If you’ve ever wanted to start your own creative online business, it’s never been easier than it is today.
If you’ve ever thought about turning your creative passion into a full-time creative business, it’s not as difficult as you might think. In this free Creative Business Series, I’ll be sharing how I’ve developed my business over the years as a way to encourage you to start your own.
About My Creative Business
My name is Linda Matthews and I have managed my own creative online business for over 10 years. When I first began I didn’t even have a business; I started with a simple desire to share my creative sewing with others. Then people who loved what I was doing found me and wanted to learn more.
So I began by setting up a business as a side-line to my full-time job (they call it a side hustle these days), and I began developing and offering online classes. This evolved into a part-time business when I also started selling digital products such as downloadable pdf tutorials, patterns and projects. Eventually it turned into the full-time creative online business that you see today.
It didn’t happen quickly, but it did happen.
If I had worked harder and faster my business would have grown quicker, but instead, I chose to fit it into my existing lifestyle. Now, 10 years later, I have a full-time business doing what I love. My business has evolved, grown, and changed direction over the years, and the most important thing for me was having a business that was flexible enough for me to make changes to reflect my changing lifestyle needs, as well as my artistic style which has also changed over the years.
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you can do this too!
I was in my early 50s when I first began my online business and it was a lot harder to get things done back then. Ten years later, I’m now in my early 60s and it’s never been easier to start your own creative business. I have no plans to retire any time soon because today I’m still doing what I love to do, and even at my age I can still earn a good living from it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if I can do it, you can do it too!
How To Get Started with Your Own Creative Business
Just thinking about starting your own creative business can feel overwhelming. I won’t lie – there is a lot to know and a lot to do. But you don’t have to know all this stuff starting out! Simply take one step at a time and figure it out as you go along.
There are only a couple of things you really need to get started – a creative business idea, and a website and blog.
A Creative Business Idea
The first thing you need is a business idea, and when starting a creative business this will most likely be some creative hobby that you are passionate about. You don’t even have to be an expert at it, but it helps if it’s something that you love to do. Developing a business doing something that you don’t really like doing very much, isn’t going to sustain you over the long-term.
Decide what your creative business will look like. Will you share information through blogging, or develop digital products and services, or make physical products to sell, or even teach through online classes?
Consider the amount of time you want to invest in your business. If you’re not sure about this, simply begin with the idea of developing a part-time business, and then scale it up – or down – once you get things started and understand exactly what’s involved and how it will impact your life.
Also when considering your business idea, think about how you define success, or put simply, the reason *why* you want a creative business. You may just want to find a way to bring in some extra money, or have a one-person business to call your own, or maybe you want to develop a full-time business with a few people working for you. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and the *why* of your business can change over time, but it’s good to have a vision when first starting out as this will give you a clear idea of what you need to do to get it there.
A Website and Blog
A website and blog is a valuable marketing tool. It’s where you’ll connect with your blog readers and customers, share with them your creative ideas, products and services, and use it as a way to collect email addresses for your mailing list.
These days you don’t need to be all that tech savvy to get started with a website and blog, but you do need to make a time commitment to learning how to use it. Once the learning curve is over and done, it becomes quite easy. This means that getting your website up and running should be one of the first thing you do when building a creative business. You can be learning to use it while you begin thinking about all the other things involved with starting your business.
When setting up a website and blog, I recommend a self-hosted WordPress site which is what I use. WordPress combines both a website and blog in one, and is free to use. Because it’s a self-hosted website, you’ll also need a web hosting service. I recommend Bluehost which is the web host that I got started with, and is one of the web hosting companies endorsed by WordPress themselves. Bluehost offers an economical and stable hosting environment when getting started with your online business.
If you’re thinking that getting started on a free platform such as Blogger might be a better way to go … believe me it’s not! With a free website there are lots of limitations plus you can’t run your own advertising or affiliate links which help to bring in additional income. You need to take a more professional approach to your business as well as allow for your business to expand and evolve, and free websites and blogs don’t give you this option.
It doesn’t need to cost a lot to get started with your WordPress website and blog, and choosing Bluehost for your web hosting needs is a good choice. So if you’re ready to get started with this important step, learn how to set up your website and blog on WordPress.
If you have questions or comments, please leave them below.