For those who don’t know, Zazzle is a print on demand website. This means that individuals can create designs for products, and when these products sell, the designers will get a basic royalty for their input (royalty set by designer, usually <15%).
I started my journey with print on demand many years ago. I was a British graduate fresh out of university, and I was planning on moving abroad with my husband, so I wasn’t looking to start a full time job. We spent the year after graduating visiting family in the US, and I had a lot of time to doodle and paint, something which I hadn’t had the time for since high school. On a whim, I added some of these designs to Zazzle, making a few collections in a very poorly set up shop *cringe.*
Life got busy again, and it was only after about a year that I looked back on my store. To my surprise, one of my designs had caught on, and I had made around $70. As someone who had never believed that I could make any money out of being creative, this was an amazing find! My favourite art teacher had always told us “no-one needs artists! If you really want to make it in life try anything else. Perhaps plumbing?!” (He might sound like a jerk but he was actually wonderful.)
Needless to say, I was pretty happy. I worked hard on opening a new store that was better organised. Over the next few years I have worked in my free time (while still working full time) to add new products and designs and improve the overall user experience for those who find their way into my store. There have been several months when I didn’t have any time to devote to Zazzle, but the time that I have been able to give has always been rewarded. Last year I hit ‘Pro Bronze’ on Zazzle, and really decided that I need to be investing more time into this ‘hobby.' My Zazzle income now covers our rent, as well as a little to spare! For anyone considering opening a Zazzle store, I would hugely recommend it.
In this blog I want to share some of the tips and tricks I have learnt over the last few years, for those hoping to make a passive income through Zazzle, as well as some of my favourite personalized designs for babies and kids. I hope that by reading this you will be able to avoid the many mistakes that I’ve made. There’s nothing more frustrating than pouring your heart into something before realising that you’ve been doing it wrong the whole time. Stay tuned!
Teacher and designer. Ramblings about life, illustration, and personalised gifts.