You've probably come across a guru or a professional POD dropshipper who's selling their knowledge in the form of a course.
The course sounds like everything you need, with a step-by-step guide to understanding how the fulfillment model works to the supplier's sourcing and designing a website that sells.
Sounds fantastic, right? Like you're being handed what could make you live the life you want through a business that can be automated!
Unfortunately, it's not that simple, and worse, these courses can cost a lot of money, making university textbook prices look like a deal.
So are these courses worth it based on what these gurus are saying?
Are POD courses worth the money in 2023?
The answer depends on the course and what it is trying to achieve, but generally, they are overpriced for what you get.
This is not to say these gurus aren't a scam because you are getting what they promised.
Still, it doesn't feel like a good purchase when the information is very similar to existing data widely available from free websites.
That's why we're going to show you these excellent courses you can take for free and start today!
The 5 best free print on demand courses of 2023
Tired of spending hours online researching how to start and run a successful print on demand business?
Look no further! Here are the five best free courses of 2023.
1. Build a Print on Demand Empire by Shopify Learn
Building an online course, Print on Demand Empire is Shopify's best on-demand printing course and a great starting point for any beginner!
This course is taught by Adrian Morrison, a seven-figure ecommerce and print on demand entrepreneur. As you can guess, this course is made for the Shopify platform and the on-demand printing app on the Shopify App Store.
This course teaches you how to create and customize a Shopify store from start to finish, choose the best product niche, and get the most out of your designs!
Sounds incredible, right?
You'll also learn how to choose the best on-demand printing platform to work with and how to increase your traffic and sales through digital marketing.
This on-demand Shopify printing course is divided into five sections, and they are:
- Creating on-demand print products
- Building a Shopify store
- Generating traffic and sales
- Expanding your on-demand printing empire.
This course also covers Facebook and email marketing in particular.
There are a total of 19 lessons. They are all video tutorials and can be completed in under three hours.
There is a text transcript and the video, which you can also speed up to complete the course faster.
You're probably wondering if this course offers anything else besides for beginners. Even if you are already running an ecommerce business, you'll find value in it!
Shopify's Build a Print on Demand Empire online course is free. No additional fees are included, but you will not receive a certificate of completion like a paid course.
Once the procedure is completed, you can access other free print on demand resources with Shopify.
Printful even has its own course with everything you need to learn to start and find your POD success!
There are lessons for beginners and ecommerce experts alike. This is not a finished course, as new classes are added from time to time. Also, this course is accessible to everyone for free!
You don't even need to be a Printful user to access the tutorials! It sounds like a great deal, right?
With Printful's tutorials, you'll learn to set up your on-demand print shop from scratch and provide the best in-store content to attract customers and ensure they keep coming back.
This course mainly covers selling t-shirts with Printful, although there are lessons for other products on the platform if you want to dive into home decor or other apparel products.
Printful tutorials are a lot of short videos. It is divided into four sections with at least 20 videos per section.
You will learn to choose a niche market for your pod store and use the applications integrated with Printful.
In addition, this course covers the best product pricing strategies, and most importantly, you will learn the ins and outs of the print on demand business!
This course has no fees, and many tutorials on products and designs are available.
You'll also learn about topics like :
- The best graphic design trends
- How to use custom designs across products
- The best graphic design tools
- The proper use of color.
- How to use the Printful Mock-up Generator tool.
While the first three sections are summarized, the last section of this Printful course focuses solely on the platform.
With the lessons here, you'll learn how Printful's order fulfillment works and how to use Printful's features to create your POD business!
3. Free Shopify print on demand course by Kamil Sattar
This free youtube video spans over 3.5 hours from Kamil Sattar, better known as The Ecom King.
He goes over choosing niches, branding, designs, and setting up different social media marketing strategies, all for free!
What's also notable in this extensive video is the number of tools and websites The Ecom King recommends and why you should check them out.
Another highlight of the video is the amount of different social media platform strategies he goes over. Usually, gurus only recommend Facebook Ads or a general one size fits all system (which often doesn't work as well as they say it does).
The Ecom King uses a specific strategy designed only for that platform for maximum effectiveness. Sharing this is quite the feat for the information you don't have to pay for.
4. Print On Demand online course by Somewhat Passive Income
Here's a massive guide on starting your print on demand business. It's all written based on four sections.
What's brilliant about what you'll learn is the number of videos connected to the section with info on what time in the video is worth watching. It's pretty considerate of your time!
Somewhat Passive Income includes takeaways to skim through what matters most to you instead of reading the guide entirely.
There's also an intensive look into designing tools, common questions, and problems beginners have. This is one of the most thorough courses written through blog posts anyone can access on Somewhat Passive Income's website!
That's not all, though; where you sell your products can be a hassle, and there's a pros and cons analysis of all the places you can sell to find which one suits you best.
5. Print on demand (full tutorial for beginners) by Santrel Media
Central Media is a marketing agency specializing in helpful ways a business can be set up and find success online.
Their youtube channel shows an extensive library of videos on setting up your business correctly with tools and platforms.
Unlike traditional gurus, they put all their effort into these videos to be as comprehensive on the topic as much as possible. The most notable is this course being featured!
While this video isn't as thorough as the others mentioned here, this still gives you all you need to know to get up and run.
The most impactful part of their course is how much of a hands-on tutorial process it is. Mike, the instructor, goes through the entire process with minimal editing, so it feels like you're doing it alongside him, as if he's right there with you!
Mike also ends the youtube video with an intensive look at setting up your store with Mailchimp, the leading provider in email marketing.
From setting up the account and email list to designing your first promotional email, it's quite a jammed pack with a lot of information in 24 minutes!
The best Udemy courses for print on demand
Udemy is a platform for all sorts of courses that go beyond business.
If you want to learn how to paint, play the guitar or do photography, there's a course on Udemy!
While most Udemy courses aren't free, they are considerably more affordable than courses from gurus.
Depending on the course length, you can expect Udemy courses to be around $5-$20. That's quite the bargain!
While some POD courses go over $100, we will look at the best free Udemy courses for POD.
This Udemy course is from Deby Coles, an artist and creator of the Etsy marketplace platform. She is also the owner of Sew Simple Bags, helping people learn the craftsmanship of all types of fabric materials.
The course is presented in English. It expects to show a step-by-step guide to creating an effective POD business without any knowledge of Etsy.
This course is thorough, with almost two hours in video length. It covers:
This class is for beginners and covers everything you need to get started with your online store:
- How to open an Etsy store if you don't already have one
- How to open an account with Printful
- How to easily integrate the two versions so they ‘talk' to each other about your orders
- How to set up your first product in Printful and ‘push' it to your Etsy store
- Making your first product live on Etsy
- How to offer personalized or custom items (a big seller on Etsy)
- How to order discounted samples
- Using the mockup generator to create additional images for your products
- Using an external mockup generator to make your products stand out
- What happens when an order comes in
- Customizing and branding your packing slip
More than 11,000 have taken part in this course, and it has a 4.9 rating out of 5 from 349 reviews. As a complete course for free, this is a lot of value!
What the course does not cover, though, are:
- SEO for your Etsy store (get more customers from search traffic)
- Graphic design skills
- Marketing for your store
You'll have to find other courses on those!
The main thing you want to take from this course is information on the best way to be successful in having a wide range of designs to appeal as much as you can and then focus on the techniques that make the most sales.
These courses are recommended to anyone who wants to learn about Etsy and POD.
It's worth checking out!
Julian Foulds made this course of PageFly, a tool to help you optimize your store for more conversions.
This is a smash-hit free POD course on Udemy. The course covers shirt designing and print on demand with their store optimizing plugin for Shopify with a free tier version.
The course is presented in English, and more than 5,000 students have participated in the course, with over 30 ratings of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
With this course, you'll figure out how to make designs for shirts, mugs, and other print on demand products.
You'll also figure out how to make mockup pictures for these things on your products and how to buy and sell them. As a beginner course, no experience is required.
It is separated into two sections:
- Introduction to course
- Setting up Shopify
- Setting up the Pagefly plugin
- Examples of successful product pages
- Building a product page on Shopify
- Setting up a sales trigger
This course is 1 hour and 40 minutes long, and it'll catch you up to speed on what you need to know to have built up a store and be ready to make sales through Facebook Ads.
This course covers the core essentials, so it's more like a how-to guide for starting a POD store rather than an everything-you-need-to-know guide.
Books are the best tools of wisdom for any POD dropshipper – a great way to keep learning!
Even though there aren't many books about POD directly because the fulfillment model and trends move at such a fast pace that writing and getting it to publish is often too slow.
That's why courses and blog posts are more for that content.
As a bonus of this article, some books will help you learn and grow a POD store through your mindset and ability to learn easier.
Now books can have a cost through your local bookstore or on Amazon, but there's a good chance your local library will be carrying them so that you can check them out for free!
Also, an incredible fact most people don't know is that many libraries now have free ebooks that you can download for a limited time on your favorite reading device.
Let's start with a classic self-development book everyone should read.
Atomic habits have been regarded as the most excellent book on how to transform your life by creating good habits that build the life you want.
James Clear goes over simple steps and advice with powerful stories that anyone can do.
One strategy he recommends is self-identity. For example, non-smoker has an easier time saying no to smoking a cigarette because they don't identify themselves as a smoker.
So if a person wants to quit smoking, they first need to identify they are a non-smoker, so it would be easier to say no to cigarettes.
This identity mindset can be applied to being an owner of a POD store!
It would help if you remembered you are an owner of a business with unlimited potential and can make your own decisions.
Once you've identified you're a business owner, you can make choices like one.
Another great book that'll help your business is understanding the brand aspect.
Building a Story Brand focuses on how to make a brand story that genuinely connects with your customers.
It's jam-packed with advice on motivating and encouraging customers to become loyal advocates. And it discusses the common pitfalls and actionable advice on how to avoid them.
For example, you can have the best product globally, but you risk losing a lot of revenue if you don't present it to your customers correctly. We especially recommend this book to new ecommerce business owners who aren't marketing savvy.
Building a storied brand is about creating a story that will resonate with your customers in your store.
There's a lot about motivating and encouraging customers to become huge fans who would recommend others to you.
There are many insightful ways to learn storytelling by using examples, such as in star wars, where Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker how to use force to defeat the Sith.
In this analogy, your product(s) are the force that will help luke (who are your customers) solve their problem, and you're Yoda, who will allow them to use your product to enhance their lives.
Many successful businesses use this storytelling to build a brand people can relate to and see their problems being solved.
This is a great book to start an entrepreneurial journey!
People tend to overcomplicate what they need and the steps it takes to overcome that.
The $100 dollar start up breaks it down to a simple formula of (passion+skill) > (problem + marketplace) = opportunity.
We can take that formula and use it for our POD business:
(your chosen niche + designs) > (People who want to represent your designs + the community of your chosen place) = profit.
There are also many more ways to build your business besides selling products. The author encourages every product-based company to simultaneously figure out a way to offer a service. Vice versa for serviced-based companies as well.
A POD store owner can use custom design services for their customers to get a unique design for your products.
While this book helps remove all the complications preventing people from starting their businesses, some oversimplifications are too!
Most notable is the lack of mentioning taxes or legal matters it may require to sell certain products.
While most POD businesses with apparel and home decor wouldn't need to be as careful about their country or state's laws, sometimes you may need to if you're selling jewelry or products that can cause accidental harm if mishandled or swallowed.
The $100 Startup has been one of the most fantastic beginner books for any inspiring business owner and will get you in the correct mindset to make your dream a reality!
There's a lot of free information on the internet if you know where to look!
We're showing these excellent ways, so you can learn without breaking the bank from gurus.
Now you need to commit the time to learn and apply to your store
Have a great day, and best of luck!
Want to learn more about POD?
Ready to move your print on demand store to the next level? Check out the articles below:
- 10 Best Print on Demand Tools for your Business
- Printful vs. Printify: Which One for Print on Demand?
- Dropshipping vs. Print On Demand: What Is the Difference?
- 14 Best US Print on Demand Suppliers in 2023 (Fast Shipping)
Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a print on demand business guide here!