When I first started out with print on demand I made sellers accounts with every platform that I could. However many platforms soon fell by the wayside when I realized how much more I enjoyed the user experience on the Zazzle platform.
Redbubble was one of the platforms I played around with off and on for a while. But over time I started to let it slip away.
More recently, I’ve been looking at my Redbubble shop and seeing a lot of untapped potential within my niche.
So here is a breakdown of how my shop has done over the last 4 years and what I plan to do going forward. My hope is that by reading through my experience and analysis you can learn something that will help you make your shop more successful as well.
Let’s start from the beginning
To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure exactly when I opened my Redbubble shop, but I know it was some time in 2019 as my first sale was in December of that year.
I sold a sticker for Spina Bifida. Super random.
For the most part, I was uploading my seamless patterns and I tried to submit artwork for the fan art program for Rick and Morty. I had a bunch of designs approved and then later taken down for copyright infringement even though they had been approved previously. It was a very strange and frustrating experience for me and I don’t do fan art anymore.
I sold some masks in 2020, that was the majority of my sales that year. But nothing like the mask sales I had in my Zazzle shop, check out my Zazzle 2020 income report here to see what I mean.
Although they didn’t amount to much, as you can see in my payment history, I received my first payout in December of 2020. A whole year since my first sale!
Finding My Niche
In December of 2020, I stumbled upon my current niche. A friend of mine had asked me to make some stickers for her for a very specific topic.
So I went ahead creating a handful of designs for her and I also uploaded them to Redbubble. I didn’t think much of it, until they started selling in late February.
All of a sudden I was making *somewhat* consistent sales, just a few sales a month.
I had made $9 in all of 2020, and with these new products I received a $25 payout in May of 2021.
It’s still small fries, but a big difference nonetheless.
When I realized the niche was selling well, I uploaded more designs and made enough sales to get paid out another 4 times that year.
But making $30 every couple of months isn’t a huge income stream and as I said before, I don’t love the user experience of the Redbubble platform. So I didn’t put much more time into it. I believe I had around 60-70 designs uploaded in that niche in 2021.
Letting My Shop Be
In 2022, I barely touched the shop. I was busy focusing on my Zazzle store , my job, my other website, and life. Looking back at my shop portfolio, it looks like I uploaded 4 designs that whole year.
However, I continued to make sales throughout 2022. And I was paid out a total of 8 times for a total of $321.52.
Nothing spectacular, but I barely touched my shop that year. So no complaints from my end.
In 2023, not much changed. I have made consistent sales and so far I’ve been paid out 5 times with 3 full months left to go.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, when Redbubble implemented their new tiered system, my shop was placed in the Standard tier.
This is not at all surprising because, as I mentioned earlier, I had barely uploaded anything in almost 2 years. And I didn’t market my shop.
I have done a few things since the change to hopefully get my shop bumped up to the Premium tier this year.
- I deleted all of my designs that weren’t specific to the niche I am selling in. So all of those random seamless patterns, gone.
- I opened a Pinterest account and started consistently sharing my designs.
- I have been creating new artwork in my niche to upload to my shop consistently.
Analyzing the Data
Once I deleted all of the random designs that didn’t fit my niche I was down to a total of 70 designs. That’s not a lot.
Of those 70 designs there are tons of color and font variations of the same designs and usually in that case only one or two of those variations have actually sold. So I only had like 10-15 truly unique designs in my shop.
And then I started looking at my sales history. Not counting the mask sales and the spina bifida sticker sale in 2019 and 2020, I had 36 designs that sold over 900 times from 2021 to now (September of 2023.)
4 designs sold over 100 times each.
6 sold over 15 times.
And the rest sold less than 10 times.
My Plan + Goal Going Forward
In the last 12 months, I’ve made about $360 on Redbubble.
And I would like to 10X that.
In theory, if I 10X the designs, I should be able to 10X my sales.
I know it won’t work exactly like that, but it’s something tangible to stick to.
So now I am on a mission to get to 1,000 designs in my Redbubble shop by the end of the year.
I realized that’s a bit more than 10X the products – it’s more like 14X – but I want to make sure I hit my monetary goals and ultimately Redbubble is a bit of a numbers game.
I started creating new text based designs earlier this week and I’m already up to 125 total designs in my shop.
Only 875 to go!
As I publish new designs, I immediately promote them on Pinterest straight from the Redbubble platform. That’s not ideal and you *should* be creating proper sized pins and uploading them manually, but I’ll save that for my designs that perform the best down the line.
I’ve already started to see a very small amount of traffic trickling in from Pinterest. And a bit more engagement on my Pinterest profile.
I’m hoping that by being more consistent about uploading new artwork and consistently bringing new people to my shop through my Pinterest promotion strategy that Redbubble will bump me up to Premium tier by the end of the year.
I believe that where you put your attention and focus is what will grow, so my Redbubble shop is about to get a bunch of attention and love.
I’m curious, have you or has anyone you know managed to get their shop from standard to premium? What were the steps taken to move up?
Let me know in the comments!
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– My Recommended Tools –
Below are my personal favorite tools that I use regularly in my POD business.
The below links are affiliate links meaning I may receive a small commission for anything purchased through these links at no extra cost to you.
Creative Fabrica – My favorite place to get graphics with a straightforward commercial license for print on demand use.
- Get Creative Fabrica’s All Access Free Trial for one week here ($9.00 a month after that.)
- Get Creative Fabrica’s Yearly All Access Subscription for $59.88 here.
Adobe Illustrator – I use Adobe Illustrator for at least half of my design creations. It’s pricey but so worth it when you choose to take the business seriously. Get a free trial to Adobe Illustrator here.
Graphics Tablet – My partner got me this exact tablet as a Christmas gift when I was just starting out with creating my own designs. It has served me well now for several years and it was a very low cost investment that made a big impact in my POD business.
Ergonomic Mouse – If you spend long hours at the computer like me I highly recommend investing in a good ergonomic mouse. Over the years, I have caused an injury in my hand/wrist from being at the computer so much, but my pain has gotten significantly better since getting this ergonomic mouse on Amazon.