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

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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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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Internet Marketing Magic Buttons & Silver Bullets

Several years ago, purely by accident, I stumbled upon an article about internet marketing. The post was specifically about affiliate marketing. I’d never heard of affiliate marketing before, or even internet marketing for that matter. As I read the first few lines, it talked about how to make money with affiliate marketing – it immediately got my attention. So I began to read on to find out what this making money with affiliate marketing was all about.

That article was my introduction to making money online, it was the hook. I remember feeling quite excited after reading that post. I felt like I had just discovered the holy grail to making money. I couldn’t wait to tell my wife about the amazing discovery I had come across. I told her it was called affiliate marketing, and that it could be our ticket to becoming financially free. I babbled on for what must of felt like eons for her. It sounds great dear she whispered, as she slowly nodded of to sleep. I lay there staring at the ceiling, I was still pumped by my discovery and I was going to prove to her that I’m onto a great thing.

Internet Marketing – Wants and Needs

internet marketing wizardFast forward to 2015. It took me way too long to realize I had become part of the internet marketing herd. In the early stages of my IM journey, I was excited and wanted to start making money ASAP, but I wasn’t too keen on doing things that required too much effort or were too complicated to learn. I began buying things that would save me all the hassle of having to do actual work. I soon became conditioned to wanting the newest thing, the latest gadget or that “cutting edge” secret or trick that would solve all my problems.

I didn’t want to waste my time doing all that boring mundane stuff, like niche research or creating a product or service that actually provided real value to people. I was looking for the magic buttons and chasing silver bullets. I fell into the trap of buying things I wanted, but not investing in things that I actually needed.

What people need and what people think they want are two very different things.

And since people buy what they think they want rather than what they need, it makes sense for product creators to pitch something that fits with the – what people want category.

If you feel like I’ve just described “you” don’t worry… I’m pretty sure that most of us have been there. All you have to do is stop buying those quick-fix silver bullets and start working to a system or model or whatever you want to call it. Start with one thing and stick to it, until you have completed it. Then carry on to the next thing and do the same. Before long you’ll have a nice steady little business that keeps growing and growing.

My one thing at the moment is kindle publishing. If writing is your thing or you’re thinking about starting out with kindle publishing, I highly recommend checking out the Ultimate eBook Creator, which I use myself and actively promote on this blog. And yes I wanted it, but more importantly it was something I needed. Why? because it saved me from spending time that was unproductive and it allowed me to spend more time on actually writing my book. It also kept everything tidy and organized… it helped me create a polished product – a perfectly formatted book ready to upload to KDP.

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Funny Opening Lines

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… hold on. Okay – try again, once upon a time there lived… just a minute, hold up there cowboy. That opening line rings a bell.

Stephen King said in an interview, an opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say – Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this. Of course, opening lines don’t always have to be snappy to grab the readers attention: take for instance the famous opening lines of J.D Salinger’s novel: The Catcher in the Rye.

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

If you haven’t captured the readers attention within the first few lines, then the prospective reader has gone. I believe a good opening line really begins with voice. You hear people talk about voice a lot. An appealing voice achieves an intimate connection.

Perfect first lines take many shapes and forms. Keep searching until you find it, because when you do, it will hook your reader through the rest of your story.

Five Funny Opening Lines

Below are 5 opening lines I picked out from a blog I came across that was titled “Bad Romance Novel Opening Lines.” I’m not sure if “bad” is the right word, I actually found them funny, and they do grab your attention.

funny opening lines

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Learn To Relax A Little

If you’ve been online for any length of time, I’m sure you’ll agree that running an online business is not easy. Even if you’re highly organized, an online business is no different than the traditional “Brick and mortar business”, you still need to put in the time and effort in order for your business to grow and profit.

I heard somewhere (I can’t recall where?) that there are two things you need to be successful, “Confidence and Ignorance”. Confidence may seem obvious, but ignorance not so obvious. Most people who have the ambition to start a successful business, more than often will fail, even before they begin. Negative comments can quickly erode a persons’ confidence. So, ignorance (to a certain degree) can help you dismiss those negative elements and let you get on with what you set out to do in the first place… build a successful business.

If you’ve got ambitions’ for 2015, approach it with a solid plan mapped out and with a focused (I will succeed) attitude, but also remember to chill out now and again and not take things too seriously. Life’s too short for regrets.

 

How to Remain Positive as a Blogger

Blogging is a lot of work, but it also requires an immense amount of enthusiasm. A blogger cannot possibly hope to convey the type of authority, honesty and energy that it takes to make a successful blog, if your heart just isn’t in it anymore. If you are in a bad mood or you don’t feel like doing this anymore – either because you received a negative review or fail to see any current benefit – spiritual, monetarily or otherwise – it will come through in your writing. It will spell out in vitriol for your commenters when you take the time to respond to them. Continue reading How to Remain Positive as a Blogger