Last time, our founder talked about the different ways to make money with AI-generated images. The AI landscape is currently experiencing a “gold rush” phase, and numerous individuals are eager to learn how to capitalize on it.
There are tons of ways, actually. But we can focus on one strategy that is easy, simple, and can be started right away.
Print-on-demand (PoD) is one of the most ideal ways to generate income from AI art. PoD functions similarly to a dropshipping business, enabling you to collaborate with a supplier that provides white-label items – essentially, blank products devoid of logos and designs. This partnership allows you to imprint your unique AI-generated art on these products, transforming them into one-of-a-kind pieces.
In this article, we shall discuss how you can sell AI-generated images as custom products, as well as determine the platform that is just right for your needs.
Why You Should Sell AI-Generated Custom Products
Most PoD platforms and marketplaces handle the fulfillment, packaging, and shipping of your orders, saving you time and energy. All you need to do is learn how to create beautiful images with Midjourney or another AI art generator.
Your logos and designs will only be printed once an order has been confirmed, eliminating the costs (and headaches) of maintaining a large inventory.
While legions of artists are busy screaming against generative AI art all day, it may be more worthwhile to find ways how to leverage this fast-growing trend. It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist or not, as people are making bank with PoD+AI art.
People love custom products, especially if they are cute, cool, or beautiful. There is a strong demand and not enough people are doing it. Obviously, there’s money to be made. It’s not rocket science.
How to Make Money Selling AI Art on PoD Platforms
Undoubtedly, making a profit isn’t going to be a breeze, but since this industry is still in its infancy, there’s plenty of opportunity for exploration and development through trial and error. You don’t need to strive for perfection immediately, but it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. By the end of 2023, I predict that numerous online enthusiasts will have already started flooding this market.
So, seize the advantage of being an early adopter.
Choose a PoD Platform
The initial step is to identify a suitable marketplace that permits the sale of images generated with the help of AI (covered later in the article). Depending on your preference, you may choose a turnkey solution that provides a streamlined process, requiring only the creation of the artwork itself. Alternatively, you might prefer a DIY service that demands more hands-on involvement but grants increased control and potentially lower fees.
To distinguish your artwork from the creations of others, pay attention to the text prompts. By refining the words or commands used to generate the images, you can enhance your art’s uniqueness and appeal, ultimately capturing more attention and increasing sales on PoD platforms.
Be sure to check out our Midjourney Art Style Prompts Gigapack to learn the different styles and prompts that make images so breathtaking. It works with other generators as well.
Upload Your Work
Upload your images and choose the type of products you want to sell, whether they be clothing, mugs, bags, tumblers, stickers, phone cases; or literally anything.
After everything’s set up, you should be able to start making money.
Top 5 Platforms for Selling Custom AI Art Products
While not every marketplace is receptive to AI Art, I conducted thorough research and reached out to numerous platforms to identify those that welcome such a medium. The platforms on this list have varying degrees of strictness regarding quality and formatting, but they all accept AI art. As of today, these top platforms empower you to capitalize on your creative works by transforming them into customized products.
Redbubble: Large Community of Artists
Redbubble is a print-on-demand platform with an integrated online store to help designers sell their art and aid customers in finding the best items and offerings they can get. Established in 2006 in Australia, it has grown into a powerhouse of 700,000+ artists that generate income from their mesmerizing artworks.
There are two ways to sign up on the platform: As an artist or as a customer. To submit designs, you must register as an artist.
Click ‘Sell Your Art’ (which you can find by clicking your profile picture) and select ‘Add New Work’. From there, you can integrate your designs on different products and customize them at your will.
Rebubble has a wide network of third-party manufacturers who stand ready to produce extensive lists of products for you, such as t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, and a whole lot more.
You can also expand your portfolio and bring your designs to pet items such as pet blankets, mats, and bandanas, which my adorable Pomeranian would certainly love, ーand turn into pieces in minutes.
And in case you’re worried that some pesky members might pirate your designs, the platform offers a watermark and anti-piracy features to protect you.
When it comes to competing, it’s not too late to find an audience for your Midjourney or DALL-E 2 images. If you’re curious about the caliber of AI-generated art available on Redbubble, look no further than this example:
The artist sells t-shirts, spiral notebooks, iPhone cases, acrylic blocks, and canvas mount prints with this beautiful AI art. Think you can do better? I sure think I can.
Whether you’re impressed or underwhelmed, the arena remains wide for competing with other AI artists.
Displate: Customized Metal Posters
Displate is a platform that creates customized and magnet-mounted metal posters with glossy or matte finishes. You can also select different types of frames for your poster to match the theme of the image. Select from its wide range of genres, including gaming, anime, manga, space exploration (my favorite), nature&travel, interior design, and culture.
In case you’re interested in submitting your artwork on the platform, you may sign up and send a link to your artwork’s portfolio.
Out of the total sale value of your artwork, you’ll earn 50% commission (and) a 50% discount if you purchase your own artwork for gallery display and other events.
But upon signing up, you won’t have a digital store right away, as the Displate team will place your portfolio under review to ensure that your artworks meet the platform’s required quality and other guidelines.
“How do I install this metal poster?” you might ask. Here’s how:
Simply place the strong-adhesive sticker and the magnet (which comes inside the package) on your wall:
And stick your metal poster on the magnet. Voila! An instant conversation piece!
Apart from selecting a wide range of designs, you may also join its Displate Club, which offers valuable perks, including permanent discounts, free shipping, and a free Displate every 12 months!
And if someone’s reselling a Displate artwork, be sure to check out its Hologram of Authenticity sticker to determine if it’s genuine or not.
Spreadshirt: Ideal for Intermediate PoD Sellers
Spreadshirt is a PoD platform that provides done-for-you customized gifts, corporate and group items, stickers, and embroidered products. Yes, you can now turn your AI artwork into embroidered art!
With more than 250 types of products in its arsenal, you have a ready supply of items to sell or give away at your beck and call. If you’re planning to buy an item or check your potential competition, you can check its marketplace, which has thousands of customized products.
But if you intend to sell items, there are two ways to be a seller on Spreadshirt: Sell in the Marketplace or create your own online shop called Spreadshop.
And while these two places can help you sell and earn, they both have their pros and cons, which you must know.
By selling in Spreadshirt’s Marketplace, you can instantly gain traffic for free, as the platform handles the campaign ads spending. But your earnings in each product are all fixed, which means your revenue could be limited.
The opposite situation happens when you sell in Spreadshop. You’re in charge of your shop’s traffic and must make an effort to use every available channel to the fullest to bring customers into your store.
You must also be aware of your target groups to ensure that you’re spending time and resources on the right customers. But while it entails a bigger responsibility, selling in Spreadshop allows you to set the price you want.
Now, let’s talk about how you can sell your designs outside Spreadshirt.com’s platform.
First is expanding on company-owned marketplaces. Spreadshirt operates company-owned stores on Amazon and eBay, where designers can expand, sell their designs, and court a larger audience.
But the team clarified that specific criteria must be met by sellers before they can be allowed to land on these external marketplaces. Their designs must already be performing well on Spreadshirt’s native marketplace, have already captured a target group, and revolves around popular topics.
The second is through Shopify. Users can download the SPOD (Spreadshirt Print-On-Demand) app on the Shopify app store to link their Spreadshirt app on Shopify.
By linking these two platforms, Spreadshirt can process your orders with increased speed, provide more customization for your buyers, and offer seamless customer and order management.
TeePublic: A Slightly Tricky (Yet Great) Platform to Use
TeePublic is a print-on-demand platform established in 2013 to support independent artists and enable them to earn revenue from their creativity. It supplies a wide range of white-label products, including t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, kids’ apparel, phone cases, pillows, stickers, and more, all ready to take your lifelike designs.
Upon uploading your customized products on the TeePublic’s marketplace, they’ll have a ‘sale price’ (or lower price) for the first 72 hours. After that, the platform will bring your products’ prices to a regular price.
This mechanism aims to draw more customers every time artists launch their products, which can benefit both the designers and TeePublic. For a full list of earnings you can gain from different types of products, check out this link.
Moreover, you may also encounter seemingly ‘lower’ revenue when you start earning from TeePublic, which the website has clarified.
These lower-than-expected earnings may come from three major reasons: The 72-hour lower price time frame for your products, customers’ use of coupons, or some of your products being sold during a site-wide sale.
(‘Glowing Jellyfish’ AI art by AI Inker)
To submit your design on TeePublic, sign up for an account first, and click the ‘Designer Sign Up’ button. This button will only appear after creating a TeePublic account. After this short step, the website will require you to create a name for your store, and once done, you can now upload your designs to the platform.
I have to warn you, though, that uploading your designs to TeePublic is a bit tricky, as the process is ‘size-sensitive,’ meaning you must follow specific image sizes for different products.
The website will reject your image if it hasn’t reached TeePublic’s minimum image size requirements, so be mindful of that.
Printful: Built for Seamless Integration on Other Platforms
Printful is a print-on-demand service provider (which doesn’t have its own store) but allows you to seamlessly integrate your customized products on various platforms. These include Shopify, Tiktok Shop, Amazon, Etsy, Squarespace, and more.
It works very much like all the other PoD platforms we discussed earlier. Once you receive orders from your platforms and marketplaces, Printful will take over and handle your products’ receiving, packaging, and shipping.
You can customize your products here and use Printful’s editing tools to create the best reproduction of your ideas. After that, you can send these customized products to your other platforms and publish them online.
It also offers different mini-activities that let you earn points that are redeemable for ‘Printful Perks.’ These simple challenges include setting up your shop, adding your first product, getting your first sale, referring a friend, completing ten sales, and more.
One final note: Just don’t forget to connect your Printful account to your different platforms and marketplaces. This is the only way Printful can take your orders and ship customized products to your customers.
You might also want to check out: How to Use Images as Prompts in Midjourney
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