Monday, 25 April 2016

Nifty Slideshow Maker - small update

How Many?

A small update - you can now see the number of products in the slideshow under the "make slideshow / apply changes" button. A slight improvement in the user-friendliness category.

With it, I found that the Google service I use for making the slideshow has an absolute maximum of 100 items, so that's the max you can use in yours.

Nifty Slideshow Maker is here:

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Video showing how to create fresh pins for Pinterest each day

Creative juice running dry for your promoting?

Here's a great idea that combines Zazzle's choices each day (you'd think they'd know what is worth pushing) with an easy 1-2-3-done promoting method.

Here's the video showing you how.

For video-haters

I know some people prefer to see the steps written down, rather than watch a video only to find out the tool's not for them - or it's just too long / slow for the way they prefer to find out things.

So here's the steps written down:
  1. Visit Zazzle's homepage and choose which of the things Zazzle is pushing today that you want to run with. Drag the image onto your desktop. This is the one you'll upload to Pinterest
  2. Start Nifty Slideshow Maker and fill in your referral id and a search term to get just those designs. If you're promoting a specific product line, (like invites) use the Zazzle Dept. ID finder (linked) to get the number to use.
  3. Hit the button to make your slideshow. Copy the link it gives you, ready for pasting into the pin in a moment
  4. On Pinterest, at the top right, click the plus-inside-a-circle icon. Then choose Upload From Computer. Choose the image on your desktop you just dragged off Zazzle.
  5. Give your pin a description and choose the board to pin to.
  6. Immediately hot the "see now" button because you've got to paste that link in. Hit edit and in the website box, paste the link you copied just now.
  7. Done!

Nifty Slideshow Maker link

Here's the link to Nifty Slideshow Maker (V2)

See the V2 tab at the top of the blog for details on using it, if you need to - especially international domains and how using them can help prevent you losing referrals.

Good luck with your promoting!
Please share with other Zazzlers in Facebook groups etc. Thankyou!

Friday, 22 April 2016

New image feature added to Nifty Slideshows

New images when sharing your link

I've added a new feature for when you share the link Nifty Slideshows gives you. It applies to Pinterest and Google Plus - you now get a choice of images to use in your pin / share.

Fb doesn't give a way of choosing - and Twitter doesn't give a way of displaying an image when you share a link :(
Unless you know different and care to share!

There's an image for each top-level Z department, so you can choose the best one for the sorts of things you've got in your slideshow.


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Improved Nifty Slideshows experience for mobile visitors


Improved experience on mobile: buttons added to allow mobile (and desktop) visitors to move around the slideshow.

Before, you could only see the forward, back, pause, resume buttons when you hovered. Mobile doesn't have the concept of hover so although mobile users could see the slideshow, they had no way of using those controls.

I've removed the hover and added buttons underneath the slideshow instead. Now mobile is as good as desktop in this respect.

Any links you already shared on social media will use the new buttons.

If you used the code snippet to put a slideshow on your blogs / websites, then you'll need to regenerate the code snippet and replace what's already there - if you want to improve chances of sales / referrals from mobile.

One does one's best ;)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

V2 of Nifty Slideshows is out - hold onto your hats!

Feedback always helps :)

Thanks to the great feedback received, I've been able to make some awesome changes to Nifty Slideshows.

Gone is the need to understand and be able to use Zazzle rss feeds - you just fill in the most basic info and get both a code snippet for your blog / website and a link that will paste on social media.

Read more about it at the tab above or try Nifty Slideshow Maker V2 for yourself. Those who've tried it are over the moon with how easy it is to use now.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

How to include Zazzle Voucher Codes in your promoting

Automatically apply voucher / promo codes

I've just added another feature to both Nifty Slideshow Maker and Curated Collections (whose use is described on a previous post, here. (both open in a new tab / window)

This new addition includes the voucher code you specify in all product links that lead from your slideshow to their respective product pages on Zazzle.

What this means is that a vistor clicking one of those links will automatically see the value of the voucher code deducted from the the price the see on the product page - the old price is scored out so you can see the saving.
You can see the effect in this screenshot when I used a current code: ZAZTAXSAVING described as 40% Off Our Top 10 Office Products and expiring April 15, 2016 11:59 PM PT

I'm in, how do I do it?

It's nice and simple. In both tools, following the example above, you just put &pm=ZAZTAXSAVING on the end. In Nifty Slideshow Maker, you put it on the end of your Zazzle RSS Feed and for the Curated Collections tool, you just put it on the end of the link you're building.

Here's an example for the Nifty Slideshow Maker tool:

And here's one for the Curated Collections tool:

Here's the Nifty Slideshow you get from the above:


Happy promoting!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Testing latest behind-the-scenes changes to Nifty Slideshow Maker


Your own image on Pinterest leading to your Curated Collection slideshow

Use your own image instead of the default one

On Pinterest, when you share your special made-up link for your Curated Collection slideshow, the default image that gets shared is this one:

If you've done this before, you might notice I've added a play button to encourage people to click.

Using your own image

Thanks to Darla over at Peacock Cards. Here's one of her pins:
If you click it (when you get there) you'll see her slideshow.

How it's done

Get over to pinterest and click the button that has a + inside a circle:

Next choose "Upload from computer". Upload the image you want to use. Before you pin it, give your slideshow-to-be pin a description like "See my most popular Summer Beach Theme wedding invites".
Choose the board you want and pin it. Immediately click on the "see it now" button so you can choose "Edit". You'll see this:

In the "Website" box, paste in the link you generated on Nifty Slideshow Maker V2 and then click ok. You'll then have a pin, just like the Peacock Cards one above but using your image and nifty slideshow.


Monday, 11 April 2016

Testing removal of image padding


Sunday, 10 April 2016

How can I showcase my related Zazzle products on all the top social sites?

Edit April 21st 2016

No need for the below, Nifty Slideshow Maker builds the link for you and is much, much easier to use.
Instructions are in the Nifty Slideshow Maker V2 tab at the top of this blog.

It's as simple as pasting a link...

Social Sharing

This works on all the top social media sites, including facebook, pinterest, twitter and google plus. I'll show you how later.
And the product links all contain your referral id and a tracking word you choose. Together, those will earn you a referral fee and let you know where any successfully referred sales came from.

'Curated Collections'

This tool is specifically to let you share related collections of products from your Zazzle store but you can use it much more loosely to give sets of products from anywhere on Zazzle.

Once you've decided what you want, you simply share the link by copying it and pasting into a new facebook post, on a new pin, in a new tweet or as a new google plus share. That's all everything else is done for you.

See what they'll see

Before we get started, here is the loosest of collections so you can get right to it and see what people will see when they click the image / link in your social share.
Go ahead, click the link (opens in new window)

It's showing the most popular of all items across all of Zazzle. (As a result, I can't really claim it's a  curated collection - what curating did I do?!)

Ok, let's make it focussed on Easter:

That's better. All is as before except we used that special ?qs=easter on the end.

Ok, now let's get a bit more adventurous and narrow it down to women's easter tshirts
For this, I first need to know Zazzle's department number for women's tees. The way I do that is to navigate to the department in my store's back end and look in the broswer's address bar for a number that begins &dp=
And that's the department number. Do you see it on the end there?

Ok, so let's do it:

Your referral id (and tracking code)

You must be wondering by now how you get your referral id in the link so that you earn any commission from referred sales.

Easy. Just add &rf=your18digitreferralid on the end. Like this: (yes, that's mine)

The tracking code sounds complicated but it's not. It's just a word you make up that Zazzle will put in your referral history report for any sales referred by someone following the link with it on. That way, you can tell where your promoting activity worked.

Here's what one looks like:

I know that the sale came from someone visitng my coordinated weddings blog because I always use hrcoweblg as a tracking code on that blog.

You choose your tracking code by putting &tc=your_word_or_words_separated_by_underscores on the end of the rest of the long link that's building up. If I was sharing that last collection on Pinterest, I'd use:

Now for a real 'curated collection'

All the above was just to show you some general stuff and let you have a play.
'Curated' in this sense means hand-picked and the only way to do that is to, well, hand pick them.

You mark them as hand-picked by making one of their power tags a unique word that you can then use as the &qs= and then you restrict to just your store - using mine as an example - with: &storeid=hightonridley

But that's a lot of hassle and you lose a power tag.

If you've been really organised and have arranged your store by category, then that's probably your best option for 'proper' curating.
To narrow down by category, you follow the route as for department, above, but instead (or as well) navigate to the category that has the products you want to be in the collection. Then copy the &cg=18digitnumber you'll see. Put that on the end of the link.

For example, I have a Just Fun category and its category number is &cg=196466803266351700. So for my set of comic designs, I get a link of:
(I'd change the tracking code to indicate wherever I'm going to post that link)

Polishing it off

On the page that displays the curated collection it uses a default title of "Curated Collection". You can change this by adding &title=your+title+with+plusses+instead+of+spaces on to the end. Like this:

Going Freestyle

 The only caution to take if you're going it alone is this. The first thing that appears after the .html must use a ? and everything after that must use an &
The various 'things' can appear in any order. Oh, and no spaces anywhere.

Whew! We've come a long way together. Any questions, drop them off in the comments.

Final bits 'n pieces

Other things you can 'tune':
&ps=10 if you want (a maximum of) ten products, &ps=50 for fifty products etc.
&st=popularity (default) or &st=date_created which means newest first.

...and Finally

Remember, all you have to do is paste in the link when you're pinning, sharing, posting or tweeting.

Here's what a share on google Plus looks like:

And on Facebook:

On Pinterest:

A tweet:

Pretty cool, hey?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

How do I get a clickable slideshow of my Featured Zazzle Products?

Maximum controlable product promotion

Huh? What does that mean? It means that once you've put your Nifty Slideshow on your blogs and webpages, you can control what they show from one central location - your store's back end.

And remember, all slideshow links contain your referral id and tracking code, so you earn money on top of your normal royalties and, with the tracking code, you know where the referral came from.

Imagine, you're sat in the middle of your world-domination control centre and by flicking a couple of metaphorical switches, your will ripples out across the globe. Mwoahhahaha!

Ok, not quite, but the principle is the same.

Featured Products

You know how there's a section in your store's back end called Featured Products? It's in the left hand column, near the top. You can see it highlighted in orange in the screenshot, below.

Well, if you look in your brower's address bar, you'll see the category number for it that Zazzle uses 'behind the scenes'. And that's the magic key to make this work!

The category ID is unique across Zazzle so you don't even need a storename, your featured products category number is all you need.

Make your own Nifty Slideshow

Here's all you need to make your slideshow:

Just change the first number from 238582202591969585 to your associate / referral id
and change the second from 196730684106130585 to your featured products category number

Then paste that into Nifty Slideshows:
Click the button to get the code to paste into your webpages or blogs. The live preview at the top will now show (the default) 35 products from the Featured Products.
I'm double checking the size of the default but if you want your own, add &ps=10 or &ps=50 or whatever onto the end of the feed.

What next?

You could go further and have a couple of slideshows per place you can put them, and then use the qs= to narrow down what each of those slideshows show. For example, I could use qs=fish to just get fish designs from my Featured Products.

I'll leave it you you, dear Zazzler, to play around with that idea :)


You add a product to your Featured Products by looking in the actions drop-down underneath any product in your store's back end (obviously not from the featured products section, they're all already there!) and selecting "add to Featured Products".

Hooray! Multiple Nifty Slideshows per blog!!

I've been trying to remove the limitation of only one Nifty Slideshow per web page and I've managed it! Hooray. It also means you can post as many as you like on your blog or in your blog's sidebar. I'll now go and update the live version of the Nifty Slideshow Maker tool.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Probably the easiest way to promote your Zazzle gear on your Blogger blog

Nifty Slideshow Maker

See that slideshow over on the right? That was created with our new Nifty Slideshow Maker in just a few easy steps.

Every product image is linked to its product page and all links always use your referral id and a tracking code you choose - all described in the video.
Here you go, in just under 7 minutes you'll see how easy it is to promote from your blog.

It's up to you whether you promote products from your store, from the market place or from one of the brand stores, like Disney:

Fool around

If you like, see how effective it is by playing with the one over on the right. I think you'll like the pause on hover and the control panel that pops up when you hover.