I've been busy with projects (you'll see!), carving out some me/work-out time (finally!) and I've been really thinking about the future. The last of these is something which ironically has led me to writer's block. The thing is that talking about A Little Hut and it's future, gets tricky. But I didn't want to slap up a post for the sake of getting past my new year's message (which would've been tempting to do). I also wanted to be in the right frame of mind to be tactful, but honest, fact-oriented but human. So here I go.
Aside from anything that you'll read below, know that I love what I do—no doubt at all.
Sharing my creative ideas and coming up with new projects, patterns, and designs fascinates me—paid or unpaid. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home and I don't really see myself going back to work a 9-5 job (not that I really ever had one—I remember it more like 8 'till whenever it's done). The thing is that it would be nice, really nice, if what I do here were a little more fruitful in the paid category.
When I post free printables or tutorials, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate all the comments, emails and links that come along with them. But, quite honestly, all those fuzzy feelings I get don't help me contribute to our household income. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
It's a simple premise because our daily lives revolve around the routine of paying for services that we opt into. Why can't we find a way to shoot for the same in the craft world? And more to point—why can't that happen in the craft blogging world more often? Yes, there are many ways to monetize a blog. Sponsors, ads and the ever growing tip-jar idea are all options that I've been considering. But I still feel like I want to find another way. A way that involves a community driven effort to support the work that we see on a daily basis from so many amazing bloggers out there. There just has to be a better way.
It's a complicated issue because my online craft life has been mostly based on the fact that I offer a lot of my ideas for free. Yes, I have a shop, but here I'm talking about the blog—designing, crafting, writing and photographing—which all take up a lot of my work (paid) time.
Ok, so now what? Do I need to reinvent what I do or just tweak? That is what has consumed me for weeks.
For now, I'm going with a tweak—which is much better than the harsher idea I was entertaining last year. During the summer I was actually thinking of parting ways with A Little Hut for good (eek!).
What am I really saying? What's the bottom line?
- I am staying. I simply love this space and everything and everyone in it.
- The spirit of my work will stay the same whether I'm getting paid or not.
- I want to focus my energies on ideas, on projects and in spreading the word about them but not always for free.
- I will start to offer more paid goods and self-promotional posts but they won't be overbearing or constant and I won't be apologetic about them either (why is it that so many bloggers apologize for self-promotion?—a whole can of worms type post right there).
- I will continue The Basics series. I hope you're enjoying them because I am.
- I will offer a monthly newsletter that will be equal parts informative, promotional & inspirational—and short!
I felt the need to write this because I respect the time that you take to stop by, so I want to play fair and let you know what's going on. My hope is that this post will also help other craft bloggers that are trying to make a living off of the hard work involved in producing great content, that you are not alone.
I also wanted to let you know that that I really do put thought into this blog. I treat the quality of my ideas and how they will be more enjoyable to you as a reader, equally important. It's all a package deal and one that I hope to deliver a bit better in 2011.
I hope that you'll hang around a bit longer (like today!) to watch the year unfold.
PS - If you're still around and have a few minutes follow this series by Diane at CraftyPod—so fitting!