The t-shirt business is a very saturated one but can become a nice commercial opportunity if you can capitalize on the laziness of the industry. While there are many great online t-shirt companies many succumb to stealing the same idea that others came up with. When trying to effectively brand a new t-shirt business it is imperative to have original ideas, learn from successful competitors, and separate yourself from the pack.
The first way to brand your new t-shirt business is to go after a defined niche. For example you could simply do cartoon animal t-shirts or cartoon clowns. If you want to be general such as humor based t-shirts you must be capable of coming up with hundreds upon hundreds of original ideas. The humor based t-shirt market has many more solid competitors and the competitive keywords are taken by the companies that have been around for years. Coming up with a t-shirt idea is easy. Look for everyday signs, phrases, etc and then change something to make the artwork witty or come up with a funny pun. If you are artistic make up as many creative designs as you can. Something will stick. If you have a screen printer you can print shirts up yourself. If not go to a third party site such as cafepress.com, zazzle.com etc to upload your designs. The downside to this is these third party sites get most of the profit, but if you throw out hundreds and hundreds of designs and promote well you can still have a profitable online t-shirt business Funny Anime T-Shirt.
The best way to promote your t-shirt business online is to use online resources such as stumbleupon, forum posting, and SEO. Stumbleupon.com will send you lots of unique traffic if you get people to stumble and review your website. To be effective at stumbleupon you need to build a mutual friends list and stumble/review a lot of sites to show that you are a good contributor to the community. Once you have a nice group of mutual friends you can share your website with them. If they like it you will receive more traffic. Reviews are worth more than stumbles.
For forum marketing the process is similar. Find high traffic forums with a nice mixture of overall traffic and forums that relate to your niche. Participate in discussions and provide useful information. Do not spam. Use a signature so that you can leave your web url. You also want to join communities where you can promote your website as well as a blog. A great example of a community such as this is cre8buzz.com. Make friends with those in your community and comment on their blogs so as they will be more likely to want to visit your site.
Another way to brand your t-shirt site is to copy the ones that have success. See how they operate their site and what features they use. You might want to get the email a friend feature for your site so that your designs can spread. See what keywords they are using in their meta tags. Meta tags are headlines at the top of the page that are indexed in search engines. Don’t use their exact meta tags as you might want to go for keyword terms a bit less popular, or those that relate to your niche. Try to find your own special feature that will lead to more sales and traffic.
Another thing you can do to increase brand recognition of your t-shirt company is to submit to free directories such as dmoz.com and Google so that your site will be crawled. Of course their are many other ways to brand your t-shirt company and I will cover some more in future articles such as offline branding techniques.