Money Grows On Tees…Not Trees!

Today we have another guest post from BandWPThemes member and Australian pop/rock artist Adam Hoek. Adam is really doing some great things on the DIY tip and today he chats about getting custom merch at no cost upfront. Adam breaks down the process with Wordans, and there are many alternatives such as Audiolife that can do similar dropshipping and print and demand services.

8 easy steps to getting your music merch off the ground and into the crowd.

You gotta spend money to make money. Thats what they all say, but I’m coming to you today to tell you that they may be wrong.

Today Im going to help you through a system to make money while you sleep, hell it will even make money while your awake!

Bands need merch, merch sales are the easiest way for a musician to make money today. With CD sales dropping its better to go it Diddy style and expand your business. You’ve already got your mailing list set up. So now its time to give those subscribers what they want. Awesome t-shirts!

I’ve gone through all of the stress and failures (building a screen press and printing my own shirts) for you, all you have to do is follow these steps and you will be well on your way to what ever your dream is.

Step 1. Make an account at

I don’t work for Wordans, they work for me now. I tell them what I need and they get it done. I didn’t sign my soul away to get this, all I did was get an account. This is seriously the best Online t-shirt distributer I’ve ever seen. Very easy to work with and its all FREE!

Step 2. Open an online store.

It’s really that easy. Just click the button and BOOM you’re a millionaire, well not yet, but nearly!

Step 3. Make some designs

Here is the part that may hang you up. Maybe you don’t have awesome design skills. If you do, Great! If you don’t, Great as well! Why? Because now I will share yet another world with you. The world of get-other-people-to-do-your-stuff-for-you. Otherwise known as GOPTDYSFY or Outsourcing.

Outsourcing could actually cost you money, but it doesn’t have to! Here is how to get free awesome designs.

Ask around, I bet you know a few people who can draw some seriously awesome unicorns. You just need to ask them “Hey can you draw a unicorn for me?” If they say yes, put that magic on paper. You now have a rocking Unicorn Tshirt.

If they say no. Don’t worry. There is still an option. Luckily for you, you are a musician, which hopefully means, you have an audience. Now is the time to start a competition for your listeners. Ask for submissions, the winner wins their design on a t-shirt and gets some free music from you! Heck yeah! If you go this way, let me know. Coz I want to submit some stuff myself. I love free t-shirts and music!

Step 4. Upload

It is best to upload your design as a PNG. This magical format was invented by a snow dragon and allows you to have transparencies in your image to let the color of the tshirt shine through!

Also try to make your images as close to 5MB as possible, this will allow for best prints. You can do this trough cropping and resizing your image.

Put your design into a category. I always put mine in music with sub category rockstar, because..thats just how I roll. But maybe you can put yours in Hobbies with sub category Fishing. Im sure you can come up with something better though.

Give it a name and some relevant tags and start making a shirt

Step 5. Create a product

music marketing with tee shirtsIt will take 24 hours for your designs to be approved. They need to make sure you didnít upload an image of a black hole. This, when printed may cause the universe to get swallowed up. And I don’t care if that’s your evil plan, Wordans just wont let it happen. So go do your evil elsewhere.

In the mean time, go ahead and play around with the designs already in the system. You can browse by category or search for designs. Why don’t you search for “Big A“ and see what you come up with? OH, OH, OH whats that? A freaking sweet Trippy colored A you say, yeah that one is mine. Go ahead and put it on a shirt.

You can resize and rotate that sweet design and place it however you want.

Step 6. Submit

How to sell your music merchandise

This is where the money is! So pay attention! First you have to name your product. Don’t name it something lame, name it something awesome so that people enjoy just looking at the names of your shirts. Call the shirt Geoff or something crazy like “ILovePancakesInMyBelly.” Fun right!

Ok, now its money time. Here you get to set your commissions on the T-shirt. I recommend setting it at $5. This means you will make 5 dollars every time you sell this shirt. You can set your commission to $100 if you really want, but good luck selling the shirt!

Step 7. My Products Page

Now go over to the “My Products Page” from the side bar and put your shirt in a category. You may have to make one first. Just click the blue text next to the Category box.

Generally speaking your category will be Mens or Ladies but you can also catagorize by theme, such as FanSubmited or MonkeySlappingMothers, whatever you find useful.

Step 8. Advertise

You are pretty much done now. You own a t-shirt company. All you have to do is jump on myfacetwit (Myspace ,Facebook + Twitter) and spread the word! If no one buys a shirt, its no problem. Because so far it hasn’t cost you a dollar! And you can upload unlimited designs!

Eventually someone has to buy one right?

Your designs can also go into the public database. Like my Big A design. This way when someone buys a shirt with my design on it I make 2 dollars. Not bad for not doing anything!

You can also Customize the look of your shop, which you should do! Make it match your other stuff.

You can visit my shop here Go have a look and tell me which design is your favorite!

This post was written by ADAMHOEK. Adam is an indie pop/rock Australian musician making music in Holland. He has over 50 minutes of FREE downloadable music for you too! Go check out what he’s doing over at

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  1. Steve Klein
    1885 days ago

    So what happens when you DO start selling shirts? Do they do inventory/shipping/anything else? Or do you order the shirts from them and fulfill orders yourself?

    What is their pricing like and how does it stack up to competitors?

    Do they do different styles of shirts (i.e. ladies fit/long sleeve/v-neck)?

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Chris
    1884 days ago

    How is this Service different from,, or
    How does the quality of their products compare. Are they based on the US or Not. How do you actually get payed, Paypal or how.
    Other than that looks pretty good.

    1884 days ago

    They do all the printing and shipping, you wont see the shirt they send, you just see the money roll in.

    Pricing is competitive, generally you are looking at 15-20 dollar shirts for your customers with a $5 profit for you. shirts range from $2-$15 blank and get $10 on top for every additional design you put on.

    Yes there are differant styles, ladies, hoodies, Vnecks and even sweatpants…I haven’t tried sweatpants yet.
    Thank you for your questions. if you have more I would be happy to answer them for you.

    @chris. I haven’t used other online services yet. Although I have done my research and through comparisons Ive seen that Wordans is the winner. These comparisons cover shipping speed, ease of use, printing techniques etc…

    They are based in Canada. But if you order 5 or more shirts you get free shipping. I got free shipping and I live in Europe!

    There is a button that will allow you to get your money through paypal.

    Hope that helped a little. Any more Qs just let me know! happy to help.


  4. gregrollett
    1883 days ago

    Hey guy – in the states Audiolife is great for this stuff. They print on demand, also print in bulk, handle orders and shipping and some great storefronts as well.

    One word of advice is to order one of your shirts yourself at cost and see the quality. Also, take some photos, or get someone to model in one of your shirts. People want to see what they will look like in your gear.

  5. Chris
    1882 days ago

    These comparisons cover shipping speed, ease of use, printing techniques etc…
    Adam would you like to share some of your research with us?
    I am very interested in finding out which is going to work best.

    Greg thanks for the Audiolife tip, I wet there but they don’t have any examples of what their store front looks like, do you know of any acts using them right now so I can check out their store.

    Thanks guys great stuff.

    1882 days ago

    I’m sorry, But I cant find the articles, and i didn’t book mark them.

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