I have decided to keep a log of my progress as I build my blog and Esty shop. I will share my experience here, in case anything I learn can help anyone else. This is my first weekly update post. I might need to split the content between the nuts and bolts of blogging and the crochet/knitting design work as I am not sure anyone would want to read all of it! I am not sure anyone will want to read any of it if I am honest but I am putting it out there in hope 🙂
So far I have only written a post when I had a project ready to share. That makes weekly posts tricky as there are some weeks when I do not feel I have anything at the right stage. You will see from these updates that I have a bit of a problem with focus 🙂 I tend to work on several projects at once and I am not much of a completer finisher. Does anyone else have a problem with that?
I work full time and jam my crafting into the corners and spare moments of my life. I generally get a good amount of time to spend on my crafting and blogging at the weekend. During the week I spend two hours a day on the train travelling to work. I am normally surrounded by sleeping commuters! I took the decision when I first started in this job, that I would not waste those two hours a day.
One of my tasks each weekend is to get myself set up with projects for the train. I need the projects to be small and easy to carry. I generally get a seat on the train but I don’t get much elbow room so the work needs to be compact and not need laying out. This week I have been working on little crochet bags. I started with a basic pattern which I will share in a separate post. I worked up a number of variations. I thought that these could be used for wedding favours. We just had a bit of royal wedding fever here in the UK so that was what set me off!
I am still working on designs for my sample squares blanket. I haven’t managed to get to a design I really love yet so I put the project on hold. I started with the layout below then edged a number of squares in black and wasn’t sure I liked that look.
I think I am going to ditch the black edges and join with white instead. Maybe it is because we are coming into summer and the black just looks too heavy.
I am progressing my Spring Flowers Blanket I completed all the flowers for one row last week. I have joined them now and I am working on the next part of the design. These colours really make me happy. I was going to pick up a row of chain after the flowers but I think it will be neater if I start in the other direction and mirror the panel I just made. My project for the train this week will be another set of flowers to make a new row across the work. I am going to put in some zig zag rows this weekend. It has to be a weekend job as the work is too big now to take on the train!
Every week I like to do a bit of research on blog or Etsy tips. I read an article this week on Etsy success which said that you need c200 items listed to start to get a higher chance of sales. I was shocked. That is a huge number of listings. I am currently at 10! I think it will take about two years of work to get me to the 200 listings point
I do have a lot of patterns in draft that I plan to list and a number of those could be projects that people could give as Christmas presents. It sounds dreadful to be thinking of Christmas in May but given the time it takes to produce items I think it is a good time to be planning and starting to make gifts. This is a link to my shop in case you want a look. Stickytapeandstring
One of the problems I used to have with my blog and Pinterest posts is with photography. I have now invested in a light system and have a small ‘studio’ set up in a corner of my bedroom that allows me to take great photos of small and medium sized work. I bought the kit on Amazon – it was a lot cheaper than I expected. Problem solved!!
I have included an affiliate link here to the type of kit I bought, which if you find the link helpful, allows me to get a bit of income whilst not costing you a penny more than you would pay anyway.
The problem I haven’t been able to crack so far is how to photograph really big items. My sunshine flower blanket looks lovely in real life but I cannot get a decent picture of it to list on Etsy. I might take it into the garden on a sunny day and see whether sunlight does the trick!
When I am travelling to work I listen to audio books. After a phase of murder mystery type books I have moved on to self improvement. Everything I have read/heard tells me that I have more chance of success if I write my goals down so I am working on a bullet journal page to do just that. I will post an update on this next week. I love my bullet journal and have a board on Pinterest to keep all the inspiring ideas that I see. Many of them seem to need more artistic ability than I possess but a lot of the pages can be copied. Working on the bullet journal is an exercise in mindfulness all on its own and I find it very relaxing but it is a bit of a drain on time if I allow it to be! Pinterest board link here – Bullet Journal.
I will share my progress against my goals each week once I have set those goals. For now I can give a status report. I have 522 Pinterest followers and 10 Esty listings with no sales. I do not have any blog subscribers yet but plan to start a mailing list next week. I rarely get comments on my blog and haven’t really looked into how to improve that yet. I signed up with AdSense a couple of months ago and so far my cumulative earnings are 16p 🙂 The only way is up!!
I think I had better stop writing now and go and make something.
More next week,