Make Money Online Selling Shirts In 2016

If you know anything about marketing and selling things online, you’ll know that selling trends can come and go very quickly. The same applies to the methods people use to make money online by selling t-shirts in 2016. A lot of information out there is outdated and, as you know, trends in the t-shirt selling game changes on a constant basis so it’s important to know what works in today’s market.

While a lot of the core basics still hold true today, because there is a lot more competition out there, it’s important you focus on these three things to help your campaigns make money.


Know The Proper Formula For A Winning Shirt

If you search online, watch videos or listen to some “t-shirt selling guru,” you know there are many theories out there of what you need to do make money in this niche.

While selling custom apparel online has a lower investment entry level compared to other businesses, it’s important to know what to spend your time and money on. And while there are several factors that come together to create a winning strategy and campaign, it really boils down to these two main key factors.

The Actual Design Of Your Shirt

Research is key when it comes to design. Even if you’re a very creative person and can come up with great slogans, saying and graphics, the name of the game is to sell products and it’s easier to go with a design you know is selling rather than trying to start the trend. We’re not saying to simpy rip-off designs, but you’ll need a lot of research, patience and a big bankroll to see if any of your designs start selling.

In general, the best thing to do is to keep things simple. Do some research to see what shirts out there are currently selling. Are they sophisticated or are they just plain text? We’ve seen both do very well.

If you don’t have the time or skill set to design your own shirt, it’s important you get a good graphic designer who is experienced with creating desings for shirts. This is where a lot of people also make mistakes. There is a big difference between a graphic designer who knows how to design on shirts as opposed to a graphic designer who is used to printing web graphics, brochures, business cards, print ads, etc.

You can find a designer on freelancing sites like or you can also contact us and we’ll send you a list of some tshirt designers on Upwork we’ve worked with in the past.

Design For Your Audience

This may seem obvious but you need to come up with a good design that FITS your target audience. There’s debate on whether a very simple design sells better than a more complex, more graphically intense one. And the answer is, both are true – it just depends on who your buyers are.

This is why taking into consideration what advertising channels you will be using to sell your shirts is important.

So what do we mean by designing for the advertising platform you use to promote your shirts?

Different social media platforms appeal to different audiences and focuses. For example, Facebook is the largest social media platform and is great for being able to laser target your desired audience, but Facebook users are focused on the past and present. Facebook helps you get started with targeting here:

Whereas, the social media platform Pinterest is geared for users who are focusing on their future. The audience on Pinterest is generally women with a more sophisticated taste than the comparable Facebook audience. Also, studies show the average purchase amount on Pinterest is almost double the average purchase on Facebook. So, your designs on Pinterest should be on higher quality garments with minimal designs.

Your Message

This is the second important factor. There are so many shirt designs and platforms out there, how do you make yours stand out? The key to this is finding the most passionate people in your niche and create a message that appeals to them.

What does that mean?

Let’s take a look at shirts for yoga. The majority of people who do yoga or have an interest in it will often-times wear well-known branded apparel items. But, the fanatic fans will take it a step further. These are the people that don’t want to wear the same branded items everyone else is wearing – they want to stand out from the crowd to broadcast their love of yoga to everyone they come across. These are the people you should be focusing on with your design and advertising.

The good news is there are always this core group of fanatics in almost any niche – you just have to find them and make your product and message resonate with them.

Marketing Your Shirts

This is the second most important thing to spend some time, money and resources on to help you become successful.

Facebook Is Not Dead

You may hear people tell you that Facebook is dead. Well, they’re either lying to you so you don’t compete against them or they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Facebook is not dead when it comes to selling your shirts. A more correct statement would be: Facebook is much more competitive now so it’s even more important to learn how to target and sell to your specific audience.

Facebook gives you great targeting capabilities and for any marketing or advertising company, it’s an absolute dream. But, in 2016, the Facebook market has become saturated. Can you still make money? Absolutely. Will it be as easy as it was 2 years ago? No.

Learn how to find and target your audience, write copy for your shirts, ads, etc and learn how to read reports and decipher all the information Facebook gives you so you can make educated decisions on your campaigns.

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest is a great platform for selling your shirts. For one, the space is not as crowded so you can ‘get ahead of your competition.

However, where a lot of people make mistakes is they think their marketing and ad creation tactics from Facebook will transfer over to Pinterest and that’s simply not true. Pinterest holds a much different demographic than Facebook with a completely different purpose. The demographic on Pinterest will typically spend more on purchases and are more fashion savvy so you shoulnd’t use the same ads on Pinterest as you have on your Facebook page.

Learn the differences of how to sell on Pinterest and you’ll be well on your way. See this guide on detailed guide on Pinterest marketing.

Making money online selling t-shirts in 2016 is still a great way to make extra money or a full-time income. The market is busier than before but by no means so competitive it should turn you away. If you do take the plunge into this venture, be sure to focus on the things outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to seeing success.

Have something that works for you in 2016? Leave a comment below.