How this site is funded

Thank_you-Thank_you_fridge_magnetsI’ve been so surprised and delighted that this site has grown and grown.  When I first started, and wrote about my first ever sewing project, it was only ever intended as my online personal diary and I didn’t think anyone would ever even find it or read it.  Now I love the sewing community we have here, and all of your comments and advice, to me and to other readers as part of the Readers Questions series.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read my ‘About Me‘ page, but I briefly explain how I got into sewing in the first place, after I’d had a stroke, lost a lot of my memory and other abilities, lost my job and my insurance and needed a hobby to help me rehabilitate and concentrate again, on an island with no neurologist and no stroke rehab program or treatment.  With mounting medical bills to pay, I later turned to earning a little money from my site with a few adverts.  Over time, as readership has increased, so my earnings from the site have increased from sidebar adverts, from the sale of my own designs of sewing patterns and the Pattern of the Month Club, and also from commissions from Craftsy.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me in these ways.

Save money and get to sew a lot! I'll be signing up at So Sew Easy to get a sewing pattern each month.

Pattern of the month club

So when a job opportunity came my way earlier this year, hubby and I discussed it and decided I didn’t need to try go back to a ‘real job’.  I loved sewing and writing for my site, and it earned me enough money that So Sew Easy officially became my ‘job’.  And honestly, it’s the best job I’ve ever had!  Obviously, he’s the best husband in the world too.

small__14373653798Things have been going great, but then I got some bad news that impacts on the future earnings for the site.  The majority of my earnings come from Craftsy, and their scheme is about to introduce some dramatic changes.

At the moment, let’s say for example that you read one of the reviews on my site for a class I’ve taken.  You like the sound of the review and want to learn more about the class so you click through to Craftsy and read more about the class and maybe add it to your wish list.  But you don’t buy right away.  Later that month, Craftsy has a sale and you go through your wish list, get reminded of the class you wanted and buy it, plus maybe another class too.  Under the current scheme, I get a commission for referring you to that class.  It doesn’t cost you any more to buy it, but the income keeps me in business.  Thanks to you and Craftsy.

Under the new scheme, unless you click through and buy that class right away, no commission is paid if you then decide to buy it later in the month.  You still pay the same price, but Craftsy keeps all the money.  Good for them, not so good for this site.

My reports show that nearly 90-95% of you don’t buy immediately when you click through from the site.  You take a look, wait a while and buy later on.  So, effective from 4th August, I’ll lose 90-95% of my commission.  Which means, I’ll need to give some serious thought to looking for a ‘real job’, instead of writing for this site. 🙁

Obviously I don’t want that to happen, I love it here.  So I’m going completely out of character and sharing about how the site works, how I can spend so much time working on the content and free patterns each month, and what it needs in order to continue the same way.  It needs you and your help!

I’ve set up a new link on the site – at the very top of the sidebar on the right hand side, under the welcome message.  It says, “Support this site by buying your Craftsy class and products through THIS LINK“.

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All I ask, if you go to Craftsy, maybe during a sale, or at any time and you want to buy a sewing class or some fabric or one of their new sewing kits, that you drop back to So Sew Easy and click through from this link above before buying.  It just tells Craftsy where you would like the commission for your transaction paid.

I feel bad about asking, and I sincerely hope no one is offended or upset.  If you are, my apologies.  It’s optional of course, but helps me continue to work on offering you free sewing patterns every month.

You can also support the side bar advertisers, by visiting their sites. I don’t earn any commission from these sponsors adverts, but if they can see visitors coming from this site, they may be more likely to renew their advert for next month.  Every little helps.

Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email.  If you want to shout at me and don’t understand why I need to earn any money and can’t just do all this for free, you might also find this article interesting – ” Can full time bloggers live off rainbows and hugs” .  But you can still shout too.

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88 Responses to How this site is funded

  1. I’m really happy you mentioned something because I will gladly help support you in any way I can. You’ve helped me so much as a beginner sewer! I buy a lot of craftsy classes so I’ll go through you from now on.

  2. MJ says:

    Thank you for letting us know! Do you have an update about how it is going?
    This is a great explanation and I can understand why Craftsy is doing this. It probably takes a lot of extra memory to link every single thing on every waitlist. I will try to remember to link from your site when I buy.
    Thank you for all you do!!!

  3. Paula says:

    Just bought the “Fun with Fusible Applique” course from your link. Hope it helps, I’ll remember to do that in the future when I want a class. I’ll check here first to see if you have a link, that way it will help you out. Love your site, thanks for all the tutorials 🙂

    Paula

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you very much Paula, every little bit helps.

      • Paula says:

        You’re Welcome 🙂 I’m glad to be a little bit of help, your site brings me a lot of help 🙂 I ended up buying 2, I also bought the Sewing with Textures from your site “link” I’ll probably also get your year subscription for 2015 if you’re doing that again next year. Take care.

  4. P.S. I meant to add: I found you via your Kiva profile, Deby, while checking co-lenders on my most recent loan 🙂 If that doesn’t speak volumes about the power of the online world… I don’t know what would!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Wow, now that really is interesting. I also managed to reunite a lady to her lost passport in Florida once, when the person who found it tracked her down via a comment on this site. Incredible (and a little bit scary) how it all works.

  5. I only occasionally buy at Craftsy (and then more likely jewelry than sewing classes), but I am bookmarking your site for future consideration, Deby, as I very much support home-based businesses. Though I started sewing at age 8 and sewed professionally for many years, I consider myself a lifelong learner AND a firm believer that one is never too old to learn nor too young (at heart) to teach 🙂 I became interested in jewelry design after age 50, and this is now my number one hobby/obsession, but sewing remains close to my heart. Your site is an inspiration, and I thank you for generously and candidly sharing your story!

  6. Brenda says:

    Deby,
    Thank you so very much for sharing this. I am like others and had no idea that was how things worked with Craftsy. I think it is very sad they are changing their format so bloggers would even have a need to post this! Greedy! But I do love your posts and your free patterns. I just bought the Flirty Skirty to try. I don’t usually sew for myself but as soon as I have some extra income I will find some nice knit fabrics and try the skirt as well as a couple of the free tops you have made. I loved the skirt pattern came with sizes to accommodate myself and my daughter who is tiny! I am a plus size.
    I also had not read your full story but I love to help support someone trying to make a living from their love of sewing. I know it is hard to recoup what you make so this seems to be a way to make some and that is great! I appreciate your struggle to get here. You must be a very strong lady.
    I also do not buy a lot of patterns as money is super tight for us but when I do buy a Crafts pattern from now on, I will be going through your link.
    Thanks for all you do!
    Brenda <

  7. opalspeacock says:

    I am happy that you brought this to my attention. I think most readers would be happy to support any blog that they use and recognize that most people can not work for free and in some cases pay to blog. I love your blog and have used many of your patterns and advice. Thank you for being upfront rather than going away, I am on board. You’re fabulous.

  8. Val Clements. says:

    Hi Deby, thank you for this information. When I go to Craftsy I will always go through your link from now on! I have been following you through Craftsy first , then I signed up for your blogging journey. Sunday morning is my time to read so-sew-easy and I love it. I’m in the midst of making the flirty skirt. I like the way you post a video and walk us through.
    Thank you. You go girl.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I’d love to see your skirt when you are finished Val, it always makes my day to see something sewn with one of my patterns. Will you upload it to Craftsy when you are done, or send me a photo on email? Thanks for your support. I appreciate it.

  9. Ruth L says:

    Hi Deby,
    I appreciate your weekly posts and have used a few of your free patterns on Craftsy. Thank you for being brave enough to share your dilemma with us and allow us to continue to support your blog through the new link. Thanks for all you do, and keep inspiring us to sew new and better things each week!
    Warm regards,
    Ruth L

  10. Deby, can you clarify something? If I click through your site and then purchase something on my Wishlist will you still receive the commission, or do I need to purchase it directly from the class listings? I do so hope it’s the first option since I tend to leave things in the Wishlist much too long.
    I hope you can reply soon since there is a 50% off sale and a machine embroidery class I’ve been eyeing is on sale!

    • Deby Coles says:

      You can click through from any of the links and buy any of the classes or products – each link directs usually to a particular page, but you can then buy anything from any page and it still works out. So I just posted a promo for the sale, and clicking any of those links takes you to Craftsy in general, and from there you can navigate to your wish list or to any of the sales pages. It all works out. Thank you for asking, I VERY much appreciate you thinking of me in this way. Enjoy the great sale!

  11. Teri says:

    You have inspired me to start sewing again. A long time ago, I made all of my own clothes including suits and dresses for work. It’s so wonderful that you have helped me to get back to what I love. The Craftsy classes are a big help. I will always buy through your link!

  12. Gill says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Like many I had little idea how much Craftsy affected the income of bloggers. I, too, am guilty of saving a link to read at my leisure, mainly due to time zones. In future, I’ll be more concious

  13. Daniela says:

    Thanks for your openness and honesty about the way blogs are funded these days. I hope everything goes great, and even better, for you this time.

  14. Nita says:

    I appreciate the explanation of how it all works because I didn’t know. I won a gift certificate for a craftsy class, so will be sure to get to it through your link. 🙂 I am going to choose a class that will teach me how to alter a pattern to fit me.

  15. Monica says:

    Ask and ye shall receive! Just like I would stop patronizing a place because I have no confidence or faith in the site or individual, I will ABSOLUTELY go through a site as fantastically wonderful as yours because I DO have confidence and faith in its founder. (I’ll pass the word on about your site as well.) PLEASE kepp up the good work!

  16. Januk says:

    Thank you Deby for all your Fantastic Ideas and Tutorials and Free downloads I am just starting to learn how too do Patchwork and handbag making but lack confidence with in myself but through learning to sew and stuff it will give me more confidence so keep up your strong will as you have done so far I also subscribe to your newsletter an d they are so brilliant

    Januk

  17. Dee says:

    I am glad to see so many positive comments here Deby. No decent person has any reason to shout at you about informing us about the Craftsy price structure changes.

    There are so many classes and patterns for sale through Craftsy and it seems unfair that now they have grown so huge from all the people who have supported them by posting their patterns for sale on their site as well as all those who purchased through their site and NOW are making it harder for others to make money through their site. Sadly it isn’t the first company to do this kind of thing.

    Is it at all possible for you to also offer patterns for sale directly though your own site? or does Craftsy have you tied up in an ‘exclusivity’ contract?

    • Deby Coles says:

      It would be possible for me to offer the patterns to download from my own site, but I get thousands of downloads a month (around 15-18,000 free pattern downloads) so I would need to upgrade my website hosting to a high-speed private server to be able to cope with the amount of bandwidth needed, and that’s really expensive. But Craftsy let’s me offer them there for free, so it’s been an easy choice to make. Plus, by offering them on Craftsy, there is the potential that I’ll be ‘found’ by sewists that might not have come across my site any other way. So there are lots of advantages in doing it this way, as well as for the readers, because the patterns are kept permanently in a pattern library so can be saved there and downloaded at any time. Its very convenient and free! Gotta love Craftsy for that.

What do you think?