Show Notes Episode 1
Life is short. Too short.
After becoming a widow in May 2020 I decided to do what’s right for me, and that is taking on life one day at a time. And in those days, I work on my side hustles plus blog about what my readers can do to earn their own side hustle income.
Why I’m Here
I talk about why I started my website, and what changed when my husband passed away.
Being an independent author has its perks, which I briefly cover. Plus I go over one of my favourite ways to earn some extra cash, which is by selling printables in my Etsy shop.
NotJustAlpacaDesigns – My first Etsy Shop which currently houses patterns, journals, macrame, and some of my written works. This will change over time as I move journals and other written works over to my website and second shop.
TOLA50Printables – My second Etsy Shop which houses printable affirmation cards, planner pages, and stationery.
Take On Life After 50 – My website where I offer freelancing services and blog about life after 50, which includes an array of side hustles.
These are not mentioned within the episode but are relevant to what I sell in my Etsy shop.
Secret OWL Society – This is where I learned to design the digital planners (using Affinity Publisher, as mentioned within my podcast) I have in my Etsy shop, as well as where I learned it’s okay to make my own path.
Share Your Brilliance – This is where I learned to design planners and printables using PowerPoint. I highly recommend taking her classes. I learned so much from the 30 Products in 30 Days Workshop.
If you like what you have heard (or read), please show your support by subscribing to my podcast. I am excited about my new journey and can’t wait to share more about my take on life after 50 and how you can supplement your retirement or semi-retirement.
Transcript of Episode
What’s it like to be over 50? 20 years ago, that seemed like a long way off yet here I am. And you know what, it’s really not that bad. Hi, my name is Diane Ziomek and welcome to my podcast Take On Life After 50. As someone who has an entrepreneurial spirit, a lot of the content of my podcast will be based on little side hustles you can do in addition to your day job. Or if you’re retired or semi retired and want something a little extra, you can turn your hobbies into cash too. And just because this is my view of being over 50, the side hustles can apply to any age. In fact, I encourage anyone 16 and over to listen in.
I started my take on life after 50 website in the summer of 2019, just a few weeks after my 51st birthday. I realized I lived for half a century and was just going through the motions of day to day living. I wanted something more than my part time job as a library assistant could offer.
My husband had a good job that paid the bills and allowed for a little extra to put away, and we had plans to travel more and upgrade our holiday trailer. But in May 2020 that all changed when he passed away at work. I was suddenly left alone, widowed a week before my 52nd birthday. I resigned from my library assistant position and I’ve been working from home ever since.
Being an independent author has its advantages. I write whatever I choose to and earn a higher percentage of royalties than if I were to traditionally publish. I choose whether I published a certain title in ebook print or both. And I decide where I want to publish. I currently have my books on Amazon, Kobo, and Lulu. Plus, I can publish and sell directly from my website, which gives me an even higher profit margin.
I had always dreamed of having a book traditionally published. But when I started researching, I realized by the time it was all said and done, my cut would literally only be a few percent. Not only that, it could take years to get my book accepted by a publisher and I’d have to go by their rules. I’m a little impatient, okay, maybe a lot when it comes to getting things done, so I opted to self publish. I almost fell into the trap of a vanity publisher, also known as someone who the author has to be paid to be published. Ummm…isn’t the author supposed to be paid to write, not the other way around? Thankfully, I dug a little deeper and realized I was one step away from being taken for a ride and I didn’t commit. But, more on publishing in another episode.
2:48 Anyway, sharing what I know and have learned along the way has always been something I’ve enjoyed. Whether it’s teaching someone to crochet, designing a new pattern, or writing a how to book, I like to see others benefit from my knowledge. I chose to start a podcast so I can share my experience and what I know with you, my listener. I will be talking about a variety of topics in the course of my episodes, but the main focus will be on building the life you want and deserve. And since COVID has restricted our lives in so many ways, being able to create a supplemental income is not a bad thing.
3:22 In this episode, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite ways to earn some extra cash, which is by selling principle printables in my Etsy shop. It doesn’t take any special equipment, or an expensive program for your computer. I’ve designed some of mine in Google Docs, some in Canva, and I recently learned how to create them in PowerPoint. I also use affinity publisher to create both printables and digital journals and planners. I’ll get more into the digital planners and journals in another episode, but I will say this; almost any printable can be formatted to be used digitally on an iPad or a tablet. Printables can be anything from simple one or two page to do lists right up to fancy planners. Think habit trackers, pet sitter lists, chore charts, checklists, journals, calendars, gift list, wedding planners, daily planners, and the list goes on. I love to design practical printables so my customers can keep track of the things that are important to them. The beauty of it is that all you need to get started is a computer. With the publishing options available in most programs, you can save the same document in a variety of formats or file formats. PDF for your customer to print, jpg for the photo listings, and as a template for your own use if you want to make color design changes to offer your customer options. And you can even sell your templates if you so choose.
4:44 The best part of selling printables on Etsy is you only have to do the work once and you can sell as many copies as you like. With listing features such as automatic renewals, and digital delivery you can almost set it and forget it. But notice I said almost?
5:00 Even with digital products, you will still need to do some maintenance. Whether it’s updating the description, finding the sweet spot for pricing or optimizing for SEO, it’s good to get into the habit of spending some time each week tweaking your shop. The more items you have in your shop the better but even shops with just few items do well. Having 200 listings isn’t doing you any favors if no one knows your shop exists. If you have a newsletter, let your subscribers know when you release new products. Utilize Etsy ads as much as your budget allows. And don’t be afraid to talk about your Etsy shop when having conversations with family and friends or acquaintances. You never know who might need something you sell. Sharing on social media is an asset as well but do remember to be respectful, helpful and courteous. Certain platforms won’t think twice about suspending your account if you’re reported for being spammy.
5:57 Etsy is only one platform for selling printables. Even though there’s a small listing fee and a small transaction fee Etsy brings customers to you. You do of course have to do your part, but the majority of the work is done by the platform. I personally invest less than $30 per month in advertising which brings people to my shop. Some months are better than others. But I think that’s a norm for any business. I also participate in the offsite ads program, which has also brought me customers. When I create my printables I like to keep the designs basic and the colors limited. As they say, sometimes less is more, and the less ink that’s going to be used the more appeal it has. Colorful pages are prettier, but you have to keep your customers in mind. Not everyone has a color printer, and if they do, they might not want to use a lot of ink. Save the most color for the cover and add in the clipart that could be colored in by your customer.
6:49 One of my best selling printables has been a set of monthly Mandala coloring pages. They’re designed to be used as dividers for planners and are relaxing to do. I currently have them listed in my Not Just Alpaca Designs shop while a number of other printables are listed in my second Etsy shop, Take on life after 50 printables. T-O-L-A five zero printables. If you type printables in the main search bar on Etsy you’ll quickly see just how many items are available. It may seem like an oversaturated market but trust me when I say it isn’t. Design it for you, and someone out there will be looking for something just like it.
7:29 No matter what stage you’re at in life, it never hurts to hear what others have to say. And it definitely doesn’t hurt to keep learning and growing, no matter how old you are. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan so having some resources fall back on is a good thing. I never once thought I’d become a widow in my early 50s, but being resourceful and creative has kept me moving forward with life. And by being able to do the things I enjoy keeps me busy. You’re never too old to try something new and earning a little extra cash on the side isn’t a bad thing either. In the next episode, I’m going to talk about information products and how you can create your own. See you then.
8:09 Thanks for listening to my first ever podcast. I’ll be basing future episodes on your feedback. So please reach out by emailing me at info at take on life after 50 fifty.com Visit my website at take on life after 50 .com and subscribe to my newsletter follow my blog or both.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai