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.
In this course, I've shared everything I know about selling Canva templates on the side, so that you too could start making at least $1,000 per month doing the same.
In this post:
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!
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.
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)
- authors and writers
- small business owners
- shops and boutiques
- real estate agents or companies
- independent service providers (dog-walkers, pet-sitters, nannies, you name it!)
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:
- You love Canva!
- 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.)
- media kits
- brochures, posters, and flyers
- 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.
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 $119.99 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)
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”.
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.
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:
- Go to WordPress Dashboard > Products > Add New.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
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.
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.
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?
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.
In this course, I've shared everything I know about selling Canva templates on the side, so that you too could start making at least $1,000 per month doing the same.
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.
Can I use Canva elements, fonts, or images (free or pro) 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. If you use pro elements, the buyer will be able to use them, but they won't be able to download the design without upgrading to Canva Pro—creating additional cost on their end.
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.
What other legal matters should I be aware of?
The same as running any business. I can't give those advice here because business rules and legal matters vary from state to state (in the US) and then country to country. Do you need to pay taxes? Find out income thresholds to see if you need to. Do you need to collect sales taxes? Find out if digital goods are tax collectible or not from your local government website. Do you need to register as a business or can you pay taxes as self-employed? Those are also things you have to find out from your local government.
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?
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.
121 thoughts on “How to Sell Canva Templates & Make Money On the Side – A Beginner’s Guide”
I make art using Procreate, could I create art and add that to Canva templates (I would like to sell templates)? I tried to google this but no luck..
Do you know what happens if I add my own art (maybe as a basic picture or png) and then share the document? Or maybe I just have to try!
You can always just try 😉 But yes, it’s possible, although I don’t recommend doing it. You open up a can of license works by using third-party elements, even if they’re your own. But to answer your question, yes, you can always use your own elements (designed by you) in your designs.
Hi Maliha, this is super helpful thanks!! I was wondering, if I were to insert a sample photo in my canva template to sell, do you know if there’s any restrictions for it? As you have mentioned we can use photos on canva itself, am I allowed to use the photos I took myself or can I use the ones available online that are not licensed?
I recommend using only images available on Canva to simplify licensing.
Good information. Do you suggest any of the platforms like Sellfy, Podia, Shopify, etc?
never used Sellfy. As far as Podia and Shopify go, they’re sites run by you so they’ll be similar to managing my own WooCommerce shop where you’re responsible for driving traffic. Whether to use them or not or which to use is totally up to you.
Thanks for this Article Maliha. Really Useful and detailed.
HI! Great article! I was just wondering, if I create a brand for a client and want to create template for them based on that brand, does my client have to upgrade to Canva Pro to access their brand fonts? (2nd party fonts uploaded to canva). Thanks!
Your client will need Canva Pro as well as access to the font (and then upload the font to their Canva pro account) if they want to edit the template.
I noticed you don’t charge Sales Tax on your site. Do you have that baked into the online pricing or do digital product not require sales tax? Also, curious when/if you registered as a business in your home state. Did you do so before you had sales or after X number of sales?
Please refer to the FAQ section above. These are things that vary from country to country and then from state to state (in the US), so it is best to find out tax and business-related legal matters from your local government.
Hi there Maliha
Etsy isn’t available in Pakistan not even PayPal so how I should start, any clue ?
Hi there, the blog post above mentions a few different platforms where you can start this business. Give it a read, and do some research to figure out what’s best for you.
Thanks very much for this extremely easy to follow and helpful information. I have one question regarding selling templates. I have created my company manual using Canva. It is 77 pages long. People in my industry want to purchase it to use as a template for their company. If I sell the manual as a template will they be able to make changes to the manual is in their colors and lets them adjust the wording to fit their company? I am a bit confused about formatting as pdf because they are not editable. I’d also like help figuring out what to charge since it’s a massive document. I have another industry related manual (industry terminology). I’d like to sell. These may be questions that require a consult with you Please let me know
If you sell it as a Canva template then yes, your buyers should be able to edit the template and then export the edited version as a PDF. This blog post explains the procedure.
Hey Maliha, thanks very much for your very helpful information. I have a question if you don’t mind. If I create a link to copy and sell the link to a customer. Am I right that I have to create a lot of copies as other customers would use the same link? I mean each link for one customer. Am I right or wrong?
Hello. You’re sharing a template link (as stated in the post above) so you only need to share one link. When a buyer opens a template link, a copy of the design is automatically created on their Canva account, which means your master template design remains intact.
Super helpful post, Maliha! Thank you for being so open to sharing your learnings. As a newbie to looking at starting this in my free time to try and monetise the amount of time I spend just playing around with Canva, I have so many questions lol. My first is how it works if I upload my own fonts/graphics/photos to the templates? I would like to be able to go beyond what is offered on the free version of Canva without using their pro-features.
Again – many thanks for sharing and for the inspiration!
Thanks Jenna. Your buyers cannot use a custom font unless they own that font as well. As for using your own graphics and photos, that depends on how you use them. Understand that you’ll be responsible for setting the terms for how your buyers use those elements/setting up licenses, etc., unlike using Canva’s native photos and elements, wherein licenses are set by Canva itself, saving you time, work/effort to create your own license/terms.
Hey Maliha, thanks so much for this guide! I’m planning to sell my template to a small group of people and I’m afraid that they’ll just share the link around and nobody will buy anymore. Is it possible to create new template links or set expiry times? Thank you!!
Hi Mel, there’s no expiry date available for template sharing.
Hello, you explained so much and im so thankful i just have a simple question about licensing. Can i sell highlight covers (not customizable) containing pro elements? I’m still new at this so there’s a lot of information that i need to know, thank you!!!
Hello Ingrid, appreciate your kind words. You’ll find that the answer to your question has already been covered in the blog post above. Thanks!
Hi i love this post it’s so informational and very well written but i have one thing to ask.
I read that the “export as template” function was a “canva pro” feature, but when i checked back on canva, it isn’t anymore. I’m not sure if that’s a bug with my acccount or did canva revise their policies.
This used to be a “pro” feature, but now it is available to all users, including free users.
This blog post of yours is a stream of golden nuggets! Thank you for creating this! I just have a question on how you created the license for your buyers? Can you share the process of creating one? Thank you!
Thanks for the kind words, Mai. Those are things I share on my course — Side Income with Canva Templates — for my paid students. But there are plenty of examples online for licensing digital templates; feel free to emulate a structure that fits your needs.
Nice to meet you Maliha!
I’m Anita from Taiwan, I was so excited to find your website that provided so much valuable information to me! I’m also a graphic designer, my side biz actually. So I really want to build up a system like you to create much sales with my habit “layout design” !
I decided to enroll your course to learn with you, before that I wanna confirm is there any coupon now I can apply? Looking forward to enroll your amazing course!
Hi Anita, thank you for your interest. There are currently no discount codes for this, unfortunately. The payment plan allows you to pay less in one go, but do note that even though the initial payment is less, the two monthly payments combined will be slightly more than what you’d pay if you paid in full. I hope one of the payment methods will work out for you. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you again!
Thinking of Etsy…I have heard horror stories of people purposefully saying that a store has stolen their ideas, etc. (even if it is not true) in order to keep out competition and that it keeps your store from running for an extended period of time while Etsy investigates it. I have wanted to start an Etsy shop, but because of this issue I have read it is better to use other platforms. Have you had any issues with this?
Nope; first time hearing this.
This is so so helpful, thank you!!!
I love designing on Canva, kind of like meditating as you say but I feel that my designing skills are not developed enough to see templates. Do you have any specific recommendations on online courses or blogs worth following to improve in graphic design?
I’m biased, so let me start with my course – Side Income with Canva Templates has a design module and a template usability module. The course comes with some bonus base templates for beginners to work with. If you’re looking for free resources, the Canva blog has some great tutorials.
This was extremely informative! I was looking at your shop, and you say “Note that the design is copyrighted to Maliha – the owner of this shop, and the designer/creator of all products available in this shop.” Is this because you are a Canva Certified Creative? Do you have to be a Canva Certified Creative to be the “owner” and sell Canva templates? Are you always the “owner” unless they purchase an extended license? Do you actually sell those as well? So sorry for all of the questions, Thank you!
I’m the “owner” of what I’m designing, regardless of my status as a Canva Certified Creative. Some people may sell “ownership”, also known as creating white label work, but I don’t. Meaning, my buyers can use my templates and customize them to create an end-product, but they’re not allowed to recreate a template with my templates and sell them.
Thank you so much for your response! I do have one more question if you don’t mind? You state on your site: “You may NOT redistribute or resell this product or modified version of this product in its editable template format.” So how would you suggest selling a template to a customer who would like to use it as an editable template in her paid course for her students? Meaning that her students would also have access to this editable template for their businesses? Would the customer need to purchase an extended, unlimited use commercial license? If so, how do you determine the cost if you have only have a one-design license from Canva? Thank you for your expert insights!
Those are my business and license terms. If you wish to give people the ability to sell your designs as templates, whether in a shop or to their students, that’s your prerogative. As a business owner, those are decisions you will need to make, and so is how you wish to price your products.
Thank you Maliha! Your blog has been extremely informative and helpful. Much appreciated 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing all your tips, this is exactly what I wanted to do with my new blog.
I will be pinning this article to help me set up my shop soon.
HI! thanks for all the the great information. I do have a question…. I think I may be a little confused on the difference between a template vs digital download vs printable. For example is it only a digital download if the customer downloads the product and uses it on a website or phone, etc? And a template…. for example, I made a “Password log” and a “declutter checklist” that customers can download and print on their own (not editable)…is that just considered a printable, or would that be considered a template. I don’t want to name my products one thing, and they are really another. And I don’t want to place it in the wrong “category”. My shop is on Etsy. I’ve seen a lot of digital ideas….like save the dates and invitations, etc….I would assume that would be considered “digital” download?
thanks so much!!
A printable is something a user downloads and uses as-is. There’s no way for your buyers to change what you’ve made for them. A Canva template is a customizable design. Buyers require a Canva account to use a Canva template. When they open the template in Canva, they can then customize the templates with their own texts and images. They can change the colors or the fonts to match their brand, etc.
Hi. I want to make templates for printable cards to sell on Etsy. I was happy that you can share as template with free account now. But I just discovered that if I download PNG from Canva, it’s in lower resolution, which is not good for printing. Do you know if I upgrade to Pro account. Sell to buyer with free account, will they be able to download full resolution as the template was created with Pro account? Or will they be able to download only lower resolution as they are free account user? I’m just puzzled.
Typically, there is no difference between download resolution between the free and the pro plans as far as I am aware. Some things to note:
– If you’re uploading a png file to Canva, make sure the original png fine is in high resolution.
– If you’re downloading a Canva-made design in png, you can always create a larger dimension design. If you have Canva pro, you can resize any design with just a click.
– Typically printers use PDF files and not PNG files. if that is the case, make sure you’re choosing PDF print from the download option; that should be a resolution appropriate for printing.
– Keep in mind that Canva works with RGB colors and not CMYK. So that could be a reason why your printed colors may seem a bit off if you’re printing with a professional printer. Home printers that work with RGB colors should be fine.
This was super helpful. I am wanting to design some templates and was curious if you have found a way to ensure that only the purchaser uses the template and doesn’t just share the link to others to use? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Warm regards from Greece ?
Thanks for your comment, Stephanie. The thing about selling digital products is that you cannot track all the ways people are using your products. That said, you can set up terms and conditions regarding usage and license, and if you do catch someone violating those terms, you can take action against them if you want to. However, again, keep in mind that selling digital products means that you are trusting your buyers to abide by the rules. And as far as I know, I believe I have mostly great buyers. Most people are 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! This was so helpful!
I had a quick question, I know you need the canva pro feature in order to share your template to your buyers.
Do you know if I cancel my canva pro will customers still be able to buy my templates and access that link? Or does the link expire if I cancel my canva pro?
PLEASE SEE THE REPLY BELOW: SHARE AS TEMPLATE IS NOW A FREE FEATURE!!!!
Even if you cancel Canva Pro, the template links will still be valid and users will still be able to access your designs as templates.
The only caveat is that you won’t be able to create new “share as template” links from your old or new designs.
Canva has announced that Share as template is now a FREE feature!!! That’s right! You can now share your Canva designs as templates even if you have a free Canva account!!!
Hi, Maliha! Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge — this blog is truly a wellspring!
Any tips on how to create PDF links for template bundles? I’m designing my very first digital product, but I keep thinking there must be a better way to share access than adding 20-some individual links to my PDF…
Since sharing links is the only way to share a Canva template, I don’t think there’s any other way to create a bundle. Another option would be to use a product bundle plugin (if you’re on WooCommerce.) Feel free to Google “WooCommerce Product Bundle.”
Hi Maliha, I found this post via Google when searching for courses on selling Canva templates. I’ve been using Canva since its inception, but I had no idea until last year that people were selling templates! This is genius! I am a Virtual Assistant by trade, but I have been looking for ways to supplement my income with something more passive. I started researching everything right before the New Year, but I keep getting hung up on details like learning Etsy, etc. Your course sounds great and exactly what I am looking for. I just have one question, though: do you cover how to create the mockups? This is something else that I’m stuck on! Thanks!
Thanks, Leslie. I have the resources for mockups inside the course 🙂
Wonderful post and information, thank you! Do you know if Canva allows someone to sell a final design as long as all of the design pieces are fully created by me and utilizing free elements (fonts, shapes, etc.)? So instead of providing the template link for someone to edit, I fill in the information and provide the design as a pdf? Ex: I create a birthday party invite and I fill in the details for the buyer, download, and email them the pdf to print or send on their end? Thank you!
Yes to your first question as I have pointed out in this post. You will need to share the design as a template. Please refer to the section above titled “Preparing Canva template deliverables.” That’s the only way to sell Canva templates.
Hi Maliha, I too have the same question as Nicole… just a little confused with your answer above sorry… so is that a yes, you can sell final designs as a completed pdf? Or no, you need to sell as an editable template? Thanks heaps for your time! I have found your blog so helpful =)
Hello Amanda. Thanks for your comment. Nobody’s stopping you from selling your designs as PDFs. You can sell your designs however you want. But understand that that’s a different business, and this blog post is not about that. This post is about the business of selling templates. So that’s what I have covered here.