Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Disappointment

 
Chin up, chin up
Everybody loves a happy face
Wear it, share it
It'll brighten up the darkest place
Twinkle, sparkle
Let a little sunshine in
You'll be on the right side
Looking at the bright side
Up with your chinny chin, chin up!



Ok so I've been feeling sorry for myself lately.  I think I have documented well my Market failures in the past here and here.  But even though I failed miserably after all the stress and hours upon hours of hard work, I decided I woud be fine and kept my 'chin up'.  I thought, well maybe Market's are just not for me?

I decided that perhaps doing some giveaways would help.  I noticed the followers on my blog slowly creeping up.  I was really excited to see it.  After the giveaways, I noticed them creeping back down again.  So some people were only in it for the freebies.  I tried to not let it get to me.  In the meantime, I parted with a good portion of my 'stock'.  But I told myself to keep my chin up and it's still early days.   

So next I tried selling things here on my blog with no success.    But I just kept that 'chin up'.  (I kinda knew that one wouldn't work).

Then I thought, well everyone seems to be highly successful in having an Etsy or Madeit store.  So I got myself organised and opened a Madeit store.  I'm 3 weeks into that now.  No sales, and not even an item listed as someone's favourite.  But I thought, don't let it get you down Christy.  These things take time.  This time round it was getting harder to convince myself.  My chin was starting to feel a little heavy.

So after all the flood devastation, I thought about what I could do to help, and blogged about it here.  I decided I could organise a Softie Appeal, and collect handmade Softies from whomever was willing and able to help and participate.  So I officially launched my idea on my blog here.  Although this hasn't been a big success, I am really grateful for the handful of people who have put their hands up to help.  I think I will send you a little something as a thankyou because you made my chin a little lighter. 

BUT.....

.... then I decided to continue in further efforts to help those affected by the floods.  There was ALOT of talk in the bloggy world to join in with the Auctions over at make it perfect.  So at the last minute I decided to put together three bundles of goodies to be auctioned off.  I was added to the master list and ready to rock and roll and excited at the prospect of auctioning off my goods for a really good cause.  Hopefully they would sell for more then they were worth.  I also figured the traffic to my blog would be awesome (which it has been) and would introduce new followers, and that people would become more interested in my merchandise from all the views.   

This is the part where my chin got real heavy again.  Real heavy.  Two days on and not a single bid. No new followers. 

I'm sure most of you know that people are paying up to $160 for a cushion, and $200 for a book.

And still no bids.  I've considering withdrawing them from the Auction to save myself from further disappointment. 

I sat on my bed and cried for a good half hour yesterday.  I want to put my chin back up high in the air but until I can figure out what I'm doing wrong, I don't think I'll be able to do it.  This isn't something I can talk myself out of.

So this is the part where I'm asking you to be honest.  What am I doing wrong?  What can I improve in?  I really want this to work.  If I don't find an outlet to sell my goods then I will have to stop creating because it just costs too much to buy the materials and get nothing back for them. 

******

Now that you've heard my sob story, can I ask a few favours?  It will really help. 

1.  Please leave a comment and honestly tell me what you think I can do to change/improve.  How can I get more traffic to my blog?  What do you look for in a blog?  What types of blogs do you enjoy?  How can I successfuly sell items in my Madeit store?  Please be honest (just don't be mean!!).

2.  Please take a moment to check out my auctions.  I honestly believe they are great products.  I made them with great care and love and would prefer to see them put to good use then to sit in a basket gathering dust in my craft room (which all of my merchandise is currently doing).

You can see them here, here and here.

3. Please check out my Softies for Smiles Appeal.  Whether you can make a toy, if you have a pattern, if you have fabric you can donate, please let me know.  However you can contribute will make my day.

4.  And lastly, if you have a spare minute, check out my Madeit store.

******

This hasn't been a very enlightening post has it?

I promise to share more exciting things after today.  I still need to show you pictures of my brother's wedding.  And I also was successful in finding some goodies at Op Shops yesterday, and husby and I are overhauling our house - we have bought a tonne of things to upgrade our little unit in the past month.

Christy

24 comments:

Marg said...

I'm not sure whether I'm going to be of much help as I have only recently started following your blog.
I don't have young children, grandchildren or know anyone who has very young children, so I wouldn't purchase anything for young children or babies, even though I think your things are cute.
I think you should keep trying, remember how many times JK Rowling was rejected before she struck gold.
I write my blog just because I like doing it, i don't do it to have lots of followers so I can't help you with knowing what to do to increase your followers, other than comment comment comment on as many blogs as you can and keep doing that.
Keep your chin up, I now it's horribly disappointing when you do/make something that you think is great and nobody else seems to be interested. I don't sell what I make but hopefully someone else will be able to give you some helpful hints. Remember it is only three weeks since you opened the Madeit shop so don't be disheartened yet.
Good luck :)

Tammi said...

It can be so disheartening to put so much love, time and attention to detail into what we make and not have a sale. I find with myself I tend to buy handcrafted items that I either can't or don't make myself.
I have been holding myself back from selling pubicly for many of the same reasons you have raised but sell to friends and family no problem.
I am only new to blogging myself but have found commenting on other blogs draws followers. I have a wide range of interests and try to follow blogs that provide inspiration.
I think the key is to just keep at it and don't give up on what you are passionate about. I blogged yesterday about failure and have learnt to just persevere, especially when the going gets tough.
I wish you luck in your endeavours and hope you get some constructive comments that can point you in the direction you want to head.
x

The Clip Cafe said...

OH Christy I hate to think of you crying!!! I'll email you now :-)

Maioha said...

I just started reading this blog yesterday - http://summertimedesigns.blogspot.com/

I realised that I really enjoy reading her blogs because even though she has a product (albeit free to non-commercial users), she seems to begin each blog with a really great story that draws you in. Of the couple of her posts that I've read, they have usually been great memories. Mostly happy but even the sad ones have been written really nicely.

So perhaps add in a few stories or memories? Everyone loves a good read.

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Christy...I noticed that you have become a new follower on my blog...so now am your follower. I read your post with concern...there is a proverb..(in the Bible) that says to have friends be friendly. You were friendly to me and now I want to be your friend...that's how it goes...but you can't expect everybody to join...but you do have 66 followers that is a good amount.
It is not about followers...it is about telling us what is on your heart...the more genuine you are the more we get to know what a great girl you are!
Did you know that Kate...of Little Banshee fame over in WA got her Kookaburra softie in a magazine...she remade him 27 or 28 times to get him right. Sometimes if the market doesn't want to pay for what you make you have to try again...remake til it works!! Don't give up...maybe there is a glut of the kind of softie you are making...try something else. It depends on how much you want to create something to please a child. Reach into your heart and follow your own passion...it will be better than copying any body elses success...
I hope this helps a little...and I hope we get to know one another more over this year through blogging...that is why I like blogging...it's the people I meet!!!

Dianne said...

Maybe you should just concentrate on creating just for the fun of it for a while. I know craft supplies are expensive etc but creating things is such a good stress relief and so enjoyable! I found that when I was a Stampin Up demonstrator that card making because I had to (for a workshop etc) was stressful, but being able to sit down and just make cards was far more enjoyable. Over Christmas I learned that crafting to a deadline (again - "having to do it") was again too stressful. Everyone needs some sort of stress relief in their life.

Plus there will always be birthdays, weddings,
Christmas, YW things that you can use your crafted items for. Think that you are using the money you spend on craft items now as saving money later on.

Lisa said...

hello:) aww big {{{HUGS }}}
I only have 9 followers and some days i feel like i talk to my self hahaha i did originally have 79 but i accidently deleted my original blog while deleting a email account.
I found your blog through the Clip Cafe i pop in their when im on and i saw the softie for smile button and thats how i found you.
I have joined you with the softie for smiles .

Im now a follower too.
Hugs
xo

Naomi said...

being a blogger is a lonely job some days - I find I have to distance myself from it - I cannot take it personally. This year I am writing on my blog for myself and no-one else. Then I am never disappointed if I get comments or not. I like your blog and pop in frequently. I am normally too busy to leave comments but I ask that please will you keep going. I suggest looking at what your blog goals are - are they to get a lot of followers? who are you writing for? and what do you hope to get out of it? this might help you know what course to take. As for your craft - maybe right now there is not a need for them and you should take a break - you cannot force it and maybe there may be a need later on in the year. I hope you can find some peace knowing that you are doing the best you can and you are trying to help out others. *big hugs* to you. Naomi x

The Clip Cafe said...

Link your finds up with Her library adventure flea market (op shop) finds :-)

Aimée Ann said...

I love your softies Christy they're great! I know exactly how you feel. I made my skirt to rafffle off in Toni's raffle/Auction & stayed up till 3am in the morning making it then putting it on my blog & I also have had no comments bids or anything. I just figure there is so much stff to choose from. I also only have 20 followers so know what it's like to not have many. But you are doing a great job & as someone suggested, don't do it for the money do it because you enjoy doing it, you'll get more satisfaction that way. Hope that helps & is some comfort

Aimée

Kate said...

I did make that kookaburra so many times and I am still not convinced it is perfect.
I have no advice really, I set up a statcounter once about 4 years ago, but never look at it and I don't check the number of followers I have. I set up my blog as a diary for me really and for my sisters to see what I am doing and that is how I blog - for me and them and I am happy if other people like what I do.
Do what makes you happy and what you like to do - don't change to be different to who you are.

Leonie said...

Hi Christy
I can totally relate to your post. I havent tried selling things yet because Im scared I wont measure up.
I am following you now and Im surprised I wasn't already as last year you won a giveaway on my blog and I usually make sure Im following people who take the time to visit me (although I moved to blogger and now am back to starting again with followers!).. and sometimes it just doesnt link up with the person's blog?!?
Just keep doing what you're doing. Its so easy to get despondent when you have a 'smallish' following - I get that. I have been wondering the same with my blog but Im too chicken to ask.
Good on you for being so brave.
There are so many 'popular' blogs out there, its almost like being back at high school - lol..
Would love to join in your softies for smiles, it sounds GREAT.. but we have the movers coming tomorrow to pack up our house as we move back to NZ, so out of commission for a bit, sadly.
Keep smiling and keep posting. Do it for you and those loyal followers/commenters.
And dont stop creating!!!

Sweetpea Princess said...

HI Christy,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I agree, it can be very disheartening at times.... I faithfully come back to my blog after writing and posting photo's eager to see if anyone has responded and mostly, they don't.
I have 11 followers now so I can't expect them to be chasing my stories around, I guess.

Now that I've found you however, I will be sure to check in and follow your blog. I love getting comments.... infact, I just love talking LOL.
Sorry if I'm rambling on now..... I'll stop LOL.

Keep your chin up... tomorrow is another day.

Nat

Tina said...

Hi Christy. I just found you through retromummy's link on FB and to be honest, I have been blogging for a little over a year now and only just found Corrie's blog this past week..crazy I know!! Blogging can be a really funny world. So many things happen just by chance. I have never promoted my blog and it took a long time for me to even believe anyone would want to read what I was going on about. I found the best way to meet lovely fellow bloggers was to keep commenting on the blogs that I love. Not the ones I thought I should be commenting on because they were the popular ones, but the ones that really spoke to my heart. I also turned the 'number of followers' on my followers widget OFF, as that is not why I blog. It takes a while sweetie to get over the rejection of some bloggers out there, you just need to keep true to yourself and please don't give up!! I love that I have found you through retromummy!! As for your gorgeous craft, if your softies drive is still open, now that I know about it, I would love to join...what a fabulous idea. I am sorry I do not have the funds at the moment to bid on one of your auction items, but don't give up, what you are doing is a wonderful wonderful thing. Keep doing what you are doing! Lovely to meet you. ~ Tina x

Stitching in Sydney said...

Hi there I have also arrived here via Retromummy - you are doing great - continue doing what you love. PS I have 2 followers lol!!! Take care

Becky said...

I find that by joining in with memes and commenting on blogs I attract visitors back to me. I have not bid on much because I don't want to over commit myself financially.

I also think it is important to love what you make. Make for yourself and don't worry about sales. Don't stop crafting all together, everyone needs a way to express yourself.

CurlyPops said...

Hi Christy, I just found you via Retromummy on FB too. Even though I do sell some of the things that I make, I mainly craft for fun and I only blog for myself. I just write about whatever I'm doing day to day and whatever I'm making. The best thing about blogging is that I've made so many new friends in real life. That's much more important than followers or blog hits.

Don't stress about the auction bids - the list is so large and overwhelming that I'm quite sure that there are many other blogs in the same boat. Lots of people also don't have enough disposable income at this time of the year (after christmas and during school holidays).

Bells said...

Another one here from Corrie's post on FB - building a blogging community is slow. It's rarely instant and going in with a set of expectations can lead to failure. I blogged with and for my small circle of friends five years ago.

Gradually I made real connections with other bloggers by getting a dialogue going on their blogs in the comments and responding to their comments on my own blog. I got involved in group activities and I worked really hard and providing good content, strong writing, always trying to improve my photography skills.

I don't know how long you've been blogging but maybe you're trying to run before you can walk? People who break into markets such as selling toys etc generally have built a groundswell of support first and have given a lot to the community, even just through great content and comments first. I've never moved into selling things because it seems like a much bigger investment than I'm able to make right now, but everyone's different.

It's great to put yourself out there with a post like this too - the ones where we open ourselves up a little often have the greatest impact so good on you! That was brave!

ps the follower numbers thing is a popularity contest and best ignored!

Kylie said...

I also followed a link from Retro Mummy - don't be disappointed. I made my Auction a Raffle and out of the 10 donations - 7 of those are from family and friends and bloggers that I know in real life. I have been blogging for 4 years and have recenly moved my blog and have 35 followers - of wich had just over 100. I write for me and as a diary of such. i agree with Becky - joining in with memes is alot of fun and I make sur that I try to get around and comment on blogs.
Don't be disheartened. One of my aims this year is to try and sell through madeit - I enjoy what I do and this will be an over flow of my creativity - I dont like to craft to deadlines as I then dont enjoy it. Good luck with your auctions.

Kylie said...

Also wanted to let you know that there are a few of these softie collections going on - I have already signed up for one (sorry about that) but I know Steph in real life and we were bloggy friends who met through my blog:) Kepp blogging if only for yourself.

Homemaker Honey said...

I'm participating in the Make It Perfect Queensland Auction Appeal, too. You are not alone. No one has bid on mine either.

http://www.homemakerhoney.com/2011/01/queensland-flood-relief-auction.html

Nic said...

I'm another following Corrie's FB link! Try not to be disheartened. I only have about 20 followers! I am running and auction and a raffle and my raffle only has three bids, two from friends!!! So you really aren't alone. I know i haven't even had time to go through half the things up for auction/raffle yet.
I know it can be disappointing when you write a blog post and no one comments or responds...happens to me a lot! But really, i mainly write my blog for my family overseas to read to keep up with what we are doing, so that's ok:) It can be hard not to see it as a popularity contest at times though.
I'm only relatively new to blogging so I'm not really sure what to suggest to get your followers up. But in terms of selling (and i should also caveat that i don't sell my stuff so take this with a pinch of salt too!) here are a few things to mull over:
1 are you spreading yourself a bit thin? You have so many different products. Maybe concentrate on Really polishing up one or two before expanding
2. I have to say, when selling on line and attracting buyers, photography does matter. You don't have to be a pro but it really helps make a product catch people's eyes. Is there anyone you know who could photograph things for you?
3. If you are using your blog as a portal for making sales, then you might want to think about rephrasing some of the things. For example, saying that crafting doesn't come naturally and that you're a beginner sewer, whilst very honest and open, might not entice people to buy. When persuading people to part with their hard earned cash they need to be confident that they are getting a really top quality product. Beig a professional at something is a whole different ball game to being an amateur in terms of what people expect from you. it takes a lot of courage to actually sell your goods I think!
4.this sort of goes with perhaps cutting back on your product offering for a bit (don't stop doing the other things, just focus on selling one or two things until you are more confident) - maybe work on a signature style or brand that really reflects you and your work.

Just a few ideas, feel free to ignore them all! I hope they are useful though :)

All the very best
Nic

Natalie said...

Hi Christy! I'm another one who has followed Corrie's link from FB. I couldn't pass without leaving a comment, but I have to admit that there are a lot of blogs that I love reading that I often don't leave comments on - I am trying not to do that so much as I know how much I enjoy getting comments on my blog, but some days I just don't find the time to do much more than a skim read and then rush off to do something around the house or with my children.

I go through stages where I feel like no one is reading my blog either, and have recently even taken a bit of a break from it - but I'm glad for Toni organising the auction appeal, it has spurred me on to get back to my blog. I think that there are some blogs that are just "bigger" than mine - usually only people I know comment on mine, but when I join in things in the wider blog community I usually notice a new reader here and there.

Try not to look at how many followers you have, I don't 'follow' any blogs, I prefer to use google reader to keep track on mine.

I find that I can only generate some decent sales when I am heavily promoting my store - this is something I just don't spare the time for regularly so also do not have a good sales history. I am in the process of deciding whether to let go of selling altogether or committing myself to it more than ever this year.

Please keep your chin up, blog and create for yourself for a bit until you are feeling better about it.

Natalie

becreativewithamy said...

I agree with the "create and blog for yourself" mentality. There is so much less stress. And if you have your made it shop all set up, just add to it as you make it.

And I find that I am drawn to blogs that have really great pictures. I find that I don't "read" much on the blogs I visit but love to look at the pictures. And the better quality the photo, the better your product looks. Find the best angle to show off your creations and show them being used. ie: show your hair clips in the hair of a little girl or your softies being held by the hand of a child. When people see them in action they can relate to them more easily.

I hope your chin lifts higher soon and you find your love for crafting again. Because in my definition "craft means fun".

Good luck