Ali Manning took up bookbinding as a hobby after her daughter was born. By the time her daughter was in elementary school, Ali had started blogging, teaching bookbinding classes, and selling her books in galleries, studios, and on Etsy. However, her business wasn’t scalable, her income wasn’t where she wanted it to be, and her teaching obligations were getting in the way of being able to visit family back in the United Kingdom. Now, at Handmade Book Club, Ali simplifies traditional bookbinding for the modern crafter. She teaches fellow crafters how to create a new handmade book each month, gives them a massive library of resources to learn from, and connects them to a community of creators to ensure that every one of their projects is a success. She maintains an astounding 98% retention rate and has turned her passion into a sustainable monthly income. Today, Ali joins the podcast to share how she turned her passion into an offline and online business, how she conquered her fear of technology and built her membership site, and the unexpected gifts she’s discovered along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Why Ali struggled to turn her bookmaking hobby into a reliable business and felt trapped in an all-too-familiar cycle of feast or famine.  
  • How Ali got over overwhelm and learned how to build a sustainable online business.
  • How Ali turned a low-quality mailing list of 2,500 into 250 paying subscribers, retained almost all of them, and refined this list as her membership grew. 
  • How Ali’s membership fosters deep friendships, online and offline, between crafters all over the world.

Free Give

TRIBE membership guide

FREE Guide – Launch & Grow a Profitable Membership Site

Ready to reclaim your time and attract more monthly paying customers? Our step-by-step guide will show you how to build a membership site that turns your passion into recurring profit. Click here to download!

Memorable Quote

  • “What I realized is they needed a lot less content and they needed a lot more community.” Ali Manning

Episode Resources


Read The Transcript   To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!
Shelli Varela

When you reframe your inner story, you reframe what’s possible. This is the mantra of our host, Shelli Varela who achieved incredible success, blazing a trail to become a fire captain, author, TED speaker, and host of The Yes Effect on Entrepreneur's list of 48 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Today, she uses the same approach to show people how to magnetize their message to achieve their dreams, and discover how they can make a BIGGER impact.

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