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DISCLOSURE: This blog contains Google Adsense ads and affiliate links to Craftsy, Creativebug, and CreativeLive via which potential commissions are earned when visitors click through.

Joining & Implementing Craftsy's Affiliate Program

Craftsy LogoDISCLOSURE: I am a Craftsy Affiliate and receive commissions from them via the ads on my blog. This post is a guide for those interested in joining the affiliate program. For information on how to sell your PDF patterns on Craftsy, check out my blog post here.



I'm fortunate to have been a part of the evolution of personal computing from its infancy. (The term "personal computing" probably seems anachronistic to some!) Having known the hard way of doing things on computers — and boy, some of those "hard ways" were really perverse — today's technology is not much of a mystery to me.

So I feel for those who have a difficult time navigating through the morass that it can be. No matter how simple the proclamations are to "sign up now and start today", it's really never an instantaneous transition from idea to reality. Not even for those of us who generally know what we are doing. So since I could not find very much help regarding how to set up a Craftsy affiliate account, I thought I should post one myself.

If you have a blog or website, Google Adsense is one way to make some pocket money. (I've had an Adsense account for over eleven years and while it hasn't even managed to support a weekly cup of coffee in that time, it has paid.) Here is another way:

Craftsy

The ad that you see above is obviously from Craftsy, of course, but it is linked to my personal account in their affiliate program, providing me with a commission when someone clicks through on it and makes a purchase. There are all kinds of different affiliate programs out there, but if your blog/website relates to crafts in any way, you should consider this one.

If you have never looked into Crafty's affiliate program before, here are the details as of November 12, 2016:
  • Receive 75% commission on course sales for first time buyers (30 day cookie) and 15% commission on all course sales for returning buyers (5 day cookie)
  • Earn a 15% commission on Cloudborn, Colonial Manor and Boundless product sales (30 day cookie for new customers, 5 day cookies for returning customers)
  • Earn 4% on all other Craftsy products (5 day cookie)
  • Get $15 for referring new affiliates (who are active within 30 days)

To be honest, prior to two previous changes to the commission structure, I would have said that it is easy to start making money fairly quickly (I'm pretty "small time" as far as bloggers go and I converted my first commission payment in three months) but this current setup drastically reduces the amount that the average affiliate earns. (We used to earn 10% on any type of product sale.) Which is not to say that it's not a good affiliate program, just that the "best of times" are pretty much in the past.


Read the Craftsy Affiliate Terms and Conditions here.
Read the Craftsy Affiliate Program FAQs here.


How to Become a Craftsy Affiliate
To sign up, click here to access the ShareASale page that will process your application. (ShareASale is the organization that administers Craftsy's affiliate program, among many others.) You'll need to go through five steps, starting with a form that looks like this:

On this first page, register your username, password and country of residence...

In the next steps, you'll answer some questions about your website, provide your primary email address, enter some basic contact information and then provide a short description about your website that will help the admin folks decide whether or not to accept you into the program. (If you own your domain, the approval will proceed much faster.)

I found this ShareASale blog post to be an an excellent summary of what to expect during the application process, as well as how to proceed after you've been accepted. It is, however, generic; i.e., not specific to Craftsy.

Note that you will receive two confirmations of acceptance before you can start earning money with Craftsy. The first acceptance will come from ShareASale itself; the second one will come from Craftsy. Approval from ShareASale came within two days, pending submission of a non-US Certification form. (This is only required for non-US citizens; I actually had to print out, sign, scan and create a PDF to send back since they don't have an authenticated online method of doing this.)

Documentation to be provided by non US affiliates...

Within four days of applying, approval came from Craftsy. That same day, I also received an "affiliate gift": my choice of a Craftsy course up to a $50 value. I chose the rather obvious Design Your Own Handbag class; a detailed review of it is here.


Ready to Sign Up? Join Craftsy's Affiliate Program Today!


Getting Craftsy Affiliate Links for Your Site
Your next question might be, so what do you do now that you're approved as an affiliate? You start putting links on your blog/website, of course. And where do you get these links? You have to log onto ShareASale's affiliate site. This is explained to you in your "Welcome to the Craftsy Affiliate Program" email, a portion of which you can see below (circa 2014... it's probably very different now).

Part of the Welcome to Craftsy Affiliate Program email...

While the explanation of how your banners and links will be kept current is reassuring, you would be among good company if you were still a bit perplexed at this point about how to proceed. So let's head on over to ShareASale again...

After you log in, you should see the following "dashboard" across the top of the screen:


Select the LINKS tab and then click on the GET A LINK/BANNER as shown. This will trigger a screen showing a table at the bottom listing your currently approved merchants. At this point (unless you've had interactions with ShareASale before and belong to other affiliate programs), you should see two rows, one corresponding to ShareASale and one to Craftsy.

Here is a close-up screen shot of where you can find the Get Links link to access all of Craftsy's affiliate links and banners :


The top part of the next screen allows you to enter search criteria to filter out specific links/banners.


I've specified a category of "sewing" here; once I click the Refine Search button, only links/banners associated with sewing will come up in the bottom part of the screen. On this day, there are 91 text links and 19 banners available under the category of "sewing".


This screen opens by default showing the TEXT LINKS tab. Whichever text link interests you, simply go to the last column on the far right and click on Get HTML Code. For example, doing this for the second row (in this case, Sewing Machine 911) gives you the following:


You can then copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post/website as required.

More than likely, you'll want to start with banners. Select the BANNERS tab and the screen will change to show you all of the available banners.


On this screen, click on the actual banner that catches your fancy in order to see the HTML code that will reproduce that banner on your site. For example:


One more link tool that you will want to use at some point is the one that allows you to create a custom link (select the LINKS tab from the dashboard, then CREATE A CUSTOM LINK). If you are blogging about a favourite class or product, you may want to create a link directly to it. This feature allows you to create an affiliate link out of any Craftsy.com page.

Finally, if you are also selling patterns on Craftsy and want to get your own "I'm a Craftsy Designer" link button, click here for the Craftsy blog post that will show you how to do so.


Block Affiliates from Google Adsense
If you are running Google Adsense on your site as well as affiliate links like Craftsy, you will want to block those affiliate domains from Adsense. (Point being that you don't want your visitors seeing duplicate ads from Adsense on your site; worse yet, you wouldn't want them clicking through via Adsense when you get a higher payout via the affiliate link.) This is easily done by selecting Allow block ads from the dashboard and then entering the URL to block (in this case, craftsy.com).


Checking Your Affiliate Account Activity
Once you are an affiliate, you need to sign on to ShareASale if you want to check if you've earned any revenue. (There is no automated way for you to be notified, unfortunately.) Select the Reports tab, and click on Activity Details to get a rundown of what's been credited to your account.


And of course, as you might have already seen, there are a lot of tools at your disposal within ShareASale to review and analyze your data. By all means explore those on your own when you start making sales.


Click here to join Craftsy's Affiliate Program!





8 comments:

  1. Rochelle--Thank you, thank you for writing about the process of getting a Craftsy affiliate link! Your explanation and screen shots are just what I needed --I think I might be able to do it now!

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    1. You are very welcome - that's wonderful to hear! (And by all means, feel free to contact me directly if you have any other questions.)

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  2. Yes, I have more questions! How do I choose which size banner to use? The search criteria for banners lists LOTS of possible widths and lengths and I have no idea which to choose.

    Also, I do want a Craftsy Indie Designer Badge for my web site (I do not have a blog yet). In the Craftsy info regarding getting the badge, it talks about the "link to my pattern store". How do I find the link or pattern store number for my pattern store on Craftsy?

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    1. Hi Sara - can you send me an email at info@eSheepEnterprises.com so I can reply in depth to you re: the size of banners, etc.?

      For the benefit of everyone else, to answer your second question, I think I found my pattern store number by doing a Google search for my own shop (i.e., "eSheep Designs Craftsy shop"); it'll come up in the search results.

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  3. HI...I don't have a blog or website. But a work page on facebook. Can i still use that affiliate programme via facebook page.

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    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure you are required to have a website - with good, relevant content - in order to be approved by Craftsy. Afterwards, however, you are free to promote your affiliate links via your social media accounts.

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  4. Thanks for the info. Is there a default disclosure somewhere, or do I have to make my own?

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    Replies
    1. The only disclosure item that I can find in the current agreement is one where you will essentially write your own. Hope that helps.

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