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“The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Top 10 Mistakes Zazzlers Make

I, Visualnewbie, have taken this article, “The Top 10 Mistakes Zazzlers Make” by PrairieGhost (Customizables) from the Zazzle Community Forum. More specifically, the “Build Your Gallery” section of the forum. It’s a place where you can ask and receive advice on improving your gallery and more importantly increasing your sales.

Bottom line, its fun at first, but that seriously gets old when you’re putting in that extra effort and it’s not showing through your sales or you’re wondering why no one is viewing my products. So, knowing the mistakes and experience others have gone through first hand will help you in the long run in operating your gallery/store. That’s definitely something I personally wish I had known to begin with. I basically just jumped right in, head first. With the help of this article, hopefully your Zazzle experience becomes an enjoyable one as well as a profitable one.

I’m posting the article, “The Top 10 Mistakes Zazzlers Make”, PrairieGhost (Customizables) created in its entirety. Now, on to the article…
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By PrairieGhost (Customizables)

If you're new to Zazzle or struggling to get your sales up, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. I have been a member of Zazzle for a long time--since October of 2005--and I didn't start out very well myself. I made lots of mistakes early on gave up too easily when I became frustrated by my lack of success. I've learned a lot since then, and though I'm not yet earning enough to live off of, I have the honor of being counted amongst the Pro Sellers of Zazzle.

I've taken what I've learned and consolidated it into a list of the most common mistakes Zazzlers make. If I had only known these things when I was starting out, it may not have taken me three years to get my act together!

The Top 10 Mistakes Zazzlers Make:

1.) Too few products... With very few exceptions, galleries with only a handful of items will make few--if any--sales. If you really want to make money off of your Zazzle shop, you will need a large selection of items to choose from.

2.) Low-quality designs... The Quick-Create feature is great, but if your products have white edges and empty space, most customers aren’t going to be interested. Take the time to cull or adjust products individually before you post them, even if you’re using quick create. You don’t want unprofessional products cluttering up your gallery and turning customers away.

3.) Stolen images... Every now and then someone joins Zazzle who doesn’t understand or appreciate how much work goes into art and photography. These are the people who grab images off of the internet and slap them on products thinking they’ve found an easy way to make lots of money. Not only is this unfair to other Zazzlers, it is often illegal, and it degrades the overall quality of Zazzle as a whole. There are plenty of high-quality, public domain images out there, so if you feel the desire to create but lack the ability, just make sure you’re using images you have the legal right to!

4.) Too few keywords... So many Zazzlers make the mistake of putting hours of work into a design only to neglect the keywords. Most customers find us through search engines, so if you don’t use enough keywords or don’t use the right keywords, your product will never even be seen. Describe your product as effectively as you can, including the subject matter, whether it’s traditional art, digital art, photography, or whatever else, and include alternate spellings (like “color” and “colour”) so that international customers can find you.

5.) Painful color schemes... Even though most customers won’t be browsing through your gallery to find something they like, your color scheme is still very important. If you use painful or clashing colors in your gallery, you will turn customers away. Customers that have stumbled across your gallery won’t have any desire to stick around and see what you have if your fonts and backgrounds hurt their eyes, so try to stick with color schemes that are easy on the eyes while still being suitable to your gallery’s theme.

6.) Designs are under-represented... Another mistake that lots of Zazzlers make is not putting their designs on as many products as they can. Since Zazzlers don’t have to worry about inventory or space, we have nothing to lose by creating something we don’t think will sell. If you create a design, don’t stop at putting it on t-shirts--put it on stickers and mousepads and coffee mugs too! Some of my best-selling products are items I thought wouldn’t sell at all and almost didn’t post--imagine what a loss that would have been! Even if you don’t think it will sell, post it anyway. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!

7.) Low variety... When I started out, I specialized in things that I was interested in, and I didn’t make many sales. It wasn’t until I started branching out and creating designs in a variety of subject matter that I really started to see some serious sales. There’s nothing wrong with being devoted to a certain subject matter or style, but if you want to make real money off of Zazzle you will have to think outside the box and create things that many people will be interested in buying.

8.) Easily discouraged... Zazzle is no get-rich-quick scheme--it’s a serious business that requires hours upon hours of hard work, talent, originality, and determination. It may be months before you see your first sale, even if your products are really great, or you could have a bunch of sales only to suffer a dry spell for weeks at end. Don’t be discouraged--most small businesses lose money for the first year or two they’re in business, and the worst you can do on Zazzle is break even. Even if you sell nothing at all, you’re still doing very well. Patience and determination is rewarded, so keep Zazzling.

9.) Lack of perspective... At this very moment, there are BILLIONS of products on Zazzle, and it’s growing every day! If your products aren’t the best they can be, they’re going to be lost in the crowd.

10.) Products aren’t customizable... One day I was browsing a Zazzle shop and found a few items that I just LOVED, but for whatever reason, the owner of the designs had opted not to allow customers to customize her products. She lost a customer that day, all because I couldn’t personalize the button I liked. Allowing customers to alter your products to their liking opens up a world of potential sales, so unless you’re an ultra-control-freak who can’t handle the idea of someone adding text to your design, leave the option open and let customers customize your products.

By PrairieGhost (Customizables)
- Customizables by PrairieGhost
Customizables by PrairieGhost

- The Gas Station
The Gas Station – Gas, Kansas

- Public Domain Products
Public Domain Products

- PrairieGhost Creations
PrairieGhost Creations

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