Road To Elite
On January 7th 2014, my Envato journey began. My first item that I had spent 3 months crafting was accepted onto CodeCanyon. That item is still going strong today and has amassed over 550 sales (Support Centre). Three years on and 14 uploaded items later, I'm now approaching a milestone that I have dreamed about reaching since I first joined: Elite Author.
Becoming an Author
When you first start out as an author on the Envato Marketplaces, you begin with a rate of earning 50% per sale (or if you're not an exclusive author, 30%) and this value slowly rises to a maximum of 70%.
You need to sell a total of $75,000 worth of items to reach that 70% rate.
As an added incentive, Envato also offers you little milestones along the way to keep you motivated. You start out with author badges for earning certain amounts, which are little paw icons displayed underneath your Username representing how much you have earned.
I'm currently at level 6, which is to sell over $40,000 worth of items. The next level after that is the first of the elite levels. Level 7 grants you Elite Author status, which comes complete with it's own unique author badge and banner for your profile.
It's something I've been aiming to achieve on Envato since I first started. Selling over $75,000 worth of items is something that seemed and felt very far away, especially since I was doing this as a part time job. Now that I am working on my items full-time, the goal is fast approaching and I've added a cool little widget to the sidebar which shows how much more I need to sell to reach Elite status.
I need to sell a total of $6,374.00 to reach Elite Status!
My first year on Envato
Getting to Elite hasn't been easy. When my first item launched in January 2014, I earned a total of $274.00. At the time, I was ecstatic because people were buying products that I had made. I had come from a freelancing background, so the idea of making a product and selling it was very foreign to me.
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I've had many ups and downs on Envato. I think the hardest part has been the sale fluctuations you get on the site. One month you can have amazing sales and be earning what you feel you deserve; and then other months your sales can literally die off and you wonder what you did wrong.
Throughout 2014, 2015 and 2016 I was earning most of my money via freelancing. I would do a couple of hours a day on Envato items and then spend most of my time working for other people. I really wanted to make Envato my fulltime job, but I couldn't justify it because the money I earned from products was always less than what others were paying me. Granted, the amount of time I spent working on products versus freelancing was heavily skewed in freelancing's favour, but at that moment in my life I really just wanted to earn money rather than build some kind of business.
Working Full Time on Envato
For anyone who has read my Income Reports, you'll know that in 2016 August, I finally stopped freelancing and focused all my efforts on making products fulltime. A risky move considering I was only earning $600 a month from Envato at that time and my freelancing was bringing me in at least $1600 a month, sometimes significantly more.
The short answer for changing my focus was that I was getting tired of freelancing. When I first began freelancing, I wanted nothing more than to do the work, get paid and then forget all about work in my spare time. But as time went on, I felt more and more inclined to build some kind of business/brand that I was actually passionate about.
Going fulltime on Envato has changed my product earnings dramatically- more than what I could imaging in such a short space of time. I'm going to work even harder this year and see where it takes me. I love making products and coming up with new ideas. There is no better feeling than making money whilst you sleep.
Nostalgia Glasses Time ...
I thought I would go back and take a look at some of my history of being on Envato. The site has changed dramatically since I first joined- we couldn't even set our prices back when I first uploaded my items. Below are some screenshots of the marketplace from my first year on Envato!