Friday Freebies Future: I will continue. But…

Friday Freebies Future

Your feedback to my post The Future of Friday Freebies: It’s On You was overwhelming. I guess 169 comments in less than 24 hours is a new record here on my blog.

So first of all: Thank you for all your feedback!

Thank You.

“As 167 have responded out of request to have at least 20, you know you and your patterns are loved.”

You are right, I can see you like my work now. Yes, I will continue the Friday Freebies – your message was very clear.

Thanks for letting me know you care. Thanks for letting me know you are not bored by repeating free knitting patterns as Friday Freebies sometimes.

Thanks especially for all your lovely and useful suggestions on how to make a compromise between continuing to offer Friday Freebies in a way that keeps things interesting for me.

Your Feedback: Four Major Groups

Reading your comments, I was able to identify four major groups:

  • People telling me to please continue in 2-3 words.
  • People asking me to continue pointing out they’re new readers and haven’t collected every single pattern yet.
  • People asking me to continue and making useful suggestions on how to spice things up.
  • People letting me know they like my work so much they’d continue reading my blog no matter what I decide to do, encouraging me to follow my heart.

To the first group: I appreciate the time you took to leave a comment letting me know you like my Friday Freebies. I know you do, otherwise I wouldn’t have started it at all.

To the second group: thanks for reminding me that there is a constant stream of new people on the list that haven’t seen all my content before.

To the third group: your comments were the most helpful ones. Many of you suggested doing only one free pattern a month, but adding other useful content pieces as Friday Freebies. This is a really good idea as a compromise between me getting bored by repeating patterns but you still getting them, plus additional content! This is the way to go.

To the fourth group: you touched my heart. Thank you for such lovely and motivating words!

Time To Be Honest

One comment was very special and I would like to share and discuss it with you.

“No. It’s time we start paying you for your work. Do I like getting things for free? Of course. But, if the free goods don’t lead to real purchases, you won’t be able to make a living.”


You are amazingly generous with your knowledge. Thank you.

It’s amazing how we’ve come to expect designers to give their work away when the rest of us would never do the same with our own work.”

Many of you are paying me for my work already – I would not be able to make a living otherwise. The bigger part revenue stream is not my patterns but my books, especially Shawl Design in Plain English. (Special thanks to all buyers!)

Just to make it perfectly clear: This blog finances my education. Without people paying me for my work I cannot finish Med School.*

And yes, it is a lot of work to provide good content. I’m giving away most of it for free and I’m enjoying it, especially when people write emails telling me how excited they are to have found my blog because of an article about xyz, and how much it helped them with their knitting.

But it is work. Not a hobby. Clear?

Are you working for free? As long as you aren’t a millionaire, I guess you are being paid for your work. Do you expect to get paid for your work? Of course you do.

This Blog Depends on You

This blog can only continue to exist if my readers are supporting me. There are many ways to do it: buying my books (here in my shop or on Amazon), buying my patterns, clicking on the ads displayed here (I’ll stop displaying ads as soon as pattern sales compensate for it. I find them as annoying as you).

If you are an aspiring shawl designer, please consider taking my online class Successful Shawl Design. Sign-ups will close in three days, so if you’re hesitating, take a decision now.

In case you find this online class expensive, think about the value of your own working time: this class consists of nine modules packed with information in video, text and assignments and one hour of my time live for each module. Preparing the material for one module takes at least one day. So you get about 100 working hours from an instructor with a PhD. How much do you charge for 100 hours of your time?

There are more than 1200 people reading my newsletter, and at least 171 of you let me know that you admire my work and want me to continue. If only 10 out of 1200 take my course, I can pay my bills for next month and stop worrying about money all the time.

It’s on you.

Julia Riede Signature

*If you’re wondering now how such a small blog can raise such a big amount of money as Med School is terribly expensive – it doesn’t. Med School is affordable here in Germany (as it is in most of the EU) as we do not have to pay student fees. So it’s only what I need to live: feed me and my family, pay rent, utility bills, you name it.

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  1. Cherie says:

    After reading your letter today I am deeply embarrassed that I didn’t acknowledge you need to be paid for your work! We have all gotten so use to getting patterns for free from designers. But creating a pattern is a lot of work! I am on a really tight budget right now, so I can’t afford to purchase your book or your classes, but, I could afford to occasionally buy a deeply discounted pattern, (I live in Canada, so right now the exchange rate isn’t in our favour, and that is why I say “deeply discounted” is all I can afford right now). If you still feel comfortable giving your patterns away once in a while that is fantastic, and extremely generous of you. You truly have a gift for designing, and we are so fortunate to get any one of your patterns for free! However, I think if you had some really good sales available to your subscribers that would be a great way for those of us on a tight budget to support you. Just a thought.

    • Jriede Knitwear Design says:

      Cherie, thanks for your comment and helpful insights. I’m actually thinking of doing a kind of Christmas sale for my subscribers only, so maybe this is helpful for you.

      Have a nice day!

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