Frugal Friday - Opportunity

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hello!  It's time for another Frugal Friday post.  This is most likely the final post in the series unless you all have any other topics you would like me to cover.  To review, we've already covered PAPER, INK, STAMPS, TOOLS, EMBELLISHMENTS, and ADHESIVE.  Of course, click here to learn more about Frugal Friday.

I wasn't sure on what category today's post would fall under, so I'm choosing to use Opportunity. I'll be talking about opportunities within design teams, selling your cards as well as advertising on your blog.  

Design Teams
If you are not familiar with the idea of design teams (DT for short), they are basically a team that a company puts together to promote their product. 

I can think of three types of teams.  Some online supply stores have design teams.  The DT creates cards and projects that showcase that store's product.  Usually a wide variety of products to use and you would simply link to the product in your blog post.  There might be more or less responsibilities and requirements that go with this.

Stamp companies often have design teams to showcase their brand of stamps.  Typically designers receive stamps ahead of time to create projects/cards for new releases to share on their blogs and get customers excited about the new stamps being released.    

The last type of design team that I am aware of are those that are created for challenge blogs.  There are a ton of challenges out there every single day.  Some are sketch challenges, some color challenges, some change from week to week.  Some of these challenge blogs have design teams that create samples for that weeks challenge.

Now, why would you want to be on a design team?  Well, there are many reasons.  The first reason that comes to mind is a discount or free supplies.  When your budget is tight, being on a design team can really be beneficial. You are sort of trading your skills and ability for a discount or free supplies.  It's a win/win situation in my book.  Being on a design team can also increase traffic to your blog.  Whether you just want to increase the amount of people that see your cards or if you are earning an income from your blog (I'll talk more about that later in this post), joining a design team is a great option.  

You can't just say you want to be on a design team.  Usually you have to apply.  Splitcoast Stampers is a great place to see what people/companies are looking for new members.  

I have been on all of these types of design teams and I just love the feeling of community and working together towards a common goal.  And I can't forget to mention that they are FUN!

Selling Your Cards/Projects
Here's where I need to take a dose of my own advice.  Selling your cards/projects is a great way to earn income.  I don't know if you are like me, but I have about 4 shoe boxes crammed full of cards.  Just think of all the new supplies and stamps I could buy if I sold some of those cards.  There are some great sites where you can sell your cards.  You may already be familiar with Etsy, where you can sell all kinds of handmade items, but a site that is new to me is eWillow.   This is an area where I haven't really ventured yet due to just not having the time.  When the kids get back in school, I'm definitely going to be selling my cards.  

Getting Published
Getting your cards published in a magazine is not only cool, but it's a way to get free stuff.  I do realize that it does take a lot of hard work and a lot of rejection to get one card published.  I usually submit about 40 cards per month and if I'm lucky, one will get published.  Nothing compares to the feeling of getting published.  I get excited every time.  Different magazines offer different perks to those whose cards are chosen.  You usually will get a free copy or two of the magazine along with some free supplies.  I love getting happy mail.  You just never know what they will be sending you.  

Advertising on Your Blog
I'm sure you have all noticed that I have advertising on my blog.  As soon as I noticed that people were actually visiting my blog, I decided to see if there was a way to earn an income from all my hard work.  The advertising company I chose to work with is Blogher.  It is an all female company whose advertisers are looking for a female audience. I thought it would be a good fit for my blog, and it was.  When I first started out, I was earning about $3 a month, if that.  As time went on and my blog readers increased, I can pretty much buy a new stamp set or two each month.  Since we are a single income family, we have a strict budget.  The money earned from my blog goes into buying new supplies to keep my cards new and fresh.   

I know there are many people that frown on this, but I'm okay with it (obviously).  I feel that blogging is hard work and supplies are not cheap.  If someone wants to pay me to do it, why would I turn it down?   

I would love to hear your opinions on this.  If you have any ideas for another Frugal Friday post, just leave me a comment.  I love hearing from you.  

I really enjoyed doing this series, but it is a lot of work.  I do love sharing my experiences with you!

PS.  My Mom will most likely be coming home from the hospital today.  She's been there a week.  She's been diagnosed with chronic pneumonia and anemia.  Today is my birthday, so her coming home is a wonderful present.  

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Sue in Grapevine August 3, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

I've always wondered if any magazines pay cash for published cards - instead of just free mags & supplies.

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