One of the biggest challenges any ‘crafty’ type of business faces is publicity. Standard forms of publicity and advertising are all fine and good but creative people are looking for something more. And if that something more lets them get to know your work for free, you’ve gone beyond advertising or publicity into the realm of trustworthy.
Trustworthiness, let’s just admit it, is the number one key to establishing and maintaining a successful business.
The following websites are geared specifically to craft patterns. They are consistently seeking new patterns for knitting, crochet, and general crafting. What do you get out of the deal? A ton of exposure to the entire world. How do you get the most out of it? Make sure that your free pattern is absolutely stunning and a true representation of some of your best work so that it gets passed along and shared – word of mouth advertising that will go even beyond the site your pattern is published on.
Each of the sites included will offer full credit including your name and a link to your website – perfect for pattern sellers, yarn providers, and general craft sites and blogs.
Before Making a Submission
There are two different methods you can use when going about submitting a pattern to one of the following websites:
1. Take a look at one of your best patterns and work your way through it from scratch, making notes on your pattern where you should edit for clarification or better description. Use materials and a good color scheme that will really show off well in photographs. Edit your pattern according to your notes and the submission guidelines, take some photographs and if possible include a diagram or two, and submit away.
2. Carefully look through available patterns on the site you’re interested in submitting to. Pay attention to what ‘style’ of products are readily available. The site is popular with a specific audience, and by knowing what style of patterns are popular on that site you will be on solid footing to create a pattern that will appeal to that same audience. Draw a few sketches, create your pattern, and then follow the steps in #1.
By far, I recommend using method #2 for the most success both in getting published and having your pattern become highly popular, but if you have a pattern that is too cute, cool, or unique already created that you strongly feel would be welcome in most places, feel free to jump right in with method #1.
Either method you choose, make sure that you at least look at how the patterns are written on the website. You will want to edit your pattern to reflect the same style before you submit it. Also read the submission guidelines carefully – just by following the steps in them, you’ll have a much better chance of becoming published.
Pattern Sites Accepting Submissions
The following sites are currently and consistently looking for and accepting submissions on craft-related topics. They do not offer monetary compensation, but the free publicity you receive makes it more than worth your time and sacrifice.
The Daily Knitter
Featuring free patterns both created by the Daily Knitter staff and those submitted by readers, this long-established site is extremely clean and easy to navigate – things that are perfect to help your work get noticed. Two other things about this site in particular that will mean a serious boost in publicity: 1) There are currently very few patterns, meaning that yours will have a great chance of standing out, and 2) The Daily Knitter has extremely high search rankings in a variety of terms, which means that your work has the potential to reach literally millions of viewers.
You don’t have to write patterns in order to become published and publicized on The Daily Knitter, either. If you’d rather, this site also accepts articles reviewing knitting books and products. Present your thoughts and ideas clearly and well with a spice of your personal ‘self’ in the writing and you’ll begin to establish a relationship with the readers – who are potential customers.
If your free pattern or review is rejected, the editors of The Daily Knitter will actually offer suggestions for resubmission, a thoughtful offering that most editors will not provide.
An absolutely stunning magazine, Crochet Uncut is “The Official Unofficial Magazine of the Crochet Liberation Front” and offers free crochet patterns, articles, and a stitch library that really rivals the competition – likely one of the reasons they rank so highly on search engines and will offer your crochet inspired articles and crochet patterns unparalleled exposure.
While this site, like each of the sites included in this article, does not offer monetary compensation they actually plan to do so in the future and state that they will be paying retroactively for the patterns they publish. Definitely a great time to get in on the action, establish yourself as a pro, and reap the rewards down the line.
The downside is that there is a much more intricate process to publishing on Crochet Uncut than some other sites. There are deadlines, and each deadline will have a basic theme that all articles and patterns submitted for the issue need to be based on. Some of the patterns that the editors are currently looking hard for include home décor items (doilies, curtains, bed covers, kitchen items, etc.), designs for and by men, and for plus-sized men and women.
There are a few other prerequisites to publishing with Crochet Uncut – make sure you read their submission guidelines carefully and follow them in order.
Creative Times Magazine
Nearly every type of craft you can imagine is included within this site both inside the freely downloadable magazine and on the site in the form of articles and tutorials. This website should be of particular interest to paper crafters, who will find an enormous audience of eager crafters waiting their advice.
Currently, Creative Times Magazine is accepting submissions in their Crafters Questions, Featured Craft Room/Studio, Featured Designer/Business, Featured Home, Featured Retail Shop, Free Pattern, Quick Crafting Tip, Reader Feedback, Project or Tutorial, and Recipe categories.
All submission forms are available online and accessible through a drop-down menu that leads you to a very easy online form you can fill in and upload a complete PDF file (where applicable) and pictures.