Category Archives: Microbusiness

I’ve moved from a true microbusiness to a hobby, but I’m still having fun crunching numbers to find material costs, looking into various marketing ideas, and other things business related. Older posts deal with taxes, and who knows, maybe in the future I’ll start the business up again!

Canva and the Art of Design

By | November 16, 2017
Canva vs Me

Canva vs. Me

I may be a passable artist, but I am a horrible, horrible graphic designer. (As anyone who had to suffer through my attempts at designing eBook covers is well aware.)

Thankfully I got extremely lucky and stumbled across Canva which has kindly led me out of the darkness and into the social media acceptable light.

Since they’ve made such a big impact on me, I thought I’d drop them a blog post and share the love in case anyone else hasn’t found them yet! 🙂

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The Etsy Relaunch That Wasn’t

By | November 7, 2017
Etsy Listing Rotation

Technicolor Business Plans!

I had grand plans (and grand spreadsheets!) about an October relaunch of the Etsy store… that just didn’t happen. Between the craft fair and a bunch of other chaos, I never had the time to sit down and revamp the listings like I wanted to.

And I don’t really have the time this month either, which means I’ll miss out on the winter holiday rush. (Apparently most Etsy stores do a good portion of their sales in this timeframe, but historically I haven’t seen that big a bump. So I’m a little bummed, but not horribly.)

However, it does make me wonder about how I really want to go about the relaunch.

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Taking a Break from Commission Work

By | September 28, 2017

Body Box Trade

There were only two new things I committed to working on this year: a beta read of a young adult novel and a group of model horse customs (the Body Box trade).

To date, I’ve finished neither. I’ve still got a fourth of the year to go and I’m going to do my best to finish both, but that is going to take up a lot of my free time and all my creative energy (outside of NaNoWriMo), so I’m offically throwing in the towel.

As of now I am not taking any new commission work for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018. Or until I sort myself out. I’ll be updating my Etsy listings to reflect this as I audit them in October and I apologize if anyone had been planning on requesting a commission for the holidays. 🙁

If you have work/projects with me, they will get done (I promise!), but I figured it was past time to admit that I’m not a good person to take timed commissions with. *sighs*

Playing the Pinterest Game via ViralWoot

By | September 24, 2017

Viralwoot Free

I’ve been slowly making my site a bit more Pinterest friendly since a lot of my traffic comes in on the Molding & Casting posts. I’d love to be pulling in more traffic from my other pins, but the main problem I have with Pinterest is that I’m just not a good pinner… I do enjoy browsing pins now and then, but it’s not something I spend my idle time doing. Thus when it comes to the golden rule of Pinterest (Pin Awesome Things Frequently), I’m not very good at it.

Time to fix that! 🙂

I tried out the free trial of Tailwind and while awesome, it costs $119 per year to use and that’s more than my budget will allow. Viralwoot is a little harder to use, but has a free tier that I think will work… which means it’s time for some planning. *does a small planning dance of glee*

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Building a KDP Select Bookshelf

By | August 10, 2017
Chasing Kindle Unlimited KDP Select

Chasing Kindle Unlimited! (KDP Select)

I’ve been meaning to put together a prompt book (or two) for KDP Select, but they demand exclusivity and all of my previous prompt collections were made of things already posted on the blog. Even the new prompt books I had been working on were designed to be blog-friendly, so those are also out of the running.

What I do have is all of the old Custom Story Prompt books that I’ve never reused.

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Etsy Auto-Renewal and Other Broken Things

By | July 23, 2017
Etsy Auto Renewal Failure

Etsy Auto-renewal is full of lies!

Remember my grand plan about working with the Etsy listings so they would fall into a pattern of one listing renewing every day? Well apparently I should have done a little more research into the actual functionality of the auto-renew first. *sighs*

The ‘auto-renew’ date is more of a ‘will renew within 48 hours after this date’ marker than anything concrete. Add that to the fact I’ll be focusing in on the body box trade for the next month and it looks like the ‘hands-free’ date of August 25th is a no-go. So… new plans! 🙂

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How to Make a Paper Gift Box

By | July 12, 2017
Handmade Cardstock Box for Magnets

Fair Winds and Following Seas– err, boxes!

Historically I’ve been bad about presentation when shipping things. Those who’ve ordered from me in the past know that my packing methods consist mainly paper towels and scrunched newspaper. So now I’m on a quest to make cheap boxes and upgrade my game a little! 🙂

My first thought was just to grab for a paper mache box or a white box just goes against the grain. (And I really don’t have the space to store a bulk order, nor the sales volume. Although this one is really tempting. *sighs*)

So off to the drawing board!

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New Etsy Goals for July

By | June 26, 2017
Etsy Historical View and Visits

2012 to 2017… and onwards!

July is another Camp NaNoWriMo attempt, so a lot of time will be spent writing prose… but I don’t want to let up on my Etsy improvements! 🙂

I’ve been spending a bunch of time reading up on the various tips and tricks for bringing in more traffic (and thus more sales). Thus far the one thing everyone agrees on is you need a decent number of listings that renew on a regular basis in order to rank well.

So for July I’m going to be focusing on a few things:

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Costing out the Resin Magnets

By | May 5, 2017
Fat Pony Magnets on a Postal Scale

Herds and herds of horses!

Now that I have a pile of resin magnets ready to go, it’s time to start figuring out their actual costs so I can get all the prices in the Etsy store updated! 🙂

Much like the plaster magnets most of my resin magnets are tiny, so measuring how many ml of resin were used is a no go. So instead, I went with an average weight of the finished magnets (minus the actual magnets).

To get the weight of each magnet I piled a bunch of the same casts onto a postal scale and then calculated the average. For those magnets that I have less than three of, I’m weighing them with other animals of a similar size.

Going forward I’m hoping to sit down and make a 10 item batch of each mold to measure exactly how many ml are used and get a good average weight.

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Rethinking Etsy

By | April 13, 2017
Etsy Shop Stats for May 2016 to April 2017

Long Time, No Traffic

I’ve been all kinds of horrible about adding new work to the Etsy and the statistics over the last year show that pretty clearly. I have the listings set to auto-renew every four months, but if I want more traffic to the store, I need to do more than sit back and watch.

Etsy listings last 120 days and I can (and have) set them up to auto-renew. This means instead of a full year’s worth of listing I only have to get four months worth (120 days) up and running.

I’ve got 47 to work this… so this will be a bit of an adventure! 😉

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