I subscribe to approximately 75 scrapbooking blogs. A couple times a year, I unsubscribe to blogs that just aren’t working for me. Sometimes I resubscribe to give them another chance or just to check in and see what’s new. I am always on the lookout for new blogs to follow.
Some of these blogs are part of a larger scrapbooking business. Some of these blogs are just blogs. Some of these blogs are mainly personal with just enough scrapbooking that they get filed as scrapbooking blogs. I’ve noticed that folks stumble into the scrapbook industry.
I know I stumbled into the scrapbook industry. I wasn’t even looking for a part-time job when I saw the posting at my local scrapbook store. I didn’t even realize that I was in a local scrapbook store. I just needed an album for this trip I took and signed up for their mailing list to get coupons. This was 2003.
Eventually, I decided to study scrapbookers for my doctoral research. My work in my local scrapbook store was greatly reduced due to other commitments of mine. I eventually became a direct seller–partly for the discount, partly because I was moving and my local scrapbook store was closing, and partly just to see what direct sellers do. I did that for about a year and a half. I quit direct selling because ultimately I decided if I was going to spend the time to make it really work, I would rather be promoting my own products.
In 2010, I was getting close to finishing my dissertation. I’ve known all along I want to write a book based on that research and that is still in progress. As I began doing research on book publishing, I found that the best advise seemed to be to start with a blog. So, I bought my domain and a few months later, Scrapworthy Lives went live.
I had every intent to just share my dissertation research here and post on a few other topics just to keep it interesting. As I learned more about blogging, I realized that it would be in my best interest to treat this whole project more like a business than a hobby. I want my blog to be self-sustaining. In order to do this, it needs to be treated like a business.
Enter, my first product, an e-book called The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Market Research. I have taken bits of my dissertation and added information about marketing research geared to the scrapbook industry.
If you are like me and have sort of stumbled into the scrapbook industry, it can be overwhelming to think about where to take your business. In my business, I could drop the business-to-business side of my business or drop my business-to-consumer side of my business. I’d like to continue reaching both audiences.
My reason for this is because so many of us stumble into the business side of the hobby. We submit a layout to a gallery, create a great tutorial on something we were doing anyway, and all of a sudden are guest posting or teaching classes or tapped to work for one company or another.
We stumble into the industry. We stumble along the way. I know my site has a lot of flaws. I know I do not do social media very well. I know my photography kind of sucks (they work well as prints, but I struggle with photographing layouts for the web). I suppose you could say, that I wrote The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Market Research for myself. I know where I need to improve and know what areas I need to consider growing, shrinking, or eliminating. I know I need a plan. Not only did I write the book, but now I am going to take the steps to implement everything I discuss in that e-book.
Now back to all those blogs I subscribe to. There are bloggers that treat their blog like a business (or one piece of their business. There are bloggers that are purely doing it as a hobby. Then there are the confused. Some days, it is a business and some days it is a hobby. Some are treating it as a hobby, but could be working it as a business with very little effort.
I don’t want readers to be confused as to whether Scrapworthy Lives is a hobby or a business. I want it to be crystal clear that this is a business. Scrapbooking may be a hobby, but Scrapworthy Lives is a business.
Is your blog a business or a hobby? Do you want to take your scrapbooking hobby and turn it into a business? Did you stumble into the scrapbooking industry?
Want a free copy of The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Minimalist Scrapbooking and a sneak peak at The Scrapworthy Lives Guide to Market Research? Sign up for the newsletter and it is yours!