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Selling Artwork Online with Zazzle

Updated on June 9, 2010

Want to sell artwork? Turn it into a product design!

Have you ever wanted to sell artwork online and earn an income from it? Turning your artwork into uniquely designed products means that you can sell commercial art designs. You may think that going commercial means you have to compromise your unique artistic flare and leave you limited to working for someone else. Nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that you can sell your unique designs, from artistic photos you take to drawings and paintings, as unique and popular products.

Buying artwork in a traditional sense is often overlooked by most people, yet they do buy artwork all the time. They just don't think of it as buying artwork as what they are buying is often functional artwork like T-Shirts, shoes and handbags. Think about your favorite T-Shirts and even coffee mugs, is it not a favorite because you liked the art put into it?

Hopefully I have now got you thinking that your designs and vision might make for popular household items but how to do it easily? Chances are you would be happy to take the pictures or paint the paintings and you probably understand that in order to sell you need to self promote a little. People need to know you are out there in order to find your work and buy it! Now what about the actual process of creating the T-Shirts, coffee mugs, shoes, posters, prints and everything else? In the days before the internet this would have been a huge challenge, today it is so easy and costs nothing if you know where to look.

Create fashion art online free! Start with a site like Zazzle.

One place you can go to that will turn your photos and other art work into designs for T-Shirts and more is Zazzle. This site allows you to design your own T-Shirts, poster, keds shoes and more. It is free to sigh up to and anything you design can be posted to your own personal store hosted by Zazzle.

Getting started at Zazzle is easy and they walk you through the whole process. I will set up a secondary account now so that I can walk you through the process without missing a step. On their front page you should see right at the top options to shop, create, sell and community. If you click sell it takes you to a page with 3 boxes of text. The first box is titled Why Zazzle with information about their services. The second box is titled Community and has links to community resources, from forums and blogs to the Zazzle University, all aimed at helping new sellers get started. The third box is titled Getting Started and to set up our shop thats exactly what we want.

Setting up a Shop with Zazzle.

We have found the first page for getting started with Zazzle. In the getting started box you should see a clickable button at the bottom that says 'Get Started' so lets get started with Zazzle and click that button.

When you click the get started button it takes you to a page with two options, one saying 'I am new to Zazze' and one saying 'I have used Zazzle before'. As I already have a store set up my information is already there for me to log in but as I am setting up a secondary shop for this walk through I will click 'continue' in the 'I am new to Zazzle' area.

This next page should be expected, it is asking for information to create our account. First we want to come up with a user name and password, then we want to enter an email address and confirm that we are over 13 years of age (this may be different in different countries). That done we can now continue by clicking the continue button. Guess what?! You now have an account and are ready to continue on to creating a store for the products you will make.

To set up a new store now all we need to do is enter the text in the captcha area (half the time I cannot read those things properly, if you need to use the refresh button to get something you can read). Once done with this you just click the create store button, technically you now have a store, empty tho it is! The apperance of your store is on a default design and if you want to go have a quick look you can find a direct link in the upper right hand corner next to the text 'Welcome', I would suggest opening it in a new window or tab (so you can easily come back to the page we are currently on).

There are a number of options we can now choose from. We can edit the basic information for our store settings. If you have an idea of a title and tags that will be relevant to what you wish to sell, say you specialize in nature shots as a photographer you may wish to give your store a title and tags that indicate you will be selling designs with a focus on nature.

Open the 'edit basic information link in a new window to take you to a page where you can write up a summary to describe you store, add tags for the search engines to index, enable google analytics and a few other techie bits I don't really understand.

Let us assume we have made a great description and added tags (I have not but we can pretend!) and have saved all this. We can now edit the appearance of the store from the original page we opened the edit page from. If you cannot see a link saying 'edit your appearance' you may need to scroll down a bit. Now that you have found it open it in a new window and you will be shown a range of already created themes. If you are confident to create your own theme go ahead and click that option to go through to that control panel. I personally chose one I liked the look of and chose it for ease of use. Now that you have choosen a theme just click save at the bottom of the page and you can close it to go back to the basic page we came from.

Create your first Zazzle Product!

Now that you have a fancy new store I imagine you are itching to create that first item. Well we can go do that now!

My prefered way to do this is to click the 'create' option at the top of most pages. Clicking this page brings us to a page with a few examples of items we can design in each catagory. Feel free to take a minute to have a browse through your options to get a feel for how much you can do here.

For this hub I will choose to create a ladies T-Shirt, so I click the ladies T-Shirt picture link and it takes me through to a page with the different styles of ladies T-Shirts I can add my design too (there are a few long sleeve shirts in here too, one with a hoody). I am going to pick the hoody. I just click the one I want and it takes me to the design page, with a floating box telling me I can add an image or text, or both! This floating box will always come up with creating a new item and you will want to close it. In here you can look at shirt options by clicking that tap or you can add images and text in the customize it tab.

I am going to focus on text only here, something like 'accountant in the evil empire' for text. I can add a second text file to overlay the first or to go below it. I can change the font from the default Futura Md BT font and I may even choose one of the symbol fonts to add a symbol below my slogan. To add a symbol font below my slogan I just click the add text button to create new text seperate from the slogan. It is not possible to pick the font first so I just added some random text to get me to the point of choosing a font then back to alter the text to find a great symbol for my slogan. Try playing around a bit to get the hang of designing your T-Shirt (or whatever you choose).

A few tips while designing are to try the different modes of looking at your design. I very much like looking in the Design mode instead of Model or Product as it shows me the area I am fitting my design into so that I know that it fits and wont be cut off. Now that we have a designed product we can either add it to a basket or post it for sale. I don't know about you but I want to post mine for sale.  Posting your product to sell takes you to a page where you can edit the name of your item, add a description and tags. Tags are pretty important if you want people to find your work so think about what words and terms a person might use when looking for products like the one you just created. If you write articles here at HubPages you are probably already aware of the importance of tagging for search engines. The same can be said for your product. Is it goth? Is it funny? Hopefully you get the idea :).

Now you can categorize it for the public and at some point when you have lots of items and have created store categories you can place it in a relevant store category. For now lets just focus on the public categories. Have a look through and find the most relevant description, if you can post it in two relevant categories feel free, two is your limit however. You can increase the price by increasing your royalty percentage, the default is 10%. You can see the exact amount your % will earn you if/when you make a sale on this product. Now you are ready to post it! Post it and you have a new product on the market to sell!

Official HubPages Writer. What do you mean you never heard of HubPages?!?!

Promoting your Zazzle Products!

I wont go to much into promoting your products as that could be a whole new hub! For now I will say that with a new product created you are presented with different options for promotion. The code and links to use in your blog and website should make it easier to promote in the websites and blogs you already have. In addition to this as you look around the site at all the options you can keep your eye out for promotion links with facebook and myspace as well as linking with your twitter account. The great thing is that Zazzle tries to give you all the help possible to make promoting your products in an appealing way easy!


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    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      waynet - It's so true what you say about working to make zazzle (or anything else on the net) work for us. It is not a get rich quick scheme but it can earn and its actually lots of fun too. I really love the platform that encourages people to promote each others works, it creates a fun community of artists. I love that I am starting to get noticed enough that folks are posting some of my designs on their blogs and websites, every time someone posts that this or that is on their blog I am over the moon :D

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      I've always liked Zazzle and I am making a part time income from a handfull of Zazzle galleries and it really does work, but you have to put the time into something to make it work and that's the key, focus!!

      Great and informative Zazzle hubpage!

    • johnsams profile image


      8 years ago

      Never tried zazzle, now after some success stories. I may want to give it a crack someday. Thanks for sharing :)

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      K J Page- I love creating items as well. The rest will fall into place over time and the most important bit is the fun bit, creating these items. When you make your first sale even if its a greeting card it is going to feel great, probably will scare those around you when you shout about it :D

    • K J Page profile image

      K J Page 

      8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I tried Zazzle - I like the way it works - no sales yet - still trying to make sense of everything that is right now ancient Greek to me!! But is was fun to create items and to see the way my artwork looked on mugs, t-shirts and mouse pads

    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 

      8 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Hmm, Zazzle sounds somewhat familiar . . . I checked it out.

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      8 years ago

      Zazzle is a great site for artists and its nice way to make money from your art work.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Betty Reid - Thanks for the read and comment. My Aunt has bought and received a fitted tee shirt and mouse pad and she too says that they are great. I am tickled that you liked the images I have on my Zazzle page, thank you for the compliment :)

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Sandyspider - sorry to take so long to reply, been designing over at Zazzle :). You are totally right, it is very addictive.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Kristenblog, thanks for the advice. I ordered mugs from Zazzle for a friend, and he loved them. The images on your Zazzle page are great. You are very talented.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice information on selling artwork on Zazzle. I love Zazzle, it is very addictive and fun.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Cora Merie Seraph - Thanks for the read! I only did a little investigation before joining and uploading a few designs, it is free to do so why not, right? It is advantageous when you did as I have just made my first sale (2 actually). My computer crashed a few days ago and I didn't get to look for 2 days and decided to check my email on a diff computer and found 2 sales! I am very excited! I joined the site last month and think that it is impressive that a customer has found me already. I suspect that I will be busy designing for a little while now :).

    • Cora Merle Seraph profile image

      Cora Merle Seraph 

      8 years ago

      Saw this site mention in an other hub. I am more of a jump right in read manual later type of guy so I might at very least give the site a look first and if I like come back to read this.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      KeithWilliams - Thanks for the read and the comment! I am loving Zazzle and glad to see a fellow Zazzler here. I wonder if you have written a hub about your experiences and successes with Zazzle yet? I know as a new Zazzler I would love to read it and could provide a link to here for any one else who would want to read it as well. I hope that you are enjoying hubpages, its an amazing place to write, just as Zazzle is to create!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love Zazzle, it's a really great place to create. I may be new to Hubpages, but I'm a long time Zazzle contributor. To anyone who loves making art or creating cartoons, Zazzle is the way to go.*

    • Kay Creates profile image

      Kay Creates 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Very interesting information. Thank you.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      loveofnight, since starting my online store I have kinda gotten obsessed! Now I have this site and my store competing for ultimate obsession! If you do open your own store let me know, I would be happy to leave comments on great designs and even tweet them to my followers (its to easy not to!).

    • loveofnight profile image


      8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      i will definitely come back to this, this sounds like something that i would enjoy.......thx

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Hi wrenfrost, I am glad you liked both the forum thread and the hub! There are so many cool opportunities on the net but this one seemed kinda special to me :) Here is to both of our success on Zazzle! :D

    • wrenfrost56 profile image


      8 years ago from U.K.

      Hi Kirstenblog, I just wanted to say thank-you for mentioning this site on the forum before, I signed up the same day! Good job on this hub also, gave me a better idea of how to go about using zazzle. :)

    • profile image

      Logo Design Gear 

      8 years ago

      Good posting. I have rated it.

    • pjk_artist profile image


      8 years ago from Turkey Point, ON

      Great most online places want vector graphics. Which I don't have. Thanks for the hub.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      pjk_artist - It looks like if you are creating images in vector graphics like flash or freehand you will need to convert to a bitmap file type. The files types to choose from are JPEG TIFF PNG and GIF. You do want to think about the quality and resolution of the image, the higher the better (without going overboard like I did earlier LOL). The pricing structure is flexable and you can have some control over price related to your %. The default % most items seems to be set to is 10%. You can increase your % of any sale up to 99% assuming a person would spend that much on the item! I have not tried it out yet but there is some facility to alter your % so as to create a sale for that item or range or items (say a set of designed mugs for example). It really is a fun site to work with and the community forums seems to be a great resource for finding pure affiliates looking for people wanting promotions etc.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      juneaukid - I am practically drowning in nature pics! Turning them into posters, cards stickers and what not hopefully will prove popular :). I figure its worth giving it a go, costs nothing to get set up and get a portfolio of products except a bit of time and its fun so a fun way to spend my time!

    • pjk_artist profile image


      8 years ago from Turkey Point, ON

      Hey Kristen. This sounds pretty cool. Can you upload any kind of image for a t-shirt etc or does it have to be "vector graphics"? How much do you make per shirt sold with one of your designs?

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      A fantastic hub--I like the idea of nature photography as a possible T-shirt item. May give it a try--Thanks, Kirstenblog!

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Glad you guys liked it :)

      I hear the site can be a nice earner for people good at promoting items too, without having to be great at design. I like to think I am good with the design side of things but there is always new things to learn about promoting ones work :)

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      This is very interesting, well done Kirsten. Rated and stumbled, but also bookmarked for coming back and read it again.

      Nice avatar pic.;)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I bookmarked your hub and will return to it. Zazzle sounds like a pretty interesting site, and I will give it a look. Thanks for the info.



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