Giving up on a niche 2 pages: [1] 2
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 6:59:28 AM
Curious whether anyone here has ever given up designing for one of their niches?

I've reached the sad decision that I should quit designing LGBTQ-themed products. The niche is being spammed by someone who posts the same design over and over, with just a small change in the text elements (like the name of a city or state.) Since those products are popular, dominating search results and curation while mine are typically excluded from them, it's become obvious that I just shouldn't bother anymore. All I'm accomplishing is creating a bunch of 'dead on arrival' products that probably hurt my ranking and drag down the rest of my work.

Anyone ever faced something similar?

Going forward, I'm going to limit my work in this niche to items for an annual gallery show that won't be published to Z's marketplace.

The rest I'm going to let die, and focus my efforts elsewhere.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 7:47:13 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Curious whether anyone here has ever given up designing for one of their niches?

I've reached the sad decision that I should quit designing LGBTQ-themed products.


I guess it would depend on how long I'd been creating and promoting the niche.

If you've been working on the niche for a year or so and the sales are not what you like, could it just be your designs or meta data holding you back?

Has it been less than a year with total focus?

How many LGBTQ products do you have?

The huge competition you are up against is an organization that probably brings in customers without Z help. You don't have to use the tag "hugs" or "mom" to become successful with the LGBTQ search term at Z. If your designs are attractive and you are using the best titles and tags, you'll be found in the MP.

CardHunter used to dominate the paper event categories. Now you see many others who have risen up and are taking their piece of the pie.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to read but I think you could still work that niche and make money.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 9:28:58 AM
I have been overwhelmed by others' products but when that happens I move sideways, find a place where my niche (microbiology) is not dense with others' products.

For instance, microbiology themed products tend to center on buttons, t shirts and mugs. So I went sideways into wrapping paper, an underserved category in microbiology if ever there was one. So there is my microbiology wrapping paper in the top two rows of that single page of microbiology wrapping paper. The market for microbiology wrapping paper is far smaller than the market for microbiology buttons and t shirts, but it exists and is underserved. So I have sold both those rolls of wrapping paper several times.


The LGBTQ niche is pretty well served in general with almost 40K products total. And yeah I see what you mean about the ubiquity of just a couple designers. But almost half those products are in the clothing department and the balance is split mostly in Accessories (buttons and tote bags) and Home (mugs and fridge magnets).

If I drill down to the wedding department using lgbtq as a search, there are only 504 products. If I instead drill down to weddings via Events/Ocassions it's only 423 products. Slightly different search terms ("marriage equality") gives me only 1,372 products in Weddings and only 802 if I drill down via Events/Ocassions. I click on the weddings gifts category and your award is on the top row! But I when I click on Supplies or Invitations, nothing. And those have only a handful of products.

Talk about an underserved category!!!! Would you consider taking advantage of Zazzle's intense weddings promotion efforts to expand your wedding products?



Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 9:37:54 AM
Well, I guess we've identified some of the issues.

Length of time - 5 years.

'Promotion' = I didn't sign up here to become a promoter. I hate it, and therefore I am not good at it, and nothing will change either of those two things.

Design not good? Possibly. I'm basically a hermit, so it's not like I have my fingers on the pulse of the LGBTQ communities. On the other hand, I did sell something at the gallery on opening night last year for their Pride month exhibition. Only one other artist sold something.

'Total focus' = Nope. If I had done that, it would be a bigger disaster than I currently have on my hands. Do people not have multiple niches?

Number of products = 136 - more than 10% of my total products, and more than any other genre/theme currently in my shop. So dropping production for the niche isn't monumental, but it's not completely insignificant, either; perhaps more so on a personal level.

Quote:
If your designs are attractive and you are using the best titles and tags, you'll be found in the MP.

We'll have to 'agree to disagree' on that one. I've seen what qualifies for top placement in searches and curation.

If, on the other hand, that statement is true, then I have to assume that I have an anti-attractive design aesthetic, and that I couldn't title or tag my way out of a paper bag. Maybe that's really the case, and I'm just delusional.

Regardless, I'm not really interested in salvaging the situation. That ship has sailed. Just really wondering how common/uncommon niche abandonment is.

Thanks though for identifying some of the issues that result in a failure to reach niche buyers. It may help someone else.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 9:46:17 AM
What about Susannah's mention of wedding products? You didn't address that, though if you're like I am, you may simply not be able to develop any enthusiasm for it. It's still a good idea, and maybe some of your already existing designs might work well. It might flourish, and even if your other designs don't, you'll have that single one selling, which sure is better than nothing.

No one, by the way, could get me to design wedding stuff. I tried, and in spite of being sure I should do it, I was flat-out miserable in the effort.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 10:19:07 AM
-.-

I'm not a fan of deleting and I strongly believe in proper tagging and keyword rich titles and description that still address the human and not just the database. I pretty much ignore the z-rank and do a minimum of promoting, since I, too, am a designer and artist at heart and not a promoter and sadly I don't have yet a promoter on my side who does it for me on a professional scale.


Do you have fun designing in that niche?
Can you specialize sideways and get top page placement this way and guide the LGBTQ community via collection to the rest of your product range which is lost in the long tail otherwise?

If your heart isn't it anymore and you follow the delete philosophy, delete by all means.

If you are like me and your personal fun is just as important as making money then no don't delete. Enjoy your range of products and show them off where it is suitable. Only because you're not a promoter doesn't mean you can't promote every once in a while, where it suits and fits for you.


Colorwash wrote:

No one, by the way, could get me to design wedding stuff. I tried, and in spite of being sure I should do it, I was flat-out miserable in the effort.


Laughing
I feel you.

-.-
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 10:20:18 AM
Susannah Keegan wrote:
Would you consider taking advantage of Zazzle's intense weddings promotion efforts to expand your wedding products?

It's a good idea, just not for me. I have zero interest in wedding celebrations or creating anything for them.

The art for the item you mentioned was created on the day of the Supreme Court decision, to celebrate marriage equality, as a one-off nearly four years ago. I know it probably sounds strange, but I didn't do it with wedding celebrations in mind; it was solely about the legal recognition of marriage.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 10:26:20 AM
Colorwash wrote:
What about Susannah's mention of wedding products? You didn't address that, though if you're like I am, you may simply not be able to develop any enthusiasm for it. It's still a good idea, and maybe some of your already existing designs might work well. It might flourish, and even if your other designs don't, you'll have that single one selling, which sure is better than nothing.

No one, by the way, could get me to design wedding stuff. I tried, and in spite of being sure I should do it, I was flat-out miserable in the effort.

Just a case that I was typing that response before seeing Susannah's.

I'm with you - nothing could get me to design wedding stuff.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 10:32:08 AM
vivendulies wrote:
-.-

I'm not a fan of deleting and I strongly believe in proper tagging and keyword rich titles and description that still address the human and not just the database. I pretty much ignore the z-rank and do a minimum of promoting, since I, too, am a designer and artist at heart and not a promoter and sadly I don't have yet a promoter on my side who does it for me on a professional scale.


Do you have fun designing in that niche?
Can you specialize sideways and get top page placement this way and guide the LGBTQ community via collection to the rest of your product range which is lost in the long tail otherwise?

If your heart isn't it anymore and you follow the delete philosophy, delete by all means.

If you are like me and your personal fun is just as important as making money then no don't delete. Enjoy your range of products and show them off where it is suitable. Only because you're not a promoter doesn't mean you can't promote every once in a while, where it suits and fits for you.

I like making the stuff, but since it's not selling, I think it's just time to focus on more successful efforts.

I'm not planning to delete things, unless they fail to sell after a year and have no views. It's really more about ceasing production for the niche. I have some things sitting in my 'saved designs' that I'll eventually get around to deleting, instead of putting them into production. I've been holding off on finishing them, largely because there doesn't seem to be a point in bothering.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 11:34:32 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:

I like making the stuff, but since it's not selling, I think it's just time to focus on more successful efforts.


Absolutely, do that.What ever is working, do that. Seriously that is what makes the most sense.

Though i34 products is not very many for the niche, if you you've already made up your mind I'll answer your original question.

Yes, I have almost stopped posting my original artwork here on Zazzle. It wasn't bringing in the money I wanted to make so I joined the other wildebeests and create the things that Zazzle customers buy.

Is it as rewarding? Not really.

Do I like the monthly paychecks. Yes.

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 11:43:28 AM
LM Gildersleeve wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:

I like making the stuff, but since it's not selling, I think it's just time to focus on more successful efforts.


Absolutely, do that.What ever is working, do that. Seriously that is what makes the most sense.

Though i34 products is not very many for the niche, if you you've already made up your mind I'll answer your original question.

Yes, I have almost stopped posting my original artwork here on Zazzle. It wasn't bringing in the money I wanted to make so I joined the other wildebeests and create the things that Zazzle customers buy.

Is it as rewarding? Not really.

Do I like the monthly paychecks. Yes.



Why go either or?
Yes, it makes sense to cater customers but it doesn't mean to give up on the thinks you love altogether.

I have stuff in my range that bores me to death but it sells, so I gave it a little time and produced it. I suffered a little through wedding collections and every time halfway through I think about throwing the towel which is why I fill the tank with stuff I love and create for the fun of it and recharge doing so.

I don't see the either or especially not since it is doubly satisfying when the things sell that I love to make. This can't happen if I don't give it a chance by supplying it in my store.

-.-
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 11:59:41 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Susannah Keegan wrote:
Would you consider taking advantage of Zazzle's intense weddings promotion efforts to expand your wedding products?

It's a good idea, just not for me. I have zero interest in wedding celebrations or creating anything for them.

Because my preference is bright rainbow colored designs I have shamelessly tagged a number of products with LGBT. My long-range plan is to expand into that wedding market because it happens to match well with my style anyway and I know there's a hole there. It may be exploiting the LGBT movement but it's not like I am selling-out and trying to create popular/trendy designs that aren't me so why not try to grab a piece of that market that already exists? For me Zazzle is fun, I make what makes me happy, BUT, if I can target a specific market with those designs, why not?

So maybe, try thinking of think of your situation the other way. Instead of making designs specifically for a particular niche market only to end up feeling down, maybe the answer is to instead stick with designs that make you happy and come naturally, whatever they are - and then look for what market already exists for that style that you can target.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 1:18:09 PM
Col's Creations wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Susannah Keegan wrote:
Would you consider taking advantage of Zazzle's intense weddings promotion efforts to expand your wedding products?

It's a good idea, just not for me. I have zero interest in wedding celebrations or creating anything for them.

Because my preference is bright rainbow colored designs I have shamelessly tagged a number of products with LGBT. My long-range plan is to expand into that wedding market because it happens to match well with my style anyway and I know there's a hole there. It may be exploiting the LGBT movement but it's not like I am selling-out and trying to create popular/trendy designs that aren't me so why not try to grab a piece of that market that already exists? For me Zazzle is fun, I make what makes me happy, BUT, if I can target a specific market with those designs, why not?

So maybe, try thinking of think of your situation the other way. Instead of making designs specifically for a particular niche market only to end up feeling down, maybe the answer is to instead stick with designs that make you happy and come naturally, whatever they are - and then look for what market already exists for that style that you can target.

The trouble being, there isn't apparently much of a market for the art I really enjoy making.

LGBTQ-themed art isn't the only niche/genre I'm leaving. It just comprises the largest percentage of my current offerings. The only 'performers' I have are simple symbolic graphics, because people easily recognize what they represent and they have some relevance to their lives. My actual art, not so much. I enjoy making it, but it doesn't sell, so not worth the amount of time it takes by comparison. Narrowing my focus will allow me to spend a lot less time producing art that no one wants, and when I occasionally do something creative just for the sake of my sanity, they'll be "one and done". One product per artwork, unless it sells. Then I'll think about making more. And when it doesn't, there will be less for me to cleanup later.
Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 1:24:58 PM
It's not that I'm averse to trying new things. I experiment with new things when I can. Most of them don't pan out, so I move on. I had a phase of working with gradients. They don't sell, either.

On to something else, then.
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 7:04:10 AM
Well Mr HightonRidley just put out a call for LGBTQ related collections should you not have hit delete on yours just yet: https://forum.zazzle.com/affiliates/wanted_lgbt_stores_for_niftys_featired_collections
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 8:05:58 AM
vivendulies wrote:
LM Gildersleeve wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:

I like making the stuff, but since it's not selling, I think it's just time to focus on more successful efforts.


Absolutely, do that.What ever is working, do that. Seriously that is what makes the most sense.

Though i34 products is not very many for the niche, if you you've already made up your mind I'll answer your original question.

Yes, I have almost stopped posting my original artwork here on Zazzle. It wasn't bringing in the money I wanted to make so I joined the other wildebeests and create the things that Zazzle customers buy.

Is it as rewarding? Not really.

Do I like the monthly paychecks. Yes.



Why go either or?
Yes, it makes sense to cater customers but it doesn't mean to give up on the thinks you love altogether.

I have stuff in my range that bores me to death but it sells, so I gave it a little time and produced it. I suffered a little through wedding collections and every time halfway through I think about throwing the towel which is why I fill the tank with stuff I love and create for the fun of it and recharge doing so.

I don't see the either or especially not since it is doubly satisfying when the things sell that I love to make. This can't happen if I don't give it a chance by supplying it in my store.

-.-

You never know, eventually you might find you enjoy doing wedding designs! Smile I've been having a blast doing collections for the WeddingZ Challenge. Except for the Metadata. I hate having to try to come up with unique titles and descriptions for each product. Especially because they don't want you mentioning the products themselves in the descriptions. (which I haven't been able to get away from completely. How do you make address labels to go with the wedding invites, and not specify that they are address labels that go with the matching invites?) But I've found that I really enjoy the designing part, and I have way too many ideas running through my head than I'll ever get finished before the contest ends.
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 8:21:14 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
It's not that I'm averse to trying new things. I experiment with new things when I can. Most of them don't pan out, so I move on. I had a phase of working with gradients. They don't sell, either.

On to something else, then.

I'm not a big seller myself, so maybe my suggestions aren't very good. But I think maybe you are being too hard on yourself and your work. Without self-promotion (I know, I hate it too, and rarely ever do it) we're bound to get less views and sales, no matter how good the metadata, and how unsaturated the market. That's why I do what I enjoy, and don't stress too much over what sells and what doesn't. It's good to have a lot of variety in your store anyway, since it's nearly impossible to predict what people will buy.
Have you tried doing more customizable templates? Abstract art lends itself well to things people can personalize. It doesn't take too long to add a name to an item. Also, abstract art is big for home decor, so maybe you could expand on that.
As far as a niche, unless you truly have the market cornered, or do outside promotion in very specific places, that's another thing that you're probably stressing too much over. I think your "niche" is your art itself. You just have to figure out the appropriate target market, and what items those particular customers would be most likely to buy. I think you've done pretty well with choosing good product matches for your designs. But perhaps not quite so well at targeting them. I think personalization would help with that. I see a lot of things that could be Father's Day gifts, for example, with the addition of a name or something, so that adding Father's Day to the metadata wouldn't be spam.
Please don't take these suggestions the wrong way. I know you have a lot more experience than I do.
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 8:55:32 AM
My Verse wrote:
Well Mr HightonRidley just put out a call for LGBTQ related collections should you not have hit delete on yours just yet: https://forum.zazzle.com/affiliates/wanted_lgbt_stores_for_niftys_featired_collections

Thanks for the tip. I won't be participating, though. Out of respect for Mr. Ridley and what he's trying to accomplish, I prefer not to comment on my reasons why.
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 9:16:32 AM
Connie wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
It's not that I'm averse to trying new things. I experiment with new things when I can. Most of them don't pan out, so I move on. I had a phase of working with gradients. They don't sell, either.

On to something else, then.

I'm not a big seller myself, so maybe my suggestions aren't very good. But I think maybe you are being too hard on yourself and your work. Without self-promotion (I know, I hate it too, and rarely ever do it) we're bound to get less views and sales, no matter how good the metadata, and how unsaturated the market. That's why I do what I enjoy, and don't stress too much over what sells and what doesn't. It's good to have a lot of variety in your store anyway, since it's nearly impossible to predict what people will buy.
Have you tried doing more customizable templates? Abstract art lends itself well to things people can personalize. It doesn't take too long to add a name to an item. Also, abstract art is big for home decor, so maybe you could expand on that.
As far as a niche, unless you truly have the market cornered, or do outside promotion in very specific places, that's another thing that you're probably stressing too much over. I think your "niche" is your art itself. You just have to figure out the appropriate target market, and what items those particular customers would be most likely to buy. I think you've done pretty well with choosing good product matches for your designs. But perhaps not quite so well at targeting them. I think personalization would help with that. I see a lot of things that could be Father's Day gifts, for example, with the addition of a name or something, so that adding Father's Day to the metadata wouldn't be spam.
Please don't take these suggestions the wrong way. I know you have a lot more experience than I do.

I don't know - can't really wrap my brain around someone personalizing an abstract work, unless it's somehow related to the product itself (like a luggage tag), such that the work is more background than the focus. I'll have to think about it.

I also don't really do holidays for the most part. I realize I'm limiting myself with all my "don'ts", but it isn't something that's likely to change. There are a lot of personal reasons behind them.

ETA: I do appreciate the suggestions, though. Smile
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 10:00:40 AM
I wouldn't drop the LGBT theme, you never know, but if you allow me to add my 2c after having checked your rainbow designs:

1. I would stick to the classic and commonly used 6-color flag, red-orange-yellow-green-turquoise-indigo. Indigo always on the bottom, otherwise it's the Peace-flag. Forget the pink and the violet.

2. No butterflies, unicorns and other girlish stuff, that's something for girls and baby showers, not for LGBT causes. The waste majority of the gay community reacts pretty allergic to stereotypes, so avoid stuff that associates to an effeminate look and behavior. Keep it simple and neutral, play with the colors, mix with an US flag, add the typical slogans and quotes, maybe try with swans and lions instead of the butterflies and unicorns, to demonstrate love and strength, grunge style is also not a bad idea to try. In other words: address guys and well emancipated power gals. No girls. Grin
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 1:41:50 PM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
I wouldn't drop the LGBT theme, you never know, but if you allow me to add my 2c after having checked your rainbow designs:

1. I would stick to the classic and commonly used 6-color flag, red-orange-yellow-green-turquoise-indigo. Indigo always on the bottom, otherwise it's the Peace-flag. Forget the pink and the violet.

2. No butterflies, unicorns and other girlish stuff, that's something for girls and baby showers, not for LGBT causes. The waste majority of the gay community reacts pretty allergic to stereotypes, so avoid stuff that associates to an effeminate look and behavior. Keep it simple and neutral, play with the colors, mix with an US flag, add the typical slogans and quotes, maybe try with swans and lions instead of the butterflies and unicorns, to demonstrate love and strength, grunge style is also not a bad idea to try. In other words: address guys and well emancipated power gals. No girls. Grin

In Re #1: I beg to differ regarding the colors of the flag:

The commonly used six-stripe flag is violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red in the USA. No turquoise or indigo.

The original eight-stripe flag was violet, indigo, turquoise, green, yellow, orange, red, and hot pink. There briefly was a seven-stripe version in-between that dropped the hot pink because it was hard to source. They eventually replaced the turquoise and indigo with a single blue stripe, creating the modern 6-stripe flag. The reason? Supposedly because having an odd-number of stripes caused one of them to be hidden when hung vertically from lamp posts.

There's also a new eight-striped flag that adds brown and black to explicitly include people of color. That one also uses a stripe that is more magenta-pink than violet.

The Peace flag you mention is described as "purple, blue, azure, green, yellow, orange, and red" - 7 colors. None of my rainbow flag items use seven stripes or the Peace flag color combination.

In Re #2: I make butterflies and unicorns because I like them, but then I've always had a problem with things being divided between 'girly' vs. 'manly', because my brain sits in the place 'between'.

"Typical slogans and quotes" - now that really highlights why I actually should quit the niche. I have no idea what the vast majority of the LGBTQ communities want or talk about these days, as I'm "in the living room with my feet propped up", and have been for a quarter century. My days of socializing and activism pretty much ended when I moved to southeast Michigan in 1994.

No surprise then that my aesthetic is so badly outdated. I find 'neutral' to be boring, and 'grunge' is after my time.

Seems I've made the right decision to cease production for the niche. Whatever 'LGBTQ' is today, I don't think I'm really part of it anymore.
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:08:21 PM
I have a couple of LGBTQ designs, which I think are just a little bit unique enough to get a bit of notice sometimes. I certainly don't sell something every day from those lines, but when I do it tends to be something expensive - temporary tattoos, cuff links, a beach towel, someone ordered several fleece blankets - which I think may have been my largest single sale, so I've no plans to take anything down.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:55:35 AM
Invincible Penguin wrote:
I have a couple of LGBTQ designs, which I think are just a little bit unique enough to get a bit of notice sometimes. I certainly don't sell something every day from those lines, but when I do it tends to be something expensive - temporary tattoos, cuff links, a beach towel, someone ordered several fleece blankets - which I think may have been my largest single sale, so I've no plans to take anything down.

No reason that you should, if they're selling. I like your rainbow heart design.

I'm just ceasing production for the niche because most of my designs for it have been 'dead on arrival'. I'm doing the same for other niches/genres where I'm not having success. The only reason I've brought up the LGBTQ niche is because of its size in my offerings, compared to others (and my personal attachment to it.)
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:12:25 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
In Re #1: I beg to differ regarding the colors of the flag:

The commonly used six-stripe flag is violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red in the USA. No turquoise or indigo.

The original eight-stripe flag was violet, indigo, turquoise, green, yellow, orange, red, and hot pink. There briefly was a seven-stripe version in-between that dropped the hot pink because it was hard to source. They eventually replaced the turquoise and indigo with a single blue stripe, creating the modern 6-stripe flag. The reason? Supposedly because having an odd-number of stripes caused one of them to be hidden when hung vertically from lamp posts.

There's also a new eight-striped flag that adds brown and black to explicitly include people of color. That one also uses a stripe that is more magenta-pink than violet.

The Peace flag you mention is described as "purple, blue, azure, green, yellow, orange, and red" - 7 colors. None of my rainbow flag items use seven stripes or the Peace flag color combination.


Shame on me, my bad. I meant of course blue and purple, that's the same we commonly use(d) in Europe (after the switch from the 8-colored one you mentioned correctly). Wrote first blue and purple, had then the glorious idea to check it first to not tell something wrong, and voilà, the mess happened. You're also right about the peace flag, in that case I thought it was just inverted, remembering having read something about (not a peace activist here). Guess, I should avoid hanging out in forums in the middle of the night...

In regard to the added brown and black, I was a bit surprised, so had to check. And found myself spending a few hrs on YT watching related YT video debates, LOL. There is even one with triangle shapes on the left. Ugly as hell. People are exaggerating now, the rainbow flag was always the LGBT(-Q-andwhateverelsetheyaddnowadays) symbol, which did NOT make ANY racial differentiation. Where's the sense to add racial colors to the flag? And why only black and brown in that case, where's the white and (at least) the pale yellow for Caucasians and Asians? We're going a bit far with political (over-)correctness those days, it seems. It's getting ridiculous.

Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
In Re #2: I make butterflies and unicorns because I like them, but then I've always had a problem with things being divided between 'girly' vs. 'manly', because my brain sits in the place 'between'.

"Typical slogans and quotes" - now that really highlights why I actually should quit the niche. I have no idea what the vast majority of the LGBTQ communities want or talk about these days, as I'm "in the living room with my feet propped up", and have been for a quarter century. My days of socializing and activism pretty much ended when I moved to southeast Michigan in 1994.

No surprise then that my aesthetic is so badly outdated. I find 'neutral' to be boring, and 'grunge' is after my time.

Seems I've made the right decision to cease production for the niche. Whatever 'LGBTQ' is today, I don't think I'm really part of it anymore.

Just to avoid misunderstandings: mine was not a criticism, just my 2c on what you should perhaps change. I would never dare to tell you what you have to do. The no-girly-stuff point is pretty serious, tho. Most gays are tired of getting associated with the stereotypical fancy, screaming, "girlish" minority (not that I've anything against them, in no case) and see themselves as normal guys which happen to like guys.

For the rest of your thoughts, I hear you. Things have become over-complicated nowadays, with more facets than the RGB color spectrum. Forget rainbows. I was bi (maybe with some shades of actual pan) before I got tired of compatibility issues with opposite counterparts (you know... cars, games, screaming, nonstop-complaining and such stuff) and definitely switched to guys (and with guys, I mean guys), which matched my character and interests better. What made me technically "fluid", using one of the new, trendy, fancy terms. Not that it matters anyway, now, because in reality I'm not interested in headaches and quarrels anymore, so I guess I'll have to call myself asexual right now, LOL. Same with activism. Got older and wiser - and calmer (still opening my mouth, tho, when needed). So... welcome on board ;-)

That said, do what you like to do most. Cheers!

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:48:40 AM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
In Re #1: I beg to differ regarding the colors of the flag:

The commonly used six-stripe flag is violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red in the USA. No turquoise or indigo.

The original eight-stripe flag was violet, indigo, turquoise, green, yellow, orange, red, and hot pink. There briefly was a seven-stripe version in-between that dropped the hot pink because it was hard to source. They eventually replaced the turquoise and indigo with a single blue stripe, creating the modern 6-stripe flag. The reason? Supposedly because having an odd-number of stripes caused one of them to be hidden when hung vertically from lamp posts.

There's also a new eight-striped flag that adds brown and black to explicitly include people of color. That one also uses a stripe that is more magenta-pink than violet.

The Peace flag you mention is described as "purple, blue, azure, green, yellow, orange, and red" - 7 colors. None of my rainbow flag items use seven stripes or the Peace flag color combination.


Shame on me, my bad. I meant of course blue and purple, that's the same we commonly use(d) in Europe (after the switch from the 8-colored one you mentioned correctly). Wrote first blue and purple, had then the glorious idea to check it first to not tell something wrong, and voilà, the mess happened. You're also right about the peace flag, in that case I thought it was just inverted, remembering having read something about (not a peace activist here). Guess, I should avoid hanging out in forums in the middle of the night...

In regard to the added brown and black, I was a bit surprised, so had to check. And found myself spending a few hrs on YT watching related YT video debates, LOL. There is even one with triangle shapes on the left. Ugly as hell. People are exaggerating now, the rainbow flag was always the LGBT(-Q-andwhateverelsetheyaddnowadays) symbol, which did NOT make ANY racial differentiation. Where's the sense to add racial colors to the flag? And why only black and brown in that case, where's the white and (at least) the pale yellow for Caucasians and Asians? We're going a bit far with political (over-)correctness those days, it seems. It's getting ridiculous.

The actual history of Gilbert Baker's rainbow flag matters here. For starters, he wasn't fond of the pink triangle as a reclaimed symbol for gay men, and thought that gay people deserved their own flag.

He conceived the stripes as each having their own meaning. Per his estate, they were: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.

The brown and black stripes were added by Philadelphia after complaints by people that they were being excluded from the city's Pride celebrations, and from certain bars.

The bottom line is that the flag is changeable; Baker apparently didn't hold the view that its colors should be set in stone. He never copyrighted its design, reportedly because he thought it should belong to everyone.

ETA: And there isn't any requirement that the flag be displayed in a particular direction. It was sometimes hung with the stripes in a vertical position in the early days.

Did he think it only represented gay people? Or did he see 'gay' as having a broader meaning? I don't profess to know. Maybe his own thoughts about it changed over time.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 11:08:51 AM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
People are exaggerating now, the rainbow flag was always the LGBT(-Q-andwhateverelsetheyaddnowadays)

This requires separate address.

Baker's flag predates the 'LGBT' designation by a full decade, at least.

The origins of the designation are rooted in a political coalition of gay men and lesbians, who joined together to fight laws criminalizing same-sex behavior, and discrimination. The 'G & L' soon became 'GLB', and later 'LGBT'.

I'm personally not fond of it becoming a catchall, used carelessly by the press. No one should be called an 'LGBT' - it's utter nonsense. And because the letters actually represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, it leaves out many others, leading to the addition of more letters - to the point that there's now no real consensus possible on what they're supposed to be.

I prefer 'GRSM' (Gender, Romantic, and Sexual Minorities). Others prefer 'MOGAI' (Marginalized Orientations, Genders, and Intersex). While it seems 'MOGAI' has more traction than 'GRSM', there's still no consensus.

But I digress. Because 'LGBT' came much later, it's not necessarily accurate to say that Baker's flag "was always the LGBT".

I suppose I'm being pedantic, but it's because I think the historical facts matter.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 11:13:25 AM
Now, back on topic. I haven't deleted any of my products for the niche, but I have made some adjustments to de-emphasize it, and to focus more on the areas where I've had better success. We'll see what happens.

I honestly don't expect much to change; it's more about getting this poor performing niche's products out of the way, so that others can shine.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:28:17 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Invincible Penguin wrote:
I have a couple of LGBTQ designs, which I think are just a little bit unique enough to get a bit of notice sometimes. I certainly don't sell something every day from those lines, but when I do it tends to be something expensive - temporary tattoos, cuff links, a beach towel, someone ordered several fleece blankets - which I think may have been my largest single sale, so I've no plans to take anything down.

No reason that you should, if they're selling. I like your rainbow heart design.

I'm just ceasing production for the niche because most of my designs for it have been 'dead on arrival'. I'm doing the same for other niches/genres where I'm not having success. The only reason I've brought up the LGBTQ niche is because of its size in my offerings, compared to others (and my personal attachment to it.)


I guess I'm not sure it's ever worth deleting anything... I get the feeling most people don't browse stores much, so even if you have things in there that you don't feel like are getting attention, they still aren't getting in the way really. I feel like people end up seeing things through the market place or promotors - and I understand you - I'm also pretty ineffectual/indifferent at doing it... I post to Pinterest, but I'm pretty weak...I don't have a lot of followers and have no patience for cultivating them, so I don't really get tons of views or re-pins. I rely a lot on third parties and get most of my sales through other people's referrals.

If you'd be interested, I could start an LGBTQ show me thread - that would at least get other Zazzlers looking at your designs and maybe promoting them. I think it's a worthwhile niche, at least from my experience. It might not be the most active one, but the sales it does generate can be good.
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:09:37 PM
Invincible Penguin wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Invincible Penguin wrote:
I have a couple of LGBTQ designs, which I think are just a little bit unique enough to get a bit of notice sometimes. I certainly don't sell something every day from those lines, but when I do it tends to be something expensive - temporary tattoos, cuff links, a beach towel, someone ordered several fleece blankets - which I think may have been my largest single sale, so I've no plans to take anything down.

No reason that you should, if they're selling. I like your rainbow heart design.

I'm just ceasing production for the niche because most of my designs for it have been 'dead on arrival'. I'm doing the same for other niches/genres where I'm not having success. The only reason I've brought up the LGBTQ niche is because of its size in my offerings, compared to others (and my personal attachment to it.)


I guess I'm not sure it's ever worth deleting anything... I get the feeling most people don't browse stores much, so even if you have things in there that you don't feel like are getting attention, they still aren't getting in the way really. I feel like people end up seeing things through the market place or promotors - and I understand you - I'm also pretty ineffectual/indifferent at doing it... I post to Pinterest, but I'm pretty weak...I don't have a lot of followers and have no patience for cultivating them, so I don't really get tons of views or re-pins. I rely a lot on third parties and get most of my sales through other people's referrals.

If you'd be interested, I could start an LGBTQ show me thread - that would at least get other Zazzlers looking at your designs and maybe promoting them. I think it's a worthwhile niche, at least from my experience. It might not be the most active one, but the sales it does generate can be good.

I already started a thread in the Show Me forum last year, and it's starting to see more posts recently:

https://forum.zazzle.com/showcase/pride_season_starts_soon_show_us_your_supportive

...but it hasn't seemingly done much for my products posted there.

I actually notice a difference in what products are getting viewed, seemingly linked to what I'm emphasizing on my store's home page. Which is indeed surprising.
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:39:58 PM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
The no-girly-stuff point is pretty serious, tho. Most gays are tired of getting associated with the stereotypical fancy, screaming, "girlish" minority (not that I've anything against them, in no case) and see themselves as normal guys which happen to like guys.

I'm not a 'normal guy'. (Oh, I guess that's obvious, right?)

If "most gays" are looking to trade one stereotype for another - that of the 'normal guy', so be it. I've never fit in anywhere, and this actually points to a larger problem I have. If I make what someone tells me ought to be more appealing, it will still end up being 'off' in some way, because my head isn't in the same space.
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