Why making all kinds of craft PDF templates like invitations, labels, menus, price-list, knitting and sewing patterns, woodworking plans, certificates, paper craft, paper sculpture etc. is a great business idea and how get started with it.
Nothing gets better than a combination of a great business idea and a digital product . Digital products have enormous advantages – once created they do not have to be re-manufactured for repeat sales. There is no hassle of shipping a product and it can be downloaded, emailed et cetera, usually immediately after successful payment. If you have ever purchased an e-book online, you know what I’m talking about.
It’s possible to create several kinds of digital products to sell in the field of art and craft as well. It’s just not possible but is being done by hundreds of crafters with roaring success.
This art and craft business idea is for creating a digital product to sell called DIY templates.
What are DIY craft templates?
DIY templates are usually PDF files that contain instructions and building blocks that can be used to create the craft itself. They can also be in other formats other than PDF if they are meant to be edited by the user as per their needs. I’ll illustrate this by a couple of examples.
An example of a PDF printable template for a craft is an instruction and assembly module to construct a 3-D paper model or paper sculpture. Whereas, an example for an editable template is a pre-designed template for a wedding invitation or a greeting card that can be edited by the user to include their own information. Let’s look at a few more examples in detail.
Printable PDF templates for A 3D Paper Model
It makes brilliant business sense to sell craft templates online. In fact, when we were researching the idea we realised that this is one of the best selling crafts online. If you go to Etsy.com you will realise that all kinds of printable craft templates are doing really well. A popular example is that A 3-D paper-craft model or paper sculpture.
I don’t know if you are aware of the fact but you can make some stunning crafts with paper.
DIY is a popular craft category. So is paper-craft. And it’s not just for the kids, even though that’s how most of us got introduced to do it in our younger years. Many paper crafts are popular with adults not only as a hobby but commercially as well. 3-D Paper models is an example that is a success in both these aspects.
For the purpose of selling the paper craft template you have to write and draw precise instructions for making the 3-D model. You then convert it into a PDF file and sell that instead of the actual paper model.
As a creator of the template you will draw out the shape and outline of every single component on paper or digitally on the computer. Every part is numbered in the order in which it is to be assembled.
These outlines are meant to be downloaded by the buyer and printed out on paper that is to be used for making the paper model. This enables a person to cut up along the guidelines to make all the components necessary to assemble the 3-D paper sculpture.
The specific instructions on how to do this are written down and also sent as a part of the DIY kit.
Paper crafts are an exception when it comes to creating DIY templates because they provide the exact parts needed to make the craft. However, the DIY templates can be created for dozens of other crafts in all categories as well.
DIY Sewing And Knitting Patterns
Another very popular example is that of sewing and knitting patterns. These go back a long way. Way before when Internet was even a thing. The DIY patterns for sewing and knitting projects were printed in related publications, as they still are, and also sent out as mailers.
Now, creating sewing and knitting patterns is a skill on its own. You have to break down the entire process, label and number of components and create the exact methodology for putting everything together.
You will have to actually learn how to create sewing and knitting patterns. There is a universal method of doing it. Something like writing music in notation form. All knitting patterns are created using the same method and anyone who learns how to read one pattern can read others as well.
It’s a time-consuming process. And you have to take extra pains to make sure it is error free. But once its done, the same pattern can be converted into a PDF file and sold an infinite number of times without any additional labour.
As I wrote in the beginning this is one of the facets I love about selling digital products I.e. is the lack of physical inventory and the ability for repeated sales without repeating the creation process.
DIY Woodworking Plans Template And Plans
Wood working is also included in the category of DIY templates. These templates are called woodworking plans and are one of the most requested and downloaded information by woodworking hobbyists as well as professionals.
Woodworking plan is created by an expert wood worker who lays down the exact semantics of the wood project in the form of an easy to understand blueprint.
Again, not a simple task but well worth the effort. Making a DIY woodworking plan usually calls for drawing Out a 3-D image of the project with preferably an ‘exploded’ view of the project with each component and showing separately and clearly, including every joint and bolt.
Every part is labelled in detail including thickness of the wood, length of the cut, angles, size of the tenons, the screws et cetera. A detailed, clear and step-by-step construction process is written out and included in the plan.
So instead of selling the woodworking project many woodworkers sell the plan itself. This makes it possible to sell any project no matter how small or large, to a person no matter how far. That kind of rhymed, right?
DIY PDF templates for documents, invitation, greeting cards and more
Graphic designers design things like restaurant menus, greeting cards, invitations, certificates et cetera. But the fact is that so can you.
Creating a good layout is important along with using interesting fonts and graphics to make a good presentation. Something like a greeting card will rely more heavily on the usage of interesting graphics than a restaurant menu.
But you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create graphics. There are some amazing applications in phones and tablets that will create beautiful layouts for many kinds of documents while giving you access to beautiful ready-made graphics.
Then there are stock photography websites like shutter stock that have millions of images and graphics from graphic artists and photographers all over the world, ready for you to download and use.
Selling DIY templates online
You can sell your nearby templates the same way you would sell your crafts. It’s just easier with more options open to you. Let’s see. If you want to sell on on Etsy.com.
Now if you are selling a physical craft you will have a limited customer outreach due to shipping costs. Shipping long-distance and shipping long-distance gets expensive and shipping internationally even more so along with the requirement to get compliant with various export and import laws.
People very seldom purchase from out of the country because the added shipping costs and import duties make the purchase impractically expensive.
But there is no such limitations with digital products. Did I mention that I love the concept of selling digital products already?
Well, here is another great reason for it. I have successfully marketed and promoted a single digital product across three different continents. That’s what happens when you have a downloadable and digital commodity to sell.
The love of crafting it’s not limited to anyone particular country. People all over the world are sewing, knitting, woodworking, stamping et cetera. With your DIY craft templates now you can go fishing for customers across the globe.
Target the global customer
Having a global product is one thing but finding customers for it is quite another. Fortunately, a few things have made global selling a very achievable goal.
Firstly, the accessibility of the Internet and the services that are available to you on that Internet make things very convenient.
The Internet connects the entire world together in an instant. However, in the beginning there was no Facebook , Instagram or even Google! Hard to imagine that, I know, except for those of us who have lived through the inception stages of the Internet.
Selling on online marketplaces.
Making websites was a pain staking process that could only be handled by a professional. Actually selling something online was only the domain of the Giants like Amazon, eBay and Target. Even these were not around initially When Internet was still gaining popularity. All you could really do was send emails and browse very limited websites.
All that has changed today. Dozens of online marketplaces exist where you can list your craft with minimal effort. The effort involved is more to do with taking good product images and writing great product descriptions.
Thousands of artisans and artists sell their work online every day. You can learn more about how to sell on Etsy in this post.
Then come the social media and the search engines. The combination of these two puts interested buyers in any part of the world within your reach. You really should invest some quality time in Learning how to do some social media marketing and using the advertisement services of the social media platforms as well as Google ads.
Open your own online store
Having your own online store is as simple as opening a free email account. Nevertheless, this is a highly important step. Try the services of Shopify to get your own online store under your own domain name within minutes. I highly recommend doing this if you really want to succeed selling your things online.
Even if you are selling on Etsy you should have your own domain as well. It’s an important part of your brand image and for securing future sales with a better profits. Read more about why he should have your own online as a store.
Leveraging social media and search engine ads
Once you have your DIY craft templates listed and available online it’s time to start promoting time. Social media is your friend. Open business accounts with Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Run a few advertisements. Set aside an advertisement budget. Experiment with different demographics. See who buys your product more.
Once you know which targeting method converts the best that’s when the fun begins. Now you can gradually increase your advertisement budget and expect to see a corresponding increase in sales.
Do you own store branding as well
Here is a reason, right there, why do you need your own online store. Let’s say you send some interesting people over to your listing on Etsy. Once there, they end up looking at a dozen other items and buying something from your competitor.
Even if you promoted yourself without any paid advertisements, you have still lost a valuable possible conversion. Instead of making the sale yourself you gave it away to someone else.
When you send people to your own online store they will not be distracted by a swarm of other sellers. They will also remember you and your website which very often does not happen when people are buying from sites like Amazon and Etsy. They remember having bought from Etsy and not from you. Etsy gets a boost in brand image and not necessarily you.
I am definitely not saying that to not sell on Etsy and Amazon. They are huge and pretty amazing online marketplaces. Buyers love them because they provide a seamless buying experience and exude a trustworthy brand image.
They are also massive search engines where thousands of people go to find things every day. If you do an efficient job of listing your DIY craft templates or any other craft, hundreds of people can discover you every single day.
So you should ideally do both. Have your own online store on Shopify and promote your crafts on Etsy as well.