All about my Zazzle journey, including graphics design hints and tips, effective promotional tools and showcasing some great products from me and other storekeepers.
Click any product image or link and you'll be taken to it on Zazzle where you'll then be able to buy it. Remember, Zazzle is famed for its fast delivery and fantastic customer service and returns policy - and that's what you want when you buy online, isn't it?
I've made a couple of small but cool tweaks to the way Nifty Slideshow Maker works when pinning individual products on Pinterest.
Before the tweaks, I noticed that products using & and ' in their titles substituted & and ' in their place. It looked ugly and meant you had to edit manually to correct. The one above is meant to be Blue & Silver...
The tweaks correct those by replacing them with & and ' respectively:
Anyone who follows this blog knows that I develop Zazzle promo tools, mainly for my own purposes. But I also know that loads of Zazzlers find them useful, too, so I try to make them as user friendly as possible whilst keeping their power and flexibility.
A major update to Nifty Slideshows was in the offing anyway - making it a bit more understandable and re-jigging the layout a bit at the same time. But those weren't important enough to deserve an update by themselves.
Well, in the last few weeks I've been spending a fair amount of time pinning loads of linked slideshows on Pinterest. But I needed variation.
Variation needed in promoting, so...
You see, I know that variation is important in my promoting on Pinterest, so what next? Well, the obvious thing was pinning products instead of whole slideshows. With this in mind, I saw that in essence, it's exactly the same as for linked slideshows - except for a few tweaks. And Nifty Slideshows is a great tool already to actually get a bunch of just/mostly the products you want in your face.
So I made a new version that included a feature specifically to help with it. It ended up just being some tweaks to how it was already letting you send linked slideshows to autopost blogs.
This is a screenshot of the relevant section, as tweaked to allow you to send a product to an autopost blog.
Streamlining autopost support
You can see there's now a check box to allow you to choose to send products instead of linked slideshows and also somewhere to put the secret email address for the autopost blog.
You can also see some buttons that let you whiz through the products in the slideshow, only pausing when you want to send one that you like. This saves you having to scroll up to the slideshow each time - a right pain on mobile.
New: Save your settings
Another tweak, essential to regulars. Now you can save your settings to make it easier next time. Just bookmark the link in the page footer.
Why is that so cool?
If you're serious about maximising your promotion reach while minimising your time spent doing it, then this feature lets you set up, say, a spreadsheet or a text file and keep your settings links in there, one for each autopost blog. Saves having to remember the secret email addresses and search settings for what each owner wants shared on their blog.
That's pretty much it. For the curious, read the next bit about scheduling using autopost blogs and IfThisThenThat
I fixed a bug with sharing slideshows to the gallery but the main reason for releasing a new version was some behind-the-scenes changes to improve things generally.
All major and some minor settings can now be set in the link you use to start up Nifty Slideshows. This means you can set your own defaults like referral id and store id. More on this below
Customer-only products now fully supported from the following makers:
Customer-only products are those where there is nothing for storekeepers to design. All those I looked at are exclusively available on zazzle.com and not international domains, so I've assumed that's the case for all of them.
Setting your own defaults - advanced users only
You can pass the settings you want used into Nifty Slideshow maker by including them as parameters in the link you use to start it.
Once you've set up the link for your defaults, bookmark it for ease
of use next time. You can even set up different defaults for different
promotion needs and bookmark them all. Maybe one per autopost blog you regularly use, for example.
A full list of parameters you can use follows. If you don't use a parameter, it will use a default, usually blank.
rf= Your referral id, for example 238582202591969585 (this is the default)
bg= Background colour to use for non-in-situ product shots, eg ffffff(this is the default)
st= Sort type. Choice of popularity or date_created (default = popularity)
sd= Sort directon. Choice of desc (most popular or newest first) or asc (least popular / oldest first). The default is desc
ps= Page size. The number of products requested from Zazzle's rss feed mechanism (used to get the products for the slideshow). Example 35 (default = 15)
pg= Page number. Instead of returning the first "page size" set of products, pull the nth set. Example 2 (default = 1)
tc= Tracking code. For example, nft_ss_pntrst_thnks_gvng (default = nft_ss)
title= Title of the slideshow. Use + instead of space. For example Mugs+with+Thanksgiving+designs
qs= Search word / term. Use + instead of spaces. For example thanksgiving+turkey
storeid= The part that comes after zazzle.com/ for example hightonridley Note it can also be a collection. If so use collections/collectionid For example,collections/119815600039373332
dp= Department id. For example, 252178814251104427
cg= Category id. For example, 103739611579647755
pm= Promotion code. For example, ESSENTIALS40
zd= International Domains. Choice of 1 use international domains or 0 don't use (default = don't use)
mt= Autopost blog secret email address. For use when using your own email client to share to autopost blogs. Example firstname.lastname@example.org
uh= Unhide autopost section. Choice of 1 unhide or 0 hide (default = hide)
Remember, the first option (url parameter) you use is preceeded by ? and subsequent ones are preceeded by &
The Nifty Slideshow maker page uses the AddThis service for its sharing buttons. When clicked, they let you share the page with your friends so they can make their own Nifty Slideshows.
So how do you share that wonderful slideshow you just made to the gallery? Simple, make sure the gallery is on display and only then click the envelope share button.
Here's what it looks like with the gallery on display. You can see the tops of the first few in the gallery at the bottom of the screenshot:
When it looks like the above and you click the gray envelope share button, you should see the email share dialog looking something like this:
Now you're ready to fill in the secret "To" email address, currently the one shown in the first screenshot. Next, fill in the From email address (use your own - note that I won't see this), do the Captcha and hit send.
If you want to get a copy of the email that gets sent, after the secret email address in the "To" box add a comma and then your email address. Note that I won't see that email address either.
If you see instead the screenshot below when you click the gray envelope share icon, then either the gallery wasn't on display when you clicked it or I have a bug I need to know about!
That's what it should look like when sharing the maker page itself, not when sharing to the gallery. Do you see the difference?
Do let me know in the comments (or on the Zazzle forum) if it's not working as described.