How Ina Wrobel’s Sewing and Gardening Website Earns Up To $6k/Month From Social Media
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When Ina Wrobel became a mom and her child had severe nut and dairy allergies, she adapted her cooking accordingly. Hoping to help other families going through something similar, she launched her blog, Crafty For Home, to share those recipes.
But cooking is far from her only passion.
Ina also enjoys sewing and gardening, and she couldn’t help but go multi-niche and share it all on her blog. As she started to gain traction with those niches, she decided to focus all of her blogging attention to them.
She went on to create a YouTube channel to share her sewing creations and an Etsy store to sell her patterns.
Today she’s earning up to $6k per month from multiple income streams.
Keep reading to find out:
- How she started getting traffic to her site
- Where her income comes from
- How much traffic she's getting
- What strategies she uses to drive traffic and sales
- How much she works on her site
- Her thoughts on SEO
- How she approaches keyword research
- How she creates content
- How she grows her email list
- The tools she recommends
- Her greatest accomplishment
- Her main mistake
- Her advice for other entrepreneurs
- Meet Ina Wrobel
- Why She Created Her Site
- How Much She’s Earning
- Her Top Marketing Strategy
- The Importance of SEO
- Her Content Creation Process
- Ina’s Email List
- Her Favorite Resources and Tools
- Her Biggest Challenge
- Ina’s Greatest Accomplishment
- What She Wishes She Knew When She Started
- Her Main Mistake
- Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
Meet Ina Wrobel
My name is Ina, and I’m from Alberta, Canada.
I originally come from Indonesia and my husband is Polish-Canadian. The culture shock was real when I moved to Canada. I didn't have many friends here, and the winter was quite shocking compared to the tropical country where I grew up.
Summer is my favorite time of the year, and my family can enjoy the scenery, camping, and hiking some easy trails in the Rocky Mountains.
I love flowers and colorful fabrics. I love taking pictures of flowers, inspecting the garden when something new grows, trying new dairy-free recipes, and collecting beautiful fabric prints.
Why She Created Her Site
I created Crafty For Home in 2018 when I had a baby with severe dairy and nut allergies.
I like to cook my own food so I know what ingredients my toddler is eating at any time. Initially, the blog was for sharing my dairy and nut-free recipes. Then I realized I also love gardening and crafting, specifically sewing. So, the blog had multiple niches at that time.
Over the months, I have enjoyed writing about gardening and sewing more, so I focus on both topics now on the blog. I am naturally into these subjects since sewing and gardening run in my family.
Whenever I see a fun fabric print, I create the perfect project using that fabric.
I make patterns and tutorials for each sewing project with easy-to-follow directions. I always include detailed pictures from the beginning until the project is finished to give a clear idea of how it turns out.
With gardening, I write what I know and understand about raising a garden in a cold climate area, since Alberta has a short growing season.
I take notes and document them through blog posts to help others garden in small spaces and cold climates. It is also fun to pick your own vegetables and grow colorful flowers in your garden.
I started building up my audience by posting on social media. Most of my audience found my site from organic search and Pinterest, and a small percentage from other social media.
After running the site for three years, I launched the Crafty For Home pattern shop on Etsy while growing the Crafty For Home YouTube channel for sewing tutorials.
How Much She’s Earning
My income keeps changing over the year based on seasonality and popularity. Gardening popularity will peak during spring and summer, while sewing tutorials are year-round.
Right now I am ranging between $4k to $6k per month. The breakdown is as follows:
- Ads: 70%
- Affiliate (Amazon, Share A Sale, Awin): 2%
- Printable Sales (Etsy, Sendowl): 27%
- YouTube (newly approved for monetization): 1%
I started Crafty For Home in February 2018, so it took me five years to achieve my current level.
Below are the traffic stats from January to May 2023 on the UA version of Google Analytics before it changed to GA4.
This year, the site has been receiving pageviews between 60k and over 150k per month. As for the breakdown, 62% of her traffic comes from social media and 11% from Google Search. The remainder is direct and referral traffic.
Her Top Marketing Strategy
My #1 strategy is to focus on what I know and understand.
Avoid using too many strategies. Always focus on the ones that worked. The site has its own social media pages, but I mainly focus on Pinterest since the other big three social media don’t bring in significant traffic.
As I mentioned, my site was originally for sharing dairy-free recipes and is now multiniche. Since the gardening and sewing tutorials have become popular, I have focused on both niches and stopped posting recipes.
As for my workday, the structure is very flexible since I have to balance it with the kids’ activities. My average working hours are 20 to 25 hours a week, or 3 to 4 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.
I have a to-do list from Monday to Friday to organize what needs to be done in limited hours.
Depending on the sewing project, one tutorial will take 15 to 20 hours, from picking the right fabric print, creating the pattern, calculating the material needed, taking pictures and videos of the sewing process, editing the pictures and videos, creating pins for Pinterest, writing the post and publishing it.
Sometimes, I need more hours to create the printable version for the Crafty For Home shop and to send the newsletter.
The Importance of SEO
SEO is essential when you run a site. I didn't understand SEO when I started, and I still have some old posts that need to be updated with SEO and a better layout.
My priority now is to implement SEO on each post to rank. Since I have started with SEO, my site has grown better than before.
I usually sprinkle keywords I’m using throughout the post and still use my own layout and wording for originality.
I use Google Search Console to update old posts to see which keywords or queries have higher clicks and impressions. Then, I add those easy-to-rank keywords for updating old posts.
When I plan a topic for a new post, whether a sewing tutorial or gardening, I use Google Trends to see if the subject I’m after is on trend or has high popularity.
Then, I use KeySearch by typing the main keyword I will use. On KeySearch, I will see the variations of the main keywords.
I also check it on Google by typing the main keywords, and it will show suggestions for the long-tail keywords.
I also submit posts to participate in social share groups if they are relevant to my topic. I get some backlinks from higher DA sites when they feature articles from my site.
Her Content Creation Process
Several times a year, I plan the articles I will publish, and then I will batch keyword research, batch writing, and save the content as drafts, or batch patterns for upcoming sewing tutorials.
I write gardening posts during spring and summer as I can access my growing garden to see what works and grows during the growing season.
I compare each fabric print I will use for sewing projects. One fabric print might not fit one project or another. The fabric print must be the right one for the specific project. I am very particular about that.
Usually, I will create a new sewing tutorial on Monday by gathering the material and taking pictures and videos. The next day, I will edit all images and pin creations for Pinterest, edit the writing, and add more keywords. Then, I will edit the video the next day and create a draft for the newsletter.
I will use the rest of the working hours in the week to create the printable version of the sewing tutorial, plan new projects, update old posts, create new pins for old posts, or finish making videos if I’m tight on time.
I publish the post on the site and the video on YouTube on Fridays or Saturdays.
If I have my kids' activity on the weekend, I will schedule the post, newsletter, and YouTube video. Then I check the new project for next week on Friday and start preparing it.
Ina’s Email List
I have an email list, but it’s small. It’s around 1500, which is my weak point, as I only send newsletters occasionally and I need to focus more on nurturing my email list.
I have free printables as an opt-in, which helps get subscribers. I use Constant Contact to get subscribers and send newsletters.
I also use Grow from Mediavine to collect emails, and then I upload it again to Constant Contact and filter it by sending them a double opt-in.
Her Favorite Resources and Tools
I don't listen to podcasts because I’m a visual learner. I use books, online courses, Facebook groups, and YouTube channels to learn what I need to build my site to the current level.
Running a site is a never-ending learning journey. There is always something new that we need to learn and implement.
As for the tools I use every day, they are:
KeySearch: Generally, this makes it easy to do keyword research.
PicMonkey: Because of the nature of my niche, I have to take tons of pictures for each blog post. With this app, I edit all my pictures for the blog post and graphics for Pinterest pins. It has attractive fonts and other features.
TinyPNG: Before I upload all my edited pictures for each post to the WordPress gallery, I always compress them using TinyPNG, so the file for each image would be around 300 kb or less.
Her Biggest Challenge
Working online means you’re always at home in front of the computer. Some days require more time if I have more projects that need to be done. Sometimes, I feel isolated from the outside world.
It’s challenging to find and meet people in my area who understand this type of business or who I can talk to about improving the business.
Ina’s Greatest Accomplishment
All my kids are busy with their activities and my husband works overseas for half a year.
I always ensure that at least one of us is present when the kids have band concerts, hockey games, performing arts, and other activities.
That being said, my most important accomplishments are:
- Being able to stay home and be with my kids all the time
- Being able to work for myself and having flexible working hours
- Flexibility to travel anytime while earning full-time income
I am proud of myself for achieving these goals, and my husband is always the first person to know my little and big accomplishments on this online entrepreneurial journey
What She Wishes She Knew When She Started
I wish I had known SEO better initially, as some of my old posts still need to be updated for keywords and SEO. I fixed them one at a time to make SEO-friendly posts.
Keywords are important when writing a post. I used to guess the keywords by searching the main keyword on Google before I used KeySearch.
Use the correct platform to run a site, and pick the niche carefully. Having various subjects to write about is somewhat overwhelming.
Her Main Mistake
I always wanted flexibility between work and family time, and I saw an opportunity to work online so I could work and be with my kids all the time, as my husband often works overseas.
I didn't start running a site the correct way. I started my blogging journey in 2009 using platforms different from WordPress, and I didn't have a great resource to guide me in the right direction. Mostly, I wrote stories and rambled. So I stopped blogging until I had my second baby.
Until early 2018, I tried to start over after reading here and there that it’s better to use self-hosted WordPress. And I’m impressed with all I can do to control the site how I want to.
My biggest mistake was not running a site correctly earlier, thinking how much I could earn from blogging. But it’s also a learning experience that nothing comes instantly. There will always be a process to improve.
Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
If you see the opportunity for your passion to start something new or if you have a new goal, start it now. Don't wait until tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Your time to change and shine is now.
Keep the momentum going because you will always see the light open to reach your goal.
Share all your small and big accomplishments with your loved ones because they are the first ones to believe in you (after yourself) and give you confidence in your entrepreneurial journey.
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