Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting my Groove Back

So, a few days ago, I posted a note about how I was feeling a bit burned out over the whole card-making venture.

Since that posting,  I took a good look at why I was feeling overwhelmed. One reason was tight turnarounds. I really pride myself on getting orders out quickly, especially when the buyer is in a bind and really needs the order turned around pronto, but sometimes this means a lot of late nights and early mornings (and I LOVE getting my sleep!).

I had three large orders happen to hit that week, which made me feel overworked.

While I would still hesitate to say no to someone in a bind, I think I really need to educate my customers as to what is a reasonable turnaround for a custom order of invitations (two weeks, not two days). Since I haven't ever posted this kind of information anywhere, I really only have myself to blame!

Another thing that I realized about my work on this online venture was that over the last few months, I'd taken my eye off what really brought me joy.

Over time, I found myself becoming increasingly distracted by all the online tools available to me to increase traffic, potentially increase revenue, etc. 

I spent more time on working on business details than I did designing cards.

While I think this blog is a good way to promote my etsy store (and it's definitely fun for me), I found myself also getting increasingly obsessed with Google Analytics, trying to increase traffic to my blog and etsy sites. Along the way, I signed up for Google Adsense, adding in online advertising on my blog. Last week, I joined Project Wonderful for a different type of online advertising and posted ad space on my blog and also bid on ad spots on other sites.

Gradually, my mornings were spent less on designing cards and increasingly more tending to the web promotion side of things.

Coming to this realization was an epiphany.

I took down the web advertising links from this blog (they weren't making me any money and, in the case of the google adsense ads, in some cases, they were actually directing my readers to purchase cheap mass-produced children's birthday party invitations!).

I have committed to NOT blogging every single day.

This past weekend, I spent my free time (after completing an outstanding order) designing cards. The result was the beginning of my Mother's Day card AND a huge sense of accomplishment.

Rather than feeling beaten down and tired, I felt energized and excited again!

So the moral of the story is: understand WHY you do what you do. Keep that focus in mind and don't stray!


Joanne said...

It's easy to get a little blog obsessed isn't it? :) I do the same thing. You've obviously put things in perspective though - which is hard when we're always working on projects for OTHERS. Sometimes we just need to make things for ourselves, or someone we love, in order to remind us WHY we enjoy what we do! Love, love, LOVE the Mothers Day card by the way - can't wait to see it finished!

Molly said...

Thanks, Joanne!

It's so nice to hear from you!

I just got a book of quotations that I'm hoping will inspire me with something to complete my mother's day card (and thinking that it will be a great card for a lot of other kinds of events as well -- anniversary, birthday, maybe even a bridal shower).

Thanks again -- it's always nice to hear from people!