Success Story: Stitching the Night Away

Online Success Story:
Loretta Oliver
StitchingtheNightAway.com

Hello Lynn and readers of Clicknewz! Lynn asked about successful niche blogs or websites. I wasn’t going to reply, because I don’t really *feel* successful with niches yet, I think of myself as a work in progress. 

I mentioned it and my 14 year old son said, “Well, you’re more successful than me right now, because I haven’t started yet. When I get where you are, I’ll be happy about that!” He’s planning to start a blog this summer and wants to earn a little money for his savings account and to have some spending money in his pocket.

I thought about his words and I remembered that he’s right. There’s always going to be someone who is ahead of you and someone who is behind you on the path and we all define success very, very differently. I’ve taken a really windy path to get where I am now with the website I’m going to talk about, and I want to thank Lynn and the ClickNewz Elite Members especially for helping me to finally point it in the right direction. My niche site is about cross stitch and needlework...

1. When did you set up your website?

I started Stitching the Night Away way back in 2001! It was my very first website and I’m proud to say I still own and maintain it today.

2. What gave you the idea for this particular niche & website?

I’ve been cross stitching since I was 8 years old. It’s my stress relief, my therapy. I think everyone should have a hobby and I wanted to share that perspective with the world.

3. Did you have any experience with online business prior to creating this website?

None! I had only done freelance work for others directly, mostly data entry type of things at the time and this was very early on in my work-at-home career path. I had never managed a website before.

4. What did you do for work prior to setting up an online business?

Prior to working online and working from home I worked for a few years as the night manager of a telemarketing office. We did telemarketing, sales, we did in house collections, I had a great team and worked with some wonderful people – It was the upper management and the industry that was disgusting and that led me to quitting my job and walked out. Telemarketers are people too, honest.

5. How did you initially promote your website, and if different - how do you promote it now?

Initially at first – I’ll just be honest here, I didn’t really do anything! I put up some content, I changed it, I always felt lost on this site. Even when I had other blogs that were doing well, I had a hard time finding my way with this one.

I’ve moved from a bulletin board forum to a Facebook fan page, which has become much more active than the popular bulletin board was. It’s also much easier to maintain. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, Lynn, that a bulletin board forum is a lot of work! The fan page is bringing in “friends of friends” to the site pretty often.

I’ve added in article marketing, a little guest blogging, I’ve done a few interviews, and I’m working on increasing all of these efforts as much as I can. Of course, learning a bit of on page SEO and off page SEO from the group here at Clicknewz has been very helpful in moving up the search engines!

6. Is your website profitable? Can you share some basic traffic & profit stats with us?

Yes, it is. YAY! Originally way back in the early stages the income on this site was Adsense, but you’ll see now there are no Adsense blocks on the site. I don’t know what happened there, but it just wasn’t paying off enough for me to leave the ugly things on the site, so I decided to go for affiliate programs and sell a few things directly instead.

Without being too specific or boring you with details, the site is currently making a few hundred dollars a month right now (estimated at 300) between advertising options, pattern sales, affiliate programs, etc. It’s not a super profit, but it’s a great start and I’m using some of that income to continue to improve upon the website and hope to have this income number be much higher by the end of this year.

7. What are your plans for the site going forward?

I am working on a pattern book that will hopefully get published early next year, I have some PDFs that will be for sale later this year, and I’m hoping to put together a class or two that can be taught online from the site. Lots of things in the works behind the scenes right now.

8. What ONE piece of advice would you give someone interested in starting their own niche site or blog?

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. What do we do? We swim.” Okay, so I’ve seen Finding Nemo too many times. Seriously though, just start. Then keep going. Don’t let technology hold you back, if you need help in that area just ask, there are hundreds of people around here that will gladly help you get up and running. Lynn has tons of free information right here on Clicknewz that can help you get over those starting hurdles.

Loretta Oliver
http://www.stitchingthenightaway.com

-Thank you, Loretta and congratulations on bringing this site to profit!

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Congrats, Loretta. Your site looks awesome and it's always nice to have a community, which you seem to have. Maybe you can write a few guest articles for Lynn on how you grew the site and fan page.

    Cheers,
    Missy

    • Thanks Missy! Having a community is a nice touch. For years I had a forum on the site, and just couldn't manage it anymore between the hacking and the spam the forum needed constant attention. Having a Facebook community really helped bring everyone together -

      AND I just put that up earlier this year, it hasn't been part of the site for very long. (We're at about 900 fans this week) The same goes for the newsletter, I just put that up a few months ago and we're around 500 subscribers by email.

      It's been really great to get so many nice comments from people on the email list about stitching and how glad they are to have a place to talk about it. A lot of the older stitching forums have dwindled away or been closed because of hacking.

      • Graham Lutz says:

        How are you using your email list? just sending blog post updates or other marketing too?

        • Right now they get the blog post updates weekly, and once or twice a month I send out an email with special sales from a supplier (with an affiliate link of course)

          • Graham Lutz says:

            of course! I've found that offering "subscriber only content" has upped my opt ins and then that allows me more monetization opportunities!

      • Without a doubt, growing and maintaining an online community has always been a challenge for me. To say the least.

        Along with email marketing, maybe because they're both sort of the same. I'm good with creating good niche affiliate sites based around SEO. But add community and email marketing into the mix and - wonk! Hit a brickwall. lol.

        But that doesn't stop me from trying. I keep at it, and maybe one day. I'll figure it out.

        Just keep on trucking. Is my motto!

  2. Loretta,thanks for sharing your story. I love hearing how you have been cross stitching since you were 8 years old and have created your online business around it. I can also relate with the not feeling "sucessful" yet, however you have taken action and are successfull! Congratulations and keep up the great work.

    • Thank you Jill! 🙂 We both need to stop being so hard on ourselves all the time! We're getting there one increase in ranking at a time!

  3. dawnaurora says:

    Way to go Retta. Your my inspiration to dust the cob webs off my knitting and crocheting site. So happy for you. Keep up the great work. I am one of your"likers"

  4. Graham Lutz says:

    Hey, $300 is a lot more than MOST people make from their niche sites! I am loving how the answer to "did you have any online experience prior to starting" is always "no!"

    • You're absolutely right. I know people with blogs that make almost no money (mostly because they don't ask for it or use affiliate links). It might not be a six figure income today, but it might be some day 😉

  5. Christina Lemmey says:

    I just LOVE your story and your site, Loretta! It's obvious that you built it with love and I can't wait to see your continued success 🙂

  6. Loretta - hooray to your son for encouraging you to write to Lynn!

    And way to go! $300 a month IS a great start and your site is lovely, with clean lines.

    Well done with the cross-stitch - I just wasn't patient enough for that form of crafting; I prefer moving paint around and sticking papers together!

    • Thank you Michelle 🙂 It's funny that this is my hobby of choice, because otherwise I am quite impatient! Two things get my patience in life, my stitches and my kids. Everything else better hurry up! LOL

  7. Matt Poc says:

    That's interesting story, Loretta.

    I think I also should say that you earn more than at least what 95% internet marketers make 🙂

    However, you still have to work hard and push yourself. You may start creating your own products and then recruiting affiliates. If you do not how to do it, you may check out Lee McIntyre's Instant Internet Lifestyle.

    Matt Poc

    • Graham Lutz says:

      I think you're right, Matt - the people who make the most money with the least traffic are generally the ones with their own product.

  8. james samy says:

    Congrats Loretta, you have done great things and 300 is not easy to achieve for 1st timer. Your sharing inspired me and most of us here. Eventhough miles apart I have learn a lot from your post here. Thank you Loretta

  9. Loretta's work actually inspires me. She is a wonderful business woman, she gets involved in various online cross stitch campaigns, everywhere I go online for cross stitch I find her footsteps 🙂 Well done on the good job Loretta!

    • Thank you Yiota ~ great to see you here by the way! You have some awesome work as well, we definitely cross virtual paths a lot - I hope that means we're in all the right places 🙂

  10. Lisa Marie Mary says:

    It's so cool you are having such a lively discussion here, Loretta! Lynn, you rock for showcasing all these great business owners. (I was thrilled to meet the gardening man!) When I first read this interview, I felt really inspired. And Loretta, I felt the same as you about not putting my name in the hat for this. And that's so cool that your sweet boy spurred you on to do this! Anyway, at first I thought I felt inspired to put my name in, too. Then I realized that I actually feel inspired to get on the ball with my site and do some of the 80gabillion things I've been meaning to do and that have been suggested to me to do. And with this new computer, it's either time to install *gag*Yahoo Sitebuilder*gag* on it or do that thing....you know...that's right! I'm going to get ready to transfer that bad boy! Gotta do it!!

  11. I have actually learnt a lot by reading these posts and the blog. I am fairly new to business and am always learning new things, I had not even contemplated using my email list for anything other than emails!! I have been concentrating so hard on other things. Thank you

  12. Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! I can totally relate because I've seen Finding Nemo 2,366 times.

  13. Very inspirational story. I think that selling the pdf's sounds like a great idea. Best of luck to ya and I hope to see you earning even more $$.

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