How This Mom Started A $22K/Month Blog With Easy Crafts For Kids

Margarita Woodley
Founder, RedTedArt
from London
started January 2010
alexa rank
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Start A Diy And Crafts Blog

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, I am Maggy Woodley, founder of Red Ted Art - a crafts blog to inspire kids, parents, teachers, and carers to get crafty! I also have a corresponding Youtube channel - with super duper easy crafts and steps that kids can follow. The website aims to make crafting “accessible”, easy and fun - with great results. This means, that I (mostly) use everyday craft materials and make sure that the projects shared follow simple steps that most will find doable. The aim is to “teach”, so children can take what they have learned and create their own versions.

I started the blog as “something to do” when my kids were young. So the crafts have very much grown up with us! There are plenty of fun ideas for preschoolers, but also lots of the older age group (up to around 12yrs). For example, Corner Bookmarks are hugely popular as are Pop Up Cards, whilst younger children love making our rocking submarine or toilet paper roll crafts.

I try and diversify my income streams as much as possible, the main areas are:

  • Automated adverts on the site
  • Pre-roll ads on Youtube
  • Sponsored projects promoting third parties (always craft related)
  • Various others (e.g. selling printables)
  • Publishing books

Things are constantly changing, so it is always worth trying out different revenue streams that may suit you, things I have tried (but do not enjoy as much, but work well for others) include:

  • Ebooks
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Online teaching courses
  • Reader supported funding (e.g. “Tip Jars” or Patreon etc)

What is great about blogging and Youtube channels, is that it is a relatively low-cost business to run - overheads can easily be managed, but the rewards can be significant. Having said that, it relies on the whim of the internet, and what is highly successful one day, could be none existent the next. Manage your income carefully and do save for the future.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Like many first-time parents, I took a look at my working career and whether it was something I wanted to continue after my son was born. Most “mothers” (it feels like it is always the mother..) end up spending most of their salary, when they return to work, on childcare. If “lucky”, you end up with a few 100 dollars at the end of the month that contribute towards the grocery bills. I didn’t love my job before having my son. So going back for the sake of a “few hundred dollars” didn’t seem worth having someone else bring up my child for me. I decided to look around for ideas that may bring a similar sort of income - ie allow me to stay home, but also contribute towards the household bills.

At first, I tried selling some pop art canvases. I had created a set of three pop-up art teddies for my son’s nursery, which I was frequently complimented on. So many a few sets as new baby gifts for friends, and went on to try and sell these. One of these teddies was red - Red Ted Art was born.

As I tried to set up this business and create a custom website for it, I started a free WordPress blog in the interim - a “holding” place instead of a website and thought I may as well fill it with content whilst I waited for my art shop to be set up online.

I quickly realized that I loved blogging, loved posting crafty ideas and that it had the potential of earning a little money! There were two early “indicators” that made me realize this - my dancing giraffe craft - as well as selling my first “Button ad space” in the sidebar of my blog for a whopping $15! They both made me see the potential - both in what I had to offer to my readers, as well as in making some money.

I ditched the pop art paintings and moved to blogging around taking care of my kids (by then I had a 2yrs old and a baby).

The pivotal moment financially, was when I joined the ad network Adthrive a couple of years later. It changed my revenue model significantly and allowed me to earn a proper full-time salary.

It isn’t only helpful for your own website to collaborate, but also helps ease any potential “isolation” that may come from working for yourself, at home. I talk to other people online daily.

There is no question that blogging is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme. It takes time and effort and I was in a fortunate position that I wasn’t under pressure to earn a significant salary. I think that was also key to my success, as it allowed for more time and room to experiment with content and revenue streams.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

The great thing about blogging and Youtube is that it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. A WordPress blog is free - no hosting costs, as is a Youtube channel. Of course, most people move on to customized URLs for their blog, which comes with a little cost - but again, it is a relatively low ticket item.

You will also need a camera for taking photographs and taking videos. Don’t be put off by this - your photography skills/ videography skills can be pretty basic, to begin with. Let yourself learn as you go along.

I see many people “failing” at setting up a blog, as they want to hit the ground running, competing with sites like mine that have been around for well over 10yrs, yes, compete with me, but give yourself some TIME.

Time to learn the basics of blogging (e.g. how to navigate the back end of a blog), time to learn to take some nice photos for your website, time to learn about SEO and social media. Check out one of my very early blog posts about the party food we had at my son’s 2nd birthday. It is “terrible” Hahaha. But you know, it sent me a journey, so it really doesn’t matter. And I haven’t bothered updating it, as it is part of my story. Having said that, other, “better” content, I revisited in later years and added updated and “better” photos to make it easier for my readers.

Though my craft ideas are key to the success of Red Ted Art, so is my work on SEO and social media. But like with all things blogging-related, you need to simply get started and learn as you go.

My process is simple:

  • Plan and develop a craft
  • Make the craft (including taking a video and step photos)
  • Write it up, optimize for SEO and publish
  • Once a craft has been published, it needs to be shared on social media (in my case that is Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest)

Describe the process of launching the business.

To be honest, in my case “launching” the business, was just about getting started. Many people are paralyzed by the aim for perfection. As mentioned before, just “do it” and see where it takes you. My journey started with Pop Art paintings and now is all about crafting with toilet paper rolls. If you don’t start, How do you know where you will end up?

Remember though, that it does take dedication and perseverance. In the early days, I committed myself to 2 new blog posts a week and delivered these, week in and week out. The same on YouTube, I committed to 2 new videos per week (later 3 per week!) and delivered this consistently for years. Once, my content was more established, I was able to ease on this commitment a little - but we are talking 7-8yrs down the line. It takes a lot of hard craft and commitment. And consistent and regular content is key!

Also, the online world is constantly evolving and changing, and you have to be willing to adapt and change with it. E.g. video wasn’t really a thing 5yrs ago. Now, EVERYONE wants video content. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated video content, but it really helps if you are willing to give it a go.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

It sounds cheesy but it is so true: stay authentic and stay original - these are what will help you connect with your readers and help you stand out from the crowd. There are many copycat websites out there - the majority of which simply don’t take off. Staying original is key.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Overall everything is ticking along nicely. With 10yrs+ of content under my belt, I am in a position to (finally) be able to work a bit less. There are still daily and weekly tasks that need to be completed, as well as updates, to stay on top off (especially technical updates or things around SEO), but having built up Red Ted Art to the point it is at, means, I can also take more time off.

I do however feel that the future of blogging is uncertain. I try to make hay whilst the sunshine and save for the future.

Here are some risk areas for the future:

  • advertising as we know it could cease (as privacy laws tighten around cookies etc, in fact, I have seen a significant drop in YouTube ad revenue already, due to the new “Made for Kids” laws from the FTC)
  • Copycat websites increase and dilute the market - therefore losing foot traffic
  • Copycat websites become FASTER, so if you create new content, and see it everywhere else 2 days later, there really is no point in creating new ideas anymore
  • Most of my foot traffic comes from SEO - there could be changes to SEO that seriously affect my website and with that all my traffic
  • Social media is increasingly hard to harness for traffic

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the things I have enjoyed the most of the years is working with others. Running a website may feel like a “lone wolf” activity and in many ways is, but what really helped underpin my success is my network of other bloggers. Yes, we may be competitors, but we are also collaborators and I love how we all bring different expertise, skills, and knowledge to the table. Always be willing to help others. Always be willing to collaborate. You can only benefit from it!

It isn’t only helpful for your own website to collaborate, but also helps ease any potential “isolation” that may come from working for yourself, at home. I talk to other people online daily.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

My main costs/ subscriptions are:

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

None really! My most influential “other” have been other bloggers and the knowledge and support they provide.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Just get started and learn as you go!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Margarita Woodley, Founder of RedTedArt
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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