How to Sell Canva Templates & Make Money On the Side – A Beginner’s Guide

25 min read

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How to make money selling Canva templates
Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring in a couple of thousand bucks every month by doing something fun and relaxing? Well, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years. I sell Canva templates and make over $2K per month. Pretty cool, right?

Like all new businesses, it took more work in the beginning—designing templates, figuring out what sells, properly pricing my products, learning to create well-designed templates! Because you see, I have zero graphic design background!

But even then, I hardly ever spent more than 20 hours per month (yes, that’s per month!) on this business. Not even during those first few months! And now I spend even less time on this business and still make around 2K per month selling Canva templates, on the side, with minimal efforts.

That’s right! I started this Canva template business in early 2019. The first several months were slow as I had no idea what I was doing. But by the end of 2019, I knew I had something solid! All throughout 2020 and through the first two quarters of 2021 until now—at the time of writing this post—my average monthly revenue from selling Canva templates has been over $2K.

If that’s not freakin’ amazing, I don’t know what is!

So, in this blog post, I want to share with you how I got started, what I learned over the past couple of years, and how you can do this too — start making a thousand bucks or two every month selling Canva templates on the side.

Do you want to make money selling Canva Templates?

I teach you everything I've learned about selling Canva templates in this course, and help you make at least $1,000 per month, on the side!

Content

How I Started Selling Canva Templates

Let me give you a little background first.

Back in June 2018 when I launched TSB, I was spending copious amounts of hours trying to design some of the most basic blog and social media graphics with Photoshop. Now, I’m no graphic designer; I’ve never had any formal graphic design training. But I’ve always appreciated good design, and on more than one occasion, I’ve fantasized about being able to create beautiful things — graphics, logos, print layouts, and more.

So, to remedy my longing, I taught myself programs like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator. But at the end of the day, I’m still not a pro, and using Photoshop for simple blog graphics wasn’t the most efficient way of spending my time.

So, when an acquaintance introduced me to Canva, I was more or less ecstatic.

You see, it took me days to master some of the simplest Photoshop and Illustrator tricks, but with Canva, I was able to learn the platform and get going in just a couple of hours! Soon enough, I was designing all kinds of things left and right — social media graphics, Pinterest pins, blog graphics, lead magnets, and I was also designing things that I had no need for.

In short, I was starting to have fun with Canva!

A few months later, around December of 2018, I decided it was time for me to get serious about growing my email list. One of my plans was to create several different lead magnets, also known as opt-in freebies — incentives you give away for free to your subscribers, in exchange for them signing up for your newsletter.

One of these lead magnets was a media kit Canva template for bloggers.

Believe it or not, this one lead magnet changed everything. People were signing up for my email list like crazy, doubling and then tripling my daily subscriptions within just a few days. This incident made me realize that people wanted templates. People wanted Canva templates. And so, my new side-hustle selling Canva templates was born.

In the beginning, I didn’t take it too seriously. Selling Canva templates was never part of any grand business plan. I was happy if I sold a couple of templates every now and then. But soon I realized how big of a demand there was for Canva templates, and as I started adding more and more products, and started testing different sales strategies, my revenue started to grow.

Then, almost a year after selling Canva templates, I made my first $1K+ from this side-business within one month.

That was January 2020.

And now, as of writing this, I make double of that! Still working no more than 10-20 hours per month (tops) on this business. Crazy, huh!

Media kit Canva template for bloggers
The auspicious media kit Canva template freebie that changed way too many things around here.

Now that the backstory’s out of the way, let’s get into the details.

What is Canva

You must be living under a rock, my friend!

So, for you, my dear cave dweller, here’s a little primer on Canva:

Canva is an online graphic design tool for EVERYBODY! In essence, you can have ZERO graphic design knowledge, and still create something beautiful with Canva, with the littlest of efforts.

Why do so many people use Canva?

The reality of our time is that more and more people are starting their own business, becoming freelancers, or at least starting some kind of side-hustle. This means that they need to create a brand, grow an audience, and build an email list or social media presence. All that requires various types of documents and graphics.

But many of these folks are not designers, nor do they have time to design the graphics themselves. So, what do they do? They either hire designers—which can be mighty expensive, or they use Canva. Why Canva? Because:

  • Canva is made for EVERYONE! It’s easy! Unlike Photoshop or Illustrator, the learning curve is minimal. Also, there are tons of resources (YouTube videos and Canva’s in-house tutorials) for users to easily learn how to use the tool.
  • Canva is free to use. Sure, Canva Pro has many more features, but not everyone needs those features. But even so, the Pro version is still pretty cheap!
  • While Canva may be cheap, it can create high-quality graphics and documents.
  • Canva has a built-in library of free and pro templates (albeit they’re not on par with third-party Canva templates that we—template sellers—make), a huge free and paid stock photo library, and tons of pre-made elements and high-quality fonts that you can use on your designs.
  • It is a web-based application, making it easy to access.
  • It has a desktop and a mobile app too, making designing more accessible than ever!

Who Buys Canva Templates

Often, when I mention selling Canva templates, people have an array of reactions. Some people are genuinely intrigued while others show skepticism.

On the skeptic end, these are some of the questions I get to answer:

Why would anyone pay to buy Canva templates? Canva is already so easy to use, wouldn’t people rather make their own?

Here’s the thing. Not everyone likes to or even wants to create designs from scratch. For some of us, designing is fun. I’ve alluded to it before, but I enjoy working with Canva even when I have no need for it. It’s almost meditative! It calms my nerves; helps release stress.

But that’s not how it is for everyone. For those who do not enjoy the process of designing something, they’d rather pay a little money to get a template instead. This way they can just customize a pre-designed template, and get a unique product in their hands in minutes.

Heck, I’ve had people send me messages and emails asking if I’d be willing to do the customization for them. People, as long as they’re able to afford it, would rather pay someone else to do the deeds they’re not keen on doing themselves. Nothing’s wrong with that. I’ve had my share of ordering grocery deliveries after all.

But that’s not all. There are people who are simply not good at designing. And then there are others who just do not have the time. Another option for these folks is to hire a designer but that’s often way too expensive for many. These are the people who buy Canva templates, even if the Canva platform itself is super easy to use.

But doesn’t Canva already have a HUGE library of templates? Why bother purchasing from elsewhere?

I have nothing against Canva’s huge template library. Most of these are high-quality templates created by talented designers. Heck, I’m one of those designers who contribute to Canva’s native template library.

But there is a significant difference between these native templates and the ones you purchase from third-party sellers. You see, the templates you see on Canva are one-off templates. One Instagram template. One Pinterest template. A magazine template that only has five pages… You get the picture.

Now, let’s assume you’re looking for some Instagram templates for your business and you want a set of templates with a consistent style. Now what? You won’t get that in Canva’s template library, would you? In contrast, we — Canva template sellers — who sell on our own platforms or third-party marketplaces like Etsy or Creative Market, do not sell one-off templates. We sell packages. An Instagram Canva template package may have 20 or 30 or more templates that are similar in style and design, and if someone purchases a bundle like that, they’re pretty much set for a long time. It’s good for their branding and adds consistency to their feed.

Difference between a custom designed Canva template pack and Canva's template library
My Instagram Canva template pack – Frost vs. Canva native Instagram template library

But there are so many people selling Canva templates now; isn’t the market saturated?

Having a healthy amount of competition isn’t a bad thing. At least not in this case. On one hand, a lot of people are selling Canva templates because there’s just a lot of demand for it. If anything, this is good news! You won’t have to try too hard to find customers. And on the other hand, with the way Canva is growing, regardless of how many people are selling Canva templates, there are way more people looking to purchase Canva templates. So the demand is still on the growing trend.

So, who buys Canva templates, again?

Think anyone who has a business or needs some kind of social media presence.

That’s right, all businesses need graphics. Whether it’s Apple or Microsoft or the dog-walker who lives next door or your kid’s kindergarten teacher. Now, sure, Apple or Microsoft will likely not be your customers, but the dog-walker? Or the teacher? They could definitely use some Canva templates!

Here’s a list of potential customers that would love some customizable and relatively cheap Canva templates:

  • bloggers and content creators
  • educators (traditional teachers or online course creators)
  • coaches
  • freelancers
  • authors and writers
  • small business owners
  • restaurants
  • shops and boutiques
  • real estate agents or companies
  • independent service providers (dog-walkers, pet-sitters, nannies, you name it!)

And more!

Who Should Sell Canva Templates

I think it’s safe to say that as long as you meet the following two conditions, you can start selling Canva templates:

  1. You love Canva!
  2. You are either good at designing, or you are willing to put in the work to improve your design skills.

If you remember, I mentioned before that I’m no graphic designer. My background is in engineering. However, I’ve always loved a good design, and have wanted to be able to design things. Putting in the work to develop my style was a process that I enjoyed very much.

Canva Templates You Can Make and Sell

As I’ve said, Canva is an online graphic design tool for everyone. It’s something like a graphic-design-for-dummies thing. So, naturally, you cannot expect complicated design capabilities that you may be used to from Photoshop or Illustrator.

That said, Canva is useful when you need to create simpler but high-quality things for your business. Some examples are:

  • social media graphics, banners, thumbnails (Instagram posts and stories, Facebook posts and banners, YouTube thumbnails and banners, Pinterest pin graphics, etc.)
  • blog graphics (featured images, hero section backgrounds, social media graphics, etc.)
  • workbooks
  • eBooks
  • media kits
  • infographics
  • brochures, posters, and flyers
  • presentations
  • resumes
  • greeting cards
  • and a bazillion other documents type products. Based on what your audience’s needs are and what you personally enjoy creating, you can create an array of graphics/templates with Canva and sell them.

Just make sure that your products are unique and created from scratch by you. DO NOT take a Canva native template or somebody else’s template and customize it to make it look different, then sell it as your own.

The Side Blogger Canva Template Shop
The Side Blogger Canva Template Shop

What is the Cost of Starting a Canva Template Business

By far it is one of the cheapest businesses out there! The investment is minimal, really!

Let’s take a look at what it costs:

  • Canva account. It’s FREE! (But, I do recommend having a Canva Pro account. A pro account isn’t necessary, but it does unlock more features that you may find beneficial. It’s only $12.99 per month, or $19.99 if you pay annually.)
  • Photoshop subscription – I use it to design the product photos. The Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan costs $9.99 per month. (Here’s a blog post on how I use Photoshop to design my Canva template product photos. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Photoshop whiz. My tutorial shows you how to easily create these beautiful product photos with free mockup templates in a short few steps.)

If you’re setting up your shop on a third-party marketplace such as Etsy or Creative Market, then these are all the investments — less than 25 bucks per month, that could potentially earn you hundreds or even a couple of thousand bucks, monthly!

If you’re also setting up your shop on your own platform, then there is an additional cost of running your website. A WordPress site with domain and hosting can cost you as little as less than 10 bucks per month!

How Much Money Can You Make by Selling Canva Templates

This is always a tricky question to answer. In any and all business, how much money you can make depends on a variety of factors.

First of all, are you selling the right things to the right people? (Has to do with understanding your audience.)

Additionally, are you promoting your products enough, and do you even know how product promotions work?

Also, are you pricing your products properly?

Most importantly, are your designs high-quality?

Here’s something to compare:

I started my Canva template side-business in early 2019, and for the first few months, I made only a hundred or so from my templates. This amount had grown slowly but steadily for the first year, and then in 2020, I made an average of some $2K+ every month from selling Canva templates on three platforms — the Canva template shop on this blog, Creative Market, and Etsy.

Here’s a breakdown of 2020 income for your consideration:

Monthly average revenue from:

The Side Blogger Canva template shop: ~ $836
Creative Market: ~ $1,165
Etsy: ~ $349

Total average monthly revenue in 2020: ~ $2,350

Keep in mind that this is my side-gig, so naturally, I only spend a few hours a week (10-20 hours per month) designing and promoting my templates.

So, how much can you make from selling Canva templates? I’ve shared my numbers above, but ultimately, it depends on:

  • your level of expertise in creating good designs
  • the number of products you have in your shop(s) and how often you create new products
  • how well you promote your products
  • the kind of templates you sell, and
  • how you price them.

Where Can You Sell Canva Templates

I’ve already mentioned the three platforms where I sell Canva templates: this blog, Creative Market, and Etsy. But there are others too. A few places you could look at selling Canva templates are (aside from your own website):

I’m sure there are other more platforms where you can sell Canva templates than the ones I’ve mentioned. If you have time, you could list your products on as many platforms as you want.

If you’re selling on your own platform, then you can choose from any one of these:

  • WordPress (WooCommerce shop)
  • Shopify
  • Squarespace
  • SendOwl
  • Ko-fi

Etc.

 Understand that selling your Canva templates on multiple platforms is a good way to earn more money by tapping into a larger pool of audiences.  As I’ve mentioned above, Creative Market and Etsy are two awesome platforms where I have my templates shops aside from this blog. You should definitely look into those platforms if you’re serious about making more money selling Canva templates.

Prerequisites for Selling Canva Templates on Your Blog

Selling on a third-party platform like Etsy, for example, involves creating an account and listing your products. Simple! Some platforms may have you apply for a shop first, such as Creative Market, and when your application is approved, you can start selling right away.

Selling on your own website, however, takes a bit of work. Depending on where you sell, your process may look different. I have students (on my online course — Side Income with Canva Templates — where I teach people how to create a Canva template side business and share more in-depth information than I have shared here) who have their websites on WordPress WooCommerce while some others have their shops on Shopify.

Personally, I prefer WordPress, so for the rest of this section, I’ll use WordPress as the reference.

Set up your website/blog

Assuming that you’re selling on your own website or blog, of course, the first step is to set it up.

To sell products on your blog, you’ll need to set up a self-hosted WordPress site.

The process begins with buying a domain and hosting plan. There are plenty of companies where you can buy domains and/or hosting from, but I recommend the following:

  • Domain from NameCheap
  • Hosting from SiteGround (make sure to get a GrowBig or higher plan; the StartUp plan isn’t optimal for eCommerce websites)

After you have purchased the domain and hosting, you’ll have to set up WordPress. You can refer to this post for a step-by-step tutorial to set up WordPress on SiteGround.

Once the setup is complete, you’ll need a theme that supports WooCommerce — the eCommerce platform built for WordPress users. There are plenty of WordPress themes but look for one that specifies compatibility with WooCommerce.

I personally prefer (and have this very blog and shop built with) the Astra + Elementor combo. Astra is a high-quality WordPress theme with WooCommerce compatibility, and Elementor is a page builder plugin for WordPress.

If you do not have the time or the skills to use a page-builder like Elementor to design your site, you can always count on Astra Pro to have beautiful WooCommerce templates. Astra itself is a great standalone theme that is optimized for WooCommerce. The Astra pro themes have many WooCommerce-specific themes that are really easy to set up.

Set up WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the eCommerce platform built to work seamlessly with WordPress. It’s a powerful platform with many options and features and even further add-on capabilities.

WooCommerce is a plugin that you install on your self-hosted WordPress site. It’s as simple as installing and then activating any other WordPress plugin, however, you do have to do some “extra work” to set up a system where you can collect buyer information and process payments.

For more on WooCommerce setup specifically for selling digital, downloadable products such as Canva templates, please refer to the following blog post: How to Set Up WooCommerce to Sell Digital, Downloadable Products

How to Make Money Selling Canva Templates

Let’s now look at the entire system of making money by selling Canva templates.

Step 1: Sign up for Canva

Sign up for a Canva account. It is free 🙂

It used to be that you needed a Canva pro account to share your designs as templates, but starting February 23, 2021, this feature is now available to free Canva users as well. 

That said, the Canva pro account has many more features that, as a Canva user and designer, you will find appealing. This is why I recommend any Canva power user to sign up for the pro account. If you do not already have it, feel free to sign up for Canva pro using my unique affiliate link which gives you 45 days of free trial (15 days more than the usual 30-day free trial period.)

Step 2: Decide which products you’ll sell on your shop

Figure out what kind of products you wish to sell in your shop. Different people come to this differently. For me, since I set up my shop on my blog first, I considered my existing audience and their needs when coming up with a product line.

Perhaps you’re a photographer who teaches photography on their website, and you have an existing audience comprised of other photographers. You may ask yourself what kind of products do photographers need? Social media graphics? Social media banners? Photography portfolios and photo albums? Services booklet or pricing sheets? Client onboarding documents?

Or perhaps you’re a blogger who caters to foodies and cooks. Maybe you want to create recipe cards, recipe books, meal planners, grocery planners, cookbooks, social media graphics, etc.

This way of coming up with a product line is helpful when you already have an existing audience. But, if you do not have an audience already, or if you’re setting up your shop on third-party marketplaces such as Etsy, for example, then you could also just go to Etsy and see what kind of digital templates people are selling. Do some research on this, and create a list of product types you’d like to design and sell on your Canva template shop.

Step 3: Create Canva templates to sell

Canva has a lot of pre-made templates that you can take inspiration from. However, it’s one thing to take inspiration from, and another to copy something or take a template and make some adjustments.

If you cannot come up with your own designs, then please, forget selling templates for now, and instead, focus on learning and honing your design skills.

However, the thing with pre-made templates is that they’re already on Canva. So, why would someone pay you to purchase a similar template?

Your designs need to be sufficiently different, and of better quality, if you want people to pay you.

So, be careful where you draw your inspiration from.

Personally, I follow artists on Instagram and often like to spend my time going over other designers on Etsy or Creative Market, Behance, Dribbble, 99Designs, etc. I’m always trying to soak up whatever I can. But again, be careful. Do not let your inspiration dictate the design where you come off as a plagiarizer. Copying or stealing other people’s work is not cool, unethical, and illegal.

Once you have a solid grasp on what you want to sell, design the templates.  You may use the available Canva elements and fonts to design your products, as well as the images available on Canva.  Since a customer can only use these templates by having their own Canva accounts, you need not worry about element or image licenses when you’re selling Canva templates.

But as a good practice, I prefer to design my templates using only free Canva elements and fonts. This way, if my buyer doesn’t have a Canva pro account, they’re still able to use my templates without having to upgrade to Canva pro or purchase a pro element.

Step 4: Prepare Canva template deliverables

When you create a design in Canva, you share it with your buyers as a template.

Once you’re done designing, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Get the sharable template link from the design.
  • Create a PDF that will contain the sharable template link.
  • Add the sharable template link to your PDF.

Once done, and you’ve created a product, you’ll set this PDF as the deliverable so that when someone buys a product, they receive this PDF. Once they have the PDF, they can then access your design.

Here are the steps:

Get the shareable Canva template link

In the design window that you’re creating to sell, click on the share button, and then at the bottom of the section that just opened up, click on the arrow to open a dropdown. Then choose “Share a link to use as template”. Please note that this is strictly a Canva pro feature. So you must have a Canva pro account if you wish to sell Canva templates.

Get the sharable template link from the Canva design
Get the sharable template link from the Canva design

This is the link you will share with your buyers. When your buyers click on this link, the template will automatically open AND create a copy of the template in their own Canva account, leaving your original master template intact even when they make changes to the template on their end.

Create the PDF and add the sharable template link

Just like you’d create any design on Canva, you start with a blank US letter size document. Add some text to this document such as your logo, your business info, etc.

First, search for “US letter” in the Canva search bar on the homepage after you log in.

Create the deliverable PDF document.

In the PDF, you could thank your buyer for the purchase, and direct them to click the link to access the template.

Here’s how you add a link to your PDF document:

  • Highlight the text (it could say something like, click here to access your template, or something similar), then click on the link icon from the editing menu. This will open up a popup where you can enter the link you copied before (the sharable template link.)
  • Click “Apply”. This text is now a hyperlink, and once your buyer clicks on it, they’ll be able to open the Canva template in their own Canva accounts.

When you insert the link, make sure to use the one you copied in the previous step — the “use as template” link.

Once everything looks good, proceed to download the document, and use the “PDF Print” format to export it. Remember, the link will only work when you save it as a PDF file.

Here’s a video if you need some help with this part.

Step 5: Create product images

Your buyers do not see the actual product, and so, to make sure your products are desirable to your potential customers, create stunning product images.

I have a blog post where I’ve shared some ways to create beautiful product images, so make sure to check it out.

Typically, I like to create at least 10 product images per product. More visuals help your customers decide if your product is indeed the right product for their use.

Step 6: Decide on your product price

Having the right pricing is important. Since there is no “established” pricing guide, you’ll need to do some homework and decide for yourself the best and optimal price for your products.

In terms of “doing the homework”, check out some of the Canva product prices out there that are similar to the products that you’re creating. You can do this by visiting other Canva sellers’ shops. Creative Market and Etsy — two of the biggest Canva template marketplaces — are good places to start.

Consider these things while doing your research.

  • Similar design quality
  • The total number of pages/graphics in one template bundle (for example, how many Instagram templates are in an Instagram template product? if someone is selling a 15-template bundle for $12, and you have 40 templates, your product will naturally be more expensive.)

Step 7: List your Canva templates for selling

Now that you have everything you need, start listing your products. If you already have a website with an audience (a blog or business website), you can sell your products on your own platform. If that’s not the case, you can start with one or two third-party marketplaces that I’ve listed above. Etsy is free to start, so many of my students often start with that.

If you’re selling on your website, then based on the platform, you’ll need to list the products accordingly. Since I’ve been focusing on the WordPress/WooCommerce platform in this blog post, I’ll show you how to list your products there.

Add your products on WooCommerce

Adding a product in WooCommerce is simple enough — just like adding a post or a page — with the exception of added fields for adding product images, price, inventory, etc. Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Go to WordPress Dashboard > Products > Add New.
  2. Add your titles and descriptions. WooCommerce has two separate description boxes. Remember that the top description box in the WordPress product editor is the one that shows up underneath the product images on the actual product page on the site. And the description box that is at the bottom of the product editor page is the one that shows up at the top, next to the product image, on the actual product page.
  3. You also have two different places, within the WordPress product editor page, where you can add images. One of them is the “product image”, which is the main product image that shows up on the Shop page, as well as the first (larger) image that people see on the single product page. The other section is the “product gallery”, which is where you can add more photos. On the single product page, these are shown right below the main image. But if you click on any of these, the top-main image is replaced by the one you click.
  4. Towards the middle of the product editor, you’ll see the section where you can do all the fun stuff, like, setting the price, adding the actual downloadable product, etc. Let’s take a closer look!
    (Follow the images!)
Choose “simple product”, and check both virtual and downloadable.

Make sure to choose “Simple Product”, and then check both “Virtual” and “Downloadable”.

Typically, you wouldn’t need the “Virtual” option, but I have had issues with downloads when I didn’t have that option checked. So, make sure to check both.

Under the “General” tab, set your price, and add the files your buyers will be able to download upon purchase.

You can also set a download limit and expiry if you want to. If you do not want to set any limits, just leave those blank.

Set inventory if you want.

Under the “Inventory” tab, you can set up how many products you’re selling. These are digital products, so, technically, you do not need to set a limit or have inventory. It is totally up to you whether or not you want to set a limit to how many of these products you’ll sell.

Also, since they’re all digital, downloadable products, there is no reason to allow backorders.

I also make sure to check “Sold individually”. Nobody needs multiple copies of the same digital product by mistake. It may cause confusion if someone accidentally chose more than one product; then you’ll need to deal with refunds and you don’t want to waste time with that.

You’ll also see places for adding product images. One of them is the main product image that shows on the shop page. The gallery is where you add additional images. Potential buyers will be able to see them on the single product page. These additional photos are meant to give the potential buyers a better understanding of what they can expect from the product.

Add product images.

There are more options inside a product page, but they’re not necessary to start selling a product. If you want to learn more in-depth about some of these features, please refer to the WooCommerce setup tutorial for digital products.

Once you have added your product and you have clicked “Publish”, your item will be available for others to purchase.

Please DO check out the post I linked above, as it has more in-depth information for WooCommerce setup and best practices for selling digital and downloadable products, specifically! That post also goes over setting up payment options for PayPal and Stripe.

List your Canva templates on Etsy

Etsy is one of the easiest platforms to set up your shop on and start selling digital products, including Canva templates. Many of my students in Side Income with Canva Templates online course start their shops on Etsy even before they start selling on their own website.

Aside from having a simple user interface that makes setting up shop and listing products super easy, Etsy also comes with its own set of tools to drive more traffic and get more sales. Its algorithm rewards sellers with high-quality products and great customer service. Etsy also comes with its native ads system that’s easy to set up and start promoting products.

What’s more, Etsy takes only a 5% cut of the sales which is much lower than many other third-party marketplaces.

List your Canva templates on Creative Market

Another platform I love is Creative Market. It’s a marketplace specifically for selling digital products, and many a Canva template seller—myself included—has found an audience there. Creative Market’s algorithm seems to be on the side of the sellers. I get a lot of sales on that platform with minimal to no promotional efforts on my end. So, as you can guess, I highly recommend it to sellers. Even with a pretty hefty cut of the commission (40%), Creative Market still constitutes a high percentage of my monthly income from this side gig.

The downside, if you can call it that, is that setting up a shop on Creative Market has to go through a vetting process. You have to apply to be a creator first. An actual human will review your application and decide whether or not your products are good enough for their platform. Some of my students at Side Income with Canva Templates have had to apply a couple of times before their applications were approved. But once they were in, they were able to start selling pretty fast.

Step 8: Promote your products

Now it’s time to sell the products!

One of the ways I promote my templates is with Pinterest. I love Pinterest! In fact, I get a lot of my customers from this awesome platform. Here are some ways to promote your templates with Pinterest.

  • As you may know, getting traction on Pinterest requires creating amazeballs Pin graphics. Make sure to create beautiful Pin graphics that other Pinterest users will be tempted to click on. Hook them with great visuals from start to finish, until a potential customer converts to a buying customer.
  • Regularly pin your products. Try to aim for at least 3/4 Pins per week; the more the better. Don’t spam though. Rotate out the products you pin on any week.

Aside from Pinterest, you may also promote your products on any other social media platform you use, as well as your email list, if you have one. Let your subscribers know when a new product is out, a few of them will likely convert.

One good thing about selling on third-party marketplaces such as Etsy or Creative Market is that you don’t have to do a lot of promotion on your end. The platforms themselves have many different ways to drive traffic to your products, provided that you have high-quality products and you’re a regular contributor — as in, you regularly and consistently create and list new products.

Some Things to Pay Attention to

This wraps up everything you need to know about how to make money selling Canva templates. In this final section, I want to bring your attention to a couple of important things that you need to be mindful of.

Pricing your products

Pricing is super important when it comes to selling your Canva templates. If your products are pricier than comparable templates out there, then you’ll likely lose some customers. If your prices are too cheap, then some customers may be doubtful of the product quality.

Depending on what your products are, make sure to do some research and find out a pricing range for these products. Try to keep your pricing around that range.

Writing product descriptions

This is where you get to describe what the product is. Give as many details as possible:

  • What’s the product? (An eBook? A pricing sheet? Social Media templates?)
  • Who it is for?
  • What the product can be used for?
  • What’s in the product?
  • How to use this product?

Etc.

Think about all the questions and inquiries a buyer may have and give that information within your product description.

About product licensing

It is good practice to have a product license document. You can either create a document, or, if you’re selling on your website, you can create a section or a page with the license details.

Some platforms like Creative Market or Design Bundles come with their own license, so you need not worry about creating your own when you sell on those platforms. But if you’re selling on your own website, you may want to specify your own set of licences.

Personally, I like Creative Market’s licensing terms and have crafted my own that’s similar to theirs. Of course, I have used my own verbiage to write down the terms. But essentially, the terms are very similar. If you’re unsure of what kind of license to use for your products, do give Creative Market license terms a read.

And that’s it!

Is this the right time for you to start selling Canva templates?

So, you’ve learned the basics of selling Canva templates. But are you serious about this new business? Are you ready to create your Canva-template side-hustle at this time? If you want to maximize your Canva template side hustle, then I invite you to join over 500 students in my online course — Side Income with Canva Templates. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • preparing for selling Canva templates
  • preparing your Canva products for listing in your shops
  • specific tips for selling Canva templates on your own website
  • selling tips for Creative Market shop owners
  • selling tips for Etsy shop owners
  • design and usability tips for creating amazing Canva templates that your buyers will LOVE!
  • tips for driving traffic and landing more customers

And also, bonuses!

  • Some base Canva templates that you can get inspiration from, and also, so you do not have to start from scratch when you’re just a beginner.
  • Monthly group coaching calls for a whole year so you can ask me questions during those first few months as a Canva template seller.
  • Periodic template reviews and critiques to help you be better designers (a few selected templates from a pool of submissions from the students.)
  • Periodic special webinars.
  • And forever access to all updates to the course.

And if you’re wondering why you should buy my course, well then, it’s because of what I said when I started this blog post. The first year or so was not as good as things are now. I didn’t know what I was doing. There’s more to selling than just making a few Pinterest graphics and then listing them in shops. It took me some time to figure that out. I created this course to share with you what I didn’t know when I first started selling Canva temples. Hopefully, with the help of this course, you’ll get to $1k+ per month much faster than I did!

Here’s what one of my students had to say after they purchased the course.

“I just bought the course and wasn’t sure if I’d learn a lot but I wanted to give it a try. And now I’m sitting at my table and I’m SO damn grateful that I found this course because I’ve learned a lot! Especially a lot of functions in Canva I didn’t know before. I also learned a lot about Etsy/Creative Market and so much more!” — Marbleous Design

Click here to learn more details about this self-paced online course, or click the button below.

Do you want to make money selling Canva Templates?

I teach you everything I've learned about selling Canva templates in this course, and help you make at least $1,000 per month, on the side!


Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I really make selling Canva templates?

Depending on how many products you're selling, where you're selling, how you're promoting, how consistently you create new products, how much they cost, and most importantly, the quality of your Canva templates, you can make anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month.

Is it legal to sell Canva templates?

Absolutely! Just make sure that the templates you're selling are, in fact, designed by you, and not an edited version of someone else's template, or any of Canva's templates from their template library/marketplace.

Can I use Canva elements or images on my templates?

Yep, you can! But just as a good practice, I prefer to use only free elements and free fonts in my templates. That way, even if a buyer doesn't have Canva pro, they're still able to use the templates with a free Canva account.

Who buys Canva templates?

Anyone who has a business or uses social media is a potential customer. Some examples would be: bloggers, coaches and consultants, educators, course creators, small business owners, freelancers, writers, authors, local shops and restaurants, and more.

Does Canva own my designs or do I?

You do! When you sell a template, depending on the license terms you set forth, your buyers will have rights to use your templates as per your terms. But you're the owner of your designs.

Do I have to be a graphic designer to sell Canva templates?

You need to be able to design beautiful and functional templates. Some people come from a graphic design background, others teach themselves. A graphic design background isn't necessary to sell Canva templates, but a love for good design and willingness to learn is a must.

Can I still make money selling Canva templates in 2022?

I believe so. More and more people are starting a business, becoming freelancers, or at least starting a side hustle. That means they need to build a brand, grow an audience, and establish social media presence. Also, with education moving into the online realm, even educators are finding themselves needing documents and graphics that they may not have the skills to create. Canva is easy to learn and use, so anyone can take a pre-made template, and customize it to meet their needs. If anything, the Canva template market is only just beginning! This is your chance to cash in on this new opportunity!


Free Webinar - 5 tips for selling more Canva templates

Want to make more money selling Canva templates? In this free webinar, I’ll give you 5 tried-and-tested tips to increase your revenue from selling your Canva templates. *You’ll be signed up for my newsletter.

How to make money selling Canva templates

98 thoughts on “How to Sell Canva Templates & Make Money On the Side – A Beginner’s Guide”
  1. Hi – To be clear about what the buyer receives, they are getting a PDF (blank or with a preview of the design) with a LINK to the shareable template? They aren’t getting a template which they then upload…right?

    Just want to be clear on that step.

    Do you remind buyers not to modify and resell your templates?

    Thanks much!

    1. Yes to your first question – there is no way to upload a template on Canva; that’s not how the app works.

      How many times you remind buyers, how and where, they’re business decisions you’ll need to make as a seller.

  2. Michelle Castillo

    Love this – so helpful! I’m wondering: If I upload fonts and create a design on my Canva Pro account and share a template link, will the buyer have access to those uploaded fonts? Or do they change?

    1. They’ll see the font, but they won’t be able to customize it as they will not have access to your custom font. It is best practice to use a free font available from Canva’s font library.

  3. Hello. I really like your blog post, I like the way you arranged them to look like a mini-ebook, with content and links, I think it looks awesome, and you inspired me to try to lay out my future blog post similarly. You also have a lot of information and steps, it’s awesome. I am going to use your post as an inspiration. Thanks for all the freebies.

  4. Hi Maliha, I love that you’re selling your Canva template course now as I’ve been following and waiting for your course! ^^*

    Will this course continue to be updated and are there office hours or any support that you offer like fb groups, email support, office hours etc? I’d really like to invest asap thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Nana, thanks for your inquiries. I do provide email support for course content related questions as well as technical issues. And yes, there will be updates as needed and all future updates will be available to students for no additional cost!

      There is, however, no designated office hours as the course itself is self-paced and, I believe, easy to follow. Adding office hours would mean I’d have to increase course pricing. I tried my best to keep the price as affordable as possible, and especially so since we’re in the middle of a pandemic and global financial crisis.

      That said, there is one-on-one consultation that students can buy into if they need bespoke assistance.

      Hope this answers all of your questions!

  5. You saved me with this post! ❤️
    I’m so happy to find your blog.. you really answered a lot of my questions.. It’s been a while I was looking for something like that..
    Thank you so much
    And about your question :
    I actually interested more in childish design so I think I will start there and do couple of amazing designs for them..
    I read that you have course teaching us how to sell canva templates and you just exciting me to join this course but unfortunately I won’t be able to enroll in it, but when I’ll be ready I’ll enroll it for sure because that’s really all I want and need in this time..
    Thank you again for sharing us this wealthy of information and your experience.
    Wish you all the best!! ❤️

  6. Sophie Angell

    Wow, this blog entry is so in depth and very helpful. You’ve given me a great insight into getting started.

    On your shop, for example where you use your images to sell the template packs how do you create the mock up of the brochures as a whole, ie. you see two pages next to each other? Do you do that through canva as well or do you use alternative photo editing programmes in addition? Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks for all the insight so far.

  7. Hi Maliha,

    Great post! I’m interested in knowing how do you keep your buyers from resharing that link out? Is that even a concern/should it be a concern? I’ve been debating this for some time but haven’t had the time to dive in. Now that I do, i’m concerned about people just taking my link after they purchase and reselling/gifting to others?

    1. Hi Tammy, there’s really no way to prevent people from sharing links to the templates. That said, I honestly believe that there are more good people in the world than bad apples 🙂 So, I do my part (shop terms and license information) and then I let things go.

  8. Highly informative post! Thank you so much.

    I have been thinking of selling Canva templates, and this post covers everything in complete detail. I have one question though : If my Canva pro membership expires, will the link to the shareable templates still be valid? (If I created the templates while my membership was active).

    TIA!

  9. I am interested in using Canva to create and sell Birthday invitations on Etsy. If I design them using Canva elements, will I be able to share an editable link and is it allowed? I thought I read you could only sell on Canva itself?

    1. Hi Claudia, you can sell Canva templates even when you use Canva elements in your design because on the other end, the user will also need to be on Canva to edit your Canva templates, and as Canva users, they will have the permission to use Canva elements. Note that you’re not selling Canva elements here, only the templates. The elements are already available to all Canva users.

      1. Hi Maliha,
        Thank you so much for this informative post. I already bookmark this article!
        Back to step #3, practice with the free element, so if I upload my template with those free elements, so people with a free account can use it, right?

        And, can we use images/picture/photos from Canva for our template? I mean, if I want to create a template for bloggers, can I use photos or elements that existing on Canva or should I use my own photos?

          1. Hi Maliha,

            If I use Canva Pro fonts & elements in my templates, will people buying my templates still be able to download the template if they do not have Canva Pro?

  10. Thanks so much for this post! It answered a lot of my questions but I do have one. I want to sell my digital products on Etsy first. But I also want to be able to start an email list so when I do convert to a website with more products….can you use a landing page from advertising on FB or IG as a way to get emails without a website? Once I get the emails it would direct them to my Etsy store?

    Thanks!

    Emily

    1. Hi Emily, for building an email list you can use a landing page from your email marketing platform (ConvertKit for example), and if you have a lead magnet or opt-in freebie that targets your ideal customers, then that’s a good way to build an audience base. Just be careful that you’re actually targeting people who will potentially buy from you. Pinterest is a good way to get traffic, whether it’s to your Etsy shop or your landing page. I actually just launched my course Side Hustle with Canva Templates. If you’re serious about growing your Canva template business, I recommend checking it out!

  11. Hi

    I was wondering if there was an easier way to link the templates for ‘bundles’. For example if you sell a bundle of 10 templates, do you then have to supply the 10 individual links or is there a way of linking to the entire folder?

    Thank you!

    1. I’d advise you to share ten individual links. It may seem like a bit of work, but that comes with the territory. You wouldn’t want to share a folder for a multitude of reasons. Giving access to a Canva folder means others are accessing a folder on your account. Also, then you will be sharing a design, not a template. Templates are different in that when people click on a template to open, it creates a copy of the design in their Canva account, they do not actually have access to your original design.

  12. This was an amazing post Maliha. I learned so much. The bad part is that I learned that I shouldn’t sell Canva templates. LOL I have a blog about something totally irrelevant to Canva templates but I love designing pins. My pins aren’t near as good as yours but they are just okay. I’m actually getting better at designing. I look back on my pins from 3 years ago with my first blog and I just want to crawl under a rock. I mean, what in the world was I thinking?! LOL. I do have a digital Etsy Shop so maybe I will put them in there. What do you think? Take care and I love your blog!

    1. Hi Julie, I do make a significant income from selling Canva templates on my blog, but I make even more selling on Creative Market, Etsy and a couple of other platforms combined. This post focuses on selling on your blog specifically, but if you’re willing to learn and work on it, you can still make a significant side-income by selling your products on Etsy and some other platforms. As for design, trust me, my past designs make me cringe too! It’s about the practice you put in and a willingness to improve. If you have that combination, you will get better at it, and you can make money with Canva templates 🙂

      Didn’t want to turn a comment into a sales pitch, but I do have a course coming up on May 25 which is now on pre-sale and you can grab it for a super discounted price! I can send you the link if you want to 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for this amazing post! I am just starting my Canva template business and your post answered most of my questions. Have an amazing day!

  14. Wow! That was a wealth of information!
    Thank you so much.

    I’m a designer and blogger and about to start working on my first digital product creating Instagram templates so this blog post really helped me better understand how to plan everything. I’m still a little confused about the Pinterest integration but I will do some digging around!

    All the best,
    Marina @ http://www.livinvivaciously.com

  15. Fo | Mama & Money

    This was a very helpful article. I recently started selling Canva templates and creating the download pdf instead of leaving it as virtual (with a purchase note with links) is much better. I do wish that there was a mockup site that didn’t require photoshop. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. You can use SmartMockups. It has some free mockups, but the premium membership offers you a lot of options and templates.

  16. Hi! This post was super helpful to me. Thank you! I was wondering how you added the drop downs in your listings for DIRECTIONS, TERMS & CONDITIONS, and LICENSE? Thanks!

  17. Hey, Maliha.
    I was just trying to contact you regarding my blog.
    I would like to create and promote my blog for free. On my blog, I sell free printables that users can download to make productivity easier. So, what I wanted to ask you was: is there any way that I could start up my blog – Organisable – and give away my freebies, without having to take any money out of my pocket?
    If there is, what would you suggest using, maybe in terms of mailing lists, social media, domains etc.?
    Thanks.

    1. Starting a business typically takes some money, but sure, there are some free options. Starting is better than stalling, after all. As for domain, a custom domain will always cost money. I recommend ConvertKit for mailing list, but Mailerlite will get you started for free. I find the platform clunky, but it is free for the first 1000 subscribers. Pinterest will get you started with getting traffic to your blog. Personally, I only use Pinterest. I do have social media accounts but I do not use them because of time constraints. Feel free to visit my resources page for my recommended tools and resources.

  18. Hey Maliha,
    I love this post but I don’t have a lot of time to set this all up. I was wondering if you have thought of setting up an affiliate program for your templates.
    Basically you would set up affiliate links to your shop. If someone buys a template you get some money and the person who referred them get some too.
    Juat a thought

    1. Thank you, Jenelle. I may consider this in the future, but for now, there are other priorities. Thanks for your comment and kind words, appreciate it!

  19. Thanks for this amazing blog post! I have two questions:
    – That shareable link to the template; can anyone with that link access the template? I.e. can the buyer share the link with anyone to also copy that design to their account?
    – If you use pro elements in your template, can a buyer that uses a free account use thoses pro elements? As it’s a template? Or should you stick to just the free resources? That would be a shame as we designers need a pro plan anyway.

    Great post and I so agree on not to partake in the race to the bottom!

    Kind regards,
    Simone

    1. Hi Simone, thanks for your comment.

      – Yes, anyone with the shareable link can access your design. But that’s how it is with digital products or most products really. You just have to trust the buyer to be honest and ethical. Most of them are. Some may default, but again, that comes wiih the territory.

      – So, I mostly use free elements, but I end up using some premium photos sometimes. But it’s a template and users are supposed to use their own, or pay for premium elements. The photos are mostly used to display what a finished product may look like. The important part is that if you have premium elements/photos in your templates, you disclose it within your product description and let potential buyers know that you’re only selling the template, not the license of any of the elements/photos used. (Feel free to take a look at one of my product descriptions in the shop.)

  20. Hey Maliha,

    This is such a fantastic blog article, I hope to implement something similar within my business soon! Quick question, when using stock imagery in your templates, where do you source imagery to ensure appropriate licensing in the event someone doesn’t swap it out? Especially for social posts, I know many stock sources can have some limitations, even with extended commercial use licensing. Thanks!

    1. Hi Heather, it seems like you’re asking multiple questions here. It all depends on what you’re doing with your images. The templates I sell and the photos I use for that have one type of use, social posts created to promote your own products fall under another type of use, and if you’re a digital marketer and creating posts for someone else, then that would fall under commercial use if you’re using photos that are licensed to you to create these social posts for your clients.

      Since this is a post about selling Canva templates, I’ll tackle your question from that angle. For my Canva templates, I keep things simple and use Canva photos for all templates. Within the product description, I mention very clearly that I am only selling the templates and not the licenses to the images. My buyers are responsible to swap the template images, or, if they have a Canva account (which they do since these are Canva templates I’m selling in the first place) then they have the permission to use these photos anyway in case they need to leave an image as is.

      As for all other types of use, it is hard to say because image uses vary depending on your usage and the particular terms of a stock photo usage. You just have to do the work and read the terms when sourcing these images to make sure you’re within the right to do what you intend to do with them.

  21. Thanks Maliha! You have built something so similar to what I have been looking to build for the past 1-2 years and have been failing on where to even begin. I have started to make the transformation on my blog (I didn’t even have a sign up for emails before yesterday!!!) and hopefully your advice will help me! Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Lysha. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s about learning and growing, and failure is just part of the deal. One baby step at a time, right? 🙂 Good luck!

  22. Hey,
    cool post! Thanks 🙂

    I have a question regarding the canva templates. I have a premium account and I create templates from scratch, but I use elements from canva. Can I create templates using photos and elements e.g. icons and sell them then?

    1. Yes, you can. I’d add a disclosure in the product description that you have used Canva’s native photos/elements in your templates. Also mention that if these are premium elements, your buyers will need to purchase those elements, or use them for free if these are free elements.

  23. Amazing post! I just started with blogging but I have a desire to sell my own stuff on it as well someday.

    Thank you this was very educational and inspirational. I enjoyed the content, your blog and templates looks amazing as well.

    When I see such a great blogs like yours, I have to sit behind my desk and start creating and improving mine 🙂

    I am defenitly saving this blog post for the time when I am gonna be ready to start creating my own products.

    Thank you again!

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