Alrighty, you have made a great decision of starting your very own t-shirt brand. Awesome possum! You will face some challenges and I will teach you to over come them. Figuring out a winner design is key and marketing becomes secondary along with everything else.

Begin with something you're really good at

This one should be easy. However, there are times that you are surrounded with a lot of noise. Keeping you distracted and out of focus on the things you are really good at. It's good to find a perfect balance between you and the noise. Very importantly, you must concentrate and start on something you are really good at.

This will ultimately help you understand yourself a bit more and to build a unique design to a specific audience.

Take a notepad and start brainstorming on some potential t-shirt ideas. You can also write questions like is it going to be funny or tasteless. Once you figured out what you want, then you move on to the next phase: design.

Basic typography t-shirt design

This takes little to no effort in doing. Of course, there are plenty of free sites that offer an online designer but for the sake of simplicity, you can start designing using our very own online designer. It is super easy! Just head on over to the DESIGN NOW tab and start typing or designing your ideas.

Simple words such as SIMP LIFE can be such a hit to your potential customers, there is no need to add a lot of fancy elements.

Once you know, it only takes just a little bit of imagination and messing around with different font faces. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring some ideas and design your t-shirt.

Starting your first online shopping website could be a bit tedious and nerve wrecking. I know, I've been in your shoes before. But fear not! Based on my experience over the years, I have created a basic startup guide for entrepreneurs like yourself! So, without further ado, here's my 5 steps of starting an online business. Let's get started.

1. First, you'll need a business plan

This is the first thing that you should already have. You will need to sit down and write it down. I know how simple and basic that sounds but believe me, having it written down makes your life a lot easier and you will save a lot of time, effort and most importantly, money. Just take your time. Take a notepad and go to the park or to a coffee shop. You may need to discipline yourself from any distractions. Think about what you would want to do and write it down.

2. A brand name

Don't overwhelm yourself about this one. Branding yourself could take some time. I know. For me took me well over 10 years but that doesn't mean you should take as long as I did. Before Zillaprints, I was using my other name called 'Artxenoc'. Sure, it is unique and cool but there was one problem, it's hard to pronounce and even a lot harder to spell it out. I've had a lot of my friends misspelling my name to look for me online and well, it just didn't work for them and for me. Learn from my mistake.

Think of something creative and meaningful. Something that can be stuck on the back of someone's mind. Could be a nickname or something clever. Remember, you could always change it later if the name comes to you in a later time.

Dos and Don'ts

3. Domain name

Every single website that you have ever visited has a domain name. What's a domain name? It is essentially an address to the property. For instance, zillaprints.com is the domain name for Zillaprints online. Again, don't overwhelm yourself if your brand name's domain is already taken. You could come up with something clever and rememberable. Also, don't ever make your URL super long. That will discourage anyone visiting your site.

What I recommend for you is to register your domain name through domains.google.com. This is the best way to keep it in one spot, if you ever decide to migrate from a different hosting company (more on this in the next step).

Know the difference

4. Hosting

Think of this like you are searching for a real estate to buy a home. This is where you will place your property online but not all hosting's are created equal. For instance, GoDaddy.com is a very familiar hosting company but with fees to use 'premium' services such as generating email accounts and analytics. Depending on your business structure, there are many hosting companies that offer a lot of services that fits your needs. (note: I do not have any affiliation of these sites).

If you are planning to sell shirts online or physical products, it is best to start with bigcartel.com. It is completely free to use and I highly recommend it to learn from it. However, you are limited to 5 products to sell but honestly, that's a good start. You could go premium to add more products if your business starts growing.

Shopify.com is similar to bigcartel but offer a bit more with plugins and it is not free to use. Well, sort of. You could start with a free trial and then pay the monthly subscription to keep it running. I have heard great successful stories using shopify like my friend Ruben who runs ataracosmetics.com. I've used it and it didn't fit to my needs. It may work for you but not for me.

WordPress is a much more complicated hosting services. It is meant for advanced users like myself and this you would need to dedicate a lot of time to make it work. It is worth mentioning it for anyone who would like to take a stab at it and use premium plugins. Here are my recommendations of hosting providers to run WordPress on:

Honestly though, it is best to start with BigCartel. I cannot stress this enough that it is by far the easiest, most quickest way to publish your website in such little to no effort.

5. Display your products

Based on your business structure in step one, here you will finally get to showcase your products online! If you use our services, we'll gladly design a basic mock-up t-shirt to get things started. Of course, if you have your own products such as artwork or handmade stuff, you can just simply upload your images to whichever online service you decided to go for on step four.

Again, for starters, I highly recommend of using BigCartel's website. This will definitely gain you some experience and knowledge of how this industry works. No money involved and no stressing out about designing a website. They got templates for you to work with.

There are many useful tips and tutorials on how to start your own online business by searching them on the web. This article is based on my experience and wanted to share with you how it really is. I sure hope this was in some way a help for you. If you have any questions, please send me an email at info@zillaprints.com and I'll gladly help you out.

We are an online based company located in Austell, GA. Due to the pandemic, we are currently operating online only.
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