What Kind of Merch Can You Sell as a Writer?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

One of the ways you can diversify your blog to make more money is by selling merch. But, what if you don’t know what to sell? Seriously, what kind of merch can a writer or blogger sell on their website?

I suppose that depends on the type of site you have and if you have a strong target audience.

Today, let’s go beyond affiliate links or ad revenue. While those are some easy ways to make money, let’s focus more on the branding side of merchandise.

Essentially, I’m talking about print-on-demand services or selling items directly from your website. In this post, we’re not going to go over selling courses and other digital mediums outside of eBooks.

WPForms

What Kind of Writer Merch Can You Sell?

Given the nature of the Internet, there’s really nothing you can’t sell. But when it comes to merch, most people think of something tangible. Well, outside of an eBook, anyway.

Still, you want to provide something that people can buy as either a memento or as a supportive gesture to you as the creator.

Publishing Books and eBooks

Obviously, the first thing any writer can sell is a book of some kind. Whether you have printed copies or digital-only, books and eBooks can do fairly well if you have the right marketing involved.

And these are things you can set up directly onto your website. In fact, WordPress has several plugins available for specifically selling books of all kinds.

Using Print-on-Demand Services

The print-on-demand services available today can open all kinds of doors for products. A lot of people use something like Teespring to sell goods.

This is when you create a design, the service prints a unit when it’s sold, and you collect the profits. In a way, it’s kind of like drop-shipping, only you have control over what is being sold and what it looks like.

In fact, a lot of creators use print-on-demand services to sell their graphic design work on shirts, phone cases, or even coffee mugs.

Creating Your Own Merch

If you want to have absolute control over the printing and development process, you can always create your own writer merch. Though, this usually costs quite a bit more in terms of upfront expenses.

For example, if you want to print out some nice shirts with your logo or quotes, you’ll need a decent printing press specifically for that purpose. And those can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Not to mention the time it’ll take to print off enough products to sell to your audience.

The trade-off, though, is that the profit margin is incredibly higher than using print-on-demand services. Depending on the press and materials, you could save around 80 to 90% in fees per product.

Just make sure you calculate the expense of buying what you need versus what you can make back. Remember, you want to make a profit.

Grammarly Team Tool

What Are Some Ideas for Writer Merch?

Merchandise is a great way to add an income stream as a writer or blogger. And if you have a YouTube channel, you can also market your goods to viewers as well.

But what are some ideas that writers can use to sell products?

Sayings You Come Up With

Part of the creative process is being able to come up with sayings that fit your niche, blog, book, or audience. The more relevant the saying, the more likely the audience will buy the merch.

For example, I have two tank tops that I wear on stream periodically based on short sayings we came up with. Add a corresponding font, and I have myself a nice piece of clothing.

Just make sure you’re selling something you came up with and are not trying to rip off someone else.

Quotes from Video, Podcasts, Stories, or Blogs

One of the most common merch ideas I’ve seen as a writer has been from past videos, podcasts, storylines, or blogs. In fact, a few of my viewers wanted me to put a few things I’ve said on stream onto a T-shirt.

Quotes offer a great memento for those who witnessed the instance. They can also offer a tidbit of wisdom that really resonates with an audience.

For instance, I plan on making a series of coffee mugs to correlate to my story, VII, once I begin the publishing process. And my mom had a necklace made from a symbol in her book.

When you think about it, there are all kinds of things a writer can do to sell merch. It really all comes down to your imagination and what kinds of things your audience wants to buy.

Story-Inspired Graphics

This kind of goes along with the instance I brought up earlier. But if you’re a story or book writer, you can easily turn elements of those projects into something visual that readers may want to buy.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a graphic designer or can draw something inspired by their stories. That’s when you can take to something like Fiverr and hire someone without it being too expensive.

In fact, a lot of people use services like Fiverr for graphics, video work, logos, and other visual projects. For $50, you can have someone create a stunning piece of artwork that can net you quite a bit of profit in a short amount of time.

Take Fan Suggestions

Every writer will have a fan base. And many of those fans can be a treasure trove of ideas for selling writer merch. Case in point, I probably could have sold a few shirts shortly after a few of my viewers mentioned something I said.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the saying now. It’s always best to strike when the iron is hot.

Anyway, you can get a lot of ideas from your readers whether it’s the comment section of a blog, video, or if you simply put a survey on your website.

Let them be a part of the creation process and many will buy the product.

ProWritingAid

Build Your Audience and Give Them a Reason to Buy

The most important thing about selling any kind of product as a writer is making sure you have an audience. Because if people don’t know you exist, it’ll be extremely difficult to make a sale.

I have several ardent fans who would buy products should I actually decide to make them. Most of which come from the WriterSanctuary’s YouTube channel, though.

Not to mention how I’ve made a bit of money selling books to my viewers and readers.

Still, merchandising as a writer has the potential to bring in an extra cash flow if you can build a following.

The greater your reach and influence, the better.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can instantly make money as a writer creating merch to sell. It may take an awfully long time to get to that point.

However, there’s no denying that the potential is there…especially in today’s eCommerce climate.

Keep doing what you can to get a following and you can increase your chances of making some extra money on the side. Even if you just make a few coffee cups.

What Kind of Writer Merch Are You Gonna Sell?

Adding merch is something I’ve always been interested in as a writer. Mostly, it’ll center around freelancing until I get the books published. But for now, there are quite a few things I can offer.

As I said, it all comes down to imagination and what you can design that people want to buy. Consider what you write and decide whether it can be on a hoodie.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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