Print On Demand Tool – Canva.com – Designs Created Easy!

Kia Ora Whanau!

Welcome to another blog post about my Passive Income Journey through Print On Demand or POD from now. Today I am going to start off by covering off the main product I use to well … create designs (huh kind of figured that out from the title right??).

First off – if you’re new to this blog, welcome and if your like me, you are trying to generate a bit more of a passive income. I suggest you read my previous blog posts under Passive Income to come up to speed with everyone and also further help you get to where you want to be (especially if you’re new to this world).

For those that learn better by listening I have also completed a podcast episode on this topic and will be expanding on this. You can find the podcast episode here.

So to start things off – What is Canva.com (Canva)? Well simply put it is a website where you can create designs for thousands of different products. These can be anything from business cards, Instagram posts, T-Shirts, Posters and of course custom designs (This is for the POD use). The best thing about Canva is once your design is complete you have the full legal right to use that design for things such as POD.

I will be showcasing a bit about what Canva can do and don’t really delve into how to do every little thing but you will see that it is very simple to simply click an object and usually edit, or place this.

Full Disclosure: So I want to be completely open and honest, I am a Pro Canva user (Meaning I pay their subscription), and while I am not affiliated with them I am a strong believer that for me, Canva works. That said, I will cover off another “Design” product in the future (Look out for my upcoming blog and podcast on “Place-It”) that is also used by a lot of people but I choose Canva over this website.

But what is Canva exactly?

Canva is primarily used for word based templates and designs, but this does not mean that you are only limited to text. Far from it, as you will see. You can create thousands of designs (that’s just using their fonts, but when you see the free Elements, Backgrounds, Photos and the ability to upload your own image and you will see there is a reason why Canva is as good as I am trying to promote it!

How much is this gonna cost me?

Ok so I mentioned that I am a pro user and that means there is a subscription service. The cost is $12.95 USD (or in NZD $20.07 per month. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A PRO USER TO USE CANVA!!!

However, being a Pro user does give you a lot more access to their resources and most importantly, every design you create can be made into a transparent background … I’ll be honest this is the main reason I originally became a Pro user lol. Yes you can download the free designs and make your design transparent another way but with one click of a button … it’s much easier 🙂

You can also easily determine what is Pro or Free by hovering over the design/ photo/ element and looking for ‘Free’ or a ‘Crown symbol/ Pro’.

Now I will get into more about Pro user benefits a little bit later. First I want to start with some of the things you can do.

What Does Canva Look Like?

The basic Canva screen

As you can see from above, this is the main Canva Screen and just at first glance it doesn’t look like much but trust me if you are starting your POD business you should seriously consider looking deeper into Canva.

I briefly covered what some of the benefits of Canva can be used for but I’ll be honest I have barely scratched the surface. I strongly suggest you head to their website to check it out to see if it meets your needs.

What I will be doing is giving a brief overview of all the things you can do for your POD designs.

For this I will be creating a Custom Dimension Design of 5000 Pixels by 5000. Once you click the ‘Create Design’ you will be taken to the below default screen.

Templates

The Templates Screen

As you can see there is a Navigation Bar on the Left Hand Side. Click on one of the buttons on it and a further frame should expand. In this case it is the Templates frame. You simply click on template you want to use/ change and in the Reader window you can begin editing.

The cool thing about templates is most are created by Canva Designers so all elements, lettering, colours all flow and match together. You can simply click one part of the Template and change to what you want. Above I changed the original template and moved the text around a little. The above only took about five minutes to edit and frame up.

Uploads

Upload your own image or design

So next up as you can see is Uploads. This one is pretty self explanatory … you can upload your own image and/or design and then add them to your canvas.

Pro Tip: In this case pro means Canva Pro – You can click on an image/ photo (either uploaded or one provided by Canva and you can choose ‘Effects’ up the top and a new frame appears where you can click Remove Background. This tool is amazing. It does a great job of removing a lot of the background and means you can easily apply a potential background change to your image.

Photos

A selection of photos are provided by Canva

Canva has a lot of photos for you to use and I’ll be honest the search is actually really great! You can usually find a high resolution photo mostly towards what you are wanting. Now of of course you won’t find any potentially copyright images or famous figures – If your thinking of making that Trump design your gonna struggle but if you search broadly then your usually going to find something. Now of course there are still the same restrictions with a free account but you will still be surprised with what you can actually use.

As I mentioned earlier, if you are a Pro user you can also use some of the cool effects like Background Remover.

Elements

Elements Like Clip Art only Elementary …

Here we are … this is where the magic starts to form! Elements, as described by the caption, are like your own version of Clip-Art from the old Microsoft Word days!

If your not a design person but maybe you’re an ideas person (like me .. well that’s what I’m saying in this instance) this is where you can start to put your ideas into paper.. I mean Canvas/ or is it digital canvas? well anyway what I mean of course is this is where you can start developing your own designs without even having to learn how to be a designer.

Now this is no diss to any of those designers out there – I wish I had some of their skills, but those that can’t do … create a search in Canva and place it on a digital canvas!

I know it’s going to feel like sounding like a broken record but as always the advantage of a Pro user is of course more Elements etc.

Text

What Canva was originally designed for – Text

I said at the start that Canva focuses more on it’s Text fonts and for good reason. There are over 100,000 fonts to choose from. It is also really easy to just start typing and change your mind with the font given, or one you want to use.

As with all the previously mentioned functions, you will notice that the left page also has some mini text templates that you can simply click and then begin editing that style – I have highlighted this in the image above but can’t stress how quick and easy it is!

You also have some additional effects you can apply to your text as well as look at things like line height and of course change styles and transparency.

Styles

S.T.Y.L.E Spells Style man!

So what are styles? Styles are away of applying a colour and font scheme to your design. This is really handy if you need to set up a business colour scheme! If you are a Pro user you can ensure your business style is always available and once you have a object, simply click your style on the left and everything about your object gets styled the way you want it. This makes everything consistent … which is great for your brand.

Music & Video

You can also add Music and/or Video to your design. This is something you could do with your Facebook or Instagram posts but not really needed for a POD design for uh obvious reasons I hope …

Backgrounds

The digital canvas needs to be filled sometimes …

Similar to Photos and Elements, you can also have Backgrounds added to fill your open space. These are not just photos but also colours, abstract and even animated designs.

A well picked background can make your design pop or may even hide some potential issues with an uploaded photo.

Folders

Where is my stuff??? oh right here under Folders

This is like your document management system… or in very simple language – think of this like your ‘My Documents’ or ‘My Computer’ file structure.

The most common use will be to access all your previously created designs or any images/ text you may have liked for quick access.

More Functions

Integration Time! Discover more of what Canva can link with in this section.

The “More” section is where you can see the other cool features or ‘plugins’ that integrate with Canva.

From Instagram and Facebook to adding your Bitmoji. When you delve deeper and see what you can create on Canva you will understand why this website is a must for future Social Media Influencers wanting to ‘Trending Up’ their brand.

Pro Features – A look inside

Just a glimpse of what $12 USD or $20 NZD gets you …

The above image explains a little bit more of what you get for your “Pro” subscription. I have advised most of the features but you will notice I left out some features which you are more than welcome to pop along to Canva to check out a bit more in depth.

Putting it all together

So the next few images will be incorporating a background, text, elements and also show the Transparent Background button when you download. You will also see the design uploaded to Redbubble and TeeSpring.

This design is live now and feel free to check it out here to see the elements all working together.

Conclusion

Well I have already said that I love Canva so there is no point in me going against that. But the main reasons I love Canva are because I honestly didn’t think I was that much of a designer and this was a tool to help me achieve a goal of getting a design created and uploaded.

On a personal note I got a pure thrill when my designs arrived and I put them on for the first time. It makes me feel like I can get my artistic side of the brain flowing.

I suggest if your looking at starting your POD journey then seriously consider Canva as a great resource. Now if you have and use programs like Adobe then by all means use it!

If your like me however, I prefer to start simple and Canva makes it pretty easy.

Until next time – Thanks for reading and good luck.

Also if you want to support me, feel free to email me at doncostas@gmail.com or leave a comment … or buy a design 🙂

Passive Income – TeeSpring Review – Uploading Guide

Kia Ora Whanau

Well as promised on my podcast, “Get A Job And Get Healthy With Costas Enterprises” (opens in Spotify). I promised that I would try write a blog as well every week.

Last week I did a review on Redbubble so I thought that I should now cover off the other Print On Demand (POD) service that I regularly use – TeeSpring.

To check out my TeeSpring site you can visit this here.

With my last post, “Passive Income – Redbubble Review … Wait I Got A Sale??” I compared all three POD’s I use, Threadless, TeeSpring and Redbubble. I covered off most of the differences but as I have been using TeeSpring a little longer than Redbubble I will try focus more on this.

So up front I want to say that I actually like a lot of things about TeeSpring, but there are defiantly some things that can hurt this POD.

My TeeSpring Site – Costas Enterprises Designs

Pros

  1. Analytics

So one of the things I really like about TeeSpring is the Analytics section of your dashboard.

The reason this is so good on TeeSpring is they clearly show you how many views/ sales and also what is generating your views. I will include a screen shot of my current analytics views page so you can see.

Analytics for views

As you can seem TeeSpring gives you a quick glance graph of views or sales to your store. You can also view your listings (your designs) and sort these by views, orders, units or profit. For the above example I have highlighted my most views for the last month dated to 22 August – 22 September.

The design highlighted above is the same design highlighted in my analytics

The main reason I love the analytics that TeeSpring provide is I can start to see what is working and what isn’t for my designs. It is also where you can see if your have gained a trust score.

… Um what trust score??? and … what is a trust score???

Ok so if this is the first time your hearing about a trust score then that means you haven’t read my previous post or listened to my podcast. Let me explain now.

TeeSpring advises that they will do advertising for you once you gain a positive trust score.

You can’t obtain a trust score until you have made between 1 – 25 sales through TeeSpring.

People don’t realize how important getting your trust score is. If you want to generate income passively using TeeSpring you need your trust score to be positive so your designs are seen by everyone. Now TeeSpring do advise you that you need a trust score when you sign up.

What TeeSpring doesn’t tell you is when you have gained a positive trust score or exactly how many sales you need to generate to get a positive trust score. By using the analytics to your advantage, you can start to see things like sales or views on your site to see when TeeSpring is advertising your designs.

2. Changing your storefront

Ok this Pro is more of a slightly better cosmetic fix then any actual issue on storefront but once you know about it – it can really help.

With Threadless – there is very little storefront customization for your products.

Redbubble is the same but their algorithm at least has the ability to explore designs and then click on products related to the design.

TeeSpring … not so much

Ok so let me clarify what I mean here, if you upload a design to your TeeSpring store then the design is automatically added to your store front. This means that if you don’t customize your storefront you run the risk of having 15 products with all the same design one after the other – this means your customer is only going to see one design until they keep scrolling.

However TeeSpring does allow you to actually fix this. When you are in your dashboard you will notice a “Storefronts” option – From this section you can edit your current storefront and then favorite your designs (and products) you want to be displayed first.

Tip: Hover over the storefront to either view storefront or (located in the top right corner of the storefront thumbnail) you will see a edit button – this is where you can change your actual storefront, edit the banner, add images etc..

Being able to change your storefront does make your POD store feel a bit more personal. I have been very basic with mine but I plan to add a new banner up the top with some of my designs to really make it more vibrant.

3. Uploading preview window

So with this section I am going to cover off the actual upload process and use a new design “Footlong Hugs” created for this blog to show what needs to be done. The reason I really like this is the User Interface (UI) is quite easy to use for those just starting out.

The process of uploading a design, or even adding text to your design is simple and so is the adjusting of the design. While it is a slower process then Redbubble or Threadless it does flow a lot better and is easier to use.

The Upload Window

The Upload Process

  1. Upload your design by clicking the ‘Add Image’. This must be a transparent image. I use a design 5000 x 5000 pixels created in Canva.
  2. In the preview window you will see your design. You can faintly see a red dotted box. This is the area where your image can be printed on. You can resize the image within this box.
  3. To see your design on a product click the ‘Preview’ or to go back and edit click ‘Design’.
  4. Set your colours by clicking the ‘+’ to add more. The colour you select will be the default view. You can change this underneath
  5. Set your price – as mentioned in my previous post – TeeSpring will set your price initially and it will be quite high – I have changed my price to be lower than what TeeSpring offers meaning my profit will be lower … but this is because I want to generate more sales in the future to build my trust score up.
  6. Click ‘Continue’
  7. You will be taken to a new screen where you can select and edit other products for your design
Stage 2 of uploading a design

Now you repeat steps 2 – 6 for each product you add.

Once finished click ‘Continue’ to go to the publish page.

Publish Screen
  1. Add your Title.
  2. Add the Description for your design.
    TIP: Make sure your Description matches your title and mentions the title – this will help TeeSpring find your design and also improve your trust score.
  3. Check the View, URL, Visibility and that it is adding it to our existing store.
  4. Click ‘Publish Listing’.
  5. You listing will now be added to the shop.
OMG it’s our design??? That seemed easy …

To view (or purchase … yes cheeky to ask but no harm in asking) this design click here.

Cons

Ok so there are some cons and most I have previously talked about on my podcast and previous post but lets go through them.

  1. TeeSpring Trust Score

So why is a trust score a Con? well it is a bit of a Catch 22 – It is nice once you have a Trust Score but the negative is that unless you generate “organic” sales. An organic sale is where someone (not yourself) goes to your site and purchase something.

The other problem with this is you have to have 1 – 25 sales. this means there is no actual clear definition of how to obtain a trust score.

TIP: Ok so this Tip might sounds a bit silly but the way I got a positive trust score was simply making three purchases from different accounts (well I made two, my partner surprised me by making a separate one). The only problem with this tip is – it costs you $$ and you may have to get 25 sales before it works

2. Default Pricing

The default pricing set by TeeSpring is way to high. That is not to say that the products are priced too high, I am referring to the default profit price. If you are trying to acquire a trust score as per the first Con you might have a hard time selling the product given the T-Shirt you are trying to sell is close to $30 USD instead of $16 USD as TeeSpring wants to make you money.

But wait? Isn’t more profit what I want? – well yes it is but when your starting up you need to build your brand. You will have to do all of the advertising for your products/ shop with no help from TeeSpring. If you lower the pricing to start with you are more likely to bring in a bigger audience and even if they buy a sticker, this is still a sale. Your customer doesn’t want to be paying $9 USD for something you would usually pay $3 – $5 Maximum.

3. No Tags

So I know I keep referring to my previous post so you may want to check it out.

Tags is something you really need to know about. Tags are the way Redbubble directs your customers to your designs. Tags are like when you tag someone on Facebook or Instagram. You may have even found this post due to a tag!

TeeSpring doesn’t have Tags. Your design will only be found by using keywords in your Title and Description. These are important but as you can guess your visibility will not be as good as it would be with Tags.

Now this is not to say that your design wont be seen by people – TeeSpring still has an audience of close to 28 million views a week, but it means that your keywords in your Title and Description are even more important.

Conclusion

I still really like and use TeeSpring and would recommend people use TeeSpring as well as Redbubble. You will see positives and negatives in both but still the audience is too big to not take advantage of another POD site.

Thanks for sticking with me until the end of the blog post. It has been a long one I know but I hope this has helped you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me as I love to here from my community 🙂

Have a great day whanau and good luck!

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