Don't Give Up -- A cheerleading thread for new Zazzlers! 11 pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... Last
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 10:33:02 AM
So you've been pouring your heart and soul into your new Zazzle store, offering up your best ideas and creations to the cosmos in the hopes that someone will love your work enough to buy it, and the customers just aren't biting. Maybe you feel like you're wasting your time. Maybe you feel like your stuff is just no good or that Zazzle will never pay off. Whatever the case, I know it can be frustrating, depressing, and discouraging when you put all that time, energy, and emotional investment into a project and it just doesn't seem to be paying off. I know because I've been there, and chances are, most of the successful Zazzlers you will talk to on here have been there as well. None of us were born knowing how to do this, and we all had to learn in our own way. Some of us turned to our fellow Zazzlers for advice and support. Some of us mucked through it alone and figured things out the hard way. All of us had moments where we wanted to give up on Zazzle, and yes, even I got so frustrated by my lack of success that I just gave up and walked away from Zazzle, ignoring it for over a year before I gave it another shot.

It's a good thing I did, too, because after a few years of hard work and stolid determination (aka stubbornness) I was able to clock out of my day job for the last time and become a self-employed artist. It took a lot of hard work, trial-and-error, and some long days with my nose pressed to a computer screen, but it was worth it, because now I am my own boss. I work when I choose to work, and I work on what I want to work on. It's not an easy job, but it's one I love, and if you are passionate about creating and bringing your ideas to life, then you are on the right track by establishing yourself on Zazzle. You CAN make a living on Zazzle, if you are willing to put forth the time and effort necessary, and if all you want to do is put your ideas out into the world and maybe make a few bucks off of them, that's ok too! The point is that while it can seem daunting and frustrating at first to get your stuff seen by customers, you shouldn't give up! People can and DO make a success out of Zazzle, and I'm living proof.

Even knowing that, it can be hard to stay motivated, or to jump-start a dormant muse, so here's a list of some of the common downfalls of Zazzlers (New and Old) and suggestions on how to overcome them.

-You've been working your tail off and nothing is selling. You're beginning to wonder if you're just wasting your time-
While there's no magic trick to getting your stuff sold, there's a few things you can do to help yourself overcome this mental hurdle.

First, remember that there are, at this very moment, people making their living on Zazzle. These are people just like you, that started from scratch, plugging away at the tedious task of starting their first Zazzle store before eventually building it up enough that it was able to pay their bills. Just like you, they had moments of frustration, wondered if what they were doing was EVER going to pay off, but it did, and it can for you, too. If you continue to suffer the plight of the newbie blues, just pop into the forum and ask for a pep talk. We're here to help.

Some other things you could do to help boost your sales (And in turn, your mood):
*Promote your best designs on Facebook, Twitter, or a third-party website. The more people view your designs, the higher up they will appear in search results.
*Go through your products and try to build on or improve your tags and description. The most common mistake new zazzlers make is neglecting their tags and descriptions, and without good tags, how are customers going to find you?
*Try to add at least one new design a day. More is better, of course, but websites that don't change for a long time tend to slip downward in search results. The more active your shop is, the better your changes of being seen. That being said, don't just start chucking out sub-par products to try to boost your rank in search engines--quality is crucial to sales, and if customers see a shop full of junk, they're not going to stick around to find the gems.

-You've been diligently adding to your Zazzle store, but despite your best efforts, you just seem to be running out of ideas, or the ideas you have don't seem very good. This is sometimes called "dead muse", "absent muse", or "sleeping muse" syndrome by us artists and designers.-

When I feel stumped, it can be frustrating to say the least, but I have a few remedies for artist-block. I may flip through magazines or catalogs looking for inspiration, go to the store and see what's trendy right now, people-watch to see what people are interested in wearing or buying, or I may just take a break from Zazzle for a few days. There's nothing wrong with just walking away from Zazzle for a bit to clear your head and gather your thoughts as long as you come back, because after all, sometimes we get so focused on the problem that we can't see a solution.

When your muse has decided to take a nap, try some of these techniques to get it going again:
*Flip through a favorite catalog or magazine. Look for inspiration in unexpected places.
*Make a to-do list for yourself. Sometimes just writing your ideas out can help you come up with new ones or better ones. I have stacks of notebooks full of brainstorming sessions, and take one with me whenever I leave the house in case I get a burst of inspiration.
*People Watch. Sometimes I get the best ideas by seeing what grabs customers' attention at the local grocery store, or by watching what people are wearing on the street. Don't take ideas directly from preexisting products, but build on them and use them as inspiration for original products of your own.
*Create a new store. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just take an idea you've always wanted to run with and run with it. If you have a line of ideas that just don't fit in your store as it is, or if you think they would be better suited in a store of their own, why not go for it? Sometimes we come up with our best ideas when we focus on a specific theme or style, which can make niche shops a very helpful remedy to being stumped.

This thread is a work in progress, and I will add more suggestions, advice, and cheerleading as it occurs to me. If you are a new or frustrated Zazzler in need of support, or if you have suggestions you would like to share, please feel free to post in this thread.

Remember guys, don't give up--Zazzle is worth it!

Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 11:41:45 AM
Awesome post! It deserves to be stickied like others you have written!!
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 5:38:11 PM
Really nice post.

Very encouraging and inspiring.

Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 7:46:56 PM
Thank you very much for this encouraging post. It came at a very opportune time as far as I'm concerned! Been wondering if my stuff is not right for zazzle or if I'm barking up the wrong tree. So I really appreciate the cheerleading! Smile
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 12:36:37 AM
I think this should be sticked also Smile
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 1:55:43 AM
thanks - your Post is very good Roses Roses
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 3:12:25 AM
I think this should be stickied also Smile
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 5:30:44 AM
Great post to read first thing in the morning as I'm starting to work for the day ! Should definitely be stickied ! Thank you Grin
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2011 6:37:57 AM
after I've read the post, I could appreciate a notification
i have a sold xd
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 8:10:31 PM
Thanks for this I was ready to quit
Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:55:24 PM
Nice encouragement, however what you are saying does seem to take quite a long time before generating any sales. The problem with that is I just started a theme store about 2012. If this doesn't take hold soon it 2012 will have come and gone and most of the stuff in the store will be obsolete. It's probably better to focus on ever green themes.
Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011 8:32:11 PM
The reason it tends to take so long to become successful on Zazzle is because it takes time to build up a large enough product base and work your way up in search engines, as well as get the hang of Zazzle. There are overnight successes, but they're rare, and if you're dealing only in time-sensitive merchandise that focuses on fads or upcoming events, the "expiration date" on your products is going to be an inevitable problem regardless of how successful you become. That's not to say you shouldn't go ahead and post your 2012 designs--just be realistic in your expectations. If your goal is long-term success on Zazzle or a steady income, you will have to either diversify and include non-time sensitive items in your product base or spend a great deal of time and energy creating new products that keep up with current trends. Either way, it's a lot of work, but worth it if you love what you do.

Posted: Saturday, July 02, 2011 12:28:07 AM
You have relayed so many positive thoughts to many like myself, a few months into Zazzle. One thing I picked up from you was "I am stubborn " meaning maybe,that I won't give in. I can relate to that having owned other businesses. Thankyou for urging us on....Jillian
Posted: Saturday, July 02, 2011 7:39:21 AM
Very nice post. Thanks for being so generous and sharing your experience and expertise.
Posted: Sunday, July 03, 2011 8:43:20 AM
This is an inspirational post! I hope this can help me and everyone else on this site! I'm having a lot of fun and I just started!
Posted: Sunday, July 03, 2011 6:47:19 PM
I am a brand new newbie Zazzler so any positive information like yours helps. Thanks so much for going to the trouble of putting this post up for us. Ange
Posted: Monday, July 04, 2011 11:30:16 AM
Excellent thread. I've been on for a few months now with only one sale. I was begining to think it may all come to nothing. Thanks to you I'll keep going.
Posted: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 6:59:55 AM
Hazel wrote:
Excellent thread. I've been on for a few months now with only one sale. I was begining to think it may all come to nothing. Thanks to you I'll keep going.
Hang in there, Hazel! Roses
Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:11:53 AM
i joined in Feb and try to make new products whenever I can. Also review my categories and see what else I can put that design on that I haven't yet. In the beginning 'they said' it would take probably about 3 or more months to see my first sale and it was right around the 3 month mark that I sold a greeting card, then a magnet a bit later. Haven't sold anything else since, but I did order some things for myself

I have 4 blogs*,facebook, twitter and a website and I squidoo. i have been working hard to learn and implement SEO but it has been a long row to hoe. I would really like to be able to quit the day job, but so far nothing is really going gung ho.

although several of these things are pretty recent and haven't built up any traffic yet. What else can I do? Is is now just really a waiting game? I'd love some feed back on my store and if there is anything else I can do to make my stuff stand out and get picked up by search engines.

Thanks, mary

*my blogs
My Art
The Edible Garden
Cottage Economy
My Journey from CHAOS to Organized
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:18:10 AM
Great post! Smile
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 4:50:32 AM
Just had to pop in again this morning to reread this topic. I'm very new and have worked with web design enough to know it doesn't happen overnight, but still was feeling a bit down about it this morning.

Thanks for posting this! I'm sure I'll be back to read it a few more times!

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:05:28 PM
Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011 11:24:39 PM
Excellent post.
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 5:00:31 AM
Thank you so much for this encouraging post. I'm very new to zazzle. Congratulations on making a living on zazzle. Knowing you've done it gives me inspiration.
Posted: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 6:20:17 AM
Thanks just the prep talk I needed Grin
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 12:33:54 AM
Thank you for this. I think I thought that as soon as I signed up I would start selling, but am now realising that it takes time and you have to work on it in an ongoing way.
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 6:11:51 AM
I add my thanks. My first TBA came just when I was ready to ditch the whole thing despite having reached over 1000 products by then. What really helped was that in the same period of time I sold my first prints.

What you have said is an encouragement and timely reminder for those moments when it seems like it's all work and no reward. I would love to one day be able to say I'm making my living on here but I'm not holding my breath.

Taking one of those breaks you're talking about for a few days as I was feeling both stale and overwhelmed.

Again many thanks, it was special to read what you have written and congratulations on being able to make this your full time work.
Roses Roses Roses Roses Roses Roses Roses
Posted: Monday, August 01, 2011 3:24:00 AM
Thanks for such a motivating post. You clearly have good businees sense and focus, and the altruism to share with others. You deserve your sucess.
Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 1:22:52 PM
thank you for this post ! it really helps to be more positive Smile
Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 1:24:28 PM
thank you again , Lydia !Love
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