Saturday, 3 August 2013

Embossed-looking Black Dragon on red chrome-effect Dry Erase Whiteboard

A gorgeous dry wipe board design from HightonRidley. A rectangular area is faded out to make sure you can easily read what gets written on it. Click to personalize. Logo

Metallic series

A great design featuring a stylized embossed-looking black heraldic dragon standing in the passant guardant aspect. On a red chrome-effect background with a red brushed metal-effect stripe, you can change the text as desired or blank it out. You could use your initials as a monogram, if you like - your choice!

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Zazzle Storekeepers: How can Yahoo! Pipes help?

I said a few days ago that I'd introduce you to Yahoo! Pipes:

First, what is it? 

Yahoo! Pipes (Y!P from now on) is a tool that lets you manipulate RSS Feeds. And for those not familiar with RSS Feeds, these are lists of stuff (e.g. news items, products from your store, lists of blog posts) that follow a particular layout / structure.

What sorts of things can you do with it?

General stuff

From the very simple, like sorting the list in various ways, to the more powerful, like filtering out posts with specific keywords, manipulating its content in various ways, only showing the list if it's between certain times of day.
The thing I really like about it is that you drag out onto a canvas the various modules you want to work with, and join them up with, well, pipes (and hence the name).

Here's what one looks like while designing:

You can see that this one takes the simplest possible Zazzle RSS Feed, sorts it on the date each product was made and then outputs it. You can see the first few items in the list (feed) it produces in the debugger section at the bottom.
On the left you can see a list of the sorts of 'modules' you can use in designing your Y!P.

Zazzle-specific stuff

If you're a storekeeper or affiliate marketer you'll seriously like what it can do for you:
  • Build Zazzle feed requests to draw items out of the market place, yours or others' stores
  • Combine Zazzle feeds into one
  • Add tracking codes to all links in each list item
  • Get copy-and-paste code for slide shows for blogs or websites
..and all fully automatically!

The Power of Two

But much more than this, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve when you use Y!P in conjunction with the IfThisThenThat tool I mentioned last time.
  • Post specific items to your blog
  • Notify yourself by email whenever the most popular item in a department changes
  • Tweet new sales in your store
  • Change your status or post links on your Facebook timeline
  • ...and so much more on many more social sites
Have a look at this blog's posts for the sorts of end results you can achieve. Which ones were created by Y!P it conjunction with IFTTT? I'll leave you to figure it out :)

Be aware of...

  • Note that there is a limitation with Y!P: you can only have a maximum of 200 runs of your pipes per hour - exceed this and you'll have to wait for two hours before it resets.
  • IFTTT "recipes" - the way you use your Y!P output to do stuff - run every 15 minutes or so and react only to new items added to the list (RSS feed).

What next?

Watch out for further posts that give more specific examples of free tools that can greatly assist your promotion efforts - all automatically!

"Escher's Dream" iPhone 5 Barely There Case iPhone 5 Cover

A gorgeous iPhone Case design from Claire_Jones featuring a beautiful fractal. Click to personalize. Logo

This iPhone 5 case features the original fractal piece Escher's Dream.

Above The Chapel Altar, Stained Glass Window Stretched Canvas Prints

Featured Product!

A gorgeous design from HightonRidley. Click to customize and personalize. Maybe you'd like to see your name / initials / monogram on it? Logo

Faith series A fine art wrapped canvas showing the area above an altar in a quiet Scottish chapel. Delicately lit and tinted by the bright light streaming through the stained glass window, the vaulted architecture of the choir reveals its gothic roots.
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image code: hrmon283

Professional Photographer Camera Lens Business Card Templates

A gorgeous metallic-effect design from AV_Designs. How would it look with your name / initials? Click to personalize. Logo

Professional Photographer Camera Lens Business Card with metallic vignette background.

Monogram Tarantula Nebula Ties

A gorgeous tie design from HightonRidley. Click to personalize. Maybe you'd like to see your initials / monogram on it? Logo

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series An awesome mobile phone shell featuring the Tarantula Nebula of the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way, our galactic home. This Hubble image shows old stars from the distant past and rich, interstellar gas clouds feeding the formation of new ones. The most massive and hottest stars are intense, high-energy radiation sources and this pushes away what remains of the gas and dust, compressing and sculpting it. As the whorls and eddies clump and stretch it, gravity takes over and the birth of the next generation of new stars is triggered.
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image code: tnlmcsfr

Image credit: NASA, the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI) and ESA