Is ThemeForest (Envato's themes marketplace) the best marketplace for selling WordPress Themes? Learn how to combine the power of the official WordPress themes repository at WordPress.org and ThemeForest for your theme business in this guest post.
Someday if you find yourself selling WordPress themes and thinking of marketing strategies, you will need this guide for some directions from an experienced team of theme authors.
Life once gave me a lesson: if you are going to sell something – make it smart. Yeah, I know, it’s not a huge revelation, but if you look around, you’ll see how many companies screw up the marketing and go down hard!
Nowadays there are plenty of marketplaces where you can advertise and sell your themes. Ten years ago you, a regular seller of WP themes looked like a tumbleweed on an empty street, but now every developer has a lot of tools to sell and prosper quickly!
Table of Contents
Why Sell WordPress Themes on ThemeForest?
First of all, let’s review the reasons why we think that selling your WordPress Themes on ThemeForest will definitely benefit you:
1. Reach a Wider Targeted Audience
One of the best things about ThemeForest is the vast targeted audience they have. They have a huge volume of buyers on a daily basis, and all of these are not some lost wanderers, most of them are on the platform looking to buy WordPress themes.
Yeah, the competition is mad, but delivering top quality themes is a key to nailing sales here. Of course, you’ll have to work hard and sweat a little bit, but that’s definitely worth it.
Here are some numbers for your to think about:
50% of WordPress themes on ThemeForest make over $1000 a month!
Latest statistics show that it’s still not too late to catch the last train and join the team of ThemeForest authors.
One of the greatest features on ThemeForest is their sorting algorithm that shows the newest releases on the top for some time. It gives you a chance to take a shot at conquering the place of top rated releases.
2. Affiliate Program of ThemeForest
The affiliate program is one of the features that gives anyone a chance to make money from ThemeForest without being an author.
(We at WPism have also enrolled with ThemeForest's Envato affiliate programme. Check out our Envato Market deals and coupons page or Envato Elements Coupon page to see how we promote their latest offers).
You can simply i) create an account with ThemeForest, ii) sign up for an affiliate account with Envato, iii) get a referral link and start directing people to some certain themes. You will get a certain percentage commission per sale, and it is in your interest to recommend themes from Power Elite and Elite authors so that you can be sure of their quality.
Basically, you log into ThemeForest, find some specific niche like, for instance, Psychological Themes and create a roundup with the best themes ThemeForest can offer.
Here's what a sample roundup post for best Psychological Theme can look like;
Jacqueline – Massage Salon WordPress Theme
Gardenia – WordPress Personal Blog Theme
Blog WordPress Theme for Writers and Journalists
3. Managed Platform for Theme Sellers
ThemeForest is a ready-to-use marketplace that gives you all the needed tools to work with your customer. There is no need for you to search for the customer somewhere, run around the internet and scream into the void. You have a place where you can build your interaction with your template buyers.
Upload your theme and ThemeForest will handle all the other things that could easily take lot of your time doing on your own. You might also want to check out Envato Elements if want your items such as themes and theme kits that work with Elementor to be listed on their marketplace.
You can also direct all your landing page or portfolio visitors to your ThemeForest page, so there is no need to build your own store inside of your agency website. Well, of course, it’s going to work in case you don’t want to share some percentage as author fees to ThemeForest!
Making Strategic use of WordPress Themes Repository
Now that we have established some good reasons why you should start selling your themes on ThemeForest, I would like to tell you about one better platform for a larger audience engagement.
WordPress.org official theme repository is another great place where our targeted audience looking for themes can be found and engaged (see official WordPress requirements here). This is one of those places where you should definitely mark your presence if you want to reach the biggest targeted audience of buyers.
But you cannot sell themes on the official repository, right? Well, what does everyone like?
That’s correct, free stuff!
Yeah, you got it right, we are getting closer to the main idea of this article: how can you grow your sales by combining ThemeForest buyers and WordPress.org users?
This is simple as hell, my friend! I will give you a step-by-step guide on this, thank me later!
When you design and develop a WordPress theme, you usually think about your future profit and dream about squeezing the dollar bills in your hands after a huge commercial success, right?
Sometimes you need to put a little bit more effort into your interaction with your potential buyers and, trust me; it will give you a little bit more than just profit. It will help your brand in getting recognised and referred from other users.
Basically, what I offer you is taking your earliest project iteration and uploading it to the WordPress.org repository as a free light version of your future theme. It’s going to be a light version, so lots of features will be excluded. It will be like a preview version that will give customers a taste of your theme and make them want to buy it later.
Detailed Steps for Your Theme Sales Plan
Here are a few steps that you should perform anyway:
- Add the release of the light version to your working plan in the early stage of development. You shouldn’t just give away a raw version of the template, it should be a fully-functional theme that lacks advanced features that truly are the difference makers.
- Review the guidelines on WordPress.org; they have their own rules, and so you will have to comply with those before getting approved.
- Upload your theme along with the description. Make sure you mention that it is the light version of your product and highlight the features that your customers may get by going to ThemeForest and buying the full version of your theme.
- Upload the full version of your template to ThemeForest and add the link to the description on WordPress.org saying that the full version is available for purchase at a reasonable price.
Please note that profit is not the only thing that should excite you the most in the beginning of your road to becoming a highly rated ThemeForest author. You should consider different ways to attract customers to your product and giving away a free sample (Freemium Model) is a time-tested approach.
Just remember one of the first Med Man episodes, this TV show is highly appreciated for a reason. When Don Draper offered his client to use coupons to attract people to visit her store, she was furious and yelled:
‘That’s such an old approach; I thought you'd give me something new, fresh and original.'
But everyone in the room said the same thing:
‘This may be an old and obvious trick, but this approach works and nails customers’
I believe you get what I’m trying to tell you. Now go out there and start selling your WordPress themes on ThemeForest!
Henry Rise is the CEO of ThemeRex, Power Elite Author on ThemeForest. He loves to help people build their business online. He believes every business begins with the right choice of a micro-niche WP Theme.