Welcome back to another week of homesteading and natural goings-on.
Things happening in the community.
It’s been a busy week for me with decorating, a daughter’s 18th birthday and a 16th to come in a month. So when @riverflows announced that @naturalmedicine is adding Mindful Life,
which will focus on meditation and yoga, it’s like she was trying to
tell me something…again. You can also find more on it in @riverflow‘s post here. The @naturalmedicinecuration post is up again
for their favourite natural healing picks and a reminder that the plant
medicine challenge still has another week to go, if you want to get
your entries in for it.
I’m not normally one to promote myself, but I think this is more
important than me. Do you have under 500 SP, or do you know someone who
is still a redfish, and would benefit from a 200 SP delegation for a
month? If so, pop over to the latest For the Love of Comments competition and add your comment to be in the running for the delegation and @steembasicincome shares. The competition still has a couple of days left to run and not many entries yet.
As always I hope the community can give them all a big welcome.
If you’re new here and feel like you’re struggling to fit in or get
noticed, then please reach out and talk to people. Often, when we get
busy, we won’t get around to reaching everyone and it helps to remind us
Growing food year-round can be a challenge in some areas, so I’m
always impressed by those indoor gardeners who have so much success. @r2cornell tells us a bit about his take on growing food in containers and his pictures show some tasty successes!
Two aprons in one! This item is totally reversible and suitable for either girls or boys. Made from 100% pre-washed quality cotton to minimize shrinkage, this reversible apron features double stitching around the pockets and perimeter of the apron. Straps and ties also feature extra reinforced stitching. Two pockets on the solid side, which is embellished with the same fabric from the print side to blend the whole thing together. Straps and ties show the reverse fabric on each…###
Hydrastis Canadensis Known by many other names (yellow pucoon, golden root…) goldenseal root has long been a favored medicine of North America. It has been used for countless generations by many indigenous people for a wide variety of conditions. Goldenseal has been primarily known for its antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti cancer activities. Scientific studies have linked these effects to the presence of berberine and hyrdrastine. Goldenseal has been used externally as…###
Discover everything you need to know about raising chickens in this informative, light hearted book about raising chickens. Take control of your food supply and enjoy the quality and convenience that comes with raising your own flock. Learn about coop design, breed selection, feed options, eggs and much more. Chock full of practical facts and personal anecdotes from a down to earth chicken keeper, it’s an easy read. Sometimes funny or sad, always practical, this book is the only one you’ll…###
@walkerland has recently been adding an assortment of new products for you to peruse!
Come check out the assortment of Lavender, Rose, Sage and other products recently added to the Walkerland Mercantile Store.
Clearly, @walkerland puts love and passion to the point of art into the products. If you look around at the pictures on her store and her articles on her blog, there is no doubt left about how much she loves creating and sharing her passion.
I feel like the soothing aromas, so neatly presented, of the Lavender and other herbs are so tantalizingly close, just on the other side of those pictures.
@walkerland accepts STEEM and SBD for an array of new products for you to choose from!
This Lavender Dream Pillow is just one beautiful example of the fine products added to their store.
In their own words (borrowed from their Homesteaders Co-op store):
We take our role of stewards of our land very seriously.
Most of our items are created using ingredients grown and foraged from the land and forest that surrounds our homestead. We harvest ethically, gathering only what we need while leaving plenty for regeneration and re-growth. Our careful harvesting practices mean that some of our products are available in limited quantities each season.
Our homestead is powered by solar, and although we are not organic certified, we grow and manage our land using environmentally responsible and natural methods. We do not use chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers.
We care about the purity of our products and aim to provide you with the best quality items. You can be confident that the herbs, flowers and other naturally grown items that we sell in our shop have been harvested and cultivated with care and respect.
In March our vendors saw $233.98 in total sales, priced in USD. This number is excluding shipping.
Breakdown by currency
19 orders were paid for
This equates to an average order order value of $12.32
49 items purchased
A total of 49 items were included in those 19 transactions.
The average number of items per order is 2.6 items per order.
2019 Sales by Month
100% of the profit is retained
True to our mission to seek empowerment over profit, 100% of funds transferred between customer and vendor are safely in the vendors’ hands.
We are not middlemen in the transactions, so we never touched any of the funds, nor did we take any commission. In fact Homesteaders Co-op was bypassed completely during financial transactions between customer and vendor – this is by design.
Marketing doesn’t have to be cheesy, spammy or lacking in integrity. Homesteaders Co-op is all about empowering the people that make up our community. We stand for ethics in individual and family businesses. We stand for sustainability.
Our community is made up of some really interesting, unique and beautiful people. As are all people really. Good marketing tells a story. Our story is not a lie. We are not trying to convince people to buy a product they don’t need. We are telling real stories about ourselves.
Who are we?
What do we stand for?
What inspired us to start a business?
Why are we passionate about what we do?
Why is sustainability so important to us?
How is our work meaningful to us?
What are you supporting when you buy our products?
Answering these questions (and more) are the chance for other people to get to know you. It gives them more opportunity to decide if they want to support your efforts and buy your products. Each of these questions can be the topic for one specific post!
The great thing about promoting your products and your business on steem is that every time you make a promotional post you are also earning your post rewards.
You are also bringing your products and your store from homesteaderscoop.com to steem. This is important because not everyone has been to the Homesteaders Co-op website. Most people on steem have not!! And those that have been there may have only browsed one or two pages and most likely have not seen your product. That means most people on steem do not know your product exists.
This is exactly why there is a need for marketing and promoting. So that people can know what you do and what you offer. Good marketing is not a one shot deal. Being regular and consistent with your messages is important to reach more people and to remind people what you are doing and offering.
I’d love to share with you a few examples of good marketing of Homesteaders Co-op stores and products. There is no magic here. Its people putting in the time to share their stories openly and regularly! I learned a lot by reading these posts… I hope you do too!
Mountain Jewel have a knack for marketing online both in blog format and also video (vlog) format. They are very good at being transparent and open about their business decisions and the products they are offering. I appreciate how they don’t just talk about their product, but they go into how its made, their philosophy and how their business fits into the bigger picture of their life choices and ethics.
Papa Pepper opened his first ever online store at Homesteaders Co-op! Despite not having experience with being an online vendor @papa-pepper has been on the ball with promoting their store and Homesteaders Co-op, even before their store was open! He made several posts leading up to their grand opening talking about products they were working on preparing, their process, why this business is important to their family and why including their family in their business was important to them. Then once their store was open, they began highlighting individual products over a series of many posts. In this way they have been regularly promoting their store, their products and Homesteaders Co-op on an ongoing basis – and they have been enjoying some rewards, not only the steem rewards for their posts, but also sales!
Allyinspirit is another great example of a vendor that is building up excitement around her products before her store is even open. She has already made a handful of promotional posts sharing insights into her process, her passions and why she supports Homesteaders Co-op. As an artist she is certainly putting a lot of love and intention into her craft – and she brings that love and intention into her marketing while she weaves a story of her new brand and her upcoming store.
I personally have been picking up the marketing of our Seeds of Abundance project a lot more since January, leading up to spring, since seeds are very seasonal. I will probably slow down a bit on the marketing when the season slows down, but even still I think it is still important to stay consistent and continue the messages to building and maintaining interest. And Seeds of Abundance is much more than selling products – its also about sharing knowledge and inspiration – which is arguably more important than selling products. My approach has been to use our product descriptions and photos, which we put a lot of effort into (so its great to re-use), as steem posts.It is nice to have the extra reward for the post while promoting the products. I am including some additional context and thoughts followed by the product description.
So there you have it.. those were a few examples of good marketing of Homesteaders Co-op products and stores. These are not the only vendors doing a great job, but they stood out to me and were top of my mind when I wrote this post. I hope it helps provide some inspiration, motivation and information about marketing your store on Homesteaders Co-op. Remember that we are all here to co-operate together in making our co-operative a success! Stay tuned for more marketing info and inspiration.
It’s April already and we are well and truly into spring in the north and autumn in the south. For those looking to plant, have your extremes eased up enough to start getting the new season’s crops in the ground or are you still having some late snowfall or heatwaves? In South Australia we have another warm week coming up, but hopefully not too extreme for the seeds I have sown.
Sadly @freedompoint and @freetowrite have moved on from the Global Homesteading Collective to another project, which you can find out more about here. The GHS Collective discord and community is still active, however, and in the capable hands of @steemcafe. What I love about this great community is that it’s never the end and goodbye, because there are always others stepping up to keep projects going in one way or another. The original homesteaders online may no longer be around, but it sprouted so many new branches that the community remains connected and other projects take us forward.
Big news from @eco-alex is that the @ecotrain is swinging (or is that chugging?) back into full action. They are taking on new passengers, so if you think you’d like to join the journey, see if you can hop aboard! Full details are in the post.
Last, but not least, is the latest update on what’s been going on at the @homesteaderscoop website, which you can read all about here.
@nateonsteemit has, as always, been busy promoting the newcomers and redfish in the homesteading and natural living community. I hope you can find time to visit the post on all the people being supported and see some of the articles they are posting.
Some highlights of the week
Urban gardening is my situation, so I couldn’t go past @gregorypatrick‘s tips for urban gardeners coming into spring. Not something I can apply where I live, but urban gardening should surely be encouraged everywhere!
@digitaldan is adding a first aid for the home. Find out why he feels this is important here.
A bar of handmade vegan soap with a combination of Colloidal Oats, Almond Milk & Tea Tree essential oil with a hint of vanilla sugar. It is as close to all natural as you can get. The oats are soothing to dry skin, while the almond milk and the glycerin aid in keeping in moisture to help your skin to heal. This listing is for “One” Oatmeal Almond Milk and Tea Tree Oil Bar of Soap The soaps are hand cut and vary in weight, approximately 3 – 3.5 oz each. This smaller bar is the…###
This is a summary of updates and milestones that have been recently made to our Homesteaders Co-op website, over the past month or so, followed by an outline of some of the upcoming work that may be done on the website in the near future.
We just had our first official Homesteaders Co-op open community meeting in our discord server voice chat on Wednesday. We had a lot of great discussion about the marketing challenges of our Co-op and how to address them. You’ll see more posts about that from us in the near future.
We’ve decided to hold regular voice meetings every other week for any member of our community to join and listen or participate that wants to be more informed or involved in our community effort.
In the meantime I would like to share with you a summary of website updates, milestones and goals that were covered in our meeting – with a bit more detail.
We now have over 150 email subscribers, which is quite a lot considering all things and very telling that there is a lot of interest in what we are doing. I am being careful to send emails sparingly and reserving our emails for more important updates or announcements. Our more frequent messages are sent out in steem, our blog and social media.
If you are not subscribed but would like to, you can find our email subscription form at the bottom of our website: https://homesteaderscoop.com
Our new community section has been created in the website. This is part of our steem onboarding program outlined in our Fundition proposal.
The purpose of this section is to: 1) provide an introduction to steem communities with real examples, 2) Demonstrates individuals of steem communities creating positive change, 3) Provides more context to our vendors as humans, and 4) Sharing a general pride for our communities.
An Our Logo page was created in our website to talk about our logo and what it represents. Special thanks to @frejafri who designed our logo and can be commissioned in STEEM for custom illustrated designs!
homesteaderscoop.com is starting to be discovered in search engine results. In fact our store Seeds of Abundance recently had an inquiry from a customer that found our seeds from a Google search result. That is significant to me because our Co-op vendors are just starting to reach an audience outside of steem via search engines.
Steem Payments Improvements
I have recently made some updates to the WooCommerce Steem Payments Gateway open source plugin that homesteaderscoop.com uses to accept STEEM/SBD payments. You can read that update here. The plugin is becoming more robust over time and there are more updates planned in the future.
More website Backups and Better Security
I recently consulted with @eco-alex who generously offered to help us add more redundancy to our website backups and increase our website security. Thank you so much for offering us a hand and helping us achieve more resiliency for our community website. I would like to note that @eco-alex is available as a website consultant and if you are looking for help with your website you may consider his excellent service.
Following is a list of updates I am considering making to the website in the near future. I am putting this out there now and before doing the work in an effort to be more transparent about this process and will consider any feedback from the community.
I plan to create a new page in the website to ask for community donations. Initially this will be through our Fundition project. However I would like to transition to pursuing donations on a regular ongoing basis as part of our effort of reaching financial sustainability. This is one option I have come up with as I consider interacting in a gift economy, which is more attractive than forcing our members to pay. You can read more about that idea my recent Funditon project update titled Why Donate to Homesteaders Co-op?. This approach is likely to evolve as our community and our marketplace evolves – anyway it would be interesting to hear your thoughts here.
Ethical advertising is an idea I have come up with and coined as a way to pursue relationships with ethical businesses that offer value to our audience. Ethical advertising is advertising space in our website that will be gifted and/or traded to the advertisers we choose. This is in direct contrast to the dominant style of advertising we are all used to and tired of that pursues profit instead of real value and meaning. I will share more about this idea in a separate upcoming post.
Steem Onboarding Section
This upcoming page or section in our website will define steem to an audience that has not heard of steem before and is likely not familiar with blockchain. This task can be quite lofty or simple depending on the approach! I will likely be asking community for input on the approach in the near future. We will also use this area in our website to offer free accounts to anyone that wants to join.
I would like to see our homepage better represent the categories of products that are offered now by our vendors. Things have changed a lot since we started with just 3 main categories. We now offer Handmade, Natural Health, Organic Gardening, Services, Books, Food and Children related products and services.
We will also be updating the featured vendors regularly to correlate with a new featured vendor curation effort that @senorcoconut is working on.
A few folks have mentioned interest in either accepting or shopping with other cryptocurrencies. While for the most part we are pretty happy just to accept STEEM/SBD I think it is worth exploring other crypto options here, especially if we wouldn’t have to rely on a third party that charges some commissions or fees. At the moment this limits us to WooCommerce plugins that are already existing that accept cryptocurrency payments that we can modify to work in our multi-vendor marketplace.
I would like to explore other ways of interacting in a gift economy via our website including: Tipping, Delegating Store Space to other vendors, Products by Donation.
Vendors Page Improvements
As our vendors page grows with more vendors it will be nice to sort and filter vendors by location, etc.
What Would You Like to See on our Website?
This is the perfect opportunity and time for you to share what you feel our website is lacking or what it could really use! Is there something important we haven’t thought of yet? Is there something on the list above that is WAY more important than anything else? Please let us know.
We do not ask our vendors to pay any fees or commissions from their sales in order to participate in this marketplace. Their participation is voluntary and we do not force them to pay.
We are choosing to opt out of greed and place the humans in our marketplace as the first priority in our goals. This means that we are not prioritizing profiting off of our vendors, which unfortunately is the name of the game in our dominant modern culture.
Now that we have chosen not to force our vendors to share their profit, the opportunity has arisen to shift our mindset from operating as a business to operating as a Community Run Marketplace.
We have already made some great progress in this regard and many of our community members have stepped up and taken leadership and contributing roles in our community. You can see proof of that in our blog which is now run by 12 members of our community. Our motivation is contributing to something meaningful in our world. We want to work to create a better model for participating in online marketplaces.
In this regard we are participating in interchange with one another. There is no middleman taking profit from each transaction that occurs at Homesteaders Co-op.
In some regards we are already sustainable as a community. We are motivated by creating positive change and a positive, safe online community environment to interact and interchange with one another – in this sense we are already emotionally and energetically sustainable as a community.
We are not yet financially sustainable.
Fundition has been serving as an opportunity to raise funds by donations to help us get started and build our platform for voluntary interchange in the short term, while we build financial sustainability in the medium term.
Actually I would like to see Homesteaders Co-op receiving donations on a regular ongoing basis – even beyond the completion of this Fundition campaign, because I would like to see donations serving as a core contributor to our financial sustainability.
Since we are operating in a gift economy and not forcing vendors to pay for the service we are providing, I feel that it is natural to accept donations as contribution to our current and future sustainability. Fundition is helping us get started in that regard.
In addition to accepting donations I am also exploring a few other ideas that may help us reach financial sustainability, including an idea that I have coined Ethical Advertising. I will be sharing more on this in some future updates.
A lot of things have changed since we started out a few months ago, and many new developments and opportunities have arisen. Yet the goals and intentions that were outlined in our Fundition proposal have not changed at their core.
I would say that we have made progress of roughly 1/3 of the goals and work outlined in our Fundition project proposal. There is a lot that is in the works.
So far we have raised 10.5% of our fundraising goal! We have raised $258. This is helping to cover some of our expenses. Thank you to everyone that shown your generosity and donated so far.
If you would like to donate, or if you would like to read our Fundition project proposal which is currently underway, please visit:
New to Steem this week is @bothanikha, who has a great love of plants and sharing their beauty and health properties. I hope we can all give her our famous warm welcome. If it isn’t famous yet, maybe we should make it famous! ;D
@mountainjewel have been getting a big job done with the help of a good group of neighbours. It’s a heartwarming account of the importance of community, camaraderie and working together which brought a lump to my throat, as I realise it’s something we’re often missing in our urban lifestyles. Read about this experience here.
Cuttings are something I don’t often have much success with and I’m not much of a shopper, so buying rooting hormone isn’t my thing. @digitaldan offers an alternative solution that many have already in their kitchens.