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How to make money from making and selling postcards

Updated on June 4, 2012

How I make my postcards

One of my hobbies is photography. I have got a super zoom camera, Nikon Coolpix P500 which I bring with me when traveling around. I like going to the hills and mountains, to the beach and islands. With its 36 x optical zoom, I am able to shoot distant subjects such as birds in the tall trees or fishermen catching fish in the middle of the sea. I take a lot of pictures using that digital camera as my raw materials for making postcards that I sell from my home based bookstore, Xavier.

The photos which I take are mostly about city view taken from a high hill in Manokwari town, animals, unique mushrooms, insects and birds. These photographs need to be processed in Adobe Photoshop CS3 where I resize, add text caption, and adjust their brightness and contrast.

Usually, I write a short description behind the postcards to help tourists understand the object or the scenery presented on the postcards.

printed postcard of Lahai Roi Church which I drew using Derwent Watercolor Pencils.
printed postcard of Lahai Roi Church which I drew using Derwent Watercolor Pencils.

How I make money selling postcards

Last 5 February 2010, thousands of people come to this town to celebrate the Gospel Preaching Day in Manokwari. Some tourists from the Netherlands also came. They visited my bookstore looking for postcards. They had been looking around the town to find where they could buy postcards. They said that only my Xavier bookstore that sells postcards in this town. They bought all of the postcards that I sell. Until now I have not printed new ones because I am busy updating the content of my travel blog, English Learning website (for the url address see my profile) and hubs.

I print 4 postcards which I arrange in every piece of A4 photo paper. The printer that I use is Canon Pixma ip 1200. The best quality postcard is obtained if I print the postcards using laser printer. Unfortunately, I don't have it. I use Microsoft publisher to design the postcards. I don't make complicated design. My postcards are simple. There is a photograph at the front side and there is a short description at the back. The postcard needs to be inserted into an envelope which I also provide to those who buy it.

Yesterday, I went into the tropical rainforest of the Table Mountain in Manokwari regency with a Norwegian researcher. We were walking through the jungle teeming with wildlife. I was able to take some pictures that are good for making photographs. I hope to print some this week.

I also sell postcards of paintings and drawings. Because drawing and painting with watercolor is my other hobby, I print them as postcards. A friend of mine is a good drawing artist. He creates beautiful painting using watercolor pencils. I have a small business agreement with him. For every postcard that I sell from his painting to tourist, he will get one thousand rupiahs. So far he has received around 60 US dollars from this small business which I started in December 2010.

In my previous article How to Make Money After Traveling, I said that I wrote an article about my last tour to Sonder, a small village in the mountainous region of Minahasa, Indonesia, and sent it to Flona magazine. The money which I got from writing travel stories that I add with some nice pictures, writing posts for blogs, website and hubs, and selling postcards when combined is quite a lot. The amount if converted into US dollars is several hundred US dollars per month.

You can also make a business arrangement with local artists where you can use their paintings for making postcards. Usually artists will receive 10% of the revenue. They might demand higher share and you need to calculate it by yourself to determine whether it is a viable business or not.

Where you can sell your postcards

Personally, I sell my postcards at my own home based bookstore. But there are also many possibilities where we can sell postcards at post office, souvenir shops and at the airport.

I also used to visit a number of websites and blogs that sell postcards through the internet. It is interesting to sell such products from the internet but I don't know whether people will be serious in buy them.

So, if you are interested in selling postcards, why don't you travel around your town tomorrow, take pictures and start printing them in postcard size and sell them at souvenir shops in your town. Also read my other hub: Postcard Painting


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    • amithak50 profile image

      amithak50 5 years ago from India

      Making money from selling postcards is really a great idea and I never tried this but will try this ..Thanks a lot for nice hub

    • charlesroring profile image

      charlesroring 5 years ago

      I have explained them in the story. You just need to read it. I use digital camera to capture my subjects and edit them in Adobe Photoshop. To design the postcards, I use Microsoft Publisher. To print them, I use a Canon Printer Pixma 1200. To sell them, I just go to the souvenir shops and put them there. I also sell the postcards from my bookstore. It's that simple, Sara.

    • profile image

      Sara 5 years ago

      This isn't informative enough. The article is supposed to be how to create and sell postcards, not your own personal history of being an artist and photographer. For example, what type of scanner or printer can you start out with and what type of places sell cardstock to print on? Also, how do you begin marketing your postcards to souvenir shops, bookstores, etc? Very interesting article, however it doesn't match the title.

    • charlesroring profile image

      charlesroring 7 years ago

      Thank you all for your comments. I see them as an encouragement for improving the quality of my postcards and artworks.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 7 years ago from California

      What a tremendous idea for making money, combining art and photography. Maybe I'll try this possibility some day, although I'm not much of an artist painter/illustrator. Later!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Its a good idea, I have been doing something similar with canvas prints of my photographs i.e offering them for sale. But they are much more expensive and more of an investment for people; consequently more difficult to sell. Going the post card route would mean a much higher likelihood of a sale I think.

    • spiderspun profile image

      spiderspun 7 years ago from Utopia, Ontario Canada

      Neat, I am doing more close up photography with my exotic pets and just plain putting them in 4x6 mats or a 3 1/2 inch button maker with the animal print on it.

      Scrambling to ort out a new business. Nice to read what you are doing. The water colour sounds great too. I haven't picked up a brush or pecil in a while, but I was quite good, have photographic memory

      Let me know if you need an animal picture that I have or can take, and I can get one to you no problem

    • SandyMcCollum profile image

      SandyMcCollum 7 years ago

      Great hub and great idea! My husband is a photographer, but we hadn't thought of postcards. You got my vote!

    • rocknrodeogirl profile image

      rocknrodeogirl 7 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      It sounds like you've found a great little niche! How fun! Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination! ;)

    • Jayne Lancer profile image

      Jayne Lancer 7 years ago from West London, UK

      What a creative way of making some extra money. And what an inspiring Hub. A very enjoyable read.

      And congratulations on your nomination!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      What a neat idea! Not only do you have the pleasure of creating your art, you can share it and make money! Well done! x

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Great hub, I enjoyed reading about a new way to make a few extra bucks. Congratulations on being nominated for a HubNugget and Good Luck!


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Wow, nice way to earn - thanks for sharing this tip. :) Congrats for your Hubnugget nomination: Visit and vote and then promote too.