your questions about working from home

Thank you so much for the great response you’ve given me to my blog post about working from home with little ones. It’s funny how something I just take for granted because I’ve been doing it for so long can offer information and help you out at home. I really need to do this more often because I just assume everyone knows how to do it or is doing it. And you’ve asked some great questions and I decided to put them all in the one place to help everyone.

So here we go……

1. How do you make money through your blog

This is such a good question. And one I get often. Bloggers make money in different ways and something that works for one blogger might not work or suit another. For me, sponsored posts are my bread and butter and I love them. This is what brings in most of my income and it’s something that really works for me and allowed me to close down my online store. I did my first sponsored post with nuffnang about 2 years ago and just recently made the move to the Remarkables where Lorraine looks after my enquiries and sponsored posts. It’s a great arrangement and I love that Lorraine hand picks the bloggers she wants to work with.

I’ve been accused by a few of selling out and going all commercial for doing sponsored posts but my sneaking suspicion is that these armchair critics just wish they could be doing the same. Never did I think when I started my blog that it would become my job and my love at the same time. I just wanted to share my knitting projects and pictures of my new baby. That was all.

Other ways I make money are sidebar ads (those little buttons over on the right hand side of my blog), affiliate programs (I love fishpond’s affiliate program and you can check out amazon, the iconic and lots more affiliate programs that are popping up). Other bloggers have ebooks, are mentoring, teaching, speaking, writing for other sites/publications and running stores from their blog.

I’m always learning more about blogging each week and one of the things I’ve recently done is signed up to Google Analytics. It gives you so much information about your traffic and is so much more comprehensive than sitemeter which I was using before. Wow. I wish I’d been doing it earlier.

2. How do you grow your blog

I’m working on this one. There is no magic formula to make your blog grow. A blog requires your attention, consistent effort, time (oh the time), networking with other bloggers (you can do this online, blog conferences, PR events), you have to use your social media and most of all you have to love blogging. I don’t know any overnight successes in blogging but I know lots of people who have put in consistent hard work, are honest people on their blogs and have a real niche that sets them apart.

Have a read of this post I wrote recently on my top tips for blogging. I really recommend attending a blog conference, as scary and daunting as it can seem they are a great way to make friends and learn! And the next aussie blog conference is Digital Parents next March. Oh and if you want to get serious about your blog start reading problogger. He knows his stuff. I’m also loving the advice from Nikki of Styling You here.

Making friends with bloggers is a great way to promote each other, get advice, have buddies to attend conferences and events together and just help each other out. You want any relationship to be a 2 way street – don’t keep asking someone to do something for you without offering something in return. I love some of the close friends I’ve made through my blog who help me out, listen to me whinge on a bad day or when someone leaves something nasty on my blog and have become friends in real life.

3.How can I start a business with little or no money

That was me! I used my tax cheque after I had left work to start up my business and basically that cheque bought my stock. In the fabric business you generally needed to purchase at least $1000 with your first order to get a trade account with the big distributors. Not everyone works this way but back then I couldn’t get the super cute japanese fabrics I wanted from aussie distributors. I would do orders on my credit card as I had no trade references. $1000 is a lot of money when you’re on one income with a big mortgage. I’ve been there.

My best advice if you’re starting out with little or no money is don’t worry about the expensive customised personalised logos and websites. These are great if you’ve got lots of money up your sleeve or big ambitions but if you’re a mum who wants to sell her craft or just test the waters then put that money into supplies. I used premade logos from etsy and had my name put on them. Often you can pay a little bit extra to make it OOAK (one of a kind!). Same with my first store, just premade templates that were bought online and I installed. I know people that set up websites and pay web designers and then every little thing they wanted to change would cost money. Money they weren’t bringing in yet through the business. I always looked after my own websites, used the forums and taught myself how to use zencart and Mal’s cart. It pays to be a night owl and most of it is pretty easy to do yourself. But as a one woman shop you learn to do everything. And actually it’s fun. You are learning new skills in the process. And after 6 years of blogging I just paid the big $$$’s to have my own logo and website. It’s been a long time coming.

4. Madeit or etsy

If you’re going to sell handmade check out madeit (if you’re in australia) or etsy (if you’ve overseas or have overseas customers). I think using madeit is great because you’re less likely to get lost in it if you’re starting out compared to etsy which is just huge! And if you’re short on money use social media to your advantage! Get on facebook where the mummies are hanging out! I never paid for any advertising when I ran my store because I didn’t have the money and also because I used my blog and facebook and giveaways to get the word out there.

5. Where do I buy my fabrics wholesale in Australia

I was just asked this question this week and I used to get it a lot. The best place to go if you can are the quilt trade shows  – I would go to the Australian Quilt Market. There are now 2 each year – one in Sydney and one in Melbourne (coming up in a couple of weeks). They are full of the aussie distributors for fabrics, patterns and craft supplies. It’s crafters heaven, is a trade event and a great place to find wholesalers that suit your fabric style. Remember to ask their trade terms. Some of the distributors don’t require $1000 minimum orders so they might be the best place for you to start.  And if that all seems to scary bring a friend with you who you trust!

6. I want to start a business but I’m not sure what  I want to do

Yep, been there. Why do you think I did Avon and Tupperware. I was waiting for the right thing to come along and didn’t really know what I could do. Sometimes we have to start out with something just to get our confidence up. I know what it’s like to be stuck in the mummy day to day routine and think that we’re not up to it. We’ve been out of the workforce too long. No one will buy from me. I don’t have any money. It will be a flop. And so it goes on.

Starting small and achievable is the best way to go. Something that keeps everyone in the house happy and isn’t too much for you to handle. What do you love? What do you wish you could buy that isn’t out there yet? – I’m still waiting for someone to build the first drive through convenience store with milk/bread/chocolate and nappies for me! Maybe you have someone you trust to go into business with you. I can’t stress enough that starting small but with big dreams is something that we can all do. Look at some of the gorgeous knitting designers or ladies who are designing websites or photographing families or have a market stall. They all started somewhere small with friends as customers and grown from there. Ask people around you for their advice and go for it…….

Well I hope that answered a few of your questions. If you have any others just ask…….


  1. Great advice Corrie! Have a wonderful weekend. Elaina xo

  2. Such good advice. It is so nice to hear from someone who has worked from the bottom up.

  3. Great blog again Corrie but don’t forget you have at least one follower who is not a young mummy, rather a 60 something granny and childminder.
    I am thinking of doing more with my blog and on line life too. Do you think there are opportunities for the older blogger.

  4. I think you are amazing and poo to those armchair critics, I bet they are indeed wishing they were doing what you are! It is easy to see that you love what you do, and if you are lucky enough to be able to make money from your blog and make it into a business, that is fabulous! And you have that wonderful balance on your blog of business and family, and I think that is what draws me in, as it probably does with others too….x Michelle

  5. Such great advice Corrie! Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions that came up from the previous post, your insight is absolutely invaluable :)

  6. Thank you for sharing these points Corrie! Sometimes it seems over whelming, or I can get caught up worrying about what other people are doing and the success they’re having. I keep reminding myself that I’m doing what I love and things will fall into place as I go along.

    And I’m glad you’re finding the relationship with the Remarkables a good thing – it will benefit us all in the long run!!

  7. Great advice – thanks for sharing :)

  8. Corrie,
    I have enjoyed your blog and learned many interesting. I am a grandmother and a reitired teacher. I learned about blogging just a couple of years ago and found you blog on someone’s blogs they follow list. Your blog name caught my eye and since then I read your post all the time. I am a self taught quilter and I taught myself to sew. Now I want to learn to knit! Your youth and energy are such an inspiration….how you manage all the children and a house hold is something you should be very proud of.
    I tried Etsy and I plan to reopen my store after the first of the year.
    I kept you in my prayers during your recent pregnancy and was so happy to see your beautiful new baby! We have christing comeing up on Sunday. Our third grandson, Ephriam will be chirstened!
    hugs from south Louisiana, USA

  9. Thank you for the good Tips and for sharing it with us. Especially Tips number 6, is happening to me now. I was working before I get The Ring and The Babies. Been tried doing Oriflame and a freelance translator, but just felt it wasn’t for me. Then I started to Crochet, followed with Knitting just a couple months ago, and now I keep on doing Crocheting and Knitting. And never want to stop. So I guess I’ve found my passion, although I don’t know will I take this to the Business side or not. But I’m happy with where I stand now :)

  10. Thank you Corrie for the great advice and sharing. You are inspiring and l love your blog ever since l stumbled upon earlier this year when l was searching for a craft blog. I am just hooked!

  11. cecily maher says:

    i have a much neglected little blog and i was thinking a few weeks ago about how much i miss it and how i should revamp it. I love photography and putting the pics up with a little story. I think i have 5 followers lol but intend to grow that a little more hopefully. Such good advice from you, who knows, and has experienced it all.

  12. Thanks for all the advice!!

  13. Thanks for the post. So much info..
    And lol I could do with a drive thru salad sandwich bar….

  14. thankyou corrie!!,i think it is very generous of you to share all this information,iam not a blogger or aseller,just a reader of blogs:)but i still enjoyed reading a bit of “behind the scenes”info and i do believe even without 5 kids it would take a lot of hard work so i really take my hat off to you!!

  15. Thank you for your insight and knowledge Corrie. You were my very first blogger that I EVER followed and really inspired me in so many ways to start my own blog. I am still such an avid follower x

  16. Hi Corrie, I can’t believe your timing of these posts for me! Thank-you so much for sharing all this info, you have been on my mind lots lately, wondering all sorts of things about how your got your online business & markets going. I’m just starting on a similar thing, more the making than the blogging side though. You are an inspiration, combining a way of making a helpful income while looking after and loving your family.

  17. I agree with you on the drive in convenience store. Maybe that can be my niche. Because as much as I would love to be one of those women who work from home doing something they love, I cannot for the life of me think of anything that I do so well that I can not only make money from it, but compete with the thousands of other mums working from home doing the same thing. But all of your advice is as always wonderful and incredibly helpful, and it gives me hope that one day I can join the rest of you enterprising women as a work from home mum.

  18. Hi Corrie,
    Sorry to keep asking you questions but I thought better to ask the expert than trying to work it out myself! Why do you upload photos to flickr rather than just strait to your FB page? Do you do this for your blog posts too? Thanks again :)

  19. Hi Corrie I have really enjoyed reading your posts. like one of your other readers I am not a young mum but a 50+ mum of five and only one at home now and I can relate to many of your stories. Am only now just starting on my own home business and am presently just starting to get an upgrade on my site and getting serious about advertising. best wishes Moya from country WA

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