Author Resources

11 Ways To Become a Successful Author

11ways

When the community succeeds, we succeed. That’s Envato’s Number 1 value. We love celebrating the success of our authors, and want to help more of you achieve the level of success you dream about.

The Envato Marketplaces have seen lots of growth. In such a crowded field, it’s important to make your items stand out amongst the competition, and make yourself stand out amongst the crowd.

Here’s our guide to becoming an even more successful Marketplace author, no matter if you’re a brand-new author, or you’ve been around for years.

This article is adapted from a post written by Scott Wills for the ActiveDen blog in November 2009.

1. Update Your Profile Page

Add an image to your profile page. It shows you care and it shows you mean business. Although the default graphic looks awesome, don’t just leave the default graphic there.

Your profile page should be your identity. Your personal brand. Make it look good. Add a little information to it to add a little personality and to tell customers and fellow authors who you are and what your passions are. Think of it like the author bio at the back of a book. By using it, you step a little closer to your audience and make them feel welcome.

Also consider adding links to your best-selling files from this page. You don’t want potential customers to overlook your best content and the profile page is an ideal way to promote your strongest files.

Further reading:

  • Be Professional. Be Believable. Brand Your Profile Page!
  • Case Study: Create a good profile page that generates followers and sales

2. Brand Your Files and Thumbnails

Who would ever have imagined how important an 80×80 pixel thumbnail would be? The thumbnails you use for your items are very important!

Aim for consistency, so that when you release a new file, everyone will know it’s one of your files by the branding you’ve applied to your thumbnail. It should be a visual representation that somehow ties into the branded graphic you added to your profile page.

3. Follow Your Comments via RSS

Respond to comments politely, and quickly. Although support is optional, customers tend to buy files again in the future from authors who treat them well.

Treat your customers with respect—they’re the ones who purchase your files and put money in your account. One easy way to do that is to answer the questions they ask.

You can keep on top of all the questions customers ask by following your own RSS feed. It looks like this:

http://activeden.net/feeds/user_item_comments/YOUR-USERNAME-HERE.atom

For example:

http://activeden.net/feeds/user_item_comments/digitalscience.atom

4. Focus on Quality Rather Than Quantity

Spend your time producing quality files. This has many benefits, and could get you listed in the Weekly Features or Top Authors roundups, or help you make the Featured Author or File of the Week.

Always remember that the tortoise beats the hare. Sure, it’s a race, but it’s a slow race. You should focus on producing the highest quality content possible.

5. Use Simple Yet Effective Documentation

Helpful documentation not only helps your customers, but it saves you time in the long run. Instead of continually answering the same questions over and over and over, make sure all frequently asked questions are answered in your help documentation. Then you simply refer any questions customers may have to your help file.

A well written help file should reduce the number of questions you get asked via email or item comments. In turn, this frees up valuable time you can better use producing brand-new, top-quality files!

6. Tag Your Files Effectively

Think about your tags and keywords you use for each of your files. Make sure they are effective. They help with SEO, which will make it easier for potential buyers to find your files.

You want your files to be ranked as high as possible, to maximise the chance of buyers noticing them when they’re searching on Google or the Marketplaces. Do not underestimate the power of effective tags!

Further reading:

  • Tips for Choosing Effective Tags
  • How to choose the best tags for your items

7. Make the Most of Your Referral Link

Referral links are an opportunity to make even more money. If you append your Envato marketplace username to any marketplace URL, you can make commission from any new customer that makes a subsequent deposit or purchase on any marketplace.

Further reading:

  • How does the Marketplace affiliate program work?

8. Update Your Old Files

You could sit back and enjoy the residual income coming in from your existing files. But top-selling and successful authors realize that there’s money to be earned in updating existing files.

Adding new features to existing Marketplace items impresses and rewards your existing customers. It makes them more likely to purchase more files from you in the future.

It also reaches out to brand new customers. Let’s say you have an image gallery that’s selling pretty well. If you update it to add new video functionality, you’re opening it up to a potential new audience. Someone who previously overlooked your file may now be interested because of the new features.

Think about what Apple frequently do with their products. They reinvent them. Same product, just a new skin and some new features. It’s a philosophy and paradigm that you can use to give new life to your Marketplace items.

9. Use Collections to Your Advantage

Collections are a useful way to gather Marketplace items into sets. They’re also a good way to add gain exposure to your items.

Create collections that contain outstanding files, and put some of your files in there too. Increases the chances of more people seeing your work.

Further reading:

  • What Are Public Collections?
  • Case Study: Use Collections as SEO-friendly Landing Pages

10. Take File Rejection on the Chin

Don’t be dismayed by rejection. Be determined!

If your file gets rejected—either through your own fault, or because your file does not meet our criteria—do not give up. Don’t ever give up! Take it on the chin and learn from it.

Let’s say you get your file rejected for a design reason. Analyze those weaknesses. Identify ways to improve. Come back to your file in a day or two when you can look at your design more objectively, and not fueled by the anger you felt when your file was rejected.

Realize file rejection is never personal. Submit a support ticket, and politely ask for some help, or for specific reasons why your file was rejected. Then resolve all those issues with your design, and upload again.

Never give up. Never stop improving.

Further reading:

  • The Most Common Issues with Rejected Files
  • Dealing with Rejection – Part 1
  • Dealing with Rejection – Part 2
  • Dealing with Rejection – Part 3

11. Collaborate!

Collaborate with someone! If you are a developer, team-up with a designer—and vice versa! This allows authors to specialize in the niche they are an expert in. It also speeds-up development time!

We hope these tips have shown you how to become a successful author on the Marketplace platform!

Further reading:

  • Discover Inspiring Items Created by Collaboration

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