Sell WordPress Themes/Plugins Online: 6 Killer Actionable Methods
Developed an amazing WordPress theme/plugin but still have no clue how you might sell it? Then read on, as listed below are some killer actionable marketing techniques that will have money pouring in almost instantly!
A design doesn’t always sell!
The simple truth is that even if you may have created the best WordPress theme/plugin in the market, it may never sell! The sooner you accept this truth, the sooner you will make money.
Talent, Creativity, and Design are important, but if you don’t market them right, your work may as well be non-existent on the World Wide Web. In order to sell WordPress themes/plugins, you need marketing strategies, and you need them even before your WordPress theme/plugin is completely ready.
Listed below are some actionable methods that will help you sell WordPress themes/plugins such that you can start making money almost instantly!
Don’t believe us? Read on.
Make it free!
Yes, we know what you’re wondering. Giving it away for free WON’T bring in any money. Well, truth is, you’re wrong. If you have just about taken baby steps into the world of marketing, you probably don’t have a strong online presence, and neither do people know you or your work. Trying to sell WordPress themes/plugins in such a scenario is quite frankly impossible. Not many people will shell out money for someone they haven’t heard about. However, they are more likely to use your WordPress themes/plugins if they are free. Giving you a much-needed audience, and word of mouth marketing.
But what about the money?
Since this post is about how to make money selling WordPress themes/plugins, selling them for free won’t cut it. Uploading a basic version, however, will.
By removing a few premium features, you can sell WordPress themes/plugins without losing out on the returns. This can be done by finding the relevant WordPress directory to sell WordPress themes/plugins and then releasing the Lite version of your work. Chances are, people who like and use your Lite version might shell out a few bucks for the full version.
Exposure. Releasing basic versions of your WordPress themes/plugins gives you the online presence that you require.
Reviews. The basic version release will help you get feedback from your prospective customers, such that you can work on them before you release the full version.
Enough audience but not enough money. Releasing a basic version for free will bring in the audience, but it is no promise that the audience might all become your customers.
Throw your work in the Amazon! – Sell WordPress Themes/Plugins
Okay, not really. We’re talking about the big marketplaces. Like you have Amazon for goods, you have different marketplaces online, where you can sell WordPress themes/plugins.
Since WordPress powers 18.9% of all websites, more and more marketplaces for selling WordPress themes/plugins have started cropping up. Some of the major players in the business are listed below:
WordPress Repository is a platform that lets you upload your WordPress themes/plugins, and host it on their marketplace. Your theme and plugin will go through a screening process, after which you can get the statistics of how many times your WordPress theme/plugin was downloaded, the feedback that users have provided and you will even get ratings. This is the marketplace where you can first upload the Lite version of your WordPress theme/plugin, learn the basics of the business, understand what works and what doesn’t and then upload the full version and then sell WordPress themes/plugins for money!
ThemeForest is one of the most popular theme marketplaces by Envato on the web. The marketplace has published more than 10,000 themes and templates by over 2500 authors. The website generates a very high traffic, which you can tap into if you wish to sell WordPress themes on this marketplace. The catch, however, is that, as a new author, you must get your theme approved and give up 50% of all sales, which increases to 70% if you sell more.
CodeCanyon is also a marketplace by Envato but only if you wish to sell WordPress plugins. The good part about CodeCanyon is that it lets you skip the process of uploading your plugin for free on the WordPress repository. You just have to become part of the CodeCanyon community and tap into their audience to sell your work.
TemplateToaster is essentially a software which allows people to design beautiful themes from scratch. However, it also has a marketplace where users can sell themes designed with TemplateToaster. TemplateToaster sweeps in to save the day and lets users design templates and themes from scratch without any technical skills. Its marketplace provides you with a large audience which you can tap into to sell themes/plugins.
We talked about selling your work but what about making money from it?
According to statistics, Themeforest boasts of having 7,986 WordPress themes, out of 26, 644 available themes on the inventory. The average price range for WordPress themes ranges from $13 to $ 350, and an average 5-year earnings from a template after the commission is estimated at $52,992.50. Similarly, CodeCanyon boasts of having 4,861 WordPress plugins, out of 19,006 available scripts. The average price range for WordPress plugins ranges from $5 to $299, and an average 5-year earnings from a template after the commission is estimated at $9,848.
Although there are other marketplaces like Mojo Themes, Mojo Code, WP Eden where you can sell WordPress themes/plugins, ThemeForest and CodeCanyon are the major players. TemplateToaster, on the other hand, gives you an edge even if you do not know coding.
The only thing these marketplaces do is take a commission, but let you tap into a large audience base.
Major marketing not required. Once you become an author for major marketplaces, the hassle of attracting an audience to your work and convincing them to buy your WordPress themes/plugins ends. All you have to do is upload a WordPress theme/plugin and you can start making money.
Commission. The catch of these marketplaces is that they take a cut, for their services. The more you sell, the more they earn. However, the chances that you sell more on these websites as compared to selling them by yourself, is always higher.
Join hands with fellow developers and designers
With teamwork, marketing gets less maddening. So you’re out there planning to sell WordPress themes/plugins but don’t know what you can do next. Worry not, because you aren’t the only one facing the same issue. The web is a daunting place and finding ways to earn money on it can get difficult. You, however, can make the process easier by collaborating with fellow designers, developers and even bloggers and marketers to launch your product and make money while doing it.
There are freelancers available for everything. And people never say no if they can make a few extra bucks. All you have to do is find the right people that have a similar niche. You can find people through WordPress blogs, social media communities and through websites like Freelancer. Once you have the necessary people, that have the same goal in mind, you can start selling. As you develop WordPress themes/plugins, one person can work on writing the content for it, another can take care of marketing it, all three of you can share the profit and if in case there are any, the losses.
Less Workload. If you have three people working on three separate entities, you can concentrate more on developing WordPress themes and plugins.
‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’. Working as a team is a good on paper, but difficult in reality. There may be a problem where your vision may change, or one entity, say marketing might not take off. Resulting in losses rather than profits!
Say you’re not much of a team player, and not a big believer in capitalism and commissions either. The answer then is to make your own website and sell WordPress themes/plugins all by yourself. Considering you know how to develop a theme and plugin, and even if you don’t – you still have a software like TemplateToaster, then it won’t be difficult for you to make your own website that speaks for your work. If the website is brilliant, chances are people will trust your work and shell out money for your products.
As simple as that sounds, it is not. Developing, as mentioned above, is the easy task in this scenario. Making money isn’t. With developing a website to sell WordPress themes/plugins, you need to keep in mind that you would first and foremost require an audience that brings in traffic. Along with promoting your WordPress themes/plugins, you will also have to promote your website. However, this will give you not just the freedom to showcase your talent, you will also get to keep every single penny that you make.
Come to think of it, that’s not bad, right?
Freedom. You don’t need to get approved by any marketplace, nor do you have to discuss it with anyone whether or not your WordPress theme/plugin will sell.
Zero Commission. The returns you get on selling WordPress themes/plugins are all yours. No sharing, whatsoever.
Marketing. And a lot of it. You will have to work on bringing traffic to your website, to convincing audiences that your product is worth buying.
Solo or not, marketing is necessary!
Having harped on about marketplaces, working with a team or going solo, the end result is, unless people don’t know that your product exists, they won’t be able to buy it. Making marketing techniques listed below your best friend will help you sell WordPress themes/plugins easily.
Pages like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, have a large user base, along with groups and communities, with similar interests. You can find a dedicated WordPress group to promote your WordPress themes/plugins. This will not just bring about exposure, but will also cost you almost nothing. Having a strong social media presence, with a personal page dedicated to your work, will also help you build the trust that you may require.
Search Engine Optimization is a necessity in today’s world. To get recognition, your work needs to rank high in the Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP), which you can get if you regularly comment on forums, that one have a good ranking themselves, and second that your comments use keywords that will get your work recognized. Similarly, if you develop a website, you have to make it SEO friendly, such that your rankings shoot up. Making your WordPress themes/plugins SEO friendly will also help you get the edge that you require.
Launching an affiliate scheme will help you in your marketing requirements. You can sell your product through other people’s websites. You can launch a scheme and target top marketers and bloggers to pick up your product and advertise it for you on their websites. For every sale they bring about, they will only charge a small commission. Affiliate marketing is good because it helps you get recognition, along with gaining trust from strangers, as they reach your product through a website they trust.
Advertisement never gets old. They more you grow, they more advertisement you require. One such example is Google AdWords which helps you bring in recurring traffic, which can then help you generate sales, while you target the audience that you want as per your preferences. It’s about reaching the right people at the right time. Launching an ad campaign isn’t all that easy. You need to have a long term and short term plan in hand to actually enter the market so that you don’t end up losing more money than you make. But if you do end up understanding the market of advertising, you’re in!
Make Opt-In forms your go-to-guy for generating email leads. Once you have a running website, with a good amount of traffic, building an exclusive email list will help you to not just build a community that trusts your work but also a marketplace where people may actually keep returning with their requirements. You can also send out emails to some of the major email newsletters, such that you can get your product listed in their circular. The good thing about this is that email newsletters have a large audience base that would get to know about your latest work, through them. One such email newsletter is wpMail, a WordPress newsletter that goes out weekly with the latest WordPress news.
Getting recognised when you wish to sell WordPress themes/plugins is important. Some people, however, have already cracked that market. Getting a review from those people will go a very long way. The review may be critical, but it will help you work on your product, however, it may also be positive, and drive in customers that already listen to the said influence. It’s like getting a thumbs up from someone who knows what they are doing. You can even showcase the review on your website, or social media pages so that people know that your work is actually worth giving a try!
If everything written above sounds a little too mind-numbing for you, you would require a professional for your website development and marketing such that you can concentrate on developing WordPress themes/plugins. This may sound daunting, as hiring someone who will develop your website and promote will cost you money but in the long run, it may be a better investment for your money.
Someone who knows everything there is to know about website development and marketing will be a pro in not just SEO, but social media marketing, as well as affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing among many other marketing techniques. Therefore, you will sleep peacefully at night knowing that your money is in safe hands. To help you get started, we at TemplateToaster provide dedicated support both paid and free (for TemplateToaster customers only). Interested people can reach us to get their custom website project done. Also, we provide marketing services as well. We can set up a full-fledged marketing campaign for your theme/plugin to market! Reach us by following below mentioned methods:
Create. Market. Re-Create.
Marketing is no easy task, but it is a necessary requirement. There is still out there a huge market that wants the perfect WordPress theme/plugin for their niche. The question is are you ready to reach them?
With the techniques listed above, you cannot just reach them, but also make money in the process. It is not easy, but it can be done. Follow the techniques as well as you can, and you will start making money in no time.
However, if you fail. You can create again. And since you would know all the marketing techniques, re-creating a WordPress theme/plugin shall remain your only task!