New pages, new art, new stuff!

Finally I got around to uploading some of my new works. I ended up creating six galleries, each of which will be expanded in time. I've also made it a little bit easier to find the links to my various stores on Print On Demand services and how to purchase directly on the "Buy M.A's Art" link on the right of each page.

Yesterday was a nightmare. Three POD sites needed to have over 40 pieces of work uploaded! Not only that but having to create descriptions of each piece, along with relevant tags is something that no artist I know ever really enjoys, or gets absolutely right. That's generally why places like Chrisities have full time people doing that type of stuff, and well, those of us who are mere mortals in the art world just have to generally hope for the best.

I spent a few hours going through the descriptions. Not sure if you are like me when you upload to POD sites, whereby I generally come up with them at the point of upload. This time I thought I would give it some additional thought. I still don't feel really happy with the descriptions, but I will try and make them better as I go on.

The new descriptions are better than previous attempts, but my advice is to do the descriptions as you do the art. Spend time on them. The next big piece I do, I a, going to commit two hours on the description. Which brings me to time in general.

I've been watching the various POD forums over the last week. It seems that in order to generate real sales you need to not only have a portfolio of around 1000 (yes, one Thou-sand) pieces, you need to be spending around 40 hours per week on your store! Either that, or you get lucky and you get noticed really quickly.

So this explains why every popular artist I've come across on Zazzle and some of the other POD sites just tinker with a base image, give it a new hue, and re-title it. Apparently that's not in the hope that they will all sell, it's in the hope of flooding the latest pages on each site so that customers click on your store. It's a strategy that is making it really difficult to get noticed, but I also think it's a strategy that you now have to work with. The downside is that this really stifles creativity.

There's no denying that you need to put the time in, but if you're like me, it's time I would rather spend on the creative process. Some people are clearly making a living from this strategy though, so just as with any job I suppose you have to do the occasional thing that you don't really want to do.

Another lesson I learned this week is that waiting to bulk upload 40 or so pieces of art takes a huge amount of time. When you times this by three POD sites, then multiply the number of products you need to create, suddenly you kind of run out of week.

Unless you have the time to commit, I think I will be uploading on completion of each piece. I don't like Zazzle's quick create. It doesn't provide the assurance that my products will look like I need them too. But one things for sure, using default royalties does help speed the process along somewhat.

So have I found any upsides during this week of POD activity? Well to some extent yes. Most of the forums are littered with good people who really do want to help you. I also learned that it's probably going to take me around three years to build up a decent portfolio.

The biggest thing I learned from POD activity though was to not give up. Just keep creating, keep updating, keep uploading, and join in the community on each site. And one more thing... Just be patient. Very patient.

Have you any tips and ideas for others involved in selling through POD sites? If so, leave a comment. We might just all learn something new!

 

 

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