Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Your Say: Do you still use RSS?

Posted: 11 Jan 2012 02:42 PM PST

RSS by Gee Ranasinha

We want to hear from you. Each week we give you a chance to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas. Have your say!

With the growth in popularity of Twitter and Google+, and social reading apps like Flipboard and Zite, I often hear about the demise of RSS. Personally I don’t believe it – I think RSS will be around long-term. But I have to admit that I now turn to Zite before Google Reader.

Do you still use RSS? Have these “new” services and apps changed the way you use RSS?


Envato’s Most Wanted – $100 Reward for the First 20 e-Commerce Plugin Extensions

Posted: 11 Jan 2012 09:33 AM PST

Envato's Most Wanted

We’re putting a $2000 bounty on the heads of Envato’s most wanted file type – WordPress e-Commerce Plugins on CodeCanyon. The first 20 files uploaded (and subsequently approved) each get $100 (with a maximum of 3 files or $300 per author).

Details

In short, it’s a race to see who can quickly submit quality content based on the following criteria:

  • Date Posted: January 11, 2012
  • Prizes: 20 winning files will get a share of $2,000 of prizes! 20 x $100 “cash” (payable via either PayPal or Moneybookers).
  • Maximum Prizes per Author: 3
  • Closing Date: February 11, 2012
  • Files We’re Looking For: WordPress e-Commerce Plugins built for the following plugins:
    • WP e-Commerce
    • WooCommerce
    • Jigoshop
    • Cart66
  • Where Files Should be Submitted: http://codecanyon.net/category/plugins/wordpress/e-commerce within the appropriate sub category.

It's as simple as that! The first 20 files to be uploaded (and subsequently approved) based on the above requirements win! Please note that we have some more specific rules to outline and clarify:

PLEASE READ FULL TERMS & CONDITIONS HERE

Good luck! :)


10 Things to Learn from GraphicRiver’s Top Flyer Designers

Posted: 11 Jan 2012 01:38 AM PST

Every designer I know strives to be better. In the creative profession, there is always more to learn, more to do and new styles to adapt to.

The same is true for GraphicRiver. Every author there is constantly trying to improve their skills and item quality to compete in such a competitive and consistently evolving market.

So, to help you improve your skills as a flyer designer, increase the quality of your items and more importantly, increase your sales, we’ve outlined 10 things you can learn from GraphicRiver’s top-selling flyer designers.

1. Release consistently to increase exposure

Regularly updating your GraphicRiver portfolio is one of the best ways to achieve maximum exposure with potential customers.

When a new item is accepted, it not only spends a period of time on GraphicRiver’s homepage, but it will also spend several days on the first parent category page, followed by up to a week on its respective subcategory page.

The reason this is so great is because the parent category and subcategory pages are the first place potential customers will look. Also, it’s a great way to grow your follower count.

2. Show multiple usage variations

As a flyer template designer, you need to create templates that are as flexible as possible. The more flexible and customisable your flyer templates are, the more potential customers there are for you to sell to.

The best way for you to communicate this type of value in your templates is to display it in your preview images.

By displaying several usage variations in your preview image, you can show potential customers just how flexible your template is.

This will help them to see how your template could be customised to suit their needs and therefore help influence them to buy.

3. Include multiple size/layout variations

One of the constant questions I ask myself when selling flyer templates is, “How can I offer more value to my customers?”

Just as with displaying multiple usage variations in your preview images, showing (and including) multiple sizes and layouts is also a BIG way to increase the sales of your work.

It not only shows (again) how flexible your template is, but it also helps your work appeal to a larger spectrum of customers, some of which won’t be wanting to print out on A5.

4. Add realism with 3D elements

One of the easiest ways to jazz up your flyer templates and add a little pizzazz is to simply throw in some 3D elements. 3D elements are great for adding depth and realism to your templates which make them far more attractive to buyers.

If you take a look at our Top 100 Flyer Templates blog post, you can see just how many of the top selling flyers use 3D elements to their advantage.

It’s because of this reason that we like to provide you with the occasional 3D freebie in our Free Design Resources category.

5. Design for seasons and occasions

Seasonal occasions offer some of the most lucrative opportunities to accelerate sales and even better, they repeat themselves year on year.

Taking advantage of the regular influx of occasion-based themes allow you to quickly generate sales and get your templates pushed into the weekly top sellers (and hopefully quarterly top sellers).

This then results in you growing a list of followers who you can assume are buyers, not just other authors waiting to see what you do next. ;-)

No other author has better demonstrated this technique and used it to rapidly rise to being a GraphicRiver top seller than CreativB (who I must say makes AWESOME flyer templates!).

6. Keep it simple, stupid

Flyer templates don’t have to be super-complex-filled-with-everything-possibly-imaginable templates.

The simpler they are for customers to edit and make their own, the better.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘design’ has to be simple, but it needs to be obvious to the customer that they’re not buying something they’ll need a degree in Photoshop to be able to use.

This is another great reason for you to show usage variations in your preview images.

7. Recycle elements from past templates

As you can see from the above image, you are allowed to reuse elements in multiple templates. I call this recycling.

Once you’ve designed an element, why let it go to waste?

As you can see in the above image, Sevenstyles very effectively recycles his light flares and fiery spark type elements, which he’s also ‘double dipped’ with and sells as a graphic pack: Light Effex Sparkles n Streaks.

8. Use high quality stock images

There is nothing worse than seeing an awesome flyer template design that uses shoddy, badly cut out stock images. Being cheap and using crappy free stocks or rushing to cut them out will not pay off.

It’s very often that I get emails from customers asking me where to get the stock images I’ve used in my templates – the stock is a BIG SELLING POINT.

With the launch of PhotoDune, you haven’t got any excuse to make a fuss about finding/downloading great stock photos.

You can also check out our post on 29 Perfect Stock Images for Flyer Templates.

9. Promote your work heavily

Regardless of the quality of your flyer templates, promoting them will ALWAYS help, and as you can see, even the top sellers do it, some with badges for referring over 500 users (all that traffic + more directed at their products).

The more promotion you do, the more sales you stand to make. Not only that, but you can also earn a very generous extra 30% referral fee on top of generating yourself some more sales.

If you’re stuck on places you can use to promote your work, be sure to check out our post on the Top 10 Websites to Promote Yourself as a Flyer Designer.

10. Utilize your item description

In the world of web-marketing we talk of a thing called ‘the no leakage rule’. This means you give a potential customer as many reasons as possible not to leave your page/site and therefore have a longer period of time to influence them to buy.

You can put this into practice on your Item Description pages.

By showcasing your portfolio of items, or similar items of yours on your item description page, once the visitor has scrolled down and maybe decided ‘Nah I don’t like this template’, they have a selection of YOUR templates to then browse around.

No one does this better than Sevenstyles and PartyFlyer.

Extra! 11. Never give up

Last but not least, the most important thing you can learn from any of the top selling GraphicRiver Flyer Template designers is to never give up!

Everyone has to start from somewhere and everyone gets rejected from time to time.

In Sevenstyle’s Psdtuts+ interview, he says:

Do not give up if you get rejected! I have been rejected ALOT of times, yet I always turn around and look for ways to improve the file. Once I have it finished I compare it to the version that was rejected and I always see why the reviewer has turned it down. Another good idea is to just leave the file alone, start a new one and come back to it with fresh eyes.

If Sevenstyles being rejected and not giving up doesn’t inspire you to KEEP GOING, I don’t know what will…


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