Hustling Housewife Series:#3 Another stream of income: Etsy shop

 

etsy

 

 

We have all heard about etsy right? For those of you that don’t know, etsy is a handmade website for creative’s and artisans all over the world. You can find everything from a dog tutu to a blog templates, wait, what? Yes, you can even sell digital products! More on this later but this is a very good thing. Omg, did I just channel Martha Stewart on that one? Ok, back to business.

If you are creative in any way you may want to consider starting an etsy shop. If you have even ten hours a week to dedicate to it. You can get it up and running in no time.

Here’s how I got started with etsy. I was at a really hard place in my life, I was struggling with infertility. I came to the realization that I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids after ten years,  three surgeries for endometriosis, and with the third ending in the removal of one ovary. I needed a distraction, something to throw myself into full force to get my mind focused in something else. I thought about it for awhile, then stumbled upon etsy, it was perfect. Finally a place to sell the things I had been making for years. I started sewing when I was 8 years old and I loved it, I even considered going to the Fashion Institute of San Fransico in high school, but after I graduated I followed my boyfriend( who later became my husband, now ex) to Oregon, to get out of my mom’s house really.

I started sewing again when I was around 20 years old. I started spending a lot of money on the supplies needed to make all the things I was crafting. The main expenditure being fabric. So it was either stop sewing or find a way to save on fabric. I ended up upcycling old clothing, sheets, pillow cases, really anything that had a large amount of usable fabric. I then started making quilts, dresses, purses, hats, even dog clothes, anything I felt like making. I ended up settling on women’s clothing.

I then started my shop earthangelclothing.etsy.com and it actually did pretty well, I ended up starting another shop, which is now closed, to expand my customer base. I was selling things like custom swimsuits for upwards of $120 each. Times sure have changed and now it seems like everyone and their grandma has an etsy shop, it’s a pretty staturated market now, and etsy started allowing other items that were manufactured into the market place, which was a bad mistake. There is just no way to compete with manufactured items when you only make handmade items. Something handmade just can’t be sold for the same amount or you wouldn’t make any money. So that’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news. You can still open a shop and be successful but it takes a very strategic plan. You need amazing lighting, great pics and a great presentation. I even recently invested in a full size mannequin to boost my sells.

 

pastel tunic front full view

This is the best deal I have found online for full sized mannequins

Here is the link to this one.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDOOMM6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00EDOOMM6&linkCode=as2&tag=mommfrugfind-20&linkId=SFHGK5XEFW4TGGAJ

 

After presentation, the next thing to do is market your  items on all social media outlets like, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and above all Pintrest. You need to analyse your competition and see what they are pricing their items at that are similar.

Another  important tip. Keep your expenses low. You really don’t need to invest in much from the get go. You can take pics with your iPhone or android phone, you can find supplies at thrift stores, yard sales, or even go through what you already have. You can even find crafting supplies at the Dollar Tree. I’ve seen everything from glue, floral items, felt, paint, plaster, modge podge. Think outside the box, I’ve even got some good ideas by going to my local hardware store. There might be something you could use there. Cut pipe cut for bracelets, washers painted and used for jewelery, use what you have and what you can get cheap or even free. Maybe even repurpose things like milk jugs you could cut them and use them for something. You could save baby food jars and make bath products and decorate the jar really cute. The sky’s the  limit.

braclet.jpg

Here’s a handmade bracelet cuff.

*More on etsy to come. Also, check out Renae Christine on youtube. She’s an Etsy guru. She helps launch etsy businesses and gives tips, tricks and ideas on getting started and being successful with your handmade business.*

 

 

Hustling Housewife Series #2 How to make instant cash using one FREE website!

For those of you who are following my blogs. I just want to say thank you! Even if you are just reading this article, I want to say thank you. It is because of you that I get these ideas and I’m up at almost 1 a.m writing blog content. I want to share what I’ve learned, lessons learned the easy and the hard ways. I want to show people, not just moms, that you can start a business at home. You just need to know how to avoid the scams and you need to be able to find legitimate, real money making opportunities. This blog only posts real work at home opportunities. Ones that I have either tested myself, have some kind of personal experience with or have done extensive research on. I was once in your shoes, not knowing where to start, looking for ways to balance it all, and be able to have the freedom of working at home. Ok, on with the show, enough rambling….
#2 Hustling Housewife Series Making money with…drum roll please…..Craigslist
Craigslist is a wonderful resource for making money at home because there are several ways you can do this.
#1 Sell stuff you don’t want. Have an old dusty bookcase, or old vintage chair? Sell it for cash…today!
#2 Look through the FREE section of Craigslist for things people are giving away like furniture, collectibles, clothes, household items, etc. Then what you can do is turn around and re-sell the things you got free on either Craigslist or, even websites like ebay. You might have to sand and re-paint a table or clean a sofa but it is well worth your time in most cases. You can also just drop the items off at local consignment stores. One I go to in my area takes 40% but, they store and market the items, and mail the checks on the 15th after items sell. It’s well worth getting an unexpected check for a couple hundred dollars for something you got free.
#3 Offer your services. What can you do that you can turn into cash? Can you write an article, design a website, edit a video, take some wedding pics? Are you crafty? Sell your crafts on Craigslist as well. Still not sure what you can do? Just simply browse through catergories and see what others are offering. That should inspire you in some way.
So there you have it #2 CRAIGSLIST
More of this Series to come!

Hustling Housewife Series: Starting a blog for profit… (simple Steps)!

 

laptop pic

 

Hustling Housewife Series: Starting a blog for profit… (simple Steps)!

#1

How do you start a blog for profit? So you want a home business or side hustle but don’t know where to start? Here’s the first step. Evaluate what you like, as well as what you are good at. You should start by asking yourself the following questions….

What do I enjoy doing?

What would I do free?

What do I do for fun in my spare time?

What jobs have I had that I really enjoyed doing?

When thinking about starting a side business or full time home business you need to think about these things because, if you enjoy your work, it won’t feel like work. I love blogging and writing, to me it’s fun. I find myself daydreaming about my next post or ebook. My passion is helping other moms create businesses plans to be able to find that elusive balance we all long for, right moms? Are you with me?

So back to business… How to start a blog from scratch

#1 WordPress or blogspot? You need a platform. If you are a newbie blogger and have no technical or little technical experience I would highly recommend blogspot which is through Google. Blogspot is very easy to set up, if you already have a Google account you just have to go to settings to set up from there. Blogspot walks you through the process. You will be hosted through blogger so there is no fee for hosting…there is also no domain, the downside to this is less visibility, but even so, it is a good choice to get started to get a feel for blogging and see if you like it before stepping up. Or you can jump right in, head first, and go with WordPress, now for me personally, I started with blogspot and I think that is the best way to get a feel for blogging, others might disagree. WordPress is a little more complex but you can customize themes and make your blog look a lot more polished and professional. There are free themes that look pretty nice ( see bottom of this one)and you can even add social media links on some. The coding and monetizing is more complex, I had to have someone help me with mine in the beginning on my other blog mommiesfrugalfinds.com

#2

You will need a niche. I started out with a coupon blog five years mommisfrugalfinds.blogspot.com (still have it as well) ago that has evolved to a money saving and home business blog. It is still weird saying, ‘business’. Sorry about that. It’s weird when you take your blog, from blog to business. About six months ago I was at a crossroads with blogging and I was frustrated, I was actually going to delete my blog that I put so much work into and almost 1000 posts. I thought to myself I’m either all in or all out. If I’m all in I’m going to find out everything I can about blogging, writing, monetizing, social media, marketing, and really business in general. It is going so much better since I made that decision.

Back to your niche. Again, think about what you enjoy. You don’t want to pick a subject that will be boring, for you or your readers. Here are some ideas Kids/family Fashion, Technology, Art, DIY, Home Decor also financail planning blog are HUGE right now!

#3

You will need to come up with an amazing name. You want it to be about the topic you will be blogging about, but not so specific that it constricts your creativity. Think outside the box. What do you look up? What kinds of content? Is there a way of combining all things you love? If so, make the title a general, catchy title, about that theme. Love cooking, decorating and organizing? How about housebeautiful.blogspot.com or momshome.wordpress.com or something you can identify with that is easy to remember. Those might be taken, but those are just some ideas.

#4

Make Youtube your BFF. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without Youtube. Youtube is an invaluable resource for setting up a blog for the first time. If you need help setting up your blog, go here. This is my go to resource for all things techincal. I’ve looked up how to make a facebook badge, how to install plug-ins and more. I would also be happy to answer any questions you have. You can email me Attention Sandi @ 530shasta@gmail.com

#5

Start creating amazing content. Create catchy titles and try to think like the reader and don’t forget to use relevant tags and keywords. Try to keep your content appealing to the eye as well by adding amazing pics and make the pic PIN worthy as well, more on this later.

#6

Consider buying a domain. I use godaddy for domains. You an do this later it doesn’t matter, but if you have an amazing website name that you are worried someone might take, snatch it up now. Sometimes godaddy has domains for .99 be sure to check out websites like retailmenot for coupon codes before checkout to save big. Once you have your domain you can re-route your blog to your new domain. Here’s an example. I just set up a wordpress site a while ago…bringingmomshome.wordpress.com (so this means it was free and hosted through wordpress) now I bought a domain the one I wanted was bringingmomshome.com was sold so I went with bringingmomshome.org so when you now type in bringingmomshome.wordpress.com it automatically is re-routed to the new website. You can check out my theme I’m using there too. This is a free theme and I have all my social media links

#7

Show me the money! Ok, so at this point you are probably thinking so, how do I make money from my blog? This is where it gets a little tricky. Ok, so here’s the thing. I wouldn’t monetize your blog when you first start. The first thing you need to focus on is great content and driving traffic. Without traffic you won’t have visitors clicking on ads or buying products and without great content they won’t even come. You need to be able to reel them in! After you have been posting consistently for a few months at least a few times or more a week then think about putting up ads. If you have google blogspot. It’s relavily easy to set up one affiliate ad network and that is google adsense. Google picks the right ads for you. All you do is go to your google blog settings to set this up. Then look into other affiliate programs that would work for your website. I use Amazon Affiliates, adsense, zulily, ebay, avon (I sell it), etsy (I have a shop), and a few others.

#8

Create other sources of income! Consider your blog a launching pad for other ventures. Most bloggers make most of their money from other resources and products like, books, ebooks, courses, newsletters, emails, products they created or sell and speaking or teaching gigs as well as things like web design and business consulting.

#9

Don’t turn your back on social media! After your blog is all set up, take the time to make your social media accounts that are cohesive with your blog, as in the same name, I’m so guilty of this one, I got lazy with this and paid the price. It confuses visitors if you use a different social media account than your blog. Take the time to set this up and you won’t be disappointed. Also make it a personal experience, people love to read background stories about the blogger, don’t leave this out. Make your about me page engaging and your picture professional. I am loving Pintrest and I have read that it is following closely behind Facebook in popularity. Do not overlook this resource. Learn photo shop or use a photo editing website like picmonkey (which I used for the pic on this post) or Aviary.com. This is what I meant when I said make your photos ‘pin worthy’ you want to be able to make them shareable on Pintrest. Make viewers have no choice but to click on your pin! Don’t forget to share your posts on social media. I share mine on Twitter, facebook (just started), google+, and especially Pintrest if nothing else. I will be signing up for Instagram soon.

#10

Focus on building your email list! You can use a free mail service like Mailchimp that helps you organize emails and bring in subscribers. This is super important and something that I learned the hard way, I learned a ton about blogging through trial and error from five years of blogging. If I only knew then what I know now. Oh well, passing on the info to help other moms, so they won’t make the same mistakes I did.

Hope these tips help get you started, more home business ideas and side hustles to come!