Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Skillshare Opportunity

Have you ever considered learning online? What about teaching?

Last week I was given the opportunity to teach a class on Skillshare and am going for it. It is still in progress, but I am pleased with the results so far.

If you like to share your knowledge with others, as I do, then joining Skillshare as a teacher is a great opportunity. As I said, I haven't published my first class yet, but the earning potential is there. The first one is always the hardest it seems, because the platform is new to me, and I'm familiarizing myself with the process and how to structure the class.

I have also taken some classes, one of which is learning how to make the mandalas. That may or may not have been one of the reasons I didn't start filming my class until yesterday.

If you are interested in learning anything online, Skillshare is the place to do it. The beauty is the lessons are  2-5 minutes long, which makes them easy to digest; and easy to refer back to should you want to watch it again. I have enrolled in classes from other sites and it has been one long video. I'm not saying the content wasn't good, as it was, but it was difficult to find the spot I was looking for when I wanted something repeated.

The photo below is what I learned to do in the mandala class. Enjoy and have a great day!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

5 Ways to Sell Your Digital Products

Do you create digital products?

For those who do, getting them into the hands of others is easier than ever. I have compiled a short list to show you just how easy it is to earn money from your products. Before I get to the list however, I will go over what digital products entail.
Firstly, digital products do not necessarily have to be eBooks. If it can be created on your computer or your smartphone, it can be sold as a digital product. Photography, eBooks, patterns, audio and video can all be created digitally. Plus, using your computer’s drawing program you can also create pictures and other works of art. The possibilities are endless, and the revenue potential is high.
Secondly, it is wrong to assume that you will make a sale the minute you put it online. As with any product or business, you have to let others know it is available. You must do some marketing, or you products will sit there gathering virtual dust. You can start within your circle of social media contacts, then branch outward.

Now for the fun part!

1. One of the best ways to sell your digital products is to upload the files to a platform such as Sellfy. They take a small fee (five percent) when a sale is made, and the rest is deposited into your PayPal account. The nice thing about this platform is you don’t have to wait for your funds.

Sellfy also lets you share your products via social networking links directly from your product page. Plus, you can easily embed a code they provide and paste it onto your website or blog.

2. Another way to sell your digital products is to open an Etsy Shop. The files are uploaded and automatically sent to buyers once payment has been cleared. I have sold several of my crochet patterns this way. There are thousands of shops selling everything from patterns to eBooks to printable pages for journals, calendars, planners and papercrafts. Quality images are also sold, which gives the buyer the rights to use them in their own projects or print them to display. When selling images, it is wise to include a policy which explains where the images can be used. Not all images have the same rights, so be sure you are clear.

3. Selling directly from your blog or website is also an option. Using a payment processor such as PayPal works, or you can integrate a shopping cart. I find linking to my Etsy Shop or directly to my products in other platforms works best, as shoppers have an opportunity to see what else is available. Plus, it cuts down on the time you will need to manage orders. Why spend time on the administrative tasks when you could be creating instead? Yes, there is always some bookwork to be done, but let another platform take care of the order processing. That is essential when you are unable to be at your computer full time because of other commitments.

4. If you have created eBooks, selling them on Amazon will put you in front of a global market, should you choose to be. Yes, there is a lot of competition out there, but by producing a quality product that will educate or entertain others, there is great potential. The nice thing about Amazon is they have a POD (print on demand) service through CreateSpace, which allows shoppers to purchase a print copy of your book. Here again, it is a global market.

5. Another option for eBooks is Kobo. They also reach a global market, so your books can be purchased almost anywhere in the world. Once again, a quality product is necessary if you want to earn royalties. I do believe they have also partnered with a POD company, but at this point I do not know which it is.

As you can see, getting your digital products into the hands of others is relatively simple because there are so many options. The main thing to remember is to produce a quality product, be clear about how the products can be used, do your marketing and provide customer service. If there is an issue, try to resolve it as quickly as possible.

The digital age is here, so why not cash in on it?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Rain, Rain and More Rain

I am relieved to say there will be no Canada Post strike, and all mail will be accepted and delivered. That is good news for those who rely on the postal service to ship products nationally and internationally.

We spent the weekend camping in the rain. The first downpour hit just as we unhooked the trailer from the truck, and it got leveled between showers. Over the course of the weekend, we had 3 1/2", which is a lot for such a short time. There were other areas that had that much in a matter of hours, not days.

Our trailer was built in the seventies, and is little and sans-bathroom. Plans for one a little bigger are in the works, so trips will be a little more enjoyable - especially when it's pouring rain and one has to pee. As it is just the two of us, we aren't looking for one that is huge, nor do we need it to sleep a lot of people. A separate bedroom and a bit more room inside is all we need. Plus, and outdoor kitchen would be a nice touch.

I took my knitting with me, as well as my Camp NaNo Project. Sadly I did not get a single word written, but I did figure out how to increase and decrease stitches in my knitting. Knitting and I have had an ongoing battle for years; we agree to disagree. I can crochet almost anything, but put needles in my hands and I am stuck in the garter stitch. I am trying, because I would love to knit some socks from alpaca yarn. I see so many neat pairs being knit when I log into my Instagram account. It would be wonderful to have my own socks to share one day.

On the farm side of things, I made a sad discovery on Sunday when I went to do my chores. I found one of my male alpacas dead in the pen. I'm not sure what happened to him, as there were no visible marks on him. My thinking is either he ended up with a bound intestine or the loud thunder caused him to have a heart attack. He was perfectly fine Saturday evening, and being his usual try-to-get-past-the-lady self. It's always sad to lose an animal. As my daughter's 4-H leader said several years ago - if you have livestock, you have dead-stock. That is so true.

To help with the cost of hay and feed this winter, I am working on a Sponsor-an-Alpaca package. This is the first year we will have to buy hay, and the cost is going to set us back at least several hundred dollars. If the rain stops and the hay fields dry out, we should be able to get a truckload locally for a decent price. If not, then the cost will be substantially higher. I am hoping for the former.

Speaking of alpacas, it is time for me to go feed and water them. Feeding right now involves moving panels to a new patch of green grass, which usually takes me a half hour. I have a short shift at the library today, so I can do the larger move this afternoon.

If you are interested in sponsoring an alpaca, please comment below. I will work out the details and provide a link on the sidebar.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Camp NaNo, Alpacas and Canada Post

Here it is, already July 5th! It seemed like only yesterday the year had just begun.

I haven't done any real camping this month yet, but I have been placed in a cabin with others from around the world in Camp NaNoWriMo. So far I have written just over one thousand words. My cabin-mates are also at different stages of their projects; some have several thousand words written, while others have not updated their counts as of yet.

My alpacas are enjoying their green grass, and I am enjoying the fact they are cleaning up an area that has been overgrown for several years. Each day I move the panels to give them a new area to graze, and by month end I should be able to have them back in their original pens. That is, if I decide to keep them there. I do like the area they are grazing in better, as it is more sheltered and shaded. The rows of trees and shrubs make for a natural windbreak, which is ideal during the winter. And, I must start thinking about winter soon, as it will be here before we know it. The summers are always too short.

As many of you have heard, Canada Post is trying to come up with a solution to an ongoing wage battle. It is frustrating that they cannot resolve the issue, but on the same note there is no reason to lash out and be downright rude. I read a handful of comments on a photo of a Canada Post Outlet this morning, and not one of them was anywhere being close to courteous.

What many people fail to realize is it is not necessarily the workers themselves demanding more, but rather the people further up the food chain, so to speak. Sadly, the employees in the outlets get the most abuse as they are the ones in the public eye. I rely on Canada Post to get my packages to my customers, as do most small businesses. It is not limited to just businesses either; there are people who still depend on mail delivery for cheques, bills, bank statements and letters from family and friends. Not everyone has switched over to going completely paperless, and in all honesty I don't think that will ever happen.

Now, why don't we cut the average worker some slack and not be jerks about it all. These are people who have mouths to feed and bills to pay just like anyone else. I do agree that some changes could be made in respect to high-volume times, but for the most part it is a service we depend on. I wish people would think about the weather conditions and verbal abuse postal workers all over the world have to deal with before voicing such negativity.

On a more positive note, let's all enjoy the summer and be kind to one another. Life is meant to be enjoyed; not to go through being bitter and resenting everything and everyone that doesn't share your opinion. And speaking of opinions, now that I have voiced mine it is time to get on with my day and do something that will improve my life; not destroy someone else's.

Have a great day!