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Making Money from Your Crafts – How to Decide What to Make and Sell

By Margaret Manning April 02, 2015 Lifestyle

In a previous article, I discussed how to improve your craft skills so that you can get ready to sell your handmade items online. But, once you feel like you have reached a certain level of proficiency, the question still remains – what should you produce?

Many people think that all you need to do when starting a business is “follow your heart.” The reality is somewhat more complicated. As many people have found out the hard way, doing something that you love is only half of the story. You also need to produce something that people want to buy. Here are a few tips for doing exactly this.

If you missed my previous article please click here to see my advice on step 1 of the process – improving your craft skills.

Step 2: Deciding What to Make and Sell

The most obvious place to start your craft business is to take an honest look at what you love to do. People gravitate to items that they can feel were made with love and attention to detail. So, this is not just a matter of choosing something that you can stick with. Following your passion will also help you to stand out from the crowd.

Unfortunately, as many aspiring craftpreneurs have discovered, doing what you love is just a starting point. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to produce something unique. In addition, you need to have a promotional plan to make sure that people actually know where to find your goods.

Here are a few questions that every person who wants to sell handmade items online should ask themselves:

  • Is there an existing market for the products that I am thinking of producing?
  • Who are the most successful craftpreneurs in my category?
  • What are the biggest complains that people have about others’ handmade items?
  • How can I take a product category that already sells and add my own special flair?
  • What one aspect of the crafting process can I do better than anyone else?

In addition to the questions above, I highly encourage you to take the time to gather information about your potential customers. This could involve asking customers directly. Or, you could simply spend time in customer forums and on crafting websites reading comments.

Regardless of the strategy that you use, don’t create blindly. Taking the time to understand your audience will put you in a great position as you start to sell your handmade items online.

Are you already selling your crafts online? What advice would you give to the other women in our community who may just be getting started? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.


Step 1: How to Improve Your Crafting Skills

Step 2: Deciding What Handmade Items to Create (this article)

Step 3: How to Find the Best Place to Sell Your Handmade Items Online

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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