PBuP: 05 On Resting, Generosity and Pinterest

Today I’m talking to Samantha, from This Crooked Crown.
1) Why did you choose to start your business? Why choose witchcraft and divination as a base? What drew you to it?
Because I love it! I love witchcraft and divination; it’s one of my major passions and something I could never grow bored of. Starting my own business came about when I was unable to work in the mainstream workforce anymore due to medical reasons. Once I hit on the idea of starting my own business, I went with two of my major passions – divination and witchcraft. It just evolved from there.
I’ve been practicing witchcraft and divination for over twenty years now and never really experienced a time where I didn’t believe in magic. For me, discovering that witchcraft didn’t exist in the realm of fantasy and people still practiced it was really eye-opening. It meant that there was so much more to the world than what I’d been taught and there’s so much possibility! I love sharing that awe with my clients.
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2) How do you balance what you give away for free (in terms of tutorials and spells, free readings etc) with what you charge for? 
I like to make generosity part of my business. I offer free advice and consultation on my blogs and to clients. I love offering resources like free spells and tutorials. I do free readings each Tuesday on my twitter, public meet-and-greets on Sundays, and give away readings for charity. I like to give back and help out as much as I can.
Balancing what’s given away and how much time I spend on non-paying work can be difficult but I try to break up the amount of daily work I do as 2/3 paying work versus 1/3 non-pay (donations, free spells, etc.). Monthly number crunching helps keep things real and makes sure that I stay on track.
3) How much time do you spend on blogs and social media, and how do you make that pay off, so to speak? What’s your social media strategy?
I’m a lurker! I’m always on social media but I like to sit back and see how people interact with each other. I find that really fun and really fascinating. I spend roughly two to three hours a day on various social media and sometimes twice that much when I’m setting up things like my daily tips on facebook. I try to update at least one social media platform a day. If I’m not on tumblr then I’m posting to boards on pinterest, tweeting on the go, or updating my instagram. I have a posting schedule of what to post and when but I like to keep it flexible. If I make it too rigid, it’s no fun anymore. Social media’s really great to get more people interested and drive more business to your doors but it’s really just a lot of fun to interact with the people that are reading my work.
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4) What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is starting a Pagan business, or hoping to improve their existing one? 
Take time off! It’s very easy as small business owners, especially in a niche like ours, to work all the time. You put in more time then you get more money, right? But it weighs on you until you begin to grow bitter or resentful. Taking time off seems counterproductive at first but it’s healthier, gives you a chance to have a life outside of work, and boosts your motivation and inspiration. It gives you a chance to reset your spirit and recharge your batteries which is critical when you a lot of energy-based work. It’s absolutely my number one tip to being happy, having a successful business, and following your dreams.
Siobhan’s Advice
You need to take time off, and actually take in blocks of time worth a damn. Don’t take loads of ten minute breaks instead of a day off. Doesn’t count, doesn’t work, and you spend more time messing around instead of working OR relaxing.
If you can’t work out where the time goes, try RescueTime. It’s free, and tracks exactly what you’re doing on your computer. The paid version also tracks what you are doing off the computer, too. You can also set goals with it, both the ‘Do this’ and ‘Don’t do that’ kind. You can get alerts, block distracting websites, and so much more. It basically does the work of about eight different apps all in one.
I’ve managed to get back about eight hours of working time last week without really trying. It’s amazing, I don’t know how I worked without it.
(It is an affiliate link, which means is you buy the paid version I get a commission, at no extra cost to you.)

Colour Therapy Deck

Announcing the Colour Therapy Deck!

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This small little beauty is a minimalist oracle deck, useful for both divination and Colour Therapy. It’s just £3.60 and comes in either PNG or PDF format.

There is much more information on the Etsy listing, here.

If you would like a  free review copy, please email emmasiobhanjohnson@gmail.com.

PBuP 04: On Writing, and Remembering Why You Started This

Today I’m talking to Nimue Brown, author, druid, and quiet activist, about doing the Pagan Business thing for the right reasons.

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Buy it here: Druidry and Meditation

On Knowing What to Write About

It depends on what I’m aiming to write – if it’s a blog post, it’s a case of what have I learned recently, or what’s annoying me! Some things come as a response to what’s needed – so I’m looking for radical ideas for my quiet revolution column at Pagan Dawn in an ongoing way, I’m thinking about alternative responses to the seasons for Sage Woman blogs, radical poetry might go to Gods and Radicals, miserable poetry goes to a local event.

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Buy it here: Druidry and the Ancestors: Finding our place in our own history

When it comes to books its a slower and less coherent process. I tend to have some long term interest in something before I get to the point of wanting to write a book about it. Usually there will be a combination of reading other people’s ideas on a subject, exploring a practice or an idea for myself, and it flows from there. At any given time I’m reading and exploring in a number of areas, some of which go into books, some don’t, and its not usually obvious when I start whether I’ll take it to fiction or non-fiction.

Sometimes both – Druidry and the Ancestors(non-fic) and Intelligent Designing for Amateurs (fic) both started life in my reactions to Ronald Hutton’s Blood and Mistletoe.

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Buy it here: Pagan Portals – Spirituality Without Structure: The Power of finding your own path

I think the first thing to say is that being a writer does not pay my bills and probably never will – this is true of a good 95% of authors. Most of us have second jobs. Some of us manage to align those second jobs with the writing work, but that’s not always the case. It’s certainly true that being an author in this day and age tends to mean spending more time tying to draw attention to your work than you spend creating the work. I give talks, now and then, I take books to events (easier for people who have cars, I suspect), interviews (!) I write articles and columns and blog posts and lurk around on social media trying to find ways to say ‘you could buy my book’ without boring people to death. I’m not a great self publicist, I’m much happier when I’m talking about other people’s books. I find it easier to be excited about other people’s work.

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Buy it here: Pagan Dreaming: The magic of altered consciousness

 On a Writing Career in the Pagan Field

My first advice would be to drop the ‘career’ notion. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the Pagans who earn enough as professional Pagans with writing as part of the mix, to be wholly self supporting. Even best selling Pagan authors tend to have a second job – it’s realistic to think you could be working part time and being professionally Pagan part time. So, don’t do it for the fame and riches! Do it because there is something you feel called to share, because you’re inspired, driven, passionate about something. Then at least there’s the job satisfaction, even if you aren’t getting any money out of it. Most Pagan events can’t afford to pay most speakers more than their travel costs. I know there’s a widely held belief that authors all rake it in JK Rowling style, that people charging for teaching are exploiting the community and all that. The truth is that many of the Pagans you’ve heard of are either paupers, or have a day job. I won’t name drop, but as an author, reviewer and member of various things, I’ve talked to a lot of famous Pagans along the way and I know something of what it costs them to do the work. If you’re looking for a career, this isn’t going to provide.

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Buy it here: Pagan Planet: Being, Believing & Belonging in the 21Century

Siobhan’s Advice:

You can find Nimue at all of the places she mentioned, the links embedded will take you straight there. If you buy something through the links either beneath or about books, you support Nimue and myself at the same time without costing you extra, which is great, right? Considering this is coming to you from a table in my local library because I’ve used up all my internet. If you’re ever considering purchasing a mobile internet package, by the way, don’t. It’s like dial up, but worse.

Diversifying your income will help, but probably the best advice is honestly, do this because you have to, not because you wanna earn some cash. But, if you’re reader this as a reader and not as a writer, know that there’s some simple stuff you can do to really help writers out. Review books, not just where you bought them from, but if you have a web presence, not matter how small, do it there too. Tell your friends and family about the books you love. Buy books where you can, and use the library where you can’t, because, at least in Britain, authors still get paid when you check the book out of a library.

More from Siobhan

ResurrectionJewelryx Shop

Tarot Readings and More

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PBuP: 03 – Different Income Streams

Today I’m talking to Valerie from Demoiselle Étrange, about the different streams of income you can use to build your business.

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“I wanted to share my vision of magic; in a simple and modern way.

I like logic in spirituality and believe it is possible to be connected to nature in your everyday life.

My personal blog became an online store and slowly turned into a full time project, with classes and services.

Our classes are offered on downloadable PDF files, since most of our clients are from Europe.

It is more convenient that way!

These classes are the results of our research and studies on various theme of the craft.

We love to gather information and simplify, so it is easier to understand the theory. We also prepare exercises so our students can put their knowledge into practice.

Our mission is to turn magic into something logical and accessible. Our goal is to help people develop their inner power and connect with nature!”

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As well as their website Demoiselle Étrange also has an Etsy shop.

“I love making amulets, gris-gris and talismans!

Each of them are inspired by other cultures and traditions, each of them has a story of its own!

The best part of my job is to keep on learning, while sharing and bringing some magic in someone’s life!

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It is not for everyone! Even today, people have misconceptions and judgements about the practice.

I think it’s important to have a down-to-earth approach toward people who don’t know much about it, so they can understand better.”

Siobhan’s Advice: Don’t think of your business simply in terms of what you have to sell, whether that’s a book, a candle, or a piece of jewelry. Consider other revenue streams, some of which you build onto what you already have with not much trouble. Not all of them will work for you, but one or two may slot easily in to what you already do: sell courses, have third party adverts on your website, affiliate marketing or sponsored posts, e-books, Patreon, teaching or speaking. The list is endless. And advertising needn’t be a dirty word – there are models where you can choose who advertises on your site and how, so you can choose business who you are happy to support and build that advert in a way that suits you and your followers. The best thing to keep in mind when you consider adverts and affiliate marketing, is only to promote the things that you would recommend to other people if you weren’t being paid to do it. 

I will make some more posts about different revenue streams later this month.

More from Demoiselle Étrange:

Website: http://www.demoiselle-etrange.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/demoiselle.etrange?ref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/d_etrange

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/demoiselle_etrange/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/etrangebazar/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/demoiselleetrange

More from Siobhan:

ResurrectionJewelryx Shop

Tarot Readings and More

Instagram

PurplePort

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PBuP 01: Mother Shipton, Spell Kits, and the Great Etsy Witch Hunt

Today I’m talking to Di from Trulymagick, about the Great Etsy Witch Hunt, and the importance of customer service.

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“Our family are linked to old Mother Shipton on my father’s side. His family came from Knaresborough Yorkshire and a Capstick married a Shipton.

I have been a practising witch all my life. I have always cast spells from the age of 3 when my parents gave me my first wand for Christmas. I was so disappointed I could not turn my little sister into a frog!! So I decided to make my own wand and live a life as a faerie.
As I grew up I learnt the craft and how to live a positive life. I studied all forms of spirituality and absorbed as much info as I could.
In 2012 I decided to try to earn my living as a full time witch and spell caster so launched a few spell kits on ebay. All 10 sold with in 10 days…so that was all I needed to start to create the shop…I just knew people needed my kits.
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I was flooded with questions and requests. I opened Trulymagick on Etsy and the sales flew out. Last year Etsy changed their policy on spells and spell casters so it was a bad time for many of us. I have had to remove over 100 items and go underground with some items. However I am very public on Facebook and my website http://www.Trulymagick.co.uk is just launched.
My advice for Pagan shops on Etsy is to build up customer relations. Be very honest about what you do and how you do it. Chat to the clients. Support other pagan and witchcraft shops by making treasuries and support the pagan communities & teams.
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I am not prepared to hide what I do as my customers need my products and are intelligent people who are capable of deciding what is misleading or not. If Etsy wants to stop spell casters, conjures then that is their choice . I will comply, but my own website will be where my journey continues.”
More from Di:
Siobhan’s Advice: Always check Etsy’s, or eBay’s or any third party websites terms and conditions about what you are allowed to sell, and how. They can and will change their terms as they like, so make sure you check often, and ask if unsure. I know from experience Etsy tries to inform you directly to any policy change regarding spellcraft, readings etc, which is nice of them, but you can’t expect them to message 1000+ shops. Also check your local laws, and make sure your customers check theirs. A disclaimer of ‘Sold as curio only, can legally make no guarantees’ usually absolves you even in the case of enchanted items. Usually. Check the law, and check terms and conditions of any third party websites.  If you don’t like or can’t work within Etsy or eBay’s T&C, then follow Di’s advice and start your own website. How to do that is something we’ll be looking at over the course of the Pagan Business Project.
Have any questions about this topic, or other topics to do with Pagan Business? You can comment here or email me at: emmasiobhanjohnson@gmail.com