Nov 09

Make Money on Tuts+ Marketplace

Wed, 11/09/2011 - 10:08 — julie

Selling your items and knowledge on the Envato Marketplaces is a great way to make a little extra cash (and for some, a whole lot of extra cash). But often enough, it seems that there is one Marketplace that is overlooked: Tuts+ Marketplace. And that’s a shame, since for the average Author, the Tuts+ Marketplace would be the most likely place to start making money.

If you don’t know what the Marketplaces are, basically they are various websites where you can sign up, put up an item (if it gets accepted), and people can buy it. This can be poster templates, tutorials, stock footage, and much more. The network is quite big.

Now before I start, I should say that I am obviously not entirely objective here. As an active Author on the Tuts+ Marketplace, more people making items for Tuts+ means more items on the Marketplace, and more items on the Marketplace means more traffic, and that’s a good thing for me. That however, doesn’t change the numbers.


Only 9% of the files on Tuts+ have not sold a single time, and 60% of the items there have sold 10 times or more, and 40% of the items sold 20 times or more. In comparison, on GraphicRiver (which sells graphic stock, graphic templates, PSD actions, and so forth), 17% of the items have not sold a single time, 58% have sold 10 times or more, and only 25% of the items sold 20 times or more. The high-end files on GraphicRiver does sell more than on the Tuts+ Marketplace though.

But what does this mean? It means for the average Author out there, there’s a bigger chance of getting sales on the Tuts+ Marketplace, than on GraphicRiver for instance (and it should be noted that GraphicRiver has one of the highest sales numbers on individual files of the Marketplaces).

So why is that? The main reason is simple: competition. GraphicRiver has over 32,000 files available, Tuts+ “only” has around 700. You have a much much higher chance of being able to find your niche, and be the only one in it, on Tuts+ than on GraphicRiver.

This also means you get far more exposure on the Tuts+ Marketplace. There is a higher chance that you will be a featured Author, and a higher chance that one of your items will be featured.

It also means you get to spend a lot more time on the front page of the site. On average (as of now), new files get to be on the front page of Tuts+ for over a month. On GraphicRiver, you get to be on the front page for about a day.

Teaching the Right Things

When you decide to make a Tutorial for Tuts+, be that an eBook or a Photoshop Tutorial, or something else, it’s important to think about subject relevance. Is what you are teaching actually of use to anyone?

I have found that there are two types (which are also often interconnected) of tutorials that sell well:

  1. General use tutorials. For instance, a tutorial teaching general colour correction in Photoshop, will sell better than a tutorial teaching you how to give you images Matrix look. Why? Because general colour correction can be used on a lot of different images no matter their style, while the Matrix effect can only be used on images that want that specific effect.
  2. Series. Tutorials that go on for a series, such as 1-20 packed in 4 packs (so 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20 and so forth) also sell very well.

On a sidenote, it should be noted that coding related tutorials also seem to do very well.

So that’s the first thing to keep in mind. Second is what you should actually be teaching. Think to yourself: what are you exceptionally good at? Almost anyone publishing on any of the Envato Marketplaces actually have the necessary skills to make a tutorial on something, but before you do, go take a look at what is already available. For instance, there’s a bunch of tutorials on Photo Manipulation, but not very many on realistic photo compositing. Find your niche.

Video Video Video

Screencasts and video tutorials sell way better than written tutorials. It’s the same, no one reads the book, but everyone goes to see the movie. In fact, 4 out of the top 5 author (except RockablePress, which deals solely in eBooks) on Tuts+ has video/screencast tutorials available.

To get better sales for your items, you should consider making them in video format. Besides, I actually find it more relaxing, and far easier, to make my files in video than as a written tutorial.


As a final point, you should remember marketing. This isn’t just for Tuts+, but for any marketplace. Even if your tutorial fits all the criteria above, if you market it horribly, it won’t sell well. If your tutorial is a video tutorial, be sure to include a preview video. Think about your preview images – not just the ones on your item, but also its header image and so forth. Spend time on these.

Create an in depth description, that fully and in detail describes what people can expect from your tutorial, and why it would be of use to them.

If you have several tutorials up, be sure to link between them, especially if they cover relevant subjects.

Think  of a good name for your tutorial. SEO applies here as well. What would people search for? What’s a name that would make them click on it?


So while there’s no doubt that Marketplaces such as ThemeForest and ActiveDen will continue to be the big hitters in the league, truly racking in amazing sales and earnings. But for the average author, that’s looking to make a decent side income, the Tuts+ marketplace is considerably overlooked in favour of others.

So if you are considering to start up as an Author, the Tuts+ Marketplace might be something worth looking at.

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