Hello, it is great to see you. I am Sara the editor behind Crochet Business Blog. I also go by the name of Momwithahook.
UPDATE: February 2016
Dear crochet blogger, designer, seller:
I had to shut down this blog last February 2015 due to personal reasons. I am no longer active in the crochet community but, I want to thank YOU ALL for the support over the years. I’ll slowly fix the dead links and update any articles on the blog but in the meantime, feel free to browse all the great information on the site.
Contact me at Sara at Crochetbusiness.com or hop on Twitter and say HI! I’m no longer ‘momwithahook’ over there but I’ll answer your crochet questions as myself – @duggansara.
Thank you again and be BLESSED. #YouAreLOVED pass it on!
How Can Crochet Business Blog Help You?
I am a tour guide of sorts. So, hold my hand and let me lead you into the pages of Crochet Business Blog aka CBB.
Once you have a foundation set you can explore ways to monetize or make money with this foundation. This way you will find the right people to make the sales you need to support your family and yourself.
- Start by Laying a Foundation
- Step 1: Read the Pattern – Hosting and Domain
- Step 2: Gather Your Supplies – Email List & Blog Setup for Lead Generation
- Step 3: Start Hooking – Work on Writing Content for Your Site and Develop Social Media Presence
- Step 4: Promote – Market Your Blog, Your Mailing List, and Shop
- Step 5: Give Back – Develop a Habit of Giving Back to Your Community
- Discover Your Money Maker Examples: selling crochet, contract crochet, wholesale or piece work, teaching,writer or blogger, pattern design, tech editor or publishing, supplier, or support.
Laying Your Crochet Business Foundation
First, are you legal? Do you have all the licenses necessary to run your business? It’s okay to start out as a hobbyist but know that eventually you’ll have to take responsibility for your business and register it. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Association (see Starting a Business) for details.
Outside the United States of America? Please contact your local government agency for details on starting a business.
In the Hooking for Cash 101 email course, I show how to blog by relating it to how you crochet. You first need to read the pattern. This includes researching other successful businesses, connecting with mentors, and preparing your website, which will be your home-base.
Buy Hosting and a Domain Name
Momwebs is the hosting company I currently use. They have reasonable prices and great customer service. They also have a really patient tech-guy. (I am an affiliate and will earn a commission if you choose to purchase through my link – I would still like MomWebs even if they didn’t reward me with a commission. Thank you for helping me support my family.)
You’ll need to buy a domain name as well which you can buy through Momwebs. That will cost around $12 – $13 per year. YOU don’t have to buy your domain name through them it is just a service they provide. As a plus, new customers get complimentary WordPress install. (blog software)
More Hosting Companies
Other hosting companies include godaddy.com, bluehost.com, and hostgator.com. There are plenty of others out there even local hosts so search around. One note about bluehost is they include a free domain name so it’s an easy package to get started.
Now, that you have your hosting and domain name you can add your blog. There are different content management systems choose from. I use WordPress.org. Quick note here, when you have a website on wordpress.com (not .org) you are using WordPress’ hosting. When you use the software (.org) you are using your own hosting. You could use Drupal.org or Joomla.org as content managers well.
Research each one and make an informed decision. Why I choose WordPress? (see Why I’m Self-hosted After 5 Years on Blogger) It’s everywhere, it is consistently updated, plug-ins and themes are amply available, and I’m used to it. 😉 Don’t make things harder for yourself – stick with what you know.
After you read your pattern you gather your supplies. This includes setting up your blog, setting up an email list, and/or setting up your shop.
Your blog will need an About Me page, a Contact page, a Products page (see 10 Things to Know Before You Start an Etsy Shop), and a Lead capture page also known as a landing page. This is the minimum. Later on, you’ll create content for your blog.
Don’t stop with setting up your blog, set up your mailing list too. A mailing list helps you with generating leads which can increase your marketing investment.
I use Aweber and Mailchimp.com. I’m also test-driving MadMimi.com for a client and so far I really like it. I would recommend MadMimi for absolute beginners, Mailchimp for Intermediate users, and Aweber for Advanced users. (My under-marketing is showing, how embarrassing . That Aweber link is an affiliate link. Again, recommending products/services I use and like is a way I help support my family.)
The chart above shows the process that your potential customers goes through. Your blog will have a capture page (landing page) which will offer something of value in exchange for an email address. This email list they sign up for will introduce you, your products and develops your relationship with your customer.
Why a mailing list?
This is how you will sift through the traffic you send to your landing page. This step is called qualifying a lead. See that last part of the chart? It is divided into three parts: Customer, Non-buyers, and Interested (yet not ready).
Qualifying a lead makes it easier to focus on those who are your customers. Design for them, work for them, give your best attention to them – this is exactly how large companies like Nordstroms works. No, I’m not saying to ignore the others, it is just you only have so much time and you’re in business for profit so make a profit.
By now you have your foundation, you’ve laid your framework, and started developing the individual rooms (pages) of your blog. It is now time to work. It’s not the time to crochet yet, you’re still setting up your online presence.
This is where you start to decorate your rooms (blog). Add some content so you don’t look like a ghost town. Get comfortable with your new surroundings. Tweak your header, your sidebar, your colors or whatever you want now so you don’t have to waste time later.
You will set up your social media accounts for your business. Some include Pinterest, Facebook Fanpage, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Even if you don’t plan on using all of these channels, grab your business name anyway.
Once you have 10 – 15 blog posts published and a little bit of a social media presence you are ready for step 4.
Here’s where the fun begins. All your hard work will start to pay off. You created a landing page on your blog where you can send people to get more information about you and your products. This is the url you add to your social media profiles.
Now, no matter where you advertise or share your blog for the purpose of lead generation, you’ll share your landing page. This connects you with those who are interested in your product. Through your mailing lists’ autoresponder potential customers are receiving information about your products, your company, and even some personal highlights of you and your family.
Your mailing list is sending people (who want to know more) to your blog (or shop) where they will make the decision to buy. Once someone buys something you will bump them onto to the customers mailing list. These people are your top priority – the folks who are making your business profitable. Nurture them and give them exceptional service.
Below is a guided study course. It will introduce you to the sales cycle and take you through a 3-step formula to increase sales and traffic. It can be used for any type of business but it favors crochet businesses and bloggers.
Each lesson introduces a new topic and includes an action step. The book “Hooking for Cash: 10 Ways to Make Money with Your Crochet Blog” is included as well as videos and audio.
You probably started crocheting as a hobby right? Have you given your work to charity? Just because you have a business doesn’t mean you should stop. You may not be able to give as much as you used to but you can still give.
Think about donating a percentage of sales or even crocheting an extra hat each time someone orders one. Give the extra one to the local hospital, shelter, or orphanage.
You did it!
I’m interested in Contract Crochet – Maker – Crochet for Hire
Whether you want to contract your skills out locally or online, know that YOU can do this as part of your business. If you want to work with designers I recommend joining Crochet Guild of America. You can learn so much by being a member.
I also recommend attending the Crochet Conference (hosted yearly by the Guild) allows you to meet designers, learn from, and network with those in the industry.
I’m interested in designing patterns – Self-publishers or those seeking to Publish in a Magazine or Book
Looking to design crochet patterns? (see CreateCrochetPatterns.com for a beginners guide) Do you want to self-publish on Ravelry, Craftsy, or Etsy? or Maybe you’d like more information on submitting your patterns to print publications like CrochetWorld or Crochet Today?
Looking to publish on Kindle or maybe a print book? I did a Twitter Chat on beginning crochet pattern design in January 2013. Read the notes or follow along by entering #crochetbusiness in your Twitter search bar.
I’m interested in Selling my work Etsy shop owners, Artfire, Craft Fairs, etc
Selling your crochet online or offline at markets and fairs is one way to earn money with your crochet. Read Crochet Business Interviews from Georgia of the Hat Factory, Emily of Knit Till Death, Liz of Playin’ Hooky Designs
- Book Review: Pricing Crochet Fairly for Maximum Profit by Sedruola Maruska of Yarn Obsessions
- Read Craft Show Preparation Series
- Read Before Selling Crochet 5 FAQ’s
I’m interested in providing my work wholesale or piece work
Looking to find retail shops to carry your product? You’ll find information on this topic soon.
Do you currently wholesale your products? I’d love toyou or have you on as a guest author.
I’m interested in Teaching crochet
Ready to start sharing your talent with others? Great. The simplest way to get started is to Just Do It. Yes, that’s right. If you have the skills you can teach just about anyone to crochet. Need more details on how to run a teaching business? Read crochet business interview from Ali of Get Hooked on Crochet.
I’m interested in providing supplies to the crochet business owner Suppliers
Do you spin your own yarn? Maybe you just dye special batches of awesome colorways? Doesn’t matter. Crochet businesses need their suppliers and we love you dearly.
I’m interested in writing and blogging about crochet
Do you write or blog about crochet? Do you want to? I’ve been blogging since 2007 and writing online since 2005.
- New to Blogging? I highly recommend Cafe’ Blogelina’s Hot Spot – Monthly membership, includes 7 days of freebies, & video tutorials, eClasses, and support
- Hook to Heal the latest Project from Crochet Blogger and Writer Kathryn Vercillo
- Product Recommendation: Smart Curation Skills (affiliate link)
None of the above but I would love to Support other crocheters- Mentors, Coaches, Web Designers, Graphic Artists, Virtual Assistants and Editors
Running a crochet business takes more than making product. There is an online site to maintain, business records, taxes, attorneys, coaches and tech editors. No matter how you support the crocheter you are welcome to share your tips and advice either in an interview or as a guest author.
- Cafe’ Blogelina is my recommended resource for transferring from Blogger to Word Press (she helped with this blog)
- Julia Neiman is a Business Coach catering to Teens and Young Adult Entrepreneurs Read her Guest Post about LinkedIn
- Sedruola Maruksa Small Business Coach specializing in Crochet Business
- Crochet Business Newsletter – Receive blog updates each Sunday plus emails on sales, business blogging tips, and other cool resources for your crochet blog. Gift: 5 Ways to Identify Your Crochet Niche
- Crochet Mastermind Group – Crochetville owners Amy and Donna run this group and will get you started or help you in your existing business.
- Sedruola Maruka is a Mentor, Coach, and Social Media Consultant (specializes in crochet business) She has a great FREE resource for those just starting out – click that link for more information.
- Join Crochet Guild of America – a great resource for all things crochet.