Wednesday, January 07, 2009

CafePress Newbie Don'ts

So you are new to CafePress. Let me save you some time and grief by giving you a list of basic CafePress dont's.

- Don't kid yourself into thinking shopkeeping is easy. You'll need to juggle graphic design, web design, marketing, copywriting, CafePress product designer and a lot more. Shopkeeping requires a lot of skill, determination, patience, stubbornness, creativity and again a lot more. For me it's the best job in the world, but easy it's not.
- Don't expect quick results. You might get some beginner's luck, but don't count on that. True success takes time and dedication. If you don't make sales in the first few month's, don't be disappointed. Give your shops at least six months to start generating profit.
- Don't get stuck with basic shops. You can make money with basics, but they are no match to premium shops. As soon as you are able to open a premium shop, do it.
- Don't overlook the forums and CP help pages. Everything you need to know about shopkeeping and more is written somewhere on the CP community pages. Read the forums especially the stickied posts, study chat transcripts, get familiar with the templates...
- Don't forget about tutorials and info provided by Diane at Diane is a super smart lady. She knows a great deal about shopkeeping. Pay close attention to what she has to say on her website and in the forums.
- Don't expect others to give you all the answers. Learn to help yourself. Shopkeepers are very friendly and helpful. If you get stuck, post in the forums and ask for help, but don't expect anyone to hold your hand.
- Don't be a copycat. It's wrong on so many levels, it doesn't even need explaining.
- Don't ignore copyrights and trademarks. Know them and respect them. It will save you from wasting time and energy, not to mention keep you from getting sued.
- Don't expect the CafePress system to run smoothly all the time. Glitches, bugs and all sorts of problems happen often. Nobody likes them, but if you are serious about shopkeeping learn to live with them. Whatever you do, don't panic. File a bug report. Visit the forums, see if others have experienced the same or if there is a solution offered. Be patient.
- Don't edit more than one shop at a time. It messes up the templates, descriptions and what not. Trust me on this one. One shop at a time.
- Don't underestimate and disrespect your customers. You need them. Fight for their attention and don't do anything to insult them or send them away.

Happy shopkeeping!