How I made over $10K in one month and Never Left my House
I had a good holiday season and I want to Pay It Forward by helping someone who is looking for a way to supplement their income in these tough economical times. With Unemployment at it’s highest numbers in decades, becoming a POD Entrepreneur may be your answer!
This is the one time “You Get What You Pay For” does NOT Apply
- Graphics Program of some sort (Gimp is free)
- Internet Connection
- I can work from home
- I can make money for FREE
- This is NOT a Get Rich Quick Scheme
- There is Money to Be Made (How much depends on you)
- It requires a lot of time to be successful
- To Make Money you have to Spend money
- No Home Based Business can make money
- I Have to have my own domain (It helps but is not necessary)
- I have to pay for advertising (It probably helps but again is not necessary)
- I have to be an artist (No, many t-shirts use free clip art , hand drawings or just text)
- I have to know html or css (No you don’t-down the road it will help)
OK, So Now What?
Think of what excites you, what you like to do, some hobby, your heritage, your family, your pets, etc. You see where I’m going with this- Think about things that you are in some way personally connected. The topics for designing t-shirts is literally endless.
Start writing things down, each time you think something would work well on a t-shirt, write it down. Keep a list of each topic and ideas you have for each topic. You will soon have a list of ideas for topics you can start creating your designs around.
You WILL get Writer’s block. Expect it. Walk away form the computer and think while you are doing something else, Take your notebook with you.
Once you have some ideas on paper, decide if these will be good just using text or if they would be even better with some sort of design. If you can draw, create some designs to go with your sayings.
OR Maybe you only want to create designs, without using text sayings, that’s fine too. Some people sell photography art on merchandise.
Categorize everything into topics. Your best selling success is when you can approach a target audience with a topic of their liking.
Create your designs
with a 200dpi transparent background and save in transparent png format. Why? SO you can use the same designs on a dark t-shirt that you use on a white t-shirt and not have to Recreate the design.
Anything created with a white background will show as white on the dark t-shirts in most of the POD (Print on Demand) companies.
Choose a descriptive title for each design.
Write a short description of each design- and then from that take a line or 2 that stands out to describe it or draw attention.
Save these for Each design in a text editor for use later. Choose your Keywords. Look at your designs, and choose 5 to 10 or so words (keywords) or short phrases to describe your design for tagging when you put these designs on merchandise for sale.
Think like the customer who will be looking for your t-shirts. How will they do a search? How would YOU do a search to find them?
You Do NOT Have to lay out a bunch of moolah to make some moolah
Open some free accounts with these social networking platforms. If you don’t already have a FREE Bebo account, Twitter account, Facebook account, MySpace account, Squidoo lens or Blog – now would be the time to get some so you can write about your topic and get your self promotion ready to go.
Decide which PODs (Print on Demand) you are going to use:
All offer free shops for which to showcase your products. Ideally you should open a separate shop for each topic.
(Cafepress free shops only allow one of each item so this is when you will open a new shop for each design and link them all together) Make sure you have your name of product (title), tags (keywords), and descriptions ready to cut and paste into the shops (each has a place for you to add name, tags and description which helps people find your products).
* A word about pricing- Make sure you decide on a mark up price and add this to each product keeping the prices stable throughout your shops.
Then start to blog about the topics (if you haven’t already) and add a picture of one of the products in your posts. Everywhere you have a social account, post the news that you have products and the subject matter or descriptions.
It will take people a bit to find you but the more you talk about your merchandise, the more people will go look and hopefully buy your products. Also, most POD companies have what they call a shopping mall where the products are showcased and people will search there as well.
As you can see, this is no overnight venture BUT it is a perfect way to make money without laying out any cash and it is not a scam. You can do this free and in your spare time OR as I mentioned before- if you have lost your job.
Don’t expect to be able to make next month’s bills with the proceeds yet, but in time you will be able to pay some, if not many or all of them. The more time you put into it, the more you will sell and the more money you will make. The better you know your target audience, the more money you will make.As you begin to see a steady income, you will probably want to spend a few dollars on a domain name and, at Cafepress,get into a premium shop for 6.95/mo.
Since each of the POD companies have an account where you can see which orders have cleared, you will have a period of time in which you can draw from the money in your account before your checks are cut.
If your town has art and craft fairs – you can purchase some of your best selling merchandise with this account money (without having to take money from your bank account) – and sell the products at the art fair or craft fair booth.
Most of the POD’s also have a bulk purchase option- making the profit margin at your craft fair more flexible. Honest to goodness work in your spare time creating custom t-shirts and gifts. You will make money and how much depends on you and how much time and effort you put into your shops and advertising.
I won’t lie to you, it Does take time and a lot of work, but the money is there to be made without ever having to leave your home.
Not comfortable trying to make designs or maybe you don’t have the graphics programs you want? You can still make money becoming an affiliate for these Print on Demand companies. Sell someone else’s designs as an affiliate (each POD has an affiliate program you can join and make money from selling someone else’s merchandise) and make a profit for you and for them.
If you have internet connection you can make money- it’s That easy!
I am a Top Seller at Cafepress and a Silver ProSeller at Zazzle– My poor Printfection shops need desperate updating so I make minimum moolah there- not their fault- it only makes what I am willing to put into it. To Give you an example of What CAN happen if you work hard-
This is what I have accomplished at Cafepress in the last 3 years – showing only December sales which pay out in February:
- 2006 February Check (December Sales) $209.27
- 2007 February Check (December Sales) $2,757.96
- 2008 February Check (December Sales) $10,850.84
Granted this year’s February check was larger than life, but it CAN be done. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY!
Sales have dropped drastically since Christmas of 2008 which is where my February check for 2009 is calculated. So far (and the month is not over yet) $3184.90 in sales for February ’09 and $1468.50 so far in profits.
So if you can use this information to help you – to give you hope, to give you another option, I wish you the very best.
As you can see this was not over night- a bit slower for me than most though. I actively work on my designs, shops and networking 12-14 hours a day. AT HOME.
I do not use paid advertising. I do not pay for graphics. Can you make money at PODs? Absolutely! Be devoted, dedicated and determined and you will carve out a financially rewarding business. You can do it!
Now, Go forth and create, sell and achieve.. and do not forget to help others..
Pay it Forward!
You reap what you sow- help someone else and you will be rewarded in the end.
I will be adding posts on how to optimize your shops and utilize tools that can help you set things up quicker and more efficient.