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Use this strategy in your POD business

I’m going to boil down this strategy down into four simple steps.

  1. Find Trends
  2. Create designs for those trends
  3. List the designs on products for sale
  4. Repeat

It really is that simple (or is it?).

Finding Trends

Okay, so what do I mean by trends. Trends can mean a few different things, generally it’s things or topics that are rising in popularity.

Now we need to be careful here, you don’t want to be picking bad trends. For example, don’t just go and look at trending topics on, say, twitter. These are generally very short lived that only last a few hours, to a few days. We want to avoid these types of trends.

So what do we want.

We want cultural trends, new sayings, hobbies that are gaining popularity. We want to spot trends that have a longer life. By choosing these types of trends gives us a better chance of creating products that people are going to buy.

A very good and recent-ish example of this was around when the game Animal Crossing came out, and we had the whole covid lockdown thing too. This created a new cultural trend of what’s called “cozy gaming”, this wasn’t a new thing but with the lockdowns and the release of animal crossing, propelled cozy gaming into the mainstream.

Now you have to stay away from using copyrighted material. But there are lots of designs you could have created from this trend. Here are some quick examples I came up with:

These type of trends popup all the time. So how do find them?

Pinterest and Pinterest Trends

Probably the best way to find current trends, either by just browsing Pinterest itself. Doing searches like “Womens graphic tees”, “Graphic sweatshirts” ect…

Or even better is heading to Pinterests trend tool. This shows you everything that is growing in popularity on Pinterest. And you can break it down by country, age, gender and interests.

Not everything can be turned into a design, but the majority of them can be. Especially if you really think about it, you can create designs from most trends.

Look for trends that have grown in popularity but have maintained relevance. Avoid anything with a declining trend line.

Google Trends

Very similar to Pinterest Trends, but this shows you everything trending on Google. A lot of the stuff on here is copyrighted material so be careful here. But this can also be used to validate any trends or niches you’re thinking of designing for.

Just put the keyword into the site, it’ll give you loads of data of the searches for that keyword. It’ll even show you if its growing or declining in popularity. This is an extremely useful tool.


If you just click on the search bar, Redbubble will give you three trending searches. These are what people are actively searching for and are wanting to buy products for. You can take these and put them into Google trends to see if they’re a growing or declining trend.

You can check here everyday, and get three new trends daily.

Still on redbubble, if you go any category and find the best sellers section. This will give you a list of the best selling designs. Obviously don’t just copy the designs, but take the niche, the topic or even the saying if its a general saying and create your own designs from these.


This site is aimed towards web marketers, but it does a good job of showing what in generally trending. Browsing here will most likely spark design ideas, or niche ideas.

A lot of what’s on here will be trademarks or copyrighted stuff, but occasionally something will crop up that’ll spark a design idea. Again if you see something on here, you can then input it into Google Trends to valid if it’s a good trend or not.

Trend Validation for Etsy

Since we’re talking specifically about Etsy here, I’ll show you two tools that are specific to Etsy. These won’t necessarily allow you to find trends but they will allow you to validate a niche or trend.

Alura or Erank

Alura has a bunch of tools for your Etsy business. Today we’ll just look at the “Keyword finder” tool. Just input any trend into the search bar, and it’ll give you loads of useful data, like how many views this keyword has, how many people have favourited items for this keyword, how competitive this keyword is etc…

You can use this to decide if it’s worth creating designs for this niche or trend. If you go further down the page, it actually gives you a list of related or similar keywords. This is so helpful for creating your listings on Etsy.

Use these keywords in your descriptions and titles and input them as keywords in your listing. This takes out so much guess work with finding keywords. These keywords are what people are actually searching for on Etsy.

Next is a tool called Erank, this is very similar to Alura but personally I prefer Alura, I find the website easier to use and it just formats the data in a better way. But Erank does give you the same data, and is the more affordable option.

My workflow for finding trending niches

The video I made goes over this way better that I can here (around the 5:50 mark). But I will give you a quick summary here.

I’ll go to Pinterest or Pinterest Trends and find something that peaks my interest and is trending.

Then I’d validate if it’s actually trending on Google Trends (Graph goes up, then its trending). If it’s trending I then go onto researching the topic and writing down design ideas.

Once I have a decent list of ideas, I’ll then go on to create designs and product mockups.

Then using data from Alura or Erank, I’ll formulate Titles, Descriptions and keywords for the Etsy listing.

I’ll then go and post the listings on Etsy, one listing for t-shirts and one listing for sweats.

And that’s pretty much it. I will sometimes use Etsy ads. Not so much these days.

I mostly just rely on the “Etsy algorithm” to pick up my listings. I find concentrating on SEO, finding good keywords and creating nice looking thumbnails helps way more than just paying for ads.

As I always say, ads are good for boosting sales, not for creating them.

Just to summarise because I think this is important.

Find trends – using the tools I listed here.

Create – after validating if the trend or niche is good, then go create designs for those trends

Publish – Using keyword data from Alura or Erank, list the designs on products for sale

Repeat this hundreds of times. You will very quickly fill your store, with hopefully good trending designs with good SEO.

I still use this strategy today, about half my store is filled with these types of designs. The other half are seasonal, and what’s referred to as evergreen designs. I will go into this in another video/post.

Hope you found this helpful!

Tom Hale

Tom Hale

Who is Tom Hale? I help online entrepreneurs and creators make more money online by leveraging online tools and services. Whether you’re looking to earn extra income on the side, or wanting to quit you job in pursuit of a better work/life balance. You’re in the right place.

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