I’ve noticed many people cite RedBubble as their 2nd place POD behind Merch By Amazon.
At first, I couldn’t relate.
Most of the things that were selling for me on Merch and other platforms were not selling on RedBubble.
It seemed like a waste of time, and I clearly was not uploading the kind of art that RedBubble customers want.
In late 2017, I stumbled upon a new niche I began selling in on Merch By Amazon.
I opened up a new RedBubble niche shop just for these designs, and every time something would sell on Merch, I’d upload that same design to RedBubble.
For the first couple of months, the results were dismal. I’d be lucky to make $3 in a month, and most of those earnings came from stickers.
Fast forward several months later, not only am I making sales almost everyday, but I’m selling a lot of things besides T-shirts such as wall art, posters, canvas art and more.
Here’s a snapshot of my sales report taken on from July 2nd. I blocked out the product names for obvious reasons. 🙂
Notice I sold 4 different products in just 3 days.
These are all organic sales, by the way. I do not drive traffic to my shop with a website or social media.
I’m not making anything close to what I’m making on Merch By Amazon, but when it comes to POD income, a $150 here, $300 there, it all adds up!
Here’s some lessons I’ve learned about RedBubble thus far…
Add Your Designs to All/Most Products
The reason I say “most” is some art may not look good on all products.
When I first joined RedBubble, I only added designs to shirts and stickers because I was told they sold the most.
I really didn’t expect to sell any other products, but RedBubble proved me wrong.
I had one design that kept selling on a shirt, so I added it to the remaining products. Slowly but surely additional items started selling.
If a design is popular, it’s more likely to sell on other products.
Since that revelation, I usually add my design to almost all the products – even though it’s a tedious process.
SIDENOTE: I wish Merch would adopt RedBubble’s multi-product upload process!
Tile Your Products
I love that RedBubble has a tile feature that allows you to repeat the design across the product. This looks great on all-over print products like phone cases, leggings, etc.
I like to use Adobe Illustrator’s pattern maker to create patterns. These look good on all-over prints.
You can watch me create a camo pattern without the pattern maker below.
In this particular case, I didn’t want the pattern to repeat on the product so I didn’t use the pattern maker.
Bump Up Your Commissions!
Stickers sell really well on RedBubble, but the commissions are super low. I have increased my commissions to 40%. I know some who have them set at 100%.
My advice is to increase prices in increments. If you sell well at 40%, try 50%, etc.
I love that you can increase your commissions in bulk by product groups. Very handy!
Just go to Account Details >> Product Pricing.
RedBubble Gets Lots of Google Love
RB products get indexed nicely on Google, especially on Google Images.
I typed in [keyword] phone case and noticed my phone case was ranking #5! I do believe that some of my best-selling items are getting found on Google Images, not the RB site.
That would also explain why I have some designs that do well even though they aren’t artistic.
TIP: When checking your product rankings on Google, always use an Incognito Window on Chrome because it lets you view search results without influence from your previous browsing history.
Just go to File >> New Incognito Window before searching on Google.
By the way, you don’t have to add the product titles to your description or keyword field. Just by selecting/activating a product, RB will add the necessary tag for SEO (search engine optimization).
So if you enable phone cases, your product will be labeled and tagged with phone case keywords on Google. No need to add “phone case” to your description or keywords.
RB also does a lot of ad retargeting, which helps your products get more visibility across the Web.
That means when someone views your design, RedBubble uses browser cookies and that design will follow that person across the Web, appearing as an ad on other websites.
Make Use Of RB Collections
Collections are like product groups. They allow you to group your designs by topic.
Since RB products get indexed well in Google, I figure it can’t hurt to have another way to label and define your products with relevant keywords.
What Sells Well on RB?
If you’re looking for a type of art that does well on RB, one thing that seems to work very well is merging pop culture with art.
Imagine taking a popular saying and putting it on a very artistic coffee mug.
Geometric patterns with interesting textures also do well, especially due to the all-over-print products.
People who are in touch with pop culture and create artistic interpretations of sayings, symbols and concepts do really well.
It Is Definitely a Numbers Game
Once I hit over 70 uploads I noticed views, likes and sales started to come in more consistently. I have over 100 designs uploaded now.
So far, about 35% of my uploads in this new account have sold at least once. So that’s pretty close to the 80/20 rule most people see with POD.
I love that RB shows us how many views each design receives, and always find it interesting to look at the view to sale ratio.
You’d think the more views a design has, the more sales you’ll get. However, I have some art with hundreds of views and no sales. Yet I’ll have another design with 2 views and one sale.
You just never know!
Infringing Is Not OK
Just because you see people infringing on celebrity names, faces, company brands, song lyrics, movies, etc. on RedBubble, doesn’t mean it’s OK.
You can get away with a lot, but they do act when it’s reported.
I’ve often wondered why they aren’t better about policing the initial uploads, but someone told me their terms state they are not responsible for the work uploaded.
Responsibility falls solely on the uploader.
Not sure how that flies from a legal standpoint, but that’s how they seem to roll.
If you haven’t tried RedBubble, give it a try! And if you already have art selling elsewhere, it doesn’t hurt to start with those designs first.
I ignored them for a long time because I assumed my designs weren’t artistic enough. While I do think that type of art sells best, your designs can also get found through Google.
Just be patient. The key to success (like any other POD) is figuring out what sells best and that takes time. It sure did for me!
Hi, I opened my shop a week ago. When I upload, the products do not show. I waited 2 hours now but it is still not showing in my shop. I did everything correctly but still nothing. Yesterday I had to re-load before it showed. What can be the problem? Could my files maybe be too big?
That’s a new one. Are you sure you weren’t dealing with a caching problem. Did you try looking at your shop from another browser?
thank you for these great redbubble tips!
I just opened my redbubble shop. I don´t have many designs on there yet, but I tried to tag and add a title and description that makes sense. I also connected my redbubble shop to google analytics. The thing is – while I can find my products and shop on redbubble through searching, google doesnt show anything. Not even for my shop or tags, that have very low results, where mine would have to show up. Does that mean that my shop isn´t indexed yet? How long can this take (I opened the shop about two weeks ago and connected google analytics 5 days ago).
And is there anything I can do?
Thanks again for your insights to redbubble – this is really great advice!
Google does not automatically index all Redbubble products. The best way to ensure your products are indexed is to own your shop on your own domain.
A Redbubble shop is considered an affiliate domain by google, so you may not get all your products indexed.
It’s best to draw your own traffic.
Freddy Deeb says
I would love feedback on my designs.
Felipe III Delgado says
Hi! Thank you for the information you are feeding to help us sell on Redbubble. You mentioned that we can see how each product performs in terms of views. I cannot find this on Redbubble. Can you please guide me on where to look at?
They have now hidden this feature. We can only see likes. But if you install Google Analytics then you can get more info about the views on your shop.
My TeePublic account is deactivated for no reason.I want to know are they doing the same to everyone?
Hi Sarah one of my students mentioned her account was disabled but the art was not unique. She paid someone on Fiverr. Was your art completely original? It’s always hard to know why this happens.
Khush B says
Hey Lisa…wonderful sharing …love it .Every line is worth reading.
I have some questions.I novice to redbubble and uploaded one design. Queries are as follows:
1) Once I applied design to most products…who would decide that in which country they would sell?
2) I am from India and choose US $ as a receiving currency…..is it suitable?
3) after uploaded my first Design on some products…around two months later I noticed reviews by visitors(may be buyers..don’t no) on several products in handsome numbers.I amazed that its been six months on RB I didn’t make a single sell…. How customers put their reviews like they use it and find of them?
Kindly enlightened me
1) What decides is who finds your art. It’s based on keywords. So if someone in UK types in [keyword] and finds your design that determines who buys.
2) I have no idea. You should contact RedBubble
3) They combine the reviews for all products from different shops. Those aren’t your reviews, it’s a collection of buyers who bought that particular product.
hi lisa i can upload me first design but i found a problem when a write the title this problem is ” Title is required for at least one locale.”
please lisa help me for finding a solve
thank you .
Hi Lisa! Please I need help. I have alot of designs on redbubble but I am not making sales. Can you please help me how to do the Title, Tag and description the right way. My work is not showing up. I am a beginner.
It’s not unusual for your work to not show up. That’s why it’s so important to target keywords that are hot, but not too competitive. For example, when I choose keywords, I type them in the search box on RedBubble and I like to choose phrases that have 200-300 results.
Also, everyone sees different search results. So just because you are seeing them one way doesn’t mean someone else sees them that way. Their engine is quite complex and personalized.
Thank you. Very good info.
Hi Lisa, i really wondering how to get first rank in google image ? i mean is there special method that i have use to, like give a title (name) to the design file that ready for uploading (is it helping the design to get ranked fast as it has file name like “alt tags on image”).
How long does google (google image) will index our design on redbubble ? (a weeks ? months? or a years? 🙂 i didn’t see my design on google image for two months.
well thank you Lisa. May god bless you and your family all the way….
The key is to first find low competition keywords and use your most important words in your title. Let Google do the rest. The design file name doesn’t matter. Your design title, description and tags should be relevant. Not all your products will rank well. Many of mine don’t.
Kristina Evans says
Wow! You are my go to RB guru! I couldn’t have got this far without my daily dose of Li – Tribe.
My question is I have a variety of different styles, subjects and niches, at the moment they’re all under one RB but set into different categories, nature, dogs, etc. Would you recommend setting up different “shops” if I diversify my niches and styles or just keep them all under one umbrella and catagorise?
I can’t help but switch from one style to another, it is my way! I’m fickle like that! ?
Obviously if I have a second “shop” it would clarify things but then would double the self promotion and website addresses, business cards etc.
Anyway, thanks for your incredible vids, I love watching them, I do my “learnings” over my cup of morning tea and toast!
Thank you!! I know what you mean but I have to say, it seems having a niche helps you get more sales. I have several different shops and my niche shops always do the best. So much so that I stopped worrying about the random stuff and only focus on my niche shops. Like you said, it’s too much to keep up with managing all the accounts.
The great thing about a niche shop is you attract more followers who all like the same things so everything you upload has a greater chance of being interesting and relevant to your followers. When you have a random shop you don’t get that follower loyalty. For the long run, niche is definitely best.
Hey I was wondering I have been using redbubble for awhile now and only have got 2 sales. Any ideas.
What should the commissions be and all that good stuff? Also how can customers become buyers? And what sells well on redbubble? I’ve been doing cats?
Alex, aka Art by Big Al says
Love the expertise and info you’re sharing. That’s very generous of you. I’ve been in the creative business for almost 30 years and finally took the plunge and am trying to earn a little side money. Your tips are very helpful.
I’ll put out a tip I’ve found very useful if others are trying their luck on several POD sites. I have a running text file with the Title, Description, Tags and even some hex codes for colors on every upload. Then, when I upload that art on another site, it’s just copy and paste, copy and paste. Saves tons of time.
Thanks again for your insight and your YouTube channel is great too.
Awesome tip! Thank you Alex.
mohammad javad mohammad zadeh says
I just started selling my works on redbubble and society6. I was wondering if would have a talk with you.
Thanks for the article! I have 16 sales so far but I still develop my store so I think it will be better in the future 🙂 I hope!
My store is a little like a colorful hotchpotch … Maybe I should be more focus on one style only to sell more stuff. I still improve my designing skills also. Anyway, I know it needs endless promotion.
Recently I started using Google My Bussines app to promote my Redbubble collections by posts because under descriptions and pictures you can attach a direct button to your collection. I have some views on it and I guess it also put your shop for SEO better position.
A link to my shop: https://www.redbubble.com/people/SpieklyArt/shop
Ideas for improvement are welcome:) Tx!
Oh my gosh thanks for the tip on commissions, I sold 3 stickers and earned .30! So after reading your article I checked that my stickers commissions was set to 15%!!! Raised it immediately. Great tips, I need to concentrate on finding popular niches.
Jill Glascock says
Lisa, it is as if you were reading my mind. I am starting to expand to Teespring and Redbubble as I already do Merch and Teepublic. Your tips are very helpful as were your courses!
I still have research trouble (I think of something and want to create design without digging into research – I don’t think I am good at research ?) but overall I feel I am improving in my skills thanks to you!
I’m soooo happy to hear that your skills are improving! Yes, keyword research isn’t much fun but very helpful for finding new niches to design for.
BUT once you have about 5-6 niches you are selling in, you can focus more on creating and flooding the market with those designs and less research. I’m actually at the point now where I don’t do as much research anymore. I have a handful of spaces I am selling in so I just focus on the main ones.
Keep up the good work!