Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Profitable Print-On-Demand Business

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Profitable Print-On-Demand Business

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Print-on-Demand?
  3. Passive vs Active Print-on-Demand
  4. Finding Design Ideas
  5. Using ChatGPT for Design Ideas
  6. Checking Copyrights with Merch Informer
  7. Designing with Placeit
  8. Uploading Designs to TeePublic
  9. Additional Print-on-Demand Websites
  10. Conclusion


In this comprehensive print-on-demand tutorial, we will go step-by-step through the process of starting a print-on-demand business, from generating design ideas to uploading designs on various print-on-demand websites. Print-on-demand is a business model where you create T-shirt designs and upload them onto websites, and the website handles all of the printing, shipping, and customer service for you. It's a great way to start a business without the need for inventory or upfront costs.

What is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand is a business model in which you create T-shirt designs and upload them to print-on-demand websites. These websites handle the printing, shipping, and customer service for you. Customers can purchase your designs on T-shirts and other products offered by the websites, and you earn a profit from each sale. Print-on-demand eliminates the need for inventory and upfront costs, making it a popular choice for aspiring entrepreneurs.


  • No need for inventory or upfront costs
  • Print-on-demand websites handle printing, shipping, and customer service
  • Easy to get started


  • Limited control over the printing process
  • Profit margins can be lower compared to self-printing or bulk ordering

Passive vs Active Print-on-Demand

There are two main types of print-on-demand: passive and active. In passive print-on-demand, you create T-shirt designs and upload them to websites, relying on the websites to handle the marketing and sales. This allows you to earn passive income without much effort. In active print-on-demand, you create your own website, drive your own traffic, and build your own clothing brand. While active print-on-demand gives you more control and potential for branding, it also requires more time and effort.

Pros of Passive Print-on-Demand:

  • Earn passive income
  • Minimal effort required
  • Websites handle marketing and sales

Pros of Active Print-on-Demand:

  • More control over branding
  • Potential for higher profit margins
  • Opportunity to build a clothing brand

Finding Design Ideas

When starting a print-on-demand business, it's essential to find design ideas that are unique, appealing, and relevant to your target audience. One way to find design ideas is by browsing popular print-on-demand websites like Etsy, which offers a wide range of creative listings. Another powerful tool is ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence product created by OpenAI. ChatGPT can generate copyright-free T-shirt slogans and design ideas based on your niche.

Pros of Browsing Etsy for Design Ideas:

  • Access to a wide range of creative listings
  • Inspiration for design slogans

Pros of Using ChatGPT for Design Ideas:

  • Copyright-free T-shirt slogans and design ideas
  • Quick and efficient way to generate design ideas

Checking Copyrights with Merch Informer

To ensure that your design ideas are copyright-free, it's important to check if any trademarks or copyrights protect them. One way to do this is by manually searching for trademarks through the government website. However, a more efficient option is using Merch Informer, a paid tool that automates the trademark checking process. Merch Informer allows you to paste your design slogans and quickly check if they are copyright protected.

Pros of Using Merch Informer:

  • Efficient trademark checking process
  • Saves time compared to manual searching

Designing with Placeit

Creating visually appealing designs is crucial for the success of your print-on-demand business. Placeit is a powerful tool that offers a wide range of print-on-demand templates and graphics. It allows you to create professional designs without the need for graphic design experience. Placeit offers copyright-free templates, fonts, and graphics, making it a valuable resource for designing engaging T-shirts.

Pros of Using Placeit:

  • No graphic design experience required
  • Wide range of copyright-free templates and graphics
  • Easy to use interface

Uploading Designs to TeePublic

TeePublic is one of the popular print-on-demand websites where you can upload your T-shirt designs. It offers a simple and user-friendly upload interface. When uploading your designs, it's important to give them a title, description, and relevant tags. TeePublic also allows you to specify the default color of your design and the available colors for customers to choose from.

Pros of Uploading Designs to TeePublic:

  • User-friendly upload interface
  • Free off-site marketing
  • Wide range of products available for customization

Additional Print-on-Demand Websites

In addition to TeePublic, there are several other print-on-demand websites where you can upload your designs and expand your reach. These include Redbubble, Merch on Demand (Amazon), Zazzle, and Teespring. These websites offer different features, products, and outreach, giving you the opportunity to reach a broader customer base.

Pros of Using Additional Print-on-Demand Websites:

  • Increased exposure and potential sales
  • Diversification of revenue streams
  • Access to different customer bases


Starting a print-on-demand business is an excellent opportunity to turn your design ideas into a profitable venture. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this tutorial, you can generate design ideas, ensure copyright protection, create engaging designs, and upload them to popular print-on-demand websites. Remember to choose the right websites for your business and optimize your listings for maximum visibility and sales. With dedication and creativity, you can build a successful print-on-demand business and earn passive income.