Want to keep up with me? Get on the list! =)

   

Are You Doing T-shirt Marketing?

September 9th, 2014 by ToolTrainer

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the current phenomenon that is T-shirt marketing. Sites like Teespring and others are popping up all over the place.

Well, I’m not immune to the siren song of the shiny object any more than anyone else, and I finally caved in a few weeks ago and started to more seriously explore this world.

My conclusion?

There’s something here.

Now before I continue, let me say that I am not promoting a T-shirt marketing course or anything like that.  I just wanted to see who else was getting into this world as I am, and who’s doing well with it.

No doubt about it, there is an absolute ton of money being made here.  I’m not net profitable myself yet, as I’ve been learning Facebook Ads at the same time (I haven’t touched it since 2009 when it was an abysmal pile of crap) and have spent quite a bit in “education” on that platform.

But, I’m definitely on my way to profit and way beyond.

The possibilities of this are far bigger than I had imagined.  What I thought was just a passing fad that had run its course, is actually only just beginning.

One of the biggest challenges in this whole thing is creating designs.  Despite what you may think, it is absolutely not as easy as throwing any stupid text on a shirt and suddenly you’re making a pile of cash.

OK sure that happens once in a rare while, but then everyone else tries to copy it and they all lose their shirts (pun intended ;)) in the process.

I’ve come up with some methods & techniques that are working for me, and I’m thinking of documenting them and making sort of a mini course out of it.

My methods do NOT use Photoshop at all.  In fact, they can be done 100% with free tools that are mostly web based.

In fact the only paid tools or services I’m currently using to design my shirts, are a $20 amazing vector text manipulation program, and a $1/image stock image library subscription.

Oh well, and of course my computer and all its associated peripherals.  LOL

I’ve gotten pretty good at using all these tools and can go from idea to design often in minutes.

Would you like to see what I’m using and how?

I see a lot of focus on the marketing side of selling shirts, but so far I’ve seen absolutely no information being shared on the actual design process.

I’m NOT a designer btw, but I’ve figured out the cheap or free tools to use, that give me the capability to create a design of nearly any complexity without a lot of effort.

And definitely without investing in very expensive and complicated tools.

Anyway, if a course like this would be of interest and value, please let me know in the comments.  It will take some effort on my part to document my methods, but if there’s enough interest (meaning it would be financially worth the distraction), then I’m game.

For now, back to testing more shirts!  ;)

JVC

P.S.

What do you think is a fair price for a concise and easy-to-follow solid course on the tools and techniques to use to make solid shirt designs that will sell?

I’m in no way promising that this alone is all you need to make it rich selling shirts – the marketing side is a WHOLE other beast.  But this is an absolutely vital component that I don’t see being offered, and I think I can help.  Love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Autoresponders Are Such A Pain In The Ass.

July 3rd, 2014 by ToolTrainer

Is it me or is the proliferation of email list management services actually making it harder to decide who to use?

And the prices are all over the map, and seem more than a little outrageous to me.  I guess if you email your list like crazy, selling hard in every message then maybe it’s worth paying so much.  But to me, a couple hundred bucks a month if you have a list of 50k addresses, seems pretty harsh.

Since I’m finally getting back into my IM software development business, I needed to get an email service again and import my old lists (I had saved them to CSVs before I shut down my old mail services).  I chose Mailchimp because I thought that I would have unrestricted capabilities with a list of under 2,000 names.

WRONG.  Turns out you are limited in daily email volume as well as total monthly volume.  And limited pretty severely too.  When I started doing the math to get serious about building my lists again on their platform, I didn’t like what I saw.

But then I remembered something that had been suggested to me a while back, but that I thought sounded like too much trouble.  Some sort of self-hosted thing that ran on AWS (Amazon Web Services) called Sendy.

I read up on it and within a few minutes realized what it actually was, and bought it.  For about $60, you get a PHP/MySQL script that installs on your own server.

This is the part that scared me… sending emails from my own server?  Oh hellz to the NO WAY.

But that’s not what Sendy does.  Not at all.  Turns out, it just acts as a middle-layer to Amazon’s own transactional email service called SES.

Basically it’s what Amazon uses to send emails, and now you can use it too.  So you get the benefit of their infrastructure, IPs, deliverability, etc. but for an absurdly low cost.

How low?  Try $0.0001 per email address!

That’s crazy cheap.

Oh and did I mention, no specific restrictions with regards to affiliate marketing?

Also since it’s a transactional service with its own API, it’s built to be able to send individual emails from your own systems.  This means if you’re a software developer like me, you can send things like license emails and other one-time things without sending from your own server, which generally results in tons of your messages going to junk/spam folders.

So far, Sendy seems like a near dream come true.  $60, once, and $0.10 per thousand emails sent??  Simply awesome.  If you’re tired of paying $30 or much much more per month to have an email list, you really gotta check out Sendy.

Amazon… you rock.  Seriously.

JVC

Webinar Audio Fixed…

June 27th, 2014 by ToolTrainer

Well for some odd reason, my audio level on Gauher’s webinar was extremely low on the recording. I fixed the audio and sent it back to Gauher, and he’s uploaded the new recording. So if you saw it before but had trouble hearing me, or you haven’t heard it yet, make sure you check it out in the next 3 days. Enjoy!

JVC