I was twelve year when in 1977 the firat Star Wars movie was shown. It converted me into a Science Fiction fanboy and I never got cured from the illness. The three first films made a big impact on me. The sets, the matte paintings, the special effects, this is how all Science Fiction films and TV-series should be.
The secend series of three movies were very slick and well crafted but they didn’t do much for me. I guess a good plot really does matter. So, now number seven is coming and with the promise of the same magic the first three had. And hopefully a good plot.
I never did Star Wars fan art myself, but since I’m so busy with my online stores the couple of years I gave it a try. I do a lot of Japanese mon and kamon, the insignia of the Galactic Empire looks a bit like a mon. Let’s make my own version.
Of course the Star Wars Galactic Empire also has a banner. I couldn’t find a good photo from the movies of a banner, so I gave it my own twist.
Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) would be very happy with me.
First, I created some Japanese patterns, Japanese lozenges, Japanese fish scales and a hemp leaves pattern. By the way, Zazzle doesn’t like the word “hemp”, so on Zazzle I replaced that with “herb”. At the moment I have well over 1700 products. In the last two months I created three times as many products as all the years before! Those Zazzle templates really help. Kindle, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy cases, American Apparel t-shirts, everything gets a design in one go. But, let me show of the Japanese designs.
The Japanese lozenges design doesn’t look really Japanese, it looks almost European. I guess patterns and motifs have the tendency to evolve in the same direction or come up with the same solutions in different parts of the world.
Now that I’m writing this post, I’m wondering if I should post a lengthy article for every design I make. That would get boring very quickly. I could just show of a new design with just a caption an leave at that. For instance, just the Japanese lozenges as a photo like on Tumblr. That wouldn’t be very SEO though. It would make the site a bit more lifely.
Finally I got a Pinterest account and I set up my first board. Frankly I have no idea if it is of any use for making money online. One thing is certain, it has potential for collecting and organizing interesting ideas and images. If it will generate extra traffic to my site, I don’t know. But it is still very early day for that.
What next? I have to keep the momentum for at least four to five months to give this money making project a chance. Next on the list are a new affiliate page with a Mars theme and at least two new boards on Pinterest. After that I have to think about how to market this site.
A page is added with some great posters in a vintage retro space art theme. I try to find at least 50 good ones, because Zazzle is a numbers game. You probably heard that often. It is all about getting found. Either by having a lot of products designed by yourself. Or promoting a big bunch of very good designs made by others and making money as an affiliate.
When I started with Zazzle I was thinking in tens of products with a design. Later I realized this wasn’t enough, sales were and still are very sporadic. End of 2012 I set a goal of 400 products. That really didn’t help much. Now I’m convinced I have to think in the thousends. Which means heavy use of templates in Zazzle in order to get a 100 products published in one go.
Vintage retro space art
For the affiliate program I want to create a couple of page of designs I like. My guess is that I can get away with about 500 designs of other people on this website, maybe a thousend. Any more and people will overlook most of them anyhow. My second page has a vintage retro space art theme. I’ll try to increase the number up to a 100.
Barcelona tile pattern
last week I also finished a new Barcelona tile design. Again I think it succeeded pretty well. I was able to publish about 80 products in one go, so I still have to work on my templates. It is still far behind the numbers succesfull Zazzle sellers have published. They count in the tens of thousands. Of one person I knows she’s working full time on her Zazzle store. Every day one design, put on about a hundred products.
My production of designs and products has increased considerably and the affilliate link pages have begun. Next project will be Pinterest. To showcase my designs and to promote other people designs.
One way to make a buck is to market cool iPhone cases from other Zazzle stores. This is done by means of the affiliate program of Zazzle. In your Zazzle account you’ll find a unique number which you add to the link of the product on your website. Or better. Log on to Zazzle, find those cool iPhone cases and use the “share” button to retreive the URL/HTML-links with your affiliate code included.
Getting the links with the affiliate code is the easy part. How to use them in a clever manner is a bit more difficult. One solution I saw with a succesful Zazzle seller is to create a web page and fill it with a selection of products with design you think are well executed. For instance Apple iPhone or Samsung cases with a retro space theme. Here’s an example;
If you search on Zazzle you’ll see most of the design aren’t very well made, even though they are popular according to Zazzle. That gives you the opportunity to create a selection of cool iPhone cases which are both popular and well executed. I’ve put my selection on a seperate page on this website.
Yet another solution is Pinterest. Here you can collect images and categorize them the way you like. Pinterest groups images (and other media) into “boards”. You can make a board for cool iPhone cases with a retro space theme and let them link to Zazzle with your affiliate code. On Youtube there are plenty tutorial how to create a board.
I’ve no Pinterest account myself yet, but I can see the potential for showing of affiliate products or your own products. Anyway, I just started with this affiliate business and I probably have to create a whole bunch links and images with my affiliate code before I even make a dime. And I have to start to get some traffic to those links.