How 2 Cats Found Community to Make Money as Content Creators: The Power of Merch

how to make money as a content creator

Hey there, I’m Derek, the owner of @melon.n.finn. I’ve been a content creator for roughly two years now. My channels revolve around funny moments regarding my two cats, Melon and Finn, who love to smell, dance, and be silly goofballs.

Let me tell you, being a content creator is a fulfilling, but an incredibly time consuming career. Content creation isn’t just about making funny videos for a cheap laugh—it’s about building a community and bringing positivity into the world. Making money as a content creator is simply a fruitful byproduct of the community you develop around you.

That’s where the power of merch comes in. It’s not only a way to get a little extra cash, but a way to strengthen your bonds with your fans. In this blog, I’ll dive deeper into the world of merch, some strategies I use to sell my merch, and some of my personal experiences to help you unlock its full potential.

the power of merch

Why Merch Matters:

Merch serves as more than just a revenue stream; it’s a dynamic tool that enhances the content creation experience. Each design defines a piece of your channel, capturing iconic moments from your journey and enabling fans to carry a piece of your journey with them. Whether it’s a catchy slogan like “Melon be Smellin’”, an iconic cosplay moment, or your company’s logo – merch brings your content to life.

But don’t get it twisted, merch is much more than branding your content.

Merch can help define a sense of belonging amongst your audience, transforming casual viewers into loyal super fans. When your fans wear your merch, they don’t just show support; they become ambassadors for YOU! They spread your content to new users who may have never found you otherwise. It’s this sense of connection that makes merch an incredible asset in your creator toolkit.

Merch also makes your content physically tangible. In other words, it breaks the fourth wall and offers your fans a physical copy of their favorite moments. This connection creates a deeper sense of engagement and loyalty from your audience. It also provides your fans a physical reminder of you. This is crucial for platforms like TikTok where followers don’t always turn into consistent viewers.

Your merch is a form of self-expression for both yourself and your fans alike. Your designs showcase your unique style and personality. Your fans show their support and enjoyment while sporting some cool gear! This currency of expression can also allow your fans to feel a sense of belonging. There is nothing more heartwarming and awesome than meeting your fans in public and seeing them rocking your merch!

In summary, merch is so important for creators like us, who not only want some extra cash to invest in our content (or more cat treats), but it also lets us offer something physical to our viewers. It’s comparable to a baseball fan wearing their favorite team’s jersey or even a super fan wearing their favorite band tee they got from a concert. Merch is an awesome way to connect you with people who love watching your content!

make merch with spreadshop

Getting Started with Merch:

Making merch has never been easier! Especially with incredibly optimized platforms like Spreadshop.

I have never been known to be the most artistic person, nor have I ever made merch before I started working with Spreadshop. So, getting started seemed incredibly intimidating. However, Spreadshop’s user-friendly interface and expert support made the process surprisingly straightforward. Their team of designers and knowledgeable reps guided me through every step of the process.

They helped me brainstorm some ideas for my first merch designs, drew them up, picked products to place them on, and even designed my webpage. With their help, I was able to get my Spreadshop open in no time at all!

The golden key to getting started on your first design is to figure out how your audience most easily recognizes you. In other words, what makes you and your content unique? Did you come up with an iconic series like “Melon be Smellin’”? Are there any viral videos your fans can easily associate you with? Do you have any catchy phrases or relatable characters you play? Asking and answering questions like these can help you brainstorm designs that your fans will adore.

Now that you have a few designs, it’s time to figure out what products you want to place them onto. Spreadshop has hundreds of different options to choose from. It’s key that you do not pick too many products or product options (colors) as this will overwhelm your fans. Make sure to only pick the ones that you like and think your fans would like the most. Remember, your merch is a direct reflection of you, so take your time to think all of these things through.

Finally, it’s time to promote your merch. This might sound simple, but it can be a bit tricky without sounding too salesy. My advice is to avoid a dedicated video about your new merch unless that is something your fans would enjoy. Personally, my fans had a mixed reaction when I tried this. I would suggest subtly promoting your merch by wearing it in your videos or only making it a portion of a video as to avoid overselling yourself. Another suggestion would be to always keep your Linktree (or other landing page of links) up-to-date with the current Spreadshop promotions and to post stories about big holiday sales. 

With all of this in mind, you can turn your content career into a legit business and with enough hard work and dedication, your full-time gig.

tiktok content

Building a Successful Merch Strategy:

Now that you have some products and a strong promotion, it’s time to think about strategy. It’s not a typical first thought for many new creators getting into merch, but there are some serious considerations you need to make to avoid peaking too early into your merch game.

Developing merch is far more than just slapping a few designs onto a t-shirt and calling it a day. It requires balance between quality and affordability. The worst thing you can do is overcharge for a crummy T-Shirt that doesn’t last more than 3 washing cycles. You really have to think about what you would want if YOU were to buy your product. For me, this means I want every one of my fans to have the opportunity to afford at least one high-quality product within my shop.

Remember, your merch is NOT designed to be a cash grab, it’s supposed to be a way for your fans to support and endorse you. This means keeping your merch accessible to all your fans while keeping the quality of your product high. Pricing out your fans is a sure way to not only make yourself look bad, but a way to lose your most loyal fans. No one wants to feel inferior when they are looking to support you.

Maximizing Revenue Opportunities:

Your main goal when pricing merch should not be to squeeze every single penny from each item. Rather, you should strategize for the quantity of sales you generate.

Personally, I find that pricing smaller items competitively keeps all your merch accessible, but can also encourage your fans to make impulse purchases for larger items. Additionally, I run all of Spreadshop’s promotions (e.g., 20% off all items) to create excitement among my fans while making my merch even more accessible. These tactics not only drive sales, but also reward my most loyal supporters.

Ultimately, your main focus should not revolve around the profit of each item you sell.  Rather you should focus on how to keep your merch accessible and allow more of your fans to support you.  The monetary gains should only be treated as icing on the cake.

Case Studies and Success Stories:

To see how I have utilized Spreadshop and promoted my merch, check out these TikToks I made:

When we revealed our first merch designs.

My favorite promotion yet.

These videos offer a glimpse into the creative process behind my designs, as well as the response of my fans. This also shows that not all promotional videos need to be salesy, but instead should be authentic and true to you. By sharing my stories, I hope to inspire other content creators to explore the potential of Spreadshop and make meaningful relationships with their audience.:

But remember, merch is not just about making money, it’s about building a community. Whether you’re a vetted creator or just starting out, there’s never been a better time to explore the possibilities of merch. So why wait? Open your Spreadshop today and start building your community today!

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Melissa Costanzo
Melissa Costanzo
1 month ago

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