Have you ever heard about earning a good chunk of money by selling T-shirts online? Selling custom t-shirts online is one of the easiest side hustles that can generate good revenue with minimal effort.

Due to the advancement of AI Technology, you can leverage its power to design unique t-shirts and set up a complete online store easily.

We’ll be using a print-on-demand service to take care of all the inventory and fulfillment, so you can focus on the fun part: creating awesome designs! Let’s dive in and learn how to turn your artistic vision into a profitable side hustle.

Earning Proof on Etsy Store Selling T-shirts

While going through Etsy, I found a store named FernAndFly that specializes in selling custom T-shirt designs. As of writing this blog, this store has already managed to make a total sales of 6,408 T-shirts, and the average price of the T-shirt in this store is $29.


In addition, there are lots of other stores making more than $100,000 per month by selling T-shirts on Etsy store. You can visit the website, and search for T-Shirts on the search tab to explore the top-performing stores.

With this information on earning potential, let’s move forward to explore steps to start selling T-shirts on Etsy, and make similar progress.

Step 1: Setup your Online Store on Etsy

Etsy is one of the growing and popular online marketplaces where you can sell digital products, and generate ample revenue. To sell your t-shirts, you need to set up an online store by creating an Etsy shop, and signing up for a Print-on-Demand Service (POD) like Gelato.

First of all, create a new email address for your business, and use it to create an Etsy shop for your T-shirt business.

After creating an Etsy store, you need to create a Gelato account. By the way, Gelato is a POD service provider that integrates seamlessly with Etsy. It handles printing, shipping, and customer service for your T-shirt orders making it easier for you to focus on design and marketing.

Once your account is approved on both platforms, you’ll need to link them together to enable seamless order fulfillment.

Watch this video guide on connecting Etsy with Gelato

Step 2: Creating T-Shirt Designs with AI

For business efficiency, you need to leverage the use of AI tools like Midjourney to create T-shirt designs by generating images based on text descriptions. This is a quick and smart way to create unique and eye-catching designs without needing any graphic design skills.

Midjourney allows you to input keywords or phrases, and the AI will generate high-quality corresponding images.

You can experiment with different keywords, and descriptions to come up with a variety of t-shirt design ideas. Create multiple designs so that you can find out which one resonates with your target audience.

Once you have created a few designs, you can use the AI tool to further refine them. For example, you can add extra elements, or change the style of the design.

Step 3: Upload your designs and publish your store

Now, it’s time to bring everything together as your AI-generate designs and online store are successfully set up.

Here are the steps to upload designs to Gelato:

  • Access your Dashboard: Log in to your Gelato account, and navigate to the dashboard where you can manage your designs.
  • Upload your Designs: You can find the ‘Upload Design’ button or a similar option to upload your AI-generated T-shirt designs in the required format. PNG images with transparent backgrounds are usually required.
  • Mockup Magic: Gelato might offer mockup tools in which you can spot how your design looks on different T-shirt styles and colors. This feature offers a great way to visualize the final product and try different variations.

Now, it’s time to publish your design on Etsy shop. For that, you can go through the following processes.

Add Products: You’ll find a section for adding new products to your Etsy shop. You need to connect your Gelato design with the corresponding product listing.

Product Details: Fill out all the essential product details for each T-shirt including a clear/concise product title, compelling description, pricing, high-quality images, and relevant keywords in your tags.

IMPORTANT TIP: Optimize your listings on Etsy for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by using relevant keywords throughout your product title, description, and tags.

Once everything is set up, you can finally hit ‘Publish’ on your Etsy shop! Your T-shirts will be live, and ready to be discovered by potential customers on the Etsy marketplace.

Step 4: Optimize your Etsy Store for Success

As we come to this step, we have successfully launched an Etsy shop, integrated it with Gelato, and uploaded AI-generated designs. But the work doesn’t stop there because you’ll need to optimize your store for long-term success.

You can go through the following strategies for success:

Research and Analyze the Competition

Before initiating your marketing journey, take some time to study your competition, especially those running similar shops on platforms like Etsy. You can go through the stores that feature similar designs, and target the same audience as yours.

You can get an idea of what customers are willing to pay for products similar to yours by analyzing the pricing strategies. Likewise, you’ll also explore various strategies on how your competitors promote their shops, and products on various platforms including social media, and paid ads.

Focus on High-quality and relevant Content

Content is always considered king so, focus on creating a large volume of awesome designs. The wider your design selection, the more probability of maximizing audience reach.

One of the smart strategies to get quick success with your sales is to capitalize on seasonal trends and holidays. You can create themed designs for special occasions like Halloween, and Christmas for more sales.

Importance of SEO Magic

We’ve covered the significance of SEO for your product listings, but here are a few more pointers to boost your visibility:

  1. Keyword Research: Dive into keyword research tools or simply explore Etsy’s search bar to find out which keywords are closely tied to your designs.
  2. Sprinkle Keywords: Once you’ve got your list of relevant keywords, strategically incorporate them into your product titles, descriptions, and tags. This will enhance your chances of showing up higher in Etsy searches and attract more potential buyers.

In Conclusion

The world of e-commerce is growing at a rapid pace offering various opportunities for entrepreneurs, businesses, and individuals to make good money online. As we discussed in this article, selling custom t-shirts online is among the top side hustles that can turn your artistic vision into a lucrative source of income.

Leveraging AI tools like Midjourney to create unique designs, and sharing them on online stores like Etsy, you can generate good revenue by selling T-shirts.

Remember, success comes from a combination of creativity, planning, and optimization. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, research your competition, and refine your marketing strategies.

With dedication and a dash of AI magic, you can transform your passion for t-shirts into a side hustle that brings both fun and financial rewards.