Making money with a craft blog: The SewMcCool Blogging Experiment

Crysanthemum ribbon bows

I’m a little nosey. Sometimes I pretend that I’m not, because being nosey isn’t a necessarily a favorable personality trait.  But….I am. If curiosity killed the cat, then I’ve used up at least 7 lives by now. I’ve always wondered….is it possible to start making money with a craft blog?

Do you wonder this too?

I’m going to try to satisfy your curiosity. At least for a year. I’m giving this brand-spankin’ new blog my best effort and will analyze if time eventually equals money. Each month in 2014 I’ll outline the steps I took toward monetizing this blog, and list goals for the following month.

I’ll also tell you – *gasp!* – what I earned from the blog the previous month.

I started this blog in December 2013, and I earned…..drumroll please…….

A total of 79 cents from an affiliate link! Yay, me! Too bad it’s not an even dollar or I’d hang one on my dining room wall, where I currently keep my office. But it’s not. So that 0.79 will stay in the change jar.

Sewmccool computer screen

My general plans for this year include writing an average of 3 posts per week, with one being a well-photographed project or how-to tutorial in the fiber-arts field. Sewing, quilting, ribbon crafts, fabric dyeing. You get the picture. The other two posts per week will be craft-/sewing-business related, (since I’ve been around the DIY crafting business block since 2006), book reviews, interviews, the occasional giveaway, new pattern announcements….that sort of thing.

Purple quilt block

I’d love to be able to promise that I’ll blog more often than three times a week, but I also plan to continue designing patterns for my Birdsong pattern line….finish loose ends as editors and I complete my ribbon book….write and submit a new book proposal….teach sewing classes….hang out with my family….eat, sleep, exercise and generally be a human.

To gear up for this BloggingPalooza, I went to the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City in September 2013 to learn from people who are already living the blogging life. After getting my blog designed by the fabulous Kendra of Key Lime Digital Designs, my old posts migrated here from my former Blogspot blog by Joy of 5J’s Design, signing up for PicMonkey for crazy-awesome-quick photo editing, and other affiliate programs, I set to work.

From Dec. 6-Dec. 27 I wrote 8 posts that brought in 2,248 visitors, with 3,469 page views and an average stay of 1:09 minutes. And I earned that 79 cents.

Lots of room for improvement.

For January, in addition to writing and photographing the tutorials and posts you’ll actually see, I need to work on a drop-down menu structure so you can more easily find the types of posts you’re searching for. I’ll also be adding AdSense, tweaking my logo, opening a new SewMcCool Facebook page and designing a brand-new newsletter link so you can catch up on all the news here and get some additional freebies….

….because you love sewing and crafting

….and because maybe you’re a little nosey like I am, and want to know about making money with a craft blog. :)

Welcome to SewMcCool 2014! Please follow me on BlogLovin’ by clicking the button in the right-hand sidebar. I’m glad you’ll be along for the journey!

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    • Deanna McCool says

      Thanks Natalie! Meanwhile I guess I need to keep the money in the change jar and not spend it all in one place, right? We’ll see how this goes…and hopefully grows! :)

    • Deanna McCool says

      Thank you! Now….I don’t quite know what I’m doing yet, but maybe we’ll learn together! :) People tell me it’s possible so I figure…it’s worth a dedicated “try.” :)

  1. says

    Being new to blogging myself, I can’t wait to follow your journey Deanna. What a fabulous idea. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and ideas! I have so much to learn. Lauren.

  2. Shirley says

    I enjoy your blog and hope you continue to give tutorials. It is great that I can follow some one new and watch you grow.

    God Bless

  3. says

    Yep, you’re right, I’m definitely nosey, so I’ll be signing up for that newsletter when you get it sorted!

    It’s very brave of you to share your numbers like this, but absolutely fascinating for anyone who has wondered about making money from a craft blog. What sources of income are you starting with? Obviously there’s your already-lucrative earner, the affiliate link, and I can see ads in the sidebar, but are you including income from your Etsy shop, or just the blog extras?

    • Deanna McCool says

      Thank you for being nosey! Hehe. I should have the newsletter sorted soon; my new logo is almost finished and that’s kind of what I’m waiting for. Probably within 10 days.

      Yes, there’s my affiliate links, and I just added the ads this week (and so far have earned around $1! And another $1.50 on a different affiliate link, so I can say I more-than-doubled my income in less than a month, right?) I didn’t include income from my Etsy shop because it’s been around for years before this, and felt that any Etsy income likely isn’t coming from the blog yet. I also didn’t include the income from other places where I sell my patterns, or from the sale of my first book, which will be out in the summer and which I just finished writing. I figured the publishers don’t want to disclose that type of information. But when I do transfer my store to my blog – so that purchases can be made within a shopping cart feature here – I may add that income to the list. Right now I’m strictly just doing “blog” income.

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