Thought my Zazzle store had become invisible or something, no sales up to or over the christmas period most disappointing. But this morning finally brought some good news - A SALE. Admittedly only a greeting card but at least it is something, brings me the grand total of £0.12. Wow, I had put in a fair bit of effort but not too much as I am becoming bored with working on the store(s) and not seeing any return. I only do a little now and then now. A whole year and only 12 sales in total and a couple of those were from me to use up the meagre royalties and a discount offer - only to find that I had to pay almost as much again in duties when they got here.
I get lots of good comments but dont seem to get any sales, I can make more writing elsewhere, but I shall keep the account live and the stores open. Adding a few products slowly, why not? I waste plenty of time elsewhere on the internet.
Most of my products are designed using my own artwork, especially the pastel paintings which I am currently creating. I also use some of my mixed media collage work and photography. A less often used source of images are public domain images from the internet, such as Hubble telescope pictures or Dover publications. So it is a fairly wide selection of images on a wide selection od products but sales do seem to keep eluding me.
I know I am told to keep making products on the store, but I never seem to hit the magic number which seeems to bring the buyers. Maybe it is SEO again, that debillitating subject for a creative artist which means that the internet just doesn't work for us.
Just nipped back in to post this link. I just realised that although I gave some samples of greeting cards in the last post (yesterday) I did not mention christmas cards. Have to put this right! See a selection of my vintage christmas cards (and some by others) in this Squidoo lens (=web page), Vintage themed christmas cards.
I wish I knew what sells on Zazzle. Have I said that before?
I guess it is just necessary to keep plugging away. And here are a few cards which I have in my card shop on Zazzle. New additions arriving (?) regularly, at least I do try to keep adding different designs to build up the number of designs available.
I have now started a page on Facebook to try and promote my Zazzle stores, I would appreciate your visit and possibly a like, they seem to be important for some reason. And don't forget my Zazzle lenses on Squidoo. They can all be reached via a directory lens (=lensography), but for a rundown of my first steps on Zazzle, try this one, in which I document how I learnt a few home truths while starting a store.
Zazzle has recently introduced many new products which I am only just catching up with. They now have a set of wall decals in many different sizes, shapes and configurations, which could have many uses around the home or work place - including schools. This was my first experimental design on this range of products and whilst working on this I tried out many of the configurations. I haad so many ideas; I just need a little time to actually design some viable products.
What is the fuss about? These decals can by put up anywhere, taken down and stuck up again, over 100 times. They leave no marks and no residue. Perfect for a quick change of decor in those little corners or in a childs bedroom. Take a browse at some ideas and I am sure that you will find some ideas of your own. Here is my first trial product:-
This time of year must be the best time to visit many of the arboreta which will be showing their trees in autum foliage. In the UK, one of the best known must be The National Memorial Arboretum which is open all year (except Christmas day with free entry. Another very well known and well visited arbouretum is that at Westonbirt, a must see option for lovers of trees. And not to forget Batsford Arboretum which claims to be the UK's most visited.
For non-uk residents, just Google your country name + arboretum and I am sure that you will find many splendid examples near to you.
All of these and many more, will provide wonderful displays of autumn colour in October of almost any year
One thing it is easy to do is to find quotes on the internet, just google and you will find so many. A site which I have used for my last batch of Zazzle products is Hilarious funny quotes; one of the many. I have taken a few of the quotes and made them into a two-parter, the second part being the punch line and have used these on some basic white Tee-shirts. Let me show a couple of examples:-
Of couse these are just the basic Tee, there are something llike 537 different styles which can be accessed via the customisation button. This is on an orange coloured texxt button on the bottom left of the image.
How about some Tees from other stores, Mine are not the only gems around.
Once home I decided to photograph the textiles and record the patterns.
One in particular caught my eye, a woven basket work pattern, I decided that this could make a good abstract design for some Zazzle products. So here are a few example of the latest additions to my Zazzle store on this theme. I have photo-shopped the pattern to give a selection of different colours, if you like the pattern but not the colour, watch this space or perhaps contact me via Zazzle; I will have whatever colour you would like but it will take a little time to get onto products.
How to decide upon new designs for Zazzle products. I wish I knew what sold well but I find it difficult to make any conclusions in that area.
I tried google and found several links but they do not seem to be able to be specific. Zazzle itself has a list of many niche areas available on an excel sheet but it is simply a list of of subject areas. No indication of which areas do well. It offers lists of trending themes, best sellers and most wished for but again these do not seem to be very helpful.
I am ready to give up and just do what I have been doing which is to create designs which I think are worthwhile and hope that someone, somewhere will fancy them. And try to have them available on as many products as possible. I am beginning to think it may be PROMOTION all over again. I understand CEO when I read about it but simply don't do enough of it. THIS has got to change - I need to get involved with promotion if I hope to make anything from the time I spend on the PC.
When I first started posting, I was not interested in making money on-line. But as it became possible to see some potential I started to feel disapppointed that I wasn't making more. A change in targets I wish had not happened, but it did. Now I need to start making sure that I do whatever I can to raise that total even though I am so frustrated with most things about the internet.
In particular, I am frustrated with Redgage.
A site that you have to be daft to work with. It is still in beta after several years and is so full of bugs it rattle. I achieved their $25 dollar payout limit this summer but they said they had changed their mode of payment for off-shore members. For this piffling amount I was expected to provide there chosen partner with enough details to know me better than I know myself including a photocopy of my passport. Imagine that, sending my passport over the e-mail system to a company in a foreign country - well no thank you we all know how security is a sieve for most banks and internet companies. I have tended my resignation, they can have a cup of coffee on me!
But the reason for this post was not to unload my frustration with Redgage on your shoulders but to post one or two of my latest designs. I have been playing with sillouettes. These are great fun and very simple, even simplistic. Will they find a niche? I don't know but here is a sample.
After the sale mentioned in the last post, I have had a second wind on Zazzle. I have been adding a few products every day. probably still not doing enough but hey, there's real life out there.
Here are a couple of Mojo pillows for your perusal:-
The images are of pastel paintings by myself and can be seen in my blog, Painting With John. The backs are a carefully selected plain colour to complement the art work on the front.
More new products soon and maybe even a sale or two to report - you never can tell. I have been writing about my My first steps with Zazzle in a Squidoo lens (or web page) which you might like to browse through.
Is this news? Most definitely, I have not had a sale since early June and I must admit to have been getting quite despondent.
However this morning when checking my e-mail I saw that (by now) unfamiliar message - YES!
And to make it even better it was for an i-phone case which gives me a decent royalty, not just a few cents for a card, etc. Not that I wouldn't like to see more card sales, of course I would but seeing the royalty in dollars rather than cents is so much more fulfilling. Do I sound mercenary? Well that's the reason I am on Zazzle after all. This is the item sold:-
The only issue is that as an artist, the head of the male dancer being hidden is a faux pas. I designed the item on an i-3 phone case, on which the head was quite visible. Zazzle allows the design to be used on several versions of products, such as different i-phone cases; the idea being that.you design one product and the buyer can select the version. In this case it seems that the lens is quite different and spoils this particular version. Oh well, the buyer can always return it if upset - and my royalty can go down the pan, LOL
I have been neglecting my blogs of late, a number of family illnesses have kept me occucpied , however I am beginning to se the light at the end of the tunnel and will hopefully be getting back to normal.
On here I would like to post a coulple of newly designed shirts, one for the man in your life and one for the ladies. The text is humerous and perhaps not quite original but I wanted to hit the floor running so here are a couple of examples. Most of the past designs have featured my art work or vintage images but whilst lots of interest and compliments have emerged, this has not lead to any sales. Must ponder on the question of converting interest to digging in one's pocket. Anyway this lack of sales success has lead me to try another tack and these are two of the first examples:
I read an article on Squidoo recently, making money from poetry and one of the suggestions as to how to do this was to try creating posters on POD sites and make money by selling the posters. Well I was not absolutely convinced but thought that it was worth a try.
So I have created my first two posters in this group. The first uses a background image provided by one of my pastel paintings .
I have ordered a couple of Tee-shirts from my store as nobody else seems to be buying them, LOL. Seriously tho', I decided that I really liked some of the designs and in order to use up some of the money which I have been accumulating, I would treat myself to a couple of shirts.
Wow, sure is hard to make posts here regularly - I really must try to gee myself up. With the latest new poetry blog I now have seven on the go and I am writing articles on one or two web-sites. I am going to have to start to make a concerted effort to rationalise and plan my on-line activities.
Do you find that you spend too much time on forums without doing anything really positive ..... thats me; always procrastinating. I read rather than get down to doing that which I should be doing. A much more positive approach is needed.
Ok, enough self-development, what have I been doing on Zazzle?
I made a set of St Patricks Day cards and begorrah, I sold 24 of one design. A nice little earner.
Mothers' Day in the USA in 2012 is Sunday May 13th and a few weeks ago I started to create some mothers day cards with a view to possibly getting a few sales for this holiday. So far I have sold one card. That isn't going to make me rich. It is a small victory however, and I will be looking for more opportunities to create cards and expand my portfolio. Like everything else on the internet, you need lots of "stuff" to even stand a chance. I am also trying to improve my SEO understanding to bring more visitors to the Zazzle store as well as my other web-sites.
Here are a sample of the vintage cards that I have in the store:
So much has been happening at home and I haven't had much time for the internet in any form. But I am finally able to see a littlte light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. I have not been working on my Zazzle inventory until today and I have added a couple of cards to my Artyfax cards store.
I have been working on some vintage greeting cards, these are the images I seem to have easily available. For instance, this image of an owl ( from a collage sheet by Kim Newberg) has allowed me to use a little Harry Potter reference. Is he still cool and of the moment? Anyway here it is:-
I wanted to use this next image, also from Kim Newberg, but couldn't see exactly where it might be used. However that is the beauty of Zazzle, a buyer can personalise their messages if an image catches their fancy.