Category: Self-Employment

The Great Banks Merch Challenge

The Great Banks Merch Challenge

On Monday, we shared an introduction to Merch by Amazon and tips for beginners. Today’s post is our personal Merch by Amazon experience.

Our Merch by Amazon Timeline

At the end of February, I heard about Merch and signed up. It sounded like the perfect platform for us (especially Mr. T – our local graphic designer that needs a creative outlet). It’s all about designing and researching (sound like a pair of people you know?!) and you don’t have to do any selling or customer service! At the beginning of June, Mr. T and I sat down to do our periodic financial date night. We talked about how our financial priorities for the next year were to get our kids to Europe and pay off our mortgage. The combined total of those was $40,000. We brainstormed how we could earn more money to make sure those things happened. Shortly after this discussion, we were accepted to Merch and threw ourselves into it. We uploaded our first shirt design on June 22 and sold our first shirt on June 27. We made a total of $7.07 in June (which showed up in our August plan update because of Amazon’s payment timeline).

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Our Merch by Amazon Adventure

Our Merch by Amazon Adventure

Merch by Amazon is a t-shirt designing platform. It allows you to get your own designs in front of literally BILLIONS of Amazon shoppers. You simply design, upload, and then get a few bucks every time a shirt sells (you pick your own royalty per shirt. Amazon charges around $12-$15 depending on shirt style and your set price. Anything after that, you get to keep). There’s no shipping or customer service to take care of, Amazon simply prints and ships your designs.

Signing Up

Merch by Amazon is free to join (do it today! – maybe when you get accepted in a year you’ll want to!). The catch here is that you have to wait for approval. The time until approval is completely arbitrary. There are reports of people waiting between 4-13 months to get an invite. Also, sometimes they don’t even send you an email and your account is approved and then terminated for inactivity before you even know what happened. To combat this, just try to log in on the Merch website about once a month. If you can get in and see a dashboard, you’ve been approved. You now have 120 days to upload your first design.

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How Entrepreneurship is Like Dipnetting

How Entrepreneurship is Like Dipnetting

On Monday, I shared our dipnetting experience this year. Collectively, we caught 21. My contribution: 1. That’s right. I caught 1 salmon and spent nearly the same amount of time in the water as Mr. T. Since I had a lot of time to think about stuff as I was carrying my net and not catching fish, I realized our entrepreneurship journey is actually a lot like dipnetting (you all missed my analogies this summer. Admit it!). Here’s how:

Nets Out of Water Don’t Catch Fish

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SEO Specialist

I’m an SEO Specialist and you can be too!

Way back in February, I was chatting with my blogger friend Claudia (from Two Cup House). I was talking about how I wanted to start a new guest series called the Roth IRA Challenge and how she should be the first one to take the challenge. She agreed and said she and Garrett (her husband) were working on a new, online course and asked if I would take it and give feedback.

In February, I knew that SEO stood for Search Engine Optimization and had something to do with getting people to be able to Google your website better. Yeah. I would say I started at level 0 (maybe 0.1 if you give me credit for knowing what SEO stood for!). I had tried Googling things like “how to SEO your WordPress site” and I installed Yoast (an SEO plugin) here at Northern Expenditure, but didn’t do anything with it (secretly, I hoped it was magic and it worked entirely on its own).

The course is called SEO Audit Guide and is an amazing resource. Claudia and Garrett are real SEO specialists. They work in SEO full time, hustle in SEO after hours, and have decided to expound their knowledge to level zeros like me!

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Entrepreneurs

The Study of Entrepreneurs

The first dream of Mr. T and I is to be self-employed in projects of our choosing. By definition, this means we want to be entrepreneurs. As a research geek, I spend my free time reading studies (you do, too, right?!). Recently, I’ve focused my efforts on studies about entrepreneurs. If I can learn about them, maybe I’ll be successful in becoming one. Here are four things I’ve learned:

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What I Learned at the Holiday Bazaar

Mr. T and I made our first foray into attempting to sell his art by signing up for a holiday bazaar downtown Anchorage the Saturday before Christmas. We hated it. But it did get us creating, we sold a few cards and ornaments, and we learned a lot from the experience. Here are a few of the things we learned:

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