This has been my best month yet. I've just sold my 80th shirt for the month and just three shirts shy of selling my 200th tee since getting started in March. This has been an amazing journey so far. Can't give enough thanks to all that give advice and opinions in this group. I've learned a lot being here.
That being said, I just wanted to throw in my two cents to the newbies here trying to figure out what to design and how to make those first sales to get out the lower tiers. Now everyone has their own approach. What works for some may not work for others. I can't stress that enough. That being said, here are a few tips for you that I do or have done to get where I am now.
I know we all have hectic lives. A lot of us are married, got kids, and a full time stressful job that makes running a side business difficult. Me personally, I have a full time job and another side hustle that take up a lot of my time during the week. Then I got my significant other that I spend a lot of time with. Between all that, I still spend at least a few hours a day working on Merch and on my days off from my full time job, I will spend most of the day designing and researching, So first of all, ask yourself how much time are you really spending working on your craft? It takes time, this doesn't just take off like a lot of people think it does. I sold 3 shirts my first month, and 5 shirts the next month. It wasn't til July that sales started taking of a liittle. I sold 29 that month and have doubled sales every month since.
I research using Merch Informer. I highly recommend it. But here is one thing that I do differently than a lot of people. Most people will look at whats selling on Merch, and try to make a better version of what already exists. I don't use Merch Informer for design inspiration, only for researching niches and keywords. I search for design inspiration from sites like Pinterest and Instagram personally. I especially like Pinterest. When I find an idea to roll with for a design, I check to see if anyone is doing it on Merch. I try to do only designs that no one is doing or if only a handful of people are doing something and do a totally different design within that niche. But I can't tell you how many times I found a shirt on Pinterest and thought to myself, "there has to be a ton of people doing that idea" and when I check, no one has done it. I did a design for a Halloween tee that is climbing the sales rank fast that I found on Pinterest. When I checked it on Amazon, not one person was doing it at the time. Now one month later, over 200 people have copied that idea. But I don't really care about copy cats unless they copy me p4p bullet point for bullet point.
Anyways, the real key in my opinion with hot trending designs is being one of the first few people to post it and make a few sales before anyone else has thought to do it. I would do anything to have been on the eclipse train early. I missed out on that one all together. Anyways, if you can get a design up before anyone else, and get a few sales going, you are going to have an early sales ranking and be on the first page of searches for that niche if you did your keywords correctly.
Anyways, I feel like I am writing a damn book now. I could go on all day about Merch. It's an obsession for me. lol But, I hope this bit of info above helps some of you.