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I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ~ Pablo Piccasso
How the Crochet Blog Started
In the past months, I’ve had people contact me to ask about my crochet blog, about blogging in general and how it works. The questions are either – How does blogging work? or How did you start the crochet blog? In this post I’m going to go through a casual story about how I started blogging. Crochet Getaway was my first significant blogging project. I’ll also share what it means to me and how blogging fits in my life. There’s more. I’ll share how blogging has opened doors to new experiences as a published book author. Then the question that’s always just below the surface – Does blogging make any money? So stay tuned to the end.
Ongoing education is important to me. It keeps my mind fresh as the years roll by. Equally important, I like to learn from teachers with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. My journey with this crochet blog has not been a linear path. There were (and still are) many contributors to this fascinating and rewarding blogging progression.
Once Upon a Time
It all began when I posted a few stories on TravelBlog.org in the summer of 2012. For me, the stories were an online journal of some fun trips and a way to preserve photos and memorable moments with my writing. I posted more than 20 articles on the site and received some positive feedback about my writing style. After a few months of steady blogging, I wanted to have more flexibility in how my photos appeared on the site and to have more control of the overall look.
I began to research how to start my own blog and how to become a blogger. The research continued through 2013 and 2014 and I became more committed to pursuing the next steps.
Ready to Learn
My first formal education in blogging was through a six week course and a class assignment to build a website. This “Crochet Getaway” website launched in April 2015 as my class project.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young ~ Henry Ford
I invested the next two years of late nights and weekends into understanding the fundamentals of using WordPress. I eventually experienced growing pains and was ready to move Crochet Getaway to the next level, with better graphics and stronger media content.
I was making connections with crocheting friends around the world and this little website was becoming a passionate hobby for me. I wanted to repeat the class and go deeper into understanding Google metrics and growth strategies – but a bit of procrastination caused me to miss the registration deadline. While I was whining about that, I found some Facebook groups for bloggers and continued to learn through those interactions.
One of those groups was particularly welcoming, encouraging, and relevant to me. I subscribed to the newsletter. At the time there was a promotion all over the internet for a very popular blogging course, with thousands of successful graduates. I paced the floor for days wondering if I should invest in the program. The cost at the time was about $1,000.
I listened for guidance.
I kept reading my Money-Making Website notes, the hardcover books that I had purchased, and Facebook groups–trying to piece things together and grow my little crochet blog.
I resigned myself to the fact that the expensive class was not going to work out for me financially. Within a day or so, I received an email with a recommendation for Suzi Whitford’s Blog by Number eBook and video course. I started with a free training offer and it was clear that the teaching style in this course was connecting with my brain cells and I was increasing my knowledge exponentially with each lesson.
I did some research on the course and decided the price for this course was manageable. Then, I cleaned the craft closet and ran a de-stash sale of some yarn, patterns, and fabric on my Etsy Store, DesignsByGwyn. The money was right there in my crafts closet.
Blog by Number Class
The Blog by Number class was exactly what I needed. The videos made perfect sense and Suzi’s teaching style is 100% step-by-step with video’s for many of the more technical pieces. It’s worked out so well, that I have purchased the course series in small bits and as time permits.
Blog by Number – This course provides the fundamentals. In a few short lessons with resource guides and printable trackers, you will be on your way to having your first blog active and ready for an audience.
Theme by Number – This course takes you (gently) into some of the more technical aspects of blogging with a focus on blog themes. A theme is what makes each site look different when you see them on the screen or device. Some themes are playful, others quite serious. The theme is what causes those visual differences.
List by Number – This course made a huge difference in how to give useful, relevant information to my readers while building those beautiful friendships throughout the world. A list is an email list of subscribers that a blogger can reach out to with new information or bargains/bonus materials.
Finally, eBook by Number – This course is a launchpad for building a business by offering a short book. I struggled with several different topics (and have unfinished mini-books on my computer still today). I finally locked into a topic that was very relevant to some personal struggles. My eBook by Number product was The Perfect Morning Routine: Finding Time for Personal Transformation.
Pssstttt….If you are ready to shift your life, click on that link to order. You will receive a 30 page eBook explaining the process that transformed me into a published writer, a set of worksheets and journal pages for creating your perfect (individualized) morning routine.
Each of these courses added a new layer to my understanding of blogging as a business. They are easily affordable when I plan the purchases into my monthly business budget.
What’s Next for Me?
I’ve published an eBook and some journaling books and have been a featured author in five essay books that rocketed to #1 Amazon Bestseller status. These projects were intensive learning experiences.
For this year, I’m working on an eBook for my crochet community. The book tackles the premise of how to channel dormant creativity into a profitable business. I’m tapping into my degrees in accounting and marketing, along with 30+ years of corporate finance work and showing you exactly how I apply these skills to my tiny one-person biz, operating at home. Chapters will deal with such topics as how to develop a “back office” model for your business, brand development, and measurable marketing.
I’ll also include some stories from my friends about crocheting experiences and building yarn-related businesses. Let me know if you have a story to tell. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I have a crochet story”. We’ll chat and go from there.
The eBook will be released on this site when it is ready to launch. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive first notice when it’s available.
Hint: There will be deep discounts for newsletter subscribers.
My blog journey has been amazing and such a blessing in my life. I’m eager to see what’s around the next corner.
I love affirmations. Here are a few that I use when I start my blogging days (usually on Saturdays when I not working my corporate finance job).
When I seek what I want, it finds me.
The vision within me is creating a world that surrounds me.
I can never fail, for everything that happens contributes to my knowledge and my journey.
I believe in gratitude and I am grateful to every reader and every follower of my blog.
The Crochet Blog Money Model
Does blogging make any money? What? You are still here? Thank you for sticking around to hear the good stuff!
Yes, blogging is absolutely a legit way to make money. Is it a get-rich formula? No. Blogging takes a lot of effort and a passion for expressing your true self out to the customers that you serve. That’s a big sentence, but that’s the essence of what I’ve learned over these years. The passion must weather the storms of server failures and internet bullies (they really do exist, but only because they haven’t taken up crochet for stress management). Customers? Yes, your blog customers are often friends in the community, but even so, you must serve their needs with a product or service. Oops. It’s starting to sound like a business, right? Yes, the way you make money as a crochet blogger is by treating the blog as a business. It takes time to build a business, and it will take time to build your crochet blog.
There are a number of ways to make money from blogging, but these are the most common sources and I’ll share a bit about what works for me.
Affiliate Income – You will see notes on this blog mentioning that I participate in affiliate programs. If I recommend a product to you through a link, and you make a purchase using that link, I’ll earn a small referral commission. This does not increase the price to the buyer (you) but allows the seller to have a broad and diverse group of individuals sharing information about their products. It’s a win-win in marketing terms. I’m an affiliate with Amazon, several yarn companies, and some travel programs. When I notice that I’m referring my friends to a company repeatedly, I check to see if they offer an affiliate program. If they do, I review the terms and conditions of the program, and if it’s a fit, I’ll apply to be in the program. Affiliate income is an excellent source of income for me because it is passive income. One effective blog post, with periodic promotion of the blog post, can yield steady purchases (and commissions). The small amounts do add up.
Writing – As a blogger, I write. A LOT. This has led to some eBooks that I offer for sale on various sites. Some of these eBooks are offered as free eBook downloads. Why would I do that? Well, I would like for my readers to get to know me. The quirky, brain-damaged, me AND the witty, smart, crochet-loving me. These are in the form of traditional eBooks with a lot of text and some journals with very little text.
In addition to the eBooks, my writing generates income when I submit articles to other blogs, websites, or print publications. I was recently published in Woman’s World magazine, a national print publication, and bylines help build out my portfolio. Writing is a good source of income for me because, well, I type fast. (See, I crack me up sometimes!).
Ads – Paid advertising is everywhere. You see and hear ads constantly. For a website, it is not uncommon to have some advertising spaces on the screen. Some pages on this site have advertising space on the right sidebar, however, my experience with traditional advertising on the website has not been particularly successful.
So, to wrap up, the primary income source for this blog is affiliate income, followed by eBook products and other digital download products. Many crochet bloggers earn money by selling patterns. I don’t, because I have not yet taken time to learn how to write a pattern with enough detail to produce the same item a second time. I’m happy just crushing on those who have those mad skills.
Your Crochet Blog – Yes, You Can
Are you interested in starting a crochet blog? Here are some tips to consider as you prepare for the next steps.
Find Your Passion – Be passionate about what you do. The passion for your topic or the audience you serve must be bigger than any desire for blogging riches. The passion and “why” will carry you through when everything around you is a struggle. The passion will be your grounding rod on the tough days.
Give Yourself Grace – Blogging is a huge learning curve even for those with a technical background. The world of blogging is radically different today than even a few years ago when I started. The underlying systems change, the tools become more advanced year after year, and there is a constant bombardment of bigger/better tools with associated price tags. Be smart with your time, be strategic with your money, and be graceful towards yourself as you learn.
Own Your Present/ Own Your Future – Be patient and pause to recognize that your path will be different than everyone else. It’s inevitable that there will be days of comparison, but try to step back and focus on your contributions. I’ve lost so many hours wallowing in self-doubt, until a few thoughts clicked together and I had clarity about what I want to make of this blog space. The clarity extended into how I could truly serve others with my business. I may move forward at a snail’s pace but I can own that too.
The limitations I face are mine alone – responsibilities to my career path, to my parents as they age, to my household, friends, and extended family – they are all mine to own.
As are yours.
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