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Did you know you have a superpower? No, I’m not talking about super-strength, sticking to walls or pushing metal claws out of your forearms (although you might have those as well, for all I know).
If you work on the web — which I assume you do if you’re reading this — your superpower is side projects. Unlike your regular job, where you have to listen to your boss or please your client, a side project lets you take on an alternate identity, one of which you’re in charge and no one can stop you.
Over in startup land, one of the big stories of 2014 was, without a doubt, the success of Product Hunt. It's is a community where people post, vote on and comment on new products they’ve discovered or launched. Whether you’re looking for the next big thing to invest in or just want to find a better weather app, Product Hunt has got you covered.
Coincidentally, in addition to being a fan of the website, I also have a pretty personal connection to the company. I’ve been online friends with Product Hunt’s designer Jonno Riekwel for years, and I was part of founder Ryan Hoover’s previous project, Startup Edition.
The other day, I finally accomplished one of my long-standing goals: I was able to go from one of those “wouldn’t it be cool if…” ideas to a working, live app in less than 1 hour. 45 minutes, actually.
It all started with a design meet-up in San Francisco. I can honestly say this was the best meet-up I’ve ever been to: even though it was only announced two days in advance, more than 200 people RSVP’d, and a good number of those showed up.
Finding ways to earn passive income is a growing concern among many freelance designers. I’ve always loved client work, but I have to admit that the pressure of juggling multiple bosses and constant deadlines eventually started to wear me down.
In a previous article for Smashing Magazine, I compared various ways to sell software products online. What I’ll do in this article is not just compare ways in which freelance designers can earn passive income, but speak about my own experience in exploring these avenues.
There's a realization that every freelance designer must go through at some point: client work isn't enough to ensure your long-term financial security. What if you get sick? What if you can't find clients? What if you want to take a vacation?
One possible answer to this problem is earning passive income — i.e. selling products or services instead of selling your own time. A common way to do this is to sell digital goods such as eBooks, PSD templates, WordPress themes, icons, and so on. But how exactly should you sell them?
I recently had to design a couple of teaser pages for a client and a personal project, and this led me to think about what exactly makes for a good teaser page — or to be more precise a “coming soon” page that companies often put up before they’re ready to launch their product. After careful research and many scientific tests in the brand new field of teaserology, I’ve developed a patented Teaser Effectiveness Analysis Matrix™, consisting of four elements.
The perfect teaser page must score high on all four axis of the following: memorability, virality, desirability and data collection-ability. I know that “data collection-ability” is not proper English, but inventing new words is one of the perks of being a scientist. As we’ll see, most teaser pages focus strongly on two or three of these elements but rarely hit all four.