These days coloring isn’t just for the young, but the young at heart. It’s not just kids pulling out crayons and colored pencils, but also teens and adults.
There’s a good reason. Science has shown that coloring can do wonders for your mental health.
The Health Benefits of Coloring
Coloring improves your motor skills and vision and helps you sleep and focus better. What’s more, it reduces stress and anxiety.
“Coloring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day at work.” (Source: Beaumont Health)
Coloring is also fun. That’s why it’s no wonder that people are scouring the internet for coloring pages that speak to them.
The Benefits of Selling Coloring Pages on Etsy
That’s created a new market for artists and the Etsy entrepreneur.
Selling coloring pages on Etsy has become an easy way for artists to reach new audiences while at the same time creating a new stream of revenue. Artists have figured out how to turn their works of art into coloring pages that people can purchase.
In some cases, they’ve also created entire coloring books of their artwork.
Whether you’re an artist looking to reach a larger audience or simply looking for a side hustle that speaks to you, selling coloring pages on Etsy may be your answer.
What You Need to Know About Selling Coloring Pages on Etsy
I’m going to assume that you already have an art design in mind. Whether it’s something that you drew yourself or digital art that you created, you now have coloring pages to sell.
But what’s next.
Printables vs. Physical Coloring Pages
First, ask yourself if you’re going to sell the physical coloring pages or printables. Physical coloring pages means you print the pages yourself and ship them to your buyers. Printables mean you’re going to sell a downloadable file.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Physical Coloring Pages
The benefit of selling a physical coloring page is that you have control of your artwork. No one has a digital file of your work.
The downside is that you have to fill the orders. That means that when you make a sale, you have to print the pages, package them, and ship them.
This can be easy to do, and you can get help with fulfillment from a third party, but it’s just one more thing to add to your plate each day.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Printables
For printables, it’s the exact opposite.
The benefit is that you don’t have to fill orders. Etsy does it for you. You upload your art file when you list the coloring page. Once a purchase is made, Etsy gives the buyer access to the file. You never have to fulfill an order, though you may have to answer questions from a buyer.
The downside is now someone has a digital file of your work, and they’re free to do what they like with it. You can write for personal use only on the artwork, but you can never guarantee that the buyer will follow that requirement.
The customer may also have trouble printing on their home printer and may message you with questions. You may not know their printer settings and it can be extra overhead.
What’s Better, Printables or Physical Coloring Pages?
Which one is better?
In most instances, printables will be better simply because then you have created a more passive form of income. Printables can be listed and then sold without much work from you on the backend.
Yes, the customer can message you but that is the only work you may do after the sale. With a physical product, you are worrying about shipping, printing, and inventory.
If you’re unsure how to get started in the printables market on Etsy, check out Millennial Boss’s post on getting started selling printables.
How to Create a Coloring Page for a Coloring book
We use Adobe Illustrator here at Millennial Boss to create our coloring pages.
First, we buy clipart of coloring pages from other websites and then we arrange those on a letter size page with text.
We do this approach since we are not artists and cannot draw the artwork ourselves.
For some of you with an iPad and the Procreate app, you may be able to use your Apple Pencil to draw your own artwork.
If you prefer, you can purchase all of the clipart you will be using for your coloring page from a website and then arrange it however you’d like for the coloring book.
Most people don’t realize you can buy coloring clip art for commercial use so definitely check it out.
You can also use Canva which we love here to make the actual coloring page and it’s free software.
Listing Your Coloring Pages on Etsy
Now that you’ve created your artwork and decided whether you’re going to sell a printable or physical coloring page, you’re ready to list your item on Etsy.
You’ll need to set up a shop. That includes picking a name for your shop. After that, you’ll need to list your item with pictures and details. For complete details on how to sell items on Etsy, check out this previous post here.
When listing your coloring pages, you’ll want to pay close attention to the tags and title. These are the words and phrases that Etsy will scan when shoppers begin a search query. In other words, these words will direct shoppers to your coloring pages.
If you need tips on how to optimize your SEO, read this previous post here.
How to Price Your Etsy Printable
You also want to make sure you price your coloring pages so they’re most likely to sell. Etsy understands that pricing is important, so it’s written an entire article examining the art of pricing. You can find it here.
While this pricing guide is handy for coloring pages you sell and physically send to customers, it’s not great for printables. Printables are a different beast.
The price of a printable needs to consider the time you spent creating the printable, but you also need to remember that you’re asking people to print the item on their own. Usually, printables are going to have a lower price point than the physical item.
When pricing your printable, take into account what comparable shops are charging for their coloring pages. If you charge more than your competition, you’re going to lose out on business.
Pricing too high is almost always going to be worse than pricing too low. Remember, you’re not going to pay for your efforts by selling one printable. You’ll start to reap the rewards after you sell several printables.
How to Market Your Etsy Printable
Marketing your printable coloring pages is the next step. As I said before, proper SEO on Etsy is going to be your first step. You want to make sure that the people who are searching the marketplace can find your coloring pages.
You can also create pins on Pinterest, market your coloring pages on Facebook, and more.
Lately, people are even making videos of themselves coloring on Tik Tok and Instagram reels and it’s going viral!
The process of creating, listing, and marketing your Etsy printable can be extensive, which is why there are courses to help you out. If you plan to create printables long-term, then you should take a printables course.
The course linked above has a tutorial on making coloring pages using Adobe Illustrator included for free within the course.
What Printable Coloring Pages Should I Sell on Etsy?
Once you’ve set up your shop, you can start diversifying your inventory. If you’re not sure what to create, you can find some of the most searched coloring pages below.
Notice I’ve left off cartoon characters because they’re trademarked and copyrighted. I’m talking about Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants, Marvel Superheroes, DC Comics, etc.
However, there are plenty of other categories to choose from. Some of the top searched for coloring pages include:
- Dinosaur coloring pages;
- Owl coloring pages
- Unicorn coloring pages (You can find some fantastic examples in this previous post here.);
- Personalized coloring books;
- Coloring books for teens;
- Coloring books for adults;
- Giant coloring pages;
- Animal coloring book;
- Mermaid coloring pages;
- Solar system coloring pages.
You get the idea.
See what is trending on Pinterest and other places for clipart and use that to inspire your coloring page book.
Also decide who the coloring page is for when making your design choices.
Adults will want more intricate designs and maybe more text. Kids will want easier to color shapes in their favorite characters.
How to Make a Digital Coloring Book
If you have several coloring pages, you may decide to put them together in a book. That’s a great idea!
Creating a digital coloring book offers you the opportunity to sell more of your artwork at a higher price.
The easiest way to create a digital coloring book is to take all of your artwork in PDF form and merge them into one PDF file.
PCMag has a walkthrough on doing this, no matter if you use a PC or a Mac.
You can also make a multiple page PDF document in Canva and export as a PDF for printing.
As you become more adept at creating printable coloring pages, you’ll start to expand your inventory.
That’s when seasonal printables come into play. Seasonal printables add a whole new dimension to your Etsy shop and can help you increase your revenue exponentially.
Is there an upcoming holiday where you can create a coloring book for? Try that first.
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