Tag Archives: Zazzle

Should Bloggers Join ClickASnap?

What is ClickASnap?

ClickASnap is a photo sharing site that allows free hosting for your photos and the opportunity to share them. Those on the free plan may upload up to seven photos a day without charge. There are also plans that allow you to upload unlimited photos and even sell your work as digital or print products which you do not have to ship. I am currently on the seller plan, though I don’t yet have anything for sale. I simply wanted to upload more than seven photos a day to get off to a quick start. You can see all the plans here.

Poster: Sunset on Ventura Beach in December PosterPoster: Sunset on Ventura Beach in December Poster

Why I Joined ClickASnap

I love photography, though I’m still definitely an amateur. It’s my hobby, and my favorite form of exercise is a photo walk. Sometimes that gets me into a predicament, as it did on my way home from a photo walk one night.

I often take several hundred photos a week to use as as inspiration or illustration for  blog posts.  I have used some to make products for my Zazzle stores. This post is mostly illustrated with Zazzle products from my two stores. Only one of these photos has been uploaded to ClickASnap, but all of them have been popular and sold on Zazzle. Don’t feel you have to be a pro to join either ClickASnap or Zazzle.

Poster of Paso Robles Wine CountryPoster of Paso Robles Wine Country

Most photos, though, sit in my files until I want to use them as illustrations for online writing.  I’d like to be able to share them more widely.

When I learned I could make a bit of extra cash by sharing them with others on ClickASnap, I decided to try it. I have been active for almost a month now and as of today, at the rate of .0014 a view of five seconds or more, I’ve made $1.79. I realize I won’t get rich anytime soon on this, but it’s more than I’m making as interest on my bank savings. Currently I have uploaded 225 photos, and most have only been on the site for about two weeks.

If I wanted to, I could sell my  work there, but at this time I don’t feel ready to do that. I can do better concentrating on my Zazzle stores. One other thing to consider if you are American is that ClickASnap is a British site and pays in pounds. The exchange rate does not currently favor the American dollar.

Friendship Card, Peach Canyon Winery Cats CardFriendship Card, Peach Canyon Winery Cats Card

What Are the Non-Cash Benefits?

For me, the most important benefit is a free education from those photographers with more experience than I have. There are many professional photographers displaying and selling work on the site. Many have made helpful video tutorials posted on YouTube that teach me not only more about photography, but also about how to make the most of ClickASnap. One of these is Mike Browne. See Mike’s Channel for some great information.

Another benefit is getting timely feedback from other ClickASnap members. Members who view your photos can comment on them or ask questions. Some of these comments are helpful critiques, especially if you ask for such feedback in your photo description.

When members view your photos they can also “like” them. You can sort your uploaded photos in order of those most viewed and most liked. I’m going to use this feedback in deciding which photos may do well in my badly neglected Zazzle stores. I can also use the feedback to select the photos to post on my blogs.

I don’t sell on ClickASnap yet because I haven’t uploaded my photos at the highest resolution possible. I still need to learn more about my camera settings, as well, if I’m going to get better photos. But If you have high resolution photos you want to sell there, Mike Brown explains how to set your products up on ClickASnap.

 

People to Follow On ClickASnap

To get the most out of ClickASnap, it pays to follow the right people. In my  opinion, those are the people who take time to comment on the photos of others, share the work of others, and post quality photos themselves. It helps if they have a lot of followers. That makes it more likely members you don’t know will see your comments on their posts and decide to follow you.

Of course, I love it when people follow me. I  post mostly about nature, trees, slices of everyday life, and California scenes. See my most popular photos on the site.

Here are some of the people I like to follow.  If you click their names, the links will take you to a page with their most popular photos. All of them are active members as I write this. They describe their photos so you know a bit of the story behind them. Stop by and look at some of their photos. See if maybe you might want to add your own photos to the site.

Joe Lightheart is one of my favorites. He lives in Hawaii and posts some magnificent sky and water photos. You don’t want to miss seeing his work. He comments often.

CarolDM posts wonderful nature photos. Her special interests are sunsets, flowers, butterflies, and birds. You don’t want to miss her photos if you love nature.  She also comments a lot.

Elenka Smilenova was born in Bulgaria and now lives in Spain, so she has pictures from parts of the world I’ve never seen. She uses the handle “lacho0159” on ClickASnap. Her nature photos are superb, but she doesn’t limit herself to that subject.  She also likes vintage vehicles.

Atiephotography is a hobby photographer living in North-Holland who posts to a variety of subjects. The descriptions aren’t as long as some of the others on this list, but at least you know what you are seeing. The photos are wonderful.

There are many others I follow, and many of them are pros, but you need to explore the site for yourself. I haven’t enough room here to mention everyone I follow. I also left off some pros who post spectacular photos with almost no descriptions, and titles with little information. I found them by clicking “Explore” at the top of the page and then choosing “Recently Uploaded” from the dropdown menu. Only active members have uploaded recently. Then I click to the photos I like best to see the profile. Often they are by people I already follow, but sometimes I discover new people to follow this way.

Why Photo Bloggers  Should Join ClickASnap

 

Morro Rock, Fishing Boats and the Embarcadero Canvas PrintMorro Rock, Fishing Boats and the Embarcadero Canvas Print

  1. By looking at a lot of excellent photos posted by others, you will learn to improve your own.
  2. By viewing a profile’s photos sorted with most popular first, you will get a feel for what styles and subjects are most popular site-wide.
  3. By analyzing the  photos others post, you can see their strengths and weaknesses and apply that knowledge to your own work.
  4. You can get feedback on your photos from others. People don’t earn anything by liking and commenting, so they tend to be honest.
  5. You can publish the link to your blog and social media pages on your profile and get more traffic.
  6. You can earn a bit of extra income to help pay blogging expenses.
  7. You can relax by interacting with other photographers and taking a break from writing by switching from verbal to visual experiences.

How To Increase Your ClickASnap Earnings

I’m still in the process of learning this. If you are on the free plan, you can only upload seven photos a day. If you make the most of that you will have 49 new photos each week. Believe me, it takes time to correctly title, describe, and tag your photos to bring you search traffic. Mike Browne explains the best way to do his in his video on describing and tagging.

If you upload seven photos a day you will have almost 200 posted in a month.  Many of those on the paid plans who are pros have less photos than that posted. The key is to post your best photos and describe and tag them well. I found when I was on the free plan it was all I could do to get those seven photos a day posted and tagged. At the end of this month I will probably go back on the free plan. It’s nice we can switch back and forth. Of course, if you have products listed for sale, you’d need to stay on a paid plan

Getting More Views

As all bloggers know, networking and building relationships is important for bringing in traffic. It works the same way on ClickASnap. When I joined, I discovered a few of my blogging buddies I’d met on other sites were also here. So I followed them.

As I viewed and commented on their photos I checked the profiles of those commenting on their photos to see if they were still active. If they posted photos I found interesting, I liked and commented on their photos and followed them.  Many followed me back.

For the relationships to do the most good, you need to keep viewing the new photos your friends post. Remember to spend at least five seconds on each of them you find interesting so your friend will get a paid view. Like or comment on some so that your friend will know you viewed them. Be sure to respond to any comments you get.

Most of your views will probably come from the site itself, but if you do a good job on your tagging and descriptions, you may also bring in traffic from Google.  When someone visits one of your photos, you want to keep them there for at least five seconds.

How to Encourage People to Linger Over Your Photo

Rocky Cambria, California, Coastline at Sunset PostcardRocky Cambria, California, Coastline at Sunset Postcard

To be counted as a paid view, someone needs to spend five seconds looking at your photo. That’s one reason I try to describe it well. Some parts of your photo may not be obvious. Explain to your viewer what he might not notice at first glance so he can look for it. Give some background information.  When the title and description are identical and say something like “Sunset 2,” it doesn’t take much time to read.

I’m surprised many people don’t even post the country where they took a photo. The site is world wide. I don’t expect someone living in the UK to have heard of my small town, let alone someone in Slovenia.

Some photographers include information about how and why they  took a photo  or processed it afterwards. This helps others learn. It also keeps them on the photo’s page longer. Don’t leave your viewer wondering what they are seeing or where it is. If you know the name of the tree or flower or city or landmark, mention it. That also gives Google more to work with.

Simi Valley as seen from Reagan Library PostcardSimi Valley as seen from Reagan Library Postcard

Why Not Share Your Own Photos On ClickASnap?

Whether your goal is to earn a bit of money by sharing photos, to improve your photography, or just to relax and enjoy the networking, you should join ClickASnap. The site has improved a lot over the last year, and many  issues people complained about in comments on  the videos have been resolved.  The site is free as long as you don’t mind the limitations and you don’t want to sell on the site. You can always upgrade or downgrade if you decide you should be on a different plan.

If you are already a member of ClickASnap,  please leave your profile link in the comments so I can visit your profile. Please do the same if you join after reading this so that I can see your photos. When you leave your link, please also share your most frequent or favorite photo subjects. Links to sites other than ClickASnap will not get through moderation.

Should Bloggers Join ClickASnap? Some reasons why I think so.

If you found this post helpful,  please share it. The photo above is perfect for Pinterest.

 

 

Make Money from Your Blog

Are You Still Waiting to Make Money from Your Blog?

Do you want to learn how to monetize your blog or website?  Adsense may be putting ads on your sites, but you may only make a penny every two weeks or so from those ads. You don’t make much from Google unless you have thousands of people visiting your site every day. I’m not there yet. Are you?

I Finally Got Serious about my Blogging Business

I  just started my serious blogging journey in December. Until last year I relied on content sites like Squidoo (now defunct), HubPages, and Bubblews (also now defunct) to make my writing pay off. I never made much from affiliate sales and I like to think it’s because I didn’t try very hard. I’d like to turn my blogs into cash cows.

Make Money from Your Blog
I’d Like to Make My Blogs Cash Cows.

 

I currently belong to two direct affiliate programsAmazon and Zazzle. So far Zazzle has done better for me. If you aren’t a member of their affiliate program, you should join. It’s free and Zazzle products are easy to promote on a blog since they have products to relate to anything you can think of to write about. Here’s how to get started with Zazzle. There are many Zazzle support groups on Facebook to help once you get started.

Spend a Bit of Money to Make a Lot of Money

I have now connected with a group of other former Squidoo writers who used to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing on Squidoo. They now are making it with affiliate sales on their own blogs.  Some make thousands of dollars a month.

Two of them have put together a course that teaches anyone how to do what they have done, as long as they can communicate well in writing and are willing to work hard.  I thought I couldn’t afford it.

Finally, I decided I would take the plunge anyway as an investment in my future, and at the end of December 2015, I bought my first course. Participating showed me how much I could learn from Leslie (who just bought her first home with her affiliate earnings) and Robin.  I signed up for even more courses.

Here’s the Scoop on Pajama Affiliate Marketing Courses

For a complete description of the courses, you can save time by going directly to the  Pajama Affiliate Home Page. The complete Pajama Affiliate Marketing course includes more than the Amazon Associates Master Class I describe below. I have known the people who put these courses together for a long time on Squidoo.  I know that taking courses is not a magic pill that will transform your blog overnight,  but if you put the work in, you will begin to make more money with your blog if you work smart. I decided it was time for me to learn to work smart.

The price for the courses fluctuates as they go on sale for limited times and then go up again. I’m excited about the all-in-one blogging bundle that was introduced on February 18, 2016. It shows you everything you need to know about blogging. It will teach you how to make money from your blog. Check it out.

All Pajama Affiliate courses are reasonably priced for what they offer, but they often go on sale. The best way to find out immediately about any sales is to take advantage of the free Fastpass described at the end of this post. It gives you access to the private Facebook group where sale announcements are first made.

Make Money from Your Blog  My first course was the Pajama Affiliates Amazon Associates Master Class.   When you click the link you will land on a page that describes all you will learn along with the current price. It’s quite likely it will be a sale price. This course is part of the all new blogging bundle described above.

The courses include videos with written summaries of what the videos cover. That makes it easy for me to recap what I’ve heard without listening again. I’ve only had time to watch a few videos since I signed up, but already I’m learning a lot I never knew about how to do the things I knew I should be doing.

  •  finding keywords
  • knowing where to put them
  • putting content and images together for the best selling results
  • adding products and affiliate links to my pages effectively
  • SEO
  • using the different social media most effectively to bring in traffic
  • much, much more

Make Money from Your Blog

Learn to Make Your Blog Profitable

 

Support in Your Blogging Journey Helps

One reason I signed up is because many of my friends from Squidoo days are also taking the course and they say it has really helped them increase their affiliate income. Keep in mind that these ladies have been doing serious affiliate selling for much longer than I, and they say they are learning way more than they ever knew before about how to make their writing time pay off.

If you purchase this course, you also have lifelong access to Leslie’s coaching. Getting the information about the course costs nothing. I had saved the little bit left in my PayPal account after Bubblews closed, and I decided I would spend what it took to learn how to make real money — not just a few dollars a month — from my websites.

The Pajama Affiliates have two Facebook groups for help and support where members can work together to make each other more successful. The groups have challenges. Members help promote each other. Those who have purchased any course have access to the groups.

Make Money from Your Blog
Support Groups Give Helpful Tips and Honest Feedback

Other Affiliate Programs You Can Join

Zazzle and Amazon aren’t the only affiliate programs you can join. There are also those that are under the umbrella of a network such as Skimlinks, ShareASale, or CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction.)  I am currently enrolled in the first two, and I’m  beginning to see some earnings accumulating in my Skimlinks account. I’m not ready to give up on ShareASale yet, because I’ve not worked hard enough at it. I don’t like CJ Affiliates terms because they deactivate your account if you don’t make a sale in a ninety-day period. Mine is currently deactivated. Skimlinks and ShareASale are more reasonable and I do know people who are making money with them. I will concentrate on Zazzle and Amazon until I’m happy with my results and then I will probably tackle ShareaSale with more enthusiasm.

I don’t like CJ Affiliates’ terms because they deactivate your account if you don’t make a sale in a ninety-day period. Mine is currently deactivated. Skimlinks and ShareASale are more reasonable and I do know people who are making money with them. I will concentrate on Zazzle and Amazon until I’m happy with my results and then I will probably tackle ShareaSale with more enthusiasm.

Skimlinks is a good alternative for those who cannot become Amazon affiliates directly because of tax laws in their states. If you use Skimlinks you don’t have to be approved by the individual merchants in their programs because you are sending your referral links with their referral codes through the Skimlinks account and Skimlinks pays you directly when your commissions add up to $10. They take a cut, but they also have a much lower payment threshold than the individual sites.

Zazzle and ShareASale pay when you have $50, and Amazon requires $10 for payout unless you want a check, for which you need $100. If you use ShareASale, you need to be accepted into each of their individual merchant programs. Since merchant programs and deals can come and go, it can be hard to keep track of them.

What Results Can a New Pajama Affiliate Expect?

 

I’m convinced if my friends,  people I know are telling the truth, are making some real money with their blogs,  I can do the same thing. I will have to change my blogging habits to do more than working by instinct and writing just what’s easy for me.  I will have to work smart and put the time in to plan my blogs as money makers and then execute those plans. It will take discipline, but I’m going to make money from my blogs.

I bought my first course at the end of December 2015, and have not yet had time to complete it. I apply what I learn as I learn it in every new post I write. In all of 2015 I had earned only 52.08 in affiliate income and all of it was from Zazzle.

This year, from January 1 to May 1, I have earned 61.24 from Zazzle (more than I earned all last year) and $11.28 from Amazon, when I’d never gotten a payment from them before. I can see my earnings increasing. As I have time to complete the courses and apply more of what I am learning, I know these earnings will increase. The income from my remaining third party site, HubPages, brought in only $25.10 during this same period, as the total earnings for both my accounts there.  Amazon earnings alone beat those totals this year. And I know they will grow.

December 2016 Update

If I count what I made on my blogs from Google Adsense and affiliate sales, my income from blogging doubled in 2016 over 2015.  If I leave out Goggle, my affiliate income alone tripled over 2015.  I realize that’s no fortune. But most of the year I was still learning and practicing new techniques.  As of the end of June this year Amazon had paid me $21.65. My December Amazon sales as of today, December 22, are 29.14 since my last payment in June. I had not received any Amazon payments in 2014 or 2015.

Earning are going up, and I’m getting the hang of how to make this work. I think by this time next year I will see a geometric progression in sales. I will have to work harder this year to make money from my blogs and not spend so much time writing for content sites that distract me and don’t pay well.

What Will You Do to Improve Your Earnings?

How about you? Will you invest a bit of cash into making your blogging more profitable and then make 2016 the year you will reap your reward? Just click this link for information about the new all-in-one Affiliate Marketing Classes Business Bundle.  Start learning to make money from your blog today. 

 

If this post helped you, please pass it on. The image below was designed especially for Pinterest sharing.

Make Money from Your Blog

 

 

 

 

The Nitty Gritty of Turning a Lens into a Hub

My writing life on Squidoo was unique. I wrote a lot of lenses to express myself around themes to evoke a mood or combine thoughts, videos, music and photos around a topic. A prime example was a lens called “The Blessings of Rain.”It was revised to post to HubPages when Squidoo sold out to HubPages.

I wish I could show you the unedited version.  I wrote it after a three-day period of mild rainstorms that came after a very parched period of months without rain. I wanted my readers to understand what a blessing the rain had been to the parched county. I included some lighthearted music videos with songs about rain, such as “Just Walking In the Rain,” just after my introduction.  This was followed by an Amazon module with umbrellas for sale, some photos to evoke a mood, a poll on how rain affects the readers, and another music video.

Then I switched the mood to a more spiritual theme by introducing the lyrics to “Joy is Like the Rain” with some photos of rain on a window.  I had put a video of the song there, but YouTube took it off so I had put one of Squidoo’s modules there that would play samples from an album that had the song on it.

From that point on the thoughts, photos, and videos were more devotional in content. The lens  ended with the comment section, as they all do.  I deleted the featured lens module which usually came after it.  HubPages doesn’t offer that as a capsule.

Here’s the best I could do so far from Squidoo to turn this into a hub.  First I had to change almost all the photos. Most had originally come from Photobucket and at a time when they were seemingly not restricted, but they aren’t able to be used commercially anymore. That meant searching my own photos and Pixabay for replacements. The replacements aren’t as effective, since they aren’t animated so you can actually see the rain coming down.  I may have better ones on my home computer when I can access them, but I wanted to put something in as place holders now.

I then had to remove all links to Zazzle products because HubPages doesn’t allow them or have a way to put affiliate link codes into their capsules. One of the hardest things about the overall transition for me is not being able to use Zazzle products as illustrations. Some of my best illustrations come from Zazzle.  I had two modules, one with a couple of posters of people in the rain, and one with rain T-shirts, that served as visual breaks before the poll. I had to eliminate them.

I left the MP3 Amazon module in just in case HubPages might add one as a capsule. It didn’t happen so the song did notsurvive the change. I don’t expect I’ll have a  way to include this important song in a way it can be heard.

I also had to find something to replace Squidoo’s call-out module, formerly known as the black box, which used to be a module by itself but had other former modules offered within it as choices. I had used the black box often in various colors, as a sort of transition quote . I decided to use Quozio to make a replacement for one of these black box quotes.  You can see it above. For Quozio, you don’t need to have a photo of your own. The site provides a choice of many backgrounds and you provide the quote.  It’s actually better than the old black box.

I made the replacement for another black box on Picmonkey, because I wanted to use my own image.  It’s a free online image editor. It produced this for me.

I made this black box replacement with my own photo edited on picmonkey.com
I made this black box replacement with my own photo edited on picmonkey.com

 

Another site where you can add text to your own photo is Share As Image.  They try harder to get you to go pro for a fee, but you can use either a choice of their photos or uploading one of your or choosing a background.  You can see photos I’ve produced from all three sites as featured images on this blog and its sister blog, Bookworm Buffet. You are limited only by your imagination.

The conclusion I have come to after this project of trying to turn “The Blessings of Rain” into a hub is that to really work I’d need to totally rewrite it.  I’m now debating the wisdom of having the lenses transfer over and having two accounts. If I  have only ten suitable lenses or less I may cancel the transfer and rewrite them for the existing account.  There are many, including my best lens, that I will have to put on my own pages.  There is no way I’d be able to turn them into hubs.

Eat. Sleep. Edit. Tshirt
Eat. Sleep. Edit. Tshirt Browse Editor T-Shirts online at Zazzle.com

What problems have you encountered in moving work from content writing sites to other sites or to your own websites?