I decided to attend the 2021 Crochet Business Summit and although I was not able to commit to watching ALL of the presentations across all FIVE days of the summit, I did get some great takeaways and actionable steps from the classes I was able to watch! Day one I had the most time to commit and was in fact able to tune in to all of the presentations offered that day (and took lots of notes!) so I decided to share my notes here in this clog post! I also did a live YouTube video on on this blog post if you would rather listen!
Put the Hook Down: How a Niche Blog Can Help You Scale Your Crochet Business Passively with Kim Anderson of Thrifty Little Mom Blog
Kim Anderson’s presentation focused on how to use a blog to create additional streams of income. Although I wasn’t able to flip a switch and begin earning extra money, I felt like I had a roadmap to get to a point where my website and blog might help me earn a little extra moolah passively. I took quite a few notes during this presentation and it really lit a fire under me to take my website and blog up and notch–seriously… I went to Siteground and purchased my own website/domain name the NEXT day and have begun migrating my old (free) blog platform to the new site.
I’ve had a free WordPress.com blog for quite a few years now. It was an easy way for me to dabble in blogging and have a presence online outside of social media and my Etsy shop. It felt “safe” because it was free, but after listing to Kim’s presentation, I didn’t realize just how much it was limiting my ability to monetize my website and earn some passive income. I still think a wordpress.com blog is a fantastic place to start if you are a beginner to see if you even like blogging–it also allows you to learn and experiment with the WordPress website builder. My experience with my WordPress.com site actually made the learning curve a little more manageable when I moved to a WordPress.org (self-hosted site) through Siteground.
So how do you actually earn money blogging??
Start your Blog. If you know you like writing/blogging and really want to earn money, the first thing you need to do is be sure you OWN your domain name and aren’t on a “free” blog platform. I chose to use Siteground’s WordPress builder which was about $5/month for the hosting part and about $18 for my domain name for a year. Then I had to start designing. This was the biggest learning curve but I did a little research on the best free WordPress themes and found one called Kadence that had great reviews. I was then able to turn to Youtube for some wonderful tutorials on how to customize the theme and although it still needs a LOT of work, it is coming along nicely!
Create Content. So, if you are looking to monetize your blog you have to have traffic, and to have traffic you need content… so, it is time to start blogging! I had about 3,000 views/month on my free blog that weren’t actually making me any money unless the people visiting my blog ended up clicking out to my Etsy shop or my Bonfire shop where I sell my apparel! The good news is, it was pretty easy for me to transfer my older blogs to my new website so I didn’t have to start completely from scratch to get a good bit of content on my new site.
Drive Traffic. The next step is to begin to work to drive traffic to your site. This was be as simple as sharing your blog posts to your social media channels but you can do other things to stretch your content. Consider going live on social media to chat about your recent blog post and then link to the full post. lYou could then download this live video and share it to YouTube or other social platforms! The other way to drive traffic is by research SEO and keywords and make sure that your blog and content is easy to find online and by search engines! SEO research can feel overwhelming but it is all about taking little steps to make it more manageable.
Monetize. Here’s where Kim really dove in during her presentation. There are quite a few ways to make your blog work for you passively and I will list the ideas below!
- Google AdSense is a program run by Google that allows you to place advertisements on your site and earn money based on both views and clicks. Obviously the more traffic you have, the more money you will make. I have not actually gotten to try this out yet as I am still getting my new website ready but once I do, I will definitely need to do a blog post about my experience!
- Affiliate Links. These are GREAT for you to start using immediately, not just once you have regular traffic coming to your site. Affiliate links allow brands to track sales made using your personal links and you make a commission off of the sales made through your links. A few brands that offer affiliate programs include Furls, Yarnspirations, Lion Brand Yarn, LoveCrafts, Happily Hooked Magazine, and I am sure there are plenty more! If you know of one I didn’t list, let me know in the comments!
- Amazon Affiliate Program. It may not be specifically crochet related but you will be able to create lists of your recommended items and earn commissions when people purchase things you recommend! Think crochet hooks, project bags, storage, tools, etc.!
- Sponsored Content. This is when a brand sends you product or pays you in exchange for you creating content promoting their product or brand–think influencer marketing! This usually requires you to have a certain number of followers, a certain level of traffic to your site, etc. to prove that your content will get that brand’s products in front of a new audience and potentially lead to sales. When I hit 10K followers on Instagram I feel more comfortable reaching out to larger brands and just asking if they would be interested in sponsoring a giveaway or sponsoring yarn for my crochet projects. Although I have not yet been outright paid by a company to create content for them, I have had the chance to try some really cool new yarn and other products for free!
How to Run a Successful Video Podcast with Alysha of Littlejohn’s Yarn
I was also very intrigued by Alysha’s presentation on making money with YouTube podcasts. I already knew I needed to start upping my game on YouTube, especially after meeting Kim and Ginger of the Affordably Geeky Podcast and then getting to be featured on their show! I had already made my mind up to put together a plan for my YouTube channel so this presentation just solidified it!
The top takeaways from Alysha’s presentation for me were:
Start where you are with what you have. Most of us have everything we need to start making video content in our pockets–cell phones are getting more and more powerful which means we don’t necessarily have to invest in expensive equipment to make high quality videos. You can also get creative with your lighting so you don’t have to purchase special lighting. Try moving a desk lamp behind your computer or using a clamp light. Ring lights really aren’t too expensive if you DO feel like you need to purchase something, you can get one for under $20 on Amazon!
Start Going Live. Now, you can’t go live on YouTube from you phone until you reach a certain number of subscribers, but you can practice getting comfortable in front of the camera by filming videos or going live on Instagram or Facebook. If you are new to the platform and do not have enough subscribers to go live from your phone, you will need a laptop/desktop computer and a webcam o go live on YouTube. Alysha mentioned how she purchased an inexpensive webcam from Amazon, but if you have a computer or laptop with a built in webcam you have everything you need to start going live on YouTube.
Why go LIVE? You may have heard that Instagram is prioritizing reels, giving them more reach and allowing people to get more views than they would on regular posts & videos. This is the same concept with YouTube. YouTube prioritizes Live streams and puts the streams in front of new audiences, allowing you to reach more people (and NEW people) than you would with pre-recorded content! According to Alysha, going live is the BEST way to grow your account FAST. Since I am planning to start going live regularly starting here soon I will be able to let you know what my results are and if I see this kind of growth just by “showing up”!
Remember SEO! Be sure that you are using strong keywords in your title & description and also don’t forget to add links in the description of each video so that people can find you on other sites, learn more about what you are talking about (if you have related blog posts, affiliate links, etc.) or purchase from you if you have an Etsy shop or website where you sell items, patterns, etc.
What to talk about?
- 10 free crochet patterns to make (fill in the blank)
- Crochet and Chat
- Yarn Hauls/Yarn Reviews
- Tips on things like organization, craft shows, blogging, etc.
- Read/go over your latest blog post
- Play games or do giveaways
Try a streaming service. Streamyard allows you to have more freedom with what you do while streaming live to YouTube, inclusion the ability to have more than one person going live at a time if you wanted to interview someone or do a duo podcast.
Monetization Tools. Once you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of view time you can begin to monetize your channel with ads as well as enable things like Super Chat and Super Stickers that provide another way to monetize your channel while also engaging with your community.
Overall, this was another fantastic presentation and really lit my fire to get to work on upping my game on my YouTube channel!
Creating Multi-purpose Content with Sarah Ruane
The biggest takeaway from this presentation was knowledge of an app called Jumprope that will allow you to easily create tutorial/step-by-step style videos and then export them to multiple file sizes to be used across multiple platforms. You can film your videos inside the app or upload videos taken on your phone, edit them together in the app, add instructions and then choose to download the video in the best format and ratio for platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more!
I definitely plan on trying this app out and seeing what I can do with it for my own tutorial style videos!
How to Fill Your Funnel with Pinterest with Jennifer Priest
This presentation was focused on using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog, website or shop to help you drive additional sales. I have been working on my Pinterest page for a while now and doing research here and there and I didn’t take away anything “new” necessarily from this particular presentation but it was a reminder for me to check out some of the scheduling apps for Pinterest so that I can be more consistent with posting my pins and not just bulk uploading when I have time.
Some of the main take home points from this one include:
- Be sure you are doing the keyword research needed to optimize your pin titles and descriptions
- Use an app to help you publish pins consistently
- Create multiple graphics for the same piece of content that you can then post to multiple boards on your page
- Be sure to create a business/professional account so that you have access to analytics and then be sure to claim your websites/domains
- Don’t try for the HARD sells, try getting people to your website for free content and then focus on letting your website convert the leads to sales
- Don’t create a board unless you have 5 pins you can put on it (of your OWN content, not other peoples’ pins)
I use Canva to help me make my pins and you can even publish your pin straight to Pinterest now through Canva–even on the free version! I try to make Pin my blog posts, free patterns, paid pattern and other merchandise but just need to work on my consistency and create more of a plan for my posting!
Inclusive Marketing Strategies for Crochet Business Owners with Sedruola Maruska
This was a great presentation with ideas for ensuring that you are practicing inclusivity in your marketing. This covers everything from the photos you choose to share on your social media accounts, website, shop and other marketing materials to your language. If you are struggling to feel like your brand is showcasing inclusivity, some of the ways you can make a change is by reaching out and finding new people to collaborate with to create content, model your items, test your patterns and more.
Growing Your Crochet Business with Multiple Streams of Income with Michelle Ferguson
This presentation touched on many of the same points as the first presentation of the day so my note taking was minimal. Michelle mentioned things like Affiliate programs, monetizing blogs and podcasts, subscription boxes, commissioned designs, and sample making. Although the last 3 things were not covered in the first presentation, they were not covered in great detail. For subscription boxes she mentioned the owner of Leither Co, who does subscription boxes and suggested people go check her out to see what she does for her boxes.
For commissioned designs and sample making, I was not as interested in these so I didn’t end up taking additional notes here. One thing I would add to the additional streams of income would be submitting patterns, articles and blog posts to crochet magazines as many will pay you for if the submission is accepted!
I hope you found this little recap helpful! I really have been learning a lot from these presentations and hope to do a recap on some of the other classes I found most helpful! If you want to make sure you never miss a new post, be sure to subscribe to my blog using the form below!