Making Money on Society6
Society6 is probably one of the most popular print-on-demand sites. It’s no wonder that some of the most talented artists such as Andreas Lie and Evie Seo choose to sell their artwork there. In fact, as announced by Society6 on their blog, the top sellers are making more than $5000 in a month, so there’s definitely money to be made.
( updated with new information as of June 2020 )
Society6 used to be all about art prints. However, they have since added over 30 products, from apparel to floor pillows. Many customers have praised Society6 for their product quality and customer service, so rest assured that anything you upload will be well taken care of.
Society6 also runs free worldwide shipping promotions, which is great if you have a global fanbase. Even if you don’t, such promotions can boost your sales by making your designs more affordable to a wider audience.
Unlike other sites that require you to reach a minimum payment threshold, Society6 pays you every month through PayPal no matter how much you make that month. Even if it’s just a few dollars, seeing that commission paycheck in your account will definitely increase your motivation and confidence as a designer. Also, you own all rights to your work, so you can sell them elsewhere with no issue.
Unfortunately, with so many artists on Society6 it’s hard to get noticed, let alone make money, unless you are good at marketing and promotion. Based on experience, I find that designs based around pop culture and trends tend to be more successful, but don’t be afraid to find your own niche.
If a design you created is really good or popular, it might even get featured on Society6’s main page. The site promotes some of the best pieces on their social media (with over 700,000 followers on Instagram and 10 million monthly viewers on Pinterest).
BUILDING A COMMUNITY ON SOCIETY6
Society6 is about building a community of artists and designers, so why not be part of it by promoting (the little heart symbol) other’s work or leaving a helpful comment? Like social media, the more active you are on Society6, the more followers, promotions, and sales you can gain.
My Society is a good way to discover fellow artists, follow their work, and get up to date with the latest news. Society6 regularly runs showcases and collections to promote artists and designers. It’s a wealth of inspiration, and will definitely motivate you to create more beautiful work.
UPLOADING YOUR WORK TO SOCIETY6
You can sign up for a Society6 account right now. However, verification is required to sell your artwork on their products and get paid. It is a one-time process that must be completed through PayPal and costs $1. As such, you need a PayPal account with at least some money in it. Once you are verified, it’s time to upload your designs and make money.
Society6 has recently updated the interface for their Artist Studio. Everything looks cleaner and more visually appealing, though functionality wise there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference. You also have the option to adjust the default markup to control the prices on all of your Art Prints, Framed Art Prints, and Canvas Prints. I’m not sure why you can’t do the same for the other products.
Let’s upload an artwork. Unlike other print-on-demand websites such as TeePublic or Redbubble, most products on Society6 require different minimum dimensions to ensure a high print quality. If your goal is to enable all products, it’s recommended that you start with a horizontal asset that’s 15000px x 9000px, a vertical asset that’s 8000px x 12000 px, and a square asset that’s 12000px x 12000px, at 300 dpi.
Make sure that your artwork doesn’t infringe in any copyrights, otherwise your account might get suspended.
Once done, you will be taken to the main page of your artwork. Here, you can add the artwork details, and adjust how it will look on each individual product.
A major issue I had previously was how glitchy the mockup system is, especially for apparel. Even when I uploaded the artwork as a PNG file on a transparent background as recommended by Society6, the issue still persists with the update.
As you can see from the image below, the artwork is framed on a white background instead of a transparent one, so you can’t really tell how it looks like on a shirt. Furthermore, the shirt color is stuck at grey; hovering over a color doesn’t do anything. You are left with guessing suitable colors and hoping for the best, which is certainly an exercise in frustration.
Otherwise, the process is quite straightforward. Don’t forget to Publish your design for everyone to see and buy. From there, you can go to your account to manage posts and track earnings, among other things.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIETY6
I have been selling on Society6 since April 2017 and made around $70 so far with no promotion whatsoever — which is obviously very low. I haven’t uploaded any new artwork after 2017, mainly because I’m not exactly a fan of Society6’s interface.
In addition, I feel like my style isn’t suitable for Society6. Most of the popular pieces there seem to be more artistic and illustrative, while my work tends to be cartoony and revolve around pop culture. I’ll need a different approach from what I’m doing for other print-on-demand websites such as Design by Humans and Redbubble. However, I don’t have the time , so Society6 is on my back burner at the moment.
Nonetheless, Society6 is one of the more popular ways for a graphic designer to make money and earn passive income. Keep posting high quality work and participating in the community on a regular basis, and you are bound to see sales in the long run.