Episode 31: Preparing for an Absence from Your Business, Collaboration, Blog Monetization, and More with Amy Ramnarine - The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show

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Episode 31: Preparing for an Absence from Your Business, Collaboration, Blog Monetization, and More with Amy Ramnarine In this episode, I shared an interview with Amy Ramnarine from The Stitchin' Mommy. Amy is a crochet designer and DIY blogger, and a fellow New Yorker. We met up at Martha's Country Bakery in Forest Hills, Queens back in March. (By the way, Amy recommends the Strawberry Shortcake which is made with real strawberries.) I wanted to talk with her about her plans for maternity leave. We also chatted about collaborations that expand your business, blog monetization, customer service, and more. About Amy Ramnarine Amy is a full-time crochet and DIY blogger. Her background is in finance, but she worked as a pre-school teacher before her first daughter was born. As a stay-at-home mom, she launched The Stitchin' Mommy as a maker. She later became a designer and expanded her blog beyond crochet to include additional DIY topics and tutorials. Find more links in the show notes for today's episode at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/31. About the Interview I invited Amy on the show to talk about how she's planning for maternity leave. While you may not be planning a pregnancy in the near future, Amy shared a lot of information that can help any yarn-related business owner who anticipates a break from the business. Plan ahead. Amy started planning her leave about 4 months before she was planned to take off time. During the planning period, she increased her workload to meet her goals for her absence. Create a content calendar. Amy created a calendar for about 3 months of blog posts with her typical release frequency to include the types of content that she has seen success with in the past, such as free patterns, book reviews, pattern roundups, and more. Connect with other small businesses. Amy reached out to her network of bloggers and designers and asked for guest posts and designer spotlights to supplement her own original content. Find and train support. Although Amy hasn't used a virtual assistant before, she started to train one who can maintain some of the social media accounts of her business while she is on maternity leave. We also talked about collaboration. Amy's inspiration has been Chef Carla Hall, who often says "There's power in the yes." This philosophy has helped Amy to expand her business by reaching out for opportunities and collaborations. One example is the Tuesday Pin-spiration Link Party she co-hosts with Rhondda from Oombawka Design. (We even teased Rhondda a bit about her fear of Skype.) Amy talked about how she grew her blog with collaborations, posting frequency, customer service, and by submitting content to free pattern directories like AllFreeCrochet and Crochet at Play. We discussed the different ways Amy monetizes her blog and the support she gets from RFE Hosting. Amy also talked about her approach to customer service. Updates I took a mini hiatus from the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show last week to wrap up my 31 Days to Pod Launch challenge. I will be sharing what I learned in a future episode, but until then, I'd appreciate it if you would visit my new channel on YouTube and subscribe. I'll be sharing a bonus episode on Saturday to make up for my absence: an interview with lifestyle coach and mompreneur, Lane Kennedy. Next week, I'll be sharing an interview with Sedie Maruska from Yarn Obsession. I was a guest on Marly Bird's Yarn Thing on March 19, 2015. Marly and I talked about how I got started and the business of crochet and knitting. We also chatted about the debate over offering free patterns and more! I will be presenting at the BlogHer ’15 Conference in New York City along with my friend and fellow solopreneur, Carlota Zimmerman from the Creativity Yenta (who was a guest on Episode 16 and Episode 22). We will be part of a workshop on Friday, July 17, 2015 called Social Media Bootcamp: Lightning Lessons in the Latest: LinkedIn, Google+ Hangouts On Air, and Twitter. If your blog is a major part of your business income (or, you’d like it to be), I hope to see you there! If you haven’t already registered, you can take advantage of our friends and family discount for 30% off the Blogger Rate by registering through the link in the show notes. If you are available next Monday, April 13, 2015, I'd love it if you could join my live Google+ Hangout with Carlota as No Frills Small Business. You can check out the teaser and RSVP to get a reminder before the show starts. I will be in Las Vegas for New Media Expo from April 13-16, 2015, we'll be talking about getting the most value out of your next business conference or networking event. I also thanked Beaderjojo (also known as Goddess Crochet) and "Someone Insignificant" for their wonderful 5 star reviews on iTunes in March. I always appreciate reviews, (even if they aren't 5 star reviews - which are awesome, by the way) as well as suggestions for future show topics! I shared some suggestions that I've already received for future episodes. Do you have other episode topic ideas to share? Have you taken a planned leave of absence from your business? What worked best for you? Leave a comment at http://creativeyarnentrepreneur.com/31, Tweet me at @cyeshow, add me to your G+ circle and send me a note, or leave a message at 646-713-8973. If you enjoyed the show You can now subscribe to the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. Please leave an honest review on iTunes (or Stitcher) and join the mailing list. I’ll let people on the list know in advance about special guests and topics so you can share your questions.

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