Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Learning Curve

Last spring, I first heard about zazzle and decided to try it out. I opened my online store, artinphotography (it's free!) to sell my photography on products that zazzle offers, and yes, I admit I love being called a 'shopkeeper'.  I think of Dickenesque London every time I hear the term.

Creating products using my photo images is addictive - I love it. But like anything else you do seriously and as a business, you have to put in the time and the learning curve (for me, anyway) is steep.

Here's an example of one of the products you can create with your own images:

I came to this knowing nothing about the nitty gritty end of things - promotion and how to sell your own products. Selling your own product(s) is a fact of life now whether you are an artist or a writer. It is necessary to learn how to use the internet for marketing - and some of us have gone kicking and screaming into this brave new world.

My long time friend and author, Alison DeLuca, was coincidentally at the same time working on the release and promotion of her book, The Night Watchman Express (which by the way you should definitely read).  I am not sure how she learned all she did about online marketing, search engine optimization and tags as quickly as she did, but she tried to pass some of that knowledge on to me.

The long and short of it is that I am still learning about tags and search engine optimization and online promotion. All else, like my dailies and adding to my photo galleries has been put on hold while I re-tag and re-categorize and revamp my existing products on artinphotography (well, okay, not all else - I still go to work every day and have been working 10-14 hour days and then trying to do these things).

Another addictive product creation:

I have come to learn that on zazzle tags, the first 10 tags are the only ones that count and that I needed to have them in order of importance/relevance/priority (hence my re-tagging). I also learned that you can use the tag "jewelry", but not "necklace". You can use the tag "photograph" but not "photography", nor can you use the tag "gift".  Who knew? Well, maybe some did, but not me, the noob.

I have no doubt there are reasons and logical order to what you can and can't tag on zazzle and it all has to do with search engine optimization.  But for now, I'm still plugging away slowly and trying to figure all this out.

And I'm still  having a marvelous time creating products on zazzle to sell my art.  As a matter of fact, my dirty little secret is that I have broken my "never listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving rule" and played festive Christmas music while I had a blast creating a few holiday items.

I encourage and invite you to browse zazzle and either create some products of your own or enjoy those of zazzle shopkeepers!

Happy creating!


  1. Love the dog necklace, so cute!

    As a fellow zazzler I thought I would let you know that you Can use more than 10 tags but the Zazzle Search function only "sees" the first 10... Outside sites (google etc) can "see" more than 10 tags... I hope that makes sense...

  2. Well, I've learned something new. I didn't know about not using "photography" and "gift" in the tags! Thanks. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing this informative article. And lovely products, btw!

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone! And yep, 10 tags count for zazzle, and up to 40, I think, for 'outside' sites. And Deb, I checked my product edit page (tag box) to see what I had written and compared it to the storefront product tags to see what they had cut to figure that out. Seems some tags are cut from tag box if they are somehow searchable elsewhere (title, product type, etc) so not point wasting our tag space with those since they will just get stripped out.