December Designer Newsletter: Ravelry Pro – Beyond the basics

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Hi everyone, and happy December! I’ve got a lot to cover this month, so I’ll get right to it:

  • We’re expecting! Information on my upcoming maternity leave.
  • This month’s designer topic: Selling patterns on Ravelry using Ravelry Pro – some new/niche features you may not know about!
  • My tech editing availability for December and January.

Maternity Leave

 

I have some news to share this month, along with my usual newsletter content and availability. My husband and I are expecting our first child in February, and I’ll be taking a short maternity leave in the new year. I will be in touch with current clients directly with more details, but I thought it would be helpful to keep you all in the loop so that you know what to expect while I’m away.

Here is my tentative timeline (subject to change; babies tend to be a little unpredictable 😉):

January 4th, 2019: Deadline for booking new tech editing jobs

I am accepting new tech editing jobs until January 4th for spaces up to and including the following week (January 7th – 11th). Inquiries about booking new jobs after this date will be passed along to a trusted colleague of mine who has agreed to take care of my clients while I am away. I have expanded availability in December and January so I hope to be able to accommodate as many of you as possible before I leave.

January 18th, 2019: Deadline for receiving revised versions of jobs-in-progress

Any outstanding follow-up tasks related to previously booked work (2nd edits, final looks at previously edited patterns, etc.) will need to be received by this date.

February 3rd, 2019: Invoices for outstanding work go out

Invoices for any work completed up to this point will be sent out.

Late April/Early May 2019: Return to work (limited availability)

I plan to start taking on jobs again in late April/early May, with increasing availability in the months that follow.

I will be checking my email once a week while away in order to respond to any urgent inquiries.


Ravelry Pro: Beyond the basics

Ravelry Pro, much like Ravelry itself, has more features than I could ever use, as a knitter or a designer. Outside of the basics (which I won’t get into here – most of you are Ravelry pattern shop veterans), there are tons of features and customizations you can use to maximize your use of Ravelry Pro. The team at Ravelry are always listening to user feedback and tweaking features so that they more accurately reflect the way users actually use the site.

Here are some of my favourite new/lesser-known features of Ravelry Pro:

1. Save money on PayPal fees by using a “micropayment” account.

When you sell patterns through Ravelry, all payments are processed through PayPal. When you use a regular PayPal business account to receive payment for Ravelry pattern sales, PayPal charges you 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. With a micropayment account, the fee is 5% plus $0.05 per transaction.

This works out such that for transactions less than $12 (i.e. most Ravelry pattern sale transactions), you pay less in fees with a micropayment account. For transactions of more than $12, fees will be lower when using a regular business account.

Ravelry Pro allows you to link both types of PayPal accounts, ensuring you will always be paying the lowest PayPal fee amount possible. It can be configured so that payments under a certain amount go into your micropayment account, and payments over a certain amount go into your regular account (the default is the optimal $12 threshold). This guarantees that you are always paying the smallest PayPal fee percentage on each and every transaction.

All you have to do is create a new business PayPal account, phone PayPal and ask to have the rate on your new account changed to the micropayments rate, then add your new account to the “configure store” section of Ravelry Pro.

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2. Link testers’ projects to your pattern before it is published

Yes, Ravelry Pro now allows you to link tester projects to a pattern while it is still in “draft” status! Many pattern customers like to browse linked projects before purchasing a pattern, and now you can be sure there are projects associated with your pattern from the moment it is published (instead of having to notify testers after publication in hopes they will be quick to link their projects).

To take advantage of this small but incredibly useful new feature, make sure you create your pattern in Ravelry Pro a few days in advance of your scheduled publication date and save it as a draft. You will notice a new section in the “add new pattern” wizard called “Testing”. All you need to do is fill out the information in this section and pass the Tester Code along to your testers. They’ll be able to enter the code into their project’s “Pattern Name” field to link their project to your draft pattern, and you’ll be able to see a list of linked projects! Then once the pattern goes live, all those projects will be visible on the pattern’s “Projects” tab.

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3. Make the most out of coupon codes

I could write an entire newsletter about the versatility of Ravelry coupon codes and how to use them. For now, I will just highlight a few new (and exciting) features that I am enjoying!

i. Generating coupon codes before a pattern is published

Until recently, when setting up unique, single-use coupon codes, you had to set up your offer terms when you created the promotion. So if you wanted to create a percentage discount coupon, you would need to select the eligible patterns at the time you created the promotion.

For me, the problem with this workflow was that when I wanted to set up a percentage discount coupon code for my mailing list in advance of a pattern release, my yet-unpublished-pattern wouldn’t be available to select from the list, so I would have to make the coupon code valid for another pattern (or, *gasp*, all my patterns!) and then remember to go back and add the correct pattern to the promotion before activating it once the pattern was published. While this workaround wasn’t *terrible*, it wasn’t ideal, either.

Ravelry Pro now allows you to generate the codes without specifying the offer terms in advance. This means you can set up the rest of the promotion details (such as the start and end times and other requirements), and even generate the coupon codes themselves before the pattern is published without having to fake which patterns the promotion applies to.

ii. Creating coupon codes exclusive to Patreon subscribers

This one is a bit of niche integration, but I know at least a few of you have creator accounts on Patreon, so I thought it was worth including.

You can now create promotions that are limited to Patreon supporters. You can even specify the tier level(s) for which the promotion is valid!

As a Patreon creator, I was struggling to find a way to provide pattern rewards to my supporters in a way that was convenient for my patrons, convenient for me, and didn’t require too much admin/maintenance.

First, I tried simply uploading the pattern PDF to a post on my creator page that was visible to the tier levels entitled to the reward (this is how Patreon recommends providing rewards). However, as a Ravelry user, I knew that personally, I would much prefer to have patterns delivered through Ravelry so that I could re-download them from my library whenever I liked without having to worry about saving (and keeping track of) the PDF files on my computer. I then tried just creating a regular coupon code and only sharing it on Patreon. This solved the Ravelry library issue, but I was afraid the code would get shared with non-subscribers. Next I tried generating unique coupon codes and emailing/messaging them to my supporters individually. This solved both the Ravelry library and sharing issues, but was too labour-intensive.

Now that Patreon creators can link their Patreon accounts to Ravelry, both of my problems have been solved. I can create a single coupon code, post it to Patreon (or anywhere!) and only users who support me on Patreon can use it. This is another seemingly minor improvement to Ravelry Pro that has drastically improved my workflow and saved me tons of time.

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One last thing. If you have any questions about Ravelry Pro, the Ravelry Shopkeepers group forum is a wealth of information. There are lots of knowledgable Ravelers that will answer questions, plus Ravelry staff monitors the forum and contribute regularly!


Tech Editing Availability

I have expanded availability in December and January as I prepare for my maternity leave. Get in touch if you’d like to reserve a spot as they are bound to fill up quickly!

December
December 3rd – 7th: 4 spaces
December 10th – 14th: 6 spaces
December 17th – 21st: 6 spaces
December 24th – 29th: Off for Christmas holidays!

January
December 31st – January 4th: 8 spaces
January 7th – 11th: 8 spaces

Send me an email (allison at kniterations dot ca) if you’d like to reserve a spot!

Best,
– Allison

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