Thursday, March 06, 2008

Should You Use CafePress or Zazzle?

I started out with CafePress, and over the years I've made more money via CafePress. I have been on CafePress longer than Zazzle and have made more money because CafePress ALWAYS let you set your own commision (Zazzle only started doing it for the Christmas season 2007... CafePress had the option like 7 years ago.)


I esp love that Zazzle no longer only pays you just 10%. ugh! For years I've made next to nothing on Zazzle cause I couldn't set my own commision, but now I can set my own commision and I'm starting to make money now!


I love the new Zazzle Merch booth! Now I can create 10, 20, or 30 products at a time! No more creating one item at a time for me! (CafePress always had that option too. With CafePress you can create as many as 80 products all at once.)


Useing Zazzle's Merchbooth I created over 400 new products for my gallery this week alone! It used to be slow to create stuff, cause you could only create one item at a time, and for the longest time I only has 15 items in my gallaery cause I got so bored with the slow creation process, but since they added Merchbooth, now I have over 2,000 products in my gallery! I love it!



One problem I have had though, is on dial-up I could only load one picture at a time on Zazzle, because they use Java pop-ups to load images and they took over 20 minutes to load each picture. So for the first few years I used CafePress almost exclusivly, because it was so hard to load images to Zazzle's site. I got cable a little over a year ago, and since than I've had no problems loading images to Zazzle anymore, so if you have dial-up you might find CafePress a lot easier to use.


If you're just starting out I'd recommend you use CafePress first, because they are much more "user friendly" for the begginer. Zazzle has more steps and the instructions are not as clearly stated as CafePress' are. Once you've made a few shops on CafePess though, you should have no problems understanding Zazzle, because they are basicly the same.


It's to your advantage to have both, because while they both have t-shirts, cards, mugs and buttons, most of their other items do not overlap.


Zazzle has USPostal Service approved custom postage stamps and CafePress does not. Zazzle also has neck-ties, keyrings, and other items.


Plus CafePress has some pretty cool products that Zazzle doesn't have: ceramic tiles, jewlery boxes, dog shirts, clocks, pillows, etc.


I've found the quality of the items to be pretty much the same. I've bought T-shirts, buttons, mugs, mousepads, and totebags from both Zazzle and CafePress and both have super quality.


Shipping tends to be a lot faster with CafePress though. Usually I get orders from CafePress in less than 2 weeks, (3-4 days is average), but Zazzle I usually have to wait 2 or 3 weeks before I get the items.


The payout is basicly the same for each: Both require a minimum income of $25 before they well send you a check. Both mail out the pay checks at the end of each month. Both have a waiting period of 40 - 60 days after the order was made, to allow for returns, before they credit the money to your account. Both have the option to credit your pay towards your next order if you choose that option. Both pay you by sending a paper check in the mail.


CafePress only pays by check in the mail.


Starting January 2008, Zazzle now pays you via your PayPal account, if you have one. (Payments were just sent out last night btw, I just got my February payout of $44.36)



CafePress has a much better forum for members. The CafePress forum is pretty much the same as SquidU is for Squidoo, you go on and start threads and get advice from other members just like you would here for Squidoo.


But Zazzle's forum is more like Twitter or an YahooIM chat, and is really pointless to join, because it's just a single page with one sentance quotes flashing acrossed it everytime someone says anything, and so no post really makes any sence at all.


Zazzle has lots of promotion features, including giving you html codes for each of your products in both image or text (and the image code has three image size options). Plus they have a couple of differant style widgets that you can put on your blog or on MySpace that are updated live everytime you add a new product.


CafePress has only one promotional html code and it's a banner with a green star on it that goes to their homepage and not to your store or items.



So, as you can see, each has it's good points, and each has it's bad points. Both are good though, so I use them both.


Here are likes to one of each "style" of mine, so you can compare what they look like:



A Free CafePress Shop (layout can not be edited, they all look like this)


http://www.cafepress.com/GothSkullHearts



A paid CafePress shop ($54 a year) (layout can be edited like a blog or like MySpace profiles):


http://www.cafepress.com/copper_cockerel



A Free Zazzle Gallery (ALL Zazzle galleries are free, they don't have a paid account option) (the layou can be edited to what you want it to look like):


http://www.zazzle.com/eelkat*


(I love pink and orange layouts, I guess you can tell, cause my CafePress, my Zazzle, my LuLu, and my MySpace are all that same color combo. It's kind of my sig color.)



Well, that should help you out some.



What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


If you liked this post, than you might like what I say on my other blog too!


Want to read more? Check out my Squidoo Lenses:


Need To Publish Your First Novel?
Ekography: EelKats Lensography
What Can You Do With Squidoo?
Save the Goldeneagle
Copper Cockeral
EKs Link Exchange Headquarters
Creating Character Profiles
How to Start a Publishing Company
Create Your Own Writers Retreat
Need to Kill Writer's Block? Kill a Character.
Narration for Writers
Doctor Who Gift & Video Showcase
NaNoWriMo: Reaching 50,000 useing EelKats 13 Step method
Conventional Writing Advice that Didnt Work for Her (or Me Either!)...
Why Was My Manuscript Rejected?
What if you could give a lie detector test to..
Etiole Swanzen
Harlequin books seeks real men for covers
EelKats Birthday Party Lensography
What do you look for in a book?
Accepting Your Writing Style
Whats On Your Toilet?


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All donations to Star Log go to The Pidgie Fund. The Pidgie Fund buys food for pets in Southern Maine.











Blingo

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Should You Sell Your Zazzle and CafePress products on Squidoo?

I'm an artist. I do watercolors, acrylics, pastles, crayons, colored pencil, felt-tip marker, and pen & ink drawings and paintings. Most of my art is of my pets both past and present: dogs, cats, roosters, birds, pony, fish, etc.

In addition to art I also do photography: my pets and my flower garden, and the beach mostly.

I've been doing this for over 25 years, so I have a huge collection of art and photos now, and it has always been my goal to sell my own art, but I also wanted to keep the originals. CafePress and Zazzle allow me to do that.

I've been on CafePress and Zazzle since 2004, and Prinfection about 8 months, and Squidoo 10 months. I have over 150 "free" shop on CafePress and one "premium" shop, plus 3 Zazzle galleries, for a grand total of more than 5,000 products for sale.

This ( http://www.squidoo.com/coppercockeral ) was my very first lens here on Squidoo. Since than I have created more than 200 other lenses and of those more than 30 of them totally devoted to my shops; here are examples of a couple of them:

http://www.squidoo.com/PediatricsTie
http://www.squidoo.com/Custom-Designed-Postage-Stamps
http://www.squidoo.com/Copper-Cockeral-Cards-and-Gifts-Our-Cats-and-Kittens-Line
http://www.squidoo.com/Copper-Cockeral-Cards-and-Gifts-Our-Rooster-Line


You can use them to get ideas for setting up some Squidoo Lenses about your own products.


In addition to lenses totally devoted to my shops, I also add modules selling my products, onto lenses that are of a related topic: say the topic is dogs, I add products featureing my dog paintings, for example).

Before Squidoo, I was earning between $20 - $70 per year from each CafePress and Zazzle. After I started creating Squidoo lenses featuring my products, my sales jumped, and now I'm earning $20 - $150 per month from each place. :) :) :)

So far I haven't sold a single item off Printfection though. :(


Squidoo has really boosted my CafePress and Zazzle sales, and I'd recomend anyone who has either a CafePress or Zazzle shop, to get on Squidoo and start making lenses about your products, because it really does work!

I have so much fun putting my art on CafePress and Zazzle and than putting those items on Squidoo, that when MonkeyBrain came out the first debate I started was this: http://www.squidoo.com/zazzlevscafepress

I love Zazzle and CafePress and Squidoo. I guess I don't have to tell you that they are my 3 fave sites and I spend more time on them than anyplace else on the Internet!




What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!




-------------




Copper Cockeral
Publishing Your NaNo Novel?
Do You and I Read the Same Books?
*I Love Phookas!*
Copper Cockeral Cards & Gifts
Custom Designed Postage Stamps
Gifts for Peacock Lovers
Framed Art for Childrens Rooms
Best Gifts for Cat Lovers
Best Gifts for Dog Lovers
Best Sci-Fi Video Showcase
Zazzle vs CafePress


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Blingo


What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


If you liked this post, than you might like what I say on my other blog too!


Want to read more? Check out my Squidoo Lenses:


Need To Publish Your First Novel?
Ekography: EelKats Lensography
What Can You Do With Squidoo?
Save the Goldeneagle
Copper Cockeral
EKs Link Exchange Headquarters
Creating Character Profiles
How to Start a Publishing Company
Create Your Own Writers Retreat
Need to Kill Writer's Block? Kill a Character.
Narration for Writers
Doctor Who Gift & Video Showcase
NaNoWriMo: Reaching 50,000 useing EelKats 13 Step method
Conventional Writing Advice that Didnt Work for Her (or Me Either!)...
Why Was My Manuscript Rejected?
What if you could give a lie detector test to..
Etiole Swanzen
Harlequin books seeks real men for covers
EelKats Birthday Party Lensography
What do you look for in a book?
Accepting Your Writing Style
Whats On Your Toilet?


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

All donations to Star Log go to The Pidgie Fund. The Pidgie Fund buys food for pets in Southern Maine.











Blingo

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Should You Have a Squidoo Lensography?

Today's topic of thought: Lensographies.

I have several of these.

I'll write 5 or 6 (or 20 or 30 in some cases) lenses on a single topic, and than I'll create a Lensography (lens index) lens where I link all of those lenses together.

The biggest advantage to this is I can create a series of lenses, say on the art of writing (which I did), and each lens featues a differant aspect of the art of writing: one talks about self-publishing, one talks about creating characters, one talks about ways around wtier's block, one talks about free writing contests, one talks about copyright laws, etc, etc, etc. In the end I created more than 30 lenses all focusing on the art of writing, and though they all are for authors and freelancers, each is totally differant and focuses on a differant area of the writing field.

Okay, so with 30+ lenses that means I have to now to SEO 30 times more than if I had created one lens right? That's where the Lensography comes in. I put links to all of my writing lenses, on one lens, and now all I have to do is focus on the SEO for that lens only, because once someone reaches that one lens, they now have a direct link to all of my other lenses on writing.

I do this two ways:

1) TOPIC LENSOGRAPHIES: I have a Lensography for each topic (series of lenses on that tpic). Currenlt I have a lens index for my Writing lenses, one for my Halloween lenses, one for my Party Planning lenses, and I'm building one for my Book and Movie Review lenses.

2.) PROFILE LENSOGRAPHIES: I have a personal Lensography (see here: http://www.squidoo.com/Ekography ) which is an idex of each and every one of my lenses. When I started this lens, I had less than 20 lenses, so it was quite small. Today I have 224 lenses and my Lensography lens is huge as a result, however, all I have to do now is to promote this one lens to bring traffic (readers) to all of my other lenses.


Now to answer your question, does it work? Yes! My lensography has never been below the 5,000 mark on the lensrank, and usually it stays in the top 700, sometimes it's gets near the top 100, but has yet to be in the top 100 list, though lenses I have featured at the top of my lensography HAVE gotten into the top 100 list, and looking at where the traffic to those came from (in the stats page) I find that it was my lesnography that drove a lot of the traffic to them.

I promote my lensography EVERYWHERE: on MySpace, on my 32 blogs, on FaceBook, on MyLot, in the sig links on my posts for each of the over 150 forums I reguraly post on, I even leave it on post-it notes in local public bathrooms! When I sign up for something and the site asks for my homepage, I always type in my lensography URL, because I consider that to be my homepage. As a result of all this, I have a constant and steady stream of traffic flowing into my lensography, and because my lensography links to all of my 224 lenses, I do nothing to promote any of my other lenses at all. I promote one lens and one lens only. This one: http://www.squidoo.com/Ekography and it sends it's heavy traffic flow out to all of my other lenses.

If you only have one or two lenses than, no, you don't need a lensography, but I tell everyone with more than ten lenses, to build one, because it's the best way there is to promote your other lenses.



I've got a series of lenses for writers (about 30 lenses so far) and another series for Halloween costumes (about 10 lenses so far), another series for parties -mostly birthdays- (about 60 lenses started, only 7 are published yet though), a series of seven lenses each one featuring a differant color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink) which I am currently expanding, a series of bios for characters from Don Rosa's Uncle Scrooge family tree, and my personal fave is the The Twighlight Manor Press series, which features lenses about anything to do with The Twighlight Manor Press (includes company profile lens, book review lenses, character profile lenses, and overview of products for sale lenses)


Right now I have 224 lenses, of them I think less than 30 of them are NOT a part of a series. I love doing lenses in topic series, and that's basicly my mode of creation.




What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


If you liked this post, than you might like what I say on my other blog too!


Want to read more? Check out my Squidoo Lenses:


Need To Publish Your First Novel?
Ekography: EelKats Lensography
What Can You Do With Squidoo?
Save the Goldeneagle
Copper Cockeral
EKs Link Exchange Headquarters
Creating Character Profiles
How to Start a Publishing Company
Create Your Own Writers Retreat
Need to Kill Writer's Block? Kill a Character.
Narration for Writers
Doctor Who Gift & Video Showcase
NaNoWriMo: Reaching 50,000 useing EelKats 13 Step method
Conventional Writing Advice that Didnt Work for Her (or Me Either!)...
Why Was My Manuscript Rejected?
What if you could give a lie detector test to..
Etiole Swanzen
Harlequin books seeks real men for covers
EelKats Birthday Party Lensography
What do you look for in a book?
Accepting Your Writing Style
Whats On Your Toilet?


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

All donations to Star Log go to The Pidgie Fund. The Pidgie Fund buys food for pets in Southern Maine.











Blingo

Top 30 Authors Found in My Private Book Collection:

Authors whose books I own the most copies of.

Random Books From My Private Book Collection:

Top 100 Tags Found in My Private Library:

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