My January February March 2013 Online Earnings Report

It has been months since I’ve posted an online earnings report. To my active readers, I’m so sorry! Life has a way of getting overly busy, and my life is no exception. So here are the last three months of earnings for me. I’ve put my earnings report into any easy to read table and rounded the numbers to the nearest dollar. Below the table I will discuss what’s happening with a few of these online income sources. I’ve been very pleased with how everything is going and I think a lofty, yet reachable goal for 2013 is to DOUBLE my 2012 income.  The table lists the month I was paid these earnings and also the month I earned them (in parentheses).  Most companies will pay your earnings about 60 days after the month you earn them.  This allows for any returns from the customer who purchased the item.  Please note that links may be affiliate links that earn me revenue if you purchase an item through the link.  If you do, thank you in advance for supporting my family!

2013 Paid Earnings
(month earned)
January
(Nov ’12)
February
(Dec ’12)
March
(Jan ’13)
Zazzle $983 $1352 $976
Squidoo $1300 $1322 $968
Local Small Biz Marketing $244 $370 $502
Mr Rebates $210 $336 $413
Amazon $850 $1190 $424
Google Affiliate
Network & Adsense
$473 $178 $165
Viglink $232 $664 $283
Jaaxy affiliate $144 $144 $160
Commission Junction $147 $0 $0
Ebates (pays quarterly) $0 $165 $0
Misc $20 $0 $16
TOTAL $4603
(holiday shoppers)
$5721
(holiday shoppers)
$3907

A note about my earnings:
I’ve put Zazzle at the top of the list for good reason.  For the last few months I’ve been working on Zazzle basically full-time, uploading designs on to products to sell.  And I’ve seen my earnings increase significantly.  In November I really started adding a lot of new products to Zazzle, and I was shocked with my January earnings.  The November and December earnings were great because of Christmas shoppers, and I told myself I would be happy if during January I earned one-half of what I earned in November.  To my surprise my January earnings (paid in March) matched my November earnings.  And next month you will see that in February (paid in April) they continued to increase by leaps and bounds all the way up to $1800!  And March earnings (will be paid in May) jumped up even higher!  I can’t wait to see how 2013 turns out.  What changed for me?  I started making my own templates in Quick Create, based on a certain image size with the same dimensions.  Then I could place that image on 100 different products and move the image around and resize it just how I wanted it for each product because it would fit differently on an iphone case then on a kitchen plate, then on a sticker.  Prior to making my own templates for Quick Create, I would have to manually resize the image for every single product, which took so long!  Once I saved the templates with the image resized exactly how I wanted it for every product, then I had my own templates to use.  This allows me to upload an image and easily put it on 100 items in the same amount of time it would take me to put it on 1 item.  So instead of working on items 1 at a time, I now work on items 100 at a time.  Once I started using my own templates I added thousands of products to my store.  And without any marketing efforts besides an occasional share on Pinterest, they started selling, and selling, and selling.

I used this Squidoo lens to help me figure out how to make my own templates that I would use for Quick Create. http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-and-use-your-own-zazzle-quick-create-template {Squidoo no longer exists – please see my instructions here}  Even after carefully trying to make my own quick create templates exactly as instructed, I still messed up and finally learned that 1)make sure EVERY image is marked as “make this object a template” under the little gear box symbol and 2) make sure EVERY image on every product in your folder uses the same image parameter name.  They all must be image1 or they all must be image0, or whatever you name it, just so that they are all the same. And 3) make sure you always mark the button “Post this as a template for sale” when you publish the item for sale.    Basically it takes a long time to set up 100 products into a template folder, but once it’s set up correctly, you can quickly make 100 products at a time using 1 image.  (You can do this already with Zazzle’s Quick Create defaults, but the images need to be resized on most of the products, making it not “Quick” at all).

I’ve been asked, where do I get my designs for my Zazzle products?  I’ll repost my answer I’ll posted elsewhere on this blog….I use a variety of images. Some are photographs I have taken on my iphone and edited using the Camera+ app. Others are public domain images I’ve gotten from Pixabay.com or public domain clip art I’ve gotten from Clker.com.  And I also use commercial use graphics that I buy from MyGrafico.  Some of MyGrafico’s items you must credit the artist in your description or you can pay an extra $20 and not have to credit the designer.  But they also have a page that is “Commercial Use License included” that is clip art you can use commercially without having to credit the artist.  I like using those because then I don’t have to remember to link back to MyGrafico on all my product descriptions.

With commercial use graphics you buy elsewhere, you just have to be sure to read the terms and conditions of use to make sure you can use them commercially on “print on demand websites” like Zazzle, and whether or not you have to give the designer credit when you display the final product.  I also use GIMP, a free graphics editing software. I am thinking of either purchasing a graphics program like Illustrator, or hiring a graphic designer, but so far I’ve been doing well with my own photos, public domain images and clip art, and buying commercial use clip art and designing my own stuff using GIMP.

Here is an example of a rustic country wedding invitation that I just made today using a background image I found on Pixabay (public domain) and commercial use mason jar graphics I bought on MyGrafico. I like designing wedding invitations for country weddings.

Mason Jar Country Barn Wood Wedding Invitations
As far as my other income I think I will save it for another post, especially Squidoo, because I would like to address the recent changes at Squidoo and how it is affecting me. Hopefully I can update you all about it soon!  But for now, I’ve got to go.  So good luck to everyone who is trying to earn an income online from home.  I hope that my experience encourages you and help you!  Please leave me questions and comments below!  Thanks!


I LOVE ZAZZLE!

7 comments on “My January February March 2013 Online Earnings Report

  1. Two questions:
    does zazzle have a pre built circle option to make images circles for templates or do you have to do it yourself.

    and two, when I create single products they show up in the store but when using my template I made they don’t, am I doing something wrong with the settings.

    • Hi Ashley ~ For the circle objects, like magnets, ornaments, stickers, coasters, etc, I normally just use an image that is large enough to cover the whole area. For example I have a set of templates that I set up using an image 3600 px by 3600 px. When making my templates I made sure to arrange it correctly on each product I was putting into that template folder. Then when creating the products I use that same size image and it fits perfectly on all my products, including the circle ones. I set those up based on the fact that most of what I was buying on MyGrafico was 3600 x 3600. Then I have another set of templates that is set up to match the pixel size of the pictures that my iPhone outputs, which is smaller, and a rectangle shape. I use that template set when I am using a picture from my iPhone.

    • 2) When you first make the templates, they usually take about 24 hours before they show up in your folder. Then once you are making products with the templates in quick create, or when you are using quick create by itself, the products take anywhere from a few hours to a day to show up in your products. That’s because anything made with quick create, whether using their default setting or using your own templates, Zazzle must manually approve the items. And I don’t think they manually approve on weekends, so anything you make on Sat or Sun, you’ll probably see it published on Monday. (This only applies to Quick Create – if you make an item one by one, they show up within a few minutes.)

  2. another thing, when I finally get the template finshed and quick create with it do I have to post for sale each individual item or is there a bulk publish option?

    • When you have your templates finished, or when you use the default Quick Create settings, once you’ve chosen your image and it applies it to all the products, you’ll go to the next screen and fill out the Title, Description, and options for publishing. This title and description will apply to ALL the products you are working with, and publishes them in bulk. That’s why it saves you time. You can bulk publish up to 100 products at a time using the same image.

  3. I’ve been reading your pages off and on since August of ’12. I’m *just* starting with Zazzle and although I haven’t clicked over yet — I will very, very soon — I am sure your tutorial for the templates will be clear. I’ve found a few others and they skip steps or confuse me.

    I want to also mention — you’ve been using GIMP. Another free program is InkScape. InkScape makes it so easy to set your dpi and dimensions, and also makes creating images so much easier – especially with their shape tools. Once you have the shapes, the different filters add so much versatility. I play in InkScape, then export to bitmap, then open in GIMP and save as .png. The dpi changes only slightly (from 300 to 299.999) so the image quality shouldn’t be compromised.

    • Hi Serra,
      Glad to hear you will be starting on Zazzle too! The tutorial for making the templates is something I found on Squidoo (I didn’t write it), so all the credit goes to the person who wrote it. But as I said in the post, even after reading the instructions, I still messed up and had trouble. Let me know if you have questions. Zazzle also has a forum that is incredibly helpful!

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