The Dogs of Zazzle: Barney

By • 8 months ago with no replies yet

Welcome back to our third installment of our special behind the scenes look at Zazzle – from the vantage point of our four-legged employees! In case you missed them, make sure you also meet our pooch pals Snoopy and Lucien.

Hi there! I’m Barney – yep, just like Barney Stinson from my favorite show, How I Met Your Mother. I’m a special mix of Cocker Spaniel, Labrador and Dachshund. At only 16 months old, I’m the newest Zazzler around!

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On my days here at Zazzle, I help my mom help her fellow Zazzlers! We get to do fun stuff like recruiting new Zazzlers, and all things HR. Mom says that means “Human Resources”, but since I’m not a human, I think it would be better to call it Hug Resources! You can see I’m dedicated to the job by my favorite Zazzle shirt.

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Being pretty new to the world, I’m still working on being brave around new experiences. Scary things like walks, little kids, or anything moving on wheels still make me pretty nervous – but I’m working on it! A little bit of peanut butter – my favorite food – always makes me feel better.

If I’m not catching up on my beauty sleep, you can usually find me getting some exercise by chasing my tennis ball or admiring my own reflection to see just how well that beauty sleep worked. Good thing I check up on my appearance pretty frequently – the great Zazzle tie my friend Snoopy let me borrow turned out to be just a little too big:

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I might be a little shy at first, but since my mom and I met, I’m happy to make friends and share hugs with most anyone once I get to sniff- I mean get to know. See? I’m already getting over my fear of bicycles! (With the help of my treat-filled Zazzle dog bowl)

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Hope you enjoyed meeting me!

Photography by: Nancy Ahn

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The Dogs of Zazzle: Lucien

By • 8 months ago with one reply

Welcome to the second installment of our special behind the scenes series, hosted by the furry friends of Zazzle.

Hi! I’m Lucien, and I do some pretty important work when I’m here at Zazzle. My mom helps Zazzle develop amazing partnerships with some of the world’s most exciting brands. That’s quite a lot of responsibility, so it’s a good thing I can jump in to supervise.

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I’m a 4 1/2 year old Chinese Crested Powderpuff, which means I have the lustrous locks to keep me out of the “world’s ugliest dog” category. From my breed, you might think I’d speak Chinese, but I actually understand English and Spanish instead.

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As you can see, I am quite the “stud muffin” (it even says so on my very own Zazzle shirt), so I turn plenty of heads when I make office appearances. Sadly, I didn’t always have so many devoted fans. Years ago, my mom’s partner actually rescued me from a house inspection where I was found being used as bait in dog fights. Luckily, I’ve been the star attraction of my loving home ever since – I even have my very own dog throne to perch on from which I rule!

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Other than a hearty nap, my favorite pastime is enjoying some delicious dog chow, especially when it comes in my very own Zazzle dog bowl. I’m always ready to show off my stellar dance moves in order to get a treat! If my dancing doesn’t get the job done, I’m also a talker who will definitely let you know when I’m in need of some extra attention.

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Well, I have some very important napping to do. I hope you enjoyed meeting me and seeing me model some of my favorite Zazzle products!

Photography by: Nancy Ahn

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5 Quick Tips on Affiliate Marketing

By • 8 months ago with no replies yet

Affiliate marketing is a great way to get more sales and increase your income. The more you promote your store and products, the more likely someone will purchase your products. Below are a few tips on how to improve your affiliate marketing efforts.

1) Do some outreach

Reach out to small and medium sized bloggers, Facebook pages, and websites that are relevant to the products you promote. For example, if you promote wedding invitations, look for wedding blogs; if you promote cat themed products, look for animal lover blogs. Build relationships with these content creators by offering to write a guest blog post or see if they would like to exchange social media posts.

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2) Use and keep up with social media

If you’re not already there, get on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and any other social media accounts that you think are relevant to your store. Keep your eye out for new and trendy social media websites like Wanelo and Polyvore.

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3) Be timely with your products

Check current events, trends, and hot topics. What are this year’s pantone colors of the year? What paper and card types are people using for their wedding invitations? What big world events are happening right now? How can you connect your products to these events?

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4) Be creative and responsive

Write engaging blog and/or social media posts that relate to your products. Ask your audience questions, run polls, and respond to their comments. Create hashtag campaigns on sites like Twitter and Wanelo or create group boards on Pinterest.

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5) Check for current promotions

Visit the Zazzle coupon page at http://www.zazzle.com/coupons to see what promotions are currently running. Create and promote the products that are currently on sale. Don’t forget to check out http://www.zazzle.com/banners for our full banner inventory including,  seasonal, holiday, and home page link banners.

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And as always,  DO NOT  spam your audience. Affiliate marketing is not just about getting as many links out there, but about creating quality content, using relevant keywords, and organic links. If you start over-posting your links on Facebook, Twitter, etc. you are likely to get blocked.

Good luck and stay positive!

Elizabeth P.

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Featured Designer Interview with Cynthia Arre

By • 8 months ago with no replies yet

This week we’re chatting with funkypatterns creator Cynthia Arre, to find out more about her journey from the corporate world to the freelance life and her tips for standing out on Zazzle.

Zazzle: Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you from?

Cynthia: My name is Cynthia and I live in the Philippines. I maintain a wedding blog and invitation store called Poptastic Bride. I’m married to a fellow artist, a graphic novelist and animator, and we both work out of our home. We are parents to a marmalade kitty who provides us with endless entertainment.

My family traveled to and from Japan a lot when I was growing up so I guess early constant exposure to Japanese culture & design had a big influence on me. This is probably why my work has a sort of kawaii aesthetic.

Zazzle: What is your background in art or design? When did you first start creating?

Cynthia: I’ve been drawing since I was 5 years old. My interest in sketching didn’t wane throughout my teens and it felt natural for me to pursue an art-related career path. Later on, I got my hands on a computer and learned my way around design and layout software.

I went to study graphic design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and eventually worked as an artist, working my way up to an Art Director, in a couple of advertising agencies. After 9 years in the corporate world I decided to go on my own as a freelancer. Looking back, I can say that it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Zazzle: Where do you find your artistic inspiration? How would you describe your style?

Cynthia: I would describe my illustration style as fun, funky and twee. I tend to make designs that are bright and cheery, and that I would buy myself.

As cliché as it may sound, I find artistic inspiration everywhere –  the surroundings, my emotions. It can come from the most unlikely sources: what I’m eating, a song on the car radio, or even the weather. I’m especially inspired when I’m traveling in a new place. Being in a totally different environment takes me out of my comfort zone and stimulates my mind. Throwing ideas around with my husband also triggers my creativity because our respective interests are so diverse and seeing things from a new perspective is always refreshing.

Zazzle: How did you hear about Zazzle? How long have you had your store with us?

Cynthia: I’ve had my online t-shirt store for a while but I was looking to diversify. I wanted a venue where I could sell my designs on paper products, not just on t-shirts. When I saw that Zazzle offered that possibility (and more), I signed up and built my first couple of stores: Poptastic Bestsellers, which also has illustrations by my husband, and Poptastic Bride. That was in July of 2009.

Soon afterwards I built three more stores: Asian Popcorn, Classy Celebrations, and Funky Patterns.

Zazzle: What is your favorite type of Zazzle product to design?

Cynthia: I love the paper stuff (invitations, cards, etc) but I can also see how fun it is to make gadget cases, messenger bags, clocks, and housewares!

Zazzle: What seems to be your best-selling design or product?

Cynthia: For Funky Patterns, it seems to be the Retro Robots series. The doodles for those robots came about when I was in a particularly happy mood and I’m glad to see that it resulted in something good!

Zazzle: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own Zazzle store?

Cynthia: Make sure your designs will stand out. There are so many pretty designs out there so you need to make your work grab a potential buyer’s attention. Be witty, be original, and please don’t just copy what others are making.

If sales seem slow at first, do not give up. I have many items that didn’t sell in the first year I posted them but are surprisingly selling well now. Just keep paddling on.

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

The Dogs of Zazzle: Snoopy

By • 8 months ago with 5 replies already

Today’s post is an extra-special behind the scenes look at Zazzle, where you’ll get to meet representatives of Zazzle’s canine contingent.

Hello! My name is Snoopy and I help supervise my dad, who works with the product team here at Zazzle.

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I’m a Rottie and Black Lab mix who grew up in Hollywood and left my dreams of becoming a movie star for a promising career in the tech industry. I’m almost 12 years old and I’ve been here at the big Z for the last 6 years. I get to test the products out and lots of other fun stuff.

Here I am testing out one of our delicious-looking ties:

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It passed my inspection.

Working at Zazzle is pretty great. My coworkers stop by and give me rubs every time I ask! I love cheese, but I’m not allowed to have any. I can understand Russian, English and un poco del Español.

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All in all, life at Zazzle is a pretty sweet gig. Other than visiting our site, my best advice is this: Be nice to one another and adopt a dog!

Photography by: Nancy Ahn

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10 New Products You May Have Missed

By • 9 months ago with no replies yet

It’s a brand new year, and we’ve been launching brand new products left and right! Here’s our countdown of our 10 favorite new Zazzle products that you might not have seen yet.

Get ready to design!

#10: Table Card Holders

What better partner for our beautiful table cards than a classy, customizable stand?

#9: Light Switch Covers

Brighten up any room with a light switch cover with personal style.

#8: iPad Cases Galore

We’ve added so many great new options to protect and prettify your iPad that we couldn’t choose just one! With so many styles to choose from, we’ve got it covered no matter what you’re looking for.

#7: Nameplates

Stake your claim at home or at the office with our new acrylic desk nameplates. You can even add on a clock to count down your work day.

#6: Glass Cutting Boards

Add some cutting edge décor to the kitchen with our multi-shape, multi-purpose, glass cutting boards.

#5: Clipboards

Our new double-sided clipboards show off both style and organizational skills.

#4: Desk Organizers

Speaking of organization, keep those pens and pencils in line while adding some classy desk decoration with these new customizable holders for your favorite office supplies.

#3: Business Card Holders

Give your beautiful Zazzle business cards a safe and happy home while also making a great impression with our new business card holders.

#2: Bath Sets

This product is actually a two-for-one! Our set comes with matching soap dispenser and toothbrush holder for the perfect functional accents for your bath.

Which brings us to our #1 favorite new product…

#1: Liquid Courage Flasks!

Anything goes with these fun portable beverage holders that fit in your pocket and in tons of different fun events.

That’s just the beginning! We’ll be continuing to roll out amazing new products throughout the year. Make sure to check in on our forums so you don’t miss out.

Thanks! I hope you liked it.