For many years, selling WordPress (WP) themes have been a highly lucrative business. As long as you know how to develop gorgeous, stable, and reliable themes while providing great customer support, selling WP themes can be hugely profitable.
WordPress is, without a doubt, one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. Besides being simple and classy, WordPress has provided an ultimate opportunity for designers and developers to monetize their skills and talents in so many ways. Whether it’s about creating templates, themes, or plugins, there are so many ways to make money on the WP marketplace.
Given the huge popularity of WordPress, creating and selling WP themes can be very profitable. All you have to do is create these themes and sell them on your website or via various marketplaces such as Creative Market, ThemeForest and WP Opti. As long as your themes are decent and of good quality, you can promote your WP themes and make a good deal of money selling your WP themes.
But even with this, you’re probably still wondering; how much can I make selling WP themes? Well, in this insightful guide, we’ll talk about everything that you need to know as far as selling WP themes is concerned and how to make the business of selling themes profitable.
How to Start Your WordPress Theme Business
In the past 7 or 8 years, the market for WP themes was quite different from what it is today. Although many WP themes were already available, creating and selling a new WP theme was much easier. But today, the market for WP themes is oversaturated and highly competitive. This means that starting your WP theme business and becoming profitable at it is more challenging than it used to be. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t do it!
For you to start a profitable WP theme business, you must have a well-thought-out plan. The days when all you had to do was to create and release WP themes are over! Today, you must focus on creating the best themes for a specific niche and market your themes to a particular target audience to stand a chance of making profits. So what can you do to make your WP theme business profitable? Well, let’s go through some ideas.
Pick a Specific Niche
One of the most important things to do is to pick a specific niche. This is important in making sure that you can create quality themes for a specific target audience. You also must make sure that the niche is profitable, which can also be quite challenging.
You can overcome this challenge by figuring out what many people are looking for and what niches lack professional WP themes. A perfect way is to use Google Trends to find out what trends people are searching for. This will help you find out an interesting niche. You can then look at what your competitors are doing in that particular niche and then create better themes than what is already available in the market.
Choose an Interesting Theme Type
It’s of great importance that you decide on the type of theme that you plan to develop. You’ve already identified a niche so coming up with an interesting theme type(s) that is suitable for that particular niche should be paramount.
You have to keep in mind that some of the most successful themes are multipurpose. This means that they can be used in every web design. Again, you should always remember that the theme type shouldn’t be very elaborate. The idea here is that elaborate themes generally require a lot of time and money to create, so may not be quite profitable.
With that in mind, the best option is to create a simple but classy WP theme that’s more targeted. You can choose to create a high-quality theme for lawyers, dentists, or even electricians. Even though this can attract fewer buyers, it will give your themes the chance to stand out from the competition.
Another great idea is to focus on creating WP themes for targeted products. You can focus on creating themes for certain products and turn a limited pool of customers into loyal customers for your WP themes.
Promote Your WordPress Themes
In the past, clients would look for premium WP themes in the belief that they were much better than free versions. But today, you have to promote and market your WP themes. In other words, you can’t just create WP themes and sit back waiting for buyers. Instead, you must promote your themes to your target audience.
But how can you promote your WP themes? The best and proven way of promoting your WP themes is by offering a free version. You have to ensure that this version is readily available for simple websites but with a premium version that can be bought. The idea here is to allow users to upgrade to premium versions to access more and better features.
Test Your Themes
You must test your themes before you start distributing them. This is a great way to collect invaluable and unbiased feedback from real customers on your WP themes. You’ll learn about the issues with your themes and areas that need improvement. You have to be open-minded, take criticism, and be ready to work on areas that need improvement. This will be very important in the long run as it will save you a lot of time and effort.
Use a Marketplace to Sell Your WordPress Themes
Using platforms such as ThemeForest, Mojo Themes, Creative Market and WP Opti can be a perfect way of reaching more people willing to buy your WP themes. You, however, must keep in mind that you’ll also be in for fierce competition as many other creators are also using these platforms.
You should also be careful when using these marketplaces because they’ll require you to pay transaction fees, which may in turn lower your profits. In other words, a portion of your profits is taken by the marketplace but you can also gain if you have active affiliates that you’re promoting, or choosing a marketplace with high commissions, like WP Opti.
Consider Selling Your WordPress Themes Independently
While selling your WP themes on a marketplace has both its benefits and downsides, you can consider selling your themes independently since it allows you to keep most of your profits. PayPal may be an obvious payment option but there are also other payment options to consider.
If you choose to sell your WP themes independently, you have to make sure that you have a concrete marketing plan. You should also make sure that your website is ranked higher in the search engine to make it a lot easier to access your targeted audience.
The best way to sell your WP themes independently is through your website. This not only gives you more control over your online visitors but you can also incorporate various SEO tools and ideas that can help rank your website high in the search engine.
Related reading: The Best Way of Selling WordPress Themes and Plugins
Things to Do to Make Your WordPress Theme Business Profitable
Although creating and selling WP themes is challenging, it’s doable as long as you have a proper plan. As such here are a few things to do.
Make Sure that Your Themes Stand Out from the Competition
Creating and selling WP themes is highly lucrative. This means that you’ll come against many competitors fighting for the same market share. So what do you need to do? The best thing to do is to create high-quality themes that stand out. You have to make sure that you create WP themes that attract the most attention in the market.
You can do this by coming up with ads and marketing campaigns that will attract more people to your WP themes. But more importantly, start developing WP themes that are unique to give you the much-needed edge.
Now that you’ll be competing with both new and established competitors, it’s important to keep your pricing in check. This is because no one will be willing to buy your WP theme if they can find a WP theme of the same quality at a lower price. And because you can’t just lower the price of your WP themes given the effort and time you’ve invested in creating the themes, you should come up with reasonable pricing that can ensure that your business is profitable yet competitive.
So How Much Can You Make Creating and Selling WP Themes?
According to several developers, you can make about $500k per year creating and selling WP themes. As such, your profits when creating and selling WP themes can be about $250k a year given that you’d require about $200k of resources to create themes that can help you make such profits.
These amounts may seem to be high but with plenty of buyers willing to pay for quality WP themes, these figures are very attainable. A multipurpose WP theme can cost about $60 on a marketplace and with over 300,000 WP themes sold annually, this industry can bring in about $18 million in sales!
To this end, there’s no doubt that creating and selling WP themes can be a very profitable business. All you have to do is come up with a concrete plan that includes creating unique and quality WP themes that will attract your targeted audience. You also have to choose a niche that is profitable as well as come up with a perfect marketing plan to help you promote your WP themes.