, while uploading that design, which helped me gain those engagements.

After finding out that secret recipe, I reprogrammed my brain for the way I used to upload my designs, and after a month of uploading twice a week —

I sold $250 worth of products.

For a guy who wasn’t even getting any views, it was a huge milestone.

It’s almost the end of January and till now, I’ve earned $100 in profit from Redbubble. I know it’s not much, so don’t look for Print-on-Demand worth in that $100.

It’s worth is hidden inside like a gem, in the things which I learned along the way, and you can too.

Before RedBubble I knew nothing, ‘Marketing’ was a fancy-tuition word for me. Now, I know what SEO is, how does keywords work, and how one should research them. I know what email marketing is, what social media marketing is, what are direct ads, paid ads, backlinks, and much more.

All these things, RedBubble taught me, not directly but passively. As I was looking for every possible way with which I could get more sales because more sales mean more profit.

Print-on-Demand is worth a lot. Don’t look at it only through the scope of RedBubble. Don’t. Think of it as the first step. Not taking it would only raise problems, in the long term.

The good thing is, RedBubble is not the only option. There are lots and lots of options out there, with which you could earn huge profits, and could even make a brand for yourself if you stick to it.

I’ve learned a lot from my first print-on-demand experience, and am planning to invest that somewhere great. From where I could make the best out of my time and energy. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna abandon RedBubble, no. RedBubble will always be the first platform, with which I made money online.

Yes, that’s how it’s gonna be.

Now I think this much was enough for now. Give it a clap if you liked it, and comment, if you have something to say.

Below is the link to my RedBubble store — Elevven, if, in case, you wanna check it out, or wanna buy something if you like a design or two.