Sharpening the Saw

I sell hardly any patterns from May until August.  I looked at my numbers for the last few years, and it turns out it’s always been that way for me.  This is the off season then –  All right-y!  No Rav advertising for me right now.

I want to add some tabs to my site, and play with my css for fun.  Polly Hammond on her Hustle crowdcasts suggested a Refund Policy tab, and a Contact Me tab.  Which sounds like a good idea, no one to my knowledge has ever clicked my little envelope in the top of my site to e-mail me, most feedback comes from PM on Ravelry.  I wonder if I should replace the little bio in the boilerplate on the bottom of my patterns with a how to get a  hold of me if you are stuck message?

(It’s Christine at christineguestdesigns dot com by the way, if you do want to e-mail me.  What do you like of what I’ve made so far?  Are you stuck on any patterns?  Did you like any of the blog series I’ve tried?  Do I write too much for fellow designers and not enough for people who just want to sit down and make something?  I would sure love to hear from you!)

I want to start an e-mail newsletter because I have no clear idea who likes my patterns from the demographics I can scrounge up from WP Stats, Paypal and Google Analytics.  I mean I have names and a few states, but that’s not too helpful.   When business people say you need to know who it is that loves your stuff so you can make more things to delight them – I have no idea.  Right now I make stuff that delights me, but my delight is a the stitch end, sometimes as small as which increase to use.  The finished object is usually determined by the question, what can I do with this stitch, technique or motif?  I even wonder if I should be writing stitch dictionaries not patterns – only, I love making finished objects, so maybe that answers that.

I’ve subscribed to other people’s newsletters to see what they talk about, and I’m kind of clueless what I’d do differently than blogging, but it’s supposed to be powerful.  When I get around to it, I’ll give coupons for 2 free downloads to subscribers to make it worth their time – but I have to read up on MailChimp and figure out how to do it first.

Then get up the nerve.

I want to keep on submitting to magazines, because they procure the yarn support, pay the photographer and TE, and right now I’m short of funds for self publishing, though I have several ideas ready to go, mostly the submissions that were kindly rejected.  I think my stuff takes too much space to write up, which shouldn’t be as much of a problem in a pdf?

So far this year I’ve submitted 16 times, and all have been rejected, though 2 were personally written ones with “We liked ________ about your submission but_______” which is progress.

I need to finish up the tubular cast off series.

I want to make a motif design series about how to create a pictural motif – my overly literal verging on kitche kind – but I’m not sure if I’ll get to it soon.

I have realized one efficiency tactic: start from a cute drawing I find on Dover Pictura, not a picture in my head that I don’t (yet!) have the skill to draw myself.  Because creating a chart is a matter of overlaying grids, and 5-15 swatch iterations; while drawing a sketch to put under the grids is a matter of me doing the exercises in the drawing instruction books I’ve bought for my kids to use in homeschool, and maybe saving up some cash for a class with an actual drawing instructor.

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