I have been very active creating new designs for Merch By Amazon and Redbubble some on TeePublic too but not as many as the others. Sales have been slow in coming though.
In this post I will go over some of the new things I have been trying.
Stuck on Tier 25
I have not been able to get past tier 25 on Merch by Amazon yet. I have 14 sales and I need 11 more. It is tough to figure out what sells when I can only put 25 designs online at once.
To experiment, I have to delete a design for every new one I try. That works - I can put up new designs to see if they sell - but that technique causes other issues.
If I try promoting my designs on social media, each one I delete and replace leaves dead end links out there. I hate to have people click on my posts only to get redirected to a page that says that design does not exist. Until I can move up to higher tiers there doesn't seem to be any way around that though.
What I am doing by replacing images is trying to have timely images online. For example, right now I have designs for back to school, the Apollo 11 anniversary and aliens which have been in the news because of the storm Area 51 movement.
I am also trying different sources for graphics. I will get into more about that next.
Hopefully, by continuing to experiment, I will find some good sellers soon.
I am not an artist. I need to source the graphics for my shirts from other people who are. The problem is, I can't justify hiring designers until I start making some good money.
Until recently, I have been getting images from free sites like Pixabay. I usually modify the image a little and add by own text. That works but I don't know If the designs I do that way are actually any good. They certainly aren't professional.
Right now I am also in the middle of a one month subscription to Vexels. This is a site that offers professional designs with commercial licenses. They have designs that I can use like the ones form Pixabay but also ready to print designs that I can put directly on Redbubble and Amazon.
The pros of Vexels are that they offer new designs daily, the designs look professional, I can request two custom designs per month and I don't have to worry about licenses.
The cons are that the designs are not exclusive. Every Vexels subscriber has access to the same designs. That is mitigated somewhat by the shear number of designs on the site but it is definitely an issue. Also, it is not free like Pixabay and similar services. It is cheaper than hiring designers but still costs.
A monthly subscription is $29, that drops to $21 per month with an annual subscription. Not bad if the designs sell but a waste if they don't.
If I sell some of the designs I get from Vexels, I will probably go for an annual subscription to save a little of the cost.
The best long term strategy would be to pay professional designers for individual designs that are exclusive to me. That will have to wait until the money starts rolling in!
Selling Custom Designs?
Another idea I want to try is to offer custom POD products to website owners, bloggers, businesses and organizations.
This would be for people who want t-shirts or other printed products to promote their site or business but don't want to handle the details getting them printed.
They would send me their logo or desired graphics and I would put it on products.
Both Merch by Amazon and Redbubble offer private links that I would then provide to the client. They could send their visitors there or they could take orders on their own sites and fill them through the private link. With the first choice, they would get their name out there but not make anything on the POD products. With the second option, theu could mark up the products and make a little money from them.
This seems like a good way to get extra sales and move up in the Merch tiers.
So, while making and listing new designs is the fun part of the POD business, getting sales is the more important aspect.
Right now, I have to concentrate on bringing trafic to my listings and getting those important sales!