5 Things That 5 Figure A Month Sellers Do Differently

When it comes to Merch by Amazon, making 5 figures a month is certainly possible if you spend the time and effort to get there. In fact, we just ran an article on running the numbers for 1k a month as well as 6 figures a year. For a lot of us, 6 figures a year was the goal from the start.
I usually get a lot of questions on what the “secret” is and how they too can get there. If I am being REALLY honest with everyone, there is not a secret. The answer is pretty simple. Fill your slots, tier up, and get a good sell through rate with many shirts on Amazon. It is literally as simple as that but people are always searching for that magic bullet.
That being said, there are a few things that people do differently than the average Mercher. I reached out to some of the top sellers I personally know and asked them one simple question:

“What is the one thing you do differently from other people in order to do 5 figures a month”

1: Be Persistent!

The key factor for me has always been persistency. In order to hit and maintain 5 figs a month, it is critical to accept that failure comes with the territory, but that learning from it rather than accepting defeat is how we improve and get results. So many fall prey to discouragement, and give up too soon. Financial success comes with a learning curve no matter what path we take to get there. Maintaining 5 figs a month takes grit and dedication to putting in the hours, sticking with a plan of action daily, and not giving up when things go awry. ~ Lanelle Barber

I put this answer first because this is probably an issue a lot of people have faced at one point or another. Many in the Merch by Amazon space have never run a business before and are just using the platform to earn a little extra money on the side. There is no reason this cannot turn into a full time income, but when they fail or run into a road block or two, they get frustrated and give up. If you want to make big money, you have to be willing to fail and try again until something works. Just because it does not work for you the first time does NOT mean that the program is not extremely lucrative.

2: Be Different

I always look for a way to be different. Something about what I do needs to stand out giving me the advantage versus my competition. I always look for a way to pivot and be unique. ~ Ken Reil

Ken is usually a man of many words, but this answer to the question was short and sweet. If you think about it though, it makes complete and total sense. Business is all about offering a great product but sticking out from all your competition. If you want to dominate and stay ahead of what everyone else is doing, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and do things that the competition is NOT doing.
Currently almost everyone in the Merch by Amazon program seems content to rely on organic traffic. You can stick out by running ads to boost the BSR and traffic to your pages. You can stick out by paying for GREAT artwork that will blow everyone else out the water. You can stick out by reaching out to local organizations and offering to run their fundraisers and Merch. There are so many opportunities out there to be different than other people. If you want to win, you should always be looking for them to ensure you are the unique choice.

3: Research

I think the thing that sets me apart is research. I spent 100’s of hours on research in the first year of this business to master it. I can go into any niche and make money. Even saturated niches. Those hours I spent learning how to research niches and what is selling has paid for its self hundreds of times over.  ~ Matt Carlett

This answer is the one that probably resonates the most with me because I think it is one of, if not THE most important aspects about this business. If you are not willing to take the time to properly research a niche, then you should not be expecting a very high sell through rate on your shirts. You need to make sure that the niche has demand and that buyers in that niche are willing to take out their wallets/purses and purchase designs in that space. Once you have figured out that there is demand, you need to figure out how to come up with better designs/products for those people. You also need to make sure you get your products seen which is where all the keyword research comes into play.
If you can master that process, you can go into any niche and find where you can plug yourself in. This counts for even the saturated niches because there are always those long tail keywords people forget to use.
Good research takes time to learn. Once you learn it though, you can sell a LOT of Merch by Amazon products. The entire reason we built Merch Informer was to cut down on this research process and make it easier for people to master the process. Give it a try for 3 days free.

4: Feed The Beast

well I have a lot of designs (circa 2000), and that is the foundation. The next thing is to keep feeding the beast, and expect there to be some spillage and natural decrease if you don’t keep on adding to your catalog. If there are others out there with the same number of designs not making 5 figures or thereabouts, then I guess I would say that I have got a few markets and niches dominated, and that I know those markets and niches well enough to keep making money from them. so when I spot a new opportunity I know exactly how to attack it, and to dominate it, at least in the short term. I would say that the only thing stopping most people from making 5 figures is patience and sheer number of designs. If you’ve already made a single sale on merch then you know what it takes, because you’ve done it. You simply need to find the way to scale it, rinse and repeat. ~ Michael Essek

How many times have you heard the complaints from people that are not selling very many shirts a day or are wondering on why they are not able to reach 5 figures a month yet? You talk to them only to find out they have 46 designs on Merch by Amazon!
The number 1 best way to increase your earnings after you have figured out the research/keywording process is just to fill up your slots, or feed the beast as Michael mentions above. If you have a limit of 10 uploads a day, you better be filling those slots! You can really explode your numbers doing this.
Another good point that he brings up is that if you know how to sell a single design just ONE time, you can make as much money as you want. Nothing is really as exciting as your first dollar on a new platform. This is the same way I felt when I started my affiliate websites. That first 39 cents told me that I knew enough to hit $10,000+ a month because I could take what I know and just scale it up. Take what you have learned by reading the Merch Informer blog and experience uploading shirts on Amazon to fill up your slots and dominate some niches. Scale as quickly as possible because you are in a competition with everyone else.

5: Niches Not Designs

Always ask myself, how can I make my design stand out from the rest. In a sea of “Close Enough” Designs, Unique and intriguing designs will always win the race. Saturation then becomes less of an issue when you can offer something unique to the customer ~ Michael McGregor

One of the traps that I see a lot of people getting into when they are chasing the big money is that they have their research processes down and they know how to keyword, but their design skills are lacking or they are outsourcing to poor designers. If you have a target niche where you know what the top selling designs in that niche are, you NEED to come to market with something different! So many of the times, you see people just change a single color on a design, or just move around the elements a bit, and this is just not the way to get ahead in this game.
As Michael puts it, saturation is really not an issue at all if you can offer a unique piece of artwork to the customer. This is a great way to stand out from the crowd and make a whole lot of money doing it!

Wrapping It Up

I think the main takeaway from this is that if you want to hit big numbers, you need to work hard, be different, and never give up. If you run into anything you do not know how to do, spend the time to learn what works and what does not. If you can stick out from the crowd you can make as much money as you want. Figure out a process that works for you, and go get that money!

Comments
  • Excellent Post Neil!
    While I agree with you 150% on the idea of standing out from your competition with a completely new design, I strongly believe that SOMETIMES, you only need to change the smallest thing….like a simple font change, font placement, or color change to have the best design out of the group. (SOMETIMES)
    Would you agree? lol

    • I tend to try and change things up more than that because I do not want to run into issues in the future with people reporting and what not.

  • As always excellent content and information. Thanks. I think what I get stuck on is your statement under #3 (properly researching a niche) , I have of ideas and make those shirts based on what i see but how to dig in and research a niche is probably my main struggle. Once you see a niche selling if you know how to properly research that niche you can make a killing….unfortunately that one of my hangups lmao. Keep up the good work bro

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