It’s Going To Be A Great Year For Ilona’s Garden Shop On Zazzle

How do I know? Because in 2011 I started a whole new episode of designing products for the Zazzle store that I opened…oh, so long ago. But have only just began to actually create things in this past year. (Anyone thinking of that Carpenter’s song?) … I’ve only just beguuunn ♬

Now that I know more about what I’m doing I look forward to putting many more Zazzle creations into the categories.

The categories created were “Christmas“, “Flower Garden“, “Weddings“, “The Hungarian Shop“, among others. Explore my Zazzle creations while picking up some tips, if you are interested in designing your own.

Zazzle rolled out a whole array of new products this year, too. For awhile I had a hard time locating the areas to create some of these, but have since found them and started experimenting. Recently, the new products have been added to a “create” category that lists most of them for easy access.

I can’t wait to share everything with you…

First of All, Zazzle is Fun

How I started out

making stuff on ZazzleThe site makes things easy and fun, and while it is easy to make mistakes, there are plenty of guides, forum posts, and even hubs to help you do your best.

1  The first thing to do is open your store, if you want to sell; or if you just like to get unique things for your friends and yourself, take a look at the “Best of Zazzle” reviews. People rave about the high quality of Zazzle products.

Here are some of my first attempts.

 

First image was a picture of tomatoes and some text and the first sale (not followed for a very long time) was an apron with this design. I didn’t realize that marketing and quantity of designs coming online were keys to Zazzle success. but it was a beginning.

Later came the Fairy Garden, and then afterwards the many directions that include creating different types of products. The Wedding Set was fun, but I’m not sure that is my favorite type of work. Right now the new candy jars, and magnets have been fun to work with.

From the beginning I used the guides to make sure the graphics are the correct size. Just be sure to follow the directions to delete the original lines on the guides. Simply make your design on a new layer and then delete the layer with the red guidelines.

Tutorials and Guidelines for Zazzle Products

2  The second thing to do is find your associate ID and want to share the great things you are making and finding on Zazzle. Get the facts by reading the Zazzle Seller Incentive Program page.

When creating links, the Zazzle people have made this easy and automate the addition of your id for most of the products, but at times you will want to know how to add your associate number. Find all the how-to inside your account, under the ‘Associates’ tab. when you make your account. The Associates page tells you how to append the associate number to products.

Every time you post a product it refers to your associate number and tells Zazzle you sent the customer there. You may not buy my sticker, but you might find one that you like better- that is the beauty of Zazzle.

3 The third thing to do is create! Start making your products, master the use of tags and using the store function of “top picks”, “featured products”, “categories”, etc.

You can master one product type at a time or mass create products of all kinds. I like to customize when “mass creating” to make sure each product looks its best. If the image doesn’t fit well, I delete that product or resize to have a finished look. My next step will be to order examples of my products to see the quality of my work in action. I did that with Cafepress products.

4 The fourth thing is to learn, learn, learn I use tutorials I find, but with this company it is the forum that is most necessary.

This is the exception rather than the rule for many online endeavors. While forums are always helpful and a great way to build community ( I have yet to be involved in Squidoo forums because the platform of community is so strongly built into the lenses themselves and HQ ). Forum information is the very best way to connect and learn on Zazzle. I am still in the lurking phase there.

5 The fifth thing to do is make some income. That is right, earn some money.

I discovered that you can earn money, but for me, it has been a slow trend upward. Haven’t been able to reach pro seller status yet*. It is still a major thrill if I sell something- anything!

I did learn that there is a fee if you request to get paid when the total is under the $50.00 mark. That was a surprise! But I am a fairly patient person who does not expect overnight success.

*yippee- I am now a pro seller.

I wish you success!

You might be much more quick to see profit from Zazzle than I have been!

Additional Tips

Many successful Zazzlers repeat that it is important to make lots of products. They say, “it is a numbers game”. One thing that making lots of products will do is help you to steadily improve your technique and quality of work.

Keywords are important for gaining search engine results. They won’t come unless you tag well.

I have seen some months where the sales have really picked up and then times when it is very slow for me. Zazzle abounds with tips, so as I learn more and add designs that are time and event focused I believe the profit line will improve.

In the meantime I attained the pro seller level- yea me! That level is from earning a total of a hundred dollars in a calendar year. :) You can learn all about it on the proseller page at Zazzle’s site

The New Products With My Designs

Offering new products!

The T-shirts,mugs, and other products you may have known about, but now there are laptop bags, household accessories, luggage tags and so many other fun and fabulous things to customize for gifts or commemorative events.

There weren’t any official guidelines for the new products, but I used the mug guideline for the small teapot, pitcher, and the candy jar. I use the large poster size templates to create the messenger bags. Now there are guides for the messenger bags, which is going to really improve the results of the designs, I think.

Products are always changing and improving.

An affiliate program – Learn how to combine affiliate income

You don’t have to design to make some income from Zazzle (although creating your own designs is lots of fun).

I am still in the experimental stage with Zazzle. I haven’t settled on a particular style or focus for my shop(s). That is because, as always I am about the “Experience” and not about the business so much. I do see that people who are serious about creating great product, focus in on an audience (design and product type), and who have mastered the marketing of their stores have great success.

My wedding designs…

Grab a Collection Bookmarklet by J32 Design

About Those “Numbers”

The thing I heard in the forums, and I am pursuing right now, is that Zazzle is a “numbers game”. In other words, that the more products you have available, the better. I don’t know if that is true, but it makes sense on a certain level.

I am of the opinion that this is true on the same level it is in many online endeavors. At the beginning, it is the one who dominates the niche that gets more success. Still, I think that -like Walmart- it is only one approach, and maybe not the best one. In art, it is creating a style that is unique and building the “tribe” of those who appreciate it. That includes a certain degree of quality also.

The way I believe numbers (as in quantity of output) work best is to provide the most choice for the customer. If you want to have stickers for a project and the designed products in the store have only magnets available, then you must go elsewhere even if you like the designs. Because you need stickers! So designing as many products possible for those who visit your store makes a certain amount of sense.

People who do well in Zazzle devote a lot of hard work and time to their effort.

There are lots of nuts and bolts tutorials on how to improve a Zazzle store function and appearance. I am studying these. I would like to be able to personalize the store more, and create a more intuitive navigation for my store.

There isn’t a “Zazzle to Squidoo Tool” anymore, now that Squidoo has shut down. But one of the new features on Zazzle, for promotion and discovery purposes, is their “Collecions”.

Here is my collection of Christmas magnets, curated according to the ones I liked the best.

Do You have a Zazzle Store? – What is your experience?