Victory Lap – atkinsontshirt Blog Reaches Milestone


I’m sure some blogs get millions of views.  Mine doesn’t and I’m ok with that. (One day!!  We all need goals.)  As many of you know this blog is centered on the decorated apparel industry, a decidedly tiny community in the scheme of things.  You have to pull a squeegee or thread a commercial needle to really understand it.  Or maybe just own a t-shirt and have some sort of weird interest in how things are printed or sewn.

Two and a half years ago I started the blog to give back to this wonderful community and as a personal creative outlet.  I think it makes me a better manager, as I’m constantly looking at things from several unique perspectives.  I’ve found that I like writing in the morning.  It goes great with coffee.

This past week, the 20,000th person read an article on this blog.  That is a milestone that makes me happy and proud.  People from 136 different countries have read something, and most read a second article while they are here.  That’s incredible to me!  Talk about global outreach!!

In 2012 I had an average of one reader per day.  In 2013, I started using social media to help gain readership and built it up to an average of 32 readers per day.  This year so far, it’s now at 69 readers per day on average.  April currently is at 114!  It’s been slow and steady growth.  Believe it or not I still haven’t run out of ideas to write about either.

Here are my all-time most popular articles.  Have you read them all?  Which one was your favorite?  The top one, which I refer to as “Alligators” in my house, gets about a dozen or so views every day.  It’s one of my favorite things to check when I’m reviewing my stats…

  1. When You Are Up to Your Ass in Alligators
  2. Creating Art for T-shirts: Common Rookie Mistakes Defined
  3. When Lightning Strikes – On the Production Floor with Boston Strong
  4. 20 Biggest T-shirt Shop Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  5. Race to the Bottom: Pricing Wars
  6. Feed the Eagles & Starve the Turkeys 
  7. The Ironical Hard to Hear Truth About the T-shirt Industry 
  8. 10 Creativity Tips for T-shirt Designers 
  9. Save That Misprinted T-shirt – 7 Secret Tips That Really Work 
  10. 9 Core Skills Every Apparel Decorator Should Master 

If you are interested in creating your own blog, this is what currently works for me: I use Word to write and edit the articles.  I spend about ten to fifteen minutes a day writing each morning.  I start with an outline on Monday, and by Friday the article is ready to go usually.  I reread on Saturdays and publish.  It gets copied to my WordPress blog, and I use Buffer to push it out as I like to review the statistics.  Buffer is a great app for social media, as it allows you to schedule all your posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.  I usually do my scheduling on Sunday’s and Wednesdays, and in about ten minutes have all my posts set for the next few days.

I hear back from many readers as they write me to express how I helped them overcome a challenge, or to ask a follow up question.  A good many have been from shops in other countries, and those are really fun to read and respond to with a short note or helpful hint.  If you do need to contact me you can e-mail me at  I would love to hear from you!

I would like to ask a favor though.  I’m currently raising money for breast cancer research through the American Cancer Society for their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event here in Milwaukee.  If you have enjoyed my articles or if anything on my blog has helped your shop improve, please spread the gratitude by donating to help end Breast Cancer!  Even $1.  Donate by clicking here.

Thank you very much for your continued readership.  I appreciate it.  Without your readership and involvement, this blog would be just some sort of weird hobby with a lot of typing and coffee consumption.  So consider this a virtual high five “Thank You”.  Bam!


Boston Strong – One Year Later – The Phrase That Defines the City


Boston.  Arguably the most resilient city in America.  A year ago the unthinkable happened and tragedy struck with the bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  A couple of college kids, Nick Reynolds and Christopher Dobens, studying at local Emerson College wanted to help out and used the Ink to the People website to start a small fundraiser from their dorm room.  They coined a simple phrase “Boston Strong”, because they liked the phrasing as it was similar to Army Strong or LivestrongBoston Strong.  It’s like you’ve heard it all of your life.

They didn’t trademark or copyright the phrase on purpose, and immediately the entire world would recognize these words as a character trait for the city in anguish.  Dobens has said, “What we believe in is that this logo, this phrase, belongs to the city, not to us.”

Pairing the Ink to the People website and a dramatic flair for social media, the duo enlisted their friend Lane Brenner, and relentlessly pushed their fundraising efforts into hyperdrive.  They originally just wanted to sell 110 shirts.  That’s when things exploded for them.  It went viral.  It’s been a year, and they have raised over $1,000,000 for the One Fund for Boston selling their original Boston Strong t-shirt, and two others on our Ink to the People website.  It has been a great journey and wonderful opportunity for everyone at Ink to the People to help them in their efforts.  We’re like a company full of proud parents.

A year ago I wrote about the initial reaction and the emotional response of the tragedy with Boston Strong.  Read the article here.

One Year Later

Across the country in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we’ve been printing the Boston Strong shirts off and on for a year now, and have been literally amazed at the incredible effort and response.  We created Ink to the People to give people an outlet to sell t-shirts using social media.  We have shipped these shirts all over America, and beyond.  Every time these go to print, I’m happy to be associated with this effort, as I know the impact that this idea from a few college kids in Boston is having on the world.  Who said that this generation is all narcissistic and self-centered?  Not all evidently.

It doesn’t stop there either.  Other groups have seen the success of the Boston Strong campaign and have started using the site to raise money for their causes.  American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish, Firefighters, High Schools, March of Dimes, Little Leagues, Political Issues, Animal Shelters…virtually any notion that you could think of someone has created a shirt and is raising money risk free.  Boston Strong is leading the way for these groups to be successful in their efforts too.  Think about all the good people can do with just a simple t-shirt.  That’s what Ink to the People is all about.

Here’s a collection of recent media coverage for the Boston Strong or Ink to the People:

Boston Strong Creators Talk About Ink to the People

Boston Strong Creators Talk About Their Future

Boston Strong Team’s Website – buy a shirt today!!  Help their cause!!

Boston Strong One Year Later – Joe Water’s Blog –

How Boston Strong T-shirts Became a Rallying Cry for the City

A Year After the Bombings Some Say Boston Strong Has Gone Overboard

Students Behind Boston Strong Top $1M in Money Raised for the One Fund 

The Business of Boston Strong 

Boston :: Stronger Than Ever – Ink to the People blog article

Milwaukee Company Prints Boston Strong T-shirts 

7 Unique Fundraising Tools for Non-Profits – good article and lists Ink to the People fourth on their list –

10 Best Cause Marketing Promotions of 2013 

Students Coin Boston Strong – Emerson College blog article