Well, friends, it's time for another refocus.
I wanted to share my blog goals for 2016 with you, but I think first I need to share a bit about what's happening with it right now.
When I bought my domain name and began developing this website for real, back in March, I decided to do DIYs mainly. It actually worked out really well, garnering me emails from Better Homes and Gardens and Stampington Press, as well as attention from Craftgawker, Ruche, and Favecraft.
After a bit of time, I decided to try selling jewelry again. I had taken a short break over the winter, attempting to sell my knit & crochet accessories, but they didn't do well. I designed and made a bunch of jewelry samples, photographed them, and began listing them in my Etsy shop. Thus began a long summer of marketing, social media, advertising, blogging, attempting to make connections and push my products to the right market, but they didn't take either. I made maybe 2 sales a month. Not worth it, especially for the fees I was paying Etsy to renew and relist my items, as well as the transaction fees they charged, as well as what I paid for features, advertising, etc. September and November were my biggest months this year - I made 4 sales per month.
In the long run, it wasn't worth it.
So life is changing. I am now working full time as a library assistant and am also enrolled as a full time online student. I hope to have my bachelor's degree in marketing in 3 years if all goes well. In light of these changes, I won't have time to maintain an Etsy shop with physical products - I just don't have the time to research, develop, and make the products, let alone figure out who the heck my target audience is and sell to those people. I can't tell you how much money I've wasted on e-books and 'infoproducts' on defining your target market and social media marketing. They just didn't work for me, and I think a good break from it all is in order. Perhaps in a few years when I have more time and a better business plan, I'll look back into selling physical products, but it's never worked out well for me. I thought about doing hoop art for a while, but there are some amazing makers out there who do hoop art, and I didn't want to seem like a copycat. Besides, yarny things have always been my forte. ;)
In the meantime, I am refocusing my blog goals again! Honestly, it's going to be pretty much what it's always been - a place where I can share creative projects I'm working on, funny library stories, and where I can offer fun DIY projects and knit & crochet patterns. I'll be publishing a few e-books soon too, so stay tuned for those! And look out for collaborations with my friend Kristen - she just started her own lifestyle blog and I'm excited to work with her! She's got a great eye for photography, and is working on developing a vintage clothing shop, but that's another story for another time.
Refocusing is always awkward and hard. As much as I would love to be able to make a good income from selling handmade, it hasn't worked out well for me. My advice for those of you looking into it: do your research, take your time starting up, and don't expect to be able to quit your day job anytime soon. It's a long, tough process, and one that many people have a hard time with. But if you persevere, have a great product idea, and are able to define your target market, you'll do great.
Thank you for bearing with me, as always. My blog goals are simple: I hope to make this website an inspiring place where people can go to look for new ideas, make a new project, learn a new skill, or read an entertaining story (working in a public library provides me with plenty of fodder, let me tell you!). Because of my prior commitments (full time job and full time school), I can't afford to make this blog and website a stressful thing to maintain - I want to keep the fun in it. I still knit for relaxation, and I want to always be able to do that. I'll probably lose half my followers, but I don't need to worry about that kind of thing. Let's enjoy creating for what it is, and have fun!