How to sell crochet patterns (+ the secret to success) (2022)

By Susanna read
How to sell crochet patterns (+ the secret to success) (2022)

Do you love crocheting or knitting? And, more importantly, do you have an audience that loves your crochet items?

Then I have the perfect business idea for you:

Selling crochet patterns.

There are a lot of people out there looking for some great designs—all it takes is a simple Google search to find out. And, I’m pretty sure the thought of selling patterns has crossed your mind, too. That’s why I wrote this article—to help you get started.

So, in this blog post, I’m going to share our very own research on how to write a crochet pattern PDF, where to sell your product, and how to price your product.

As a bonus, you’ll also get marketing tips from Sellfy’s most successful crochet designer! So, are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Can you make money selling crochet patterns?

Yes, you absolutely can!

Selling digital products like crochet patterns is one of the easiest ways to earn passive income online. You’re also never limited to how many products you can sell—it’s infinitely scalable.

Besides, information products (e.g. crochet patterns PDFs) are the most popular types of digital products that people love to buy! According to Statista, user penetration of information products is expected to hit 15.9% by 2024.

crochet patterns IG hashtag-2
Just look at how many people search for #crochetpatterns on Instagram!

Take Julia, a successful six-figure amigurumi pattern designer based in Boston. Julia never thought she could learn how to make amigurumi designs (Japanese crochet patterns), much less turn her hobby into a full-time business.

Yet, here she is—making six figures in sales with her intricate designs!

How did she get there? One word: consistency. She simply never gave up on learning and sharing her patterns on Instagram.

Julia's IG account-2
Julia’s Instagram feed showcases her popular crochet items.

More motivation to sell crochet pattern PDFs:

  • Cost-effective business—you don’t have to financially invest in stock or product manufacturing.
  • No logistical issues—no concerns about keeping inventory, packaging, or shipping saves time.
  • Endless possibilities—you can always create new digital products for any market or audience.
  • Online delivery—unlike physical products that run the risk of running out of stock, digital products can be sold infinitely.
  • Budget-friendly—digital assets don’t come with shipping fees the way that physical products do.
  • High-profit margin—since there normally aren’t any recurring costs, you end up with more money in your pocket.

How do I write a crochet pattern PDF?

First, you need to ask yourself: what is the goal of a crochet pattern?

If you’re going to sell it as a product, then the instructions should be easy and clear enough for people to follow, and to be able to create the same crochet item that you originally designed.

This can literally make or break your pattern sales.

If, for any reason, your followers are unable to do the same project, then they’re obviously not going to be happy. So, how do you write an easily accessible crochet pattern PDF?

According to our research, a crochet pattern PDF should include:

  • Name of pattern—ideally, the name should describe what type of item it is.
  • Photos or illustrations of the process—make it more than just black and white text. Include illustrations or photos of your crochet patterns, so that the reader can visually follow and understand what the process is supposed to look like.
  • Step-by-step instructions—it is vitally important to write clear and simple instructions that match what’s shown on the photos or illustrations. Make it as easy as possible for the crochet enthusiast to digest the information.
  • A photo of the finished item—this can be on the cover of your PDF file.
  • List of materials—make sure the reader knows what materials they will need for the project.
  • General guidelines—details such as abbreviations, dimensions, color work charts, sizing, charts, schematics, and gauge.
  • Other useful information—provide a list of technical notes and resources or tutorials that pertain to your pattern.

You can create a crochet pattern PDF in any word processor that you regularly type documents in. Just make sure that you can attach images and also convert the file to a PDF form.

Here are the best tools for writing a crochet pattern PDF:

  • Canva—a free all-in-one platform with customizable PDF templates.
  • Google Docs—a free online word processor available for all Gmail users.
  • Microsoft Word—a leading paid word processing software.
  • LibreOffice—a completely free open-source Microsoft Word alternative.
how to create crochet pattern PDF with Canva-2
How to create a crochet pattern PDF with Canva.

Where to sell patterns online?

Now that you know how to write a crochet pattern to sell, we can move on to the next step: setting up a store.

There are multiple ways to sell your crochet patterns online. One way is to sell on a marketplace. And, another way is to create your own online store or website. Which option is the best for you? Let’s find out!

Beware: marketplaces will eat your profits!

If you’re thinking about selling on a marketplace—think again. I know it seems like the easiest way to get started, but hear me out:

Getting started (as in setting up your store) is THE only easy part. That’s it. The rest is just hidden fees that will eat your profits and a struggle to stand out in an oversaturated market. But, then why do people still sell on marketplaces?

One of the most compelling reasons is having a large customer base ready at your fingertips, which seems like an ideal option for a beginner without an audience.

However, a large customer base also means that there’s a large competitor base to meet market demand. In other words, you’ll have to be extraordinarily good at marketplace SEO to beat the competition and show up in search results.

crochet patterns on etsy-2
Selling crochet patterns on Etsy means competing against 417,788 designers.

To sum it up for you, here are the pros of selling crochet patterns on a marketplace:

  • An already established market
  • Large customer base
  • An international reach

And, here are the cons of selling crochet patterns on a marketplace:

  • No marketing tools
  • Product pages are barely customizable
  • No app integrations
  • Hidden fees
  • Over-saturated
  • No control over your store
  • Delayed payouts
  • Restrictive marketplace rules

So, how do you keep your profits in your pocket? How do you succeed?

Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be on a sinking ship of fees and thousands of competitors just to run a crochet pattern business—there’s a way around this!

So, keep on reading. I’ll show you how to get started in the simplest way possible.

How to sell crochet patterns on Sellfy?

Looking for a way to sell crochet pattern PDFs without worrying about hidden fees or competitors? Then you’ll absolutely love Sellfy.

Sellfy is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform built for creative entrepreneurs like you. You can sell just about anything with Sellfy (not just crochet patterns)—digital products, subscriptions, physical goods, and even print-on-demand merchandise.

Sellfy store frogandtoadcreations-2
Sellfy store FROGandTOAD Créations sells cute amigurumi patterns!

Here’s what you’ll get from a Sellfy store:

  • Top-notch file security
  • Support for EPUB & PDF files
  • PDF-stamping
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Built-in marketing tools & SEO
  • Automatic file delivery
  • Fully customizable storefront
  • Mobile-first design
  • No hidden fees
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Advanced VAT & tax settings
  • Multiple payment options
  • Instant payouts
  • App integrations

Ready to sell products with sellfy? Follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Start a 14-day free trial. All you need is a valid and verified email address. If you need access to more features, you can always upgrade to a paid plan later.
  2. Choose a premade theme for your store design, or design your store from scratch with the Store Customizer tool.
  3. Upload your crochet patterns, set a price, hit Save product, and your products will be live in your store!

If you’re ready to get serious with your crochet business, then you can go right ahead and pick a subscription plan.

Here’s a rough overview of the plans we offer:

  1. Starter—for creators who want to sell an unlimited number of crochet pattern PDFs, get access to 2000 email credits, and use a custom domain.
  2. Business—for creators who have high pattern sales volumes and want a white-label store, store design migration, cart abandonment, product upselling, and 10,000 email credits.
  3. Premium—for creators who have the biggest pattern sales volumes and want product migration, priority support, 50,000 email credits, and extra tools to promote their crochet pattern products.

sellfy pricing plans

Optional: embed crochet pattern PDFs on your website

Do you already have an existing website?

Then you can also connect your domain or use one of our embed options to integrate the Sellfy checkout, specific products, or the whole store into your existing website:

  • Buy now button—allows you to add a call-to-action button that can be paired with your own site design, product images, and description.
  • Single product—allows you to feature a single product along with the description, Buy now button, and uploaded images (you can customize it and embed the code on your site).
  • All products—allows you to add the whole Sellfy storefront with all of your eBooks to your site.

Sellfy embed

Selling patterns on Ravelry vs Etsy vs Sellfy

What about selling on other sites like Ravelry or Etsy? How do they compare to Sellfy?

As I mentioned earlier, what sets Sellfy immediately apart from the rest is that it’s an eCommerce platform designed to function as a website as well as an online store. Ravelry is more of a social networking site with a marketplace space for textile and crochet designers, and Etsy is just a general marketplace for selling any type of product.

So, unlike Etsy, Ravelry is a niche site, which makes it quite popular among many designers. It allows its members to share ideas, projects, and their collection of tools.

However, what Ravelry and Etsy both have in common is that they take a hefty percentage of the seller’s sales (something that Sellfy doesn’t do). For example, 1.3% of the sales from a Ravelry shop will go to Ravelry. As for Etsy, there’s a 6.5% transaction fee on the sale price.

In addition, Etsy collects a 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee from an Etsy seller when a crochet pattern PDF is sold.

How much should you charge for your crochet patterns?

So, how much can you sell crochet patterns for? I’d say it’s entirely up to you since prices tend to vary wildly from one crochet pattern designer to another.

For example, award-winning Latvian textile designer and solopreneur Linda Skuja sells her most popular crochet pattern, the Sensit Sweater, for €9.99 (9.79 USD) in her Sellfy store.

Her other designs (simpler ones) almost cost half the price, below €9.99 whereas her most complex designs cost above €9.99. She also offers crochet pattern bundles that cost anywhere between €24.97–49.95 (24.48–48.98 USD).

linda skuja sellfy store-2
Linda’s crochet pattern prices.

So, as you can see, she has three different price categories according to the level of design complexity. This type of pricing is called value-based pricing, and it’s the most popular method for digital products.

Here’s why:

According to a study conducted by ResearchGate, value-based pricing is the most suitable approach for an online business aiming to make money and optimize profitability.

With value-based pricing, you emphasize quality over quantity. In other words, you price your crochet patterns according to their actual worth or value (or design complexity).

Sellfy Tip
End your crochet pattern prices with .99 instead of .00 (e.g. $31.99 instead of $32.00). This is a well-known psychological trick used by retailers. .99 makes the price seem cheaper, even though it’s a difference of only one cent.

Value-based pricing also allows you to price your crochet patterns above the market average, which will help you earn more profit in less time. And, that’s because, for a lot of people, higher pricing implies higher quality.

But, to really make this strategy work for you, you will need to ensure that your customers have a clear understanding of what value you are offering.

What makes your crochet patterns unique or different from other designs?

Promoting your crochet pattern business: the key to success

Selling crochet patterns online takes more than just uploading the PDF products to your store—you also need to promote them. Thankfully, crochet pattern designer Linda has already found the key to success through trial and error. So, in this section, you’ll find some of her best marketing strategies for promoting crochet patterns.

Always lend a helping hand to struggling customers

To make sure your customers will have a great experience with your product, don’t leave them in the dark. It’s crucial to always have help and support available (some customers may even expect a user manual or helpful instructions when they purchase a product).

For example, Linda’s main marketing tactic is to ensure sales and customer satisfaction by providing additional resources and support to her customers:

I make sure to include instructions and guides with all the necessary information. To convert followers into buyers, I give my customers encouragement and support by offering resources and learning materials.

Linda's FAQ page-2
Linda even has an FAQ page for her customers.

Think like a fan to deliver content that meets expectations

When Linda started her crochet pattern Instagram account, she took several steps to improve her organic reach:

First, she focused on certain selling points. Then, she’d start posting consistently. And, finally, she built her entire strategy around celebrating her customers (appreciation posts, milestones, etc.), which helped her put herself in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

She also made significant visual improvements to her IG feed:

In the beginning, my Instagram feed wasn’t that great, so I partnered with a photographer to create some stunning photos. Now, I offer the type of content that I would like to see from other creators.

So, following Linda’s example, ask yourself:

What type of content would you like if you were a follower? By thinking from the perspective of a fan, you can figure out what’s missing and what you can offer.

linda skuja instagram-2
Linda’s aesthetic crochet feed.

Proactively reach out to magazines, publishers & crafting sites

Another marketing method that has helped Linda succeed in her crochet pattern business is using her Sellfy site to pitch collaborations with magazines and publishers:

I love that I have a beautiful site that represents my brand, and that I can use my site to pitch new collaborations. I’ve received great feedback about my Sellfy site from editors and customers. And, I’ve also noticed that magazines that want to interview me have usually found me through my Sellfy site.

So, the key takeaway from Linda’s example is that you should definitely invest in writing and designing a kickass sales page to level up your pitching game!

Aside from that, Linda also recommends reaching out to crafting accounts on Instagram. In fact, this is how Linda went viral in the first place—a crafting site shared her work on IG.

Linda’s work featured in a magazine.

Ready to turn your creative hobby into a business?

In this article, I’ve presented our in-depth research on how to write PDF patterns, set up an online store, and sell crochet items or popular patterns to your audience. I hope you’ve found this information useful!

To learn more about selling online with Sellfy, make sure to check out our blog for some useful tips and tricks.

Do you have more questions? Sellfy Help Center has answers to the most frequently asked questions, and you’re always welcome to reach out to our support team at [email protected] at any time.

 

 

Susanna is Sellfy's Content Guru with a genuine passion for copywriting, storytelling, and eCommerce. With years of content marketing experience behind her, she helps to create the best possible landing pages, blog posts, emails, and other types of copy. She also keeps close tabs on social media trends and enjoys digging deep into marketing psychology.