Etsy Shop #2: My New Side Hustle

I did it! I opened a second Etsy Shop!

Why would I open another you ask?

Well, so I can branch out a little more without my existing shop looking like it’s a mish-mosh of stuff. (And I hate to say it, but right now that’s how it looks to me.)

I’m a creator, and I think it’s time to get back into creating patterns and small physical items for sale. There are so many neat things to be made from yarn, alpaca fiber, and macrame cord. And I have all three in abundance.

I’m looking forward to adding more products to both of my shops and seeing which one does better: physical products or digital products. It’s going to be an interesting experiment, and preferably a profitable one.

According to the experts a successful Etsy Shop can be attributed to SEO, lots of photos of the products, and competitive pricing. Something else that seems to be a contributing factor is free shipping for physical products.

Digital products are automatically delivered to your customers as soon as payment has been made, so there’s no need to charge any shipping on them. That’s one of the perks of offering digital products. Another is they can be bought by anyone in the world at any time of day, so you can even earn money while you sleep.

With the holiday season coming up I foresee Etsy being the place to shop for many gifts. And with the COVID-19 restrictions coming back into play (at least here in Alberta) online shopping is going to continue to be the way to go. I know I’ll be doing some of my gift shopping through Etsy.

If you are considering opening an Etsy Shop, there’s no better time to do it than now. Listing fees work are low, and you can easily work in the cost of any additional fees into your prices. I have items in both shops advertised, but only have the stats for my first one. The second is in its very early stages, so I won’t be able to see any stats for at least a month or more.

It can be frustrating to a new shop owner when the sales don’t come pouring in right away. My advice is to be patient, utilize SEO in your product descriptions, and use Etsy Ads if your budget allows. I currently have a few of my products advertised, with a budget of $1.00/day. That’s not a lot, but it’s what I’m comfortable paying for advertising at this point in time.

If you don’t have an advertising budget, Pinterest is a good place to place your products. It’s good karma to pin the products of others in addition to your own. Pinterest likes to see pins from a variety of sites/businesses. This practice makes you appear less spammy as well. Group like things on your boards, even if they are similar to yours.

Now that my new shop is open and I have a few products added to it, I’m going to go out and enjoy the afternoon by cutting up some trees for firewood. Last night was a beautiful evening, and I’m hoping tonight will be the same. Harvest is well underway, which means the smell of grain dust in the air. (One of my favourite smells).

Have a wonderful long weekend, and I’ll keep you posted on what is working for me and my Etsy Shops. I’m excited to see when the first sale will be!

2 Done-for-You Side Hustles

Looking for an easy side hustle? The two mentioned in this post can have you on your way to earning some extra cash within a few days.

When it comes to side hustles I know how hard it can be to find one that works without taking a ton of time.

***This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.***

The first one I’m sharing with you today is the Digital Business Startup by Yadsia Iglesias. It comes with templates, video tutorials, and the option to become an affiliate of her products (which I have recently done).

The cost is currently $297 (which is what I paid several months ago) but it has everything you need to get started. The beauty of it is there is also a payment plan available if you’re unable to pay the entire amount at once.

If you’re familiar with Canva you’ll find this a breeze because of the editable templates. If you’re not, it’s easy to learn through her video tutorials. Not only will you learn how to make digital and printable planners, printables, create ads, and how to sell a planner on Etsy; you are also granted commercial use of the templates. What this means is you can edit the templates to make the planners and printables to sell. However, you may not sell the templates themselves.

I bought the DBS Program several months ago, and have used the templates for my own products. One of them is my Printable Weekly Planner, which is available in US Letter Size. It may also be printed 2 pages to a sheet if you prefer a smaller size planner.

The nice thing about creating printables and digital planners is once they are listed, you can earn money while you work your regular job, sleep, or even while you’re on vacation. How cool is that!

An easy side hustle.

The second one I’m sharing today is Design and Sell Canva Templates. This one is also by Yadsia Iglesias, and is currently listed at $97.

This one is a little different from the first one in that it allows you to create and sell templates instead of the finished printable/digital products. The benefits to this type is you can charge a little more because you are giving your customer the commercial rights to your templates. They in turn can use your templates to create and sell their own planners and printables. They cannot, however, use your templates to create and sell their own templates.

Once again, this is a side hustle in which most of the work has been done for you. All you have to do is edit to suit your needs, make a copy, and sell it on your website or via Etsy (or whichever platform you choose).

You will, however, need Canva Pro to utilize this particular course. I am a Canva Pro user, and recently upgraded from paying monthly to an annual membership. It saved me some money, and I can easily recoup my cost by selling a couple of templates.

In conclusion, when you don’t have a lot of time for a side hustle, the two I talked about in this post are a good option. Work your way through the video tutorials, download the templates, and edit in Canva. A little work in the beginning can lead to sales for months, even years, to come.

4 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Cash

What’s a side hustle you ask?

Well, it’s simply a way to earn money on the side of your regular source of income.

I have had side hustles going ever since I was a teenager. It was a way for me to earn some spending money while I was still in school, and as I got older it was a way to supplement the household income to pay bills.

Now that it’s just me, I do it to supplement my widow’s pension. Plus it gives me some extra spending money to go on little trips (camping mostly) and set some aside for a double car garage. (Yes, I’m getting tired of sweeping the snow off my vehicle and not having enough space for my tools.)

The following side hustles are ones I have personally tried, and am still active in.

Note: I may receive a commission for any purchase made through my affiliate links. Or, I will receive the full purchase price for items I have designed/created.

Etsy

As an Etsy Seller since 2014, I have earned money from patterns I have designed, printables I have created, and a variety of tangible items I have made and shipped. I think my bestseller is my Weaving Sticks, which I no longer make. I do have the instructions available for how to use them however.

Etsy is perfect for you if you like to be creative, yet don’t want to pack up all of your wares every weekend. Plus, offering digital products (which is what I do now) will earn you money while you sleep. I love waking up to find I have made a sale while I was sleeping.

How much you earn here is completely dependent on how much time you invest in product creation, shop updates (which I’m getting better at), and customer service. It’s not a “create the product then leave it” type of deal. You have to let people know what you have to offer in terms of updates, advertising (optional), and just getting the word out.

Zazzle

This is something I have only dabbled in. I have added photos to playing cards and listed them for sale in my first Zazzle Store, and have earned a few dollars over the years. Just this week I opened another store under TakeOnLifeAfter50 and now have a small number of items available.

My new store reflects where I’m at in life, and what I find joy in. I think the John Deere Mug is a good way to show the farmer in your life how much he (or she) is appreciated.

All you need is some time and good quality photos, and you can be on your way to earning passive income with your designs. Zazzle takes care of all of the order filling, shipping, and collecting of payment. You’ll be notified when one of your designs has sold and your royalties will be paid out when you reach the threshold.

HubPages

If you like to write then this is a good place to start. You will be paid a portion of ad revenue the site earns based on clicks within your articles. I have been writing on HubPages since 2011ish, and have reached the payment threshold of $50.00 more than once.

I haven’t put a lot of time into submitting articles in the past few years, but the existing ones still earn me a little here and there. I update them occasionally, and the editors will also make slight changes (after first notifying the author) to improve the article. One of my most read articles is the one I wrote on creating and selling printables online.

I do know some authors make several hundred dollars per month, but that’s because they put in the time to add new articles and are updating what they have. As with anything, it does take some work but the monetary rewards can be plentiful.

Passive Income Planner Girl

(I am an affiliate of P.I.P.G. and will receive a commission if you purchase through my link.)

Do you dream of making your own digital planner? I want to share a course with you that I’ve taken personally and loved! The price is going up and I don’t want you to miss out!

Learn how to make a planner that works for you.

What does it look like to honour your genius and build a business from it? In Passive Income Planner Girl, you’ll learn how to turn your zone of genius into a digital planner. Then use it as a launching pad to a business full of raving fans, while honouring your desires, your personality, and your joy every step of the way.

But what if you don’t know what your zone of genius is right now? That’s okay, because Michelle and Aimee help to draw that out of you. 

A note from Michelle:

“A planner is the simplest, easiest way to say “this is what works for me, this is how I approach my life. Maybe it could work for you too.” You start to look at what makes your life work and realise “this is important! This deserves to be in a format that other people can pay money for.”

The problem is, we’re bombarded with messages of how to take care of other people. It’s all about pleasing and serving other people, so we forget ourselves. We are so disconnected from who we are and what we want. And then we get into business and it just gets WORSE.

But we believe that staying true to who you are, honouring your zone of genius is THE most powerful way to build a business. Forget who your audience is. Who are YOU? Forget what your audience wants. What do YOU want? If you start there, you’ll attract people who will follow you to the ends of the earth.

This is so much more than a course on how to make a planner. The planner gets you to take that first step.

We’ll help you embrace that you’ve always had the power to do whatever you want. Your desires matter. You can honour yourself and when you do, the world won’t break. In fact, everyone is better off when women put themselves first.

We want to see that happen in your life and business. And Passive Income Planner Girl is where we can help you start.

Join us before the price increases on August 31st. We’d love to have you!”

In Conclusion:

Finding the right side hustle for you can take time, but there’s nothing wrong with trying different things. As we grow as people we find we don’t always want to do the same thing for the rest of our lives. What we enjoyed 10 or 20 years ago isn’t necessarily what we’re going to enjoy now.

As friends come and go, so do our interests and our desires. Pick a side hustle you are going to enjoy, not one that claims to make you thousands of dollars while you sleep. If you do find one that you enjoy AND it makes you thousands while you sleep, kudos to you!

Hot Hot Summer

Is it really the 5th of August?

I’ve been trying to stay cool, but in my single level home without AC it’s not an easy thing to do. This summer has been the hottest I can remember, and I’ve seen a LOT of summers.

My rain gauge recorded 1.52 mm (yes, mm) of rain in July, and so far this month there hasn’t been anything more than a light shower that barely got the deck wet. I’m worried for the farmers; their livelihood depends so much on the weather.

I’m fortunate to live out in the country because I am able to water my garden with well water. I’m glad I took the time to build more raised beds this year, as it makes watering, weeding, and harvesting easier. Plus, just the veggies are getting watered; not all the weeds too. (Although, the weeds do seem to thrive no matter what the water situation is.)

My last few posts have been about grief and missing Ross, which is where I’m at. However, as much as I miss him I do know it’s not what I should focus on. There are still some hard days, and there are some good ones too. Life goes on no matter what shit-show we’re dealt, and it’s up to us to make the best of each day.

I have spent some time working on new planners and have recently listed two new ones in my Etsy Shop. One is digital (for use with Goodnotes or Noteworthy), and the other is basically the same thing but set up to be a printable. The printable version has an extra category and contains only one of each sheet. Not only does that make it more economical, it also gives you the option to only print the pages you need (and as many of them as you wish for your own use).

The latest planner I designed.

Most people have a Bucket List, which is all the things they want to do before they die. After I hiked to the summit of a mountain in Jasper last fall, I decided there should be a Fuck-It List as well. And by that I mean doing something on the Bucket List, but not wanting to do it again. My latest planners contain that list. 🙂

I am currently revamping the Writer’s Planner I have listed in my shop. It’s going to be easier to use, is clearer than the first one, and will be available as a printable only. I may consider designing a digital one down the road, but for now I feel the printable is better geared to where writers like me are at.

I’m finally getting to a place where the things I enjoyed doing before Ross passed away are bringing me joy again. I love to write, design printables, and design crocheted items. Today marks the 15th month since he passed away, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him. As I have said before; I’m not moving on, I’m moving forward.

Now if you’re wondering how I created the planners, I have to give credit where credit is due. I enrolled in a course by The Secret OWL Society and have worked my way through the lessons. If you are interested in checking it out for yourself and creating your own for personal use or as a business, check out the Digital Planner Template. (Please note: I am an affiliate for this product and will receive commission from your purchase, but at no extra cost to you.)

I am enjoying the planner creation process and have learned about myself in the midst of it all. I love the versatility it gives me to move forward during this season of my life.

Have a wonderful day!

Growing as a Person Never Ends

Working part-time and freelancing has its advantages. Today I am helping out with the harvest.

It is my job today to watch the grain drier. We’ve had a wet summer and fall, so putting wet wheat into the bins is not a good idea. The grain drier does just that; dries the grain so it can be safely stored until it is trucked to the grain elevators.

I’m fortunate I am able to take my work with me. We only live a quarter-mile away from my father-in-law’s, but I prefer to stay at his house so I can keep a better eye on the equipment. I do a walk-around every fifteen minutes, just to make sure all is running smoothly.

Living in a farming community is exactly where I like to be. Having grown up on a farm, I still enjoy the quiet and wide open spaces. I’ve done my share of living in cities and towns, and am so fortunate to be able to have a rural home again.

Before my dad passed away five years ago, I spent a good portion of the fall hauling bales, swathing and combining. I miss him every day, but even more so this time of year. It was when him and I spent the most time together.

Setting the farm talk aside for awhile I’d like to talk a bit about growing as people. It doesn’t matter how old we are, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes life itself teaches us the biggest lessons.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that as a writer, I have to go out and get what I want. Sitting around waiting for someone to notice me and my work is not time well spent. Being an introvert doesn’t make putting myself out there easy, but it is something I must do if I want to succeed as an author.

And to get a better feel for what it takes to make it in the writing world, I have purchased an event pass for Wordfest’s Imaginairium in Calgary Alberta. The event runs from October 14 – 23, and will host a number of speakers each day. I will be attending from the 17th to the 20th, as I am unable to go for longer than that. As a relatively new member of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta, I am excited to learn of the writer events available. (I’m going to allow myself one day to drive there, and another to drive home. And I’ll be back in plenty of time to cast my ballot at the polls on the 21st.) My goal for attending the Imaginairium is to connect with other writers and speakers, with the intention of building some friendships beyond the event.

To attend such a large event on my own is both scary and exciting for me. This is where growing as a person comes into play. Without stepping outside of my comfort zone I may never realize my full potential as a writer, or as a contributing member of the literary world.

No matter how old we are, there’s always room to learn and grow. Farmers can learn to utilize technology to be more efficient, and writers can learn to go after what they want in their careers. And no matter who you are, there’s always a learning and growing opportunity just around the corner.

To wrap up this post (I know, it has been a long one) I would like to briefly step back to the beginning of it. If you live in a farming community, enjoy it and never take it for granted. If you’re an urban dweller, I encourage you to pay a visit to a nearby farm. I’m sure you’ll gain some new insight on what farmers do and how they contribute to your food supply. And if you’re also a writer, your experience can be used as story fodder.

Have a great week,

Diane

Photo credit: Diane Ziomek Copyright 2019. My part in helping with the harvest.

It’s a ME Day

I hope you have all had a great weekend. Mine was good, and the weather even cooperated so I could bring in part of my garden. Yesterday wasn’t as nice, so I worked on cleaning out the bathroom cabinet and figuring out a plan for my bedroom closet.

Today I decided to make it a ME day, and drove to a small city less than an hour from home. I bought some organizers for my closet and pantry, ordered some new glasses and spent time in the bookstore. I have been spending so much time either working, doing yard work and my course, I decided today was a good day to just do something for me.

Plus, I bought a spinning wheel. It’s different than the one I have, and needs a little TLC to get it working properly. I have my sister to thank for noticing it listed on a local Facebook Group. I can’t wait to get it set up and working right. I’ll bring it inside tomorrow; tonight it’s going to stay in my Jeep. I’m not quite sure where to put it yet, so need to figure that out before I bring it inside.

As part of my ME day, I decided to do some crocheting this evening. As I walked down the yarn aisle in Walmart I spotted some nice blanket yarn. I think it will be perfect for a throw for the new sectional. I don’t think it’s going to be very big, because I only bought two balls of it. But, it’ll be perfect to keep my cold feet warm as I write.

And yes, I tend to be most productive writing when I’m sitting in a comfy spot. When I’m comfortable I get a lot more accomplished, and the words flow freely. My desk and computer chair don’t usually produce the number of words I can come up with when I’m relaxed in my “spot”. Granted, I’m going to have a new spot when the new furniture gets here Wednesday. If I’m right, the chaise part of the new furniture will be perfect.

It’s going to be warm!

I don’t usually take a ME day, but with the next course starting on Wednesday I decided to regenerate a little. It’s important to take the time for ourselves, and I know I need to practice what I preach a little more often. So, tonight the computer will stay off and as soon as I finish this post, my iPad will be set aside as well.

Do you find yourself taking on too much sometimes? What helps you get everything done while keeping your sanity?

Have a wonderful week!

Diane

Photo credit Diane Ziomek. It’s the first half-dozen rows of my blanket yarn throw.

Back to School

Okay, I know you’re probably thinking “Whaaat?”. Actually, it’s me who’s going back to school, not my kids. Although, I do have their full support on it.

It’s not a traditional classroom or schedule by any means, but it does mean work and dedication on my part.

Let me back up just a little.

As some of you know, I am an independent author in addition to a library assistant. As my LA position is very part-time (six days a month), I am wanting to further my writing career. I love to write, and do just for the sake of writing. Sometimes I sell a book, pattern or printable, but it’s not enough to add to my nest egg. (And we all know how important having one of them is.)

Anyway, I recently became a member of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta. While perusing the Members area, I found out about a conference in Banff in October, plus some provincial colleges that offer distance learning. To add to my excitement, I realized GPRC offers writing courses. I haven’t had any formal training or education as far as writing goes, so decided to register for a couple. I mean, it can’t hurt can it?

When I told my kids about it, then made a comment about my age, they both said “You got this!”. It’s wonderful to have their support.

The photo is of my bubbles showing the topics I am including in my upcoming Reference Guide for Romance Authors.

I spent some time on the first one last night, and am working on it again today. One of the lessons stresses the use of bubbling (or mind mapping), which I haven’t done much of. My first attempt was on a loose leaf sheet of lined paper, but today I bought a larger pad of paper; simply because I ran out of room.

It’s never too late to enroll in a class, nor is it never too late to begin a writing career. Or if writing isn’t your thing, then that’s okay too. There are plenty of other career choices available if you’re not happy in your current one.

With the distance learning options available, there’s no reason why anyone can’t learn something new. And for those who are happy in your career, what about taking a crafting class? Or perhaps learn more about a hobby? The possibilities are endless. I can see myself delving a little deeper into the writing field; perhaps deep enough to earn a full time income.

Before I close this post, I am curious to know: have you changed careers or taken a course online after the age of fifty? (And for the readers who aren’t in that age group yet, do you see yourself pursuing an online education to change or expand your career ?)

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, as well as the other trials and tribulations of being over fifty. Have a great week!

Diane

Remembering Dad, and Living Life

Two weeks ago I started a post which was to be dedicated to the fifth anniversary since my dad suddenly passed away. Needless to say, that post didn’t get very far. It was an emotional day for me, but I made the best of it.

My sisters and I had talked about getting together but hadn’t really figured anything out. I decided to throw together a quick meal and took it to my younger sister’s house, where we all got together. It was a simple meal, a beer to toast him and we parted ways. Sometimes the quick meals and get-togethers are the most memorable.

The following couple of days were spent vehicle shopping, and I settled on a 2016 Jeep Patriot. Let’s just say I have Dad to thank. I just wish he was here to see it. I’m sure he would have liked my choice. (Photo below.)

Last week was a work week; and I never seem to get much else accomplished when it’s a work week. I did take Wednesday and went to visit my best friend; something I need to do more of. We used to call each other regularly, and visit frequently when our kids were little. As the kids grew, life got in the way and our time together was all but nonexistent.

Losing both of my parents in less than three and a half years of one another made me realize just how quickly life can change. My best friend lost her mom and step-dad in an accident in April of this year, and so many lives were affected. What I’m saying is we never know what tomorrow will bring, so we need to take advantage of today.

We all have such busy lives, although technology was supposed to make it easier. I think we need to all take a step back sometimes and put the phones and computers away, and just go visit family and friends. No one is going to regret not working, but they will (and so often do) regret not spending time with each other. I know I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to spending time with friends.

Something else I did today was surprise my daughter at work. Seeing her eyes light up when I walked into the office was so worth it. And it probably didn’t hurt to have an Iced Cappuccino in hand for her either. 🙂

It’s those moments that really count, and make life worth living. I can burn the midnight oil and get my work done (current WIP is a reference guide for romance authors) after the house is quiet. Enjoying my time with my kids is worth losing sleep over.

Photo by Diane Ziomek. My new SUV.

Do you take time to visit family and friends?

Welcome to my new blog!

I have been blogging and online in other forms for years, but I have decided it’s time to embrace what life after fifty has to offer.  

For those of you who don’t know me: I’m a mom, spouse, indie author, fibre artist, part-time library assistant, pet owner and so much more. I decided to start this blog because all of what I do doesn’t fit into my craft or author blogs. Plus, there are other avenues yet to be explored.

I am a creative person, and my creativity isn’t limited to only words and crafts. It carries out into other parts of my life and into my garden. There’s so much to be shared, and since I am now over fifty I find myself feeling short on time. Do you ever feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day?

My goal with this blog is to help you become more about who you want to be than who you feel you have to be. I have spent a lifetime trying to be someone I’m not, and finally decided “screw it; I am who I am and it’s time to embrace it”. Life is about growing, learning and gaining experience. We never stop doing any of those things, because our world is constantly changing. 

I have decided to fight the attitude I had of “growing old gracefully” so today I dyed my hair to cover the grey, started this new blog and am going to make a more conscious effort to drop about twenty to thirty pounds. And trust me, the latter will be the most difficult of all. Plus, I’m going to spend more time living and less time worrying (I hope).

I invite you to join me on my journey of life after fifty; I’m sure I’m in for one hell of a ride.