This post talks about one of the most creative ways you can make money from home. I'll cover the whole process on how you can make anything from $200/m to 10K/m passive income per journal/planner selling on Amazon, Etsy and other marketplaces.
Best of all this is a location independent business and you can sell planners no matter where you live, and sell one or all Amazon stores around the world.
How to Make Money with Journals & Planners
The thing is that there journals and planners can be done by anyone - and I mean literally anyone!
You do not need expensive graphic software or tons of marketing experience. You can create everything on Word/Google Sheets/Powerpoint and/or Canva!
Google and Canva being completely FREE to use! 🙂 (Canva does offer PRO account which is highly recommended but it is not necessary)
So in short Journal creation process is as follows:
1. Find topic or niche for your journal/notebook/planner
2. Create internal pages with above mentioned tools
3. Create cover for your planner/journal (this is most important!)
4. Upload to Amazon KDP (plus Etsy and other marketplaces if you wish).
The beauty of Amazon is that you do not do that much marketing yourself. I say that much, but for sure it helps if you do some marketing yourself as well.
Amazon is one of the largest shopping search engines and if you optimize your planner correctly, sales will follow with you doing any extra marketing.
At minimum, I do recommend creating a Pinterest account for your planners and optimize your planner pins for search - this will most likely explode your traffic and sales. You can learn more about Pinterest SEO in this course.
Benefit of Selling Journals
- Easy online business to start
- no prior knowledge required
- Low (or zero) start-up cost
- if you DIY cover and internal pages, you can start with $0!
- Easy to Sell
- You'll sell your notebooks on the world's largest shopping channel!
- Passive income
- Make it once, sell it for ever!
- No Inventory!
- Amazon KDP prints your book ONLY when it sells so you can keep your family room for entertaining! 🙂
You could create a journal/planner on any topic in the world! But if you don't have ideas, here are few that are popular options.
- Annual planner / calendar
- Prayer Journal
- Recipe Notebook
- Daily affirmation notebook
- Marketing tracker
- Wedding Planner
- and hundreds of others types!
How to know what sells and what does not
First thing you need to do is to undestand what sells now or find a niche does not have many quality journals/planners yet.
It is important that you take time to search on Amazon to undestand what is currently out there and what the planners are like. You should also do search on Etsy and Pinterest to get ideas to improve your journal selling.
This is great way to get ideas and inspiration for your own books so do not rush this part!
Head over to Amazon and use the search bar to get ideas - when you write, Amazon starts suggestion relevant searches made by other 🙂
Then you should scroll and see what kind of books are already on the market. Below is example of recipe notebook.
I do recommend that you dig a bit deeper than recipe notebook and find notebooks in a smaller niche. You'll start seeing sales much quicker and rank higher on the search results.
Make a list of all the ideas you have and decide which is the first notebook/journal you create.
Your aim is to find a niche that has relatively high number of demand and low competition.
To be honest, your first book might not be a home run but once you do it once, you can replicate the process as you learn more about selling notebooks & journals.
How to Create Low-Content Journal / Notebook
Now the fun part - actual creation! You have two options here.... either create it yourself from scractch OR purchase a ready-made templates.
For some books all you need to do is to create a dotted pages - bullet journal style - lined pages for note taking or every just blank pages for drawing notebooks!!
Here's templates on Canva - Just a heads up, you can not download one of these and just upload to Amazon with a cover! You need to make the template your own by changing colors, fonts and layout. But it is a bit easier way to get started.
The Cover Makes or Breaks Your Sales
The most important part of your work process is the planner Cover! It literally makes or breaks your journal sales.
Look at competing planners & notebooks on Amazon and try to find a way you can make your cover more attractive than theirs to get the "click".
You only want your cover to stand out in the sea of other notebooks so that it gets clicked over the next one.
How to Upload Notebook to Amazon KDP
You are almost there.... just one more step to go. Now it's time to upload your notebook to Amazon. Head over to Amazon to sign up and create your author account.
This is where you upload both the cover and internal pages (as separate files) to Amazon for them to print your notebook.
You did some research in the beginning of the process looking at what people search for - this is where you can use that information as keywords on the title, description and of course keyword section.
You'll also need to pick category for your book. When you do this first time you see quite a short and not so matching list of categories. At this stage, pick the most suitable, and ask Amazon to change it later (there's thousands of more categories but those are not listed on the upload page - beats me why....)
Amazon has very detailed process for the upload so just follow the prompts and hit SUBMIT. Amazon will review your uplaod and publish book usually within 24 hours. If there's any changes required, they'll send you an email why it was rejected.