Can Crafts Be Profitable? How Your Hobby Could Become Your Livelihood 92

Can Crafts Be Profitable? How Your Hobby Could Become Your Livelihood

This article was written by Victoria Greene, a branding consultant and freelance writer. She runs a blog called Victoriaecommerce, where she shares tips with would-be entrepreneurs looking to turn their passions into a viable business.

If you have a passion for crafting in your spare time, you can quickly turn your creations into a valuable side-hustle business venture.

Over time and with some smart sales and marketing tactics, you can scale up your brand and turn it into your primary source of income. This post will tell you how to do it and give you some ideas for profitable craft niches to explore.

1. Setting Up Your Business.

An online crafting business is made up of two parts:

  • The products you sell.
  • The skills you have developed.

You can effectively monetize both aspects through your online store. Alternatively, you can choose to get set up on a marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay. You may also wish to look at local markets and fairs where you can distribute your products in person.

When building an online store, you will need to find an appropriate ecommerce CMS. Shopify or Squarespace are excellent user-friendly options for those with no previous experience of building websites. WooCommerce and Magento require a little more familiarity, but offer more customization options, as well as a vast range of templates you can use to get set up quickly.

To make a basic ecommerce website, you will need:

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  • A Home Page – Include a high-quality banner image or video and display your best sellers and prominent links to each section of your website
  • A Full Disclosure of Ordering and Shipping Terms – Be realistic about your turnaround and delivery times. These can be adjusted as you speed up your processes over time. Consider your returns and privacy policy by researching similar store terms. A SaaS (subscription as a service) ecommerce host can help you with this

Extra Tip: Do some careful prior research on your tax obligations and break down all of the production, delivery and marketing costs.

  • About Page – Write around 800 words going into detail about your products, background and skills. Include a photo and convince them that you are the artisanal craftsperson they should buy from. The fact that you are an independent seller is a benefit for many internet shoppers
  • Contact Page – Make it easy for your customers to get in touch by providing an email contact form and return address
  • Main Category and Listings Pages – More on product listings below
  • Company Blog – Here you can include regular updates on your life in the crafting business. Include guest blogs from other crafters online and contribute to other company blogs. Add these posts to your social media profiles and email signature to get your messages out to as many people as possible. Here are some more tips on content marketing

Alternatively, if you’re busy crafting and don’t have the time to start an online store from scratch, a great place to start is with a website marketplace like Exchange. Here you can search through readymade stores that are available to buy and filter by category, such as ‘gifts and collectibles’ or ‘home and furniture’. Taking an established business that is already generating revenue and traffic can be a great shortcut to selling your wares online.

2. Find Profitable Products To Sell.

The in-depth research stage is crucial to building a successful business. You need to know which products draw in sales and who your customers are likely to be.

Social media analysis tools and Google Trends can help you find search traffic and sharing trends amongst consumers. Build up a list of detailed customer profiles and follow popular blogs and influencers. You will need these records later, so store them in a spreadsheet for further reference.

Google Keyword Planner, as well as Amazon seller keyword tools, can also help you discover search terms and categorization tips. Take a note of the longtail keyword phrases and save them for your product descriptions and titles.

Now for the fun part! Put all of your ideas together and finalize which products to craft and sell online.

Think about how quickly you can turn around the products you make, and find ways to make them unique and highly marketable.

For example, you could consider:

  • Adding unique scents and colors
  • Making your product customizable, adding customer initials or a personalized messages
  • Making it ethically using reclaimed or upcycled materials
  • Building a subscription program and providing a selection of goods on a monthly basis
  • Making digital downloads, templates, logo packages and charge a flat fee per download
  • Adjusting your product line to tie in with seasonal events

3. List Your Products Correctly.

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SEO can affect your business’ bottom line. It is essential to create a professional website that is simple to use and provides titles, images, and descriptions that convert viewers into purchasers.

Even if you are selling exclusively through marketplaces, you will also need to ensure that you provide optimized and tempting product listings. Take note of the following:


Your photos should show your products in their best light. For those who know little about photography, this means using natural or professional lighting. There is nothing that turns a potential customer off quicker than a stark, overexposed or underexposed image. Hire a professional if you can afford it, or learn what you can about photography and editing. There are lots of good online photo editing programs that are free to use

Titles and Product Descriptions

Using your keyword research, start adding long tail search terms to your titles and product descriptions. Be sure that they sound natural within the sentence structure and don’t stuff in keywords.

Unique, descriptive paragraphs with bullet points detailing key product features and benefits work best. Aim for a minimum of 600 words for your product descriptions and make sure you get someone to proofread it for you.

Use Video And Supplementary Content

YouTube and Vimeo are solid sharing platforms and can be hugely beneficial for a hobbyist. Make a short product demonstration video, or post tutorials of how the product is made. Promote these videos everywhere, as well as on your listings pages. Make your hobby ‘social’ by sharing tips and answering questions from your fanbase.

4. Diversify Your Offerings.

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If you are looking to generate quick sales, consider your expertise in selling the equipment used to make your hobby creations.

For example, if you run a knitting and crochet brand, find a dropshipping supplier who offers needles and yarn and sell them through your store.

Dropshipping is a fulfillment model where you don’t pay for goods upfront – instead, when you sell a product through your store, the order goes through to a third party supplier who ships it directly to the customer.

If you are looking to sell your skills, head to Upwork or These are great sites for creative types with unique services to offer.

5. Build Your Social Following.

Famous marketer Seth Godin asserts that all a business needs are 1,000 dedicated followers.

These ‘hardcore’ fans will share your latest blog post and spread your content for free, provided you give them a reason to take an interest. You will need to get to social media and use paid advertising to bring in viewers.

Additionally, you will need to do some good old-fashioned networking to get yourself noticed online.

Share your skills on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and provide informative videos and blog posts detailing your processes. Find forums talking about your craft, answer questions, and start discussion topics. Make as much online noise as you can about your new craft business — and keep refining your marketing strategy by sticking to creating consistently good brand experiences.

Turning your hobbies into a profitable business takes dedication and careful planning.

Thanks to the internet, there are many avenues you can pursue in growing your brand. Marketplaces, online stores, events and social selling – any and all of these methods can bring in excellent results. Think about your options regarding work/life balance and take the plunge. You’ll soon be on your way to making your craft business your primary source of income.

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One Guy’s Journey from a Work-at-Home Transcriptionist to Starting an Educational Institute 7

One Guy's Journey from a Work-at-Home Transcriptionist to Starting an Educational Institute

This is an interview-style post with Mahesh Kumar.

Hey Mahesh. What do you do?

I’m the Spokesperson of the Transcription Certification Institute, an Ellensburg-WA based educational institution that provides an in-depth online transcription training and certification course.

The online course, which is created by industry leaders, enables transcriptionists to gain a well-rounded understanding of the field and become a professional transcriptionist for better job prospects and higher wages.

How did you start your career?

I’ve started my career as a home-based transcriptionist and have experience of 8+ years in transcription industry. I’m currently on a mission to help work from home moms and make them aware of one of the straightforward and lucrative way of earning money from home, i.e., transcription.

I love writing and so I regularly share my words through my blog. At present, I am working as the spokesperson of Transcription Certification Institute.

What inspired your journey?

I was not cut out for regular jobs because of health and family issues. But, I wanted to earn decent money.

Most work from jobs required me to be online during fixed hours. That did not work for me.

A friend referred me to a copywriter who needed transcription services in an extended time frame. This was my first assignment and exposure to the industry. I had issues with grammar and lots of difficulty in understanding accents. My transcriptionist friend gave me the very first lesson in punctuation. It was a great lesson.

That was the aha moment!

I wanted to share it online with all other new transcriptionists. My expertise in transcription was still limited but my interaction with other transcriptionists. And other work from home professionals found that there was no organized information in this industry.

That’s when with the help of the team we created an ebook as would serve as a handbook to transcriptionists. It was called Everything You Need To Know About Work From Home: General Transcription Business Opportunities.’ It’s available on our website for free.

What is the transcription business about?

It’s a dream that allows parents, caregivers and those with disabilities to stay at home and earn.

We call ourselves Team TCI. None of us has complete skills but together we have made a dream into a business that is sustainable, profitable and manages to help others earn more.

We like to think of ourselves as not just one single successful business owner but a team of accomplished transcriptionists and hedonists who have come together to share their expertise on a platform that is globally accessible to all.

Our objective is to make you a better transcriber so that you can earn more at the same time. 

Through our internship program, we ensure that new wannabe transcribers get a foothold in the industry. Our job board aims to bring transcribers and employers together on one platform to make hiring and finding jobs easier.

We are 9+ years old but the journey has only just begun.

What were your biggest challenges when setting up the institute?

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Together, we had 2,459 dollars to spare!  This was just enough to put up a website and host it for a year.

We had no budget, no marketing plan and no strategy.

More than money we invested our skills, time and above all intent. When we launched, making money was not the objective. The objective was to share information, educate and in the process recover the costs.

We were totally bootstrapped. In fact, we all transcribed extra hours to generate money.

Each year we invested the money earned in the course, it’s upgrade, website upgrade and more. All exams are manually graded and that is expensive.

What do you offer on the website and who can benefit from it?

We offer a course in general transcription.

Our course is for anyone who wants to work from the comfort of their home, enjoy flexible timings and the ability to choose workload. The course is very popular with parents of young children who want to be around when they grow up, ex-serviceman with disabilities, single moms and others who want to work from home.

Some would say that there is nothing to be learned in general transcription but that would not be true. I did start out without training and if it not had been for the help I received my career would not have been successful.

In fact, as the popularity of transcription as a career option grows getting a foothold in the industry is becoming tough. That is why we came up with an internship program that gives hand on experience to new transcriptionists and exposure to the industry.

The job board benefits them by bringing employers and transcriptionists on the same platform.

What’s one thing you do to unwind?

We were introduced to meditation a few years back and to unwind we like to meditate.

What’s your favorite book?

It keeps on changing but time and again for inspiration, I find myself reaching out to The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Never stop dreaming! Give context to your dreams!

Check out the story of how one guy went from a work at home transcriptionist to setting up a transcription institute and help others start working from home.