You're starting a theme business. Should you sell on ThemeForest?

(Nate Wright) #21

I handle support just through Gmail. Volume (sales and support) is very low, so I’ve had no need for a more complex system.

I have had very little of the “how do you install the theme” level of questions. I can only recall one time where I granted a refund for someone who didn’t even know what WordPress was. But the rest of the support includes a full range.

Hearing some of the horror stories from ThemeForest customers, I would guess that my customers are not particularly demanding and maybe come to it with less expectation of “customize all the things”. That said, “no bloat” is part of my sales pitch, so I may attract a certain customer. I did have one person complain that it wasn’t like “other themes where everything is just drag and drop”. That was a simple refund, though.

The minimal support load is probably the greatest attraction of going independent. Your sales and marketing pitch can cater to the crowd you’re interested in supporting.

(Eric Daams) #22

Thanks @NateWr for the great insight. Just checked out your site – nice work with the little tour in the theme demo! I haven’t seen anyone do that before. Have you found that helps conversions?

(Nate Wright) #23

Thanks @ericnicolass. To be honest, I haven’t noticed it be a big help. I put up the tour on that theme because it hasn’t sold very well. I suspect it’s because it doesn’t follow the typical design patterns in the market – no carousel, no three boxes in a row. I thought I’d try and explain my design decisions in case it wasn’t connecting with potential buyers. It’s only been up a few weeks, but I can’t say I’ve noticed a change of any significance in my conversion rate. (There are plenty of other things that could be turning people off in that theme.)

It’s important to remember that I’m dealing with a low volume of sales. One thing I’ve learned in the last 10 months is that you can’t draw many conclusions about these sorts of things from low volume. The spikes and valleys in sales are crazy and sometimes beyond your control. Two of my best affiliates dropped off the front page of Google for “best restaurant websites” in June. Summer was a tough time for me. I recently went two weeks without a sale (I was absolutely despairing!) and then got two within an hour… on a Sunday!

All this advice out there about A/B testing and tracking conversions misses out on one important factor: you need to be working in high volume to pick out small statistical changes. At a low volume, it’s REALLY difficult to get steady conversion statistics, let alone to compare changes with them.

What are the best ways to increase traffic to a plugin / theme business?
(Susan Parker) #24

I tried to submit several products on Themeforest but then rejected and I received the same
reason for rejection. I also sent email to ask for specific explanation, but they never replied. That’s weird for me.
But I think there are many alternative out there and start searching for it. I’ve found Cmsmart
Marketplace. They have made things much easier for sellers and customers of Magento, Joomla, Wordpress, etc by offering the below benefits:

  • High Percentage Profits: they provide you with the 70-80% of the money that you have earned.

  • They help clients to find you and your products.

  • Your submitted products will be ranked highly on top Search Engine results.

  • They have various Marketing Channels: From Google Paid Ad, SEO, Email Marketing, Forum, Testimonials, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Press release, Video

  • Very Friendly and Excellent Support System.

Just need to make the right choice and find the best place for you!

(Leland Fiegel) #25

@susanparker, are you affiliated with Csmart Marketplace?

I suspect this is spam but I’ll keep it so I can point out obvious flaws in your list of “benefits.”

I’ve never heard of it before. But they spell WordPress with a lowercase p and you can’t see the items unless you login. There’s no way content hidden behind a login wall can “rank highly” in search engine results.

If selling on a marketplace, I’d stick with the “big three” of Creative Market, ThemeForest, and Mojo Themes.

(Susan Parker) #26

Hi ieland,
Thank you for your comment. Actually Cmsmart Marketplace is new to many sellers. They’re in progress looking for more vendors to sell products on their site and developing more professional products and support services. I’m very impressive with some products and their support team. They’re very helpful so I suggest.

(Leland Fiegel) #27

@susanparker, even though you dodged my question, I see the email address you signed up to WPChat with confirms that you are indeed affiliated with CMSmart, which makes me question the ethics of the whole operation.

There are many WordPress business owners and employees on these forums, and some of them do engage in self-promotion, and that’s fine. But unlike you, literally every single one of them makes ethical disclosures on their affiliations when appropriate.

I’ll stick with my recommendation of sticking with the “big three” marketplaces above. And I’ll keep these posts here so visitors can make informed decisions as well. But I won’t tolerate this behavior in the future.

(Sorry to take the thread offtopic, by the way.)

(Moeez) #29

Yes I think marketplaces are a good way to start. You can get an initial boost in your sales and when it has become popular you can part your ways start on your own.