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Selling T-shirts at print-on-demand sites on the web is a business with a very low barrier to entry. It comes very close to being “zero cost.” Assuming you already have a home computer, an Internet connection, and time, you can set up a Web T-shirt shop at no extra expense. That counts as “zero cost.” Let’s see how that works.
You can set up an account at a print on demand T-shirt website for free. You then set up “stores” or “galleries” at that site. Printfection and Zazzle let you open stores for free. An equivalent, “premium” store at CafePress costs about $60 a year, pretty much pocket change, a month’s coffee money.
To create your designs, you need an image editor. The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is available free and has as much power as you would ever need.
Your image editor may have a steep learning curve. A powerful enough image editor — powerful enough for you to grow with — is complex enough so that you might get lost in its intricacies when you’re just starting out. At this point you may find it worthwhile to pay for a book on how to use it, another couple of weeks’ coffee money.
You don’t need to be artistic — some text-only designs sell well. You don’t need to be clever with words – some false, blunt, unwitty slogans sell. You need only express the feelings and attitudes of your customers.
You need to attract people to your Web T-shirt shop. You need to know what keywords they are searching for and how many pages are competing to attract them with those keywords. You want the most people searching and the fewest pages competing. This information is available free through Google’s keyword tool and the Google search page. At WordTracker, you can pay $60 per month to save time and effort, or $27.50 per month if you buy their service by the year.
You’ll want to advertise your site, but you had better be careful. The markup on any T-shirt, the amount you get when one is sold, is in the $1-$3 range, and most customers buy only one. You cannot afford to pay very much for any customer you attract your site. Fortunately there are places to advertise for free on the Web.
What you most want though, is for your site to end up on page one of the search engine results for the search terms your customers are using. For that you need quality back links, that is links pointing to your website from other quality websites. The best way to get quality back links is to post useful information online containing links back to your shop. There are several ways that you can give away information on the net: through your blog or ezine, posting comments at blogs and forums, writing articles (such as this) for ezines, putting up pages at Squidoo and HubPages…
Nothing that is required to set up a print-on-demand T-shirt shop costs much. You can do it all for free, if you know how to. Tee shirt shops require mostly time and knowing what to do.
write by james