I’m back! I missed you! I never really knew how much of the “fun” in my business was actually tied to blogging until I didn’t let myself do it anymore… Seriously, all work and no play makes for an unhappy vintage geek!
Back in May, I wrote a post – Keepin It Real, The State Of Vintage Goodness 2016 Edition – updating you all on the changes that had been happening in my life since the beginning of the year, and the decision I had made on how to handle my business going forward… Basically, if it wasn’t buying inventory, listing inventory, or shipping inventory, I decided I couldn’t do it. I think the image I chose to wish Vintage Goodness a Happy Birthday kind of sums up how I was feeling at the time I wrote it:
Does that seem like an actual Happy Birthday? Nope, not really. Deciding that my only option was to focus just on the tedious WORK side of my business made me feel like I was being a grown up – “look at me, ADULTING like a pro!” – but guess what?
As it turns out, not letting myself spend some time on the fun parts makes me NOT want to do the tedious parts. It’s been kind of counter productive, as far as actually getting shit done goes. Who would have thought? Not me, I thought I was being RESPONSIBLE and stuff…
Of course, my situation is still the same – I’m still working on Vintage Goodness one woman show style, I’m still working my part time job, and I’m still trying to stay on top of what I lovingly refer to as my “housewife shit” (cooking, cleaning, running endless errands, etc). But, I’ve been thinking about things, and I’ve come up with a plan…
Being a vintage seller involves quite a bit of time and effort, because you are mostly selling “one offs”. You are very much limited by the amount of time you have to source individual items for your inventory, and then to sell those items, one by one.
Since time is my biggest concern right now, I’ve had to take a look at HOW I make my money. I need a certain amount coming in to keep my life going, but I need to make that certain amount in less time than before. Tricky, tricky business… After much staring into space and contemplating, I’ve come up with a couple of strategies:
Quality Over Quantity.
I’ve actually been working on this since the beginning of this year’s sale season – and it’s NOT been easy. (When you’ve been buying and selling a certain way for almost a decade, you kind of get stuck in your ways…) I’ve been forcing myself to walk away from what I call “the piddly” – items that sell for less than, say, $15 or $20. I’ve not been totally successful, I mean some stuff just HAS to come home with me when I find it – but, overall I’ve been buying a LOT less this season than I have in previous years. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t done any haul posts – I’ve just not really had that many big hauls to share!
Bottom line on this strategy – list stuff that is worth more, and you need to list less. I need more of that in my life. ;)
Do The Work Once, Get Paid Over and Over.
This is tough to do in the vintage world – I’ve got a couple things I’m working on in this arena (stay tuned!), but the one I want to focus on in this post is making money from the blog. If I want to keep the fun of blogging in my life, I have to be able to justify spending the time on it. It’s that simple – but, of course, easier said than done…
I’ve always made a bit of money from blogging, mostly by being a member of eBay’s affiliate program. I make all eBay links in my posts affiliate links, and eBay gives me a small commission for sending traffic to their site.
If I want to spend time blogging now, with my time being as limited as it is, I’ve got to be more aggressive about monetizing it than I have in the past. It may not work – making money from a blog is notoriously difficult – but at least if I am trying, I can feel justified in spending the time on it. In other words, I get to have fun without feeling super guilty about it. ;)
The big thing that I discovered that is going to allow me to give this a go is Etsy’s new affiliate program – it didn’t used to be open to sellers, but now they are letting us join. THIS. IS. HUGE. I have a giant list of stuff I want to write about, but didn’t feel like I could take the time, because the money I would make off of a post using just eBay’s affiliate program was probably not enough to justify it. But now, I can use eBay AND Etsy links – and you all know how much amazing stuff is on Etsy!
The key here is that I can do the work ONCE (write the post) and have the chance to earn commissions from it for as long as the blog post is live on my site. I make money from posts I wrote YEARS ago on Vintage Goodness Version 1.0. That’s what’ I’m talking about!
I also joined an ad network and have added a few banner ads to the sidebar of the blog. I’m not expecting too much from this (previous experience has shown that my readers aren’t super into clicking on banner ads), but I was able to sign up with some good companies so I figure it couldn’t hurt. I may do some sponsored style posts for them in the future too, if they are having special promotions or deals going on that I think my readers might be interested in… Nothing too crazy though, don’t worry that the blog will turn into one big advertisement – that wouldn’t be cool for anyone…
Bottom line of this strategy – I’m going to be spending more time blogging. Yay! Probably not a TON of time (that’s where the “kinda, sorta” bit comes in) – but more time than I have been spending for sure. I still don’t feel comfortable committing to any kind of posting schedule, but just giving myself permission to blog should result in more of it. No more telling myself NO! ;)
OK, I think that’s all for now… Sorry if this was way too long and complicated, but I really needed to get all this stuff out of my brain! Hopefully this is the last post like this for a while – I’ll be focusing on to the fun stuff from here on out!