Five Places to Promote Your Zazzle, CafePress and Society6 Stores
The importance of promoting your stores
Anyone who sells their artwork and crafts through online stores such as Zazzle, CafePress or Society6 will understand the importance of promoting those stores in order to drive traffic and gain some exposure.
Even the most talented artists and designers will make very few sales if the buying public are unaware of what they have to offer. As such, many artists and designers will use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Goggle+. And using Pinterest, claim some, is one of the most powerful and effective ways to drive a significant amount of traffic to your stores.
Although I use Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ for promotional purposes, I have to say that, personally, I have not had a great deal of success with these sites. I find that whatever I post on Pinterest soon gets lost amongst the recipes, stiletto heels and images of cute puppies. Twitter, on the other hand, does send some traffic to my stores and although I do not have any concrete evidence to support my claim, does not result in conversions.
In light of my lack of success when it comes to promoting my stores through the usual channels, I began to research some of the lesser known sites, particularly those similar to Pinterest, to see what they have to offer.
At the time of writing I cannot offer any stats when it comes to the amount of traffic sent to each store from these new sites, as I have only opened accounts, uploaded images and posted links. Overtime, however, I plan to update this hub with more detailed information.
Promoting your arts and crafts
Do you promote your arts and crafts online?
We Heart It
I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across We Heart it.com, not just because the site boasts an impressive Page rank of 6, but because of the aesthetic layout and ease of use.
We Heart It.com is, essentially, a huge gallery used by artists, photographers and designers throughout the world.
After signing up (you can use Facebook, Twitter or Goggle +app to sign up), you simply complete your profile page and, more to the point, drop a link to your store or website. You are also prompted to install the "Heart it" add-on, so that you can easily "heart" (pin) images from around the web.
Initially, you are asked to "heart" 4 items to get started. That is, 4 items which interest you. They can range from photography to architecture; the arts to humor.
From there you can create boards, adding the images of others or images of your products and designs. The only 'downside' is that you cannot add links to each individual product or design. Having said that, the link to your site or store is at the top of your page, thus, anyone interested in your products can simply follow the link.
And last but not least, you have a nice PR6 link back to your site, which will hopefully improve your store's rank with Goggle who may, consequently, send more traffic to your stores.
Advertised as a site where you can promote your arts, crafts and vintage items for free, Craftori.com has a page rank of 4 and offers paid listings in addition to free listings.
Signing up is straightforward and once you have completed your profile you are asked to click on the confirmation email.
In contrast to WeHeartIt, Craftori allows you to post links to each piece of artwork but does stipulate that you must delete those items when sold. Clearly, this condition does not apply if you are promoting products from your Zazzle, Cafepress or Society6 store.
Unfortunately the free listings are not featured on the front page, and I did find the site slow to load. Having said that, a back link from a PR4 site is not to be sneered at!
I particularly like ArtWanted.com, a huge gallery where you can showcase your art and sell paintings. Although I found a few Zazzlers taking advantage of the PR 5 back link, I noticed that they were leaving links to their blog/website as opposed to pages on their stores.
The community there seem very friendly and more than willing to give feedback and encouragement. For those artists who produce their own canvass/products, there is the option to sell through the site and there are no commission charges if the buyer purchases through PayPal.
Another huge online gallery, Piccsy.com has a page rank of five. Signing up is straightforward and can be done through Facebook, Twitter or with your email.
Initially you are promoted to choose categories which interest you, such as graphic design, photography or the arts.
You can upload multiple images but need to link back to your blog/website, not your store or individual products.
I really like Indulgy.com, another gallery similar to Pinterest with a page rank of 5. Sign-up is again straightforward and once you have verified your email address you are prompted to download the Indulgy plugin for Chrome/Firefox etc.
Usually I am reluctant to download add-ons because I normally end up with some dodgy toolbar, but not on this occasion. The add-on simply allows you to right click on any image and easily collect (or pin if you prefer) to Indulgy.
You're then prompted to add a description and Indulgy adds the image to similar categories, in addition to the main page. I noticed quite a few Zazzlers on there so clearly the site is gaining some popularity with the Zazzle community.
I have selected these five sites on which you can promote your Zazzle, Cafepress and Society6 stores because I believe each one looks promising and has some potential. My experiment does not finish here, however, and over the coming weeks I intend to add more sites that I feel may be beneficial.