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Discussion Starter #1
Here is mine maybe unusual experience with Instagram (with teeart011 account for selling t-shirt designs).

Instagram has their rules like:
1. post every day, and in similar time of the day
2. post max. 3 posts per day
3. post with variable hashtags
4. have limited actions per hour
5. be active but not too much

I was thinking how doing all of this kinda blows, but I gave it a chance and did it anyway. And this is what I got chronologically as a "thanks" in return from this platform:
1. reduced exposure - after growing of likes, approaching 40 and 1 my pic finally exceeding 40 likes, there was a significant drop - to 20-30, mostly by my new growing followers (almost 0 from hashtags, despite me posting more commercial designs lately).
2. blocked actions - despite me following the rules and even being on the safe side, I cannot follow / unfollow and like anymore.

For #1 some of you may say that it's not that big of a deal, but #2 can definitely prevent you from reaching the audience beyond their stupid algorithm which decides about your exposure.

So after clearing cache, switching browsers etc without success, I found that there is one Instagram technician account which you can contact in cases like #2 so that he removes that bug from your account. I did that, and guess what - he charges you for this. So they have that bug / error which randomly hits people and which they don't fix, and then they charge those people for removing that manually. This is basically a fraud / extortion. But guess what? - he have a discount this month, it is $18 instead of $25! But still, I don't want to be a part of this.


Luckily, Instagram is not the only one or the best for the purpose of driving traffic to your store, so I opened teeart011 account on Pinterest. Hopefully it will be better and without any "errors", since I seriously think about not bothering with Insta anymore.


tl;dr: Instagram is fraudulent, too uptight with their rules, and it sucks, I hope Pinterest is better
 

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Maybe you should try creating a campaign on Instagram, the CPM got much cheaper since lockdown. I have few running campaigns and awesome CR.
 

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Try Etsy too
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Try Etsy too
Etsy seems to have good organic traffic, but 1. you have to pay for every listing - it's cheap for 1, but for many more it quickly adds up, and 2. you have to deal with customers as someone who is responsible for shipping and everything else even if you are really not, which can almost turn into a full-time job. Some people actually gave up from their stores because of that.

I prefer not to pay anything upfront and I prefer my income to be more passive - on POD sites you just do your designs and they take care about everything else, plus they don't charge you anything upfront - they have their base price instead, so if your sales are low, you don't risk anything. And you have more free and carefree time, which I consider very valuable.
 
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, the good impression about Pinterest didn't take long. They disabled editing descriptions of pins for everybody (which is vital because of the keywords), and when I try to create pin from scratch it gives me 429 response code (it won't load and save image from the link). I only had 12 pins one day, after which I went with 5 pins per day - if that's too much and triggered this behavior, I don't know what to say.
 

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I've never used Instagram but I do have Pinterest on my phone and it's a great way of learning new pottery ideas (my personal use of the app).

What I love about Pinterest is that it's not a social network. Or at least it doesn't feel like one at all. So you can just browse images and not have to read what other people have to say.
 
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