Search This Blog

How to be a good pattern promoter (and why I'm not one)

Today's post is courtesy of the Facebook Group Pattern Reviews and Resources . Pattern reviews and resources gets a LOT of flack fro...

Today's post is courtesy of the Facebook Group Pattern Reviews and Resources.

Pattern reviews and resources gets a LOT of flack from some of the other facebook pdf pattern groups. You see, at Pattern Reviews and Resources, we give honest reviews of patterns. The good, the bad the ugly and even the super awesome. :)

But time and again the same post always comes up. It basically goes along the lines of "there should be no promoting in this group. A review should look like this. blah blah blah." I kid you not, one of these posts pops up every month or so. Eventually the admins pop in, reminds everyone of the actual rules, and things go back to business as usual.

But I thought people would want to know in general, how to be a good promoter.

screenshot from
A promoter is someone that is trying to sell or promote something. So what exactly does it mean to promote?

In our case we're talking about definition 2, letter c here. To present for buyer acceptance through advertising, publicity or discounting. 

Promoters are advertisers for designers. Whether they're paid or not (and mostly they're not paid), they're still advertisers. So how can you properly advertise a pattern and help a designer increase sales?

Most important, PHOTOS! Pattern Revolution did an AMAZING series on photography for testers. And while they called it "testers" the reality is they're talking about promoters, because the ultimate goal is to help the designers sell more patterns and THAT is promoting. There's nothing wrong with that. We're all adults here and have businesses to run so its ok to promote something. The most important thing about photos is getting a front, back and side view. That is what is going to get people the most information for the pattern with the least amount of work. So get those photos!

Secondly, a good promoter cross posts on facebook to all the groups. Their posts are clear with no spelling errors. They tell you what is for sale, the available features and why you "need" it. I have been sucked into more than a few beautiful photos with great descriptions.

Thirdly, ALWAYS provide a link to the pattern. If I have to look for the pattern link, then there's a good chance that I'm not going to buy the pattern. A good promoter uses their referral link. Of course you want us to buy the pattern because of your great photos. And if you get a kick back, then awesome. I don't mind that you get paid for your hard work.

AND, no promoting in Pattern Reviews and Resources. ;)

I am not a pattern promoter. How can I say that? I show you photos. I cross post on facebook. The only link I use is to my blog. I am promoting... ME! Yup, I said it, I'm promoting me. Now there are bloggers that promote themselves AND the patterns. That's totally awesome. Their reviews usually go something along the lines of "I tested this pattern. It is so awesome." I love everything, blah blah blah. I'm not hating. It is a way to stay alive in this blog eat blog world. It is a perfectly acceptable way to run a business.

Anyone that has read my reviews knows that I very rarely say "this is so awesome". Actually, I've gotten myself into trouble more than once because I said something was less than awesome (even though I was a tester. :/ ). Its the truth and you're welcome to browse around and see what you think of my reviews. Do I sometimes get excited. You bet I do. When something works out in my head the way it says it should on the pattern, I jump at it. I might blog the same pattern 5 or more times (I'm looking at you Miss Ruby Tuesday) Do I have favorite patterns and favorite designers? Sure. Do I talk about them more than others? Sometimes. Do I still criticize their work? Yup. Sometimes I criticize my own work. That's how you know I'm not a promoter.

I want to clear something up here too. I DO get free patterns for my reviews sometimes. Sometimes I get free fabric. I even have gotten "paid" for my reviews with fabric gift cards and paypal. Those "payments" were ALWAYS after the fact. I don't think I would feel comfortable getting paid BEFORE my review.

I disclose when I have gotten something for free. I do NOT let that change my review. If the pattern is great, I let you know. if there is something about it I love, I tell you. If there is something I would do differently, I disclose that too. And if it is just plain awful, I let the designer know before I post about that. Have I ever held back a review? Yes. Why? 2 reasons. 1, there was a glaring error in the pattern that I pointed out and the designer wanted to fix it. (awesome). OR, the pattern was so awful I couldn't even make something wearable and justify my time. My time and fabric is money. If I can't get something remotely wearable, then I will flat out quit what I'm doing. Is that an injustice to you? Yeah, probably. But since I'm not getting paid for reviews (and who would pay for a bad review anyway?) I can't justify my time.

So, am I a promoter? Nope. You'll read plenty of "bad" reviews on my blog. I try to include at least 1 negative on each review. Sometimes I just can't find anything bad to say and that's ok too. But you better believe I'm looking for the obvious errors. You'd probably be surprised to hear that I am usually in pretty constant contact with the designers and fabric companies prior to making new content on my blog. I usually let them know any problems I see. Usually they're things like spelling errors or suggestions for a better way to describe a technique, etc.

I hope you'll continue reading those "promoting blogs" because they do have pretty photos and make you want to buy things. BUT, I also want you to be critical and decide whether it is something you still need. Because if you already own a style of pattern, you don't really need another of the exact same thing. :)

You Might Also Like


  1. Great post, Ti. That word "promoter" is the real deal. I've always been one to "call 'em as I see 'em", which has gotten me in a bit of trouble now and then, and I really appreciate that trait in others. I guess it is called honesty. I appreciate that you are doing the same. It's pretty easy to see that "promoting" and reviewing are an oxymoron. They are both respectable endeavors but one has to be honest about which they are doing. Thanks for your usual enlightenment.

  2. Great post. I think that it does sewers a great disservice to rave about a mediocre pattern. I often wonder about testers who rave about the fit when it clearly doesn't fit all that well!


These Reads

Analytics ( do not remove )