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5 Shirt Related Ways To Make Money Online


The online shirt business is a budding industry. Every day there are new shops, designers, and shirts flooding the internet. It also happens to be an excellent way of making money online, most of the time with little to no start up cost. There are 5 main techniques. Some of them take more work than others, but no matter who you are I guarantee there is a technique that will work for you.

1. Product Commissions

There are several sites that let you design shirts and sell them in your own online shop. If you’re graphically talented, you can upload designs that you’ve made and place them on any clothing item you want. Don’t worry if you have no talent with graphics, some of the sites allow you to use designs that others have made on your own products. You can usually mix and match multiple graphics and add text to create unique designs for your shop. These shops are provided for free, but are usually limited in several ways. As long as you plan on selling a few products a month you can cover the cost of upgrading to premium shops. Premium shops give you greater control and give you the power to earn even more money.

3 Best Online Shops:

2. Affiliate Marketing

Almost every shop that sells shirts online offers some sort of affiliate program. Even the online shops listed above provide affiliate marketing for their website and products. These programs either run directly through the website itself, or through 3rd party websites like ShareASale and Commission Junction. The types of commissions you can get vary from a percentage of the sale, to a flat fee per shirt sold. It costs no money to sign up for these accounts, but it can be hard to get enough traffic to begin to see a profit. If you’ve already got a high traffic website you could easily supplement your content with affiliate marketing on shirts related to your niche.

3 Shops Offering Affiliate Accounts:

3. Contests

A few websites run ongoing contests that reward designers if their shirts are accepted. The processes vary slightly between sites, but usually they have a system in place that lets others vote for their favorite designs. Designs are then accepted based on their ending popularity, and sometimes the discretion of the site itself. Rewards for the top contests are usually in the thousands of dollars, and if you win Threadless’ Bestee Awards they will give you 20,000 dollars! This method takes the greatest skill of all, because the people entering these contests are extremely talented graphic artists. If you’ve got the skill to create shirts that could win these contests they could be an excellent source of supplemental income.

3 Shirt Contest Sites:

4. Design Commissions

This method is similar to Product Commissions. For designs that you submit you can let them be used by other designers as well. You then earn royalties for any design that is used in other people’s shops. There is usually a limit to the amount of designs that you can submit, but with upgraded accounts you can expand that limit. Out of the three online shops listed above, Spreadshirt and CafePress allow you to receive royalties on your designs. If there are any other sites that support this method please let me know.

3 Sites Allowing Design Commissions

5. Sell Your Ideas

If you have no artistic talent, but have great ideas for shirts, then you can sell your ideas for money to existing t-shirt shops. You are usually rewarded with money if your idea is accepted, and sometimes you get free shirts as well! There are a surprising amount of websites that let you sell ideas for cash, but you usually have to dig to find out the specifics. If you’re interested in this tactic, I would suggest doing a search online for additional websites that provide this service that I don’t mention here specifically.

3 Sites That Accept Ideas:


As you can see there is a wide variety of ways shirts can make you money online. If you’re serious about it, then it would be best to combine the methods listed above to make money in any way you can. You can see that several of the methods overlap slightly, so you can try multiple at a time very easily. If you think I’ve missed anything in this article I’d love to hear about it. Any comments are welcome, and please let me know if the methods above work for you!


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