If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s side hustles that make absolute no money at all. In fact, you’re soaking in one right now.
In addition to this blog (time investment: 1-3 hours/week. Net revenue: $0/year), I also send out a weekly “this week in live music” post to a mailing list of 100+ fellow music fans (time investment: 2+ hours/week. Net revenue: $0/year).
But I finally came up with a sure-fire, can’t-miss, 100% guaranteed to make money idea: T-shirts with goofy slogans on them!
Why, what nearly- or newly-licensed young man wouldn’t want to wear this snazzy yet snarky shirt?
And what nearly- or newly-licensed young man OR woman wouldn’t want to have this shirt?
The answer to both questions, thus far, is: every darn kid in America.
But that’s just because they can’t find these shirts. Or more likely, because their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, in their desperate search for a 16th birthday gift that’s slightly more affordable than a $400 phone and/or $170 headphones, have yet to stumble upon these gems on Amazon.com (starting at the low, low price of $14.99 for the “stud” t-shirt!).
But they’re on Amazon. They’re also on Teepublic. And Redbubble, where in addition to t-shirts, you can get bumper stickers, coffee mugs, phone cases and dozens of other products emblazoned with the professional artwork shown here.
However, in the “long tail” world of online retail, it’s a bit of a Catch-22. You can’t sell merch until people know about your stuff, but they won’t know about your stuff until you sell some merch.
That’s where you come in, my friends. I suck at shameless self-promotion (present blog post excluded). I barely have a Facebook presence. Ditto for Instagram. I don’t do Pinterest. And if I order 10 t-shirts on Amazon and have them all shipped to my address, that won’t help get the ball rolling… Bezos will see right through my sham sales.
But if YOU buy a shirt, that will boost my “best seller rating” and move me up the search ladder, from my current status on the 361st page of search results, to — dare to dream — the first page! If you buy a shirt AND write a review? Jackpot! The tiny sales snowball will turn into an avalanche, and I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with my $1.37 commission.
Yes, I know, I’m asking you to open your wallet. And I feel a bit like a slimy televangelist for doing it.
But surely you know someone who is just getting their driver’s license. Hook ’em up with a crappy t-shirt AND help out your old pal dubbatrubba at the same time. Win-win. (Except for your wallet.)
Even if you don’t spring for a shirt, please share an image of the shirt(s) and the Amazon link within your social networks. Post it, Pin it, Gram it… make a TikTok… whatever. (Right click on the t-shirt image above, then choose “save image as” to save it.) And if you know anything at all about Facebook ads or Amazon sponsored ads, let’s talk.
When I make my first million, we’ll have a giant party on my yacht and you’ll be invited. Pinky promise!
Thanks for helping promote the smallest small business in America!