I’ve been running a design business from home, through the Zazzle company, since 2007. Now that I have the hang of design and store set-up (mostly), my main focus day-to-day is promotion of my products. If you work online you already know that promotion is BIG. Simply having great things to sell means very little if no one ever sees what you have created.
Way back, during my beginner days at Zazzle, Amy Jordan suggested that I make wedding items. She said that they appear to be money-makers, so I took her advice and ventured into the huge wedding market. I didn’t even realize how huge it was at the time. The fact that I sell anything in a bloated sea of wedding stationery is a surprise in itself. The fact that I can make a living selling wedding stationery is a blessing. It may also be greatly due to the fact that I have been promoting myself for years.
I do not write this blog, or any of my blogs, because I have nothing better to do in life. Four years ago I need a way to make money and wondered how the heck anyone can make money online. It’s a difficult concept to grasp when you’ve worked in retail, selling tangible items and collecting a regular paycheck all your life.
None of what I’ve done has been fast nor easy. I work seven days a week and many hours each day. I am grateful to be able to work from home, but I did have other income to use while I built up this business. Still interested? Read on.
So I thought, okay, I’ll sell pictures of my shells and other things, and Zazzle was the place I chose to do so. Without a clue as to what I was doing I opened a store and eventually noticed that my seashell products were selling. I had to expand on what was working and needed to promote my store out in the world so I began this blog (actually I began a Google blog and moved to WP). My purpose was to share some pictures and information about my own seashell collection and hopefully point potential customers to the items I had for sale in my stores. As with most computer related ideas I’ve had, that idea evolved into something else. As I began writing about beach shells, I found that readers were also searching for something else. They wanted to know the names of their own shells and some of them were asking me. It was time to begin learning about the shells I photographed, not only to apply tags correctly to my stationery and gift items so they could be found easier, but to pass that information on to others.
So I began blogging regularly about individual shells and began to increase the readers to this blog. I never planned to write so much when I began earning money online. I also learned, by checking my stats area (you should do this), that people were looking for coloring pages related to sea shells so I provided them and have an entire page or free, printable outlines at “Seashell Coloring Page“.
Okay, great, but how does that make me money? The coloring page is set up to donate all profits to the Buckhawk animal rescue, so I don’t make money from the ads on that page. In fact if you just visit that page (link above), you will be helping out. (Thank you!) As anyone who has been blogging a while, or writing to earn money online can tell you, good and relevant content will get you readers. There is a lot of junk out there and I’ve come across my share of it. The reason for all the junk, is that writing well takes effort and time. Writing does not come easy to me. I would much rather draw a picture than write a paragraph, but good context is what gets found by search engines so write I must. But having readers is key to having customers and everything I write that is seashell related either points back to a blog or page that is linked directly to my Zazzle stores, or it points directly to the store. Writing well brings readers who could be new customers and that is how I make money.
All this has taken time. No one that I know of is a success overnight online. After nearly four years, I am just now earning good money from my Zazzle stores. I presently can be found on Zazzle, Squidoo, Wizzley, and of course WordPress. I do have an Adsense account but most of my earnings come from pointing people to my online stores where I sell stationery and gifts using my photos and art of seashells. I do much more writing than I do creating at this point. Constantly writing and linking and learning about shells; that is how I make my money. Good luck to you.