Use Buffer with Pinterest and Zazzle to Promote Zazzle Products



Use Social Media to Keep Your Zazzle Products Alive

 

Having a Zazzle store is a good way to bring in some extra income. Unfortunately, the deck is stacked against new store owners just filling their stores with new products, since only popular products get seen outside your store. Zazzle has taken to hiding products that have never sold or haven’t ever been looked at in the previous 15 months, unless you have updated them, and that new policy affects both new and longtime store owners. If people  don’t view your products, they can’t buy them. If they don’t buy them them, Zazzle may hide them. That’s why it’s so important to put your Zazzle products in front of people’s eyes.  I now use Buffer with Pinterest to promote my Zazzle products. I also use Zazzle’s direct twitter sharing buttons now,  since the affiliate links are kept intact. 

 

Twitter Results Using Buffer with Pinterest


Use Buffer with Pinterest and Zazzle to Promote Zazzle Products

Zazzle is best promoted when someone can see the product  you want them to buy. This is  true with any site that sells your art. It’s the art that sells itself. Even if you are promoting an Amazon product, as I was with this top tweet, Buffer will take your pin and turn it into a tweet that leads back to your pin. In this case, my pin was a product review blog post. I used the process I will show you below to get a similar tweet with a Zazzle product.

First, you need to  pin your product from the share buttons when you are logged in on Zazzle. You need to open your product in Zazzle while logged in.  You must have your full product display page open. Your product will be in its large view. There will be sharing buttons on the left. Click the Pinterest button. Below you see the interface where you can choose a board. If you are a Buffer member, you will be able to see both a pin-it and buffer button to the right of each board name when you mouse over it. Either pin to a board or use the Buffer button to share directly to one of your social media accounts.

Use Buffer with Pinterest and Zazzle to Promote Zazzle Products

If you chose to pin your product, it will be posted to Pinterest, and your affiliate link should be intact if you are an affiliate. Your pin will appear as mine does in the windmill clock pin shown here. Edit your pin using the edit button at the top of your pin to make sure your referral code is there. If not, put it there manually.

Update: Checking is really important in this process. Today I wanted to pin some products from Zazzle following these instructions  and the affiliate code did not appear in the link. I don’t know if there is a limit of how many products you can pin and get you code in or whether this was a glitch. When I tried to edit my link to include the code in Pinterest, I got an error message after I had only fixed one that “Oops. Something is  wrong on our end. Try again.”  I hope it’s just temporary. Maybe they are afraid if they make it too easy people will spam their links to Pinterest. 

Use Buffer with Pinterest and Zazzle to Promote Zazzle Products

 

This image below (not the one in an ad that may appear here, which I can’t control) shows what you will see if you click the Buffer button instead of the Pin-it button either on  your pin selection board or your pin itself. I suggest pinning first. Then come back and use buffer at the top of your pin from your  board. It’s less confusing.

Use Buffer with Pinterest and Zazzle to Promote Zazzle Products
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If you use the Buffer app, you will see all your social  account icons lined up at the top and two places to put text. You cross out all the icons to which you do not want to post this pin. That leaves the ones to which you do want to post. The top message is for twitter. If you select a Facebook icon, you will have a place on top to write a message to your followers with your post that will move to the top if you are only posting to Facebook.

I crossed out all but my Twitter accounts in the interface I see when I click the Buffer button on my pin or on my board. I can add hashtags if I wish, or select a different or additional image from the choices on the bottom right above the blue button. When I’m happy, I can use the blue button to either add to my queue of posts to tweet, schedule a specific time to tweet, or tweet right away. You can go to the Buffer site to edit or delete any already scheduled tweet if you made a mistake.

 

Use Buffer with Pinterest to Promote Zazzle Products

 

Get Images into Your Twitterfeed

Now let’s go back to the top image on the very left side showing part of my Twitter feed. The top tweet was posted by using the Buffer button from within Pinterest. It brings up the same interface you see in the image above.  I crossed out all the profiles but the Twitter accounts I was posting to, double -checked to make sure the image I wanted was showing on the left, and clicked the blue button to add to my queue. At the scheduled time, it posted.

The last tweet in the feed was posted using the Triberr interface. It does not have any photo with it. It was scheduled within Triberr. If you check my live Twitter feed in the right sidebar you will see that most Tweets with images came through Buffer, though some Buffer posts use a bitly link. If you retweet a post with an image in Hootsuite or direct Twitter, the post will retain the image if the image link doesn’t have too many characters.  I use Hootsuite to share links with no images big enough for Buffer to pick up.  I try to schedule my tweets so that posts with and without pictures are helping each other stand out. If necessary,  you can make a quote image or collage in my favorite photo app, PicMonkey and add them manually within the Twitter post box.

I'm a Pinner! T Shirt
I’m a Pinner! T Shirt
Create unique custom made t shirts at zazzle.com.

If you get a lot of your images into your twitterfeed and then get a Twitter widget for your sidebar, you  may get more  Twitter followers and more clicks on your tweets. Your sidebar makes a pretty display so that  people know what to expect when they follow you. Will they see links to your Zazzle products or pin complete with the image? Or will they see only a link with words? Tweets with images will get more clicks. More clicks mean more views. More views mean not only a chance for more sales,  but they will also keep your products viewed alive on Zazzle for another fifteen months.

 

 

Promote Your Zazzle Products Politely

Don’t go wild with promoting on Twitter, though. Make sure tweets to your products are mixed with tweets to posts and websites with useful information for your followers. Don’t tweet too much all at once. Buffer and Hootsuite help me space out my tweets and promotions so that they do not overwhelm people.  We need to keep the needs our followers in mind as we promote. A couple of Zazzle tweets per social account per day is probably enough. You might want to add a few scheduled pins a day as well. Then interact with others on Pinterest and social accounts where you post. Spread the love around. Like and comment and repin people’s pins. If you see a good design come through your feed, go view it on Zazzle even if you aren’t ready to buy it yet. You will be helping by keeping that product visible in the marketplace.

In closing, I couldn’t help passing this one on. I hope my doing so helps keep it alive, since I do like it.

 

 

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Give Your Favorite English Teacher a Funny T-Shirt

English Teachers Need a Sense of Humor to Survive

 

Give Your Favorite English Teacher a Funny T-ShirtI confess. I used to be an English teacher. My mom and aunt were also English teachers. I associated with a lot of other English teachers, and most of them had  a great sense of humor. In fact, I’ve only known one English teacher who seemed to have no sense of humor, but maybe that was just a side of him he reserved for his students. He was my junior English teacher in high school.

If you are an English teacher, or are about to start your first year as an English teacher, I’ve picked out ten humorous shirts (and two bonus shirts)  that are sure to make you and your colleagues smile. These also make great gifts for English teachers who might be your friends or relatives. During my years of teaching I discovered most people haven’t the slightest idea what kind of gifts teachers like. Hint: It’s not cologne and soaps.

Most of these shirts come in many styles, sizes and colors. To make exactly what you want, you can look to the right of the product page for style and color options. If you’ve got a funnier or more personal sentiment or image you’d like to use in place of what’s on a shirt, just click the “Customize” button under the shirt’s picture on Zazzle to choose an image, font, or new text color.

#1 The Infallible English Teacher

This shirt lets those pesky students who might dare to question you know, right off the bat, they will be wasting their time, since you are always right.

#2 No Coffee, No Workee.

If you can’t get into gear without your morning coffee or through the afternoon without more, this is the shirt for you.

 

#3 Tired of Explaining the Same Concepts Over and Over?

Maybe these shirts will make it easier and save you some time.

Punctuation Shirts
Use the Right Homonym Shirts

 

This  shirt that illustrates how important it is to use a comma properly.

#4 English Teachers Judge People Differently

#5 If You’re Known as the Grammar Expert

Are you the person your friends are afraid to talk to because they think you will be aware of their grammar and usage mistakes? Does your reputation for correcting people other than your own children and your students make you famous (or infamous)? Intimidate your friends even more with this shirt.

#6 Maybe You Really Do Find Grammar Fascinating

I did.

Like many high school students, I thought the study of grammar was boring — all those workbook exercises and diagramming. Maybe that was because I always had good oral modeling of standard English when I was growing up, and usage came to me instinctively. Actually studying grammar seemed like busy work to me. That’s why I almost let myself flunk English one semester when I knew the material cold. You can read that story here.

In graduate school, I had to take a class in advanced grammar. I dreaded it, thinking it would be terribly dull. What a surprise I had in store for me. Dr. Foote actually was excited about grammar. He taught us about transformational grammar, which I’d never heard of, but I had studied the German language for a couple of years in college, and I saw some similarities. All of a sudden, grammar became a controversial subject and I started to enjoy it. Dr. Foote’s enthusiasm made a real difference in my own attitude.

If you love playing with the language and its grammar, and can make diagramming seem like working fun puzzles, this is the shirt for you.

#7 Here’s Just the Shirt to Wear on the First Day of the New School Year

If you are of the “Never Smile before Christmas” school of thought, this should be just right. It’s also good for first year English Teachers. Maybe you will even make yourself believe it so you can face that first class with confidence.

#8 Do You Want to Inspire Confidence in Your Students?

Let them know you can be trusted.

Know your subject well enough that students will know what you say about writing and grammar is true.

#9 Maybe You Want People to Know You’re Much More than an English Teacher

Maybe you’d rather people focus on some other aspect of your personality.

Tease those you meet with this shirt. I’d suggest this one more for social use than classroom use.

#10 Hint that you Weren’t Always Teaching English

Students love a bit of mystery in a teacher.

You might as well imply that your previous career was a glamorous one. Then they might think you are more exciting and listen to what you say more carefully.

 

Which is your favorite shirt?

It’s Time to Promote and Promote Some More

Promote Zazzle NowThis is the best season for Zazzle sales. Mine are beginning to pick up now. Usually I only sell cards or postcards, but I’m selling more items now that are probably intended as gifts. That has encouraged me to promote even more. Here are a couple of my most recent sales.

 

You will notice that the “by” links have been edited out of my products here to eliminate this line that shows the creator of the product, in this case myself.

 

by <a href=”https://www.zazzle.com/barbsbooks*” rel=”nofollow”>barbsbooks</a> <br />

When you feature products in a blog or website, you should place as few affiliate links in the blog as possible to do the job. In the case of these products, I don’t care if people know I created them. I just hope they will click through to the product page. When they get there,  they  will know I created them.

 

 

Sometimes I also eliminate the last line of the code that encourages you to look at other products or create your won. Make sure before you include that last line that it has your referral link in it. Zazzle often leaves it out of that last line of code — especially on paper products like cards and postcards.

The main places I promote my products are on Twitter and in my blogs. On my blogs, I  promote both  my own products and those of others. I realize I could promote the products of others elsewhere, but my own sites are where I know my referral  codes won’t be stripped off. For some reason, I haven’t had a referred sale since March, though I’ve had pages of unreferred and third party sales since then. I’m glad I’m making sales,  but I wish I were also making the referral commissions, since I am posting referral links frequently. It’s easy to wonder if my referral links are being hijacked.

The next two weeks are crucial in promoting your Zazzle products and stores. Make sure you get those referral links into  your product links and don’t let Zazzle trick you into sending people to Zazzle to buy related products or create similar products from a link without your referral code. If the code isn’t there and they  buy someone else’s product as they ride in on your link, you will lose the commission. If the code isn’t there, just cut the link out. You don’t have to use the entire code.

May you have many Zazzle sales this holiday season.

Bad News for Zazzlers Who Want to Promote their Products on Sites they Don’t Own

Thumbs Down
In public domain courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/thumb-hand-down-face-emotion-440352/

I was shocked today to discover that right at the top of a blog where I was promoting a Zazzle product there was a huge Adsense ad for special pricing on Zazzle with a competing link to mine. At first I wondered how this could be. After all, I specifically told Google not to put any ads on my sites for Amazon or Zazzle. What I had forgotten is that BlogJob also puts ads on my blogs and I cannot control the content on those. That means that if you want to do any affiliate selling on BlogJob, you cannot control the ads that might compete with yours for your affiliate sales.

Unfortunately, this is not just true on BlogJob. It can happen on any site you do not own the domain to and host yourself. On your own site you can get rid of any Google Adsense ad you don’t want to display. If you are the affiliate of a web host, for example, you can exclude hosting and domain sellers from having ads on your site. If you are a bookseller, you can prevent ads for competing bookselling sites from appearing. You can control what advertising appears by going to your Adsense account.

Go to your Google Adsense dashboard and click on My Ads at the top. That’s where you can configure the ads for all your sites. To block specific ads and categories of ads, click on “Allow and Block Ads. ” You can block advertiser URLs, General Categories, ad networks, and even review specific ads showing on your sites to get rid of them. Unfortunately, you can’t do that for the ads your hosting site (BlogJob, HubPages, or any other site you post work on) places on your site. They don’t care if their ads compete with your affiliate ads.

The only ray of sunshine I see in this is that the ads I see are the ads they think I am interested in. They judge that by which shopping sites I’ve been browsing. So if I’ve been browsing Amazon or Zazzle to make my affiliate links, I am sure to see links to those very products I’ve searched for as ads on the sites I visit. I’m hoping the people that visit my sites haven’t just visited the sites I’m linking to.

The only way I know of around this problem is to host your own sites. Have you found any other solution?

How Do I Promote Zazzle Products On My Blog?

Easy Product Displays Can Be a Big Help on Blogger and Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs

Graphic Designer at Work.
Graphic Designer at Work.

Once you are a Zazzle affiliate, you will want to start promoting your products. How you are able to do this depends upon who is hosting your blog and how much you want to spend to make your blog look beautiful. For WordPress blogs I host on my own domains and on Blogger blogs, I normally  use Easy Product Displays to display Amazon and Zazzle products. This amazing product lets you build a product display by searching from a display builder on their website for the  Amazon or Zazzle products you want to use. Then you choose a layout, click on it, click the tab to get the  code, copy the code into the text view of your blog, and you get an attractive layout.

You can see one example of Easy Product Displays on my review of The Life of Pi on a Blogger blog. Look at the end of the post. As you make the display you can use lots of products displayed in in rows of one, two, three, or four products. You can  choose rows of larger or smaller display boxes and you can have several rows. Just click the banner for more details. Pricing depends on which companies you want to be able to search while  building displays. I think the most expensive is $6.99 a month with a better deal for a year at a time.  It now includes searches for Amazon, Zazzle, and Share a Sale. If you have several blogs and you want them to look good, it’s worth the price. You get a free trial with the annual sign-up. The only downside is that it does not yet work here on BlogJob.  I have enough other  blogs and sites to make it worth the low cost.

Easy Product Displays for Amazon and Zazzle Affiliates

 

Displaying Your Zazzle Products on BlogJob

There are a couple of ways I display my Zazzle products here on BlogJob. The first is pretty straight forward and is also the first step to the second way.

  • Sign into Zazzle and find the product you want to promote.
  • Click the share button
  • Click the link button.
  • Select and copy the HTML code.
  • Paste it in your blog (text view) where you want the product to appear.
  • Change to visual view and see if you are happy with it.

 

The code will look something like this and will have a link to embed the image, the title, and the creator name under the image. On the next line is a link to  more products of the same type or something else Zazzle wants to promote. Here’s the code that I pasted in for this product, one of my most popular for autumn. I took the picture about a mile from home.

<div style=”text-align:center;line-height:150%”> <a href=”https://www.zazzle.com/card_heart_shaped_oak_grove_in_vineyard-137504064933628534?rf=238426092320559705″ rel=”nofollow” > <img src=”https://rlv.zcache.com/card_heart_shaped_oak_grove_in_vineyard-re55229d389ea4b55bf09f1d38954f048_xvuak_8byvr_325.jpg?bg=0xffffff” alt=”Card: Heart-Shaped Oak Grove in Vineyard” style=”border:0;” /> </a> <br /> <a href=”https://www.zazzle.com/card_heart_shaped_oak_grove_in_vineyard-137504064933628534?rf=238426092320559705″ rel=”nofollow” >Card: Heart-Shaped Oak Grove in Vineyard</a> by <a href=’https://www.zazzle.com/cawinecountry* rel=”nofollow”‘>cawinecountry</a> <br /> Browse other <a href=”https://www.zazzle.com/valentine+cards?rf=238426092320559705″ rel=”nofollow”>Valentine Cards</a> </div>

 

 

Doce Robles During Harvest Season
Just click the image for purchase information.

 

Here are some tricks. You don’t have to include every line of that text. This is October, but since I used love as one of my tags for the product, Zazzle has decided it’s a Valentine. I can just delete that last line about browsing other Valentine cards right from the visual view. There are still three links left to click with my referral code. (And speaking of referral codes,  sometimes Zazzle leaves your referral code out of that bottom link. If you don’t see it there, just delete that line. It won’t help you. ) I normally delete everything under the image except the title, and sometimes I even delete that. Here’s what I did to get this mousepad to display this way. So that people will know they can click to purchase, I added the caption with the edit button you  see in the image below.

 

 

  1. wordpress-edit-photo-view-croppedI copied the HTML code as I did above, putting it right before the words in bold in the last paragraph (in text view, of course, where it is not going to be bold.) Then I clicked on the image in visual view.
  2. That brought up what you see in this image. I then clicked the alignment icon to make the image align left.
  3. When I did that, the other links moved where I did not want them. Since I don’t need those links anyway, I deleted them here in visual view.

After you do that, you need to play with preview for a bit and correct the spacing until the product aligns with the text the way you want it to. It won’t always be exactly as you want it. I haven’t learned all the tricks. We won’t always get perfect. But we can get close. Hope this helps. Feel free to use the comments to ask questions.

 

 

 

The First Thing to Do At Zazzle

One Thing I Love About Zazzle T Shirts
Getting Started on Zazzle

As I begin this new blog on Zazzle selling, I will be taking into consideration what I learned by trial and error in my first few months. I would do some things differently were I to begin again. There are now three ways you can sign up for Zazzle — as designer who creates products, as a maker who manufactures and ships products under Zazzle’s auspices, and as an Affiliate, who promotes anyone’s products for commission. Commissions are usually  higher than the royalties designers get when  products sell. So when you first join, if you want to create products to promote and sell, join as a seller. Follow the step-by-step directions on the landing page to start your store.

At the same time, join as an affiliate so you can begin making money immediately by promoting the products of others on your blogs. Again, the instructions on the landing pages are pretty clear. Look at your published blogs to see if you can find Zazzle products that relate to your blogs that would make nice illustrations for them. I did this at the very end of this blog to add a touch of humor. It is hard to find any topic for which you cannot find a related Zazzle product. I will also be looking for products to illustrate this post.

Learning as You Sell the Products of Others

As you search for products to use on your blogs, you will see a lot of products others have created. Take note of which products grab your attention and why. Notice which products just don’t work and why. Then apply  what you learn when you make you own products. Although to really start selling you will need to have a lot of products — probably a minimum of 200 in your store — be sure to only put your best work on your products and make sure the designs you create are appropriate for the products you put them on. You want people to look at your store and say ‘Wow!”

Before you open your first store, have a plan. Do you want everything in just one store? I started with one store that was a hodgepodge: Barb’s California Card and Gift Gallery. The only thing that unifies it is that everything is related to California. I have 3,777 products in that store at the moment, and out of those, only a few products have ever sold. Below is my best-selling product.

Just so you know, I edited this out of the code: “by <a href=’https://www.zazzle.com/barbsbooks* rel=”nofollow”‘>barbsbooks</a> <br /> Shop for a <a href=”https://www.zazzle.com/cards?rf=238426092320559705″ rel=”nofollow”>card</a> with zazzle.com “  Why? First because Google doesn’t like too many links to the same product. I also want you to notice one way Zazzle sometimes cheats you if you don’t carefully check their HTML links before using them. Sometimes in the last link that leads to other products, they leave your referral code off. I put that line in bold here. I this case I could have used it with no harm done, but I didn’t want to. Usually they include the code in that last link, but sometimes they leave it off just when you least expect it. That would mean if a reader follows that link instead of one of your  top two links, you would not get credit for the sale. It took me a while to notice that. If someone clicks on your referral link and buys something else in addition to it or instead of it, you still get the commission. If they click on that last link to see other products or to design products of their own to buy, if there is no referral link,  you will get nothing.

Should You Have More than One Store?

From the beginning think about the possibility. If you have several niche interests, it may be better to separate them. Think it though so that you don’t put bits of them all in your first store the way I did. Once they are in one store, you cannot move them to another. Keep that in the back of your mind as you  create that first store.
I think this is enough for one post. If you have questions you’d like me to address in future posts, please leave me a comment. If you have questions you’d like me to address immediately, please start a topic on my group forum here on BlogJob.
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