new store for our website, "Manitoba Haunted".
Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 11:35:06 PM
Manitoba_Haunted wrote:
If anyone is interested in ghost hunting/paranormal, please go check out my store! Manitoba_Haunted Love


I checked it out.

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8:45:42 PM
What do you think?
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:28:31 PM
Manitoba_Haunted wrote:
What do you think?


Not to be harsh, but I didn't find it interesting and I don't mind a tale or two about the paranormal.

Here are my thoughts.

The images -

I saw a few photos that might work better if the quality was better, and since I've never heard of Manitoba Haunting until a couple of days ago, and I'm still not familiar enough to buy anything with "MH" or "Manitoba Haunting" on it. I know we all have to start someplace, like those very popular brands that are known across the world, but if I were to buy something with a name on it, I'd like to know a lot more about the company, person, etc.

I know that with a topic like this, you want the photos to be genuine, editing the bright lighting and such may not work, but then again you could add some other types of images like the little ghost to make the selection bigger.

Square images on products aren't as pleasing to the eye as other shapes.
For example, your image with the title and the drawn ghost would look smoother if you didn't have the hard edges with them. If it were only the ghost and title with no background, just on the shirt alone, it would look better to me.
If you smoothed out the edges on the image on the glass, I think that would look better, too. When I first started, I added photos with hard edges, too I still have a few in the store, but they don't sell. Some are now hidden, and they'll stay that way. I've sold a shirt (2-3 sales) and a mug ( 1-2 sales) with the same photo, and it's a rectangle shape, and this was over a period of ten years. Sheesh! LOL!
They can sell, but not as well as others. I learned that from experience and from others on the forum.
Your button with the image of the moon has your logo, and the logo looks larger than the moon, which I figure is supposed to be the main subject.

Your sticker that says "I'd rather be ghost hunting" might work with just the phrase and the ghost. I know you want to get your business name out there, but sometimes being a little more subtle can work, too. I put my store's name/logo on certain products (not on invitations), but I make the text very small and try to blend it into the background color so it barely shows. I've recently deleted some old products that had the information on it, but it was too large and took away from the design. Many people don't add any information because it does take away. You could add your logo or name in very small text right underneath the image.

Though it's not my logo, just the name, look at the way it blends in a bit with the background on this mouse pad.


Tags, Titles and Descriptions -

You don't need to add the product type in the title. Zazzle does it for us.
I suggest that you consider using capital letters in your titles like "I'd Rather Be Ghost Hunting". It's more professional. Since that example is actually one of your product titles, keep going with actual titles and not the product type.


Let's look at this fanny pack.
The description is - MH purple fannypack. Fanny Pack
Cute Manitoba Haunted fanny pack.


You're supposed to describe the design and theme. You should describe it as if you're talking to someone who can't see it. What am I looking at? Is it a forest? Are there just a lot of sticks piled up, but they look like trees? What's the background? What does the text say? Where is this place located?
Speaking of the text, you may also want to check into templates.

The tags are - purple, cute, fanny,packs, accessories, bags, purses, unique, womens, mens.

These words aren't exactly helpful when it comes to searching for the specific image. If you wanted an image like this, would you type "purple" into a search box? I'm going off of what I think I see, and would use tags like - dark forest, spooky outdoor images, night scenes, haunted woods, trees and sky, manitoba woods, haunted places in manitoba, etc.
Also, use phrases and not just single words. You make phrases by connecting words "like this" or like+this.

There are lots of other helpful tips on the forum, but hopefully this will get you started off a bit more.



Good luck.
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 9:08:53 AM
Excellent advice as always from dreamNwish. I'd like to say a little more to the thread's originator about this:

dreamNwish_Photo_Art wrote:
I know you want to get your business name out there, but sometimes being a little more subtle can work, too.

This is very good advice for appealing to a larger audience, even within the niche of the paranormal/ghost hunting. Once you draw them in, they may notice the subtle branding and seek out more information about it, which they can get from your store profile.

Here are some other ideas:

Without making any assumptions about whether or not you have an established clientele or your prior efforts to reach people, it may be good to review some questions that apply whether or not your brand is the focus. Newbies and veterans alike can sometimes let their enthusiasm get the better of them, or be anxious to just get something out there.

1) Who is the audience for your offerings?

2) What do they want, and why do they want it? To be sure, there are brands that people buy based on established reputation and/or as a status symbol. Likewise fan-based brands. But exploring the 'why' question should go further than "They want things related to the paranormal/ghost hunting" or "Because they're fans of Manitoba Haunted." If the answer to this 'what & why' question is a rephrasing of the answer to the 'who' above, or only a slight expansion of it, go deeper. Get specific about why this image/text/typography and product pairing should be appealing to that audience. That brings us to this:

3) What are you making, responsive to your 'who' and 'what/why' answers? Whether the focus is on your brand or on other elements that help you promote it, the emphasis should still be on well-done images, appealing text with appropriate typography, and maybe templates so that people can personalize items.

3a) Choice of product & art/word pairings: Is this image/text/typography appropriate for this product? That should lead you to:

3b) How do people use this product? What are their expectations, and does that mean there are elements necessary to making it useful to them that affect how it is designed by you?

3c) What are the limitations of this product that affect what designs are successful? Do its size or materials impose any restrictions on what you should try to put on it?

4) Don't be in a rush. Take a good look at what you've designed before posting it. Take the time to proofread your titles, descriptions, and tags.

5) How and where are they going to find your offerings? Good titles, good descriptions, and good tags are a must. Learn all you can about what to do, and what not to do in these areas. Beyond that, it's a question of whether your focus will be Zazzle's marketplace, external promotion that you do yourself, or relying on affiliates/fans to promote your work and your brand for you. Most likely, some combination of these, but what will be the main venue?

Don't get discouraged if you find yourself struggling with any of this, and don't immediately scrap all your work if you don't have all the answers to these questions. They're merely advice from one designer to another to get you thinking, not rigid rules.

Sometimes it's better to make something without publishing it (make sure it's in your 'saved designs'), let it rest, and come back to it later with fresh eyes.

We don't always know what will work without a bit of trial and error. But you can apply your own intuition and knowledge to your work, based on what you've seen in the real world. That isn't a recommendation to be imitative, but merely to be observant/inspired.

I hope this helps!
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 9:57:47 PM
Felosarix wrote:
Excellent advice as always from dreamNwish. I'd like to say a little more to the thread's originator about this:

dreamNwish_Photo_Art wrote:
I know you want to get your business name out there, but sometimes being a little more subtle can work, too.

This is very good advice for appealing to a larger audience, even within the niche of the paranormal/ghost hunting. Once you draw them in, they may notice the subtle branding and seek out more information about it, which they can get from your store profile.


I hope this helps!



Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated.
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019 6:49:24 AM
thx.
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019 4:42:30 PM
appreciate the help. working on it. Smile
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2019 6:35:16 PM
You're welcome.
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2019 7:30:13 PM
I fixed my tags. I think.
Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2019 1:27:54 AM
Manitoba_Haunted wrote:
I fixed my tags. I think.


I don't see much of a difference for those under the fanny pack.

I gave you examples of how to use descriptions and phrases within tags, but you still have basic words and single words.

I looked at one of your notebooks and I don't see any really helpful tags, plus the description for both items still don't describe the theme, image, colors, etc.

According to the listing on your store's homepage, you have over forty items and I could see that the tags for many are still in need of work.
You could try working on a dozen product tags, titles and descriptions to at least try to get the feel of it, then see what it looks like and maybe ask if they're any better.



Good luck.
Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2019 7:48:12 AM
trying! Grin
Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2019 5:47:42 AM
Is it certain that it's always better to use phrases, not single words, as tags? Is there an official Zazzle source saying that?

For example, I look at Zazzle bestsellers. This minimalist business card is number 4 today - its tags are almost all (8/10) single words: elegant, professional, simple, minimal, luxury, boutique, classic, poshmark, clothing store, online store. The number 2 bestseller, a Class of 2019 graduation invitation, has 4 single words and 6 multiple word tags: varsity, high school, college, graduate, graduation party, grad, blue and gold, class of 2019, 2019 graduate. Number 3, a graduation name card, has 6 single and 4 multiple word tags: class of, graduate, graduation, graduation name card, student, graduate name card, college, graduation hat, elegant, 2019

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2019 7:11:35 AM
RetroVintageStore wrote:
Is it certain that it's always better to use phrases, not single words, as tags? Is there an official Zazzle source saying that?

From the Designer & Associate Handbook:

Quote:
Use Long-Tail Words
Use longer keywords like “black and white vintage wedding invitations” or “squares and circles wedding invitations” or “wedding invitations in 24 hours”. Even though these terms are less searched for on any given day, they tend to have a higher conversion rate. Just remember do not use keywords that do not match your product or service.


Are phrases always better as keywords? It depends entirely on whether a customer uses search terms that match one's phrase tag.

RetroVintageStore wrote:
For example, I look at Zazzle bestsellers. This minimalist business card is number 4 today - its tags are almost all (8/10) single words: elegant, professional, simple, minimal, luxury, boutique, classic, poshmark, clothing store, online store. The number 2 bestseller, a Class of 2019 graduation invitation, has 4 single words and 6 multiple word tags: varsity, high school, college, graduate, graduation party, grad, blue and gold, class of 2019, 2019 graduate. Number 3, a graduation name card, has 6 single and 4 multiple word tags: class of, graduate, graduation, graduation name card, student, graduate name card, college, graduation hat, elegant, 2019

Things you find among best sellers are not necessarily a guide to creating your own success.

To my knowledge, Zazzle has never told us how they determine something to be a 'best seller'. Multiples sales, almost certainly - but over how long a period of time? If it stops selling, how long before it drops out of the best seller list?

Would selling multiple times influence a product's ranking in search? I'd be astounded if it didn't. Keywords help customers find our products, but it seems unlikely they would be the sole determiners of placement within the search results. 'Freshness' probably still matters, too (we were once told by Zazzle that new products get a temporary boost in the search results.) The ranking of the store where a product resides could be another factor.

Introduce those same 'best sellers' with identical keywords as a new offering today, and they might not enjoy the same success, because the rules of what was good for SEO when they first started selling have likely changed. Zazzle probably tinkers with their search algorithms over time in an effort to make sure customers are seeing things they'll want to buy, too.

Consider as well that some of those best sellers may not owe their success to Zazzle's marketplace search at all. Some may be offerings of expert art merchandisers and promoters, driving traffic from well-established external web sites.

ETA: Bottom line: Tags are one piece of a bigger puzzle.
Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2019 9:50:45 AM
I followed you. Can I get a follow? lol
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