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CSV Tricks that Prepare Print-on-Demand Product Info for Fast Uploads to PODTurbo

10 min read

To build a successful print-on-demand business, you need to upload new products every day.

Consistency is the most important factor in the print-on-demand business. The more products you have in different niches, the more passive income you’ll be able to make.

But there’s another crucial factor in success: efficiency. It helps you work better and faster.

If you upload new products without planning, you might spend more time on the work overall, even though you might complete individual tasks faster.

For example, if you want to upload 5 products to Etsy today but don’t know which ones, you’ll spend more time thinking about their designs, product titles, keywords, etc.

But if you prepare that product info before uploading the product, you’ll save tons of time.

You might not see much time difference if you upload only 5 products. But what if you’re uploading 100 products a day? You have to think about product titles and keywords every time you upload a product.

I love this quote from Abraham Lincoln:

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.”

— Abraham Lincoln

In the old days, before PODTurbo and when my virtual assistant uploaded my products, I usually prepared all my product data first.

For example, I would create a list of product titles and keywords in my CSV file. I used some tricks to build the product titles and keywords quickly.

Then, I gave the CSV to my VA, who just had to copy and paste the product title, keywords, price, and so on in the right fields when creating a product.

Now that I have PODTurbo, I do the same thing and use the same tricks to build the product titles and keywords and enter them in the CSV file. Then I upload the CSV file to PODTurbo, which uploads the product info for me.

It takes me an hour or so to prepare CSVs for 1,000 products.

In this article, I’m going to share my CSV tricks with you so you can upload tons of products to PODTurbo faster than ever before.

Ready? Let’s get started!


Step 1: Know the data you have to prepare

First, you have to know what data you have to prepare.

If you hire a virtual assistant, you can prepare only the product titles and product keywords. Then tell your VA which product type you want him or her to upload and the price of the product.

If you use PODTurbo, this is the CSV you have to prepare:

It includes:

  • Product Name
  • Niche Keyword
  • Product Keywords
  • Product Price
  • Image Filename (Front and Back)
  • Product Type

You can prepare this data for 1,000 products quickly if you know the right CSV tricks.

But first, let me introduce you to some basic functions of the CSV.


Step 2: Understand THREE Main CSV Functions

There are three main functions you need to know:

  • Copy
  • Drag
  • Combine

The first one is “Copy”.

No, it’s not Ctrl+C. It involves using the “=” sign.

First, select a cell and enter the equal sign (“=”) into it. If you then click on another cell containing a number or value, that same number or value will automatically be pasted into the first cell (that is, the one where you entered the “=” sign).

Check out this GIF:

Okay, this trick is for copying cells in the CSV. It’s the first function you have to know.

The second function is “Drag”.

This function is for copying cells too, but it’s used to copy rows or columns.

If you click on any cell in a CSV file, you’ll notice a tiny square at the bottom right corner of that cell. Like this:

If you click on this square and drag it to the right or left, the value of this cell will be copied to the columns you drag across:

But if you click this square and drag it upwards or downwards, the value of the cell will be copied to the next rows.

The last function you need to know is “Combine”.

This function is for combining the value in many cells.

For example, if one cell contains the word “Coffee ” and the second cell contains “Mug”, you can combine them in the third cell, which will read “Coffee Mug”.

Please note that I added a space “ “ after the word “Coffee ” so when the first and second cells are combined, there will be a space between the word “Coffee” and “Mug”.

If you don’t add the space, you’ll get the word “CoffeeMug” in the third cell.

When we want to combine cells, we use this function:

=[COL1] & [COL2] & [COL3] & … & [COLX]

You can combine as many cells as you want.

Okay, these are three functions you have to know.

Easy to remember, right?

Apart from these three functions, I’ll introduce you to other three words that I’ll be using  in this article:

  • Main CSV
  • Data CSV
  • Plain Text

The Main CSV is the CSV that you’ll upload to PODTurbo or pass on to your VA. You will insert all your product information into it.

The Data CSV is the CSV you use to build product titles and keywords. You’ll use all the functions we just learned to create your product info.

Plain Text is unformatted text, like the text in NotePad. You need to copy the text from the Data CSV file and paste it here first to remove the formatting.

Then copy the plain text from NotePad and paste it into the Main CSV.

Here’s the right way to copy your product data:

Because if we copy the product data from the Data CSV and paste it to the Main CSV directly, formulas like “Combine” will be pasted to the Main CSV and mess up the data.

Here’s the wrong way to copy product data:

Okay, these are all basic CSV functions you have to understand.

Now you’re ready to build your product info fast!


Step 3: Prepare Product Titles

First, we’ll build up the product titles in the Data CSV.

There are two methods you can use to do this:

Method 1: One Quote – Multiple Niches
Method 2: One Niche – Multiple Quotes

Let’s start with Method 1.

If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to upload products in many niches, right? You might start by using one quote to create products for many niches.

Like this:

Keep Calm, I’m an Engineer.
Keep Calm, I’m a Nurse.
Keep Calm, I’m a Teacher.

Next, you have to think about what keywords you’re going to insert

in the product titles and put them into the Data CSV.

For example, your product title might have a pattern like this:

[NICHE] Coffee Mug, [QUOTE], Unique Gifts For Men and Women.

This is what you have to insert into the Data CSV:

You need to insert all the niches in the columns you want in the Data CSV. In this case, I insert the niches in COLUMN 1 and COLUMN 4. I put the keywords in other columns.

Then, I’ll COPY all the values (except the niches) from the first row to the second row using “=“. Like this:

Next, I’ll DRAG the green square of the cells I want to copy from the second row to the last row. Like this:

Copying cells this way will help you fix product titles quickly next time.

For example, if you want to change the word “Coffee Mug” in COLUMN 2 to “Shot Glass”, you just change it in the first row. The value of this column in the other rows will be changed automatically. Like this:

Then, COMBINE the value of all the columns in each row and put the product title in the last column of every row. Like this:

Next, DRAG the green square of the last column and apply the COMBINE function to all the other rows. Like this:

Copy and paste the values in the last column to NotePad to clear the formatting.

If it’s a general quote, just copy and paste the product titles here and paste them into the Main CSV.

But this quote contains “a” and “an”, so we have to fix this first.

In NotePad, there’s a function called “Find and Replace”, so you’ll use it to solve this problem.

Do this:

  • Find “ a A” and Replace with “ an A”
  • Find “ a E” and Replace with “ an E”
  • Find “ a I” and Replace with “ an I”
  • Find “ a O” and Replace with “ an O”
  • Find “ a U” and Replace with “ an U”

Now, the product titles should be ready. You can paste them into the Main CSV.

Method 2 is similar to Method 1, but the columns you insert will be different.

In this case, you insert quotes in one column and use the same keywords in other columns. Like this:

If you want to use various keywords in different product titles, you might set the same pattern for 20 quotes. Then you’ll have to create 5 patterns for 100 quotes.

I use the same set of keywords for 100-200 quotes in the same niche.

Okay, now you can build up your product titles fast.

Now let’s create product keywords.


Step 4: Prepare the Keywords

The way to create a list of keywords for each product is similar to the way we built product titles in the previous step.

There are two methods you can use to build up your product keywords:

Method 1: One Quote – Multiple Niches
Method 2: One Niche – Multiple Quotes

Let’s start with Method 2. (It’s easier! lol)

Well, for One Niche and Multiple Quotes, I usually use only 1 set of keywords. Because it’s for one niche and one product type, the keywords can be the same.

But if you create multiple product types (such as coffee mugs and shot glasses), you have to create two sets of keywords for the different products.

Okay, that’s it for Method 2.

For Method 1, I create a keyword pattern like this:

[NICHE] coffee mug, [NICHE] mug, [NICHE] gifts, gifts for [NICHE], funny [NICHE] mug, unique [NICHE] mug, etc.

I put them into the Data CSV like this:

I have columns for keywords and columns for each niche.

Next, I’ll DRAG the green square for the keyword columns and copy them in every row until I get to the last row.

After that, I’ll COMBINE all the columns and put them in the last column.

Now, I’ll have keyword lists for all my products. I’ll copy them and paste them into NotePad to remove the formatting. Then I copy and paste them again from NotePad and into the Main CSV.

Please note that the way to insert keywords on Amazon and Etsy is different. Here’s how to insert keywords in these two marketplaces.

Amazon:

“funny coffee mug for engineer coworker men women for”

Amazon requires sellers to insert keywords without the comma and insert them in a word format, not a phrase.

Etsy:

“funny coffee mug, engineer mug, engineer coffee mug, mug for men, mug for women, mug for engineer, coworker mug”

Etsy requires sellers to list keywords in phrase format.

I create 13 keywords for every product and use phrases. PODTurbo will remove the commas and duplicate words for me before uploading a product to Amazon.


Step 5: Prepare the Design Filenames

Okay, now we’ve prepared Product Titles and Keywords. They’re the most difficult part, in my opinion. The rest of the data is very easy to prepare.

The next data we’ll prepare is the design filenames.

I have talked to many print-on-demand sellers and found that many of them like to use complex names in the same CSV file, like Engineer-1.png, Engineer-2.png, Nurse-1.png, Nurse2.png, and so on.

I don’t use names like that. I just use filenames like 1.png for the product in the first row, 2.png for the product in the second row, 3.png for the product in the third row, and so on.

Like this:

1.png
2.png
3.png
4.png
5.png

This is much easier to prepare. You can create filenames like these easily using the CSV.

Just ask the graphic designer to create designs using this naming format. You’ll save tons of time preparing your filenames.

That’s it for filenames. Just keep it simple. Your customers won’t see your filenames.


Step 6: Drag other columns

Next, you have to insert values in other columns:

  • Product Price
  • Product Type

You just have to insert the value in the first row and copy the value in the first row to the other rows by dragging the green square in the cell you want to copy. Like this:

Product Price:

Product Type:

That’s it. If you have multiple product types in the same CSV, you can do the same for the other product types as well. Insert the value of the product type you want in one row, then drag and copy it to the other rows.


Step 7: Export to CSV and Upload to PODTurbo

Now, when all the required fields are filled in, you can export the Main CSV file in CSV format and upload it to PODTurbo. If you hire a VA, send the CSV to your VA to start uploading the products.


Conclusion

That’s it!

You can see that if you have a plan and understand the basic CSV functions, you can create a CSV to upload to PODTurbo very fast.

Just spend some of your time learning the basic CSV functions and preparing your product info. You’ll be able to work a lot faster if you do.

I’ve done this often. I spend just a few hours a month to prepare over 3,000-5,000 products to upload to my marketplace accounts.

Now you know all my tricks – and you can use them!

—Bank K.

P.S. I just hired a graphic designer to create my new avatar. The idea is from The Uncanny Counter. How’s it? I really like it!


Further Readings:

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