Selling T-Shirts On Instagram: 3 Marketing Tips

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: June 30, 2020

If you’ve been reading my blog for anytime at all, then you’ll know my main source of income – and what I write about most often – is selling T-Shirts through print-on-demand platforms like Merch By Amazon and Redbubble. (More on that in this article).

Almost all of those sales come organically.

That means I don’t do much ‘direct’ marketing of my own, and I do almost no paid-marketing (i.e. Advertising).

Well, that is beginning to change.

I’ve been playing around with Shopify for a few months now, and am beginning to see some success using paid traffic via Instagram – specifically by reaching out to popular, relevant accounts and paying them for sponsored posts.

The income from my Shopify store is not about to replace that from my print-on-demand sites (it’s only brought in about $2k/month for the past 3 months), but it’s been a nice additional income stream, and it comes with the added bonus of a direct relationship with my customers, and the chance to re-market to them over and over again in the future.

This post is by no means comprehensive – and I’m no expert in this area – but I have picked up few tips that I think will help anyone who is looking to take things in a similar direction (ie. – your own brand store + paid traffic or direct marketing).

But beware – you will need to drop some cash to make this work.

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Branding T-Shirts online

Brands and Branding while Selling T-Shirts Online: Your Questions Answered

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: April 10, 2017

When it comes to selling T-Shirt online, branding is one of the things you’ll wrestle with sooner or later.

  • Should you have one T-Shirt ‘brand’ for all your designs – or several?
  • Should you keep your brand identity specific to a single niche, or broad and general to appeal to as many people as possible?
  • Should you brand yourself as an individual artist / designer, or as a business / company?

These are questions I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d delve into some of the various considerations here…

(and that way I don’t have to personally reply to a bunch of emails individually in the future – I can just send people this link 馃檪 )

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Copycats Merch By Amazon

Stolen Designs? How To Deal With Copycats On Merch By Amazon

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: April 10, 2017

Copycats are a part of life for creative individuals, and this is especially true in the online T-Shirt market.

What is a copycat? Put simply it is anyone who steals your design and uses it without your permission – where no income from the sales would ever make its way to you. 馃檨

The same technology and developments that have made it easy for individuals like myself to make money from T-Shirts online (Print-on-demand sites, easy to use graphic design software etc.) – have also made it easy for those who don’t know – or don’t care – about the concepts of Copyright or Intellectual Property.

I have been dealing with Copycats of my work for the past 3 years, across various sites (Etsy, Redbubble, Teepublic) – but the platform with the biggest copycat problem right now is Merch By Amazon.

This is no surprise, given the size and lucrative nature of Amazon and in particular Merch to generate sales. And Amazon is beginning to deal with this problem – making advances against the copycat scourge daily.

Having said that, it’s not a problem that is likely to go away anytime soon. And when copycats have a real-world impact on your sales and income, it’s hard to just ignore them.

Copycats on the internet may be a ‘fact of life’ – but it helps to have techniques and tactics with which we can mitigate their impact on our sales.

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Merch By Amazon Tools

Merch By Amazon Tools and Resources for Noobs

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: June 5, 2020

Are you a complete Merch By Amazon newbie?

Then you’re probably overwhelmed with all the information being thrown at you.

Everybody’s using abbreviations and talking about plugins and stuff – things you know nothing about.

So I thought I’d run through some of the basic Merch By Amazon tools that every newcomer should know about – before you go a-diving into the world of Merch By Amazon.

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Merch By Amazon book

How To Sell More Shirts! Strategies, Tips And Tricks To Help You Sell T-Shirts Online With Merch By Amazon And More [eBook]

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: June 30, 2020

Merch By Amazon Ebook

Are you a designer, illustrator or artist selling T-Shirts online?

Do you want to sell more Shirts?

Who doesn’t, right!?

For the past 3 years I have been making money online from my T-Shirt designs. In the past year that income has been super-charged by Amazon’s new print-on-demand platform: Merch By Amazon.

I’m now making a steady $10k a month in profit from selling T-Shirts online on Print on Demand Sites.

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How To Market T-Shirts

How To Market Your T-Shirts Without Spending Money

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: April 10, 2017

If you’ve been following my blog for any time at all, you probably know that I do almost no paid advertising for my Shirts.

Instead I rely on ‘organic traffic’ to drive my sales – the searching habits of customers who actively seek out the kind of designs I am selling.

This organic traffic can come a number of ways, but will usually be from direct searches on websites (eg. the search bar on Amazon.com or Redbubble.com) or via search engines such as Google.

There are pros and cons of relying exclusively on organic traffic, but the big pro is that you don’t need to spend any cash to make sales.

But organic traffic does have it’s limitations.

Firstly, it can be very hard to stand-out and get noticed in crowded niches and within the search results pages.

The low barrier to entry means everyone is trying to pick up sales via organic traffic, so to get a leg-up on the competition you have to start looking at other ways of getting your products in front of potential customers.

Let’s take a look at some of those ways now…

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15 Things About Selling T-Shirts Online

15 Things I’ve Learnt About Selling T-Shirts Online

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: June 5, 2020

I’m three and a bit years into selling T-Shirts online, and I’ve just begun to learn a few things. (!)

I wish someone would have been around to tell me this stuff when I was starting out. But sometimes it’s best to learn things the hard way.

Here’s my purpose with this article: to help the young designer or illustrator get a clearer picture of the key principles that have the biggest impact on your success selling T-Shirts.

If you can grasp and apply these principles, I believe you will be streets ahead of your competition.

Like any business (and be in no doubt – as soon as you start trying to make money from something, you are starting a business) – making money from T-Shirts online takes hard work and dedication. But working hard on the wrong things is not going to be effective. With a clear understanding of what matters and how to achieve your goals, you are much more likely to succeed.

So let’s get into it!

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T-Shirt Artist Interview - Anna-Maria Jung

Success As A T-Shirt Artist: An Interview With Anna-Maria Jung

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: March 7, 2020

Anna-Maria JungLearning from the success of others is essential if you want to fast-track your T-Shirt income – and I’m pleased to announce that one such succesful person has agreed to share their knowledge with us!

Anna-Maria Jung is a freelance illustrator (and self-confessed full-time nerd) who has been immersed in the online T-Shirt market since 2010, with considerable success.

She has had designs selected for the biggest online T-Shirt stores (Threadless, Teefury etc.) and has attracted over 10,000 followers on Facebook alone!

Anna-Maria was kind enough to answer some questions from myself – so read on for the knowledge bomb, and make sure you check out the links to her amazing blog at the bottom. (and of course follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest!)

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10k A Month Selling T-Shirts Online

How To Make Money Selling Print on Demand T-Shirts [3 Key Tips]

by Michael Essek   路   Updated: June 5, 2020

Can you make money with Print on Demand? The answer is yes.

I’ve been making money selling Print on Demand T-Shirts online for over 6 years.

In my first month (August 2013) I made just $50.

But for the past 3-4 years, my average monthly income from Print on Demand has been between $9,000 – $15,000.

As you can see from the graph below, it took me a while to reach numbers like that:

make money selling print on demand t shirts

So if you’re looking for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme then you’ve probably already gathered that this isn’t it.

Three years is a long time – though I’m pretty sure that if you followed my steps and advice you could reach these numbers (or much better) within 2 years or even less.

So what’s the secret?

No secrets really, but there are a few key principles to making money from print on demand that have helped me, and I think they will help you.

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