Posts Tagged With: make money online

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

 

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

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!

 
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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

Your Product Tags and Description-The First Step to Getting Found in the Zazzle Marketplace

Descriptions and tags are best described as a way to paint your product with words.  Search engines cannot see images, so think of them as a friend on the other end of a phone conversation to whom you must convey the shape, color, beauty and individuality of your creation as precisely as possible.  Below is a simplified illustration of the “Post Product for Sale” page, which is where you find yourself after placing text, photos, or artwork on a product and clicking ‘Post for Sale’

New Zazzlers often underestimate the importance of this page and fail to take advantage of its full potential for boosting the visibility of their new product.  Eagerness to see their new product in the marketplace as well as assuming a simple title and quick description will be sufficient often leads to few, if any, sales. 

  

The first step is to give your product an effective title.  For this tote bag, ‘Environmentally Friendly Pelican Organic Tote Bag’ would be a better title than ‘Pelican Tote Bag’.

The subtitle can be used to emphasize the artist, the style, or medium in which the original was created, or to call attention to why the work was created.  ‘Preserve our environment’, ‘Original graphic design by Joe Doe’, or ‘Save our Pelicans’ would be appropriate.

Next, think of the description box as a mini-blog and you are writing an article to post.  Searches in the Zazzle marketplace as well as outside search engines (after you tweet or post on Facebook, etc…) will respond well to text rich descriptions.  This is another thing I wish I had understood before opening my Zazzle shop!  See “Top Ten Things to Know BEFORE Opening a Shop on Zazzle”.  The following paragraph is a good example:

     Environmentally Friendly Pelican in green tones is my original graphic design and was inspired by the oil spill in the Gulf.  Under a deep, green canopy of stars, a Pelican, contrasted by a setting sun in a light, muted green, looks out upon the sea, symbolized by undulating lines.  The words ‘Earth, Sea and Sky’ above ‘Environmentally Friendly’ text serves to remind us about what our priorities must be in order to ensure the future of our lovely planet.  My design is placed on an organic grocery tote in a natural color.  The green tones alternates between a light foliage green to a deep, woodsy green contrasted by the natural, off white color of the tote bag which serves as the background.  This product really does enable you to ‘Go Green” and is ideal  for the environmentally conscious recipient on your gift list!

Beginners at Zazzle often use a description similar to ‘This is a pelican on the ocean in green and is environmentally friendly’.  Take the time to compose a sincere and accurate description, grammatically correct and free of typos.  It will pay off in the future. 

The last box is for your tags.  In my experience, the rule of ‘Five Tags’ has not proven true.  I list tags in order of effectiveness, beginning with precise descriptive words followed by more general descriptors.  For the example above (please note Zazzle does not require a comma between tags and uses quotes to combine words into descriptive phrases) I would use the following:  

     pelican environment ecology “environmentally friendly” “starry sky” earth sea sky sun stars nighttime green ocean organic “ecology gift” “environmentally conscious” ecologist conservation “gulf oil spill” “environmental issues” “go green” “graphic design” “joe doe” stuccoloco

I began with nouns and adjectives describing the elements of the design, then phrases aimed at the type of consumer that might like this design, then the issues or current topics related to my design, then the type of design (graphic design, watercolor, oil painting, etc…) then my name, and finally the name of my store.  Adding your name and the name of your store is rarely done on Zazzle, but it is important to include if you wish to be found by fans and relatives who may not know the either your store name or your name, and it helps to ‘brand’ your products on the internet as well as at Zazzle.   You will notice I do not use words describing the actual article itself like ‘tote’ or tote bag’.  Zazzle automatically adds these words and for me to do so would be unnecessarily repetitive. One final and important note:  Do not tag spam!  Using inaccurate tags or ‘popular’ tags just to get views will NOT lead to sales and will irritate your fellow shopkeepers.  Your credibility will be severly undermined.  An example of tag spam would be using words like ‘retro’, ‘vintage’, ‘justin bieber’, or other trendy words that have no relevance to your design.  Also avoid tags that could get your design ‘pulled’ from the marketplace for copyright infringement by Zazzle.  These would include using a famous brand name or popular phrases from movies, pop songs, or advertisements in your tags.  Everything you post on Zazzle must be your original design OR another’s artwork for which you have paid for the right to earn royalties when publishing it on Zazzle or other print-on-demand platform.  The same goes for clip art-check the fine print when you download.  And never copy another zazzler’s work.  Accidents happen, but your store could be completely shut down if you infringe on another artists rights.

When visiting my Stuccoloco shop on Zazzle, you will note that I have failed to follow this advice on many of my earlier products and I have a lot of revising to do.  I hope this tutorial will save you from this task and enable you to use the time more effectively.  I have enjoyed success on items using this method and I trust you will find this to be true for your products as well.

Thank you for visiting and happy Zazzling!

Zazzle Marketplace

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This item from Jadedesigns has a short but good description

This item has an excellent description with the emphasis on the established artist

Categories: Effective Use of Tags and Descriptions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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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