NOTE: This guide is fairly long. If you truly need a solution and want to create your own merchandise, I advise going through it slowly and reading carefully.
Selling your own merchandise is one of the only ways you will be making money as an artist in the music industry or as a content creator on YouTube. If you’re the latter, you will see some revenue from advertising, but don’t make this your only income stream.
It is super important to have merchandise for your brand as early on as possible. The difficult thing about merchandise in the beginning is the cost. You can easily spend $3,000 on T-Shirts and have them sit for years if you don’t sell any of them. The good news is, with this method, you’ll be able to create your own merchandise cheap. Even if you have little to no budget, you can get your own online merchandise store up and running in as little as a day. And it won’t cost you more than $10.
This guide will teach you how to create your own on-demand merchandise for your band that will run itself. The best part about on-demand printing services is that there is no upfront cost. When someone orders an item from you, you are charged for the production of the goods and the raw material. The rest is your profit! Say for example, it costs $7.50 to produce a T-Shirt and you sell the shirt at $25 on your website. You will net $17.50 on each T-Shirt you sell! That is a great profit! Want to learn how to create your own merchandise? Read on.
1. You Need A Website – Create Your Own Merchandise
If you’re ready to create your own merchandise, the first thing you’ll need is a website. If you don’t already have one, now’s the time to create one. You can easily do this yourself with a computer and an internet connection. It won’t cost you much and can be done within a night with some good work ethic! You have a couple options for where your store can be located on your website. For example, you may want store.yourbrand.com or yourbrand.store. If you’re brand new to this and don’t have a website, click the link below to get started at the best discounted price.
Personally, I have always used Bluehost. It is extremely affordable, only costing $3.95 per month for web hosting and a free domain name. If you’re looking to do the .store method, you will need to purchase an additional domain name.
Go to my.bluehost.com
Once you purchase your domain name and web hosting through Bluehost, you will gain access to the back end. If you are unsure how to get there, you can go to my.bluehost.com. From here, you will login and be able to install WordPress. This will install a content management system on your website known as WordPress. This is going to be the foundation of your website: where you login, where you make pages, where you post your music/videos, and where you will sell your merchandise.
Look for a section that says ‘website’ and click ‘Install WordPress.’ You will then be redirected to a place called ‘Mojo Marketplace.’ This all may sound confusing, so let me explain what this is.
What is mojo marketplace?
Mojo Marketplace is included in every WordPress installation. It’s not mandatory that you use it; in fact, I find it pretty annoying. Mojo Marketplace connects the WordPress user to new premium themes, forums, classified ads, ecommerce software, blog building tools, and much more.
Install WordPress on Your Domain – Create Your Own Merchandise
Now that you have clicked ‘Install WordPress,’ we will be at the Mojo Marketplace. On this page, you want to click on ‘Install New Scripts.’
Enter Your Domain Name – Create Your Own Merchandise
After you have clicked ‘Install WordPress,’ you will now see a screen that promts you to enter your domain name you wish to install WordPress on. Enter your domain name that you just purchased and be sure to click the button that says “check domain.” There may be a small box with a blackslash [/] next to it.
At this prompt, you must decide where you want WordPress to be installed. For the purposes of this tutorial you will want to leave this blank. [RECOMMENDED]
However, if you want to install WordPress just to one directory on your current website, put the word ‘store’ where you currently see the word ‘directory.’ This means that WordPress will only be installed at yourband.com/store. [NOT RECOMMENDED]
Once you are happy, click the “check domain” button. There is the potential that you will see a prompt that reads “it looks like files already exist in this location.” You can ignore this prompt and click ‘continue.’
WordPress Login Credentials
WordPress will take a few minutes to install on to your website. Once complete, you will be redirected to a page where you will be given your WordPress login credentials.
• Website URL
• Admin Login URL
Be sure to write these down somewhere, as this is the only way you will be able to access your website. You will also receive a confirmation email with all the information we just listed above.
If you do not see your WordPress website login promt when you visit your admin login URL, do not panic. Sometimes it can take up to 12 hours for the web hosting and the domain to match up to WordPress.
WordPress is now installed!
You did it!
Now that WordPress is installed, it’s time to create your own merchandise!
2. Find A WordPress Theme – Create Your Own Merchandise
Now that you have WordPress installed on your band’s website, it’s time to make it look nice. You can always just stay with the default theme to make it simple, but I suggest finding something that looks amazing to make your brand look really professional.
My Best Recommendation – 15Zine
15Zine is a fantastic-looking theme that is sold on ThemeForest. Not only does it look great, it is super easy to use. You’re looking at a website built with 15Zine! If you don’t need a fancy website at this point, you can skip this and use a free theme provided with WordPress.
In order to change your WordPress Theme, hover over Appearance, and click Themes. From here, click Add New at the top of the page. Find a theme you like under free themes and click Install and Activate. You can also preview any one of these themes by using Live Preview.
In your WordPress Dashboard, hover over Plugins on the left-hand side and click Add New. Once the page loads, in the search bar, type ‘WooCommerce.’ WooCommerce is going to handle all of your products, customer accounts, their shopping carts, payments, and will connect to our On-Demand service for making your merchandise.
If you decided against buying a premium theme earlier on, WooCommerce comes bundled with a free theme that works pretty well. It’s called Storefront. While it doesn’t offer the most customization in the world, it does have a nice minimal feel to the theme.
4. Link WooCommerce With Printful – Create Your Own Merchandise
Printful is an online, on-demand, merchandise printing company. They make everything from beach towels, hats, T-Shirts, pillows, and even dresses. All of these products can be customized with your brand’s logo or designs. The beauty of Printful is its integration with WooCommerce and your website. You won’t have to deal with managing orders, shipping, cost per good, or returns. You just profit. They are the ultimate solution to create your own merchandise. Here’s some products you can have made through Printful.
Once you have signed up for Printful, navigate back to WordPress and under Plugins, click Add New. On the next page, in the search bar, type ‘Printful.’ Install and Activate this plugin. In your WordPress dashboard, you should now see a tab on the left side named Printful. Click on this tab. This is your Printful Dashboard.
Printful will prompt you to connect your WooCommerce website (yourband.store) to your Printful account. Login to your Printful account and you will be asked to connect the two. Once your Printful page is connected, you will be able to create products that will be printed on-demand! Simply upload your brand’s logo to any one of their many products available for sale. Your profit margin will generally be anywhere from $15 to $20 per item depending on how you price them. Be sure to add a credit card to your Printful account, as they will charge you to make the items (don’t worry, you will already have made the full price from your sale on the website. Make sure that WooCommerce is also configured so that your fans can buy your products.
5. Profit! – Create Your Own Merchandise
Now that your store is up and running, it’s time to advertise it to your fans! Post about it on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Feel free to leave a comment down below. Let us know what other methods you are using to create your own merchandise!