If you saw the title and started reading this article, it’s likely that you’ve finished making a theme or you’re almost there. Congratulations!
But what are you going to do after publishing it on WordPress.org, ThemeForest or your own theme shop? Almost certainly, people won’t come out of nowhere and download or buy your theme–you need an introduction, you need some publication, you need to market your theme.
In this article, I’m going to talk about a few ideas on how to promote your new WordPress theme. Let’s begin!
Starting off easy: Publishing Google AdWords Ads
When it comes to marketing, advertising is the first option that comes to mind. And when it comes to advertising, the most popular option is publishing an ad campaign on Google AdWords.
There are several ways to do this, but I believe there are two best practices if you want to protome a new theme:
- Advertise on top of search result pages, including the type of your theme and the time you’ve published it. For example, if you make a blogging theme in the spring, advertise on the search terms like “blogging theme 2016” and “blogging theme april 2016”.
- Advertise on web pages that talk about WordPress and WordPress themes. It would be a conveniant way both for you and your target audience to place a banner of your blogging theme in a post that’s about blogging themes.
Just make sure that you’re careful with your budget and watch out for the conversion rate. If your ad isn’t relevant, you might as well burn all your money in
Pricey, But Reliable: Paying for Sponsored Content
If you think your target audience is reading a popular WordPress blog, why not promote your new theme over there?
You might consider advertising with banners a bit cheesy, and it’s a perfectly reasonable idea: Sometimes banners are cheesy. So, it would be a better idea to pay a blogger to write a review about your new theme, or even run a giveaway. If you’re going to sell ten copies of your $99 theme, why not invest in a few hundred dollars on promoting it through blog posts?
A note on ThemeForest theme authors: I’m not sure Envato’s take on giving away themes for free, so, be sure to ask them about this.
Offering a Free, “Light” Version on WordPress.org
If you’re releasing a commercial theme, meaning that you intend to make money from it, you can always offer a “free version” with reduced functionality like less widgets, a limited selection of web fonts, or preventing changing some of the layout settings.
Be warned, though: WordPress Theme Directory has become a place for “lite themes” so there’s a lot of competition, which makes users a bit uncomfortable. If you want to release a free version of your theme, I suggest you make it as unobtrusive as possible.
Also, ask Envato about this as well if you’re a ThemeForest author. I see that some authors asked about this and got some positive replies, but make sure that you’re allowed.
People don’t just say “Hey, I suddenly want to buy a new blogging theme!”, they mostly purchase one of the first themes they come across and like. On ThemeForest, sadly, the best sellers are the best sellers of all time meaning new themes have a lower chance of selling than the ones that are already among the top sellers–a vicious cycle. So, you have to amp up on competition by promoting your theme. I hope these tips help.
Thanks for reading!