If you’ve ever wondered how crochet designers make money designing crochet patterns, take a peek at this livestream video we put together for Monday Morning Crochet Business Chat. In this episode we talk about how crochet designers create multiple income streams from a single design.
Not a fan of videos? The audio file (coming soon…editing it now) and summary are also available for you, below.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 How to Make Money As a Crochet Designer
- 1.1 Publish Crochet Patterns in Magazines
- 1.2 List Your Crochet Design on an E-Commerce Site
- 1.3 Publish Your Design as an E-book on Amazon
- 1.4 Publish Your Crochet Pattern on Your Own Website
- 1.5 Add the Design to your Monetized Crochet Blog
- 1.6 Add Affiliate Links to Your Pattern Blog Post
- 1.7 Create a Video for Design and Add to your Monetized YouTube Channel
- 1.8 Use the Pattern in Monetized Crochet Along (CAL)
- 1.9 Include Your Crochet Pattern in a Subscription Box
- 1.10 Collaborate with Brands
- 1.11 Use the Design as a Lead Magnet for Your Pattern Membership
- 1.12 Use the Pattern as Part of a Course
- 2 Conclusion
How to Make Money As a Crochet Designer
You may be thinking, “I know how crochet designers make money…”
They take the pattern, upload it to their e-commerce platform and the money starts rolling in, right?
Well, we wish it worked that way!
In actuality, to create a viable design business the maker will need to get a little more creative with a definitive strategy to ensure a sustainable and predictable income from each pattern launch.
The best way I’ve found to do that by using multiple incomes streams.
Here are some strategies a designer might use in order to establish a variety of revenue streams:
Publish Crochet Patterns in Magazines
Before you even put your new design on your own website or e-commerce site, you could have that pattern published in a magazine.
You might reach out to different designer calls or open calls and allow the magazine to publish your pattern for a fee. In this case, we’re talking about a contract that would allow the publisher to use your design for a limited-time, say three to six months, afterwhich you would retain rights to the pattern.
In this way, you could receive a small fee for the use of your pattern and make a few dollars before ever sharing the design directly to your followers.
List Your Crochet Design on an E-Commerce Site
Once your design rights return to you or immediately after completing your design, you can list it on your favorite e-commerce site.
I recommend, at the very least, that you list on Ravelry and Etsy because these two platforms have very different audiences and you’ll get the biggest return for your work by listing in both places.
Other platforms you might consider are Love Crafts and Ribblr.
Publish Your Design as an E-book on Amazon
Provided your pattern can be made long enough, you might consider publishing it as an e-book to sell on Amazon’s Kindle platform.
In this way, you would be reaching a much wider audience that you might, otherwise.
Do some research and see if this is a viable option for you. If you have a short pattern, maybe combine it with several other of your own patterns to create a pattern book.
Publish Your Crochet Pattern on Your Own Website
At the very least, it’s important to add your new pattern to your website.
Whether your site links directly to an e-commerce platform, is set up as a WooCommerce site, is a Shopify or Squarespace store…no matter…it’s time to add your design so you can start driving traffic and making sales.
Add the Design to your Monetized Crochet Blog
Whether or not you have an ad network set up on your site right now, add your pattern, either free with a paid upgrade option or, simply, as a premium pattern introduction. This will give you a place to drive traffic and, once you’re set up with ads, a place to generate passive income.
I know there are folks who hate the idea of ads, but the opportunities to make money while you sleep is just too great to pass up, from my perspective…your mileage may vary.
Your monetized blog will help you make profits from both the sales of patterns and the passive income from ads.
Ad networks that I recommend for beginning crochet bloggers are Monumentric and Ezoic.
Ad networks that I recommend for more advanced crochet bloggers are Mediavine and AdThrive. These networks have a higher bar to entry, upwards of 50,000 session per 30-day period. So, this is something to work toward.
A lot of beginning crochet bloggers start with AdSense, and I did the same. However, getting them set up on your site can be frustrating, unsightly, and the payout just isn’t there. Save AdSense for when you monetize your YouTube channel and go with something that will pay a little more as recommended, above.
Add Affiliate Links to Your Pattern Blog Post
Whether you’re blog post is for a free pattern or a premium pattern, you can simply add affiliate links by detailing the materials needed for your design.
You can register for affiliate links for your favorite yarn provider, whether the manufacturer or a third party seller, for your crochet hooks, for embellishments, for scissors, needles, even for your photography equipment…the sky’s the limit.
To find out where to get the affiliate links, just do a quick Google search for the company you’d like to be an affiliate for and the term “affiliate program.” Typically, that will get you the results you want.
Many of the larger brands are connected to large affiliate networks like Share a Sale and CJ (formerly Commission Junction).
You might also sign up as an Amazon affiliate and get on with their influencer program for additional linking options.
Just be sure to always disclose you affiliate links before adding them to your post.
Create a Video for Design and Add to your Monetized YouTube Channel
Of course you can’t just start a monetized YouTube channel. You have to grow it, but the more content you put out on YouTube, the more views you’ll get, the more views you get, the better chance you have of monetizing.
In order to monetize YouTube, you need to have a thousand subscribers and 4,000 watch hours per 365 days.
Then, all of those videos that you’re making will start to make you money with your Google AdSense account. So, in addition to your blog and all of those other things that we already talked about, a video could start, giving you income as well – all from one single crochet pattern
Remember, too, that you video doesn’t have to reveal your entire pattern. Making full pattern tutorials is just one YouTube strategy for crochet designers. Some other ways you might use video is to create a stitch tutorial that goes along with your pattern…but not the whole pattern.
Or, you might do a quick behind-the-scenes video or YouTube short video of you making the design and modeling it. Or you could create a marketing video with several images of the finished product being shared in creative and interesting ways.
Use the Pattern in Monetized Crochet Along (CAL)
If you’ve got the time, hosting a crochet along is a great way to both make additional sales and also connect with a wider audience.
So, organize a crochet along, invite people to join you in a process that takes a week for a smaller pattern or a month for a larger pattern.
I know some people that are doing a year-long crochet along, where each month they’re making a square for an afghan. Maybe your design would fit this model well.
When you host a CAL, you can then charge for the pattern as part of registering for the event.
Or, if you don’t want to charge for the pattern, but you’re in more of a building phase of your business – where you’re just trying to get people onto your list – you can certainly use that pattern to host a free crochet along as a way of encouraging new email list subscribers.
So, it depends on where you are in your business and what your goals are with that pattern, whether you want to monetize or organize a free event.
Include Your Crochet Pattern in a Subscription Box
There are a lot of subscription boxes out there that, monthly, send a pattern, a hook, and yarn to their subscribers.
You could start your own subscription box service or you can connect with someone who’s hosting their own and see if they’ll pay you a small fee to use your pattern in their box.
So that’s another way that you can make money from that one design that you’ve made.
Collaborate with Brands
Yarn and craft companies regularly seek out quality crochet patterns to add to their site and highlight yarns and other crochet-related sundries that they sell.
Why not reach out to a brand related to your design and ask if they’d be interested in hosting your design, either for a flat fee or for royalty payments/commissions on any sales they receive for the pattern?
I’ve had some success going this route and working with Annie’s Catalog. Others have enjoyed working with Lion Brand Yarn, Yarnspirations, JoAnn, Michael’s, and more. This is a great way to make some passive income while, also, gaining some exposure.
Use the Design as a Lead Magnet for Your Pattern Membership
If you’ve considered starting a membership for your most loyal followers, you might consider using your new design as an incentive to join.
One way you can do this is to offer the design to your members as an exclusive bonus for signing up to a year-long pattern-club membership.
Or you could give the pattern to members at a deep discount compared to what non-members would pay.
Another idea would be to offer the pattern to members for 30 days before releasing it to the public. If it’s one of your most rockstar designs, it could be a great lead generator when used with a strategy to grow your member program or even a Patreon program.
So that’s totally up to you and how you want to run your business.
Use the Pattern as Part of a Course
More and more crochet designers are monetizing by creating and hosting their own courses.
Consider your expertise and include the pattern as a free bonus to those who register and work through the pattern as part of the course…
- Do you specialize in helping beginners? You could have a “Begin to Crochet” course.
- Do you specialize in colorwork? You could have a “Complex Colorwork” course.
- Do you specialize in amigurumi? You could have a “Customize Your Ami” course.
The opportunities here are endless and only limited by your time and passion for the project.
Be creative. These are only some of the opportunities a crochet designer has to make money from designing crochet patterns.
Do you have other ideas? I’d love to hear some of the ways you’ve included multiple income streams when launching a design! Won’t you share in the comments, below?
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