Chances are if you’re a crafter then you’ve heard of the website FaveCrafts. Maybe you’re among the 1 million viewers that their site and sister sites receive each and every day. Or perhaps you’re one of the 3 million people that receive their variety of newsletters each month. There’s a very good possibility that you’ve heard of them and their sister sites. So who are the people behind FaveCrafts and why is it important that you know?
FaveCrafts is a free online resource for craft tutorials, patterns, tips and advice and is part of Prime Publishing LLC, a rapidly growing company headquartered in the northern Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Illinois. Established in 1995 Prime Publishing was originally a niche book publisher. Their relaunch in 2009 transformed them into an internet exclusive content provider, specializing in the cooking and crafting realms. This strong online presence began with FaveCrafts.com in 2008, and not long after RecipeLion.com was introduced, bringing them into the world of food and recipes.
Readers were receptive and as a result in 2010 more sites were born including AllFreeCrochet.com, AllFreeSewing.com, FaveDiets.com and FaveCraftsRadio.com, an online radio show hosted by someone you may be familiar with.. Amy Anderson of Mod Podge Rocks! They even have their own online craft store CutRateCrafts.com with over 70,000 SKUs and counting. You demanded it so more sites were launched in 2011 including but certainly not limited to AllFreeHolidayCrafts.com, a bustling food site AllFreeSlowCookerRecipes.com, and AllFreeChristmasCrafts.com. A full list of the sites that they own (12 in crafts and 9 in food) is available toward the bottom of the page here. Their company President, Stuart Hochwert, tells me there are plenty more new sites on the horizon for 2012 as well!
As you may already know, I live in southeast Wisconsin, bordering northern Illinois. I’ve worked with FaveCrafts and several of their sites before, and have even appeared as a guest on FaveCrafts Radio in September 2011. I also used to work in Northbrook many years ago during my Corporate America days. So I reached out to FaveCrafts and asked if I could come for a visit and get a better feel for their successful operation. The staff was very receptive so I made my way down to their offices for a tour, lunch and some questions. What I found delighted me and I’m happy to be sharing it with all of you.
Upon entering the office I received a warm welcome and was introduced to the growing staff. Note: Prime Publishing has outgrown its offices 3 times in the last 3 years! Each website has an in-house editor (many of whom are pictured above) who handles content and newsletters as well as helping visitors and working directly with designers. Some of you may already have a designer profile with them, as do I, so I had some burning questions that I know I’ve heard around the craft blogosphere myself.
That question is “What’s in it for me?”
There’s nothing wrong with that. A relationship should go both ways. If you are providing a service by creating a great craft project, taking clear colorful photographs, and writing easy to follow instructions, you should certainly get something in return. So what does Prime Publishing offer in return? This really depends on what type of designer you are. Do you sell on Etsy and have a blog that drives your customers there? Perhaps you don’t have a blog at all and create designs and patterns strictly for sale. Or maybe you are a craft blogger who posts their tutorials and would like to grow your traffic. There are plenty of ways that you can form a relationship that’s a win/win for both sides.
I asked Simone Collins, Editorial and Social Media Director for Prime Publishing why designers would want to work with their craft sites. Simone said that “by sharing your projects or recipes you can reach a much larger audience which can lead to more traffic to your site.” Simone also stated that another benefit of working together is that you are able to “make connections between bloggers and companies for even more exposure.”
Other opportunities include granting permission to reprint your projects within the free e-books they offer to their site visitors. Initially you might think that there’s no benefit there. After all, people are downloading the e-book and getting the full tutorial, so why would they need to visit you? Does the number 25,000 help? How about 50,000? That’s the number of times that each e-book is downloaded… between 25,000 and 50,000 times. That means that your blog url link is in the hands of all of those people, and it required ultimately no extra effort on your part! Blogger links are included in all of their recent e-books, pretty good exposure if you ask me.
FaveCrafts and many of their other sites also offer a Craft Designer page for those that contribute two or more projects. You can view my designer page here. Your designer page will have your picture, a bio and links to your sites if you have them. All projects that you’ve contributed to their sites will be listed on your designer page. Furthermore, all of your projects will be linked over to your designer page so that site visitors can learn more about you, see what else you have shared, and also visit your site.
There are other factors at work here, such as how it’s beneficial to your site’s SEO to have a larger site linking to you and how branding yourself is just as valuable as actual visitors to your site. Keep these factors in mind and remember to look at the big picture. Then look at the photo above at all of those smiling faces who want to help you with your success.
If you are interested in working more closely with any of Prime Publishing’s websites, your best best is to get in touch with them by filling out their contact form here and someone will get back to you.
By Amanda Formaro