I love you! Best online shop setup for blogging income.

I love PayPal!

I love Sellbox! (and Dropbox!)

I love WordPress.com!

How exciting. After exploring so many options, these four things have combined together to create a successful way of making a small roadside stall at the end of my virtual driveway.

Thank you to everyone who has come by my humble colouring book and bought it off my virtual shelf. I appreciate you all so very much. Why am I so shy about saying I love you too! I really hope that the colouring pics bring some calm, joy, fun, healing or at least a bit of colour into your lives! That is my peculiar brand of love for you. A little thing. Just a little drop in the virtual bucket.

So far, I have made about $54 NZD and it feels great. I welcome any feedback about what works or doesn’t work with your colouring book download. That’s because I want to make the next one better, and create more after that. Your feedback will help me to improve. Or if it is perfect as it is, then it will help me to keep it the same for others to enjoy for the same reasons you enjoy it!

If you haven’t bought one yet, and are wondering what all the fuss is about, or want to review it and give me a bit of feedback, please try this link: http://sbx.sk/AkD1

Mostly, for all my blogger buddies who also want to make an income of some sort online, please know that I have found something that works for me, and perhaps it will work for you too! Darn good therapy.

Links:

PayPal takes care of all currency conversion, and provides secure payment service, including credit card payment which keeps your credit card details private. They provide financial reporting for tax purposes. http://paypal.com

Sellbox provides a brilliant interface between buyer and product, with space for preview pictures, and the option for donations, and promotion codes with discounts.It’s easy to take the Sellbox link for a product and insert it anywhere on your blog. http://sellboxhq.com

DropBox is cloud storage of your digital files, so they are quickly accessible from anywhere in the world. http://dropbox.com

Or Google Drive, which is also cloud storage. http://drive.google.com

And of course dear WordPress, home of the best blogs ever. http://wordpress.com

Much thanks and loves also these two writers who have greatly helped me along the way.

Opinionated Man at the HarsH ReaLiTy blog taught me  how to build a blog audience. His Blogging Manual e-book is available on Amazon.

John Tighe wrote an excellent book How To Crush It With Kindle, which has taught me and is still teaching me much about how to sell a Kindle e-book. I translate those principles into selling my digital files of any sort on my own blog page.

Homeschool work-at-home single parents

I am in search of moral support and a look into how others manage in a similar position. Here’s a few of my findings.

~

Examples of types of work done by folk who work while homeschooling. There’s a wide variety!

http://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/working_from_home_while_homeschooling/

~

Some interesting statistics, and how to fit homeschooling into weekends and holidays.

http://a2zhomeschooling.com/main_articles/single_working_parent_family/

~

Single, but not Alone. An article on the difficulties faced when homeschooling as a single parent, and how faith fits into the picture.

http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V27N1/V27N101.asp

~

Working outside the home full-time, while homeschooling. It was interesting to learn how this family took their child with them to work.

http://homeedmag.com/HEM/193/mjwork.php

~

The Real Reason Parents Don’t Homeschool… And I will investigate this further a bit later on, as I see the writer has three startups under her belt. And lots of links to explore in her article.

http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2013/01/24/the-real-reason-parents-dont-homeschool/

~

This weekend, I am actually going to have a “weekend.”

Hope you all enjoy your weekends too!

I will be up at 2.30am Sunday for Twitter @Artist_Chat on the #ArtistChat hashtag, for the interview with author/artist Arthur H. Browne of the Pouring My Art Out Blog.  Apparently that’s 7.30am Pacific Time, or 10.30am EST Saturday. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Colouring books

~ an update ~

The last four days have been quite intense. I have a system for uploading colourful and colouring artwork for sale. (At wildersoul.wordpress.com) The mix of black and white, with colour in some of my previews appeals to me, and I have a feeling that this colouring book style is going to affect my paintings… Everything is set up for me to start painting.

The plan is to take Friday off from the usual routine, and spend some time perhaps painting, and following Job Leads. Or self-employed Artist leads… The blog may be updated with the next letter of the alphabet, U.

It seems like no problem at all to carry on producing a colouring book pic every day. Each one is hand-drawn and I think of it as my Artist’s Sketchpad. A place to show sketches that may turn into paintings.

The pain in my left shoulder/neck has disappeared. And some Playground Therapy yesterday did me a world of good. The stress had started to build up, and going for a really high swing helped to defuse it, and I found I could breathe properly again. Then a few slides down the bumpy slide for kids a lot younger than I, and I could giggle again… and again…

I highly recommend Playground Therapy.

It also does wonders for the self-esteem. Nothing like hearing you’re amazing, from the mouths of babes. I wonder how high they will attempt to swing tomorrow!

That’s the physiological de-stress. Here’s my mental de-stress technique: If I am pressured to desert my kids with the threat of losing half of our current income, then I will go bush. This is my mental “escape hatch.” It is my way of accepting the worst that could happen, and be totally prepared to face it. An interesting novel caught my eye, which has a colourful description of the slums of India. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. People made their dwellings out of whatever was on hand. And there was a huge community all living together in the same conditions. The “happiness” is found in everyone being in similar circumstances. It is harder living poor in among the rich. I remember Gandhi wearing his large white sheet, and it didn’t matter where he went, or what dignitaries he met with, he wore what he wore. A man in uniform asked him if he felt underdressed for the occasion. To which Gandhi asked if the heavily decorated and uniformed man felt overdressed.

Full steam ahead. I want to be earning at least some money from my colouring book, and other art, within the next two weeks. Then I have an appointment where I will need to bring evidence of the work and learning I have put in towards setting up this online business. As well as, at the same time, showing that I am looking for any suitable/appropriate work available.

That means writing a CV. I will post it, and link to it on all my blogs. And I will think up a list of things I could possibly offer to do for others for money. Sounds serious doesn’t it! I am required to be working part-time, or in some sort of approved training course, in addition to homeschooling. I am working and learning. The only missing ingredient is the money. Any tips are much appreciated.

I have been told that doubling my price and offering different ‘levels’ of product could work. My introductory prices for September are to get the ball rolling, and make sure that my system works. I intend to aim next for the Fine Art – Digital Art market, and get serious about painting. While retaining the colouring book theme, and the therapeutic angle. I have some leads for places to display or promote my work.

That’s my life update on colouring books for tonight. It’s been a long day. Hope you enjoy the splash of colour at the Wildersoul Colouring Book.

Business Therapy – health update

I am going to keep tabs on my health during the month of September, as I may have to adjust my schedule if things don’t go well.

Family day outdoors today was lovely. We had a picnic with a long walk along the foreshore. Beautiful view. Good for the soul.

Ok. A simple list.

  • brain dripping through nose again… haha or whatever it is.
  • lately I notice I get very cold, a number of times through the day (when no-one else is)
  • falling asleep during the day (probably catching up on late nights)
  • fell asleep at picnic table while writing up business email draft
  • shivering and chattering with cold, although dressed warmer than everyone else
  • queasy and exhausted for walk home, many rest stops
  • fell asleep immediately once home for couple of hours
  • convulsions, heart beat faster than usual and working hard
  • memories of trauma
  • got up weak, heavy, and wobbly/dizzy
  • slurred, sometimes garbled speech

Hmm. That looks worse on paper.

Just letting my readers know – there is nothing to worry about… all of these things have happened before, and I simply want to keep track this month to make sure things don’t get worse, or unusual. (Unusual even for me, that is!)

I think I have mentioned before that colouring in was very helpful in healing from post-traumatic stress, and that I do not have the fear/terror/panic/stress symptoms any more. Only the physical symptoms remain, meaning, my body is worn out.

So we will see just how worn out it is, and how much load it can handle.

Basically, working for an income involves a lot of work, some stress which would normally be classed as a healthy and positive stress, and an added weight of responsibility.

Then add the negative stress that can creep in, if allowed to… such as lack of confidence. Anger at the other parent who does not share the responsibility. And loading up extra thoughts of responsibility, such as paying back the taxpayer’s money that has supported us these last years.  And also, an awareness of the negative thoughts of others around me toward the situation I am in. I have to throw these thoughts off to maintain health.

Ok. So the healthy focus for now is to simply work towards $10,140 for the year. And stick to my one month plan to get it all started. I will document how realistic my goal is, of 15 contacts in the morning, 15 in the afternoon. And adjust it if necessary.

The ‘positive healthy’ stress of working for an income is complicated by the particular trauma I went through. It adds an unhealthy and negative stress. And this is something I will work through as things come up. It looks as though a re-run of some memories is naturally coming up, and it is more of a review, with my brain putting together the pieces into a continuous story, rather than disjointed pieces.

I have been in a situation before where I realized that my earnings were not enough to cover all expenses, and it was my love for those I cared for that kept me going through the stress. I am drawing on that feeling now as I set out to earn what I can, even if it may not be enough to cover all of our expenses.

New routine

I’ve been feeling a bit ruffled since starting the dissolvingbuildings.com blog. This morning I thought of a new routine to try out. It may or not work in practice. Only one way to find out!

One. Spirituality…  I need to find an outlet, and nourishment for the spiritual side of me. And it has to come first, so I’m going to start with this each morning.

Two. Means of living… Next I will work on dissolvingbuildings.com, creating content to encourage community interaction. I would like to highlight people’s work so I guess it would be a bit like an online publisher, or a niche bookshop… I’ll get it sorted, what kind of an animal is it really? I will allot it the time it requires early in the day.

Three.  Healing, and giving to others… This means my colouring book. The artwork-a-day routine is very healthy for me, and I want to complete my goal of a year’s worth of artwork available for free over the internet. I want this to be a healing sort of environment.

Four. Interaction…. Instead of likes and follows, I want to make comments. Who knows what will come of it! I am interested to find out. I am wondering if the percentages will change. Instead of a smaller percentage of comments out of a very large amount of views, I want to see if I get a larger amount of comments from a smaller number of views. Because at the end of it all, I would like to grow a creative community of people with as little effort as possible in bringing them all together. Call me lazy (?!)

Five. Exercise. Probably between about 3-5pm. Maybe play with a basketball and shoot some hoops or something. Something a little more vigorous than my usual long walks.

Six. And this is the part I look forward to, and what is most often put off… Learning! I like to read, study, practice, and create. And perhaps, I could set apart this last part of the day to learn with others, in person somewhere. Mostly, I want to create a colouring book at home. And I need to devote some time to it. It has to be a little different from the standard colouring books.

I’ve simplified it a lot, and there are things missing which will probably shuffle into weekends and odd pockets of the day.

I avoid deadlines as much as possible, and setting specific times to do things. I do get very specific about my goals, and have regular checks weekly and monthly to review them and make changes or update them. Usually my timing is way out. I either achieve a goal in a few months that I set for a year, or I take a year or more to achieve something I set out to do in a few months. It’s all part of the process and I adjust the timeframe to suit as I go along.

How I Became A Full-Time Freelance Writer and Blogger

Joe Warnimont shares practical words of experience with fellow bloggers. There are a few things I’d like to check out, such as Genesis as a platform for self-hosting. And I want to get serious about finding my niche. Recommended reading!

My new words to practice saying, and writing:

I am an artist

I am a poet

What do you get out of Joe’s story?

via How I Became A Full-Time Freelance Writer and Blogger.

Sick Statistics

I’m listening to those metaphysical marvels from Louise Hay…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/026231_flu_virus_meditation.html#ixzz2YueZrsIc

And really, I started to feel better when I threw out the thought that I need to slave over the clicks and follows etc, and how long it all takes, and the numbers and figures and percentages etc etc.  The headache left first, and I started to breathe easier.

I ripped a long sheet of newsprint off the roll and laid it on my table, and drew up  thoughts about my blog.

My biggest question became, “How do I earn money by helping others?”

And the two biggest things I noticed about my blog, were the popular blank frames, and the poem art / art therapy.

I am happily moving in the direction of:

Make beautiful art for others to use for poems

Make beautiful frames for others to use for art

Sell e-books as offline catalogues.

Link to blog for downloads/printouts.

Strangely, it has become easier to click, and follow etc, because my focus is more on socializing. Such as introvert! I am doing well with my three comments per day… I lose count. And that’s good.

Sometimes I wonder if I could write something about living on a low income. Fish head soup and pig’s trotters jokes aside….

Business Therapy

Trucking along with this idea of making an income online… I came around a corner and delved into an e-book on how to make it big with an e-book. I’ve answered some of the questions, and it is easier than coming up with a ‘standard business plan.’ This is more of a specific, e-book business plan!

In the meantime, we have set a family goal to achieve. The first combined goal involving making money together!

To share something personal – it wasn’t so long ago when it was difficult for me to get beyond my own front door and face the world. From walking to the letterbox, to walking around the block, to taking trips into town and back, and venturing out on longer walks, we have eventually made it out of town for a small number of trips, and overnight stays, and now even two week stays with family.

Getting sick is a pain, because it feels like I am going backwards, and cocooning into my house again. It is not such a big issue for me dealing with the physical symptoms. The thunder storm has rolled on past, and the sun is shining outdoors again, so a walk around the block with my buggy sniffly, phlegmy family will be a welcome break from the last few days indoors.

So, this is our goal:

To take a two-week tour of the South Island of New Zealand.
This will involve a flight for three of us, approx $1000
Bus tour for three, approx $2000
Accommodation 14 nights approx $1500
and food at approx $400

All very rough estimates and trying to err on the side of having “too much money” rather than being stuck with too little, far from home! Grand Total of around $5000.

I’ll share my secret: This is intended to motivate me to make an income. I have been a homeschooling mum for many years, and making a re-entry into the paid workforce is a very interesting process. Not only do I need motivation to keep my mind of a husband appearing out of thin air, I also need motivation to keep my family supportive of my efforts to create and maintain a business from home. Without the support of those in my own home, it makes all efforts more difficult to sustain.

The special thing about this trip, is that I have always wanted to explore and get to know my own country before venturing out to visit the rest of the world. To know that I can stay away from home for two weeks, means that this trip is possible for me now. And once this trip is completed, I will know that I am ready to travel overseas.

I have taken on-board OM’s very helpful tips in his e-book HarsH ReaLiTy (A Blogging Manual). And have made some specific measurable goals to work towards, which will help me to reach the South Island, and beyond!

  • 100,000 views in six months
  • 6,800 followers in six months
  • Commit to making three comments on new blogs every day (minimum)

Sounds ambitious, and that is the nature of goal-setting. I review my goals weekly, monthly and every three months. Because sometimes they can be too ambitious, or else I have achieved the goal earlier than expected. Or it has evolved into something else. So these figures may change. It is my prompt to get started, and to stay motivated.  Actually, OM is a major motivating force for me. I guess this is because essentially we have a similar aim, of earning an income from blogging in one way or another. Rather than a conventional 9 to 5 day-job or career.

I reckon there’s a few of us out there with the same motivation 🙂

At the root of it, for me, is the desire to spend maximum amount of time with those I love most.

There’s a careful balance needed then, to make sure the means does not swamp the end.

The therapeutic part of this business planning, is in the mindset I strive to develop. It is focused actively on love and hope. And draws the rest of my existence around those things.

Business Therapy

Or Business School. I’m going to share what I’m up to, and then ask you a question at the end.

  1. Free colouring book with fast, easy drawing. Low time, low (no) cost, low quality…
  2. Sellbox shop with listings on Wildersoul.com. Medium time, low cost, higher quality.
  3. Spoonflower designs made to order, medium time, higher cost, higher quality
  4. Etsy shop with handmade one-off artworks created from Spoonflower designs, on fabric. Highest time, highest cost, highest quality.

To work on next:

  • Keep loading up daily artwork for free colouring book. In a way, this is absolutely free promotion of anything else I create. It is literally a look at the artist’s drawing board, with scribbles and sketches of ideas that may blossom into something later.
  • Create a beautiful and intricate artwork from my Spoonflower design. (Butterfly design on fabric – using beads and fabric paint, and who knows what else. It may turn into a beautiful bag of some sort…)
  • Figure out how to have all my blogs on Wildersoul.com, so I have only one point of contact. The trick is to make it so it is text only, mostly, on the front page, so that it loads quickly and easily. And also have all of the colouring pictures display as a gallery with no text. I think I can achieve this by carefully adding categories, and putting them into a menu. Or else I will have to figure out some coding, and how to use shortcodes.

Other ideas brewing:

  • A regular radio broadcast
  • A regular tv channel, you know, YouTube channel. With broadcasts, perhaps via Google+
  • Twitter poetry – 140 character poems. Perhaps it could make a good e-book, with photos and/or artwork added.
  • Skype or Gmail video chat available for face-to-face video chat.

My drive to share freely is in gratitude for the wonderfully supportive bloggers on WP, and also in a spirit of passing on what has helped me to heal.

My drive to start a business is to make money to support my family. Call me old fashioned, it kind of breaks my heart, as I believe in the Man having the role of providing for the family. The way I frame this in my mind, is that I am giving my kids the direct experience of seeing and being involved in a business start-up. Gotta be good for them. I love it when they come up with something better. I like to stimulate ideas, and head them down tracks they may not have considered. And then watch them run with it, in directions beyond my imagination or ability.

In the meantime… I am thoroughly enjoying the art I do with my own hands. Finally I am really starting to add colour. Somehow my mind is also tuning in to what other people want or need, that I could perhaps provide.

For now, here’s my question to you: What are your dreams, plans and goals? What is important to you in life right now? And what are your challenges, or disappointments, and how do you frame them so as to get on with things? (Big question…!)

Butterflies and bumblebees

My new Esty shop has butterflies and bumblebees for sale, neatly packed into colouring books that are printable and downloadable. It took me four hours today to create and upload them all, with a sample on my blog and Butterfly Woman‘s blog, and a Twitter and Facebook update.  I’m getting used to how the shop works, and how quick the pages load.  The PayPal works well, and Etsy tests that out for me at the start, so I feel secure and confident about it.

I visited the tax office, and feel relieved that it is much easier than I expected.  I don’t need to keep records of every single person who buys stuff.  A total for the month is fine, and Amazon and Etsy and PayPal all provide monthly reports so – sweeeet.

Thinking of it like a fish n’ chip shop, and tallying up the till.

I’ll change my WuFoo form so it doesn’t collect billing details.

Right. That’s my update.  The shop really does seem ‘live’ now. Even though I haven’t sold anything yet!

Let you in on a secret. I really like to give the colouring pictures for free online here. (wildersoul.wordpress.com) And all of this setting up shop carry-on, is like a non-stressful test run to get ready to sell other stuff……. won’t think about it too much yet. Don’t want to freak myself out!

Meantime – my canvas textured paper is still sitting on my desk, ready to start on a portrait in acrylics.  And my new confidence with building PDFs and uploading them for sale, is spurring me on to create an illustrated book of poems.  I have tried some very basic HTML in a text file, and tested it out in a browser window. It works. The pictures look enormous.  Then when I pull the whole thing into Kindle and preview it, the image sizes reduce to fit on the page. I haven’t perfected getting them the right size to go with the text. That’s my next mission. (I’m working on it, CP!)

♦♥♦