It has come to my attention that similar to YouTube there are now very successful individuals who are creating powerful brands by writing and sharing content in the Steemit platform. Today I want to talk about a program some of you may already know about or heard of. The idea here is that those users who have build a popular brand using Steemit can leverage their influence and further monetize their work by using Amazon Merch. Read below to get a better idea of what this is all about and how you can join the program. I think 2018 will be the best year yet because Amazon is looking to expand this program.
Since being introduced in late 2015 the program Merch by Amazon has been so successful that it has continued to hit scalability problems with every year that runs by. Merch by Amazon is a service which allows content creators such as YouTubers, developers, musicians, painters, graphics designers, cartoonists and many other forms of an artists or product creator to sell their designs of T-shirts – printed on demand. They can use this T-Shirts to promote their brands or creative ideas. Those who are accepted into the program earn royalties with every sale of their T-shirts. This program is free to join.
NOTE: As of January 15, 2018 royalties will be calculated in a different way because there is an increase in the cost to support the program. I believe this is to the benefit of the program as a whole because it will help solve scalability issues including being able to purchase more raw materials and machines to produce the T-Shirts. They can also expand into more areas where new warehouses are prepared and filled with support teams to process shirt designs. The first year the bottleneck was running out of raw materials. The second year it was not having enough workers and machines to successfully manage all orders placed. Now for 2018 they are looking to improve the program by investing in new warehouse locations that will be conditioned with skilled workers and new machines to handle the load placed by the designers. As of right now there are two warehouse locations servicing the United States and one in Europe. This program is yet to be brought worldwide, so there will be big potential to generate income for years to come if you have a strong brand or have popular designs to sell.
This program became so popular that Amazon had to limit the amount of content creators who participate. At one point anyone could join, complete their design, create a listing and start earning royalties based on the performance of their T-Shirt but right now the program is INVITATION ONLY. The invitation process usually took two weeks (Currently it takes two months) and Amazon has no plans of reverting back to the old model anytime in the near future. If you want to become part of the program you can place an invitation request here.
NOTE: To place your invitation use Mozilla Firefox. In my experience, Google Chrome did not work. If you want to learn more information about Merch by Amazon you should have a look at this resource page . Another great resource I can also share with you is this blog and podcast with abundant information about this program.
The resource page will answer most questions you can have. Something I want to point out is that at this stage you can’t place bulk orders on T-Shirts. Instead, when you first start out you can upload up to 25 T-Shirt designs. So if you are planning to use this service to mass produce T-Shirts and have them shipped to your company, you are better off creating relations with a distributor somewhere in China, India or other place where there are companies that provide this type service. You can always check on Aliexpress or AliBaba for such distributors if bulk orders is what you need.
Something else I want to point out is that in order to submit more designs and increase the overall volume of T-Shirts you can sell at any specific point in time you need to level up your rank or Tier in the Merch by Amazon system. The ways to rank are primarily by generating sales with your design or by producing high-quality T-Shirts with designs the customers find valuable to wear. I like that Amazon takes into account T-Shirt quality because the bigger brands can generate more sales by leveraging their history. As a result often times new brands end up producing better quality products that makes them deserving of being able to grow their business either by being able to place more designs or sale more T-Shirts.
Note the tier process allows you to upload more T-Shirt designs like so:
New Account – 25 Design’s Slots
25 Shirts Sold – 50 Design Slots
50 Shirts Sold – 100 Design Slots
100 Shirts Sold -500 Design Slots
500 Shirts Sold – 1000 Design Slots
1000 Shirts Sold – 2000 Design Slots
2000 Shirts Sold – 4000 Design Slots
4000 Shirts Sold – 8000 Design Slots
Some selected accounts which sell more than 4000 Shirts are also allowed to unlock even more design slots.
So how much money can you expect to make using Merch by Amazon? There are many factors that go into how much money you will be making. Some people have seen great success and they have been able to sell hundreds of T-Shirts per day and then this volume of sales starts to die out until they are down to selling 5 or 10 per day. Sometimes the problem has to do with raw material deficiency. Other times is because there are not enough workers or machines in active operation. These are some of the factors we covered in the scalability issues. Some other times it has to do with being able to adapt. Amazon currently ranks the best T-Shirts ranking them from 1 to last, where holding ranking number one means this is the most popular T-Shirt that generates the biggest revenue.
A strategy you can use to create a competitive product line is to use plug-ins like DS Amazon Quick View which allow you to look into T-Shirt rankings. Then you can collect some ideas from those T-Shirts and create your own design. Another strategy used is to leverage popular niches and holidays such as Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas. For example during Thanksgiving, you can expect to see many designs with Turkeys which sell really well. When it comes to popular niches you should do some research about what you can print on your T-Shirt. For example, you don’t want to start creating content related to the Star War Series unless you get approval to do this. I’m sure these kinds of products would sell very well but you would need to give out some of your royalties back to the company that own copyrights. You must negotiate an agreement to print copyrighted material.
To summarize, I believe the changes which are happening tomorrow in the royalties paid out to content creators is to the overall benefit of the program. Amazon has long become the number one online retailer and being able to leverage their platform and customers to sell your T-Shirts is a great opportunity to build residual income and financial freedom. Popular YouTubers like Shane Dawson are able to generate $800-$1500 every single day. If you are an artists or developer give Merch by Amazon a try in 2018.
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