Printing Postcards for Fun and Profit

Postcards are a great way for designers, photographers, writers and hobbyists to make extra income - or even to launch a full-time career. Here's what you need to know to leverage the public's adulation for postcards into a fun and profitable endeavor:

Identify your market

This might be easy if you live near (or travel to) a tourist destination. You can take photos, create designs or write copy, and then print postcards to sell at tourist-related gift shops. Of course, there are other people who purchase postcards, and other places to sell them. Check with your local convention and visitors bureau, Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to identify the best outlets to reach your target audience.

You can also sell your postcards based on theme rather than location. Research several niches that interest you to see which has untapped market potential. The trick is to bring something fresh and unique to the table that your customers will want to purchase.

Create your design

Depending on your discipline, you'll take photos, craft an original design or write postcard copy. You might be able to do all three, or you might want to partner up with someone else who can fill in the blanks. Make sure you get a free postcard design layout template so you're certain to meet your printer's guidelines as well as the USPS guidelines.

Print your postcards

Once your design is complete and you have sales outlets, select a postcard printer. Have your postcards printed on super-thick 16-point gloss or  recycled 13-point matte paper stock for aesthetics and durability. Color pops in gloss and is deeply enriched in matte, so it's up to you to pick the best finish to suit your customers. For extra sheen and protection, you can also have your postcard printing company apply a UV coating.

You can have your postcard printed in sizes ranging from 4-inch by 6-inch to 6-inch by 11-inch. No matter what size or finish you choose, always order a hardcopy proof so you can examine your postcard in-hand before you order the entire print run. This is a very small investment to make to ensure your colors, design and copy are all in good order - consider it a cheap insurance policy. Approve your proof, have your postcards printed and delivered to you, and it's time to distribute them to your sales outlets!

Have fun with your postcard designs: Be witty, humorous, sentimental, whatever it is that your customers will appreciate and purchase. Apply professional design techniques and choose a printer carefully (you can get instant postcard printing prices using PsPrint's quote wizard). Follow these simple tips, and you might just find that postcard design is your calling: Become a paid hobbyist or build an empire with postcard design!