Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I'm An Independent Pattern Designer - Where Can I Sell My E-Patterns? - Updated 5/28/2019

I often get asked by independent crafts pattern designers where they can sell their e-patterns so I thought it might be helpful to create a blog post about this.

To give you a little background on me I'm a doll maker and doll pattern designer and have had several websites for over 15 years.

Fifteen years ago for a small business owner to have a website online that you had control over you basically had to either create your own using HTML or some comparable software that could publish to the web and then FTP (file transfer protocol) it to what-ever service provider was hosting your website and domain name.

Back in 2004, when I started, I created two of my own websites that I updated to Godaddy via FTP.  I wanted to be able to update my website whenever I wanted and change it whatever way I wished. As a result my first two websites were created in Microsoft Publisher and FTP'd to my hosting accounts at GoDaddy where my two domain names resided.

I used Paypal HTML coding back then and had to copy and paste their payment HTML coding for every item I wanted to sell. While I had complete control over my website design the coding was tedious at best.

When instant download e-patterns came along I used PayloadZ and Paypal to handle the "Buy Now" capabilities. This, too, utilized HTML coding which, again, was tedious at best.

So, before long I outgrew the capabilities of these two websites and needed websites with more sophisticated shopping carts and with the ability to handle instant download e-products. So, I decided to open two new websites utilizing a CubeCart shopping cart at In A Pickle Web Design, which was owned by Annie Kelly.

With the two new websites with Annie I now had 4 websites and a GoDaddy Website Tonight "Information" page. Two of the websites I was still maintaining with Publisher and transferring via FTP to GoDaddy, two I was maintaining using the In A Pickle Web Design CubeCart interface, and one the "Information" page I was maintaining through GoDaddy's interface.



Five websites, however, wasn't all I had. I had jumped on the blogging craze back in 2003 utilizing an AOL blog, then a Yahoo 360 blog, and then several Blogger.com blogs. For me blogging was the perfect solution for disseminating information about your small business and letting your customers get to know you.

Back then, however, there was a lot of skepticism about blogging with some small business owners even claiming they would never buy anything off a blog. Not me. I took a giant step forward and stopped issuing newsletters. I jumped on the blogging band wagon and have never looked back.

My online interests continued to expand over the years as well as my doll & craft interests. Over time my blogs multiplied as each had a different audience and, therefore, a different subject to discuss.

So, at one point in time I had 5 websites, 18 blogs, an Etsy shop, a Zibbet shop, 3 Zazzle shops, and several other secondary e-pattern and handmade goods online selling venues. I also had a topsite, several plugboards, and a lot of social media pages and/or groups to maintain.

In 2014 I decided to do a little downsizing.  Everything I had been doing had become too much to handle so I decided to start downsizing gradually. The first to go were the plugboards, followed by half of my blogs, followed by several social media communities and groups, followed by some of the selling venues.

In 2015 I decided to consolidate all of my websites into one selling website that could handle not only all my e-products, all my print patterns, and all my handmade goods but be expandable so it was able to be displayed correctly on all the desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices out there, as well as being able to be displayed on all the various browsers.

Back then I did a lot of research and decided to create my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop at GoDaddy utilizing their Quick Shopping Cart. What I liked about the GoDaddy website was that it could handle all of my different businesses (e-commerce and regular commerce) under one roof. I could sell both my handmade products and all my e-products in one website.

My consolidated website handling both digital products and handmade products worked well for  four years, but was still a lot of work with everything else I was doing, including online classes that I love to take.

So, I decided to downsize even more and closed my Linda Walsh Originals Shop which was selling my e-patterns and all my handmade doll and craft decorations and updated the products I was selling via my Linda Walsh Originals Etsy Shop.

I also decided to upgrade my Linda Walsh Originals Information website which is a GoDaddy Website Tonight website to be an "About me" portfolio with multiple pages of sorts for everything and anything concerning Linda Walsh Originals.

I'm still in the process of critiquing my business interests as well as my creative interests.  After all this time I've decided I want to spend more time in creative mode versus business mode so I wouldn't be surprised if I downsize even more.

I always like to give back and over the years have posted many free e-patterns, e-books and e-printables so everyone can enjoy crafting.  If you're interested in my "freebies" please visit my "Free E-Patterns, E-Printables, & E-Books" page.

I've been in love with .pdf instant download e-products since they first came on the scene in 2004 and have tried all sorts of different venues.

Some I like, some I don't. Some have come and gone, some are free, some are very expensive, some are for specific types of patterns, some are commercial sellers websites, etc. The internet is always changing so what was there in 2004 might not be in existence today.

Nowadays there are websites that do it all, some are websites that provide html code so you can sell your e-patterns on your website or your blog, some are handmade craft websites where you can list your e-patterns and then send them as an email attachment to your customer or, depending on the website, can send the download link to the customer via e-mail or put it in the customer's account on their website, some are websites that provide a download integration for your Etsy shoppe, some are social networking websites that allow for selling, etc.

The online crafts e-pattern, e-printable, and e-book craft industry has been slowly developing over the last decade and, as far as I'm concerned, is still in it's infancy. There's plenty of room for growth and, I'm sure, plenty of room for change. Which venue is best for you is based on what you're selling, what your experience is, what your skill level is, and how much time you can devote to this.

Selling e-patterns online as an independent pattern designer is a long, slow process that requires nerves of steel and a lot of patience. It is not for the faint of heart or those hoping to make a quick buck. That just is not going to happen.

If you’re an artist or crafter who has created e-patterns you might be wondering how you go about selling them. Where do you store your e-patterns and how do you sell instant downloads? Whether its e-patterns, e-tutorials or e-books you first need to create a .PDF (Portable Document Format) file which is your electronic product. With the various computer software available nowadays, as well as the various online websites willing to help you with that, once you have created the .PDF file then there are basically two ways to get the .pdf file to your customer.

1) You can send them yourself as attachments to an email once you have been notified of payment by the customer.

2) They can be sent automatically or available in a customer's account as an "instant download e-patterns" once payment has been made.

So, what kind of online set-up do you need to accomplish this?

1) You can have your own website that has Paypal (or other payment processor) payment button capabilities. Once you have received notification from Paypal (or other payment processor) of payment you can send the e-pattern to your customer as an attachment to an e-mail.

2) You can have a blog that has HTML capabilities in the sidebar or posts that allow you to create Paypal (or other payment processor) payment button. Once you have received notification from Paypal (or other payment processor) of payment you can send the e-pattern to your customer as an attachment to an e-mail.

3) You can have your own website or blog that allows for HTML modules in the sidebar or posts whereby you can copy/paste the Buy Now Digital Goods E-commerce Shopping Cart providers HTML code. In this instance they provide a service whereby they store your e-products on their servers and provide you with a Buy Now (or similar) button link. When your customer clicks on that Buy Now link then the payment process would begin. Once payment has been made an email will automatically be sent to the customer with the e-pattern download link. They click on the link and follow the prompts to download your e-product. Digital Goods E-commerce Shopping Cart providers charge you a fee for this service.

4) You can have your own website that has e-commerce instant download shopping cart capabilities that will send your customer the download link for their e-pattern via email once payment has been made to you.

5) You can have your own website that has e-commerce instant download shopping cart capabilities that will put the download link in the customer's account once payment has been made to you.

6) You can utilize a third-party website with an e-commerce shopping cart provider that has "instant download capabilities." Once payment has been made by the customer the software will automatically generate an email to the customer with the download link or put it in the customer's account where they can automatically download it. Depending on their set-up you can either: a) upload your .PDF files onto their servers, b) transfer your .PDF files via FTP (file transfer protocol), or c) send them as attachments to an email to them. It all depends on how the e-pattern website is set up. The e-pattern website owners collect payment and then remit to you once they have been paid and have deducted their fee, or they may have a system in place to automatically pay you once the customer has paid. They may charge a monthly fee or charge a % of the sale price and/or both.

7) You can utilize a third-party handmade goods marketplace or community website to create a shop for you to sell your handmade goods and/or e-patterns. Once you have been notified of payment you can, depending on their set-up, either send the e-pattern to the customer as an attachment to an email, or sometimes these third-party handmade goods marketplaces or communities have apps that can work in conjunction with your shop and automatically send the customer an email with the e-pattern download link once payment has been made.

If you're an independent crafts pattern designer and you want to sell your e-patterns online, but aren't quite ready for your own website you might want to check out the following websites, blogging platforms, and e-commerce services websites:

Amazon - https://kdp.amazon.com/ - Amazon's online digital distribution publishing division for selling e-books online.

Artfire - https://www.artfire.com/ - Shops created and maintained by designers. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

Blogger (or any blogging website) - https://blogger.com - Free blogging host provider.  Create a selling blog.  Publish post with image and information about e-pattern.  Include copy and paste code for Paypal or other eCommerce downloading button within the post or email e-pattern to customer as an attachment once payment has been received.

Bonanza - https://www.bonanza.com/ - Online handmade goods marketplace and social networking community. Shops created and maintained by handmade artisans. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

CraftHub - https://www.crafthub.me/ - An Etsy app that works with Etsy shops selling .pdf instant download e-patterns and provides an integration between ETSY and downloads to customers.

CraftIsArt - http://www.craftisart.com/ - Online artisan and handmade goods selling community. Shops created and maintained by handmade artisans. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

Doll Street Dreamers - http://www.dollstreetdreamers.com/ - Oldest social networking doll club on the web. Offers doll classes and pattern shop for instant download doll e-patterns sold by members. Pattern shop maintained by owner of doll club. Owner handles all aspects of download and interface with customer.

DPD - https://getdpd.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy ad paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

eCRATER - https://www.ecrater.com - eCRATER is both a free web store builder and an online marketplace.  E-Patterns would be emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

EJunkie -https://www.e-junkie.com/- Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy ad paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Easydigitaldownloads - https://easydigitaldownloads.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Etsy - https://www.etsy.com  - Shops created and maintained by designers.  E-Patterns sold by designers are uploaded to Etsy listings and downloaded by customers once payment has been processed.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ - Free social media network.  Sell e-patterns on your business page or within groups.  Paypal bill your customers and once paid e-patterns would be emailed to customers as attachment to an email.

FetchApp - https://www.fetchapp.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

FlickRocket - https://www.flickrocket.com/-  E-commerce content shop platform for selling e-products. Since 2010, FlickRocket’s cloud based solution powers shops for big and small content owners which enable secure digital content sales and marketing. E-Patterns sold by designers can be downloaded by customers once payment has been processed.

Folksy - https://folksy.com/ - British online handmade goods marketplace and community.  Shops created and maintained by handmade artisans. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

Go To Patterns & Co. - http://gotopatterns.com -  Website selling sewing & craft patterns. Independent pattern designers can contact them for designer terms.  Submitted patterns are reviewed for quality content.

Gumroad - https://gumroad.com - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods directly to customers. Integrates with your website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, and email newsletters.

Handmade Artists - https://handmadeartists.com/ - Online handmade goods marketplace and social networking community. Shops created and maintained by handmade artisans. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

iCRAFT -   https://icraftgifts.com/ - iCraft is an online handmade goods marketplace.  E-Patterns would be emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

MagCloud - http://www.magcloud.com/ - Hewlett Packard online print on demand and digital distribution publishing. Used by e-zines, e-book sellers, and some e-patterns. Customers can choose to buy either print on demand pattern or downloadable e-pattern.

Makerist -  https://www.makerist.com -  E-Commerce selling website.  E-Patterns sold by designers are uploaded to Makerist and downloaded by customers once payment has been processed.

PayloadZ - https://www.payloadz.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com - Free social media network.  With a business account you can create boards for pinning your items for sale. Your pin would include an image, description and link back to your website where your item was pinned from, like a website, blog post, or 3rd party marketplace. Pinned items with prices show up in the gifts section.

Pulley - https://pulleyapp.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Ravelry - https://www.ravelry.com - Social networking website for knitters and crocheters.  E-Patterns. E-Patterns would be emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

SendOwl - https://www.sendowl.com/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste codes for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Sellfy -  https://sellfy.com/ - Sellfy allows creators of digital files to sell their e-patterns in their shop on Sellfy.  Shops created and maintained by designers.  E-Patterns sold by designers are downloaded by customers once payment has been processed.

SellPin - https://www.sellpin.com - Buying and selling marketplace that integrates with Pinterest users selling goods and offers payment capability through credit card or Paypal. E-Patterns would be emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

Sellwire - https://sellwire.net - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides copy and paste links for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

Selz - https://selz.com/ - Selz includes secure, unlimited eCommerce hosting on all plans. You can also use our Buy Buttons and widgets to add eCommerce to any existing website or blog.

Shopify - https://www.shopify.com - Shopify is the only eCommerce platform that lets business owners sell directly on the world’s biggest websites and apps. In just a few clicks, you can make your products buy-able on the social networks and online marketplaces people use every day.

SimpleGoods - https://simplegoods.co/ - Digital Goods eCommerce service for selling downloadable goods online. Provides widgets for instant download e-patterns to use in websites and blogs.

The Pattern Cupboard - http://www.thepatterncupboard.com/ - Large selection of designers and crafts e-patterns. Currently owned and managed by DJDoodle, LLC. Designers upload .pdf e-patterns and maintain their designer accounts. The Pattern Cupboard handles all aspects of download and interface with customer.

YouCanMakeThis - https://www.youcanmakethis.com -  Website selling sewing, crochet, jewelry, crafts & hobbies, stitchery and quilting e-patterns.  You set-up an author account and submit ideas for projects,  Your idea is reviewed and if they like your idea they promote and sell your e-patterns.

Wordpress - https://wordpress.com/ - Website or blog hosting provider.  Create a selling blog.  Publish post with image and information about e-pattern.  Include copy and paste code for Paypal or other eCommerce downloading button within the post or email e-pattern to customer as an attachment once payment has been received.

Zibbet - https://marketplace.zibbet.com/ - Online handmade goods marketplace and social networking community. Shops created and maintained by handmade artisans. E-Patterns sold by designers are emailed to customers as attachments to an email.

If you're an independent crafts pattern designer who wants to sell e-patterns, e-tutorials or e-books online I hope you find my post helpful.

© 2004-2019 Copyright Linda Walsh Originals - Written By Linda Walsh.

No comments:

Post a Comment