All right, tell me how to work with Graphicriver


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All right, tell me how to work with Graphicriver

This is my first article about Graphicriver. And I’ve chosen a very special date for publishing it – today there are precisely 0 sales on my Graphicriver account, so I decided to finally figure it out. This is my new portfolio. Envato resources are quite peculiar, thus my attempt to sell them identical items from my other stocks is almost failed. Still, 10% of them are actually passing the moderation. But look for yourself, here is my Shuttestock profile, which includes over 1200 vector illustrations, then all this content is duplicated on Graphicriver but they let out only the tiniest part of it. Why? It’s almost nothing comparing to the overall amount of my work.

I nearly gave up on these fellows, trying to please them, but I could never let go the thought that someone out there is actually selling great on GR, so I decided to set up an experiment, to clarify this situation for myself once and for all. How can I succeed on Graphicriver? At this point obviously you can’t measure my success by money, cause I don’t have any sales yet, but I do have new ideas about developing your profile and conquering GR. So let’s talk about that.

First of all, let’s try to understand what sells on Graphicriver and what does it need.

To answer this question I started browsing the stock by tags and analyzing the existing content, I’ve checked all the tops sorting them by popularity, but non of this made it easier to understand, in fact it was even more confusing.

The thing is that GR makes really small previews which are not very informative, so to see the picture clearly you need to click on it and open in another page, which adds time to the process of research and makes it very tiresome and ineffective. I spent some time like this in ‘Vector’ category and really soon started to hate Envato designers for making it so uncomfortable for the customers to work with big loads of visual content.

I didn’t want to go on like this, but I needed to know what happens in other categories too, so I tried using instead. I typed ‘graphicriver’ in their search bar. And I couldn’t believe it! All the best graphicriver content was right there in a perfectly organized form, all nice and clear. Now all I needed was to carefully investigate and sort it out, so here’s your first life hack:

If you want to collect information and have a general showcase of a certain website, to look up its visual content, all you need to do is type in the name of this website directly on

I sorted all gathered information on pinterest in different theme-boards, to figure out what type of products are being used and prepared for Graphicriver.

  • Mock-up

Various mock-ups – for packaging, branding, book covers, product design, etc.

  • Badges, labels, stickers

Different badges on all sorts of themes, in black&white and full color. Usually these are made in sets of 6 or more. Logically, the more, the better.

  • Web banners

Banner templates. It can be a ready-to-use vector banner or an adjustable template, suitable for any standard size banner, with a possibility of changing the main picture. Usually it’s a PSD-file with smart layers.

  • Creation kits

This category includes ‘create your character’ constructors, generators which allow you to switch different key elements. If it’s a character then you can change its parts of the body e.g. arms, legs, clothes, face expression, accessories, colors etc. The more elements there are to customize, the more demand you’ll get out of your kit.

  • Stationary PSD kits

Those are sets of elements grouped by a certain theme. For example, office kit with your basic stationary tools presented as separate photographs or vectors of the objects (usually in upper view). That way the customer is given a choice to assemble all the elements the way he wants to and create his own individual illustration just by dragging them like in a constructor.

  • Posters

Designing posters, invitations, cards. They can also come in layered models, where you can change the main illustration elements or the text, keeping the original style set by the author. These products are usually PSD-files with smart layers.

  • Mock-up fonts

Diverse stylizations of basic fonts. You can also customize them in many ways, creating a unique sign just by changing styles and elements. As an average, it’s used for creating logos for companies, online games, website titles etc. They come in big sets with various graphic options.

  • UI

Skins for web-interface, pages, games. As you already know, the more detailed your skin will be, the more sales you’ll get.

  • Background locations for games

Sets of backgrounds mainly used in online gaming. There are around 5-8 ‘backs’ with the same theme and style which make it a set ready for sale.

  • Elements for games

Icons, characters, small details, grouped by specific theme to make a nice game look nice.

…The list is long, so if you want to add a category that sells good on Graphicriver, please join in comments, while I continue…

As you can see, there’s nothing in these categories that you can massively upload to any other stock, therefore we can come to conclusion:

You definitely need an individual approach to Graphicriver

And if it’s so, it’s rather logical to fear that our effort would not pay off in the end. So I’ve developed two strategies a stocker can choose to succeed in this business. See for yourself which suits you best.

First way: being an exclusive author

It’s simple and there’s not much to explain: you choose a topic, create a product and sell it exclusively on Graphicriver. If the project becomes successful, an exclusive author gets about 50-70% out of each sale. But if it so happened that your project met a failure or is not very popular or useful, than the time you wasted on it will not pay off any soon. I think this way of work is suitable as an additional profit to something bigger. Whereas full-time stockers have no time for big projects that might not even sell.

Second way: mass upload on all stocks

Mass upload means that a stocker registers at every stock-resource he can reach out for, and simultaneously uploads his new work to all of them. That way you count overall profit from all the stocks. Since we talk about Graphicriver and our common wish to succeed on that stock, let’s start our work exactly from here. Let me explain myself.

Mostly vector designers create their work with a priority for Shutterstock, while all the other stocks are somewhere along the way, including Graphicriver. That’s why we get so many tears and complaints about how awfully strict and mean these inspectors are, that it’s impossible to work that way and microstocks nowadays are not the way they used to be. Now let’s take a look at this situation from the other point of view, considering the actual selling categories on GR I’ve stated earlier and building our stock strategy from River instead of Shutter. Then your steps would be:

  • Choose a topic
  • Check marketability (see popularity rates by tagging)
  • Create an awesome project for GR customers and make a representative preview picture
  • Take your product to pieces and transform them into independent items for other stocks, change colors and combinations etc.

This strategy is more likely profitable, plus you’re not losing any customers, just gaining more.

What should you do if your work got rejected

If you decided to be an exclusive GR author and one day you receive a hard reject for one of your big project works. Nasty situation, what should you do then? Don’t worry, you can upload it to alternative stocks, such as Creativemarket! In case if you’re not exclusive anywhere, don’t think twice, just take it to pieces and upload to some other microstocks.

My check-list

I’m a mass stocker, I upload all my content at once on various stocks, including GR. But to gain more profit from the last one, I decided to go deep in these details. As a conclusion, I would like to show you my personal check-list of microstocks I work with:

  • Using Stocksubmitter I massively upload to these 10 stocks:
  • Shutterstock
  • Fotolia
  • Istock
  • Depositphotos
  • Bigstock
  • 123RF
  • Canstock
  • Vectorstock
  • Dreamstime
  • Graphicriver
  • I’ve made a second profile on Graphicriver as an exclusive author (Yes, you can do that) and create some projects there. While my first profile (not exclusive) is still working and submitting works from my usual upload to all stocks, continuing to reject 90% of it.
  • At the same time, I’m still working on smaller items and uploading them to regular stocks to keep up with regularity, because it’s crucial for this type of business. It’s true, sometimes an exclusive GR-project can take weeks or even a month to make, but that’s how the rules of the game are.
  • If an exclusive product is not admitted on Graphicriver, I take it to pieces and upload similars to the rest of the stocks.

That’s it so far. I will keep you in touch about my progress on Graphicriver, so stay tuned.