How to create a T Shirt business with dropshipping / Print on demand in 1 hour – Easy to follow step by step guide

If you follow along this tutorial, by the end of it you should have an online business up and running. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to create a T Shirt business using Dropshipping / Print on demand strategy.

If you don’t know what is dropshipping or print on demand, they are basically a business model where a third party company will fulfill your orders as you make sales on your website, so you don’t even need to worry about dealing with inventory and shipping, because they’ll automatically do it for you.

Still think you should learn more about dropshipping and print on demand? Click Here and take a look at your blog post on this subject so you can learn more about it and how it works.

How to create a T Shirt business from scratch

In order to create your first online business, you’ll need to set up some things like domain, hosting and an account with your dropshipping supplier, that in this case will be Printful.

Those are the steps you’ll have to take to put your online store live in the internet and ready to sell your own products.

  1. Register a Domain and set up Webhosting (Only cost you’ll have to build your online store)
  2. Install WordPress (Free)
  3. Install a Theme (Free)
  4. Import Site (Free)
  5. Set up account with Printful (Free)

Before we get started, you just need to come up with a name for your business, because our first sterp is to register a domain name, and if you don’t know what is a domain, is how your website is going to call, so your URL of your website will be something like https://YourDomainName.com/.

Now that you have though about the name of your business, let’s get started with our first step.

Register a Domain and set up Webhosting for your online store

This is the only part of this tutorial where you’ll need to spend money with, but that will cost you around $150 per year to maintain your website live in the internet. Let’s be honest, this is a really cheap price to have your online business up and running and generating you a side income.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using Siteground to purchase the domain and Webhosting. They are a great webhosting provider and I personally use their services for my websites.

I can tell you that they are by far the best solution out there combining performance and fair price that you’ll find for this type of services and I’m super happy with their online support, which will be super helpful if you’re just a beginner.

To get started and register your first domain Click Here and keep following the tutorial so you can have your e-commerce up and running.

Siteground homepage with webhosting plans

After you click in the link to get started, you’ll then reach the Siteground website as image above. From this screen you’ll be able to choose from three plans, StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek.

I personally have the GrowBig plan, and I recommend that one because if you want to create more than one website, you can do that with the GrowBig plan, but not with the StartUp plan.

So if you’re just getting started, believe me and get the GrowBig plan, because after your first sales starts to come in, you’ll want to get a second domain to expand your online business and make more money.

After you select the GrowBig plan, you’ll then reach the following screen.

Siteground website - choosing a domain name to register

Assuming you do not have a domain yet, select the Register a New Domain at the top of the page, and then enter the domain name you want and the extension.

The most used and known extension is .com and if you want to have multiple languages on your website, I would recommend you get the .com , otherwise you can choose any other extension you see fit and click on proceed.

Siteground website - account and client information form to purchase domain and webhosting

After you’ve clicked in the proceed button, you’ll find the screen above, where you’ll have to fill out your personal information and you payment information.

Besides that you’ll also have some other options to choose from, like the period for the webhosting, and some extra services like demonstrated in the image below.

Siteground website - purchase information and extra services

From the extra services, I would recommend you get the Domain Privacy, so you don’t have all your personal information publicly in the internet for everyone to access.

After you select the options above, click on buy now!

Install WordPress

Now that you have purchased your domain and webhosting, you’ll have access to your Siteground dashboard, and from there we will be able to install WordPress to your website, that will make your life much easier to create the website.

When you get to the dashboard, you’ll find an option in the first screen to create or migrate your website, so go ahead and click in the Set Up Site button, like the image below or in the website tab and then select the domain you purchased.

Siteground dashboard - setting up the website

The next screen will give you the option to start a new site or migrate a website, since we just purchased the domain, there is still no website to migrate, so click in the start new website option and right after you click select the option WordPress.

Siteground dashboard - Installing WordPress to your website

That being done, and write down a login and password to access the back end of your website, just like in the image below.

Siteground dashboard - creating your login and password for WordPress credentials to log in to your website

Remember to take note or place a login and password you will not forget, because this will be your credentials to access your website.

After you do that, Siteground will offer you an upsell to get the SG Site Scanner, but for now you do not need that, so just click on finish. Right after you do that, your website will be created with WordPress, so it might take some minutes, and you should see a screen like this one.

Siteground - Creating your site screen

When it is finished you’ll be taken to another screen in Siteground just notifying you that the website was created and giving you access to the site tools, if you don’t reach that screen you can go back to your Siteground dashboard and click in the Websites tab, select the domain and click in site tools button. So go ahead and click in the site tools button like demonstrated below.

Siteground dashboard - how to acces your website tools like the old CPannel

And from here you’ll be able to access and modify every aspect relating the functionality of your website.

Install a Theme

After you reach the back end of your WordPress website, you can see a sidebar on the left side of your screen, and that is where you can manage all aspects of your WordPress website, so go ahead an click under appearance and select Themes, like the image below.

WordPress back end, how to access and change a Theme

From here you can select and activate any Theme you think looks good for your website, but to be quite honest, what you need to focus on here is the header, the footer and the Blog page design and features, because all the rest you’ll be able to optimize and create a new design from scratch using a drag and drop page builder tool that you can find free versions that will do the job just fine.

For this tutorial we are going to use the Astra Theme, so go ahead and write down Astra in the search box on the top right corner of your screen, as image below, and finally install and activate the theme.

Installing and activating the Astra Theme in WordPress

Import Site

After you click install and activate in the Astra theme, if you go to the appearance section in WordPress dashboard again, you’ll find the Astra options.

Once you go to the Astra Options, you’ll find on the right side of your screen an option to install importer plugin, like the image below. So go ahead and click to install the importer plugin.

Installing the Astra importer Plugin, to downloand a complete website fast

After you install the importer, you’ll have to choose the drag and drop page builder you’ll use. I would recommend you to use either Brizy or Elementor, but for this tutorial we’ll use the Brizy page builder.

If you want to learn more about drag and drop page builders, Click Here and check out our blog post on that subject.

After you select Brizy, you’ll come across a screen with lot’s of templates for websites ready to be uploaded, you can choose the one you think it will fit better for your style and website, but for this tutorial we’re going with the template selected in the image below.

Selecting a template in the Astra Importer

After you select the template you want, all the plugins necessary for this template to run will be automatically installed in your WordPress dashboard, so it might take a few minutes, but after that you’ll be done with this part.

Set up account with Printful

To get started on your Printful account, Click Here and get to the homepage. From there you need to click on the Start Selling button and enter your information to create an account, like image below.

Printful homepage - Startselling button to create your Printful account

After creating an account, you’ll then have to confirm your email, so go to your email and click to confirm the email.

The nex step is to connect your Printful account to your online store in WordPress. Since in WordPress to create an online Store you should use the plugin Woocommerce, you should find an option to choose Woocommerce as your platform.

But better than that, you can install a plugin in your website to connect all automatically for you, so jump in to your WordPress dashboard, install new plugin and write Printful in the search box, like the image below.

Installing and activating the Printful plugin in WordPress

Now that you’ve installed and activated the Printful plugin, you’ll be able to find it on the main left sidebar, where you can click and then select the button connect button, like image below.

Connect your Printful account button under the Printful section in WordPress

A screen will show up for you to provide Woocommerce permition to connect the store, and after you click on Approve, you’ll get to a screen in Printful to login in your account, just like demonstrated below.

Signing in to Printful account to connect it with Woocommerce

Add a product to your store

After you’ve configured your store it is time for you to create your branded products on Printful so you can sell them at your website.

To create a product, you should go from your Printful dashboard and click on the left sidebar at stores and later on the add a product button, like image below.

Adding a product to your Printful store

By now you should be able to see the list of products that Printful offers for you to customize, so at this point is up to you what kind of products you’ll add, but for this tutoria we’ll add and customize a T Shirt so you see how it works.

So to select a T Shirt we’ll click on men’s clothing and T Shirts. Continuing this process you’ll choose the T Shirt you want and click on it do design it and add to your store.

After you click on the shirt you want it will then open the editor, where you can customize your products by addind images, texts, using a clipart or selecting the colors you what for that product, like demonstrated below.

Designing your Products at the Printful store

Now that you’ve designed your T shirt or product, click on the proceed to mockups, where you’ll be able to select the pictures that are going to be displayed to show you product on your online store. So choose the ones that you like and click on proceed to description.

I’m not going into details on what are the options for the description beucause it is pretty much self explanatory, so you’ll be fine with the descriptions provided by Printful.

When you fininsh with the descriptions you can click on the proceed to pricing button, where you’ll be able to edit the sales price for the product you’ve selected. You can either select a fiz price you want to sell or you can add as a percentage of profit, so Printful will automatically add the price to give you the desired % profit on the product, like image below.

Setting up the price margins for your products at your Printful store

Either way, just select the price the way you think is going to work out better for you, select the product category you want to leave this specific product under and click in the submit to store button.

It might take a few minutes to sync it to your online store, but it will automatically be added to your website, so you don’t have to worry about any technical detail of that.

Set up the payment options

There are several ways to set up payment options to your Woocommerce / WordPress website so you can receive money, but in this tutorial we’ll teach you how to set up Paypal and Stripe, that are great solutions and easy to set up.

Besides that we also need to set up the payment in your Printful account, so whenever you sell a product, Printful will receive from you the cost of producing the item and you’ll keep the difference from the sales price.

Paypal set up

In order to set up Paypal, you need to go to your WordPress dashboard, click on the Woocommerce section, settings and then click on the Payments tab, and you’ll see a list of payment options. Find Paypal and click on the set up button like the image bellow.

Setting up Paypal in the Woocommerce tab of WordPress

To set up Paypal you should have a Paypal account, so go to paypal.com and create an account for free, and then come back to your WordPress website.

Now with your paypal account in hand, go back to the Woocommerce section for Paypal and add the same email that you’ve registered in Paypal just like image below. This way, whenever someone buy something in your store using Paypal you’ll receive the money in your account that you place under the settings.

Addind your email registered in your Paypal account to the settings of Paypal in Woocommerce

Stripe set up

Stripe is another great way to set up payment methods for your online store, sometimes being even better than Paypal because the customer does not need to exit your store to process the payment.

To set up stripe you’ll need to create a free account in stripe.com under the start now button as demostrated in the image below.

Stripe homepage - clicking on the start now button to create an account

Now that you’ve created your stripe account it is time to set it up in your website. Go to your WordPress dashboard and check under plugins if you already have installed the plugin Woocommerce Stripe Gateway. If not go ahead and install it on your website.

That being done, go to Woocommerce, settings and payments. Find the Stripe and click on the set up button, just like image below.

Set up Stripe in Woocommerce

You’ll then need to go to your Stripe account, copy the API key that you can find on the left sidebar under developers, API keys and then get the Publishable Key and the Secret Key and copy them.

With that copied, go back to Woocommerce and paste this API key to the field test publishable key and also the Secret Key to the test Secret Key, like image below.

Adding the API key from Stripe to the Woocommerce payment settings

That being done you just need to click on save changes at the bottom of the page and you’re ready to start selling your own products.

Add a payment method to your Printful account

Before everything is all set up and ready for you to promote your business and start selling, you’ll need to set up a way to pay Printful, so they can start producing your print on demand products and ship them to your customers.

Go back to your Printful account, and add a payment method, just like demonstrated in the image below, so every time someone buys something in your store, Printful will charge you the cost price, and you’ll keep the difference from the sales price as your profit.

Adding a payment method to your Printful account

There you go, now you’re all set! So if you stick to this end of this tutorial now you know how to create a T Shirt business and you’re ready to start making money in your first side hustle.

Have fun and good luck with your T Shirt online business!

Post Cover Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash