WordPress is a top-rated platform and currently powers over 35% of online sites. The numbers have been rising steadily since it came into the market in 2003. Industry experts estimate that over 400 million people will visit the WordPress site monthly. It is popular among bloggers, because of the tools that allow for the creation and publishing of content. Developers have access to business opportunities in areas such as content management. However, its use has now expanded to include eCommerce. Our article below will give you excellent tips on how you can profit with WordPress theme development and the steps you need to take.
Everything You Need To Know About WordPress Theme Development
Theme development is not anything new, and some have made it a lucrative source of income. It is always essential to know before going into the theme development business that many other people are doing the same thing. You must find a way to elevate yourself so that you stand above the competition.
You may not have a lot of money to invest in marketing and different kinds of promotions. Look for a way to build product and brand awareness cost-effectively. It is all about consistency and reliable products that respond to a particular need you may have identified. You must also be able to provide critical technical support to your customers.
Steps to Take in Setting up Your WordPress Theme Enterprise
There are so many facets to setting up a WordPress business. You have to get them right if you hope to make a profit in the long run. We could summarize the steps as:
- Having a solid business plan
- Having a solid marketing strategy;
- Finding a niche product
- Understanding your target audience
- Choosing the right theme to develop
- Understanding what competitors are up to
- Developing and testing your theme
- Launching the product into the marketplace: whether independently on your website or a third-party marketplace
1. Start With a Plan
Think about starting your WordPress business like you would any other type of business. One of the most critical components is to have a plan. Your plan will detail what you hope to achieve and the steps you need to take to realize them.
2. Have a Marketing Strategy In Place
You must also think about your marketing strategy because you will need to create product awareness once you develop your theme. A solid marketing strategy will look at how you can maximize both free and paid opportunities.
Blog posts, for example, are a fantastic way of optimizing for search engines while sharing invaluable knowledge. Video content is another excellent way of teaching people how to use your WordPress theme.
You can also not ignore the benefits of using your social media platforms to reach a broader audience base. It is, however, critical that you understand each channel before using them for marketing purposes.
If, for example, the WordPress theme is around fashion and beauty, you can get a lot of traction on a platform such as Instagram or Snapchat. If you are targeting lawyers or doctors, LinkedIn would be an excellent place for content marketing around your new theme.
3. Focus On a Niche Area
Another marketing 101 tip for success is to focus on a niche area. It starts with identifying your target audience then coming up with a product that responds specifically to them. Trying to push out mass products may not work very well because you will be fighting with so many other people for a limited pool of customers.
There are specific online tools you can use, which will help you identify such areas. Google trends will, for example, give you excellent insights on which keywords people use when searching for particular items.
4. Choose Your Theme
You have already identified your niche and your target customers. Now it is time to decide on the theme you want to develop. Some developers have found a lot of success with multi-purpose themes. Customers look for multiple functionalities in whatever they purchase. If you can provide all web solutions in one theme, as opposed to many different ones, you are more likely to attract customers.
It is, however, important to note, developing different themes have different cost implications. MultiPurpose themes, for example, require a little bit more work and may, therefore, be more expensive.
The other option is to focus on and create a targeted product. You focus on a particular industry and then provide a theme that is relevant to them. The disadvantage is that you have a very limited pool of customers. The advantage is that that limited pool can be a very loyal customer base as long as they like your products. It also helps to allocate resources more efficiently because of the targeting and the narrow focus.
5. Pay Attention to Your Competitors
It will be a big mistake to go into theme development if you do not understand what the industry has to offer. Even if you get a niche area, do not assume that you are alone. Competitors are actively following the same tips to determine which areas they will want to go into. See what the competition is doing and then look for a way to do it better. If you realize that your competitors are not doing very well in that particular area, it could be a red flag for you. It could also be an excellent opportunity to find out what it is they’re not doing and then come in with the right product.
6. Theme Development
There are WordPress resources or theme Builders such as Template Toaster to help start your theme development process. You have the option of using third-party plugins. Some may require that you take the time to learn how to use them. If you, however, find that the process is harder than you initially thought, you can give the work to a developer. Have a good understanding of precisely what you need because it will determine the rates you pay.
Think about developing a free version of your theme that you will use in the promotional phase. The Freemium or free version is the one that you will offer for free. They typically have very basic features. To enjoy more advanced settings, the user will have to sign up for the premium or paid version. You will not always attain 100% conversion, because some people are satisfied with whatever they can get for free. You, however, get to benefit from the marketing aspect because more people will know about your product.
7. Test Your Theme
Before you launch your theme to the market, take the time to carry out extensive testing of the product. You will get invaluable feedback that can help you correct any issues. Some of their insights can also help you improve upon what you already have in place. Encourage honesty from those who are testing the products, because it may save you a lot of money going forward.
8. Think About Where You Will Sell Your Product
You have the option of selling your WordPress theme in the third-party marketplaces such as Mojo themes and Themeforest. However, you will have to factor in fees that you may have to pay to transact. You may also face quite a bit of competition which can make it difficult for you if you have not marketed your product well. We are, however, not saying that it is not a good idea to place your products there. However, utilize it for running promotions and marketing. You can also look into affiliate marketing, which you will find is a very popular way of selling products in such places.
The best option would be to sell your theme from your website. You have full control over your online visitors and can use your platform for marketing purposes. By incorporating search engine optimization (SEO), you will improve the rankings on the search engines, and your target market can easily find you. Pay attention to developing a sound portfolio because it is a critical marketing tool for you. It is the avenue through which you will convince potential clients that you can build WordPress themes that they need.
The other advantage of using your website to sell is that you can cost-effectively run promotional campaigns. You could, for example, offer a free upgrade as a way of pulling in new clients.
Keeping a close eye on how the product is doing in the market is a step you cannot ignore. You need to collect relevant information and insights that will help make the product and marketing strategy better. Online tools such as Google Analytics will let you know how visitors to your website are responding to the information you have there. You get to learn what content they interact with and what you need to improve.
Encourage your audience is to give you feedback, but ensure that you engage with them so that you keep the conversation going. This is especially important on the social media platforms where people can comment like or share your post, thus more branded product awareness.
Challenges You May Have To Overcome In the WordPress Theme Development Business
As you may have probably picked up from the article above, setting up a WordPress theme development business is not easy. There are specific challenges that you will have to contend with before your WordPress theme development business is up and running profitably. Such include:
WordPress theme development is lucrative, and there are very many individuals, and companies are fighting for Market Share. You will, therefore, have to contend with high competition, which leads to product saturation in the market. It becomes a battle of who can shout the loudest to attract the customers. If you are just starting, you may not have huge budgets for advertising purposes. You must, therefore, take advantage of what is freely available to market your product, such as SEO. The online platform has tons of free advice you can use.
You need to launch a product that has no equal in the market. It is challenging to do, but it comes from understanding what the marketplace needs. Coming up with a product that responds to the gap you have identified. And most importantly giving your potential customers a reason to buy your product.
- Pricing Issues:
You will be competing with individuals who may be able to price the products slightly lower than yours due to their location. The overheads associated with theme development in countries such as the USA may be a bit higher than from low wage countries.
- Navigating The WordPress Platform:
WordPress continues to attract developers because it does not have high entry barriers. You also find an ecosystem that is rich in plugins, themes, hosting services, among others. The developers also take time to come up with updates that contribute to the overall effectiveness of the platform. However, some of the upgrades, such as the Gutenberg editor, are not very clear. There is also not too much communication on the way forward. It can make it quite challenging to implement some processes which can be very inconveniencing for a theme developer.
WordPress has, however, been very consistent in its product and service delivery; that is why it continues to power so many websites. The industry is confident that they will be able to sort out any kinks that could be impacting on its services.
We have looked at the steps you need to take to launch a successful WordPress business above. Think about it like any other business and focus on having a good plan, good marketing strategy, and a good understanding of the target audience. Your WordPress theme should respond to an identified gap in the market. It will help you provide a unique product that does not have much competition. You must, therefore, take the time to do market research. With the ongoing popularity of WordPress, theme development has a lot of potential for any aspiring entrepreneur.