Of Profit Motives and Other Failures

2020 Crafting Microbusiness Woes

I love spreadsheets, I really do!

But I love them a lot less when they ruthlessly point out that my attempts at being a profitable crafting microbusiness are failing hard this year.

2020 being what it is, I’m hoping to end the year just a little less in the hole than my projections are showing. (And yes, that’s a whopping $9.41 of income from the ebooks so far. My one Etsy sale is not in the spreadsheet yet and it doesn’t move the needle.)

Edit: While writing this post I was forced to change hosting from BlueHost to SiteGround because BlueHost was constantly timing out and Pinterest and Google were starting to stop sending me traffic. So there’s another $150 down the drain. (Yikes!)

So if I want to break even in the last four months of the year, I’ll need to earn roughly $150 a month… which means I need to get cracking!

Art for Art’s Sake

Multi Magnet Variety Photo

I am not doing the UCP Craft Fair this year, thanks to COVID crashing the party and I have washed my hands of Etsy… so it’s time to get my shop stocked!

Almost everything is photographed and I have decided to abandon my ‘professional’ level goal in favor of a more personable (and less stressful) setup.

I have the following on the checklist for the store:

  • Fat Animal Magnets: Ponies, Unicorns, Pegasi, Foxes, Owls, Hedgehogs, Buffalo, Dragons, etc.
  • Wooden magnets: Butterflies, Horses, Beach Crosses, Dolphins, Birds,etc.
  • Plaster magnets: Draft Heads, Leaping Ponies, Dragon Tiles, etc.
  • Resin Ornaments: Reindeer, Blue Jay, Cardinal, Draft & Shetland, etc.
  • Stablemate scale: Bases and removable fencing
  • Micro mini scale: Bases (and non-removable fencing)
  • Custom Breyer Stablemates and Micro Minis
  • Paint Your Own kits (plaster and resin)
  • Cardstock: Gift Boxes, Tiny Cards, Tiny Books, etc.

So lots to come and not much time to get it all up before the holiday season kicks into overdrive…

Prompts For Everyone!

Writing Prompt eBooks

As you noticed above, the ebooks haven’t brought in much this year.

While they’ve never been that large of an income stream, they’re normally a bit better than this. The drop-off is probably because I haven’t been advertising them at all and I also haven’t been releasing new ones each month.

I’m going to focus on getting back on track for the book-a-month goal and also revamp and re-release some of the larger yearly collections. I have several of those in the old format, they just need to be updated.

I’m also going to start playing around with the ‘free’ period that Amazon offers. I already did one week for 31 Days of Dreams and it will be interesting to see if I get any sort of corresponding bump in sales.

The Eyes Have It

2020 Social Media Tally

So let’s say I have the store properly stocked and the ebooks waiting on the Amazon bookshelf… I still need to find folks that want to take them home!

And that means it’s time to break out my Marketing hat again! (sigh)

Now that BlueHost is no longer tanking my traffic scores (I went from a 65 page speed score to an 87 just by changing to SiteGround!) it’s time to spread my social media wings.

But… it means I get to play with more spreadsheets, so win? 😅🤣

I’m going to start tracking again today and pushing out updates as I get the books and artwork up for folks to buy. I’ll be checking in again in a bit to share what (if anything) I’ve learned!

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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