The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Squidoo – CafePress loophole

CafePress.com is the primo site for artists and designers to put their art on t-shirts and coffee mugs, and to sell these products online without any of the hassles, or risks, associated with production, inventory, shipping, or consumer financial transactions. CafePress is an on-demand producer, order taker, and fulfillment operation.

CafePress sets a base price for each of the scores of various products it offers, and the artist sets whatever mark-up price she wishes. When a sale is made, CafePress keeps the set base price for doing the heavy lifting, and the artist receives the difference between the base price and the mark-up price.

It is all very nifty.

A few years ago, CafePress realized that the best artists and designers might have zero marketing ability, so CafePress started its affiliate program. That program is currently paying 15% on affiliate generated sales.

This is a smart arrangement because many individuals who are genius at marketing do not have any graphic art talent or interest.

The way CafePress set up its affiliate program, the artist who creates the CafePress shop cannot earn affiliate referral income for marketing his or her own CafePress shop. A CafePress shop owner can still earn affiliate commissions for referrals to other peoples’ shops, but just not to her own shop.

I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is, and I’m not going to grind my teeth about it.

The interesting thing about Squidoo.com that I just recently discovered is that it provides a partial by-pass of this affiliate restriction imposed by CafePress. Squidoo offers a revenue sharing model for those who create Squidoo Lenses. Squidoo provides many different customizable revenue producing widgets for Lensmasters to choose from, and one is a CafePress module.

So, a CafePress shop owner can create a Squidoo Lens and incorporate a Squidoo widget linking to his or her own products offered on CafePress, and thus share in the affiliate revenue otherwise prohibited by CafePress, if done directly.

Examples:

Inspirations from A Course in Miracles on CafePress

Best Books about A Course in Miracles on Squidoo

I just hope that pointing this out does nothing to screw it up.

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Written by Tom Fox

08/13/2007 at 2:56 pm

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