Creating different means of generating revenue is very possible and highly recommended too. Think of it this way, maybe you have a good paying 9 – 5, but what happens if you get sick with a condition that restricts the number of hours you can put in at work?
Or maybe you run a business that depends on only one type of product or service. Truth is, every business has it’s peak and valleys espercially with clients or seasons, but if you have more than one source of income, you can fall back on the others if something goes wrong with one.
If you are also thinking about scaling as an entrepreneur or increasing how much you make each year, best believe that you cannot achieve any of that by doing the same thing without working on how to diversify your streams of income.
You might be wondering how you can possibly clone yourself to work multiple jobs or handle different businesses? Well, even though the goal is to multiply your streams of income, you must not always directly trade your time for money before you can grow some businesses. Such business models are tagged passive income businesses.
Any source of income in your business that allows you to build a type of product or content once and also allows you to re-sell such product over and over again without additional effort, is known as a passive income business.
In the realm of online business, the phrase “passive income” is frequently used, although it can be a little misleading. Even though passive income is ultimately passive, it is actually fairly busy in the beginning, and it typically requires a period of action to keep everything going smoothly and consistently. This source of income is excellent for generating recurring money to your business that will eventually run auto pilot, allowing you to concentrate on other business-related activities.
In todays’s article, I will be showing you how to create a passive income business by selling simple stationery products. When you think of stationeries, your mind probably wanders to all the exciting paper products you can find in a book store, so yes, my guess is that you still wonder how you can build a passive income business considering a stationer (literally anyone that sells stationeries) has to deal with sourcing for materials, storage, packaging, deliveries and more.
When I talk about making money passively from stationeries, I am not exactly refering to a physical brick and mortar stationery store. My focus is on digital stationery products. Digital stationeries can be created and sold online in different formats. You can decide to sell printable stationeries which your customers will buy and print themselves or you can choose to sell digital planning, journaling or note taking products that your customers will eventually use on digital devices like tablets and Ipads.
Trends and technology have made it possible for you to design various types of paper products that you can sell digitally while eliminating most of the reponsibilities that come with selling physical stationery products. The difference is that instead of having to prepare and package the stationery products like any other physical product, you will instead be creating the files and delivery them in digital formats, mostly PDF for your customers to print themselves or use directly on digital devices.
The price point for selling digital stationeries is of course lower than when you actually print the products yourself, but think of how much you can generate from selling the same digital stationery products over and over again without having to add any additional effort or input after you have actually created the product. Now, that’s where things really begin to get passive.
How to get started selling printable or digital stationeries online
There are several key things you have to work on when you are new to selling digital stationeries, but once you have been able to set up your selling and marketing strategies right, you can be sure to start generating passive income with your digital stationery business, while your online processes continue to run on auto pilot. Your initial work flow would include:
Market reserach to identify the best stationery products to create, when to create them and the audience to target
It’s very important for you to consider who your stationery products are for and what problems you are trying to solve before you start the design process. Even when you are designing stationery products that are for all genders, age groups or demographics, you can still try to identify the best seasons to sell different types of stationeries.
Choosing the e-commerce platform to sell your digital stationery products
Before you can sell your digital stationery products, you must setup an online shop using any of the available marketplaces that allow you to list digital stationery products like Etsy, Gumroad, Amazon, Sellfy e.t.c or you can build your own shop on any hosted or self hosted platform like Woocomerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Ecwid e.t.c.
Keyword research to identify the search terms your customers are using to look for these digital stationery products
The success of any digital store depends on if your ideal customers are able to find your shop and your products. There are so many online marketing hacks and tricks to get your digital business in the forefront of your customers, but gathering data on the search terms your customers are using and incorporating these terms to your product description makes the entire process way easier regardless of what platform you are using to sell your products. Once you have chosen the platform to sell your products which could be online marketplaces or hosted and self hosted platforms, you will be able to determine the best tool(s) for generating keyword research data.
Creating and designing your digital stationery products
Thanks to a free and easy design tool like Canva, it won’t take you so much time to create your stationery products, plus there are lots of commercial rights P.L.R. templates you can purchase to give you a good headstart once you have decided what digital stationery product to create.
Optimising your product listings, descriptions and images
It’s one thing to design products that your customers need and It’s another to give your customers more reason to buy such digital stationery products from your own store and not your competitor’s. This is where your product images and listing descriptions come in.
Marketing your digital stationery products
Selling digital stationery products definitely comes with the responsibility of promoting your products so as to create awareness and increase sales. To acheive this, you must be ready to take advantage of email marketing and social media because they provide the best means of providing visibility for any online business.
Learn how to use Pinterest to market your shop on Etsy
Now that we have pointed out what is required to sell digital stationery products, let’s move forward and talk about the different types of digital stationery products you can start selling even as complete beginner.
Best Selling Digital Stationeries
There are so many fantastic printables or digital stationeries to sell that it’s difficult to pick just one. To be successful, you must identify your ideal audience’s pain points and create designs to satisfy their needs.
If you’re stuck on what to sell, Pinterest and marketplaces like Etsy and Creativemarket can help. These platforms feature some of the best-selling digital products, which you can create and sell on any eCommerce platform of your choice.
Even when you decide to get inspiration from pinterest or any marketplace, you must not steal designs from other creatives or sellers. It is not only wrong, it also makes you a plagiarist and you could run into serious copyright issues.
Printable planners are digital templates that can be downloaded and printed for personal use as a physical planner. They often come in PDF format and can include daily, weekly, and monthly layout options, as well as tracking pages for goals, habits, and other personal or professional information. They can be easily modified to fit an individual’s specific needs although you won’t have to worry about printing them before they can be delivered to your customers. Some bestselling planners include:
Digital planners are digital versions of traditional paper planners, designed to be used on electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. They typically offer many of the same features as paper planners, including daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly views, to-do lists, goal tracking, and more. The advantage of digital planners is that they can be accessed and updated from anywhere, can be synced across multiple devices, and often include additional features like automated reminders and the ability to attach files and notes. They can be used with a variety of software, such as note-taking apps, productivity suites, and specialized planner apps, and can be purchased or downloaded for free online.
Printable journals refer to journals that can be printed and written on by hand. These are typically in the form of PDF files that can be downloaded and printed out on paper. Printable journals can range from blank pages for daily journaling, to pre-designed pages with prompts for self-reflection or goal setting. They can also come in various sizes and styles, such as bullet journals or planner-style journals. Just like printable planners, once you have successfully designed your digital journals, you can sell hundreds to thousands of the same journal files repeatedly without any additional effort.
Greeting cards offer a convenient and personalised way to send greetings to friends, family and loved ones. You can create greeting card designs layed out across different sizes for your customers to print and cut themselves. Printable cards can be anything from birthday cards, wedding invitation cards, affirmation cards, Easter cards, business cards, and more. They are currently one of the best printable ideas to sell. Some cards like birthday cards or affirmation cards sell all year round, while some others cards like christmas cards sell seasonally. You can design printable cards as ready to print templates or you can allow your customers personalise the design futher before they download and print.
Stickers are essentially pieces of designed paper or material with adhesive on one side, designed to be attached to a surface. Printable stickers come in all shapes and sizes, and can be used for a variety of purposes; from promotion and marketing to simply adding a splash of personality to an otherwise mundane item. You can design and layout different types of stickers for your customers to print and cut after they purchase them from you.
Unlike printable stickers, digital stickers are not printed out, they are instead used on digital devices with digital planning and note taking apps. Digital stickers are usually sold alongside digital journals or digital planners.
A checklist is a list of items required, or a list of things to be done, or points to be considered. It is used as a reminder and it helps you stay organised. People use a checklist to keep track of items that need to be completed; such as a list of tasks to do before leaving for vacation – making sure that they pack all the important items before traveling.
Printable trackers are designed to help you stick to your goals and track your progress. People use trackers to track a variety of different goals, including personal growth goals, fitness goals, career goals, educational goals and more.
Useful Tips to succeed as a Digital Stationery Seller
Consider niching down – When you begin, you can niche down so you don’t get overwhelmed. Niching down helps you to focus more on a particular market and you will continue to get more ideas of what they are buying. Rather than creating a generic daily planner, you can create a wellness planner or a homeschool planner. It will be easy for you to find groups with people looking for these types of products.
Never Steal another seller’s work: Do not be tempted to copy other sellers designs online. Try to make your product as unique as possible even after you have gathered inspiration from different platforms.
Buy Commecial Right Templates – Even if you are not a designer, you can purchase different commercial right templates and creatively come up with your own products. Commercial right templates have been designed by a creative who is ready to give you the rights to sell the template as your own after you have customised the design to a certain extent. Such templates are usually purchased with a License that explains what rights you have and what you can and can’t do with the templates.
Choose a platform you are comfortable with: There are so many options available for you when you decide to start selling your digital stationery products. Make sure to decide if you want th use marketplaces or if you want to build your own website. Your choice should depend on what you can and can’t handle. Regardless of the platform you choose, your focus should be on making sure you are helping your customers solve a problem plus you also need to learn how to effectively promote your products.
Ensure you are delivering your products in the highest quality: Since your products are going to be digital files, ensure you are giving your customers the best quality in terms of file resolution. It’s possible you will be selling mainly PDF files although some products may require you to deliver other file formats.
Now that you have gotten the basics on what you need to get started, now is the time for you to take action and start creating and selling.