Side Hustle Crafting (or: Form 1040, Line 21)

2017 Etsy Amazon Smashwords Earnings
Not my best year ever…

There’s something oddly annoying about sitting down to do taxes and realizing you only made a little over a hundred dollars (gross) in the last year from creative things.

I am a hobby crafter, after all, and not chasing the moola for realz… but now I’m getting the itch to see if I can’t turn my hobby back into an income stream that gets beyond three digits. Which means I’m getting out of the realm of hobby income again.

And that means I’m going to have to re-register as a small business and that requires me finding a way to be profitable, because I didn’t do the best job of that last time.

So first things first: How much money do I need to make in order for it to be worth my time to make money?

Money is Time is awesome! is awesome!

Doing all of the business paperwork is a pain. Sure, it’s normally fun because I love spreadsheets and forecasting and all that jazz… but only when I turn a profit. In those months where I don’t sell anything, having to file paperwork with nothing but zeros on it is pretty depressing. I want my side hustle to be fun, not work! (Well, I mean it’s still work, it’s just fun work.)

So let’s say that in order for it to be worth my time, I need to be making $500 gross a month. That’s not going to stay $500 for long of course, since I have materials and overhead and fees and taxes… but it’s enough that it should make calculating all those numbers fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

Research, Thy Name is ‘Net

I haven’t made $500 in a year in a while, so this is going to take some research and experimentation. Thankfully I have a giant internet full of a thousand articles on just that topic! Which makes this… one more series of articles I guess?

Everything I try (marketing, taxes, photos, etc.) will be done in true experimental fashion. You’ll see the good, the bad, the ugly… the spreadsheets! *dramatic music*

…I may love spreadsheets a little too much…


I’ll be starting out from zero and building the tools I need as I go. I’ll post information here on how to make the tools yourself and I’ll also be offering finished tools for cheap, since I figure newbies will all be just as broke as I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I hit each new income tier I’ll be trying out some paid offerings to see if there is a better solution out there. So one day there will be a ‘is Tailwind worth the money?’ post on the ‘net that I’ll actually believe… ’cause I wrote it. (Skeptical of people urging me to spend money… who, me?)

I’m also going to be building a library of the useful resources that I find along the way: blogs, websites, courses, books, etc.

I will totally not be building a related Library Of Wasted Money because that would just be petty. …maybe.

Anywho… ONWARDS! ๐Ÿ˜€

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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