Jun 26

Author Interview: Remi Corson

Wed, 06/26/2013 - 10:43 — julie

author-interview-corsonr

Creating WordPress plugins, speaking about support and self-promotion, aiming for excellent simplicity, and kitesurfing with a GoPro. This week we meet Remi Corson (corsonr) of CodeCanyon.

Remi Meets CodeCanyon

My name is Remi. I’m from France, and the main part of my job is creating WordPress plugins. I’m a freelancer, and basically everything I do is WordPress-related.

I first discovered Envato as a customer. I bought some CodeCanyon items and modified them for my own clients. Then I decided to become an author—it’s more fun! I subscribed to some Tuts+ tutorials, and followed the best authors on the Envato Marketplaces. I worked very hard to create good plugins, and now I’m pretty satisfied of the results.

Of course, buyers find a bug or two from time to time—that’s why I provide a free support service. I try to release updates to my plugins, and very often the new features have been suggested by my buyers. I also share an account on ThemeForest with Pixelworkshop—PixelworkshopThemes.

desktop

I became a Marketplace author in February 2012. To begin with, sales grew quite slowly, but now I could nearly live on my Envato earnings.

I work at home, with a brand new customized Mac Mini (2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 1TB Fusion drive, 16GB of RAM) connected to a 27″ Thunderbolt display. I also have a 15″ MacBook Pro. Did I mention I bought all that with my Envato earnings? ;)

I use a backup system that saves all my data every hour, and I also keep a copy of everything in the cloud. I need to be sure that if my computer crashes I can recover everything within a few hours maximum.

IMG_3836

My creative process varies. Sometimes I have a specific need, create a plugin for myself, then adapt it for universal use. Other times people come to me with an idea, and I create the plugin for them.

I don’t like losing time when creating a plugin, so I get started ASAP. I briefly start with a list of features, then I start coding. Most of the time I just follow my instincts to get it finished, but if I go too fast I can encounter some unexpected issues. When that happens I need to rewrite a bunch of my code. Fortunately, that’s pretty rare!

IMG_3835

There are two crucial things an author needs to do if they want to become successful on the Envato Marketplaces:

  1. The first is to create amazing stuff! That’s simple, but it’s what makes the difference. You need to be precise, and give attention to detail—the icons, fonts, UI.
  2. The second is self-promotion. This can include previews of your work, documentation, guest posts, forum posts, support. A good author is someone who cares about his buyers.

IMG_3824

Remi’s Self-Promotion Strategies

Self-promotion is tricky if you’re not a designer. On ThemeForest, I see awesome author profile pages, but not everyone is able to do that. Including me! That’s why I have another strategy: writing guest posts.

Writing posts for other blogs is great for self-promotion, because your posts reach people in your target zone you normally wouldn’t have contact with. It’s a great way to form relationships with potential buyers. The more you present yourself as an expert, the more positive feedback you receive.

Twitter is also a very powerful tool you can use to promote items. Since I started using Twitter as a marketing tool, I’ve doubled my sales and my audience!

Bringing new material to the WordPress community is also an effective way to promote your business. In my case, I created 10 or 15 free plugins.

There’s a real impact when you give something away for free. Sometimes I create a basic version of a plugin and a premium version. People understand that if you want more features you have to pay a few dollars. They understand I spent a lot of time on each plugin.

Finally, providing good support is an important way to promote yourself. Each post on my website creates a new page, and that’s good for SEO. At the same time it presents a positive image to my customers. I always do my best to help customers after they make a purchase. Sometimes they are disappointed, but that’s part of the game.

The hardest part of support for me is when there’s a bug in a customer’s theme, and they blame my plugin for breaking everything. WordPress plugins seem to have an undeserved bad reputation. It’s our job to help change this, to educate people. That’s also a part of self-promotion.

IMG_3840

Setting Up bbPress as an Effective Support System

I spend between 30 minutes and an hour each day on support tickets, and use bbPress to handle them. Out of the box it’s just a forum, so I had to install several plugins, and created a few more.

One advantage of using bbPress as a support forum is that each ticket becomes part of a growing knowledge database. When someone arrives on my support forum for the first time, they immediately have access to solutions resulting from previous tickets. Another advantage is price: bbPress is free, and the plugins I use are also free.

I created a plugin with Pippin Williamson called bbPress Private Replies. It’s a great way to mark specific replies as private—replies with admin credentials for example! Tickets are often about theme/plugin conflicts. WordPress plugins are loaded before themes files, so can be overridden by themes files, for example, in the case of CSS files.

Having an open forum helps me to make sure my plugins evolve according to buyers’ feature requests. Nearly all my plugins have been modified to fit the needs of buyers. Sometimes feature requests are too specific, but most of the time they contain great ideas. I used to use GitHub to keep track of bugs and feature requests, but now I use a plugin I created called WordPress Issues Manager.

Remi’s Favorites from Around the Marketplaces

Closed Beta – WordPress Plugin by gilbitron

Make It Last (with Vocals) by timmcmorris

Advanced WordPress Widget Bundle by mordauk

I love what Pippin Williamson (Mordauk) does on Codecanyon. He inspires me. I like all his plugins—they are proof of his intelligence.

Tim McMorris is, I think, the best AudioJungle author, and an awesome example of excellence. He creates incredible stuff, and knows how to promote them. This guy is so positive, it’s scary!

On ThemeForest I’m amazed by WPExplorer‘s themes. They have everything I like. They’re simple—I mean they don’t provide too many features—and this is what I look for as a plugin creator. And they’re beautiful!

The quality level of new authors is getting better day after day, and I see excellent items on CodeCanyon more and more often. That’s great!

Kitesurfing, Playing Guitar and More WordPress

I really enjoy kitesurfing, especially since I bought a GoPro Hero 3 a few months ago. I’m trying to make some films! I also practice the guitar—I’ve been playing for more than 15 years now.

But honestly, I spend most part of my time trying to improve my knowledge of WordPress! ;-)

IMG_3829

Copyright 2009. E-mail Me
Auto Spare Parts