Inside Envato

Helping level the income playing field

Everyone has the right to earn a fair income from our work. For many, though, it’s a dream.

Envato hopes to help change that.

Today is Blog Action Day, an initiative started by our co-founders Collis and Cyan Ta’eed in 2007 to unite the world’s bloggers in raising awareness and triggering positive global discussion of important issues. The theme for this year is Human Rights.

We All Have the Right to Make an Income

The United Nations defines a human right as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

The right to work in order to make a fair income is one of them:

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

At Envato, we affirm that right. At our core, we’re a company about empowering people with tools and services to develop new skills and make a living.

That mission is underpinned by our values, which include giving people a fair go.

Everyone deserves an equal chance and a fair opportunity. At work, on our sites, and in life we strive to be fair and consistent in everything we do.

So that’s the standard, the aim, the goal. But what’s the reality?

The reality is, that depending on where in the world you were born and live, the opportunities to make a good living may be seriously limited. And even if you have regular employment, the wage you make from it may not be enough to make ends meet.

More than a third of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day.

Envato can be an equalizing force

For those who have access to it, the internet can be a great leveller. By lowering the barrier to creation, knowledge and markets, it can lift people out of the employment limitations of of their native country, and give them access to opportunities and income enjoyed by others around the world.

Envato Market is one such opportunity, attracting people from a wide range of nations, ages and backgrounds.

How does it work?

Kriesi, the first Envato author to sell $1 million worth of items.

1. Supplement your normal income

Many of our authors have a full time job outside of Envato. Becoming an author lets them supplement their income by doing something they love. It’s a hobby that earns its keep.

Market income is passive income; that means it keeps coming in even when you’re not actively working on items. Many authors who sell on our Market part-time make a very useful amount of money.

2. Become a full-time author

The goal of many authors is to sell full time on Envato. It isn’t just about the money – it’s about being able to spend your life doing something you’re passionate about. It also gives you flexibility, because it means you can work from anywhere.

Here’s some authors making it happen:

  • Sherman Jackson found the experience of quitting his full time graphic design job amazing. He now enjoys a new dimension of freedom of expression as he works full time on Envato Market.
  • After working 20 years as an internal and furniture designer, TanyDi now works full time creating graphics for Envato Market. She works hard, has learned a lot, and is still learning!
  • VF has been full time on the Marketplaces since September 2008. That’s the longest he’s been in any job!
  • Digitalscience quit his job four years ago to work on our audio marketplace. He is successful, but finds working on his own sometimes boring, and went a bit crazy two years ago. He found the ability to do a lot of traveling a huge bonus, and supplements his income with some freelance work.

3. Become Elite

Our Elite Author Program is a way of recognising the best of the best. These are authors who have sold more than $75,000 worth of items. We currently have over 500 Elite authors, and come from a wide range of countries including Portugal, Pakistan, India, Philippines, USA, UK and Australia.

We also have a growing number of Power Elite authors, who have sold a million dollars worth of items or more.

Meet some authors


Before discovering Envato, Peerapong was unemployed, and ready to give up on the Internet and web technology due to failure. Now he’s one of our most successful authors. Here is his story:

Back in 2008, I was still unemployed and had failed with so many web products. I still remember, before I knew about Envato, I was ready to give up because I had tried so hard to come up with many web projects, and they had all failed.

When I found Envato accidentally I decided to give it a try and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

Peerapong at home in Thailand


Satish Pokharel (RelStudios) is from Nepal. Web development became his hobby when he was 12 years old, though his parents had no idea what he was doing on his computer for hours on end.

He moved to India to study engineering. His parents support him financially, but he’s also able to make some extra money by selling templates and landing pages on Envato Market.


Jo Taylor (Joiaco) is a grandmother living at the bottom of Africa. She has been making a living creating artwork since the 70s, and just recently entered the digital world.

I only started learning digital art last year when my son Ross died of spine cancer at 30, leaving me his iMac with Photoshop and Illustrator on it. He said I had ‘potential’, so I don’t want to disappoint him!

She skipped housework for a month to learn vector drawing. She’s always loved letters and type – her dad was a signwriter – so she started creating fonts, which she submitted to the graphics category on Envato Market. She’s now made almost 4,000 sales.


LCweb says he was looking for new income sources, since, in his words, he was “being strangled by Italian taxation.”

He discovered Envato in 2012, and submitted an item to our code marketplace. He made his first sale a few days later and within a month he started to make a decent income. He’s now an Elite author, and says the income he is earning couldn’t be achieved any other way in Italy.

Jake & Muhammad

We love hearing how authors spend their earnings. The money goes on the essentials of life, tools for the job, and lots of cool toys.

We especially get excited to hear about new homes bought with Envato earnings.

Here are photos of new homes built by Jake Caputo (US) and Muhammad Haris (Pakistan). Jake calls his “the house that Envato built.”

The office in Jake's new home in the USThe office in Jake’s new home in the US.

A mock up of Muhammad Haris’ new home in Pakistan, which now houses his extended family.

This article was originally published on Inside Envato.

Venessa Paech

About the Author Venessa Paech

Venessa is a communities and cultures expert. She is a long time creative who is passionate about bringing great ideas and stories to life.