If you’re a content creator looking for ways to monetize your channel, then you probably know or wondered about how to make merch online. Since YouTube offered creators the opportunity to sell digital products, YouTubers like PewDiePie, DanDTM, Dude Perfect and so many others cashed in on selling merchandise to their fans and subscribers.

Other creators on such platforms as Tik Tok, Instagram and Twitch benefit from selling their merch as well.

We’re here to walk you through the necessary steps on how to make merch and sell it online.

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Understanding the value of merch

Better brands build better communities. Creating merchandise for your channel is an easy way to create a brand that is an extension of your channel. It allows you to connect with your fans and subscribers and grow your channel’s brand.

Sellfy’s data found that YouTubers who sell merch can make up to 10 times more revenue than those who earn profits solely on ad earnings. But, more than just the potential of generating revenue, selling merchandise allows the content creator to continue to do what they love while building ongoing relationships with fans and subscribers.

The real value of creating merch exists in its ability to share and personalize the content creator’s rapport with their audience. If people like you and like your content and channel, they’ll want to support you.

Plan a strategy

Before you can sell, you have to plan. This means coming up with a full-proof strategy in advance. It helps if you ask yourself these questions before beginning the creative process. How are you going to sell your merchandise? What platform do you plan on using? YouTube or Tik Tok? Who’s your fanbase and audience? Are you looking to fund your channel and make a profit or just some pocket money? Are you willing to work with a merch designer to create your products? What are your goals for merch?

Choosing a platform to sell your merch

These are just some of the questions you have to answer beforehand. If you plan your strategy, you have the blueprint for the success of your brand. If you currently have a channel on YouTube, then you have to consider your options. YouTube allows sales directly from within the channel and has partnered with Teespring, a website that specializes in merchandising.

However, YouTube requires content creators to either have a minimum of 10,000 subscribers or participate in the YouTube Partner Program. On the other hand, Tik Tok allows creators to create their products on Teespring, then move it straight to TikTok, and enable fans to buy products directly through TikTok. Each platform has different requirements, so you will have to plan your strategy around what works best for what you’re selling.

If you plan your strategy thoroughly, you can decide what works best for your merchandise and fanbase. Are you looking to create merch as a single effort or work with a company that fashions merch? Some free merch makers you can consider are eBay, Etsy, Wix, and Shopify. However, if you would rather pay a company to make your merch, then Teespring, Printify, Zazzle, and Spreadshirt are popular among creative content creators.  

Create merch people want to buy

Before creating your merchandise, consider your followers. What would they like? Has anyone from your fanbase made any special requests? Is there something, in particular, they want to see from you? Maybe someone asked for a T-shirt design. If your channel focuses on cosmetic makeup, perhaps someone asked for a particular lip gloss or eyeliner. Your priority should be to consider selling products you know your followers will like. Try out some designs and see if your fans will like them. Arrange a design contest your fans can join. Set it up so they can vote or cast ballots on their favorite designs.

One great example of merch is Bailey Sarian’s merch. Her products range from T-shirts to hoodies to phone screen savers. They each have a fun and unique design with a catchphrase that is unique to Bailey and her channel.

Bailey Sarian has a thorough understanding of how to create merch that her fans love.

Quality control is important

You don’t want designs that won’t sit well with your followers. Your designs have to be innovative. They have to reflect your brand and your channel. For example, if your channel is about animals, design stuff animals or T-shirts with cute, cuddly pet patterns.

The most important thing to keep in mind when designing merch for people is quality. Don’t design cheap or cheesy products. People will know. Create products that are related to your channel. Don’t just sell T-shirts because they’re cheaper to produce. Sell what will spark your fan’s interests and make it one of a kind.

Think out of the box with colors and patterns, and artwork. Make sure all of your products stand out and flatter each other. Visualize your merch store’s entire appearance ahead of time so that when you’re ready to create it, you can customize it to give your fans the most lavish shopping spree they will experience.

Consider a partnership

Sometimes it’s not easy to develop products on your own. You may need to rely on someone who knows about design production from beginning to end. You can partner with someone to help you through the entire creation process. A professional designer might improve the creation process and know when printing, fabric, and sizing need fine-tuning can help. You don’t want to create a T-shirt with a great design but cheap fabric.

However, if you decide to partner with a merchandising company or fashion designer, keep in mind that you need to sign a contract agreement that will protect your interest. Partnership agreements can differ based on business objectives and social media platforms. Some platforms receive a commission for sales or a small fixed percentage. When signing an agreement, draw up a contract that details the percentage of ownership, division of profit and loss, length of the partnership, decision making and resolving disputes, partner authority, and withdrawal or death of a partner.

You can refer to this link for more information on partnership agreements:

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/041015/which-terms-should-be-included-partnership-agreement.asp

For more information on creating, selling, and partnerships for YouTube, refer to this link:

https://creatoracademy.youtube.com/page/course/merchandise

Promoting your merch

When you’re ready to start selling, create videos dedicated to your merch. Wear or display your merch in your videos and make videos that inform viewers about your merch. Build a community surrounding your merch by mentioning your fans and giving them shoutouts. Post links or user-friendly ways for your fans to buy your merch. Get the word out through other social media platforms. Create promotions and discounts for your merch and let fans know when you have sales. Spread the word to all of your subscribers and fans and share updates.

The best part about selling your merch is that your fans probably already want to buy it. All you have to do from hereon is continue to build engagement with your followers and rake in all the cash.