A guest post by Kerry Wilkinson of Crafteroo
Running a craft magazine is totally different to running any other sort of craft business as it requires a large team to work
together to get a nice variety of content and also input- there's nothing worse than doing something all yourself and being
oblivious to an integral part being very wrong! Of course there are similarities too, in the need for a unique selling point
and a profit margin to be successful.
Let me give you the back story. Earlier this year the Crafteroo (www.crafteroo.co.uk)
forum was getting a bit tired. At 3 years old, we had seen many different crafters pass through our doors, get successful and
then not have the time to come and hang out any more. Also with all of the other forums out there- whether international and
long established, or newbie forums to coincide magazine launches- it was becoming a challenge to let people know that, hey, we're out
there and we're really great!
So we needed something we could plug away at, a unique selling point for the forum looking at it from a business perspective
(despite being non-profit, but I'll get to that bit later). As with any crafty business you need a “USP”, whether your items
are environmentally friendly, use unusual elements or are sold in partnership with a charity, we all need something that makes
us different in order to succeed. Our USP is that we're a friendly craft forum that comes together to create a magazine on a quarterly basis!
This really got everyone's creative juices flowing and it was great for everyone to get so enthusiastic! It's been great fun
putting it together and getting reactions from those who have had a sneaky peek at their hard work in situ. No one gets paid
on the magazine- it is all voluntary, from writing the articles, to proof reading to physically putting the items on the page
and creating the interactive document. There is a cover charge of £1.50 and we do sell a very minimal 8 pages of adverts
(very cheaply!) within the 64 page magazine, however we view that as our profit, rather than wages. This means that we can
use the money to pay for the forum hosting (so that our lovely vInTaGe VioLeT isn't dipping into her own money all the time),
for any upgrades to keep it fresh and exciting and also for any promotion for the magazine that might cost money. Anything left
over can then be used to buy prizes for design competitions, which also keeps people coming back for more!
Without profit, it is difficult to get a business off the ground. When you price your products, this should be factored in along
with your hourly wage and materials to make sure you can afford to plug away at your shop and pay for things like craft fairs,
new websites, even pay a photographer if your images aren't as good as you will like. If you only charge for your time and materials,
where else will this money come from?
So anyway, I can tell you're dying to get hold of a copy of the wonderfully affordable Crafteroo Magazine, the first ever issue released
1st October. You will get instant access to it via the forum for 3 months- that's only 50p a month!- and it has 17 projects as well
as some new ideas for improving your craft business, so its well worth it! The only thing is you will have to become a member of our
community, but we don't bite and it would be great to have new faces getting involved in the next issue if you fancy it!