My primary income comes from my writing business. YourMessageConsultant.com focuses entirely on selling my writing services – mainly writing essays and marketing content for websites.
The struggle to make ends meet has driven many of us to diversify our income streams and offer multiple services and products. While not actively selling at this time, I have been known to sell items that I have crocheted. While it might be tempting to simply add a subdomain to Your Message Consultant to sell my hand-crafted items it would be a tremendous mistake.
In my last post, Adsense Kills Business, I talked about how advertising can detract from your core product or service and lead to reduced sales. If I started selling my crochet what-nots on my writing site I would be doing the same thing.
Seems like common sense, but so many folks are making this same mistake. There’s the graphic artist who sells quilts and antiques from the same site, the web programmer who sells his wife’s soaps or her husband’s wood carvings, the graphic artist who also writes plays and sells their own music, and many more like them who are attempting to turn their site into a marketplace for everything they do, regardless of if they are related or note.
To convince potential customers that I am a professional and worth the amount of money I charge for my writing services I have only my website to entice them to at least make first contact. I have to convince them that I am reliable, trustworthy, and great at what I do. Do you think if they saw a little crochet bunny for $20 that would improve my chances of landing that huge writing assignment for the guy who sells nuts and bolts? What if they saw me holding a guitar and heard my voice over their computer’s speakers singing about lost loves, getting my sexy back, or take this job and shove it? Think that would get me a writing job for a high-end interior decorator?
Mixing hobbies, even when profitable, with a professional service can only make it more challenging to convey to your prospective customer that you are indeed a professional. Why do anything that can make earning an income more challenging? I’d have to sell more bunnies then I have time to make to recoup a project to write the content for an entire small business website. It’s simply a bad move to let my hobby damage my main income source.
I’ve also seen where artisans have taken their profitable product site and added their ‘real’ job to it. There are a few times where this might work. The jewelry maker who takes the most gorgeous photographs of her pieces and decides to offer her photography services could make a go of mixing business and hobby. But, why would you want to take a profitable quilt business and try to expand it into a web design business? You would only hurt the quilt business and would most likely get very few web design clients – other then perhaps another quilter looking for help with their quilt-selling website.
Domain registration and webhosting are cheaper then they have ever been before. Additionally, the company you are already using to host your business website probably allows you to add additional websites to that same account for only the cost of the second domain name registration or a small amount per month.
So, why in the world would you even consider putting so many different and disparate products and services on the same website? Before you add that extra product or service to your site; take a moment and decide if one cheapens the other or distracts from your primary sales pitch. Beware of putting too much on your website or it may send too much of your income to someone else.