Print-on-Demand – Quantity or Quality?

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by Bank K.

We all know that the easiest way to build a print-on-demand business is just keep uploading new products to your store.

If we place lots of products in as many niches as possible, we can attract more traffic and sell more. It’s as simple as that.

But the question is, is it spamming the marketplaces if we upload tons of products? Is it better to focus on quality over quantity?

Well, I’ve seen the discussions like this over the past few months in the print-on-demand groups. It’s an interesting topic.

In this post, I’ll share my thoughts and tell you how I currently manage my Print-on-Demand empire.

Start With Quality

Okay, I believe most people would say that Quality is what we should focus on.

We have to create high-quality products and not destroy the market! People will get tired of scrolling down to find the products they want if all of us upload tons of products to the marketplaces.

Quality is definitely a good thing.

But first we have to define what quality is.

I categorize Quality from two points of view:

  1. Design Quality
  2. Research and Listing Quality.

Let’s look at the first one: Design Quality.

This is about the product design. We all know that simple text designs sell easily because they’re easy to read and most people buy products because of the message.

Last year, the top-selling mug on Amazon was a mug with a message that said “Mother’s Day 2020 – The one where we were quarantined.” The design uses the Friends (TV series) font.

The second bestseller was one of mine. It was a mug with a funny sentence with one font style in black and aligned in the center. It has sold over 14,000 units since it was launched.

I’m not sure this one counts as a good quality design or not.

Some people might say it’s not and that “good” design must be beautiful and contain something arty like these mugs.

But the truth is simple text designs like these sell well.

Anyway, let’s say we don’t want our prospect to tire of scrolling down the results pages on Amazon or Etsy. We’ll create only beautiful artistic designs.

But not all of us are good at graphic design. So let’s say we can create 10 nice designs per day, then spend the rest of the day creating and uploading products to marketplaces.

In this scenario, we’ll be able to upload 10 products a day to Amazon and Etsy.

But our awesome designs won’t sell without the second thing I mentioned: Research and Listing Quality.

Actually, you have to do market research first, then create a design. And then do keyword research to create a listing that sells.

Okay, we already know that we’ll create 10 designs a day. Next, we have to choose some niches to create these 10 designs for.

There are TONS of niches. Which ones should we choose?

To find out, we check the trends and create products accordingly. Like, Mother’s Day is coming up in the next few months, so we have to create Mother’s Day-related designs.

Okay, so we will find 10 quotes to create designs with and upload 10 products to Amazon and Etsy every day. If we keep doing that, we’ll have 300 products on Amazon and Etsy at the end of the month.

It’s possible to make many sales using this approach. Stick to the trends!

But other people will be doing exactly the same thing. There will be tons of Mother’s Day products. How do you compete with them all?

Hey Bank! Our designs are beautiful. Don’t you remember?

Okay, let’s say you’re a great designer and an Amazon and Etsy SEO expert. Or you’ve hired an amazing graphic designer to create designs and you pay $5 for each one. (Come on! I don’t think you’ll get a great design for $5).

Sure, your products might sell with those great designs, even if there are a thousand other Mother’s Day Mugs out there.

But what about the rest of the year? What niches will you create products for next?

Okay, let’s say you want to crush an evergreen niche, like the professions. Which professions will you select?

If you can create 10 products a day, you can select 10 niches max each day. Don’t forget that there are hundreds of quotes that might work in each niche. Which quotes will you select?

We all know that the Engineering, Nursing, and Teaching always have the potential to produce great sales.

But when we create many products in these niches, we rarely make a sale. Why? Because other people are thinking the same way you are, so these niches are very competitive.

Actually, there are tons of *hidden* niches where you can make money, but it’s difficult to find them if you’re listing only 10 products a day.

Did you know that niches like Human Resource Specialist and Warden are selling well? There are many hidden niches like these where I’m enjoy selling with much less competition.

Only 121 results for “warden mug” on Amazon!

It would be difficult for me to find them if I was just listing 10 products a day.

There are thousands of professions. If I listed only 5-10 per day, it would take months to find these winning niches.

Also, what if you’re no good at design and you hire a graphic designer to create great designs for you?

Let’s say you ask the designer to create a design for $5 (a very low price for a great design). If you want 10 designs a day, you’ll have to fork out $50 a day.

As I said earlier, you don’t know which niches might make you some money yet. You have to do your research, create 10 products a day, and try to find winning niches.

Let’s say you upload 10 products a day, or 300 products a month. You have to pay $50 a day ($1,500 a month) for these great designs.

You might find some winning niches from these great 300 products.

Maybe. I don’t know.

Okay, that’s all I’ll say about Market Research.

Next, let’s talk about Listing Quality.

Actually, I think Listing Quality is much more important than Design Quality.

You might have a beautiful design, but it won’t sell if you don’t have the right product title or keywords. If these don’t contain the words people use to search, they won’t find your product. It will be invisible to them.

In contrast, you’ll be able to make *some* sales if your product is visible to people, even if your design isn’t beautiful. If your design, product title, and keywords are all good, you’ll be able to make many more sales.

Okay, that’s all for Listing Quality.

What If We Focus on Quantity?

Focusing on quantity alone is NOT the right approach.

Although there are many ways to create and upload products fast nowadays, you shouldn’t focus on only quantity.

We still have to focus on Design, Research, and Listing Quality.

I’ve talked to a few of my students. They were wondering why they had over 8,000 products on Amazon still hadn’t made a sale.

I asked them to send me the URLs to their stores so I could check out what they’d done. What I found was that most of the products had poor designs and non-optimized product titles.

The designs:

  • Contained too many colors
  • Contained objects or symbols that didn’t match the designs
  • Were hard to read
  • Were not well organized

These are the designs I don’t like, and I rarely see them on the top-selling list.

If you hire a graphic designer to create designs, you have to send him or her examples of top-selling mugs. Most of them have simple text designs.

Not only were the designs terrible. The product titles included no decent keywords. Product titles should contain keywords related to the product and that people use in their search.

I found a product that contained keywords like this:

Funny [NICHE] Mug – [QUOTE] – Anniversary Birthday Bday Christmas Xmas Wedding Graduation Mothers Fathers Valentines Day For Men Women Dad Mom Daughter Son

Well, which products are for all of these occasions and all of these people?

This title is not well optimized. Amazon or Etsy will find it and lower the ranking of your product.

I found another product with the title:

Keep Going, Keep Growing Coffee Mug

What keywords will people use to search for and find this mug? The quote, maybe?

You can have 10,000 products like this, but you won’t make many sales because people won’t find them.

How about Quality + Quantity?

This is what I currently do.

I focus on both Quality and Quantity.

Okay, let’s say we can create 10 good designs a day.

I usually let my designer create 10 good designs and save them as templates. Then, I use 1 template to create new designs for 100 select niches.

10 templates x 100 niches = 1,000 designs.

These designs won’t cost much, because the graphic designer will only have to change a word in the design. I normally ask the designer to create a design like this for $0.20 each.

Next, I upload these designs to 3 types of products, such as a white coffee mug, a shot glass, and a travel mug.

If you have more time or a tool to do the work for you, you can select more product types. There are other products, like two-tone mugs, camper mugs, and tumblers that also sell well.

Instead of uploading just 300 products a month, I have 3,000 or more products to upload in a month.

And don’t forget: these products are created from only 10 high-quality design templates. We change only the niche on the design (say, from Engineer to Nurse).

So the problem of people getting tired of scrolling down the product page will be solved. We’ve created plenty of good designs and uploaded them to different niches.

Next, apart from the designs, we also have to optimize the product title and keywords in the product listing.

I have a set of optimized keywords for different niches.

For example, for the profession niches, I have a set of keywords like:

“Coworker, Colleague, Occupation, [NICHE] Day, etc.”

For the dog-breed niches, I have a different set of keywords, such as:

“Dog Lover, Puppy, Pet, Dog Dad, Dog Mom, etc.”

I use these keywords to create product titles and keywords for the product listing. Preparing keywords this way will help you make a list of product titles and keywords fast.

Now you have some tricks you can use to create good quality products in a short time.

To Sum Up

Well, as you can see, it’s not necessary to focus on only Quality or Quantity. It’s actually not a good idea to focus on just one thing because of the reasons I’ve explained above.

You might have great designs, but they won’t sell if your products are in a competitive niche. Also, it’s hard to explore untapped niches if you create only a few products per day.

On one hand, you might have 10,000 products, but they won’t sell as well if your designs are junk or product titles are not optimized.

In my opinion, it’s better to focus on both quality and quantity at the same time.

We can create good-quality designs fast and use a tool like PODTurbo to schedule the uploads to the marketplaces. You can choose to upload 10, 20, 50, 100, or 200 a day.

So why choose? 🙂

—Bank K.

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