In February, I released my first fee based pattern. My gut kept telling me make it free. But friends and family told me to sell it. I ran an ad with the release for 28 days on the same site the pattern was released. There were 45,000+ impressions(people who saw) and 248 clicks(people who took action) with zero sales. My goal was 100 sales that would have grossed $500 and capture new followers.

The $500 gross would not cover taxes, the ad, materials, knitting time, photography and page layout. However, $500 is better than nothing. Going in, I knew I had not established myself firmly in the knitting community nor do I have a magazine publishing creds. I’m just starting (2015).

I learned people like free because my free releases had the following unique downloads:

  1. East Ave E shawl 830+ downloads
  2. Your Own Counsel shawl 1750+ downloads
  3. Tone scarf 370+ downloads
  4. Per Se shawl 0 downloads

My lessons do what you love and make it free until you accomplish something beyond entry. This is a tough pill but honest. The image above is from Mary Lou Kayser’s blog post, What Are You Willing to Do for Free. It recounted Daymond John’s early days at FUBU and how he gave away his knit caps for free in the beginning.  This was a good reminder why I started this.


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