Total Print on Demand and Merch by Amazon 2018 Income Report

In this Video, I break down my total 2018 Merch by Amazon and other POD income. With barely any uploads in 2018 due to personal reasons, I still earned just over $11.500 pretty much passive.

Don’t forget to check out the Merch Buddy Sale now you can get 20% off en start uploading faster in 2019, Ends January 7 so be quick:

Get Merch Buddy Now: https://gumroad.com/l/Merch-Buddy/2019-new-year-deal

 

How To Manage A Large Merch by Amazon Account Part 2: a system for Finding new Design Concepts

In Part 1 of this series we build the Foundation of our POD business. Now that the basics are in place we are going to setup the system for finding new design concepts/idea’s.

Everybody has different ways of sourcing & researching new possible designs ideas. But you probably repeat the same general steps to find new idea’s

Think about what steps you typically take when looking for new Design Ideas.

  • You will research a niche if it’s viable for getting into it.
  • You use the keywords you find from your research.
  • Then, you’re going to check if there are any Trademark or Copyright Issues with the Phrase you want to use.

Action Steps

  1. Break down your own design idea sourcing process and create a document with step-by-step instructions for it.
    • Everybody’s process is different if you have something that works stick to that.

Recommended Sourcing Tools:

  • Merch Informer – The Complete Toolbox With Modules for all your Research Needs – Use the Coupon Code “MerchAction” to get a 15% discount
  • Merch Momentum Monday Strategy Guide – See how to start the creative process on coming up with Unique phrases that sell.
  1. Create a Document to Capture/Collect Your Potential Design Concepts in One Place:
    • Make sure this Document can be accessed at all times; I prefer to use a Google Sheet
    • Pin the document in your browser so it’s easily accessible.

This is The Document I use. Feel free to make a copy of my T-Shirt Concepts – Worksheet

In the next Blog Post we are going to look into how to Build A system for Creating Designs.

Recommended Sourcing Tools:

  • Merch Informer – The Complete Toolbox With Modules for all your Research Needs – Use the Coupon Code “MerchAction” to get a 15% discount
  • Merch Momentum Monday Strategy Guide – See how to start the creative process on coming up with Unique phrases that sell.

How To Manage A Large Merch by Amazon Account Part 1: Building the Foundation

When you have pushed your way to the 500 Tier or beyond, managing your Account can become a burden. Uploading every single day will wear you out quick.

This becomes especially evident when you are expanding to different Print on Demand Platforms and do not have a streamlined process in place.

Many people say that outsourcing is the key, and it does help. But without a system in place to guide the Freelancer you hire, you will be frustrated with all the time you will have to put in to train them.

A couple of uploads a day can be managed by yourself without too much structure in your process. But if you really want to scale your daily output, and grow your income without going insane…

You Need To Create Systems

Without systems in place and repeatable processes, you will spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and not going anywhere.

You will get overwhelmed and spent more time trying to get organised and not focusing on creating new listings.

Don’t worry if you have no idea of what kind of systems I am talking about. I’m going to help you figure it all out.

Warning: There is a fair amount of work involved up front!

But once all your systems are in place you will save a lot of time in the long run.

Having a system in place will also make the outsourcing process (if you want to go that route) very organic because you can hand them your processes and they can execute them for you.

If you not at the stage yet, that you think outsourcing is necessary for you, don’t leave me just yet.
Having a solid structure just for your one-man-army Merch business is still a great time saver.

I recommend implementing these systems

  • A Solid Foundation to Save & Track your Designs and Listing Content
  • A system for Finding Design Concepts (Ideas)
  • A system for Creating Designs
  • A system for Creating Content (Title, Bullet points, etc.)
  • A system for Listing and Uploading

Let’s get started

The Foundation

In my opinion, any serious POD Seller needs to record and track all their Designs, Source files and listing Content

Without this Foundation, any systems you build are useless. This does not just function as a backup.
Building your Foundation also sets you up so you can start and diversify into other POD platforms with ease.

There are 2 main components to take care off to build your foundation

Let’s take a look

The Design Master List

This Document is the Foundation of my POD Business.

All the components of a finished Design listing come together in this one Document.

Here all designs will be recorded, linked and tracked.

Listing Content that will be recorded:

  • Title
  • Bullet Points
  • Description
  • Brand Name (optional)
  • Keywords or Tags (Optional)

I used Google Sheets to create my “Design Master List”. With the Design Master List Template (Its Free) You can create your own Design master List

To get it for free Sign-up and get the Merch Action Toolkit that Includes the Design Master List

Action Steps

  1. Make a Copy of the Design Master List Template.
    • Customise it to your needs (Add or Delete Columns)
  2. Add one Designs complete listing info (just to build some momentum)

There is one more main component to take care off to complete the foundation

Storing your Design Files

Design Files are:

  • The Source file of a design (PSD,AI, ect.)
  • The Upload file (PNG)

Google Drive For desktop is the easiest way to do this. That way you have a Local and cloud back-up.

If you create all your designs yourself just always save everything in the google drive folder on your computer from now on
as a added bonus you will always have a back-up now.

If you outsource the Design making process: Just create a Folder for your designer to upload to in Google drive and give them access to that folder by Sharing it.

Don’t overthink it, start now!

  1. Install Google drive for desktop https://www.google.com/drive/download/
  2. Create a Folder in google drive called “Designs
  3. If you create new designs just save them into the designs folder from now and you are golden.

You can add a link to the PNG to the Design Master List. So that all Listing data is now Available to you in the Master Design List
That is the main reason use google drive, the link is also in the sheet so you don’t have to look up the PNG design when you will upload. It’s all right there.
As a bonus: From now on every design has a local copy and an offsite backup on Google Drive.

Bonus Action Steps

  • In the “Designs” Folder Create a Folder called “00-Archive” (we add the 00 so it will always be at the top)
  • Copy all your Current designs into the “00-Archive” folder

By Moving all your current design files to the google drive Folder everything will be automatically Uploaded to Google Drive.

Now the Foundation has been laid out.

In the next Post of this series, we will look at how to Build A system for Finding new Design Concepts.

Calculate Outsourcing Cost for your Merch by Amazon Print on Demand Business

If you’re Looking into Outsourcing some of your workloads for you Print on Demand business. But you’re not sure if outsourcing is cost-effective use this sheet to estimate the monthly cost for Outsourcing Designs and/or Virtual Assistant (VA) Tasks.

Watch this Youtube Video of how to change the sheet to your preferences

How I got Successful with POD after 8 Years of Slacking and Procrastinating

With this post, I hope to encourage people that are struggling to get started with Merch by Amazon and other Print On Demand platforms.

First a little bit of my history: My Print On Demand Journey started back in 2008.

I just dropped out of the first year of college and found a print on demand website called SpreadShirt. I put my first 3 designs up in June 2008.
One of the initial 3 designs that I put up has sold over 500 times since then.

How did I do that?

I got lucky…

I had not done any research, I just saw some video online about a guy with a Free hugs Sign and the video had gone viral a couple months before.

So I Created a design for it. It was a simple text-only design that said “Free Hugs” in big bold letters.

                     (The design looked like this, nothing fancy)

Sales did not come instantly it just gradually came over time, just a couple of sales a month.

That is the power of an Evergreen design.

Although Sales are not as good as the first couple of years, I do get the occasional sale about once every 2 months still for this design after 10 years.

So now I must be a POD Guru, Right?

Having a 7 Year advantage before Merch by Amazon even existed. You might assume that I would have built up a library of 1000’s of designs at least right?

I wish…

Before I Applied to Merch by Amazon I only had 25 Designs and put them on Spreadshirt.

So what Happened?

I did not take any real Consistent ACTION for 8 years.

Because of my initial lucky break with the Free Hugs Design, I knew there was potential for me to make at least a nice side income from this Print on Demand stuff.

But something was always holding me back to really pulling the trigger and going for it.

About every 3 to 6 months between 2008 to 2016 I would think about how I should be doing more with Print on Demand.

Every now and then I would put up a design but I was not Consistent. Had no Systems in place to guide my actions, and no discipline or leverage to keep me on track.

Wait for it. It gets Worse:

When I heard about Merch by Amazon in January of 2016 I did not even apply straight away, I waited until April to sign up.

Talk about being a Complete Lazy Fool…  I Could not be bothered to fill in the in the application form?!

This was mainly because I wanted everything to be perfect before starting. I was Always over analyzing every minute detail that in the big picture doesn’t really matter.

What was holding me back was wanting to have the perfect website with some Designs to show a portfolio to put into the Application Form for Merch by Amazon.

Eventual I did submit a request. (3 months later)

When I got my acceptance email in August I only fooled around with the account the same as I had done in the years before that, only putting up a couple of designs. not maxing out my tier.

The Breakthrough

But then in October 2016, I knew I wanted to get serious about this Print on Demand stuff. I had been dreaming it since 2008. And would regret it for the rest of my life if I did give it a bonified shot, and truly put in the work.

I knew the initial boost of motivation would wear off after a couple of days.  And then I would probably slack off and lose focus on the POD project like so many times before.

To finally change my ways I needed

  • Some skin in the game
  • A way to hold me accountable.
  • Leverage to push back when I got lazy or distracted

I found that leverage by using my Cheap Skate nature to work for me.

I hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) on Upwork ( I never hired anybody at this point by the way) and paid her a fixed price no matter how many hours she would work.

  • My VA’s tasks were to organise Designs in my Google Drive and Google Sheet (Get you Free Design MasterList Template)
  • Write the Titles and Descriptions for the Designs.
  • Promote designs on Different Social Media sites (mainly Twitter)

So Now I was forced to create Designs for my VA otherwise I would be paying her the fixed price to do nothing.

And my inner Cheap Skate would not allow me to waste any money so I worked harder that first week then I did in the previous 8 years combined.

No more self-sabotage

Before I Would have sabotaged myself by wanting to have the perfect keywords in all of my Bullet points. And all the Designs would have to be Pixel Perfect before I would consider uploading them. But now I did not have time to second guess everything because there was money on the line.

When I was giving my VA instructions for how she should write the Descriptions I did not even know how to do it myself, so if I had not leveraged myself I would have wanted to have the perfect the keyword description writing instructions for the VA before ever starting.

Because of this the first 3 months, the Descriptions and titles where horrible and I knew it. But I was Finally building momentum. and gaining knowledge of how to improve them one baby step at a time.

So that is how I forced myself to Consistently take Action and broke my cycle of slacking.

How am I doing now?

Up until now, My pod business has been a part-time side gig and it’s doing pretty good. I’m nowhere near the top Merch/POD Guru’s for income. But I’m at the 4000 Tier and consistently making money on 4 different POD platforms.

But what I am Most proud of is that I Finally broke the cycle of procrastination, and instead of dreaming about it actually working on it.

Are you putting in the effort?

Remember; I waited 3 months to sign up for merch! and it took me 8 years to finally change my ways. I was that lazy!

If I can change, so can you. But first, you have to Find out how you can get some leverage over yourself.

You can do the same thing I did with the VA to hold you accountable. Or find some other way.

Don’t want a VA? Get leverage in other ways.

Here is a way you can also use leverage that is a little bit easier

If you set a goal of X number of designs per day or week. (if you’re part-time I would suggest with starting on 10 unique designs per week as your goal)

Give a trusted person in your life a $1000 bucks and you have to show them proof every day/week that you created the Designs. Every day/week that you don’t hit the number they get to keep $100. And do that for 2 or 3 months, after that, you get your money back.

If you don’t have $1000 bucks then give them items that hold a lot of value.

99% of people who are reading this will NOT do this because it’s a big thing to commit to.

And a commitment like that will get you results.

Closing thoughts

Now you know that you have a choice, do you want to muck about like I did for the next 8 years and think back to what you could have done? Or will you get your hands dirty?

The Message to take away is.

  1. Only Consistent Action creates consistent results
  2. Put a system in place to “Punish” Yourself if you are not taking Consistent Action by using some form of leverage.

Let me know what kind of leverage you will be using in the comments below.

 

Merch Buddy

Merch Buddy | Merch by Amazon Chrome Extension

I’m Excited to Share with you guys a Project that I have been working on for months now.

MERCH BUDDY

It’s has saved me countless hours in speeding up the upload process to Merch by Amazon and I know it will do the same for you.

Merch Buddy is a Chrome extension that integrates directly into your Merch by Amazon account to help you run your Merch Business with ease.

What can it do for you?

  • Create Multiple Listings for the same design up to 87% Faster
  • No more individual Copying and Pasting of Titles, bullet points etc.
  • With 1 click replace the words “T-Shirt” and “Shirt” on all input fields to the current product type.
  • And much more… Check out the video Below!

Watch the Overview Demo of Merch Buddy

This is the essential Chrome Extention for Merch by Amazon to Streamline your Upload Workflow, especially in the Higher Tiers.

UPDATE Merch Buddy V2.0 – 27 September 2018

Merch Buddy 2.0 Has 5 New Features and is Updated to work with the new UK and German Marketplaces and Popsockets.

Check out the video to see the new features in action:

Merch Buddy UPDATE! 04-june-2018

Find out whats new in Merch Buddy 1.5!

Merch Buddy just got a little bit better. No more manually changing the Product Type in the Title, Brand name, Bullet points and description.

With just 1 click you replace the words “T-Shirt” and “Shirt” on all the input fields to the current product type that you have open.

This new feature integrates perfectly with the already existing Copy and Paste Buttons. Try it out Today!

How to use the New Feature “Replace Product Type”

Merch Buddy Features:

– Copy and Paste Listing Info –

Get Listings up Faster on all Product Types.

With just 2 clicks you can copy the Product Details and paste it into another tab.

No need to Copy the Brand name, Title, bullet points, price and description one by one anymore. Now its all done with just 2 clicks!

Perfect for speeding up:

  • Uploading the same design on different product types. (Standard, Premium, Long Sleeve, Hoodie, Sweatshirt)
  • Uploading variations of the same design.
  • Uploading Scalable Designs.

Detailed Merch Buddy Demo of the Copy Paste Feature

As you can see in the Video you save 87% of the time with Merch Buddy!

-Replace Product Type-

No more manually changing the Product Type in the Title, Brand name, Bullet points and description.

With just 1 click you replace the words “T-Shirt” and “Shirt” on all the input fields to the current product type that you have open.

– More Upload Tabs! –

Open as many create upload tabs as you want with one 1 click.

Set the Custom amount of tabs that is right for you. And then you are ready to mass upload. No more copy and pasting URLs. Open it all with one click!

– Skip to Review page –

On the Upload page of a draft listing, a new Button appears that lets you skip straight to the Review Page.

If you Have a bunch of listings in draft mode that are Ready to go live this will save you a lot of time.

– More features are underway –

This is only the First Version of Merch Buddy, we have additional features that will be rolled out within the next couple Months.

To give you a sneak peek at what is to come

  • Adding keyboard shortcuts for an even faster Workflow
  • Open Duplicates of the current manage page for faster editing/re-pricing

 

Unlimited Updates for future Versions

Get it now! Price will go up when new versions are Released.

If you buy it now you will get all future upgraded versions of the Extension for free.

All Updates will be automatically sent to your chrome browser, no installation required for new versions!

I hope you wil check out Merch Buddy… Woof!

 

 

Pretty Merch – a Merch by Amazon Dashboard Chrome Extension

Pretty Merch, a new Chrome extension to give you an overview dashboard of all the metrics for your Merch by Amazon Account.

In short, this extension give you a dashboard that shows you:
  • Shirts which are in under review or in processing
  • Total designs rejected, so can keep an eye on it
  • Your Tier, upload limits and shirts uploaded
  • Sales for Today, Yesterday, Week, Month and Previous Month
  • Chart of last 7 days sales
  • 30 days Best Sellers list
And thats not all it does, you also get:
  • Desktop notification of new sales with ‘cha ching’ sound
  • Quick list of shirts which sold Today
  • Notification when you’re logged out

Let’s take an in-depth look into the dashboard in this video Review

You can download PrettyMerch for free

Check out my Resources Page for more Recommended extensions and Other Resources for Merch by Amazon

Why you need a Design Masterlist for your print on Demand business

When you have pushed your way to the 500 Tier or beyond, managing everything can become a burden.

This becomes especially evident when you are expanding to different Print on Demand Platforms and do not have a streamlined process in place.

That is why I share my Google Spreadsheet that i Personally use to have all my Designs data in one place.

It keeps me organised and adds structure to what would otherwise be chaos.

Sign-up and get Your FREE Master List Document

Watch the video to See it in action. You can get your own copy by leaving you Email in the box on the left

Sign-up and get Your FREE Master List Document

Watch the video to See it in action. You can get your own copy by leaving you Email in the box on the left

 

Merch Action Q&A #1

In today’s Q&A I talk about What sells on Redbubble and why Merch is easier.

And I share a my Photoshop Template that I Use to create Simple text designs.
If you have Questions for the next Q&A Please leave them in the comments on Youtube.

Here you can Download the Photoshop Template that I use myself:

Check out the full Q&A Video Here:

Please Subscribe if you enjoyed it: https://goo.gl/z2B98p

If you have any questions yourself please leave them down below in the comments and I will answer all the questions in a other video.