I’ve decided to publish my online income because I think it will be useful to other crafters to follow along as I attempt make enough money to pay for my favourite hobby.
I strongly believe from everything I’ve read that this IS possible.
I also really need to do this to keep me on the straight and narrow as far as my blogging adventure is concerned. I am a full time teacher in a secondary school and believe me it takes up a lot of time to do it well. To me teaching is the most rewarding action you can undertake in life, but whether you are a parent trying to teach your child to be healthy and wise, or a historian trying to develop interpretations of the past that will inform the present, it’s flipping hard work! It is seriously hard work. It means I struggle to consistently blog therefore I am, in some ways, making myself accountable to you dear readers. I am making a commitment to you that I will keep you informed of my progress and will, along the way show how you too can make money from your crafting hobby.
Here’s what happened in March:
MARCH GOAL: Increase traffic to 3000 page views a month (Actual = 2371)
I really don’t want to get started on discussing ad income. Several things have most definitely come to light that have annoyed me enough to make some major changes to my blogging activities. It transpires that Word Ads has a massive time lag in telling you what you’ve earned. I should have noticed it when I was looking at my earnings table, so it’s partly my fault that I’ve never mentioned this to you before. The £0.05 I declared as earned in February’s income post was actually January’s income. The 25p I’m declaring for March is actually from February. GRRRRRRR! I need to be able to report back on the previous month’s earnings in good time, not two months later. Plus I need to make sure that my page view numbers for a given month match with the correct ad earnings. I’m cross with WordAds and myself! My response to all this…? Well, I’m not going back and correcting all my graphics etc. because it hardly seems worth it. What I have done is quite dramatic, well it feels that way to me. I have started transferring my websites across to self-hosted WordPress sites (hosted by Blue Host). This is partly due to the frustration outlined above but mostly because EVERY blogger that I trust suggests that WordPress.com websites are so restricted that it is really difficult to make them pay. WordPress.com has been totally amazing in terms of me being able to gradually learn how to build a website in a very supported and protected way. However, I really want to be able to continue to contribute effectively to the online crochet community, as well as get my hobby to pay for itself (all website fees, yarn and equipment essentially). I hope that doesn’t sound too mercenary – actually, I don’t care if it does! The crochet garden is definitely a place for me to be honest about what I want out of a website, blog and maybe even life itself! Needless to say, next month’s April report will discuss all these changes and more.
The one highlight was getting to grips with using Pinterest to drive traffic to my site. Whilst I didn’t quite make my target, I DOUBLED page views from the previous month. How unbelievably cool is that. I am thinking of writing a how-to guide to explain to you how to do it. I can’t describe how good it felt to watch those stats grow and realise that people were interested in my patterns. By far the most popular pattern was the Crossed Wires Coasters – currently at 1.5K re-pins. I really must analyse what made that one connect with people so much.
APRIL GOAL: Move website to self-hosted WordPress and join Google Adsense. Get back into using Pinterest and keep page views in the 2000s for a second month. Would be helpful to write and publish at least one new pattern.
AFFILIATE INCOME: £0.00
MARCH GOAL: Add links to patterns and blog posts, write an affiliate links statement for website
APRIL GOAL: Add links to patterns and blog posts, write an affiliate links statement for website
ETSY PATTERN SALES: £0.99
MARCH GOAL: Investigate Etsy algorithms, increase listings to 30
Listings at 23. I am a terrible businesswoman.
APRIL GOAL: Investigate Etsy algorithms, increase listings to 30
EBAY YARN SALES: £28.36
MARCH TARGET: £11 (double Feb)
I am absolutely delighted with this. Whilst it isn’t a way of generating an income in the proper sense of buying something and selling it for more, it is an utterly valid and sensible thing to do as a crafter. I have continued selling into April and still haven’t run out of yarn. I realise that eventually I won’t have as much to sell, but if I am still making things at my current rate there will be a couple of baskets of leftover yarn every month. It is certainly better than just leaving it all languishing in my spare bedroom, of no use to anyone. What also makes this an easy way of generating some crafting cash is that I reuse the same description every time, thus making listing super fast – I do it all on my iPhone, it is also genuinely therapeutic spending an hour with a yarn winder – seriously, had a frustrating day? Make some yarn cakes! The range of prices paid have been £2.08 at the lowest end and £10.50 at the top end. Much depends on colours, some seem to be more popular than others. Again, now I’ve got this going, I will analyse timings, colours etc. to gain some insight into what people want.
APRIL GOAL: £20 is reasonable I think given that eventually there will be less leftovers left!
Don’t forget to sign up so you can join me for some exciting April updates – I can’t wait to share them with you!
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