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1. Can you make money from posters?

How to start a poster business with print on demand

Have you ever thought something you drew, painted, or designed might be worth a good chunk of change? It's true, but without the time or resources to properly market, produce, and ship your art, how can you make it a successful business?

We'll tell you how - with print on demand.

Print on demand (POD) is a method of order fulfillment that allows artists and sellers to create unique designs on posters, clothing items, and more and sell them to customers online. Once an order is placed, the product is printed, fulfilled, and shipped by your POD supplier.

Starting your poster business with POD makes creating and selling your designs basically foolproof, but you will need to do some thorough research to market and launch your shop and find a reliable provider to partner with.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • You can source high-quality images and designs to sell posters by creating your own designs, hiring a professional designer, or using stock photography.

  • To determine the best print on demand provider that suits your business model and customer needs, order product samples, evaluate the POS provider’s support, and ensure their compatibility with your ecommerce solution.

  • When deciding between an ecommerce platform or an online marketplace to run your poster business, consider the cost, ease of use, and access to your target audience each solution offers.

Can you make money from posters?

making money from posters

Interior design and decorating have taken off in recent years, with the wall art market expected to grow from over $48 billion in 2021 to $72 billion by 2028. If you've ever been tempted to start selling posters online, now's the time to make the jump.

Modern and abstract art doesn't have to cost a fortune; thanks to technology, design programs, and endless online resources, anyone can share their artistic expressions with the world and make a substantial income doing so.

From paintings, drawings, and photographs to minimalist typography posters, there is a massive window of opportunity for anyone capable of starting selling posters online.

Who can benefit from selling posters?

Any type of creator or creative person can benefit from selling posters online. Whether you're an artist with years of work or you do photography as a hobby. Perhaps you're a graphic designer, an influencer, a teacher, or a writer; there are so many applicable professions and talents that can sell posters online.

What it really comes down to is having a plan, knowing what you want to create, and having the tools and resources to get an online store up and running.

Create a successful poster business in five easy steps

Creating an online poster store takes time, effort, and creativity, but it's entirely possible and can be a significant source of income if you do it right.

In this section, you'll discover the five essential steps you'll need to complete in order to sell posters online. These steps will help you define your business model and get the sales rolling.

1. Source high-quality images and designs

When it comes to sourcing high-quality images and designs that consumers want to buy, you have a few options.

Create your own designs

The first is creating your own artwork and original designs, whether you're a painter, sketch artist, graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, or any other type of artist. Creating and sharing their artwork with the world is a profitable business idea and an incredibly rewarding experience for many artists.

Hire a professional designer

You can also hire a professional designer to create your poster designs. If you have a specific vision or design in mind but don't have the skills to bring it to life, hiring a professional is a route many online poster stores go to achieve the quality and look they want. Hiring a professional may cost more than other options, but you'll be able to build a relationship and ensure you're buying and selling an excellent product.

Use stock photos

Lastly, explore various stock photo websites, like Unsplash and Shutterstock, or design marketplaces like Creative Market and GraphicRiver for graphics, fonts, illustrations, templates, and more. These online resources will guide you through creating your own poster design, adding your own elements and flair, and making a unique product to sell.

Whenever using these resources, make sure that you understand the licensing terms and requirements of using other people's work. Even if you pay for the designs, there are still ramifications if you violate the terms and conditions, which can result in legal action.

2. Select a suitable print on demand provider

suitable print on demand provider

Do your homework when researching print on demand providers and compare each company's pricing, shipping locations, and the specifics of what they offer. If you want to offer an assortment of paper types and poster sizes, be sure to select a provider with these customizations and options.

Order product samples

While you're shopping around, order samples from each provider to ensure the quality is what you expect and something you'd be proud to put your name and logo on. Samples allow you to feel the paper and see the print quality before going live and selling under your brand name.

Evaluate the POD provider's support

Other important considerations when finding a provider include the customer support they offer. Some companies will direct you to online forums to troubleshoot your issues, while others, like Gelato, offer chat and email support, a resource center, and forums to get your questions answered.

Ensure compatibility with your ecommerce business

Additionally, ensure that whichever provider you choose has integrations with ecommerce platforms, including Etsy, Shopify, and WooCommerce, which you may already be using or need in the future to run your poster store.

With easy integrations into various ecommerce shops, creators can easily start creating and selling posters with Gelato. With high-quality printing capabilities and premium paper options, your customers will be blown away by the poster that arrives on their doorstep.

3. Choose a platform for your online store

choosing a platform

Once you've finalized the poster designs and chosen your print on demand provider, it's time to identify the best platform for your online store. Each selling platform listed has its own strengths and drawbacks for running a poster business, so keep your business goals and target audience in mind as you explore this section and determine what's best for your poster business.

Ecommerce platforms (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce)

Selecting an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce will give you complete control of your online store. You will design and upload any branding elements, determine pricing and product offerings, and have total ownership of the success of your store. From marketing tools to customer data, ecommerce platforms provide helpful resources to successfully launch and scale an online poster store.

Ecommerce platforms also require more upfront costs when compared to a marketplace environment like Etsy. You'll be responsible for hosting fees, design costs, and payment processing. Driving traffic to your Shopify store and making sales is entirely on you, which can be challenging early on if you don't already have a large following or social presence.

Online marketplaces (e.g., Etsy, eBay, Redbubble)

For a boost in traffic and a large customer base, Etsy or eBay are popular online marketplaces that can be effective avenues to sell posters online.

Marketplaces are used by businesses just starting out with limited technical skills; launching an ecommerce store can be challenging, so many opt for the simple route to get started. However, with a simple setup also comes limited customization; Etsy and similar marketplaces don't offer a lot of personalization within the shop itself, which can be difficult for creative sellers who want to showcase their talent.

Social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)

Many small shops have found significant success selling their products through Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Social media is an easy, free way to promote products, interact with potential customers, and build brand awareness and authority in your niche. As you start selling posters online, social media is a fantastic resource that will give you beneficial feedback on what your core target audience likes, how they shop, and what they expect from the brands they invest in.

Your own website

Selling posters on your own website has unique perks and flaws as well. Building your own website gives you total control of your product listings, branding, messaging, and, ultimately, the survival of your brand.

If you're running a shop and selling posters online through your own site, the only one in control is you. There will be a learning curve as you build your site, figure out how to upload products, and develop coding skills, but many business owners prefer to have that skill set and learn as they go. Lastly, marketplaces and ecommerce platforms often require listing and order fees, which can eat into your profits.

4. Set up your online poster store

setting up online store

Set up your storefront

Once you've chosen a platform, it's time to set up your storefront. Start by creating a store name and logo that is simple, catchy, and memorable. The online store name can represent your specific products, like wall art or vintage posters, or be something unique to you personally.

Design your branding

Design your online store and layout using your logo, branding, color scheme, and any visual elements that fit your brand. This will create customer loyalty as they associate your brand with high-quality custom posters and a consistent look and feel every time they visit your shop.

Develop your pricing strategy

Perform thorough research before listing your posters, so you know what competitors are charging. When determining the price of your printed posters, factor in the cost of poster production and shipping so your profit is still significant.

Use high-quality product images

When uploading products to an online poster store, using high-quality photos and video is essential. Quality imagery showcases your professionalism and will build trust and credibility in your work. Craft detailed product descriptions that provide relevant information about the product's dimensions, paper materials, the ink used, and more.

Optimize your product listings

For SEO purposes, utilize keywords in your product listings, descriptions, and tags so your poster store will gain more visibility online.

Finalize your payment and shipping details

Finally, set up the appropriate payment and shipping options for your customers. Some ecommerce platforms will do this automatically during the creation of your shop, while others give the seller control.

5. Promote your poster business

promoting business

Leverage social media

Social media is one of the most powerful tools a small business can utilize to launch products, build a loyal fanbase, and start selling. Get feedback on design ideas, interact with your audience, and share unique discount codes and promotions for followers on your social media pages to engage, build trust, and scale your poster business.

Collaborate with influencers

You can set up collaborations with influencers in your space; for example, partnering with an influencer who shares unique home decor is an effective way to get your artwork in front of thousands (or more!) of people.

Attend in-person events

In-person events, like craft shows and art fairs, are great places to showcase your poster designs and allow people to experience your art in real life. It can be challenging for an online business to show original artwork without a physical space, and events can help boost sales and connect you with potential buyers.

Build your email list

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways a business can communicate with customers and leads. Even when you're just starting out with your poster business, you can send a few emails a month to your customer base to announce new promotions, share new designs, and provide shop updates.

Poster design tips

design tips

Here are a few design tips that will keep your creative juices flowing and help you to avoid overcomplicating things.

  • Focus on making each poster design pop; it's wall art, after all! Lean into complementary and contrasting colors for vivid imagery and visual appeal.

  • Keep things simple and uncomplicated by sticking to one or two fonts, minimal graphic elements, and a few colors.

  • Always think of branding - utilize fonts, colors, and graphics that align with your brand, style, and messaging to create a recognizable, consistent product.

  • Whatever fonts you choose, make sure they're legible and easy to understand.

  • Get creative with the design elements by rearranging them, flipping inside out or upside down, experimenting with patterns, and doing other visual exercises to create unique framed posters or canvas prints.

  • When you're ready to share with the world, do a soft launch with your friends and family to get initial feedback on your designs. You can rework as you see fit, then ask for feedback from your audience on social media for additional insight. Just be sure to watermark any designs that you plan to post online to prevent them from being stolen or copied.

Build a profitable online poster business with Gelato

By following the steps we discussed in this article, your ecommerce business will be ready to start selling in no time. With a solid foundation, a reliable print on demand partner, and high-quality designs, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Ready to start selling posters online with Gelato? Showcase your original art in beautiful ways with our assortment of high-quality paper, including museum-quality matte paper, premium matte paper, classic matte paper, premium semi-glossy paper, and classic semi-glossy paper.

With integrations to the most popular marketplaces and ecommerce platforms, including Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, Squarespace, and BigCommerce, it's no wonder why more small shops are turning to Gelato to support their production process, improve quality, and boost sales.


Next steps

Start selling posters with Gelato