Posts Tagged With: about zazzle

The New and Improved Zazzle?

New Zazzle Logo

New Zazzle Logo

Zazzle just implemented some huge changes to their platform. With a lower volume bonus pay-out, many shopkeepers are feeling the sting. On the brighter side, product images are larger and more appealing and with standardized store fronts, customers will find the experience less complicated than before. The standardization took from us the creative control we, as shopkeepers, had enjoyed for many years, but I do believe the shopper will benefit. Options for creativity still exist. The new and larger header (2360×400 pixels at 300dpi) is beautiful and we are able to use artwork for our category boxes.

For me, the most important feature not to change is the 15% referral we earn when we promote our own product or another Zazzler’s product on our own blogs and websites and with our favorite social media. I believe intensifying referral efforts could easily take the place of the volume bonus reduction. Also, we are still able to set our own royalty, keeping in mind Zazzle rarely promotes a product with a royalty set above 15%. I recommend setting your store royalty default to 14.9%. You will now be included in sales and other Zazzle promotional campaigns.

As with all change, it will take time to explore all aspects of the big changes going into effect July 01, 2013. I still believe Zazzle to be the best platform out there and I have no intention of going elsewhere.

I will be keeping you updated as we go along and will share anything useful or interesting I find over the next weeks. Keep positive and make the changes work for you!

Zazzle World Wide Marketplace

New Storefront

New Storefront

 

Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Real Life ‘Create Your Own’ Experience in a Video

   This video below was posted in the Zazzle forum today and so perfectly describes the Zazzle experience and sums up what Zazzle is all about. One is able to make a one-of-a-kind card or gift without the frustration found on other print-on-demand sites.  This young lady tried to upload pictures/artwork on several sites in order to create a personal and uniques Mother’s Day card before finding the Zazzle site.  Zazzle delivered once again! Check it out…and remember, there are many artists sho offer unique, ready-made items for sale, many of which can be altered and personalized to suit your specific purpose. 

 
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Greeting and Note Cards on Zazzle

Stuccoloco Greeting Cards

Zazzle Home Page

Categories: Personailzation and Customization | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zazzle Referral Program Update

New Associates Emails

Exciting news for Zazzle Associates! Zazzle has added a new feature that allows you to receive an email when you make a successful Associate referral! You can select between receiving the emails immediately upon the referral, daily, weekly, or monthly. This will help you see where and how your marketing efforts are paying off. Now get out there and start referring!

If you are not currently participating in the Zazzle Associates Program, or don’t know what the Associates Program is, here is a summary.

  • Zazzle will pay you a base rate of 15% of the sale price for any order that you refer to Zazzle with the opportunity to increase that rate with Volume Bonuses.
  •  You can refer your own products, branded products, products that you like, or even link to ANY page on Zazzle!
  • To allow Zazzle to track this, each person upon signing up for a Zazzle Account is given a unique referral ID that is a 12 digit number and can be found at www.zazzle.com/my/associate/associate.
  • To use your referral ID, simply add ?rf=111111111111 (replacing the ones with your unique ID) to the end of any link. You can also use our various referral link generating tools which can also be found on the Associates Tab of your account.

For more information on the Zazzle Associates Program, check out the guides here!

 
Categories: Guidelines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zazzle Image Categories Tutorial

 I received a great question from a reader asking for specific directions to set the categories in a Zazzle store using images rather than text. The following steps will explain how to do this.  Using images is a great way for your customers to find their favorite design on all the products you offer.

   1. On your Account page, choose ‘Store’ (circled in red) and then choose ‘Edit Content’ (circled in green). (Ill. 1)

   2. You will now be on the ‘Choose Your Content’ page (Ill. 2). Check the boxes as I have done, with special attention to ‘Change store display options’ circled in red.  Choose ‘Full grid’ which will allow you to show an image as a category.

   3. Next go to your product page (Ill. 3). Choose ‘Add new category’ (circled in red). The ‘Add new category’ box now pops up (Ill. 4).  Click ‘Change’ (circled in red) and you will be prompted to choose an image, either from your uploaded images or from images on your computer. Fill in the ‘Category name’ box as well as the ‘Description box’ and click ‘Done’.  Your image will show up on your home page with the category name appearing in your sidebar. To insure an appealing and orderly look on your home page, be sure to use images for your image categories that are the same size and shape.  I suggest cropping your images into a square shape of 5×5″ at a resolution of 72 before uploading. Repeat this process for each image you wish to represent a category on your home page.

   I hope my readers find this article clear and easy to understand.  I am always happy to answer questions and look forward to any and all feedback.

Happy Zazzling!

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Stuccoloco (My Store at Zazzle)

Categories: Custom Storefront-Categories, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zazzle Shares its Vision and its Mission with the World

     I have been partnered with Zazzle since 2009 and I continue to be impressed with the integrity exhibited by the company in its policies and with the performance displayed by Zazzle personnel.  2011 has been a wild ride with a major platform upgrade and many other improvements.  The road was rocky at times, but the Zazzle teams had it together and were able to navigate the new territory very well.

     The most amazing thing about what Zazzle offers to artists, photographers and designers is, and always will be, a totally free and fully customizable platform from which to launch their amazing creations into the world at large.  Thank you Zazzle!
 
 
For those of you unfamiliar with Zazzle and its philosophy, I recommend taking the tour!

      For your creative outlet, I highly recommend Zazzle as a place where, with effort and imagination, you can find a place in the print-on-demand marketplace.  High quality products, sincere customer service, and the Zazzle guarantee will be there to give your shop professional expertise and support.  And it’s free so start creating! 
 
     Zazzle Forum (everything you need to know to get started!
     You may also be interested in Top Ten Things I wish I had Known

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Categories: Zazzle Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 500 Websites Have This in Common

White Background

Reportedly, 95% of the top-rated and most successful websites have a white (or near to white) background with high contrast between the background and the text.  Many amateur (like me) web designers make the mistake of choosing colors and text that tend to overtax the eyes of viewers.  Garish or busy graphics intended to capture the attention of potential customers or readers have been show to be a turn-off to most of the people participating in various surveys.

Facelift for Stuccoloco 

Stuccoloco Facelift

Interesting results which I have incorporated into my recent face-lift of my Zazzle store, Stuccoloco.  Though I am drawn to dark, bold colors, I have opted to go with the suggested white background as an experiment for the upcoming Christmas season.  I have reorganized my categories using colorful (I just cannot resist) icons, most of which show a sample item or two.  I also weeded out approximately 800 weak designs.  I recommend doing this once a year.  Many designs become outdated or no longer reflect your evolving abilities and aesthetic sense.

In January, I will report my results.  If any of my readers would like to share what works for them, I would like to hear from you.

These are the most influential and most highly rated sites on the internet.  Take some time to look them over.  Visit sites that have become your favorites over time.  Content is most important, of course, but I was surprised when I revisited some of my favorite sites and realized nearly all had white backgrounds with contrasting elements.

Tubac Presidio Park Shop

I am happy with the color scheme and contrasting elements I have chosen for the Tubac Presidio Park shop and, especially since the colors coordinate with other print and promotional items, I have no plans for revamping this site.

Here are some great examples of effective store fronts from around Zazzle:

Boston Public Library

Ever After

Painting Pony

Celebrate It

Make Browsing Fun

The ultimate goal is to make browsing your store fun, entertaining and easy for potential customers.  Offer interesting and original content in a simple, straightforward presentation that reflects your unique style.  Zazzle is growing rapidly and is partnering with many major brands, museums, galleries, and other content providers so it is becoming more important than ever to provide images, artwork and photographs not found anywhere else.  Shopkeepers whose Zazzle stores were built using clipart and free domain images may find themselves  sliding off the map in the not-so-distant future.

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Zazzle Marketplace

 

Categories: 500 Top Rated Websites Use White... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Ten Things to Know BEFORE Opening a Shop on Zazzle

Who am I?

As an amateur artist in 1999, I began selling art trading cards on ebay, and eventually acrylic paintings.  I developed a following (both locally and online) and always on the look out for other art venues, I stumbled upon Zazzle in early 2009.  It is free to open a shop (nothing I reccommend in my articles requires money or advanced computer skills) so the price was right and they let you design your own storefront.  But I had no idea what Zazzle was all about.  I began by uploading scans of my doodles, drawings and paintings and proceeded to put them on greeting cards, mugs and t-shirts.  I did this randomly with no particular plan in mind and promptly forgot about them.  A few months later I recieved an email from Zazzle saying Sold!  I had sold 100 copies of one of my greeting cards.  That was all the encouragement I needed and I have never looked back.  Our household now has a second income and I have something satisfying and expressive to work on every day.  I have encouraged many others to open shops at Zazzle, and am a true fan of this excellent platform.  The quality of production, customer service, and availability of resources has never let me down.  I am proud to be associated with Zazzle, but I wish I had known how to go about things when I was starting out.  My Stuccoloco shop is successful but messy.  I had no idea how to network and I had few true computer skills.  My learning curve was steep, however, and I have learned so much over the past two years.  I, as a volunteer, have opened a shop, Tubac Presidio Park, to raise funds for the preservation of the park using the information that I pass along today, and you can click the links just below this paragraph relating to various tips so you can see what I am talking about and how they can be applied effectively.

Tubac Presidio Park Zazzle shop

Tubac Presidio Park Blog

Tubac Presidio Park on Facebook (I added last week and should have started it in January along with the Zazzle shop and blog)

I use my Stuccoloco Twitter account to twitterfeed all my shops, pages and blogs.

The name Stuccoloco has proven to be a bit of a stumbling block (it is a joke based on the fact that I like to plaster random objects and carve and paint them-stucco plus loco or crazy) because no one knows how to pronounce it (stuck-oh-loh-coh), how to spell it or what it means and I wish I had known what to consider before naming my shop.

Top Ten Things I wish I had Known Before Opening my Shop 

1.      What will I sell? 

If you are setting up shop on Zazzle, you are probably an artist, photographer, or graphic designer with images you wish to share with others.  Consider your point of view and choose those images that best express who you are, and design products that best showcase your aesthetic sense.  This is important because your first 100 products will represent you in the marketplace for the next year or so.  After sales kick in, you will be represented by whichever products are most popular.  This is determined by sales, views and star ratings.

2.      Who will my customers be?

You probably have an idea about who will want to purchase your products.  Focus on age group, male/female, hip/mainstream, mass appeal or niche, political viewpoint, religion, humor, occupations, and any thing that relates to your subject matter.  This is important because it will help determine the design/colors/feel of your shop.  Pastels, flowers and a fun flirty opening paragraph will appeal to a younger female customer base, while a bold design in dark colors will appeal more to males.

3.      Do I want to specialize?

Look at some of the shops currently on Zazzle.  Some sell only wedding invitations and related products.  Some are a random mix.  Some shops are mega-stores selling everything under the sun.  Some sell only t-shirts or business cards.  This is important because you want your designs to be showcased in a way that makes them most appealing rather than have them competing against each other for a customer’s attention.

4.      How should I organize my shop?

Some Zazzle shops organize by designs (each design is its own category) and some by product (each product type is its own category).  Everyone argues about which is best.  Imagine you are shopping online.  Which would make it easiesr for you to find one of the products you offer?  Go with your instinct and personal experience to determine what makes sense for your products.  See post Using Zazzle Categories Creatively

5.      What will I call my shop?

This is very important so select a name you are willing to live with for years to come.  Networking, links, search rankings and any other promotion you do will be compromised if you switch later. Pick a name that will stand on its own and that is in keeping with what you are selling and to whom you are selling.

6.      Do I need a logo? 

Yes.  Designing a logo will help you decide on the header design for your shop and will help set the tone for your shop. Design it to fit inside a square, which is the shape of the space allowed for this when uploaded. I would also recommend using this as your profile picture on Zazzle, unless you have a photo of yourself you wish to use.  Incorporating the two, if possible, is ideal.  Incorporate your logo into a custom header for your shop as well.  The size of a custom header for Zazzle is 2360×400 pixels and you can include samples of your work or a catchy phrase when designing it.

7.      How will my shop be found?

You will be competing with over 40 billion products in the Zazzle marketplace, so relying on being found in a Zazzle search alone is not enough.  My best success has come from setting up a corresponding blog (using your logo, header design, and color scheme) and Facebook page (use your logo as your profile picture).  Your current Twitter account is fine or set one up if you do not currently subscribe so that you can set up a twitterfeed directly from your Zazzle shop.  More info on promotion, networking, search engines and blogs in a later post. Note:  barraging twitter with all your products may seem off-putting but it is mainly for the benefit of search engines rather than for your twitter followers so consider this before using your personal twitter account for this purpose.  Same goes for Facebook.  Rather than using a feed, I opted to start a separate page and do the posting myself.)

8.      How much time will I have to invest?

This, of course, is up to you and will be determined by your ambition, by the free time at your disposal (work and family demands), and by whether or not you enjoy the process.  Any successful Zazzler will tell you that creating products and marketing them to the public developed into an obsession soon after their first sale.  I spend well over 40 hours a week on Zazzle or performing Zazzle related tasks (I am retired from the restaurant business).  Eventually, the money you make will reflect the time you put in.  It takes from one to three years to develop a following.  Many artists and designers have a following already and this speeds up the whole process since they can now be referred to Zazzle. A large network of loyal friends and family also helps when starting out!

9.      How much money can I make?

This is a difficult question to answer because so many factors must be considered.  If you are already an established artist, photographer or graphic designer the sky’s the limit and you will be rewarded according to the time you spend on product design and networking fairly quickly.  If, like me, you pursued art or photography as a hobby, it will be less rewarding and perhaps discouraging at first.  With persistence, you could make at least $1000 your first year, building up to a second income by year three.  The speed at which you increase sales will be determined by the time invested, the quality of your designs, the networking you do, and how successfully you have gauged your audience.  At the end of each Christmas season, take stock of your accomplishments and adjust your Zazzle related tasks accordingly (you may need more products, you may need to blog and network more often, you may need to specialize or expand you product line).

10.   How many products do I need to offer on Zazzle to be successful?

Your first goal is to have 100 varied products with strong designs or artwork featured on them. If you offer 100 mugs with ‘Happy Birthday’ in a different color on each you will not be off to a good start.  Design a variety of products using at least 10 of your best designs, photos, and artwork to begin with.  Make sure a potential customer is not bored by what they see when visiting your shop for the first time, and since many of your products will be viewed in the marketplace, outside of the context of your shop, make sure each design is interesting enough for them to follow the store link provided by Zazzle and take the time to visit your actual shop.  Try to have 1500 products for sale by the end of year one.  You will be fairly well established at that point, with a good foundation upon which to build.  Keep your shop active by adding products whenever you have time and, of course, keep promoting!

Coordinating Headers, Logo, and Category Box A consistent design helps visitors readily identify you and helps establish your ‘brand’.

I will be expanding on the general information provided here in future posts so I invite you to subscribe.  I will also be sharing tips from other Zazzlers, wesites and the Zazzle proseller forum to which the new Zazzle shopkeeper does not have access.

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Zazzle World Wide Market

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you have found this information helpful.  My best wishes for your future success!

Categories: Guidelines | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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