How to Use Online Tools To Start Your T-Shirt Business For Free

Looking to start your own t-shirt business? Do you have some awesome ideas for shirts but are not sure how to get going?

Maybe you don’t have enough money to start your own online store.

We have the answers right here – all wrapped up in one article. Read on and we will explain it to you.

Our parent company T-Shirt Printing Australia has a range of websites that can help you at any stage of your business process. From just starting out with nothing – to a full-on high-turnover online megastore.

Just starting out

Selling a T-shirt to somebody with your design on it – is a pretty special feeling. In order to do this you need to create a design that is going to resonate with that customer. Making them feel like they have to own that t-shirt.

They are only going to buy it because it makes a statement about who they are and what they believe in.

So your design needs to be aimed at a certain type of person who belongs to a certain type of niche or demographic.

Take the time to research this niche and understand how this customer thinks. Then target your design to this type of person. Don’t be too broad.

Remember this: People love people who are like them and if you try to become everything to everybody you become nothing to nobody.

Here are some examples of broad niches that you might target with your brand.

  • Pet-themed T-Shirts
  • Fitness and Motivational Quotes
  • Retro and Vintage Designs
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Travel and Adventure
  • Social Causes

Then you might go deeper into the niche and target something more specific. For example, if we picked the Pet-themed niche, we might niche down further and choose something more specific from that list.

  1. Dog breed T-Shirts
  2. Cat lover T-Shirts
  3. Funny Pet quotes
  4. Personalized pet T-Shirts
  5. T-Shirts with pet illustrations
  6. Exotic pet-themed T-Shirts

If you choose the ‘Dog Breed T-shirt’ sub-niche, you could go even further into that and only focus on one dog breed. For example, you could choose Poodles or Terriers or Shepherds etc.

Using this example, your brand might be poodle-doodles.

Creating the design

Creating the designs for your T-shirt is going to be up to you to research and conceptualise. We have an article here about creating the designs. You should check that out if you want to know more about design tips and creating a good design.

The bottom line is, you don’t need to be good at graphic art. A good concept will sell better than any grandiose design made by the best graphics artist.

Buying designs can be expensive. If you are just starting out, making your own designs might be your only option.

It’s not hard to sketch out your concept on a piece of paper and send it to a professional graphic artist who can tidy it up and add a bit of extra flair to your concept. T-Shirt Printing Australia offers this service. Have your rough sketch re-drawn by a professional graphic artist.

This does come at a cost, so if you are looking for something free, our online designer tool is a great place to get started with your design idea. You can create your designs using our free editing tools directly on the website.

Try it out here:

We recommend you purchase a T-shirt so you can see if you are happy with the shirt and the design before you sell it to others.

This also allows you to take a photo of the shirt, to use as the product picture when you go to sell the shirt online.

Otherwise, if you are looking for free, you can use the digital mockup from our digital t-shirt printing website as your product picture.

Selling the design

The next thing you will need is a place to sell your T-shirt. Now you could create your own website and start selling it on your own platform. Which is good! But you will be up for a good chunk of money to do that, and you don’t even know if someone will buy your shirt yet.

So we recommend you test that out first on a free platform. That is where the T-Shirt Shop comes into play.

We have designed a place to sell your designs – on an online platform for free. Before you go full-on into your business.

You need to register as a Vendor on “T-Shirt Shop”. You can do that here.

You will need to bring a few things first before getting started.

  1. Product image (or a digital mock-up)
  2. Product Description (including copy targeting your ideal customer)
  3. The Print-ready artwork for your shirt

If you use our digital t-shirt printing website and purchased a t-shirt – you can request a copy of the print-ready artwork by contacting support.

Once you have registered and provided support with your product details, it can take a few days for the product to go live.

Once the product is live you will get a link to your product page and your vendor page – which lists all your designs in one place.

Marketing the product

Once you have your product link, it’s time to tell the world. The best way is to use social media to get your design to the masses.

Use your knowledge of your ideal customers to target them on different social platforms.

Here are some articles we have written about using social to sell t-shirts.

Send your social traffic to your product landing page and see how your design does. When we sell one of your designs, your commission will appear in your dashboard, and you will receive your commission after 30 days to allow for returns.

The commission needs to total more than $50.00 before you get a payout. We pay out direct to your bank account or to a PayPal account.

Growing your business

When you find your designs are doing well, you should then think about starting your own website.

The cost to purchase the domain name, build the website and pay the hosting fees can be as much as $1000 initially, for a nicely designed self-hosted website.

See the cost here: Our Website Development Team

Then you have the ongoing cost of up to a couple of hundred dollars a year for site hosting and domain fees.

For this to make sense financially – you need to be selling quite a few shirts. Once you have made between $500-$1000 in commissions you then re-invest that back into your own website.

Resources For T-Shirt Designers

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