Are you a dedicated crafter? Do you just love to spend your evenings knitting, quilting, painting, sketching, making greetings cards? (Or any of the hundred and one other delightful crafts so many people are getting into these days.) If so, you’ve likely already thought of making money out of your hobby, or at least getting it to pay for itself.
Perhaps you already have a storefront on Etsy, or Artfire, Folksy, MintD, Lov.li, RubyLane, etc. etc. etc. (There are a whole lot of alternatives to Etsy, get out there and investigate if you’re curious.) If so then you’re paying to list your items, and perhaps to relist them too. You’re promoting the heck out of your storefront (or I certainly hope you are) on social networking sites, your blog, other blogs, your business cards, basically anywhere and everywhere you can get the word out. If it’s working then you’re selling a few items and making a little cash.
But are you making all the money you could be making? Or are you leaving cash on the table?
A lot of emphasis is placed on getting your photographs right when it comes to selling crafts online. But if you take a lot of trouble with your photographs, don’t you think that they qualify as part of your art or craft? Any images you produce are copyrighted to you – and if you’re not doing your utmost to monetize them, then you could be effectively losing money.
What could you be doing with them instead? If you have a decent printer, then why aren’t you making greetings cards with them? Add a few funny captions, charge a couple of dollars and you’ve got an extra income stream coming in. If your printer and inks are of archival quality and your images attractive enough, you could also produce prints, framed or otherwise. Income stream deux!
And that isn’t all. Get thee over to Cafepress.com or Zazzle and you can emblazon your image all over T-shirts – and not just T-shirts, but clocks, notebooks, mugs, you name it. A clock with your image sells? Ping! goes a payment into your account.
Did I mentions blogs earlier? If you have one then I certainly hope you’ve monetized it, or at least that you’re planning to. Adsense (or one of the alternatives such as Adbrite or Chitika malls), affilate marketing, donation buttons and selling your own products/ebooks etc. via your blog, are surely all things you’re considering. Aren’t they? If not, why not?
When your original, one of a kind item is finished and ready to be sold, is that the end of the matter for you? It shouldn’t be! That’s where a canny seller begins. Can you make a tutorial out of the manufacturing process? Can you make a pattern for it? Perhaps it’s a polymer clay mini sculpture you can make a mould from and replicate multiple times (with much less effort)? Or for subsequent copies, is there another way to routinize and speed up production?
I hope you’ve gained inspiration from a few of my ideas, and that you have a few of your own to add to them. Because I want all you crafty types out there to be squeezing every last cent out of your efforts that you possibly can. Get out there, get crafting and get making dollars and cents!