Week Two, Part 2 – 2013 31 Days of Crochet Business Blogging Challenge

I find myself again splitting up the week into two posts because the week two post of the 2013 31 Days of Crochet Business Blogging was becoming too long.

DAY ELEVEN

Writing Prompt: Develop a call to action post. Let your readers know what you want them to do, e.g., if you want them to subscribe to your RSS feed, let them know and show them how.

Call to Action

I’ve been trying to include a call to action in the posts I write for some time now. Typically, it will be a request to readers to comment on the post in some way. For example, in the post I wrote about my version of the granny square striped bag, I asked readers to comment about their experience making the bag. I also invited them to ask questions if they had any.

In another post about one of the crochet patterns I have for sale in the Kindle Store, I included a link to the pattern in the last paragraph. As I re-read it, I realize the call to action is somewhat indirect. In other words, I don’t say, “Buy my pattern,” but tell readers they can get more information about the pattern by clicking “here.” Perhaps I’ll be more direct in the future.

Twitter

twitter

Image via Flickr by Rosaura Ochoa

I have to admit, I haven’t been much of a “tweeter” because, honestly, I really didn’t get Twitter when I first became aware of it. But I’ve started to tweet more consistently, thanks to Pinterest which lets me tweet the photos I pin to my crochet boards.

What really intrigues me, however, is this “clicktotweet” application that Sara Duggin recomments.  I’m definitely going to be using it more in the future. In fact …

Click to Tweet thisIt’s Day 11 of the 2013 31 Days of Crochet Biz Blogging Challenge. Find out what I’m doing.

Not sure if I did that right, but I figure I might as well jump in and “just do it!” as Nike and my daughter often remind me.

DAY TWELVE

Writing Prompt: Make a guest blogging calendar and schedule guest bloggers. Write a post soliciting guest bloggers. Be specific in what you want.

Sara pushed me to set up a guest blogging page on my blog, and I’m glad she did, because it was something that I had kept putting off. I hope potential guest bloggers don’t find the writing guidelines too demanding. I’m just trying to make sure tthe content submitted is well-written and informative, ranks well in the search engines, and is “pin-able.”.

Let me know what you think about the guidelines. Am I asking too much?

And would anyone like to submit a guest blog post?  If you do, submit your idea using this contact form, and I’ll get back to you asap.

DAY THIRTEEN

Writing Prompt: I want to make ___ per month from my blog this year. In order to accomplish this goal I will need to do ___, ___, and ___. Fill in the blank and share your ways of monetizing your blog in 2013.

I think instead of focusing on how much money I want my blog to generate, I’ll focus on how much I want my crochet business – which includes the blog, pattern sales, and teaching – to bring in.

Ideally, it would be nice to start off with this business generating $200 a month. Most of that will probably come from teaching the CBN and other courses, as well as private lessons. The blog itself and pattern sales haven’t generated a lot of income in the past, but as traffic increases, I’m hoping that will change.

I’ve been participating in affiliate programs (e.g., Amazon Associates, Interweave Press, Craftsy) for a while now and will continue to do so. It would be great to also start selling ad space, but in order to do that, I need a lot more traffic. I used to have Google Adsense ads on my blog, but I decided to take those off because, frankly, I thought they looked kind of tacky. And I’d have to have A LOT of traffic to make having the ads worth it. I’ll also continue to self-publish patterns for the Kindle and also at Craftsy and Ravelry (got to have PDF files available for those who don’t have a Kindle).

In order to accomplish this, I really need to step up my marketing efforts. One of the things I’m definitely going to do is start offering free patterns and tutorials that reside on my blog and elsewhere at free pattern sites like AllFreeCrochet in the hopes of attracting more traffic to the blog. I’m also going to be doing more product reviews, including books and Craftsy classes.

I’m really looking forward to reading how other crochet bloggers are monetizing their blogs.

DAY FOURTEEN

Writing Prompt: List your current blog stats, i.e., RSS subscribers, sales, newsletter subscribers, comments, etc. Write a post sharing where you want your blog to be in December 2013.

The only blog stats I have at this point are from Google Analytics, and I listed those on Day Ten. And while I have multiple ways for readers to subscribe, I’m not sure how to determine who has subscribed, except for Google Feedburner which is showing that I have 0 subscribers. I’m assuming that’s my RSS feed. But I’m pretty sure I have some subscribers because I’ve had people tell me that they subscribed.

I really need to learn how to track subscribers, so any advice or information will be greatly appreciated.

Okay, here’s Week 3 of the challenge.

I’ve been crocheting for over 40 years and blogging since 2004 – two of my favorite things in the world to do besides walking the beaches of windward Oahu, Hawaii.

14 comments On Week Two, Part 2 – 2013 31 Days of Crochet Business Blogging Challenge

  • It’s good to feel not so alone and I totally feel the same way about social media. Thanks for this post, I needed to hear that others were with me. And I liked seeing how you do your call to actions.
    Have a great day.

    • Hey Michelle, I don’t even have a Facebook page for my blog although I am on Facebook. But it seems I’ll probably have to do one eventually. While I’d like to see my blog make some money, I have to be honest and say that the things it appears I have to do to make that happen, especially, marketing, aren’t as fun as crocheting and writing about crocheting. If this were my sole source of incoming. I’d probably be doing a lot more hustling. On the other hand, if I can just get a little more organized, it might not seem so hard. Anyway, I’m glad this post helped you feel not so alone.

  • @Patrice Hey don’t feel so bad, it took me a while to get the whole ‘twitter’ thing and I’m still learning. So glad you decided to use the clicktotweet application. It saves so much time and encourages people to click to share your post or quote. Loving it.

    One thing I would recommend is including a link so they can visit your blog – you can shorten the link through goo.gl.

    Also, if you don’t want blogging to be a source of income it doesn’t have to be. You can update the blog when needed with new patterns and classes. Your followers will still be there especially since they are here because of the above. (patterns + lessons)

    @Michelle, you are a great reminder to me that I need to write something for the new to the blog-social media world people. Often times I forget about the new – I’m lost – feeling.

    • You know, Sara, I thought after I’d posted the clicktotweet that I’d left out my blog address, doh! Thanks for the goo.gl link.

      And yes, the blog and the biz are both works-in-progress. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds as the year progresses. This challenge is helping me put it all together so I know what I want to focus on.

  • I think for most crochet business owners the ‘business’ of crochet – the making and designing is their main focus and the blogging comes second. I think you’ll start to see more sales via Craftsy once you start reviewing and sharing the various classes and patterns they have. (especially if they happen to by your own)

    Increasing traffic is definitely the first step for all of us. I know we are all working on this one.

    You’re welcome – clicktotweet and goo.gl 🙂

  • I think it is great that you are opening the site up to guest bloggers. And I don’t think your rules are too much. You have to protect yourself from spammers and rules are the way to do it.

    You are ahead of me, I still have to go back and do the forms and all.

    • Hey Rhelena, thanks. I don’t have a special form for guest bloggers to fill out. I’m using the main contact form on my blog, and my friend who is the web developer set it up for me.

      Well it’s good to know you think my writing guidelines aren’t too intense. I just want to be sure I get good content, Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’m going to go over to your blog soon and read your entries. I’m in the middle of a family emergency so I’ve been a bit distracted right now.

  • Patrice, be patient with yourself. It will all be done in its own time. You’ll have a well polished blog by the end of 2013.

    Your feed is through FeedBlitz, it gives your readers the option to subscribe via FB, Linkedin, Twitter feed, Twitter DM and Email. Pretty cool. I’ll have to look into that.

  • Patrice, Hoping things are going better for your daughters husband. Is he out of hospital yet? Praying he heals quickly.

    p.s. Yes it’s feedblitz (click on subscribe and then email) it will show it as feedblitz)

    • Thanks for your prayers, Sara. He’s still in the hospital but out of intensive care, so he’s on the mend.

      I’ll check into feedblitz to see if I can figure out how to access information on subscribers.

  • I’m all new to this stuf, social media, subscribing to blog, etc. I just opened a Twitter acct in October 2012 so I’m still trying to understand what Tweets are all about. As fas as subscribing – I subscribed in two ways to your blog – I don’t know about Feedblitz – I subscribed through email and I was given a choice on the RSS feed to subscribe through Google or through Yahoo. I subscribed to your feed through Google and have it sent to Google Reader, but whenever you post I get an email notifier which helps me remember to check out your post because I seem to forget to watch my Google Reader. Certainly praying for your husband’s continued recovery and good health.

    • Karen, I’m still trying to figure out social media too. Sara Duggan had some good advice, and that is to do one social media tool at a time and learn it well before going on to the next.

      RSS is still a bit of a mystery to me and I need to figure out who my subscribers are, but I’m glad you’re getting my posts.

      Actually, it was my daughter’s boyfriend who had the motorcycle accident. He is recovering nicely, out of intensive care and in a regular hospital room. Hoping he gets discharged sometime this week, but he has a long period of recuperation. Hope he has sense enough to rest and get better – you know how these young guys can be sometimes :-).

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