There are some Twitch streamers making a full-time living through a combination of micro-donations (i.e. Bits), regular donations from viewers, paid subscriptions, sponsorships, advertisements, affiliate sales, and on their Twitch partner merch. Needless to say, this takes full-time dedication and streaming five to seven days a week. So even if you don’t want to quit your day job just yet, you will definitely want to check out making your own Twitch merch. It’s probably easier than you think!
Twitch Merch Maker Checklist
- When to make your own Twitch merch
- Who are your viewers
- What merch do they like
- Where to source your merch
- How to get quality graphics
1. WHEN to use a Merch Maker
When you’re a Twitch streamer with an average of 25-35 loyal concurrent viewers, it’s a good time to think about selling custom merch to your viewers. This allows them to support you in two ways: profit from the sale and exposure for your brand. Merch with your Twitch branding is also valuable as a perk for regular subscribers and to encourage a certain level of donation.
2. WHO are your viewers & WHAT do they like?
The following list includes some of the most popular merch sold by Twitch streamers. But remember, the most important aspect of choosing items as a Twitch merch store creator is finding out what will be popular with your viewers.
- Tee shirts
- Phone cases
- Mouse pads
Don’t feel like you need to offer all of these items right off the bat. You can test the waters by making a few items you think would be desirable and giving them visibility in your videos without trying to sell them. Audience feedback can provide the info about what they like. And if your viewers seem to love, say, Twitch tshirts, then you might let them buy Twitch hoodie or an official Twitch shirt in a choice of 2 or 3 different designs to get started. You can create custom Twitch merchandise easily. Just remember that the best Twitch streamer merch offers fans a combination of quality and content-related on-trend design.
3. WHERE to source your merch
Having made the decision to sell Twitch channel merch, the most daunting questions then are where to get Twitch merch and how to sell it. Many Twitch streamers have had success using one of the online eCommerce companies that specialize in producing your custom merch and fulfilling your orders. These companies print your Twitch custom merch as orders come in, so there’s no upfront cost or risk (i.e. inventory) for you—and they handle the entire business end of fulfilling your orders—packing, shipping, and customer service. For this, of course, they'll take a cut of the profits and pay you a commission, but it can be well worth it. Stocking inventory, especially where sizes are involved, can be a nightmare and a risky investment upfront.
Selling your Twitch custom merch requires no upfront investment when you work with one of these online eCommerce companies. A deciding factor when choosing which one to work with is whether you want to set up an online store through them or have followers order right from your channel. Companies worth checking out include:
StreamElements is a platform for live streaming on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook gaming, and they also provide eCommerce platforms for streamers.
With Teespring fans can shop right from your Twitch channel or you can use Teespring’s extension for Twitch to set up your own online merch store.
Just go to Streamlabs' site to set up an online store, upload your logo and select products. Your fans access your shop directly from your tip page.
To set up an online store, go to Spreadshop's site, upload your logo and select products. They have over 100 different customizable products to choose from.
Fans visit this site and can put the artwork you upload onto a variety of products of their own choosing.
This site is a little different. Providing a marketplace of merch customizers you can choose from based on turnaround and price. Printify handles fulfillment once your merch is delivered to them by one of these suppliers. The down side to selecting from a limited number of options is that you'll have the same merch as everyone else. Nothing too unique.
For someone whose brand is leveraged on high quality products and modern design, a better option might be to go with a company like Gemnote who offers unique, well-crafted items yet has low minimum orders. As in many other things, like fashion, it’s usually better to opt for quality over quantity when curating your Twitch merch line-up. Sticking to a few amazing items that make your brand stand out also simplifies the fulfillment end. Plus, when you go this route, your followers can order right off your channel, which is always best.
5. HOW to get quality graphics
Quality graphics are key to the best Twitch streamer merch. It doesn’t matter how much your fans love you—if your merch design is lame, they’re not going to buy it. That means if graphic design/illustration is not your gift, you will need to invest in getting a great design. And you don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Some of the eCommerce platforms mentioned above provide some design services or you can try out other free online design sites for help with creation of your graphics.
DIY Designs for your Twitch merch:
For merch designers, Placeit has the extra feature of placing your logo on mockup items. You can use these mockup images in your merch store or as social media posts to show how your products look in “real life.”
Online Freelance Marketplaces for Designers
You can find a freelance graphic designer in your price range on such sites as:
99designs: On this site, you have the option to start a contest for what you want and get options from several designers to choose from. There are low-price options, but the more you pay, the more designers submit designs. You get to pick your fave.
DesignCrowd: This site has the same contest option as 99designs above so you get more design options to choose from.
Upwork: On this site, you post your job and designers will submit proposals and samples of their work for your review. You can set up phone interviews to make your final decision.
Freelance design marketplaces specifically for streamers
Fiverr and Visuals By Impulse (VBI) have design categories for just streamers. Fiverr is a more affordable option, plus you can filter by price, delivery time, and more. VBI has premade designs plus custom merch work. Definitely worth a look.
Before you contact someone for help with your design for you to make your Twitch merch, you need to have an idea of what you want to put on your Twitch merch. Here are some ideas to consider:
- A logo. If you don’t have one, you will definitely want to get one before you make your Twitch merch.
- Quote from you. This should be something you say regularly enough in your videos that fans will recognize it.
- Your channel name. This is a great way to market your channel as you create your own merch.
- Your most popular emojis! These are a fun add on to a design when it’s time to sell twitch shirt merch.
- Your face. Is there a certain expression for which you’re known online? This is a memorable way to help increase your brand exposure.
- Seasonal Twitch channel merch. This could be an official Twitch shirt or hoodie that ties back to your content to a holiday.
Ready, Set, Action
When you’ve made up your mind to sell Twitch merch, here’s a little recap to help you outline your merch maker plan of action:
- Make sure you know what Twitch merch your followers would buy.
- Decide which item(s) you will customize and offer for sale.
- Decide on how you want to handle order fulfillment.
- Check out some of the companies mentioned here and choose the highest quality versions you can of your desired item(s)
- Create your brand imprint art. Don’t skimp here. It’s a worthwhile investment to get something that you love and that represents you and your brand well.
- Order samples of your Twitch merch to double check the quality of the item(s) and imprint.
- Wear and/or show samples of your Twitch merch in your videos to sell them.
Ready to order your custom Twitch merch? Gemnote can walk you through the process and even show you how to save on design so that your Twitch merch is as awesome as you are!