How to Make and Sell Merch for YouTube

May 31, 2023

Discover everything you need to know about how to make merch for your youtube channel.

Are you ready to sell merch on YouTube?

Whether you are a new brand just getting started or have a Youtube channel with a  loyal fanbase, understanding how to make your own merch for youtube should be a top priority! As a strategic way to help viewers and fans further connect to your content, offering custom merch that aligns with your brand and values, can offer a host of benefits.  And, by choosing custom sustainable products, you can help market your channel outside of the digital world. 

Benefits of creating merch for your channel

  • Diversifying Income

When it comes to finding success in business, having more than one stream of revenue is important, and your YouTube channel is no different. While changing algorithms can affect how your channel is marketed, relying solely on ads or partnerships can change without warning as well. By capitalizing on multiple revenue streams, like selling custom merch in an online store, you can better react to challenges while still having money coming in. 

  • Brand Awareness

Having subscribers is amazing, but having a loyal fanbase that acts as a walking billboard for your brand is pure gold. By choosing quality products that people want to wear, use, or show off, your branded merchandise can go everywhere your customers do and therefore increasing your brand exposure. 

  • Community Building

People love being a part of a community with others who share the same hobbies, interests, or passions that they do. And, with custom merchandise, your followers can engage with your viewers and foster a sense of community. In addition, by wearing or using your merchandise, these same fans can act as brand ambassadors as they engage with others. In addition to building a stronger sense of connection, you can create more loyalty among your audience.

Shown: Summer Fridays Custom Merch

How to make and sell merch on YouTube

When it comes to how to make merch for Youtube, you’ll want to consider the following action items so you can get the most out of your investment. 

Planning your merch

Just like any business venture, it all starts with a solid plan to keep you on the right track. Before you ace how to make merch for your youtube channel, you’ll want to know who you are targeting, your budget, what products best align with your brand, and how to handle the logistics of managing inventory and choosing a platform. 

Identify Your Target Audience

Having a YouTube channel comes with the benefit of accessing your fanbase analytics. Knowing their gender, age, and more will help you narrow down your product offering. By curating a list of items that will not only be loved by your audience but also align with your brand and values, you can create memorable merchandise. 

Photo courtesy of Glow Recipe; Shown: Custom Merch

Determining Merch Budget

Before you can become a successful Youtube merch maker, you’ll need to first know what products you are best for your YouTube Channel. And, before you can know that, you’ll first need to know your budget. Even channels with smaller followings can begin selling merchandise that is within their budget.  

Decide What To Sell 

Understanding how to make your own merch for youtube isn’t as hard as you might think. And, once you know what products you want to sell, investing in a company that can make and sell promotional products for your brand will do all the heavy lifting for you. By choosing a company like Gemnote, they can even help you curate a list of custom products to delight your followers and promote your brand, all while staying within your budget.

Inventory Management and Fulfillment

While selling merchandise and working through the logistics of managing your inventory may feel like a lofty goal, Gemnote can help you find ways to best manage your custom merch from design all the way to fulfillment, and that includes giving you insight into your inventory. From offering pre-orders to managing inventory, you can do it all remotely! And for those that want to skip the logistics that are involved with how to make a merch store for youtube, Gemnote can source, produce, and fulfill for you, so you can stay focused on marketing your swag. 

Choosing a Platform to Sell Merch

Creators have options when it comes to how to make a merch store for Youtube. While different platforms can offer different benefits, it’s important to consider your specific needs, audience, and goals when deciding where to sell merchandise. With Gemnote, you can use their platform as e-commerce for your internal teams, or integrate to your Shopify store. 

Don’t have a Shopify store? Gemnote can even help you build a beautiful website on Shopify with easy-to-use templates or custom HTML, which is ideal for companies who may not have the bandwidth to build a Shopify store. And, with out-of-the-box solutions, you can get started in just a few hours.

Designing Your Merch

Part of knowing how to make merch for Youtube is understanding how the design can make or break your brand. Just as you wouldn’t want to slap your logo on tired products with no shelf life, creating off-brand products that don’t resonate with your audience or reflect your brand won’t yield amazing results. When it comes to designing custom merchandise with branding power, you’ll want to consider the following things. 

Shown: Gemnote

Selecting or creating your design

Whether you happen to have a graphic artist on hand or contract one on a project basis, creating a design your audience will want to use or wear is important. Rule of thumb, go with a reputable company, like that Gemnote that can respect your brand guidelines and will use PMS color matching to ensure your colors and branding come together in perfect harmony. 

Have an idea but no artwork? No problem. Tell us what you’re inspired by and we’ll help you with the creative direction and design process. From clean and simple designs to modern and fun illustrations, we’ll make your merch designs wow-worthy.

Choosing custom merch

Tees, hoodies, drinkware, office staples, tech faves…  when it comes down to how to make your own merch for youtube make sure you fill your online store with products that align with your channel’s core values, your customers, and your overall vibe. 

Gemnote makes choosing the right custom brand a breeze! Explore our lookbook for inspo or talk to one of their helpful reps to get a curated collection of ideas. 

Creating a mockup

While understanding how to make merch for your youtube channel is important to get started, knowing what your custom merch and your store will look like will help keep your project on-brand from start to finish. Choosing a company like Gemnote for curated decks, one-pagers, and mock-ups all with the information you need and visuals you need, will help make the decision process and sharing your vision with others on your team easier. In fact, you can think of us as an extension of your own team. 

Shown: Gemnote

Producing your merch 

Choosing A Printing Method

Embroidery, screen printing, patches, tags, embossing, leather debossing, glass etching… if you can dream it, chances are Gemnote can customize it! 

Shown: Gemnote

Finding A Manufacturer

Once you’ve solved how to make a merch store for youtube, it’s time to find who can deliver the best custom merchandise for your brand! Some of the things that set Gemnote apart from the competition are our easy-to-use system, attention to detail, and access to the best suppliers around. 

Setting Up Your Online Store

When it’s time to set up your store, don’t leave anything to chance. With Gemnote you have full remote control of your swag store. Ship, track, and manage swag all from your couch (or office chair). No more dusty supply closets or shipping boxes under your desk. You can outsource fulfillment and production, integrate with your current Shopify, and even get help creating your own Shopify store. 

Shown: Gemnote

Promoting your merch

Ready for the fun part? Aside from watching your ideas come to fruition, now you get to show off your fabulous new merch! 

Creating A Launch Plan

A terrific launch plan is more than just your objective, it’s a detailed strategy of what you hope to accomplish and the steps your take to make it happen. 

  1. Intended Audience: This is who you are marketing your launch plan to. 
  2. Messaging and Positioning: What does your audience need to know about your new custom product line? This can include incentives, important dates, pricing, call to action for each of your marketing channels, and more.  
  3. Marketing Channels: This could include: Videos, collaborations, emails, website banners, ads, printed fliers, postcards and more. 
  4. Timeline: This could include a pre-launch as well as your official launch.  
  5. Budget and Resources: This could include paid ads or endorsements.  
  6. Metrics and Measurement: These are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will help you measure the success of your launch. 
  7. Post-Launch Evaluation: Be sure and make note of any successes and challenges you hot along the way, so you can continue acing your product launches.  

Leveraging your audience

The best way to leverage your audience is to market to them where they're at. This should definitely include your Youtube channel, but could also include the other social platforms, websites, and apps they are on. 

Collab with influencers 

Influencers, especially those who are already in touch with your audience, are perfect for collaborations. And when it comes to offering PR packages, event merch, and more, Gemnote helps design, source, kit and deliver your fresh, new custom items. 

Photo Courtesy of Beyoncé Black is King; Shown: custom merch

Our Favorite Merch From Youtube Creators

Get inspired with some popular ideas by popular Youtube creators. 

1. Teddy Fresh 

Photo courtesy of Teddy Fresh; Shown: Custom merch from

2. Emma Chamberlain 

Photo courtesy of Emma Chamberlain; Shown: Custom Merch

3. Cody Ko 

Photo courtesy of Cody Ko; Shown: Custom merch from


4. Ninja 

Photo courtesy of Ninja; Shown: Custom merch from

Tips for selling your own merch as a youtube creator

Track the Right Metrics

Use analytics and data to understand which products are selling well, which channels are generating sales, and which marketing initiatives are most effective. This will help you improve your merchandise strategy and more make data-driven decisions.

Understand Your Capacity and Capabilities

As you are looking to grow your Youtube channel, it’s important to know where your time is going. By investing in a company like Gemnote who gives you full remote control of your swag store but can also handle all of the details, you can spend your time doing making and promoting videos and marketing your custom merch without getting bogged down in the logistics. 

Try New Things

Just like any business venture, with the right tools and analytics, you have fun trying new things, and your custom merchandise in no different. Talk to your Gemnote rep for ideas on how you can see take advantage of pre-orders to ensure you don’t end up with left over swag. 

Maintain high standards 

A lot of work goes into creating and maintaining a successful your Youtube Channel, and the same holds true for your custom merch—which acts not only as a marketing tool, but an extension of your brand!

Photo courtesy of Lady Gaga custom merch

Get Started Making Merch For Youtube 

Ready to make the merch of your dreams? Now that you know how to make merch for Youtube, see how Gemnote can help you with all the details from concept to delivery and all the steps in between. 

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