This is the painful truth – most of you won’t make much money on Society6 or any other POD (print on demand) site, if you make any money at all.
Like apps and indie games, you are competing in an already over-saturated market. Your work will have to be noticed among every other design to potentially get views, let alone make even one sale.
You’ll also have to compete with copyright infringement claims, plagiarism and people undercutting your prices. You’ll also have to battle your own disappointment when sales don’t immediately start rolling in.
However, with the right amount of effort you can start to generate a small trickle of sales which might end up becoming a decent side income.
You will of course hear stories of people making a decent yearly income from selling their designs, but this is not the norm so don’t go in with that expectation.
On Society6 for example, only a single percentage of all stores will ever make a substantial income. The rest will make okay sales from time to time but the vast majority of people won’t make a single dollar.
The trick is to be active in marketing. Although some Facebook groups / pages allow you to promote your work, this only really serves to get your likes up to a point that your design might be promoted by the site. That’s no guarantee of sales. You need customer eyes on a product more than internal site promotion, which means advertising your work yourself. You will mostly rely on social media posts but paid advertising can be beneficial as well.
Twitter is relatively useless unless you can hashtag keywords well and schedule your tweets to hit peak times for specific markets. It’s a lot of work for low sales.
I’ll use my own experience as an example.
I joined Society6 in 2014 and have posted around 20 or so designs. I scrapped at least 5 or so because they were underperforming.
Out of the remaining designs, only 3 or 4 get noticeable sales. The total amount I’ve made in 2 years is around US$350.
I diversify and sell on Redbubble as well. It makes a few sales from time to time, but different designs seem to be performing better there. Still, I’ve only made around US$50.
To get any kind of momentum for sales took a good 6 months to a year. Some months I make nothing, others I can make $20 or so.
At least Redbubble offers Google Analytics, a feature long overdue for Society6. It helps you see what people are looking at and what catches their eye the most.
I’m sorry if you were looking for a step-by-step guide to making a fortune. If there were simple steps to follow, I’d be raking in the profits from Society6 and from all the ad revenue on this post alone.
Still I hope this was of some help – even if it just gave you a reality check. Best of luck with your sales and be sure to comment below or send me questions if you have any.