I Earned More than $20,000 with Displate (Print on Demand)!

Displate has been my biggest earning Print on Demand website in the past years. I have been creating designs and uploading them since 2017.

Since then, I have sold more than 6100 plates and earned more than $20000 in commission. Screenshot below.

The start was slow, very slow, but at the time of writing this article, I’m selling for a minimum of $500 a month. That’s a nice little extra, wouldn’t you agree?

Screenshot of Displate Earnings in 2023

How did I do this?

I’ll give you the exact checklist I used to achieve this. But let me warn you up front: this is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s going to take time.

FYI: The first YEAR, I sold maybe for $100 during the whole year. The second year, it was around $500. In 2020, it was already a bit more, but now, in 2023, my work is really starting to pay off.

So as you can see, it took me 3 years before I was actually earning money with it. I highly doubt that people have that much patience in these days of TikTok, Reels & Shorts where attention spans are like 15 seconds…

Anyway, here is the step-by-step process I used:

1. Find a niche

Back then, I just chose a niche that I was interested in: Motivational quotes.

However, if I would start all over again now, I’d do things differently. I’d do research first. We need to find designs that are already selling, see what works, see what people are interested in.

One way to find out what works, is by checking out Displate’s best-sellers:


Or just by Googling:


Another option is to use other websites on which Print-On-Demand products are available, like Amazon, Redbubble or Etsy. I’ve written an extensive tutorial about this, but here’s a small recap:

  • Install certain extensions
  • Search for a “t-shirt”
  • Check the rank or sales data

There are tons of research tools available these days — the one that I’m using for Etsy at the moment is Everbee.io. Check the tutorial I linked above.

2. Start creating variations of these best-selling designs

After you know what works, you can go ahead and start making variations of these designs. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Create images from scratch using tools like Canva or Canva Pro (which is like $100 for a year, but so worth it)
  • Use AI image generators like Midjourney or Dall-E (get the paid versions, because you’re not allowed to sell images generated by the free versions)
  • Hire designers to do this for you (not recommended because it’s not profitable in the beginning, but it’s nevertheless an option)
  • Anything else you can come up with.


Displate is very strict in his dimensions. All images must be 2900×4060 pixels, otherwise they won’t accept your design.

A new design style

In the past, I was downloading images from https://unsplash.com, and editing those.

However, I’ve moved away from this. In the past, Unsplash’s policy said that it was allowed to use these images for commercial purposes, but recently I couldn’t find this anymore. Is it not allowed anymore?

Either way, I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I’m not using this anymore.

Kittl.com, Canva.com & AI generators

Instead, these days I’m creating 99% of my designs via kittl.com, canva.com and AI generators like Midjourney.

Small sidenote: Today, I discovered that SUBSTACK has his own AI image generator, and it seems to be completely free. I’ll do some more research on this soon.

Here I just made this design in Canva, very quick & easy:

Image made by me in Canva Pro

3. Upload to Displate

Cool, so now we have our design(s). Let’s upload to Displate!

Click “Upload your artwork”

Drag & drop (or click the upload button) your design. Note: your design MUST BE in .jpg format. Displate doesn’t allow .png.

Next, you can start filling your details:

Screenshot of the Displate Upload Process

P.S. with the help ChatGPT these days, you can combine AI + Print On Demand a little bit to have it generate descriptions, titles, and tags for you:

ChatGPT prompt

Enter the description, choose “Illustration”, and select categories:

Screenshot of Displate upload process

I chose the following categories:

  • Animals
  • Inspirational
  • Text art


Let’s ask ChatGPT again:

Note: the tags aren’t all good, for example it’s not “black and white” or a “minimalist design”. Edit the tags that aren’t good, add something else.

Example tags

Great! Click “Upload”, and that’s it. Now we have to wait a couple of days, while Displate staff or tools check our design and reject/approve it.

My uploaded Displate design, awaiting validation

Note: I often get my designs rejected as well, this is usually due to some parts of the images that are a bit blurry, unsharp or something.

In the beginning I was constantly mailing their support about this, but I always got the same answer. “Due to some lower quality aspects” or “Black seems to be a bit pixelated so it wouldn’t look good on a print”.

You can try to fix the issues and try uploading again, or just move on to the next design.

4. Keep repeating this process, over and over again.

As I said in my intro, I’ve been doing this for years. Every week, I create and upload new designs, most of them in the style that I have always done.

And yes, this is passive income — at least it has been for me. At some point, I didn’t upload for like a month, and I earned $400 that month.

It’s not like this is making me rich, but at least it’s paying for some bills and allowing me to invest money in other things!

P.S. After finishing this article, I’ll also Upload the design to RedbubbleTeepublicSociety6 and Printful(Amazon).

Want more?!

If you thought this article was helpful, you would greatly support me by buying me a coffee!

Did you know? I also write about different passive income streams like Print on Demand, YouTube Automation, investing tips, healthy habits and just keeping yourself motivated to keep going every day!

P.S. Don’t forget to get your Financial Improvement Tracker Worksheet here while it’s still CRAZILY DISCOUNTED (just $2 WTF)!


Trending Articles

Michiel Schuer


Enthusiastic about learning new things, side-hustles, and translating my personal experiences into motivational stories.

My Personal Favorites

Get free access to Michiel’s best tips along with exclusive content.

Hold up!

Don't forget your Free e-book!

Learn how to earn more money and get rich in 10 easy-to follow steps!