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SachaG
says

I recently wrote an article about making money designing themes on Six Revisions, and had a nice talk with Kriesi in the comments.

Basically he was saying that support is taking more and more of an author’s time, to the point where it’s 30% development and 70% support.

I was thinking about the problem, and wondering if a solution could be offering paid support. For example, buyers could pay a monthly fee and get access to a private support forum. But the downside is that once buyer start paying for support, they might feel entitled to it and start asking even more questions.

An easier way would be simply replacing item comments by individual item support forums. Currently, nobody is going to read through 10 pages of comments to see if their question has already been answered, so you end up having to repeat yourself a lot.

Outsourcing support could also be a solution. For example, someone could provide some support for an author’s theme for a monthly fee, or for a “per question” fee.

As themes (and Wordpress as well) get more and more features. What’s more, Wordpress-savvy users are probably already well aware of Themeforest, so we can assume that new buyers are more often than not going to be Wordpress beginners. So I think user’s support needs will only grow bigger, and I hope we can find a solution soon!

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CreativeMilk
says

Kriesi did posted a thread about this ;)

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FRESHFACE
says
Kriesi did posted a thread about this ;)

Where Mark? I can’t find it :)

@Sacha: Nice article man, very good read.

@all: Any experience with outsourcing support? That seams like a good solution.

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CreativeMilk
says
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Joost
Moderator
says

A solution could be to make the 70% of your time you spend on support worth it. It’s a simple bit of economics – when there’s a high demand, you can raise the price (or start charging for smaller bits of support). :P

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campolar
says

Time = money.

Anything which could be solved within 5 mins, i’ll do for free. If he/she needs something more than 5 mins, i’ll charge them my rate. Or forward them to another freelancer who understands what he’s doing :)

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digitalimpact
says

Has any of the big authors here tried to use a forum on their site for suport AND make people want to give each other support?

Yes, I’m talking about Game Mechanics (nice read on SixRevisions too)

After all, that’s exactly what Envato is relying on here in the marketplaces with all the badges, aren’t they? :)

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FRESHFACE
says
Did your forgot to use your glasses?? :P here http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/so-you-know-how-to-customize-a-template-and-want-to-make-some-money/24795

I’ve got them on :nerdy: but that’s a thread where Kriesi is looking for devs who can customize his themes for his buyers for their money. (Kriesi doesn’t have time for freelancing anymore) He is not looking for a guy who will be given a let’s say % of Kriesi’s account earnings for handling the general support requests ;) (that’s what was meant by the ‘outsourcing’) Or I am wrong and I should put on double glasses? :D

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_rohan
says
I’ve got them on :nerdy: but that’s a thread where Kriesi is looking for devs who can customize his themes for his buyers for their money. (Kriesi doesn’t have time for freelancing anymore) He is not looking for a guy who will be given a let’s say % of Kriesi’s account earnings for handling the general support requests ;) (that’s what was meant by the ‘outsourcing’) Or I am wrong and I should put on double glasses? :D

I think kriesi has some job for support. 60 hours a month or something like that..

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Daniel_R
says

Hey guys!

I know support can take a long time for many authors. A couple of days ago I emailed a couple of top authors (that were creating a support forum) with a proposal. Maybe you find it interesting.

My proposal basically is to assist you as the site manager (a partnership) of the support forum, where I will be concentrating my work in offering support to your clients.

I have a couple of ideas and lately I’ve been giving free support to a bunch of TF customers trying to collect the most commons questions and problems customers face. One good thing of a support forum is let same users help themselves (as it happens in the forums here where active members reply to questions, etc)

Most of the ideas I have need a real scenario to be tested and implemented so if any of you guys are spending so much time on support and are planning a forum. shoot me an email and let’s talk if any chance for a partnership.

What I’m looking for? I don’t want any money or commission, etc. I want the chance to learn more about WP and other platforms, learn how to help customers, etc. Learn more from you (author) and to come out with a solution that eventually may become a product / service for other authors facing the support problem / time.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day guys!

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