My wife and I run an online crafts business. While we push our little company along, we try to help others who are just getting started.
Turning a crafts hobby into a business can be life changing, as it was for us.
Today I’m going to offer 6 key tips for converting your crafts hobby into a wage paying business.
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
#1 Understand Your Crafts Business
You have to understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Just take a step back and look at your crafts hobby as it is and ask these questions:
A) How do I currently make money from my craft?
B) How do other people make money from my craft?
C) Can I do what they do?
This simple exercise should show you that most craft businesses have many income streams, alongside selling the original craft.
Looking at our own business, we make money in the following ways:
D) Direct download sells from multiple outlets
E) Advertising revenue from our website
F) (Modest) Affiliate revenue
We started, as I suspect you have, with D): Selling the actual product. We then invested time/effort into E).
We worked hard on creating a website that could generate revenue from advertising because we saw that B) other people were making money from the same craft in this way.
#2 Develop Separate Income Streams
Following on from understanding your business, you’ll see that there are multiple options for revenue from any crafts business.
In most cases, turning a crafts hobby into a business is about developing further income streams.
So you may sell a physical product on Etsy, but it would make a lot of sense to blog about that product. Blog about the process, the craft itself. -If possible, show people how to make the item themselves.
You can still enjoy your hobby. No-one’s saying you have to sell affiliate products, or try to pressure sell any visitors you may have.
In fact, it’s better that you don’t. Simply express your passion. Show other people how you do what you do.
People are really interested in crafts in general. Your blog could help someone indulge in your hobby, without having to face a steep learning curve.
I believe a crafts blog is one of the best ways you can create a separate income stream. (You could achieve a similar result with a social media presence, but you won’t directly own the platform like you would a website).
#3 Traffic = Sells
For us, the goal is to create a better work-life balance: To work at crafts, have less stress, and more control over our lives.
To do that we have to make money, because that’s how we achieve a better life balance!
Thankfully the internet can help.
Everything we’ve spoken about today generates traffic.
Whether it be Instagram, Pinterest or your own blog -if you get something working well, you’ll get traffic.
That traffic can mean advertising revenue from your blog, sponsorship opportunities for your blog and/or social media, and direct visitors to your actual products.
I’d summarise with: Understand that your business is really the business of getting an audience.
#4 Have Integrity
I’m not here to preach, but this is important, especially for an online business.
Sadly, some of the worst advice is coming from ‘gurus’. For a few hundred pounds, they’ll show you how to sell ice to Eskimos.
• You don’t need to overprice your products
• You don’t need to sell HOSTING to every visitor
• You don’t need to write every post with an affiliate link in mind
• You don’t need to convince a visitor to re-mortgage their home so you can get a cut of the refinancing
• You don’t need to steal somebody else’s work/copyright
If you do grow, bad decisions could become part of your legacy.
The business model for a crafts business provides plenty of opportunity for success without getting slimy about it.
If you keep your prices affordable, then a higher percentage of people who see it will be able to afford it, and are more likely to buy it.
According to Money.com, 3.2 billion people have access to the internet. Find out how many people are interested in your craft. That will give you a good idea of how much money you could earn.
#5 Draw Your Own Lines
You may not want to start a blog, and that’s fine. Move on to the next growth option on your list.
You may not want to start a YouTube channel. That’s fine again, just move on.
Before you put yourself out there on the internet, draw your own lines in the sand. If you’re a private person, do your research and only work with the tools that best suit your requirements.
Like Pinterest, which is a great resource for introverts.
Also, don’t be pressured into changing your business because somebody in an online forum is telling you to.
Take your time to review the options. The person in the online forum may just be trying to sell you their business course.
And if you’re thinking about purchasing a course, a key question to ask is, what percentage of people who purchased the course actually achieve real success from implementing it?
Just because the ‘guru’ is doing well selling e-courses, doesn’t mean their e-course is effective. It means they’re good at selling things!
Business advice is freely available on the internet. You can also visit your local library for tips from the greatest minds in history.
#6 Hobbies Should Be Fun
We started a crafts business with the direct intention of escaping the rat race, so there was always a certain amount of pressure on the business.
But a crafts business should be fun. I would say, take your time to grow and enjoy it!
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You can also find me on Pinterest.