Sustainability vs Free

Can you support yourself as a blogger by giving everything away for free? The short answer is: NO, nobody can live on nothing!

I’ve listened to the latest CraftyPod podcast episode, this time all about The Art of Letter writing, something that I am a big fan of. Letter writing is closely related to what I love most about being part of (and arranging) the DIY Postcard Swap, for which I am taking a small participation fee. But why would I do that?

DaisyYellow doodle

The doodle above is a Daisy Yellow doodle, colored in by me. Get your free (!) copy to print and color on her blog.

I was encouraged to think about living a sustainable life vs. giving away content for free by Diane Gilleland, one of my favorite bloggers ever. In her brand new podcast shop you now can pay for her podcast subscription. I’ve listened to it for years and years (while it was free) and I enjoy every show. Now that Diane is charging for all her hard work, I bought a whole year of audio goodness and I’m very happy about that. It feels good to support someone whose work I really enjoy. I hope that maybe, this will encourage her to continue writing the free content and food for thought ideas that we can all find on her blog. And help supports (and sustains!) her while she continues creating the subscription based podcast!

If you’ve been reading Diane’s blog, also named CraftyPod, you know she has great discussions going on there about making your crafty business sustainable. She talks a lot about the balance between giving away content for free (like blog posts, tutorials and inspiration) and creating a sustainable living (creating products that you can sell and finding support among those who enjoys your free content). It’s an inspiring discussion that will continue for many years online, I’m sure.

It was Diane who finally inspired me to sign up with the free service of flattr last year when it was Pay a blogger Day. Diane also has this cool blog series where she each month write about how how she herself Supported Free in one way or another during the past month. I think this is something we all should do more of! This month I supported CraftyPod.

Who do you support and show appreciation for online? Comments is lovely, but they do not pay bills.

So how can independent crafters and artist make a living through sharing their passions online? One way is to try to charge for your services and digital products. This is what I am trying right now, with the DIY Postcard Swap. And I am very grateful for each and everyone of you who has signed up so far. You rock!

Take care and have a great week!

BTW: Feel free to flattr me from time to time – I don’t mind!

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6 Responses to Sustainability vs Free

  1. milkcan says:

    Wonderful post!

  2. linda says:

    Definitely an important topic and I also support Diane at CraftyPod through flattr… it’s an interesting experiment!

  3. Fanie says:

    Hi Hanna-
    I think it is so very cool that you took the initiative to charge for your postcard swap. I know you put a lot of effort into this (and your blog :) ) so it’s only fair for you to charge for this very special postcard swap.
    I don’t know if I will have time to participate in it this year, as I am rather busy. But I really am thinking about it… ooh, so tempting.
    Much hugs! :)

  4. Chris says:

    Hanna, I love Craftypod and I also have purchased her podcasts and I listen to them over and over! I’m about to listen to the letter writing one, because I’ve been thinking about that wonderful old habit of writing letters for several weeks now. I’ll also listen because, well, it’s Craftypod!

    I have postponed making art my living because I am anxious and also sad about the state of DIY sustainability in the age of the internet. But I know that anything one is that passionate about it worth working through the hard times for!

    Time to go listen and doodle!

  5. Anne G. Hare says:

    Hi Hanna,
    I signed up for the Postcard Swap and I’m so excited about participating. I guess in my excited state, I wasn’t thinking clearly and I failed to send you my postal address on the note in PayPal. How do I get that info to you?

    • iHanna says:

      Hi Anne,
      I have your information as paypal sends along the address you signed up there with. No worries! :-)

      I have contacted a few whos name’s are missing but anyone who hasn’t heard from me are fine if you got your paypal receipt via email.

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