Sunday, March 25, 2007

CafePress Shopkeepers up in arms!

CafePress Shopkeepers received a very unpleasant email from one of the founders on Thursday. Since then the forums have been in an uproar. I tell you this, because people reading this blog who are most likely thinking about starting an online shop, need to know the kinds of things that can happen when your shop depends on someone like a CafePress as opposed to being totally in control.

CafePress started an affiliate program a year and a half ago. In Thursday’s email we were told that program was going to dissolve and a third party, Commission Junction, would be taking over. As shopkeepers read the news we had to wonder how CafePress could so blatantly ignore the hundreds of hours we have spent searching for products and stores to affiliate, creating ads, sections in our stores, whole websites of affiliate stores and thousands of links both to our stores and to the stores we affiliate. People have spent money advertising and for special tools of course too.

Setting all of this up over the past year, we would joke we were working for about 10 cents an hour. We could joke, because we were full of hope it would pay off in the future.

Just look back over this blog how many products I have in the past 300 plus posts. Those all have a link, which after the new program takes over April 10th, will become links just sending traffic to competitors instead of affiliate links to people’s stores I admire, where I would get an affiliate commission if the customer bought something. Do I take all theses out? Two thirds of my blog posts? How about the 6 sections in my shop that are strictly affiliates?

If you could read some of the forum posts about how overwhelmed and angry shopkeepers are feeling right now you would probably say, “Why don’t they just close up shop and do a shop that is totally theirs or go to a competitor?" I think that will happen in many many cases.

But, first the shopkeepers have to grieve. As one put it, it’s like having a family member that you loved hit you and say, “I never loved you.”

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pet Lovers Easter Clothing and Gifts

Dogs by Dezign

We know it is usually the Easter bunny that brings the basket of goodies, but Dogs by Dezign, has filled their Easter egg baskets with 39 different breeds of puppies! Too cute!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Easter Cards

It’s about time to buy your Easter cards so you can get them in the mail to family and friends soon. This shop has lots of unique designs for Easter. Choose from one of these lovely cards with Bunnies, Easter Lilies, Colored Eggs, and Chocolate Rabbits.

They even offer to customize them with a phrase you might want on the inside. You can have them within days of ordering and they come with a 100% complete satisfaction guarantee.

Easter Cards

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Political Campaign Section

I like the political stores I blogged about in the past two posts so much that I ended up adding them to my site and am affiliating them. You can check it out here:

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 12, 2007

Political Campaign Buttons

Oval Office 2008

Whoever you're supporting for President in 2008, this store has a huge range of buttons, t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads and even underwear to allow you to show your political preference. More items are being added all the time, so come back to see the latest stuff. Every item sold counts as a vote in the Oval Office 2008 poll, which gauges the popularity of all of the potential presidential candidates in 2008. Check out the poll so far: Poll

And here are some CafePress coupons good for any store:
Save $10 off $25
use the code DES149 at checkout
expires Mar. 18, 2007
Save $5 off $20
use the code DUSKYROBOTS at checkout
expires Mar. 18, 2007
Save $3 off $10
use the code NCD149 at checkout
expires Mar. 18, 2007

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Political T-shirts

One of the secrets of a popular online store is to latch on to the buzz. Right now a big buzz is all the people announcing they are running for office. Here’s a site that caters to that. He’s even got $5 and $10 dollar off coupons on the front page!

Hundreds of political tees, buttons and stickers for Republicans, Democrats and those who aren’t sure what they are!

Wear a Tshirt

Hillary Clinton for President, 2008?

Barack Obama for President, 2008?

Rudy Giuliani for President 2008?

A mixture?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How to Generate Traffic without Search Engines

I just read a good article about driving traffic without Search Engines. For those intimidated with SEO or just want to do some extra things for extra boost check it out here:

How to Generate Traffic without Search Engines

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why is Branding so Important?

The short answer to why is branding so important is, because it’s going to happen anyway so you need to manage it to reflect well on your product or business. You do this by taking many things into consideration so there is consistency: your name, quality of products, quality of service, products (how they look, what they do), brochures, websites, letterhead and can also include logo and tag lines.

It is the most important asset your company has. It is the very essence of who you are as a company. It is what differentiates you from the competition. If a consumer has a choice between two seemingly identical products and only one is a brand they have heard of before, which do you think they would buy?

So it can increase your sales. It also allows you to charge more than the average market price. Branding is why designer clothing costs so much and people don’t mind paying the price for it.

So first decide what your company wants to stand for. Then consistently work on every aspect of your business to reflect that.


Friday, March 02, 2007

I’ve had looking into and joining on my list of things to do for a long time. I’ve seen it at the bottom of many other’s blog postings so I figured it was the thing to do. Tonight I finally got on their site, but it’s not what I expected at all.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Digg is a community-based popularity website with an emphasis on technology and science articles, recently expanding to a variety of other categories such as politics and videos. It combines social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication with a form of non-hierarchical, democratic editorial control.

News stories and websites are submitted by users, and then promoted to the front page through a user-based ranking system. This differs from the hierarchical editorial system that many other news sites employ. However, this democratic style has led to criticism that Digg is susceptible to ideological or commercial manipulation.

It seems like all it really is, is someone reading an article that they like and instead of just sticking it into their own private Favorites they put it on Digg with a comment about why the article is great. Then the article gets voted on so it either moves to the front page where lots of people see it or it gets buried.

I guess the benefits are: if it’s an article you wrote it gets more traffic. (Potentially) And it is a place to save your favorites.

The cons are: who has time to right comments about other people’s articles to stick on someone else’s website? And as far as using it for your Favorites, it’s a whole lot easier to just click on my favorites button rather then go to another website and get into my profile there.

Where do people come up with all the time to keep track of all these sites?

Labels: ,