Sports Tees For The Not So Major Leaguer

Posted by Mongo

Sports tees are always in fashion.  The NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, and a host of other alphabet soup organizations derive much of their profits from licensed apparel emblazoned with the logos of teams in their leagues.  And while it’s always expensive to go out and buy authentic looking shirts and hats there is still a market for off brands and nondescript merchandise.  You can find shirts in Walmart that say “ALLSTAR” or “CHAMP” or any other generic sports themed gear for your sports nut, but admittedly, it’s not quite the same.

Well, what if you aren’t into traditional sports?  What if you aren’t the king of the gridiron or assassin of the court?  What if the best thing you were good at in school was, say, nukem?   We’re not even talking about traditional volleyball.  We’re talking about the game where you catch the ball and then throw it over the net.  That’s why Mongo Angry! Mongo Smash! wants to recognize the gym class hero and playground phenom in all of us with these designs. 

Kickball Champ

Get Kickball Champ at CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened

If you didn’t get picked last on the playground you must have a pretty decent leg.  Great punters and place kickers have to start somewhere.  Might as well be the one who can kick that big red rubber ball past the dumpster.

Dodgeball King

Get Dodgeball King at CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.  That piece of advice from Patches O'Houlihan is essential along with Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and... Dodge.   And while you’re at it, catch the damn thing and get your team back on the court.

Scooter Soccer Star

Get Scooter Soccer Star at CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened

With the World Cup and the drone of the Vuvuzelas safely in the rearview mirror for a bit, it’s time to start searching for the next superstar of the field.  What better way to show your athletic prowess than to advertise that, in grade school, you were the king of the multipurpose room that doubled as a cafeteria, auditorium, and gym class.  While your sensory skills in determining who was picking you in Thumbs Up Seven Up is in line with The Medium, your ability to scoot yourself down the linoleum and make a goal in Scooter Soccer was nothing short of David Beckham on a good day.

All State Paper Football

Get All State Paper Football at CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened

On the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field,  football legends were separated from mere mortals.  The grid iron is a place to crush your opponent’s will and body as you march down the field towards destiny.  However, if you can’t run, hit, kick, or catch, you can still be an All American in Study Hall by correctly folding a piece of paper.  Don’t laugh, the ability to adjust your game for table top grain is indeed a valuable skill to be had.

Lawn Dart Champion

Get Lawn Dart Champ at CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened

Kids are wimps these days.  What do they know about the rough and tumble world of previous generations’ backyard games.  In my youth, we threw huge darts at each other and never moved as we waited to see who could make it inside the ring at our feet.   Then someone had to go and ban the game of Lawn Darts.  I tell you, those were the days of wrought iron metal jungle gyms, hanging over concrete playgrounds, and slides with reflective metal that made for the equivalent of a cheese grater on the back of your legs as you slid down in the hot sun.  Soft molded plastic and recycled tennis shoe rubber have made our kids weaklings.

There you are, sport tees for all us recess superstars.

If you want to learn how to achieve the faded or vintage look for these designs follow the links below.

Blog Changes: Share The Madness of Mongo With Everyone

Posted by Mongo

I wanted to share with you a couple of changes I made. We knocked down a couple of walls and went with a different kind of teak wood. Kidding. Actually, I added some share buttons at the bottom of my posts. You know, the end of post which never seems to come fast enough, here. So, if you are all web savvy and linked up with the satellites overhead and can play chess with Joshua, you can now directly share my designs and tips with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and other thingy ma bobby mcgees around teh interwebz.

So, feel free to do what we learned in kindergarten and eat paste. No, don't do that. I meant share.

Oh, and by the way, I found that enabling the buttons for sharing in the dashboard didn't do a blessed thing for making them actually appear in my posts. I needed to do some tweaking to the template. if you own a blog and want to add this function I found a great fix. WARNING: You need to add code to your template so back up your blog in case you screw up.

The Undocumented Spot: Share Buttons on Blogger Not Showing

Make Your Images Look Faded In Ten Steps

Posted by Mongo

Not too many people like it when a t-shirt begins to fade. You spend good money on a graphic tee that has a great design on it and after a few washes the colors run or the screen printing begins to fall off of the shirt leaving flecks of ink missing from the image.

But what if you want to actually achieve that effect on your shirt or your artwork? Maybe you are designing a vintage style shirt that is supposed to look like it came from the 70s or 80s or has simply been through the war. I’m going to show you a ten step process to making your images look faded and worn. As usual, I will be detailing this using Paint.NET. NOTE: For this tutorial, I am going to be working with an image that only uses one color.

What you need:

Step One: Create your image in black and white
That’s all you. Whatever you do to create an image, go ahead and do it. We’re more concerned with the end product. However, for this tutorial it makes sense to work from a black or white image. I don’t mean black AND white. I am talking about starting with a base image that is either a black or white, no in between shades. All of my work starts out in black and color is added later. It helps to make sure your primary and secondary colors are black and white as well.

Lawn Dart Champion is available in solid form
at  my
CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened stores.

Step Two: Use the magic wand to grab all the visible elements
The handy dandy little magic wand is a useful tool to grab chunks of your image to work with separate from the rest. It may take some time to get the hang of doing it but keep trying. NOTE: In order to grab multiple areas, hold the CTRL key down as you click on areas to grab. Once you have all the areas chosen you can release the CTRL key. NOTE: If you have a lot of small areas to grab and are not sure if you got everything you can use CTRL-X to cut the selected areas. If you grabbed everything you wanted, everything should disappear. Don’t worry. Simply use CTRL-Z to make it all come back to the step you took before cutting.

Step Three: Add a layer
Now that we have all the visible elements lassoed, as it were, we need to work in a different level (in case we screw up.) So Add a level by clicking on the button at the “Add a New Layer” button on the bottom left of the Layers window.

Step Four: Render Clouds
Once we are in the new layer, which should be blank, we need to render clouds by choosing Effects>Render>Clouds.

Step Five: Move Sliders all the way to right side
While the image will appear to have rendered clouds, you can adjust how they look by moving the sliders. For this particular tutorial make sure both sliders are all the way to right side. This will make the clouds a little more focused and not smoky.


Step Six: Adjust Brightness and Contrast
Now that we have our clouds rendered, choose Adjustments>Brightness / Contrast to open the Brightness and Contrast window.

Step Seven: Move Sliders in opposite Directions
Moving these sliders will adjust how dark or light the blacks and whites are in your image as well as the contrast. For this tutorial move slider for brightness all the way to the left and the contrast slider all the way to the right. You should notice that the lighter areas of your clouds are now darkened leaving a jagged and pixelated appearance.

Step Eight: Make White Primary Color Choice
If you haven’t done so, already, you are going to want to make white your primary color in order to remove it in the next step.

Step Nine: Strip Primary Color
Choose Effects>Strip Primary Color to remove all the white in your image. If you do not have the plugin installed. You can get it here.  This will leave only the black coloring on your graphic. Now you might ask, “Why even have white involved when rendering clouds?” To that I say, sometimes the clouds render in a less than favorable way leaving important elements of your design removed all together. By having black and white chosen as your cloud colors you can then invert the image to see if the colors show up better. I guess it could be six of one and a half dozen of the other in terms of steps but I like having options. That’s why I chose to do it that way. To each his own.


Step Ten: Release Magic Wand
Once you have finished your removal of the primary color you can release your image from being lassoed. Easiest way is to choose another selection tool like rectangle or circle and then just click somewhere on the image. How does it look? Remember, you can always use CTRL-Z to undo steps or if you are really savvy go back steps by clicking on the one you want in your history window.


There you have it. Your image looks like it’s been around the block a few times. This is where I can start to make decisions about colors.

Extra Step: Change the color of your image
As I said in the beginning, I would rather make all my color decisions once I am done with the image. This way I can manipulate the overall color instead of having to paint individual areas.

Choose Adjustments>Color Balance to open the Slider Window.

Move the Sliders to adjust the color how you see fit.
Find your desired color and click OK.

This design is available in my CafePress, Zazzle, and Skreened stores.

Have fun and Fade On designers.

Harry Potter Gear On Sale Up to 20% Off Through July 25th

Posted by Mongo

Harry Potter has cast a spell on Zazzle causing a site wide discount…on EVERYTHING. Reveal the product discounts by entering promo code: PRICEREVELIO at checkout to see the sale amount for each product type.

The spell will expire at midnight on July 25th , so take advantage of this while you still can!

Repost From Yahoo: 4 Ways to Make Cash Online

Posted by Mongo

Just read this on Yahoo's Finance Page.  Check out the first tip.

1. Blogging

Web logs -- now almost universally know as "blogs" -- were once the sardonic voice of dissent on the Web. Now, everyone seems to have a space on the Internet where they offer opinions or other reflections.

If your blog captures the imagination of the public, you could earn money while you entertain.

Eden Kennedy of Santa Barbara, Calif., started when her son was 3 months old. She's been blogging about parenting, marriage and the hilarity of daily life for eight years now.

Kennedy says she built a readership by reading, commenting on and showing interest in the blogs of others.

Eventually, Kennedy had enough of a following to sell advertising space on her blog.

She works with several different advertising networks, each of which compensates her with anywhere from $1 per month to several hundred dollars per month.

One day, Kennedy had another flash of entrepreneurial insight: She decided to sell T-shirts to her readers.

She had shirts printed up with the phrase "Writing well is the best revenge" and watched the orders roll in.

"Just that phrase, it hits people pretty well," Kennedy says. "Actually, a lot of academics buy the T-shirt."

Kennedy now earns roughly $200 a month selling T-shirts. That income is in addition to the advertising dollars she rakes in.

Kennedy says her online pursuits have been more fruitful and less time-consuming than her former "real world" job working in a bookstore.

"Usually a post, no matter how long it is, takes me about an hour to write, and lately I haven't been updating more than twice a week," says Kennedy, who adds that designing her blog and dealing with advertisers takes an additional five hours per week.

How much is Kennedy earning from her blogging?

"It still adds up to more than I made selling books for 40 hours a week," she says.

Not every blogger is guaranteed to make good money. However, bloggers who truly love what they do are the ones who flourish, Kennedy says.

"I think the people who really succeed and last in this just really enjoy writing and taking pictures," she says.

If you'd like to try your hand at blogging, the Web sites Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal offer free blog templates.

If you'd like to sell ad space on your blog, check out sites such as Google AdSense, Text Link Ads and the BlogHerAds network (for women only).
See, once again, someone has a blog, writes interesting content... something I know nothing about... and also sells t-shirts with an awesome quote on them.  AND SHE IS MAKING MONEY!   'Nuff said.  Class dismissed!

Tees In A Pod: What Does SMO and SEO Really Mean ?#comment-form

Posted by Mongo

Good information about the difference between SEO and SMO for website owners in the Print On Demand or any business.

Tees In A Pod: What Does SMO and SEO Really Mean ?#comment-form

Julius Caesar Cheat Shirt by Jack A Barker

Posted by Mongo

Now this is funny.  I love a good theatre geek shirt.  It's from a shopkeeper named Jack A Barker. 

Earn Money As a Zazzle Associate With No Experience Required

Posted by Mongo

For almost a year now, I have been touting the benefits of starting a Print On Demand business through any number of websites like CafePress, Skreened and Zazzle. If you are still not convinced that this is a great opportunity to make some extra money or become a full time shopkeeper, maybe this will help get you on the train. You can make money off other people’s designs. That’s right. You can let other people do all the work of imagining, designing and creating shirts and other products while you can earn money from their sales. In fact, there are people who earn money from my products every day.

There are no pyramid schemes or any other illegal activities going on here. Zazzle actually promotes associate sales to people who already have an established gallery of designs as well as people who have no desire to be a shirt designer. All you need is a website, a blog, a twitter account, an email address or some other way to promote products to people.

Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say you are an avid skateboarder and blog about skateboarding. You already have a following from your blog posts, featuring videos of you tearing up the half pipe. You can devote a small portion of your individual posts or even entire posts just to selling skateboards with cool designs by other people on Zazzle. All you have to do is look around Zazzle’s already established gallery of skateboard designs, pick the ones you want, and post them into your blog. Then, when one of your readers sees a design they like and they click on the link to buy the skateboard, you make 15% of the sale.

Doing a quick check on skateboards I saw that normal prices range anywhere from $60.00 on up. Those prices reflect a base amount for the board. (Zazzle’s cost, plus a royalty added by the designer which is what they earn from their own sales. ) That’s at least $9.00 from each sale you refer. In any one month if you’re referrals go over $100.00 in base sales your earnings jump from 15% to 22% of each sale. If you’re really good and can get your referral sales over $5000, your earnings increase to 32% of the each sale. All you have to do is point people to the products and earn the money. Again, you only offer up links to existing designs. You don’t have to buy or store inventory or do any designing on your own. This is all done through Zazzle. Click here to see an overview of the program.

Skateboards are just an example for someone with a niche to fill. Let’s say you are a HUGE fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Disney, Looney Tunes, or even DC Comics. You can link to official products with official designs from those brands on your website, blog or whatever. You still get the same referral rate as you did with other products. This is a really great alternative to creating your own designs and yields nearly the same amount of profit as designers receive. How is that possible?

Websites like Zazzle and Cafepress allow designers to set their own royalty or commission rate for their products. In most cases these commissions can range anywhere from 10% to 20% of the price of the item. A $20.00 shirt could get a designer $2.00 or $4.00 depending on the type of shirt and their markup attached. Like I said, if you don’t have what it takes to design your own, you can still earn as much as a designer on referrals. You can even use my designs as a referral, as long as you link to my products with your unique referral ID.  Here’s how you do it. It’s so simple.

  1. Go to and click on “sign in.”
  2. You will be prompted for a login. (If you already have an account, skip to step 5.)
  3. Click “Continue” below the header, on the left hand side, that says, “I am new to Zazzle.”
  4. Fill out all the information and click “Continue.”
  5. Once you are finished signing up, the sign in link will be in the top right corner of the front page of Zazzle.
  6. You can either start searching in the search bar or choose topics from the front page of Zazzle by clicking on the Zazzle logo on the top left corner of the screen.
  7. Find a product you like and click on it.
  8. On the page for that product, below the image, there will be some options under “Share this” listed as Email | Link | Blog. The easiest way to get started is to choose “Link.”
  9. On the next screen you have two options, “Link for Email or IM” or “Copy and paste HTML.”   If you are signed in, which you have to be in order to get paid, you will see the sentence, “Your Associate ID is included. You earn 15% by sharing Zazzle.“
  10. Choose your method for sharing by copying the code underneath the option you want.
  11. Post the information where you want to share it and that’s it.
In your account settings you will see the link for “History” under the “Statistics” section. In your earnings History page look for Referral Reports and you can see how you are doing. After the sales clear the 30 day window for returns and you reach the minimum threshold of $25, you can start being paid. You can receive a check or be paid via PayPal, if you choose. Make sure you fill out all your information for the payment settings so that you can expedite your payments. Also, you will be required to submit tax information if your sales reach a certain amount in a given year.

It’s not hard. Here’s a more visually based instruction

Remember, you have to use the link that shows your Zazzle Associate ID or you will not receive credit for a sale.

There you go. Enjoy and get linking!

The Gooch can’t hurt you now / Hot Press Tees

Posted by Mongo

Two Day Sale At CafePress July 7th and 8th, 2010

Posted by Mongo

CafePress is “kicking off” a special 2-day T-shirt sale starting July 7!
Go to Mongo Angry! Mongo Smash! and get  $3 off* all T-shirts.  Upon checkout use coupon code: TMINUS3.

Sale starts July 7, 2010 and ends July 8, 2010

* Save $3 off all T-shirts from CafePress shops, excluding shipping
charges, gift wrap charges and applicable sales tax. Coupon code
TMINUS3 must be entered at check out. Promotion starts on July 7, 2010,
at 12:00 a.m. (PST) and ends on July 8, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. (PST). All
orders must be from CafePress shops. Excludes CafePress marketplace
purchases (e.g. all products added to cart from URLs beginning with the
following (i), (ii) and/or (iii), CafePress Groups and bulk orders. Offer cannot be combined with any other coupons or promotions and may change, be modified or cancelled at anytime without notice.

Harry Potter Crest Shirts

Posted by Mongo

With the trailer for Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows making the rounds on the Internet I thought it fitting to start promoting some of Zazzle's Harry Potter gear.  Here is a crest shirt for Gryffindor.
Gryffindor crest blue shirt
Gryffindor crest blue by harrypotter
More Gryffindor T-Shirts

And here's one for Slytherin...

I Love Viking Vampires Shirt

Posted by Mongo

Screw Twilight.  Give me Sookie, Eric, Bill, Alcide and the others on True Blood!  Here's a tribute to Viking Vampires from Zazzle.

"Viking Vampires" by TrueBlood_Net
Many tshirt designs available at zazzle

Using Twitter To Generate Traffic For Your Business

Posted by Mongo

Before I started selling t-shirts online I had an aversion to Twitter. I thought, “How silly? I already have a Facebook account and only put up goofy status updates anyway. Why would I start using a new fad and be limited to 140 characters?” The fact that you would hear the inanity of someone’s inner monologue being played out like a checklist of things they’ve accomplished throughout the day sounded like a waste of time. Then I started working in the POD business and thought maybe I should revisit this tool.

Truth is, Twitter is not a fad anymore. There are millions of users on Twitter and businesses can reach targeted audiences with well crafted tweets that advertise their products. Now, I have tried to be balanced in my tweeting since I use Twitter for both my regular and store blog, but I’ve come to hand a lot of the heavy lifting to automatic updates from various sources. I’m still tweaking as I go for maximum efficiency and better user experience. I have a snake eating its own tail type of pretzel logic involved with my Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, and blogs, so bear with me. A lot of this is regurgitation from the net and I’m only detailing some of it as a lead up.

  1. Create your feed
    Be mindful of your user name. I didn’t want myself or someone to have to type MONGOANGRYMONGOSMASH into a URL so I went with AngryMongo which is the middle of my store name and still retains some brand awareness.

  2. Customize your profile
    Depending on who you are, there could be people or businesses out there with similar account names. Make sure you customize your profile to include a picture or logo that is part of your branding. I use the Mongo image on my Twitter avatar.  I’ve also done myslef a disservice by doing very little to spruce up my bio since I set it up.  I didn't put a lot of thought into my initial jaunt into Twitter.  I think right now it just says, “Grrr, Arrgh!”

  3. Get the word out
    If you already have a blog or store or even Facebook fan page you can mention you are on Twitter through these channels. If you don’t, you can embed your Twitter feed name into the basic structure of your POD stores on Zazzle, Skreened, CafePress, or what have you. 

    Start tweeting. Start off small, but be consistent.  If you can you manage to come up with something every day that is interesting and relevant, do it. Sometimes I just have an opinion like, "In the year 3000 the Earth will have 12 billion people and three last names, Suleman, Gosselin, and Duggar."   I try to consistently interject other tweets to break up the flow.  It's more like  “SELL, SELL, SELL, SELL” that can become stale.  More often it becomes “SELL, FACEBOOK DESIGN ADD, SELL, BLOGPOST, SELL, RANT, SELL, WTF TWEET, SELL.” See more about this in step 6.  Automation.

  5. Attract followers
    There are a few ways to do this. Some may benefit you and some my just get you a lot of clutter in your feed.

    1. Follow someone else
      You can search keywords like Zazzle or Tshirt and start looking for others in the business. If you follow them and engage them on a complimentary level, they may follow you. I wouldn’t suggest a celebrity because I’m sure they don’t have their Twitter feed turned on to display all their followers’ tweets.

    2. Use Twitter like a customerStart looking for people interested in stuff like you and follow them. You may see some spillage from them into your followers list. But, unfortunately, you need to hack and slash who you follow if they aren’t following you back. It’s nothing personal and people will do it to you as well.

    3. Just start following random people.
      Go to their followers and follow them. It’s a wholesale approach that might gain a lot of followers who have no interest in what you do and are only looking to build their followers but you may get some staying power if you’re good.

  6. Automation
    Like anything else, whether it be savings, paying bills, or getting paid, I’m all for automation. Technology has made me lazy but it helps so much to be in the “set it and forget it” camp. I have 2 blogs, 2 Facebook pages, and four stores all running at once. Remember, this is not my main job. This is a side gig. Because of all this cross pollination going on I decided to make my Twitter feed an automated process, too. Let’s look at how I handle promotion and interaction with the Internet on a regular basis.


      1. I create a design for my stores.
      2. I post the design on Zazzle (or any store)
      3. Zazzle updates my Twitter account with the design.


      1. I add the design to my Facebook fan page’s photo album with links to all the stores carrying it or post a link to a specific design in my status update (Holiday, season, movie)
      2. Facebook updates my Twitter account with the added design or status update.


      1. I blog about a design, a theme of designs, a tip for designers or shopkeepers.
      2. My Facebook fan page imports the blog post into my notes section.
      3. The blog also updates Twitter.


      1. Since I have two blogs on Blogger,  I added a widget for Tweets in the one blog that is dedicated to everything but POD business  So, I guess it does have some dedication to the POD business.  Blew my own business model right out of the water there, didn't I?
Now, how do you go about automating all this? Some of it’s simple. Some of it’s not. The simple way is to use Twitterfeed. With Twitterfeed, I can add multiple streams of content connected to Twitter. I have both blogs set up to feed into my twitter page as well as my Facebook fan pages. You can do a multiple number of connections using Twitterfeed and all you need to do is figure out how you want them set up. Since I have multiple streams of information flowing through my Facebook fan page for the stores I thought it would be easier to have it set up to feed into Twitter whenever a blog post imports into my notes, I add a design to a photo album, or update my status. My other blog feeds directly into my twitter status since it goes nowhere else but the Facebook fan page for it.

The not so simple way is to manage each individual connection to Twitter. Somehow, I really screwed up my Zazzle feed last week. I used to see posts directly from Zazzle on my twitter feed. But, either because I screwed up my Zazzle store trying to add something to the code or because I screwed up my Twitter settings trying to add other connections, my Zazzle publications stopped coming through. So, I went back and started over using Twitterfeed as one source. To correct the issue with my Zazzle account, I just added another feed, solely for that store’s updates. Not everything I post to Zazzle ends up on Facebook, so it bypasses it altogether.

A few final thoughts for using Twitter to promote your stores and you brand.
  • Don’t spam:  There are better ways to promote yourself without directly telling people to buy it.
  • Be topical and fresh:  Try to keep your followers interested in what’s going on with your world.
  • Learn to be effective with your given space: Bookmark Use that to condense your links and save on space.
  • Learn hash tags: If you are posting about a particular topic, look it up in a keyword search and see what hash tags are most commonly used. A hash tag is a keyword with the # in front of it, like #Twilight.
  • Set up a Google alert: Just because things are automatically happening doesn’t mean you shouldn't stalk yourself.
  • Retweet: If you are following someone and they are tweeting interesting stuff, retweet it, especially if they are in the same line of work as you.

17.76% off all Zazzle Orders For July 4th Weekend

Posted by Mongo

Go to Zazzle and use promo code ZAZZLEUSAUSA to your checkout page for 17.76% off.

Here's my own July 4th Design
Class of 1776 at Zazzle

17.76% of the net sale price will be deducted when the coupon code ZAZZLEUSAUSA is applied at checkout. For most products, the net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). For Zazzle Custom Stamps, the net sale price is the difference between the price of the Zazzle Custom Stamps (excluding shipping and taxes) and the face value of the postage. Offer is valid from July 1, 2010 through July 5, 2010 at 11:59pm PDT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on only.