If the idea of making money selling T shirts online has been floating around in your head for a while, this post will help you turn that idea into reality.
In this article, we'll walk you through some of the basic steps needed to learn how to make money selling shirts and other clothing online. You'll learn how to find shirt designers, how to create a platform to advertise your products, and how to package and ship.
We've got a lot to learn, but when you're done you'll be well on your way to being the proud owner of a successful online clothing store.
Selling T Shirts Online: Promote or Create?
There are two routes you can take; sign-up as an affiliate for custom clothing that you like; or create your own products from scratch. We'll walk through the affiliate route first, then talk about the other option.
Remember our article on how to sell CBD oil online? In that article, we mentioned almost every industry has companies with affiliate programs, and you can see a live example of that here.
Find a Clothing Company Affiliate Program:
There are plenty of clothing affiliate programs you can promote.
Once again, keep an eye out for multi-level marketing companies because they're quite common in the clothing industry. If you see any wording such as "Become a representative", or "Compensation Plan" avoid it at all costs.
Wait a Minute!
Promoting a MLM Company is NOT a good idea.
You can expect almost any clothing line that has a decent online presence to offer an affiliate program. For example, the international retail chain H&M has an affiliate program, and so does Nike. Even UNIQLO has one, to name a few.
Keep in Mind:
Most clothing affiliate programs don't have high commissions. The usual commission rate is between 10-20% which is much lower than other industries. In most cases, physical products have lower commission rates, but that doesn't mean you can't make good money promoting them online.
On the other hand, if you don't particularly like the style of any of the companies you found, there's always the option to create your own t-shirts.
Design Your Own T-Shirts:
If you're artistic, this part of the process should be the funnest part.
First things first, you'll need to come up with a design for your shirts, and then find a manufacturer. Most high-end clothing lines import their clothes from factories in China. You can certainly do the same but you need to be aware of shipping fees and other costs.
Alibaba is one place you can look for custom clothing manufacturers. Remember, finding the right company will take a bit of trial and error, and some will downright scam you, so it's best to be prepared.
Of course, there are other options too, the internet is full of custom-print T-shirt manufacturers. In some cases, a simple search on Google Maps can reveal some shirt print stores near you. I recommend testing out the local stores, to get a feel of the design, before you start ordering in bulk.
Finding a factory that will create your shirts is only one piece of the puzzle. Think of it as the back-end of the business. Now it's time to create the front-end, an online store where people can browse and order your products.
Create an Online Store:
To create an online store you'll need to buy a domain name and select a hosting company. Creating a website nowadays is really easy because there are plenty of tools to help with the steps.
But one tool that is absolutely vital to your business is Shopify. With this tool you can transform any website into a full-scale, customized, online store, similar to the online stores you find online. It even includes an order management system. For more information you can read our Shopify review.
Do You Really Need a Website?
If creating a website seems like a massive pain, there are alternatives too. Granted, using a website with a tool like Shopify is the absolute best way to sell t-shirts online, but you can make money with other methods too.
For example, sell on eBay, Amazon, or even smaller apps like Gumtree or Etsy. Most people who are interested in selling clothing online start with either eBay or Etsy, and then move on to create their own website and brand.
Even local Facebook marketplaces or word-of-mouth can be one way to start. The possibilities are endless!
On the other hand, I recommend creating a website because not only does it make it easier for customers to order, but it also looks more professional. And first impressions matter. You can also include a page for customer support. Not to mention it's easier to market online, which we'll get into in the next section.
Sales & Marketing T Shirts:
Now that you have the designs, a manufacturer, and a platform to sell the T-shirts, it is time for the marketing campaign to begin. The actual meat of selling t-shirts online.
You might think you'll need to invest thousands of dollars in ad-campaigns, brochures, and what not. Although those methods are useful, with some online tricks, you can create a never-ending stream of visitors to your store.
Remember when I mentioned creating a website is the best way to sell T-shirts online? This is the reason:
With a website, you can customize each listing to target specific keywords that people are searching for online. To find the right keywords, I recommend this handy keyword research tool.
You can also write articles that target specific keywords, surrounding topics like fashion, and link to your custom T-shirts. With a bit of search engine optimization, its only a matter of time before you start seeing a stream of traffic.
Get on Social Media:
Although the fashion industry is rather competitive, if you have unique designs, and a smooth ordering system, it won't be long until you see a nice flow of orders.
There are some other platforms you can use too:
Pinterest is fashion bloggers hidden marketing secret. Did you know that 80% of Pinterest users are female? It's one of the best places to market clothing and accessories.
It goes without saying that every business that relies heavily on images (travel bloggers, cooking websites, fitness, fashion, art & hobbies, accessories, etc) should have a presence on Pinterest.
Take the time to create some marketing material for Pinterest, it doesn't have to be perfect, but as long as it looks good and represents your brand.
If you need help marketing on this platform, please read our article on... How To Make Money From Pinterest.
Just like Pinterest, most fashion-based businesses are on Instagram. The best part about Instagram is you can include links to products in your Instagram stories and posts. Much like Pinterest, the majority of Instagram users are female, although the difference isn't as large, at 68%.
Nevertheless, if you're going to sell T-shirts online, marketing on Instagram is the way to go. It might take a while to build your fan base, but eventually the ball will start rolling and it won't stop.
Need help marketing on Instagram? Take a look at our Instagram on Fire Review.
There are many other platforms you can look into to get the marketing edge, even Snapchat could work well.
As a suggestion, don't try to build a presence on every social media platform, as that will quickly drain your energy. Focus on a couple, and take it from there.
Affiliate marketing success stories!
~ real people, real work
4 - 5 figures/month online!
Success doesn't happen overnight. The journey of building a successful clothing line takes effort and the willingness to overcome obstacles.
But if you're prepared for the worst, and determined to solve problems, it won't be long until you see some sales. Speaking of being prepared for the worst, diving in with only a vague idea of what steps to take is not the best choice...
Learn More Here...
Does the idea of being the owner of your own clothing line excite you? With the marketing ideas above you can achieve your goal. But you'll need more than what we wrote about here.
My favorite training center walks you through all the steps we talked about here, but in much more detail (complete with videos tutorials!) so you won't feel lost. The lessons are broken down into simple daily tasks, and you can always pick up where you left.
The Best Part:
Go ahead and create a free account, comes with 10 free training lessons as well. No credit card required, and absolutely no up-sells.
The premium membership includes access to every feature on the platform (including website hosting) but you don't need to feel pressured to upgrade. Take it at your time.
What I love most about Wealthy Affiliate is the community. Whenever you're stuck, feel free to submit a question to the global chat, and you should instantly get some replies.
You can also straight up direct message people and build a network with like-minded people and bloggers. Maybe even your future business partners! The value inside is absolutely incredible.
The Bottom Line:
So what's the bottom line? Selling t shirts online can be a lot of fun, and potentially profitable too, although there's some work involved.
Not only do you need to create the right designs, but also find print stores, and deal with shipping and orders. It might seem like an overwhelming task, at least at first.
But once you start to tackle it, a day at a day, and make small increments of progress, soon things will fall into place. And that puzzle won't look so complicated any more.
Just remember, without a website, creating a legitimate online business is much more challenging so the first step is to make that site. You can use my recommended training program to build your site, bring in free traffic and even includes website hosting.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article about how to make money selling t shirts online. If you have any questions, leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them.