How to Make a Living Selling Your Handmade Art Online
Create a Day Job for yourself Sitting at Home
This hub is for all of us who ended up sitting around minding the home and kids and tend to wonder if we are wasting our studies, talent and life. If you are a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) who chose to give up work so that her child would not face any inconvenience read on.
You can actually create a "Day Job" for yourself as you sit at home. Learn how you can convert a talent that you have into a source of income online. Work from home and earn money selling your handmade art online.
Each of us has a God given talent that we are good at. It could be stitching, embroidery, cooking, making art and craft projects, painting, and any number of things that we consider a hobby or good time pass.
Now is the time to get that hobby and convert it into a paying job. I'm not saying that its easy and I'm not saying that its going to happen over night. But yes I can assure you that if you spend about an hour each day working on this project you will be able to quantifiable results.
3 Steps to Creating an Online Buisness using Handmade Art
For the sake of simplicity I'm going to consider making Handmade Cards as the basis for the online business that you are about to start. This does not mean that you can not sell any other form of handmade art online, you can. This is just for illustrative purposes.
So let's see how you go from being a Stay at Home Mom to a Work at Home Mom (WHAM) sitting in the comfort of your home. Here are the three basic steps that you need to follow to get your Homemade Card Business off the ground.
Step 1 - Have an Inventory
It stands to reason that you can not sell something that you do not have. So it is important to have a basic inventory in stock before you decide to begin sales. So work on your handmade cards and have about 20 pieces ready to ship out before you decide that you are ready to go into business.
Do remember that you may have to produce the same item on an order so try and work up multiple products if possible. If you have only one of a kind pieces do have them in enough numbers for a person who may want to buy in bulk. The inventory your keep will be dependent on the response your shopping site gets.
In the meanwhile do not go gifting away parts of your inventory to friends and relatives saying that you can always make it again. Trust me you will not get around to doing it. So make sure you have enough storage space to keep this business related inventory separately.
Step 2 - Have an Outlet for Sales
Selling online can be done in two ways. You can either have your own website and set it up as a online e-commerce shop. This virtual shop will showcase all your products and your potential clients can come in and place orders on the website. The down side is that you will have to probably look after the website maintenance and deal with coding on your own. This can be daunting to someone who is not conversant with computer programing and ways of online selling.
The second way to start selling online is by joining an established online virtual shop such as E-Bay or Etsy. Here you have the advantage of not having to hunt for customers. These sites already have a number of people shopping on them and your product will be instantly visible to these people. The small monthly fee or per item fee that the site charges is usually not too much and can be easily recovered with some sales.
It would be better for a new comer to start on an established site and then wing off onto their own virtual shop after they have developed a certain amount of fixed clientele.
Step 3 - Promote your Online Shop
No matter which way you decide to set out with your own website or renting a virtual shop space with an established selling agent you will need to promote your products. This can be done in a number of interesting ways online.
Here is a quick list of what all you can do.
1 Get a free blog
You can begin a free blog on blogger, wordpress or live journal. This can have you writing about the product and showcasing new art as you create it. The blog will need to be promoted in the right niche forums and you will have a fixed number of people interested in the same things coming to take a look at your products. Make sure you link the blog to your virtual shop. Also have a contact form for people who would like to place a customized order with you.
2 Advertise on related forums
Participating in forum discussions related to your product is a good way to prove your expertise. You can also get more followers for your blog this way. Plus after some time you become a respected member of the online community. The forum posts also offer a good way to backlink to your own blog and help improve its page ranking in search engines.
The world works on advertising and so you should not be afraid of advertising your own products. Naturally when you are just starting off you will not have a very large budget and so you should stick to proven advertising campaigns such as Google Adwords. This helps you target your audience and gain good response for the money you invest.
3 Create videos showing how you make the product
The people who are interested in your product will also be interested in seeing just how it is made. You need to create simple videos and images of your work and place them on sites such as YouTube. This will also find your art getting better coverage online. The search engines that give a mixed response with articles and videos will hone in on your videos for your specific key words. This will again improve the chances of your sales.
4 Use Social Media sites to up the traffic
A number of social media sites can be used to promote your web shop. However that will take a lot of time and effort on your part as you will not be hiring a social media expert to set up the campaign for you. So what you should do is focus your attention on one or two social media sites and build a network.
Personally I feel that Facebook is a great place to start promoting your site. Similar sites exist for specific niches. So look for a site that deals with the kind of handmade art that you make and also has a resident community. Then join the site and make your presence felt.