Until recently, I was uploading my designs manually to different print on demand platforms. But finally, I have set up a system that allows me automate this tedious and repetitive task, making it very simple to do my uploads on a daily basis and saving me tons of time. Time that I can put to good use in other parts of this business.
The tool behind my process is the software called LazyMerch — the name speaks for itself. I have been aware of this tool for a long time and followed its development, but for me to feel comfortable to sign up for this monthly investment, I had to see some convincing results from this business first. I saw those results over the past few months.
I’m very hesitant with adding any new expenses that are not really necessary, while trying to grow my print on demand income. But also a big reason that makes this completely digital business so attractive, is the fact that processes can be automated, eventually allowing me create a growing income stream, while reducing my time invested in it.
Now that I have LazyMerch up and running, it has kind of opened my eyes in that regard. Only now I realize how much time and energy it actually saves me to not have to do this manual task anymore.
Let’s take a look at how it works.
How to Set Up LazyMerch
I will say that before you can enjoy saving time from your upload process, you have to set up a process to streamline the input into LazyMerch. Depending on your current state of organizing your design and listing database, this might take a while, as it has for me.
When I was still uploading manually, I really only seperated my designs into different folders by niches, and there was no consistent logic behind how I was naming my design files. I created my listings directly on the platform while uploading and did not prepare them before in most cases. This has changed now.
LazyMerch relies on Microsoft Excel to get its input from, so I started building a design database with all relevant information in an Excel spreadsheet.
Here you can see a small snapshot of it:
I know many people hate working with Excel, but it truly can be a powerful tool to streamline processes and to create a foundation for your print on demand business to scale easily.
There are other upload automation tools highlighting the benefit of not relying on Microsoft Excel to build a design database, but this always comes at the cost of getting locked into using that software, as you will actually become reliant on it. Good for the software developer, bad for the user.
Also, having your stuff organized in Excel will make many other things easier as well, which you might not even think of now. It is worth the effort.
I now create all my listings for Merch by Amazon directly in this Excel spreadsheet, each design has its unique ID that fits to the file name, and based on that it makes it so much easier and faster to convert all listing information for other platforms as well.
If you are curious to know more about how that process of creating and converting my listings with Excel actually looks, please let me know in the comments below this article. Then I can see if there is interest for that kind of information.
The whole process with LazyMerch then actually looks like this:
- You prepare your listing information and design paths in Excel and put it into the available LazyMerch Excel templates for the different platforms.
- You load those templates with LazyMerch.
- You click the button to start the process and to see the magic happen.
At the moment, I am using LazyMerch to upload to three platforms next to MBA, but I will add more platforms soon. LazyMerch currently supports 11 different platforms, including: Merch by Amazon, Amazon KDP, Spreadshirt, Redbubble, Teepublic, Teespring, Zazzle, Society6, Printul, Displate, and Shirtee.
You can see, there’s lots of potential to increase impressions on your designs and products accessible by using a tool like LazyMerch.
Automation Enables Scalability
Ultimately, LazyMerch has allowed me to upload more designs in a more consistent and sustainable way, while it requires me less time to do so.
Realizing this was a big eye opener for me, as I am really someone who has a hard time convincing myself to invest some money for something that I think I can easily do myself.
Of course, I could still upload all my designs manually to all those extra platforms, but it will take away more and more time and — even more importantly — energy to do so. Time and energy that I then would not be able to invest into the even more important parts of a print on demand business, like research and creating designs.
Automating the upload process really showed me on which stuff I need to focus to grow my business, on for which stuff I should find ways to make them as easy as possible for me.
LazyMerch in Action
I took a video to showcase my upload process with LazyMerch, which should make my point even clearer:
As you can see, the upload process changed from being something that I really didn’t like but had to do, to something that literally only takes me few mouse clicks each day.
Of course, given that I prepare my listings regularly and add them to my upload queue. Which is also a task that got a lot more efficient, now that I am doing it in my Excel spreadsheet, rather than directly on the different platforms.
Setting up an automated upload process with LazyMerch, will definitely take some time to figure out and adjust, but it will save you significantly more time in the long run.
If you want to give it a try, check out the LazyMerch website *affiliate link*, where you can sign up for a free trial as well.
(If you found my information useful, signing up through my affiliate link will give me a small commission — of course at no extra cost for you. With my coupon code “consistentme”, you can save 10% on the first six months of a subscription!)
All in all, moving from a fully manual to a mostly automated upload process was probably one of the most crucial steps forward for me in terms of understanding how to make the most of this business.
Feel free to share your experiences or questions regarding that topic in the comments below!