Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year’s To Maybe Dos…Help Appreciated!

I don’t make resolutions because they seem so grandiose and then if I change my mind, or circumstances change I feel like a failure. Just too much self imposed pressure!
So here are some things I thought about in 2010 that I would like to pursue in 2011. Call them goals, or resolutions, or whatevers, but I’d welcome your input on them.

To Monetize or Not To Monetize:

When I started The Answer Is Chocolate, it was an outlet for my creativity. I wanted a place to get to know other creative people, keep track of all of the great projects I wanted to try and share my own attempts. I was amazed that it grew as quickly as it did  I’d like it to grow more in 2011 so I think the question we all confront is about advertising and sponsorships. So for those of you who have taken this plunge:
  • What made you do it? Make money, do giveaways etc?
  • Do you use Google Ad Sense or did you find your own sponsors?
  • Did you struggle with any conflict in wanting to be creative vs run a small business?

To Etsy or Not To Etsy:

Similar to the advertising / monetizing question…for those of you who have etsy shops:
  • What made you decide to go for it?
  • Do you keep a standing inventory or make to order?
  • Is it worth what you pay to etsy?
I really enjoyed doing my first craft fair in November but I’m not sure that’s the right venue for me on a regular basis, having to haul stuff everywhere etc. Etsy seems like a great option.
Thanks in advance for any input you provide…some things I just take the plunge and do and others I’ll agonize over forever. Any other pearls of wisdom you want to share are also appreciated!


Cassie said...

I love my blog. I like to keep it clean and free from advertisements. When I go to other blogs, I do not pay attention to ads. I have done the craft fair circuit...not worth my time and effort. You pay the fee to get in and you may not sell anything...then you have a whole day wasted. I sell on Etsy. I love it! I used to sell on Ebay but the fees were cutting into my margin that I was paying people to buy my things. Etsy is the best way to go. Let me know if you have can email me anytime!!

JC's Loft said...

I had an etsy shop a couple of years ago and I opened just too see what would happen LOL. I ended up being so busy I couldn't keep up with orders and then found out I was pregnant and closed up shop. My baby is almost a year now and I'm getting that creative itch again, but this time I decide to start a blog : )

I made custom order items and it became very stressful for me. Having a standing inventory I would think would make it a heck of a lot less stressful??!!

Yes, I think it's worth what you pay to etsy if you price your item right so you aren't working for free!!!!

Can't wait to see what other people say!


Unknown said...

I think a blog without ads is best but be careful if you do as I have heard of serious disaster stroies with adsense.

Etsy is best unless you specifically create for a niche audience and only attend shows tarteting those specific people. Lots of people use Etsy and it is really successful so why not?

Netty said...

Well I only came on to have a nosey at other peoples comments. Although I don't want to open up the whole advert thing, thats for sure, but have been considering opening an Etsy shop, but don't fully understand the Paypal bit. So I will be back and see what others have said. Thank you for raising these subjects. Annette x

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

I feel like I don't have the time to do the advertising thing yet. Keeping up the blog itself is hard enough without worrying about making advertisers happy, too! I love Etsy though, but mine is a little different than most. Digital downloads make it very easy for me to keep up with. I think physical orders would be much more difficult. I have big hopes to open a shop with physical items some day, but I just don't have that kind of time yet. Good luck with your decisions, Carol!

That One Girl said...

Well, I can say that I don't know what the right answer is for you, but, I'm opening a candle shop on Etsy. Yeah, I know that there are 101 candle shops on Etsy, but, it's something that I love doing! Hubs and I are hoping that it will become something profitable, and that we can expand it more, and make our very own hand blown glass containers for them! I already have quite a few people that are wanting to buy my candles, so, we will see how things go! :-)

SewHappyGeek said...

The thing I like about etsy is that it doesn't cost much, unlike a craft fair where u pay to stand there all day, trying painfully over and over to get someone interested in your stuff. Tedious at best. At least at etsy they come to you. But you should hdave at least one of each listed item in inventory because ppl like getting it fast and because orders never come in while you're sitting around bored. Or have the item in a 'one hour and it's done' state :) good luck, it's never easy deciding...

Suzy Myers said...

I am dabbling in both advertising and Etsy. My Etsy shop was created to fund my blog. Since I love to craft, I have created a small inventory that I post on my shop. Nothing gets posted unless it is already made. My shop is not as successful as I'd like, but the Etsy fees are very nominal.

Advertising is something I am still figuring out. I tried Adsense, but it sure clutters up the page. And I really wasn't making much. Right now, I have a few Amazon ads up and I'm selling sponsor space. We'll see how that goes. I think it is a trial and error thing. Just don't try to do too much at one time.


Cindy Adkins said...

Happy New Year!!! I never tried Ad Sense because I didn't understand how it works! And I'm thrilled with my Etsy shop because it allows people to see my work that might not know I even

Your blog is so popular, I would do an etsy shop--it's fun!!!
P.S. I wanted to do a story on you on my blog this week...would that be okay?

Anonymous said...

I keep going back and forth about possibly advertising in the future. The extra income would be nice but I'd worry they might feel cheated if they didn't get much traffic. It also drives me nuts how some of the really big blogs have become nothing but constant advertising for their sponsors and giveaways. I think as long as the advertising is just a tiny part of the blog and doesn't become the main content then its okay.

As for etsy, I tried it briefly and their fees aren't too bad. I had to shut it down while I was traveling and I've thought about reopening but for safety reasons I would like to have a p.o. box first. The only problem is that it would drastically cut into my profit.

Of course, I suppose I shouldn't really worry about putting my home address out there. Our neighborhood is a bit rough so even if someone was crazy enough to try and come to our house they would have to get through our motion lights, security alarm, pit bull and pistol. :)

Unknown said...

Holey smokes Carol, I'm loving this topic. I know nothing about adverts or Etsy so I'm useless to you. But I can't deny that as a craft blogger both of these things have crossed my mind. With regards to the Adsense, I think I've decided against it. It's the lack of control that steers me clear. The Etsy, on the other hand, is a distinct possibility. But, like you, much research is required. But this is definitely helping my education! Thanks so much! And Happy New Year btw!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I have 2 etsy shops, Carol, and really enjoy it! It's a friendly creative place to sell, you have your own shop, and can list items for 20 cents for 4 months. I sold on ebay for over 12 years, but now do all my selling on etsy. As far as advertising goes, I have been contacted by several companies, but so far have only accepted one, because it was unobtrusive. I have turned down outside commercial giveaways, but would be open to bloggers wanting to sponsor a giveaway on my blog. For me, it is a matter of control, I wouldn't take advertising that I wasn't able to choose. I am planning to add more pages to have a boutique, as well as books I like through Amazon...we'll see!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I should have mentioned, too, that you do pay a fee when an item sells on etsy, but I think it's quite reasonable compared to other outlets!

Michelle L. said...

So helpful, everybody! Thanks for opening this up, Carol! I wobbled for ages about an Etsy shop, finally decided to go ahead and open it a couple of weeks ago. It's been easy because I'm already set up to take the pictures. Fees seem super reasonable. No sales yet, but I'm enjoying setting it up and learning the ropes.