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Keeping up with your services and adjusting accordingly




It would seem like many of the posts that I am doing talk about normal day to day stuff, stuff that you would consider as something that you would normally do. And yet, you would be wrong. It is so easy to ignore what is going on in the various services that you use, until you start seeing an impact, and that can be a killer. It is so easy to get stuck in the regular pattern of whatever you are doing with a service that you really are not attuned with what is ongoing (especially changes, whether they are minor until they start accumulating, or when a rapid big change happens all at once), and then you find your revenue and profit taking a hit. You really don’t want to be in such a position, right ? Well, then pay attention to this example and see where not staying on top can really hurt.
A service that allows you to use your photos / patterns / slogans for various photo creations can help provide some extra revenue, and there is one such service called Zazzle. So, for example, you have a funny slogan about Donald Trump (to cover both bases, you have another slogan about Hillary Clinton), and you think that people might want to sport caps or clothes with that slogan on it. Well, you can use that slogan on various clothes and even other stuff on your own store in Zazzle and hope to sell your stuff there. It takes time to catch on, you have to do publicity, you have to create a large number of products so that you start showing up in searches (both on the site and in Google), and you can literally create hundreds of household items, sporting items, phone cases, whatever, in a few minutes of work and can even add flourishes or further tweaks to the design. So, once you get into the thousands of products range, you can start making money. Sweet, right ?
However, there was a change in the basic groundwork beneath the feet. What this meant was, you could create hundreds of products all bearing the same slogan, all of them with their own web page. Guess the problem that gets created ? Zazzle found that its SEO effort was getting problematic, and the reason was – guess – duplicate descriptions across so many web pages. And many users had products in the hundreds of thousands range, which was something that was very worrying to Zazzle. For some time, they adviced creators to use unique descriptions on each product instead of the same one across products, but this has time problems. Finally, they implemented a hard solution (and maybe a bit arbitrary) where they decided that no creator will have more than 100,000 items, and products that exceed this number will no longer be live pages (there was a set of criteria to determine which of the products will be live and which will be off).
Now, for somebody who uses Zazzle as another service, they might have ignored most of this (almost all of this discussion and details happened on the forum site), until one day they logged in and found that out of their 500,000 products, more than 4/5th have been disabled and only 100,000 remain live. Now, the discussion on what will happen was there on the forums for some time now, and yet only those who have been following the discussion or considered it seriously would have tried to make an alternate strategy to work around this change instead of being faced with a situation which was decidedly problematic, and at the minimum, would take a fair amount of effort to handle.
Moral of the story being that you cannot just keep on making money off a service, you need to be aware of possible changes and figure out how it impacts you. This is true for strategies dealing with SEO, and many other strategies as well.




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