How to Make a Full-Time Income Crocheting
Commissions are a great way to start to start your business and the word of mouth you can get from this is incredible. Now starting out this won't pay your bills most likely I mean there's always those exceptions to the general rules. You can do this obviously by telling your friends about it and having them tell people and etc. You can make fliers and post them in places you would think someone who would like a nice crocheted item would go. Places would include areas you think new moms would frequent, grandmas, and middle aged women, though this is depending on what kind of items you crochet. If you make baby blankets you'll want to post your fliers and adds in day cares, laundromats, and restaurant boards if you can post there. If you crochet fandom hats in custom colors then places you would think young adults or members of that fandom would frequent. Your specific crochet niche defines where you will want to be posting ads and fliers and how you will want to spread your word about your new business.
The pros of using this method is typically no two people will want exactly the same item so you will be able to branch out and learn new techniques and you will always be creating something new. This kind of business there's also no cost for rent and now shipping fee. If you live in a large enough area where there's many people who would go to you doing this with fliers could make you a full income, though I do say that tentatively as it would be hard and very time consuming.
The downside to this particular method is that you will have to be able to adapt to what your customers want as the customer will be giving you your instructions. Other than that this a great way to begin your business, but it should be combined with other techniques as word of mouth may not earn you a full time income if you do not have enough traffic asking for your items. You're also kind of limited to what the customer wants and you can't be too creative.
Online retail site
Another way you can make money with your crocheted items is by creating an account on an online retail store that will take care of certain specifics for you. Many of these stores are free to join though some do require a listing fee or you can create a premium account. Theres many sites though some of the top used is etsy, zazzle, bonanza, ebay, and artfire. Each of these sites have their own unique pros and cons so you should look into them individually to see what will be best for your business, though I personally would recommend bonanza or etsy.
Pros of doing this is you will be able to reach a huge number of people as millions of people browse the internet everyday. This can get your items in places all over the world and you can gain lots of experience with this.
The downside of this method is that you will need to pay a fee typically for listing and you will need to pay a shipping charge. Though the customer does get charged for shipping shipping the item out can also be a hassle. You also have to worry about making sure you have good photography and you have to do a lot of your own advertising and many times you will have to pay for this.
Build your own website
A great way to begin earning a fulltime income is by owning your own website with your own domain. You can do this on wordpress.org where you can make a website, the best hosting service to go with for this in my opinion would be bluehost. To buy your domain and pay for hosting is an upfront cost of about 150-300$. This is because you pay for an entire year to 3 years in advance and in reality its only about 6$ a month if you buy years and 12$ if you do one year. You will have to pay for advertising and you will want to update it often so google can find your page, for that I suggest you to look up what seo is and that stands for search engine optimization and there's some great tutorials out there for people interested in learning how to do this (I suggest you do as it is vital for your store.) This is one of the best ways to be successful as it makes you look more professional and allows you to be seen as an expert in your field (especially if you have a blog as well). Out of all the ways listed this is probably the most successful to earn you a full time income if done correctly.
Pros of this is your store is completely yours, your account can't be closed, you don't have to pay listing fees, you don't have to create items to fit that specific website, nor do they have to be appropriate for the website. Aside from the start up fee and if you buy any plug in (you can find free ones but if you really love a paid one then get the paid one) that's the only cost associated with this. The layout is completely yours and you're not competing with other people on the site for attention
The downside is that you do have to pay for the entire time upfront and you have to maintain the website yourself. Any problems that arise with the website you have to take care of and you also have to design it. By design I do not mean code, using a hosting service like bluehost and a platform like wordpress you just have to decide where things go and they code for you. You also have to do your own advertising, a good way to do this though is to have a blog and a website with just slightly different urls and link to your shop through your blog.
Brick and mortar shop
A brick and mortar shop is just a small locally owned business in a certain town. This is a great way to get some interest from the community and also establish yourself there as well. Someone is much more likely to hire a commission artist who owns a store and can be found than someone off the streets that they don't know. This can also gain you a nice amount of income especially if your town has tourists and you are in a noticeable location. You will need to find a place to rent to run your business out of and get the correct licensing for your area.
The pros of using this method is you gain a lot of foot traffic, and can get you a good standing in your community which can give you good word of mouth, and you can gain lots of extra money during tourist season. You can design your store how you want and you have no one to compete with inside your business.
The downside is you can't expand outside of your town unless you pair it with owning an online business, you will always need to have enough inventory to keep your store stocked even on busy days, and if you get commissions you will be extra busy. This is also not a work at your own pace business idea as you will need to be in your store, managing your store, and upkeeping your store at all times even if you do have employees, after all it's your product that's being sold.
I'm going to start out by saying this will not be enough to earn you a full time income as they are infrequent, typically expensive to join, and does not get enough traffic to supply every booth with the money needed to pay their bills. I'm adding this to the list of ways though because when they do appear they are a great way to earn some extra cash. Another good thing about craft fairs is often times people will come from out of town to see them and you can hand out your card which can attract people to your website, store, or encourage them to contact you for a commission.
The pros of this method is you can gain exposure and possibly generate extra traffic to your site. You also don't have to pay for or worry about shipping costs just the cost of setting up your booth. Sometimes people can make in the thousands in a day at the craft fair and can hand out hundreds of cards.
The downside of this method is it will not generate you an income, in some areas they are few and far between, and the table space for ones that will get the most traffic can often times be expensive and oversaturated.