My Top "Must Haves" for Running a Crochet Blog/Business

Megmade with Love

I thought it’d be fun to gather up a list of some of my most prized business tools I use to run Megmade with Love. I’m talkin’ the essentials— the stuff I heavily rely on to run this blog, design patterns and basically keep this ship afloat. I’ve included everything from office items to crochet stuff, even what apps I use on my phone.

I thought this list could provide insight for someone who is looking to start a crochet business or blog, and give you a little behind-the-scenes look at all the stuff I use. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty basic items, that really aren’t too fancy!

Office stuff:

Not gonna lie, probably my favorite purchase this year. This printer is so fast compared to my previous inkjet one… and I know I’m already gonna save a ton on ink. I print tons of Etsy shipping labels, so this thing is a God-send.

Another life-changer? This expandable file folder. If I can make tax paperwork easier on myself in any way, I’m all for it.

I’ve had this paper trimmer for ages, but it’s still a must have for my business. From choppin’ tags to shipping labels… it’s really nice to have.

I’m so glad I decided to grab this dry-erase monthly calendar on a random target run at the end of last year. Such a brilliant concept— it contains all the important happenings of the month and hangs right above my computer. The next month rolls around and I just wipe ‘er clean and start again! I use different colored markers for business and personal stuff.

I’m in love with my custom rubber business stamp I got from Stamps and Sons on Etsy. It’s such a cool tool for branding on those packages you send out, or to put on a tag then attach to items you sell at markets.

Other key items in my office worth mentioning:

-my iMac desktop computer
-post-its (where would I be without a good to-do list on a post-it?!)

Photography stuff:

Fun fact: I used to do photography on the side. So I purchased this dslr, along with a fixed lens for portraits.. It’s been such a big tool for my business because photography is really the “face” of Megmade with Love. It’s pricier, but there are tons of other affordable options out there (wanna read more on photography? click HERE). I will also say, I take about half my Instagram photos with my iPhone, so that’s totally an easy option too.

Ahhh… the simple, but oh-so-awesome white poster board. Such a cheap and easy backdrop option for your photography. I bought a big foam one from Hobby Lobby, and love it.

How else would you take those photos when no one but your two year old is around? This tripod got good reviews on Amazon.

Another life-changer? When you purchase a shutter release remote for your camera. No more running back and forth, using the flippin’ photo timer…

I love using this app when I take photos on my phone… it’s got all the right tools, and really pretty filter options that you can control the intensity of.

I also wanted to mention the Preview app. I use this to plan out my Instagram photos and arrange how they’d look on a grid. It links up to your account, and pulls all your previous photos so you can see how they match up. I use it daily!

Crochet stuff:

When figuring out yarn yardage for designs, a scale (I just use a simple kitchen scale) is a MUST for figuring out how much yarn you used. A little cross multiplying with ounces and yardage, and you’ve got your answer! I also use a scale for weighing packages to ship. It’s a staple in my business.

Other mentionable crochet items (I tend to keep it incredibly simple when it comes to crochet gadgets):

-Stitch Fiddle for creating graphs and charts for patterns.. it’s such a great resource for designing with c2c or special stitches
-old jars for sorting buttons, notions, needles, stitch markers
-good pair of snips to throw in your bag on the go
-I jot down my patterns in one of those classic, cheap spiral notebooks
-I mean… is it silly to mention the handy dandy measuring tape? Because that’s perhaps the most used tool besides a crochet hook 😜

There ya have it! A surprisingly simple list of items I use to run my crochet biz. It really doesn’t take anything too expensive to make run an online business, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. So don’t buy into the lie that you need all the fancy-schmancies to make money on the internet. Get creative with what you’ve got, and purchase the stuff you can afford when you are able to.

Hope you enjoyed this list!

With love,

The Two Biggest Lessons Learned in Two Years of Crochet Blogging

Megmade with Love - Crochet Blog

I was reminded not too long ago that the two-year anniversary for the Megmade with Love website is today. Which sorta blows my mind, because it seems as if the time has absolutely flown since diving into this lil’ dream of mine. Keeping the theme of “two” alive, I thought I’d share two of the most important lessons I’ve learned since first officially purchasing my web domain and hitting that publish button for the very first time.

Crochet - Megmade with Love

Lesson #1: Consistency is your FRIEND

Wanna know one of biggest ways, I believe, I was able to begin making a substantial amount of money blogging within a few months of starting? I think it was the fact that when I started, I decided I would post twice a week (oooOOo stickin’ to that “two” theme right there) for at least one year. It was a commitment I wanted to stick to, mostly because I had a really bad habit of starting something, then quitting. It was, in a way, forcing me to give it my all and to not let “failure” drive me into apathy.

Crochet - Megmade with Love

So I stuck with that commitment to my blog for the most part, posting both patterns and crochet-related articles (now that I reflect on that, it makes me feel silly for dropping that habit— it was a good one for my business!). So week in and week out I showed up to the blog, and posted to it. At the time, I had really no audience built up whatsoever, I just shared the patterns in groups on Facebook and on Pinterest. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it was really, really hard to keep wanting to post on the blog. I had cricket chirps on many posts in the beginning, and I often wondered if this thing would ever take off… but I was hungry for this dream so I kept at it!

Megmade with Love

Eventually stuff started picking up for the blog as I was sharing to more group boards on Pinterest that had more of following behind them. Which, by the way, if you’re just starting out or thinking about starting a crochet blog, I’d 100% suggest finding group boards for you share your posts with over on Pinterest. That is THE way you will get those eyes on your content. Sure, social media and whatnot helps some, but Pinterest is magical tool, I’m telling ya.

Megmade with Love

And to add to the topic of consistency, I was very much consistently pinning those articles and patterns I posted on my blog to those group boards on Pinterest. Each board has rules for the amount of times you’re able to share, but I usually stuck with 2-3 pins per day on each of the boards. It’s insane to me how easy it is to get your content seen out there by, in a sense, piggy-backing on another’s audience. And the people who run the boards get great content out of it too, which attracts more followers.. so it’s a win-win.

Megmade with Love

Another little way I honed in on consistency in my business was posting to social media regularly, usually daily. I learned the value of the trust you build with your “peeps” (aka your audience) by showing up day in and day out. Which also applies to the twice a week blog posting. It really does provide that trust factor that your audience needs when they’re deciding if they want to become a follower of your work. And that’s why I value it so much… in the eyes of someone following your blog it means everything to be reliable and trustworthy. Because honestly ain’t nobody got time for a half-a$$ blog.. because this is the internet and there’s countless other people to follow.

Lesson #2: Viewing failure differently

For some strange reason before I got into blogging and owning a business, I built up this fear of so-called "failure”. I realize now that my view of failure was so skewed… It’s like I made it into this giant that it really wasn’t. If I didn’t get anywhere with my blog or quit again like I had done before, because it didn’t take off, I was doomed in my mind. And it honestly kept me from taking the plunge into Megmade with Love for quite some time. I would think, what if I look like a fool, yet again, if this ended up being another one of those seemingly good business ventures I’d taken before??

Megmade with Love

But ya know what? When I take a step back and look at it—that all really just stemmed from caring too much about what other people thought of me, it’s as if I thought the whole world was keeping an eye out for me to have another business flop. But that was just all in my mind. And, ya know, it makes me wonder how many other people are debilitated by this silly illusion that is future failure. Ya know… the illusion that we’re gonna crash and burn when we go after what’s so incredibly important to us… and then to top it all off everyone is going to point and snicker when you do.

Megmade with Love - Crochet

Well I’m here to say it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t go as expected or if one of your ideas absolutely flops. Something I learned early on is that I should use failure as tool or as data. Because when you fail, it’s really valuable information for you and your business— you now know what not to do or how not to do it. Sure, it probably stung when you “failed” but that’s just how it goes as an entrepreneur. It’s far more productive to say “alright, what can I learn from this?” than “this is so embarrassing, I guess I’m a failure now…”.

Megmade with Love - Crochet

For example, like I mentioned earlier, how I’d quit multiple business ventures in the past. I once had a little photography side hustle and after that I attempted a wooden sign-making business— I ended up deciding both were just something I wasn’t passionate about. They just weren’t my “thing”. Sure I enjoyed doing them to some extent, but I certainly didn’t find joy in making a complete business out of them. In the midst of straying away from both of those things I honestly believed myself to be a failure. I thought I just couldn’t get my act together and decide on a career path.. I thought I was lost and pathetic. But now I look back and just see it so simply: I tried something… It wasn’t for me, so I moved on. I’m so glad I got over myself and realized I should give it another go. And I get it, it’s really hard to keep getting back up after things don’t seem to be going well. Especially when it’s time and time again. But I can’t shake the thought that I’d rather keep giving it my all than to settle and wish I would have.

So in the end failure=data… don’t give it any more power than that, and I promise you’ll see how it positively affects your life and business.

Megmade with Love - Crochet

So those are my top two lessons from the two years here on good ol’ Megmade with Love. I’ve enjoyed this process of becoming a better business owner— I’m far from perfect, but I’m having a heck of a good time doing what brings me joy. Hope these little lessons were of some value to you! I love sharing stuff I’ve learned while blogging, in hopes that someone else may gain some knowledge or that it may be that “something” they needed to hear to encourage them to keep going.

Take care!