How to Monetize a Craft Blog

Hey there sea changers… Many of my recent posts have discussed how to get yourself started with an online business. One question that often arises, especially within hobby niches such as this, is that once we have a blog up and running, how can we monetize it? You see in many cases, we build ourselves a little website and then start adding content such as blog posts and videos to it simply because it is our passion. Within the arts and crafts niche, it might start with pictures of a painting that you have done, a blanket that you have crocheted or even a video you have uploaded on how to prepare clay for pottery.

Then, as the website begins to take off and people interact with it, we start to think about how we can turn our little hobby into something that can make us money. So if that is a question you are asking yourself then welcome to my post on how to monetize a craft blog.

Before we begin however it is important to note that you may not want, or need, to set all of these up right now. Some may not be viable and some may not be accessible if your site is new, or not generating a lot of traffic as yet – but you can certainly keep these options in mind as your site starts to grow.

So grab a drink, a notebook and let's see how we can make some money…

Note: This post is assuming that you have a working a website, blog or social media account within the arts and crafts niche (or any niche for that matter really) and are looking to generate income from within it. If you need assistance with the development of an affiliate marketing or online business website, click here.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Our first method, affiliate marketing, can be an extremely lucrative option within this niche as there are just so many craft related accessories and consumables that you can promote and sell. Affiliate Marketing is the process of earning commissions based on the promotion of arts and crafts equipment that is sold directly via the vendor. In short, the process works as follows:

  1. You find vendors that sell the products that you like and join their affiliate program.
  2. Write your posts with references to the products that you use.
  3. Place affiliate links within these posts that readers can click on to purchase the products that you recommend.
  4. The reader clicks on these links to purchase the products directly from the vendor.
  5. You earn a commission for the sale.

There are a good number of arts and crafts affiliate programs available in a number of areas such as painting, knitting, pottery and woodworking. To find them, simply type “affiliate: niche” into your search engine such as:

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Knitting Affiliate Programs - Affiliate

From here you can search through and find programs that:

  • Relate to your niche/problems that you are solving.
  • Have quality products – your brand can be severely damaged if you promote poor quality product.
  • Have solid payment and customer service arrangement.
  • Pay decent commissions.
  • Have good testimonials covering commission payouts and quality of product.

How is revenue earned?

The trick here is to attract readers to your site via the provision of information and solving problems. If your site is fairly mature, think about the posts that are generating traffic and match products to that. Let's use an example:

Say you have written a post about the processes required to paint a landscape piece. With affiliate marketing you would now simply add an outline of the equipment (brushes, paint, easels etc.) you have used with links off to the vendor affiliate program included within the post. That way, your readers will read your post (remember – they are already coming to your site as they are interested in your information) and then take your advice to purchase your recommended products.

There are a number of posts you can write which work well with affiliate links within the arts and crafts niche including:

  • Product reviews – such as reviews of different sewing machines etc.
  • How to‘ posts and lists – such as “How to knit a sweater in a weekend”.
  • Products rankings and comparisons of products from different companies etc.
  • Process information outlines – e.g. discussing best times to fire pottery etc.
  • Tips, tricks, hints and other general information.

As discussed above, money is then earned by placing affiliate links to merchant/vendor sales pages within these posts. If your website visitor then chooses to make a purchase, they click on the link for redirection to the vendor site which processes and manages the sale, delivery and customer service requirements. Commissions are then paid to you as the website owner based on that sale.

When to action

Affiliate links can be loaded to a website as soon as it has been setup or a post written. Some affiliate merchants however will not accept you into their programs until your site generates a certain amount of traffic. Others, such as Amazon, will accept you immediately but on a trial basis which is terminated if you do not drive at least 3 sales to their site within the first 180 days.

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2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is another method that you may use to sell products via your website if you are looking to play with pricing (price can be a big seller in this niche). This process is similar to affiliate marketing in that you are generally promoting the products of others without the need to actually hold any inventory. With affiliate marketing, you are paid a commission on whatever price the vendor sets but do not manage any customer service, sales processes or post sales requirements. The main difference with dropshipping, is that you perform the following (there are a number of variations to this but this is the guist of it):

  • Strike a relationship with a wholesaler.
  • Promote the product for whatever price you see fit – often via a marketplace site such as Shopify, Amazon or Ebay.
  • Manage the sales processes and customer service.
  • Send the final order and payment to the wholesaler for packaging and shipping.

The money that you make is effectively the difference between whatever you managed to sell the product for and the wholesale price that you owe the vendor. The other advantages of dropshipping over affiliate marketing is that:

  • You own the customer list – which is another means of building an effective email list (see option 5 below).
  • You control the cost of the product and hence the profit margins.
  • You can control when you put things on ‘sale’, group them in packages or increase the price for high demand items.

The disadvantages however are the extra workload in handling payment and any ongoing customer service requirements.

To find dropshipping suppliers online, you can enter searches such as “dropship: niche” into your favourite search engine:

Scrapbooking Affiliate Programs - Affiliate

Note: These results will usually be based on your geographical location.

From here you can search through and find programs that:

  • Offer dropshipping services – Not all product suppliers offer dropshipping as a service – this may just mean that you need to organise the shipping yourself after it is delivered to you.
  • Have experience and are helpful – If they are not helpful and/or appear inexperienced then you can expect the same when you are trying to process sales.
  • Have acceptable fees – most dropshipping wholesalers will charge a small fee for the dropshipping service – just make sure it is not so high that it eats into your profit margins.
  • Provide fast shipping – One disadvantage with dropshipping when dealing with vendors is that the customer is yours, not theirs hence sometimes shipping priorities are not where they should be – make sure shipping times are acceptable.
  • Have quality products – as with affiliate marketing, don’t sell rubbish.
  • Have a good name – do your research and see what others are saying about them.

How is revenue earned?

In general, the process here is the same as affiliate marketing in that you attract readers to your site via the provision of information and solving problems. The difference then is that you direct them to internal sales pages within your website rather than directly to the vendor.

Money is then earned as per the process above where the reader pays you for the product and you then pay the vendor for the product, shipping costs and processing fees etc. Your profit then is obviously the different between the payment that you receive and the total amount you pay the vendor to ship the product.

When to action

Again, as with affiliate marketing, sales pages and links can be loaded to a website as soon as it has been setup or a post written. The prerequisites of drop shipping companies however are similar to affiliate merchants in that they may not accept you into their programs until your site generates a certain amount of traffic or if they don't feel that your site truly reflects their brand.

3. Whitelabeling

Should you prefer to control all of the sales and shipping process yourself, or have a good supplier, then maybe you could try whitelabeling. Whitelabeling is the process in which you purchase ‘brandless’ equipment and/or consumables (paints, wools, cottons etc.) from a vendor, add your own label and then on-sell them via your website. This process works really well if you are looking at the clothing or consumable side of the arts and crafts niche and with a large array of wholesalers available there really are some great opportunities here.

To find these, simply search for “wholesale: niche” for results as follows:

Sell Arts and Crafts Online - Arts and crafts wholesale

How is revenue earned?

This process requires much higher setup costs as you will need to purchase your products, create and affix your labels and manage orders and shipment to mirror basic retail operations where you:

  1. Source your products and add labels.
  2. Write about the products, their benefits, uses and problem solving capabilities.
  3. Provide links where customers can purchase them via sales pages on your own site or marketplace sites (Amazon, Shopify etc.).

The disadvantage here over affiliate marketing is that you will need to do all of the work in regards to packaging, shipping, sales and customer service. However on the plus side, you do hold the ability to set your own price meaning you can increase and decrease as demand rises and falls.

When to action

Obviously this method can be organised at any time that suits you and your website. Some actually create their websites with their own products ready to sell whilst others add to established blogs. The choice really is yours here but I guess the thing to keep in mind is that you may not want to, or have the financial means to keep a lot of stock on hand until your site starts to make some cash.

Tip: One method that can be very effective in driving online traffic and sales is via the implementation of more traditional sales methods such as kiosks and market stalls etc. As people see and try your products, they can purchase from you there and then be directed to your website for future sales.

4. Sell your own products

Alternatively, if you are a little talented on the handy side of things then you can make and sell your own products via your site. And I mean if ever there was a niche that was absolutely suited to the online sale of self-made products then this is it. By design, the outcomes of the processes being discussed here are items that can be on sold including:

  • Paintings
  • Pots
  • Blankets
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Scrapbooking templates
  • Home Decor

And that is just off the top of my head… But you get the picture (haha no pun intended). If you make something then why not add it to your site to make some money.

How is revenue earned?

This process is similar to our whitelabelling outline above in that you will need to create your products, create and affix your labels and manage orders. Although if you are starting out you can work this on a ‘make as you go' scenario in order to utilise customer payments to source base requirements and parts.

When to action

Again as above, this method can be organised at any time that suits you and your website.

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5. Placing ads on your site

Should you not wish to actually sell products on your site, placing advertising on your pages and posts can be a good way of making some passive income if your website has some decent traffic. The trick here obviously is to have enough advertising on your site to make some income, but not so much that your site just becomes annoying or worse, unreadable. There are a number of ways that you can make money from advertising on your page, including:

Pay per click ads

Pay per click ads are placed on your site or within search engine results based on the interests, internet use/search history, search behaviour and/or location of the reader. This process is managed via the addition of pay per click banner ads. Banners are placed on your website and are shown to readers as they view your page and posts. You, as the owner of the site can generally determine how many ads are incorporated and what they look like but not on what types of ads they are. You are then paid a commission each time a reader clicks on the ad.

Companies that manage this form of advertising include:

  • Google Adsence – Google’s website ad product.
  • Microsoft Advertising – Bing and Yahoo service.
  • Infolinks – Offers both website ads and in post ‘text’ ads – these are where they place ads within your posts on relevant keywords – keyword ads are usually double underlined.

Selling page space

These ads work in a similar fashion to pay per click ads however in these instances you are actually selling space on your site for more permanent advertising. These ads pay a higher commission but do not change based on the online behaviours of your readers. Companies offering this type of advertising include:

Using Ads to sell products

Alternatively, if you are selling products (your own knitted sweaters for example) then you may wish to set up your advertising where links to your site are displayed at the top of search engine results pages based on the searches undertaken by the reader. If their searches match your chosen keywords (“best sewing machines for canvas” for example), then your site will be placed at the top of search engine results. This option really only works if you have saleable options on your page as unlike banner advertising, you will be charged a fee every time a reader clicks on the link to access your site – anywhere between $0.01 and $100 depending on the popularity of the keyword and competition.

Social Media Advertising

This can also be a good way to increase traffic to your site and sales pages as well. Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest will allow you to place advertisements to boost your online presences and drive sales .

How is revenue earned?

This one is simple – each time a reader clicks on your ad, you either get paid or redirect a reader directly to your purchase (money) pages to increase your chances of sales. If I am being honest, these advertising processes are generally a set-and-forget type scenario as they really do not generate any real income until your site starts to generate serious traffic.

As an example, on one site I placed 3 ads from Google adsence once it reached abut 200 monthly viewers and it made about $1 per month. However, for another (currently running at about 3000 views per month), I paid $25 to place my site at the top of search engines and generated an extra 2000 clicks per week generating an extra $230 in sales.

When to action

Generally, the advertising brokers will not accept your site unless there is some traffic generated to it. I started at 200 monthly viewers but it is really up to you when you start. My main recommendation however would be to really consider where you want to have ads placed on your site – especially if it is new and you are still tweaking the set out.

monetize a craft blog - stripe

6. Email lists

Email lists are one of the most effective means of generating revenue for you and your website. This is because once you have the ability to send your readers a direct email, you are able to then promote products or outline promotions and special deals directly to them without the need for them to search and locate your site. In general, you will need to do the following (in extremely abbreviated steps):

  1. Set up your email autoresponder and email list. Common Autoresponders include Aweber, iContact and Mailchimp.
  2. Add an ‘optin' to your website with an incentive to join (many sites give away products, e-Books, information guides etc. for free in return for their email address).
  3. Send emails to your list with extra information, bonuses and sales offers/promotions.

Note: It is critical that you only send emails to those who have ‘opted in' to your email list via your website or social media. Unsolicited emails are known as SPAM and generally not accepted or appreciated by those who receive them and can do your website and brand irreparable damage. Autoresponders will also cancel your service if they think that you are spamming.

How is revenue earned?

Revenue is not actually earned via the emails as such rather provide the opportunity for higher sales due to the ability to market directly to your reader list.

monetize a craft blog - stripe 2

When to action

Most seasoned online marketers will tell you to wait until you are generating a decent amount of traffic before setting up this type of marketing. This is usually for two reasons:

  1. The cost of the autoresponder software – If you have a new site that is not earning any revenue then this might be a cost that you don't really need at this point. There are however some free ones out there with limited functionality.
  2. You don't yet have anything to offer – With so many websites and social media platforms out there, readers are becoming more and more hesitant to give out their email address information for fear of receiving yet another raft of emails. Unless you have a pre-prepared product such as some free consumables, templates/patterns or training materials you may not have the necessary means yet to lure someone to sign up.

That said, as with all other traffic reliant revenue raising methods here, if you feel your site is ready for it, give it a shot.

7. Build a Social Media following

One problem that many face when dealing with the online sales within the arts and crafts niche is the struggle to clearly demonstrate how some of the products work (such as hot glue on materials for example) or how to set your clay for firing in a kiln etc. Think of any video or TV show you have ever watched to do with arts and crafts. They spend just as much time explaining the preparation, measurement and cutting as they do actually completing the task – all things that can severely affect your ability to be successful in your endeavours. So if you are selling anything to do with arts and crafts, then social media can assist you in this manner.

It has the power to reach thousands and allows you to target specific segments if you choose the correct platform. In terms of an arts and crafts blog, if you are looking to set yourself up as an expert within the niche, then programs such as Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest will be your go to option. This is great for visuals such as pictures and/or videos showing you making your crafts as well as:

  • Using the tools and accessories that you are discussing within your posts.
  • Preparing and storing materials such as paints or clay etc.
  • Machine maintenance
  • Demonstration of different stitches, brush strokes and patterns etc.

And that is obviously just the tip of the iceberg. Also, if you are able to build a following you may even get noticed and be paid gazillions to use certain brands within your pics and videos – this takes time, but it does happen…

So… if you are handy with a camera then this does make a lot of crafty bloggers a good income via the following process:

  1. Take amazing photos and/or videos of your crafting exploits.
  2. Upload these to Social Media (Instagram and YouTube are popular within the food niche).
  3. Gain a good following because your photos and videos of you undertaking your crafts are so amazing.

How is revenue earned?

In the main, funds are earned via the addition of website, affiliate or sales page links within your social media posts. However, as your following starts to grow, you can then become what is commonly known as an ‘influencer’. Influencers then earn their cash via:

  • Product placement.
  • Wearing, using or reviewing products in their social media or website posts.
  • Linking or adding hashtags for various companies on their posts.
  • Adding advertising banners to their social media (as above).

When to action

The advantage here is that social media is free however building a following takes time meaning it is never too early to get started – so start taking photos and videos now and get them uploaded.

Conclusion

So there it is. Some fairly solid methods that you can utilise to monetize your arts and crafts based website. As always, keep in mind that making money online is a long term process so just because you have some of these revenue earners on your site, it doesn't mean that you will see any immediate income. As always, patience is the key.

Have you tried any of the above methods? What worked well for you? What didn't work so well? Please share below.

Do you need some extra assistance with the right ways to monetise your own arts and crafts related blog or do you need help in creating your very own affiliate marketing website?

If you are looking for a comprehensive training platform that can give you step by step tuition with the tools to develop and host your very own website, help to identify a good niche, content or keywords, assistance with managing affiliate programs, 24/7 support and access to some of the best affiliate marketing minds on the planet, then click on the graphic below to access your free starter membership – no credit card required.

Want to know more first? Then click on the following link to read more about Wealthy Affiliate.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

Note: If you make a purchase from this page, there is a very good chance that I make a commission from it – these commissions do not increase your sale price.

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Hey there, my name is Paul and I am the owner and founder of Make That Sea Change.  I spent 30 years in a cubicle working the 9 to 5 grind and just wanted to live at the beach.  I was lucky enough to achieve that with the help of my wife and our new Pilates studio.

Then I decided to help fund my new sea change with some affiliate marketing.  I joined Wealthy Affiliate, and as they say, the rest is history.

Let me know how I can help you fund your sea change today!

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