What you linked to is a pretty sad example of what can be a much more professional looking edit.
Get a copy of the January/February 2010 edition of Photoshop User magazine and on page 74 there is a great tutorial by Corey Barker for using a gradient, different size and shape boxes, and blend modes of differing opacities for a very classy look.
$99 a year for a NAPP membership is peanuts if you want some of the best Photoshop resources available. (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) https://www.photoshopuser.com/signup?aid=luhgxq (Click on 'Benefits' to see what $99 gets you for a year.)
photoshop CS5..pretty much beginner but quick learner
Here's how you set up your layers. I did only one selection to illustrate. Use the
rectangular marquee to place more selections (Ctrl-J) on new layers. In Layers
Styles, play with the drop shadow sliders to get the kind of shadow you want.