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Back to exclusive on Envato. 

January 13, 2018

Well, two years ago I decided to stop being an excucive Author on Graphic River and try selling on other markets. I didn’t crack into the one I really wanted to sell on: Creative Market. I did open stores on Etsy, Fotolia (now adobe stock) and sellfy. Then I really left things alone for a long time. I’ve been busy with a job change and freelance work. 

Here’s how the results shook out. 

Graphic River. I sacrificed about half my profits on Graphic River during this time since I was non exclusive. But during the two years I did nothing with the site but they monthly deposit my profits into Paypal, from which I can check out with PayPal online at many stores or I can use my linked Paypal debit card. Super easy. Super clean. True residual income. The profits vary in the low hundreds month to month. 
Foltoloa. After two years I still hadn’t earned enough credits on fotolia to cash out a payment! And what is a credit worth anyway. Everything was a pain. I kept getting notification that files had sold here and there but I hadn’t filled out my tax I’d and submitted the identification card till a few days ago. I was so mad that after two years I was just below the 50 credit minimum for a payout. I still don’t even know how much actual money that would equate to. $50? 

Sellfy. The Sellfy store never sold anything that I remember. Total waiste if time. 

Etsy. This one had potential. I started seeing sales right away and things seemed to be doing well at first. But since my files are digital not physical I had to stay on top of listing the items. There were some limited auto renew options and you have to pay to list. I didn’t have to do that anywhere else. When I went on to working on other things my Etsy store gradually ran out of auto renews and shut itself down. Not the little perpetual money machine that I want. Too hard to administer. 

Creative market. This is the one that got away. I have a friend who says he does very well on this site. I guess I was too cocky after my long success selling on Graphic River. I thought CM would be happy to have ne aboard. That wasn’t the case. Maybe one day when I have free time again I’ll try harder to get approved to sell there. From my experience it is the hardest to get approved to sell on. I guess that’s good once you are in since there would be very high quality items without distracting low quality items. I don’t think item quality was my issue. My products are very nice and very well rated. I think my problem was packaging. There is a very different design esthetic to the way CM authors display yheir good versus GR authors. I tried to repurpose my GR packaging rather than going ground up trying to fit in on CM. I was just so sure they would be happy to have me in their market. A little more humility Steven! For now this market remains in the theoretical. I hear it’s nice so I’d say it’s worth applying to. 

Back to GR. So with little time to focus on my side business selling brushes and styled for AI and PS, I figured I better just shut down my other stores and go back to being an exclusive author on Graphic River. I’m actually surprised how well my sales have remained while I was ignoring it. I didn’t have huge sales when I was active but I expected sales to taper off and dye after a year or so as my items get buried deeper and deeper with new items. Instead I think they’ve stayed pretty steady. My commissions did drop in half, but that was due to my commission rate dropping in half when I changed to non exclusive. 

I lost quite a bit of money but learned three markets that I don’t want to sell on. My theory at the time was get less on the one market but overall make more money since I’d be spread out in multiple markets. Instead it seemed to just be more than I could manage for less profits. 

I maxed out around 85 items. My other goal before diversifying was to just keep adding items. I’m a little sad that I never hit 100 items. I thought about 100 items as a wall. If I built enough walls that would make a house that I could live in. In other words I hoped that it would replace my dayjob for income or get close enough that I could quit and go full time. 40% of my income was the goal. I put so many late night building items, packaging them, testing them. I’m not sure if I’ve made back enough just to cove my hours yet. I think last count I’ve made around 13,000 on Graphic River but that’s over like 6 or 7 years. On my best month I made over $300. Many of my items are Christmas related so I get a good spike around then. With more of that hypothetical free time I might start back up making items at some point too. I’d at least like to make the old goal of 100 items. 

In my new job I take lots of picture for reference for my art students. Maybe I should try selling some of those some time too. I’m making all kinds of art these days. In my teaching job I create Drawings, paintings, ceramics as demonstrations. hopefully I can continue to sell some of those as well. I’m particularly interested in residual income streams. Make it once sell it over and over. So that is a whole other side. Sell images as stock, try to make and sell prints, license products for posters or puzzles or something. 

For now I’m making money four ways. Teaching, freelancing, Graphic River residual and selling prices of art. I just wish the sum total of these efforts was more lucrative. Guess I just have to keep creating and keep hustling. At least I’m having more fun now. I’m no longer trying so desperately to escape the day job. Teaching for the last two years has been the best job ever. No more mindless drone work or creative ownership of everything I do by my employer. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it’s going from time to time. 

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