A bit of a behind-the-scenes of my blogging follows – if you’re only here for the sewing then you might want to skip this post.
However, if you’d like to start a blog or have ever contemplated starting your own little (or behemoth) craft business online (or already have one) then hopefully you’ll find this post helpful.
About three years ago, after I’d been blogging for a few years, I wondered if I should try and earn a little money to support my fabric habit, or at least cover my blogging costs. Looking around the interwebs I found a ridiculous amount of information on online marketing and many, many examples of how I did NOT want to make money. I eventually stumbled upon a blog called ThinkTraffic (now called The Sparkline), which offered fun and non-sleazy advice on blogging and selling products/services online.
One day Corbett, the fella running ThinkTraffic, told his audience about a brand new membership site he was starting called Fizzle.
The idea really appealed to me because I loved the idea of one place, one community, which could give me all the answers I needed. I’d had enough of hunting around for information on blogging and then having to gauge if there was some sort of agenda attached to it (were they just saying this to sell me something?) I actually liked the idea of having to pay to be part of such a community – the membership fee kept out the tire-kickers and trolls and meant the members were pretty serious about getting results. The membership fee also meant I knew how Corbett, Caleb and Chase (Fizzle co-founders) were getting paid and that they would be compelled to keep coming up with more good stuff.
So, when the virtual doors of Fizzle swooshed open for the first time two years ago, I took up a membership (back then it was still in beta-testing) and have been paying my thirty-odd dollars a month (exchange rate dependant) ever since.
Although I’ve been a very happy Fizzle member for a long time, I’ve never felt comfortable mentioning it here because I didn’t want to appear to be taking advantage of our relationship with Fizzle’s affiliate program (I’d receive a small percentage cut on my membership fee for any referrals).
But Fizzle are now offering a one-month trial membership for $1 and I think it’d be pretty crappy of me not to let you know. For one month you can poke around all their great resources and see if it’s right for you. Don’t worry – I don’t get anything from that, I would only get a reduced fee if you decided you love the site and want to sign up for another month (it’s a month-by-month thing, you can bow out whenever you like). If you do decide you love Fizzle as much as I do and continue on, please accept my thanks for contributing towards keeping this blog running.
So just what’s inside this Fizzle site? There’s tons of goodies and I can’t really do it justice here but here’s what I love the most:
Video courses on just about any topic you can think of pertaining to blogging and online business: Start a blog that matters, Choosing a topic, Connect with anyone, Intro to website traffic, Defining your audience, Essentials of Website design for online business, Google Analytics; I’ve also made good use of the WordPress Tutorials and Build your email list course. They’ll even teach you how to podcast or how to shoot and edit videos. Like Craftsy, you watch these videos whenever you want and new courses are introduced each month or so.
- The forum. It’s full of people (other Fizzle members) who have been there, done that and are happy to help you do the same. People from all different countries and business backgrounds (craft, online marketing, music, fitness, anything you can sell online). The forum was where I found the Fizzler who designed my logo and how I found the guy who drew my caricature for my About Page. Any questions you have about your own blog/business – post it in the forums and you’ll get great input from a huge variety of viewpoints.
- Interview videos. Hour long individual interviews with a bunch of successful online entrepreneurs. People such as Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Dana and John Shultz of Minimalist Baker, Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 Months. The interviews are all inspiring and really interesting.
- The community. The forum is a big part of this, but it stretches beyond that. There are regular webinars/podcasts where you can ask questions, there are mastermind groups where you can find a bunch of like-minded people who’ll help you and keep you motivated towards achieving your goals, there are regular emails celebrating the successes of Fizzle members. All of this takes time and care from the Fizzle founders, and has yielded a fun little community that you can participate in as much or as little as you like. I dive in and out as my real-life commitments dictate, there’s no pressure to do otherwise (unless you want people to hold you to something).
- It’s FUN. The guys are funny and irreverent as well as being knowledgeable and great teachers. There are in-jokes and outtakes and the occasional pineapple.
So that’s it. I’d definitely recommend checking out Fizzle if you’re:
- thinking about starting a blog
- wanting to improve your blog, or
- considering an online business in some form.
For a dollar it’s a really low-risk way of seeing if Fizzle would be as useful for you as it is for me. If you have any questions, just ask them below (or email me).
I really hope it is – I’d love to see more crafters inside Fizzle!