The reason I'm finding it difficult is the marketing aspect. First you have to establish how you want to have your shop look and feel. On Etsy that is pretty important. On Bonanzle, it is important, but there isn't as much flexibility. Then you have to make yourself known on the site. I've been on Etsy over a year and I'm still trying to reach a larger portion of the shops just to be seen. On Bonanzle I'm finding it somewhat easier to make myself seen, but not necessarily "known". I must say that both places are very friendly, so that is NOT one of the problems for me.
After marketing my SHOP, as its known on Etsy, and my BOOTH, as its known on Bonanzle, its time to reach beyond. This is the really hard part for me. There is always family and friends with hopes they will pass the shop name and address on to their friends. Then there is blogging, reading/commenting on blogs, ads on blogs, ads elsewhere, etc. etc. etc. Well, I would go on but you know about marketing or can read about it lots of other places. My point is that marketing is time consuming along with keeping up the booth and shop, promoting within the Etsy and Bonanzle communities and making the jewelry I make.
I'm not a major player in the handmade community. I'm not making super artistic jewelry that could someday end up in a museum. I'm making jewelry that I feel is an art, but its more wearable than that. Its more affordable than that. I'm also more at the level of a hobbyist. I can't take on too much of this marketing stuff.
As some of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know, I have Lupus. I am disabled by it. It causes pain in my joints and great fatigued. I also have several secondary diseases. These are diseases in their own right, but secondary because I had Lupus first and are known to develop in people with Lupus. This is my reason for being unable to do more, but other people have other reasons.
I don't know how some people are able to do as much as they do. Even when I was healthy it would have been hard to keep up and have my family, but I would have been able to do more than I do now. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep the second shop at Bonanzle running, but I'm going to try. I'll just keep it small. no more that 15 to 20 items in it. I can also sell other things in it like things from around the house, so that might be useful.
I'd love to hear from some of you how you manage to run your shop, keep it visible in its venue, whether that's Etsy or Bonanzle or elsewhere, market it and have a life outside. Do you struggle? What's harder keeping up with the shop, the venue or the marketing? Let's hear from you and if you have any suggestions or sites that might help, feel free to add them!!!
That's my view. Thanks for stopping by!