Showing posts with label Smart Business Practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smart Business Practice. Show all posts

Get A Free Shop At Payhip!

Many undesirable changes have taken place at POD sites like Redbubble, Society6 and TeePublic. Sellers have been leaving these venues, looking for others avenues through which to sell their designs. One thing that I also do is sell printables/digitals of my POD designs at my own, free shop. I use Payhip

Payhip is not a marketplace but it is a GREAT site to host your own shop. I am not an affiliate trying to make money. I'm just sharing because I know all of the great benefits that Payhip offers. You can sell digitals, courses, subscriptions, memberships, coaching, and they recently introduced physical product selling

Payhip is owned by 2 brothers in the UK and the company is profitable. It won't be folding like so many other sites that have disappeared over the years. At Payhip, you are on your own with marketing but they offer powerful marketing tools. There is no community except for a FB group that is not very active. I do miss being able to connect with other sellers in an official way. Other than that, I love my shop!

Payhip is a great opportunity for anyone who is willing to do their own marketing. They have great marketing tools and a robust shop builder. They offer shop themes but you have total control over the design. You don't have to build a shop if that challenges you. You can sell through individual links to your blog, website, etc. 

They don't yet have integration with POD sites so that you can sell there through Printify, Printful, etc., like sellers do at Etsy. I don't know if they are planning to add that feature. Here are the available Payhip integrations

Payhip payment processors are Paypal and Stripe so sellers get paid instantly. The free subscription plan, with a 5% transaction fee, offers the same features, including unlimited listings, as the 2 paid plans. Isn't that wonderful! We don't see that at other selling venues.

Good luck to everyone who are making big moves because of unfavorable changes at these POD sites. You can see Printaphoria, my Payhip shop, here.


society6 changes, is society6 worth it, redbubble account tiers, teepublic account categories, is print on demand worth it, is print on demand dead, alternatives to print on demand 


Society6 Introduces Mandatory Subscriptions

Well, I got my notice today to choose a subscription plan. I chose free and have reduced my 41 designs to 10. I had recently reopened my shop and was building it up again. I am going to focus on 10 Christmas designs. 
After the holidays, I'll decide how to proceed with my account. Changing out the 10 for seasonal/holidays throughout the year will not work because marketing traction will be lost each time. The only other option I can think of is to choose a gallery of 10 of my evergreen, coordinated designs and keep those up. I would focus on marketing them in various formats and advertising graphics that I haven't taken time to use before. 
I have a fruit drawing for which I've been thinking about making a surface design collection. I could then also focus on designing for the S6 individual products, which I haven't been taking the time to do. This is the time to stop procrastinating and do that if I want to keep my acct after the New Year. Because of the name of my shop and the address, I may close it and open a new shop with a name that would better represent my new surface design collection.
So much for recently coming back to S6 but I'm not mad at them, RedBubble, TeePublic, or any of the other venues that have made these types of changes. Everyone is struggling and we all have to do what we have to do to make it. What they have had to do doesn't have to stop me. It can inspire and invigorate me, if I allow it to. 
I am glad that Society6 has included the free, 10-design subscription. If they had not, I probably wouldn't be thinking about developing my fruit design collection. Creating a surface design collection like this is where I need to increase my skills. Now, I've been motivated.



Society6 Versus Redbubble: Features Comparison

You are creating designs and you want to sell them on POD products. You are considering Society6 or Redbubble. Which should you go with? 

You could open a shop at each, but if you want to choose one or the other, hopefully my comparison will help you to decide.


  • Many mockups are bland and uninteresting. 
  • One mockup for most products.
  • No pet products (bowls, pet bandanas, mats) other than pet art.
  • Somewhat laborious new design upload, 3 initial image dimensions required to enable most  products.
  • Products editing is time-consuming, separate editing window opens, must open another separate window within editing window to see real-time edits.
  • No Set Background Color product editing feature.
  • No choose pattern feature.
  • Lower profit margins on most products than Redbubble.
  • Giftwrap and wallpaper products available.
  • Drapes and sheers available.
  • No hardcover journals or postcards products.
  • No kiss-cut stickers. 
  • No all-over print aprons.
  • Nice 2nd greeting card mockup. 
  • Boring shower curtain mockup.
  • Standard apparel products.
  • Have to sign back in whenever I visit site.
  • No lifestyle templates promotional feature.
  • No download original image/design feature.
  • No activity feed.
  • To like designs you have to click into the design page.
  • No copy current design to create new listing feature.
  • Takes extended time for listing page (Manage Posts) to load all products.
  • Has warning popups regarding possible copyright offenses.


  • Pretty mockups, rooms and better perspectives.
  • Several mockups for most products.
  • Pet products (bowls, pet bandanas, mats), a big marketing niche.
  • Easy and fast new design upload, only 1 initial image required to enable most products.
  • Products editing is swift and easy, editing window opens up immediately within all products window, real-time edits can be seen (while editing) on product in all products window without closing editing window. 
  • Set background color editing feature, useful for designs that do not cover entire product surface, can set background color to blend in with design.
  • Choose pattern tiling feature, regular or offset.
  • Higher profit margins on most products than Society6.
  • No giftwrap or wallpaper products.
  • No drapes or sheers
  • Hardcover journals and postcards products available.
  • Kiss-cut stickers available.
  • All-over print aprons available.
  • Boring greeting card mockup. 
  • Pretty shower curtain mockups.
  • More variety of apparel products. 
  • Never have to sign back in.
  • Lifestyle templates smart layers promotional feature to mockup products and share to social media.
  • Download original image/design feature.
  • Has personal activity feed making it convenient to see who follows and likes. 
  • You can like designs from the thumbnails.
  • Copy current design (which includes enabled products and settings) to create new listing. Great for variations.
  • Listing page (Manage Designs) loads fairly quickly.
  • Shop is closed if RB detects a copyright offense.

I like the variety of products at Society6, especially the drapes, sheers and outdoor products. I like Redbubble's pet products and how quickly I can list a new design. I recently returned to S6 because I missed their products so much. 

I also returned because one of  my two RB shops was immediately closed down because of a copyright offense of which I was unaware. It was not regarding licensed products but was because of a name I had given one of my crafted items that I had scanned and uploaded as a digital. Someone had copyrighted that name. You can search copyrights at this site United States Patent And Trademark Office

Losing that shop taught me a lesson. I should be checking all of my special product names before offering the corresponding images for sale. I don't check my generic-named images. The image that caused me to lose my RB shop was named Treetown. It is a whimsical, watercolor painting that I had done years ago. After RB emailed that I had lost my shop, I went to the Trademark Office site and searched. I found several copyrights for the word Treetown, Tree Town, TreeTown. Some where by the same person. Others were not but I guess there was a difference in the registration that allowed the word to be registered by various people.

When I uploaded my watercolor painting image and used my old name for it, Treetown, RB detected it and my shop was immediately shut down. RB does not give the designer much recourse. One thing that they tell you in the email is that if you should write to protest, they don't even have to read or accept your email. I guess they just don't have time because of all of the copyright offenses, those that are intentional and unintentional. It is the designer's responsibility to ensure that no one has copyrighted the name of their design. 

I think I had over 100 designs when my shop was shut down. I was so proud of all of the work that I had done. I was in shock after I lost my shop. I did not try to contact RB to apologize and try to have it reopened. I decided to reopen my S6 shop (I'd closed it in Jan 2023 not long after I'd opened it) and I'm in the process of uploading most of the designs that had been at the RB shop. I need to rename my Treetown painting and check the name at the Trademark office before I list it.

I currently have a shop at both. By the time you read this post, who knows? You can take a peek if you want to see how I've laid mine out.

Draw Nigh To Hope Redbubble

Draw Nigh To Hope Society6



How Is Blogging Useful For Promoting My Business?

I've had my two blogs at Google's Blogger since 2006. They used to call the blogs Blogspots. I bought my own domains for each a few years ago. I pay $12 per year each. I was following 126 blogs over the years. I found recently that most had stopped blogging around 2015, with a handful blogging up to 2017. 

I unfollowed those, ending up with 6 blogs and 2 of those are mine. So, it does seem that blogging is virtually dead in the handmades and creative community. There are, however, still creatives who have tossed around the idea of blogging. They are wondering today if they should start blogging. I will share my thoughts on this valuable marketing tool.

Blogging is work, especially if you care about the format of the posts and adding images. If you're blogging for joy, you'll keep at it. Being able to see statistics of who's visiting your blog may inspire you to continue. It can also discourage you if you only see a few people visiting every few months. The same with blogging for interaction from readers or to make money through monetizing. 

I don't care for most of the affiliate advertising that is available. I tried Amazon Affiliate Marketing for a short time but I did not have enough traffic so it didn't work out. I tried affiliate marketing through a couple of book sites like Abe Books, Alibris and Thrift Books. 

I just didn't take to it and I'm not a trendy, popular online influencer. I can't remember exactly which book affiliate I used, because it was so long ago. It's not easy generating comments and an income through blogging. I think that's why many who have those goals give up on blogging but a blog can be used in other ways. 

A blog can be useful for a number of reasons other than affiliate marketing. If you discover ways to use it to further your interests or brand, you'll keep blogging. I appreciate blogging because it's a place where you can say whatever you want, how you want and as often as you want. You can market yourself as often as you want and in whatever way you want. 

Unlike marketing on social media and other marketing platforms, no one will tell you what you can't do when you do it from your blog. You can use the SEO that you want to use. When blogging to market your products and services, you can share as many images as you want. Your product descriptions can be as long or as detailed as you want them to be. 

Most of all, you can add as many links in your blogs posts as you see fit. There are no annoying restrictions or constrictions. As long as you follow the TOS of the blogging platform that you are using, you are free to market yourself through the blog however you see fit. 

Though my creative friends and many others have fallen by the wayside in their blogging, I am so glad that I have not. I can't think of a single creative whose blog I enjoyed and was inspired by who is still blogging. Writing your own blog is a fun way to promote yourself and your brands! It can be very effective if you stick with it and learn how to use it to your benefit. At this writing, you can still do it for free at some sites and even still buy low-cost domains.

Substack (Substack helps anyone set up a blog and email newsletter. No tech knowledge is required. It’s free to get started on Substack.)

Blogger (recently sold their Blogger platform to Squarespace and I'm still here waiting to see what changes Squarespace makes over time)

Yola (2 websites with 2 pages each for free plan, have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)

Wix (unfortunately, only a 14-day free trial, have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)

Weebly (have to design your own website through their templates and drag and drop)


Happy Creative Monday: Trading Changes For Freedom

I've been making changes in my creative life right and left. Once you get started, the burdens just keep rolling off and away. We never know how much something was a burden until it's gone. We're always convincing ourselves that life must go on as is.

It's easier to stay burdened than to make changes towards a freedom that we can't or won't see that we need. It doesn't take much convincing for us to believe that we need everything that we have in our lives.

Monday is a good day to evaluate what burdens we may have that need to be shaken off, what new freedoms we need to embrace. HAPPY MONDAY!



Is Selling On Redbubble Worth It?

It's worth it, for now, for these reasons:

  • I can see my designs on products that I will most likely never produce.
  • It's free to list.
  • I'm not required to upload a certain of designs in any time frame.
  • I can be as absent or as active uploading designs as I want to be.
  • I always retain the copyright for all of my design. 
  • There is no contract and I can leave the site whenever I want.
These features are generally for any POD venue. I just happen to be at RedBubble.

I also do other things with my designs. I create printables and digitals for my own shop. Diversification is key for me. If I was designing and only selling at RB, I don't think that I'd be successful enough because of the volume of sellers. I also abhor designing for trends and popularity. I want to design what I want. What makes me happy. I am trying harder, though, to occasionally incorporate some trending ideas and motifs into my work. 

If you regularly study trending ideas, motifs and designs and cleverly incorporate them into your work, it will help increase your sales. 

Sources For Graphic Design Ideas

Check out Google Trends for ideas. 

The 12 Most Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2023 

Graphic Design Trends 2023: From Anti-Branding to Vivid Minimalism - Envato 10 Design Trends That Will Shift the Vibes in 2023 

 2023 Graphic Design Trends Report | Dribbble


The Benefits Of Blogging For Business And Marketing

It is shocking how many crafters, makers, artists and other creatives have stopped blogging. I reviewed my blog reading list to see who was still posting. I ended up purging from 125 blogs to 6, and 2 of those 6 are mine. Most crafters hadn't posted since 2015. A handful had posted in 2017 and after that, none of the 125 bloggers that I was following had posted. Something happened around 2015 in the crafting/makers/creative community where people stopped blogging. I asked myself is blogging dead?

Here are some possible reasons blogging has all but stopped in our creative community. Do any of these reasons fit you?

  1. There seems to have been a general loss of enthusiasm, disillusionment and disappointment about online selling. 
  2. Seeing many listing websites come and go. The demise of ArtFire, Dawanda and others was depressing. While some creatives migrated to other venues, some gave up listing.
  3. The postal system started to increase fees yearly, negatively impacting handmades income. Sellers had to raise prices often when they did not want to.
  4. Life has become more busy. Can't find time to blog.
  5. Sales have fallen off and can't find a way to increase them.
One crafter said to me recently that back during the time when creatives were blogging the public couldn't get enough of handmades. I think there is still a love for handmades but other product types have flooded the market. Etsy's homepage is filled with digitals and printables, which I made the jump to because I love graphic design. POD sites are doing well and 3-D printed products are taking hold. Despite this, many handmades sellers are still doing well but they are not blogging. They are overlooking the greatest value of creating blog posts, advertising and promotion. 

Paying for online advertising is not affordable for most independent creatives. We are left with sharing through the few social media sites that are active. Social media, however, does not provide the value that it used to. People rarely interact anymore and there may be likes given but they lead to few sales. Any economically productive ways to market online have dwindled as well. So, why is blogging important for business? It gives us an easy way to draw potential customers and increase sales.

Consider These Benefits Of Blogging Then Ask Yourself Is Blogging Worth It

  1. Can be used to market and promote without being flagged as a spammer. 
  2. No advertising fees. 
  3. Format, content and length of posts are controlled by the blogger. 
  4. The frequency of posting is controlled by the blogger.
  5. No limit on images in a post. 
  6. No limit on links in a post. 
  7. The type of SEO used, words or long-tail phrases, is controlled by the blogger.
  8. Blog posts can be found by search engines. 

If you are blogging, you should continue and tweak your style and process. If you are a creator and you are not blogging but asking yourself should I blog, you should start. Selling competition has exploded over the past few years, since 2010-2015. Savvy blogging is a great way to successfully compete. The challenge is to:

  1. Learn simple ways to start using keywords and phrases in blog posts, product listings, etc. The easy techniques in this book will guide you. Learning and using keyword search doesn't have to be expensive, tedious or frightening. In Simple Keyword Search That Even You Will Feel Like Doing, you'll learn to conduct fast, free and easy keyword phrase searches and add the results to your marketing content.
  2. Choose a schedule to consistently prepare posts. You really can post as your schedule allows. Of course, the more frequently you post the better. You can choose to post once a week or twice a month but the key is to post every time you have set aside a time frame to do it. The goal is to be reliable to readers and potential customers. As you become adept at creating posts and are able to free up more time, you can increase your frequency. If you can never make more time, keep posting on your original time schedule.
Though I have been consistent with blogging over the years, I've known for some time that I'm too sporadic with posting. I've never given up that I will develop a good blogging schedule. Blogging as a marketing tool is invaluable when used with skill and commitment.

Here are some articles on the value of blogging that I found to be helpful:


How Can I Name My Shop?

Whimsical Names For Your Shop

Are you asking yourself, How do I choose a shop name? Well, you have me to help you.

I will skillfully name your shop or brand using research and simple marketing techniques.

Your names are powerful assets with which customers should be able to associate. They should be interesting and easy to remember and pronounce. Your marketing demographic should know what to expect from you when they see your shop or brand names.

My whimsical, charming names are meaningful, appealing and exclusive. They project the message that shop owners want to convey to potential customers. They also can help to keep your shop uppermost in the minds of previous customers, encouraging them to return for a purchase. So, the question, What should I name my online shop?, is an important one.

What are good names for a store? Well, I have created many that have thrilled my customers. I have provided unique names for clients at Fiverr and Picky Domains and my reviews are all 5-star. I was also a member of Naming Force. I am serious about naming and I enjoy it. I have been naming my own products, services, brands, blogs and other for over 15 years.

So, stop obsessing and thinking how can I name my shop! Please don't choose a mediocre name out of tiredness and frustration either! You have me to help you make a shop name choice that will bring you the brand awareness and loyalty that you seek.


To Learn

  • What Packages Are Available,
  • What Is Included In The Order,
  • The Ordering Process
  • and more,

visit my listing here: 

Whimsical Names For Your Shop


Why Are Etsy Sellers On Strike Yet Again?

 Etsy sellers launch a week-long strike over increased fees was written by Jaclyn Diaz and reported today at Many sellers have launched a week-long protest by closing their shops and other actions. This is in response to the recent in a long line of fee increases announced by CEO Josh Silverman. Seems like 59,000+ shop owners have signed the petition. A quick web search will show results for strikes during each of the past few years.

I don't feel that Etsy morale will improve for disenchanted handmades sellers. Somewhere along the way, during the past 12-15 years, Etsy management felt that to stay afloat they had to expand away from pure handmade support. They added a complicated fee system and have raised prices so often and by such a high percentage that it has crushed not only the bottom lines but the spirits of many handmade sellers. I closed my shops at Etsy a couple of years ago but not because of changes at the site. Sometimes I miss being there. It's at times like this that I'm glad I left though, which makes me feel sad. It was exciting to be a part of Etsy, back then.

Dwanda, Artfire and others folded and it seems like Etsy is having to take drastic steps every year to remain viable. These decisions have invited in questionable resellers and consistently driven away Etsy creatives. I was at Zibbet when years ago there was a mass exodus of Etsy sellers to that selling venue in response to insufferable changes. Most of them returned to Etsy when Zibbet did not deliver what they were expecting. Sellers need to seriously ask themselves if any selling website will fulfill their expectations. If not, what is the best course of action for their brands?

While the popularity of Etsy seems bleak for many, others are realizing what I had begun to feel some time ago. The best business practice for the future of creating and making is to learn how to market and sell from your own web spaces. There are still a few venues left where the income of the creative is not gouged. One of them is Payhip. Another is Meylah. Find Meylah store setup info here.

Learning to self-promote and sell from our own blogs and online shops will provide peace of mind to start, which will go a long way in generating income. It is difficult to focus on creating good products and effectively marketing them when there is misery about the selling platform and constant fear of what will come next. It can be bad for the creative psyche to be in an atmosphere that has become increasingly riddled with controversy.

Will this strike matter to Etsy management and ownership? Will it bring about the desired changes? According to many sellers' comments at the forum, no it will not. Many of them say it's the low-sales-volume sellers who have organized and are signing on to the strike. My heart goes out to the makers and designers who feel a need to boycott Etsy. If the majority are low-volume sellers, then my suggestion to learn to market and sell from their own shops is even more crucial. If being at Etsy is not paying off, shouldn't those sellers be expending their efforts and funds elsewhere? That would build invaluable marketing experience and generate more lasting assets for the sellers.     


Be Flexible Be Successful

It's so hard for some to keep on keeping on with their plans, projects and dreams. When we love something and truly believe in what we are doing, we can't stop, anyway. Success also comes through the ability to adjust and adapt. While we're pressing on and never giving up, we need to be flexible in order to succeed.

Behind every successful man there's a lot of unsuccessful years. Bob Brown

You have to accept yourself in order to be successful. S. Holland 


Book Funnel Definition Sales Funnel Stages

A book or sales funnel is a marketing method designed to lead visitors and potential customers to a purchasing decision. It is composed of several processes that may include a landing page. While a landing/sales page and a book funnel can work together, they are also different. 

Some book funnel landing pages can be annoying with their in-your-face graphics, popups and extensive length. They lose the potential customer long before the visitor reaches the end. Landing pages, however, are only as good as the writer of the book funnel.

Potential customers often need to be led on what to think and how to think it. Sometimes they seek but do not follow through when they find what they desire. Sales funnels can lead them through the steps to obtain what they are seeking, which are the published products that you and I are offering. Learn how to skillfully create effective book/sales funnels for your written products here:

Book Funnel Optimization: Essential Tips to Convert Leads into Paying Readers



How To Do Keyword Research Book At Amazon


Now at Amazon in Kindle and paperback format. 

Simple Keyword Search That Even You Will Feel Like Doing

Find the PDF version at Printaphoria:

Simple Keyword Search PDF Book

Learning and using keyword search doesn't have to be expensive, tedious or frightening. In Simple Keyword Search That Even You Will Feel Like Doing, you'll learn to conduct fast, free and easy keyword phrase searches. If you:

  • have never done keyword research,
  • are not sure what it is,
  • have no idea where to start
  • but know you need to,

then this simple, keyword phrase search guidebook is for you. 

Developing good SEO (search engine optimization) habits through keyword search and use is necessary to increase traffic to your listings and content. It's especially vital when selling from your own shop, website or low-traffic platforms. Even at high-traffic venues, competition is so massive now that it's next to impossible to benefit from some of that traffic.
Why beat your head against the traffic-blocking wall when you can quickly learn how to carry out simple SEO keyword searches and use them to pull in more customers? Once you learn, you can carry your skills wherever you sell on the internet. You'll no longer be dependent upon anyone else's website to make sales.
SEO through top-ranking key phrases application is a major player in successful e-commerce. It's great that you are learning just how useful and essential this skill is!