1-Slot 2-Slot Boomarklet

Joyous days of coding – not!

It was an innocent enough request that the creative side of my brain made of the logical side: I want to be able to easily-peasily-squeezily make an animation of the product views (aka in-situs) to be found on Zazzle’s product pages.

An example of a 1-slot square animation of the product views for a thermal tumbler
As used on Product Page media upload
click to see (opens in new tab)
  • a single click to get the whole thing started
  • a simple choice for the animation’s layout
  • gives a default animation
    – with title, description and link for optional copying and pasting
  • more optional choices to fine-tune the animation
  • the animations must be ok on major social media
    (Pinterest, Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram etc)
  • can be used by Zazzle’s Product Media Manager for a new “in-situ” product view

Seems simple enough – pretty straightforward…

Oh how the unwary are taken in by “simple” requests – you’d think I’d know by now . You wouldn’t believe the problems that I had to overcome on the way!

Formats / layouts

option 4 – horizontal layout with animation on the right

Coding for the different layouts was easy, relatively speaking. 2-slot horizontal and vertical? No worries. 1-slot square? Piece of cake. Text placement and font selection? Eyes-closed coding 😉

a 2-slot vertical animation of a clipboard design. Text has been added in the middle of the animation saying "spook is as" "spooky does"
option 2 – vertical with animation at the bottom

Getting and working with images from Zazzle?

Aaaaargh 🤪

Why that reaction? It’s because after initial coding, testing and release, occasionally images would misbehave.

On digging deeper I found that sometimes the product view images on a product page would take on a weird url format instead of the more usual name-and-some-numeric-stuff.jpg (or .webp) and that broke things.

Try as I might I couldn’t work out whether some product types just did that or whether something else was going on. Eventually, after much head-scratching and many cups of tea, I tracked it down. It only took a day!

It was this: Clicking on any of the product view images (as you would if you wanted to see that view on center stage) caused all their urls to jump into that weird format. The same would happen if you clicked on any of the product options to, say, change the size of roll (gift-wrap) or size (eg on business cards).

Got it. Coded for it. Was that all? Not on your nelly!


Un-animated gifs

Aaaaargh 🤪

Weirdness. If you make a pin with an animated gif as the image using any of Pinterest’s pin buttons or its pin creation api (application programming interface):

  • the gif animates on the pin
  • the pin goes into your Saved section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Saved section only a small amount of exposure. Ack!

If you create a pin manually with an animated gif:

  • it doesn’t animate
  • the pin goes into your Created section
  • Pinterest gives pins in your Created section a ton of exposure – maybe a hundred times more than those in the Saved section – Yaay!

So it’s obvious… convert the gif to an mp4 movie instead. It didn’t work. Huh? 🤯

Unplayable mp4 movies

More Pinterest weirdness. This was a real head scratcher. Again, after a lot of puzzling over it, experimenting, having cups of tea, more head scratching, more experimenting, I got to the bottom of it (this was a two-day head scratch!).

If the mp4 movie had only a few frames, then even though the video controls were present on the pin (you know, play, pause etc) they didn’t work. But once beyond about 30 frames, they’d play.

So there was some more unexpected coding (isn’t there always?) to increase the number of frames – by duplicating the product view images. It’s a balance between keeping the size in MB of the gifs low while keeping the number of frames high.

The reason for the balancing act is that X/Twitter won’t accept images bigger than 15M. It doesn’t always work – some 2-slot gifs with enough frames for Pinterest (once converted to mp4, of course) go above the 15MB X/Twitter limit.

The solution is to convert to mp4 and use that for X/Twitter. The size of the mp4 is reduced hugely in comparison to the gif but it’s one extra step in the process.

Learn how to create Pinterest pins that get 20 X the impressions

I did some experiments with manually created pins because I wanted to see what the effect would be compared to those pinned using Pinterest buttons.

Impressions compared on very recent pins

Compare the impressions between the manually created pins (top image) and the pins created using a Pinterest pin (aka pin-it) button.

All of those pins were created in the last couple of hours and you can see the difference in impressions they’ve received already.

In a day or two, the manually created ones (Created heading) are going to be vastly better than the ones made with pin-it buttons (All Pins heading).

Impressions compared on 5-week-old pins

25 X the impressions compared to best-performing pin created with a button
(click to see larger – opens in a new tab / window)

The pins shown above were all created on October 1st 2022. The best performing pin created with a pin-it button got 9 impressions. Compare that with the manually created pin – it’s had 233 impressions in the same time frame!

So that’s 25 X the impressions. Read on to find out how you can achieve the same!

About pinning

When you use a Pinterest (aka pin-it) button to make a pin:

  • via the product page on Zazzle
  • using the Nifty Speed-Sharing tool
  • with the Nifty Auto-Pinner tool

..two observations:

  1. The description text on the pin is the standard, bland description Zazzle provides for the type of product being pinned.
    Yes, the designer’s description is ignored.
  2. Around the same time as the designer’s description started being ingnored in favour of Zazzle’s standard one, impression rates on pins of Zazzle products dropped really low

I can understand 1) to some extent – some of the descriptions designers give are eye-wateringly inappropriate:

  • some stuff them with keywords so they’re not actually descriptions
  • some just repeat the product’s title
  • some use a generic description that’s unrelated to the design

The downsides of those I think explains Zazzle’s reasoning: they go for a generic description of the product type so their reputation is unharmed.

The drop in pin impressions 2) that happened around the same time isn’t a surprise. Why? It’s likely because Pinterest factors in the uniqueness of a Pin’s description in deciding what to show on people’s feeds.

Best way forward?

Watch this video on how to quickly and easily create stonking pins that’ll attract lots of impressions:

If you’re a serious Zazzle designer with a limited amount of time to devote to promoting, I’d suggest a combination of manual pinning and speed-sharing.

With a little more time, or you’re a designer with a small affiliate hat, I’d recommend doing the same, but more of it with both your own and other people’s designs.

A serious designer-cum-affiliate will do auto-pinning, speed-sharing of great sellers and maybe half a dozen manually created pins per day.


Of course, any of those type of people who value their time will be using Nifty already. Not only to speed up their promoting but to make it easy peasy as well.

You can use Nifty for free if you don’t mind a 50/50 split on any earned referral fees. If that doesn’t appeal, you can get a membership by paying a monthly subscription (link opens in a new tab / window).

It would be really cool to hear about your experiences with manually created pins, so if you don’t mind sharing them, drop off a comment. Thanks!

Speed-Sharer for promoting from the Zazzle ShowMe Forum

Newly released tool from the Nifty stable – promoting from the Zazzle Show Me Forum is now easier and quicker than ever.

annotated screenshot highlighting the major features
tool’s handy extras highlighted

Affiliate Benefits

  • Saves you time – the Nifty approach is quicker and easier
  • Makes it easy to get at the products / collections shared in the Show Me forum
  • Restrict to store lets you get only shares from your favourite store
  • Share to Twitter and Facebook and pin on Pinterest at the click of a button
  • As more designers find out about the tool, the more they’ll put into the ShowMe forum for us – and they’ll be organised by topic – nice!
  • Your referral id and tracking code are used as normal – if you’ve got a Nifty Promoter Program subscription, you’ll get clean links
  • Pinterest doesn’t like it when different people share the same image. Get round this by using image frames – then chances of that happening become very remote.

Find the new tool in the Nifty Promo Control Panel in Step 2 under Share individual products with Speed-Sharers

Designer Benefits

  • Now it’s so easy for Nifty-ers to share from the Show Me forum, it’s another way to get in front of real affiliates
  • More of your great designs / collections will be promoted when you post to an appropriate topic (aka thread) there
  • Posting to very specific topics will help you help affiliates even more
  • You can use the Speed Sharer as well
    • advance to a 50/50 referral split when you put in your referral id
    • stay on top of things by seeing what products / collections you’ve already shared by using the ‘Restrict to store’ feature

So what are you waiting for? Here’s a link to the Speed-Sharer for promoting from the Zazzle ShowMe Forum


  • Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest buttons for easy sharing / pinning there
  • To help you see where your successes come from, your chosen tracking code automatically has the date appended and is prefixed by whatever button you click:
    • twt_ for Twitter
    • fbk_ for Facebook
    • pntrst_ for Pinterest
  • Topic Lister
  • Promote from a specific topic (message id)
  • Lots of help for each feature
  • Filtering by the date a topic was created:
    • today
    • since yesterday
    • last seven days
    • this month
    • since last month
    • all time
  • ‘Restrict to store’ lets you see only products / collections from the given store
  • Handy link to Zazzle’s community search page
  • Link given to the topic for the displayed product / collection
  • Image frames for Pinterest to help keep your pins unique

We’d love to hear what you think, so drop off a comment and let us know! Thanks 😎

Improvements to the Product Stager’s Video feature

As is usual, since first releasing the video feature of the Nifty Product Stager, we’ve been improving things. We’ve tweaked the timing for each animation and the pause at the end of each cycle.

What does this mean? It means a viewer has more time to view and take in each design.

Here’s one we just made for one of the great designers at Zazzle. We loved the cute dragon!

visit: http://bit.ly/2Skq4Iv to pick and buy

The Product Stager gives you a shortened bit.ly link to use when sharing the video on social media.

It leads to an auto-generated page on our new PickFromHere.com site showing all the products in the “pull” from which the video was made. They’re laid out in a product grid, with each linked to its product page on Zazzle.

If you want to have a look, visit: http://bit.ly/2Skq4Iv

Note: if you’re going to share on Pinterest, you can’t use the bit.ly link because Pinterest doesn’t allow shortened links. Instead you need the long link in the Useful copy-paste items for your share section at the bottom of the Product Stager.

We’ve been busy little bees this month

You asked for an easy and quick way of staging your products to make attractive, compelling and oh-so-clickable images for your social media promoting.

We can hardly believe it ourselves but we’ve managed to make and release a new Nifty tool to let you do just that in this important run-up to the holiday season.

Here’s a few examples of what you can make in just a few clicks, drags and drops:

A really great bonus is that you get given a link to use with your new graphic that takes the visitor to a product grid page where they can click to see and buy what they like!

And, of course, this is all free! So cool 😊

Main benefits

  • Free!
  • Easy to use, in-built templates for social media
  • If you can click, drag and drop, you can use it
  • Super fast to place your product images with the magnetic template placeholders!
  • Zazzlers: start from your Nifty Promo Control Panel to select what you want to promote. When you’ve done that, the product stager is in Step2
  • Society6 storekeepers: start from your Nifty Promo Control Panel to select what you want to promote. When you’ve done that, the product stager is in Step2
  • Other POD storekeepers: as there’s no Nifty Promo Control Panel for you, start the tool directly. Don’t worry – it’s easy to get the product images you want – see the help in the Add your own images panel in the pre-staging area


  • Stage for you to work on to create your design
  • Background, Image and Foreground layers to keep you organized
  • Add frames, text and images using the pre-staging area
  • Design grid with snap-to
  • Template Library: use the in-built templates – available at the best sizes for various social media to start you off
  • Resize, squish and rotate anything you’ve added
  • Arrange within layers with buttons to send-to-back, bring-to-front, back-one and forward-one
  • Make your own templates you can use over and over again
  • In-built templates include magnetic image placeholders – drag and drop a selected image near one and it’ll resize and rotate to match, then snap into place
  • When you save your template, images will become magnetic placeholders when you next load!
  • Edit frames and text you’ve added to the stage with the editing panes

a screenshot of the full tool showing the stage and pre-staging area
the full tool showing the stage and pre-staging area

Other things we’ve been up to

We’re in the process of adding a News panel at the bottom of every Nifty tool to make it easy for you to keep up with updates. We’ll make another blog post when we’ve got more to say about it.