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Making Money On Zazzle

Updated on March 23, 2011

You Can Also Make Products With Zazzle!

When I first saw the Squidoo pages about Zazzle, I thought that the products looked really difficult to make, and making money on Zazzle would be impossible. After all, I'm not an artist. I can't draw anything. I take pretty good pictures,and that's about it. However, I've learned that you don't have to be very artistic to actually sell products with Zazzle. After I sold one product on Zazzle, I was convinced that anyone can make and sell products with Zazzle. In the first few months, I've designed over 625 products and have sold 9 items! Now that I've been with Zazzle for over a year now, I usually sell several products a month, and get a check from Zazzle every couple of months. I hope with this lens I can convince you that you, too, can become a Zazzle designer!

I'm Not Artistic! How Can I Make Products for Zazzle!

That was what I was thinking when I originally signed up for Zazzle. How can I make products for Zazzle when I'm not artistic? I signed up for Zazzle as an associate, thinking that maybe I could show some people some really awesome Zazzle products and make a commission. But then I was dressing my son the other day, and I looked at his shirt. It was pretty simple. "I Wreck Things" was all it said. I thought to myself that 'I could do that,' and later on that day, I created a t-shirt.

I also remembered that I knew where I could find public domain pictures on the internet. Public domain pictures don't have a copyright, either because they are really old, or the author has relinquished all claims to them. I made a couple postcards with some public domain photos that I liked (if you use public domain photos, be sure not to use images of living people, because you don't have a model release).

Then I remembered a picture that I took of my daughter a year ago. At the time, I showed it to some of my relatives and they said "you should put that into a contest." It was a really good picture, so I made a poster of it on Zazzle and put it up for sale. I already had a few products for sale.

I recently took a trip to the zoo and took some pictures of the animals there. It has given me a whole new set of ideas of products that I can make with Zazzle.

My First Sale

I had a few products on Zazzle without a sale. I make most of my internet money from writing articles, and I was concentrating on something else. One day, I was looking for an article idea, and I was reading about Mother's Day crafts. That led to me writing an article about Father's Day crafts. I remembered having my children make a t-shirt for their dad... "World's Best Dad, Hands Down!" They dipped their hands in fabric paint and put their handprints on the shirt.

"Why don't I make a shirt like that for Zazzle?" I thought to myself, and that's exactly what I did. I made one for Mother's day, and one for Father's day. Someone bought my mother's day shirt, and I made my first royalty. Woo hoo! I was excited.

I've since created a whole lens on how to make the World's Best Mom Shirt with paint.

Making a Product for a Squidoo Lens

Selling my first product on Zazzle was pretty exciting, but then I ran into a problem. I had been picking out some really good products to sell on my Squidoo lenses, but I couldn't find any products that anybody else had made on Zazzle for my lens on Belfair, Washington. I wanted to make the lens more interesting, so I made my own Belfair, Washington product. I knew how to use Photoshop, so I downloaded a public domain heart and made a shirt that says "Someone in Belfair, Washington Loves Me." It was pretty easy to do, and I was able to make the shirt with just some text and that one public domain heart. I used the quick product creator that Zazzle has to make buttons, stickers, and bags, in addition to t-shirts. I changed my design slightly and made a Seattle product line to go along with it.

The Birthday Shirts

I was getting the hang of this. Take a little public domain clip art (be sure that it's large enough otherwise the design won't look good on larger products), add some writing to it, and there you go! A t-shirt. I got the idea to make a whole line of birthday shirts for girls when I was thinking about my daughter's birthday party. Girls love to be princesses, and who wouldn't want to be the birthday princess? I had already seen some birthday princess shirts on Zazzle, so I knew that people made them. I made my own line, for girls ages 1 to 16. I also made stickers, matching stamps, cards, invitations, and thank you cards.

I followed up the birthday princess shirts with birthday prince shirts. I have only made ages 1 through 5 so far for the prince, but I could go older. I just didn't see much of a market for six year old boys and birthday prince shirts.

It Doesn't Stop There...

The ideas kept coming. Why not make political shirts? I went to a tea party on tax day, and I knew a place where people could get ideas for signs. Why not make t-shirts? I saw another t-shirt that my son had that I liked... I could do something similar. I made a t-shirt for my lens about Products that Don't Have High Fructose Corn Syrup. Zazzle came out with dog shirts, so I made a "no cats" shirt to go along with the new shirt design.

Then I thought about some classes that I had taken back in college with Adobe Illustrator. I remembered how we could make text follow a path. I could do that! So I came up with a line of Jesus John 3:16 shirts, with the text of John 3:16 following the path of a cross around the word Jesus.

I was starting to get the hang of Adobe Illustrator again, and followed a few tutorials on the internet, and then I came up with the idea to make a political slogan. What would one of them look like? I came up with my "Palin 2012" design using some new things that I learned in Adobe Illustrator. My husband said "I'd wear that."

So Here I Am...

I'm still not creative, I still don't draw, but I don't have to. All I have to be able to do is use a computer, and I can make a lot of really nice products on Zazzle. If I don't know how to do something, I can search the internet and find out how to do another technique in Photoshop or Illustrator.

I still haven't sold anything on Zazzle since my initial sale, but that's okay. If I can sell one product on Zazzle, I can sell another one, especially since I have a lot more designs now.

So if you have been thinking about Zazzle, but you think that you can't because you're not an artist and you don't know how to draw, you're wrong. I'm not an artist, I don't draw, yet I've still been creating Zazzle products. So can you. If you're still intimidated, you can always look at other people's designs, promote them, and get a commission. That's how I got started.

Products that Can Help You Create On Zazzle!

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 [OLD VERSION]
Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 [OLD VERSION]

This is a scaled-down version of Photoshop, but it has a lot of functionality.


Learn to Use Your Adobe Products

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    • profile image

      DiPhotos 5 years ago

      I have made a few sales on Zazzle although not enough to get a payment from them yet. I have enjoyed seeing my photos on the products and have also bought some of my own items to give as gifts. And it certainly is a boost to get that 'sold' email even if it doesn't happen very often!

    • mylittleeden profile image

      mylittleeden 5 years ago

      I've been working on my zazzle store for over a year can't say I'm earning that much and I'm a graphic designer and worked as an illustrator. But I have earnt It doesn't have to be a work of art it is more about promotion. The zazzle interface is good even for non designers and soon designers will no longer be required. Good on you for learning and creating and most importantly promoting... great lens

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to my Best of St. Patrick's Day lens.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to my Best of St. Patrick's Day lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have started but have not yet made a sale.

    • globedancer profile image

      globedancer 6 years ago

      I looked at Zazzle some time ago, but didn't get very far. You've inspired me to go check this out again!

    • profile image

      FuzziesFriend 7 years ago

      Another money maker. You're right. If one keeps failing... just keep going! When the Lord closes a door, He always opens a window!

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 7 years ago

      I am in the process of adding more items to my Zazzle store, and I have made a few sales, not many. However, it is a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing your Zazzle journey!

    • Nightowl John profile image

      Nightowl John 7 years ago

      You've answered many of my questions about getting started with Zazzle on this excellent lens. Thanks! Squid Angel blessed.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      I've been thinking that I should get into zazzle. Thanks for sharing your story. It's a real inspiration.

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 7 years ago

      I am just getting my Zazzle store back up and running after an absence from online ventures. Thank you for the great info and just stopping by to say hi! Have missed you! :)

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 7 years ago

      Nice lens, thumbs up.

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 7 years ago from Australia

      I loved reading about your zazzle journey. Like you I don't see myself as artistic, but I do take some nice photos and I have heaps of ideas and I've also been able to make sales out of them - don't you just love the power of the internet?

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 8 years ago

      You've got some really nice ideas here Brooke, I'm glad you show just how easy it is to create products in Zazzle even if you are not the worlds best artist. I'm always telling my Mum how easy it is and she still seems sceptical so I'm going to show her your lens!

    • tjustleft profile image

      tjustleft 8 years ago

      I really like your Jesus John 3:16 design. I need to practice text on path.

    • cleanearth profile image

      cleanearth 8 years ago

      Great lens here. I have been on zazzle for almost a month and I am having a lot of fun. I love to design sayings on shirts and put my photography on cards, calendars, mousepads, etc. Its very fun and hoping to make a first sale soon. I am new to squidoo too so I am figuring out how it all works together. I always loved photograhy and by the way your photography is superb. I love the sunsets above on the mousepad.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      Great lens. I've just started attempting some Zazzle products myself. Haven't really figured out how I'm going to get people to look at them yet...but hey, I'm trying.

    • profile image

      BleuMoonsAttic 8 years ago

      What a wonderfully informative lens. I love it! 5*, faved, and lensrolled ot the PromoteZazzleStores lens.

    • profile image

      angelandspot 8 years ago

      I love Zazzle. I have made more there than I have ever made in a longer time at Redbubble or GCU. Zazzle is really great!*/

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 8 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I'll have to go give Zazzle a try - I'd been thinking about it but your lens gave me that push I need to go try it out. Excellent lens.

    • profile image

      Global_B2B 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining my B2B Marketplace Headquarters group. You have a great lens here! I gave you 5*. Hope you'll reciprocate it on my B2C Marketing lens.

    • profile image

      icelandphotoblog 8 years ago

      Great lens!