Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Society6 Nifty CPanel for Curators

The Society6 Nifty CPanel for Curators and Storekeepers is now complete with all widgets and all individual product sharing tools complete, tested and working :)

A simple and easy suite of sharing tools and widgets for Society6 Curators
posted using Society6 Nifty CPanel

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

LET'S SUMMON DEMONS Coffee Mug - click/tap to buy

An amazing mug from Society6, used to demonstrate the Society6 Nifty CPanel for storekeepers and curators. This post was created with the share-by-email tool.

LET'S SUMMON DEMONS Coffee Mug Normal price: $15.99 - click/tap to buy

posted using Society6 Nifty CPanel

Monday, 19 February 2018

Test of the new Society6 Nifty CPanel slideshow widget

A slideshow widget showing popular cloud theme throw pillows. Each link uses my curator id from Society6 so I will earn referral commission if someone buys something by following any of the links:

Fetching ...won't be a tick!

search (new window)

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Working on a Society6 Nifty CPanel

Many of my fellow Zazzlers also sell their artwork / designs via Society6 so I thought I'd develop a suite of promo tools for Society6 as I have for Zazzle and Amazon.

In order to be able to earn as an affiliate - curator is the term Society6 uses - you have to apply to become one. Once you do, you'll be given a curator id to use in all promotional links. (Zazzlers, it works just like the referral id when promoting Zazzle products).

Society6 has a very different 'search' approach to the one used by Zazzle, allowing the stringing together of a number of terms, some of which are 'reserved'. It makes it possible to pull products using searches like:
  • random blue tough cases iphone x
  • new yellow pillows
  • random easter bunny cards
  • cute animal backpacks

Getting products

Here's more detail on how you get products on Society6. These guide exactly how I'll build the tool. I'm heading for a free-form search option to allow fullest flexibility and a natural way of going about it. For the record, here's the low-down on what Society6 supports.


The different types of product are grouped into departments, with each department having its own term: wall-art, home-decor, bedding, bath and more


Within each department are the actual products, for example, the stationery department includes notebooks, cards and stickers.


There are 14 different color names you can use - all the normal ones like red, blue and green as well as others like pink, purple, magenta, aquamarine and tan.


Some products, for example iPhone cases, also have a style and / or model. In the iPhone cases example, you could search for tough iphone x

Sorting results

Results are always sorted by popular unless you include new or random in your search terms.

Limitations found so far

The only drawback I've found so far is that the product images that can be extracted from search result pages have a maximum size of 264x264 pixels. Larger sizes are available on the product pages but the extra lookup to get the larger images from them would slow things down considerably.

Maybe as time goes on, I'll find a way of getting larger images from the standard search results pages. Maybe I'll ask Society6 support.

If you're interested and want to be notified, follow this blog or ask to join the dedicated Nifty Toolz support, tools and tips group on Facebook:

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Fixed an oopsie in the free nIFTTTy share/pin/tweet scheduler

A few weeks ago, someone reported they were getting duplicate pins using the nIFTTTy share scheduler tool.

I spent a goodly while trying to get to the bottom of it and to reproduce the problem but alas, alak, I couldn't.

Well someone else reported the same issue, quickly followed by another, both in the last couple of days. So I doubled down and tried again. Yaay! 😎 - got it this time.

All fixed now :)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

How to make the perfect canvas on Zazzle


Your carefully planned photo suffers if it loses important "breathing space" to the wrapped edges of a canvas. And you don't want black, white or plain colour edges that can look ugly.


Use an enlarged, blurred version of the image to sit underneath/behind your photo or design. I used Photoshop but all art apps should allow you to do similar.

This is the original image I'm using. You'll notice that the "breathing space" around the poem is already a little cramped. No way it can afford to lose any more to the wrap.

So that's the starting image, uploaded to Zazzle and placed on a wrapped canvas. Next, the blured version.

Here it is after applying a gaussian blur in Photoshop with a very large radius - 250px on this image, which is 10,000px wide

Again, uploaded to Zazzle and then placed underneath the original. Here's the in-progress wrapped canvas in Zazzle's design tool

You can see the original image is selected, with the blurred version underneath and enlarged enough to more than cover the edges as well. How much you enlarge will depend on the characteristics of your photo to give a pleasing blend.

Here's detail of the edge. If you carefully resize your photo to just touch the dotted, green guide lines, you'll get the edges flush as shown

I think you'll agree that it looks much better than plain edges and the colours of course blend with the photo.

Enjoy :)

PS See the finished product on Zazzle

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Why greetings cards with handwriting are loved by all

It doesn't matter if your handwriting is a scrawl or a calligraphic masterpiece, people still love to get cards with handwriting in them.


Because it shows you value them! Even a simple phrase like "I saw this card and thought you'd like it :)" or "I saw the greeting and thought it was just right for you" or "The picture reminded me of you", these all work well but feel free to work out your own personal touch greeting.

Think about what phrase you'd use for the person you have in mind as you look at my most popular greetings card designs. And if you want to see more of what you like, try a search to find the perfect card for them. So here's my popular ones:

Fetching ...won't be a tick!

search (new window)

Stay in the same department when you search to make sure you keep getting cards.


Watch the video tutorial on how to make slideshows like the above for YOUR Zazzle store to put on YOUR blog.

Get started making your own

Saturday, 30 December 2017

2-step How To: share a hot-linked slideshow of your Zazzle products

Do you want to share a hot-linked slideshow of your collection or best products on Facebook and other social media?

See an example of one I shared earlier

Here's an example:
Of course, yours will have your referral id and tracking code, so you earn the referral commission from any resulting sales.

Make your own slideshow

If you want to follow along, you can make yours with Nifty

a) Start by filling in the choices in Step 1 to get the products you want for your slideshow. You can see the products selected at the bottom of the browser window.

Note whenever you make a change and hit "enter" or tap/click away, the products shown will update based on what you changed.

Also, you can get help on any item by clicking its button with a "?" on it.

b) in Step 2 ...
Click the show/hide button next to where it says "Step 2: Choose your type of promoting" and then the show/hide button next to "Share a slideshow":

Give a title for your slideshow and a unique tracking code that you'll recognise later. It appears in your Referral History report when someone follows one of your slideshow links to Zazzle and buys something.

The final reveal

You see your slideshow when you tap/click either the "open original slideshow sharer" button or the "elastic bounce" one.

From the slideshow page that opens, you can then share on social media using the buttons provided.

Tweaking Nifty - embed-code slideshow search updated

In line with the changes made to the slideshow sharing page to improve the search, we've now made those same changes to the embed-code version.

Here's the embed code version as generated by Nifty, set up to use our Zazzle store, the "motivational" category we've got set up and the "cards and postage" department. Here it is:

Fetching ...won't be a tick!

search (new window)

Friday, 29 December 2017

Tweaks to Nifty's Zazzle Product Slideshow sharer

We've had some feedback that the way the search worked on the Nifty Slideshow Sharer wasn't intuitive / useful enough.
Tap/click the image to see the slideshow in action and to try out the search

What used to happen depended on where the original products were being pulled from. If a store name and / or department id was used, the new search was restricted in the same way.

πŸ‘Ž The feedback we got was that searches by customers were often turning up no results; the department and store restrictions were often too limiting.

So, on the one hand, yes we all want to keep people in our stores to increase the chance of a sale of one of our designs, but on the other we don't want to lose a potential referral sale because we didn't cater for what they were after in their search.

πŸ‘ So we've added checkboxes that appear under the right circumstances:
  • If you used a store name in the slideshow, the "Search in same store" checkbox appears
  • If you used a department id, yes, you guessed, the "Search in same department" checkbox appears

Finally, when a search is performed, the page size parameter resets itself to 120 (the max) and the page number gets reset to 1.

πŸ€₯ Oh, and we've also removed the lie (an oversight!) that said the search opened in a new window; it doesn't.

πŸ’°Kerching! Let's hope it does the job and leads to more sales πŸ˜€

Edited to add:
We've added another nice little tweak that was easy to do. Now, when a department is used, the department name appears as part of the title for new searches:
Tap/click the image to see the slideshow in action and to try out the search

You can see in this screenshot of one arising from a new search:
  1. A department must have been used (because the checkbox for it is there)
  2. The name of that department is now included in the title at the top of the slideshow.

Tap/click the image to see the slideshow in action.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Tweak to Nifty's live product grid widget

Yesterday I was changing my sidebar product display to show only our business card tempate designs. That led me to want to remove the product names that Zazzle adds to the titles. After all, every single one will be a business card template - no need to take up vertical space repeating that fact for each one.

Nifty allows for that with an option (Step 1->More options->Advanced options):

There's the option, at the bottom of the section

The option is on by default so I just needed to uncheck it and then get the live product grid code:


I added it to my blogger side bar but the Zazzle-added product names were still there. After some digging, I saw that the live product grid widget wasn't even checking to see if they should be added or not and was just going with the default of keeping them in place.

So I put that right, banning the gremlin to the coding netherworld and tried again. Great! The product names were gone - as you can see in the sidebar now.

Another day, another improvement. One day....

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Tweaking Nifty's individual product sharing tools

The individual product sharers weren't dealing very well with certain special characters when they appeared in Zazzle product titles and descriptions. I spent a couple of hours sorting it out today and, fingers crossed, all should be well.

Try out Nifty if you like - don't forget to fill in your details at the top (Step 1) first before trying the individual product sharing in Step 2.

It was good to hear from some of you that you've started to get referral sales because of the Nifty tools. Keep sharing the joy and help our fellow Zazzlers!

Ask to join the Facebook NiftyToolz Tips & Support group and get prompt answers to questions you might have - they're a friendly bunch there :)