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CafePress Chat Log - BellaOnline Live Chat

Scott Prock : Lisa ... the chat system is working great on my Mac, I have a half dozen apps open and listening to iTunes, and it's doing great.

LisaShea : OK I've got all the letters mailing out about the chat, so we can get started while they mail :)

LisaShea : There are links to business card samples in the editor site area under graphics

rhani : great!

LisaShea : That's good to hear, Scott :)

LisaShea : Okey dokey so our chat today is all about CafePress. If anybody hasn't heard of CafePress yet, at, it is a "publishing house" in essence. You load up your image - a photo or drawing or something - and they let you buy shirts, mugs, books etc. with that image

LisaShea : So you can do it for yourself, i.e. putting your kids photos on your Christmas cards, or you can sell them to others, like selling people shirts with photos of landscapes that you have taken

LisaShea : Has anybody here *not* heard of CafePress?

GayLesbianJase : ok back

GayLesbianJase : Me, I haven't heard if ut LOL

GayLesbianJase : it

LisaShea : OK I take it that everyone at least went to when I sent my messages out to see what it was :)

VirusSpam_Editor : I've bought a few things from CafePress, and signed up for a publisher account.. but haven't done anything with it.

LisaShea : The prices are really quite reasonable, and the quality is very good. I've gotten several CafePress things myself - both of things I've made as well as things other people have made. I have tshirts, mugs and a tote bag too

GayLesbianJase : i've been with them since 2004... I like them

LisaShea : Let's assume that your aim is to make money selling things on CafePress to other people. We'll go from that angle.

BellaAutismHost : I bought some coasters there last year

LisaShea : If someone is going to buy an item in CafePress, it's not like they go to CafePress and say "I want a random tshirt" :) Usually a person ends up at a CafePress shop because they are searching for a specific topic

LisaShea : So for example I was on a Ukrainian kick when I took my trip there and I wanted a shirt with a Ukrainian decoration on it. I happened to find it on CafePress

LisaShea : I run a Romance site and people buy shirts that have the "Love is Patient, Love is Kind" saying on it

LisaShea : So key #1 is to think about a given topic that you enjoy - and then think ... what would a person who is interested in that topic actually want to spend money to have in their home or to give as a present

LisaShea : They really won't spontaneously say, "Wow I want a shirt that says Low Carb at BellaOnline" :)

LisaShea : On the other hand, if my Sutton Massachusetts site offers tshirts with a gorgeous image of the foliage in Sutton, that is something people who love Sutton will like

LisaShea : The key is *large* images. People don't like to squint :) Make the letters, if you have any, as large as possible

GayLesbianJase : yes, i usually design my stuff at 3200 x 3200 pixels which is like 12 or 16 inches

LisaShea : Clear images. Try to keep out background clutter, people don't want to stare closely at a tshirt. If it's a woman she won't want people staring closely at her chest usually :)

GayLesbianJase : unless you have a shirt that say "Hey, I'm up here"

rhani : My newsletter is called the Dancing Lotus. How do I make an image? send to cafepress?

Scott Prock : I know if some people who use for inexpensive stock photos if you don't have any of your own.

BellaAutismHost : They actively promote their autism awareness sites since I get those emails

LisaShea : and then visually "beautiful" images. You could have the same quote as another shop, but if your quote has big, lovely, clear letters, maybe with an illustrative image with it, that would be the one they like. Remember, this is going to be a part of their life, they're going to wear it or have it on their daily mug.

rhani : I have an idea, but do i design and then send?

LisaShea : Rhani - the question is, why would someone buy a shirt about a newsletter? You need something that "anybody" in the world interested in your topic would buy. So what is a key "idea" of your newsletter? Peace?

Scott Prock : It see's like you could use photos purchased from iStock to create products on CafePress ... do they allow stock photos ?

LisaShea : Pretty much every iStockPhoto item says you CANNOT do that

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Rhani, it might be best to go there and check out their image size guidelines for whatever item you want to make first, then design the image with those specs in mind

LisaShea : you can use their images to create your own new combination - like using a sandy scene as a background for your poem on meditation. But you can't just make shirts selling their images

rhani : well, the lotus is symbolic of so many things. birth, growth, knowledge, so maybe not so much the newsletter, but the lotus itself.

Scott Prock : Really .. I thought you could use iStockphoto;s in comercial uses, if I'm mistaken I apologize

LisaShea : OK, so we're getting closer Rhani - but again few people would just buy a "lotus picture". So you would want to perhaps think of a famous quote about growth, and then put that quote over a picture of a lotus.

LisaShea : So that the shirt gained meaning for all sorts of people.

LisaShea : Scott - commercial uses yes. I used istock images for my book covers which are commercial. But I can't sell "the image" as my product

LisaShea : there's a big difference between using an image to enhance a commercial item and having the image *be* the product

WestCoastEditor : one of the best ways to get ideas for proudcts is to visit the marketplace and see what other people are doing. obviously you don't want to copy someone's design but you can get great ideas.

LisaShea : Rhank - once you have the image put together and designed, the rest is easy - you just log into the CafePress admin area and use their "load image" buttons to load your images in from your hard drive

GayLesbianJase : i have seen ideas from my glbt shirts on other cafepress sites.. I admit I do the same thing

LisaShea : OK so let's look at an example. Diana Blake, our Art History editor -

LisaShea :

LisaShea : She promotes this from her art website, so that anybody who likes her art and is looking around at her paintings can see this "inexpensive" way to share her art

rhani : I don't have an idea how to create or load an image. heee

LisaShea : Rhani - you can always draw / design your image freehand on paper with crayons or markers and then scan it in, or have someone scan it in for you. Low tech works

Jennie_HerbsEditor : The loading is easy once you get there

LisaShea : So on Diana's page, she does indeed draw / paint her images. She then scans them in

rhani : I will do that. I draw real good (wink)

LisaShea : I love the masks image on the mug, and the Indian woman playing the sitar. Those are items I would really be happy owning or giving as presents

LisaShea : If I had suggestions for Diana it would be to make *more* items. Instead of just having a tote bag with that Indian woman, I would offer everything - tshirts, journal books etc. That way if someone loved that image, but didn't need a tote bag, they'd have other options

VirusSpam_Editor : Very nice items in Diana's shop. I would love to develop a line of items, but cannot think of anything creative about viruses or spam!!!

LisaShea : Also, she would sell more if she didn't have the URL in it - that turns the item from a "lovely gorgeous item" to a tinge of "promotional item for a website" so that might reduce the number of buyers. Still, that particular question is a tradeoff ... maybe she then gets a few more web visitors by someone having that image say right on it who made it

GayLesbianJase : Lisa,

LisaShea : yeeeees?

GayLesbianJase : on my t-shirts I have a copyrights with my web address in it.. is that bad? its like a 8 font

LisaShea : I wouldn't bother to do that myself, I doubt anybody would scan a tshirt they bought and try to use it, and if they did, they could easily crop out or blur that out

BoardCardGames : ............?>/.

BoardCardGames : 32

LisaShea : but that's sort of the same question as "do I put my name / logo / URL on the tshirt". You might gain a few people based on word of mouth advertising ... but you might cause a number of people not to buy it because it becomes less of a "work of art" and more of a "propaganda device"

BoardCardGames : at .keyboard

LisaShea : so I'd lean towards the "get as many people to buy it" with the idea that if someone then says "I love that mug where did you get it" they'll be told

rhani : Jase brought up a good point.

LisaShea : Here's another shop to look at - it is June, our Tarot editor -

Scott Prock : what happens if a customer forgets where they purchased it, or the name of your store?

GayLesbianJase : i love her stuff!

WestCoastEditor : a lot of people add their copyright/url because the products are branded for cafepress, not individual shopkeepers - ie the cards say on the back

VirusSpam_Editor : This question is for those of you who are already selling on CafePress... Do you have a "free" shop, or one of their paid shops? Which would you recommend?

GayLesbianJase : i have a paid, it comes out of my profit

LisaShea : Scott - If people love an item enough to buy it, they rarely forget where it comes from. Again I think the chance of that happening is there but slim - but the chance of people not even buying it in the first place because of logos on it is larger

GayLesbianJase : i have never really had to "pay" the fees persay

Scott Prock : Makes sense ...

LisaShea : Right many editors who wrote me about their shops say they pay to get the advanced features- but their sales cover that and give them a profit

VirusSpam_Editor : How long have you been doing CafePress Jase?

GayLesbianJase : plus with paid shops you have unlimited items, whereas free you are limited to 50 I think or one of each item

GayLesbianJase : I have been there since 2004

WestCoastEditor : I have both. I like the paid shop because I have a tone of products. I'd need about 50 free sites to get everything in.

LisaShea : If you look at June's shop you can see why people buy her things. They are really gorgeous. They aren't promoting her site. They are just pretty in their own right

Scott Prock : Are there image resolutions that work best, or is it best to go with the highest res you can get?

GayLesbianJase : when they offered only like 20 items

Dig_Art_PHP_HTML : How many sales do you get, Jase?

GayLesbianJase : my images for my shirts are usually set at 3200 x 3200, i do 300 dpi and PNG format

GayLesbianJase : I make so far this month I think 32.04 in profit

LisaShea : Try to do the highest resolution you can - but then you also want the image cropped to be as clear as it can be

GayLesbianJase : it goes up when buying seasons are in

GayLesbianJase : and at PRIDE

LisaShea : So on June's shop -

LisaShea :

LisaShea : she has *gorgeous* imagery but for the holidays my suggestion would be to add a few of those with "Peace" or "Joy" on them on the front. People buying holiday cards want them to say something usually. They don't want to buy "generic cards". So if you just add that one word, you can really increase sales

LisaShea : "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas" and so on.

GayLesbianJase : yeah, I haven't worked out the right size for cards yet.. I still get a little bar of white.. i am going to be reloading my cards after i figure out the right resolution

Dig_Art_PHP_HTML : Jase, do you have links to your cafepress site on places other then Bella?

Scott Prock : If anyone wants an easy and free landscape generation program you can check out ... I have used this application to create some really cool looking lanscapes, perhaps these could be used to create some CafePress products.

GayLesbianJase : i don't even link my cafepress from Bella because of my "mature content"

GayLesbianJase : I have just sanitized it so that I could advert it on bella

LisaShea : Terri / West Coast Travel has all sorts of items on her shop -

Dig_Art_PHP_HTML : Jase, how do they find you?

GayLesbianJase : but I have it listed in my signature on my emails, on my myspace, my facebook, plus I do custom design jobs for organizations at the university

LisaShea : she has a lighthouse area, a birding area, so she grabs the interest of people with focussed hobbies. You know how lighthouse lovers get a ton of lighthouse related gifts at the holidays

rhani : Christmas and belly dance... hmmm... this is making me think

GayLesbianJase : my designs by jase is also listed on my business cards

GayLesbianJase : this year I will be listing DBJ on bella

LisaShea : Look at her Christmas cards they are really pretty! Again my only suggestion is that she make some that *Say* Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays on them

LisaShea : but in general her shops are about gorgeous images that stand alone completely on their own merit

Adolescence_Editor : How difficult is it to learn to do this? I love the griffinartphoto link you just posted. Such a variety.

LisaShea : If someone loves roses, they will *love* her items in her rose shop area

WestCoastEditor : Thanks Lisa!

LisaShea : It is REALLY easy to use CafePress. It's just filling in forms. You press a button to load an image from your hard drive. Then you hit radio buttons to say what items you want the image to be on

GayLesbianJase : yes, it is really easy to learn

LisaShea : LOL I forgot you were here Terri :) I wasn't saying that just because you were here :)

GayLesbianJase : it's a no-brainer

LisaShea : it really is a gorgeous shop, a great example of how to do a very great job at CafePress. The images are just so beautiful

GayLesbianJase Dig_Art_PHP_HTML is my shop

GayLesbianJase Dig_Art_PHP_HTML i will always help you if you'd like

Adolescence_Editor : Then what is the best way to inform readers of the products, other than maybe an article about them? I still haven't figured out how to use the "shops" feature much.

Adolescence_Editor : I'm just really "wow"d by what I'm seeing here from you guys!

LisaShea : Remember that people won't do a search and say " I really want to find a shop"

LisaShea : They will say "Aunt Julie loves roses and I really need to get her something. How about a rose tote bag?"

LisaShea : so then they search on that. You want to have your shop itself have very descriptive text with each item so people find it. An article in: isn't appropriate to push your own wares :)

LisaShea : You want the shop itself to be as full of text and search engine findable as possible

LisaShea : Then, talk to an editor here who has a related topic. So for example we have a Roses site. Terri could talk to the Roses editor about featuring links to her shop at the bottom of her articles. An editor can link to up to 2 ad links at the bottom of each article as long as they're related. She might offer her a 5% commission or something

Adolescence_Editor : And so then you just include the link to the offsite CafePress?

LisaShea : so then someone who finds the roses site, who probably loves roses, then reads an article and finds a link to a lovely rose tote bag

WestCoastEditor : Cafepress has an affiliate program so any editor could become an affiliate of cafepress and link to any site in the cafepress marketplace

LisaShea : Yup there you go!

LisaShea : Now, let's say you're not tending towards photography or complex artwork, but you have a sharp mind for sayings. Here is Jase's shop -

LisaShea :

LisaShea : Jase focussed on quotes and messages that people might enjoy. I really like the rainbow flag with "Peace" on it. I could see a lot of people wanting to get that for friends. It's a "happy" message that people would be proud to wear

Scott Prock : Nice store Jase

GayLesbianJase : they are my Jase-isms ;0)

GayLesbianJase : now remember, I sanitized it so it is more apt to be appreciated by more people

GayLesbianJase : Thanks Scott

GayLesbianJase : i have about 300 more designs

LisaShea : So this is something that every person could do. If you had a meditation site, you could use quotes from Chinese proverbs that relate to peace and meditation

LisaShea : If you had a site on kids, you could use quotes on how children are important and valuable

LisaShea : There are always going to be sayings out there that a person would be proud to promote. You have to remember that the person is buying this item to wear or look at on a mug, etc. So the saying would have to have meaning to them.

VirusSpam_Editor : Jase, I notice a newsletter link on your cafepress site. Is this something you've added on your own, or does this come with the store?

LisaShea : also the font needs to be very clear, and adding an image can really help. Note a huge image, but a small illustrative one to "pretty it up"

GayLesbianJase : comes with the store

GayLesbianJase : i have never used the newsletter with the store

GayLesbianJase : i don't know how

GayLesbianJase : lol

GayLesbianJase : is a really nice way to use tect and image... IMHO

VirusSpam_Editor : How many designs would you say it would take to get started and set up a shop? Wouldn't want to start with just 3-4 and have it look skimpy....

GayLesbianJase : I started with like 5 I think

LisaShea : On the cards side of Jase's shop, I really LOVE the top 2 images, the 3d images of the female-female sign. I would add male ones of course

GayLesbianJase : lol

GayLesbianJase : and it just grows.

LisaShea : You can start with just one image, and have it in all the styles - tshirts, magnets, cards, journals etc.

GayLesbianJase : yeah.. getting around to it ;0) I am still learning how to use my photoshop

LisaShea : that's enough to fill a full page

VirusSpam_Editor : Good idea. Now to think up that one first brilliant design!!!

LisaShea : Remember, people don't go to your shop to "see a shop". They are looking for a topic. So if you have a *gorgeous* image of a chickadee, then all the chickadee lovers will come and want to buy it as a mug, a tshirt etc. They won't care that there is only one

Jennie_HerbsEditor : To start out, if you're going to go with free shops to begin, do one shop for each image 'group'

GayLesbianJase : and one thing to note, to get people to buy cards (I do a standard 3.01 markup) you can promote that cards are on sale right now. You can get 6 cards for 11 bucks ;0)

LisaShea : It usually works best to have a shop be on a topic. People don't like to wade through all sorts of other stuff. So have a shop / page on chickadees. Have one on roses. Have one on lighthouses. If you have lots of shirts, have one on peace, one on Jewish items etc. Don't really mix them together. But offer links on each page so people can find the other ones

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor I am always available to throw ideas off on if you'd like.. or help with graphics ;0)

LisaShea : Also try to have various items for each item. Don't just have shirts. If you have an image in the system, also have mugs, mouse pads etc. Someone might love the image but hate tshirts and never wear them. They might drink a ton of coffee. You want people who like your image to be able to have it

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase Thanks Jase - I'll keep that in mind. I love your store!!!!

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor thanks. I wish I could keep up all my stuff, but some are too racy to be able to be linked from bella

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor I am thinkign of opening another shop that carries all the other ones

VirusSpam_Editor : I'm trying to think of something clever to do with computer-related topic. Let's face it - viruses and spam are not all that appealing!!! Any ideas?

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor Gay one-liners can get a little racy for some people... I tend to be more opena nd have a larger sense of humor

LisaShea : There are TONS of virus / spam ideas!

Jennie_HerbsEditor : On the free stores, there's a place where you can put header text, and you could advertise your other stores there... also, in your bio

LisaShea : Look at the ... is it bitbytes? There's a whole catalogue of nerdy things

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase Do you have a website?

LisaShea : plus remember this chat isn't just about your own topic. I have a CafePress shop with Sutton Mass photographs. I have one with romantic quotes. It's about things you are good at creating.

Dig_Art_PHP_HTML : You can do an image of a computer and "characterize the computer" by giving it human features.

LisaShea : Then once you make the gorgeous items you then think of ways to promote it

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor well my cafepress is my only one.. then I have my salon website ;0)

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor but I can unhide my racier designs ;0)

BellaAutismHost : There are 1340 designs on 21,00 products for the term autism awareness

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase Hi Jase. Sorry I got bumped off......

Cathy4SeniorLiving : I can hardly wait to get started!

LisaShea : Here's a page of spam tshirts

LisaShea :

LisaShea : you could do HUNDREDS of shirts making fun of the Nigerian spam

Scott Prock : brb

BellaAutismHost : who does the shipping

Dig_Art_PHP_HTML : Cafepress does the shipping

LisaShea : "I am a Nigerian consulate. I will give you $20 million dollars. Just give me $50 to get started ..."

VirusSpam_Editor : I just got bumped off of this chat for the second time..... is there something I should be doing/not doing to prevent this?

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor no probs

Jennie_HerbsEditor : You don't have to worry about anything but designing the products and reaping in the money ;)

LisaShea : Make sure everything else is shut down on your computer, it might be your computer is runninglow on memory or something

LisaShea : yes CafePress handles all sales and shipping and everything. They put your profit into your account

BellaAutismHost : That is what I thought, just making sure

Adolescence_Editor : So what could you expect to bring in (once you have it up and running) over the course of a year?

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Well in the year I've had mine, I've made a grand total of two dollars... but I mostly made mine just for fun and to get items for myself lol

LisaShea : Like everything else it all depends on your designs and promotion. If you wrote a book and then never told anybody about it, it would not sell. But if you wrote a book and then went out on book tours and promoted it, it could sell really well

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase Anyway -tell me again the name of your FULL cafepress site? I want to see the racy side!

GayLesbianJase : i make a couple hundred dollars, but then again I don't do mega advertising

LisaShea : If you had a gorgeous image of a holiday ornament with a lighthouse on it, and promoted it well so lighthouse owners found it, you could sell lots of them. But probably not in July :)

BellaAutismHost : I think what would be hot at this point is holiday ornmanets

LisaShea : Jennie what is your URL?

VirusSpam_Editor : Can you use your own domain name with a cafepress site, or do you have to use what they give you?

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor LOL it is but the racy is hidden.. like i have shirts that say It's all about the cock, I love pussy, I love cock, do it in pictograms, then others about dildos and condoms and good times and making you hollar!

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor lol

LisaShea : it's always

LisaShea : you would have to see if the zzzzz part you want is taken already

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor like I said.. give me a couple days and it will be up at the new shop ;0)

BellaAutismHost : I am looking at them now for Autism and they look nice. If I remember correctly cafepress takes paypal?

LisaShea : right now cards that are explicitly for Christmas / other holidays will do very well, and anything else that could be a present.

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I have three...

GayLesbianJase : I use my own domain that forwards it to my cafepress address ;0)

GayLesbianJase : people type in and get my cafepress shop

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase LOL!!! I can't wait. I'm getting some ideas for fun christmas gifts now!

Jennie_HerbsEditor : The first is pretty much strictly for myself, since it's very much 'propaganda' for my website

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor and you can always give me ideas.. I am always open to one-liners and such

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor I love having fun. I think i have over 300 designs right now

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor it's addictive

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I killed Lisa!

Jennie_HerbsEditor : lol

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor some days I can sit in front of the computer with my graphics design program and whip them out

BellaAutismHost : I bought a mousepad there once too and like to get new ones every few months

Samten : Hi everybody!

GayLesbianJase : howdy Samten

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase I've bookmarked your site. I'll be checking back!

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Are their mousepads the soft 'jersey' kind of tops, or the slick kind?

WestCoastEditor : Also, cards and ornaments are on sale right now (til 19th) Calendars are onsale the following couple of weeks.

Samten : did I miss it?

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor the section will probably be a period or something.. kinda like a find the surprise type link

LisaShea : ooops sorry :)

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor send me an email and when I have it up I will email you back

LisaShea : ok what were those links again Jennie?

Jennie_HerbsEditor : wb hehe

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor

Jennie_HerbsEditor :

Jennie_HerbsEditor : The first is pretty much exclusively for me, because it is pure propaganda for my business website

VirusSpam_Editor : I see they have calendars too. That would be a good seller right now I think!

BellaAutismHost : Lisa just got booted off I think

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Again?

GayLesbianJase : the calanders need 12 images remember ;0)

LisaShea : OK on the first one, people really won't buy items with a logo on it. If they are buying items, it is because they like the design, not really that they want to promote someone else's things for free :) Now the *dragon* is gorgeous - did you draw that? If so I'd promote that as a dragon shirt without the logo

LisaShea : I think that people would buy it if it was just the dragon, or you could even say "nature dragon" or something like that as its description

WestCoastEditor : there's also a year at a glance calendar that only needs one picture

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I did draw it :)

LisaShea : That is really pretty, I definitely encourage you to make dragon shirts. Tons of people would buy dragon shirts

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase Done! Looking forward to it!

LisaShea : you could do a nature dragon, a moonlight dragon, that sort of thing

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I should. I have several dragons to choose from, too. I just wish I could draw people as well as I can dragons, lol

LisaShea : there are dragon lovers who get tons of dragon presents every year

LisaShea : hey, go with your talents. If you can draw dragons well that is something that many people would *love* to do

LisaShea : Do 12 zodiac dragons. An Aries dragon etc. People love astrology because they feel it is "personalized" for them

LisaShea : or a firefighter dragon, a police dragon, those sorts of things. Anything job specific becomes a great present gift

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Oooh good idea! >^.^< Just have to do some reasearch on the signs to include some 'special' traits

GayLesbianJase VirusSpam_Editor ;-)

VirusSpam_Editor : These are great ideas. Much food for thought!!!

GayLesbianJase : I'd buy Dragon items! They are hard to find and my roomie loves them

Jennie_HerbsEditor : :-D

GayLesbianJase : I am tryin got think of more things to do for GLBT ;0) I do my one-liners and such

LisaShea : On the other 2 shops I appreciate the quotes but they are very hard to read. People tend not to buy things they can't easily read

Jennie_HerbsEditor : You're making me want to go grab my sketchbook lol

LisaShea : They want very large, easy to scan blurbs

LisaShea : So I *love* your Mushroom image but I might do that without any words

LisaShea : but I think dragons will sell tons more than mushrooms :)

LisaShea : You could do a mommy shirt with a big dragon and then kid shirts with little dragons

LisaShea : and a daddy too of course :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Probably ;) As I said, I didn't really create those shops with intent to sell, they were mostly for fun or myself

LisaShea : Oh I understand but if you have this great skill, you might as well have free money come in to you :)

WestCoastEditor : off to choir rehearsal - bye all!

LisaShea : You only have to draw it once and then you get paid for eternity

LisaShea : Bye Terri great job!

Cathy4SeniorLiving : You're creating a market for yourself.

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Indeed... hence why I'm here for this chat hehe

LisaShea : ok who else needs brainstorming for their shop

Samten : promoting

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase I used to own a screen printing business, and did a line of shirts for Pride. "I'm a Top", "I'm a Bottom", there were lots more but I can't remember right now.

LisaShea : or has any questions at all I suppose somehow it's already after 10 :)

Samten : so early?

LisaShea : I'll stay all night but I know some people might need to go :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Time flies when you're having fun lol

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LisaShea : ok promoting. So say you have a gorgeous shop that has a peaceful scene on it and it says "Meditate" in big letters beneath it

VirusSpam_Editor : I'd love to stay, but have to get up early for work. This has been great & I've got some great ideas. Thanks Y'all!

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LisaShea : So if that goes with your topic area, you then can put a link to it at the bottom of your articles. You could show a small image of the shirt and say "If you love meditating, take a look at my restful items at CafePress"

LisaShea : Have fun and thanks for coming!

VirusSpam_Editor GayLesbianJase You've got 'em all, that's for sure!!! Gotta go. Keep in touch :)

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LisaShea : If your shop doesn't match your topic, you can still promote it in the "editor shops" area, that is set up to promote your creative efforts which are not on topic

Samten : I feel kinda, icky (My brain checked out already) with self promotion

LisaShea : and as mentioned, CafePress has an affiliate program. So talk to whoever runs the topic here which relates to your shop topic

LisaShea : Samten - the key is that you're not promoting yourself

Samten : ?

LisaShea : If I have a shirt with gorgeous fall foliage in Sutton Mass, and I promote it to that audience, I'm not promoting myself. I've created for them a beautiful present that they can give to others.

LisaShea : I'm telling them about that present. The shirt doesn't say "Lisa Shea is a Goddess". The shirt is a gorgeous photo of Sutton and is promoting Sutton

Samten : LOL Though I have my name on my shop. I was really not up for anything creative.

LisaShea : People are usually *very* happy to buy items they think are wonderful. Imagine you love dragons. And then you find this GORGEOUS tshirt with a gold dragon on it. You aren't thinking "Jeez I am now helping out Jennie". You are thinking "I love this shirt! I want 3!" :)

BellaAutismHost : I just found a nice throw pilllow I like at the understand autism site. I remember long ago signing up for their affiliate program.

LisaShea : ok so make a shirt that says "The greatest quality is seeking to serve others. "

LisaShea : just put those words, in big letters, on a shirt. That is a shirt that people would be proud to wear, and it would better the world to have others read it

BellaAutismHost : For the autism site there are three times a year to promote awareness and I am thinking of just being an affiliate as there are many sites that I can promote during the holidays, in april for AA and year end gifts.

LisaShea : How about "Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." - people love quotes like that

LisaShea : Yup you can do that too, promote other peoples' items for the affiliate money. But you might as well make your own items and get the money yourself. Or do one while you work on the images

BellaAutismHost : How often do you get paid with cafepress?

LisaShea : I mean be an affiliate since you can do that right now in 5 minutes, and do that while you work on your own images

BellaAutismHost : ON another note I sold five ebooks in less than one month

LisaShea : It's a monthly check I believe

LisaShea : or you can just buy other cafepress items (or your own) and use your cafepress money :)

LisaShea : that's great news on the ebooks :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : It's monthly *if* you break the threshold, which varies depending on how you get paid I believe

LisaShea : Well yes if you make zero or $1 they won't cut a check for that :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I think it's either $20 or $50

Cathy4SeniorLiving : If you ever decide to close your CafePress store, do you take all of your designs with you?

LisaShea : Yes you can always delete your own images

LisaShea : in fact if you don't use an image for a while they will delete it :)

LisaShea : so if you load up a bunch of images and then decide not to use a few, and just leave them sitting in your account, they might eventually get taken off again as part of a cleanup sweep

Cathy4SeniorLiving : OK

LisaShea : So the key is to use images, photos and sayings that people will really want to see all the time and promote. Make them on a specific topic. People search to find specific topics - roses, lighthouses, policemen, teachers etc. So you want them to find you. People don't search on nebulous topics like "greenish image of a grassy something" :)

LisaShea : When people give holiday presents they often are grasping at straws and think "Well they like dragons, I'll get them something dragonny"

LisaShea : or they say "Well she's a teacher I'll get her something related to teachers"

Cathy4SeniorLiving : How much turnaround time between loading your images and merchandise being ready to ship?

LisaShea : It's immediate

Cathy4SeniorLiving : Cool!

LisaShea : what they are doing is "printing" your image you loaded onto an object.

LisaShea : yes it is very much instant satisfaction :)

Cathy4SeniorLiving : So, if I wanted to do a calendar of historic pix from my area, the calendar would be ready immediately.

Jennie_HerbsEditor : As soon as you put in any description or whatever and get the image situated like you want it on the item, it's ready to sell

LisaShea : Yes exactly!! It is so cool :)

Cathy4SeniorLiving : Ahhhhhh.

LisaShea : So if you had 12 images you could just put your region name on the top cover one and immediately start promoting it to people for 2007

Cathy4SeniorLiving : I like that.

LisaShea : I forgot calendars, that is an excellent point. People *love* calendars on favorite topics. A calendar of dragons!

LisaShea : I seem to be hooked on dragons :)

LisaShea : OK a calendar of Autism quotes :)

Cathy4SeniorLiving : A calendar of senior moments

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Of the Zodiac dragons I just grabbed my notebook for!

Jennie_HerbsEditor : heheh

LisaShea : yeeees that would be EXCELLENT!

Cathy4SeniorLiving : I mean, funny things people say about being seniors

LisaShea : So if you did 12 Zodiac dragons this would be perfect both for 12 separate shop areas for tshirts and mugs and such but also a calendar!

LisaShea : I really think that would sell a ton

LisaShea : ok senior living, yes senior moment quotes

Cathy4SeniorLiving : a lot of people are into dragons now, including my daughter.

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I don't think I could get all 12 done before the big calendar crush -.- I'm gonna try though! lol

LisaShea : well OK they have calendars that just have 1 image so you could do that

LisaShea : and then work on the dragons in order so that as the month approached you had that image ready for birthday present sales

LisaShea : and then by next year your full calendar would be ready :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : True

BellaAutismHost : I see many cafe press banners, so one could use that to promote here on their site under recommended products

Jennie_HerbsEditor : It'll probably take me 1-2 months... so I might get some 'last minute' people buying calendars ;)

LisaShea : For senior you could get seniors you know to agree to pose for romantic pictures, like a senior couple holding hands by the beach. You could have the photo from far off so that the people aren't the focus but the scene is

BellaAutismHost : Will you eventually havea link for cafepress stores for teh sites and then it will be like the ebooks and book club stuff?

LisaShea : You wouldn't want to run a generic banner. People won't go to just see "CafePress"

LisaShea : You want a specific ad, for a specific item. THat is what people will click on

LisaShea : It's the difference between promoting "go to Amazon to buy a book" and instead promoting "Buy this great book on caring for roses" on the Roses site

Jennie_HerbsEditor : If you aren't real good at making banners, there are plenty of people (like me) who love playing with graphics and would gladly make them for you ;)

LisaShea : For CafePress, if it is topic related that would already be in the shops area which has a link at the top of every page

LisaShea : If it is not topic related it would be in the editor shop area

Cathy4SeniorLiving : thanks, Lisa. It's been informative. And easy to get to the chat. Time for me to go.

LisaShea : and again, people don't say "Oh I want to go see a shop" just like people don't say "Oh I want to go see an ebook". The vast majority of those sales come from links from within a given site, so if someone is reading a low carb article on my site, I have a link to my low carb chart ebook right at the bottom

LisaShea : so people come in to the article, read my article, see the link and click and buy it

LisaShea : Thanks for coming by, Cathy!

LisaShea : So if you had a shop with encouraging quotes about autism, then you could link to that at the bottom of your articles about autism

LisaShea : If you had a shop with images of roses, you would want to talk to the Roses editor about promoting those

LisaShea : that is how you get the most visitors- by having the link right where people who like that topic are already

LisaShea : you don't want people to have to "hunt" to find it

BellaAutismHost : Do you need to know where the quote originated from if it is not your own?

LisaShea : It's safest if you go with classic quotes, proverbs and that sort of thing

LisaShea : I'm trying to find some for you :)

LisaShea : ok so how about this - A diamond with a flaw is better than a common stone that is perfect.

LisaShea : I don't know if I like the word "flaw" though

LisaShea : maybe you could translate that with a different word like ...

BellaAutismHost : sounds interesting

LisaShea : dent? scratch?

LisaShea : "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. "

BellaAutismHost : I am going to do affiliates as I can promote them and get a percentage and help others. This one I like - autism: something to be understood, not cured.

LisaShea : yup there you go

LisaShea : A forest is in an acorn.

LisaShea : You could find 12 quotes on patience, that sort of thing

LisaShea : it doesn't need to be specifically about Autism, it can be encouragement about how to be happy

BellaAutismHost : looking at cafeprss and ebay the word autism is a big draw

BellaAutismHost : tshirts for kids to wear when at themeparks is also a bit hit

Jennie_HerbsEditor : It's amazing how difficult it is to find a straightforward description of the zodiac signs with images of the signs lol

LisaShea : You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

LisaShea : Well definitely you can label your shop as a center for Autism but I'm saying all the items themselves don't need to include the word Autism

LisaShea : You can have a shirt that says "I'm proud of my child" without having to say "my autistic child" for example

LisaShea : Here you go on the astrology signs -

Jennie_HerbsEditor : Thanks :)

LisaShea : Did you have any more questions for me? Or are you set with your zodiac dragons for a while :)

Jennie_HerbsEditor : I imagine they'll keep me busy for a bit ;)


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