My Merch by Amazon update

Merch turtle

The Merch adventure continues

When I recorded yesterday’s show, I had two completed designs on Merch by Amazon.

After I recorded the show, I opened up Photoshop and finished three more designs. So, I’m halfway to my 10 design limit.

And, oh, yeah, still no income from this.

An interesting thing happened as I was working in Photoshop yesterday. I started playing with the custom shapes that come with the software and I challenged myself to use these shapes in creative ways.

This was another chance to practice mindfulness and see if I could get lost in the design process.

As a result, I figured out a way to create a guy flying with a jetpack and it looks pretty cool.

I also created a psychedelic design by taking a basic shape and torturing it.

My original goal was to simply create two more designs for Merch. I  managed three and, more importantly, discovered I really enjoyed the design process.

I can’t wait to get back to it and see what other designs I can come up with.

But wait, what about Podcast Movement?

I don’t have time to work on those designs right now because I leave for Podcast Movement in Anaheim tomorrow morning.

Packing always takes longer than I expect. I’m also taking some pens and notebooks and recording equipment for this show and the new podcast I’m planning.

With about 2,000 podcasters attending, I’m going to interview a lot of people for the show.

You’ll hear about that when I get back, so stay tuned!

—————————————-

Have you tried selling on Merch or another print-on-demand platform?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Promoting Merch by Amazon shirts: the journey begins

promoting

You need ideas for promoting your shirts

I’ve been trying to sell shirts on Merch by Amazon for a couple of weeks.

No sales so far, so it’s time to start promoting.

I started researching (Googling) how to market your shirts on Merch and found some promising ideas:

  • Pinterest – create a board (or boards) for your shirts or niche
  • Instagram – use hashtags with your niche keywords
  • Facebook – create Facebook pages and groups for your niche or shirt company and use Facebook ads to promote dark posts
  • Amazon giveaway – hold a sweepstakes where the winner gets one of your shirts
  • Pinterest ads – looks promising

With so many promotional options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed on this step. And I’ve just started creating this list of promotional ideas.

My action plan

Instead of adding more ideas to this list, I’m just picking one – Pinterest ads – and focusing my efforts there.

I’ve never tried Pinterest ads and don’t know much about them. That means I’ve got a little research to do first.

And, as I mentioned on the last show, I only have two designs on Merch so far.

My time is limited right now. I’m leaving for Podcast Movement in a couple of days and have a lot of work to do to get ready for that.

But, I’ll make the time to create a couple more designs and upload them. Hopefully, I’ll also have time to learn a bit about Pinterest ads and try that out.

One of the cool things about Merch and other print-on-demand platforms is they handle your orders for you. Even though I’ll be out of town, if I get any orders, Amazon will handle them for me.

That’s about as passive as income gets.

Even though I haven’t gotten any income… yet.

—————————————-

Have you tried selling on Merch or another print-on-demand platform?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Merch by Amazon: my experience so far

Merch by Amazon

Can it really be easy to make money online?

Making money online is hard. It can also be expensive, especially if you’re selling physical products.

Merch by Amazon and other print-on-demand platforms promise an inexpensive and relatively easy way to make money.

Here’s what their landing page says:

Simply upload your artwork, choose a t-shirt type and color, set your price, and add a product description. We’ll create a product page on Amazon.com and when customers buy your shirt, we’ll handle production, shipping, and customer service — all with no upfront costs.

At this point, you should be asking yourself –  is it really that easy to make money with Merch?

I asked that question and signed up for the program.

Three months later, I was accepted by Merch and I started working on designs.

I uploaded a couple of designs. One design is targeted at a very narrow niche and the other is a funny design aimed at single guys.

And, after a couple of weeks, I haven’t made any money.

Zero dollars. Goose eggs. Nada.

So, what’s the next step?

If it were you, what would you do?

In my case, the plan is to:

  1. Upload more designs – I have a few ideas
  2. Research how to promote shirts on Merch by Amazon
  3. Promote the heck out of the shirts

On tomorrow’s show, I’ll tell you what I plan to do next.

——————————

Have you tried selling on Merch or another print-on-demand platform?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

The Spirit Machine: making something great isn’t easy

Thomas Edison

Did Thomas Edison really invent the spirit machine?

If you want to do something great – if you want to make something amazing – it won’t be easy.

Making movies is hard.

Nobody knows that more than Timothy Plain. Timothy just posted his wonderful science fiction short film, The Spirit Machine, on YouTube.

I love this film. You don’t see many science fiction films like this with a sense of wonder these days.

This 20-minute film took years to make and was fraught with difficulties – from the Kickstarter campaign, through special effects complications, to Timothy’s own doubts about the project.

Timothy wanted to make an amazing film. He probably had no idea how difficult it was going to be.

I think The Spirit Machine is fantastic. But, if you ask Timothy, you’ll get a different answer.

It’s complicated.

In our minds, we envision this perfect ending when we achieve our goal. It’s kind of like the final scene from Star Wars where Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca are recognized for their heroic efforts in a huge award ceremony.

Reality check: you probably won’t be hearing a stirring John Williams movie score when you accomplish something significant.

The multitudes are not likely to recognize your achievements. You won’t get that perfect moment. It just doesn’t work that way.

Timothy’s journey continues. You can follow his progress on Making Movies is Hard, a podcast that takes an honest look at the filmmaking life. He co-hosts the show with another talented filmmaker, Alrik Bursell.

I think Ringo Starr summed it up best with the title of one of his best songs: It Don’t Come Easy.

——————————————–

How have your dreams turned out?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

How to be more creative with a simple weekly ritual

Peaches can make you more creative

Being mindful while running errands

We’re all looking for that elusive, secret formula for being more creative.

If you’re more creative, maybe you can write that best-selling novel or develop that killer business idea.

Here’s my secret formula:

  1. Get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning
  2. Mindfully run your errands (i.e. don’t multitask. Focus on doing the errands)
  3. Discover a new place (or two) while you’re running your errands
  4. Don’t try to force creativity or ideas – just be receptive if and when they come

This ritual works wonders for me.

The Saturday morning ritual

I got up at 8:00 – 6:30 or 7:00 would have been better.

My first stop was a local diner for breakfast. There were lots of people to observe. Please note: Don’t be that creepy guy staring at the customers.

I ran out of podcasts on my podcast player, so I searched through the Apple Podcasts list of popular shows and downloaded a couple of shows I’ve never listened to.

The first show was political; I didn’t finish it.

Next up was Very Bad Wizards where the hosts discussed the David Lynch film Mulholland Drive.

Now THAT’S more like it.

Later, while driving through town, which is Roanoke, TX, I came across the Roanoke Farmers Market. Rather than just drive by, I decided to park the car and check it out.

That’s how the whole mindfulness “being in the moment” thing works. You have to experience stuff.

Tomatoes at the Roanoke Farmers Market

It’s a tiny farmers market as farmers markets go. But it was a lot of fun to check out the goods and talk to the vendors.

Honey for sale at the Roanoke, TX Farmers Market

Next, I walked across the street to the Brew Junkie Coffee House. I’ve always wanted to try French press coffee. I asked the barista for a recommendation and he did not disappoint. The coffee was outstanding.

From there, I went to Collected: Keller, a comic book store not too far away. You never know what you’ll discover in a comic book store. I ended up getting a free Sheena, Queen of the Jungle comic. They were free because one of their customers paid for all the issues so they could give them away.

My last stop was an office supply store. I need business cards to take with me to Podcast Movement next week. Things got a little bumpy there, but I’ll be able to pick up the cards tomorrow.

So, I completed my errands and tried a few new things – the farmers market, the French press coffee, and the Very Bad Wizards podcast.

And, I was mindful while running these errands.

But, the whole point of this exercise was to see if it would help me develop some good, creative ideas.

Well, did it work?

In a word: yup.

I had lots of great ideas. As a matter of fact, I had to make the stop for business cards because I came up with an idea I’m pretty excited about.

You’ll hear more about that later.

Okay, now you’ve heard about my creative ritual. Maybe it isn’t free, but it’s sure effective. Why not give it a try?

————————————–

Do you have any creativity rituals?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Tim Vasquez is rocking it with The Launch

Tim Vasquez

Who wants to rank on page one of the search engines?

One of the best parts about podcasting is getting to know some wonderful people. Some of them also happen to be podcasters.

Today, I’d like to give a big shout out to Tim Vasquez who hosts a podcast called The Launch. The show goes out live each Friday morning on the Real News Communications Network.

Tim’s an amazing guy and his show is a must-listen if you’re interested in marketing your business.

And it’s a lot of fun, to boot!

Tim had me on his show right after I launched Meditate with Mitch. It was episode 40 about rebranding – you ought to check it out.

Tim’s a giver – it’s a key part of the way he lives his life and does business.

I could try to describe exactly what Tim does, but I’ll just read you a little from his LInkedIn profile:

“I’m always looking for a problem to solve, be it a doozy or a little head scratcher. Either way, I am pretty sure I can find the answer to your problem. Try me.

“I love to help local business’s rank on page one of the search engines.” – Tim Vasquez

You can hire Tim to help you market your business and I can promise you you’ll get more than your money’s worth.

But don’t miss out on his free stuff, either. Be sure to heck out The Launch.

Say “Hi”, Zach!

——————————–

Are you facing any marketing challenges with your business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Dahlia Bath Boutique: a new business is born

Dahlia Bath Boutique

Thank you, Cynthia!

Dahlia Bath Boutique, a new online business, was born a few days ago.

This new company makes and sells some of the most beautiful handcrafted soap I’ve ever seen.

Let’s back up a few years.

I was at a podcasting social event in Grapevine, Texas. I hadn’t launched a podcast yet, but I sure talked about it a lot.

During the event, a friend of mine pulled me aside and challenged me about my podcast. “Why haven’t you started your show?”, she asked.

Well, I hemmed and hawed a bit. I had a good show idea, but I had to admit I wasn’t getting any closer to launching the podcast.

“Don’t just talk about it, do it,” she said.

I promised her a start date for the show – and I kept that promise.

My show was called “Chocolate at Midnight.” It was like a wine tasting party, but for chocolate.

And that led to more podcasts and many life-changing events for me, such as co-founding Podcast Movement, the world’s largest gathering of podcasters.

I owe my friend for her intervention. It changed my life.

Now, it’s time for me to return the favor.

My friend, Cynthia Sanchez launched Dahlia Bath Boutique on August 15th. The company produces an amazing array of soaps as well as bath teas and salts, with other products coming soon.

By all accounts, it’s already taking off.

Cynthia sent me a sample of her soaps and they are truly works of art. You can tell she’s pouring her heart and soul into these products.

Don’t check out Dahlia Bath Boutique because Cynthia Sanchez did me a great favor.

Check it out because her products are amazing!

——————————

What did you accomplish today?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Dilbert totally gets mindfulness

Dilbert Mindfulness

From the mouths of sanitation engineers…

You never know when you’ll run across a great illustration of a mindfulness practice.

Recently, my Dilbert desk calendar served up a winning quote:

“Good and bad days are only in your mind. The environment is largely the same as the day before.” – Mister Garbage Man

Yes, you have more control over your “good” and “bad” days than you thought.

It’s kind of obvious – it’s not the day that’s good or bad. It’s how you decide to interpret it.

Most of your days are largely the same. Of course, there are exceptions, but they’re surprisingly rare.

Only YOU get to decide the answer to “How was your day?”.

——————————

So, how was your day?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

My print on demand adventure begins!

Merch - print on demand

Merch is a free platform for making money!

Last night I launched a little online business selling print on demand t-shirts on Amazon.

This might be about the easiest online business you could possibly start. And there is no cost to you! It’s free!

Amazon has a print on demand program called Merch.

I applied for the program a few months ago and was recently approved to sell shirts. I’ve uploaded a few designs and can’t wait to see what happens.

You might be wondering if it’s possible to make money with Merch. I know of people making a few hundred dollars a month. And I know others who make a few thousand a month with Merch.

I stumbled across this program through my friend Lisa Irby and her Passive Shirt Profits website and podcast.

Lisa is having some success with the program and has developed some great training courses about it. The courses include:

  • The POD Starter Course
  • The Brainstorming Boot Camp Course
  • The TeeShop 101 (Photoshop for T-Shirts) Course

I took the courses and it really sped up the process. Highly recommended!

Full disclosure: I’m not being asked or paid to promote these courses.

So, if you’re interested in learning more, you can check out her podcast. It’s free and you’ll learn a lot about making money with Merch.

What are you waiting for?

——————————-

Have you tried a print on demand business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff

Finding my mojo on the road

Classic Chevy

Road trip RX

I just got back from my road trip to Nocona, Texas. And, as I predicted, it was exactly what I needed.

I visited the Horton Classic Car Museum, had a great time and took a lot of pictures.

Horton Classic Car Museum
Horton Classic Car Museum

I was hoping to come up with some breakthrough ideas for my new business on this trip.

Here’s how it works for me.

As I’m driving, I try to keep my head clear by focusing on the driving and the view. On this trip, I avoided the interstate and took the back roads to Nocona.

Back roads can take you through interesting small towns and who knows what else. In my case, the back roads took me past a lot of cemeteries.

Inside the Horton Classic Car Museum
Inside the Horton Classic Car Museum

I never seem to get any good ideas driving TO my destination. Instead, the ideas come on the return trip home.

On the way back from Nocona, I came across a really cool small town having some kind of festival. Everyone in town seemed to be there having a great time. It looked like a scene from a movie.

And, after that, the floodgates opened on the ideas machine.

I’ve got a lot of great ideas for some new products and an exciting concept for a new podcast.

Once again, my road trip technique worked like a charm.

———————————-

What do you do to generate new ideas?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

Useful stuff