Tag Archives: medieval

Spring cleaning and culling products

Spring cleaning is something you need to do every year. This means also for my Zazzle shops. One of the shops does not perform at all, so it is selected for an experiment.

Until now I mainly used the “quick create” tool of Zazzle. With mixed results. Yhis is a handy tool to apply a design to a whole batch of products. That way I’m able to create a lot of products, but most of them won’t get any views from visitors at all.

Spring cleaning
Over a year in my shop, never had a view. Pathetic!

Zazzle started a new regime where product that didn’t get view or a sale in the last six month will not be visible anymore in their marketplace. Which sucks since most customers do their searching in the marketplace.

The advice Zazzle gives is to refine every product on title, tags, and descriptions. In that way each product is more individual and better for SEO. But that defeats the purpose of the quick create tool.

About more than 80% of my products in my Freshpatterns shop never had a view in the last six months, so I decided the following spring cleaning actions.

  • Remove all individual products that didn’t get a view and were in my shop already about a year.
  • Remove a complete set of product’s that both never sold or got views. I will only concentrate on product classes that either sell or get views.
  • Update the remaining products and make them individual in title, tags, and description.

One result of this experiment will be that I’ll focus on quality in stead of quantity. And not using the quick create anymore. This also means adding one product at the time and making sure the design is optimal placed.

So how am I going to measure success? One way I’m thinking of is watching the 180 days views. If more pages have products viewed in the last 6 months then I’m on the right track.

As I write this I have 7.1 pages with 96 products each which had at least one view in the last 6 months. Ten pages would a good goal, about 40% of my total amount of products.

Focus attention with a meditation Mandala

Ever needed to focus your attention with a meditation Mandala? Well, I do. My last post was October 2015 and since then I’ve moved. In November to be exactly. That meant that since October not much focus was put on my online money making business. And that has to change.

Don’t get me wrong, I reached a very major goal, buying an appartment and and moving to the new address. And sales in November and December were very good. So I shouldn’t complain.

But this is a new year and a new goal has to be set. Sales this month are sluggish and half way this year I want to double my sales. That means more blog posts and more designs. And a better upkeep of the stores I own. For instance I added a new Japanese Mon and Kamon store to my Dutch Spreadshirt site. I called it Dejima.

If you do meditation, one way to focus your attention is by using a meditation Mandala. Don’t ask me how, but I like the designs of Mandala’s. I started with a simple and geometric one.

Geometric Mandala eye chestnut brown Porcelain Plate
Geometric Mandala eye chestnut brown Porcelain Plate by ejkaal
Look at other Mandala Porcelain Plate at zazzle.com

My Haida Formline designs keep selling well and I added a new one which was waiting to be finished for months. It is a theme of my own as is the design. A sea otter chasing a salmon. Prey and predator in a Yin and Yang symbol.

Islamic geometric design keep popping into my head. I do want to make more of them. They look pretty and they are so easy to apply on products. This is a Moroccan design from a picture of tiles.

Doubling my sales by July this year is ambitious together with my day job. If I manage then I know I’m on the right track. A good resolution for 2016.

Bavarian coat of arms, crowns and crosses

I started filling up my medieval line, among others with a design from the Bavarian coat of arms. For now I just simply collect examples of every kind of medieval stuff. As a european the first which comes to mind is medieval heraldic patterns. Those patterns can be quite generic, so the trick is to find the famous ones. My first try is the blue and white lozenges pattern from the Bavarian coat of arms. Apparently I succeeded well, I already sold a Case-Mate Barely There Samsung Galaxy S5 Case.

There are different styles and periods to choose from medieval times. For instance gothic or romanesque. I started with a couple of romanesque design from an example book. Some look very detailed with lots of organic ornaments and others look almost heraldic and geometric. Of the latter I’ve made this example, not sure if the gold crowns will sell but it looks nice.

Medieval designs tend to have a strong geometric feel with simple forms a limited colors. This example has just squares and crosses, but it makes a very lively and colorful result.

Obviously with romanesque we think of a more elaborate design, with lots organic forms, flowers and vines. As you can see in the image below, there is one problem. When details get smaller and smaller, the design starts to get a bit fuzzy in the Zazzle images in the Zazzle store. On the real physical it’s going to be just fine, but how do you know for sure just looking at the Zazzle pages.

Although the design above doesn’t show at its best, I’m rather pleased with it. In the full sized image the color combination looks great, a lucky hit. The details also look much better. I’ll make a couple of this kind detailed designs and see if they sell.

Medieval romanesque patterns as a new line

Recently I added medieval romanesque patterns as a new product line. Now, some posts ago I mentioned I didn’t want to focus on patterns since they don’t sell very well. Illustrations of, for instance, animals do so much better. But, patterns are made quickly and put on products easily.

Therefore I started a second shop solely for patterns, I didn’t want to clutter my main shop with tons of patterns and tile designs. Mentioning tiles, in the new shop I rely on the tile function of the Zazzle tool. This function allows me to just create one tile and apply in on the product template I created (over seventy products are in this template). In this way I’m able to create a ton of products with not too much effort. Hopefully this small effort will justify the lower sales.

An example is a medieval romanesque pattern. Not sure if this medieval thing will fly, though. In the future I hope to create at least up to twenty medieval romanesque and gothic patterns.

It doesn’t mean I won’t do any non-pattern illustrations. Japanese Mon still do very well and I added some time ago the famous Kiku Chrysanthemum design. This one is on my Cafepress shop.

I had my doubts about Cafepress, but lately I started to sell stuff. Which will motivate me to pay more attention to my shop. My European shops at Spreadshirt are as lively as a piece of rock. No sale what so ever. A bit more patience is needed there. Print on demand online shops do take time and constant effort to make them into a success.