Behind the Scenes: My Craft Biz Ezine Issue #2 (part 1)

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Whilst I was writing Issue 1 I took a lot of photos for Instagram and Facebook, as a way to log my journey. It seemed like a nice way to show you what's involved in putting together something like this... and I guess it's no surprise that I got lots of engagement on these posts, with people reaching out with questions on the subjects I was writing about.

Recently I started writing for Issue #2 and so I thought it might be nice to log my journey here on the blog too. To me it makes sense to do this alongside those more fleeting social commentaries.

So here's what I have planned for Issue 2...

In the August 2018 Issue:

We will be talking about the 'Holiday Season' and taking you through the simple tips and tricks you can employ for better planning and better sales!

The holiday season is a great opportunity to make sales with your craft business, so make sure you grab a copy and get your business up-to-speed in order to maximise your sales.

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So what goes into putting together an ezine?

My first issue was very much an experiment. I wasn't sure what the reaction would be, what, or how much I should include and I had to do everything myself to keep costs down... so I wrote everything, I took all of the pictures, I created all of the graphics and I designed and created the layout. I then turned it into a PDF for you to download as part of your free subscription.

Man, I learned a LOT!

So I come to Issue 2 with much more of a plan.

I'm starting by writing the articles in a plain document, that way (as was the consensus of a few) I'd have the option to sell a printer friendly version if asked... which I have been.

This printer friendly version will be available to subscribers only for £3 (plus VAT if applicable).

Why am I charging when the main subscription is currently free? Because this is extra work, that I am currently doing for free and so far without finishing this step I have spent 3 1/2 hours of my time on it.

From here I will move onto the magazine layout... with issue 1 I worked on this in PowerPoint and created all of the graphics to layer into the articles. For issue 2 however, I may make a change, because one of the other things that became apparent is that I would need to sell back copies and have the facility for physical magazines people could also buy.

To be honest this has thrown me.

I hadn't expected people to want to pay for my magazine... in fact my business model was built on the fact that the magazine would act almost as a sales funnel to other highlighted products. As the first issue took shape and the reaction came in, it seems apparent that people want an industry magazine and are willing to pay for it if the content is right, which it seemed to be.

You live and learn right?!

And as I always preach business needs to evolve and you need to be listening to that all the time... so here I am listening! I have some paper swatches from a print supplier here and I may go for issue 2 to be a free to subscribers copy, with back copies available at £3 (plus VAT) on Etsy and this new supplier hosting the physical copy. 

I've had a quick look and it'll be a whole new software I need to learn to use, but it could be doable in the time frame I have.

This does mean yet more work than I had for the first issue and if up-selling highlighted products is not going to be an option (because I'll be honest the sales aspects haven't been so great from that first issue), then it means I will have to consider charging for issue 3. If I do it'll be £3 (plus VAT if applicable) for the e-version and more for the physical magazine.

Next time... I'm going to talk more about production and break down the potential costing. By then I also hope to have news on the prospect of physical copies.