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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a popular question, and while there is no "easy" answer, this article from entrepeneur magazine is a good starter:

Susan LaPlante-Dube said:
Smart Marketing Tips for Your Website

These success strategies will help you power up your Web presence, attract your target market and create a site that has customers coming back for more.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,316498,00.html

Another good resource (as Phil recently mentioned) is: www.selfpromotion.com

You don't have to spend millions to advertise your site effectively, although it is a good idea to put away some money towards a marketing/advertising budget.

Other ways to get targeted traffic (and customers) to your t-shirt site include search engine listings (both paid and free listings through search engine optimization), directories aimed at your niche (gaming, pets, t-shirts, cars?), newsletter ads in established opt-in newsletters in your niche, magazines.

Once you know who your target market is, it makes it easier to find ways to advertise to them.

What other methods have you found effective?
 

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The main way I've been getting people to my site is pretty simple and direct.

Forums!

My target market are teenagers/gamers/anime fans. I post on quite a few different message boards that deal with gaming and anime. I put my site in my signature and try and contribute to the boards as much as possible so people pay attention to my posts (my signature) and when possible I post a relevant link to my site. This is pretty cheap and effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is pretty cheap and effective.
Agreed! Although not all forums allow that type of "marketing", if you can find the ones that do that also fit right in your target market, it can be a great way to find new customers.

Even in forums you may already visit and be an established member (like if you are part of a knitting forum for years), you could start selling knitting t-shirts and let your fellow community members know about it.
 

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Rodney said:
Agreed! Although not all forums allow that type of "marketing", if you can find the ones that do that also fit right in your target market, it can be a great way to find new customers.
Yes, I forgot to mention that bit. :eek:
 

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Thanks alot for for helpful tips gives me ideas on how to get people on my site when I do set one up, ive seen people do this and I usually do click on the link when I know what its going to lead me too (example Phils link I know its a shirt place because of the name)
 

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Yeah I have been posting on Christian Forums for a while. When I started my tshirt site it was natural to ad my site to my sig line. Also occasionally I can answer a question by directing them to some of my Information sites that also have ads pointing back to my store (and other stores too but that is another discussion)
 

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great links Rodney, as usual.

Another way to promote your T-shirt business would be to start an informational web page that deals with the other aspects of your niche market. A blog perhaps, or a complete website with reviews, tips, and links to other pertinent sites. The word of the day is free information. For example, if you're selling t-shirts to an audience of video game enthusiasts then your informational webpage can offer reviews on games and systems that you own. You can make it as big or as small as you want but the key is that you don't have to pay yourself to advertise your t-shirt site on your informational site. This extra outlet also offers credibility to your target audience. They will be able to tell that you know what you're talking about.

Plus you can try and cash in on affliate programs through Amazon or where-ever based on your reviews. If you give a product a high review then you are, in turn, recommending it to others... why shouldn't you get a cut if someone buys it because they trust your opinion? Which also leads to your credibility as an authority within your niche.

Then there is always myspace and forum sig blocks as Phil mentioned. I'm still putting everything together, but this is the route I'm taking because it costs me more time then it does money and time is on my side, at the moment. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Another way to promote your T-shirt business would be to start an informational web page that deals with the other aspects of your niche market.
Another great idea!

Actually, this is EXACTLY what I did when I started in 1996.

There was no "Google", and the other search engines weren't as good at returning relevant listings yet. There was Yahoo (just a directory), Altavista, and maybe 1 other major engine. No adwords, no overture (yet).

More people navigated the web via links on sites they were already at, and people more easily linked to sites they just "liked". Webrings actually worked back then.

So I started the first t-shirt webring (T-Shirts Around the Web) and although there was one other "t-shirt directory" site out there (t-shirtshopper.com, which is still around), I thought I could do it differently and hopefully promote it better, so I created teefinder.com

I've seen the "build content" strategy work in many ways, and I think it's a great long term strategy for success online.

I've even seen it work by accident (which was sort of the theme of the WSJ article). People start great content sites about topics they are interested in, and as a natural progression, they start selling t-shirts related to that topic either at the request of their visitors or as a way to monetize the site.

What other great ideas are floating out there?
 

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I also have a Christian Content site I point to LOTS of Tshirt shops there (Not just my own.) I actually point to a lot of places from there. I try to have a new article or devotional or something every day. Content sites are SLOW though because building an audience takes time is just as hard as getting them strait to your store and it doesn't pay as well LOL. A quick content site is of course your Blog. Don't forget to leave (ON TOPIC) comments in other peoples blogs too. There are also Cheap and Free places to advertise all over the place. Topsites are usually free.
 

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After you get indexed......

Write articles, syndicate. Repeat steps 1 and 2....over and over again.

Supplement steps 1 and 2 with:

1. VERY SPECIFIC paid keywords
2. Press Releases (when you have something of value to say)
3. Backlink Development

It will take time, but you'll get traffic.
 

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Rodney said:
Agreed! Although not all forums allow that type of "marketing"
That's why it's best to have your own! :D I advertise on forums a lot, including my own. Also, "sex sells" or should I say "sex appeal sells". Depending on your demographic, an attractive looking gal wearing one of your shirts at a high traffic area can be great for business.
 

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So many online and offline promotions which works for different types of shops.

One of the most important things I think is to know your niche and target that first. The internet is such a big place and its getting harder and harder to get your site on the map.

I've found that its much easier if you know your niche and target market that area at the start. Methods include search engines, PPC, advertisements on related websites, link exchanges,Forum participation, Myspace, classifieds, anything really.
 

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Someone submitted my t-shirt site to a major blog read by my target market and the blog wrote a "review" of my site and posted some of my designs (unbeknownst to me at the time). I was totally unprepared for the results. I received one order after the other ... even ran out of transfer paper. The first day the write-up was posted I had something like 700 unique visitors and it slowly dwindled down after about 3 days but within that timeframe, I had over 1000 unique visitors.

So now I'm looking at advertising on blogs since the demographics show that blog readers tend to be fashion-forward, educated, decision-makers and trend setters with disposable income.

Check out www.blogads.com if you're interested.

As for MySpace, my experience with using that as a marketing tool is that you may get a ton of hits but most of the users are teenagers who don't have money to purchase anything.
 

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rlfreshwater said:
Someone submitted my t-shirt site to a major blog read by my target market and the blog wrote a "review" of my site and posted some of my designs (unbeknownst to me at the time). I was totally unprepared for the results. I received one order after the other ... even ran out of transfer paper. The first day the write-up was posted I had something like 700 unique visitors and it slowly dwindled down after about 3 days but within that timeframe, I had over 1000 unique visitors.

So now I'm looking at advertising on blogs since the demographics show that blog readers tend to be fashion-forward, educated, decision-makers and trend setters with disposable income.

Check out www.blogads.com if you're interested.

As for MySpace, my experience with using that as a marketing tool is that you may get a ton of hits but most of the users are teenagers who don't have money to purchase anything.
holy cow, good call Rhonda. I never thought of that, thanks for the tip. :)
 

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You're welcome, Chris. Another option is to send a free t-shirt to the owner of a blog which may get you a free plug. That's cheap advertising and I'm all about that. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What are some differnt blogs site and how do you find these blogs?
I'd prefer not to start listing the various blog sites here. But if you do a Google search for t-shirt blogs or something like that (or even blogs that match your site theme: fishing blogs, anime blogs, etc), you'll find lots of them.
 

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Have you tried sending some shirts to the t-shirt reviewer's out there?

I have also been selling a few from MySpace. I have created a MySpace page that advertises my shirts, and people like 'em, and buy them.

I am currently trying to get my shirts into boutiques via consignment or wholesale, but I am not having much luck with that in Dallas.

n o r m
 
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