Gearbubble Totally Unethical – Beware!

Awhile back I wrote an article titled Gearbubble Vs Merch By Amazon (since removed) which was basically about how you could take your Merch t-shirt designs and place them on coffee mugs, caps etc on Gearbubble, which allowed you to grow your range of products. Everything started out okay and I began to make some sales…. Until I received an email from them.

That Read:

Your Account Has Been Suspended

Hey there,

Unfortunately, your account has been put in “suspended” status.

We know this can be an inconvenience.

We usually only suspend accounts for very serious things. Copyright issues, breaking TOS, and things of that nature. Sometimes mistakes do happen. So if you feel that your account was suspended in error, please contact mailto:support@gearbubble.com to discuss it with us.

I was confident that none of my designs violated any copyright issues or broke Gearbubbles TOS rules. So I replied back with this email:

Hi,

I received an email from Gearbubble advising me that my account has been suspended… can you please give the reason and details as to why my account has been suspended as I’m absolutely sure that none of my designs have broken any rules. I also notice that my existing campaigns are still being advertised on Gearbubbles platform?

Regards TK

They replied with:

Hi TK,

Thank you for contacting GearBubble support. We apologize about your account. As much as I would like to answer your inquiry in detail or reinstate your account, we have a dedicated team handling that. Please do email legal@gearbubble.com for assistance and details regarding your account. Email responses will take 24-48 business hours.

Best regards,
Gio

Team GearBubble

So, I sent an email (The original one I wrote) to the address they gave me………………. not a word

It’s been almost three months now and no reply and my existing campaigns are still being advertised.

Conclusion:

Everything started off okay with sales trickling in… and without any explanation my account is closed, contact has stopped and if my designs were in breach of copyright issues, why are they still being advertised? Gearbubble will probably always be around and sellers will continue to use them, but for me personally they lack integrity and transparency.

Gearbubble is totally unethical

Unethical”

Adjective

1. lacking moral principles; unwilling to adhere to proper rules of conduct.

Beware! I say

Create Your Own eBook Cover With The Creator 7

Most publishing experts will warn you against creating your own eBook cover… with good reason: After all, the cover is an important part to self-publishing success.

However, due to budget restraints or just wanting more control over your design, some indie publishers may feel they want to give it a shot anyway.

Creating An eBook Cover Using The Creator 7

Creating your own eBook cover is really not as hard as you might think. Even if you feel you lack creativity.

Below is a short video tutorial on how to create your own book cover using “The Creator 7” and an example book cover I created using this method.

Example Cover Below

create your own ebook cover

 

Click here to find out more about “The Creator 7”

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Start A Blog In 5 Easy Steps – A Beginners Guide

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start a blog… great idea!

But… where do you start? how do you start? what steps do you take first? who the heck should you listen to? There’s a sea of information on the internet about how to start a blog.

Unfortunately, as a newbie all that information can be so confusing that you begin to think that starting a blog may not be such a good idea after all… Well, hold up there for just a minute!

We All Started As Beginners

how to start a blogI was a total newbie too! and had absolutely no idea where to begin. In fact, I didn’t even know what a domain name was!… but, I pushed on and in 2010 I started my blog (linkandbuild.com) that blog is long gone now, but that was my beginning.

Now, I don’t claim to be a blogging guru, but I certainly understand the basics and when you’re new to all this stuff, keeping it simple is what you’re really looking for. I know! because all I wanted when I started out was for someone to explain everything in plain old English. So… I’ll give it my best shot!

What You Need To Do First

I’ll outline what you need to do to get started and I’ll try my best to keep things simple and relatively easy to understand. Before we move on though, I want to talk about WHY you should start a blog.

Before you do anything else, it’s important that you have a clear picture of why you want to start a blog. This may seem irrelevant to you now, but later on you’ll understand why the WHY is important. Below are three reasons why you should start a blog.

  1. You’re passionate about something
  2. You have a skill you want to share
  3. Make Money

Let’s Break Each Reason Down

Passion – Choose something you’re passionate about. For example, your favorite hobby might be photography and because you love everything there is to do with photography it’ll be much easier for you to write about it.

It will show through in your posts and your reader’s will connect, because you’re passionate about your topic.

Skill – Do you have a certain set of skills? you may think you don’t, but I bet you do. Let’s assume you work at a florist shop. There’s your set of skills right there. You know how to do floral arrangements, you know about different types of flowers and how to care for them, you could start a blog totally devoted to flowers.

Make MoneyAha! that’s more like it, show me the money I hear you say. Well, If you’re going to start a blog with the sole purpose of making money… Good luck!

I’m not saying that you can’t make money through blogging, because you can and plenty of bloggers do. Ideally you should posses a mix of reasons one and two (above). Have some knowledge, have at least a little passion and believe in what you’re promoting. If you don’t, neither will your readers. How to select a profitable niche

Clear as mud! Good, once you’ve decided your WHY we can move on to the first step.

Disclosure: This article on start a blog in 5 easy steps contains some affiliate links, where if you purchase a product or service through those links, I may earn a small commission. At no cost to you.

Step 1: Choosing A Domain Name

start a blog with hostgatorSimply put, your domain name is the name you give your website, it’s how people identify your site. Example: The domain name in this URL address http://www.cameratricks.com is “cameratricks”

The complete URL is your websites address. It’s the link people click on to take them to your website. Take a little bit of time to choose your domain name, because once you have it you can’t change it.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Domain Name:

  1. Is it relevant to your blogs theme
  2. It’s easy to remember and not too long

Below are examples of a bad domain name and a good domain name. Let’s assume your blogs theme is photography.

Bad Example: www.charliebrownsamazingshootingsecrets.com

It’s way too long, difficult to remember and although “shooting” is a term used in photography it’s also used when you fire a gun.

Good Example: www.cameratricks.com

It’s catchy, easy to remember and relevant to your blogs theme (photography)

Exception: You may be really good at photography, in which case you may want to brand yourself. So, choosing your own name might be a better fit e.g www.charliebrown.com

There are plenty of dedicated websites where you can register a domain name. Below are two popular websites. Most hosting providers also include domain name registration… I’ll explain a bit more about that in the next step.

  1. NameCheap.com
  2. GoDaddy.com

Note: Your first attempt at registering a domain name may not be successful, why? because most of those generic one-word catchy domain names have already been taken. Don’t despair though! play around with different combinations and you will eventually find one that is available.

A domain name can typically cost anywhere between $9 – $15 a year depending on who you register with… still “Cheap as Chips”

Got all that! Okay, next step.

Step 2: Choosing A Hosting Platform

What is hosting? Hosting is where a company/business keeps your website so it can be viewed on the internet. All your website data is stored there.

Special Promo – Click the promo link below to sign up with HostGator for just $3/month

https://www.hostgator.com/promo/hosting

There Are Two Types Of Hosting

  1. Free
  2. Self-Hosting (Paid)

Free

A good example of a popular free hosting platform is Blogger.com but… although it is free it has limits. Below are points you should consider if you decide to go with the free option.

  1. You don’t own your blog. The hosting company (blogger.com for example) can delete it if they wish (And they have). Which means all the hours of work you put into your blog, can disappear with one click.
  2. The ability to upload all those images and videos you want to share with everyone is very limited.
  3. It’s not really your own domain name. For example www.cameratricks.com will look like this > www.cameratricks.blogspot.com (not pretty)

Self-Hosting

I use HostGator.com (As of writing this article) the “Baby Plan” will cost you $5.95/mo, considering all the features that come with it, that’s pretty good bang for your buck. HostGator also allows you to register a domain name with them as well, which is great if you want everything all in one place.

Here Are My Reasons Paid Hosting Is A Better Option:

  1. You really do own your domain name. Example www.cameratricks.com
  2. You will have the ability to upload a lot more images and videos than the free option (And I mean a lot more)
  3. Most self-hosting platforms have one click WordPress install. WordPress is basically a website creation tool for non geeks and without sounding like a snake-oil salesman, I highly recommend you start out using WordPress.
  4. You get plenty of useful tools and features like, customized email e.g yourname@cameratricks.com automated backup of your website and a whole lot more.

hostgator

Still with me… great.

Step 3: Writing Your First Post

Whoa! hold up there cowboy, aren’t we jumping the gun, I don’t even have my website up yet! which is exactly why you should have some content prepared.

Once your site goes live you will have your first article ready to post. You want to hit the ground running and give your blog a kick start. Whatever you decide to write about, make it compelling to your readers and aim for at least 300 words, 500 if you can manage it. Save it in notepad or something similar.

Step 4: Useful WP Plugins To Install When You Start A Blog

What Is A WordPress Plugin?

Think of it like an app. A plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website. It can extend functionality or add new features to your site.

Why Do I Need Plugins?

Plugins allow you to add specific features to your WordPress website. For example: a contact form, social sharing buttons, anti spam filter etc. There are literally thousands of plugins available (free and paid) for almost any function you can think of.

Below is a list of plugins I recommend you start with (They’re free) So, write down the names of the plugins below or copy and paste them to notepad and put them aside for now. Don’t worry about how they work and what they do at this stage. Once you have your website up you’ll be able to go ahead and install them.

  • Yoast SEO
  • Antispam Bee
  • Google Analyticator
  • WP Fastest Cache
  • Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
  • WP Social Sharing
  • Very Simple Contact Form
  • WP-Optimize

Sweet! Almost done

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Once you’ve completed the first four steps you should now have a list of what you will need to set up your blog. Our example will assume you’re going to start a blog about photography and you’re going to pick the “Baby Plan” register a domain name and host your WordPress website with HostGator.com

Go to HostGator.com and select the “Baby Plan” option. Enter your chosen domain name to see if it is available. If it is, carry on and fill out the required information in the following steps.

hostgator details

Once your registration is confirmed you can now install WordPress by clicking on Website Essentials > One Click Installs, then follow the instructions. After completing everything, you will be given the URL address to your website, using our example it will look like this http://www.cameratricks.com

installing wordpress

Installing A WordPress Theme

Let’s set your blog up with a new WordPress theme. To choose a new theme go to your WordPress dashboard, head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme.

Choose something that looks professional and is easy to customize. Remember your blog’s design should reflect what the blog is about. There’s no point having a cooking-orientated theme if your blog is about photography.

wordpress theme

We’re getting there! So, lets install those plugins I recommended. Head back to your dashboard, click Appearance > Add New, then enter the exact name (caps included) of the first plugin in the keyword search box. Look for the one that has that exact name, click install then activate… voila! who said this stuff is hard.

Carry out the same process with the others, remember if it says this plugin is not compatible with your WordPress site, don’t install it. All it means is the plugin hasn’t been updated to work properly on your version of WordPress.

wordpress plugins

Now! the final task you’re going to do is post that compelling article you prepared earlier. So, head back to your dashboard, click on Posts > Add New, give your post a title then copy your article from notepad and paste it into the blank word editor.

Remember to check for any grammar mistakes, if it all looks good, click the “Publish” button.

add new post

Congratulations! on starting your own blog.

 

Other Stuff You Might Be Interested In

 

Lifetime Hosting:

start a blog with lifetime hostingThis is a relatively new self-hosting platform. It’s not free but you don’t pay an ongoing subscription, you only pay a one-time fee. It sits in between the free and self-hosting plans. If you’re not super serious about blogging, this option may be a good fit for you. Definitely worth checking out >>> Click here to see what it’s all about

 

Creator 7: A software tool for creating website headers, banners, logos, images and a whole lot more other uses >>> Check it out here

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How To Download & Install Free Fonts For T-Shirt Designs

The t-shirt business is super competitive. If you’re just starting out, it can be a little bit overwhelming in regards to figuring out where to start and deciding what type of t-shirt you should design. Text based t-shirt’s are the best to begin with.

A. Less hassle with copyright issues

B. They’re simple to create

Here’s a great way to download free, professional looking fonts that you can use to create your designs. Continue reading How To Download & Install Free Fonts For T-Shirt Designs

Merch by Amazon – Step by Step

Texas trucker capAmazons new advertising platform “Merch by Amazon” is the retailing giants move into the mobile gaming market. With the success of companies like TeeSprings and CafePress, Amazon has cleverly targeted the t-shirt niche by not only offering its customers a print-on-demand service, but allowing sellers to get paid per t-shirt. So, if you sell one t-shirt you get paid… no minimum number of tees to sell before you get your commission.

Who Can Use Merch By Amazon?

Predominately aimed at gaming app developers, Merch by Amazon is not just limited to them. Anyone can set up an account, upload their designs and Amazon will produce, sell and ship your product.

Ready Made Templates

biker t shirtAmazon also provides ready made templates that you can download and use with either Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or the free Gimp tool. The templates are set by default to the maximum required size that your t-shirt design must fall within.

Required Specs:

Fall within 4500 pixels x 5400 pixels with 300 dpi and your saved image must be in a transparent png format. NOT jpg

5 Steps To Creating Your T-Shirt On Merch by Amazon

Once you’ve created your account you are now ready to upload your t-shirt design. When you hit the create tab you will be presented with a screen like the one below.

Step 1

uploading a t-shirt

 

Step 2

front design

Step 3

build t-shirt

Step 4

t-shirt details

Step 5

review t-shirt details

Congratulations your t-shirt has been successfully created

t-shirt has been created

Once your t-shirt has gone live you can grab the link to the sales page and begin promoting your Tee.

biker t shirts

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Hiring A Ghostwriter – Things To Watch Out For

Most people hire ghostwriters because they don’t have either the writing expertise or the time to get their masterpiece down on paper. Hiring a ghostwriter requires a little bit of homework and preparation. Several factors should be considered before you sign on the dotted line. Continue reading Hiring A Ghostwriter – Things To Watch Out For

PayPal.Me Simplifying Your Online Transactions

What Is PayPal.Me?

The recently launched new platform PayPal.Me intends to make it easier for PayPal customers to send and receive money online, using personalized links. Your customized link for example, would look something like this – paypal.me/johnsmith and it can be placed:

  • On your website.
  • Sent in a text message.
  • Sent through Email.
  • Used through social media.

Recipients of your personalized link are able to pay you from their own PayPal accounts, simply by clicking on your link and selecting the correct $ amount.

 

Payments that are made using PayPal.Me are covered by the PayPal Buyer Protection policy. At present, PayPal.Me is only available in selected countries. They are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • France
  • UK
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • US

According to PayPal, this new platform takes away the ineptitude that many PayPal users feel when requesting money. You can also customize your personalized link for a specific amount. For example, the URL would have the amount at the end of the address, “paypal.me/johnsmith/25.”

PayPal has around 170 million active users worldwide, and this new platform is aimed at making online transactions simpler and faster than the traditional methods.

PayPal.Me For Self Publishers

If you’re a self publisher, and assuming you haven’t enrolled your book/books in KDP Select, PayPal.Me offers a great solution for you to place a buy link on your website, offering your potential customers a secure and simple way to purchase.

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The Kindle Publishing Boat Has Sailed

ebook publishing gold

Are you thinking you may have missed the kindle publishing boat?

The first short non fiction book I published on KDP is still making a good income – that one book is still paying me for the little bit of effort I put into writing it almost 3 years ago.

If you visit the KDP Select forum one of the common topics talked about at the moment is that the eBook publishing boat may have sailed and kindle publishing is on it’s way out. Opportunity boats are always sailing, but you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be another one to sail in and pick you up.

I guarantee there will be people who haven’t even written their first book who will one day be published and make much more money than any of us are making right now. Opportunity is always coming along, you just have to be ready to grab it.

Amazon sales are HUGE and there is always someone at the top, in the top 10, 100… places where you can be too. Success doesn’t come to those who don’t do the right things unless they’re lucky and luck doesn’t last forever.

If you think your ship has sailed… then make things happen for you by doing things better.

  • Write better books.
  • Create better book covers.
  • Target better readers.
  • Get your books edited properly.
  • Write better blurbs.

There’s a whole lot of people waiting to see what you have to show them. The buying public is massive and there is still plenty of room for you to get a piece of that pie.

Read more on Amazon

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Adult Coloring Books The Latest Trend

Step aside, intricate designs for adult coloring bookskids… adult summer camps are also becoming commonplace. Adult coloring books are taking the world by storm and seems to be riding a wave of nostalgia. In the top 20 best-selling books on Amazon right now is, a coloring book. Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden,” has sold around 1.4 million copies worldwide. The books are inspiring such a buzz that lists of favorite adult coloring books are popping up on sites like Huffington Post

With intricate patterns and beautiful designs, coloring books are obviously geared towards the dexterous fingers of adults. Offering them a way back to their childhood. This new hobby replaces knitting and sewing in the good old days. It’s the equivalent of taking a walk.

What Do Adult Coloring Books Mean For You?

I’m not claiming to be an expert on the whole adult coloring book craze, but I can definitely see the potential. If you’ve been around awhile, you’ll appreciate that writing books (that sell) is not easy. Sometimes, so much so that many people just give up. Now that’s not to say that kindle publishing is dead and buried, you can still make a profitable income stream from kindle books, but it does require time and a lot of work.

Kindle or Paperback

If you’re not aware, most of the top adult coloring books are sold in the paperback version. Now, if you want to jump onto the coloring book band wagon, then the kindle option is the other alternative. Mainly (I say) because it allows you to test the waters first, and it’s a lot cheaper to get started. If your book begins to gain popularity, you can switch it up and publish it through CreateSpace as a paperback.

How Do You Color In An eBook?

In your newly created coloring book for adults you insert a link to a downloadable printable PDF version.

UEC can also convert the completed book into a password protected PDF file.

But I’m Not An Artist?

Now days, you can virtually outsource any type of project. If you’re not artistically inclined, don’t worry. Sites like Fiverr.com offer a range of graphic designers and artists that can do your illustrations for you, but if you prefer to go it alone, you can grab royalty free images and upload them to free image editing sites, PhotoFunia for example. There you can edit your images into color-able sketches.


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