Each month I share with you how I make money online. I’m a SAHM with two toddlers and if I can do this, you can too. I use my graphic design skills and monetize them. I share this information with you because;
1) It’s motivating to others
2) I want to document my progress, my failures, and hold myself accountable
3) I want to try to break the standard blog that makes money online by blogging about making money online
This report does not include what my husband or I make outside of the internet, it only includes what I make online.
Total Gross: $1,015.85
There were a few business expenses for creating new items for zazzle and the cost for printing wedding stationery. I tax and tithe off the top of the gross income. After those expenses, the income is much smaller. I’m still really happy that we’re almost to our first goal that we originally had set for my online-money-making adventure. Well, okay maybe not that close (we want our first goal to be net income only). But we are closer than we have ever been before. If I continue to make money like this every month, than going back to work is no longer an option. We’re keeping more money in our checking account than spending it on the costs associated with working full-time.
I’ve fought the urge to close down the shop. Sometimes I just want to quit, and other times I’m in full-swing design mode. It really is a rollercoaster ride. After some much thought, I tried to figure out how I could improve my business to make it easy for customers to understand the rules/process. I recently revamped the shop so the listings are easy to read. I also added a new feature where a customer has to acknowledge they read the shop policies before they can check-out.
I was going crazy trying to make my customers happy and causing more work upon myself than necessary. My own business decisions lead to my own frustrations. It really wasn’t the customers fault if some things were not read or followed. It broke my heart that I had to tell customers that we have reached design limits and I couldn’t do some things after I sent them their final files. Now with adding the required drop-down choice, I won’t feel like the bad guy for telling them that certain limits are met, or that certain options cannot be performed. I’ will know that they read the shop policies, and if they didn’t, then it’s not my fault. I won’t feel like the worst designer in the world for telling them “no.”
I had another Etsy seller approach me and spill the beans on how they print for their Etsy clients. I was so thankful for this information and I’m now able to offer printing services again, without charging outrageous shipping prices to the customer. Customers were seeing that I have a zazzle store and were wanting me to print their stationery for them, but it’s much more complicated than putting a clients design on zazzle and having it shipped to them. It’s against zazzle’s policies for designers to resale zazzle products.
But, right when I was forming my business plan to start offer printing, an etsy client wanted to make a print order purchase. I sent the order to the printer and it was completed yesterday. The print job is ah-mazing. Amazing! It’s beautiful and well done.
Clients were also wanting me to put multi-images on one PDF file to save paper. Even though printers can do multi-image per page if selected, I realized that a lot of people are not that computer savy. It’s not the customers fault. So now multi-images is an option in the Etsy shop.
We also have reached out to get some help with my kids so I can concentrate on clients orders one day out of the week. The Etsy business has to meet a sales quota each week for me to pay the babysitter (more here). We picked the Etsy business to pay the babysitter because it’s the most time-consuming business I have. Unfortunately with the Easter Holiday my sales have slowed down and the girls can’t go to the sitter until I meet my sales quota. I’m working on a project to help end the slow down.
Zazzle remains steady and I’m averaging the same amount of income each month. For the past two months I haven’t had the opportunity to really create anything new or spectacular. I haven’t been able to create for zazzle that much due to the demand of Etsy Orders and trying to roll out the new phases of my business plan (see here, here, here and the info above about Etsy.). If I’m able to create a product that the public will want to buy, than my sales will go up instead of hovering around the $450 mark. So far I haven’t been able to come up with the next-best design.
I did reach the next proseller level with zazzle though. I’m now a bronze proseller. Whoop whoop!
This is another niche I’ve been working on to increase my revenue. I passed the illustrator designer test for istockphoto.com last spring, and I finally got around to making the necessary designs for the last testing phase. I had to create three illustrations and prove to istockphoto.com that I can follow their rules and create stock images to sale. I’m happy to say that I am now a contributor for istockphoto.com. Another whoop whoop!
But, I don’t have any designs for sale just yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to get my preview image to be the minimum dimensions they need for the next test of istockphoto.com. Okay, maybe it’s not a test, but it’s something I didn’t have to do in the testing stage. My illustrator program has a limit on dimensions and my design, well, I’ll spare the details. Basically my designs dimensions isn’t jiving with istockphoto’s dimension requirements and illustrator’s largest dimensions that are allowed. Does that make sense? If not, skip it. Designer lingo. Sorry about that.
I’ll admit it, even though I have a calendar that helps keep me in check, I still fail at certain things. Like our monthly advertising space giveaway. I skipped this months post for advertising space in April. A big whoops. And I also haven’t updated the sidebar about fabulous goods in a long time. Another big whoops. I’m surprised that I can keep up with the two series I have going on the blog (income reports and monthly post recaps). I’ll get control of these series eventually. I still have a lot of work to finish in the zazzle and etsy shops first.
That’s all I have for our March Income Report on how I make money online. Leave a comment with any suggestions, questions or helpful hints/tricks. Thank you for reading, purchasing and making this a success!
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