5 Essential Tools to Get Started Selling Printables Online

Considering the idea of getting started selling printables online, huh? That's great to hear! You've either begun your creative journey, with a handful of pretty printables already crafted, or you're still at the starting line, pondering on the endless design possibilities. Regardless, the fact that you've decided you want to put your creativity on display is quite an exciting one.

Yet, the thought of how to actually sell these artistic creations might seem a bit intimidating. When you're facing a pile of questions about how to transform our art into a flourishing online shop, it can be a bit intimidating. But don't worry, that's why we're here today. We're going to break down the essential tools you need to smoothly transition from artist to entrepreneur, making the process of selling printables online less daunting and more exciting. It's far less complicated than you imagine, promise! Ready to do it? Let's get started!

1. Graphic Design Software – Your Artist's Palette

Imagine stepping into an artist's studio. What's the first thing you need to create your masterpiece? That's right, your canvas and your paint. In the world of printables, your canvas and paint take the form of graphic design software. This will be your go-to tool, the one you'll spend hours with, and the one that transforms your creative ideas into beautiful printables.

Adobe Illustrator

First up, Adobe Illustrator. This is the ‘big cheese' of vector graphics. It's what the pros use, and for good reason. Adobe Illustrator allows for precision and control in your designs. Plus, once you've learned your way around the software, you'll find it quite intuitive. It's like having a well-stocked artist's studio at your fingertips. However, we get that it's a bit of a splurge, so let's consider an alternative.

Canva

Enter Canva, the friendly neighborhood design tool. Canva is an online tool that's as welcoming as a paint-by-numbers kit for beginners. This user-friendly platform comes with a vast array of templates to kickstart your creativity. Even better? Canva's free version packs a punch and is ample for those just dipping their toes in the design world. As your comfort level and design skills grow, you can upgrade to Canva Pro to unlock even more advanced features, like custom fonts and brand kit setup. It's an affordable, accessible gateway into the world of printable design.

Whether you choose to go pro with Adobe Illustrator or start simple with Canva, both these tools will be your loyal companions in your printable selling journey. Remember, there's no right or wrong choice here – it's all about what suits your style, your budget, and your comfort level.

2. E-commerce Platforms – Your Online Marketplace

You've crafted your beautiful printables, now it's time to let them see the light of day! This is where your e-commerce platform comes into play. Picture this as your own little corner in a bustling digital marketplace, a place where your printables are on display for the your people to see (and buy!).

In a post, titled Choosing the Best Online Platforms to Sell Your Printables, I take a deep dive into the world of online marketplaces. If you haven't yet explored this comprehensive guide, we highly recommend taking a look. It breaks down the pros and cons of each platform, from the big names like Etsy and Amazon Handmade to more niche spaces like Gumroad and Teachers Pay Teachers. Each marketplace has its own vibe and community, so it's important to pick one that aligns with your brand and your audience.

In essence, your chosen e-commerce platform is your online storefront, your ‘open for business' sign. It's where all the magic happens, from the eye-catching display of your fabulous printables to the exciting moment of purchase. Choose a platform that not only suits your current needs but also has room for your business to grow. After all, your online store is an extension of your creative vision, and you want it to be just as fabulous as your printables! So, pick your e-commerce home wisely and make it a place your customers will love to visit.

3. File Storage and Sharing Solutions – Your Virtual Storage Unit

Creating digital printables means dealing with digital files – and these files need a safe and accessible home. Two of the best places to keep them are Dropbox and Google Drive. These cloud-based storage platforms are the digital equivalent of a well-organized storage unit for all your precious creations.

Dropbox

Dropbox is not just a storage platform; think of it as your printable's personal vault, always ready to store your newest creations. Its intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface makes it simple to upload, organize, and access your files.

Security? Dropbox has got you covered. With multiple layers of protection, you can rest easy knowing your hard work is in safe hands. And let's not forget, Dropbox offers a generous amount of free storage, perfect for when you're just starting out. As your collection grows, you can easily upgrade to a plan that suits your needs.

Google Drive

Like a well-organized home, Google Drive makes it easy to keep track of your files, with options to create folders and subfolders for all your printables. Its simple, clean interface is designed for ease of use – you don't need to be a tech wizard to get the hang of it! As part of the Google ecosystem, Drive integrates seamlessly with other Google services, making it an ideal choice if you're already a frequent user of Google's suite of apps.

In terms of security, Google Drive doesn't skimp. Your files are tucked safely in the Google cloud, and you have control over who gets access. Plus, with a solid amount of storage available for free, Google Drive offers a cost-effective solution for storing and sharing your printable files.

It's all about making things as smooth and simple as possible, for you and your customers. With these tools, you're well on your way to successfully managing your printable files. Whether you choose Dropbox and Google Drive, your digital files are well taken care of, leaving you free to focus on what you love most – creating beautiful printables!

4. Email Marketing Tools – Your Direct Line to Customers

When it comes to connecting with your customers, email marketing is your best friend. It's like having your own personal messenger, delivering updates, promotions, and news directly to your audience. And the best part? You get to build and nurture a relationship with your customers. Let's dive into two email marketing tools that can help you do just that.

MailerLite

First on our list is MailerLite. Don't be fooled by the ‘Lite' in its name. This email marketing tool packs quite a punch! Whether you're sending out newsletters or updates about your latest printables, MailerLite makes it a breeze.

The interface is as friendly as it gets, making the process of creating and sending emails feel less like a chore. Plus, with its beautiful, easy-to-customize templates, you don't need to be a designer to make your emails look professional. The cherry on top? MailerLite's free version is more than sufficient for beginners. Once you've grown your email list, you can consider their affordable upgrade options.

MailChimp

Next up is MailChimp, a well-known name in the email marketing world. It's like having a champion boxer in your corner, helping you deliver knockout emails to your customers' inboxes.

What sets MailChimp apart is its feature-rich platform. It's more than just an email marketing tool – you can manage your contacts, create custom forms, and even automate your email campaigns. MailChimp offers a free plan that's perfect for those just starting out, and as your needs grow, you can explore their paid options.

Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your audience and build lasting relationships. And with tools like MailerLite and MailChimp, it's never been easier. So, take the plunge, choose a tool that fits your needs, and start growing your email list.

5. Social Media Scheduling Tools – Your Digital Time-Saver

In the bustling world of social media, consistency is key. But when you're busy designing your latest printable, the last thing you need is to worry about when to post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. That's where social media scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite come in. They're like your personal social media managers, keeping your posts on schedule so you can focus on your creativity.

Buffer

First on deck is Buffer, a user-friendly tool that helps you manage your social media posts like a pro. Picture this – you're in the creative zone, ideas are flowing, and suddenly, you remember you need to post on Instagram. With Buffer, you can schedule your posts ahead of time, ensuring that your social media feeds stay active and engaging, even when you're deep in the design process.

Buffer's interface is clean and intuitive, making scheduling posts a breeze. You can manage multiple social media accounts from one place, and its analytics tools let you see what's working and what's not, helping you make informed decisions about your social media strategy.

Hootsuite

Next up is Hootsuite, another fantastic tool that can make managing your social media channels feel like a walk in the park. Hootsuite is like your personal command center, letting you oversee all your social media activity from a single dashboard.

Like Buffer, Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts, manage multiple accounts, and track your performance. What sets Hootsuite apart is its ability to monitor specific keywords or phrases on social media, giving you insights into what your audience is talking about.

Managing multiple social media platforms doesn't have to be overwhelming. With tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, you can keep your social media game strong without it eating into your creative time. So go ahead, choose the tool that suits your needs, and make social media work for you!

Conclusion

These are the essential tools to get you started on your journey to selling printables. Remember, while these tools will help streamline your process, the key ingredient is still your creativity. Keep that spark alive, enjoy the design process, and always remember to sprinkle in a little fun along the way.

In case you're looking for more insights or advice, remember, we're just a click away! Head over to our blog posts page where we've covered a plethora of other topics that could help you on your journey. From detailed guides to expert advice, there's a wealth of knowledge waiting for you.

Moreover, we warmly invite you to become part of our thriving Facebook community, Profits with Printables. It's a space where like-minded creatives gather to exchange ideas, share their experiences, and support each other in this exciting journey of creating and selling printables. It's always more fun when we learn and grow together!

We can't wait to see you there and hear about your exciting adventures in the world of printables. Happy designing!

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