After Recovering From A 50% Revenue Decline In 2020, I'm Now On Track To Hit 6-Figures This Year

Published: December 9th, 2022
Erin Mooney
Founder, Made Urban
Made Urban
from Edmonton
started February 2012
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi! I’m Erin, and I run the website

Made Urban started as a marketplace to sell handmade goods but turned into an informational blog on how to sell handmade goods. I write about everything from creating a display for a craft show to researching keywords for an Etsy shop.

As traffic to my blog articles increased, I realized there might be an opportunity for me to write and sell ebooks. “Make More Money at Craft Fairs” was my first ebook, and I now have 7 covering various topics relating to running a handmade business.

Based on Made Urban’s growth pattern, I was on track to earn 6 figures in 2020. And then, the pandemic hit, and my revenue was cut almost in half.

I’m back on track now, and 2022 has been my best year yet. Made Urban is now a 6 figure business, and the year’s not over yet!


Made Urban ebooks

Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Most of Made Urban’s traffic and revenue revolved around people selling at craft fairs. When the pandemic hit, events were shut down, and no one was searching for tips on selling at markets.

Continuing to show up, even when the results aren’t there, has helped me recover my traffic, more than once.

However, more people were interested in starting a handmade business (since they had more time at home). I shifted my articles, newsletters, and ebooks to content about selling online and slowly started to recover my traffic.

I used the downtime the pandemic created to learn more about SEO (search engine optimization) to try and diversify my traffic sources and research other topics to write about. A year later, my organic traffic has almost doubled.

I’ve found a good balance between my newsletter, Pinterest traffic, and organic traffic. When one takes a dip, the other helps keep my head above water.

I’ve dealt with a few drops in traffic from Pinterest over the past year but have found consistency is key.

As much as I want to throw my hands in the air and give up, that won’t change Pinterest’s latest algorithm update.

Of course, no one knows the ins and outs of Pinterest’s algorithm, but I believe you should use Pinterest like a real user, not a business showing up to the market. Spend time on the platform repinning other users’ content, create new content for Pinterest regularly, and don’t go weeks without being active on the platform.

Continuing to show up, even when the results aren’t there, has helped me recover my traffic, more than once.


The ups and downs of Pinterest traffic over the past year

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

During the pandemic, I had to push harder and get creative with my business. I enjoy thinking outside the box, but not knowing my formula to drive traffic and make money came with a lot of stress. I think that stress caught up with me in 2022.

The stress and lack of motivation forced me to slow down. And slowing down forced me to be smarter with my time. I stopped trying to fill all the hours with busy work, do “all the things”, or say “yes” to every opportunity. Instead, I focused on tasks that gave me a higher ROI. Such as connecting with my newsletter subscribers and focusing on SEO.

Although I’m working fewer hours than I ever have since starting Made Urban, it’s been my most profitable year yet. I think that’s due to my focus on high-value tasks, but also my years of effort simply paying off.

It’s exciting to reach a huge monetary goal, one I wasn’t sure I could hit with a small business I built on my own. But the money isn’t as motivating as it once was.

I’ve realized how important it is to have a balance between a business that pays the bills and one that brings you joy and serves your greater purpose.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

I no longer want to fill 40+ hours a week with busy work. I want to streamline my business so I have more time to work on passion projects.

With all the ups and downs Pinterest hit me with this year, I’ve learned not to stress too much.

There are things out of your control, things you can’t predict or prepare for, and you just have to roll with the punches. You can’t be creative and find solutions when you’re in a state of stress. Easier said than done, and it’s taken me years to get here, but it is a better place to be.

I’ve also learned to relax in my business and trust my decisions.

I’ve never been a fan of the “hustle” culture in entrepreneurship but I had some doubt I could reach my goals without it.

2022 has proven that I can build a business that fits my strengths, personality, lifestyle, interests, etc.

That’s not to say I haven’t had to work hard to get to the point I can take a step back without impacting my revenue.

But I can say that I’ve gotten to this point without following someone else’s ideas of what a successful business owner should do, how they should act, the hours they should work, etc.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

I hope to continue adding valuable content to my blog and write more ebooks.

Although growth is always nice, for the first time, I’m looking to “maintain” my business so I can slow things down.

I no longer want to do “all the things.” I want to focus on what’s important to me and what gives me a return on investment.

For example, I receive several requests to become an affiliate for other businesses and promote their work. In the past, I felt like I had to say “yes” to everything that might make me money. Now I put more value on my time.

I no longer want to fill 40+ hours a week with busy work. I want to streamline my business so I have more time to work on passion projects.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

I’ve had a lot of success with email marketing, but I enjoyed reading Email Marketing that Doesn’t Suck by Bobby Klinck. It’s always good to get another perspective on a topic you think you know well.

His book helped me realize that conversion rates aren’t the only thing that matters when it comes to email marketing; it’s important to make connections with your subscribers.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

There are only two ways to gain new customers; you go out and find them, or they come to find you. Therefore, every business must know its target market and where to find them and/or create a product/service consumers are searching for.

If you hate marketing, you need to spend time on keyword research and search engine optimization. That way, customers will come to you.

I find that many business owners who are struggling don’t know who they serve or what purpose their products serve in the marketplace.

Defining your target market and keyword research will give you a clear direction.

Where can we go to learn more?

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