How to Support Crochet Designers without Spending a Penny
Are you a passionate crocheter longing to show your support for designers and makers in the crochet community? But, maybe, budget constraints are holding you back from buying patterns or materials?
We all look forward to those free pdf events or CALs. They are a fantastic way to build your pattern library and maybe find some new designers that you love. Recent times have seen many of us having to tighten the purse strings but I know lots of you would also like to help the designers who provide the free patterns.
There are plenty of creative and fun ways to express your enthusiasm for these crochet designers without having to dig into your wallet.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 14 simple yet effective things that will help any indie designer feel appreciated—and it won’t cost you a single penny! Whether you have time to do one of these, or three or four, I guarantee that your favourite designers will really appreciate the time you have taken to help them and support their business.
How can you help?
Share WIPS on WIP Wednesday Posts
Do you belong to any crochet groups on Facebook?
If so, you may have noticed the weekly trends of WIP Wednesday and Finished Friday. These posts are a fantastic way to engage with other crocheters and receive feedback on your latest projects.
Whether you’re a seasoned crocheter or just starting out, there’s always something exciting about sharing your creations with others.
One handy tip – if you haven’t finished anything recently, don’t worry! You can always share a picture of a previous project. After all, it’s not the date that matters, it’s the inspiration and engagement that comes from sharing your talent with others. So why not snap a photo and show off your fabulous creations from your favorite designers?
Bookmark free or useful pattern pages
Did you know that using software to remove ads and print out free patterns from blog posts is actually unethical?
It might be tempting to skip the online clutter and just print out what you need. But taking advantage of designers in this way can have a bigger impact than you might think.
Not only do free patterns bring in more traffic for the designer, but staying on their page longer also increases their ad revenue (pennies really do add up). And let’s be real, ads are a necessary evil for most websites. The extra cent or two earned from your time on the page can help pay for crucial things like website hosting and bills.
After all, creating content takes time, energy, and money. So why not show your support by simply reading from the blog post? It’s a win-win: you get the pattern you need and the designer gets the support they need.
Click through a couple of pages on a designer’s blog / website
We’re so glad you found something that caught your interest. Did you know that clicking through to another page has great benefits for us designers? It tells Google that we have a lot of valuable content to offer. That’s why we always include links to related content on our websites, so you can easily find more patterns and articles that you’ll love. We promise, you won’t be disappointed!
Clicking through to a second or even third, fourth, or fifth page tells Google that this website has a lot to offer!
Tag designers if you share your work
Are you an avid sharer of your creative work online? If so, make sure you don’t forget to tag the designer when you post your project. Tagging designers is a great way to help those who may be looking for a pattern, find it more easily. It only takes a quick second to add a tag and could ultimately help elevate the designer’s work. And the best part? You probably already follow the designer, so adding a tag is a breeze. Let’s all do our part to support one another in this crafting community. Happy tagging!
Share patterns on those ‘I’m looking for ….. ‘ posts
If you’re a part of any Facebook crafting groups, chances are you’ve seen posts like these: “Help! I have a baby shower in 3 days and need a pattern to gift!” or “I don’t know what to make my mother-in-law for her birthday next month.” These are cries for help from fellow crafters in need of some inspiration and guidance. But did you know that, as a designer, sharing your own pattern to help them out could actually get you removed from the group for self-promotion? It’s not worth the risk, but there is a solution! Share a link to a designer’s pattern that fits the bill. It’s a win-win situation: the person in need gets their solution, and the designer potentially gains a new customer without seeming pushy. So next time you see one of these posts, don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand!
Share FaceBook or Instagram posts
This takes seconds to do. You have just seen a great photo of a design, or an article looks like it will be very useful. These take just a few seconds to share to your stories.
Did you know that sharing these posts not only helps create content for your own followers, but it also serves as a way to give recognition and shoutouts to your favourite designers? It’s a win-win situation!
So next time you come across a post that speaks to you, don’t hesitate to share it and spread the love.
Follow them on all of the social media channels you are on
Have you noticed that many designers are switching up the content they post on their social media channels? It’s true! You might see one thing on Facebook, and another on Instagram or Pinterest. In fact, some designers only use certain platforms for specific types of content. For instance, I know a few designers who only advertise for testers on Instagram. So if you’re interested in testing their stuff, you gotta keep an eye on their IG. Now, when it comes to the most effective platform for each designer, it really varies. Personally, I get a ton of traffic on Facebook, but my Instagram is pretty dead. Either way, it’s important for designers to have a presence on all channels, especially as they start working with larger companies. Because that’s when those numbers – follower statistics and engagement rates – can really open doors.
Comment, like and share!
Engaging with their posts on social media or their website really does wonders! Not only does it show support, but it also helps their post gain more visibility through the algorithm. It’s like a snowball effect. The more engagement a post receives, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the platforms, and they’ll show it to even more people. So, don’t be shy! Leave a comment, like, or share that post that caught your eye. You never know, your engagement could help spread the word about something amazing that someone has created.
Sign up for Newsletters
Did you know that a designer’s email newsletter subscriber list is like a precious gem that no-one can take away from them? It’s true! And it’s not about owning your personal information, no, no, no! It’s all about having a backup plan in case social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy or Ravelry decide to shut down accounts without a valid reason. Imagine the impact that could have on a crochet designer’s business if they heavily relied on those platforms for income, right? Thank goodness for email lists! Even if social media has issues, the designer can still communicate with you and ensure you won’t miss out on any exciting pattern release, special offer or news. Stay connected and subscribe to your favorite designers’ newsletters!
Leave a review
I wanted to chat with you today about the importance of leaving reviews for designers.
Whether it’s for a blog post, shop listing on their website, or even Etsy, taking a couple of minutes to leave a review can really make a difference.
Did you know that on Etsy, anything less than a 5* rating can actually penalize the seller? That’s right, even a solid 4 star review could impact a designer’s ability to maintain their star seller status. It may not seem like a big deal, but for new designers trying to establish themselves or for those who have been around for a while and rely on their star seller status, each and every review really matters. That being said, I know it can get annoying to constantly be asked for reviews, especially from Etsy themselves, so please do keep that in mind when leaving feedback. Trust me, as someone who’s been on the receiving end of some not-so-polite reviews, I totally get it.
Let’s show some love and leave those glowing reviews for our favourite designers. They deserve it!
Refer to friends
Are you looking for some great designers to recommend to your friend who is interested in learning to crochet?
Word of mouth is a fantastic way to show support for your favourite designers, and a recommendation from a trusted friend can go a long way.
By sharing your favourite designers with your friend, you’ll be giving them not only some inspiration but also a sense of confidence that these designers are worth checking out.
Whether they are looking for patterns for clothing, accessories or home decor, there are countless talented designers out there waiting to be discovered.
So, go ahead and make some recommendations – your friend will thank you!
Participate in their events
Have you ever thought about participating in events hosted by your favourite designers? Trust me, it’s worth it! Not only is it a great way to build up your community, but it also gives you a ton of things to share with your friends and on social media. Plus, who doesn’t love learning something new while having a blast? You can even join a Facebook group to share your progress and connect with others who share your passion. And the best part? Many designers run free CALs (crochet alongs) throughout the year, so you don’t have to break the bank to participate. But the fun doesn’t stop there! You can also get involved in other events, such as charity-driven projects like the Preemie Crochet Challenge that I host annually. So why not give it a try? I promise you won’t regret it!
Use their affiliate links
Are you in need of some yarn for your next project?
Whether it’s for a holiday gift or a birthday present, why not consider using an affiliate link?
Not only does it cost you nothing extra, but it also helps support the designer with a small commission from your purchase. Think about it, you’re already going to spend the few dollars on supplies anyway, so why not show your appreciation for the free content and patterns they offer?
It’s a win-win situation for both you and the designer. So go ahead and use those affiliate links for your next yarn purchase and spread the love!
Share helpful or interesting blog post links
Have you ever come across a blog post that made you think, “wow, I need to share this with everyone I know!”? We’ve all been there, and let’s face it, sharing is caring, right? Nobody wants to keep a valuable piece of information to themselves. Whether it’s a new recipe, a DIY hack, or a blog post about a talented designer who just blew your mind with their creativity, it’s only natural to want to share it with others. So, why not encourage your circle to read it too? Share the link and explain what you got out of it in a couple of sentences. Who knows, your friend who loves fashion might become a fan of the designer too! The ripple effect can be limitless, and it all starts with a simple act of sharing.
Still with me?
Awesome! Thank you for sticking with me.
While I was writing this post I realised how much of it centres around social sharing and social media.
We’re always on the lookout for new inspiration and techniques. Social media has become an invaluable resource for discovering new designers and their work.
However, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls that come along with these platforms. Scammers have found ways to use social media to take advantage of others, from copying blog posts to selling patterns they didn’t create. It’s crucial to be conscious of the tone of voice used in these posts as well – if the writing seems off or not like the original author, it may be a red flag.
It’s important to stay vigilant and protect ourselves and our work in this digital age.
Here are some tell tale signs that all may not be what it seems on social media:
- Those posts that ask you to comment ‘yes’ for the free pattern (yep that’s a scam!)
- Have you ever come across those social media posts where someone shares a sob story about how their friends and family devalued their crocheting skills? I’m not talking about the ‘they gave the baby blanket I made to their dog!” posts. You know, the ones that pull at your heartstrings and make you want to rally behind the crafter? Well, here’s a little secret – almost all of those posts are fake! Most are just emotional manipulation tactics to garner comments and reactions. But don’t let that discourage you from showing love and appreciation for handmade items. As a pattern designer, I’ve experienced the power of people’s positive feedback firsthand. Seeing thousands of comments praising my designs truly makes my day but it is discouraging when they are on a post written by someone pretending to have worked up the design and have stolen my photos to con you. So, the next time you stumble upon a genuine post featuring someone’s crochet work, don’t hesitate to let them know how beautiful it is – it could mean the world to them!
- Free pattern events are a great way to discover amazing new designers? These events are a fantastic way to get your hands on some free patterns and support talented creators. Sure, sometimes they make you jump through a few hoops to get the code and link, but that’s just the way it goes. We all know that ad revenue helps pay for those free PDFs, and it’s important to support these designers who are putting in so much hard work. That’s why it’s disheartening to see FB group moderators and admins sharing coupon codes and direct Ravelry links. Not only does it take away from the designer’s views and downloads, but it could also discourage them from participating in future free pattern events. Let’s all do our part to support these designers and keep the free pattern events coming!
- Have you ever heard of a designer who has not one, not two, but SEVEN Facebook profiles dedicated solely to sharing her patterns in various Facebook groups? It’s true! While it’s also unfair to those of us who are playing by the rules, I really despise how this actually manipulates you! Let’s focus on supporting and uplifting our fellow crafters and stop trying to con other crocheters!
- I have also noticed that the scraper sites (those who steal patterns) are using a lot of bt.ly links in their social media posts. Whilst this is a genuine way of shortening a website address, scammers are really using these to their advantage. I am in several groups where I clicked the bt.ly links and over 90% of them were from scraper sites.
Your efforts will be appreciated!
As you can see, there are quite a few things that you can do to support your favourite designers, all without having to spend a penny!
Most designers are just trying to support themselves and their families, just like you. We get it, money is tight at the moment for everyone. If your budget does not stretch to purchasing a PDF Pattern why not pick one or two things above to support designers?
And I can guarantee you that if you have the time to do one or two things on the list above every once in a while your efforts will absolutely be appreciated.