Its 2016 now, Premium WordPress Themes are in high demand these days and it offers a great business opportunity for WordPress theme developers. A premium wordpress theme is very different from a free wordpress theme in many aspects. A premium theme is usually developed by a team of designers and programmers with a focus on quality,features and usability. You can expect high quality designs, high quality codes, a premium theme usually offers high customization options for the buyer, it will be available in multiple languages, comes with many shortcodes, responsive and many such features. There are many firms and people who make a ton of money by selling WordPress premium themes. Let’s see how they sell premium themes and make money.
1. Building your own Brand and Digital shoppingcart
WordPress premium themes and plugins fall into a category named “Digital Products” or “Digital Goods”. A great way to sell your premium digital goods like WordPress Themes and Plugins is to launch a shopping-cart of your own and build a brand around it. The idea is to build a store which sells your own unique premium themes and plugins. There are lots of people and agencies who were successful in building a branded store for Premium WordPress Themes and Plugins. Some of them are:-
AppThemes – is a great example of successful business created with premium wordpress themes. Their uniqueness is that they mold Wordpress into powerful web application software’s which can be used to start different kinds of websites – say 1) a website to publish discount coupons 2) a job portal 3) a business directory website and many such application based websites. This simply means you can start a customized job portal of your own using WordPress and the JobRoller Theme from Appthemes, and all this can be done for just 99 US Dollars. If you go by the conventional route of hiring a designer and developer to create a custom job portal, it would cost you around 4000 to 5000 US Dollars. This is the unique selling proposition of Appthemes! They help you to start customized web portals for as low as 99 US Dollars. Similarly you can start a local web based business directory using their Vantage Business Directory Theme. You can see all their products from the Themes Listings page. All their customized themes are priced at 99 US Dollars.
WooThemes – is another example of a highly successful business created around premium wordpress themes and plugins. Unlike Appthemes which focuses only on application based wordpress themes, Woothemes develops all types of themes and plugins. One of their flagship product is the WooCommerce plugin which transforms WordPress into a powerful shoppingcart. Woocommerce is released as a free product but there is a big market that revolves around customization of Woocommerce and premium themes developed to integrate with Woocommerce plugin. There are many other examples of success stories about creating a branded store for premium themes and plugins. Some of them are WpZoom, StudioPress, IThemes, Themify. You can get a big list of companies involved in the business of premium theme development for WordPress from WordPress.org commercial listings.
You can also create success by creating branded digital store of your own. There are certain facts you need to keep in mind before jumping into this.
1. You need a really good domain name and that should act as your brand. I have written a detailed article on How to find a really good domain name for your business. Reading this article will definitely help you.
2. How you will sell if no one visits your digital store? So you need to work on bringing lots of targeted traffic to your premium theme store. You can do this by advertising using Google Adwords, Search Engine Optimization, publishing great articles about WordPress using a blog in your store. WpZoom is great example of leveraging blog and bringing lots of traffic using their blog. Visitors to your blog can be converted to theme buyers sooner or later.
3. You need to give great customer support for your theme buyers. Customer support is the key to establish yourself in this business. Great customer support will satisfy your users and they will definitely give you word of mouth.
Building a store of your own has its own advantages like full revenues in your account, being at your own pace, building a brand which can be used later to sell other products and many such factors. But it has its own disadvantages too! The primary one being building the store and bringing in enough traffic to sell your themes. Some other factors that will force you back are:-
1. Building up a store with high traffic is lot of work and you end up needing assistance in many areas. You may be good at developing high end WordPress themes but you may not be good at marketing your themes, you may not be able to handle customer support, you may not have any idea about Search Engine Optimisation or Internet advertising. So you need a working partner or assisting employees to kick off things fast.
2. You end up investing lots of money upfront before making any sales. The costs involve domain name registration, finding a good webhosting, advertising costs, content developments costs etc. If you don’t have lots of money to burn upfront, you may not start your own store initially.
If you don’t want to build a store of your own, there are still many great options to sell your premium wordpress themes and make decent money. I have listed the most popular options used by many theme developers below.
Using Marketplaces to Sell Premium WordPress Themes
Marketplaces are a great place where you can start selling your premium themes without any hassles of building a store of your own. A marketplace is a website which brings buyers and sellers together in a common platform. Sellers will list their products in the marketplace and buyers will browse through the listed products to buy their choice. The marketplace website will take a percentage of the sales amount as their commission for helping you to make the sale. There are lots of theme developers who make big money by selling themes through marketplaces.
ThemeForest – is the most popular marketplace for Premium WordPress Themes. Themeforest is actually a marketplace for many digital goods like website templates, HTML templates, wordpress themes, Magento themes, Opencart themes, Joomla themes and many other opensource platforms. However they are most popular for their premium wordpress themes. If you would like to know more about selling wordpress themes through ThemeForest, I have written a detailed article on how to sell premium wordpress themes using ThemeForest marketplace.
Mojo-Themes – is comparatively a new player in the themes marketplace business. You may not get as many exposure as ThemeForest with Mojo but there are certain perks that you can enjoy. ThemeForest has a very high rejection rate compared to Mojo-Themes. Themeforest gets lots of theme submissions everyday and they approve only very high quality and aesthetic themes that can make a valuable asset to their portfolio. On the other hand, Mojo being new will have a better rate of acceptance. However you can win in this highly competitive market only if you can make themes with innovative ideas. The down side with Mojo is low sales volumes.
CreativeMarket – is another emerging marketplace to sell WordPress Themes. What I have written for Mojo-Themes applies to Creativemarket as well. You can expect your themes to be accepted very fast and at the same time the downside can be low sales volumes.