My Recommended Domain Name Registrar - NameCheap

Posted on October 6th, 2013 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Marketing.

Domain Registrations from just $3.98/Year
Well the title says it all, I have moved the bulk of my domain names from GoDaddy to NameCheap. I did this during the SOPA uproar and they made it easy to do it and also had a transfer discount (this month’s transfer code is AUTUMNCOLORS).

I’ve been with them for over a year now and have had no issues, and I also have not had the annoying “upsell” experience that GoDaddy always (and still) offers.

NameCheap is like it says, cheap, and even comes with a year of WhoIs Gaurd protection. The only con that I’ve come across so far is that they don’t take Discover Card for payment (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx or PayPal or your options).

NameCheap also offers hosting services but I have not tried them so can’t vouch for that.

Here are more discount codes:
Domain discounts: AUTUMNCOLORS – standard discounts off com/net/org/info/biz registrations and transfers, not renewals (you can renew for several years at a time for a baked-in savings!)
Shared Hosting (20% off the first billing cycle): HOCTOBER
VPS Hosting (10% off the first billing cycle): RELIABLEHOSTING

Use the above here:NameCheap

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You Need a Budget - A Budget for Variable Income Earners

Posted on January 6th, 2012 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: General Business.

I’m on a free trial of a budget software app that has me very excited. [My old accounting professor would be shocked to hear that] Why am I excited? Because it’s a budget that’s 1. easy to use (so far) and 2. ACTUALLY works for folks with a variable income!!

It seems that most budget / financial software or online apps seem to assume that you have a fixed income, or at least can estimate pretty closely how much you make per month. But for freelancers and shopkeepers we can be on “feast or famine” at any given time. This bit of software helps you budget around that but… it’s just one part of a bigger equation which you can choose to participate in or not. The bigger equation includes 4 main concepts of how to budget, which leads one to stop living paycheck to paycheck because your budget takes the variation into account. This info is given free, via forums, videos, and webinars. I attended one webinar (one hour long which included questions from the attendees) and found it helpful, however just reading the short bit on their website was enough to get me started with no problem.

Anyway, if you’d like to try the free trial period along with me, you can go there by clicking the graphic below (it has my affiliate link in it):

Or you can wait until I’m done with my trial and for my write up on it. While I’m liking it so far, I also like that I know I can export my data into a spreadsheet friendly format if I don’t decide to buy the software so my work won’t be wated. Anyway, since it’s still New Year’s Resolution time, I thought some of you might want to jump in and see how the water is so feel free to click on the above and join me :)

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BackBlaze Review - After Over a Year of Service

Posted on January 19th, 2011 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Website Tips, Design, Deals, General Business.

A question came up on the CafePress forums about back up strategies. I answered it similarly to others, you can have external drives, DVD / CD s, Online services, and heck, even thumb drives.

It made me think about all the different things I’ve tried (heck I’ve even used Zip Drives). Of all these things the thing I currently love the most is BackBlaze.

Why? Is it for bells and whistles and easy access to data?

It’s basically for its simplicity.

It can run in the back ground all the time, you can schedule it, or you can just turn on when you want it to. It backs up files and keeps them in the same organization structure as how you have it on your computer.

You don’t have to plug anything in or install any physical hard drive.

It’s got unlimited space for a very reasonable yearly fee.

And lastly… it’s the only back up that I have been able to stick with for over a year.

Sure, I swore I’d burn CDs regularly, but did I? No. I did back up what I wanted, but not regularly. I could’ve lost months of work at a time.
Sure, I swore I’d swap out data to my external drives and even keep one in my bank safe deposit box… but did that ever happen? Nope.

If you’d like to try BackBlaze, here’s my referral link. You will get a trial period so you can check out the service for yourself.
PS One thing I have also been using while using BackBlaze is an accessible from the net and other devices (my cell phone) service (SugarSync, it works great but I didn’t pony up for the paid service, I found BackBlaze’s pricing better for my needs). Also, I do back up some files with Gmail (email it so myself) or Google Documents.

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Photography for Business - Lens Hero Review

Posted on December 23rd, 2010 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Marketing, General Business.

What a clever site. LensHero is a website which helps a user pick a lens for their DSLR camera. You input your camera, the type of photography, you’d like and then your budget range and then the site comes up with a list of lenses that are suitable.

It’s a pretty nice starting point if you don’t know your lenses, and the quotes from other photographer’s help you get a sense of a lens beyond the stats. The clever part is the marketing going around the site, there are ads for lenses which I assume are affiliate links or at least paid advertising.

For the user of the site this could be helpful in highlighting other brands of lenses that one may not immediately think about if you own one of the big two company brands (Canon or Nikon) and tend to stick to investigating lenses made by them as well. I’ve written about the benefits of owning an SLR camera earlier, you can use this site to get quick recommendations for what lens you might want to go with that camera.

My own recommendation for a reasonable budget solution is to get a 50mm lens. And in fact this matches up with Lens Hero’s suggestions for a portrait lens.

They also have a suggest feature for you to input lenses you already own and if you are looking to fill out your set.

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HubPages - Squidoo Competitor Could Be Good News

Posted on July 19th, 2010 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Marketing, General Business.

I recently opened an account with HubPages, a Squidoo competitor with a similar model. Their main difference in terms of money is that you get paid directly for services under your account, in other words, your Google Adsense account, your Amazon account, etc. HubPages just gets in on the ad/impressions rotation. You get 60% of the ad impressions and are paid directly from the respective affiliate companies once you hit their minimum payment threshold.
A big difference though is in the community. “Hubbers” as writers there are called can get a percentage of a Hub’s ad cut (the part that would normally go to HubPages) for a period of 120 minutes after linking to them. You can link to them from Twitter or anywhere. This gives an incentive for folks to market for you.

I’ve been impressed with Squidoo so far, I’ve written less than 20 lenses and still get surprised with checks years later after having written them. The checks (Paypal deposits these days) aren’t very big but it’s the closest I’ve got to that elusive “Passive Income” as I usually forget I even have Lenses up. I figure it’s worth a try with HubPages since I’ve already done the research for lenses on Squidoo.
If you’d like to give it a shot, here’s my referral link to my first HubPage. Poke around and if you sign up let me know as I can help promote your pages!

If you don’t have a Squidoo account you can also sign up with my referral link.

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Back up, Sync & Access across computers, phones

Posted on August 11th, 2009 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Deals, General Business.

Backup, Sync, Share & Access files

I need to back up my files more and I also like having access to files across different computers. I recently came across a service that lets you do both of those but also access your file from a web enabled phone as well.

It’s called Sugar Sync and according to them “offers the most comprehensive backup, remote access and sharing solution available”. I was intrigued because I’m always on the look out for free storage but also because it doesn’t just back up your files but can sync them as well AND you can access files via your phone’s web browser (it also has dedicated iPhone, Blackberry and Android apps but I use a Treo so I’ll be using its web browser).
I signed up with their free option (2 GB of storage) but I used a friend’s link which gave both him and myself and extra 500MB of storage space. If you’d like to get a free account too, you can get the same bonus deal until August 31st by using my referral link. You can still use the link after August 31st but you’ll only get a bonus 250MB. You can also sign up for a paid account and in that case will get a bonus 10GB if you sign up by August 31st!
So far it seems pretty painless I installed the desktop application (PC or Mac available) and I powered up the mobile website and downloaded one of their test files, impressive speed on the PDF. I like the “Briefcase” feature which lets me sync between my computers and phone, great if I just want to temporarily move a file for example. I can see SugarSyc being really handy for folks who use both Macs & PCs too as it’ll transfer files and also back them up for you.
While I signed up more because of the backup features, I think the sync feature is going to come in handy when I use my laptop on the road and then want to sync files with my desktop or if I take photos with my camera phone and want to sync them automatically to my other computers without transferring later.

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Quick Savings: Canon XSi Coupon code $60 off

Posted on September 24th, 2008 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Marketing.

Just a quick post since I’ve talked about my Canon XTi camera before (I still love it by the way).

However the newer version has been out for awhile now and has gotten great reviews (and some of my jealousy I must admit), its the Canon XSi and its got 12.2 Megapixels (great for making those calendar prints, etc).

If you’d like one for your business (see my past post about the XTi) Here’s the coupon code:

$60 off EOS Rebel XSi Black 12.2 MP 3X Zoom Digital Camera! Coupon Code: SZT8CS0RVR2HMJ

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CafePress Acquires ImageKind: What it Means for the Entrepreneur

Posted on July 8th, 2008 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: CafePress, Print on Demand, POD News.

The news is abuzz this morning about CafePress purchasing Imagekind, a high end custom framing marketplace for original and reprinted artwork. Price is said to be between $15 and $20 million according to VentureBeat.

What does this mean to entrepreneurs who use either company? For CafePress shopkeepers this is potentially a huge bonus. Currently CafePress only offers a limited range of products that showcase art or photography for traditional display. They have framed prints but they are in set sizes with set colored frames and matting. ImageKind allows upload of artwork in a variety of aspect ratios and is designed to build the frame to fit the picture. The customer also gets to choose paper/canvas, protective covering, and frame choices and each image is automatically offered in as wide a variety of sizes as is possible with the file uploaded.
ImageKind folks will also gain more likely product possibilities. CafePress offers ceramic tile products such as coaster tiles and keepsake boxes which are very high end looking in my opinion. Journals and larger format calendars will also be new items for ImageKind sellers. And of course CafePress has a whole stable of apparel and other items such as totebags.

Nothing has been said about how the two companies will move forward; however, as an entrepreneur who currently uses both I’m excited about the acquisition. I love how ImageKind can take a file and size frames to fit my artwork and I know the power of the CafePress marketplace. I’d rather save time and marketing efforts by having my art in one storefront.

News Tip from TshirtChat.

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Base Price Increases - 1st Printfection now CafePress

Posted on June 25th, 2008 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: CafePress, Print on Demand.

Well first POD newcomer, Printfection, announced a price raise. Now CafePress has followed.
Printfection’s increase is the first they’ve had (though of course they haven’t been around that long yet, less than 5 years). CafePress’s increase is the first in 9 years. Printfection says they are increasing prices around 10% across the board while CafePress has varied increases on select items, including the popular White T-shirt. Printfection has also increased its second side printing fee from $2 to $3.
Can we say gas price increases? Neither company specifically says that’s the reason, though CafePress mentions “Margins” which would include that. Printfection makes a point to say that they are absorbing shipping costs for shipping out to customers but they don’t mention an increased cost in wholesalers shipping items out to them which I imagine has happened.
The “Good” news: As a shopkeeper on either system you don’t have to do anything on your end, retail costs will just jump up accordingly. If you want to shave off some of your mark up then you will need to adjust prices on your own.

On CafePress’s end, a small comment caught my eye, some of the price increases will be due to product upgrades. They specifically mentioned journals will get a lined paper choice. I like that idea.

So yeah, I’m stretching to see the “Good” in price increases but these days what can you do?

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eBay and your PoD shop - Making Auctions Do Double Duty

Posted on December 9th, 2007 by thetshirtnexus.
Categories: Marketing, Print on Demand.

I was an eBay seller before I was a CafePress shopkeeper, not a serious seller, just a casual person selling things I owned.

Once I had a few CafePress shops I tried selling some of my CafePress items and didn’t do that well (broke even or didn’t sell the item). I didn’t have an eBay store set up though, I just did normal listings with non html descriptions so the auction presentation admittedly could’ve been a lot better. So in the end it was not really worth it in terms of sheer profit on an item when I still had to pay the base price for the item plus eBay fees.

However, I still occasionally list things on eBay because I think of my auctions more as an advertising expense than a pure profit generator. Here are my reasons why I think of them this way:

1. I mention my store in my About Me page

It is not OK with eBay to put your store link in the auction listing itself but you can add it to your About Me page. By the way, it is also not OK to say in your auction listing “Go to my About Me page for a link to my store”.

2. When I ship out an item I include a link to my store on the packing slip

I use PayPal to generate packing slips for me and I put my thanks and my store url in the area they provide for a note.

3. When I ship out an item I include a flier / catalog type page that promotes related items in my shop.

I’ve created a few versions of a single sheet flier that showcases different items in my shop. I include a coupon code when one is available.

What I haven’t done yet is include information about signing up for my shop’s newsletter. I should add that to the flier I think.

Note that the above methods work even if you are not auctioning off items you actually sell in your shop. I am auctioning off collectible figurines related to my store theme. Chances are if they like an X figurine they may like a t-shirt or sticker or hat, etc about X as well.

At any rate, I tend to use eBay when I can sell things in a batch (less post office trips) and/or when they have a special going on. For example right now they have a free Gallery option until December 12th.

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