A Pre-Thanksgiving Thank You to My Patrons

In December of 2015, I looked at my finances and realized if the blog was going to continue and grow, I needed a better way to pay for the operating costs. I keep my paper dolls free to print, but that doesn’t mean the site is free to run. Thanks to the generous donations of my Patrons I have been able too do the following:

  • Get a real professionally designed theme. The site looks SO MUCH better and the code is so much cleaner. And if I have issues, there’s a professional company I can ask.
  • Upgrade my server subscription and improve site performance.
  • Actually consider hiring a programmer to help make the site SSL secure (still researching this process, but it’s a bit beyond my skill set).
  • Run daily backups of the site. I haven’t needed these yet, but so much peace of mind. I hope, by the way, I never need them.
  • Back in 2016, I had a hack rerouting some of my URLs. This was far beyond my ability to fix, but thanks to my Patrons I was able to get it fixed, which cost several hundred dollars, and have that company install and monitor a firewall. That way it won’t happen again and if it does, they are available to help.
  • Use social media organizing soft wear to try to find new readers and make my art accessible on other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I work full time. I can’t be manually posting to social media. I’m no “Social Media Guru” but I do know that there are people out there who might love my paper dolls and they maybe on something like Instagram far more than they are on the regular interwebs.

I realize that not everyone can donate and I believe in the importance of my art being free. I function on the NPR model and the hope that if you have a few bucks and you love the blog that you might step up and help cover the expenses. It’s not required, but it is gratefully accepted.

So, I thought I would take this week of Thanksgiving to say how thankful I am to everyone who has donated a little and to share the link to my Patreon page if you would like to donate as well: Donate to PTP Here

Best,

– Rachel

All the C Pose Guy Paper Dolls

Today, I’ve gathered all the C pose boy paper dolls thus far. Guy paper dolls aren’t easy for me. I struggle with ideas for guys and I don’t think I’m great at drawing guys to begin with. They always end up looking a bit effeminate to me.

In total, there are 26 C Pose boy paper doll sets. My favorites are probably the fantasy sets and you can see how much I love the look of pants tucked into boots.

C Pose: Printable Paper Dolls 1/15/2018 – 10/1/2018

The Paper Dolls

The Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk Paper Doll Clothing

The Contemporary Paper Doll Clothing

And that’s all of the guy paper dolls! Do you have a favorite? Let me know in a comment.

Meanwhile consider becoming a Patron. You donations keep the blog ad free and online.

Is there a theme you’d like to see for the C Pose Dandy paper dolls? I struggle with ideas for them sometimes, so do let me know with a comment.

All the A Pose Paper Dolls So Far

So, I was going to do a normal week of paper doll content and then I realized this was going to the 100th Dames and Dandies paper doll post and I wanted to do something different to celebrate.

This week is going to be a week of round-ups. So, here’s every A Pose Dame for the Dames & Dandies from January until today.

Tomorrow, there will be very B Pose paper doll and then all the C Pose paper dolls.

I organized them by theme, rather than by date.

A Pose: Printable Paper Dolls 1/1/2018 – 10/3/2018

The Paper Dolls

The Historical Paper Doll Clothing

The Fantasy, Sci-fi, Steampunk Paper Doll Clothing

The Contemporary Paper Doll Clothing

And that’s them all! Woot!

And if you’d like to help support the blog consider becoming a Patron, there’s a bunch of extra color schemes there for A Pose posts.

Is there a theme you’d love to see for the A Pose Dame paper dolls? A fairy? A mermaid? More science fiction? A specific time period? Let me know in a comment!

Hiatus Until June 25th

All right, I thought I would clear the end of the fiscal year without too much trouble, but travel and work has reared it’s head, so I am pausing things here to build up a strong buffer of content to coast (I hope) though the rest of the year.

There will be updates on my Patreon page while I work on this. Some public, some Patrons only.

As always, thank you so much for all your support.

– Rachel

The Future… Meet the New Series

In 2009, something horrible and magnificent happened- I crashed my entire blog.

I didn’t have a great backup and I didn’t know that I had a friend (he was just an acquaintance then) who could have probably fixed it.

It was simitaniously horrible and completely liberating. Freed of the constraints of what I had done before, I started fresh with a new format, new layouts, new everything.

Lately, I have felt a great deal of blog ennui. Since I haven’t crashed the entire site (thank goodness), I don’t have any kick in the pants to change things.

A week ago, a dear friend said to me: If you could do anything with the blog, what would you do?

It took only an instant to know the answer: Update daily and only have one paper doll series.

And then I gave all the reasons I couldn’t do that: Marisole Monday is my most popular series. B&B is my only curvy series… I have a million reasons.

But the reason I should do it was also utterly clear- It excited me.

Ever since I made the decision, I have been working with the sort of manic delight that I haven’t felt about creating paper dolls in at least a year or more. Last time I really remember feeling it was when I was researching vikings for my Viking paper doll.

I spent all of Saturday sketching and erasing and scanning and fixing. I called my mom and asked what she thought of various names for the new series.

I lost track of time and stayed up far to late working on shoes and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Hulu.

In short, I felt delight and delight is why I have this hobby to begin with.

Every Thursday until the end of the year, I will share updates about where and how this is going. I will keep you all as much in the loop as I can. Until then, I hope you can share my excitement as I close the door on one period of the blog’s life and open it to another one.

Here’s the two previews to share:

The templates I sketched in my notepad. On the left, many many drafts of the guys. I confess I am still not great at drawing guys. On the right are the ladies.

The base dolls of the new series whose name will probably be Dames and Dandies. The gents on the left and the two lady poses on the right. I will share more next week.

Let me know what you think in a comment.

P.S: I am currently working on updating my theme. Please forgive me while things look a little messy and strange around here. 🙂

Hiatus Until December 11th

Hello all. So, I will be on a break until December 11th when my semester ends. AsS some of you might remember, along with being a full time librarian, I am also getting an additional Master’s Degree in Education.

It’s final project crunch time at my school and so I am focusing on school work right now.

(Plus, Wednesday’s paper doll was literally the LAST thing I had finished and ready to go.)

I shall return on the 11th, full of vim, vigor and paper dolls I hope.

Until then, I hope everyone has a great first week of December.

Best,

– Rachel

2017 First Quarter Blog Income Report For Paper Thin Personas

I am interrupting the regular paper doll content to share some numbers in the first ever Paper Thin Personas Blog Income Report. Paper dolls will resume tomorrow.

I went back and forth and back and forth about today’s post. I was raised in a family where you do not talk about money, so talking about money and business openly is pretty counter intuitive for me. However, when I first started blogging I saw some really distorted income reports and I wanted to share one that wasn’t from someone who was trying to quit their day job. (Seriously, I adore my day job, why would I want to quit it?)

Let’s start with expenses.

Expenses for Paper Thin Personas

The blog income report expenses chart for the First Quarter of 2017 for PTP.

The PTP’s expenses I keep in three categories- fees, advertising and blog expenses.

Fees are the costs Etsy and Patreon both charge for processing payment. Fees cost me about 72 dollars this month.

I chose to try out Pinterest advertising for the first time this quarter. It was most a bust with a click-through rate (how many people who saw it and then clicked) of less then 1%. I also promote the Etsy Store and that costs a little too.

Total expenses for advertising were 43 dollars.

Blog expenses include the server hosting costs, paying for social media management tools, security and backups. My hosting is super cheap and very bare bones, but I really should switch companies and/or upgrade. Once I do that, my hosting costs will jump from about 12.00 per month up to the 30 to 40 dollar range.

I also pay about 21 dollars a month for a security company to monitor the blog (it was hacked last year), provide a firewall, cacheing and daily backups. All things I really need.

Blog expenses cost me about 144 dollars this last quarter and this will increase if I change hosts.

You will note I don’t have supplies in this pie-chart. I am horrible at tracking my supplies, but my resolution for next quarter is to get better at it.

Income For Paper Thin Personas

The blog income report income chart for the First Quarter of 2017 for PTP.

My income was a little odd this quarter. I got my last payout from a licensing deal with HP Printers, which was for 497 dollars. I also got a deposit for a commission which I’ll be finishing up this April. That was 100 dollars.

The Etsy store debuted and actually did better than I expected. I made 12 sales and a total of about 88 dollars.

The most important income piece is Patreon. Patrons donated 290.00 dollars this quarter. They paid for the blog to stay on the internet and there was a little left over to do some ads. In short, I am very grateful to all of them. You guys rock!

If you want to join… here’s the link to do that.

To sum up all the numbers, it cost me 258 to run the site. I made about 948. The net income is 690.

However, this includes 497 dollars from HP which will not happen again, plus commission funds, if you take out the one-time payments, the net income becomes 93 dollars.

A slightly less impressive number for sure.

Paper Thin Personas Sales Data

The blog income report sales chart for the First Quarter of 2017 for PTP. The most popular clothing sets have been the black and white Steampunk clothing set, the black and white Medieval Princess Gowns set, the color Medieval Gowns Set (red & blue color scheme), all having sold three copies.

The most popular dolls have been the redhead with the orange base and the blond with the orange base. None of the black and white dolls have sold more than one copy. I think it is interesting that the clothing sells in black and white, but the dolls don’t seem to move much.

As you can see from the chart above, clothing sales far out pace doll sales.

Paper Thin Personas Site Stats

The blog income report stats chart for the First Quarter of 2017 for PTP.

I am averaged 36,000 views per month, 5368 users per month and 9,000 sessions per month. These numbers aren’t bad, per say, but they haven’t changed a great deal in the last few years. Last year, for example, I averaged 5,018 users per month and in 2015, I averaged 4750 users per month.

Not bad numbers, per say, just not great numbers. If I want to grow PTP, I need to get more eyes on the blog.

I have 3462 Pinterest followers which is steadily growing and remains my highest social media referral site. The Facebook page had 46 likes at the start of April. The twitter feed is… well, it remains pretty unpopular, but I am trying to not totally give up on it.

Where to Go from Here?

I’ll admit the math has made me do some thinking. I swore long ago that I wouldn’t put advertising on the site and I still don’t want to do that. I stand by my belief that keeping the site ad free is important, but it massively reduces sources of income.

Affiliate programs are another option for income streams, but I need to discuss that with a lawyer. The blog is in a strange position as far as the Child’s Online Privacy Protection Act is concerned. I need to make sure I am not running afoul of that law.

It is my belief that the only way to really increase my income is to get more eyes on the blog and that means gritting my teeth and paying something for advertising, even though I hate doing it. I just need to decide what the best form that would take.

Pinterest remains my top referrer with Facebook coming in close behind. The possibility of a Facebook ad has occurred to me, but I’m not sure if I want to spend the money. I have heard mixed things about Facebook ads.

So, I think that’s everything. Regular paper dolls with resume tomorrow. 🙂

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in a comment. This is my first ever year to track all this stuff. I don’t know if I’ll do a report like this every quarter, but it was a really healthy exercise I think.

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