1. POD sites and niches: how to choose one?
Updated: May 8
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What are POD sites? How can they bring me money?
POD sites are print-on-demand websites where you can create your own designs and prints for yourself to buy or to sell them online without having to deal with production, customer support, payments, etc.
As an artist, you’ve probably heard a lot about POD sites and how artists, designers, and ordinary people are making money through them with little effort. WRONG. Yes, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to sell on these sites, but you do need to spend time and be consistent when it comes to uploading your designs. It also comes down to the niche you choose to pursue.
Choosing the right niche can be sometimes daunting and confusing because you need to make your store(s) look aesthetically pleasing and relatable to your niche.
For example, if you’re selling stickers but your designs are all patterns, or if you decide to make cute bear stickers store but you start selling bunny stickers. They don’t really match well together and just confuse your customers.
When you decide on a niche your store should be all about that niche and nothing else, if you decide to create other products outside your niche, it’s best to make another store. Do not mix multiple niches in one store, it will only confuse your customers and make you look unprofessional.
I made that mistake at the beginning because I didn’t have a niche. Mostly because I was still figuring out what my art style is. And what kind of designs I want to make, just illustration, just graphics, just typography. The problem is I love them all, that is why my stores are called @missinginart. Cause there is always something I’m missing when it comes to art, and I want to learn it and share it with others. There is one common factor with all my designs they are all on the kawaii side of art.
Going back on the topic of NICHES. What the heck is a NICHE?
A niche is a specific topic around which you build your business.
For example, you are a crochet enthusiast, and you know a lot about it, your store would be focused on crochet items such as wool, hooks, needles, crocheting quotes, memes, ext. So, you could be making stickers related to crocheting, or t-shirts for crocheters, and so on.
How do you choose a niche?
First, you need to have specific knowledge around that niche, know all the sayings, memes, terminology because it will save you time in learning all the proper terminology. So, the best niche would be one of your hobbies. What are you passionate about, what is your know-how?
On the other side, there is also one thing you need to be careful about, and that is not to use items, logos, mascots of other businesses because that could get your account banned and even your ass sued.
In a nutshell, don’t use copyrighted material (anything Disney, from famous movies, actors’ names, famous players, famous sports groups, etc.).
For example, if you love the Lakers. I would suggest staying away from specific players' names, their logos, their slogans. You can use fan-based quotes, memes, color combinations (I think, but I’m not sure), etc.
If you look around the web and see that your chosen niche is already too competitive, that too many people already are making designs around it, your best bet is to find a sub-niche that has people searching it but not a lot of people designing around it. In this part of the business, you need to be very analytical and do lots of research.
One step is done, you did the research and found your niche. Now what? What is the next step? Find out in the next weeks' blog post, in which I’ll talk about different POD sites and how you make money through them.